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Police to get military-surplus vehicles
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CLEARWATER – If criminals want a war, Clearwater cops will be ready to give them one. On May 1, the Clearwater City Council authorized Police Chief Anthony Holloway to spend $16,000 for the “transfer, delivery and repurposing” of four military-surplus armored vehicles.

Three of the vehicles are Humvees. Introduced in 1985, the Humvee was originally intended as an unarmored utility vehicle, much like the Jeep of World War II fame. But so many American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed or wounded by small arms fire or improvised explosive devices while riding in them that many Humvees were retrofitted with armor kits, and the new ones came already armored.

The fourth vehicle is a 16-ton behemoth called an MRAP, short for “Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected.” Originally costing $1 million each, MRAPs have a V-shaped hull that is nearly impervious to all but the largest land mines and IEDs.

The vehicles are coming through the Federal Assistance Program via the state’s Department of Management Services. They will be useful for such things as rescuing hostages or dealing with barricaded gunmen.

Airpark hangers to be upgraded

CLEARWATER – The Clearwater City Council on May 1 authorized Bill Morris, the city’s Marine and Aviation Director, to sign Joint Participation Agreements with the Florida Department of Transportation for two projects to upgrade the hangars at the city-owned Clearwater Airpark. The state will pay 80 percent of the cost of both projects, and the city will pay the other 20 percent.

The first agreement involves a $200,000 project to renovate the airpark’s maintenance hangar. The insulation will be replaced, the electrical wiring will be upgraded, cost-effective LED lighting will replace the old incandescent lighting, outdoor lighting will be added, the leaky roof will be repaired, signage will be added, and the office will get a facelift.

The other project, to tear down the “shade-hangar” structure that currently serves as Hangar C and replace it with a fully enclosed hangar, will take six months and cost $400,000. But it will add to the city’s revenue because spaces in enclosed hangars rent for more than spaces in shade hangars.

“This is a long-overdue project,” Morris told the council.

City OKS fuel contract

CLEARWATER – By a unanimous vote on May 1 the Clearwater City Council agreed to extend for another year its contract to have Clearwater-based Jet Age Fuel be its supplier of diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline, which will be delivered to the city’s facility at 1701 North Hercules Ave. The contract calls for the city to pay “an amount not to exceed” $3.7 million for the fuel at prices not to exceed $3.73 per gallon for diesel fuel and $3.39 per gallon for unleaded gasoline.

Stormwater pipes to be cleaned, inspected

CLEARWATER – The Clearwater City Council on May 1 awarded a “not to exceed $1,028,387” contract to Layne Inliner, LLC, of Sanford, Florida, for the cleaning and video inspection of stormwater outfall locations throughout the city. The council didn’t have much choice because although three contractors attended the pre-bid meeting, Layne was the only one that submitted a bid.

“City storm pipes have decreased capacity when they contain sand, tree roots, branches and many other types of debris,” a staff memo to the council explained. “This contract will involve removal of debris to improve the function and integrity of the stormwater infrastructure. The City of Clearwater Engineering Department will direct the contractor to high-priority pipe systems as established by review of inspection reports and maintenance records.”
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