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Date of Issue: April 09, 2008

Open for business: pier signs going up

Bradenton Beach’s city pier team last week celebrated the arrival of one new sign at the renovated Historic Bridge Street Pier.

City public works employee Pat O’Neill created the sign, which depicts two pelicans and will eventually contain cedar lettering that reads, “Historic Bridge Street Pier.”

“What a draw. He was standing out there painting all day,” city project and program management director Lisa Marie Phillips said during an April 3 meeting of the pier team, which consists of representatives from each city department and several elected officials.

The team announced that two additional signs will soon go up on the pier.

One sign will designate the Rotten Ralph’s restaurant on the pier and another will read, “Welcome, c. 1921 Bradenton Beach City Pier.” The city shared in the sign project with the restaurant.

In other pier business last week, Dave Russell of Rotten Ralph’s on the Pier formally signed a lease agreement to operate the fishing kiosk on the pier. The city commission signed off on the agreement last November.

As Russell signed the agreement, city clerk Nora Idso told him, “You guys are ready to rock ’n’ roll on this kiosk.”

Russell also told pier team members that he planned to soon pay the city about $64,000 for pier equipment. “I’m hoping to have that any day,” he said.

Coming up on the pier April 19, divers will clean litter and debris from under the structure as part of the Great American Cleanup effort.

Phillips noted that during a cleanup under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge fishing piers, divers collected about 6,400 pounds of fishing lines.

The next pier team meeting will take place at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.