CLEARWATER – A number of new items and changes to existing items to the Penny for Pinellas project list were brought before city leaders Tuesday for consideration.
The changes, which reflect an increase of more than $6.7 million, were presented during a council workshop on Sept. 5 at city hall.
Penny for Pinellas, a tax levy that funds infrastructure projects throughout the county, is up for voter renewal in November.
Among the new items for consideration is a funding request in the amount of $5 million for improvements to the Seminole Boat Launch, which will include resurfacing of the parking lot and launch area, dock expansion, lighting updates and enhanced gateways from Seminole Street to Osceola Avenue.
The construction of a new aviation operations center at the city’s airpark, with a price tag of $760,000 was added. Total budget for the project is estimated at $3.8 million, with staff seeking a FDOT grant to providing funding for the remainder of the project.
Also up for consideration is $300,000 in additional funds needed to construct four lighted soft courts at McMullen Tennis Complex.
Other changes reflect funding increases to projects, including $500,000 for the bicycle paths and bridges project to construct a pedestrian overpass at State Road 60 and an increase in funding of $144,180 for the purchase of a fire ladder replacement.
The city’s list contains a plethora of items, ranging from high to low priority.
Included as high priority are:
• Downtown intermodal facility police vehicles
• Lakeview Fire Station
• Fire ladder truck purchase
• Emergency Operations & Disaster Recovery Facility New AC System/Chiller
• Airpark – replacing hangar C
• Aviation Operations Center
• Seminole Boat Launch improvements
Considered medium priority are:
• City-wide seawall replacement traffic calming
• Bridge maintenance and improvements
• Implementation of Imagine Clearwater (waterfront/bluff masterplan)
• New sidewalk construction
Low on the city’s wish list are the following:
• Downtown streetscaping
• Youth sports fields renovations, neighborhood parks renovations, Crest Lake Park improvements
• Bicycle paths and bridges project
• Woodgate Park renovations
• Del Oro Park renovations
• Long Center parking improvements
• Ed Wright Park renovations
• North East Coachman Park renovations
• McMullen Tennis Complex renovations
Since its approval in 1989 and again in 1997, Clearwater has benefitted from the sales tax levy with an approximate $210 million, which has funded a number of projects, including the Memorial Causeway Bridge, Bright House (now Spectrum) Stadium, at least five fire stations, Ross Norton Complex, Countryside and the Main Clearwater libraries, Pier 60, the Long Center and downtown streetscaping.
According to an estimate by Pinellas County, should Penny for Pinellas be approved for an additional decade, Clearwater is expected to receive approximately $141 million over the 10-year span.