Allegiant announces new nonstop service to Key West

CLEARWATER — Allegiant today announced Aug. 18 a new nonstop route to Key West from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport beginning Nov. 19.

“With its year-round sunshine, incredible beaches and attractions, Key West is one of the most sought-after destinations in the U.S. right now,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant’s senior vice president of revenue and network planning. “We expect it to be an even bigger draw for leisure travelers seeking an affordable, convenient vacation spot for warm winter getaways.”

The new nonstop route from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) to Key West International Airport (EYW) will operate twice weekly. Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found only at Allegiant.com.

DOH-Pinellas offers drive-thru vaccinations

PINELLAS PARK — As one of the largest employers in Pinellas, HSN is supporting the Pinellas community by providing a convenient location for COVID-19 vaccinations.

On Monday, Aug. 30, and Monday, Sept. 20, Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County will host a drive-thru vaccination event for first and second doses at HSN's headquarters, 2501 11th Ave. N., Pinellas Park. Hours on both days will be 8 a.m. to noon. No appointments are needed.

"We are happy to work with HSN to protect more people in the community," said Dr. Ulyee Choe, DOH-Pinellas' director. "If we are to end the COVID-19 epidemic, we all need to do our part to get one of the safe, effective vaccines offered at no cost throughout the nation."

Pfizer and one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be provided at the HSN parking area. Those who are vaccinated there will receive a $20 food voucher from DOH-Pinellas. In addition, HSN will be making a $10 donation per shot over both clinic days to Johns Hopkins All Children's Foundation, for a maximum donation of $10,000.

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) partners with local employers, houses of worship and community groups to offer outreach clinics.

If your place of employment is interested in a vaccine outreach clinic, complete this survey so the staff can contact you: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PinellasVaccineEvent.

COVID-19 vaccinations are your best defense from the virus and its variants. With precautions such as using face masks, staying socially distanced and practicing good hand hygiene, you can protect yourself, your loved ones and the community.

For more information about DOH-Pinellas, go to www.PinellasHealth.com or on Twitter at @HealthyPinellas.

FDOT closing ramp to Bryan Dairy Road permanently

ST. PETERSBURG — Motorists should be on alert for the permanent closure of the southbound U.S. 19 ramp to Bryan Dairy Road/118th Avenue North, which was tentatively scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 25, if weather permits.

Southbound U.S. 19 motorists needing access to Bryan Dairy Road/118th Avenue North can either continue south on U.S. 19, exit at 110th Avenue North and utilize the "Texas U-Turn" to access the northbound US 19 Frontage Road towards Bryan Dairy Road/118th Avenue North, or they can exit before the closed southbound ramp at Ulmerton Road and continue south along the U.S. 19 Frontage Road towards Bryan Dairy Road/118th Avenue North.

Access to side streets and driveways along the southbound US 19 Frontage Road will remain open.

Motorists should anticipate delays and congestion while traveling through this area.

This new traffic pattern is to construct the flyover ramp from US 19 to I-275 as part of the Gateway Expressway project.

For more information, please visit: FDOTtampabay.com.

Solid Waste to raise some fees

Pinellas County Solid Waste proposes to increase the disposal rate for municipal solid waste, commercial and yard waste by an average of 6%, beginning on Oct. 1. The increase is the third of a three-year rate increase plan approved by the County Commission in 2019. If approved, the disposal rate for municipal, commercial and yard waste will increase from $42.15 to $44.70 per ton.

“Prior to this three-year increase, the Pinellas County Department of Solid Waste has kept its disposal rate unchanged for the past 30 years and will still be the lowest in the market area once rates have been adjusted,” said Paul Sacco, director of Solid Waste.

The additional revenue from the disposal rate increase will offset the future revenue lost as the current 30-year power purchase agreement with Duke Energy expires in 2024. The revenues are necessary to fund operations and maintenance expenses for the waste-to-energy facility, landfill and several solid waste programs.

In addition to the approved disposal rate increase, other fees are proposed for increase. The proposed increases will be considered by the County Commission during the second public hearing for the fiscal year 2022 budget on Tuesday, Sept. 21, beginning at 6 p.m.

The proposed rate/fee increases are:

• Tires, from $110 to $125 per ton, with no flat rate

• Out-of-county municipal solid waste, commercial waste, and yard waste surcharge of $44.70 per ton in addition to the per ton fee of $44.70 per ton

The flat rate for passenger vehicles, unmodified pickup trucks, and vans, special handling services fee, contractor surcharge and the special rate for Christmas trees remain unchanged.

