Work on upgrading the roadway and stormwater system is on schedule. Winston Drive, shown here, will be the first street to be completed.
BELLEAIR – Residents of the Eagle’s Nest neighborhood in the town of Belleair knew they would be in for a rough time while several streets were being torn up for repair. And while it will be months before it is all finished, they got some good news at the commission meeting on Nov. 20.
Public Works Director Perry Lopez told the commission that the work on Winston Drive, the first street to be tackled in the project, could be finished soon.
“This was the toughest street to deal with,” he said. “There is only one way in and one way out of Winston, so during the work the contractor had to make sure there was always a lane open for local traffic.”
Lopez said the main part of the work on Winston is now done and if the weather cooperates all the asphalt should be down by the end of the month.
The Eagles Nest project, as it is known, is a $3.2 million effort to upgrade the roadway and the stormwater system. It involves laying new pipes underground and new curbs and gutters as well as new pavement on all the streets. Already crews have begun working on South Garden Circle.
“Once we’re finished laying pipe on one street we move on to the next one while they pave the first street, so the work is ongoing,” said Lopez.
There are half a dozen streets involved in the project, which is scheduled to be finished in September 2013, a year from the time it began. Lopez said the project is on schedule and so far within budget, but he cautioned commissioners there is still a long way to go and anything can happen to cause potential cost over-runs.
Lopez told the commissioners that the next project, the Druid-Corbett Road work, has gone out for bids and he expects to be able to have the potential winning bidder back to the commission for approval in December.
The projects are all part of a massive $10 million upgrade of the town’s infrastructure. The commission had to approve a special loan to pay for the work.
Election date set
Commissioners unanimously approved March 12 as municipal Election Day in Belleair. Potential candidates for the two open seats on the Commission will have between Nov. 30 and Dec. 18 this year to file the necessary papers of intent.
The two seats up for grabs are those now occupied by Commissioners Tom Shelly and Kevin Piccarreto. Both Commissioners say they intend to run again. Both are three-year terms. Town Clerk Donna Carlen reported that the election will cost the town $5,000.
Deal signed for purchase of golf club
Town Attorney David Ottinger reported to the commission that he had reviewed the paperwork concerning the town’s intention to buy the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club, also known as the Pelican Golf Course. The final papers were signed on Nov. 21. The signing gives the town 75 days to do due diligence on the deal although both Ottinger and Town Manager Micah Maxwell feel the deal could close as early as the end of the year.
With the signing of the papers the town received a check for $50,000 from the Ades brothers, the owners of the property. In exchange they had the liens removed from the Cabana Bar and Grill beach property and the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, saving them more than $270,000 in unpaid fines. However, if they do not take steps to correct the deteriorating situation at the hotel the fines, at a rate of $250 a day, will begin again.
Water restrictions in line with district’s
Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution putting Belleair’s water restrictions in line with those of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Town Manager Micah Maxwell told the commission that generally Belleair’s water restrictions are more stringent than the district’s, but in the event of a serious drought or water shortage and the district tightening its regulations, then Belleair will automatically adopt the district’s restrictions.