You know there's a problem
in the industry when an insurance agency decides
not to pay the sky-high wind insurance premium
on its own building.
Doing without: that's the decision forced on
the Oswald Tripp agency in Holmes Beach when
their wind coverage premium went up - way up.
"Our wind coverage will lapse in July,"
said Christian Huth, who works at the agency.
"Last year it was $2,300. For the coming
year, it's gone up to $33,000. That's $33,000
for the wind coverage alone."
That's the annual price tag the agency would
have to pay to cover its building for wind loss.
Meanwhile, some businesses on the Island can't
get wind coverage at any cost.
"We have some businesses that just can't
get it," Huth said. "It isn't out
there at all in some cases if they aren't in
the wind pool."
On Anna Maria Island, structures within 1,000
feet of the Gulf are considered in the wind
pool. Those buildings can purchase insurance
through Citizen's property insurance, the state-subsidized
insurance program that was designed to be an
insurance of last resort after private insurers
began dropping coverage for coastal properties.
In Sarasota County, the wind pool extends out
to I-75 and beyond. In Hillsborough and Pinellas
Counties, nothing is in the wind zone.
The state legislature attempted to fix the problem
in its session this year. They did manage to
establish a task force to study the wind pool.
That task force will take a look at who should
be in the pool.
"I certainly think everyone on the barrier
islands and everyone on the coast should be
in the pool," said Representative Bill
Galvano fought hard to get a stopgap measure
in place for the impending hurricane season
that would have offered temporary coverage to
all business and residences on the state's barrier
islands and coastal areas, but that was not
included in the final bill.
One thing that was included was a grant program
that will set aside $250 million to help property
owners strengthen their structures to withstand
greater wind loads.
For now, Citizens, the so-called insurance of
last resort, will only be offered where it has
been in effect in the past. The state-subsidized
company has grown to be the second largest carrier
in the state. By law, it has to carry the highest
premiums and there have been two price hikes
this year. Another is on the way to keep pace
with the rising cost of private insurance.
Those rate hikes are hitting businesses especially
"Many businesses have to make the decision
to go without because the premiums have gotten
so out of hand," Huth noted.
asks to stage pipes
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH - A last- minute change in plans
may have bought renourishment contractor Goodloe
Marine, Inc. an extra week to try to finish
the project and get his equipment off the
beach by June 1.
Under terms of the renourishment contract,
Goodloe was given permission to use the parking
lot and beach access at Manatee County Beach
as a staging area for the pipeline to be stored
for removal from the Island, when the project
was finished. However, the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers had to get permission from Manatee
County, and the county was set to deny that
permission, according to a staff recommendation
to the county commission for its meeting on
That recommendation, authored by conservation
lands management director Charlie Hunsicker,
expressed concern that bad weather could keep
the pipes in the parking lot for an extended
period of time before barging them away if
there was bad weather.
However, at a meeting between Goodloe staff,
officials from the Corps and Manatee County
beach renourishment engineer Rick Spadoni,
project manager Ben Goodloe said their plans
were to truck the pipes back to their Apollo
Under terms of the contract, the contractor
was to bring the pipes off the beach at the
emergency vehicle access north of Café
on the Beach and store them at the southern
end of the parking lot, block traffic in the
lot and accessibility to the café and
Instead, Goodloe suggested they store the
pipes east of the access, in the northern
portion of the lot, which would make it safer
When Spadoni heard about Goodloe's plans to
truck the pipes instead of taking them away
by barge, he explained to the crowd what Hunsicker
was recommending at the 1:30 p.m. county commission
meeting. He said he would talk with Hunsicker,
who was tied up in another meeting all morning,
to try to get him to change his recommendation.
Spadoni got assurances from Goodloe that they
would not truck out any pipes over Memorial
Day weekend, May 27-29. Goodloe asked for
a 30-day period after June 1 to get all of
the pipes trucked out, which Spadoni said
he would take to Hunsicker.
Goodloe has to have all the pipes off the
beach by June 1 under terms of a permit extension
given by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
and Turtle Watch. Nesting season for endangered
sea turtles on the beach began May 1.