The rate increases were reviewed and approved by the Solid Waste Technical Management Committee, an advisory body to the County Commission, comprised of solid waste professionals from both public and private entities.

Beginning operations in 1983, the Waste-to-Energy facility can process up to 3,150 tons of solid waste per day while generating 75 megawatt hours of renewable electrical energy. In 2020, the facility reduced nearly 1.2 billion pounds of waste by 90 percent of its volume, generated 508,394 megawatt hours of electricity and recovered 52 million pounds of metal from the incineration process.

For more information about Solid Waste and the Waste-to-Energy facility, visit www.pinellascounty.org/solidwaste.

PLANPinellas offers first look at comprehensive plan update

Pinellas County residents can get a first look at a proposed plan to guide future county decisions for everything from land use to economic development with the launch of the new PLANPinellas website at https://plan.pinellas.gov.

PLANPinellas represents the first major update to the County’s comprehensive plan since 2008.

Every county in Florida is required by state law to maintain a comprehensive plan to manage growth and ensure long-term sustainability.

PLANPinellas offers updated guidance on public health and safety, natural resources, transportation and mobility, and many other issues that impact quality of life in Florida’s most densely populated county.

PLANPinellas is the result of a multiyear process, including a series of public meetings, digital outreach and coordination with local partners to define a community vision. The new website offers residents an opportunity to share their thoughts about the proposed plan, which is scheduled to go to the County Commission in early 2022.

The plan provides specific guidance through public policy affecting unincorporated areas that fall under the jurisdiction of Pinellas County government, while also fostering better coordination with the 24 municipalities as they update their own plans.

Comprehensive plans within the sate of Florida provide data-driven policy guidance to help elected officials make decisions that support the long-term needs of the community.

Here are a few examples of how the updated plan addresses some of the key challenges and opportunities for the county’s future.

Mobility

• Introduces policies to enhance safety for all users of the transportation system, including drivers, transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

• Promotes a multimodal network with expanded alternatives to car travel, such as trails, sidewalks, bike facilities, and public transit stations.

Land Use

• Updates policies to promote targeted redevelopment vs. new development to make the most of the limited available land.

• Promotes redevelopment in urban centers and corridors, especially multi-use, multifamily housing.

Public Health

• The Health in All Policies approach aims to improve the community’s health outcomes through County policies and programs across sectors and policy areas that offer fair opportunities for all residents to make healthy choices.

Sustainability

• Continues to preserve the county’s valuable green spaces.

• Accounts for sea-level rise and increased flood vulnerability in development and public safety decision-making.

Economic Strength

• Expands opportunities to maintain and build affordable housing to sustain our local workforce.

• Supports small businesses and companies seeking to relocate and bring new jobs to the county.

Vacancies announced on Historic Preservation Board

Pinellas County is now accepting applications to fill two vacancies on the Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board.

Applications must be received by 3 p.m. on Sept.10.

One vacancy is an individual appointment position for Commissioner Kathleen Peters to fulfill the remainder of a three-year term that is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2023, and the second is an appointment as an alternate member to fulfill the remainder of a three-year term that is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022. Both are volunteer positions that would be eligible for reappointment at the expiration of their term for another full three-year term.

The Historic Preservation Board is composed of nine members and two alternate members who each serve a three-year term. Each member of the County Commission nominates one member, and the Commission jointly nominates two at-large members and two alternates.

The Commission also appoints one county commissioner to the HPB to serve as its chairman and ex-officio, non-voting member. The HPB must be composed of community advocates, municipal representatives and historic preservation professionals with expertise and/or knowledge in the historic preservation field.

The historic preservation program operates as a Certified Local Government program and meets the guidelines and criteria for this federal historic program designation with responsibilities including recommending the designation of historic districts and landmarks, nominating historic resources for listing on the National Register of Historic Plans, reviewing and approving applications for impacts to properties in a historic district or a landmark and landmark site, producing educational materials, programs and publications, etc.

Applications can be found at www.pinellascounty.org/boards. The HPB’s rules require a resume to be submitted as well. Applications must be received by 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10.

The County Commission will review all applications and make its selection at an upcoming meeting.

Note: All materials submitted to Pinellas County government are subject to the public records law of the state of Florida.