New water plant is set to be built
After years of delays, the Tarpon Springs City Commission unanimously approved a bidder to construct the city's new water plant. Wharton-Smith is scheduled to begin construction on the $35 million project next month and finish in early 2015. The company has previously constructed water facilities in Palm Harbor and South Florida. The aim of the reverse osmosis water plant is to allow the city to generate drinking water from pumps and wells rather than buy it from Pinellas County. Litigation and other problems have stalled the project since 2002.
City divvies up red-light revenue
The City Council on Tuesday voted to adopt a new policy on spending revenue from red-light camera tickets. After this fiscal year, 52.5 percent of money raised from citations will go to the state, per state law. After paying the camera vendor an unspecified amount, 10 percent of the remaining net proceeds will be used to cover the city's costs of administering the red-light program. The rest will fund school crossing guards, one traffic deputy and capital outlay projects related to public safety or transportation.
Youth basketball league gears up
The Parks and Recreation Department is seeking boys and girls ages 8 through 13, as well as volunteer coaches, for its youth basketball league. The league will focus on skill development, instruction and sportsmanship. Teams play an eight-game regular season concluding with a single elimination tournament. Registration ends Feb. 15, with player evaluations Feb. 16. Games begin March 16. Cost is $85 with a recreation identification card from Dunedin or other North Pinellas partner cities, or $128 without. Dunedin is also hosting monthly co-ed clinics for youth ages 5 to 7 years old to prepare them for league play. Players learn skills such as dribbling, lay-ups and zone defense. The clinic, held 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings during March and April, costs $35 a month. For more information, call the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 550 Laura Lane, at (727) 738-2920.
Railroad crossings under construction
The Pinellas County Department of Environment and Infrastructure and CSX Railroad are beginning a project to improve railroad crossings on Belleair Road and Wyatt Street between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Clearwater-Largo Road. The project will take place in two phases, with anticipated construction detours. The Belleair Road project is from S Myrtle Avenue to Scranton Avenue and will last from Feb. 15-21. The Wyatt Street project is from Clearwater-Largo Road to S Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and is scheduled to last from March 1-7. The projects will include replacing the existing crossings with a reinforced structure and new rails, constructing ADA-compliant sidewalks, and resurfacing the roadway.