BELLEAIR BEACH - The City of Belleair Beach held a special meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss the police department referendum issue and wording related to said public referendum.
A city supported brochure is to be developed and reviewed by the city manager which will articulate the pros and cons of retaining the current city police department or switching police services to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department. This city brochure will be mailed to all city voters.
There is a city election in Belleair Beach on March 13th to resolve this police issue and elect a new mayor. Current Mayor Rudy Davis is not running for re-election and current Councilmember Lynn Rives is being opposed by former city Counci member Donna Durante for the mayor's seat. There are no city council seat elections since Rob Baldwin was unopposed for the open city council seat.
Regarding the proposed new city hall project, not much progress has been made on whether to continue with a new $4 million building or merely refurbishing the current city hall building. Construction costs after hurricane Katrina raised the per square building cost from what was once considered at $100 per square foot to over $300 per square foot construction cost. With the city sitting on a $3 million loan designed for the new building construction with Sun Trust Bank, it is not known what might become of the city loan (still sitting at the bank.) At least one candidate for mayor has stated that the current city hall should be refurbished at a much lower cost to taxpayers.
Voters in Belleair Beach will decide many of these issues on March 13th.
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