Belleair Town Manager Micah Maxwell and Town Clerk Donna Carlin bid farewell to former Commissioner Stephen Fowler, center, at the April 7 commission meeting. Fowler was defeated after 18 years in office.
BELLEAIR - What is normally an automatic approval didn’t happen when town of Belleair Commissioners were asked April 7 to approve the contract for the ongoing roadwork in the community. The latest contract was for the Bayview Drive road and drainage project.
The lowest bidder was Steve’s Excavating with a bid of just over $2.5 million. Staff recommended acceptance of the bid, but Rettstatt commented that work done by that contractor in the past had problems. Town Manager Micah Maxwell agreed.
Commissioners wanted to discuss the issue and perhaps award the bid to the next lowest bidder, but were told by Town Attorney David Ottinger that they could not do that. The bidding process only allowed them to accept the lowest bid. To do otherwise would mean changing the terms of the process.
BELLEAIR - Taste of Belleair and the Bluffs, Saturday, April 18, noon to 3 p.m., at the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, 1501 Indian Rocks Road, Belleair.
Guests will enjoy tastes from E&E Stakeout Grill, Bella Vino Wine & Cheese Market, Marlin Darlin, Belleair Market, Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, Donna McCain Personal Chef, Jewel Cafe and Tea Room, Le Petit Bistro, Maggie Mae’s on the Bluffs, Palms of Largo, Panera Bread, Sages West Bay Bistro, The Pie Factory, Thai Basil, and Wildflower Cafe /CeeBee’s Citrus.
Non food vendors who will be showcasing their services include Belleair Wealth Management, LLC, Bluffs Business Association, Carlson Wildwood Florist, Creative Design Team, Decorating Den Interiors-Mercedes Lavala, Fluffy Puppies, JK Flowers, Belleair Coins & the Silver Queen, Patchington and Smith & Associates Real Estate.
BELLEAIR - Developer Mike Cheezem is now the official owner of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. He closed on the deal on March 12, paying $6.2 million for the property.
Cheezem has been the de facto owner of the property for months. He had reached an agreement with owners Raphael and Daniel Ades of Miami but didn’t close on the property pending approvals and permits from the town. Those approvals were reached last month when the commission gave the go-ahead to the mixed-use zoning, which will allow Cheezem to build a hotel along with condominiums and townhouses on the property.
BELLEAIR BEACH - “Residents could be getting their electricity for free” was the bold prediction made during a discussion of the benefits of solar power at the April 6 Belleair Beach City Commission meeting.
Todd Gould, owner of a technology company and a member of the Belleair Beach’s beautification committee, gave a presentation on microgrids at the commission meeting. He said the city’s infrastructure is aging and falling apart.
BELLEAIR - The speed bumps are so annoying on the 900 block of Osceola Road that one family had to change bedrooms so the children could get some sleep. That was just one of many stories to come from the residents at the commission meeting April 7 as they showed up to urge town officials to remove the speed bumps on their street.
The speed bumps, or traffic calming devices in official circles, were installed some weeks ago to slow traffic on Osceola during construction of the roundabout at Indian Rocks Road and Ponce De Leon Boulevard. Osceola became the unofficial detour for traffic to get around the closure on Indian Rocks.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - For the better part of two years the city has been waiting to get started on construction of the re-make of the intersection of Walsingham Road and Gulf Boulevard. Now a date has been set.
City Manager Gregg Mims says the start date for construction is June 1. After that residents and visitors can expect months of upheaval.
“We’re looking at about six months,” said Mims. “So it will be in November or December before it is finished.”
BELLEAIR - Town fathers like to say that Belleair is a family-oriented community that it is a safe place to live with amenities for young and old alike.
The poster boy for their claims could well be retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Joe Oder who moved to the community a year ago and now says he and his wife Pat would not want to be anywhere else.
“We absolutely love it. It is the best thing we’ve ever done,” he said. “You have the small community life but are close to the big city. You have accessibility to the big life while living the small life.”
Author Showcase PALM HARBOR – The East Lake Community Library hosts an Author Showcase series third Tuesdays, 6 to 7:50 p.m., at 4125 East Lake Road. The series offers attendees an opportunity to hear authors talk about their books and their writing.
The featured author on April 21 will be Anastasia Charalabakos, a writer and teacher of English as a second language. Charalabakos will talk about her book “From Darkness to Triumph: Creating Success Amidst Barriers,” which chronicles the trials and achievements of her life as a blind person.
The book shows how handicaps do not have to present insurmountable barriers and how those who live and work with the blind should not, through well-intentioned over-protection, limit the ability of the blind to achieve.
Clearwater Woman’s Club meeting CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Woman’s Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., 11 a.m. except in December. Visit www.clearwatercwc.org.
ESOL fair CLEARWATER – Pinellas County Schools English for Speakers of Other Languages department is partnering with dozens of community organizations to provide families with information about a variety of resources.
The ESOL Community Resource Fair will be presented Tuesday, April 21, 3:30 to 5 p.m., in the cafeteria at Skycrest Elementary School, 10 N. Corona Ave.
For information, English and Serbo-Croatian speakers should call 588-6415, and Spanish speakers should call 623-4414.
Financial Literacy Month workshops SEMINOLE – The Seminole Community Library, 9200 113th St., will offer a series of workshops to recognize Financial Literacy Month this April. The workshops take place on Tuesdays, 1 to 2 p.m.
The workshop, “Budgeting Help/Ways to Save” on April 14, is presented by Achieva. Wells Fargo presents the April 21 workshop, “Avoiding Big Mistakes When Saving for Retirement,” while PBS Frontline presents “Secret History of the Credit Card” on April 28.
This series is free and open to the public.
Call Sunita Kumari at 394-6136 for more information.
Keys to Running a Successful Business PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Library and the Service Corps of Retired Executives will present a free program titled “Keys to Running a Successful Business” Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., at the library, 2330 Nebraska Ave.
MLK Neighborhood Center Coalition planning sessions CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Center Coalition hosts weekly planning sessions every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 1201 Douglas Ave. It also hosts a neighborhood community market each fourth Saturday, with the June market set for the 28th.
The Community Outreach Team invites people to join them in making phone calls or writing letters to the residents in the neighborhood surrounding the center to inspire neighbors with the progress that is being made.
Moms of Preschoolers meeting PALM HARBOR – Moms of Preschoolers meet monthly on the third Tuesday of the month, 10 a.m., at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, 1551 Belcher Road.
Call 785-7487 for details.
Paper shred event PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Area Senior Council and Shred 360 Tampa will host a free paper shred event Tuesday, April 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Harbor Hall parking lot, 1190 Georgia Ave.
Donations to the Palm Harbor Area Senior Council will be accepted. Funds go toward senior programming in Palm Harbor.
The event is sponsored by the Palm Harbor Area Senior Council, Shred360 Tampa, and CSA Palm Harbor Parks and Recreation.
For questions or additional information, contact Jim Kleyman at 798-6645.