Goodloe will concentrate on removing the pipeline
before June 1, then turn its attention to
trucking them away. They will also barge the
underwater portion of the pipeline away after
June 1, according to Ben Goodloe.
Goodloe restarted the barge Tuesday morning
for the first time since it replaced a flexible
joint in the underwater portion of the pipeline.
However, shortly after it began, the barge
was hit by lightning during Tuesday's rain
storm. Ben Goodloe said the bolt went through
the hull of the barge and damaged some electronic
equipment, which he said they expected to
fix either Tuesday or Wednesday.
The project began July 5, 2005, was delayed
numerous time by hurricanes in the Gulf of
Mexico and was discontinued in December because
of a series winter storms that made it unsafe
to use the barge that harvests the sand from
the Gulf bottom.
According to the report, if Goodloe could
not use the parking lot, it would have to
stop renourishment around May 18, to get its
equipment off the beaches. If it can use the
lot, that deadline would be through "approximately
At the meeting on Coquina Beach Tuesday, Goodloe
said he thought they would stop pumping sand
by March 22, if they could use the county
beach parking lot.
"Im very pleased," Bradenton
Beach Mayor John Chappie exclaimed. "Its
wonderful that the three Island cities and
Longboat Key worked together to come to some
resolution in this. Lets give it a run
and see how it goes."
Chappie said the ITPOs recommendation
would be taken back to each city commission
for final approval.
"Its great," Anna Maria Mayor
SueLynn said. "Its a demonstration
of what took years of perseverance and it
finally paid off. Its a good solution
for both boaters and vehicle drivers."
Royale Bridge to close Thursday
The Key Royale
Bridge will be closed to traffic on Thursday,
May 11, for two 45-minute periods between
noon and 3 p.m. Electricians will be installing
temporary power lines for the bridge construction
project slated to begin in June or July.
Fire Chief Andy Price, of the West Manatee
Fire District, said the district would station
a fire truck with three firefighters at the
Key Royale Golf Club at 11:30 a.m. Manatee
County EMS will station an ALS (advanced life
support) crew with the firefighters.
enforcement board fine exceeds $10,000 for
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH - What could be the costliest
rental license in the city's history is the
subject of a code enforcement board fine that
stands at $10,050 as of Monday, May 8.
In February, the board gave George Ellin,
Joe Hieronimus and Richard Santia, owners
of 4605 Gulf Drive, until March 2 to obtain
a rental license for their duplex. When they
did not obtain the license, the board set
a fine of $150 per day beginning March 3.
When the owners did not pay the fine within
30 days, the code board's order was recorded
with Manatee County, which created a lien
against any personal property in Manatee County
that is owned by the three.
Chairman Chuck Stealey asked if the fine continues
"Yes, without some action by the board,"
board attorney Michael Connolly replied.
Code Enforcement Officer Nancy Hall said in
addition to the fine, the owners must pay
the rental license fee of $26.25 per unit,
or $52.50 for the duplex; a 25 percent penalty
for not acquiring the license, which would
be $13.12; and a $15 application fee.
Also, 14 days after receipt of the notice
of violation, the city automatically assesses
a $250 penalty fee, so the owners owe the
city a total of $330.62 in addition to the
The board also set a fine of $250 per
day and $500 in costs for Mohammad Walingha,
of 515 57th Street, for not registering his
two boats and having one of them parked in
the front yard. They gave him 30 days to cure
the violation and pay any fine.
In February, the board found Walingha in violation
with two unregistered boats and trailers,
which were also parked in the front yard,
and ordered him to cure the violation by March
Hall said he got tags for two trailers and
moved one boat and trailer, but said when
she went to the property to inspect the boats,
Walingha refused her permission to come on
"She could not verify compliance because
of the way the boats were positioned and parked,"
City Attorney Patricia Petruff explained.
"So, as of that date, the city's position
is those boats are not in compliance.
Petruff said Walingha brought in photographs,
but they only show one side of the boats.
Registration numbers must be displayed on
both sides of a boat.
Connolly told the board that a photo is "relevant
admissible evidence, but you must decide how
much weight to give it. A photo could be altered."
