Seminole's recreation center, site of a public hearing on the city's new recreation master plan.

SEMINOLE — Got a kid, or five, who likes to swim or maybe play ball? Or maybe you’re retired and looking for local programs to help stay active and fit?

All good reasons, among many more, officials say, for attending a public hearing set for Tuesday, May 16, set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Seminole Recreation Center auditorium, 9100 113th St.

At the hearing, public comment will be collected regarding the city’s recreational needs and how those needs should be addressed in Seminole’s new recreation master plan. Those wishing to offer comment can stop in at any time during the two-hour hearing.

“We are excited to have the Seminole community provide input about what they would like to see in recreation services in the future,” City Manager Ann Toney-Deal said in announcing the hearing at the May 9 meeting of the City Council.

On Jan. 24, the council voted 6-0 to award GAI Consultants a nearly $120,000 contract to draw up a master plan covering the city’s recreational needs for the next 10 years. GAI, a national engineering and consulting firm with regional offices in Tampa, estimates it will take at least through December to complete the plan.

“The master plan will provide guidance for the future of the city’s recreation, including programming, improvements and implementation priorities,” city officials noted in a flyer distributed to pump up participation in the public hearing.

“An important part of a parks and recreation master plan is the public input piece,” Becky Gunter, the city’s recreation director, told Tampa Bay Newspapers. “This is our community’s opportunity to be a part of the process. We encourage those who can stop by (and) give their desires, needs and feedback.”


ARPA update

Also at the latest council meeting, council members voted 6-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance covering the city’s recent commitment of more than $1.2 million in American Rescue Plan funds to road paving, stormwater management and improvements to two city parks.

The ARPA drawdowns — part of a total $9.4 million in federal economic-recovery funding the city will be using through 2026 — include $499,000 in work to be performed under the city’s Pavement Management Plan; some $437,000 for stormwater system analysis, repairs and improvements; about $235,000 for improvements to Waterfront Park and Blossom Lake Park; and $71,000 for the purchase of equipment for various city departments.

Council will take a second and final vote on the budget-amendment ordinance when it holds its next regular bimonthly meeting on Tuesday, May 23, at 6 p.m.


Other business

The council also voted unanimously to approve a service-procurement arrangement with the county covering private contractor hires for any disaster-debris removal that might be required in the coming year.

And by a similar 6-0 vote, the council directed staff to write to Gov. Ron DeSantis urging his veto of a recently passed piece of legislation that would require local and county officials to fill out more stringent financial disclosure forms of the sort state legislators must file. Council members said they fear the law will deprive the city of talented but privacy-minded prospective candidates for local offices.

Council member Chris Burke was absent from the meeting due to a family vacation and didn’t participate in any of the night’s votes. Council member Trish Springer, who required EMT assistance at the last council meeting due to dangerously high blood pressure, was back on the dais, however.

Springer told Tampa Bay Newspapers she has resumed all of her normal daily activities after about a week or so of treatment and rest.

“I want to thank all of the city and (those on hand) for all of your support when I suffered a health incident at the last meeting,” Springer said.