Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

County may ask you to do some chores

CLEARWATER — Utility bills could go up. Fees to enter parks and beaches could be added. And mowing right-of-way near roads could become the job of nearby homeowners instead of Pinellas County.

Officials are debating increasing fees and chores for residents to help balance the 2010 budget.

The County Commission could begin considering the changes in June to close an $85 million shortfall.

County Administrator Robert LaSala did not release details at a public work session Wednesday night, but the board likely would be asked to approve a law requiring the mowing and up to $5 entrance fees to Fort De Soto Park.

Higher permit costs for buildings and development could raise $600,000. That's in addition to a business occupational tax LaSala's aides are debating. That all could come with a decrease in county services, which officials say people would notice.

"The level of frustration in dealing with us will grow," LaSala said.

The county still needs to find $19.4 million in cuts, despite plans that would eliminate 746 jobs. A blanaced budget must be approved in September.

One target for debate: Sheriff Jim Coats offered to spend $32.8 million less next year, culling 265 jobs. But LaSala's staff said the sheriff is $17.7 million short of the requested cut to reach a goal of a 20 percent reduction.

The board itself has met off-camera twice recently to debate a 10 percent cut of $150,000 to its budget, voting to cut members' and staff pay 4 percent.

Commissioner John Morroni said Tuesday that he hasn't talked to anyone who thinks the board should cut aides; Commissioner Susan Latvala dissented.

"How can you look Bob (LaSala) and the rest of the department heads in the face after what they've had to do?" Latvala asked.

LaSala this week pared his office budget by a fifth, cutting four posts, including assistant county administrator Liz Warren's $162,400 a year job.

David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

County may ask you to do some chores 05/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Largest Powerball jackpot won by single ticket in Massachusetts

    Blogs

    DES MOINES, Iowa - Powerball Product Group Chair Charlie McIntyre says the $758.7 million jackpot claimed by a ticket sold in Massachusetts is the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history.

    A Powerball lottery sign displays the lottery prizes at a convenience store Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, in Northbrook, Ill. Lottery officials said the grand prize for Wednesday night's drawing has reached $700 million, the second -largest on record for any U.S. lottery game.
  2. Florida education news: Computer coding, guidance counseling, career planning and more

    Blogs

    SESSION STARTERS: State Sen. Jeff Brandes refiles legislation to allow Florida high school students to swap computer coding for foreign language credits.

  3. Rays morning after: Offense showing some life

    Blogs

     

  4. Protectors of Confederate statue readied for a battle that never materialized

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Big Dixie flags were waving. County employees had erected a barrier around the Confederate soldier statue at Main and Broad streets. Roads and parking areas were blocked off. Uniformed local officers and federal law enforcement patrolled.

    Police tape and barricades surround the Confederate statue in Brooksville.
  5. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]