REDINGTON BEACH – As County Administrator Mark Woodard prepares to leave his post at the end of October, he is trying to wrap up a very nice parting gift for Redington Beach, North Redington Beach and Redington Shores.

A new fire station, with benefits.

Mayor Nick Simons told town commissioners Sept. 19 that he, Mayor Bill Queen of North Redington Beach and Mayor MaryBeth Henderson of Redington Shores met with Woodard Sept. 18 to discuss issues the county official hoped to nudge toward resolution before his departure.

One of those issues was improving fire service for the three small communities, a topic that has been repeatedly discussed with the county for the 1 1/2 years, Simons said. All three towns currently contract for fire and emergency medical services from the cities of Seminole and Madeira Beach, but Simons said the three towns had for years been “underserved” in terms of the amount of money they contributed.

Under the proposal that Simons said Woodard wants to present to the County Commission, North Redington Beach would tear down a pump station. The public works building for North Redington Beach and Redington Shores also would be taken down. Pinellas County would build the fire station on those lots and own and maintain the building.

Simons added the new construction would also improve facilities for the public works departments of both North Redington and Redington Shores. The building also would house a sheriff’s substation and provide a place for North Redington to host elections.

The three towns would split the cost of construction with the county, with the municipalities responsible for about $400,000. North Redington would pay about $200,000, Redington Shores about $140,000 and Redington Beach about $60,000.

Simons noted the towns’ contracts with Seminole and Madeira Beach were at the end of the current 10-year agreements. 

Town commissioners, by consensus, authorized Simons to pursue the proposal.

Town Commission approves tax rate

During a public hearing Sept. 18, the town commission gave final approval, by a 4-0 vote, to a $3.2 million budget and 1.81 millage rate for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The rate, which is unchanged from this year, is projected to raise $835,155 in ad valorem taxes.