Author Archives: Bianca Benedí

FDOT begins islands traffic study

The long-awaited traffic study of the barrier islands is underway and members of the Coalition of Barrier Island Elected Officials are hoping it will be the final word on the issue. The Florida Department of Transportation’s study began May 15, according to an announcement from David Gwynn, director of transportation operations in district 1. The […]

Stone crab season wraps up with a bang

Stone crab season is over. Stone crabbers have picked up their traps and the crabs will be left to reproduce and repopulate until Oct. 15, when the season begins again. The harvest of this popular Florida crab ended with a strong finish, with crabbers statewide pulling in nearly 3 million pounds of claw fish worth […]

Staff shakeup continues at community center

The Center of Anna Maria Island has experienced another staff shakeup, but operations should be running as normal. On Wednesday, May 10, youth director Stephanie Rycerz turned in her resignation. She held for the position for less than two months before her departure. Rycerz was hired in March to replace former youth director Emily Moss, […]

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WMFR adopts rate hike maximum, approves board of appeals

The West Manatee Fire Rescue board voted 3-2 May 18 for a maximum assessment rate hike of 2 percent for residential properties. The commission also approved a maximum rate hike of 4 percent for commercial properties for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The rate hikes would bring up to $140,000 in additional revenue. The WMFR will […]

Anna Maria approves 6 Bert Harris counter offers

The negotiations continue. Six counter offers on Bert Harris claims were approved May 11 by the Anna Maria City Commission, offering occupancy rates between 10 and 16 for vacation homes. Commissioner Nancy Yetter voted against the settlement offers. The city of Anna Maria adopted a vacation rental ordinance in 2015 that went into effect in […]

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Future AMI bridge aesthetics undergo final review

Design recommendations for a new Anna Maria Island Bridge are complete, but when it will be built remains to be seen. The Anna Maria Island Bridge Aesthetics Advisory Committee met April 26 at the Bradenton Public Works Department, 1411 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, to finalize draft recommendations for the proposed 65-foot, fixed-span Anna Maria Island […]

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Amendments gut state vacation rental bill

Amendments made to Senate Bill 188 effectively gutted the state’s ability to prevent municipalities from regulating vacation rentals, according to state Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, who filed the bill. The bill prohibited local ordinances from regulating or restricting vacation rentals and would have stripped local governments of vacation rental regulations adopted after June 2011. As […]

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WMFR prepares for upcoming fiscal budget

West Manatee Fire Rescue commissioners issued a recommendation April 20 on how to move forward with preliminary planning for their 2017-18 fiscal year budget. By June 1, the board of commissioners must agree on a maximum preliminary assessment rate for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The planned assessment rate can be lowered but […]