Icon barge sails, but work goes on at the Anna Maria City Pier

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A barge that has been part of the Anna Maria Island City Pier construction since January 2018 departs June 26 — no longer required for the remainder of the build. Islander Photo: Anna Maria/Dean Jones
Workers with i+icon-SOUTHEAST walk from the T-end of the Anna Maria City Pier to the landside for lunch June 26. Islander Photo: Cory Cole

The city of Anna Maria said au revoir June 26 to the barge at the city pier.

“Reminiscent of Elvis, the i+icon barge has left the building,” Mayor Dan Murphy wrote in an email June 26 to The Islander.

The barge has been present since January 2018 when i+iconSOUTHEAST began construction. The barge departure — no longer needed for the job — signals i+icon’s work at the pier is closer to completion.

Murphy said another barge would be employed in building the restaurant and bait shop at the T-end. Mason Martin LLC has that contract and the company plans to begin work as soon as possible, he said.

At a city meeting June 27, Murphy asked commissioners for a vote to change the siding on the bait shop and restaurant from kebony to hardie-board planking.

The commissioners voted unanimously for hardie board, made from a fiber-cement combination, and 100% fireproof and resistant to insects and vermin.

Commissioner Doug Copeland said hardie board has a 30-year warranty and comes in any color the commission might want.

The change also will save the city $18,500, Murphy said.

In related business, Murphy asked commissioners to provide a list by July 5 of leasing recommendations for the pier restaurant and bait shop.

The mayor wants each commissioner to list their ideal terms for the pier concession lease.

Commissioner Dale Woodland handed out some suggestions June 27, including adding security cameras and benches and said the city should be responsible for all maintenance on the pier.

“Leaseholders are temporary, but the pier is the city’s forever,” Woodland said.

He said that is why he suggested the city maintain the structure.

Murphy has been in contact with Mario Schoenfelder, the current leaseholder, and hopes to deliver a proposed lease to Schoenfelder by July 12.

The mayor said he plans to have a signed lease by September.

Meanwhile, work on the T-end platform continues.

The week of June 24, i+icon was filling in the platform at the T-end and Ayres Associates, the city engineering firm, was finalizing plans for the lighting and electrical work, which is contracted to Miller Electric.

City pier funding

The city has taken in about $4.1 million for the pier project. The Manatee County Tourist Development Council budgeted $1.5 million. Roughly $11,000 was raised in a GoFundMe account by the Anna Maria Island Preservation Trust and $304,000 is allocated in the city budge. Also, Manatee County government committed $333,000 and the city received $750,000 in state historical grants and another $945,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damages.

Included in the $4.1 million is $285,000 from the state.

Also, the TDC recommended an additional $435,000 for the pier, which needs approval by the county commission.

Murphy said $408,000 in city funding would be part of the 2019-20 fiscal budget — if approved.

All the expected funding totals $4.97 million.

On the expense side, demolition cost $732,000 and the construction cost is at about $4.2 million, totaling about $4.9 million.

Construction of the restaurant and bait shop will be funded from the city’s current and 2019-20 fiscal year budgets, provided the contractor, Mason Martin, starts work before Oct. 1, Murphy said.

Mason Martin bid $1,041,101 to build the shell for the restaurant and bait shop on the pier. This cost brings the total for construction to about $5.9 million.

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