Sand Key Civic Association Plans City Council Candidates Forum
By Vicki Jackson
The Sand Key Sailing Center was the site of a well-attended first meeting of the year for the Sand Key Civic Association (SKCA). With President Jerry Koenig at the helm, the agenda proceeded efficiently through the regular business portion and onto other items of local interest and concern.
A proposal was made to invite the six candidates for the two City of Clearwater Council seats to address specific Sand Key concerns. Plans were formulated for a forum to be held early next month, with the public invited to attend. It was agreed that information on the forum would be sent to all of the condos on Sand Key.
An encouraging update was given on the exceptional first quarter activity of the Jolley Trolley, the charming bit of public transportation that covers the Clearwater Islands. Now, in co-operation with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, Trolley ridership has more than doubled. Advertising has been sold out for the new map soon to be available late next month, and things are looking up.
Lieutenant Joe Young, District Commander of the Beach Police District, City of Clearwater, advised that the Clearwater Beach Police Station is not manned 24/7, as officers are "out on the road." He advised that an extended Spring Break will commence in late February and carry into mid-April. On January 23, a Half-Marathon in the Clearwater Beach area, is scheduled for the early morning hours. It was noted that January 23 is the same day a Beach Walk will be held on Clearwater Beach. Sponsored by the Chapel-By-The-Sea, the two-mile walk along the beach will be followed by breakfast at the church. This event benefits Religious Community Services.
From SKCA representation at the Clearwater Neighborhood Coalition came clarification regarding the planned parking garage which will replace the Britt's Restaurant and Surf Style, next to the new Hyatt Hotel on South Gulfview. Construction of 300 public parking spaces is expected to begin in June.
A detailed update on the expansion of Shepherd's Restaurant and hotel on South Clearwater Beach was prepared by SKCA board member, Don van Weezel, and presented by President Koenig. Last month, according to Mr. van Weezel, the City Council approved the development agreement which will nearly double the room capacity of the hotel. Two primary concerns of Sand Key residents about noise and traffic back-up, were communicated to the City. A response has indicated no additional enforcement is planned at this time.
Following adjournment of the meeting, all those present were invited to get acquainted while sampling a variety of coffees and treats provided by the new Sand Key E-Z Mart & Deli in The Shoppes at Sand Key.
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