INDIAN SHORES – Now that the Indian Shores Police Department has a full-time staff, Chief Terry Hughes is proposing to hire part-time and reserve officers to support the department.
Four candidates were approved for those positions at the June 13 town hall meeting.
With only one part-time officer on staff and the number of reserve officers dwindling, Hughes presented the candidates for hire. The Town Council approved Scott Paul Enser, Rodney Caesar Espinola, Bruce R. Griffith, and Raimondo Attilio DeCunto Jr., pending successful completion of all background testing and screening.
Hughes said part-time officers are paid at the entry officer level and receive no benefits and “reserve officers do not receive any pay, but do get compensated for ‘special details’ with no additional benefits.” Hughes added, “None of these (hires) will have a negative impact on the current fiscal (budgets) for 2016-17 or 2017-18.”
Also among police business, the local agreement between the town of Indian Shores and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri for specific law enforcement services was renewed. The services include radio dispatch, computer aided dispatch, and licensing for 10 mobile units, forensics, latent prints comparisons, and a report writing system.
There is an approximate 3 percent increase in cost for these services. Hughes said that the negative impact for fiscal 2017-18 “can be lowered through fewer forensic call-outs.”
Beautification award increased
An amendment to the District 7 Highway Landscape Reimbursement and Maintenance Memorandum of Agreement between the town and the Florida Department of Transportation was approved. The amendment increases the current beautification award by $129,777, making the total FDOT award to Indian Shores $519,777 for the Gulf Boulevard Beautification project.
The bid for the beautification project phase I was awarded to Ameriscape USA, Inc. for an amount not to exceed $1.074 million, pending the final contract approval by the town attorney.
Town engineer Bob Brotherton submitted an evaluation of the bids from both Ameriscape USA, Inc. and Morelli Landscape, the two competing vendors. Consultant firm Terra Tectonics concurred with Brotherton’s assessments.
Ordinance amending general ordinances passes
An ordinance passed on first reading amending boards, committees and commissions, regarding the town’s local planning agency in accordance with the Florida Community Planning Act.
A new section was added and parts of the ordinance were repealed in order to avoid conflict with other sections. In essence, the change is “cosmetic” rather than substantive, according to the town’s attorney, Regina Kardash.
Vice Mayor Diantha Schear was selected by the council to be the voting delegate representing Indian Shores at this year’s Florida League of Cities annual conference and business session Aug. 17-19 at the World Center Marriott in Orlando.
The Town Council voted 4-1 to approve ending the Florida Retirement System participation for elected officials and transitioned to the ICMA Retirement option. Elected officials may opt out of the old plan when they complete their current term in office.
According to Mayor Pat Soranno, the change in plans will save the town approximately $10,000 per year.