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Vol 5 No. 33- May 4, 2005

 

Parking plan OK’d - honest

Two cities are too much for church

City puts condo plan on hold

Scientists: red tide killed manatees

Renourishment bid opening this week

Dozens show up for Regina dedication

No surcharge for stormwater management – at least for next year

Theater group gets help from local restaurateur

TideMark to make boat basin offer

Turtle Tom provides timely tips

Marina vacation request must be re-advertised

Island Starter car 17th at Lakeland

 

 

 

 

 

Parking plan OK’d - honest

By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer

ANNA MARIA — What appeared to be a ho hum agenda item turned into a surprising compromise, resulting in an honest-to-goodness parking plan for this city.

After years — decades, actually — of wrangling and arguing and other cantankerous discussions, the city commission unexpectedly voted unanimously to approve an alternate side of the street parking plan.

The one item termed "parking" on the April 28 city commission agenda seemed to be just another pro forma stab at solving the intractable issue of who can park where within the borders of the Island's northern most city.

The plan was proposed by Commissioner Duke Miller, long a proponent of resident-only parking.

"I call it Plan C — for compromise," Miller said only half in jest. "I wanted to call it Plan H-C — for huge compromise, but I thought that was a bit much.

Miller said his plan would relieve the undue burden now placed on those people who live on streets in the beach access zone where parking is allowed.

Recently, the commission adopted an ordinance legalizing the no parking signs that were erected on many streets near the beach whenever, where ever and by whom ever they were requested.

"If we alternate sides of the stret on an annual basis, then it's pretty clean," Miller said. "That should give ample room for pedestrians and bicycles.

The room fell silent for a moment after Miller presented his plan as commisisoners and members of the audience alike appeared to be considering the idea.

That silence was broken by Commissioner Dale Woodland, who has long been an advocate of open parking.

"You and I could not be further apart on this issue," Woodland remarked to Miller. "But I could live with this and I congratulate you."

Woodland suggested that the city implement the plan and evaluate it after a year.

"If it creates a whole lot of problems or puts undue stress on people, we'll know about it," Miller said.

Commissioner Carol Ann Magill signed onto the plan.

"I, too, was pleasantly surpriused when I saw this — especially when I saw the word 'alternate,'" Magill said.

And Quam added his thoughts:

"Indeed, it is a compromise," he noted. "I'm for this. I'd be for one year of this."

Quam's endorsement came with some caveats: 1.) He said he'd like to see all safety concerns addressed; 2.) He said he'd like to see some time constraints — that is he'd like to set a time frame for adopting an ordinance so that "this thing doesn't fo into eternity again."

Commissioner Linda Cramer was absent from the meeting.

Woodland said he thinks that the commission can get things done relatively quickly.

"If we choose not to over-complicate things, we can do it in a reasonable time frame," he said. "let's not get bogged down. The devil's in the details."

The mayor requested that commissioners give plenty of lead time for the city administration to get signs made and installed.

Commissioners noted that there are already lots of "No parking this side of the street" signs up all over the city, and these can be recycled under the new plan.

In the end, Commissioners voted unanimously to implement the plan beginning in December of this year. They'll try the plan for a year and then swap sides of the street where parking is allowed.

Resident and local businessman Ed Chiles congratulated commissioners on their comprimise.

"This is a high water mark for this board. I think that it should be noted that at 8:48 p.m. on April 28, after years and years and years of debate — you worked out a great compromise," Chiles said, adding that he was glad he was present at the meeting where a sensible parking plan was adopted.

Property owner Bill Cunningham, who has a house on a beach access street where parking is permitted, has attended every parking meeting the commission has held in recent years seeking relief from the pressures the small amount of parking available near Bean Point puts on his street.

"I think if this (plan) will break the deadlock, I'm for it," Cunningham said. "Why should any property owner have to carry the lion's share of the parking burden?"

Cunningham added tha the thinks that any parking regulations should apply equally to everyone, and the compromise plan does.

The vote was unanimous to go with Millers Plan C.

The commission will begin working on the details of the new plan at their next work session, which is scheduled for May 12 at 7 p.m.

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Two cities are too much for church

By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer

Island Baptist Church leaders have written to Holmes Beach Mayor Carol Whitmore asking that the church, which straddles the line between Anna Maria and Holmes Beach, be in one of the two cities.

