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Town extends lawsuit deadline, gains access for sewer line replacement

The Longboat Key Town Commission passed a tolling and temporary access agreement with Long Bar Pointe representatives.

The orange line represents the road the town has gained access to through the agreement.
The orange line represents the road the town has gained access to through the agreement.
Courtesy rendering
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Long Bar Pointe property owners now have a new expiration date on when they can make claims against the town of Longboat Key for damages incurred due to the June 2020 break of a sewer line. 

Corrosion in the town’s subaqueous force main leaked about 14 million gallons of effluent into Sarasota Bay. 

Following the break, representatives of Long Bar Pointe reached out to the town to notify them of unspecified damages sustained from both the leak and emergency repair efforts. Representatives told the town of their intent to pursue a claim. 

Since then, Town Attorney Maggie Mooney’s memo to commissioners stated they have had numerous meetings with Long Bar Pointe representatives regarding mangrove restoration work required by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and repair plans for the entire pipeline. 

To date, no actual claims have been made against the town. 

When the town approached property representatives about the need for a temporary access agreement to complete work on the mainland portion of the sewer line replacement, managing general partner of Long Bar Pointe, Carlos Beruff, approved the access agreement on the condition that the town extend its statute of limitations period for the property owners to bring forth claims. The discussion led town counsel and Long Bar Pointe’s legal counsel to draft a tolling agreement. 

Under Florida law damages have to be brought forward within a four-year period after the damages occur. The tolling agreement extends the litigation filing deadline and allows parties to negotiate and possibly resolve their dispute without taking legal action. 

The agreement, which was approved unanimously by commissioners at their March 6 regular meeting, suspends the statute of limitations for 10 months and expires Jan. 30, 2024. 

According to the memo, the agreement ensures that town staff can continue to work with Long Bar Pointe representatives cooperatively, rather than forcing a lawsuit due to an impending statute of limitations deadline. 

In short, Long Bar Pointe would not be allowed to file a lawsuit against the town until after the expiration of the tolling agreement. During this agreed upon 10-month period, negotiations can be had and often parties can reach a settlement without the need to appear in court. 

Access agreement

The mainland portion of Longboat Key’s sewer line replacement can now be completed following the approval of an access agreement for the final piece up to Long Bar Pointe property. 

The access road extends from El Conquistador Parkway west to Sarasota Bay. The agreement was passed in conjunction with the tolling agreement. 

The mainland portion covers 1.2 miles of the town’s 4-mile pipeline. Unlike the portion under the bay, which will be fully replaced, the mainland portion was sliplined. The new pipe, which measures 18 inches in diameter, has been placed inside of the existing 20-inch pipe. 

The new access agreement lasts until Feb. 24, 2026 unless terminated with notice by the town or Long Bar Pointe property representatives. 



Lauren Tronstad

Lauren Tronstad is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2021. Before moving to Florida, she worked for the Columbia Daily Tribune.

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