Dignitaries from local organizations, CSA Palm Harbor and the county throw dirt, celebrating the initial groundbreaking for the new field behind the CSA Palm Harbor facility. Pictured from left to right are Palm Harbor Fire Commissioner Julie Peluso, Palm Harbor Community Services Agency’s Kelli Snow, Palm Harbor Advisory Board former member John Douglas, Palm Harbor Advisory Board Vice President Larry Cope, CSA Palm Harbor Director Erica Lynford, Palm Harbor Advisory Board member Eric Lindsey, Palm Harbor Advisory Board President Phil Philips, Pinellas Board of County Commissioners Commisioner Pat Gerard, CSA Palm Harbor Assistant Director Trish Harrison, and Palm Harbor Fire Commissioner Casey Cane.
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.
In fact, the project has been in the works for about 6 years, said CSA Palm Harbor Director, Erica Lynford.
Currently, some sports activities are held at Palm Harbor Middle School. With that, came maintenance support of those fields. Now, everything from football to soccer and lacrosse will be played on the new underutilized grass space at the CSA facility.
Facilities like this in Palm Harbor are much needed with so few recreation spaces, said Commissioner Gerard.
“There’s so little up here,” Gerard said. “You saw the [parking] lot is packed.”
The funds for the field came from the BP oil spill settlement funds granted by the county.
“There were no public funds used,” Lynford said.
Ideas for what to do with the $7.1 million BP funds came from residents, organizations and city governments throughout the county. The initial thought was the Palm Harbor land preparation would cost about $850,000 from the proposed allocation by Pinellas County Commissioner David Eggers on the August 3, 2016 list of funding ideas.
The project has instead come in at $294,000.
Though it is only a small drop in the BP fund budget, Gerard said it still makes a huge difference.
“It goes a long way,” Gerard said. “The community appreciates it. They will use it. Green space is a great thing to have.”