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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Street end enhancement a long process for Bradenton Beach

A sub-committee of members of the Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway Committee Corridor Management Entity will have about five years to come up with a plan for street-end enhancement that will designate public parking spaces in those areas.

That's about how long the CME has until the next beach renourishment project gets fully under way and Manatee County officials will actually count the number of parking spaces near beach accesses that will apply to the beach renourishment program.

After an informal survey of street ends in the city by CME member Bill Shearon and Mayor John Chappie found only 19 apparent public parking spaces, the sub-committee members have their work cut out for them. But the CME at its July 27 meeting authorized Shearon and Chappie to seek assistance from county officials and Manatee County Ecosystems Manager Charlie Hunsicker to locate and enhance the parking spaces.

In other business, the CME recommended some slight changes to a sign proposed by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce welcoming visitors to the Island. The sign would be placed the the Longboat Pass Bridge on State Road 789 for northbound traffic. The chamber is paying for the cost.

The CME got some bad news when it learned that its grant application to the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization for $300,000 in Florida Department of Transportation enhancement funds finished second by a half-point. The "winner" was an application by Manatee County. Mike Howe of the MPO, however, said the CME can retain its "position" as the top candidate on the priority list by resubmitting the application by next year's deadline.

While there's every likelihood the CME will be awarded the grant if it reapplies, actual funding is several years after approval, Howe noted.