Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Starting Friday, right turns only at Harn Boulevard and U.S. 19

CLEARWATER

Drivers coming from any direction at the U.S. 19 and Harn Boulevard intersection will only be able to turn right starting Sunday night. Rain postponed the scheduled switch.. Drivers can find nearby U.S. 19 exit ramps by going north to Seville Road or south to Belleair Road. In mid-October, the U.S. 19 new main road opens to drivers, who are using the frontage roads during construction, according to the state Department of Transportation.

This change comes as part of an ongoing project to make U.S. 19 traffic signal free between Republic Drive/Hammock Park Boulevard in Clearwater and Mainlands Boulevard in Pinellas Park by the spring.

Clearwater

New police chief to be at public forums

Residents can meet new Clearwater police Chief Dan Slaughter, who was sworn in last week, at four upcoming forums, all beginning at 7 p.m.:

Monday: Clearwater Beach Recreation Center and Library, 69 Bay Esplanade.

Aug. 25: Countryside Recreation Center, 2640 Sabal Springs Drive.

Aug. 27: Ross Norton Recreation, Aquatic & Extreme Sports Complex, 1426 S Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.

Aug. 28: North Greenwood Recreation & Aquatic Complex, 900 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.

Dunedin

Gateway developer given more time

City commissioners unanimously approved an eight-month extension for developers of the downtown Gateway project, and they gave city staff the okay to include a stormwater rate increase of 42 cents a month in the proposed 2015 budget.

City Manager Rob DiSpirito said extending Pizzuti Builders' contract until April 15 would help the company secure financing for the $15 million mixed housing-retail project, and find a local partner who could better manage it and ease banks' lending fears by sharing the costs.

Over the past six months, he said, banks have declined to lend Pizzuti the full amount needed to embark on the three-story, 124-unit apartment development atop 24,500 square feet of shops and restaurants. That's because the project, planned for f Main Street and Milwaukee Avenue, is considered new and there's no market data to which it can be compared.

The project has been stalled for seven years while Pizzuti struggled to find commercial and medical office tenants, then quadrupled the residential component to meet market conditions.

In other news, homeowners' monthly stormwater fees are expected to jump from $9.30 a month to $9.72 come Oct. 1. Commissioners will decide next month whether to approve the change, partly intended to help fund a project that would alleviate flooding and improve stormwater quality in the Lakewood Estates subdivision.

SAFETY HARBOR

SCORE to host free pricing workshop

Merchants are invited this month to "Pricing for Profit," a free workshop about setting products at the right price for business success.

The seminar, hosted by the business counseling nonprofit SCORE, will be held from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Thursday at the Safety Harbor Library. Rather than focus simply on copying competitors' pricing, presenter Larry Hunt will explain how to maximize earnings by understanding the basics of business expenses versus gross profit, margin and markup.

Questions? Call the library at (727) 724-1525, ext. 4112.

SCORE also offers free, confidential advice to small businesses by appointment at the library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

SAFETY HARBOR

New video celebrates national parks month

In celebrating National Parks and Recreation Month, members of Safety Harbor's recreation staff shot video around the city.

With the song Everything Is Awesome by Tegan and Sara (from The Lego Movie) playing in the background, summer campers, the community's kayakers and fitness buffs, and an assortment of city employees can be seen boogieing through popular spots, including Rigsby Recreational Center, the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center, and Mullet Creek Park. The video can be seen on YouTube by searching "Safety Harbor Everything Is Awesome."

Times staff writers Julie Kliegman, Keyonna Summers and Laura Morel contributed to this report.

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