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Jan. 19 issue

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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Long time Indian Rocks Beach resident and former commissioner Bert Valery appeared before the commission in his capacity as a member of the Pinellas Bicycle Pedestrian Committee to talk about crosswalk safety in Indian Rocks Beach.

“Our goal is to have the city have painted crosswalks all along Gulf Boulevard,” he said. “After 30 years of talking about pedestrian safety you would have thought that things have gotten better, but no, they have been getting worse.”

Valery pulled out newspaper after newspaper with headlines detailing traffic fatalities all over Tampa Bay. He said there was a way to change that.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BEACH - The City Council has named flooding issues, which have plagued the city in recent months, along with the condition of Belleair Beach’s seawalls as top priorities to address in the year 2017.

A workshop session on infrastructure issues, scheduled for Jan. 23 at 4:30 p.m., will highlight the flooding and seawall issues.

The city’s flooding problems have been in the forefront for some time and became more critical after heavy rains that occurred last summer flooded roadways throughout the city. In September, the council heard and accepted a plan to update the city’s Stormwater Master Drainage Plan. That proposal, presented by Dr. Larry Fluty, president of Engineering Services Group, is estimated to cost about $3 million.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, January 11
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Dozens of residents crowded into the Calvary Episcopal Church Hall Jan. 10 to discuss the state of the beach and what can or cannot be done by the residents to change anything about the beach.

County and state officials were invited to the special workshop meeting to explain the various rules and regulations about the beach.

Florida Environmental Protection Department specialist Charles Grisafi talked about the Coastal Construction Control Line and how it impacts what can be done on the beach.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The condition of three streets in Belleair Bluffs is bad enough to slow down and possibly halt vehicles responding to fires and other emergency calls, according to a local firefighter.

Largo firefighter Dave Hagadorn, who works at Station 43 in Belleair Bluffs and who lives on one of the streets, told City Commission members at their Jan. 9 workshop that the roads are in a dangerous shape.

The streets are Marlin Drive, Pine Tree Lane, and Dolphin Drive, which are on the city’s east side, connecting to Southwind Drive. Hagadorn lives on Pine Tree.
 ... Read More 
Elected officials in Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach and Belleair Bluffs look ahead to 2017 with New Year’s resolutions.

Belleair
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BELLEAIR - The Tampa Bay Trust Company recently announced that Harriett Bankston, has joined the Tampa Bay team as a vice president and client advocate at the firm’s Belleair office.

Bankston’s primary responsibilities will be to familiarize coastal community residents, business owners and nonprofit organizations with the services and benefits of The Tampa Bay Trust Company, as well as introduce them to advisers of the wealth services team to provide counsel as needed.

Prior to joining The Trust Company, Bankston held a successful 15-year career at Northern Trust in Tampa, serving as a senior private banking officer. While there, she provided clients with her knowledge surrounding an array of banking products and services, and executed daily requests and inquiries.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, January 4
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - City of Indian Rocks Beach residents are going to be given the opportunity to learn about something some have been taking for granted for years: the beach.

In January, the City Commission has invited county and state officials to come to a special workshop meeting to outline the dos and don’ts about the beach and why some rules and regulations are in place.

Mayor R.B. Johnson said when residents get involved in doing things on or to the beach, it can get complicated.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, December 28
BELLEAIR - Life on Indian Rocks Road can be hazardous at times. Resident Agnes Green made that assertion in her request for a variance to allow her to build a two-car garage on her property at 1612 Indian Rocks Road.

Building the garage would encroach on her side and rear yard setbacks. The town’s Planning and Zoning Board had recommended that the Town Commission deny her request.

Green, appearing before the commission on Dec. 20, said safety was her main concern in wanting to build the garage.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR SHORE - Mayor Robert Schmidt and Deputy Mayor Deborah Roseman have been re-elected to the town commission. Both were unopposed in their re-election bids and will begin serving new two-year terms in March. Commission members quietly applauded the election announcement at the December 20 town commission meeting.

Schmidt has served 21 years on the commission, including 19 years as a commissioner before being elected mayor in 2014. Roseman will begin her third commission term. She was appointed to the commission to fill a vacancy in July 2013 and re-elected without opposition in 2015.

Support for fire tax lawsuit considered
 ... Read More 
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Four candidates are vying for two seats in the Indian Rocks Beach Municipal Election Tuesday, March 14.

They are Commissioner Terry Hamilton-Wollin, Commissioner Phillip J. Hanna, Philip M. Wrobel and Hope Wyant. The elections are for two-year terms.

Elections won’t be held in Belleair Beach or Belleair Bluffs.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, December 14
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Bob Griffin’s idea to display oversized Christmas cards in the city of Indian Rocks Beach is spreading a lot of good cheer, and the project may be brought back next year.

About 35 billboards have been mounted as a result of a collaborative effort in Indian Rocks Beach to bring back a tradition started in the town more than 30 years ago.

More than 30 businesses and organizations have paid over $10,000 combined to create individual over-sized Christmas cards placed all over the city, many on Gulf Boulevard. The signs are 4-by-8 feet and in full color.
 ... Read More 
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BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Following years of talk and months of planning, construction of the new fire station in Belleair Bluffs is ready to begin.

Groundbreaking for the station’s start was held at the site on Bayway Avenue across from City Hall on Dec. 12. Officials from Pinellas County, Largo, Belleair Bluffs and Belleair, along with the firefighters, were present to celebrate the station’s beginning.

Largo Fire Rescue Chief Shelby Willis said the groundbreaking was “a very momentous occasion, representing the collaboration of four governmental agencies working diligently together. We have a beautiful building that is going to be functional, meet some very unique requirements, and provide adequate response to the three communities served, today and in the future.”
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BEACH - A plan costing several million dollars may be needed to fix the city of Belleair Beach’s aging stormwater system. That was the message that came from a Dec. 12 workshop session the City Council held on the subject.

Dr. Larry Fluty, president of Engineering Sciences Group, compared his plan for updating the city’s Stormwater Master Drainage Plan, presented to council in September, with a much less expensive proposal presented by former Mayor Rob Baldwin. Baldwin proposed using Tide Flex valves to prevent normal tide variations from filling up the drainage system, along with pumps, which can be rented or bought, to control flooding in storm situations.

Fluty’s proposal called for increasing pipe sizes, adding swales, replacing existing curb inlets with larger, more efficient ones and replacing street pavements and curbs. Such an extensive program is expensive, totaling about $3 million. But Fluty has said the city’s stormwater infrastructure is aging, undersized, unmaintained or nonexistent. It must be fixed, he said, or the flooding problems will continue and even get worse.
 ... Read More 
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Send news to editor Tom Germond
E-mail news to tgermond@tbnweekly.com.
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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