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Major Ayoub’s Town Hall: Water Bills, Closing Main Street, Curbside Library

in city hall/news

A virtual Safety Harbor town hall meeting Saturday had citizens commenting about opening parks, resuming city services, and closing off Main Street to allow more outdoor dining at restaurants.

And a few complained about unusually high water bills.

Mayor Joe Ayoub, Fire Chief Josh Stefancic and City Manager Matt Spoor gave updates on how the city is dealing with the safe-at-home measures that closed many businesses and services during April in an effort to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also closed are City Hall and other city buildings such as the Safety Harbor Community Center, the Safety Harbor Museum, and Rigsby Recreation Center. And those are not likely to reopen until June 1, said Spoor.

Also closed are all parks, including the skateboard park, playgrounds, basketball courts and baseball fields. These may be reopened sooner than June 1, Spoor said. It depends on what the state and county officials do so there is no timeline,

Spoor noted that yard waste and bulk trash pick-up resumes on Monday.

He urged the public to be patient because the city has a limited sanitation staff and it may take a day or two to collect it. “We’re going to keep running as many yard waste crews as possible until we get it all picked up,” he said.

While the Safety Harbor Library remains closed, the book drop-off boxes will be reopened Monday and a curbside pick-up service should begin on May 11, Spoor said.

“You still won’t be able to go inside the library,” he said. “But you will be able to check out books and pick them up.”

Even though Governor Ron DeSantis’ lastest executive order allows libraries and museums to reopen with limited capacity and social distancing, the libraries in Pinellas County are not prepared to open at this time, Spoor said.

“We are working with our partners in Pinellas County so we all open when ready,” he said. “If one library opens before the others, then they’re going to have a rush of patrons and it would be hard to handle.”

The libraries are preparing for the eventual opening by putting face shields at the counters.

Spoor also said the city recreation staff is back at work planning for summer camps and activities and the city is still considering plans for the Fourth of July celebration.

In anticipation of Monday night’s virtual City Commission meeting, Mayor Ayoub asked for comments on closing off a portion of Main Street to vehicle traffic to make room for increased outdoor dining at restaurants.

Beginning Monday restaurants can reopen for outdoor and inside dining with limited capacity and social distancing. Ayoub said several cities, including Dunedin, are considering closing off streets to traffic.

Most comments were in support of closing off Main Street to help restaurants. James Shaw said his family supports it and asked if Second Street North could also be closed to traffic to help those restaurants.

Ayoub said that would interfere with the north/south flow of emergency vehicles and there are not as many open parking spaces on Second or Third streets that restaurants could use.

Another resident, Debbie Ollerman, commented that she didn’t think Main Street should be closed off while Diane Castillo said local restaurants need our support.

Greg Soulliere was among several residents who complained about higher than usual water bills.

City Manager Spoor said that recent social media posts about high water bills had prompt the city to re-read many household water meters and all but two were correct. He said water use in the city was up last month all through the city because more people are at home, more are cooking, more are taking showers and so there is more usage.

But more comments came in about higher than normal bills. One woman said her bill was doubled. Another woman said that her water bill quadrupled and there are only two people in her home.

To see the entire town hall meeting go to Mayor Joe Ayoub’s Facebook page.

Words & Wine Book Group

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

Find out more about the book on GoodReads!

Words & Wine Book Group

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

Read more about the book on GoodReads!

Words & Wine Book Group

July 15 @ 6:30 PM

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann Find out more about the book on GoodReads!

Details

Date:
July 15, 2019
Time:
6:30 PM
Event Categories:
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Event Tags:
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Organizer

Safety Harbor Public Library
Phone:
727-724-1525 x4112
Website:
http://cityofsafetyharbor.com/60/Library
915 Main St.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
(727) 726-1956
whistlestopgrill.com

Melons for Moolah Watermelon Festival

July 6 @ 3:00 PM 10:00 PM

Proceeds from the event benefit the Safety Harbor Public Library’s 20/20 Vision Campaign. There is no admission fee but there will be a small charge for some elements of the event (waterslides, home brew biergarten, etc.) which will benefit other Safety Harbor non-profit organizations. Vendors will have items for sale, too.

(727) 314-5664

https://melonsformoolah.com/

110 Veterans Memorial LaneFL 34695
Safety Harbor, FL 34695 United States
+ Google Map

Terrific Tuesday: Atlantic Coast Theatre – City Mouse & Country Mouse

June 18 @ 11:00 AM 12:00 PM

“The ‘famouse’ singing duo, City Mouse & Country Mouse, re-enact the story of how their search for a great treasure led them to find true friendship.  This updated musical version of Aesop’s Fable is filled with lessons in diversity, original songs, and audience participation.  Great for the whole family! Please be prompt. 150 free tickets will be given out on a first come first served basis, starting a half hour before the show.” – Safety Harbor Library

101 2nd Street N. FL 34695 United States + Google Map
727-724-1525 x4112
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