Monthly Archives: January 2017

Islander Calendar – 06-01-2011

Wednesday, June 1

3 p.m. — After-Hours book club will discuss Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Poisonwood Bible” at the Tingley Memorial Library, 111 Second St. N., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-779-1208.

Saturday, June 4

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Annual Island Blood Drive at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1908.

Sunday, June 5

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Annual Island Blood Drive at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1908.


• Wednesdays, two hours before sunset, the city of Bradenton Beach hosts a sunset picnic with entertainer Mike Sales at Katie Pierola Sunset Park, 2200 block of Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-448-5798.

• Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m., teens meet at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.

• Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m., players pitch horseshoes in the pits at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-708-6130.

• Fridays, Senior Adventures Group meets for outings to various locations. Information: 941-962-8835.

• Fridays, 5:30 to 10 p.m., Mike Sales sunset drum circle at Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-526-6789.

• Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island meets at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.


Friday, June 3

6 p.m. — Creature Feature Film Series: “Them!” at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131. Fee applies.

6 to 9 p.m. — Artist reception at the Dancing Crane Gallery, 1019 10th Ave. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-744-1333.

Saturday, June 4

4 to 7 p.m. — ARTifacts family night at ArtCenter Manatee, 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-2862. Fee applies.

Wednesday, June 8

7 to 9 p.m. — “The Naked Universe: Time” science discussion with Jeff Rodgers at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131.

Coming Up:

• June 10, Creature Feature Film Series: “Gojira,” South Florida Museum.

AME calendar

Save the date for the following Anna Maria Elementary School happenings:

• June 2, 9 a.m., third- and fourth-grade award assembly, auditorium.

• June 3, 9 a.m., fifth-grade award assembly, auditorium.

• June 3, 1:15 p.m., early release.

• June 7, 11:30 a.m., fifth-grade graduation lunch, BeachHouse Restaurant.

• June 7, 6 p.m., retirement party for principal Tom Levengood, Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.

• June 9, 1:15 p.m, last day of school, early release.

• Aug. 22, 8:30 a.m., first day of 2011-12 school year.

AME is at 4700 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.

For more information, call 941-708-5525.

Send calendar announcements to Please include the time, date and location of the event, a brief description and a contact via e-mail and phone.

The Islander Classifieds: Wednesday, June. 1, 2011


COMPUTER: 1.7 GHz with newly loaded Windows XP-PRO, $50. 941-756-6728.

ANTIQUE COPPER POTS and bowls, collection $300, or $50-75 each. Antique burl-wood rocker and more. View at The Islander store, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

ORIGINAL, LOCAL ART for sale. View at The Islander store, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

AERIAL PHOTOS of Anna Maria Island. View and purchase online:


Individuals may advertise up to three items, each priced $100 or less, 15 words or less. FREE, one week, must be submitted online. E-mail, fax toll-free 1-866-362-9821. (limited time offer)


GLORIA DEI LUTHERAN Church: All are welcome to come and worship with us! Please call 941-778-1813 or visit us at: for worship times. 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

MICHAEL NORTHFIELD: BROKER, Anna Maria Island Realty, 941-713-0284. E-mail: Your personal broker.

HAITI $$$ DONATIONS to the Ministry of Presence Inc.,, urgently needed for local representatives to aid homeless children. Info: The Islander, 941-778-7978.

TERRY HAYES, REALTOR. Signature Sothebys International. 941-302-3100.

BRADENTON ROTARY CLUB meets at noon Mondays at Mattison’s Riverside, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton. Club members enjoy fellowship with like-minded professionals. Club projects offer opportunities to benefit the community locally and worldwide. To attend a meeting as our guest, call Trish, 941-747-1871. More information:

WANTED: YOUR OLD cell phone for recycling. Deliver to The Islander, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

FISHING GEAR WANTED: The Privateers and The Islander are collecting new or used, repairable fishing poles and reels, nets, tackle, buckets, etc. to give to children. Donate your gear at The Islander newspaper office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

FREE GUN LOCK courtesy of Project Childsafe, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Holmes Beach Police Department. Pick up at The Islander office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Don’t be sorry, be safe.


