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Date of Issue: September 17, 2008

Some Anna Maria residents to get fee break

Anna Maria city commissioners agreed that some people living in the city need a tax break. Er, make that a stormwater utility-fee break.

At its Sept. 11 meeting, commissioners approved an option to the recently adopted stormwater utility fee that will allow low-income property owners to apply for an exemption to the annual fee.

The property owners have to meet guidelines established by Manatee County for poverty, and city clerk Alice Baird said she believed there may be 14 families in the city that may qualify.

In other business, commissioners sent a proposed amendment for the city’s sign ordinance to code enforcement officer Gerry Rathvon and city planner Alan Garrett for additional study. The amendment would exempt some residential and commercial signs from code enforcement action, even if found in violation of the ordinance.

Commissioner Dale Woodland and Commission Chairman John Quam took time during the meeting to praise public works director George McKay for his assistance to residents who had their property flooded during the heavy rains and high tides experienced during the passage of hurricanes Ike and Gustav in the Gulf of Mexico.

Woodland also said he’d like the city to host another pre-Christmas “citizen and staff appreciation party” to honor volunteer service to the community by a resident, and outstanding performance by a city staff member.