BELLEAIR BEACH - Residents of Belleair Beach will hear from the contending parties over the issue of retaining the city's police department on the city's TV station, BBTV.
The question of the police department will be on the March 13 ballot and in an attempt to fully air the subject and provide the public with information, the City Council set up two committees - one pro, one con - to present arguments.
City Manager Reid Silverboard will play a neutral role, giving details on budget and cost comparisons between maintaining the city's department or going to an outside agency. The Sheriff's Office seems to be the most likely candidate to provide service, but that is not graven in stone.
J.C. Imfeld, a citizen, will head the group in favoring of retaining the city police and Jim Corrigan will chair the view of going to an outside agencies.
At Monday night's meeting the City Council set the ground rules for the two sides to give their views. It will be done by Powerpoint presentations and will be on the city TV channel. Silverboard will check both presentations for accuracy.
There will be no open public forum in the city hall. There was a fear expressed that there might be a "problem with decorum" and the council wanted to avoid anything like that.
In other business, the council heard representatives from the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District who laid out a picture of the district being insolvent after two years if it does not get an increase in its fees.
The yearly fee to residents in the district for fire protection is now $190 a year. The district is seeking an increase to $260. That is a question on the March ballot.
Another question regarding the fire district is a proposal to allow the district to increase its fee each year sua sponte based on the average growth rate in Florida personal income. That amounts to a cost of living increase.
On the question of the city owning lifts at the marina, the council does not want the city in the "lift" business and instructed the staff to develop a policy where lifts would be in private ownership only.
A boat owner with a slip at the marina would be allowed to have a lift but would have to remove it or sell it to a buyer if the slip were sold.
Four of the council members will be at the mediation meeting Friday in Clearwater over the litigation between the county and the cities.
The council also passed on second reading an ordinance on nuisances in the city such as home maintenance and property appearance.
Another ordinance, regarding noise was tabled for further study to see if it was practical to spend money for sound measuring devices.
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