ROSER THRIFT SHOP open 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. 511 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. 941-779 -2733.

GARAGE SALE: 8 a.m. Saturday, June 4. 7120 Longboat Drive E., Longboat Key, north end in Village.


FOUND: KAYAK FLOATING in Anna Maria Bay. To claim, e-mail description to: including make/model or length, color, any other distinguishing characteristics, and where it was lost. After July 1 we will claim it as salvage.

FOUND CAT: WHITE and gray, very friendly. Also: white and brown cat, beautiful blue eyes. Near 75th Street and Holmes Boulevard, Holmes Beach. Please, call 941-345-2441.

LOST: FAVORITE SUN hat. Ladies red, white and blue, wide brim. Lost May 14 riding to Anna Maria festival. Please, call 941-779-9562.

PINK SWAROVSKI ANKLET lost during festival in park near Holmes Beach city hall. Sentimental. Please, call 941-792-7807.


PARENTS NEEDED for loving homes to foster puppies and kittens until they are old enough for adoption. All food and medical provided. Julie, 941-720-1411.


BOAT RENTALS AND more! $99 fishing boat, $99 deck boat ! Low deposits! Call 941-465-5985.

BOAT SLIP FOR rent in Holmes Beach up to 23-foot. $140/month, three-month minimum. 941-962-6238.

SAILBOAT: 1983, 27-FOOT, 15-hp diesel, three sails, 9-foot dinghy, two-burner stove, ice chest, full cabin. About $10,000. Call Pat, 941-794-0411.


CHURCH CUSTODIAN/MAINTENANCE person, approximately 25 hours per week. Contact the Longboat Island Chapel, 941-383-6491.

FRONT DESK POSITION at AMI Community Center. Need vivacious, friendly person at front desk with excellent customer service! Great computer and phone skills a must! Monday-Friday, 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., additional hours as needed. Start at $10/hour. Potential to develop into full-time position. E-mail resume to:

DELIVERY/WAREHOUSE JOB on Island. Handy with tools. Part-time or full-time. E-mail only:

ITALIAN RESTAURANT: LAKE George, N.Y. needs experienced saute cook for busy season. Must be hard working, able to help create nightly specials! Good pay for right person! Season ends Oct.15. Information, 518-796-0902.

SALES ASSOCIATE: MOTIVATED, experienced real estate licensee for busy Island office. Please call Jesse or Robin at 941-778-7244.


LOCAL ISLAND STUDENT babysitter available. CPR and first aid-certified, early childhood development major. Emily, 941-567-9276.

KIDS FOR HIRE ads are FREE for up to three weeks for Island youths under 16 looking for work. Ads must be placed in person at The Islander office, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.


HEALTH FOOD AND deli business. 3228 E. Bay Drive, Holmes Beach. 941-580-0626.


LET US DRIVE YOU! Airports, cruise ports. Flat rates. Anna Maria Sunshine Car Service. 941-778-5476.

PROFESSIONAL I.T. SERVICES: Complete computer solutions for business and home. Installation, repair, upgrade, networking, Web services, wireless services. Richard Ardabell, network engineer, 941-778-5708, or cell 216-509-1945.

TOASTED COMPUTER SERVICES. Your home and business specialist. On-site service, virus/spyware, cleanup, system setup, upgrades, diagnosis and repair, internet/wireless networking, custom system design. 941-224-1069.

I DON’T CUT corners, I clean corners. Professional, friendly cleaning service since 1999. 941-778-7770. Leave message.

HOUSE CLEANING BY Laura. Excellent references. One house, 2BR/2BA, $50. 941-539-6891.

