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Interim clerk stays for $35,000 a year

(ran Beach edition)

Redington Beach commissioners also pass a $1,020,900 budget, which includes funds to repair the town's drainage system.

A majority of the commission agreed Tuesday to offer temporary town clerk Grace Kolar a $35,000 salary to stay on the job.

Kolar, a retired Pinellas Park city clerk, has been serving as a temporary clerk since June.

Last month, after pay negotiations appeared to break down, she told the commission she would resign her post this month.

"Are you now saying you'll accept (the permanent position)?" Vice Mayor Laura Canniff asked Kolar during a workshop meeting.

"Yes," Kolar said.

Her change of mind followed a clerk salary comparison report by Commissioner Judy Orzech, who said that salaries for clerks in towns similar to Redington Beach ranged between $23,400 and $35,133.

Although Kolar had wanted the job on a permanent basis, she was unwilling to work at that salary level. But no other candidates of similar experience had answered the town's various advertisements.

During an earlier special meeting, the commission passed the town's $1,020,900 2000-2001 budget. The millage remains about $2.26 for every $1,000 of assessed value, minus the $25,000 homestead exemption.

The budget includes $30,000 for a new tractor as well as monies to begin repairing the town's storm drainage system _ a topic that will be discussed in depth with Swiftmud officials during the commission's Sept. 19 meeting.

The commission also plans to review its contract with the Sheriff's Office.

Eliminating town building department lowers budget

NORTH REDINGTON BEACH _ Bragging that their town's property tax rate is the lowest of any Pinellas community, commissioners gave their final approval Thursday to next year's budget.

One of the most significant changes in the $1.86-million plan is the elimination of the town's building department. Beginning Oct. 1, the county will handle North Redington Beach's building permits and inspections.

Town residents will be able to apply for permits at town hall, but those applications will be picked up daily and returned the next day by county inspectors, Mayor Harold Radcliffe said.

By eliminating the building department, the proposed 2000-2001 general fund portion of the budget will drop to $595,120 (compared to the current budget of $656,123). The largest portion of the budget is the town's $1,088,120 sewer fund.

Sewage-treatment fees will rise about 20 percent. Single-family homes, duplexes and condominiums would pay $45.84 bimonthly next year rather than the current $38.20. Commercial properties would be charged $43.63 bimonthly rather than $35.36.

The approved town budget also includes about $70,000 for improvements to Radcliffe Park on South Bath Club Boulevard. North Redington Beach bought the two-lot park in 1997 with monies generated through development impact fees. The park has remained largely unimproved since that time, except for the building of a tennis court. Further improvements might include a gazebo or pavilion.

The millage remains $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value, minus the $25,000 homestead exemption.