OLDSMAR - The city of Oldsmar’s new Volunteer Program has started to pay dividends, as collaborations with local companies looking to provide volunteer manpower has already saved the city thousands of dollars in offset labor costs.
“We just started a formalized City volunteer program for individuals, groups or corporations, and last month, we had 270 volunteer hours and calculated we saved $6,200 in offset labor costs,” Leisure Services Director Felicia Donnelly, who started the program two months ago, said.
She said there is no shortage of projects the City could use help with.
PALM HARBOR - Community Service Association, or better known as CSA Palm Harbor, broke ground on a new field area at 2 p.m. on Aug. 4.
Board members from the Palm Harbor Community Service Association, PHCSA; directors from local libraries and the YMCA, Pat Gerard from the Pinellas County Commission and other local dignitaries attended the small event on the hot August day in an open field area behind the existing CSA Palm Harbor building at 1500 16th St.
The new multi-purpose grass field space will be the first new recreation space in the city in years.
OLDSMAR - City of Oldsmar officials decided to stay in-house when selecting a successor for retiring City Manager Bruce Haddock, choosing current Director of Administrative Services Al Braithwaite from a pool of more than 80 candidates.
The news came during a work session that was supposed to see the City Council whittle the final candidate list from 10 to two or three, with Haddock’s successor expected to be chosen sometime in late August.
However, once they started reviewing the information gathered by a national consulting firm, officials knew they didn’t have to look very far to replace Haddock, who will step down from a position he has held for more than 30 years on Oct. 1.
OLDSMAR - The Oldsmar City Council recently authorized City Manager Bruce Haddock to negotiate a development agreement for a proposed 52-unit town home complex that would be built on a vacant parcel of City-owned land next to the Oldsmar Public Library.
The details of the agreement call for the sale of 3.79 acres of the 7-acre parcel to the Eastern Meridian Group for $877,182, with several requirements of the developer, including buying into the City’s storm water system, using architecture consistent with code requirements and constructing a street that would run through the development, connecting St. Petersburg Drive with Arlington Avenue.
OLDSMAR - Officials for North Carolina based organic grocery chain Earth Fare recently announced a fall 2017 grand opening for its new location at Woodlands Square Plaza in Oldsmar.
The 24,000-square-foot store will be located adjacent to Bealls on the eastern side of the Tampa Road shopping center and will serve as one of the anchor tenants of the plaza, which is currently undergoing extensive renovations.
“We are thrilled to have Earth Fare as one of the centerpiece tenants in this redevelopment,” Brian Maloney, managing director of retail for property developer RAM Realty, said in a press release announcing the news.
PALM HARBOR - Keenan Knopke, president and CEO of Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association.
This prestigious award is presented to an individual in recognition of their significant and sustained contributions to the death care industry.
Knopke began his 45-year career in the death care industry as a funeral director in the family business, Garden of Memories in Tampa. Born and raised in Tampa, Keenan has worked in the death care industry throughout the state of Florida. He became President of Curlew Hills in 2003 and has since received many awards for his contributions to the industry and the local community.
OLDSMAR - For months, the news surrounding Oldsmar Cares had been incredibly positive. In November, officials for the nonprofit organization announced plans to build a new, 3,000-square-foot headquarters adjacent to their current home on SR 590, making a strong commitment to the community by signing a 40-year lease.
The agreement was unanimously approved by the City Council in March, with no opposition or comment of any kind from the public. In February, the charity raised more than $130,000 at its annual Wine and Food Gala, a record amount in the event’s seven-year history, with some of the donations earmarked for the construction of the $300,000 building.
OLDSMAR - The Oldsmar City Council held two meetings in June, on June 6 and 20. The board meets the first and third Tuesday of every month, at 7 p.m. at 101 State St. W. The highlights from the June meetings are as follows:
Canal Park to become Oldsmar Sports Complex
During the Oldsmar City Council meeting on June 6, the four council members in attendance unanimously approved a name change for Canal Park, agreeing to rebrand the Tampa Road park as the Oldsmar Sports Complex. The new name was first suggested by Council member Gabby McGee in May and later approved by the Leisure Services Advisory Board. The new name better represents what the council had in mind when they agreed to update the park’s Master Plan, turning the 40-acre parcel into a multi-purpose sports complex.
PALM HARBOR - The week prior to the Fourth of July, Skip Alford was in Athens, Georgia, advising the senior class at an Institute of Organizational Management, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Having gone through the four-year curriculum previously, he was asked back as an adviser. He still made it home to Palm Harbor in time for the fireworks, where he is currently serving as the newly appointed Greater Palm Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce president.
OLDSMAR - The city of Oldsmar was recently chosen as the 2017 City Spirit Award winner by the Florida League of Cities.
The honor was part of the FLC’s 9th annual Florida Municipal Achievement Awards, which recognize excellence and innovation in local government programs.
According to a press release for the event, the City Spirit Award “recognizes a single, specific citywide effort to successfully address a local need”; Oldsmar’s winning entry, the People’s Centennial effort, “showcased how the city and its citizens worked together in 2016 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Oldsmar by Ransom Eli Olds - the inventor of the Oldsmobile and REO automobiles. Scores of citizens, businesses, and civic organizations partnered with the city to organize numerous events tailored toward its diverse community. The collaboration culminated in an event for citizens of all ages that displayed Oldsmar’s true City Spirit.”