BELLEAIR BLUFFS -- The half a dozen or so municipalities in Pinellas County that don't want to participate in the Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority service -- Belleair Shore among them -- got a boost after a recent meeting with two members of the Legislature.
Mayor John Robertson reported at a meeting of his town's commission January 19 that Sen. Dennis Jones and Rep. Everett Rice, the former sheriff now going to Tallahassee, are supporting the jurisdictions that do not want to be part of the PSTA.
The county has mounted a move to include the recalcitrant cities. The PSTA is a creature of the Legislature. Robertson said that Jones and Rice said the issue would not come up in the legislative session this year.
Also, Robertson reported, Rice showed a lot of interest in the beautification of Gulf Boulevard (a $60 million project) and was amazed that nothing has been done on it.
Robertson also gave the commission an update on plans to engage an outside consultant and auditor to look into the affairs of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District. That group, he said, will then offer its report to the Legislature, which governs the fire district.
The object is to put to rest the controversy that the district has been under for almost a year. Elected officials from Belleair Shore, Belleair Beach, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores have been very critical of the management of the fire district.
In other action, Robertson said that an effort is still being made to resolve the matter of overchaged sewer fees by Belleair Beach. Belleair Shore wants its citizens reimbursed.
Commissioner Carl Hilton came up with the idea of having a town web site which received a positive reaction from his fellow commissioners.
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