Clearwater uses 10 million to 11 million gallons of potable water a day. Tonight, the City Council is likely to vote on a $20 million contract with a Miami company to build the city's second reverse osmosis water treatment plant.
Once the plant is built, Clearwater should be water-independent, no longer having to buy water from Pinellas County, saving money in the long run.
"We should be able to meet all of our needs," Rob Fahey, Clearwater's utilities engineering manager, told the council at a work session Monday.
If tonight's council vote goes as expected, officials will have a ground-breaking ceremony for the plant on Monday. The public is invited to join Clearwater's elected officials and staffers at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the plant site, 21133 U.S. 19 N.
Clearwater produces nearly 6 million gallons per day of its own water and purchases about 5 million gallons a day from the county. The new water plant will treat up to 6.25 million gallons of water per day. The plant will filter groundwater pumped from wells, pushing the brackish, salty water through membranes to remove impurities.
Dunedin and Oldsmar also have reverse osmosis water plants, and Clearwater opened its first one in 2004. Tarpon Springs hopes to open one in two years.
The $20 million construction contract is the biggest chunk of a $34 million project. Water revenues will pay for it, along with a $15 million grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Construction is anticipated to begin in June and be finished at the end of 2014.
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Now that's a big baby shower
Expectant mothers are invited to Citizens Alliance for Progress' third annual Community Baby Shower May 18.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Union Academy Family Center, 401 E Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Tarpon Springs.
The shower is aimed at preparing moms for parenting by gathering vendors who distribute information on family health, child care and more.
To RSVP by May 10, become a vendor or donate items, contact Julianna Day at (727) 934-5881 ext. 18.
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An 'Idol' singer at Fun 'n Sun
American Idol contestant Shannon Magrane will perform at the Clearwater Fun 'n Sun Festival at 3 p.m. Saturday at Coachman Park.
Raised in Tampa, the 17-year-old singer is a junior at Blake Performing Arts High School. Among her most memorable accomplishments during Idol's 2012 season was performing with Chaka Khan during the season finale.
She has since performed at NASCAR's 2012 Coca-Cola 600 Nationwide Race and at the 2012 Taste of Pinellas as the opening act for Sheryl Crow and Ziggy Marley.
She has sung the national anthem at a number of local sports events and has also opened for various acts.
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Commissioners to consider concessions contract
Dunedin city commissioners on Thursday will consider a staff recommendation that the city renew its Dunedin Causeway concessions contract with Sail Honeymoon. The longtime vendor and Osprey Bay Outdoors of Clearwater were the only two companies to apply for the job.
Dunedin purchasing director Chuck Ankney said Sail Honeymoon was the evaluators' unanimous top pick. The company boasted a wider selection of watercraft for rent and also offered the city a higher fee to rent space on the causeway between the mainland and Honeymoon Island State Park, he said.
Thursday's meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Dunedin City Hall, 542 Main St. Other agenda items include the city clerk's annual evaluation and a request that a future park on what's currently known as the Bleakley property be named after the Dunedin Youth Guild.
Get a copy of the full agenda online at DunedinGov.com or at the City Clerk's office, 750 Milwaukee Ave.
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Meet the authors of locally based book
A new book, Palm Harbor Paean, will be presented Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Antiques and Uniques, 530 Alt. U.S. 19, Palm Harbor.
Meet the co-authors, Francine Coleman Larson and Raymond E. Hall, and hear a brief talk about the book, which focuses on the history and people of Palm Harbor. The book will be on sale for $20. Refreshments will be served.
For more information, contact Larson at email@example.com.
To purchase the book online, visit createspace.com/4202310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Workshop on budget, water
The Dunedin City Commission will hear presentations on 2014 budget planning, and the pros and cons of expanding the city's reclaimed water program to more customers during a workshop next week.
The meeting is set for 9 a.m. to noon May 7 at City Hall, 542 Main St. No formal votes will be taken during the meeting, which is open to the public.
Find more information online at DunedinGov.com.
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Be prepared to detour at a few locations on Saturday
Several road closures are scheduled for Saturday:
- Cleveland Street from Betty Lane to Missouri Avenue will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the East Gateway Downtown Farmers Market's Cinco de Mayo celebration. Lincoln, Pierce and Missouri avenues can be used as detour routes.
- Garden Avenue from Drew to Cleveland streets will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. because a crane is required to repair air-conditioning equipment on top of 33 N Garden Ave. Myrtle Avenue can be used as a detour route.
- Hendricks Street (from East to Waterson avenues) and Laura Street (from East Avenue to Hendricks Street) will be closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. because a crane is required to repair air-conditioning equipment on top of 33 N Garden Ave. Drew Street can be used as a detour route.