BELLEAIR BEACH -- Gulf Boulevard, as it passes through this Gulf-side city, is going to become an obstacle course over the next couple of months.
Police Chief Ernie Armistead gave a report Monday night at the City Council meeting in which he described what will be happening with the laying of pipe for the reclaimed water project, now woefully behind schedule.
Armistead said that the pipe will be in the current center lane of the highway and that work will be done in 1,500 feet segments with jersey barrier walls traversing both sides of the pipe trench.
This will leave lanes on either side, one going north, the other south, each one of them 10 feet wide. There will be a 25 mile an hour limit.
This kind of setup will present problems for residents or anyone using side streets because, for example, someone coming out of a street on the east side of Gulf Boulevard north of Causeway Boulevard who intends to go south must go north.
Similarly, someone coming from the western side, from one of the condos, will be forced to go south.
So motorists will have to travel a considerable distance to get turned around if their intended direction is other than what lane they find themselves turning into.
Armistead, questioned as to how long the construction would take, said, "I asked that question and never got an answer. The contractor's goal is 50 feet a day," he said and added that, "the project superintendent says he can make 100 feet a day."
The chief said he thought it would take 30 days to do each 1,500 foot segment. Gulf Boulevard as it traverses through Belleair Beach is about two miles long. Doing the math indicated would suggest that the construction time will be in the order of four months.
Another aspect, Armistead said, that will give Belleair Beach the ambience of a heavy duty construction site are the pumps that will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
While Monday's original agenda listed a discussion for a loan in connection with the new city hall this item was removed because there were still incomplete elements.
But the subject came up with a question from a citizen who wanted to know about expansion plans of the city hall and funding.
City Manager Reid Silverboard said that a special workshop was going to be held at the end of August on the plans for the building and funding.
He said that a small glitch had arisen in the funding picture because underwriters for one money provider, the Florida Municipal Loan Council, have adjusted some standards, bringing into play the city's size and weather aspects (read hurricanes).
Both Mayor Rudy Davis and Silverboard said there are numerous other sources for loans.
Rob Baldwin was appointed to the Code Enforcement Board on Lynn Rives' motion. In connection with code enforcement, Rives said he favored a separate officer instead of employing police officers.
The council backed the continuation of R.B. Johnson, an Indian Rocks Beach commissioners, as the area representative on the Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority. Belleair Beach is one of several jurisdictions in the county that do not subscribe to the county bus service.
Budget meetings for the council, scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday this week, were moved to Wednesday and Thursday.
Donald Jensen was recognized for his service on the Code Enforcement Board and Craig Koller was also lauded for his work on the Park Board.
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