CLEARWATER - At a March Madness Meeting, March 28, the Clearwater Downtown Partnership (CDP) attracted new members and honored Clearwater High School's (CHS) basketball team.
CDP formed in November 2005, when city government, business and community leaders agreed to collaborate on a unified economic agenda for the region. The group strategizes to bring new business downtown and ensure the city's economy flourishes in the future.
Dwight Matheny CDP chairman said the partnership plans to dispel the notion that there's no place to park downtown.
Matheny said there's a misconception about parking in Clearwater. "There's some idea that there is a parking shortage in Clearwater. Truth is, 40% of the spaces remain empty. We'll be letting people know where parking is."
Council member Hoyt Hamilton represented the city at the event. Hamilton referred to the city's full plate of redevelopment projects and said, "We're not going to eat the elephant all at once. We'll take one bite at a time."
Contradicting reports about Cleveland street beautifications being scaled down due to erroneous bids and budgeting, Hamilton promised, "I'll stand up here and tell you that Streetscape will be what we want it to be and not a watered down version. It's going to be first class."
Hamilton also promised that the city's boat slip project is 'stand alone' with 'no hidden agenda'.
The boat slips are up for referendum in November, and calls for the creation of 138 city owned slips for rent. "There will be 28-30'ft, 48-40' ft, 50-50' ft, 12-60' ft slips with 2 commercial slips for a ferry or water taxi service," said Hamilton.
A former student and player of CHS basketball, who in the 1980's was a volunteer coach, Hamilton praised the CHS basketball program and coach Jack Coit, honoring them on the school's 100 year anniversary.
Under the guidance of coach Coit, the Tornadoes made their state final-four tournament in back-to-back years. In addition to their 100 year tradition, they are one of the few high school basketball teams in the nation to represent their city in Europe.
CDP showed support for the Tornadoes by donating 10% of all memberships paid at the meeting to help finance the team's trip to Germany this summer.
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