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Community news: What's that smell in the water?

Safety Harbor’s most famous tree, the Baranoff Oak.


Safety Harbor’s most famous tree, the Baranoff Oak.


Caution: Road work ahead

The following road closures will take place in the city of Clearwater:

Today: Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue at Jasmine Way will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today due to the replacement of a sewer utility pipe. Druid Road, Myrtle Avenue and Jeffords Street can be used as detour routes.

Thursday: Osceola Avenue from Cleveland Street to the north side of the Pinellas County parking lot will be closed to traffic Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. so that roof panels can be unloaded at the Capitol Theatre construction site. The parking lot will remain open. Motorists can use Fort Harrison Avenue as a detour route.

For information on this or other road closures, visit or call the city's Traffic Operations Division at (727) 562-4776.

Conference focuses on human trafficking

Want to learn more about how you can help combat the trafficking of individuals forced into prostitution or domestic servitude? Join the International Association of Human Trafficking Investigators during its second annual training conference in Clearwater. The summit includes a free community presentation, to be held 1:30 to 5 p.m. today at the Sheraton Sand Key, 1160 Gulf Blvd. Community groups, faith-based organizations and concerned citizens will hear about ways they can get involved. Visit for information.

Learn boating safety

Register now for About Boating Safely, a boating safety course offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-1 Clearwater. It will be held at 8 a.m. June 8 and June 9 at the Clearwater Police Department, 645 Pierce St. Topics include: boating emergencies, navigating and legal requirements for a boat owner. All graduates receive a state certificate. The cost is $35. For more information, call Peter Ubillos, (727) 469-8895 or email

Pinellas, Clearwater

What's that smell in the water?

The method of water treatment used by Pinellas County Utilities and the city of Clearwater will be temporarily modified between today and June 17. This short-term change from chloramines to chlorine disinfection is a routine maintenance measure. Those impacted include Pinellas County Utilities customers as well as Clearwater customers.

Kidney dialysis patients should contact their dialysis care provider for more information about chlorine treatment. Fish owners should not be affected if a system already is in place to remove chloramines, but they should contact local pet suppliers with questions.

Customers may notice a slight difference in taste and odor of the water during this temporary change in treatment. Conditions experienced by utility customers will be identical to the more than 50 years of use prior to 2002, when chlorine was used as the primary disinfectant in the water.

For more information, visit or call Pinellas County Utilities Customer Service at (727) 464-4000. Residents may also call Clearwater Customer Service at (727) 562-4600 or visit


First Time Homebuyers Program drops interest rate

The Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County has lowered the interest rate on its First Time Homebuyers Program to 2.99 percent. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage program is for individuals living in Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties who have never owned a home, have not owned a home in the past three years or veterans.

Down payment and closing cost assistance is also available with the Home Key Plus second mortgage. Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 640 and are required to take a free homebuyer education class. Details are available online.

Certain income limitations apply. For additional information, contact the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County at (727) 464-8210.

Safety Harbor

Treasured tree to be monitored

Arborists say they will monitor the treasured Baranoff Oak every week through the summer and every month for the next two years to find out whether their effort to reverse the tree's decline has been successful.

Joe Samnik, who led last week's project to revive the tree, said he'll take regular samples of the leaves, bake them to reduce them to ashes, and then analyze the ashes.

The Baranoff Oak is thought to be one of the oldest trees in Pinellas County, at an estimated 300 years of age. Among other efforts, arborists and volunteers last week spread customized dirt beneath the tree, specially manufactured to give the tree the nutrients it needs.

The city also installed irrigation and lightning protection systems.


Speak up Monday with your waterfront suggestions

Have ideas on how to improve the appearance of or access to Dunedin's waterfront? Share them Monday with a new task force that's helping the city create a vision for Dunedin's 37 miles of waterfront and 12 state-owned islands.

From 2 to 4 p.m., residents and task force members will gather at the Dunedin Community Center to suggest which of the recommendations the Dunedin City Commission approved for its 2025 Downtown-Waterfront Illustrative Corridor Plan should be prioritized.

The Dunedin Waterfront Task Force — led by John Tornga, Kim Beaty and Diana Carsey — hopes to finish gathering information by June, and to present short-term (2025) and long-term (2050) visions along with objectives and strategies for City Commission consideration by the end of this year.

For more information, contact Carsey at

Community news: What's that smell in the water? 05/28/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 5:06pm]
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