NORTH REDINGTON BEACH — Since last spring, the five municipalities that comprise the Gulf Beaches Public Library have been haggling over the library’s budget, reserves and representation. North Redington Beach followed Treasure Island’s lead in accepting the newly revised Interlocal Agreement for the continued funding of the library at the commission’s Oct. 14 meeting.
Each of the library’s five contributing municipalities, Redington Shores, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Treasure Island, and Madeira Beach, previously had two representatives per municipality serving on the library board, for a total of 10 representatives. The number is now reduced in half to five members, preferably one elected official per town, according to the new contract.
Commissioner Richard Bennett currently serves as the chairman of the Gulf Beaches Library Board and will preside over the upcoming library board meeting on Nov. 15 where the Interlocal Agreement comes up for board approval.
The previously larger library board was considered by some towns as a contributing factor to the board getting stymied in its efforts to move forward with improvements.
Another bone of contention among the towns was the library board’s failure to expedite upgrades such as new computers and restroom facilities while still collecting funds from the towns and sitting on a reserve fund of nearly $1 million. Next year the library will have a budget of $989,000 to spend between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, 2022.
“Towns don’t want to spend a lot of money just to see it go to reserves,” said Mayor Bill Queen.
North Redington Beach commissioners passed the revised Gulf Beaches Interlocal Library Agreement by a vote of 4-0.
Capital improvement plan adopted
An ordinance adopting the town’s capital improvement plan for the years 2022-2026 passed 4-0.
“The only real change is that we are getting a new truck,” said the mayor.
Mari Campbell, the town clerk, announced that the town had received a deposit of $360,000 from the American Rescue Act to pay for water and sewer upgrades, including a new lift station, considered part of planned capital improvements.
Municipal election set for March 15
An ordinance passed 4-0 establishing the upcoming municipal election on March 15, 2022. Commission Seats 3 and 4 will be up for election, those seats currently being held respectively by Corey Thornton and Kevin Kennedy.
Contract for utility burial OK’d
A master services agreement between the town and Wilco Electrical LLC was approved. Wilco Electrical is the subcontractor who will be doing the design-build of utility undergrounding on the west side of Gulf Boulevard.
Queen said that the $7 million dollar project would be subsidized primarily by Pinellas County, and that the remaining balance would be funded by grants in process.
The contract was approved by a vote of 3-1 with commissioner Gary Curtis voting against. Curtis said he had not had enough time to review the document prior to voting.
Meeting date shifted
Next month’s Town Hall meeting will occur on Wednesday, Nov. 10 instead of the customary Thursday, Nov. 11. This year, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, a federal holiday.