DUNEDIN - The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved a request for development agreement on Sept. 18 for the property at 453 Edgewater Drive, formerly the Fenway Hotel. The new owner of the property is the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA, and it seeks to redevelop a portion of the property and restore and rehabilitate the existing main building, according to a memo to the commission from Greg Rice, director of planning and development.
“The TTCS seeks to redevelop the site in two phases,” the memo said. “Phase I will involve rehabilitation of the existing hotel (Building A), demolition of an existing two-story building (Building B), removal of the basketball court and swimming pool, and the construction of additional parking spaces. All other buildings (C, D and E) will remain during Phase I.”
The development agreement is to ensure compliance with Florida Statutes and Dunedin’s Land Development Code.
DUNEDIN - The Dunedin City Commission unanimously voted to pass its fiscal year 2015 budget of $75.6 million, millage rate and proposed pay plan at a first reading on Sept. 18. The final reading was set for Sept. 25.
The ad valorem property tax millage rate was set at 3.73, which is 6.12 percent higher than the calculated rolled back rate of 3.52, but there was no increase in the actual tax rate. The rolled back rate is the rate required to collect the same amount of revenues as the previous fiscal year.
City staff presented the commission with a chart going back to 2005 that shows that historically, in comparison with Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor, Dunedin had the second-lowest millage rate. However, in 2012, Dunedin and Safety Harbor - which previously had a lower rate - tied for the lowest rate, and this year Safety Harbor’s rate went up, leaving Dunedin with the lowest tax rate of all of those cities.
DUNEDIN - The Dunedin City Commission on Sept. 18 unanimously passed the first reading of a stormwater rate increase of 4.5 percent, or by $0.42 per month, going up to a total of $9.72 per residential unit.
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve done about $27 million worth of capital improvements in the stormwater fund,” said Karen Feeney, Dunedin finance director. “We still have some to finish up, and we will be issuing bonds. That’s the primary reason for the increase - the costs go up for everyday things.”
It is estimated that this increase will provide for about $291,074 in additional revenue to the city in fiscal year 2015.
DUNEDIN - The Dunedin Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a candidates’ forum on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m., at the Hale Center, 330 Douglas Ave.
Both Dunedin mayoral candidates, Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski and Vice Mayor Julie Scales, will attend to answer questions and share their views.
Pinellas County Commission candidates for the District 2 at-large seat, Pat Gerard Democrat, and Ed Hooper, Republican, as well as County Commission candidates for District 4, Dave Eggers, Republican; Carl Folkman, no party affiliation; Mark Weinkrantz, Democrat; and Marcus Harrison, no party affiliation; will be participating.
DUNEDIN - In September 1964, the vision of Dr. John Mease came to life.
His vision was to create a state-of-the-art community within Dunedin for seniors to live active and full lives without the worries of home ownership. Today his dream lives on with more than 400 residents on an expanded campus living vibrant active lifestyles and receiving the highest quality of care.
Mease Manor celebrated 50 years of tradition with two events. On Sept. 17, the residents, board members, family and friends gathered for a reception and gala dinner. Proclamations, letters and videos recognizing the milestone were shared along with a champagne toast.
DUNEDIN - Months from now the owners of House of Beer plan to be serving craft beer to patrons sitting within footsteps of the Pinellas Trail.
They are leasing a warehouse off Huntley Avenue just east of their existing location at 927 Broadway. House of Beer plans to brew beer in the 3,700-square-foot building and open a restaurant and bar, with outdoor seating facing the Pinellas Trail.
House of Beer co-owner Andy Polce said it would be about nine months before the business will open because of renovations to the building, which now is just a shell.
DUNEDIN - The Toronto Blue Jays popped up frequently in discussions at a forum Sept. 19 as the two candidates for Dunedin mayor fielded questions about key issues facing the city.
City Commissioners Julie Scales and Julie Ward Bujalski discussed parking problems in the city, plans for a government center, financing a new stadium for the Blue Jays, Greenlight Pinellas and other issues during the breakfast meeting of the Dunedin Council of Organizations.