PALM HARBOR - Since 1988, Pinellas County has been acquiring parcels of Wall Springs Park, beginning with 63 acres that included the Wall Springs (originally called the Health Springs).
In December 2008 and April 2009, the county made similar purchases to add to the park, which currently sits at 210 acres, including amenities like bike racks, a boardwalk and nature trail, educational and informational displays, fishing spots, historic interest, a multi-purpose trail, an observation tower, a pier, playground equipment, five picnic shelters and grills.
Next up is the 121-acre McMullen parcel, located west of Alt. U.S. 19 and north of Wai Lanai Road.
PALM HARBOR - A workshop to discuss intersection improvements on Alternate U.S. 19 scheduled for Monday, Aug. 31, has been canceled due to possible bad weather from Tropical Storm Erika.
Pinellas County, FDOT and the county’s Metropolitan Planning Organization had scheduled the public workshop to review proposed intersection improvement options on Alternate U.S. 19 to serve downtown Palm Harbor.
A new meeting date will be announced soon, officials said.
PALM HARBOR - The four entities of the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency, the Palm Harbor Library, East Lake Library, CSA Palm Harbor and East Lake Recreation, presented their preliminary budgets for Fiscal Year 2016 to the board at the monthly meeting on July 15. All budgets must be approved at the Aug. 19 meeting in order to go to the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners.
East Lake Community Library
East Lake Community Library’s projected budget is set at $809,000. $607,480 is expected from ad valorem taxes, $164,100 from Pinellas Public Library Cooperative funds and $18,500 from donations from the public and Friends of the Library. About $19,000 will come from miscellaneous funds including fundraising and late fines.
CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Commissioners gave unanimous approval July 21 to a zoning change request from stakeholders of a proposed assisted living facility on East Lake Road in the unincorporated East Lake Tarpon community.
The applicants requested a land use change on 2.46 acres of land at 721 East Lake Road from Residential Suburban to Institutional (1.62 acres) and Preservation (0.84 acre). They also requested a zoning change and two variances. The first variance would allow the facility to be located within about 506 feet from an existing ALF. The second exempts them from the rules of providing one parking place per bed, allowing them to provide only one parking space per three beds.
PALM HARBOR - Just east of East Lake Road, at the entrance to Tarpon Woods, residents cross into their neighborhood by way of a two-lane bridge over Brooker Creek. The problem, however, is the lack of room for pedestrians.
“It’s a safety hazard the way it’s set up,” said Tarpon Woods Action Committee President Ray Jacobs. “You’ve got the sun in your eyes driving in the mornings, and then you’ve got pedestrians, you’ve got people walking their dogs and kids walking to school, trying to get through.”
Plans for a pedestrian bridge began in 2007, complete with approval from Pinellas County and permits from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. But when the economy collapsed in 2008, the county reallocated the funds to other projects. The permits expired in August 2012.
PALM HARBOR - U.S. Alt. 19 in Palm Harbor has reopened to traffic, according the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Motorists are advised to use caution and watch for standing water.
Tampa Road west of Alt. 19 and northbound Belcher Road at County Road 39 remain closed due to flooding.
The sheriff's office reports that southbound Belcher Road at County Road 39 is open. Portions of Tarpon Woods Boulevard still have high water and the roadway is open to local traffic only. Drivers should use Ridgemoor Boulevard.
OLDSMAR - The first phase of a solar carport at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training facility in Oldsmar is complete and phase two is underway.
When complete, the facility will be the state’s largest private, non-utility-owned solar array.
Lockheed Martin officials are preparing for a ribbon cutting to launch the project in October.
Advanced Roofing is also resurfacing the facility’s entire 6.65-acre parking lot while Lockheed Martin operations remain in full swing. More than 250 Lockheed Martin employees’ vehicles are being shaded under the two completed, 400-foot-long carport sections.