LARGO — Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously approved four requests totaling $71,431 for special projects in unincorporated parts of the county. The money will come from a Municipal Services Taxing Unit Fund.

The county collects a separate MSTU property tax to pay for services in unincorporated Pinellas that are similar to those residents enjoy in municipalities. The special projects fund comes from the MSTU tax levy.

The Tierra Verde Community Association will receive $20,000 for playground equipment repairs. The total cost is $25,076. The TVCA Board will pay the $5,076 difference.

The project includes repairs to the deck, deck steps and guardrails, as well as the overhead wheel bar and fun wheel, plus certified playground mulch. The cost of demolition and installation in included.

TVCA estimates that the work will be complete by August and should extend the life of the playground for four-five years.

Palm Harbor Historical Society will get $20,000 to create a native plant and historic “living landscape” project with outdoor interpretative signage. Total cost of the project is $21,473. The difference in cost will be paid from the society’s reserves and a donation.

Volunteers from the Palm Harbor Historical Society run the Palm Harbor Museum under contract with the county. The museum is located in the former Hartley House between 1914 and 1919 by Judge Thomas William Hartley at the northwest corner of Curlew and Belcher road. The county purchased the home built in 1996 and rehabilitated it. The museum opened in 1998.

According to the society’s application, the plan is to use the living landscape project to enhance the museum by creating exhibits that can be used during the day even when the museum is closed. The museum is only open part time according to the availability of volunteers. They also want to “introduce an educational component” to the campus.

Signage and a “treasured plants map” will allow visitors to enjoy the new pocket park that will include interactive features at stations. The society expects site preparation to begin in April 2022 with an opening event in September.

The commission also approved a request for $19,924 from Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce for improvements to help create a “cohesive community image” for downtown Palm Harbor and instill sense of pride and ownership.

The chamber proposes to use three different styles of banners, installing 18 on existing streetlight poles. The remainder will be rotated or used as replacements. In addition, 12 40-gallon commercial grade trash receptacles, designed in keeping with the historic character of the area, will be installed. The chamber is promoting a cooperative plan for garbage disposal with a company that is providing a discount to businesses in the downtown district. The goal is to get property owners to keep their own property clean as well as the property of vacant properties.

The chamber estimates it will take 60-90 days to get the banners and trash receptacles installed.

The final request was from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League that operates afterschool programs for kids ages 5-18 at two facilities in Lealman.

PAL needs $11,507 for video surveillance at the Lealman Sports Complex and Landings Clubhouse, which are located in one of the county’s five at-risk zones with a high concentration of poverty. Participates in the afterschool programs are picked up from school and taken to the facilities where they receive a snack. Middle and high school students also receive dinner.

The money will pay for voice and data structured cabling and video surveillance. Fifteen cameras will be installed at the Lealman Sport Complex and four cameras at Landing at Cross Bayou Apartment Complex, which is where the elementary program is held. Software will be installed on computers and smartphones for remote viewing by trained authorized personnel. The surveillance will enhance security and safety for participants.

PAL estimates it will take about four weeks to complete both projects.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.