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Date of Issue: June 02, 2010

Commissioner seeks storm-hardening review

With the 2010 hurricane season arriving, Bradenton Beach City Commissioner Janie Robertson is thinking about storm-readiness.

And the need, she said, for Bradenton Beach to plan for hardening city buildings against a storm.

Robertson recently suggested that the city commission ask the planning and zoning board to work on a plan.

“It’s part of our mandate, and I think we should do that,” Robertson said.

The commission already has approved a long-range strategy for mitigating the impact of disasters.

The strategy includes: installing storm shutters and hardening city hall, elevating the public works building, improving drainage along Gulf Drive/State Road 789 from Sixth Street North to 27th Street North, purchasing new communications devices for the police and public works departments, raising some roads to combat flooding, installing more dunes on the beaches, improving drainage along Bay Drive South and updating the city’s phone system.

But how the goals are to be carried out is not detailed in the long-range plan. For example, city officials may decide to relocate city hall.

Robertson raised the hardening issue at a recent meeting of the community redevelopment agency.

At the meeting, CRA member Ed Chiles said, “The city is required on a 20-year basis to provide for survival of its critical structures. A one-story city hall sitting across from a beach … is not good.”

Robertson asked whether the CRA or the city commission would be best tasked with asking the planning and zoning board to take up the hardening issue.

Others on the CRA agreed that the commission was the appropriate body.

“While the CRA should be supportive of it, that’s an issue for the city commission,” said Chiles.

Robertson agreed to raise the issue at a commission meeting.