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BRADENTON - If completed as currently planned, the Manatee Beach Pier will not look like it's finished.

That's what county Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker told the County Commission on Tuesday as he requested authorization to go ahead with a 700-foot pier instead of the 312-foot pier that would replace the damaged pier that will be taken down. After a one- to two-month demolition period, work could begin on a new pier.

The cost of the short pier would be $1.46 million and would take up to six months to construct, according to the Tab book, while the longer pier would cost $2.765 million and take up to 11 months to construct.

Hunsicker said the drawings of the 312-foot pier give the impression that it's not completed. He said the new length would make a pier comparable to the Venice Beach Pier.

"We became concerned about the visual effect," he said. "The visual effect will be of an incomplete or abrupt nature."

They studied the piers in Naples, Fort Myers and Venice and then drew "an appropriate pier" related to the slope of the beach, the plan profile and accessibility.

The trouble is the cost. Hunsicker said Tourist Development funds could be used. There is $1.7 million at present budgeted for the 312-foot pier, and if it's approved at 700 feet a financing plan and requirements would be presented and brought back for approval.

There would be benefits to the island economy, he said. "We stand ready to recommend a 700-foot structure," he said.

Commissioner Carol Whitmore said it looks nice and may make sense, but there's the issue of the money. "As an at-large county commissioner, I can't see where they're going to get the money," she said.

There might be some environmental effects, too, she said.

"It's all nice if we had a lot of money as we had in the past, but I just can't commit to a million extra dollars for this, Charlie, even though it looks better," she said. "I just can't figure out where you'll get it from."

Commissioner Joe McClash said the longer length is out of character for Holmes Beach. Two meetings ago, he said, they were shown low-profile piers and now it's a "bridge to nowhere" situation.

The city of Anna Maria pier might be better qualified for Tourist Development funds, he said, or the city of Bradenton Beach, which has shown an interest in a pier.

Commissioner Larry Bustle said he walked out on piers and wondered why Manatee didn't have something like them. "It's such a great asset," he said. "Think about it. You could do deep-sea fishing off the end of this pier."

The depth off a 700-foot pier would be 18 feet, Hunsicker said.

"I think it's great," Bustle said. "I think it's what our Tourist Development dollars are for and I don't think it's fair to compare it with what's going on in Palmetto."

The thing is to do what's best for the island, and this pier would be it.

Hunsicker said he's not yet ready to present a financing plan, but one could be ready to go.

The question was, Commission Chairman Gwendolyn Brown asked, how soon would the plan be ready. The idea would be to move it along.

County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said a plan could be ready by the fall.

Commissioner John Chappie said he wanted to see the plan move along and see some aspects of it. Still, "This is clearly a want, not a need," he said. "It's economic hard times."

Commissioner Donna Hayes said the extra million dollars is out of the question. "It's an extravagance," she said. "I really don't think I'm ready to make a commitment to expend more money into this."

There are other needs out there, she concluded.

McClash said that there should be discussions with the island cities. Also, he said, the Anna Maria pier may need upgrades, and in the realm of tourism that pier brings more people.

"As chair of the TDC, I can't tell you that that's where all the money should come from," Whitmore said.

Commissioner Ron Getman said the TDC might have a more pressing need for a million dollars than adding it in to make the pier longer. He said it was good to see the choices, though.

McClash suggested that it be presented to the TDC and then bring it back to the board. The motion was made and seconded.

Whitmore said the motion should be that the TDC should send a priority list, and McClash said his intention was "kind of everything."

Getman said the idea was for the TDC to tell the commission their ideas.

The motion was to have the TDC review everything, look at other needs and bring it back to the commission.

The motion passed 7-0.

Port Dolphin

Also Tuesday, the commissioners received an update on the Port Dolphin gas pipeline.

Gov. Charlie Crist sent a letter on Sept. 11 saying that he approved the deepwater port application subject to 13 conditions, which were in a memorandum of agreement between Port Dolphin, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Port Dolphin would pledge up to $50 million to various studies and programs in Florida, according to a handout, and help financially with sand extraction for beach renourishment.

Other actions

In other County Commission action, the commission voted 7-0 in the consent agenda for the following:

