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Dunedin commission news
Commission seats, mayor up for election
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DUNEDIN – Three Dunedin City Commission seats as well as the position of mayor are up for grabs in the Nov. 4 general municipal election. At the May 15 commission meeting, the guidelines for this election were unanimously approved.

Those elected to commission Seats 2 and 4 will serve four-year terms, and those elected as mayor and for commission Seat 1 will serve for two years, finishing out the remaining terms of the vacated seats.

Soccer club renews license agreement

DUNEDIN – At its May 15 meeting, the Dunedin City Commission unanimously voted to renew the Dunedin Stirling Soccer Club, Inc. license agreement, which includes fee hikes.

The license renewal is for three years, with a two-year renewable option. Fees will continue to be based on a seasonal, per-player surcharge. The cost for recreational players will stay at $10 per participant for winter and spring. However, the cost for competitive players will increase from $10 to $30 for Dunedin residents and from $10 to $60 for nonresidents. It is estimated that these fee hikes will bring in an additional $10,000 in revenue, according to a memo to the commission from Vince Gizzi, director of parks and recreation.

The club also agreed to ensure background checks are performed on every volunteer who comes in direct contact with children.

The program has grown 17 percent in the last year, said Jeff Henderlong, president of the club. There are 318 kids in the eight-week program, 284 kids playing in the fall, and 162 competitive kids, he said. Additionally, he helped start a pre-academy of 3- to 5-year-olds, with 96 kids introduced to the sport last season. This is a great sport for the kids as well as good exercise, he said.

“In American football, the ball moves six to seven minutes in a full game,” Henderlong said. “In soccer, it’s a 45 minute half and a 45 minute half and they’re running their hearts out.”

The commissioners agreed that the increases in numbers are exciting and enthusiastically supported the agreement.

City continues to support public art

DUNEDIN – The city of Dunedin reaffirmed its love affair with the arts at its May 15 city commission meeting when it unanimously approved a proposed public art policy.

Jackie Nigro and Diana Carsey delivered a presentation to the commission on an update of the city’s arts and cultural advisory committee and the proposed public art policy.

The policy is “that appropriate projects funded with public money, excluding underground utilities and road projects, include in the design an artistic element either in the construction of the functional parts or in the treatment of the finished product. Furthermore, privately funded construction projects are encouraged to add elements of art into their design.”

Additionally, a representative of the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee will be invited during the design phase – and possibly other times early on in a project’s process – of publicly funded construction projects. This will enable the committee to give ideas about how art can be incorporated, considered and included in the project, according to a memo to the commission from Dunedin City Manager Rob DiSpirito.

Already, the city has many ways of incorporating art into the city, Nigro said. This includes private investments in art for public enjoyment, such as the art-filled wall at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, the wall painting at Skip’s Bar & Grill, the fish bike rack at Stirling Commons, and the murals of oranges all around town. There are also public-private partnerships for art in public spaces, such as Purple Heart Park, the way-finding signs on Main Street by the Pinellas Trail, and the Boxcar Café.

Additionally, Nigro said, there are gifts to the public for public art, such as the All Aboard statues, the Bounce sculpture at the

Dunedin Community Center, the Free Little Libraries, and Edgewater Park War Memorial. Lastly, there is public art in public space, such as the Douglas and Main Street decorative intersection, the Orange Belt bike rack, the Blue Gold mural on the wastewater plant, Fire Station 61 and its 1922 fire engine, and the outdoor theaters at the Dunedin Public Library and John Lawrence Pioneer Park.

The mayor and commissioners all appreciated the presentation and reiterated that they believe public art is one of Dunedin’s priorities. The commission directed City Manager Rob DiSpirito to write up an official resolution regarding the discussed policy.

RFID data collection system OK’d

DUNEDIN – On May 15, the Dunedin City Commission unanimously voted to award a contract of $50,920 to Sonrai Systems of Hanover Park, Illinois, to furnish and install a radio frequency identification data collection system in three city solid waste vehicles.

The city currently uses a contractor with a RFID system for collection of recycled materials. Benefits of having its own system for solid waste includes data tracking and enhanced real-time productivity measurements, eliminating repeat trips to customers, a routine optimization tool, improved utility billing accuracy, and improved asset management.
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