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Date of Issue: December 10, 2008

Pier team expands focus

Bradenton Beach’s team tasked with supervising the renovation and operation of the Historic Bridge Street Pier also will focus on related plans to establish a nearby mooring field.

The city pier management team met Dec. 4 at city hall to discuss minor repairs and upkeep to the city-owned pier, as well as briefly discuss the push to create a mooring field, part of a master recreational boating plan.

Earlier this year, the city used a grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to hire Scheda Ecological Associates Inc. of Sarasota as the consultant on the plan. Its development is ongoing.

The city planned to meet with recreational boaters at Herb Dolan Park on Tuesday, Dec. 9, after The Islander’s deadline this week, to discuss including a canoe and kayak launch in the plan.

Next April, the city probably will file a grant application to implement the plan, including buying such items as mooring balls, said city project and program manager Lisa Marie Phillips.

In other pier team business, newly elected City Commissioner Bob Bartelt was introduced as the commission liaison to the group, which consists of employees from city departments.

Commissioner Janie Robertson had served as liaison in the past, but asked that Bartelt take the duty since the pier is in his ward.

The team also indicated its support for Rotten Ralph’s on the Pier to hang a neon “Open” sign in a front window.

The contract between the restaurant and the city requires city approval of new signs on the pier.

During a report to the team, Rotten Ralph’s owner Dave Russell said more than 124,000 customers dined at the pier restaurant in its first year of operation.

“We’re going to add a sunset menu to try to draw more people during the off-hours,” Russell said.