REDINGTON BEACH – Despite some problems between the town and the Pinellas County Building Department, the Town of Redington Beach Commission decided Nov. 13 to retain the county’s services rather than hiring a private company to manage the inspections and permitting process.
Last month, after a series of discussions including a proposal put forth by a private company, commissioners directed Commissioner David Will to open up a dialogue with the county to air any grievances on the part of the commission. Mayor Nick Simons voiced the complaint that the county building department appeared to be dumping more administrative responsibilities into the laps of town officials.
Seeking a possible alternative to the county’s services, the board invited a representative from the firm, M.T. Causley, to present a proposal at last month’s commission meeting. The proposal which included providing services in tandem with North Redington Beach called for a full-time individual working on-site, available five days a week.
The board then voted 3-2 in favor of attempting to resolve any perceived problems with Pinellas County before pursuing the option of contracting with a private company.
Glenn Wardell of the PCBD assured Will he would perform all the functional duties expected by the town and would become, according to Will, a “one-stop shop.”
Wardell, who also oversees the permitting process for North Redington Beach and Belleair Beach, asserted that the town will not need to deal with any building issues unless they happen to fall under a “gray area” and said he would handle any and all matters pertaining to codes, permits and the like.
Wardell, who attended last month’s commission meeting said at that time he had no inkling the town had grown dissatisfied with the level of service provided by the PCBD, saying, he needed to perform “damage control.”
The board also floated the idea the town might receive some of the estimated $60,000 in permitting fees that have been generated annually over the last five years. According to the terms of the interlocal agreement with Pinellas County, the town receives no revenue from the issuing of building permits.
Wardell told the commission the PCBD is amenable to the idea of profit sharing but when asked what the figures might potentially be for the town, he acknowledged he had no idea as apparently none of the neighboring municipalities that have an interlocal agreement with the county receive any revenue from permitting fees.
“This would be new ground for us,” he said. “We would have to look at our interlocal agreement and probably make some changes.”
He added, however, a requirement exists in which money collected for enforcing the Florida building code be used only for expending those codes and permits.
“The foremost consideration for Redington Beach is proper permitting and proper inspections and that goes hand in hand with good customer service,” said Mayor Nick Simons. “Anything after that becomes secondary so any possibility of generating money back to the town of Redington Beach would be appreciated, but I don’t think it would be a primary focus.”
Redington Beach has maintained a service contract with Pinellas County since 1998 for issuing building permits performing inspections and maintaining files.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Redington Beach Property Owners’ Association will host a Holiday Tree Lighting from 4:45 to 7 p.m. at Town Park. Santa, music and other festivities will be on hand along with cookies provided by the RB Garden Club.