CLEARWATER — Pinellas County commissioners voted unanimously Aug. 20 to authorize late payments for beach communities that have not yet completed projects that are part of a Gulf Boulevard Improvement program.

Commission Vice-chair Pat Gerard was absent.

In 2012, the county entered into an interlocal agreement with 11 beach municipalities to use $35 million in Penny for Pinellas surtax funds for a Gulf Boulevard Improvement program.

The municipalities included Belleair Beach, Belleair Shore, Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island.

The agreement provided $3.5 million annually during fiscal years 2013-2016, and $7 million a year from 2017-2019. The money was to be allocated to the municipalities based on their frontage along Gulf Boulevard. Per the agreement, municipalities would be reimbursed for eligible projects completed after March 13, 2007.

The Barrier Islands Governmental Council, aka BIG-C, was responsible for review and approval of the projects and development of project schedules that matched funding availability.

The term of the interlocal agreement was set to expire on Sept. 30, 2019; however, several of the municipalities have not completed their projects. They are not able to invoice the county before the expiration date.

The commission approved a resolution that will extend the agreement through Sept. 30, 2021.

In other business, the commission:

• Voted 4-2 to budget $149,182 for season two and $147,881 for season three to the city of St. Petersburg for the operation of the Cross Bay Ferry. Cost is to be split between the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa, as well as Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Commissioners Dave Eggers and Kathleen Peters voted no.

• Voted 4-2 to ratify staff’s submission of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation for up to $25 million to help pay for replacement of the Dunedin Causeway bridges. The county would be required to provide a local match greater than 20% of the total cost, which is estimated at just over $89 million. Commissioners Karen Seel and Peters voted no.

• Voted unanimously to approve an interlocal agreement with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

• Voted unanimously to approve the Tourist Development Council’s recommendations for funding of eligible elite events for FY 2020.

• Voted unanimously to approve the fifth amendment with Birdsall, Voss & Associates Inc. for tourism marketing services, which will extend the contract until the board can consider awarding a new one.

• Voted unanimously to accept a grant award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for nearly $7.5 million for construction of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center Incubator.

• Voted unanimously to approve a funding agreement with Boley Centers Inc. for housing programs.

• Voted unanimously to accept the recommendation from CareerSource Pinellas Board of Directors to continue the employment of Jennifer Brackney as chief executive officer.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at