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County agrees to $20 million in Penny for Pinellas funds for St. Pete police station

CLEARWATER — The Pinellas County Commission has agreed to a deal that allocates $20 million in the county's Penny for Pinellas money for a new St. Petersburg Police headquarters.

The commission gave unanimous approval to the agreement negotiated by county administrator Mark Woodard and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. The deal replaces a 2008 city-county pact that had provided $44.5 million for city projects. That list was facing a trim, as the recession has resulted in Penny for Pinellas revenue falling short of original projections.

The new deal gives the city $28.5 million, including $20.2 million for a police headquarters, and better reflects the needs of the city and the county, Woodard told the board. The money was going to be spent on county projects in the city, but a delay of some minor projects and shifting some projects to other funds freed up the funds. In return, the county gets credit for work already completed and a slight reduction in Penny money earmarked for projects in and around St. Petersburg. The new station would serve as a backup for the county's 911 center.

The $20 million would be added to $50 million the city has identified in Penny for Pinellas money and bonds. The City Council agreed to the funding last week but has yet to commit to a final cost for the headquarters.