  • Clerk's Consent Calendar: Approval
  • Constitution Week - September 17-23, 2009
  • LIVESTRONG Day - October 2, 2009
  • Florida Green Local Government - Authorize Director of Agriculture and Resource Conservation to execute documents relating to seeking of a designation of Manatee County as a Florida Green Local Government
  • Supervised Release - Adopt Budget Amendment Resolution B-09-038, amending the Annual Budget for Manatee County for FY 2009, to provide for three additional positions within the Community Services Department, Probation Division, Pretrial Services Program
  • Transit Grant Funding - Execute Subrecipient Agreement with Sarasota County Transportation Authority accepting Job Access and Reverse Commute Grant funds required to extend evening service for routes 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, and 99, and provide Sunday beach shuttle service on Cortez Road to Coquina Beach for two years*
  • Arts Festival - Approve expenditures to reimburse John & Mable Ringling Museum for marketing expenses for promotion of the Ringling International Arts Festival
  • Uncollectible Accounts - Approve write-off of uncollectible accounts for accounting purposes
  • Wedding Festival - Approve expenditures to reimburse Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce for marketing expenses for promotion of the Wedding Festival
  • Budget Amendment Resolution - Adopt Budget Resolution B-09-037
  • Environmental Services - Execute Addendum 7 with GLE Associates, Inc., and Professional Services Industries, Inc., to extend services for an additional six months
  • Health Plan - Approve changes to the 2010 Health Plan and authorize County Administrator or designee to take actions necessary to implement the changes
  • Marine Rescue Headquarters - Enter into negotiations to provide design build construction services with Zirkelbach Construction, Inc., and adopt Budget Amendment Resolution B-09-039
  • Odor Corrosion Control Services - Execute Addendum 2 to agreement with Siemens Water Technologies Corp.
  • Portable Emergency Generators - Award IFB 09-1151OV to Southeastern Communication Service, Inc., for Cortez Road & Elwood II Booster Pump Stations, and execute agreement with simultaneous dating of performance/payment bonds and acceptance of insurance certificate
  • Tax Roll Extension - Execute letter to Ken Burton, Jr., Manatee County Tax Collector, confirming approval to extend the tax roll prior to completion of Value Adjustment Board hearings
  • Beach Renourishment - Adopt Resolution R-09-218 supporting a County application for beach renourishment state funding
  • Fee Schedule - Adopt Resolution R-09-210, amending R-08-242, providing for adjustment in user fees for certain recreational activities at the preserves managed and maintained to the Natural Resources Department
  • Ungarelli Parcel at Palma Sola Bay - Authorize Chairman to sign Cooperative Agreement with U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service to complete an archeological survey followed by exotic plant removal
  • Code Enforcement (Jones CE2008030099) - Reduce fines to $1,500, as recommended by Special Magistrate, subject to conditions
  • Donations - Accept donations of $68,491.92 to the Library Division
  • Library State Aid Grant - Adopt Resolution R-09-207 authorizing submission of grant application to Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services, and authorize Chairman to execute grant documents
  • Uncollectible Checks - Authorize write off of uncollectible checks
  • Artisan Lakes Master Pump Station - Accept and record Corrective Warranty Deed from Taylor Woodrow Communities at Artisan Lakes, LLC
  • EMS Station 13 - Accept and execute Shared Facilities Agreement with Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue District
  • Fleet Services Building - Execute and record Easement to Florida Power & Light Company for the 66th Street West building
  • Heritage Harbor North Golf Course Clubhouse - Accept and record Utility Easement from Lennar Homes, LLC; Affidavit of Ownership and Encumbrances
  • Hope Family Services - Accept and record Utility Easement from Hope Family Services, Inc.; Affidavit of Ownership and Encumbrances
  • Palma Sola Park Waterline Replacement Project - Accept and record Utility Easement from Raymond and Ina Fromsdorf, and Anthony and Lisa Cali; Affidavit of Ownership and Encumbrances; Consent of Lien Holder
  • Police Athletic League - Execute Utility Easement to City of Bradenton*
  • Road Plat Map - Execute and record Specific Purpose Survey in road plat book for a county maintained road designated as 9th Street East, from 44th Avenue East to 8th Street Court East; Affidavit
  • Royal Palm Townhouses - Accept and record Warranty Deed from Royal Palm, LLC; Affidavit of Ownership and Encumbrances; Partial Release
  • Public Support Facility - Accept and record Warranty Deed from School Board of Manatee County; Affidavit of Ownership and Encumbrances
  • Whitfield Estates Waterline Project - Accept and record Right of Entry Easements
  • Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) - Adopt Resolution R-09-213 to accept Manatee County CEMP dated September 2009
  • Ordinance 09-54 No Parking - Authorize setting public hearing on October 6, 2009, to consider adoption of ordinance instituting and creating a no stopping, standing, or parking zone to include Upper Manatee River Road and Rye Road*
  • University Parkway - Execute Interlocal Agreement with Sarasota County for the milling and repavement of University Parkway from U.S. 301 to I-75*
  • Water Treatment Plant Shutter Project - Execute Modification to Subgrant Agreement with State of Florida , Division of Emergency Management
  • Responses to Board Inquiries - Accept into the record responses from various County departments to inquiries of the Board of County Commissioners: 1) CO2 Monitors (B902375); 2) Streetlights (B901126); 3) Screening applicants (B903188); 4) Sewer Service Snead Island (B903626); 5) Water Reuse Project (B903635)

The commissioners removed the following items from the consent agenda, discussed them and voted 7-0 to:

  • Nuisance Abatement Ordinance 09-58 - Authorize permission to advertise for public hearing to consider adoption of Ordinance 09-58 relating to abatement of criminal nuisances

The commission voted 5-0 to:

  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System - Authorize Chairman to sign Year 5 Annual Report Form for submission to Florida Department of Environmental Protection as required by permit

And the commission voted 4-1, with McClash dissenting, to:

  • Public Roadway and Right-of-Way - Approve agreement with City of Bradenton to transfer County's jurisdictional interests in public roadway and right-of-way to City, and authorize Chairman to execute transfer document*

Commissioners also discussed the Seventh Street extension in Palmetto.


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