"I spoke to someone from the church and he said they want to annex into Holmes Beach," Whitmore said. "I have no problem with it. We would welcome them. There’s no benefit to us because churches are tax free, but it would make it cleaner for them."

However, Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn may not be so quick to give up the church property.
"The majority of the property is in Anna Maria," SueLynn pointed out. "If it became part of Holmes Beach, it would cut a jigsaw puzzle out of the southern end of the city. A logical boundary would be 84th Street.

"It would create the same problems for the city that it does for the church, I’m not supportive of that, but I support them coming into the city."

According to a letter from Rev. Dale Lawson to Whitmore, being in two cities creates a number of issues for the church including:

• Emergency and safety: Which police agency will respond to calls?
• Zoning and permitting: If church leaders want to remodel or build, which city’s regulations govern?
• Mail and delivery: The church’s mailing address is in Anna Maria, but its physical address is in Holmes Beach, which creates problems ordering and receiving parcels.
• Services: Each city has separate franchise agreements with service providers such as Waste Management and Bright House. Which one governs the church?
• Representation: Church leaders want to develop a strong relationship with city leaders and having to deal with two cities makes it more difficult.

"We are sure that you will agree that these issues can be resolved by bringing our church property under one jurisdiction," Lawson said. "We understand that this will require a cooperative effort between the two cities. It will benefit all parties involved to establish a plan whereby this can be accomplished in an orderly fashion."

"I gave it to our city attorney to see what needs to be done," Whitmore said. "I will meet with them when we have all the information. We want to do it right."

SueLynn said she also has instructed City Attorney Jim Dye to research the matter, and "he said it would be a long, drawn-out process."

Now is the perfect time to straighten out the problems, SueLynn said, because both cities are revising their comprehensive plans.

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City puts condo plan on hold

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

BRADENTON BEACH – It was a scene from "Celebrity Poker" on Tuesday, April 26, as Building Official Ed McAdam at a planning and zoning hearing addressed plans by resort owner Bill Romberger to convert Tropic Isle into a condominium. The ante was the building setback, and the jackpot was a 12-foot beach access. As negotiations stalled, both sides folded and agreed to deal another hand on May 26.

The project would be called Osprey, and Romberger came to the city asking for approval of a major development site plan as a planned development. The issue was setback requirements on the odd-shaped property, which measures slightly more than an acre of land at the "S" curve on Gulf Drive. Romberger also owns land across the street on the beach.

Romberger, through his architect and cousin Scott Prisco, is requesting a large building over parking with the entrance and exit off Avenue C, instead of Gulf Drive. Calling that the front of the property, he wants to put the required 25-foot setback there with required 10-foot setbacks along the other sides of the building.

Romberger claims a variance granted when the resort was remodeled in 1999 showed that the city considered Avenue C as the main road servicing the property, but McAdam said under city ordinance, Gulf Drive should be the main road. They did not reach agreement on that point and decided to table the issue until the board meets again at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 26.

Because the project was proposed as a planned development, there is room for negotiation, according to both sides. McAdam indicated the applicants might be able to trade a 12-foot wide strip of land allowing beach access across the street for some reconsideration of the setback, but Romberger was not ready to negotiate on that point.
Board member Ernest Clay repeatedly praised the project, but voiced concern over several points including the restricted line-of-sight at the intersection of 22nd Street and Gulf Drive, along the northern edge of the project, which is further restricted by the "S" curve. He also had a problem with the plan, which showed no room for a bike path or sidewalk along Gulf Drive.

When question about plans for developing the beachfront property or purchasing the small lot to the south for development, Romberger answered "Not at this time."

Clay voiced a desire to get written promises not to develop either property.

After nearly two hours of discussion, clay recommended they get an attorney's opinion on which street is the primary one to the property.

"The interpretation of the code is done by the building official," McAdam answered. "My interpretation is that Gulf Drive is the primary street in this case."

Board member Rick Bisio recommended they make a list of what they want and table the project. The list included whether they have to abide by a previous decision (the earlier variance) in determining the primary street, if the beachfront property is developable and whether they can impose 20-foot setbacks all around as opposed to 25 feel in front and 10 feet on the side.

