Town Manager Tom Harmer's monthly report on community happenings.
June 1 kicked off hurricane season for 2022. Don't wait to get prepared.
Sea turtle nesting season: The season started on May 1 and runs through Oct. 31. The new and revised requirements in our Town Code adopted in 2021, are effective this nesting season. Thank you to our partners Mote Marine, Longboat Key Turtle Watch, and the Longboat Key Garden Club. Call Code Enforcement Officer Chris Kopp at 941-316-1966 with any questions or to schedule discussions about the new code for your condominium or HOA meetings.
It’s shorebird nesting season, too: Shorebird nesting season runs through the summer but wraps up in September providing birds adequate time for a successful nesting period. 2021 didn’t produce a high number of nests but those that we had were more productive than prior years. Least terns, black skimmers and snowy plovers are among those who call Longboat Key beaches home. Nests are laid on the very top of a patch of sand which makes them vulnerable to predators like raccoons, etc., and also includes dogs, and people. Our beach permit conditions require shorebird monitoring to ensure beach conditions are favorable for nesting, and that nests are properly marked to protect eggs and hatchlings.
Auto transport vehicles (car-haulers): We continue to see many of our seasonal visitors depart the island. For who schedule an auto transport, please tell the driver that parking on Gulf of Mexico Drive or on the GMD right-of-way is illegal and being strictly enforced with ticketing. There are safer & legal locations to load/unload vehicles available both on, and just off, the island. If you have questions, call the Town Manager’s Office at 941-316-1999.
Budget season continues: We held our first budget workshop on May 16 and presented the five-year capital budgets for the various funds. Our second budget workshop of the year will be at 9 a.m. on June 20. This second workshop will focus on the FY23 operating budget currently under development. Final budget hearings are scheduled for September. The new fiscal year (FY23) starts on Oct. 1.
Greer Island: The Army Corps of Engineers approved our permit for the Greer Island Spit Management Plan project. Staff is in the planning stage and will be soliciting a contractor to perform the work which is part of the permit’s 15-year plan to maintain that area. Staff also requested and received an emergency permit from the Corps to remove a smaller amount of sand near the private dock to improve access to the lagoon as soon as possible. That emergency permit work is scheduled to start this month. On June 6, town staff will present a proposed ordinance to establish Chapter 89, Public Bathing Protection, to facilitate an area that prohibits motorized vessels along a portion of Greer Island to protect swimmers, kayaks and paddleboards in and adjacent to the lagoon area.
Special Legislative Session: The state legislature passed reforms to address property insurance and multi-story building inspections. The Legislature passed a bill during the May Special Session on property insurance reform, as well as legislation regarding multistory building inspections and certification as a follow-up to the Surfside Collapse in South Florida. The governor has now signed those bills into law. The town paused its effort to enact a local law to see if the state would act, as a statewide approach was preferred.
Sea level rise and neighborhood flooding: A presentation is scheduled for the June 20 regular workshop on the status of the sea level rise study and neighborhood flooding assessments for Buttonwood and Sleepy Lagoon.
Gulfstream & U.S. 41 Roundabout Project: The FDOT project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022. It is still an active construction site with changing conditions. Check routes and potential delays in advance of your
travel at the FDOT project website.
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