Council delays marina decision
The Clearwater City Council voted 3-2 Thursday to delay consideration of a dry-dock marina west of Osceola Avenue in the Old Bay neighborhood, upholding a staff recommendation.
The decision hinged on an upcoming downtown study by the Urban Land Institute, due to be completed in June.
Mayor George Cretekos had spoken favorably of the marina project at a work session Monday, but at Thursday's meeting, he counseled patience.
"It may behoove us to wait until that study is completed and then we can have a little more updated report as to what is being recommended and how we best proceed," Cretekos said.
City planners had recommended leaving a downtown plan in place that envisioned residential development in that area north of downtown.
Vice Mayor Paul Gibson and council member Jay Polglaze voted against a delay, arguing that the 2004 plan had yielded few results. But council members Doreen Hock-DiPolito and Bill Jonson sided with Cretekos.
David McComas, president of European Equities Corp., which wanted to build a 200-slip dry dock facility next to an existing 66 wet-slip marina, was disappointed by the vote. He said he wasn't sure if he would wait the seven or eight months it might take for the study to be completed and the necessary changes to the city code to be made.
McComas has built similar marinas in Tierra Verde and Tarpon Springs.
The Community Development Board had turned down the proposal in July.
Second Sugar Sand Festival looking for volunteers
The second annual 10-day Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival is coming up April 4-13 on Clearwater Beach and the city needs volunteers to help out.
Volunteers will receive a meal ticket to use at Pier 60 Concessions and a 2014 Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival T-shirt. Volunteers may also enjoy free admission to the festival exhibit tent before and after each shift. Free parking and shuttle service will be provided to volunteers.
The festival will include a professional sand sculpting competition, sand sculpting clinics, speed sand demonstrations, a children's play area and a beach egg hunt.
To volunteer, visit myclearwater.com/parksvolunteer.
For questions about volunteering call Krystie Epperson at (727) 562-4803.
City Commission okays proposals
Dunedin city commissioners on Thursday gave city staff unanimous okays to:
• Negotiate a development agreement with a firm wanting to build a $15 million condo-retail complex at 200 Main St.
• Solicit proposals from developers interested in building a replacement government services building, as well as possibly buying and developing a nearby city-owned downtown parking lot into a mixed-use complex with a parking garage.
• Install $106,972 worth of decorative lighting on Patricia Avenue, between Lyndhurst Street and Lexington Drive, and $387,106 worth of landscaping, handicap-accessible sidewalks, brick paving, crosswalks and other improvements along N Douglas Avenue from Main Street to Skinner Boulevard
• Spend $1.2 million on new city vehicles, many of them well overdue for replacement.
The commission next meets at 6:30 p.m. April 3 at City Hall, 542 Main St.
Coast Guard Auxiliary plans April boating safety course
"About Boating Safely," a course offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Dunedin Flotilla, will be taught in two sessions April 5-6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Coast Guard Auxiliary classroom at Dunedin Marina, 51 Main St..
The course, designed for both experienced and novice boaters, will include instruction in boating emergencies, getting under way, navigating, operating safely and legal requirements.
Register by March 31 to receive course materials prior to the class. The fee is $35, with a $5 discount for 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: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Coalition to talk about gun range
From 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence will host a meeting at the Tarpon Springs Community Center, 400 S Walton Ave., aimed at informing the larger public about a gun range proposed for the U.S. 19 corridor.
Reload Gun Range, slated for 40050 U.S. 19, on the west side of the highway north of Klosterman Road, is being touted as one of the largest and most advanced in the Southeast. It has already won the support of the city staff and Tarpon's Planning and Zoning Board. The City Commission will consider final approval April 15.
Coalition executive director Arthur Hayhoe opposes the range.
Tuesday's presentation will include information about Florida cities' inability to enforce local gun laws, potential for lead pollution and Hayhoe's call for the proposed Tarpon range to be decided by voter referendum.
Five-day camp to teach basketball
A five-day Spring Break Hard-2-Guard Basketball Camp for youths ages 7 to 16 years old will feature defensive/offensive drills and speed and agility training.
Preregistration is required. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily during Pinellas County public schools spring break starting Monday. Cost is $95.
The camp will be held at the Spanos Pappas Community Center Theophilos Hall, 348 N Pinellas Ave. Call (727) 644-8779 or visit mvpbball.com.