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  1. Pinellas

Sidewalk project along Spring Boulevard stirs controversy

A plan to build a sidewalk on S Spring Boulevard continues to be controversial. [JEFF ROSENFIELD | Special to the Times]
A plan to build a sidewalk on S Spring Boulevard continues to be controversial. [JEFF ROSENFIELD | Special to the Times]
Published Jul. 19

TARPON SPRINGS — The City Commission's decision last month to build a 700-foot sidewalk extension on the east side of S Spring Boulevard continues to divide the city, with several residents and one city commissioner still upset.

After tabling talk of the project in January, the commission revisited the topic during a June discussion about making S Spring Boulevard a one-way street. The proposal was quickly shot down, but the idea of moving forward with the $92,000 sidewalk extension was quickly brought up and approved by a vote of 4-1, with Commissioner Rea Sieber voting against it.

Sieber, a S Spring Boulevard homeowner, requested the item be reconsidered during a later City Commission meeting, citing fairness to the residents who weren't able to speak at the previous meeting because the issue was not advertised in advance.

Although City Attorney Jay Daigneault reiterated the move was in no way unlawful, she said, "To me it felt like we snuck in another vote on our residents without allowing them to be heard."

After Mayor Chris Alahouzos allowed the public to speak, nearly a dozen residents, including former City Commissioner Susan Miccio-Kikta and former Mayor Anita Protos, weighed in on the decision.

Afterward, there was no motion made to reconsider the item and the motion died, ending the discussion and keeping the project intact.

South Spring resident Jean Lindsey, whose home sits directly in the line of the new sidewalk, was distraught over the decision.

"I definitely lost faith in the Tarpon Springs government, that's for sure," Lindsey said. "They're talking about safety, but what about my safety when there's people walking by my bedroom window?"

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