Pinellas launches sustainability and resiliency website

Pinellas County recently launched a new sustainability and resiliency website to share the current and upcoming sustainability and resiliency efforts and offer residents ideas for how they can make a difference in their community.

The site can be found at sustainability.pinellas.gov.

The launch of the website comes as the county begins developing its first comprehensive Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan to address the unique geographical, environmental, social, economic, and climate challenges of Florida’s most densely populated county.

Scheduled for completion in March 2022, the Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan will guide Pinellas County governmental policies and programs, as well as external community services.

The development of the action plan, led by consultant VHB, will include a greenhouse gas inventory to measure the carbon footprint of county operations as well as unincorporated communities. The process will also include an internal review of programs and policies, and public outreach through surveys and a community stakeholder advisory group.

Amid growing concerns about sea-level rise and other climate change impacts, Pinellas County has expanded its focus on sustainability and resiliency in recent years. Some highlights of the County’s actions include:

• Creating the first Sustainability & Resiliency Coordinator position in 2019

• County leadership in the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition

• An administrative directive to integrate resiliency, including sea-level rise analysis, into all future capital improvement projects

• Co-founding the Pinellas Sustainability and Resilience Network, an informal partnership of local government officials and 10 municipalities that are implementing sustainability and resiliency programs

• Publishing the county’s first comprehensive progress report on its sustainability and resiliency efforts

• Entering Duke Energy Florida’s Clean Energy Connection Program later this year to offset 40% of the county’s energy consumption through solar power generation starting in 2024

A quarter of Pinellas County’s land lies in the Coastal High Hazard Area, an area that is considered particularly vulnerable to the effects of coastal flooding from tropical storm events. Pinellas County has seen nearly eight inches of sea-level rise since 1946, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Seventy-six percent of Pinellas County residents consider sea-level rise a concern to them, according to the 2020 Pinellas County Citizen Values survey.

Pinellas County Tax Collector Offices celebrate organ donor month

In celebration of National Donate Life Month, the Pinellas County Tax Collector's Office is partnering with Donate Life Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to motivating Floridians to designate themselves as organ, tissue, and eye donors, throughout April in an effort to help increase awareness and encourage drivers to join the cause.

The campaign theme this year is "Plant a Little Love and Watch a Miracle Grow."

On designated days throughout the month, Tax Collector employees will wear Donate Life T-shirts to promote this life-saving cause and create "Garden of Life" wall displays showcasing the customers who donate to the cause or register as organ donors. Customers who purchase a voucher for the brand new Donate Life specialty license plate will also receive special recognition in the Donate Life "gardens".

For one Tax Collector employee, organ donation hits especially close to home.

Mario Ramon, Customer Service technician, recently donated one of his kidneys to his brother. Both surgeries were successful, and Ramon and his brother have made full recoveries. In February, Ramon received special recognition from Donate Life for being an "inspiration to others" for his selfless act. Ramon's story has inspired his coworkers to campaign even harder this month.

According to Donate Life, over 100,000 men, women, and children are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. By registering to become an organ donor, you could help more than 75 people.

The Pinellas County Tax Collector's Office is partnering with six Florida nonprofits this year. Last month's fundraiser was for Preserve Vision Florida.

For more information about Donate Life Florida, visit www.donatelifeflorida.org. More info about the Pinellas County Tax Collector's Office can be found at www.taxcollect.com or on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, @PinellasTC.

Historic Preservation Board vacancy announced

Applications are now being accepted for the Pinellas County Historic Preservation Board. The individual appointment position for Commissioner Charlie Justice is available. This appointment would be to fulfil the remainder of a current three-year term that is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021.

Applications can be found at www.pinellascounty.org/boards. The Historic Preservation Board’s rules also require a resume to be submitted as well. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, April 23.

Service on this board is a volunteer position. The Historic Preservation Board is comprised of nine members and two alternate members, who each serve a three-year term. Each County commissioner nominates one member, and then jointly nominates two at-large members and two alternates.

The BCC also appoints one County commissioner to the Historic Preservation Board to serve as its chairman and an 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 county’s historic preservation program operates as a Certified Local Government program, and meets the guidelines and criteria for this federal historic program designation with responsibility 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.

