CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Commissioners said yes May 7 to a request from the Seminole Jr. Warhawks Athletic Association for $17,495 from the Municipal Services Taxing Unit funds.

Commissioner Pat Gerard presented the request, asking the commission to agree to fund part of the association request for two items at a cost of $29,555.

The association needs to repair the chain link fence at five baseball fields and seven soccer fields. It also wants to buy a five-year subscription for software for its lightning prediction system.

According to a letter from Steven Siesel, president of the athletic association, the association looked for competitive pricing from many fencing companies in the county, but none wanted to take on the repair project as a whole. The association received only one quote for $24,560.

Gerard met with Paul Cozzie, director of the county’s Parks and Conservation Resources department, asking to have fence repairs and replacements done at a cost not to exceed $12,500.

The lightning prediction software would come from the manufacturer, Thor Guard, at a cost of $4,995. The system provides notification by email, web and app of potential lightning strikes at the association’s complex.

“This is another vital safety feature we can provide to our members to give vital notice of impending danger,” Siesel said.

The association is working on a third request for funds for a drainage project.

Bill Berger, director of the Office of Management and Budget, reported that before the request from Seminole, the MSTU fund had just over $352,000 remaining. Since 2016, $880,000 has been appropriated into the fund.

Over the years, money has been given to Tierra Verde Community Association, Feather Sound, High Point Neighborhood Family Center, Seminole Jr. Warhawks Athletic Association, Seminole Youth Athletic Association, Cross Bayou Little League, St. Petersburg College, Crystal Beach Community Association, East Lake Recreation, East Lake Library, Palm Harbor Recreation, Palm Harbor Library and Lealman Fire District.

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