Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Commission to consider taxing district for kids recreation in East Lake

CLEARWATER — The Pinellas County Commission is slated to consider Tuesday whether to create a special taxing district to fund children's sports and recreation in the East Lake area.

The proposed ordinance would create the East Lake Recreation Services District and allow the Commission to levy up to a quarter-mill — 25 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value — as a dedicated funding source for the private, nonprofit East Lake Youth Sports Association.

The boundaries would mirror those of the existing East Lake Tarpon Fire District.

The tax would bring in an estimated $575,000 a year, allowing ELYSA to tackle a laundry list of repairs, bring its fees in line with nearby sports clubs and create a reserve fund for future projects, association president Rick Watson told commissioners last month. Board members said they were open to the idea but asked Watson to bring a more detailed projected budget to Tuesday's meeting.

A public hearing is set for 6 p.m. at 315 Court St., Clearwater.

For the last three decades, ELYSA has been the only provider of large-scale, organized recreation for kids in East Lake, an unincorporated area in northeast Pinellas with a population of about 30,000.

The association's three primary sports organizations are East Lake Little League Baseball; East Lake Youth Football and Cheerleading; and the West Florida Flames Soccer Club.

The group owns and operates the East Lake Youth Sports Complex off Old Keystone Road which has six baseball fields, two football fields, three soccer fields and concessions. In 2011, the association got a $1 million county grant to develop a 100-acre parcel just east of the Keystone Road facility. The East Lake Meadows opened a year later and currently features two soccer fields.

The original site needs new lights, a new irrigation system and repairs to existing buildings, Watson said. The Meadows Complex needs restrooms, and both sites need parking lot repairs.

The association also wants to hire an executive director, build a lacrosse field at the Meadows and create a lacrosse organization.

Pinellas Commission to consider taxing district for kids recreation in East Lake 06/22/14 [Last modified: Sunday, June 22, 2014 10:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Some teachers allege 'hostile and racially charged' workplace at Pinellas Park Middle

    K12

    PINELLAS PARK — Two black teachers at Pinellas Park Middle have requested transfers out of the school, alleging the work environment there has become "hostile and racially charged."

    Pinellas Park Middle School at 6940 70th Ave N, where some black teachers have alleged they were treated with hostility by colleagues after starting a tutoring program for black students. Just 22 percent of black students were proficient in English language arts in last spring's state tests. Two black teachers have asked to be transfered, according to a letter from two local chapters of the NAACP. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  2. Editorial: The unknown price tags in the mayor's race

    Editorials

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has been busy promoting all sorts initiatives in the months leading up to the Nov. 7 election, doubling down on his progressive agenda without spending much money or generating much controversy. But make no mistake, the cost will come due after the election. Without a change in …

    The mayor is determined to get artist Janet Echelman to create a sculpture for the new Pier. But the cost would be much higher than what is allocated. Above is Echelman’s As If It Were Already Here in Boston.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. Judge won't cut prison term of man who pleads obesity

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A claim of obesity won't shave time off a Tampa man's prison sentence.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.
  5. Advocates for charter, public schools argue their cases at education forum

    K12

    TAMPA — Advocates of charter schools argued for diversity in education while supporters of traditional public schools charged that state funding is stacked against them during a forum Friday titled "Choices in Education."

    Schools such as Winthrop Charter School deserve greater public support, their operators say, because they offer a choice in education that is popular among parents. Public school advocates say charter and voucher schools represent a double standard in accountability and enrollment. [WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times]