WILDLIFE REMOVAL and relocation: Problem solving for all animals, big and small. Call Joe, Westcoast Nuisance Wildlife Service. 941-720-4152.

PRESSURE WASHING: $18/hour, $45/minimum. Call for a free quote. Reasonable and professional. Bill, 941-896-6788.

HELPING HAND: HOLMES Beach resident offering help with home care, errands, appointments. Rhonda, 941-405-6322.

FREE BOOKKEEPING: FREE bookkeeping to new clients.

Get your first month (or two) free, then convert to a simple contract.

Quickbooks accounting used. Call Ian, 941-730-1745.

DIRTY SOFFITS? CALL for a free quote. Reasonable and professional. Bill, 941-896-6788.

TUTORING SERVICES: Specializing in algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry and science. Special needs students welcome. Grades 3-12. Jenifer, 941-224-1760.

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS JD’s Window Cleaning looking for storefront jobs in Holmes Beach. Free estimates, references. 941-920-3840.

ISLAND MERMAIDS CLEANING and Co.: Gift certificates! 36 years of happy customers. Organizing, pet-watch, storm-check, etc. Rentals our specialty. 941-778-3046.

BEACH SERVICE air conditioning, heat, refrigeration. Commercial and residential service, repair and/or replacement. Serving Manatee County and the Island since 1987. For dependable, honest and personalized service, call William Eller, 941-795-7411. CAC184228.

ANYONE CAN TAKE a picture. A professional creates a portrait. I want to be at your wedding! 941-778-2711.

RELAXING MASSAGE IN the convenience of your home or hotel. Massage by Nadia, more than 19 years on Anna Maria Island. Call today for an appointment, 941-518-8301. MA#0017550.MA#0017550.

GUITAR TROUBLE? KOKO RAY’S ISLAND studio. Instruction in flute, saxophone, guitar, piano and voice. 315 58th St., Holmes Beach, 941-524-7426.


CONNIE’S LANDSCAPING INC. Residential and commercial. Full-service lawn maintenance, landscaping, cleanups, hauling and more! Insured. 941-778-5294.

ISLAND LAWN SPRINKLER service and repair. Your complete irrigation repair company. Call 941-778-2581.

TREES BY BREEZE Inc.: Custom landscapes, tree trimming, property maintenance. Insured. Since 1988. Chris, 941-778-2837.

LMK LAWN CARE: Average prices, treat your home like mine. Free estimates. Call Kenny, 941-812-1397.

JR’S LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE Lawns, native plants, mulching, trimming, hauling, cleanups. Island resident 25 years. Call 941-807-1015.


STRAIGHT SHOT LANDSCAPE. For all your landscape needs. Shell $45/yard. Call Shark Mark. 941-301-6067.

KARAZ LANDSCAPE LAWN service. Mulch, clean ups, power washing, tree trimming and more. 941-448-3857 or 941-448-5207.

SHELL DELIVERED AND spread. Premium grade-A, $45/yard B-grade, $30-$40/yard. Hauling all kinds of gravel, mulch, top soil with free estimates. Call Larry at 941-795-7775, “shell phone” 941-720-0770.

NATURE’S DESIGN LANDSCAPING. Design and installation. Tropical landscape specialist. Residential and commercial. 30 years experience. 941-729-9381, 941-448-6336.

FREE SNOW REMOVAL is back hauling and installing crushed, washed shell, dirt, mulch and anything else. Please, call David at 941-504-7045.

NURSERY QUALITY GARDEN Care and maintenance. Hand weeding, trimming, cleanup, plant installation. Certified horticultural professional. Call Joan, 941-704-9025.


VAN-GO PAINTING residential/commercial, interior/exterior, pressure cleaning, wallpaper. Island references. Bill, 941-795-5100.

TILE -TILE -TILE. All variations of ceramic tile supplied and installed. Quality workmanship, prompt, reliable, many Island references. Call Neil, 941-726-3077.

