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Largo may hire planning consultants

City commissioners will consider today hiring two consultants to helpplan Largo's future and its downtown area.

They also are to discuss how they want to spend Largo's share of the 1-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in November.

Largo is expected to receive $49-million from the tax during the next 10 years.

City Manager Stephen Bonczek has recommended that the money be spent to improve transportation and drainage, develop Largo Central Park, redevelop the downtown area and maintain city-owned buildings.

He has recommended that $14-million be left unallocated to allow

flexibility in planning projects.

Transportation corridors Bonczek recommends for upgrading are Greenwood Avenue, Jasper and Carnegie streets, 20th Street SW from West Bay to Eighth Avenue NW, and 16th Avenue SW. He also has recommended that another lane be added to portions of Rosery Road.

Bonczek's suggested drainage improvement projects are along Allen's Creek, in the downtown area and along Rosery Road.

The city manager may have better luck with his proposals for spending tax dollars than with hiring two consultants.

After commissioners interviewed several firms last month for both projects, several commissioners said the consultants were luxuries the city could not afford.

Also at today's 4 p.m. work session, commissioners are to view a plan for additions to Sun Coast Hospital on Indian Rocks Road.