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Date of Issue: November 15, 2007

Grant committee tours enhancement area

Anna Maria’s transportation enhancement grant committee did a walking tour of Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive on Monday, Nov. 12, to establish a list of streetscaping locations that might benefit from some of the $358,000 the committee will allocate.

City Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick, who chairs the committee, led members on the tour, which was open to the public.

At its Nov. 7 meeting, the committee discussed several ideas for streetscaping, including ornamental outdoor lights as found in some other Florida beach cities.

Committee members agreed they did not want Anna Maria to look like other Florida coastal communities such as Fernandina Beach, but they could borrow ideas used in some of those communities.

The committee has agreed that “streetscaping,” such as tree plantings, flower beds and lighting in selected areas, will be the priority for utilizing the funds, which come from the federal government, but are administered by the Florida Department of Transportation.

The DOT will perform the design and engineering required, once the committee selects a specific project. The DOT will also decide if the selected project is feasible with the $358,000 the committee has to spend.

Funds won’t be available to the city until the DOT’s 2010-11 budget. The selected project(s) must be submitted to the DOT by July 2009 for the engineering and design phase to be in the 2009-10 budget.

Although $358,000 might not be a “whole lot of money,” said Mattick, who wrote the grant two years before she was elected to the city commission, “it’s a start” for improving the city. She hopes to find other grants that will provide funds for improving the city’s landscaping.

In addition to Mattick, other members of the committee are Mayor Fran Barford, Manon Lavoie of the DOT, Don Brownewell, Nancy Colcord, Michael Coleman, Richard DeFrank, Tim Eiseler, Steve Kring, Cindy Mansour, Sissy Quinn, Mary Selby and Betty Yanger.