CUSTOM REMODELING EXPERT. All phases of carpentry, repairs and painting. Insured. Meticulous, clean, sober and prompt. Paul Beauregard, 941-730-7479.

GRIFFIN’S HOME IMPROVEMENTS Inc. Handyman, fine woodwork, countertops, cabinets and shutters. Insured and licensed, 941-748-4711.

JERRY’S HOME REPAIR: Carpentry work, handyman, light plumbing, electrical, light hauling, pressure washing. Call 941-778-6170 or 941-447-2198.

SOUTHBAY HOME REPAIRS: If it’s broken, stuck, loose, leaks, needs paint, etc. I’ll fix it. Affordable quality work. 941-720-2906.

FOREMOST FENCE: Commercial, Residential. Chain link, vinyl, aluminum, wood, access control. Contractors you can depend on. Call 941-748-2700.

J.E. MURRAY: ESTABLISHED Island builder. New homes, remodeling. 30-year resident. Call 941-778-2316 or 941-730-3228.


WEEKLY/MONTHLY/ANNUAL rentals: wide variety, changes daily. SunCoast Real Estate, 941-779-0202, or 1-800-732-6434.

WATERFRONT KEY WEST STYLE with dock. Furnished, walk to beach. $150/night, $950/week. $1,900/month off and $2,490/month in season. Use of bikes and kayaks included. 941-794-5980.

HOLMES BEACH BUSINESS Center. Rental units available for office/commercial spaces from 750-2,000 sf. Humidity-controlled mini-storage units and garage units, 11 x 22 feet. 5347 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. 941-778-2924.

HOLMES BEACH COTTAGE: 2BR/1BA. Northwest Bradenton 3BR/2BA pool home, Palma Sola 3BR/3BA pool home. Vacation rentals: 941-794-1515.

ISLAND ANNUALS: 2BR/2BA ground-level, pool, 55-plus community $1,000/month. 3BR/2BA private home with garage, furnished, $1,500/month. Gulf-Bay Realty, 941-778-7244.

VACATION RENTALS ACROSS from beach. Openings now. 2BR/1BA, $550/week. Almost Beach Apartments. 941-778-2374.

WATERFRONT COTTAGE one bedroom, perfect for one person without much stuff! $1,050/month, annual lease, non smoking. 941-779-0289.

HOLMES BEACH ANNUAL: Clean 2BR/2BA with garage. Nice quiet area, references required, no smoking/pets. $950/month. 941-776-1789.

BRADENTON BEACH: SEASONAL 2BR/1BA. Steps to beach. No pets. $750/week. 941-778-4731.

WATERFRONT 2BR/2BA TOWNHOUSE with boat slip on Palma Sola Bay. Heated pool, patio, cable, washer and dryer. Lease six months plus, $950/month unfurnished, $1,000/month furnished. Call 941-798-3842 or 941-720-7519.

VACATION RENTALS: 3BR/3BA pool home, 2BR/1BA cottage, 5BR/4BA split pool home, two blocks to Holmes Beach. 3BR/2BA pool home NW Bradenton, 3BR/3BA pool home Palma Sola. Weekly, monthly rentals. Luxury furnishings, all amenities. Inclusive prices. Coastal Properties Realty, 941-794-1515.

ANNUAL DUPLEX: 2BR/2BA, central heat/air conditioning, all appliances, close to beach, no pets, $850/month. 941-745-0407.

ANNUAL RENTAL: 2BR/2BA in Flamingo Cay. Split plan, fenced yard, large lanai and deck outside with hot tub. Updated baths. Pets OK. Available July 1. $1,200/month. 941-704-0065.

BRADENTON BEACH: PRIVATE home on bay. 2BR/2BA enclosed garage, ground level, washer and dryer hookups, one block to beach, $1,300/month. 941-778-6170.

2BR/1BA, beach views, $1,000/month. 2207 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach. Mike Norman Realty, 941-778-6696.

