Author Archives: Terry O’Connor

thumb image

Irma damage to Holmes Beach estimated at $50,000

Hurricane Irma was easy on the Holmes Beach government pocketbook. But some hard lessons were learned about preparation, communication and sandbag demand. Treasurer Lori Hill estimated Hurricane Irma will cost Holmes Beach $50,000 in preparation and cleanup costs. She cautioned the estimates are preliminary. A rapid damage assessment from Kenneth Blaser, risk control consultant for […]

thumb image

Holmes Beach looks to triple Night Out crowd

Free munchies and drinks, a bicycle giveaway, bounce house, water slides and a dunk tank are all part of the fun for the second-annual Holmes Beach National Night Out. Best of all, it’s all free. A surprisingly large crowd of some 500 people showed up for the first Holmes Beach National Night Out in August […]

thumb image

Holmes Beach focus post-Irma: Restoring power

The management team from Hurricane Hanks in Holmes Beach was hanging outdoors Sept. 12, munching lunch on a sunny mid-afternoon. They weren’t working. They were waiting. Waiting for Florida Power & Light Co. to plug their business into the electric grid. The casual Holmes Beach pub, 5346 Gulf Drive, was without power two days post-Hurricane […]

thumb image

Holmes Beach mayor declares state of local emergency

The approach of Hurricane Irma spurred Holmes Beach Mayor Bob Johnson to declare a state of local emergency effective 11:30 a.m. Sept. 9. The move provided emergency management powers in the event Hurricane Irma proves a catastrophic hurricane for Holmes Beach. The city can waive procedures and any formalities related to performing any public works […]

thumb image

DOT: Final public hearing on Cortez Bridge ‘intense’

To the Florida Department of Transportation, it’s financial project No. 430204-1-22-01. No sentiment involved in deciding the future of Cortez Bridge. Just engineering another bridge. “We’ve got it down to two final options,” remarked one DOT employee as he was setting up displays for the final public hearing Aug. 31 before the decision on the […]

thumb image

Peak daily traffic pressures island roadways

Anna Maria Island traffic peaks six hours a day, every day, regardless of season. That’s one of the findings made by Florida Department of Transportation consultants working on the second phase of the $675,000 District 1 Sarasota/Manatee Barrier Islands Traffic Study. Findings included confirmation peak barrier island traffic generally lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 […]

thumb image

Cortez residents pool resources, resist DOT megabridge

With one last chance remaining to impress upon the Florida Department of Transportation their preference for retaining the low-rise Cortez Bridge, a two-hour strategy session Aug. 26 brought roughly 50 people together to discuss how best to get their message across. If you go Who: Anyone interested in the repair or replacement of the Cortez […]

Challenges loom in Holmes Beach commission races

At least five people, including two challengers and three incumbents, have confirmed interest in running for the Holmes Beach City Commission. Incumbents Pat Morton, Carol Soustek and Marvin Grossman are running for re-election. Challengers Jim Kihm and Mike Hurst have picked up qualifying packets from city clerk Stacey Johnston and are listed as candidates on […]

thumb image

Cortez hopes to sway DOT: Spare village, repair bridge

Battle lines are drawn as decision time for the Cortez Bridge draws near. The Florida Department of Transportation has announced it is leaning toward the largest replacement option for the bridge. The DOT emphasized it has not yet decided to build a $72 million, 65-foot vertical-clearance fixed bridge, but it is the favored option. The […]