Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg to explore ordinance to aid Pinellas construction workers

ST. PETERSBURG — With construction projects in slim demand in the Sunshine State, the City Council wants to help some workers dust off their hard hats.

The group is considering a local hiring ordinance that would require contractors and subcontractors to hire Pinellas County workers to perform at least 50 percent of work hours on projects worth $2 million or more.

The council has directed city staffers to seek input from contractors by Nov. 8. Staffers are holding weekly informal meetings at the Municipal Services Center.

The proposed ordinance, according to a letter sent to contractors, would help lower the unemployment rate and increase the ratio of residents to nonresidents building city construction projects.

To be eligible, workers must live in Pinellas County for at least six months before the start of a project and maintain the residence until the work is completed.

If the ordinance passes, contractors could face penalties from arbitration to fines for not hiring local workers. Similar ordinances have passed in Sarasota, Gainesville and some Florida counties.

Critics say giving local companies a leg up on projects would limit the pool of bidders and potentially drive up prices.

The Tampa City Council considered the idea in 2009 but eventually rejected it with a 5-2 vote. Then-Mayor Pam Iorio argued that such ordinances limit competition and increase the cost to taxpayers.

Steve Cona, president of Associated Builders and Contractors, has worked to defeat hiring ordinances in Hillsborough County. The group has tried for years to get a statewide law passed that would allow licensed contractors to compete on public projects without penalties from local municipalities.

The Florida League of Cities and Florida Association of Counties oppose the bill every year, Cona said.

The St. Petersburg proposal, Cona said, would harm the construction industry.

"If the state is going to license people to work statewide, then they should be allowed to work statewide," he said. "No construction company can survive working only in one county. Protectionism has never worked."

Mark Puente can be reached at or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at

. fast facts

If you go

The city is holding informal meetings to discuss a proposed local hiring ordinance in Room 500 of the Municipal Services Center, 1 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Here are the dates and times:

Monday: 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Thursday: 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Oct. 24: 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 25: 9:30 to 11 a.m.

St. Petersburg to explore ordinance to aid Pinellas construction workers 10/13/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 13, 2012 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 13 killed, dozens hurt when van plows into crowd in Barcelona


    UPDATE: A regional government official in Spain says 13 people have been killed in the van attack at a historic shopping and tourist area of Barcelona.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  2. Malala Yousafzai, Nobel winner shot for promoting education, to study at Oxford


    LONDON — Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman for speaking out for girls' rights to an education, has been accepted by the University of Oxford.

    A Tuesday, July. 18, 2017 file photo of Nobel Peace laureate, Malala Yousafzai, gesturing, during a visit to school in Maiduguri Nigeria. Malala Yousafzai has gained a place at the University of Oxford. The 20-year-old education activist tweeted her acceptance to the school, saying she was "so excited" to win a spot to study philosophy, politics and economics. [Associated Press]
  3. New Safety Harbor post office will be on McMullen-Booth Road

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — Although a move-in date is months away, representatives for the U.S. Postal Service recently signed the lease for the city's new post office.

    In June of next year a new post office will open at the site of a former Fifth Third Bank branch at 1703 N  McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor.
  4. Former owner of Sirata Beach Resort purchases two Tampa Bay shopping centers

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — After selling the Sirata Beach Resort and Conference in February, Nicklaus of Florida, Inc., has purchased two Tampa Bay shopping centers to diversify the firm's portfolio in the area. Colliers International, representing the sellers, announced the transaction this week.

    Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center, one of Tampa Bay's last family-owned beach hotels, was sold to a Texas-based company, Crescent Real Estate LLC for $108.19 million. [LARA CERRI | Times]
  5. Shania Twain arena tour includes Tampa stop this time


    Shania Twain is coming to Tampa as part of a major U.S. tour in support of her forthcoming (and long-awaited) new album Now.

    Shania Twain will play Amalie Arena in Tampa in 2018.