RESPONSIBLE RETIRED COUPLE: (No smoking, no pets) desires to lease furnished 2BR/’2BA unit in Holmes beach or Anna Maria. Prefer annual but would consider “longer” seasonal arrangement starting in October, 2011. Contact number, 906-420-1389. Please leave message.

SMALL PRIVATE ROOM: North Longboat Key. Washer and dryer, utilities included. $125/week. 941-383-4856.

LARGE 2BR/2BA DUPLEX near beaches. Covered parking and outdoor storage area. $925/month plus security. 262-745-3569, 941-567-4234.

LOOKING FOR HOME on north side of Anna Maria Island for older quiet couple. Smoking. 2BR/2BA not too far from beach, not too expensive. 217-273-5167.

ANNUAL RENTAL: 2BR/1BA half duplex, Anna Maria City, $875/month. Call Sato Real Estate Inc. 941-778-7200.

SEASONAL OR WEEKLY cottage-style rentals. 1BR/1BA or 55-plus 2BR/1BA with pool. Walk to beach, shopping, restaurants. 941-778-3426. Web site


DIRECT GULFFRONT: 146 feet on the beach. 3BR/4.5BA, office recreation room, spa, pool, outdoor kitchen and theater, elevator, turnkey furnished. $3,950,000. Suncoast Real Estate, 941-779-0202 or 941-720-0288.

DIRECT GULFFRONT: 4BR/4.5BA, den, three-car garage, pool, spa, elevator, security. Immaculate 2005 Mediterranean villa-style architecture, breathtaking Gulf views, furnished, 5,146 sf under roof, north Anna Maria Island. 12106 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. $3,400,000. Contact owner, broker, 941-920-1699.

FOR SALE: BRADENTON Beach. Sandpiper Resort, 1BR/1BA, enclosed bonus room, steps to beach. 813-458-3875.

FOR SALE: TRAILER. Pines Park, Bridge Street. $45,000. Updated, furnished, three blocks to beach. Park manager on-site. Boat dock possibility. Owner, 603-508-2039. Cell, 941-567-6726.

NEW UPGRADED CONDOS: Three miles to beach, seasonal, $140,000-plus. 941-773-0212. Taylor Morrison.

MODEST TRAILER FOR sale: 55-plus, 1BR, new appliances, parking, 3 miles to beach, boat stake possible, $7,000.  941-727-5210.

Lodge has history ‘by the sea’

The Angler’ s Lodge on North Bay Boulevard that was moved to the Anna Maria Historic Green Village at 503 Pine Ave. in Anna Maria earlier this week started out as a private home, according to Anna Maria Island Preservation Trust director Sissy Quinn.

Quinn said she met last week with Emma Service Williams, the 97-year old second owner of the property, who now lives in Parrish.

Quinn said Williams provided her with details of the history of the property, including its name.

It wasn’ t the Angler’ s Lodge until 1950, Quinn said.

The house was called “ Thelma by the Sea” by the original builder, Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Wood, and named for their daughter, Thelma.

It is Thelma’ s picture that appeared on the first tourism brochure for Anna Maria, published around 1925, Quinn said.

In 1944, Pearl Wood sold the house to Emma Service Williams, whose mother operated a boarding house in Ellenton.

Williams added an upstairs to the house, five bedrooms and two baths and by 1950 was calling it the Angler’ s Lodge.

The property was sold in 1956 to Mathilde Haslauer, who then sold it to the Scott family of Tampa in 1972. The Scotts used the house as a family get-away for 20 years until 1992, when it was sold to Agie Hebebrand of Chevy Chase, Md., who rented the home to family vacationers.

In 2011, Hebebrand decided to sell the property, but also wanted to see the building preserved. She now has sold the structure for $10 to Pineapplefish LLP, owned by Lizzie and Mike Vann Thrasher.

