Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy wants to move ahead on dredging six shallow canal areas in Lake LaVista, but not until September.
Murphy halted the project Jan. 23 after he learned the dredging company, C&M Dredging of Leesburg, also planned to do dredging for private property owners along the canals and store the sludge at the City Pier Park at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard.
There are some shallow areas of Lake LaVista that need dredging, Murphy said Feb. 2, but the approved West Coast Inland Navigation District dredging project could be done in about six weeks and the material trucked off the island.
Dredging of the private areas in Lake LaVista outside the scope of the WCIND project would require the dredged material to be stored until August, Murphy noted.
So Murphy submitted a new proposal to the WCIND Feb. 3, calling for the dredging of the six shallow areas to begin no later than Sept. 3.
The dredged material would be trucked from the city. If the contractor needs to use city property, the company would need approval at least 45 days before the start of the project.
Murphy wants the dredging finished by Oct. 31.
If the dredge company does any private dredging, it would have to arrange for another site to store and dry any sludge.
September is the slowest time of the year for traffic, the mayor said, so the impact is less in September than in February.
“If the company needed additional time in October to finish the project, it could ask for an extension that would include an appropriate penalty,” he added.
The project is funded by $60,000 from Manatee County’s 2015-16 budget and, Murphy said, WCIND has the authority to move the project to the proposed date.
Christian Miller of C&M said he’s not been contacted by anyone about moving the project to September, but he’s willing to work with WCIND and the city.
“We’ve done a lot of work in Anna Maria and I know we’ll all do our best to get this done without major impact,” he said.
The private dredging proposal was an effort to allow property owners along Lake LaVista an opportunity to dredge at a much lower price because the equipment would already be staged for the grant project, he said.
Until a new project date is determined, Miller said he would not know if private dredging would also be a possibility.
“I have no problem with C&M dredging other areas for private citizens at a good price, I just don’t want them to store the sludge for seven months on city property,” Murphy said.
The mayor said he planned to talk with WCIND officials the week of Feb. 9-13.