SAND KEY – The local civic association has planned an open forum Oct. 8 on the upcoming public vote about leasing city-owned land for a new home for Winter the movie star dolphin and other marine creatures.
Frank Dame, executive vice president of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and Sarah Donovan, spokeswoman for the political action committee Friends of Clearwater, Inc., are scheduled to present their points of view and answer questions.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, 1001 Gulf Blvd.
Voters citywide will go to the polls Nov. 5 to decide on the proposed charter amendment regarding the long-term lease of the city hall grounds and its abutting property to the aquarium, which is seeking a larger, more modern facility to replace the former water treatment plant on Island Estates.
The ballot question, as posted on the city website, reads, “Shall the Clearwater City Charter be amended by adding Section 2.01(d)(8) to allow the City to negotiate and enter into a lease with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Inc. for the construction, operation and maintenance of an aquarium on City owned property, located west of Osceola Avenue, east of the unimproved Pierce Boulevard right-of-way, north of Pierce Street and south of Cleveland St., for a 60 year term all as described in Ordinance 8418-13?”
In other Sand Key Civic Association news, when the board met Sept. 11, members approved minutes from a series of special meetings during the normal summer break to address bylaws amendments.
Otherwise, it was a quiet season for the island community, as reported by Officer Adam Jacques, beach liaison with the Clearwater Police Department. With the exception of a couple of burglaries to unlocked vehicles, and a few smash-and-grabs at Sand Key Park, which he said are common in all the beach communities, the summer months were good.
Additionally, association president Arlene Musselwhite reported favorable progress concerning two issues on Gulf Boulevard in Sand Key.
Contact with a Verizon representative indicated that the company is taking steps to remedy its structure that sits in disrepair in front of the Coast Guard station.
Also, Clearwater police Lt. David Dalton has confirmed that the first of those pedestrian-activated horizontal strobe lights that can so brightly illuminate crosswalks is budgeted and projected to be installed in Sand Key next year.
Musselwhite had requested such lighting in June after observing them on Clearwater-Largo Road.