Friendship Park in Redington Beach to Get Makeover

REDINGTON BEACH — Changes are in the future of Friendship Park as town commissioners considered potential renovations to the popular site May 15.

A regular host for fundraising events, the park has been an on-and-off subject of discussion by town officials in recent months. The park is located on the Intracoastal Waterway and high tides and rain are weakening the foundation of a pergola that is a central feature.

Commissioner Dave Will presented the panel with an architectural rendering prepared by St. Petersburg firm Architectonics depicting the proposed modifications. It shows the pergola relocated several feet to the north and a paved area arcing outward from the pergola into the grassy area. Stairs leading to a kayak launch area would be installed at the present site of the pergola. A former launch site is now covered by mangroves.

Will estimated cost of the work at about $40,000. Funds for the project would come from the capital improvement budget.

An outflow pipe also would be relocated. Money for that work would come from an anticipated $75,000 grant from the Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund.

Mayor Nick Simons said that, except for the installation of a Sept. 11 memorial, the park has seen little updating since the land was acquired in the mid 1990s.

“So, I think this is probably well in order,” he said. “It’s a beautiful park. It’s used a lot.”

Commissioner Fred Steiermann said the Parks and Recreation Board wants to also replace the lights. The board also would like the public works staff to evaluate how to cover exposed roots of some of the trees, he added.

Architectonics will now produce more detailed plans so the project can go out for bids.

In other action, commissioners unanimously authorized Town Attorney Jay Daigneault to begin foreclosure proceedings on a house at 311 160th Terrace, owned by Richard Stolz.

In a memo to the commission, Daigneault said the residence was initially notified of a violation in September 2017. Stolz has not responded to several letters and has accumulated $17,400 in fines. Fines continue to accumulate at the rate of $100 a day.

“This is not something that we undertake lightly, or frequently in a small community like Redington Beach,” Daigneault told commissioners.

The violations are noted as “grass over 12-inches tall. Pool maintenance.”

The town has “made every attempt to reach out to the owner,” Simon said.