REDINGTON SHORES – The first report from traffic counters on the town of Redington Shores’ major residential through streets is in. The results are “not good,” said Commissioner Jeff Neal.
The devices reveal speeding is a big problem on all the streets surveyed except 175th Avenue, where traffic control devices are in place, said Neal, speaking at the Aug. 9 town commission meeting.
Commission members sat silently, apparently stunned as Neal read the percentage of drivers who exceeded the speed limit, which was well over half on all the roads except one. Neal said the counter showed “76 percent of the people on 182nd Avenue were driving over the speed limit, 55 percent on Wall Street, 75 percent on 176th Terrace Drive, and 91 percent on 176th Avenue.” Only on Longpoint Drive did fewer than half (44 percent) violate the speed limit.
Referring to an outcry by residents when the use of speed tables was proposed to control speeding on 175th Avenue, Neal said, “For a community of people that doesn’t want any speed tables, they are sure doing a lot of speeding.”
Actions will be taken to control the speeding in town, Neal said.
“We’re definitely looking at something being done,” he said. Neal mentioned meeting with the police chief about “lightening some people’s wallets (issuing speeding tickets).”
Neal said after the meeting that other actions could include the installation of speed control devices, such as electronic signs that flash when motorists exceed the speed limit, and stop signs, that have worked well so far on 175th Avenue.
The speeding issue will be discussed further at the next commission meeting, when Commissioner Pat Drumm returns from out of town.
Sewer tax increase rejected
A proposed gradual increase in the town’s sewer rate to help overcome a projected deficit was turned down by the commission. A motion to raise the rate by 10 percent in steps of 4 percent the first year, and 3 percent in years two and three failed in a tie vote. Commissioner Neal and Mayor Bert Adams were in favor, Commissioners MaryBeth Henderson and Tom Kapper were opposed.
Henderson said she disagreed with the need for a sewer rate increase and also the current billing method, which is based on the number of bathrooms in a home. She said the rate should be tied to metered water usage.
“Everybody else in Florida does it that way,” she said.
Kapper said a lot of families are on fixed incomes and cannot afford a sewer rate hike, though Town Clerk Mary Palmer said the first-year average increase would be about a dollar a month.
Adams said most local communities have a higher sewer tax than Redington Shores.
“I just worry about our sewers, which were built in 1955,” Adams said. “If we get a spill, the million or two dollars we have in reserve is gone.”