Belleair Shore, Like Rest of Shore Area, Nervous About Spill
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - As evidence of how the calamitous oil spill in the Gulf, many miles away, has given folks the jitters, Belleair Shore will hold up on its otherwise planned beach clean up and raking.
"We want to see what happens," Mayor John Robertson said after the meeting of the Town Commission here Tuesday night. "The beach isn't that bad and it can wait."
The town, however, has replaced a needed eight buoys of the 20 or so that lie off shore to keep boats away from bathers. Robertson said he thinks the buoys are too close to shore, but it is the Corps of Engineers that determines the location, he said.
Robertson said the problem of unkempt properties has been solved. One site, adjacent to the home where the late Bernie Powell lived, is cleaned up, Robertson said.
The Powell property is now vacant. Ownership went to Morton Plant Hospital and the existing home there was torn down.
Robertson said that an illegal rental had been reported but he said he investigated and found no evidence of that.
Work will begin shortly on the fiscal year 2011 budget.
"The new budget will be within a thousand dollars one way of the other of what we had this year," Robertson said. He said that Pam Dubov, the Property Appraiser, said that Belleair Shore values were down 4 percent.
"This will have no effect with us," Robertson said.
The commission discussed the possible increase that Suncoast Fire & Rescue may be seeking. The unit depends on assessing each property in the district a uniform price and does not have the advantage of ad valorem assessment as other jurisdictions do.
Reportedly, John Todia, who is chairman of the fire district, feels that an increase assessment would not be acceptable.
Also, members of the commission are reportedly seeking to double their pay from $250 to $500 a meeting.
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