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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Engineering firm gives $25,000 to Greenlight committee

The Friends of Greenlight political committee has landed another big corporate donation.

Parsons Brinckerhoff, a multinational engineering and design consulting firm based in New York, gave $25,000 to the group pushing to increase Pinellas County’s sales tax by 1 cent to expand mass transit.

Parsons has an office in Tampa that employs about 100 workers, many of whom live in Pinellas, said George Walton, a senior vice president and Southeast regional manager. Walton, who is among those Pinellas residents, lived in Baltimore for years and used that city’s light rail system daily.

“We’re a firm believer in transportation and mobility and the importance to the community and its benefit to the economy,” Walton said.

He acknowledged the company could benefit as a potential bidder for contracts on the project if the referendum passes.

“We are a transportation infrastructure firm, so we’d be interested,” he said.

The donation accounted for a large chunk of the $31,580 the Greenlight committee raised in the first three weeks of June. The group has raised $562,540 so far.

The opposition group, No Tax for Tracks, raised $105 in the same period, bringing its tally to $31,656.

If the tax increase is approved by voters on Nov. 4, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will use the revenue to expand bus service by 65 percent and build a 24-mile light rail system between St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 4:54pm]


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