Seminole Experienced ‘Unprecedented Development’ in 2018
Seminole fared well with development and redevelopment last year, according to Mayor Leslie Waters.
SEMINOLE – Mayor Leslie Waters presented her annual “State of the City” report to the Seminole City Council late last month. Here is her report:
“You only have to look around to see all of the positive city-sponsored community events and programs and residential and commercial development that is occurring throughout our great community.
“The city’s 2019 budget is $18,445,465, and our millage rate has not increased in twelve consecutive years. Approximately 156 employees work for the city of Seminole, and provide services through City Administration, Public Works, Library, Recreation, Fire-Rescue, Human Resources, and Community Development.
“The City Council continues to focus on fiscally responsible spending while providing for infrastructure improvements, public safety, and an exciting and diverse schedule of special events and programs.
“The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded the city with the ‘Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Finance Reporting’ for the 19th year in a row. The award, which was received in April 2018, is judged by an impartial panel and is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting.
“The GFOA additionally awarded the city the ‘Distinguished Budget Presentation Award’ for the 11th consecutive year. Our most recent award was for Fiscal Year 2017-18 and was awarded based on how well the city’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communication device.
“Law enforcement is provided, under contract, by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office which is responsible for assuring the safety and security of our citizens in our neighborhoods, parks, shops, and streets. The City Council has initiated a concentrated neighborhood patrol program where deputies ride the streets of our neighborhoods on a regular basis. I was pleased to note that major crimes (violent and property crimes), Part I Crime category, experienced a welcomed decrease in 2018!
“Our Fire Rescue Department has a service area of approximately 100,000 residents over 25 square miles and continues to serve our community responding to 12,777 fire and emergency medical service calls over the past year. It is interesting to note that over 81% of the calls were for emergency medical assistance.
“The Recreation Department continues to grow community participation each year. The youth indoor volleyball league in the summer has been added to the numerous ongoing athletic offerings and we’ve had an overall increase in athletic programming to more than 400 enrollees for youth & adult leagues and programs. Last year recreation hosted 2,583 campers at summer camp. Overall in 2018, Seminole Recreation had over 77,000 visits to the recreation center.
“Our community library in partnership with [St. Petersburg College] has replaced 45 public computers with brand new machines, added a new self-checkout station for library patrons, presented 641 programs to 16,261 library patrons, and hosted 236,598 visits to the library.
“The city of Seminole continues to experience unprecedented development and redevelopment throughout the community. S.S. White Technologies, Inc. and Shukla Medical transitioned its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility from New Jersey to Seminole this past year, bringing 125 jobs to the area. S.S. White Technologies leads the industry in flexible shaft technology and you can find these flexible shafts in 98% of aircrafts flying today. Shukla Medical provides products that solve issues experienced by Orthopedic and Spine Surgeons. The support for S.S. White Technologies, Inc. and Shukla Medical was a joint collaboration between the city of Seminole, Pinellas County and the state of Florida.
“We also had an additional 54 commercial properties that joined the city in 2018. The properties developed included 10 healthcare services, 12 food & beverage establishments, three fitness facilities, three beauty shops for cosmetics and nails, and two new locations for educational learning assistance, proving that the city continues to grow and develop every day.
“I hope all of our residents had a chance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pow Wow Festival & Parade. The event was originally organized five decades ago to raise funding for lighting at Seminole High School and quickly developed into an annual city tradition. Last year’s festival and parade had an estimated attendance of more than 10,000 attendees.
“2019 will be a very exciting year for the city of Seminole as plans are being developed by the 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee to commemorate the founding of our wonderful city in 1970 and to further celebrate the great community that we have become!
“On behalf of City Council, we give thanks to the dedication, positive approach, energy and enthusiasm of city staff, city boards, city committees, and scores of city volunteers. Together we will continue to make Seminole an even better place to live, work, and play.”
Photo of Seminole City Hall courtesy of the city of Seminole.
Seminole | Leslie Waters | Tampabay News
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