Town of North Redington Beach News

July 10, 2009

Another Fantastic Fourth

With the weatherman cooperating, town residents and visitors had another in their string of festive July 4th celebrations. Way back in 1994 one of our residents, Andra Phelps, had the idea to create a July 4th parade. The parade proceeded through the town and ended with orange drink donated by McDonalds. Throughout the years, the July 4th celebration has grown into the full fledged party it has now become, with hot dogs, sno-kones, prizes and entertainment for the kids. Thanks to Andra’s inspiration, children and adults alike began July 4th with a bang this year. In furtherance of the old saw that a picture is worth a thousand words, we present the following photo essay:

Prize Winners

  • Best Decorated:
    • 1st – Annie Moultrie
    • 2nd – Ava Fridella
    • 3rd – Mabry Nolte
  • History Quiz Winners:
    • Luke Edison Bennett
    • Hally O’Keefe
    • Ann Benvenuti
    • Katie Milord
    • Nicholas Benvenuti
    • Olivia Gusti
    • Joseph Ionuta
    • Abby Exsslea

Budget Gets Tentative O.K.

Town commissioners have reached consensus on the 2009-2010 budget. There are still some final touches needed, and the public will have at least two opportunities to comment before the budget is finally approved in September.

This much is known. The tax rate will not change despite a drop of more than 14 per cent in property valuations, which cut total revenue for the general fund by almost $45,000.

The millage rate will remain at 0.7511. Other revenue sources are also expected to decline because of the economy. Overall, the town expects to get $80,000 less than it received in the current fiscal year. Because of a healthy reserve position, however, the commission felt it could sustain services, meet some increased operating costs and proceed with scheduled improvements without raising taxes.

More details on the budget will be available at Town Hall prior to the public hearings. Dates will be posted on this site as well as advertised in public media.

Big C Issues

The Barrier Islands Governmental Council (Big C) was briefed on several key issues with broad regional impact at its regular June meeting. The council is made up of mayors and other elected officials from the 13 communities from Clearwater Beach to St. Pete Beach.

They heard about the emerging regional transit program, new efforts by oil industry interests to get drilling rights closer to our shores, cuts in Penny for Pinellas allocations and rate increases proposed by Progress Energy.

Nick Fritch of the Sand Key Civic Association, who attends the Big C regularly and has been an outspoken advocate for the beach communities, also serves on the citizens advisory board of TBARTA, the regional agency charged with designing an areawide transit plan. He gave a detailed presentation of the plan that is now being promoted. It would provide a mix of rail, bus and traffic improvements that will cut the growing congestion problem. Recent studies show this area already has one of the worst problems in the country. Without change, it is estimated time lost to congestion would triple by 2050.

Officials are proposing a mix of federal aid, local matching funds and public/private partnerships to fund the project. A penny sales tax is heading for the ballot in Hillsborough already. It is estimated the system can be built for a cost of $125 per household per year. It also is projected that the area will get a $6 benefit for every dollar spent, including the creation of 21,000 new jobs over the next 40 years.

County officials said at a workshop attended by Big C representatives that a sharp drop in sales tax revenue may require a reduction in allocations for many projects. This could include the Gulf Boulevard beautification effort, which is supposed to get a total $35 million. No decisions were made, but local officials intend to monitor the situation and make sure that if there are cuts now, funds will be restored when the economy picks up.

Finally, the Big C is poised to take an official stance in opposition to new efforts to allow oil drilling close to Florida shores. State officials said they thought the issue was settled over a year ago with an agreement reached in Congress, but the oil industry is pushing to reopen the issue, and is loaded with money and powerful lobbyists.

Commission Reappoints Volunteer Board Members

The Board re-appointed John Creighton and Ted Dahl to the Planning and Zoning Board at the July meeting. The Planning and Zoning Board terms are for three years. The Board also re-appointed Ed Faasen, Ray Cook and Terry Graber to the Beach Advisory Board which are two year terms. The Commission would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to all of the Town’s volunteers. Thank you!

This website is intended to benefit our citizens by providing timely communications of news and city business; additionally, it is a resource for all visitors. Please contact any North Redington Beach city official or Town Hall should you have any input or suggestions for the site.

Bill Queen, Mayor

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N. Reddingto Beach Turtle Mascot