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April 27 issue

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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The city of Largo has a new tenant, and for Indian Rocks Beach that means a new community center and enlarged park is on the way.

After months of planning, the city recently moved its Solid Waste Facility to Largo on the property of Largo’s Solid Waste recycling location on Starkey Road and City Manager Gregg Mims couldn’t be happier.

“We’ve been there for three months now,” he said. “It happened really to give the city more flexibility in the future in case things change.”
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The Belleair Bluffs City Commission took actions at its April 24 meeting to address deteriorating roadways on the city’s east side, including tentatively agreeing to double the city’s 5 percent utility tax.

Fixing the roads in that area has been long delayed, due to a lack of funding, from grants in particular, to pay for the work needed.

The roads’ condition ranges from bumpy, to dangerous in some cases. The situation was highlighted earlier this year when a firefighter came to a commission meeting to complain about three roads, which he said were in such bad shape emergency vehicles were having problems getting through.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR SHORE - The town of Belleair Shores’ flood codes have not been changed through the years to keep up with new FEMA requirements. That warning came from Town Attorney Regina Kardash at the April 18 commission meeting.

She told the commission that the town’s flood code was adopted in 1982 and has only been revised twice since, in 2003 and 2005.

“There is a significant amount in the Florida Building Code and in Floodplain Management issues and terminology that has not been updated and is out of date in the town’s code,” Kardash said.
 ... Read More 
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Local Indian Rocks residents have formed a fundraising committee for a nonprofit documentary featuring IRB “plein aire” artists Mary Rose Holmes, Helen Tilston and Violetta Chandler.

The documentary, “Save Our Cottages; Artists with a Cause,” is being produced by Emmy Award-winning documentarian Lynn Marvin Dingfelder. It’s expected to air on PBS in 2018.

The fundraising committee includes Carol Sivyer, Julie Folden, Terry Hamilton-Wollin, Tilston, Dingfelder, Holmes and Amy Steinkellner.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, April 19
BELLEAIR - Two long-time Belleair families went head to head at the commission meeting on April 18. At issue was the request for a variance by Dan Doyle Jr. to build a dock, which his next door neighbor, John Connelly, deemed too close to his property and restrictive to his view.

Attorneys represented both sides.

Presenting the case for the Doyle family was Attorney Joel Tew of Palm Harbor. He began by presenting what he called a unity of title, which wrapped three properties into one. When Doyle bought the property, he also purchased two other lots on either side of his. For the dock to satisfy the local Homeowners Association, the three pieces of property had to be considered as one, which Tew said was done.
 ... Read More 
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The Beach Community Food Pantry presented its “A Celebration of Giving” event on April 1 at the Parish Hall of Calvary Episcopal Church.

The event was held to dedicate the newly remodeled pantry facility and to recognize those who supported BCFP in 2016.

The celebration was called a huge success.

“The BCFP wishes to express our sincere appreciation to all of the community who attended and those businesses who supplied the delicious food and beverages,” a news release said.
 ... Read More 
Monday, April 17
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - A dozen people clad in blue “Friends of IRB” T-shirts showed up at the City Commission meeting Tuesday, April 11, to urge the commission to take up their cause regarding the Manatee protection zones with the Florida Wildlife Commission.

The residents claimed to have new information that proved there were no manatees in the one cove that FWC declared a protection zone and which has prohibited water sports such as water skiing, waterboarding or tubing.

The area in question is the cove between 20th Avenue and Harbor Drive South. The residents say the FWC’s own investigation showed a sighting of only one Manatee after 150 flyovers to check the water. They also say the cove is too deep to sustain sea-grass, which feeds manatees.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, April 12
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BELLEAIR - Belleair resident Molly DuPont Schaffer is a busy woman.

Not only does she work full time but she also takes on a yeoman’s volunteer workload. By her own admission she doesn’t know how to look at the big picture. She never looks at the calendar as a month’s worth of days that are filling up, she only sees today and if there is room on that calendar for something else to be done today she takes it on.

