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City OKs change in traffic enforcement
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SEMINOLE – An amendment to the city of Seminole’s contract with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will allow taxpayers to save about $110,000 per year in the cost for law enforcement services.

City councilors voted unanimously Feb. 12 to approve the proposal, which will change the manner in which traffic enforcement is handled.

Under terms of the previous agreement, the city was to pay the sheriff’s office $1.64 million for law enforcement services this budget year, which includes one full time, 40-hour per week slot for traffic enforcement.

However, in December, the city’s traffic deputy was promoted and reassigned to another part of the county, creating a vacancy.

At the time, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri suggested to City Manager Frank Edmunds that the city change to the use of special details for the traffic enforcement on an “as-needed basis.”

“It was suggested that we consider doing what several other contract cities are doing, like Oldsmar and the beach communities, where they do traffic enforcement utilizing special detail units,” said Edmunds. “These are units that are off-duty deputies who have the opportunity to sign up for extra details. (With this) we can better identify the day and the time we want the unit to be there.

“So rather than eight hours per day, it may be five hours on a Monday or four hours on a Thursday, depending upon traffic data and crash data,” Edmunds added. “It represents an opportunity to save approximately $110,000 a year, of which we would utilize about $50,000 for special details. So the net savings would be in the area of $60,000 a year.”

By agreeing to the change, the city will save $10,223 per month for the next eight months, or about $81,774 for the remainder of fiscal 2013.

Edmunds said the new program would allow the city to use either off-duty sheriff’s deputies or Florida Highway Patrol troopers for the details.

In other action, councilors:

• Passed on second reading an ordinance amending the city’s Firefighters Municipal Pension Trust Fund agreement to comply with state legal requirements and the most recent collective bargaining agreement with Seminole Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 2896. A state statute limits the amount of overtime for the purpose of pension calculation to 300 hours per year. Also, in accordance with the new agreement, firefighter contributions to the pension plan increase from 8 percent to 12 percent per pay period for the remainder of fiscal 2013. The agreement calls for equal cost sharing in fiscal 2014 and 2015 with an employee cap of 15 percent.

• Passed on second reading the development agreement with KE Bay Pines Properties LLC, for the mixed-use development of 40 acres on the northwest corner of Bay Pines Boulevard and 100th Way.

• Approved spending up to $13,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund for the purchase of a 2013 Ford Escape to replace a 2003 Ford Explorer currently used by the city’s IT staff. The Ford Escape was chosen because of fuel efficiency and cost. The purchase will be done using the Florida Sheriff’s Association state bid.

• Approved spending $1,200 with Fantasia Productions for sound and lighting services on stage at the Pow Wow Festival, March 8-10.

• Approved $2,250 to pay for music groups at the Pow Wow Festival. Exit 28, Slickside, the Troy Duncan Band and the Outpatients will each receive $500. The Panakolada Steel Drum Band will receive $250.

• Reappointed McKenzie Augusta, Bob Lima and Latisha Springer to two-year terms on the Recreation Advisory Board.

• Appointed 17 individuals to Pow Wow Festival and Parade committees. The group consists of Susan Sousa, Carolyn Smith, Jacob Valintine, Greg Michalik, Harold “Doc” Kinsey, David Kinsey, Gerard Milot, Dottie Reeder, Dorie Michalik, Sharon Oliphant, Jelene Mingo, Gretchen Wells, Bill Barbosa, Gerry Kinsey, Tammy Bibelhouser, Jamie Giammona and Barbara Allen Liberatore.

• Approved the city’s co-sponsorship of the Seminole Kiwanis Club’s annual Every Child A Swimmer program at the Seminole Family Aquatic Center. This year’s program will be held from Friday, April 12 to Thursday, May 2.

• Authorized Edmunds to sign a six-month indemnification agreement with the city of Largo for use of Largo’s fire training facility.

Earlier in the evening, the city awarded $850 to the 2013 Seminole Relay For Life event, which is set May 6-7 at Osceola Fundamental High School. The event raised $82,000 last year for the American Cancer Society.
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