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Sept. 21 issue

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LARGO - First responders and city staff are accustomed to going out of their way to help residents in need. During Hurricane Irma, for example, employees stepped away from their traditional day-to-day roles to meet the needs of the public, and, in some cases, left their families and homes with the goal of making Largo prepared and safe.

Local businesses worked to repay that favor before, during and after the storm, and city officials are grateful.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - More than a week after Hurricane Irma rolled through Florida, Largo city officials have worked to assess the structural and environmental damage the storm left in its wake.

An initial windshield survey performed the day after the storm showed that 36 residential units had been classified as destroyed. That number increased to 57, however, after a more detailed assessment was carried out later in the week by Building and Code Enforcement divisions.

According to Community Development Director Carol Stricklin, “destroyed" structures are considered permanently uninhabitable and not economically feasible to rebuild.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - If any city of Largo commissioners had doubts about whether a 13 percent property tax increase was necessary, Hurricane Irma - and the $1 million it’s estimated it will cost the city - blew them away.

The change needed a supermajority to pass and that’s exactly what it got Sept. 19 when commissioners voted 5-2, with Mayor Woody Brown and Curtis Holmes voting against, to increase the tax rate from 5.3705 mills to 5.7413, or $5.74 for each $1,000 in taxable value.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - A new electrical supply store, named Comprehensive Supply Company, is set to open its doors on Oct. 1 in Largo.

CSC is a distributor of high-quality and inexpensive electrical equipment with a focus on a mom-and-pop style of service. Their product offerings are diverse and include circuit breakers, panel boards, load centers, disconnects, bus plugs and fuses to name a few. What makes this company unique is its ability to offer prices typically 15 to 35 percent below retail and its family style of service.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, September 13
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LARGO - After reporting that Hurricane Irma failed to cause any major injuries or fatalities, Fire Rescue Chief Shelby Willis succinctly summed up her feelings about the past week.

“We were very, very lucky,” said Willis, who also serves as the city’s emergency manager.

Willis was one of several sleep-deprived department directors who gave updates to the City Commission about Largo’s post-storm status Sept. 12 during a work session at the Largo Community Center.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, September 6
LARGO - As Hurricane Irma slowly churns through the Atlantic, Largo officials are quickly working to prepare for worst-case scenarios.

Largo Fire Rescue Chief Shelby Willis, who is also the emergency manager for the city, and Brian Usher, director of department of public works, discussed some of those measures Sept. 5 during a City Commission meeting at City Hall.
 ... Read More 
LARGO - When Commissioner John Carroll pushed for a property tax increase during a work session in August, he said the city would need the reserves in case a hurricane struck.

Hurricane Irma helped make Carroll’s point even more relevant Sept. 5 when the City Commission voted 5-2 on first reading to increase property taxes by 13.42 percent to 5.7413 mills, or about $48 for the average Largo homeowner. Mayor Woody Brown and Commissioner Curtis Holmes voted against the increase.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, August 30
LARGO - For several months, city leaders have discussed the many financial challenges Largo will face in years to come, and they have said state lawmakers are the cause of some of those obstacles.

During a legislative roundtable Aug. 29 at City Hall, city commissioners told their concerns to some of those lawmakers - Sen. Jeff Brandes, Rep. Chris Latvala and Rep. Larry Ahern - but, in some cases, may not have received the answers they were hoping for.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - If Largo residents notice they’ve gone through this summer with fewer mosquito bites than normal, they can thank local Boy Scouts.

The city’s Parks Division, Lowe’s Home Improvement and local Boy Scouts teamed up this year to construct and install 40 bat houses within Largo as part of achieving their Eagle Scout rank. The last ones went up in Northeast Park this past week.

Greg Brown, parks superintendent, said the bats eat 1,000-plus mosquitoes each night. He said the city has installed about 10 houses over the years with other Scouts, but any time they move or fix the houses, they are full of the pests, which can also carry the Zika virus.
 ... Read More 
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LARGO - Tinney, a Southeastern Guide Dog the Largo Lions Club sponsored, graduated Aug. 18. Tinney was named for Lion Carolyn Tinney, who has more than 25 years as a member of the Largo Lions Club.

During her time as a Lion, Carolyn Tinney has held many officer positions, including club president, and has continued to be active in sight programs, such as Vision Care and collecting and sorting of eye glasses.

G. Rick Grisenthwaite in Perry, Georgia, is thrilled to have Tinney as a new member of his family. Grisenthwaite spent 20 days at Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, arriving alone, but leaving as a team with Tinney.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, August 23
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LARGO - Tampa Bay is nearly halfway through the storm season and Largo residents may have noticed something different this year. The sewer overflows that have plagued the city for the past decade are much less frequent, and, according to city officials, there’s a reason for that.

Since Aug. 10, two capital projects designed to reduce the overflows are fully operational, and officials say the years of hard work are already paying off.

“So far it’s been night and day,” said Gary Jones-Glascock, manager of the wastewater reclamation facility.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, August 16
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LARGO - The race between Father Time and Jeff Mack has been no contest. Mack has left him in his dust, and the 45-year-old track star is not showing any signs of slowing.

Mack has the medals to prove it, including the three he won this past weekend at the World Masters Regional Championship in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“I lost count somewhere around 70,” he said. “I tried putting them all in a shadow box and hang it up but it’s too big.”
 ... Read More 
LARGO - When discussing the city’s rainy-day fund, Largo commissioners say they are concerned because, while it’s not pouring yet, the clouds on the horizon sure do look dark.

Those ominous clouds represent several financial challenges that will lead to $3.8 million in budget reductions in fiscal year 2019 and 2020 if the city maintains its current course.
 ... Read More 
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Send news to editor Christopher George
E-mail news to cgeorge@tbnweekly.com.
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9911 Seminole Blvd.,
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Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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