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Date of Issue: December 16, 2009

Stormwater improvements successful

With a flood advisory issued for Anna Maria Island Dec. 2, Bradenton Beach Mayor Michael Pierce was watching water levels on Avenue B, a flood-prone area.

To his satisfaction, the water did not threaten properties in the southernmost city.

“Avenue B, I watched it and the water went down fast compared to other days,” Pierce said. “Today, it was maybe only 6 inches. So, I was impressed.”

Earlier this year, the city public works department oversaw the installation of two sump pumps in the area.

“What we’ve done is, I put in two relatively powerful sump pumps into the catch basin in the alley,” said public works director Tom Woodard. “We’re diverting that water into the canal through hay bales and silt screens. And the water is going out.… Before, we had some serious problems with flooding.”

The public works department also contracted for an annual cleaning of some stormwater catch basins.

A motion to approve an invoice — $3,034 from William Testing LLC — for the clearing of catch basins led to a discussion on stormwater improvements in the city during a Dec. 3 city commission meeting.

The basins become clogged, mainly from sand and other material washing into them during rains, but also because of landscaping projects.

“Pine needles easily wash away,” Woodard observed.

He said the cost to clean the catch basins was about $7,000 less this year than last because the project did not involve clearing out all 122 catch basins and the spoil was deposited in the city yard for public works use this year.

“I had use for it this year,” he said.

The city has long-term plans for stormwater improvements, but Woodard, who last week attended a conference on the issue, proposed a simple aid.

“It’s like a skimmer basket for pools but it fits inside catch basins,” Woodard told commissioners. “I have some pretty good fabricators, and I think that’s something we’re going to work on.

In other business during the Dec. 3 meeting, commissioners:

• Approved payment of an invoice for $9,187.51 from M.T. Causley for building department services in October. As well as approved payment of a November invoice from M.T. Causley for $6,148.44.

• Approved an application for an event Jan. 9 at the Drift In, 120 Bridge St.

• Canceled the regularly scheduled Dec. 17 city commission meeting.

• Approved a request to close city hall at noon Dec. 18 for the city staff holiday party.