Tuesday, January 23, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa may seek share of funds earmarked for Bucs' practice facility

TAMPA — The Tampa City Council will consider this week whether to seek about $2.57 million from a fund created in 1996 with Community Investment Tax money to pay for a "first-class NFL practice facility" for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"It's about time we get back our $2.5 million," said City Council Chairman Charlie Miranda, who opposed creating the fund in the first place.

The money was set aside after Hillsborough County voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for roads, schools and other projects, including the construction of Raymond James Stadium and the Bucs' practice facility.

The original deal was that the Bucs would get the money — now totaling nearly $11.67 million — after the team built a facility and turned it over to the Tampa Sports Authority.

In 2007, the Bucs ended up building an even more expensive practice facility, but never deeded it to the Sports Authority.

Last summer, county officials said they had waited long enough and needed the money for park expansions and other priorities. The Sports Authority's board agreed.

The county already has requested the transfer of its share, about $8.5 million, and now Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace are getting ready to do the same, Sports Authority general counsel Steven Anderson said Tuesday.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the transfer at its meeting Thursday. The money would have to be spent on the city's Community Investment Tax program, which over the years has paid for park enhancements, police vehicles, stormwater improvements and other capital improvement projects.

"There are numerous capital projects that we can use it for," Tampa chief financial officer Sonya Little said. The $2.57 million the city stands to receive would give a boost of more than 14 percent to the $17.9 million it has budgeted this year in Community Investment tax spending.

So far, nobody has gotten any of the funds. The money is invested in short- and medium-term securities that are being liquidated as they mature.

It's estimated that the transfers to local governments will take place in March.

There is one caveat: The agreement negotiated by the Sports Authority and local officials requires the county and the cities to give the money back if at least two-thirds of the authority's board votes to make that request.

Hypothetically, that could happen if the Bucs ever turn over ownership of their practice facility.

The Bucs have long opposed these transfers, saying that its agreement with the Sports Authority provides that if any money is left over after the practice facilities are built, the team could use it for fan enhancements at the stadium. (To which the authority has countered: Not if the completed practice facility isn't turned over to the public.)

On Tuesday, the team's Michael Pehanich said the Bucs' position hasn't changed.

While the team has made it clear it prefers the authority not transfer the funds, Anderson said the authority and the Bucs have a good working relationship.

"I don't expect any adversity to arise from this," he said.

Comments
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is all right.And, believe it or not, so is the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was the unlikely hero in Monday’s streak-snapping 2-0 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center.Vasilevskiy, 23, played like the...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

New York TimesWASHINGTON — Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young un...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Male bicyclist struck, killed by vehicle in Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — A male bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle on U.S. 19 on Monday night, according to Pinellas Park police.The incident took place at about 8:30 p.m. along the 8000 block of U.S. 19 N, near the Walmart Supercenter.The driver wa...
Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 22

Monday’s scoreboardBoys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Clearwater 0Boca Ciega 3, Indian Rocks Christian 1Girls soccerClass 4A, District 10: Countryside 7, Clearwater 0; Dixie Hollins 2, East Lake 0Class 3A, District 10: Osceola 14, Gibbs 0...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., Jan. 22, midday:49 851 5049e_SRit11446Mon., Jan. 22, evening:05 733 5365e_SRit06330Fantasy 5Mon., Jan. 22...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

ST. PETERSBURGThe bay area’s thriving glass art scene adds another member to its ranks today when the Imagine Museum officially opens in downtown St. Petersburg.Dedicated to the movement of studio glass, the museum is the brainchild of benefactor Tri...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Facebook vows progress in halting election meddling

Facebook said Monday that it fell short in preventing the social media network from being used for foreign meddling in the U.S. presidential election.New blog posts written by Facebook executives appear to be the most critical self-assessment yet of ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Judge: Victims of sports doc are ‘sister survivor warriors’

Judge: Victims of sports doc are ‘sister survivor warriors’

Associated PressLANSING, Mich. — The judge overseeing the sentencing of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar said Monday that more than 120 girls and women who had given statements so far at the five-day hearing were "sister survivor warriors....
Updated: 7 hours ago
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severs contract with CareerSource Pinellas

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severs contract with CareerSource Pinellas

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severed his agency’s contract with CareerSource Pinellas on Monday after learning that the jobs center told the state it helped 624 sheriff’s employees get hired since 2014.The sheriff said he has no record of CareerSou...
Updated: 7 hours ago

TexasVoter-fraud panel targeted Hispanics, documents showPresident Donald Trump’s voter-fraud commission specifically asked for records identifying all Texas voters with Hispanic surnames, according to newly released documents. Records made public by...
Updated: 7 hours ago