Construction closes block of S Fort Harrison
City officials have closed down a block of S Fort Harrison Avenue in front of the Fort Harrison Hotel to accommodate a two-week Scientology construction project. Paul Bertels, traffic operations manager for the city, said the closure began Aug. 25 and will last until Monday. Bertels said the stretch of road typically sees about 14,000 vehicles a day. A contractor for the church is working to remodel the building and engineers determined it couldn't safely be done with traffic flowing through — even at night — because vibrations from passing trucks could knock loose the pedestrian bridge. Bertels said the construction phase was on track to be completed by Monday.
Budget gets tentative okay
The Safety Harbor City Commission tentatively approved a $55.3-million budget and a 2.7830 millage rate for the 2008-09 fiscal year at a meeting Wednesday night. The budget includes a 2 percent rise in operating costs citywide. Mayor Andy Steingold said residents will probably end up paying about the same tax bills as this year. Safety Harbor has $18.1-million in reserves, which could be tapped in case of an emergency or natural disaster. The City Commission will hold its final budget meeting at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at City Hall, 750 Main St.
No more Thursday adoption hours
Pinellas County Animal Services' shelter and adoption center will close to the public Thursdays beginning the week of Sept. 22. Blame budget reductions. The new hours for the center, at 12450 Ulmerton Road, are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, call (727) 582-2600 or visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices.