REDINGTON SHORES – Residents could see a hike in their utility bill next year. Mayor Bert Adams said at the June 14 commission meeting that the town’s sewer system is 50 years old and has lots of problems.
Sewer Commissioner Jeff Neal said recently that ongoing maintenance of the system needs to be speeded up.
The sewer system’s cost to the town continues to rise, Adams said, as costs to maintain and repair the aging system are increasing. Also, five years ago the charge the town pays the county to process the sewage was upped. That cost was never passed on to residents, Adams said.
“Now, as the system gets old, we are looking at the budget and the amount Neal requested for repairs next year, and seeing that we’ll need to spend more and more money on it,” said Adams. “It looks like we are going to have to pass some of that through to the residents.”
An increase of around 10 percent would be needed to balance the budget, Adams said, but he added, “I don’t know that we’ll go that high.”
The sewer rate charged residents is based on the number of bathrooms in their home. It is paid on a bi-monthly basis. According to numbers supplied by Town Clerk Mary Palmer, currently a one-bath home is charged $49.80 every two months. That goes up to $61.54 for two bathrooms, and $73.24 for three baths.
Neal suggested increasing the sewer rate progressively over a number of years.
That and other rate hike options will be discussed at an upcoming commission workshop, probably in August. Then, a public hearing will be held, where the rate will be set.
Traffic control devices working well
The combination of an electronic speed control sign that flashes when motorists go over the speed limit and a three-way stop sign at 175th Avenue and 175th Terrace are “working well” to control speeding on 175th, Neal said. Data from the electronic sign is downloaded on Neal’s phone and sent to town hall, where it is printed out and reviewed.
Neal said a few people are still not obeying the speed limit, but overall speeding is down and the town is pleased with the result. Neal urged residents to assist in the speed control effort by identifying the people who are speeding.
Resident C.J. Hoyt, who had opposed the use of speed tables as a traffic control device, commended the town, especially Neal, for “looking at alternatives for the traffic situation.”
Hoyt said she walks, rides her bike and drives down 175th, and “I have definitely noticed a difference since the stop sign and electronic sign have been put in.”
Termites attack park pavilion
The pavilion at Constitution Park is “loaded down with drywood termites,” Parks Commissioner Kapper reported.
Bids are being collected to take care of the situation, he said. The pavilion will be tented in the near future, and be closed for about two days.
Trolley bus route cuts travel time to the beach
An expected express bus route to the beach from downtown St. Petersburg would cut the current transit time by one-third, said Commissioner Pat Drumm. The new service, called Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, would run down Central Avenue to the beach at Treasure Island, where it would join the PSTA trolley to offer access to the beach communities.
Drumm said the BRT would offer expedited limited-stop travel, and bring more people from thriving St. Petersburg out to the beach.