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The following article appeared in The Feather Sound News of February 1999. Displayed here with the kind permission of the The Feather Sound News.

Taxing District by Kay Watts

At a recent meeting I was asked to update the participants on the history and developments of the Feather Sound Community Services Taxing District. It occurred to me that many of you are new to the area and are asking, "What is the FSCSD"? In 1990 the streetlights did not go all around Feather Sound Drive. Because of the different lighting districts in the community, the front entrance was rarely illuminated. Earl Maize, a Feather Sound resident, took his concerns about this lack of lighting and the possibility of annexation to the streets. He and his wife formed what was called a "Green Ribbon" committee which consisted of interested volunteers in the community going door to door for signatures enabling a referendum on a ballot allowing us to become our own Taxing District. The needed signatures were obtained, the referendum passed, and the articles were filed on November 30, 1990 and approved May 21, 1991. The Feather Sound Community Services Taxing District was formed. Obviously, I have short-circuited many of the legal details encountered, but the dates are correct.

The District was officially established "for the purpose of providing street lighting and the acquisition, development and maintenance of recreational areas and green space for the residents of Feather Sound." The services are funded by ad-valorem taxes of one mill on your property taxes. The District is run by a Board of Directors, numbering five, who are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of Pinellas County. The first priority of the Board was integrating the lighting within Feather Sound into one District with Florida Power and adding additional fixtures around the perimeter. That was accomplished in the early days of the Taxing District. At the same time, a ground maintenance crew was hired to mow and maintain the common green areas of Feather Sound. The acquisition and development of a recreational area remained to be the core work of the Board. After looking into several properties, the present recreation area was purchased for $97,000 on December 28,1992. It is in the name of Pinellas County and is to be developed and maintained by the Taxing District. A couple of years ensued with planning by civil engineers and obtaining the necessary permitting by the Department of Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps. of Engineers, as well as the State of Florida.

Because much of the area consists of environmentally sensitive land, there was a lot of mitigation. Phase 1, which is now complete consists of a sodded ball field, irrigation, hard court with basketball hoops, landscaping, roping of the areas, parking spaces and picnic tables and trash containers. There is also an osprey pole if you look carefully. The Board is currently at work on Phase 2 of the recreation area, which will consist of a boardwalk surrounding the side and back perimeters of the area along with a gazebo. We hope to begin this phase within the next month or two.

 I hope that this update has been helpful and gives a better understanding how your one mill for Feather Sound is being used. Watch once again for the annual report to be mailed to you this spring.