PINELLAS PARK – The city is growing larger while county land shrinks thanks to annexations approved Aug. 11 or are being considered by city council.
City Manager Michael Gustafson said the city limits are expanding because owners, particularly developers, would rather use municipal services than that provided by Pinellas County.
“Most annexations are tied to new construction,” Gustafson said. “It also means additional tax revenue to the city.”
Land located within the unincorporated area can be added to the city by a process that starts with the community planning board. Besides the additional revenues, annexations help “square off” city boundaries.
In other matters, the City Council approved a plan by Classical Christian School of the Arts to use a portion of the Mainlands Shopping Center on U.S. 19 for educational purposes.
The school will seek accreditation from the Association of Christian Schools International and the Southern States Accreditation Association.
The council also approved an ordinance on first reading authorizing the city manager to spend up to $20,000 without council approval. The measure doubles the dollar amount.
Gustafson said the measure is an effort to streamline the bidding process. Many potential vendors are unwilling to go through the bidding process for smaller contracts.
“There are quite a few bids below $20,000 and many people feel the process is too cumbersome,” Gustafson said.