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Dunedin leaders roll through issues

City commissioners addressed and voted on several key items at a meeting Thursday night, including a controversial gift policy and what to do next about Dunedin's dispute with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Here's a roundup:

Commissioners approved an agreement to install sewers in the Spanish Trails subdivision. Each household in the neighborhood agreed to a $5,500 assessment. The work is expected to cost $2-million.

Commissioners also passed an ordinance requiring them to stop accepting gifts from entities with whom the city has a business relationship.

The city decided to continue negotiating with the Toronto Blue Jays over the financing of the new spring training complex at Dunedin Stadium. Commissioners recommended City Attorney John Hubbard visit team officials in Toronto. A $12-million improvement to the city's spring training facility is under way, but the Jays have threatened to leave Dunedin if government sources don't spend $2-million more, giving the Jays the level of improvements they had expected.

A motion was passed to name the new Dunedin Senior Center after Dr. William E. Hale. Hale, who is chairman of the Dunedin City Committee on Aging, founded the Florida Geriatric Research Program at Morton Plant Hospital. Hale has been involved with the Upper Pinellas Association of Retarded Citizens, which he founded, as well as active in United Way, the Suncoast Family YMCA and Florida Blood Services. Cost of improvements at the center is $1.2-million.

A new automated trash collection system will be implemented citywide with the first phase calling for the purchase of 600 new 60- and 90-gallon containers from the city of Clearwater for $30,000. The entire program is expected to cost the city $1.7-million for eight vehicles and a total of 12,000 containers and is expected to be in service by 2003.