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St. Pete Beach OKs 2nd phase of Pass-A-Grille Way project
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ST. PETE BEACH – As work slowly winds down on the first phase of the Pass-A-Grille Way road project, city leaders took the first step on the second phase Sept. 26.

St. Pete Beach commissioners voted unanimously to approve a $10.2 million bid by Gibbs & Register Inc. to complete the next leg of the project, from 19th Avenue south to First Avenue.

The total cost will be in the area of $11.5 million after the city pays for new trees, street lights and a Duke Energy connection fee to a city storm water lift station.

“We’re very happy,” said City Manager Wayne Saunders. “We think we have a good company to do the project and we have budgeted funds to cover the project.”

The largest part of the funding will come from a $3.21 million grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Another $2.9 million comes from capital improvement bond proceeds and $1.48 million from Pinellas County.

Work is expected to begin as soon as Nelson Construction Co. completes the final parts of Phase 1, which will be some time later in October or early November. Gibbs & Register has 481 days to complete the project, which puts the completion date around February 2019.

Commission Melinda Pletcher said she thought it might be sooner.

“I’m surprised it’s going to be that long,” she said, “They aren’t doing both sides during most of the project and it’s not going to be as intense. “

“The benefit we have on this one is we sort of know what to expect,” said Saunders. “We did do a lot more sub-surface investigation on this one than we did prior to the first one. So we’re better prepared, as far as knowing what’s under there.”

He said the contractor would be staying with the current curb lines and there won’t be as much sidewalk to reconstruct.

“We’ll still have to have everything torn up because the storm water (system) is the big part of it,” Saunders said. “So it will be a mess for a while.”

One of the major benefits of the project will be an underground pump station at First Avenue to move storm water out into Boca Ciega Bay when the area floods.

In other action, commissioners:

• Approved a $538,900 proposal from Cribb Philbeck Weaver Group to complete engineering and design work for underground utilities along Gulf Boulevard from 35th Avenue north to 44th Avenue and 64th Avenue north to 75th Avenue. The work is funded by money from Pinellas County for Gulf Boulevard beautification, which comes from the Penny for Pinellas.

• Approved $64,670 for design and repairs for multiple city seawalls by George F. Young Inc.

• Approved a $2.304 million agreement with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services in fiscal 2018. The cost is up 5.77 percent over fiscal 2017 due to the addition of one full-time deputy dedicated to St. Pete Beach.

• Approved a $572,594 insurance renewal from Public Risk Management for the city’s insurance policies, effective Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. The amount is a 3.5 percent increase over fiscal 2017.

• Passed an ordinance that amends the city firefighters’ retirement system. Normal retirement eligibility changes to age 55 with 10 years of service, or age 52 with 25 years of service, or 30 years of service regardless of age. The retirement benefit changes from 1.25 percent to 3.4 percent per year of service retroactive to January 2013. The city will fund 2.25 percent with a 4 percent employee contribution. Firefighters will also fund an additional multiplier up to 3.4 percent. The ordinance provides for an early retirement benefit at age 50 with 10 years of service, reduced 3 percent for each year the age at retirement is under the firefighter’s normal retirement age.

• Approved $2,440 for design improvements to the electrical service panel at Paradise Grille by Cribb Philbeck Weaver Group.
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