SEMINOLE – Long-awaited renovations to the city’s 37-year-old fire station on Starkey Road took another step forward Jan. 8 when the Seminole City Council approved a construction manager at risk agreement and a maximum price for the project.
Councilors voted unanimously to approve Biltmore Construction of Clearwater for the task of upgrading Fire Station 30 at 8971 Starkey Road.
As construction manager at risk, Biltmore will act as the project manager for the improvements, which were designed by Mason Blau and Associates of Clearwater.
In a separate vote, the City Council approved a guaranteed maximum price of $954,217 for the improvements.
“This has actually been a multi-year process,” said City Manager Frank Edmunds. “We had originally designed changes back in 2010. We went through a competitive process to select a project manager at risk and at that time we selected Biltmore Construction. However, the expense of those renovations exceeded our budget allowance. So therefore we went through a redesign of the structure and Biltmore will continue to be our construction manager at risk.”
Once the upgrades are complete, the fire station will meet current county code, which calls for structures to withstand 140 mph winds.
In other action, councilors:
• Approved on first reading an amendment to the Firefighters Municipal Pension Trust Fund Ordinance, limiting the amount of overtime to 300 hours per year and defining the firefighters’ annual contribution percentage to the pension fund as outlined in the recently approved collective bargaining agreement. Employee contributions increase from 8 percent to 12 percent the first year of the 3-year agreement with an employee cap of 15 percent the final two years.
• Approved a contract for $6,000 with Fireworks by Santore for a fireworks display during the Pow Wow Festival on Saturday, March 9.
• Approved a contract with CiviTek National Inc., for credit card payment processing services. The deal will allow residents and others purchasing city services to pay by credit card. The agreement allows a 3.5 percent transaction fee that will be collected by CiviTek. Implementation will be in about 30 days.
• Passed ordinances for the voluntary annexation of residential properties at 10863 111th St., 10791 Village Green Ave., and 10012 130th Lane.
During the community policing segment, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan DiFrancesco reported that the homeless numbers are down in Seminole this winter. During a recent tour of locations where homeless people camp out, DiFrancesco said he found only two. He said that compares with 10 to 12 in past years. All were moved to Pinellas Hope, a county homeless shelter.
On another note, Seminole Fire Rescue will hold its annual open house on Sunday, Feb. 10, at Station 29, 11195 70th Ave.