Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Community news: land near library has a suitor; farmers market moves

Safety Harbor

City has its eye on land adjacent to public library

Safety Harbor is floating the idea of buying land adjacent to the public library, home of the Baranoff Oak, one of the oldest and most treasured trees in Pinellas County. Residents currently enjoy Baranoff Park under a shared use agreement between the city and landowners. The City Commission recently signaled that City Manager Matt Spoor could begin discussions with the property owners about options to buy the property.

Palm Harbor

Crossroads Farmers Market moves from museum to park

A new home has been found for the Crossroads Farmers Market previously held every Sunday morning at the North Pinellas Historical Museum. It will now be held at Pop Stansell Park, located just off Florida Avenue and Alt. U.S. 19.

When the Palm Harbor parks and recreation staffers learned that the market was being forced to close due to neighbors' complaints over traffic and noise, they decided to step up to the plate. "We wanted to help the community as a whole,'' explained Mathew Eberius. "As the parks and recreation resource for Palm Harbor, we decided it would be in the best interest to partner with them.''

The grand opening of the market, which serves as a major source of revenue for the museum, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning June 2. It will run year-round every Sunday.

For more information, contact the Historical Society at (727) 724-3054.

Clearwater

Slow-wake zone extension near bridge has city's support

City leaders voted last week to support a proposed extension of a slow-wake zone near the Memorial Causeway Bridge by 715 feet to the south to give a 500-foot buffer to the southernmost dock of the Clearwater Harbor Marina.

The unanimous vote supports a proposed rule by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that also tackles regulatory changes to several other bridges in Pinellas County: Park Boulevard, Indian Rocks, Pinellas Bayway, Belleair Causeway and Honeymoon Island Causeway.

Vice Mayor Paul Gibson voted for the resolution at Thursday's council meeting, but he said boaters would be unhappy with longer stretches where they could only cruise at speeds of about 3 to 5 miles per hour.

"Three miles per hour is very, very slow," Gibson said.

City harbormaster Bill Morris said the state understands those concerns and has also proposed removing 30-mph speed restrictions in marked channels that aren't in slow-wake zones.

Boaters will be "able to step it up a little bit in a marked channel," Morris said. "It's a little bit of a give-back."

The Wildlife Commission will review the proposed rule changes next month.

Park needs help with planting

The city of Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department is looking for 25 to 30 volunteers, ages 16 and up, to help with a large-scale planting project at the Lake Chautauqua Equestrian Park, 2312 Landmark Drive.

The project will be held June 1 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Participants must wear closed-toe shoes. Bring a pair of work or gardening gloves if you have them.

Supervision, tools and supplies will be provided. Students who participate are eligible to receive school service hours.

For more information, email [email protected] or call (727) 562-4803.

Countywide

Put a lid on garbage

As we enter the rainy season, Pinellas County is urging residents to take precautions to keep garbage dry once it has been set out for collection.

The county operates one of the largest waste-to-energy facilities in the country, where garbage is burned and converted to electricity. For the garbage to burn efficiently, it needs to be free of moisture from the intermittent rainfall that's part of the Florida weather pattern. Increased moisture in the garbage not only causes operational difficulties but can also lead to increased air emissions.

Open containers of garbage sitting out in the rain are a detriment to efficient waste processing down the line. Rainwater in garbage also increases the weight of the load and can result in increased disposal fees. If the rainwater leaks out of the garbage can or collection truck, it can cause stormwater pollution.

The solution to this problem is very simple. Citizens are asked to "put a lid on it" by keeping the lid closed on garbage containers that are stored outside. Some haulers use automated collection containers with built-in lids that should be kept closed all the time. For those with other types of collection, it is important to make sure the garbage is either in a lidded container or in a securely closed garbage bag. Putting a lid on it also helps keep pests and animals out of the garbage and reduces litter.

 
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