TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, September 6.
(1) Pinellas County budget meeting
The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners will hold the first of two public budget hearings on Thursday.
Commissioner will discuss two proposed property tax rate increases to help eliminate part of a $13.9 million budget shortfall.
The first proposal would raise the property tax rate approximately 5%. The money would be used to pay a $11.4 million bill for Medicaid costs passed along by state lawmakers. Homeowners would see bills rise 30 cents for every thousand dollars of taxable value.
The second proposal would raise the property tax rate approximately 8% to help pay for EMS services.
Tonight's meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the fifth-floor assembly room of the Pinellas County Courthouse at 315 Court Street in downtown Clearwater.
The second and final public hearing will be on Tuesday, September 18. Following public input at that meeting, commissions are scheduled to vote to approval the budget.
If approved the budget would take affect with the start of the new fiscal year on October 1.
For more information, visit www.pinellascounty.org/budget/ .
(2) 21st/22nd Street improvements workshop
An information public workshop on the proposed improvements to the 21st/22nd Street corridor will be held on Thursday evening.
Construction on the "Urban Modification" project is scheduled to begin following the completion and opening of the I-4/ Selmon Connector Project. It will enhance the through roadway, pedestrian, and aesthetic upgrades.
Among the features under consideration are lane reductions from three lanes to two in the Ybor City Area, bicycle facilities, historic "period" lightning, on-street parking, dual left turn lanes from 22nd Street to westbound I-4, storm sewer repairs, and new landscaping including park benches, trees and decorative crosswalks.
The workshop will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Children's Board located at 1002 E. Palm Avenue in Ybor City.
For more information, call (813) 975-6060.
(3) USO Tampa Bay"Home Away From Home" grand opening
A grand opening celebration for the new USO Tampa Bay "Home Away From Home" facility at Tampa International Airport will occur on Thursday.
The 1,132 square-foot facility on the airport's second level will provide a comfortable place active duty military and their family members, and veterans to relax in during their travels.
The USO centers typically feature large-screen televisions, video games, computers with internet access, libraries, telephones and refreshments all at no charge
The event will begin with opening remarks at 10:30 a.m. followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:00 a.m.
For more information, visit uso.org .
(4) Humane Society of Tampa Bay Animal Health Center grand opening
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will hold a grand opening ceremony of their new Animal Health Center on Thursday.
The Animal Health Center offers affordable, high-quality veterinary services to the public, including wellness clinic care and spay/neuter surgeries.
The new center is eight times the size of the former clinic and includes 6 surgery tables, 5 exam rooms, an isolation room and digital X-ray capabilities.
We could not have opened this new clinic without the generosity of many local donors as well as the businesses and foundations that shared our vision to provide better and improved services for pet owners," says Sherry Silk, Executive Director, HSTB.
The ceremonies will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The Animal Health Center is located at 3809 North Armenia Avenue in Tampa.
Surgery fees at the new Animal Health Center range between $40 to $50 for cats and $85 to $125 for dogs. The clinic is open on Mondays from noon to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.=
Pet owners can call (813) 870-3304 to make their pet's spay/neuter or wellness appointment.
More information can be found at humanesocietytampa.org/clinic .
(5) LEGOLAND Florida expansion announcement
Officials at LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven will announce a top-secret expansion project for the theme park on Thursday.
Tuesday the park released a video on vimeo ( vimeo.com/channels/legoland ) featuring scrolling text similar to ones at the beginning of the Star Wars movies.
There was also a reference to Darth Vader. The video also ended with the words "May the force be with you."
The video strongly suggests the expansion at LEGOLAND Florida will have a Star Wars theme.
The announcement will be made at 10:30 a.m. at the park.
For more information, visit www.legoland.com .
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