TREASURE ISLAND – A proposal to raise fees for city parking permits met some resistance at the Nov. 6 workshop of the Treasure Island City Commission meeting.
At the meeting, City Manager Reid Silverboard proposed raising the parking permits from the current rate of $5 annually to $20 per household for the first vehicle and an additional $5 for every additional permit per household.
There were several reasons Silverboard proposed the increase. One was the cost of the permits. Silverboard offered to replace permit tags with decals since the cost for the tags were $1.17 each.
More importantly, the increase in fees would help offset the rising costs of maintaining the beach.
The proposal was met with some mixed reaction if not objection from the commission although a compromise was offered.
Commissioner Ed Gayton was flatly against the proposal. “I’m not in favor of this proposal; I’m not in favor of raising any rates,” Gayton said. “To raise the fees from $5 to $20 is inappropriate. I just don’t see what we are trying to accomplish by raising rates fourfold.”
Commissioner Alan Bildz was a little more receptive but not comfortable with just a large increase.
“I can see the need for an increase,” Bildz said.
Like Gayton, Commissioner Bob Minning was not fond of the suggestion saying, “I think we’ve had enough fee increases.”
“We have an immense expense with the beaches,” Silverboard said. “Whether we like it or not, we have to look at this measure to maintain the quality of life residents have come to expect.”
Collins somewhat agreed, saying that expenses in keeping the beach clean have skyrocketed, including “the costs of gas alone” in the various vehicles used to clean the beach.
Collins offered a compromise of sorts, asking if nonresidents could be charged a higher rate than residents.
Change in codes
Earlier in the workshop, Collins sought the opinion of fellow commissioners on whether a code can be changed to allow businesses to use various degrees of signage for special events or sales, such as a sidewalk sale.
The city currently has an ordinance that allows a business to display a banner proclaiming a “grand opening,” but the banner is only allowed for a specific period of time. Specials signage such as balloons or other banners for special events is a current code violation.
The proposal was accepted and Silverboard will begin the process of bringing the subject formally before the commission for a new ordinance.
TITV channel change
The commission passed an ordinance, similar to what other communities in Pinellas County have passed, as a result of the county’s largest cable TV service provider, Bright House Networks decision to move all government channels from the current analog channel (all channels with Bright House below 100 are analog) of Channel 15 to Channel 615.
It costs customers more money to receive digital cable. The change is scheduled for December.
Silverboard admitted the resolution likely will have little effect but at least the city will have its voice heard.