They'll shuffle the deck and try to play out the game on May 26.

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Scientists: red tide killed manatees

By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer

Scientists have discovered biochemical evidence that 52 manatees that died this year in southwest Florida waters were killed by red tide.

Researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota have found a biomarker that confirms that the manatees were exposed to red tide, said Elsa Haubold, program administrator for marine mammal research at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, which is funding the project.

The biomarker is a set of chemicals found in the tissue samples of dead manatees. Its presence indicates a high likelihood that red tide killed the manatees, she said, adding that other factors also could have played a part, including overexposure to cold water.

Red tide is a naturally occurring organism called Karenia brevis that blooms excessively when nutrients are plentiful. It is poisonous to manatees when they ingest the red tide that settles on the underwater plants they eat.

It also is toxic to fish and to birds and marine mammals that feed on fish. The researchers plan to examine dolphin tissue next for a similar biomarker, Haubold said.

The biomarker discovery may affect the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s forthcoming evaluation of whether manatees will stay on the state’s endangered species list, she said.

A group of recreational boaters called the Coastal Conservation Association has petitioned the commission to lower the manatee’s endangered status. Last month, the commission changed its criteria for determining whether manatees and other endangered species will remain on the list.

Environmental groups including the Save the Manatee Club are concerned that the new criteria will cause manatees to lose protection and be reclassified to less-protected status such as "threatened" or "species of special concern."

The Save the Manatee Club estimates that only 2,500 manatees remain in Florida waters. The commission estimates at least 3,142.

This year is the third worst year for red tide-related manatee deaths since 1996, when 151 died, and 2003, when 96 died, according to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Three of this year’s 52 manatee deaths were in the manatee’s namesake county off Longboat Key, Terra Ceia and Palmetto.

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Renourishment bid opening this week

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

JACKSONVILLE – The Army Corps of Engineers re-established its deadline for bids for the Island’s beach renourishment project to Wednesday, May 4, according to project director Charles Stevens.

"We will open the bids on May 4," he said. "Once we open them, we will look for the lowest bid, as long as it is within the cost projections we have, and we could award the job as early as May 11.

Stevens said once they award the contract and the papers are signed, they will give the contractor the go-ahead to start the project.

The Corps recommended renourishing the Island's beaches following last year's active hurricane season that took away more of the beaches than normal. The beach was last renourished in 2002, but the storms last year wore them down to the point where they were ahead of the projected rate of erosion, which would have shortened the life of the beach.

The Corps came to the county to recommend the project and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay the entire cost.

The project will cover the entire length of the 2002 renourishment, but will not build out the beach as far as that project. In 2002, 1.2 million cubic yards of sand were brought onshore, but this project will only produce 400,000 cubic yards.

Stevens said the project could start as early as June, and it is projected to last only about 10 days, after the equipment arrives. There are 14 other emergency renourishment projects in Florida this summer.

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Dozens show up for Regina dedication

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

BRADENTON BEACH – The Friends of the Regina made quite a few more friends last Saturday morning at the BeachHouse restaurant as they gathered to dedicate the shipwreck that has become the state's 10th underwater archeological preserve.

Several dozen people, including all three Island mayors, several city commissioners and Manatee County Commissioner Jane von Hahmann, attended the dedication of the molasses barge that sank in a storm about 100 yards off Bradenton Beach in 1940. It has since become a popular spot for scuba divers.

Pete and Lorraine Athas, owners of Sea Trek Divers located a stone's throw from the wreckage, were honored for their work in getting the state designation, which comes from the Florida Department of State's Division of Archeological Resource. The members of the department's underwater archeological department, Dr. Roger Smith, Della Scott and Jennifer McKinnon, who dived the wreck site and helped get the designation, were there and they spoke of the community effort involved.

"This is one of the best turnouts I've ever seen for a dedication," said Scott. "These preserves could never happen without community support.

Scott praised the local divers who helped form the Friends of the Regina to promote the designation, as well as Clayton and Pauline Adams, who gave first-hand knowledge of the wreck. Clayton Adams was one of the Bradenton Beach residents who helped save all but one of the crew members of the barge as it floundered on a sandbar during a violent storm.

