A look at governmental action from around the Gulf Coast.
Mileage rates drop
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mileage rates for 2010 are following lower gas prices down. Motorists using vehicles for business purposes will receive less reimbursement under new limits issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The new rates for business miles driven are 50 cents per mile, down from 55 cents in 2009; 16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 24 cents; and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, no change. Taxpayers have the option of calculating actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using standard mileage rates.
Plan amendment deadline
PASCO COUNTY — The deadline for submission of comprehensive plan amendment requests for 2010 is Thursday, Dec. 17. Letters of interest describing proposed amendments and explaining how the amendments further the county's strategic plan should be submitted by the deadline. Applications will be screened by staff and the county commission in January. Completion of the amendment cycle is planned for October 2010. For additional information contact Carol Clarke, executive planner, with the planning and growth management department, at (727) 847-8193, ext. 8419.
Van Wezel subsidy cut
SARASOTA — The city of Sarasota's subsidy to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall dropped 65% during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The subsidy declined from $1 million during fiscal year 2007-08 to $350,000 in fiscal year 2008-09. Two key reasons cited by the city for the reduction: the number of full-time employees at the Van Wezel has been cut by more than 50% over the past three years; and the Van Wezel Foundation committed $1 million to education programming over four years. Last year and this year, the foundation committed an additional $150,000 per year for education, bussing and Mainstage sponsorships.
Green business program launched
PINELLAS COUNTY — Pinellas County and the University of Florida Extension Service have partnered to launch a new program that offers a green designation for local businesses. The Green Business Partnership designation uses a voluntary assessment of business operations that encourages conservation of natural resources, waste reduction and energy conservation.
A one-hour Webinar about the program is set for 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15. Mary Campbell, director of the Pinellas County Extension and urban sustainability agent, will explain the criteria of the program and provide an overview of how to complete the assessment and become a “Green Business Partner”. Cost for the program is $15. Follow-up for businesses seeking the designation will be provided.
Green Business Partners have access to professional advice and training, listing on the Green Business Partner website and special recognition by the county. For more information visit www.pinellascountyextension.org, and go to the on-line registration to sign up for the Webinar (register before Dec. 14). Call Mary Campbell at (727) 582-2100 for more information.
Enterprise Florida changes
FLORIDA — Don Phillips, managing director of Phillips Development and Realty of Tampa has been appointed to the board of directors of Enterprise Florida by Gov. Charlie Crist. Also from the Gulf Coast and newly elected to the board are Andrew Corty, president and publisher of Florida Trend magazine, and Gordon L. Gillette, president of TECO Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas. Enterprise Florida is the economic development agency for the state headquartered in Orlando.
The Planning Commission's regular meeting is Monday, Dec. 14, from 2-5 p.m. followed by a workshop meeting at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings are in County Center in the 18th floor board room at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. For more information call (813) 273-3774 ext. 350.
The land development code stakeholder committee meets Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 4 p.m. at Land O'Lakes Community Center, 401 Land O'Lakes Blvd. (US 41), Land O'Lakes.
The Immokalee Community Redevelopment Agency will hold a public workshop on the Draft Immokalee Area Master Plan at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Career and Service Center at 750 S. Fifth St. in Immokalee. Two or more members of the county commission may be present and may participate in the workshop.
The Pinellas Planning Council meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, in the 5th floor assembly room, Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater. For more information call (727) 464-8250.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization meets at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at the Punta Gorda City Hall council chambers, 326 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. For more information call Bekie Murrill at (941) 883-3535.
The Charlotte Harbor Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at the Charlotte County Family YMCA, 22416 Glass Lane, Port Charlotte.
The Murdock Village Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at 18500 Murdock Circle, Administration Center, Room #106B, Port Charlotte.
The Industrial Development Authority meets at noon Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the SunTrust Bank Building, 18501 Murdock Circle, Suite 502. For more information about these three meetings contact Kathy Knee at (941) 627-3023.
The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, at 1926 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization meets at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 at 1926 Victoria Avenue, Fort Myers.
The Community Redevelopment Agency's regular meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, in their offices at 1231 Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral.
The Community Redevelopment Agency meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, in the city hall council chambers, 2200 Second St., Fort Myers.
The Tourist Development Council meets at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at Holmes Beach City Hall.
The Manatee Port Authority meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, on the third floor of the Port Manatee Intermodal Center, 1905 Intermodal Circle, Palmetto.
The Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority meets at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, in the commission chambers of the county administration building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.
The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization meets at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, at Sudakoff Center on the New College campus in Sarasota.