A look at governmental action from around the Gulf Coast.
Prompt payment bill signed
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist has signed the Local Government Prompt Payment Act requiring local government to pay contractors promptly for goods and services. The law allows contractors to send local governments an overdue notice, places time limits on responses by local governments, requires a single punch list, limits the conditions for local governments to retain payments for incomplete or unsatisfactory work, revises the dispute resolution process and requires contractors to receive interest payments when local governments are unable to meet required payment timelines. The bill responds to contractors' complaints that with the recession local governments were delaying payments. The law goes into effect Oct. 1.
Newtown business assistance program
SARASOTA COUNTY — Sarasota County commissioners approved a request May 25 from the city of Sarasota's Newtown Redevelopment Office for financial assistance using a portion of the county's remaining economic incentive funds. The city will use $250,000 to develop the Newtown business assistance program and incubator project.
Economic development property tax exemption
SARASOTA COUNTY — County commissioners approved a referendum to go on the Aug. 24 primary election ballot that would give commissioners authority to grant up to 100% of property tax exemptions for up to 10 years for existing and new businesses that qualify for the exemption. Officials from Venice, North Port and Sarasota are expected to place local versions of the ordinance on their ballots.
Pain clinics moratorium hearing
SARASOTA COUNTY — County commissioners will hold a public hearing June 8 to consider an ordinance to establish a one-year moratorium on new pain management clinics in the county. Commissioners are considering the moratorium to provide time for state laws and agency rules to take effect and determine if additional local regulation is needed. Pinellas County passed a six-month moratorium May 4 that goes into effect June 6. During the moratorium no new pain management clinics may be approved unless exempted by the ordinance. Existing clinics must register with the county and obtain a permit from the Department of Justice and Consumer Services or face a $500 fine or a court-ordered shut down.
Sales tax holiday Aug. 13-15
TALLAHASSEE — Purchasers of clothes, shoes, books and school supplies get a sales tax break the weekend of Aug. 13-15. The Legislature restored the popular measure with the passage of House Bill 483 signed by the governor. Items costing less than $50 and school supplies costing up to $10 will be tax-free for the three-day period at a cost of $26 million in tax revenue. Tight state budgets kept the Legislature from passing the measure the past two years, yet the state faces a potential $6 billion budget deficit next year.
Surge map changes
PINELLAS COUNTY — Changes to the hurricane evacuation maps have placed 18,861 of the county's 316,425 county parcels in higher surge categories while 54,332 parcels now categorized in less vulnerable areas. New data for ground elevations above sea level, and hurricane computer models taking into account the effects of Hurricanes Ike and Katrina, led to the map updates. Residents and property owners may verify their zone classification at www.pinellascounty.org/emergency and click the “Know Your Zone” tab, or call (727) 453-3150 and enter your 10-digit landline phone number.
The Enterprise Zone Development Agency meets at 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 7, at the University IFAS and Manatee County Extension Service, Hailey Room, 1303 17th St., Palmetto.
The Community Redevelopment Agency, Bayshore Gateway Triangle Local Advisory Board, will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, at the Bayshore Gateway Triangle CRA office, 4069 Bayshore Drive, Naples.
The county and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency are co-sponsoring a two-day workshop on public sector infrastructure asset management Wednesday and Thursday, June 9-10, at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, 1002 E. Palm Ave., Ybor City. According to a county press release, anyone involved in managing, funding, planning, design, repair, rehabilitation, maintenance or operation of public infrastructure will benefit from the training. The cost is $45 per person and includes a box lunch on both days. For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/water or email [email protected].
The Charlotte Harbor Community Redevelopment Agency meets at 11 a.m. Monday, June 7, in room 119 of the administration center, 18500 Murdock Circle. For more information contact Kathy Knee at (941) 627-3023.
The Charlotte County Commission and the city of Punta Gorda will hold a joint meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, June 11, at the Administration Building, room 119, 18500 Murdock Circle, Punta Gorda. For more information, contact Marie Pecorella or Jo Ann VonderMuehll at (941) 743-1944.