DUNEDIN - The public and Dunedin city officials alike are all anxious to know what will happen with the Toronto Blue Jays, and if they will continue their spring training in Dunedin.
All entities will have to wait a little longer for firm details, but Parks and Recreation Director Vince Gizzi, Mayor Dave Eggers and other city staff have been diligently working to find out as much information as possible to try to keep the Jays in the city. They also are working through other possibilities in case the Jays do decide to fly away to another city.
Gizzi and staff gave the Dunedin City Commission an official status report on these issues at the Nov. 21 commission meeting.
DUNEDIN - Two people suffered life-threatening injuries in a two-vehicle crash that occurred about 11:43 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the intersection of Belcher Road and Highland Woods Drive, just south of Curlew Road, in Dunedin.
A third was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Major Accident Investigation Team, a 2006 Ford F350 driven by Shalindra Kasinath, 31, Zephyrhills was traveling northbound at a slow rate of speed in the curbside lane of Belcher Road. The truck, owned by Hubbard Construction, was pulling a directional arrow signboard through an area of construction. The sign was directing drivers to the median lane.
A 2002 Ford Sport Track driven by Cory Ziegler, 18, of Tarpon Springs was traveling northbound in the median lane of Belcher Road. Ziegler changed lanes into the curbside lane to go around a slower moving vehicle. As he changed lanes, he noticed the arrow board and attempted to accelerate around the slow moving vehicle, according to deputies.
DUNEDIN - City officials are not ready to say that the sites lost due to the Nov. 14 sinkhole are suitable now for reconstruction.
Dunedin Director of Public Works and Utilities Doug Hutchens said at the City Commission’s Nov. 21 meeting that “without a thorough geotactial evaluation of the site, we cannot state with certainty that they can be developed at this time.
“Our hope is that the day will come when homes can be put there and families could live there in the community, but until that additional work is done by the property owners or by the insurance company, we cannot state at this point that it’s buildable.”
DUNEDIN - The meetings are over, the draft is complete and soon the final report of the city of Dunedin’s Waterfront Task Force will be in the hands of the city manager. That was disclosed at the final meeting of the group on Monday, Nov.18.
The task force was formed several months ago when discussion began over the expansion of the Dunedin Marina. It was decided then that it would make sense to see what else needed to be accomplished along the waterfront before any work began.
DUNEDIN - As part of the state’s Viva Florida 500 celebration, on Nov. 18 the Caladesi Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a historic marker on Caladesi Island. The chapter was doing its part to further the mission of the DAR to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.
The marker describes the history of the island from prehistoric times to the present and can be seen on the path leading from the ferry to the beach. The area has a long history of Native Americans, fishing rancheros, plume hunters and even a little girl who grew up on Caladesi and rowed to the mainland to school every day.
DUNEDIN - The Dunedin Chamber of Commerce is ready for a new logo and is turning to the community to find it. The chamber is launching a logo design contest with a $500 cash prize to be awarded to the chosen logo designer.
“As our chamber continues to evolve, so does our brand,” Dunedin Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Wargo said in a press release. “We are committed to serving this community, and we know we have a tremendous amount of talent here, so we have decided to involve them in this exciting change.”
The contest, which officially launches on Monday, Dec. 2, is open to both amateur and professional designers. The chamber is asking that the designer incorporate the mission of the organization as well as its new positioning statement, which can be found at dunedinfl.com/logocontest/.
DUNEDIN - The Fenway Hotel is finally on the fast track to development, after many years and previous failed projects. The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved a request for development agreement with developers James W. and Christy A. Bower.
“This group from Pennsylvania is a family company that owns hotels, has done similar projects and what they’re looking to do in this case is to actually tear down the current structure for three reasons,” said Greg Rice, planning and development director for the city. “One is the condition, two, it sits in a B (hurricane) zone now, and three, at least from my department of building officials and floodplain management, we feel a concrete and steel structure out of the B-zone, hurricane-hardened would be a much safer structure in the future. But what they have agreed to do is to keep the very similar façade to the front that we have right now. They want to honor the history of the Fenway.”
The Bowers are on a 30-day due-diligence period with the bank and would like to be open within a year so they open in the middle of the busy season instead of opening during a slow season, Rice said.
Dunedin secures loan for fire station DUNEDIN - The Dunedin City Commission on Nov. 21 unanimously approved a Resolution 13-49 regarding a bank qualified term note, awarding the contract to STI Institutional & Government, Inc. of Tampa in regards to constructing a replacement of Fire Station 61. The impact to the budget is about $107,000 annually.
“The purpose of RFP 13-1011 was to identify a financial institution from which the city could borrow up to $1.3 million for that purpose,” according to a memo to the commission from City Manager Rob DiSpirito.
There were three proposals regarding the request for proposals, including SunTrust Bank, BB&T and BBVA Compass by the deadline. An evaluation team reviewed and ranked the proposals and determined that SunTrust - STI Institutional & Government, Inc. - was the best option.
DUNEDIN - A Dunedin woman died Nov. 25 after she was hit by a truck about 8:50 a.m. in the parking lot of Mediterranean Manor, 2700 Bayshore Blvd. in Dunedin.
According to a report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Major Accident Investigation Team, Joan Maiocco, 82, was walking across the parking lot as Vincent Fusari, 62, of Palm Harbor was backing up his 1999 Dodge Ram with dump bed. The truck struck Maiocco, knocking her to the ground, causing the rear wheels to run her over.
Maiocco was pronounced dead at the scene. Fusari was not injured. Deputies said it did not appear that alcohol or drugs were involved in the low-speed crash.