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Date of Issue: March 23, 2006

Anna Maria gives 'thumbs up' to road improvement scheme

A project four years in the making in Anna Maria is fast becoming a reality.

City commissioners at their March 16 meeting wasted little time in approving a motion authorizing the city engineering firm of Baskerville-Donovan Inc. to begin preparing the bid packets for $763,000 worth of road improvements along with $125,000 for two drainage/stormwater improvement projects.

The projects will be funded by the $1 million line of credit recently approved by the commission.

Tom Wilcox of BDI said he anticipated an eight- to 12-month time frame to complete all of the roads, with the majority of the work taking place out of season. BDI will supervise all road projects with an on-site construction manager who will report directly to him, Wilcox added.

BDI will keep the mayor and public works director informed of the progress of each road on at least a monthly basis, he said. The mayor will then provide a status report to the commission.

Commissioners also passed a motion accepting the $263,000 bid from DeJonge Excavating Contractors of Venice for the Gladiolus/North Shore Drive drainage project. Although DeJonge was the low bid of the four received, the amount was $80,000 over what the city had budgeted for the project last September.

Wilcox explained that the rapid increase in construction costs since September, along with the additional engineering needed for the project, both contributed to the overage.

Commissioners agreed to transfer $80,000 of the $185,000 budgeted for debt service to cover the additional cost for that project as the city will only have two line-of-credit payments this fiscal year instead of the four that Mayor SueLynn had anticipated in the budget.

The commission will hold the first reading of an ordinance amending the 2005-06 budget on March 23.