New Plant, more workers for Maxi-Blast on Gandy
Everything has to be made somewhere. And soon, those little tiny balls used for sandblasting will be made at a new 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility going up on Gandy Boulevard.
Maxi-Blast Inc. actually produces balls for plastic blasting, which is less abrasive than sandblasting, for customers in the automotive industry, and plastics and rubber manufacturers. The company, which has been operating at 12000 31st Court N since 1977, is investing more than $5 million in the plant.
"We've purchased new equipment that's more modern, more energy efficient," said Annina Donaldson, vice president of Florida Operations. "Our production is going to definitely go up." The company, which her father Bob Donaldson has run for 32 years, will go from 10 to 15 employees.
More than 100 people have been involved in the construction, which started in the spring and should be completed by the end of the year, according to Randy Simmons, chairman of R.R. Simmons general contractor. The plant is between the Sahara Motel and the Crab Shack.
Hear about and weigh in on Greenlight Pinellas proposal
St. Petersburg College will host a public forum on Aug. 28 on the upcoming Greenlight Pinellas referendum. County residents will go to the polls Nov. 4 to vote on a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase to improve public transportation facilities in the county.
The program, titled "Dealing with Gridlock: Is There a Light Rail in Pinellas County's Future?" will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S. It is sponsored by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at SPC. Reservations are requested.
The proposal, if approved, would authorize a 1-cent sales tax increase for 30 years, raising a projected $130 million per year. The tax hike would be partially offset by eliminating the current property tax for transit that brings in $32 million. For that revenue stream, PSTA promises a 65 percent increase in bus service; a bus rapid transit line (dedicated bus lanes on major corridors); and, eventually, a 24-mile light-rail line that would connect downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Clearwater, essentially following the I-275 corridor to the Gateway area, then westward along Ulmerton/Roosevelt Road and East Bay and West Bay Boulevard. For information or to register, go to solutions.spcollege.edu, and click on the events tab, or call (727) 394-6251.
New bus stop near Bay Pines Walmart will blend with area
City officials here required the Bay Pines development, which houses the new super Walmart across from the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, to be built in a Mediterranean revival style. The project developers, Kitson Development, in conjunction with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, will build a bus stop to blend in with the project. The stop, known as Bay Pines Casita del Sol, was designed by artist Matt Sunderman.
Jolly to speak at chamber's Business Power Luncheon
U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, is scheduled to be the speaker at a Business Power Luncheon sponsored by the Seminole Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday, at the Library Conference Center, St. Petersburg College-Seminole campus, 9200 113th St. N. The cost is $15. Advance registration is required. To register or for more information, call (727) 392-3245.
Portion of West Bay Drive to close during CSX project
West Bay Drive between Seminole Boulevard and Clearwater-Largo Road will be closed to through traffic for seven to 10 days beginning at 10 a.m. Aug. 22. The closure will allow CSX to make repairs to the railroad tracks on West Bay Drive. Message boards will be posted and businesses will remain open to local traffic. Pedestrians are not allowed in the construction work zone and are advised to avoid this area. For more information, go to largo.com.
Staff writers Katherine Snow Smith and Anne Lindberg contributed to this report.