BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The stalled drainage project in Belleair Bluffs is set to start again. A cooperative funding agreement between Belleair Bluffs and the Southwest Florida Water Management District covers 50 percent of the city’s costs on a massive drainage control and road improvement project.
The City Commission at their April 21 regular meeting approved the agreement for the next phase.
That job, which will cost more than $800,000, can now move forward. The project, which includes road replacement and resurfacing along with curbing, stormwater drains and outfalls, has been held up for months while the district conducted water quality studies.
BELLEAIR SHORE - Newly sworn in Mayor Robert E. Schmidt Jr. should have no problem navigating Belleair Shore’s politics as he takes over from longtime Mayor John Robertson.
Schmidt has been on the Belleair Shore commission for 18 years, two years longer than Robertson served. In fact, Robertson said Schmidt encouraged him to run for mayor in 1994.
Schmidt is the owner of Boulder Venture South, a real estate development firm. His experience includes running a successful business and knowledge of commercial real estate and fiscal planning. Schmidt said he has led the development of over $2 billion dollars worth of real estate over his career.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - A group of residents opposed to building a new Largo fire station across from Belleair Bluff's City Hall prompted a discussion lasting nearly an hour at the City Commission’s April 14 workshop meeting. A petition signed by 112 residents was presented by the group’s spokesperson.
Lori Spence of Bluff View Drive represented the opponents. She told the commission she and others had canvassed residents living in the vicinity of the proposed station site.
“As you can see, 112 citizens, to date, think planning for the proposed fire station should not go forward,” she said.
BELLEAIR - With a 4-1 vote Belleair Commissioners approved the establishment of a new zoning designation, aimed specifically at the property occupied by the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
Commissioner Stephen Fowler was the only one who voted against the zoning. All along he has been critical of the new designation.
The new zoning is known as RM-10 and it allows potential developers of the hotel property to produce plans with only 10 living units per acre on the 20-acre site. Up until now the fewest number of units permitted was 15 and city officials felt that was too many and would have been a detriment to the high-end development of the property.
BELLEAIR BEACH - A 66-year-old Largo man was transported to a local hospital via Bayflite with life-threatening injuries Monday afternoon after he was hit by a truck in Belleair Beach.
According to a report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred about 3 p.m. April 14 on Gulf Boulevard near Howard Drive in Belleair Beach.
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team said Nathen Wright was riding his bicycle southbound on Gulf Boulevard in the bike lane. At the same time, Kelvin Simmerman, 55, of Dunedin was driving a 2013 GMC pickup truck traveling southbound.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Helen R. Proctor, 86, a founder of the Indian Rocks Beach Library and Indian Rocks Beach Area Historical Society, died April 4, 2014.
Proctor was the editor of the Indian Rocks Pictorial History Book, a member of the Civic Association, Action 2000, Clearwater Chapter of National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Belleair Republican Women’s Club and American Contract Bridge League. She was a precinct clerk for Indian Rocks Beach for many years.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - City officials are laying the groundwork designed to improve the look of Gulf Boulevard through more trees and landscaping
Planning and Zoning Director Danny Taylor has started work on a proposed ordinance that would create a “canyon effect” on Gulf Boulevard
He told commissioners April 8 the Planning and Zoning board looked at several ordinances in October and November from around the Southeast. Board members liked the town of Belleair’s ordinance and used some of its provisions for their proposed regulations.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Fire stations do not belong in residential and recreational areas. That’s the message a group of Belleair Bluffs residents hope to convey to city officials when they present a petition signed by neighbors of a proposed new station to be located on city property across from city hall.
The property also sits in a residential neighborhood and is close to the city park where children play, said resident Lori Spence, who is heading the petition drive. Spence said a number of residents whose homes are close to the fire station are “very concerned.”
“We are opposed to this. It is not the right location for a Largo fire station,” she said in a recent interview. Spence said the residents are concerned about a decrease in their property values due to the station’s presence, as well as the noise of sirens and fire trucks going back and forth, and the potential danger to children playing in the nearby playground.
