City of St. Petersburg Announces 2017 Commercial Revitalization Program

The Commercial Revitalization Program (CRP) provides grant awards to projects that involve future work on a new or existing commercial building or development, improve business districts by redeveloping properties, decrease commercial vacancy rates, leverage private investment and add to the tax base. The city expects to have approximately $250,000 this fiscal year available for these grants.

The CRP will provide funding for projects on the city’s commercial corridors, outside of the downtown core, that provide visible improvements to a building or site, decrease vacancy rates of the area, provide missing retail or service opportunities, retain or create jobs, and/or create new commercial space. Successful applicants will be property owners that can demonstrate occupancy by a business (no speculative projects) or the business itself. This assistance is in the form of a grant, which will be paid at the successful completion of the project. Successful applicants will receive a Grant Agreement from the city, which may be used to secure needed funding to complete the project. Full program description, eligibility map and application can be found online at www.stpete.org/ecodev.

The application cycle for FY 2017 will begin on April 3, 2017 and applications will be accepted through May 12, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Completed applications are to be submitted at One 4th Street North, 8th floor, in the office of Planning and Economic Development.

Applicants must submit the required Commercial Revitalization Program application and all attachments to the city’s Economic Development office. Staff will assist applicants throughout the process and will provide information regarding the additional resources and availability, including The Greenhouse, Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation (TBBIC), and the Greater St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation.

For additional information, please contact:

Sophia Sorolis, Manager
Sophia.Sorolis@stpete.org

Briana Ozor, Economic Development Analyst
Briana.Ozor@stpete.org
Telephone: (727) 893-7100

Reclaimed Water Restrictions Begin April 1st

  • Seasonal reclaimed watering restrictions in place between April 1 and June 30 during traditional dry season
  • Customers encouraged to follow restrictions year-round
  • Customers have opportunity to take classes and learn more about Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices that promote healthier lawns

Pinellas County reclaimed water seasonal restrictions begin Saturday, April 1. The mandatory restrictions are different for North County and South County reclaimed water customers due to the volume of reclaimed water produced by the respective water reclamation facility supplying each area and customer demand on each system. Utilities produces enough reclaimed water on average each day to supply the appropriate amount of needed irrigation for customers, but with excessive demand at an all-time high, restrictions continue to be necessary to help provide every reclaimed water customer with an adequate supply and preserve facility infrastructure.

For Pinellas County Utilities-supplied North County reclaimed water customers located north of Curlew Road, the reclaimed water system continues to be shut down three days a week until further notice due to dry weather and excessive demand. Customers may irrigate two days per week according to the following schedule:

  • Addresses ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8) may water on Tuesday and/or Saturday
  • Addresses ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) may water on Wednesday and/or Sunday
  • Addresses with mixed or no addresses, such as common areas associated with a residential subdivision, may water on Wednesday and/or Sunday
  • Irrigation is prohibited between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on all days

The North County system will continue to be shut down on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. The system will also be shut down from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all days of operation.

South County reclaimed watering restrictions apply to Pinellas County Utilities-supplied reclaimed water customers located south of Ulmerton Road. The restrictions limit reclaimed water irrigation during authorized hours to three days per week based on house number according to the following schedule:

  • Addresses ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8) may water Tuesday, Thursday and/or Saturday
  • Addresses ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) may water on Wednesday, Friday and/or Sunday
  • Addresses with mixed or no addresses, such as common areas associated with a residential subdivision may water on Wednesday, Friday and/or Sunday
  • Irrigation is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Irrigation is prohibited on Monday

Violations of the mandatory restrictions may result in a fine. Those who are not Pinellas County Utilities customers are encouraged to check with their water supplier to verify their watering days.

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.

Pinellas County Utilities customers are encouraged to follow these restrictions throughout the year to promote a healthy, sustainable Florida lawn and landscape. The dry season also offers customers the opportunity to learn about, and put into practice, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices, including watering only when grass and plants start to wilt and, when needed, watering deeply to encourage deep,  drought-tolerant root systems.

Pinellas County Extension offers a multitude of information about creating Florida-appropriate landscapes that are attractive, healthier with less water and are less costly than replacing plants every year. Visit www.pinellascounty.org/extension to view lawn and garden resources and a listing of upcoming classes.

Utilities customers are also reminded that Pinellas County follows year-round conservation measures allowing irrigation using potable, well, lake or pond water two days per week on assigned days based on house address. To verify watering days, visit www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/water-restrict.htm.

For more information about reclaimed water, visit www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/reclaim-irrigation.htm, or call Pinellas County Utilities Customer Service at (727) 464-4000. Customers are advised to monitor the website, as additional restrictions may be implemented if seasonal rainfall is lower than anticipated and the reclaimed water supply becomes limited.

