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Longboat Key Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 10 years ago

Residents express erosion concerns

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Longbeach President Bob Appel and many residents of the north end of the island told the Longboat Key Town Commission at its Thursday, Jan. 21 workshop that they are frustrated about their beach’s rapid sand loss and are worried about the safety of the structures in which they live.

“The tremendous loss of sand in the last few months is very disturbing to us as owners, and we are looking for immediate help,” Appel said.

Several other residents took to the stand to make similar statements.

Commissioner Peter O’Connor was sympathetic to the concerns of the more than 50 people in attendance, and his comments received applause from the audience.

“What’s happening at our beach access road is a disaster,” O’Connor said. “What these people want to hear is what are we going to do tomorrow.”

The Town Commission agreed to move forward with designing and permitting four breakwaters, which are rock structures that act to hold sand in the area.

But knowing there are hurdles that exist with the project, including opposition from various local and state agencies, the commission also agreed to work to find more sand to place in the area in the interim.

Town staff will also see a groin would be acceptable to hold sand. The commission will also work with condominiums such as Longbeach to possibly use temporary plastic structures to protect the properties until more sand can be put there.

The commission also moved forward with spending  $125,000 for its share of a joint Longboat Pass Inlet Management Study with Manatee County; $103,879 for a sand search in federal waters for future beach renourishments; and funding permitting costs for the upcoming town-wide renourishment project.

Also at its meeting  at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road, the commission:

Forwarded to its Monday, Feb. 1 regular meeting for first reading:

• An ordinance amending the employment policies of the firefighters’ retirement system in order for the town to remain eligible for the receipt of state premium tax monies.

• An ordinance amending the employment policies of the general employees’ retirement system in order for the system to remain compliant with changes made by the Legislature.

Forwarded to its Monday, Feb. 1 regular meeting for formal action:
• A request by the police department to seek a $2,200 grant to fund the purchase of a citation printer for the marine patrol unit. The grant does not require the town to match the grant.

• A request by a member of the firefighter retirement system to have his years of service credited.

• The town to move forward with designs for entryway and way-finding signs that will be put on the Key as part of a beautification project by Florida Department of Transportation officials.

• A request by town staff to waive a sound regulation requirement that will allow Florida Department of Transportation to work extended and evening hours in the summer months when the Sarasota County portion of Gulf of Mexico Drive is repaved.

• The Longboat Key Public Tennis Center will host a grand opening for its new tennis center building beginning at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 28.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].


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