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Date of Issue: March 01, 2007

Anna Maria eyes roofing company litigation

Anna Maria city commissioners agreed unanimously at their Feb. 22 meeting to retain the Bradenton law firm of Ozark, Perron and Nelson to represent the city in any litigation against Roof USA Inc. for the mold and damages caused by that company to city hall during installation of a new roof on the building last summer.

City Attorney Jim Dye noted the firm has extensive experience in construction litigation and negotiations with Roof USA's insurance company are currently at a standstill.

The city administration has been forced to relocate temporarily to the Island Baptist Church while city hall is undergoing removal and remediation of mold caused by the collapsed roof. Since that remediation effort began, however, an asbestos problem has been discovered at the building. Mayor Fran Barford said it now appears city hall will have to remain at IBC a bit longer than the original estimate of six to eight weeks.

Barford told commissioner's she'd have an objective report on the status of all damages and repairs at the March 8 worksession, which will be held at the Holmes Beach City Hall.


Lot-split ordinance

In other business, the commission agreed to continue the public hearing on the proposed lot-split ordinance until it had more information on how many properties might not be grandfathered for access under the ordinance.

City planner Alan Garrett noted that under the proposed ordinance, some property owners that presently do not have access to their property and do not have an easement might not be protected. There are six properties in the city without access to a public street, he said.

The hearing was continued to March 22.


Construction moratorium

Commissioners agreed unanimously to the first reading of an ordinance extending the current moratorium on new construction seaward of or on the coastal construction control line to Sept. 4, 2007. The second reading of the ordinance will be at 4 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Island Baptist Church.


City audit

City auditor Ed Leonard gave the commission some good news after reviewing the city's books for the 2005-06 fiscal year.

The city is in good shape, he noted, and his firm was able to give the city a "clean and unqualified" audit, the highest available award.

The commission also learned that the environmental education and enhancement committee plans to pursue removal of five Australian pines from the Gulffront Park habitat.

Barford also reported that the city is currently measuring some parking spaces on Gulf Drive for use as handicap-access parking locations.