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St. Pete adopts changes to noise ordinance

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St. Pete City Council finally came to consensus on an update to the city’s noise ordinance. The board approved a measure that requires bars and restaurants with outdoor noise projection to point the speakers toward its customers, not toward its neighbors. Specifically, the ordinance requires the speakers to be permanently mounted and be directed away from residences. The issue came up after a number of downtown St. Pete condo owners complained about booming noise from neighboring establishments well into the…

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New St. Pete Public Works Administrator officially welcomed to the Sunshine City

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Claude Tankersley began his post as St. Pete’s public works administrator this month. During an unrelated workshop Thursday, City Council members officially welcomed him to the city. “My motto is that it’s very important to keep the public in public works,” Tankersley said. “I like to make sure that I know our constituents as well as I can. When we have unfortunate crises, they’re more willing to help us find solutions.” Tankersley’s statement is fitting considering the terms by which…

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Bike share program heads to City Council for up or down vote

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St. Pete City Council will decide whether or not to approve funding for a proposed bike share program. During a workshop Thursday approved via straw poll scheduling full City Council approval. A specific date was not specified. The City and Mayor Rick Kriseman had called on City Council to approve $1.5 million for the program that would put stations in and around downtown. The money would be split three ways with $500,000 each coming from the city’s parking fees, transportation…

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City Council lays down preliminary 2017 budget priorities

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St. Petersburg City Council members met Thursday to start early debate on how the city should allocate its money next week. During a workshop, each council member laid out priorities for the fiscal year 2017 budget. Several council members, certainly enough for staff to pay attention to when writing the next budget, wanted to work toward lowering the city’s property tax rate. The current tax rate is at 6.77 mills – that means homeowners pay $6.77 per $1,000 of assessed…

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Ed Montanari to undergo heart surgery

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St. Pete City Council member Ed Montanari will be absent for meetings for “a few months.” Montanari announced in a letter to Council Wednesday and from the dais Thursday that he will be undergoing heart surgery later this month. “I want to inform you that yesterday I was advised by my doctors that I will need to have surgery to repair a valve in my heart. My surgery has been scheduled for February 23rd, and the recovery time will last…

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St. Pete City Council approves 10 Southside CRA programs and nearly $500,000 budget

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St. Pete City Council approved 10 items aimed at lifting poverty and boosting the economy in South St. Pete during its meeting. The vote was 7-0 with Council Vice Chairwoman Darden Rice absent for the vote. Council also approved unanimously a budget to support those items. The items were recommended by the Citizens Advisory Committee to be funded through the first round of appropriations from the newly created Southside Community Redevelopment Area. Five of the proposals would use county-approved Tax…

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St. Petersburg City Hall evacuated when suspicious package spotted after Uhuru demonstration

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St. Petersburg City Hall was evacuated Thursday morning after a group of activists from the local Uhuru movement stormed a meeting of the St. Pete City Council. The group were said to have left behind a suspicious package. The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is a group with long-standing demands of reparations for Africans. The Council was in the middle of an unrelated item. City Hall was evacuated for about 15 minutes as the package was investigated. According to the St. Petersburg…

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