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Date of Issue: June 24, 2009

Harbor plan anchored for review

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Bradenton Beach commissioners on June 24 will discuss a draft of a harbor management plan for the mooring field south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

Bradenton Beach commissioners delayed christening the first draft of a harbor management plan until they can take an in-depth review of the document.

The commission was scheduled to review the document, part of a master recreational boating plan, during a regular meeting June 18, but agreed to hold a special meeting at 1 p.m. June 24 on the advice of city attorney Ricinda Perry.

In part, the commission delayed the discussion because the key staff person involved with creating the document, project/program manager Lisa Marie Phillips, was experiencing medical issues.

The June 18 meeting was under way when Manatee County Emergency Medical Services technicians were called to city hall to treat Phillips for chest pains.

The meeting was delayed about 20 minutes, and, when it resumed and commissioners arrived at Phillips’ proposal for them to adopt the harbor management plan, Perry recommended a special meeting to discuss possible changes.

The harbor management plan, needed to establish an official mooring field south of the Historic Bridge Street Pier, was modeled on St. Augustine’s plan and was drafted by grant-funded consultants working with city staff and a city advisory committee.

Some committee members have expressed dissatisfaction with the document, as well as the process of preparing the plan. Several committee members attended the June 18 meeting and asked that the committee hold a meeting on the plan before the commission’s review.

“I think you need to turn it back to committee,” said committee member Bill Shearon.

But because a draft plan is due to the state by June 30, Perry suggested a single meeting and encouraged committee members to attend.

“We have less than two weeks to get this document done,” Perry said. “We can’t send it back to committee.… The best approach is to have a meeting by the commission and invite those who wish to make comments to come.”

The commission also will discuss details of the harbor-master job during the meeting.

Phillips said the plan is being submitted to the state for an initial review and comment and is not a final document.

The commission last week did approve a plan for a non-motorized boat launch at Herb Dolan Park, which city officials hope to fund with grant money.

In other business June 18, commissioners:

• Approved payment of a $6,078.13 invoice from M.T. Causley Inc. for building department services.

• Approved a request to hang a banner near Cortez Road and Gulf Drive promoting the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce’s 60th anniversary party Aug. 8.

• Approved $2,299.72 in repairs to a privately owned pickup truck damaged by a sanitation truck. The truck, according to the accident report, swung wide after emptying a Dumpster and hit the parked pickup.

• Approved the upgrade of the city’s telephone system at a cost estimated at $12,667.60.

City clerk Nora Idso said the phone system at city hall no longer functions properly and technicians said it is beyond affordable repair.

“I’m asking here whether you want to upgrade the phone system in city hall or if we want to have tin cans,” Idso said.

The commission unanimously approved the recommendation.