Daughters of Italy meeting CLEARWATER – The Daughters of Italy Lodge 2825 will have its monthly meeting on Thursday, April 24, at the Clearwater Community Church, 2897 Belcher Road, Dunedin, in Room 206 of the education building.
Italian and non-Italian women are invited to attend. Coffee and dessert is served at 6 p.m., followed by a short general meeting. The guest will be a hospice worker, and the cultural program will include Italian regions that celebrate Italian Carnevale.
Extension garden tours LARGO – Vegetable, herb and tropical fruit garden tours will be offered Thursdays, April 10 and 24, 9 a.m., at Pinellas County Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road.
The free tours will offer guests the opportunity to explore the vegetable garden and compost demonstration areas and learn how to grow food in home gardens.
The tour will include an array of culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, trees and flowers in the enclosed herb garden; the Egyptian, Mediterranean, Asian and beverage plantings; and tropical fruits that do well in the Florida climate including many varieties of bananas, figs, papayas, mangoes, avocados, sugar cane and citrus.
Attendees will learn about how featured plants can be in homes and will discover little-known fruits not usually considered by the home gardener including Jackfruit, Carambola, Buddha’s Hand and Pomegranate.
The tours will showcase a diversity of plantings including a wide variety of ground covers, bromeliads, palms and power-line friendly trees that can be used in the home landscape.
Tours are limited to groups of four to 16 people and are recommended for adults.
Free CPR and First Aid classes SEMINOLE – Seminole Fire Rescue is offering free basic CPR and First Aid classes. The next CPR class is scheduled for Thursday, April 24, 7 p.m. and the next Basic First Aid class is set for Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m.
All classes are taught at Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Ave. N.
Designed to help a person gain the confidence to help during an emergency, these classes are easy to understand and focus on the skills required to help save a life. The classes are not intended for professional certifications, but for the average individual.
Call 393-8711, ext. 210 for advance registration and information. Space is limited.
Kiwanis Club of Seminole meeting SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole meets Thursdays, 6:15 p.m., at Freedom Square’s Town Hall.
The group’s next speaker will be Breanne Zsiga, from Career Academies of Seminole, discussing on her steer project.
For more information, call Terry Carr at 394-2582.
LARGO – A Overeaters Anonymous group meets Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., at Aldersgate Methodist Church, 9350 Starkey Road.
Overeaters Anonymous is a program of recovery for eating disorders.
For information, call Jeanette at 392-3108. There are no dues and no fees and a list of meetings may be viewed at oapinellas.org
Palm Harbor Toastmasters meeting
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Toastmasters Club meets Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Centre, 1500 16th St.
The club is open to all who are interested in perfecting their public speaking skills.
For more information, contact Jack Lynch at 542-6100 or email email@example.com.
Ribbon cutting TREASURE ISLAND – The Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce plans a ribbon cutting Thursday, April 24, 4 to 6 p.m., at Coastal Properties Group and Christie’s International real estate office, 260 107th Ave.
For more information, call 360-4121.
Talent show auditions TARPON SPRINGS – The city of Tarpon Springs Recreation Division will host auditions for its annual Recreation Division Talent Show on April 22 and 24, 4 to 7:30 p.m., at the Community Center, 400 S. Walton Ave.
There is no charge to audition and all ages are welcome. Auditions for all talents are welcomed, including instrumental, vocal, drama, comedy, improv, or dance. All performances must be family friendly. The talent show is scheduled for Friday, May 9, 7 p.m., at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 E. Pine St.
UPARC luncheon CLEARWATER – The UPARC Foundation Champion of Hope Luncheon featuring Gene Chizik, a former head football coach of Auburn University, will be Thursday, April 24, noon, at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road.
To RSVP, call 797-8712. Chizik is the author of “All In: What it Takes to be the Best.” A book signing with Chizik will take place before the luncheon with a $150 contribution to the UPARC Foundation.
The luncheon will feature the Champion of Hope Award presentation, honoring those who exemplify the passion, integrity and community commitment of Dr. William E. Hale, UPARC Foundation founder.