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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Fireworks abate, lists proliferate

After the new Bradenton Beach City Commission's spectacular opening meeting Nov. 20, which saw consultants drop like flies, the commission reverted to a more normal format for a board comprising a majority of political newcomers at its Monday, Dec. 1, meeting.

Commissioners first drew lists of projects that need to be accomplished and scheduled a slew of meetings.

They briefly discussed more than 40 projects, legal issues, capital improvement matters or other items that have been discussed in the past few years. No shortlist of projects was produced at the session, but commissioners apparently did agree that three issues were in the forefront based on three special city commission meetings set for next week.

Topics for the Wednesday, Dec. 10, meeting will be the comprehensive plan, with consultant Tony Arrant of the Florida Institute of Government scheduled to discuss the process the city will need to take to reach a consensus on amending the future growth of Bradenton Beach. That meeting is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Dec. 11, commissioners will begin the task of talking to attorneys to replace Alan Prather, who was fired by the city commission. Scheduled to appear before the commission is land-use attorney Dan Lobeck of Sarasota and Chuck Webb, a former Anna Maria City Commissioner who now serves on the Anna Maria Planning and Zoning Board. That meeting too will begin at 3:30 p.m.

On Friday, Dec. 12, the topic will be a presentation by Lynn Townsend, an engineer the city retained to evaluate options to improve drainage on Avenue A between 24th and 25th Streets, and also to determine engineering guidelines to dredge the city's two canals. That meeting is scheduled to being at 4 p.m.

Pending issues on the list for commissioners to address include the proposed city mooring field, park-and-ride lot at the north end of Coquina Beach for Bridge Street employees, an intersection analysis study at Gulf Drive and Cortez Road, and bike lanes along both sides of Gulf Drive for the length of the city.

Capital improvement projects that are in the works include installation of an underground phone line between the police department and city hall, seawall repairs, recycling equipment, a $100,000 landscape project for the Bridge Street area, playground equipment at the city park off 25th Street, and pier improvements, including new railings and a roof.

Also pending are ordinances dealing with sanitation-recycling and the related fee structure, noise, drug-free workplace, employee manual, signs, modular newsracks and golf carts on city streets.