Commission supports Biltmore Golf Course lease
During a special meeting Thursday, town commissioners unanimously supported a staff recommendation that they sign a 10-year lease with Green Golf Partners, the company that has managed the Biltmore Golf Course for the past 10 months.
Green Golf Partners' bid is among four offers to lease and three offers to buy the course, which Belleair purchased last year in an effort to protect the green space amid negotiations for the nearby Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
Town Manager Micah Maxwell said a bid evaluation committee recommended Green Golf Partners because of its proven track record.
Under its proposal, the company would pay the town $160,000 a year in rent, share about 6.5 percent of revenues with Belleair and make a half-million dollars in course improvements over the course of the contract. If Belleair decides to terminate the contract early to sell the golf course, the town would pay Green Golf Partners a penalty ranging from $160,000 to $480,000, depending on the contract year.
The town staff said now is not the best time to sell and that leasing will allow the town to establish a revenue baseline and increase the property's value.
In a 4-3 vote Thursday, finance board members rejected the plan, saying they felt rushed and wanted a couple of weeks to understand the potential risks, talk to golf experts and see the actual lease.
Commissioners expressed similar concerns, but ultimately said they trusted the staff's expertise. They gave the staff permission to continue negotiating and draft a contract. However, they will hold another special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 15 to sign off on the final document.
Upcoming class teaches boat safety
Know what to do in an emergency on the water and become a better boater. "About Boating Safely," a course offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Dunedin Flotilla, will be taught in two sessions Jan. 25 and 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Coast Guard Auxiliary classroom at the Dunedin Marina, 51 Main St.
The class is designed for both experienced and novice boaters. Some of the topics presented will be boating emergencies, know your boat, getting under way, navigating the waterways, operating your boat safely and legal requirements.
Register by Jan. 20 to receive course materials prior to the class. The fee is $35, with a $5 discount each for two or more signing up at the same time. Florida Boater Safety Certification cards are given to individuals who successfully complete the course.
For more information, call Larry O'Brien at (727) 736-1191, or email [email protected]
Pipe work prompts road work, detours
Three roads will be closed through Jan. 9 because of installation of a 48-inch stormwater pipe. Here are the closures and detours:
• Eldridge Street from Vine to Myrtle avenues (excluding weekends). Detour route: Seminole Street.
• Seminole Street at Vine Avenue (excluding weekends). Detour route: Pennsylvania Avenue.
• Vine Avenue from Eldridge to Seminole streets (excluding weekends). Detour routes: Myrtle or Pennsylvania avenues.
From Jan. 6-27, East Shore Drive from Baymont to Papaya streets on Clearwater Beach will be closed to traffic (excluding local traffic) due to construction related to the Mandalay Stormwater Outfall project. Poinsettia Avenue can be used as a detour route.
Residents with questions can call the city's Traffic Operations Division at (727) 562-4750.
Events offer tips for avoiding tax identity theft
The Federal Trade Commission has named Jan. 13-17 Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. The FTC will host national and regional events designed to raise awareness about tax identity theft and provide consumers with tips on how to protect themselves and what to do if they become victims.
Accounting for more than 43 percent of the commission's identity theft complaints in 2012, tax identity theft was the largest category of identity theft complaints by a substantial margin. In addition, the percentage of tax identification theft complaints nearly doubled, from just over 24 percent in 2011.
Events planned for the week include webinars led by FTC staff in both English and Spanish, a bilingual Twitter chat hosted by @FTC and @laFTC, and a series of regional events hosted by the FTC throughout the country with a focus on states with the highest number of tax identity theft complaints.
A schedule of events is available on the Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week website, along with links to planning materials and helpful information for consumers. Visit tinyurl.com/o4wt6c9.
For more consumer tips, call (727) 464-6200 or email [email protected]
Library will host an afternoon of jazz
The Miller Time Jazz Band will present an afternoon of music from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave.
This band of professional musicians includes a few members who hail from the Big Band era. The program is a musical tribute to Duke Ellington and will include several of his jazz standards as well as jazz improvisation and commentary on his musical life.
Do you have a favorite American standard? Let the band know and chances are they can play it for you. For additional information, call (727) 784-3332 ext. 3006.