The police dive boats from Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach appeared over the wreck site and a Coast Guard boat cruised near the BeachHouse during the ceremony. Divers from Friends of the Regina took a bronze plaque out to the site after the dedication to attach to a concrete monument base that had already been dropped near the wreckage.
After the ceremony, Pete Athas said he was very pleased.

"We had a great turnout and the 'social registry' included the Island mayors and elected officials, as well as County Commissioner Jane von Hahmann," he said.

"This just shows how great the Island community is," said Lorraine Athas.

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No surcharge for stormwater management – at least for next year

By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer

ANNA MARIA — Property owners in the city will not be paying any additional money for the management of stormwater run off — at least until 2007.

City commissioners have agreed to use tax dollars to pay for drainage improvements.
"The city gets more money back from the ad valorem taxes," said Commissioner Carol Ann Magill at a special stormwater meeting April 28.

"I've talked to Diane (Deputy Clerk Diane Percycoe) and she said we can set aside money for drainage and put it in a special line item that can't be touched for any other reason."

With property values raising on the Island, the amount of money collected in taxes increases each year without any increase in the millage rate. It's this money that Magill was proposing be set aside in the special drainage account.

Commissioners estimated that there would be at least $200,000 in additional revenue for the city in the coming fiscal year, and they agreed unanimously to set aside that amount to pay for two stormwater projects.

There was unanimous consensus among the commissioners present to use the additional ad valorem monies. Commissioner Linda Cramer was absent from the meeting.

They also agreed to have Steve Minnis come from the Southwest Water Manage-ment District to talk to them about grants available to the city. There was agreement that the city will pursue grants.

Commissioners had been working to set a fee for each property in the city. That money would be used for drainage and stormwater, but they would have had to have an ordinance completed and on the books by June — which was putting them under a time constraint that they said they were finding difficult.

The fee would have been roughly $45 for a single-family residential dwelling.

Commissioner Dale Woodland and resident Chris Collins have been working on a plan for the utility tax for months, but both signed onto the Magill proposal and agreed that they would continue to pursue the tax for next year.

Both Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach already have stormwater surcharges in place.

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Theater group gets help from local restaurateur

By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer

A request for support sending the cast of the play "Metamorphoses" to the national community theater competition has resulted in a generous gift from Beach Bistro owner Sean Murphy.

That's according to Anna Maria resident and former City Commissioner Tom Aposporos, a cast member in "Metamorphoses," which took first place in Florida Theater Conference competition, then won again as Florida's entry in the Southern Theater Conference competition in North Carolina.

The cast and Manatee Players are now finding themselves with the pleasant but difficult dilemma of raising $25,000 to send the 13-member cast, eight-member crew and many sets to the National Theater Conference competition in Michigan in June.

"All of this is a first," Aposporos said. "No local theater company has ever sent a play to the regional competition, and also, no local play has ever competed at the national level."

Theoretically, according to Aposporos, the company could be going on to international competition, but that's too far in the future to think about, and no one's been able to get specific information about the international competition.

So here's the cast, crew and set of this award-winning play poised to travel to the nationals in June. How to pay for this has become an urgent problem.

"We've been approaching business people and individuals all over the area, but it's an uphill battle," Aposporos said. "Our need for funds for travel happens to coincide with the Manatee Players fund raising efforts for a new Riverfront Theater, so they can't help a lot."

Enter Sean Murphy
"I approached Sean Murphy for a donation, actually, and he said he reserves his monetary donations for things that involve children," Aposporos said. "What he did propose is a dinner for four at Mangrove Grill and dinner for four at Beach Bistro."

Both are award-winning restaurants. Beach Bistro is Zagat-rated and well known nationally.

Aposporos and his theater colleagues talked about what to do with the donation, and they decided to hold a raffle. They also threw in a season ticket to the Manatee Players for each winner.

How to enter
To become eligible to win, participants must a $100 donation to Manatee Players. Make a check out to that organization and write "Metamorphoses" on the memo line.

Drop the check off at The Sun offices in Island Sun Plaza, 202 Palm Ave., Anna Maria, or call Aposporos at 778-8456 for a ticket. The group is selling 100 tickets, which will raise $10,000.

"That's pretty good odds," Aposporos noted. "You have one chance in 50 of winning one of the dinners. So you might get dinner for four at either restaurant — and we know that's worth well over $100. You also get to take the $100 off your taxes as a charitable donation.”

