BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Belleair Shore commissioners meeting here August 16 at their regular monthly meeting decided to back the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue's request for a $70 increase in its annual fee.
That raise would bring the yearly fee to $260.
Mayor John Robertson, viewing the situation realistically, said the district would face a deficit in another year or so without the increase, which would go into effect in October, 2007, if the referendum is approved.
Robertson also pointed out that the district is eliminating one of the bones of contention with the cities it serves by moving its EMS station that had been located outside the district back within district boundaries.
In other action, the commission voted to give full support to the efforts of county cities in fighting provisions in a revised county charter that will be voted on in referendum.
Not only did the commission give backing to a public education program and possible litigation, Belleair Shore has donated $3,000 to the campaign.
"We wanted to make a strong statement," Robertson said. "We have a lot at stake here."
The cities opposing the charter revisions had suggested donations from their jurisdictions of 50 cents a head in their populations.
This would have amounted to $40 or so from Belleair Shore. So the $3,000 makes a very loud statement.
The commission also put the finishing touches on an ordinance that will limit short term rentals in town. Belleair Shore will follow the county rule - no rentals of less than 30 days and no more than three rental periods in a year.
With the police situation shaky, Robertson said his town is taking a watch and wait position with Belleair Beach which provides police service.
"If the Belleair Beach Police Department collapses, we will go to the Sheriff's Office for service," Robertson said. The Sheriff's Office provided service until three years ago.
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