Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kenneth City, Pinellas Park officials to consider proposed fire contract

KENNETH CITY — Mayor Pro Tem Teresa Zemaitis has brokered a deal with Pinellas Park to provide Kenneth City's fire service, as long as both city councils agree.

A final agreement could come later this week. The Kenneth City Council is scheduled to discuss the agreement at its Wednesday meeting, and it is on Thursday's Pinellas Park agenda.

A decision needs to be made quickly. The contract with the Lealman Fire District is scheduled to end Feb. 28.

Fire service has been a heated issue in Kenneth City since September when the Lealman fire board voted to terminate its contract with Kenneth City. The board was angry because the town had annexed parcels out of the Lealman Fire District. Lealman had provided fire service to Kenneth City since 1996 when the town disbanded its department.

Zemaitis said the fire board's action was a chance to explore other options.

If the agreement, which would cost Kenneth City taxpayers slightly more, is approved, residents will see the words "Kenneth City" on the side of a firetruck for the first time in years.

The lettering would help identify the truck as the vehicle that Pinellas Park would station in town. The fire engine and at least three firefighters/emergency medical technicians for each shift would operate out of Kenneth City's former fire station, 4600 58th St. N, across the parking lot from the Police Department.

Pinellas Park would charge Kenneth City about $212,290 for the first year of the 10-year contract. The price would increase 3 percent each year for the next four years. After that, the two would negotiate payments for the final five years of the contract.

That cost would be about $3,600 more during the first year of the contract than Lealman would have charged.

Under the proposal, Pinellas Park would repair Kenneth City's former fire station at a cost of about $50,000. That would be paid off in $5,000-a-year increments that would be added to the overall cost of fire service.

Pinellas Park spokesman Tim Caddell said Pinellas Park taxpayers will not suffer.

"We're not charging them less than we're charging our own people," Caddell said. "It's a fair deal."

Caddell was alluding to the Lealman contract, which has been controversial within the district because it charged Kenneth City less than it charged Lealman residents. The district argued that it had to give Kenneth City a break or it would contract with another agency but still force Lealman to continue running the calls as the first responder.

Under Pinellas Park's proposal, it would become the first responder, and Lealman would answer only if the engine was busy on another call or needed help.

That's the reverse of what happens now — Lealman is the first responder and Pinellas Park acts as a backup.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at (727) 893-8450 or

If you go

Two councils set to consider fire service

• The Kenneth City Council is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Hall, 4600 58th St. N. The meeting is open to the public.

• The Pinellas Park City Council is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in City Hall, 5141 78th Ave. N. The meeting is open to the public.

Kenneth City, Pinellas Park officials to consider proposed fire contract 02/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 6, 2010 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Treasure Island facing massive municipal makeover

    Local Government

    TREASURE ISLAND — The first hint of the extent and potential cost of replacing city facilities became public Tuesday.

  2. Democrat Philip Levine won't attack Trump. Can he be Florida governor?


    If he decides to run, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine will be the most enigmatic and unpredictable candidate for Florida governor in 2018.

    Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is introduced before speaking at a Tampa Tiger Bay Club meeting at the Ferguson Law Center in Tampa on May 19. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  3. Tim Tebow Week: 12 stories from his Tampa Bay tour


    Alas, Tim Tebow Week — eight baseball games in eight nights that reunited Tebow with his Tampa Bay friends and admirers — is over. The fun ended Thursday night.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow meets fans and signs autographs before the beginning of the Mets at Threshers game at Spectrum Field on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 in Clearwater. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

  4. What you need to know for Friday, Aug. 18


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Read 'Hellfire from Above,' inside the Tampa Electric Co. power plant accident that left five people dead. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  5. Tampa is training ground for Team USA inline skating

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The United States once dominated the sport known as international outdoor inline speed skating.

    Cotton Yarborough is one of five people from the Tampa Bay area on the national inline speed skating team. The team is competing in the world championships Aug. 27 in China. [Courtesy of Frank Holland]