Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Treasure Island may raise parking rates to offset tax hike

TREASURE ISLAND — City officials are exploring higher parking fees to raise needed revenue and offset a possible tax increase.

City commissioners are considering raising meter fees for parking, particularly at beachfront lots. Some think increasing the current $1.50 hourly rate would reduce the need for a tax increase. City officials have proposed raising the property tax rate to $3.33 per $1,000 of assessed, taxable value. The current rate is $3.14.

Pay stations at the city's beachfront parking lots allow motorists to pay $6 for all-day parking. Charging an hourly rate, even at the current $1.50 an hour, could possibly double the revenue.

While Commissioner Alan Bildz is supporting an hourly charge, Commissioner Phil Collins thinks it would be more user-friendly to set rates in three- or four-hour blocks to allow beachgoers to have more time without having to feed a meter.

"With three- or four-hour intervals, people don't have to go back and forth all day," Collins said. "I don't mind the hourly rate, but it would be a major inconvenience."

Public works director Jim Murphy is getting in touch with the company that provides the meters to find out whether they can be reprogrammed.

"Maybe an hourly rate would be a fairer way to go," he said. The city has six pay stations with 200 to 300 parking spaces that generate revenue.

Murphy is looking through data to determine how much money is generated from hourly users and how much from those who pay the $6 all-day rate.

City Manager Reid Silverboard said St. Pete Beach recently approved raising its parking rates by 50 percent, and Madeira Beach also has increased rates.

The city is trying to find other revenue sources to pay for repairs and maintenance to its aging infrastructure, including bridges and roads.

Silverboard wants a tax increase in order to set up a renewal and redevelopment account to pay for current and future repairs and improvements.

"We simply have to recognize that we have facilities we have to maintain and we have no choice," he said.

Collins said Treasure Island has a "challenge with the sheer number of bridges we have."

Silverboard pointed out that only one street within city boundaries is designated a county or state road and that the city is "stuck with the maintenance" of local roads, storm drains and sewer lines.

"We are a more full-service city than any of our neighbors," he said.

Comments
Three-year-old found wandering in street leads to arrest of New Port Richey man

Three-year-old found wandering in street leads to arrest of New Port Richey man

PORT RICHEY — A 59-year-old man was arrested by Pasco County deputies Tuesday evening after a 3-year-old in his care was found wandering outside alone, the Sheriff’s Office said.Larry Dixon, of New Port Richey, was arrested at 8710 Bench Drive at abo...
Updated: 15 minutes ago

Toga! Toga! 40th anniversary celebration of ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ in Tampa this week

In the immortal words of Flounder at Faber College’s homecoming parade: Oh boy, this is gonna be great!A 40th anniversary celebration of National Lampoon’s Animal House featuring appearances by two stars of the quintessential campus comedy happens Th...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Evangelist Billy Graham, preacher to presidents, dies at age 99

Evangelist Billy Graham, preacher to presidents, dies at age 99

MONTREAT, N.C. — The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died Wednesday. He was 99. Graham, who l...
Updated: 1 hour ago
In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

ANNIHILATIONAuthor Jeff VanderMeer told me at last year’s Times Festival of Reading that Annihilation (R) is going to blow everyone’s mind. The Tallahassee author is biased, of course, having written the novel it’s based on, but there’s some reason t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Largo police investigating fatal hit-and-run crash on East Bay Drive

Largo police investigating fatal hit-and-run crash on East Bay Drive

LARGO — Police have identified the pedestrian in a fatal hit-and-run Wednesday morning.According to Largo police, 75-year-old John William English Jr. was struck and killed by a car about 6 a.m. at Wertz Drive. The crash shut down the eastbound lanes...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jam Packed with Excitement

Jam Packed with Excitement

 
Updated: 1 hour ago
This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

FIELD OF GREEN: COLLARD FESTOn Saturday you can devote your whole day to the beauty of collard greens. Well, that’s the jumping off point. Collards are the "central ingredient" at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival at St. Petersburg’s Historic Deuc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater Beach named No. 1 in U.S. by TripAdvisor

Clearwater Beach named No. 1 in U.S. by TripAdvisor

A reigning champion for sand and sunshine, Tampa Bay is once again home to one of the best beaches in the United States.Clearwater Beach was named the best beach in the U.S. for 2018 by the popular travel site TripAdvisor.This is the second time this...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Florida’s third-biggest fire rescue department has a problem; evangelist Billy Graham dies at age 99; and more

Top 5 at noon: Florida’s third-biggest fire rescue department has a problem; evangelist Billy Graham dies at age 99; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.FLORIDA’S THIRD-BIGGEST FIRE RESCUE DEPARTMENT HAS A PROBLEMHillsborough County has a documented history of drug issues — and alcohol abuse — among first responders. A Tampa Bay Times investi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams comedy ‘Game Night’ is more fun than it deserves to be

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams comedy ‘Game Night’ is more fun than it deserves to be

Good movie comedies are in short supply these days, making Game Night more fun than it deserves to be.There are laughs, a couple from the belly, and none of the lazy scatological, narcotic or pubic humor Seth Rogen’s crowd prefers. The cast is appeal...
Updated: 1 hour ago