REDINGTON SHORES – The town expects to be getting an electronic message sign. But it may not be located at Town Hall, as planned.
Commissioners unanimously approved buying the sign at their Jan. 9 regular meeting. The cost will be around $30,000.
The LED sign “will be a valuable asset to the town,” Mayor MaryBeth Henderson said when it was first discussed at last month’s commission meeting. It will be used to inform residents of happenings in the town, and supply important information on significant events such as updates on approaching storms, cancellations, etc. The sign would be similar to the electronic sign in front of Indian Shores Town Hall, Henderson said last month.
The sign’s location has been assumed to be Town Hall, where most municipal signs of that type are placed. But Town Hall is located at the southern end of town. And that has made placement of the sign there somewhat controversial, and far from certain at this point.
Former Mayor Bert Adams came to last month’s commission meeting to oppose putting the LED sign in front of Town Hall. Most residents live north of Town Hall and normally travel north to Park Boulevard, he said. They would rarely see the sign.
Adams was at the Jan. 9 meeting, but did not comment on the sign.
But Commissioner Pat Drumm, while voting to approve the sign at the January meeting, said most residents in his district, which is north of Town Hall, go up to Park Boulevard when they leave town, and do not pass Town Hall. Drumm said he wants the sign put at Constitution Park.
He picked up the support of Commissioners Jeff Neal and Tom Kapper, making a commission majority in favor of putting the sign at the park.
Henderson was clearly unhappy with that idea.
Neal said the Constitution Park location is more open. Putting the sign there would “make it more visible for all the residents in town to see.”
Kapper said some people in his district did not like the sign at all.
“But I convinced them it’s something we need. But it’s not needed right here (at Town Hall),” he said.
Henderson said she couldn’t imagine any better place for the sign than at Town Hall. Constitution Park is in a more residential area, with a bunch of houses around, she said.
The sign would be more vulnerable to hackers there, being away from “the major, serious security of Town Hall.”
The hackers “could put anything they want on the sign,” Henderson said.
Kapper recommended voting to purchase the sign now, and discussing the location at the Jan. 30 commission workshop. The commission agreed to do that.
The job will be done by International Sign Company of Largo. Commissioner Michael Robinson, who worked with Building Official Steve Andrews to get the bids, said the company will do an excellent job.
“They were the low bidder, and are best positioned to meet our needs,” Robinson said.
Gulf Boulevard undergrounding to start late this month
The undergrounding of utility wires on Gulf Boulevard in the Redington communities should start by Jan. 21, Henderson said. The work will begin in Redington Beach and move northward into North Redington Beach and Redington Shores, she said.
Henderson said a staging area for the work is in front of the Yacht and Tennis Club.
“When you see the conduit there, be excited – be very excited! That means we’re making progress,” she said.
The project covers burying of wires on the east side of Gulf Boulevard as well as the wires crossing the street. Overhead utility wires will remain on the west side of the street.
Town Hall move may be off
The possibility of buying the now vacant former Wells Fargo Bank building on Gulf Boulevard, and moving Town Hall there had been talked about with some enthusiasm at a commission workshop in late November.
The advantages discussed are that the building is twice the size of the current Town Hall and is elevated to current flood requirements. It’s next to Del Bello Park and away from coming commercial development. The commission also discussed putting an option on the building, which Kapper said would “tie it up, preventing its sale for about six months.”
Now, it appears the move will likely not happen.
“I’ve got news,” she said. “I don’t think we’re going to be doing that. They’ve already got two offers (on the bank building).”
New park playground equipment coming soon
A new playground for Spitzer Park has been ordered, Henderson said, and should arrive by Jan. 14, or sooner. The playground should be done by the beginning of February, she said.
Spitzer Park is located at the corner of 176th Avenue and 176th Terrace Drive.