How to see the play
Before the company goes off to Michigan for the national competition, local theater buffs will have one more chance to see "Metamorphoses."

"The play, written by Mary Zimmerman in 2001, is a compilation of updated versions of ancient myths by Greek storyteller Ovid and other Greek and Roman writers," wrote Bradenton Herald reviewer Donna Hartman.

The play was seen on Broadway and won a Tony Award in 2002.

There will be performances June 9, 10 and 11 at Riverfront Theater, 102 Old Main St. in downtown Bradenton.

Tickets are $10 each for the June 9 and 10 performances at 8 p.m. and $15 for the June 11 performance at 2 p.m. which will be followed by a reception and the drawing for the dinners. The winners of the raffle don't have to be present at the reception to win.
To make your reservations to see "Metamorphoses" before the trip to the national competition, call the Riverfront Theater at 748-5875.

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TideMark to make boat basin offer

By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH — Commissioners instructed Bob Green, attorney for TideMark, to return to them on May 24 with a proposal for leasing the city’s portion of the boat basin along Marina Drive.

The city owns five feet into the boat basin, including the seawall, which holds up Marina Drive. In June 2004, the city declared the lease in default due to TideMark’s bankruptcy action. In April the city terminated the lease. The lease was to be in effect for 10 years at $100 per year.

Commissioner Roger Lutz questioned whether TideMark owns the basin and asked for evidence of ownership.

"In December, property was sold by the debtor in bankruptcy to a company called Reliance TideMark LLC," Green explained. "They are proceeding with the TideMark project expeditiously. They have their construction financing.

"They do own the basin. The reason is that the basin was artificially created. It was never state owned land. It is privately owned. The city owns five feet out from the seawall cap, and that’s what the lease covered."

Green said Reliance TideMark has no proposal but is willing to return with one. He said the company is open to reasonable negotiation with the city.

He also pointed out that the TideMark owners have not asked the city to vacate any land in the area, and they would be willing to participate in an improvement project there.

Mayor Carol Whitmore asked if TideMark could proceed with its plans for the basin if the city backs out of the lease.

"A dock/pier could be built (parallel to the seawall)," Green replied.

Green said the company plans to close on the construction loan within 30 days, and the first phase of the project is improving the boat basin.

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Turtle Tom provides timely tips

By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer

CORTEZ — When we start to see Turtle Watch volunteers walking the beach at dawn each day, it's an annual sighting that lets Island residents know that summer's close.

It's also the beginning of sea turtle nesting season, which officially began on May 1.

There's an Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteer Tom Van Ness, fondly called Turtle Tom, who has been volunteering for a dozen years now. He's the coordinator for the area near Coquina Park.

"I can't wait for the season," Van Ness said. "Every year, I find myself pacing around just waiting for the season to begin. And then it's here, and we all get into it. I just love it."

The Cortez resident said what he likes most is the people.

"It's a chance to meet people from all over the world. I have folks from England and Germany calling me to find out if the season has started yet. They come and sit with me in the evenings waiting to see if the nest will hatch that night."

Van Ness said it's also a chance for him to help people learn about the endangered green turtles and threatened loggerheads that lay their eggs on Island beaches.

"People want to know more," he said. "They want to help."

What makes this outgoing man give so much to the nesting turtles and to the people who want to learn more?

"I just love it," Van Ness said. "I really get more than I give. It just makes me feel good to be helping. I don't know. I guess it's a way for me to give back for all the blessings I have in my life."

Van Ness said he started volunteering the same year Suzi Fox took over as director of the organization.

"No one had even heard of us," he recalled. "I can remember when I'd go around to the businesses up and down Cortez Road, and ask them for donations or stakes or buckets. They'd say, 'You mean we have sea turtles that nest on the Island? I've lived here all my life and I never knew that!'"

Van Ness said he's enjoyed watching the organization grow to the more than 10 volunteers who help out today. He's also enjoyed being part of saving the species.

"Each turtle matters," he said, anxious to make sure everyone understands this essential fact. "Only about one in a thousand hatchlings makes it to adulthood, so we want to give each mom and each baby every chance we can.

