CLEARWATER – Each year, the Clearwater Gas System gives half its net income, less debt service interest, to the city of Clearwater in the form of a dividend. The dividend for fiscal year 2012 was predicted to be $1.7 million but the utility had a better-than-expected year, and its director, Chuck Warrington, sought the Clearwater City Council’s permission Jan. 17 to increase that payment by $1,298,132. Needless to say, the councilmembers did not object.
But CGS wants $250,000 of that money back to help defray the cost of the Natural Gas Vehicle filling station that it built primarily for the purpose of fueling garbage trucks and other city-owned vehicles.
“Clearwater Gas has invested approximately $2.3 million in the construction of the new Clearwater Natural Gas Vehicle Filling Station and is planning to invest an additional $250,000 this year to increase the storage and speed the filling capacity for the city’s solid waste trucks and other large vehicles,” a CGS memo to the council explained. “Staff is recommending that the city council allocate $250,000 of the CGS dividend payment back to CGS to accelerate the recovery of the NGV Filling Station costs, which will ultimately reduce the cost of this NGV fuel for the city fleet and customers. It should be noted that council last year re-directed $200,000 of the CGS excess dividend payments back to the CGS to accomplish this, and staff is expecting a $450,000 reimbursement from the State Energy Office very soon.”
Parking lot contract awarded
CLEARWATER – As part of the plan to renovate and expand the historic 1920s Capitol Theatre, the theater’s footprint will be extended into an adjacent parking lot owned by Pinellas County and used by county employees. In exchange, the city of Clearwater has agreed to pay the cost of combining two existing county-owned lots into a single lot with the same number of spaces that are now available to county employees. During construction, those employees will park in the nearby Clearwater City Hall parking lot.
“Due to the critical timing and interconnection of the project to the expansion of the theater, the project was sole-sourced,” a staff memo to the Clearwater City Council states. “The city manager approved the purchase order so that the theater project can stay on schedule.”
On Jan. 17, the Clearwater City Council unanimously approved City Manager Bill Horne’s award of a $242,682 contract to Clearwater-based Creative Contractors, Inc. The city’s engineering department will provide on-site construction inspections, engineering assistance with on-site observations and interpretations, review of construction drawings, attendance at meetings, and answers to the contractor’s questions.
Phase One of the project started on Dec. 10, 2012. The second and final phase is expected to be completed during the first week of February.
Three Police Department agreements renewed
CLEARWATER – At its Jan. 17 meeting, the Clearwater City Council unanimously approved the renewal of three existing agreements between the Clearwater Police Department and outside entities. The first is a mutual aid agreement between the Clearwater Police Department and other law enforcement agencies in Pinellas County. The second provides for information-sharing among those agencies, and the third allows Clearwater cops to participate in joint task forces with other agencies in the Tampa Bay area.