Belleair Shore Budget Expected To Remain Below $90,000 Level
by Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - In reviewing the budget for fiscal year 2008, the Town Commission at its meeting June 20 estimated that expenditures for the year will probably come in slightly less than the current year, Mayor John Robertson said.
This keeps the outlay in the 88,000 to 89,000 range, quite a contrast in a town where budget expenditures just a few years ago were in the $100,000 range.
As a result the millage rate - now at .51 (just a shade over half a mill) - will probably stay the same or possibly be shaved slightly, Robertson said.
In other business, the commission heard a review from Nancy Smart, its consultant from Gail Easley Consultants on the town's Comprehensive Plan's goals, objectives and policies.
That was largely a pro forma review but is necessary because it is required by state law.
It was learned that the town's short term rentals ordinance appears to have been violated.
Property owners are restricted in leasing to 90 day periods but one owner was advertising short term availabilities.
John Elias, the town attorney, will write the owner advising of the infraction and pointing out the penalties which can be a fine up to $250 a day.
Richard Jordan was appointed to one of two vacancies on the Board of Adjustment. There is another spot yet to be filled, Robertson said.
Robertson was happy to announce that the technical violation of the law in having the commission meet outside the town's limits has been rectified.
A special act of the Legislature, signed by Gov. Charlie Crist, now allows the commission to meet legally in this nearby city.
The meetings had been taking place unlawfully and unwittingly until it was brought to the town's attention some months ago.
Robertson was very praiseworthy of Rep. Jim Frisch who he said "shepherded the special legislation" through the Legislature.
The police contract with the Sheriff's Office was formalized at a cost of $1,700 month, exactly what was being paid to Belleair Beach until its police department was disbanded recently.
Robertson said he was happy with the work on the Belleair Causeway which he said is on schedule and he said he was especially happy that two-way traffic is flowing and that there is a minimum of inconvenience.
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