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Date of Issue: July 23, 2008

Tidal water prompts complaint

Coarse rock will be placed into a ditch on 29th Street in Holmes Beach to address the complaint of a property owner displeased with drainage improvements in the area.

Lea Ducket owns a duplex in the 400 block of 29th Street, where she complained to city hall that at high tide water flows from wetlands on the edge of Anna Maria Sound into the ditch along 29th Street near Avenue C.

“What started out as a small ditch is now a retention pond,” Ducket said. “We’ve created a canal on my street. And, if you come out at high tide, you’ll see it’s flowing inland.”

The city invested in a major stormwater drainage improvement program in the 29th Street area last fall.

Since then, a number of neighborhood residents have said that they are pleased with the project, noting that regular rainfall now drains from the streets rather than collecting in the intersections or their yards.

But Ducket questioned the project’s success. She said the ditch near her property hinders access to her front door and her ability to bring a boat trailer onto her property.

She also emphasized the water at high tide.

“It gets stagnate. It’s an eyesore. It’s a huge liability issue in my opinion,” Ducket said.

Holmes Beach public works director Joe Duennes said the city will place coarse rocks into the drainage swale near Ducket’s duplex as early as this week.

However, Duennes said he consulted with the project engineer and they determined that there is not a problem with the design of the drainage improvements.

“It’s working properly,” he said. “Once they cleaned out all the ditches, the tidal water was able to come back up to its natural height or maximum height.…

“And she’s sitting on top of wetlands. That’s the nature of the beast. But we can make it more pleasant for her.”