ST. PETERSBURG — After a sluggish start, word is spreading about the city's ParkOnce program, which gives people a free shuttle ride to Beach Drive or Central Avenue on weekend nights if they park in one of two city garages.
The idea is to solve two related problems: the often half-empty Sundial and South Core garages on weekend nights and the slow crawl of downtown traffic caused by motorists hunting for scarce on-street parking....
11/20/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Wengay Newton, a staunch opponent of allowing the Tampa Bay Rays to look around the region for a new stadium site, said he would support such a deal if the boundaries of the Southside Community Redevelopment Area were redrawn to include Tropicana Field's much-coveted 85 acres.
On Nov. 12, he brought that idea to a City Council vote and lost. Only Steve Kornell joined Newton in a vote to send his proposal to committee. Five other members voted against: Charlie Gerdes, Karl Nurse, Darden Rice, Amy Foster and Jim Kennedy. ...
The issue of accepting Syrian refugees has exposed a divide between Florida's Republican governor and Democratic big-city mayors, a partisan split featured in other states.
While Gov. Rick Scott opposes the relocation of 425 Syrian refugees to Florida, the Democratic mayors in Tampa and St. Petersburg welcome the arrivals.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said some local nonprofits have already resettled some Syrians in the area without incident. National security is a priority, he said, but rigorous screening should eliminate any potential threat....
Eric Lynn, facing off against Charlie Crist in the 13th Congressional District's Democratic primary, announced a slew of local elected officials' endorsements Wednesday.
St. Petersburg City Council chairman Charlie Gerdes and Pinellas County School Board member Linda Lerner top the list of those supporting Lynn.
Other elected officials backing the former Obama admnistration defense official are Indian Rocks Beach commissioners Terry Hamilton-Wollin, Jim Labadie and Joanne "Cookie" Kennedy, Gulfport council member Michael Fridovich and South Pasadena Commissioner Gail Neidinger. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Stretching a runway into the waters of Tampa Bay from Albert Whitted Airport is an idea embraced by Mayor Rick Kriseman.
But it hasn't exactly made a splash with the City Council.
Yes, the council unanimously approved a $50,000 feasibility study, mostly paid for with state funds, at its Nov. 12 meeting. But several council members raised environmental concerns about plans to add 1,300 to 1,800 feet to the east-west runway at the waterfront airport....
ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg City Council committee voted unanimously Monday to spend $1.5 million in cash from the BP settlement on sewer system repairs.
The preliminary action might be the first slice to be cut from the $6.5 million pot of money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill settlement.
Last month, Mayor Rick Kriseman proposed spending $1 million on sewer improvements. But late last week, city staff proposed borrowing money to fix the sewers instead of using BP money....
A St. Petersburg City Council committee voted unanimously Monday to spend $1.5 million of cash from the BP settlement on sewer system repairs.
The action was the first slice taken from the $6.5 million pot of money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill settlement. Last month, Mayor Rick Kriseman proposed spending $1 million on sewer improvements.
The committee's action might just be the first step in spending the BP cash. Several council members said they might spend more of the money on lining crumbling sewer lines and repairing manholes and manhole covers when a report on the city's aging system is completed in March....
ST. PETERSBURG— How to fix an aging sewer system has been a much-discussed topic at City Hall since weeks of heavy rains led to more than 31 million gallons of sewage being dumped in August.
To fix the old system, several City Council members want to use at least half of the $6.5 million settlement the city received from BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon.
Mayor Rick Kriseman has resisted those plans, saying the one-time money should be used for creating a bike share program, an arts endowment or ferry service to Tampa among other projects....
ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council decided not to fiddle with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, approving a contract extension Thursday that will keep the IndyCar race roaring along the waterfront through 2020.
But the hourlong discussion took a few detours.
Council member Jim Kennedy, who proposed his own plan to resolve the stalemate with the Tampa Bay Rays last month, unveiled a proposal for the city to strike its own deal with IndyCar and operate the race itself. ...
A few weeks ago, Wengay Newton, a staunch opponent of allowing the Tampa Bay Rays to look around the region for a new stadium site, said he would support such a deal if the boundaries of the Southside Community Redevelopment Area were redrawn to include Tropicana Field's much-coveted 85 acres.
On Thursday, he brought that idea to a vote and lost. Only Steve Kornell joined Newton in a vote to send his proposal to committee. Five other members voted against: Charlie Gerdes, Karl Nurse, Darden Rice, Amy Foster and Jim Kennedy. ...
After an intense hour-long debate Thursday, the St. Petersburg City Council approved extending the contract with race promoters for the Grand Prix through 2020.
The 7-1 vote came after council member Jim Kennedy proposed that the city take over the race by forming a sports corporation. Kennedy's plan failed by a 5-3 vote. Karl Nurse and Wengay Newton joined Kennedy in that losing effort....
Building a runway into the waters of Tampa Bay from Albert Whitted Airport got a lukewarm reception at the St. Petersburg City Council Thursday.
The council unanimously approved a $50,000 feasibiity study, mostly paid for with state funds, but several council members raised enviromental concerns about the airport's plans to add an additional 1,300 to 1,800 feet to the east-west runway at the waterfront airport....
For the second straight year ---the entire tenure of Mayor Rick Kriseman--- the city finished with a budget surplus.
After the annual budget cleanup, the city announced this week that it finished the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 with a $1.43 million extra in the municipal piggy bank.
The overall budget was $505.6 million. The general fund, which provides much of the city's day-to-day funds, is $224.3 million....
11/10/15 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — A compromise reached Tuesday between the city and the union covering the bulk of its workers has left both sides dissatisfied with the current system, setting the stage for an epic labor battle next year.
For now, both sides agreed to a 2 percent across-the-board increase with another 2 percent raise kicking in on the employee's work anniversary.
The wage package will cost about $1.4 million. Mayor Rick Kriseman had proposed a 3 percent increase, which was approved by the City Council for this year's budget....
ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa has one, so do Orlando and Miami Beach.
So how does the city with a 7-mile stretch of waterfront and a long, sizzling-hot commercial corridor along Central Avenue not have a bike share program?
All the millennial meccas have one, and that's a new source of revenue that St. Petersburg officials would love.
The city just has to decide if it wants to spend the money....