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Longboat Key Thursday, Sep. 9, 2021 1 week ago

Saba withdraws request to name bay on Longboat Key

Landowner sought agreement with town to establish Conrad Bay on the north end, as an homage to his grandparents.
by: Mark Bergin Staff Writer

Bill Saba has decided to remove his request to name the body of water between Greer Island and the north end of Longboat Key.

Saba, 59, has withdrawn paperwork he filed with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to name it Conrad Bay. The name proposal was an homage to his late grandparents Marjorie and Frank Conrad.

“My purpose for proposing the naming of the bay was to honor my grandparents for deeding the property to the state in a way that it would forever be left in its natural state for public use,” Saba said.

The bay is formed by the northernmost portion of Greer Island, which curls around from the gulf and forms the southern boundary of Longboat Pass, with an eastward-facing opening into Sarasota Bay.

A deed shows Marjorie and Frank Conrad donated the land around the unnamed bay to the state for public use. Photo provided by Bill Saba.

Since Christine Farmer submitted the proposal in April to the BGN on behalf of Saba, several Longboat Key residents have written to commissioners advocating for the water to have a different name. Suggestions submitted to commissioners included Greer Bay and Manatee Bay.

“What I’m discovering is you really have to get a consensus,” Saba said.

Saba said he is evaluating whether he wants to pursue the name proposal of Conrad Bay in the future.

“I want to wait until I can get a consensus on (the) issue before I proceed forward with it,” Saba said. “You can’t be successful until you have a consensus, and there just isn’t a consensus at this point.”

A deed dated March 6, 1974, shows Saba’s grandparents donated the land on the north end of Longboat Key to the state for public use.

If Saba decides to pursue the Conrad Bay name proposal again, he said he will also consider making a land donation to the town.

Manatee County property records show Saba owns five plots of land on the north end of Longboat Key.

Established in 1890, the BGN is the federal authority responsible for all geographic names.

The BGN had asked the Longboat Key Town Commission, the Manatee County Commission and the Florida State Board on Geographic Names for their recommendations before moving ahead. 

Before Saba withdrew his request from the BGN, the Longboat Key Town Commission was set to discuss the proposal during its Sept. 13 meeting. The item is no longer scheduled on the Town Commission’s agenda.

“I feel good that I tried,” Saba said. “I respect everybody on Longboat and I’m glad that I tried, and we’ll see how it turns out in the future.”

A map provided by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names shows Bill Saba's proposal for Conrad Bay.


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Mark Bergin is the Longboat Key Town Hall reporter for the Observer. He has previously worked as a senior digital producer at WTSP, the CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg. Mark is a graduate of the University of Missouri and grew up in the Chicagoland area.

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