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Spilling the dirt at Seminole park
Deposits of dirt at proposed park don’t mean construction just yet
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Photo by BOB McCLURE
Pinellas County workers dump and level large amounts of dirt on the west side of the city of Seminole’s proposed Waterfront Park site at 10400 Park Blvd. The dirt came from the county’s alum treatment facility construction site on Seminole Boulevard.
SEMINOLE – Those large deposits of dirt at the site of the city of Seminole’s proposed Waterfront Park are not a sign of construction … yet.

In the past week, Pinellas County crews have dumped about 7,000 cubic yards of fill dirt on the 8-acre site at 10400 Park Blvd. The dirt came from the county’s alum treatment facility construction site in the 8900 block of Seminole Boulevard.

“The county plans to store the material (dirt) at that site,” said City Manager Frank Edmunds. “Then, in the future, if we decide to purchase it, we will pay only the amount it cost to transport it.”

Edmunds said the city would need to level the property prior to development, indicating the city would likely purchase the dirt from the county at some point.

Edmunds said construction of the city’s next park would “be subject to availability of funding. So as we receive grants, we’ll move forward.”

Funding will come in the form of state grants and Penny for Pinellas funds, he said.

Edmunds said 2014 would be a good target date for construction to begin.

He said, the city’s Recreation Advisory Committee would develop a list of possible uses for the park at some point in 2013. Those suggestions will be presented to the City Council, which will make the final decision.

Among the early suggestions have been a kayak and canoe launch, tennis and basketball courts, and a children’s play area.

The city purchased the former Jesse’s Landing site in late August for $700,000 from the state’s Administration Land Acquisition Account.

The city has already received one $200,000 grant and is expected to receive a $200,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as reimbursement.

On another front, Edmunds said the city expects to receive a request from Kitson & Partners for a development agreement on another phase of the former Bay Pines Mobile Home Park on Bay Pines Boulevard after the first of the year.

Edmunds said the next phase would address Kitson’s plans for commercial retail, which is conditional on the inclusion of a hotel and restaurant on the 60-acre site.

Meantime, Orlando-based Contravest Management Co. has applied for and received permits from the city for the remaining phases of a gated 330-unit apartment complex called The Courtney at Bay Pines.

The apartments are scheduled for completion some time in early 2014.
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