DuPont Schaffer’s latest effort, “my baby,” as she likes to call it, is the Little Free Pantry, which she has set up in the parking lot of the Church of the Ascension on Orange Avenue in Clearwater, just over the Belleair-Clearwater line near Morton Plant Hospital.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The Belleair Bluffs City Commission put off a vote at their April 10 workshop on an ordinance that would double the city utility tax, raising it from 5 percent to 10 percent.

The tax vote was put on a workshop agenda, where items are normally discussed but not voted on, because it would need to be passed (on two readings) by June to allow the city to start collecting it in October, the start of the new fiscal year.

But the vote was put off until the April 24 regular commission meeting after several residents objected to it, and Commissioner Suzy Sofer urged the commission to “find another revenue source.”
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, April 5
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BELLEAIR - For the first time the town of Belleair commissioners got a look at the plans for what used to be called the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club but is now called the Pelican Golf Club.

The plans were unveiled at the commission meeting April 5 and they call for a complete reconstruction of the existing facility on Indian Rocks Road.

Golf course designer Shane Robichaud from North Carolina, representing prospective new owners the Doyle family, told the commissioners practically every part of the existing facility will be changed.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR BEACH - The Belleair Beach City Council April 3 approved a contract for design and engineering services to renovate the seawall on the Harrison Avenue bridge approach.

Repairs to the bridge and its seawall had been named the first priority among a number of infrastructure projects the council had agreed to address at their January meeting.

The winning bid of $12,100 was significantly lower than the other quotes submitted, said Community Services Director Lynn Rives. The next lowest bid was $34,000, followed by quotes ranging up to $132,000, Rives said. These bids were for the design and engineering. Once the design is complete, the engineering firm will prepare a bid package for the actual work to be done. They also will provide construction oversight.
 ... Read More 
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INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Homeless or wild cats in Indian Rocks Beach can always count on Terry Hamilton-Wollin and her friends to get a square meal every day and even more than that if necessary.

Hamilton-Wollin, mostly known for her local government activities, does much more than that. Lately her activity has been centered on controlling a colony of feral cats that live near the Century 21 office on Gulf Boulevard. She, with others, feeds them and tries to control their numbers by having them neutered or spayed. She admits it isn’t always that easy.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, March 29
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - City commissioners agreed March 28 to urge Pinellas County to do a study on the need for more crosswalks along Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach.

Public Services Director Dean Scharmen reported to the commission that he and other city officials recently met with Pinellas County engineering and planning officials to discuss the issue of crosswalks on the road.

He said Gulf Boulevard north of Walsingham Road is under the control of Pinellas County and that body sets the rules and methods for adding crosswalks. He said it is normally done after a full pedestrian/bicycle study that would determine the specific needs and locations. The last such study was done in 2013.
 ... Read More 
BELLEAIR - Dogs running loose “all over town” and a leash law one resident said “is never enforced” were issues of concern at the March 21 Town Commission meeting.

Mayor Gary Katica began the dog discussion by mentioning a pit bull and its owner who “go after anyone” who enter his property, which is an unposted drive most people do not recognize as private. The pit bull jumps on people, and is followed by its owner “who yells all kinds of things.”

Katica said his grandson was a victim. A number of people have had an issue with the dog and owner, who are a fearsome pair, Katica said.
 ... Read More 
INDIAN SHORES - Pinellas County will host a public information meeting about the upcoming Sand Key beach nourishment project on Thursday, March 30, 6-8 p.m., on the Fourth floor of the Indian Shores Town Hall, 19305 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Shores.

The meeting will provide an overview of the Pinellas County Shore Protection Project, a cost share partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Representatives from Pinellas County and the Corps will answer questions about the project and the easements that will be required for portions of properties located along the coast where the nourishment activity will take place.
 ... Read More 
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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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