INDIAN SHORES — The town is adding parking fees for the 14 spaces at Town Square Nature Park at 191st Street and Gulf Boulevard.

The town council on April 13 voted unanimously 5-0 to add a meter to charge $2.50 an hour for the spaces at the park, which offers a signature boardwalk and fishing, picnic areas, and restrooms. Parking is currently free.

Town administrator Bonnie Dhonau said the move would generate $35 an hour in revenue at full capacity. The cost of the new meter is $7,063 and it would take just over 200 full lot hours to recover the cost.

“Most of the people who use these facilities are not residents of Indian Shores,” said Mayor Patrick Soranno.

Police retirees, Town Clerk acknowledged

At the same meeting, Police Chief Rick Swann acknowledged the retirement of two staffers from the Indian Shores Police Department: Reserve Detective David Romine and Communications Dispatcher Bill Blaine. Both were recognized for their many years of service and were presented with special retirement identification badges.

Romine said “this has been a 50-year journey” of a career in law enforcement that will end with his retirement on May 28. Romine served with various Florida departments over those years, including as chief of the St. Pete Beach Police Department from 2002-2013 before coming to Indian Shores as a volunteer reserve officer when he was semiretired.

Blaine had retired a year ago, on May 22, 2020, but, due to the COVID-19 emergency, the police department was unable to acknowledge his retirement and 38 years of service, the last 13 of which was with Indian Shores.

Blaine’s career began in 1981 with the Farmington Police Department in Farmington, Massachusetts.

A proclamation designating May 2-8 as Professional Municipal Clerks Week was also announced. This was the 52nd annual acknowledgement of the week, and Soranno, along with the entire Town Council, took the opportunity to recognize Town Clerk Freddie Lozano for his service by calling him to the dais.

Lozano has been the town’s clerk since March 26, 2018. Soranno commended the Lozano for his “patience and endurance” through six town meetings from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day alone.