Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

North Pinellas news briefs for Dec. 8

Clearwater

Related News/Archive

Dredging company tackles creek

The dredging of Stevenson Creek in north Clearwater has been a snake-bitten project, repeatedly stalled by one problem after another.

In 2010 and 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hired two different dredging contractors to remove millions of gallons of muck from the creek's sludge-filled estuary. Both attempts failed. The first contractor was fired after getting into a dispute with the corps over how polluted the creek was and how much it would cost to do the job. The second was fired for not complying with environmental regulations. Both contractors blame the corps.

Now a third contractor has taken on the troublesome job. Gator Dredging of Pinellas Park sounds confident that it will succeed by using more advanced technology.

On Thursday, the company lowered a second hydraulic dredge into the estuary, where it will work alongside another dredge that has been operating for a couple of weeks. "With two machines working, we'll be able to shorten the time frame of any disturbance to local residents," said Gator Dredging co-owner William Coughlin.

The late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, got federal funding for the dredging job twice and repeatedly pushed the Corps of Engineers to get it done.

The second fired contractor's bonding company hired Gator Dredging to finish the job, said corps spokeswoman Amanda Ellison. The $4.2 million project should by done by summer.

City gives raises to administrators

The Clearwater City Council approved 3.5 percent pay raises for longtime city administrators Thursday, slightly more than other city workers recently received.

The 4-1 vote came after about 30 minutes of discussion. Mayor George Cretekos said he didn't think it was fair to give City Manager Bill Horne and City Attorney Pam Akin more of an increase than other staff, who received 2.5 percent raises this year.

But the other council members disagreed, pointing to studies done by the city's human resources department that showed Horne and Akin's salaries lagged behind their peers in nearby communities and similarly sized cities across the state.

Cretekos cast the lone vote in opposition. The raises will take effect later this month.

Horne is now set to make $180,061 and Akin $166,211.

Police collecting gifts for kids

The Clearwater Police Department is accepting donations of gifts for children between the ages of 3 and 11 through Dec. 20.

Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at a box in the department lobby at 645 Pierce St.

The gift drive was organized by the police, Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Inc., and Nedra and O'Neal Larkin. The presents will be given to children in the North Greenwood and South Greenwood communities Dec. 22.

For more information, call Sgt. Wilton Lee at (727)562-4310 or Nedra Larkin at (727) 447-6287.

Tarpon Springs

City wants tougher contract on nursing home sale

Tarpon Springs commissioners asked for tougher benchmarks Tuesday in a development agreement between the city and a potential buyer for the city-owned nursing home property at 501 S Walton Ave.

The Burnard Group wants to buy the property for $813,000 and turn it into an assisted living facility, but city officials want a guarantee the New Port Richey developer will quickly spruce up the outside of the property, finish the inside renovation and bring health care jobs.

The sale is pending voter approval in March.

Among other caveats, commissioners asked staff to tighten up the existing draft of a development agreement that would charge developer Harry Burnard $1,000 per week for one year if he doesn't finish the facility within three years. Commissioners mostly seemed to agree that penalties should be higher and kick in sooner.

In other action Tuesday, commissioners also clarified a September ordinance that restricts outdoor displays at the historic Sponge Docks.

Some merchants asked the city to relax the ordinance, which bans outdoor displays taller than 36 inches or more than 30 inches from a building, among other restrictions. Commissioners decided against relaxing the ordinance after a contentious debate.

Dunedin

Fenway Hotel plan falls through

A meeting in Dunedin to discuss Fenway Hotel redevelopment plans with neighbors has been canceled.

The city had planned to unveil a Pennsylvania development team's proposal to tear down and rebuild the historic landmark during a gathering Tuesday at the Hale Activity Center.

However, the company, JCC Management Services Corp., announced last week that it was abandoning the deal after PNC Bank, which is foreclosing on the 6.4-acre waterfront property at 453 Edgewater Drive, failed to respond to its purchase offer.

North Pinellas news briefs for Dec. 8 12/06/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 6, 2013 6:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and similar events, saying they are inappropriate could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  2. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  3. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  4. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  5. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …