Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Indian Rocks Beach officials to prioritize list of city projects

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — How best to spend $100,000 this year, and potentially millions in the future, on special projects will be debated by the City Commission tonight.

City Manager Chuck Coward, who scheduled the 6 p.m. meeting, said he is not asking for any major decisions, but he does hope the commission can help prioritize a list of more than a dozen projects, some of which are already under way.

Some of the projects on Coward's list include major construction, others are policy changes that will require spending some money, and one is a $4 million project that would bury power, telephone and cable lines along the city's southern portion of Gulf Boulevard.

"Considerable progress has been made on several fronts," Coward said in a preliminary report to the commission. "Our Vision Plan projects are progressing well alongside several other administrative projects."

Many of the projects are included in a 25-year redevelopment plan for the city's business core the commission approved last fall. The plan is based a special study performed by the University of South Florida's Florida Center for Community Design & Research.

The 51-page plan focuses on three areas of the city: the Narrows, a 40-acre triangular area on the east side of Gulf Boulevard extending from Walsingham Road to the city's southern boundary; the Mid-Town Commercial Area along Gulf Boulevard from Ninth to 16th avenues; and the Northern Commercial Area on Gulf Boulevard from 23rd to 28th avenues.

The city recently approved a design to build 17 public boat slips in Keegan Claire Park, just south of the Holiday Inn Harbourside complex on the Intracoastal Waterway, south of the Walsingham Avenue Bridge.

More than $60,000 is budgeted for preliminary planning, permitting and site preparation, but the city will need a $100,000 grant to complete the project.

When completed, the docks would give boaters access to restaurants and shops in the city's business district, Coward said.

The USF study also called for improving landscaping and streetscaping in the Narrows business District, as well as in the center and northern sections of the city. Coward says the city will need a $300,000 grant to complete that project, including possible purchase of an abandoned, boarded-up house on the west side of Gulf Boulevard and facing the Walsingham bridge causeway.

"It would make a great opportunity to create a landscaped entrance to the city," Coward said.

He is also negotiating with Verizon, Progress Energy and Brighthouse Networks for a binding cost estimate to bury utility lines along Gulf Boulevard from Whitehurst Avenue at the border with Indian Shores to the traffic light at Walsingham Road.

The project cost would be covered by Penny for Pinellas funds set aside for beautification of Gulf Boulevard by Pinellas County. Just how much and when the money will be available to Indian Rocks Beach is uncertain.

If completed, the project would expand a stretch of Gulf Boulevard free of utility wires. Indian Shores recently completed its $6.25 million project to put utility lines underground along 5.3 miles of Gulf Boulevard.

Other projects on Coward's list include interior remodeling of the City Hall auditorium and the city's library, expansion of the historical museum at Chic-A-Si Park, and relocation off-island of the city's solid waste facility.

Coward is also considering regulation changes that could save property owners insurance costs, television broadcasting of commission meetings, and creating a public community vegetable gardening area, possibly on county-owned land in the city's northern area.

"We have a lot of good ideas, but we need to be realistic about what we can and cannot do," Coward said.

Indian Rocks Beach officials to prioritize list of city projects 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 4:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. economy gathers steam in second quarter


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by strong consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

    A government report released Friday showed economic output picked up in the second quarter. 
[Associated Press file photo]
  2. What you need to know about Bucs training camp


    Bucs training camp is here.

    This morning was the first of 13 practices that are free and open to the general public, so we have all the details to answer your questions about where and when and so on.

    Dirk Koetter is nothing if not precise, with practices starting at 8:45 a.m. and running until 10:27. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Fennelly: It's high time for Bucs to take Tampa Bay back


    TAMPA — Welcome to the proving ground.

    Bucs training camp begins today.

    Hard Knocks and flop sweat.

    Work and more work.

    "We have a lot to prove,'' wide receiver Mike Evans (13) says. "We're good on paper, but we've got to do it." [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Old dog's lucky day: Video shows firefighters rescuing 12-year-old Shar-Pei mix from bay


    MIAMI BEACH — Junior spent Thursday night lounging on a pillow, too tired to move.

    Jose Ruiz takes a selfie with his dog named Junior after Junior was rescued from Biscayne Bay. [Photo courtesy of Jose Ruiz via Miami Herald]
  5. HomeTeam 100: Players 1-10


    When he's not holding things down on the O-line, Nicholas Petit-Frere is holding his own in the classroom with a 3.7 grade-point average. (Andres Leiva, Times)