Trust in Pinellas County Continues to Rank Above National Average

Nine out of 10 Pinellas County residents say they have trust and confidence in their local government, a number which far surpasses the national average for trust in government.

This and other insights are the result of Pinellas County government’s 2017 Citizen Values Survey, which was recently conducted as part of the County’s ongoing efforts to engage the public and obtain feedback to guide future services.

Survey results were presented Tuesday during the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners’ regular meeting. The statistically-valid survey, which has been conducted annually for the past six years, reflected a 93 percent approval rating by citizens toward their local government. The number is the highest recorded since the county officially began its citizen surveys in 2012.

The trust and confidence rates in Pinellas County outperformed the national average. According to a Gallup Poll, the national rate is 71 percent for local governments.

“Our residents continue to recommend Pinellas County as a place to live, work, raise children and retire, and that speaks volumes about the things we are doing to serve the public every day,” said Pinellas County Administrator Mark S. Woodard. “It sends a clear vote of confidence in the Board and in our vision to be the standard for public service in America.”

Survey results showed that a vast majority of residents are pleased with Pinellas County:

  • 96 percent would recommend the county as a place to live.
  • 92 percent would recommend the county as a place to work.
  • 92 percent would recommend the county as a place to raise children.
  • 95 percent would recommend the county as a place to retire.

Future optimism also prevailed, with 85 percent of residents projecting the next five years to be better or just as good as the present.

“All of us who call Pinellas County home have a great love for our community,” said Commission Chair Janet C. Long. “We have worked hard and with all of our partners to address the common goals of our community. The fruits of this and of our workforce’s dedication to public service continue to show.”

Residents were also asked what they thought about certain aspects of their community. They reported that their experiences are closer than ever to their expectations, especially in the areas of presence of parks and public spaces, sense of community and cleanliness of public spaces.

“People are telling us they are more satisfied with their county than ever before,” said Woodard. “This is a powerful message and is an affirmation that with partners, we can do more.”

Areas of greater opportunity to close the expectation-experience gap included: traffic flow, pedestrian travel and support services for the homeless.

To view the 2017 Citizen Survey results, visit www.pinellascounty.org/surveys.

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.

The Pinellas County “Doing Things for You” app is available for residents to report issues and access useful resources. Pinellas County can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. More information is available on the county website, www.pinellascounty.org, which features LiveChat for assistance. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

St. Petersburg Preservation’s Movies in the Park

St. Petersburg Preservation’s (SPP) May Movies in the Park is just around the corner and that means the wait to find out which movies have been chosen is almost over! SPP will announce the movie selections and unveil the May 2017 movie poster on Thursday evening, April 6th, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the courtyard at The Ale & the Witch, 111 2nd Avenue NE. Proceeds from beer sales will be donated to St. Petersburg Preservation.  The event is free.
 
Movie trivia questions will be asked, offering hints to the movie titles that have been selected.  Prizes will be given to those who guess the May Movie title! 
 
What has become a tradition with Movies in the Park is the creation of a unique and collectable promotional poster by local artist Carrie Jadus. The wonderful and eclectic poster will be on display and for sale at the announcement party.
 
May Movies in the Park occurs each Thursday evening in May (4, 11, 18 & 25). Each movie evening starts with live local music at 7 pm followed by the movie on the big outdoor screen at dusk.  The fun takes place in North Straub Park, between 4th Ave. & 5th Ave. NE on Beach Drive.  As a special bonus, Movies in the Park will also host a Movie at Midtown on Thursday, April 27th.  This movie will be held in the garden of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum (2240 9th Avenue South).  Movie goers can come early, enjoy live music before the movie and enjoy a picnic they can either bring or purchase food from Midtown vendors who will be set up on-site. Bicycling to movies is a fun way to arrive and free bicycle valet parking will be provided by Coast Bike Share during the movies.  Movies are free. 
 
SPP hosts Movies in the Park on Thursday evenings during the months of May and October. The event started in 2010 as part of the Downtown Waterfront Park Centennial and has become one of the best and most loved events offered in St. Pete’s waterfront parks.
 
Thanks to Oscar level sponsors Sylvia Rusche State Farm Insurance, AARP Tampa Bay and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for their support in making Movies in the Park a success!

Celebrate Earth Day with Mail Art Contest

Pinellas County residents are encouraged to combine their love of environmental conservation with their creative talents to celebrate Earth Day this year. The UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County is currently accepting entries for the 2017 Earth Day Mail Art competition. Participants may mail in their artistic entries for a chance to have them featured on social media.

