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Legislative Campaigns

Jennifer Webb files three Gulf Beaches infrastructure spending bills

The requests total nearly $5 million.

Rep. Jennifer Webb filed a trio of bills this week aimed at improving infrastructure on St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island.

The first (HB 2421) is an appropriations request for $1 million.

If approved, it would pay for sewer Inspection after the construction of a new sanitary sewer force main under and adjacent to Gulf Blvd., along what Webb’s request describes as “the City’s trafficked beach-front hotel district.”

The project would also reduce or eliminate potential for sanitary sewer overflows, something that has been in problem in both St. Pete Beach and St. Pete in recent years. The city is under a sanitary sewer moratorium to avoid overflows.

The second bill (HB 2423) is the largest request, $2.5 million for road construction that would also take place after the city’s new sewer force main is complete.

It would replace more than half the city’s total roadway surfaces with new asphalt.

The last (HB 2425) is an appropriations request for $1.3 million that would pay for “city wide curb and roadway improvements to include 115th Ave Roadway Improvement and for the Dolphin Drive Curbing and Roadway Improvement which are “shovel ready.”

The project would improve curbs throughout Treasure Island and alleviate areas where standing water accumulates after rain events. It’s aimed at improving stormwater drainage.

All of the bills and their associated appropriations requests are for non-recurring funds.

It won’t be clear how likely funds are to be distributed until the Legislature starts its budget process during the 2020 Legislative Session in January. Lawmakers file a flurry of local funding bills, many of which get weeded out in the process. Those approved are sometimes done so at lower levels than previously requested.

All three now have a lobbyist fighting on their behalf, which could improve chances of securing funds. Suskey Consulting is working with both cities on lobbying efforts this year.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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