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

Pinellas County seeking applications for Social Action Funding Grants

Pinellas County Human Services is accepting applications for Social Action Funding Grants. Eligible applicants may submit a maximum of one application. Applications must be submitted at https://portal.neighborlysoftware.com/PINELLASCOUNTYFL/Participant. Applications are due April 30, at 4 p.m. Late applications will not be considered.

The Social Action Grant Program provides funding to social service organizations for priority services that directly serve Pinellas County citizens. The goals of the program are to address the health, economic and social wellbeing of county residents in need of assistance

Applicant organizations must be 501(c)(3) registered nonprofits serving Pinellas County residents. They must have been incorporated in the state of Florida for at least one year before the date of their application. Funding is awarded through a competitive process.

Organizations may apply for up to $150,000 in funding, with the minimum grant being $10,000, and must align with one of the defined social action priorities:

• Food and Nutritional Services: including food banks, meal delivery, congregate dining and related supportive services.

• Homeless Prevention and Support Services: including homeless outreach and engagement; prevention and diversion services; system navigation; and shelter and housing support.

• Healthcare and Human Services for Disadvantaged Residents: including, but not limited to, specialized healthcare services; workforce development; life skills training and support; transportation or mobility assistance; chore services; health and hygiene support; and specialized mentoring or educational programs for disadvantaged populations.

• Supportive Services for an Aging Population: any of the above listed types of programs or additional supportive programs targeted to an aging population.

Suncoast Health Council vacancies announced

Applications are now being accepted for a Health Care Consumer and two Health Care Providers for appointment to the Suncoast Health Council. The 2-year terms expire March 31, 2023. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, April 23. The application can be found at www.pinellascounty.org/boards.

The Suncoast Health Council board is comprised of 12 members; eight members are appointed by the Pinellas County Commission and four members are appointed by the Pasco County Commission.

Suncoast Health Council is an independent, private non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors to represent the concerns of health care consumers, providers and purchasers in Pinellas and Pasco counties.

The Health Council collects and analyzes health care data; describes community health status; identifies health care needs and resources; and works with community partners to design programs and services to respond to current and emerging health care needs. The board is made up of consumers, and providers and purchasers of health care. Members are appointed to specific member categories: Health Care Provider, Health Care Consumer and Health Care Purchaser.

A Health Care Provider is someone who provides health care services, such as a doctor.

A Health Care Consumer is defined as an individual who is neither a purchaser nor provider, who receives medical care from licensed practitioners, resides in or receives services from a heath care facility and who may or may not access public and/or private health insurance coverage.

A Health Care Purchaser is defined as an individual licensed to provide or who provides health care services to individuals and/or groups, such as insurance executives. A Purchaser may also purchase health care services on behalf of others, provided they don’t also provide direct medical care. Examples include human resource managers and business owners purchasing health coverage for employees.

Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of alternating months, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., in the Madison Building located at 9600 Koger Blvd., St. Petersburg. To learn more about the Suncoast Health Council, visit www.suncoasthealthcouncil.org.

County commissioners will review all applications and make a selection at an upcoming meeting.

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

South St. Petersburg CRA Citizen Advisory Committee seeks new members

Applications are now being accepted for three appointments to the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area Citizen Advisory Committee. The appointment term is 36 months. Mandatory applications can be found at www.pinellascounty.org/boards and must be received no later than 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 15.

The South St. Petersburg CRA Citizen Advisory Committee is comprised of nine members who are residents, business and/or property owners or other community stakeholders within the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area. A map of the CRA boundaries is available to view at www.stpete.org/city_departments/docs/cra_map.pdf.

The mayor of the city of St. Petersburg appoints six Citizen Advisory Committee members subject to confirmation by the St. Petersburg City Council. The Pinellas County Commission appoints three Citizen Advisory Committee members.

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. at St. Petersburg City Hall. More information about the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Citizen Advisory Committee can be found at www.pinellascounty.org/boards.

The South St. Petersburg CRA Citizen Advisory Committee was created by an interlocal agreement between Pinellas County and the city of St. Petersburg to establish the framework for establishing and administering a redevelopment plan within the identified boundaries.

The CRA Advisory Committee advises the Community Redevelopment Agency for the South St. Petersburg CRA about the approved community redevelopment plan and any needed amendments and advises the Community Redevelopment Agency about issues and policies within the South St. Petersburg CRA.

County commissioners will review all applications and select board members at a future County Commission meeting.

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