Contest judges are looking for distinctive handmade entries based on the following themes:

• #ToEarthWithLove: creative art about giving back to Earth by recycling, composting and conserving water
• #LoveTampaBay: art pieces that express love for Tampa Bay’s waters and wildlife
• #PlasticAware: visualize how plastics impact the environment, people and/or communities

Entries in each category will be judged by age groups (12 and under, 13-18, and 18 and over). Prizes include a guided hike of Weedon Island Preserve, gardening-themed prize packs, energy saving kits, a tour of the Pinellas County Solid Waste Facility and more. To qualify, entries must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 5.

All artwork must be original and must not contain reproduction of existing artwork or images. Submit artwork to:

UF/IFAS Exension Pinellas County
Earth Day Mail Art Contest
Attention: Trevor Ackerman
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774

Artists must include their name, email address, phone number, age and category that the artwork should be judged in. Winners will be contacted by phone or email on Friday, April 21.

All entries will be posted on the Pinellas Extension Facebook page and automatically entered in the “Facebook Fan Favorite” contest. That winner will receive a special prize as well. Vote for those entries atwww.facebook.com/PinellasExtension/.

For more information about the Mail Art Contest, prize information and further details about the rules, email Trevor Ackerman at tackerman@pinellascounty.org or visit http://pinellas.ifas.ufl.edu/MailArt.shtml.

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government

Pinellas Citizen University Begins New Session April 13

Pinellas County residents can experience an up-close and behind-the-scenes look at the first-class services provided by their county government in this year’s Pinellas Citizen University.

Registration is now open for the 6-week course scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday evenings from April 13 through May 17, with a bonus Saturday class on May 20. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at various Pinellas County operations each week and talk to the experts as they explore a wide range of county functions. Classes usually meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

During this year’s six week course, students will learn about the five goals of the county’s Strategic Plan with a focus on how our employees are Doing Things every day to serve the public, improving the quality of life of our citizens and making Pinellas an even better place to call home.

•    Learn about the budget and better understand how the county manages funds, including the Penny for Pinellas.
•    Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Pinellas County Jail and its facility operations.
•    See what it takes to plan a hurricane evacuation in the face of an approaching storm and how to stay safe.
•    Participate in a Touch-A-Truck demonstration of the Public Works equipment that is used to bring you safe, effective transportation and faster travel routes.
•    Tour the Waste-to-Energy Facility at Solid Waste and learn how it processes over 800,000 tons of waste per year, providing electricity to power 40,000 homes.
•    Hear about opportunities to excel after graduation and how to get involved in county government.

These are just a few of the exciting experiences planned for this year’s session of Pinellas Citizen University. Enrollment applications and a complete course schedule are available online at www.pinellascounty.org/citizenu or by calling (727) 464-4600.

Upon completion, each graduate receives a diploma signed by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and a class picture to commemorate the event.

Tuition is $35 and includes a class shirt, all course materials, the graduation ceremony and a diploma. Registration for the limited-enrollment class is on a first-come, first-served basis. First consideration will be given to citizens who have not previously participated in PCU. Upon acceptance, a packet will be emailed to all participants with instructions, meeting places, a list of classes and other session information.

Information and photos courtesy of Pinellas County Government

Healthy St. Pete Counts Steps Toward Wellness with April 1 Fit City Celebration

Everyone’s invited to embrace wellness during a community-wide Fit City Celebration in North Straub Park on April 1. The family-friendly wellness event from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. features a non-timed Fit City 5K and one-mile walk, health and wellness vendors, fitness demos, healthy food choices, a kids’ play zone and more. The Fit City Celebration is free and open to the public, although there is a small registration fee for the 5K. Participation in the Healthy St. Pete Fitness Challenge is not required to attend.

The city’s Healthy St. Pete Wellness Champions, including Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Time Restricted; Joe Zeoli, Age Defying Fitness; Leslie Furlong and Louise Fowler, Weight Loss Warriors; Jing Lou, Fitness Enthusiast; and Stephanie Dunseith, St. Pete Fit Mom – will lead category participants in activities during the event.

Individuals or teams may register for the Fit City 5K and 1 mile walk at www.HealthyStPeteFL.com or in North Straub Park on April 1 beginning at 7:30 a.m. While the walk is free, registration for the 5K will cost $12, ($10 plus a $2 convenience fee) through March 15; after March 15, prices increase to $17 ($15 plus a $2 convenience fee). Participants in both events will receive a t-shirt and commemorative finisher’s medal.

