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Treasure Island leaders push for fed and state funds for future projects

Posted: 5:43 PM, Nov 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-26 22:43:27Z

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — For the locals treasure island is Paradise. 

"I love living here and my kids love coming here," said Dominique Reiter. 

It takes a lot of work and money to run a small beach town like Treasure Island. It's one of the few towns in the Tampa Bay area that still has its' own fire and police departments. 

Reiter understands that having both departments takes a chunk out of the town's budget, but says, "we don't want anybody else but our local police and firemen." 

The town also has three bridges to maintain. The cost for upkeep is in the thousands. Officials raised taxes this year. 

"But not by much," said Reiter. 

We've learned the money from the tax hike goes into an account for bridge repairs. Officials say that's not enough. The city manager and commissioners say they do not want to raise taxes again and are working to stay away from tolls.

Business owners, like Troy Carter, are happy about that.  

"That is a strain on our budget," Carter said.

"I don't want to see tolls back on the bridge," he said. "That's not good for tourism or treasure island." 

To sidestep the potential cost to taxpayers and tourists the city has hired two lobbying firms to secure state and federal dollars for future projects. One of those future projects will include replacing and repairing the drawbridge in several years. 

It was replaced in 2004 and it costs $50 million. The city received money from the federal government for that project.