Belleair Shore Budget Down for Coming Year
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Credit good management, or credit the fact that it is very small and very manageable, but whatever, in a departure from the norm, Belleair Shore's fiscal year 2011 budget is down from last year.
Mayor John Robertson reported at the Town Commission meeting June 15 that expenditures for the coming fiscal year will be $88,200, compared to the $89,000 current budget.
The budgetary situation is in stark contrast to what used to be the situation in the tiny town on the Gulf. Not that many years ago, the annual budget was in the $100,000-plus range.
Much of that was attributable to vexatious lawsuits that plagued the town, which arose in some cases over personality clashes.
Since Robertson has been mayor, to his credit, the town has been calm and peaceful with no strife and carefully managed expenditures.
"Basically, we define strictly what we need and then establish a millage that will produce money to achieve that aim," Robertson said.
The current rate is just over half a mill and Robertson expects it to stay that way.
Belleair Shore, like all the beach communities in the area, are on tenterhooks watching the unfolding oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. No signs of the spill have yet appeared in the area.
Town commissioners talked about the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District's plan to get a referendum on November's ballot that would modify its charter in the area of raising money.
PSFRD just got an increase to $260 in its annual fee. The district wants voters to approve a method whereby the district would get automatic increases in its fee to property owners based on an average of the state's income index.
Robertson said he doubts that would pass but even if it did it would have to get approval by the Legislature, which basically created the fire district.
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