There’s still time to adopt a healthier lifestyle by signing up for the virtual Healthy St. Pete Fitness Challenge. Now through March 31, visit www.HealthyStPeteFL.com, choose your fitness category, and submit the online commitment card.  Registered participants receive weekly e-blasts containing fitness and nutrition tips from our partner SmithBuilt Fitness; wellness, recreation, and exercise suggestions from Healthy St. Pete and St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation; tips and motivation from each category’s Wellness Champion; and are eligible for random prize drawings. For maximum benefit, participants are encouraged to choose only one fitness category but may include exercises from the other four categories as they make progress. Participants are also invited to like and follow their Wellness Champion on Facebook under “Follow Your Champion” at www.HealthyStPeteFL.com.

Share Your Opinion Online for Penny for Pinellas

Citizens may share input on future project priorities online through April 16

  • Referendum vote scheduled for Nov. 7, 2017, on 10-year renewal of Penny for Pinellas
  • Citizens invited to provide input via online survey: www.pinellascounty.org/openpinellas
  • Survey will be open through April 16

To offer citizens more ways to voice their priorities for the Penny for Pinellas 1-percent sales tax, Pinellas County government has launched an online survey to gather input about future project areas funded by the Penny.

The survey can be completed in five or less minutes by computer or mobile device via the county’s Open Pinellas citizen feedback tool at: www.pinellascounty.org/openpinellas.

The survey will be open through end of the day, Sunday, April 16, 2017.

The results of the survey will be considered as the Commission sets priorities for investing future Penny funds, which will be based on broad input, guided by the county’s strategic plan, partner feedback and additional public input. Each city will sets its own priorities; this online survey is focused on Pinellas County government’s future Penny investments. The Penny is shared between the county and 24 cities.

Citizens also have the opportunity to share their input at three open house meetings this month, starting today, Wednesday, March 15, from 6-8 p.m., at the Centre, 1500 16th St., Palm Harbor.

More details about these meetings is available at www.pinellascounty.org/penny.

Penny for Pinellas Background

Since it was initially approved by voters, the Penny has helped build a better Pinellas by supporting projects aimed at areas that matter most to citizens, including: improved roads,bridges and trails, water quality and flood prevention, ensuring a safe, secure community, and preserving parks and our environment.

To learn more about the Penny, including an interactive map of past projects, visitwww.pinellascounty.org/penny.

Penny Facts 

  • 1-percent sales tax paid by everyone who spends money in the county
  • One-third is paid for by tourists and seasonal visitors
  • The Penny is collected in Pinellas and builds a better Pinellas
  • Shared between the county and 24 cities
  • Funds long-term capital investments: roads, bridges, trails, water quality and flood prevention projects, parks, public safety facilities and environmental land
  • Not collected on groceries and medications; only collected on the first $5,000 of a single purchase
  • Not a new tax; the Penny has been in effect since 1990

Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.

Pinellas County Hosting Public Information Meeting about Upcoming Sand Key Beach Nourishment Project

Coastal property owners encouraged to attend to learn more about project and discuss easements
  • Public information meeting to be held on Thursday, March 30, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Indian Shores Town Hall
  • Meeting will provide an overview of four-month project and easements needed to ensure project completion
  • Coastal property owners encouraged to attend
Pinellas County will host a public information meeting on Thursday, March 30, from 6 – 8 p.m. about the upcoming Sand Key beach nourishment project. The meeting will be held on the 4th floor of the Indian Shores Town Hall, located at 19305 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Shores. The meeting will provide an overview of the Pinellas County Shore Protection Project, a cost share partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Representatives from Pinellas County and the Corps will answer questions about the project and the easements that will be required for portions of properties located along the coast where the nourishment activity will take place. Easements will allow the work to continue and keep beach areas open to the public. The county will have a notary onsite to facilitate executing easement paperwork.
Beach nourishment benefits the community by providing increased storm protection for property owners and recreational opportunities for beach visitors. It also creates important habitat for shorebirds and nesting sea turtles. The project aligns with Pinellas County’s strategic plan of practicing superior environmental stewardship to preserve and manage environmental lands, beach parks and historical assets.
Information courtesy of Pinellas County Government.

Final Call for Artists & Volunteers! Artspring March 31 – April 2, 2017

The City of South Pasadena is looking for volunteers to help with the 31st Annual Artspring Exhibition. Shifts are available on the following dates March 27 – April 3, 2017. Please consider donating a few hours of your time. 
 
Artists are also needed to exhibit their artwork in the following mediums: clay, fiber, wood, metals, glass, photography, paper or paint.  Sculptures may be submitted in clay, wood, metals or glass. First, Second and Third Place ribbons will be awarded in three categories (artwork, photography, and sculpture), along with the Mayor’s Award and Honorable Mention ribbons. No entry fee required.
To register or for more information, please contact City Hall at 347-4171 or cityhall@mysouthpasadena.com.