INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – The goals that the City Commission set out for itself at its meeting April 4 do not call for any radical action, but strive to maintain what have been the hallmarks of the city.
Mayor and commissioners like IRB’s “small town” atmosphere and want to preserve that. They also agreed that small businesses should be helped to survive and that motels should be encouraged to accommodate vacationers and visitors.
The commission is proceeding slowly, feeling its way both in approaching its agenda and the relations among its members – all of them strong personalities and some with a history of conflict.
A tinge of the conservative flavor of commission members emerged with the goal of retaining “more of our tax dollars.”
This might also be interpreted as having some of the tax dollars come back from the county to benefit the city, a theme sounded strongly and regularly by Mayor Bill Ockunzzi.
For example, as a city with a large public beach, restaurants, motels, etc. which serve as a magnet for tourists and visitors, the county is a beneficiary of what Indian Rocks Beach provides.
The thinking is that the county ought to help out with some of the expenses attendant (cleaning the beaches, etc.) to this.
Pinellas County is what it is because of its beaches yet the beach cities often get short shrift, in the view of officials from those cities, from the county.
Another mission the commission has taken on for itself is to develop the Gulf Beach corridor and the Narrows, also known as the “business triangle,” although there is no more business there, foot for foot, than there is along the main stem.
Gulf Beach and its future extends beyond the city itself, with county plans for beautification, undergrounding of utilities and so forth. The way those indeterminate plans now stand calls for the county doing the work on the roadway itself with the cities along its path bearing the expense of beautification.
It may be a while before fruition takes place with all the Gulf Boulevard planning from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater because so far there has been nothing but talk, talk, talk.
As the business triangle, that has been a topic for discussion for years. Some work has been done in fits and starts but there has been no great progress in terms of an overall definite plan.
The commission wants to create a community redevelopment agency. This makes sense because every city of any size in the neighborhood has one. And IRB’s governors want the city to keep its present ambience of buildings that are not too tall and the ability to glimpse the Gulf and beach as one traverses Gulf Boulevard.
Another aim is to televise city meetings on a municipal channel as other cities in the county have been doing.
Indian Rocks Beach wants to run with the big dogs – that’s one reason for the push on developing its own library at great expense when library facilities abound within less than a day’s journey of the city.
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