BRADENTON BEACH – Damage to the Bradenton Beach Pier and floating docks caused by boats during Hurricane Idalia on Aug. 30 was the focus of the Sept. 7 city commission meeting.
Images of the damage reviewed at the meeting showed missing and broken boards and a large boat against the docks.
“I am very disappointed it was the vessels that caused this damage. They did not secure themselves properly or move away from this,” City Attorney Ricinda Perry said. “In talking with Steve Porter (from Duncan Seawall) he said we would not be facing this if not for the boats.”
Bradenton Beach Police Chief John Cosby described the causes of the damage to the pier and floating docks.
“One boat broke loose and rammed into the others and broke them loose,” he said. “They were secured fine and it was a domino effect. It was a sailboat that broke loose and knocked the rest out of the way.”
Commissioner Jan Vosburgh asked if boat owners were responsible for the damage and Chappie said the city will be looking into whether or not the boat owners have insurance.
“There will be accountability to individuals that are not following the rules and not tying their boats down the way they should be or trying to find a safer port instead of just leaving it out there in the open seas at the north end of Sarasota Bay,” Chappie said.
“The city is going to do what it can do to hold people responsible for this kind of damage,” Perry said.
Cosby reminded the commission that the pier itself is uninsurable because it’s over water. The city is self-insured for the structure.
Commissioner Ralph Cole made a motion to issue a work assignment to Duncan Seawall for all repairs to the pier and floating dock in the amount of $42,225 to be paid from the 2022-23 city budget, and to authorize Cosby and Perry to work toward future reimbursement from FEMA or any other agency.
The motion passed unanimously.
The repair work is expected to be completed within a week or two.