The Thrashers proposed moving the house to their green village project on Pine Avenue and Hebebrand agreed to the sale on condition that the house be preserved as much as possible.

There are already three older homes at the village and Lizzie Vann Thrasher said plans call for the lodge to be restored and renovated to accommodate retail-office-residential uses.

Lodge move slow going

Workers move the Angler’ s Lodge from North Bay Boulevard to a vacant lot across Lake LaVista inlet on May 23. The lodge will then be moved to the Anna Maria Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue where it will be restored and maintained by developers Mike and Lizzie Vann Thrasher. Islander Photo: Jack Elka

KRC members forced to face financial troubles

Members of Anna Maria Island’s only golf club, the Key Royale Club in Holmes Beach, received notice last week from newly elected president Craig Humphreys that the club is in financial difficulty and it’s worse than he and the club’s board of directors originally believed.

“Due to the recently discovered embezzlement and the resulting financial impact,” Humphreys said in his May 18 letter to members, a proposed clubhouse renovation is on hold indefinitely.

“We are now faced with the more pressing problem of funding our club through the remainder of this year,” he wrote.

Humphreys declined to comment when contacted, saying, “It’s a private club and it’s none of your business.”

Humphreys stated in the letter that if the present line of credit is not increased from $150,000 to $300,000, the board will be “forced to ask our current membership to step up and help restore financial stability to the club.”

He also outlined steps the board is taking to provide better accountability — a new accounting firm, training for office staff, and division between two employees in the office administrator position to provide checks and balances in the handling of the club’s finances.

He indicated a group of 26 members already had committed to a $300,000 loan to the club in response to troubled financial conditions before the club learned of the alleged embezzlement.

Humphreys said the “group of 26” is being asked to “double-up their prior commitment,” and, if they do not, other members will be asked to step in with financial aid.

The loan needs to be $600,000, he stated in the letter, in order to pay off an existing $230,000 mortgage and fund operations through the end of the year.

A source included in the 26 members committed to the $300,000 promissory note for the club said he was unsure how the note was to be secured.

The board “wishes to assure” its members that “every effort is being made to continue normal operation of our club during this difficult time,” Humphreys said.

In addition, the board is “pursuing every means of prosecution and recovery while we continue to operate the club in the manner to which you are accustomed,” he stated.

At the same time Humphreys and the board are pursuing additional funding to keep the club operational, the club is cooperating with the Holmes Beach Police Department. A “police investigation is ongoing,” he said, adding that the state attorney’s office is gathering evidence in the case via subpoenas of documents.

He did not elaborate on the amount of money embezzled, which apparently occurred sometime within the past year. He also did not name the employee he alleged to be involved in the embezzlement.

Humphreys states in the letter that the board is investigating its net loss after filing a claim for the club’s $50,000 fidelity bond coverage for employee dishonesty.

HBPD detective Mike Leonard confirmed there is an ongoing investigation, but said he had “no further comment at this time.” He declined to place a value on the club’s loss.

Leonard said there is a suspect, but he declined to provide a name “at this time.” He confirmed he’s spoken to someone at the state attorney’s regarding the matter.

Another contact offered in Humphreys’ letter, club treasurer Tim Friesen, also declined to comment when contacted. Terry Schaefer, also named as a contact did not return messages by presstime for The Islander.

The Key Royale Club is centered on a dredge-and-fill development project that originated in the 1960s on what was then School Key. It has a maximum membership that for many years saw a waiting list among Key Royale’s affluent residents, but membership diminished to approximately 300 in recent years, apparently due to the economic recession.

The golf course is a nine-hole, par-32 executive-style course surrounded by affluent homes and fronting Bimini Bay to the west.

KRC offer to members

Key Royale Club president Craig Humphreys, on behalf of the board of directors of the Key Royale Club, wrote a letter May 18 to members to inform them of financial problems at the club and make the following offer:

New club member lender loan:

• $600,000 10-year mortgage.

