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Date of Issue: December 03, 2008

Bradenton Beach pursues Florida-friendly projects

An advisory committee in Bradenton Beach is asking the city commission to adopt a policy for using Florida-friendly native plants in future municipal projects.

The request, approved by a unanimous voice vote of the ScenicWAVES Committee Nov. 17, also asks the commission to approve a policy that would encourage Florida-Friendly plantings in private projects.

Earlier this year, members of the committee toured the grounds at Anna Maria City Hall, where they were impressed with the native plants used.

Several committee members said they were less impressed with recent Bradenton Beach landscaping projects that used non-native, non-drought tolerant plants.

The committee acted on the request as the public works department is preparing to improve landscaping on Bridge Street, one of the city’s two main business corridors.

Resident Pat Gentry noted during the meeting that using plants native eventually will save the city money and caretaker time.

In other business last week, the committee discussed improving the city’s Web site with updated information and new features.

“The Web site needs to be a living item,” said City Commissioner Janie Robertson, a liaison to ScenicWAVES. “Everybody, please, take a look at the Web site.”

The Web site changes were listed as a goal for the next year, along with improving the gateways to the city and promoting public art projects, especially murals.

The committee also unanimously agreed to recommend former Mayor Connie Drescher and businessperson Ed Chiles as additional members of the Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency.

The CRA, which oversees revitalization of the city’s historic commercial district, currently consists of the mayor and city commission, but the commission has indicated its willingness to expand the board to include a resident of the CRA district and a businessperson from within the district.

Both Drescher and Chiles are members of the ScenicWAVES group.

The committee’s next meeting will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 12 at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach.