CLEARWATER – The Clearwater City Council on March 20 sidestepped a decision on whether the Clearwater Bay Marina should be allowed to build a new 200-boat high and dry storage facility at 900 North Osceola Ave. to replace a boat storage facility that the property owner tore down in 2005 for a 133-unit condominium project that was never built. The site is in the 540-acre Old Bay Character District, where such structures are now prohibited.
City staffers had asked the council for guidance on how to proceed with the applicant’s request. Vice Mayor Paul Gibson and Councilmember Jay Polglaze wanted to let the project proceed, but Mayor George Cretekos said he wanted a further study done – which could take six months – before he would be comfortable approving the project.
“I think there are too many unanswered questions,” Cretekos said.
The vote was 3-2, with Gibson and Polglaze dissenting, to postpone further action until the study has been completed.
City buys 11 new vehicles
CLEARWATER – By a unanimous vote on March 20, the Clearwater City Council agreed to purchase 11 new vehicles to replace aging vehicles in the city’s fleet. Eight 2014 Ford Taurus sedans will be purchased from Hub City Ford for a total of $162,888. Five of them will go to the Clearwater Police Department to replace a 2006 Dodge Charger with 94,163 on the odometer, a 2005 Chrysler 300 with 94,065 miles on it, a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with 94,967 miles, a 2004 Toyota Prius with 93,129 miles, and a 2005 Dodge Magnum with 96,871 miles. The other three will go to the city’s Engineering Department to replace a 1994 Ford Crown Victoria with 53,784 miles on it, a 1998 Ford Taurus station wagon with 55,779 miles, and a 1999 Jeep Cherokee with 67,582 miles.
The three 2014 Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicles that will be purchased from Alan Jay Fleet Sales for $125,337 will all go to Clearwater Fire and Rescue. One will replace a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban with 91,627 miles on it and another will replace a 2003 Ford Taurus with 48,624 miles. The third will replace a 2001 Freightliner with 149,052 miles on it as part of a pilot program to replace Emergency Medical Service rescue vehicles.
Sewer service to be expanded
CLEARWATER – In 2012, city officials conducted a Sewer System Expansion Feasibility Study to formulate plans for bringing sewer service to areas currently using septic tanks. On March 20, the Clearwater City Council approved the expenditure of $190,792 to have King Engineering Associates update the planning, design, permitting and other services envisioned in that study.
“This project will target the County Road 193, Grove Circle and Belcher Areas of Clearwater,” a staff memo to the council explains. “The new system will connect approximately 80 residential or commercial customers to the City’s sanitary system.”
The design phase of the project is expected to be completed by December of this year, and the construction phase is scheduled to be finished by January 2016.
Appointments to Public Art & Design Board
CLEARWATER – Suzanne Ruley has been appointed to a four-year term on the city’s seven-member Public Art and Design Board. Although Ruley lives in Palm Harbor, she works as an arts administrator at Ruth Eckerd Hall, which is owned by the City of Clearwater. She serves on the Clearwater Arts Alliance and will replace Roberta S. Klar as that organization’s representative on the Board.
Ruley has a BFA degree in studio art and a master’s degree in arts administration. Her master’s thesis was on the Evaluation of Public Art. She says that she applied for board membership because she loves Clearwater, loves art and wants to give back to the community. Alex Plisko Jr., was appointed to his third term on the Public Arts and Design Board. Plisko is an architect who received his architecture degree from the University of Florida. He says that he enjoys “volunteering and protecting the citizens of Clearwater.”