LARGO -- There was very little change in substance in the 2006 budget review heard by the Largo City Commission Tuesday night, but the commission found itself tied in knots over the Clearwater-Largo Road Redevelopment plan.
The main thrust of Mayor Bob Jackson and Commissioner Mary Black, who voted against the latest version of the redevelopment plan, is that enough is not being done for the mobile home park residents who will be displaced.
Jackson reiterated again and again, "We made a commitment a couple of years ago about the people who will be displaced." He indicated that the debate had drifted away from that focus.
Another factor that has once again stalled any progress on the project is the county approving it.
Actually, what the commission was looking at Tuesday night was a document that contained, according to Marion Cook, the city's planner, "minor clarifications."
The Clearwater-Largo Road plan was originally approved on first and second readings in February and March. The County Council dashed cold water on it on the issue of the number of units per acre.
County commissioners did not want a 15 unit rate and instead favored 7.5.
The plan was reconsidered in June and passed and was approved again on first reading July 19.
The question now is whether it will pass muster with the County Commission.
As to the budget, last year the city inaugurated a procedure where two budgets -- one for the upcoming year, and another for the following year -- were looked at.
The review Tuesday night concerned changes, and re-budgeting in the 2006 budget that was provisionally approved last year.
Similarly, when the commission reaches the budget hearing and approval stage this year, it will see the prospective 2007 budget.
City Manager Steve Stanton, citing the immense amount of work that goes into formulating a budget, said the two-budget system adopted last year has saved thousands of work hours.
Most of the discussion Tuesday centered on whether the city would help pay for the continuation of a fund raiser and assistant for the benefit of the library foundation.
Of the $1.9 million raised in the fund drive, it turns out $650,000 is yet to be collected, plus, arguments ran, there will be more successful fund raising to add to what has already been done.
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