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Date of Issue: December 14, 2006

Anna Maria's Swiftmud funding initiative moving forward

Efforts in Anna Maria to resolve a number of long-standing drainage issues are heading in the right direction under the Southwest Florida Water Management District's cooperative funding initiative.

Commissioner Dale Woodland, who is spearheading the effort to get projects accepted by Swiftmud, held a meeting Dec. 4 to bring Mayor Fran Barford, public works director George McKay and members of the city's capital improvements advisory committee up to speed on the status of the projects and the Swiftmud program.

The Swiftmud initiative is a 50 percent matching grant program, and the city's first phase of projects has already been funded by the city, with Swiftmud's match expected when the phase is completed.

Woodland said the design and permitting of Phase 2 (Tarpon Avenue, Jacaranda Road and South Bay Boulevard) should begin in March 2008 with construction anticipated to start in December 2008.

Anna Maria's $350,000 matching portion of Phase 2 is expected to come from the line of credit the city currently maintains.

Woodland said the "timelines and milestones" that need to be met by Swiftmud are being coordinated by  himself, city engineer Tom Wilcox and Swiftmud project manager Denise Tenuto.

Woodland said he would keep everyone at the meeting updated on the progress of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects and status with Swiftmud.