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New apartment complex okayed in Clearwater

A replica of the destroyed Wall Springs Park observational tower costs about $870,000, a county official said.

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue

A replica of the destroyed Wall Springs Park observational tower costs about $870,000, a county official said.

Palm Harbor

Tower construction may begin in Oct.

The County Commission has approved the reconstruction of the Wall Springs Park observational tower.

The tower will be a replica of the one that was destroyed last September in what deputies called a suspicious fire.

During the six-month construction period, residents will not be able to access the park's west side, according to Kathy Swain, the county's parks and recreation manager.

Construction is tentatively set to start in October. The new tower costs about $870,000, said Ivan Fernandez, a county engineering design manager.

The insurance payout from last year will cover the bulk of the project, with the county shelling out $6,900 to fireproof the new structure.


New apartments approved along U.S. 19

A 236-unit apartment complex has been approved for a 16-acre property on the east side of U.S. 19 just north of Harn Boulevard.

The site at 19321 U.S. 19 N is just south of the Japanese Garden mobile home park. It's currently occupied by the mostly vacant Arbor Shoreline Office Park — 220,000 square feet of office space in five buildings.

Those buildings are to be demolished to make way for apartment buildings. The tallest, four-story buildings are to be farther away from neighboring properties.

Clearwater's Community Development Board approved the plan on Tuesday.

Safety Harbor

Free app helps people explore city

The city has launched "Explore Safety Harbor," a mobile phone app aimed at making access to city news and events easier.

The app connects city government with residents, businesses and visitors who want convenient access to elected officials, special event information, job postings, commission meeting videos, recreation program signups and more.

The program can be downloaded for free. Visit CityofSafety for information.


Pipe band wins contest in Canada

The Dunedin Pipe Band this month came away with top honors at the North American Pipe Band Competition in Maxville, Ontario, in Canada.

The contest, part of the Glengarry Highland Games, featured more than 50 bands from across North America competing in five categories.

Dunedin's Grade 3 ensemble won its category, which contained 13 bands. The Grade 4 band went up against 16 other groups, and took third place.


Homeless veterans getting federal aid

The Homeless Emergency Project has received a federal grant that will cover 16 housing vouchers for veterans.

The United States departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs are jointly distributing $7 million to 24 public housing agencies across the country.

In June 2012, HEP opened its West Apartment Complex, which houses both male and female veterans in 32 furnished apartments. They receive case management, on-site medical and mental health care and more. The Pinellas County Housing Authority, one of two Florida entities to receive the funding, awarded the vouchers to HEP.

HEP chief operating officer Libby Stone said the agency will use the funds to expand housing and service offerings in Pinellas, which she said has the state's third largest veteran population. Overall, HEP says it served 508 veterans last year.


Water changes may be noticeable

Pinellas County water customers, including those in Clearwater, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs, may notice a slight difference in the taste or odor of water while the county performs routine maintenance to improve water quality.

From Sept. 2 through 25, many utilities using chloramine for water disinfection will briefly switch to chlorine in order to maintain system integrity.

Customers will not experience low pressure or disruption of service. The water will continue to meet federal and state standards, officials said. For information, call (727)464-4000 or visit

Times staff writers Mike Brassfield, Keyonna Summers, Julie Kliegman and Piper Castillo contributed to this report.

New apartment complex okayed in Clearwater 08/20/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 6:21pm]
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