• 5.5 percent per annum, payable quarterly (P&I)

• Secured by first mortgage on all real property owned by KRC.

• No prepayment penalty.

• $10,000 minimum participation.

The letter establishes a deadline for member participation of June 14.

Questions on participation were referred to Humphreys, treasurer Tim Friesen, and Terry Schaefer, phase 2 project manager.

Chamber borrows funds, awaiting county payment

Without the $40,900 the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau owes the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, chamber president Mary Ann Brockman said she might have to borrow against the chamber’s money market account to make future payroll.

She’ll certainly have to borrow $3,000 for the three scholarships awarded annually to three deserving high school seniors in Manatee County. The presentation is planned for May 25.

“They’re still developing the contract to get the funding to us,” Brockman told executive board members at their May 20 meeting.

The funds have been tied up since November 2010 while county attorneys draw up a contract, and the county will not authorize release of the money until a contract is signed,

Brockman said the county has been working on the contract for seven months.

Board chair-elect Karen LaPensee, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Cindy Thompson, said the first contract presented a few weeks ago was rejected by the board because it did not guarantee reimbursement for certain expenses.

“It’s gone back to the county attorney and I was supposed to have an answer today,” she said. “But I didn’t get one.”

LaPensee said Brockman has to borrow against the money market account because the chamber has been covering postage and rent the past seven months. Postage alone amounts to nearly $3,500 a month, Brockman said, and that expense has been “draining our account.”

“We truly rely on that money. It’s working capital for us and to not have that coming in is a real burden,” said LaPensee.

In return for the funds, the chamber acts as a county tourist information center. “The money is ours. The (county) commission approved this and said we should be reimbursed,” LaPensee said.

The chamber had a “hand-shake” agreement with the BACVB for nine years until late last year, when county attorneys said the payments have to be made under a contract, Brockman noted.

Board member David Teitelbaum, who also is a member of the Manatee County Tourist Development Council, said the BACVB was “not trying to hurt the chamber,” but the lawyers want to ensure the process is “completely legal.”

In other chamber news, Larry Chatt said the new chamber website is nearly 80 percent complete and will be online within a few weeks. Every chamber member has an individual page on the site and can make changes or corrections with approval of the board.

“It’s like everyone is going to have their own website within a website,” Chatt said.

The board learned that Ed Chiles’ restaurants will be unable to participate in the 2012 wedding festival scheduled for the first week in May due to planning and sponsorship of the Food and Wine on Pine event at the same time.

Teitelbaum said the wedding festival really needs Chiles’ involvement and he would speak with him about alternate dates.

Board members rejected a January wedding festival because of the likelihood of cold weather.

Early May is the best time for the wedding festival because rooms are readily available that month and it’s not too hot, Brockman said.

Teitelbaum also discussed the advertising contract on the new Island trolleys. The first trolley will go into service on Aug. 14, he said, followed by another every 30 to 45 days until all five new trolleys are operational.

Advertising rates are “very affordable,” he said, and revenues are used to offset the county’s maintenance costs for the trolleys.

Businesses that had contracts for ads on the old trolleys will be given the first opportunity to advertise and select a position on these trolleys, he said.

Members agreed more promotion is needed for the annual luau scheduled July 16 at the Gulf Drive Cafe.  Brockman said Gulf Drive Cafe owner Wendy Kokolis told her she expected the chamber to got free advertising from local media.

Brockman said she would look for a sponsor for the luau.

FDOT road advisories for AMI, area roads, Cortez Bridge

Motorists are advised to use caution when driving on Bay Boulevard near the city pier as the Florida Department of Transportation has begun construction of the boardwalk along the shoreline north of the pier.

Motorists can expect temporary intermittent lane closures with a flagging operation during the course of construction.

Access to the pier will be maintained during construction, but pedestrians can expect to use alternate paths to enter the pier during construction.

