CLEARWATER – As reported in the January 22, 2009, issue of the Gazette, a shortfall of $20-million is projected in collections of Penny for Pinellas III sales tax revenue.
The Clearwater City Council was asked at a January 13th special work session to eliminate Penny III projects totaling $20-million, while at the same time considering two additions to the list worth $7.05-million - the purchase and renovation of the Royalty Theater and the purchase of property for a new downtown Fire Station.
Since then, the Council has come to recognize that the downtown boat slip project will be a money loser in its early years, and is considering lowering rates and buying-down the project's $9-million debt using Penny for Pinellas funds.. The Gazette has calculated that a reduction in debt of about $4-million would be required for the slips to break even. (see accompanying story Council Faces Reality Check on Downtown Boat Slips)
While the Council easily accepted staff-recommended cuts totaling $7.3-million for Highland Avenue widening, City-wide wireless network and Senior Center, they had difficulty identifying what now amounts to $23.75-million of project value that needs to be axed.
We at the Gazette believe that the City Council could use your help in eliminating projects from Penny III funding commitments. In the spirit of the recent genre of reality television shows, we're giving you the opportunity to 'vote-off' the Penny III projects that you think are least-deserving.
Each week we will remove the previous week's 'winner' and repeat the process until you have eliminated more than $24-million from the Penny III budget.
You can read the details of the approved Penny III project list by clicking here.
This week's poll is now closed. The New City Hall and Parking Garage project has been voted off with a 32-percent plurality. Here are the results:
Please visit the February 12 poll page and vote the next project off Clearwater's Penny III project list.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition