REDINGTON SHORES – An interlocal agreement between the towns of Redington Shores and Indian Shores to combine building services has been unanimously approved by the Redington Shores commission.
The vote was 3-0 at a special meeting on the subject held Aug. 29. Commissioners Lee Holmes and Casey Wojcik were absent.
The Indian Shores Town Council is expected to approve the agreement next month, Indian Shores Mayor Jim Lawrence indicated. Lawrence was present at the meeting.
Redington Shores building official Steve Andrews will split his time 50/50 between the two towns, an arrangement that could change “depending on what we have coming in and what they have coming in,” Mayor Bert Adams said. Lawrence mentioned two large building projects that are expected to begin soon in Indian Shores.
Andrews has been handling building services for Indian Shores under an informal arrangement since last November, due to the illness and death of their building official, Adams said.
Indian Shores will pay Redington Shores $52,500 for the service. Commissioner Tom Kapper called the agreement a good one “that will help our budget.”
But resident and finance committee member Dave Eldridge said dividing building official time between the two towns is causing code enforcement issues in Redington Shores.
“Steve’s not here half the time, and if this is the way it is going to be, we’re going to hell in a hand basket pretty fast,” Eldridge said. He cited issues such as illegal fences, and an ongoing drainage problem in his neighborhood that he says was handled improperly.
Eldridge told the commission, “Steve’s going to Indian Shores isn’t going to help this town.”
Other neighbors also spoke on the drainage issue, accusing the town of showing favoritism to former Mayor J.J. Beyrouti, a rental property owner.
“What’s going on is very one-sided,” said Bob Hendrick.
Adams said the drainage situation was “blown completely out of proportion.”
Kapper promised to meet with the neighbors to try and resolve the situation.
Eldridge commented, “I don’t feel this would have happened if Steve (Andrews) had been at Redington Shores (full time).”
Grease trap law introduced
A tough new ordinance requiring restaurants to have and maintain a trap system for the collection of grease was endorsed by the commission at the workshop.
Under terms of the law, violators of the grease trap requirement are “subject to immediate closure by the town building official.”
Vice Mayor John Branch, who has pressed for the tougher penalties, said some restaurant operators “don’t even know what a grease trap is.”
The new ordinance “gives us the bite to go after people” who operate without proper grease traps, he said.
Branch said the town has spent thousands of dollars to unclog sewer pipes caused by unmaintained or non-existent grease trap systems, Branch said.
The ordinance will be voted on at an upcoming commission meeting.
On another note, Branch commended Town Clerk Mary Palmer and her mother Mary Farley for working recently to provide assistance while tropical storm Isaac threatened.