The Downtown Neighborhood Association met at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 8, at the Sunshine Center, 330 5th Street N.
Minutes: The minutes from the previous meeting of January 14, as posted on the association web site, were approved.
Treasurer’s Report The most recent report from treasuruer Allan Brockway were also approved, as posted on the web site.
Guest Speaker ? Darrell Irions, chief executive officer of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, was the guest speaker. Mr. Irions outlined the programs run by the agency, which was established some 70 years ago to provide affordable housing for low-income residents. Among the topics discussed was the current status of the Graham-Rogall complex, which now sits empty, but until recently was the largest project operated by the agency.
According to Mr. Irions, Graham-Rogall was an unwieldly combination of housing for low-income families and the elderly. A few years ago, the SPHA had a contract to sell the complex, but that fell through. Subsequently, a different plan to renovate the buildings also fell through for lack of money. Now, Mr. Irrions said, the authority is again trying to sell the complex to private developers.
Waterfront Update ? Peter Belmont, a DNA board member who is also chairing the Waterfront Park Centennial committee, updated the membership on those centennial plans. Details can be found at the group’s web site, www.stpeteparks100.org.
Council Update Council member Karl Nurse spoke to the association on a variety of topics, including what the future may hold for the Tampa Bay Rays, the Pier, and Baywalk. He also noted that planning for a new transportation hub Downtown is moving along.
Bar Closing Hours DNA president Marilyn Olsen brief the membership on a proposal to change the legal closing hour at bars from the current 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. This would align the hours in St. Petersburg with those in Tampa, possibly reducing the number of people driving to Tampa to drink for that extra hour. While no action was taken, during a discussion of the subject, all of the speakers supported the change.
The next association meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 8.
The meeting was adjourned at about 8:30 p.m.
Timothy J. Baker
Downtown Neighborhood Association