TBRPC To Hold Final Corey Ave Workshop June 3rd
The City of St. Pete Beach will be conducting a public meeting on June 3, 2013 beginning at 6:00pm. The meeting will be held at City Hall (155 Corey Avenue) and will be the second and final workshop as it pertains to the Corey Avenue District.
This Workshop follows the one held on March 21, 2012, which was facilitated by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. It was the intent to solicit input from citizens, business owners and property owners regarding catalyst projects for redevelopment and more than 140 survey responses have been collected. This follow-up workshop will briefly recap the first workshop and provide additional detail on potential catalyst projects. A final report will follow.
Please follow the City website for additional information as it becomes available.
Commission Asks County For $8,000,000
At last Tuesday's meeting (4/26/13) the Commission unanimously approved a resolution requesting that Pinellas County provide funding from bed tax collections for permanent rock structures at Upham beach to replace the unsightly T-Groins. The estimated cost is $8,000,000.
The T-Groins were put in place temporarily to see if they would slow beach erosion. The results have been positive and beach erosion has been significantly reduced. However the T-Groins have been susceptible to damage by the elements and vandalism and currently are in need of repair. Now is the time to put the permanent structures in place.
SPB is certainly deserving of these funds considering the fact that we generate almost 20% of the bed tax in Pinellas County. In addition the timing is great in that bed tax collections have risen approximately 11% this year. SPB Commissioners will be reaching out individually to some of the County Commissioners on this issue and we are hopeful that this request will be well received.
More good news on the Bayway Bridge.
I recently learned that when the new bridge is completed there will be a dedicated Sunpass only lane. For those SPB residents that have a Sunpass this will ensure that you will no longer get stuck behind the motorist searching for change and as a result, backing up traffic (I know we've all been there at one time or another).
SPB Unfunded Pension Liability Plummets
As a result of (1) changing our pensions to a hybrid defined benefit / defined contribution plan and (2) shifting our law enforcement services to the Pinellas County Sheriff, our unfunded pension liability has dropped by approximately $4,905,612 or 21.7%!
Florida Legislature Follows SPB Lead
According to a recent Tampa Bay Times editorial (2/10/13) it appears that the Florida Legislature is following SPB's lead and considering transitioning the state pension plan from a costly defined benefit plan to a more prudent 401K plan. SPB went down this road in 2012 and ended up with a hybrid plan incorporating defined benefits with a 401K plan which in the end reduces the risk to the City and it's tax payers. It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the State level and while the Unions (who certainly aren't looking out for the taxpayers) oppose such a move, I have to believe that you will see changes in the traditional defined benefit plan which just doesn't fit in today's world.
Nothing But Raves For The Sheriff
So far everything I'm hearing about the Sheriff is all good. Even those who were adamantly against contracting with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office are giving them a thumbs up. I attended a community association meeting the other night with SPB Community Policing Officer Dave Mancusi and was surprised to learn that some of our officers are ex SWAT! It was also interesting to note that the Sheriff's office actually helps train other agencies world wide. It appears that the voters made the right choice in bringing the PCSO to our City.