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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Anna Maria plans its own D-Day for remodeling project

Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn has set Friday, June 18, as D-Day for city hall and staff to be moved into temporary quarters at the Island Baptist Church while city hall undergoes a long-overdue remodeling. The remodeling project by contractor Southern Cross Construction of Sarasota will begin Monday, June 21.

"We may even work over the weekend, but we'll be ready by that Monday," the mayor predicted.

The mayor will present the lease with Island Baptist for commission approval at the June 10 special meeting. The commission voted 4-1 at its May 27 meeting for the remodeling contract and other phases of the project to proceed.

During the expected three-month remodeling period, city commission meetings will be held at the Holmes Beach City Hall. The first commission meeting to utilize the Holmes Beach chambers is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 24.

The mayor said budget hearings will also be held in Holmes Beach. The first hearing on the 2004-05 budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, July 1.

That's assuming Anna Maria commissioners will sign the lease.

After a bitter, six-month fight over increasing costs outside of the remodeling portion, commissioners approved the project by a 4-1 vote when Commissioner Carol Ann Magill said essentially, "enough was enough" and she wanted the entire remodeling and maintenance project to go forward.

Commissioner Linda Cramer wouldn't give her approval until she got other commissioners to agree to find the estimated $25,000 for a new roof, rather than waiting until the 2004-05 budget cycle. Commissioner Dale Woodland maintained his steadfast opposition to the project.

The remodeling contract with Southern Cross is $151,000, but needed maintenance and mitigation for asbestos and mold removal, a new roof, and some new air conditioning compressors, among other items, have pushed the total project cost to nearly $235,000. The city has budgeted $210,000 for the project.

The special meeting June 10 is to approve two change orders and other needed maintenance associated with the project and already approved architectural plans.

City hall closings
In preparation for the renovation project and to move to the Island Baptist Church, Anna Maria City Hall will be closed Friday, June 11, and Thursday and Friday, June 17 and 18 respectively.