NORTH REDINGTON BEACH – A public hearing on the tentative budget and proposed millage rate for fiscal 2014 was approved Sept. 12 at a special meeting that directly preceded the regular town hall meeting.
Fiscally, everything remains nearly status quo in North Redington Beach.
The proposed millage rate of .7511 mills is 5.7 percent above the rolled-back rate of .7106. The millage rate is the “same as it’s been for the last six years,” said Mayor Bill Queen.
Property values are inching up, providing a 6.61 percent increase, or $16,720, in ad valorem tax revenue.
Both general revenues and expenditures rose incrementally from the prior year. The services the town provides will remain the same.
The regular meeting began with a discussion of the resolution opposing and urging an amendment to or repeal of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The resolution was passed unanimously.
With the removal of “historically subsidized insurance rates” and flood insurance rates escalating by 25 percent per year until the full risk rate is achieved, this bodes an “egregious impact on the economy of the state of Florida,” said Queen.
Commissioner Gary Curtis suggested that residents contact U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio regarding their opposition to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
Queen responded to a question regarding how Congress passed this act without the consent of the people.
“This (Biggert-Waters) was passed under Homeland Security so nobody knew until it was done,” said Queen.
Among old business, an ordinance deleting the reference to vehicles exhibiting lettering or logos advertising a business from the definition of “commercial vehicle” was passed on its second and final reading. The ordinance also repealed definitions in the code that reference storage boxes or lockers as well as to vans that do not have seating behind the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat without side windows adjacent to the rear seating area such as panel vans.
Another ordinance passed on its second and final reading that provides a provision in the code for front-yard gardens by calendar year permit. The ordinance establishes requirements for and restrictions to front-yard gardens, limiting the size to a maximum of 120 square feet and plants may not be taller than 32 inches. No vining plants, tomatoes or corn is allowed, and there may be no exposed soil. If a resident with a front-yard garden receives three violations of these restrictions within one permit year, the permit will be cancelled and the garden removed.
New business consisted of the town approving the Pinellas County Interlocal Agreement for Water Quality and Biological Monitoring Program. Pursuant to the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), the town along with 20 other local municipalities in Pinellas County is a co-permitee in the implementation of a surface water quality and biological monitoring program designed to protect the public health through the management and testing of storm water runoff.
“It costs $450 a year (for North Redington Beach),” said Queen.