Turtle Tom the midwife
He recalled a time when he thought he was going to lose an entire nest.

"It was in front of the Moose Club there in Bradenton Beach," Van Ness said.

"The mom had laid the nest up high on the beach under an Australian pine. When it came time to hatch, only two hatchlings emerged. I knew there was something wrong. I waited and I waited. Finally, I started pushing the sand away. All the rest of the babies were tangled up in the small roots of the tree. I had to cut the roots away. I tell you, it was like I was performing surgery."

He added with the look of a fond parent that all the "little guys" made it.

Seeing the turtles lay their eggs and monitoring the nests for the approximately 65 days the eggs take to hatch and ultimately seeing the hatchlings scramble to the sea is the greatest feeling anyone can imagine, according to Van Ness.

Turtle Tom's timely tips
Last year, Turtle Tom was named the Sadie award recipient. It's an honor named for Sadie, a loggerhead who was stranded and injured on the Island, rehabilitated at Mote Marine Laboratory and successfully released into the wild. It's given each year to a volunteer who has advanced the protection of marine turtles on Anna Maria Island.

This year, in addition to helping the turtles, Turtle Tom is going to be helping the rest of us understand what we can do with very little effort to help insure the survival of marine turtles.

"The turtles have survived for thousands of years, but now they are in danger" Tom said. "We people are pushing them to the brink of extinction."

Van Ness noted that when he sees a child playing joyfully on the beach with a balloon, he sees a grave danger to a sea turtle.

"Those balloons pop and get left behind. They get into the water. The turtles think it's food, and when they swallow it, they can die. There weren't balloons around for those thousands of years. The things we are doing are killing the turtles."

You can look for Turtle Tom and his volunteers on the beach, and start looking for Turtle Tom's timely tips in the Sun each week during nesting season to learn the simple things we can all do to help.

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Marina vacation request must be re-advertised

By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH — A public hearing on a request to vacate an 8-foot strip of 52nd Street must be re-advertised due to an error in the original advertisement.

Moreland Marine Development Corporation, which is developing condominiums on the former Holmes Beach Marina property, made the request. The request would allow the company to build 10 units instead of nine.

The city has built a stormwater retention pond on a portion of 52nd Street fronting the property. There is a chain link fence separating the property from the pond.

Moreland Marine has offered to landscape the drainage basin and donate $20,000 to the city, if it grants the request.

City Attorney Patricia Petruff said despite the advertising error, staff could make a report on the request and members of the public who were there to comment could do so.

"I think an argument can be made that people understood where it was because you have citizens here," Petruff explained. "There were other types of notice. It’s up to the city commission."

Mayor Carol Whitmore objected because in a previous case with similar circumstances, the city was sued.

Commissioner Don Maloney agreed and noted, "There are some people not here because they didn’t know what we were going to talk about.”

Commissioner Roger Lutz suggested that any citizens who wished to comment could do so during public comment at the end of the meeting.

In his staff report, Assistant Public Works Supervisor Bill Saunders told commissioners that he is concerned about the location of the fence because "it is very close to the property line. I’ve seen no proposal to move the fence or increase the fill dirt to bring it out and if they do, will it affect the volume requirements of the drainage area? If you decide to vacate it, can the fence stay where it is?"

During public comment, Tom McGannon, representing three homeowners on Peacock Lane whose back yards abut 52nd Street, said, "We do not oppose this vacation. We would like to see the developer be required to install and maintain an attractive fence and entry-way."

McGannon asked the city to vacate the 8-foot strip on their side of the street to Peacock Lane residents. He said vacating it would relieve the public works department from having to maintain it and would place the area on the tax roll.

Attorney Mark Barnebey, representing Moreland Marine, said the company would work with residents on beautifying the area.

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Island Starter car 17th at Lakeland

The Geoff Wall/D Coy Ducks car owned by Island Starter finished 17th last weekend after a rough start in the USA Internationals at the Lakeland International Speedway. According to owner Bill Carlbert, the driver - his son, Billy Carlbert Jr. - experienced handling problems during the race and had to back off but moved back up to 17th place in the field of 34 vehicles. Island Starter will have its car and pickup truck in the Florida Mini-Stock Challenge at DeSoto Speedway on Saturday, May 14, beginning at 7 p.m.

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