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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Watch out! Someone might read the plan for Pinellas rail



The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority board approved its state-mandated 10-year plan today, and for the first time it includes details on what rail would be like in Pinellas County.

That worried some board members who had questions about the assumptions in the plan, which includes a 26-mile route and trains running every 15 minutes. But it wasn't the choo-choos that bothered them, it was including a 1-cent sales tax increase and keeping existing property tax money, among other financial details.

That sales tax would require voters approval, and PSTA officials took pains to cast the report as a less than entrenched action plan to build rail. Still, board member fretted over its message to voters, including board member Donald Crane of St. Petersburg.

What would happen, Crane wondered, "if the media picks up on this..."

County Commissioner Ken Welch helped him out. He pointed out that a Times reporter was indeed in the audience, taking "copious notes." The report happened to be available in agenda documents online for days too.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:19pm]


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