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TARPON SPRINGS – The City Commission unanimously approved reorganization proposals from both the Public Works Department and Recreation Division at the Aug. 5 meeting.

One full-time maintenance worker will be hired to provide additional coverage for the marina, sponge docks, splash park, fitness park and dog park, especially on the weekend. Public Works Director Tom Funcheon estimated the new hire will cost an annual salary of $37,010.

The Recreation Division, on the other hand, will reorganize its staff and reassign four positions: the current recreation custodian/maintenance position will become a recreation worker position, two current recreation specialist I positions will become one recreation program and athletic coordinator position and one recreation special events and volunteer coordinator position and the current recreation specialist II position will become a recreation supervisor position. The proposed reorganization will cost an estimated $1,145 in annual combined salary for all four positions.

“We’re looking to increase focus … in critical services areas,” said Public Services Director Paul Smith.

2015 budget includes city hall repairs

TARPON SPRINGS – Tarpon Springs’s budget for fiscal year 2015 will include $2.2 million for major repairs to City Hall, formerly Tarpon Springs High School.

The building, constructed in 1926, went through an interior remodel in the late 1980s and had work done in 1996, has never seen rehabilitation on its exterior.

Outside bricks will be repointed and sealed, windows replaced and parapets and cupolas repaired, among other repairs.

Of the $2.2 million allocated for the project, only $620,000 will come from the city’s general fund; the remaining $1.6 million will come from Penny for Pinellas money.

“It’s time we really start addressing (the problems) before it starts costing more money,” said Public Works Director Tom Funcheon. “If we delay it any longer, the price is going to go up quite a bit more.”

Costs increase for Sponge Dock project

TARPON SPRINGS – The cost for lighting the Sponge Docks has increased by about $230,000 to include installation fees and a $25,000 contingency.

The project, approved last month by the Tarpon Springs City Commission, will now cost about $495,000. About 100 lights will be installed along the Sponge Docks and up the first block of Athens Street. The specific lights were chosen based on energy-efficiency, a nautical appearance and the ability to add more lights and decorations for special occasions.

Duke Energy is set to begin removing existing light fixtures soon. Once completed, installation of the new lamps will begin and is expected to take about 70 days. City Manager Mark LeCouris said minimal disturbance to businesses would take place between removal and installation.
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