BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Mayor John Robertson said after last week's Town Commission meeting that Belleair Shore will probably have a separate contract agreement for police service with the Sheriff's Office, rather some sort of adjunct agreement with Belleair Beach.
Belleair Beach which is in the process of finding a new police agency (most likely the sheriff) after residents voted to abolish the police department, has supplied police services to Belleair Shore for the past several years.
A separate agreement is likely, Robertson said, because the town wants its beach patrolled as well as the off-shore waters along the buoys where there is a no wake zone.
Also Belleair Shore is interested in having homes watched and checked when occupants are away.
The commission also discussed the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue district situation at its meeting April 18.
Voters, in the referendum March 13, turned down a requested yearly fee increase from $190 to $260 as well as cost of living increase in the fees each year.
"The district needs to do something realistic and different," Robertson said, suggesting that to go back to the voters with the same requests will produce the same results - rejection.
Robertson is sympathetic to the district which has a new chief, Russ Livernois, and a new chairman on the commission, John Todia, a man of prudence and reason.
Obviously, the district needs more money, but innovative methods are going to be needed. Residents, besieged by rising insurance costs and a questionable tax future, are very money conscious and unless your house is burning down, fire protection seems to be an abstraction.
The commission heard a report on the progress of the re-building of the Belleair Causeway with work progressing satisfactorily.
Traffic holdups for construction have not been too bad, Robertson reported.
The town's legal status in having the commission meet outside the town boundaries because there are no public buildings in Belleair Shore is on the way to approval in Tallahassee.
Florida law requires municipal governments to meet within their boundaries. This was overlooked for years in Belleair Shore.
Robertson said Rep. Jim Frishe expected final action to okay Belleair Shore's status in May.
The town will begin its budget process for fiscal year 2008 in May.