The boardwalk project is expected to finish by October, a DOT release said.

The DOT will have a westbound lane closure on State Road 684/Cortez Road at the 115th Street West intersection from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 25, and Thursday, May 26.

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly beginning May 23, and ending at 5 a.m. Friday, May 27, there will be intermittent closures of the eastbound and westbound lanes on the Cortez Bridge for a maintenance project.

Motorists are advised to use caution in the construction areas and expect delays during the maintenance time period.

April home/condo sales skyrocket

Sales of single-family homes and condominiums on Anna Maria Island climbed 58.6 percent in April 2011 when compared with the number sold for the same month in 2010, according to the area’s real estate multiple listing service.

John Van Zandt of Island Real Estate checked the figures for Anna Maria Island sales and found 46 closings of Island properties in April as compared to 29 for April 2010.

“That’s really encouraging. I believe it shows the Island had a good season for property sales, especially as March figures were well above last year at that time,” Van Zandt said.

There were 27 single-family home closings in April this year and 16 for April 2010. At the same time, condominium sales were bumped from 12 in April 2010 to 18 sold in April 2011..

The average sale price of a single-family home also rose in April 2011 when compared with the same month last year.

MLS figures show the average single-family home sale on AMI for April 2011 was $553,296 compared with $523,063 in April 2010, a 5.8 percent increase.

“It’s definitely positive news, but we can’t say that it’s a sign the recession is over,” Van Zandt said. “You can’t compare Anna Maria Island to the mainland. The Island is different. It’s always in demand.”

At Gulf-Bay Realty, Jesse Brisson, who reports real estate transfers for The Islander, had the same MLS figures plus two by-owner sales. Those sales are not recorded by the MLS.

“A very good month, better than expected,” Brisson said.

He cautioned, however, that the figures do not necessarily mean prices are rising.

“It means there were more people looking this year than last, and they paid closer to the asking price. They took advantage of some bargains.”

“It’s still a buyer’s market with a lot of good values, especially for investors looking for rental income,” he said.

Vacation rentals are particularly attractive and at good prices, he said.

Condominiums in particular also are a good value following nearly three years of decline in the average sale price, and anything on the water always attracts buyers, Brisson noted.

“A lot of buyers are looking for an investment and paying cash. They look at the return on investment and see that tourism is good and vacation rentals are in demand,” he said.

Brisson and Van Zandt believe real estate sales will stay strong as the summer progresses.

“And we’re still priced well below other resort islands,” Van Zandt said.

“Where else can you get this for the price? Not Sanibel, not Captiva, not Marco Island,” he said.

Segway pitch drives task force meet

Segways by the beach is the topic of an upcoming meeting of the Preserve Our Beautiful Beaches Task Force set for May 31 in Bradenton.

The task force, made up of county and Island government staff, elected officials and Keep Manatee Beautiful, will meet at 3:30 p.m. that Tuesday at G.T. Bray Recreation Center, 5502 33rd Ave. Drive W., Bradenton.

The county parks and recreation department is hosting the meeting to explore its proposal to the county commission that would provide for a Segway tour contract at Coquina Beach.

The proposal involves the county contracting with a Bradenton Beach Segway business to host tours at Coquina on the multi-use path on the Gulfside and on the shell path as well as in Leffis Key on the bayside. Other Segway use would be banned from the county-managed park, as well as in other county parks and preserves.

The commission put the brakes on that plan pending further discussion on its options.

Commissioners differed in their reasons for stalling the plan. Several questioned why the county would allow a Segway concession to operate in the public park, but not allow other Segway riders. One suggested that if there was a concern about Segways crowding the path, the county should ban the vehicles. Several others suggested that Segways should be treated like bicycles.

Commissioners discussed the issue with county staff during a work session earlier this month. Then, at a meeting two weeks ago, the board voted 6-1 to put any action on an agreement with a Segway concessionaire on hold until a general Segway policy is adopted.