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Michael Meidel, Pinellas County’s director of economic development, told attendees of the Greater Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce’s Jan. 14 Board of Directors installation “that the (economic) state of the county is strong.”

CLEARWATER — January is National Mentoring Month. Pinellas County commissioners marked the occasion Jan. 14 by reading a proclamation and hearing a presentation on a partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.

Pinellas County Government is requesting that providers of architectural services consider responding with proposals to provide professional architectural services to design the new Tampa Bay Innovation Center Incubator located in St. Petersburg.

Enrollment applications are now available for the 2020 Sunstar FirstCare membership. The membership plan provides financial help for individual patients or families on out-of pocket expenses for ambulance transportation.

People around the state, nation and the world are working toward achieving Vision Zero, which is a goal to create safer roadways and prevent fatality and serious injury crashes. Forward Pinellas Board members recently heard the latest about work being done in the county toward making that goal a reality.

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Commission approved an ordinance amendment Dec. 10 that increases maximum towing rates, mileage rates and administrative fees. It also applies to storage and labor fees for some vehicle classes.

The Florida Legislature gathers in Tallahassee this month for its annual 60-day session, with lawmakers technically having just one constitutional duty — to pass a balanced budget for fiscal year 2020-2021. As Florida’s 120 representatives and 40 senators, including the seven representatives and three senators that make up the Pinellas legislative delegation, prepare for the Jan. 14 gavel, here are some issues to pay attention to.

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Commissioners said yes Dec. 10 to implementing a new program that would provide vital information to first responders when a person is involved in a vehicle crash and unable to communicate.

CLEARWATER — Pinellas County commissioners agreed unanimously Dec. 10 to deny without prejudice a request for a future land map amendment and zoning atlas amendment that would have allowed for the expansion of a RV park on the north bank of the Anclote River in unincorporated Tarpon Springs.

Ways to reduce road congestion include improving traffic light coordination along major corridors, intersection improvements and use of technology to improve safe traffic flow. The problem continues to be cost. To implement the basic plan, the county would need more than $906 million over 10 years to pay for capital costs plus annual operations and maintenance.

Low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to Florida small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by Hurricane Dorian from Aug. 28-Sept. 9.

Pinellas County’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 2.6%, down slightly from 2.7% in September and 3% in October 2018, according to the latest report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

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