Belleair Beach Council Approves Moving Ahead on New City Hall
by Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BEACH - Following up quickly on what the Building Committee had recommended at its meeting last Friday, the City Council on Monday night approved $168,000 to Harvard Jolley Clees, architects, for re-design of the new city hall.
The council also authorized an updated survey to clear up some other questions and gave a go-ahead to address any environmental concerns.
The first order of business was to give final approval to a 1.98 millage rate - more than 14 percent less than last year - and the budget for fiscal year 2008.
Last year's millage rate was 2.31. The council initially set a rate of 2.08 in July which was in line with the Legislature's mandated reduction.
For 2008, outlays are cut 12.94 percent with very little reduction in services.
One big budget saver was switching to the Sheriff's Office for police services. The former police department, with an ever-expanding budget over the years, cost the city $598,944 in 2007 while the sheriff's contract is almost exactly $200,000 less.
Also, the council neared completion of a contract with Nancy McCollum as city manager and gave approval of the appointment of Patty Gentry as city clerk.
One ordinance was given final approval on second reading and two others were approved on first reading. All pertained to amendments in the city code dealing with a variety of subjects.
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