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Redington Beach discusses trash changes
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REDINGTON BEACH – Two agenda items, one centered on upcoming changes in trash pickup and another pertaining to potential upgrades for the town parks, dominated much of the Redington Beach Town Commission workshop and regular meeting on May 20.

Regarding trash pickup, representatives from Progressive Waste Solutions were on hand to explain the two options being offered to the town as the current contract maintained with the town expires Sept. 30.

Aside from an anticipated 2.5 percent rate increase during the first year of a three-year contract for twice-weekly trash pickup and once-weekly recycling pickup, the company wants to provide all 800 residents with a 96-gallon trash bin on wheels in an attempt to eliminate the current door-side service in favor of curbside pickup which would allow for quicker service.

Two options were presented. The first option would include a 50-cent per month cost for the 96-gallon can in addition to monthly service charge of $15.91 for single-family homes and $8.74 for condominium residents with all or most pickup being at curbside.

With the second option, the cost would rise to $15.42 and $8.24 per month, respectively, but trash cans would not be provided and door-side pickup would remain an option.

Currently, the cost for residential twice-weekly solid waste and once-weekly recycling services is $15 per month; for condominium service the cost is $8.

In concession to the wishes of commission members, the company representatives expressed willingness that residents be able to choose between the medium-blue, 96-gallon cart or, if desired, smaller 64-gallon cart along with the proviso that door-side pickup remain for those residents physically unable to wheel the cart to the curb.

The company said it plans to send letters to residents over the summer to inform them of the upcoming changes once the Town Commission votes to approve a new contract.

Park upgrades

Extensive discussion also ensued regarding potential improvements and upgrades to the town’s park system that have been discussed by the Park Board Commission.

Park Board chairwoman Marilyn Barber told commissioners she has been in contact via email with Trent Green, an associate professor of architecture and urban design at the University South Florida.

Green replied that were he to conduct a “visioning process” open to the community, it would cost $20,000 to include labor, overhead, travel, supplies, printing and production of the final project report.

The Redington Beach commissioners, however, said they were not ready to commit $20,000 for a study to be undertaken at this early point.

Barber acknowledged that consensus is split among park board members as to the size and scope of improvements – some favoring a plan that would tie in all the parks while others prefer a focus on Town Park on Gulf Boulevard and the two adjoining lots south of 164th Avenue that the town recently purchased for $300,000 from Redington Shores.

In response to a question from park board member Anna Wiggers, regarding the possibility of holding a community forum on the topic, Mayor Nick Simons said “public input is a wonderful thing, but if you get 150 ideas ranging from a butterfly garden to a skateboard park or a dog park that’s an awful lot of responsibility to whittle down to.”

Barber said the park board looked into applying for grant money for the project from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity but was told that because of reorganization, the agency has put its grant funding on hold until at least January 2015.

Simons seemed to favor the focus, at least initially, on Town Park – the site of two vacant lots the town recently purchased from Redington Shores for $300,000.

Commissioner Fred Steiermann suggested tapping into smaller venues such as St. Petersburg College.

Commissioner Mark Deighton voiced support for getting input from professionals.

“I think it will open up a lot more possibilities to what can be done,” he said.

“Let’s make this a two-pronged approach,” said Simons. “Let’s (the town) look for grants but let’s let the park board come up with a more cohesive plan.”

Code enforcement

The search for a part-time code enforcement official continues. The town has thus far, received no responses to a newspaper ad it had placed for the position.

It did, however receive five replies to an ad for a public works employee, offering a yearly salary between $12,000 to $15,000, who would ultimately work alongside current DPW employee, Grant Allen, once Mark Davis, Director of Public Works, retires on July 2.

The town recently approached the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office about the possibility of hiring a deputy but was informed by the agency it was not interested in hiring out an officer on a part-time basis.

A full-time Sheriff’s deputy with experience in code enforcement, a position the town neither needs nor wants, would cost about $97,000.

The town is looking to pay $20 per hour for a 20-hour work week.

The PCSO suggested the town advertise the position on a website link that it maintains for retired law enforcement officials looking for employment opportunities. Simons directed Town Clerk Missy Clarke to run the ad on that site.
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