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St. Pete City Council approves budget amid protests from workers

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St. Pete City Council unanimously approved the $224.3 million 2016 budget during another lengthy meeting Thursday. The city’s millage rate for ad-valorem property taxes will stay the same for the third year in a row. Homeowners will continue to pay $6.77 for every $1,000 in assessed value. It’s worth noting that because property values are on the rise, homeowners may still see an increase on their tax bills, but that is due to higher assessments, not higher tax rates. The…

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St. Pete City Council approves $2.7 million for new police headquarters pre-construction

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St. Pete City Council members unanimously approved $2.7 million to fund pre-construction services for a new police headquarters. Money from the Public Safety Capital Improvement Fund for the police facility project includes money for Ajax Building Corp. for pre-construction and construction phase services, an amended architect and engineering agreement with Harvard Jolly and other miscellaneous costs. The expenditure is part of an overall $70 million appropriation for the entire project. Council members voiced concerns about spending too much on the project,…

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Rick Kriseman wants to use new revenue for rec center, more police

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The Shore Acres Recreation Center could finally be replaced with a better, state-of-the-art facility under a plan emailed to City Council members last week by St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman. In a memo, Kriseman proposed setting aside $6.149 million for a new facility. “We are still developing the plans for this new facility and the final amount that will be needed is yet to be determined, but assigning $6.149 million to this important project is a very good start,” Kriseman…

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St. Pete City Council to approve contractor for new police station

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St. Pete Police may be one step closer to getting a new headquarters. St. Pete City Council will vote on a recommendation from staff to enter into a contract with Ajax Building Corp. to oversee the construction project. Ajax went up against two other building companies during a competitive bid process to secure the $70 million project. The city began the Request for Proposal process in February. Biltmore Construction Co. and Skanska USA Builders were ranked second and third, respectively.…

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St. Pete top cop says agency will get body cams … after working out some kinks

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St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway now says the department will move forward with plans to implement body cameras … eventually. “Right now there are a lot of problems with body cameras,” Holloway said in a YouTube video posted on the agency’s Facebook page last week. “Everyone’s trying to come up with the right policy to protect the privacy of the officer and also to protect the privacy of the citizen.” “If I go into your home and burglary and…

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Auto burglaries still on the rise in St. Pete

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St. Petersburg Police are asking residents to be vigilant in making sure their cars are locked at all times. According to the department, Florida is second in the nation for auto thefts and St. Pete is in the midst of an alarming rise in auto thefts and burglaries. During the month of May there were 455 auto burglaries. During that same month last year there were only 291. Police say young residents are traveling through neighborhoods checking door handles at…

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Police Athletic League opens new Midtown facility

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The Grand Opening for a new Police Athletic League in Midtown St. Pete will kick off this Friday at 4 p.m. After spending more than two years searching for a facility in that community, the 20th Street South Church of Christ offered up one of its buildings to house the program. The new location is at 820 20 Street South. “It has been the desire of PAL Board of Directors to provide services for children in the midtown area for…

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