Library renovation paused until Imagine Clearwater final costs are known

Last month, the City Council agreed to close the Main Library effective Sept. 25 so contractors could begin a $4 million renovation of the structure. It was to become the symbolic groundbreaking of Imagine Clearwater, the roughly $64 million plan to redevelop the downtown waterfront into a park with a concert venue, garden and a Bluff walk surrounded by a plaza with housing and retail.

But Thursday, when it came time for the council to give contractors the green light to begin work, the estimate for the library had climbed to $6.4 million with all costs factored in.

“We’ve been hearing for many, many months now that (the contractor) will be able to bring this in under time and under budget and seeing the numbers go up for the library as the first component of this is not a good omen,” said city council member Mark Bunker. “But I think it’s a project that we should continue to commit to, just see what savings we can find.”

Before pursuing the library renovation, the city will now wait to secure more concrete cost estimates for the entire 22-acre Imagine Clearwater project, a design that has been gradually changed by council members over the past few years.

In June, the council voted to move the covered amphitheater from the western edge of the park to the north side, making it so the greenspace of the 22-acre park would no longer be divided by the venue and so the sound will project to the east. But that caused consultants to have to go back to the drawing board on design documents that were nearly complete.

They had already been directed to change directions before in April 2019, when the council voted to replace the uncovered concert bandshell with a 4,000-seat covered amphitheater.

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$4.4 million in improvements recommended for Portage airport; City costs estimated at $300,000 | Local Government

The current design of the airport is functional for small aircrafts that can seat up to six passengers.

The city has three development options to upgrade the airport. The first would cost approximately $4.4 million and would require the city to acquire nearby land. City costs for that option would be about $300,000 due to the availability of state and federal funds. 

Option one would include shortening the usable length of the runways, from about 3,700 feet to 3,300 feet and redeveloping current hangers and terminals to bring the airport into safety compliance with the FAA.

“This is the safety and compliance option,” said Watson. “It does not impact any surrounding roads, it does not impact any surrounding residential property. Overall, of the options, this is the least impactful option.”

While this option is the most inexpensive and least disruptive to residents and nearby homes, it would decrease the usable space and traffic at the airport.

The second option would cost $18.8 million and would improve the whole usable length of the airport, but would require rerouting of Silver Lake Drive and burying powerlines underground.

The third option would include constructing an entirely new 3,300 foot runway, and would cost approximately $13 million, and would require much more construction time and equipment which could cause disruption to nearby residents.

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Google’s Pixel 5 costs $699 and packs major camera improvements

Tuning into hardware events these days feels like a surprise party someone has spoiled for you — fun, but you know what’s going to happen. So today, after endless leaks and rumors, Google today announced the Pixel 5. It costs $699 and will be available starting October 15.

At first glance, the Pixel 5 looks a whole lot like the Pixel 4, at least from the rear. This time around, however, there is only one size of the model (with a 6.0″ display), and Google has abandoned the radar-based gesture and facial recognition system, opting for a fingerprint reader on the rear instead.

This isn’t a flagship in the traditional sense.

For the first time since the inception of the Pixel line, Google isn’t using for the most powerful Qualcomm processor, but rather the increasingly popular Snapdragon 765G. That means the Pixel 5 is technically weaker than the Pixel 4 in terms of raw processing performance.

While that’s sure to annoy some tech enthusiasts, let’s face it: Google’s phones have never been about the hardware. Whether because it doesn’t have the same access as established hardware companies like Samsung or because it actively chose to prioritize software, the company has consistently lagged behind the competition when it comes to raw specs on its flagships.

But after years of reviewing phones, I’m well aware of how poor a predictor processor choice can be; I’ve found the OnePlus Nord to run smoother than my Pixel 4XL, despite the latter having the more powerful processor. Hopefully opting for a weaker processor means Google has doubled down on software optimization.

RAM and storage, at least, are still decently up to par, at 8GB and 128GB, respectively. Perhaps more importantly, the battery is pegged at 4,080 mAh, which should translate to oodles of battery longevity

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Kitchen Remodel Costs to Consider

You may be planning for a major kitchen renovation, including new appliances, plumbing, countertops or cabinets. Instead, you may be aiming to spruce up the space with a smaller budget. A kitchen renovation is rarely cheap, but there are ways to save. Here’s what you need to know.

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

Based on online estimates, home improvement resource company HomeAdvisor’s reported national averages for renovation costs and expert insights, here’s how the cost of a major kitchen remodel breaks down:

  • Labor: 15% to 25%
  • Cabinets: 29%
  • Appliances and ventilation: 14%
  • Countertops: 10%
  • Lighting: 5%
  • Floors: 7%
  • Fixtures and plumbing: 4%
  • Additional finishes and budget cushion: 15% to 20%

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average for a kitchen renovation is $25,291, with a low-end remodel starting around $4,000 and a high-end project reaching $60,000 or more. The disparities between cost estimates are due to the range of options for renovations and the scale of projects. Many kitchen remodels are smaller projects – think countertop replacement rather than taking out the walls and floors.


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Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that where you live, the condition of your kitchen, the materials you would like to use and the scale of the overall renovation determine your bottom line. Especially if you’re planning to gut your entire kitchen, estimates for the project will likely be higher than nationally reported medians and averages.

When you’re considering a kitchen overhaul, how much should you spend? “A really good rule of thumb for a kitchen project is that it should cost anywhere from 5% to 15% of the home’s value,” says Dan DiClerico, home expert and smart home strategist for HomeAdvisor.

How much you’ll spend on your kitchen renovation also depends on how much cash you’ve set aside or the

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Kettering costs for police headquarters renovation rise $550K, draw questions

The “additional funds related to furniture, fixtures and equipment, as well as the actual renovation or construction,” Schwieterman told council last week. “During the construction Phase I, we encountered additional existing conditions that needed to be remedied” for the two-phase project.

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Kettering City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night for the $550,000 in supplemental appropriations in an approval that came without questioning Schwieterman’s explanation. That money will come from the city’s reserve fund, officials said.

The city “made the decision to spend additional dollars to make those necessary repairs for the renovation,” Schwieterman told council. “We also had items related to furniture, fixtures and equipment – a couple of major items being the decision to go ahead and reconstruct and remodel the detective section as opposed to utilizing the pre-existing facility.”

However, resident Sterling Abernathy told council members he thought they should ask more questions as to why the additional money was needed or if there were any other options.

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Council members are “the ultimate decision makers on this project,” Abernathy said. “Citizens expect our elected officials to be good stewards of taxpayer money. Good stewards are active. They get informed and ask questions about spending decision they approve.”

Earlier this year, the city approved issuing bonds to finance the project in what Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser said would be a 20-year note.

The renovation to the existing police facility will add an additional floor for office space for the chief, captains and administrative staff, city officials have said. It will also modernize that facility with new HVAC and mechanical equipment.

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