BELLEAIR BLUFFS – Without blinking an eye, the Belleair Bluffs City Commission approved a 13.8 percent increase in its fire department budget for Fiscal Year 2006-07 at its work session meeting Monday night.
The action was necessary – and well in advance of next year’s budget season – because the budget has to be submitted to Pinellas County by tomorrow.
Under the plan there is a $145,000 increase – at a rate of almost $3,000 a week – that will bring the outlay in next year’s budget to $1,192,800 from the present $1,047,800.
All the ramifications and details of fire department budgets, in this city as well as elsewhere, is accompanied with mumbo-jumbo complications that leave listeners scratching their heads in wonderment.
The commission occupied itself with more fire department business with a preliminary discussion about building a new fire station or re-building the present structure on Indian Rocks Road.
Approved was $10,000 for a feasibility study and location analysis for a new station.
At this stage, the action is talk only. Fire Chief Jeff Bullock of Largo, who supervises the Belleair Bluffs department under this city’s contract with Largo, will submit within 60 days some ideas and suggestions.
Tom Trask, the city lawyer, pointed out that the emphasis in any projections should be on what the fire department thinks is needed from the commission rather than what the commission should impose on the fire department.
Bullock pointed out that there are many questions. “With limited property available in a built out city, among the questions are should the present station be re-built? How about funding? Should it be a joint station with Largo?”
Mayor Chris Arbutine said “although this is not going to come into being until something like 2010 we need to do the preliminary planning now and some direction has to be given.”
Trask also presented the commission with a draft ordinance that would establish code enforcement definitions and options for the city.
The multi-page document conforms to and is modeled on Florida Statute 162 which sets forth the general parameters of code enforcement.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition