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Skateboarders, readers, throwers win in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Skateboarders have reason to smile and supporters of keeping the North Greenwood Library open have reason to hope.

At a meeting Thursday night, the City Council tweaked a ban on skateboarding that went into effect in mid July, sparking a backlash from boarders.

Now, skateboarding will be permitted on the western BeachWalk promenade, but not the east side of South Gulfview Boulevard.

The ban will remain in effect in Sundial Plaza and the Mandalay Avenue retail district, which is home to sidewalk cafes and heavy pedestrian traffic.

"I think it's pretty reasonable," said skateboarder Austin Campbell, 15, after the decision was made, "because the people who don't like skateboarding can walk on the east side," of South Gulfview Boulevard.

Though no formal vote was taken, it became evident after a discussion that a majority of the council, John Doran, George Cretekos and Carlen Petersen, want North Greenwood Library to be funded in next year's budget.

That will mean slightly increasing the tax rate as recommended by City Manager Bill Horne, though total revenue collection would still be less than this year due to a dive in property tax values.

Details and a more formal endorsement of keeping the library open is expected at the first of two public hearings on the budget scheduled for Sept. 3.

"I'm very pleased," said Eleanor Breland, 62, a lifelong North Greenwood resident, "if the council votes to keep the library open, because it's needed in the community."

Also Thursday, the council amended an ordinance that banned casual games of catch at parks and beaches. Now such play is allowed unless it represents a threat to public safety.

Skateboarders, readers, throwers win in Clearwater 08/21/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 11:28am]
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