The Longboat Key Town Commission postponed a decision on whether to spend $100,000 to keep the trolley running in the Manatee County portion of Longboat Key.
The commission hopes Town Manager Bruce St. Denis can work with the county administrators in both Manatee and Sarasota counties before the end of the year to keep the service operational without having to spend town taxpayer money.
Despite low ridership on Longboat Key (estimated at two to three riders per hour and about 30 riders per day), Vice Mayor Jim Brown attempted to assuage concerns.
“This is a link in a regional transportation system that we will never get back if it disappears,” said Brown, who still believes Manatee County should pay for the trolley. “It’s like they think Longboat Key doesn’t even exist in Manatee County until we give them their $50 million in taxes every year.”
Also at its regular workshop, the commission:
• An ordinance that makes minor revisions to the town’s sign code.
• An ordinance that updates the capital improvements element of the town’s Comprehensive Plan.
Forwarded to its Monday, Dec. 6, regular meeting for second reading and public hearing:
• A resolution that allows Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi to opt out of the Firefighters’ Retirement System, which reduces the town’s pension costs for the fire chief from 46% to 16% of salary.
Forwarded to its Monday, Dec. 6, regular meeting for formal action:
• A resolution that provides for necessary budget transfers for various general ledger line items to be in compliance with the town’s charter.
• The town’s debt capacity and possibility of refunding town-issued general obligation bonds that were issued in 1999 to save $256,000 over the remaining nine years of the bonds.
• The role, importance and authority of the town’s Code Enforcement Board.
• Issues with animal control on Longboat Key.
• Proposed rate increases for wholesale water and wastewater rates being charged to the town by Manatee County.
• The town’s island-wide 2011-12 beach renourishment program and projected project costs and options.
• An ordinance drafted by the town attorney that would place a charter referendum on the March 2011 general election ballot pertaining to the requirement for a preliminary election.
• An interlocal agreement crafted by town attorney David Persson that strengthens an agreement between Sarasota County and the town regarding the future passive park use of the Bayfront Park and former Albritton property.
• A request by Longboat Key Turtle Watch President Tim Thurman to amend the town code to prohibit temporary structures, beach equipment and beach furniture being left on the beach at night during turtle season.
• March 8 as the date for the town’s March general municipal election.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com.