He also said the board could not require Walingha
to allow Hall on his property, but could impose
a fine to "put the ball back in the respondent's
In a third case, the board ordered William
and Tracy Wimpy to complete work to bring
them into compliance with the city's floodplain
regulations. This work included removing electrical
and plumbing work and walls and partitions
on the ground floor of their home at 501 58th
starts consolidation study
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
- Mayor Carol Whitmore told her board that
she has begun the consolidation study process
but that it will be time consuming.
"This is not going to be a simple task
and I may not be able to give you any information
for a few months," Whitmore said in a
memo to commissioners. "My personal opinion
is that this is a waste of good staff time
when we could hire a professional that is
objective and will look at the numbers."
At a recent meeting, commissioners asked that
the city department heads determine how much
it would cost for the city to provide services
to the entire Island. This followed a vote
by Bradenton Beach commissioners against pursuing
a study of Island consolidation.
The mayors of the two cities had been in talks
since voters had approved a study by a two-to-one
margin. The mayors had also received a proposal
from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government
at the University of Georgia for a study that
would cost between $19,000 and $25,000. Whitmore
had hoped that the two cities would share
Whitmore said she is seeking the following
information from the other two Island cities
for her study: lists of assets, budgets, financial
statements, health insurance plan details
and costs, retirement plan costs, pay plans,
employee information and liabilities.
Harry Hayes, of the Carl Vinson Institute
of Government, told Whitmore that he still
stands ready to help in any way and noted,
"One thought did occur to us. With two
of the three cities closer together on this
policy issue, is there any reason these two
could not begin to explore cooperative service
agreements, if not looking at full consolidation
of the two?"
He also suggested another option.
"I am aware of situations where department
heads have been shared in cooperative intergovernmental
agreements," he explained. "In fact
I served as a joint city/county planning director
for 10 years in a community of 100,000. We
had two planning commissions, two boards of
zoning appeals, but our staff served both
approves tree-planting program
sun staff writer
- Mayor Carol Whitmore approved a tree-planting
program outlined by the city's parks and beautification
advisory board and said she would write a
policy for staff members to follow.
The program includes the following:
· The city will encourage citizens
to memorialize persons or significant events
by planting trees on city-owned property.
· The city will match the cost of a
tree up to $200, if there is money in the
· The tree must be native to Florida
and selected from a list developed by the
· The planting location will be determined
by the contributor and the public works department.
· The public works department will
purchase the trees, prepare the sites for
planting and maintain the trees.
· The contributor will purchase a marker
for the tree to be selected from designs approved
by the city.
· The beautification board will aid
the contributor in arranging for a planting
Board members agreed on native, salt-tolerant
plants as the topic for next year's plant
seminar to be held in February 2007. The board
plans to have two or three speakers and a
forum so audience members can participate
and ask questions. Board members said they
would decide on speakers in the fall when
they resume meetings.
Board member Kim Kuizon suggested having regular,
city-wide coastal cleanups due to the amount
of trash appearing on Island beaches. Board
members said they would discuss details in
the fall and hope to coordinate the effort
among the three Island cities.
Whitmore asked board members to give her suggestions
for a summer movie to be shown in the city
hall field. She said people would bring blankets
and lawn chairs to watch the movie and refreshments
would be provided.
The county is planning to provide a trolley
shelter at the Manatee Public Beach, Whitmore
told the board. However, the city must make
up the difference in cost needed to match
the design of the city's trolley shelters.
seeks pier reconstruction bids
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
- After months of seeking input, planning
and applying for permits, the city is now
asking for bids to start rehabilitating the
Bridge Street Pier.
Commissioner Bill Shearon, in an update to
the commission last Thursday, passed out samples
of the bid solicitation notice sent to contractors
to repair the pre-cast concrete piling underneath
the pier. The bids are due back by May 24
at 2 p.m.
Shearon also passed out a timeline showing
that 70 percent of the design should be done
by the end of this month. He said architectural
design firm O'Brien and Smith had finished
50 percent of the design last week. According
to the timeline, the city's consulting technician
should submit a permit application to the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The city is also seeking input for potential
franchisees to run the restaurant and possibly
a bait shop. The pier team, consisting of
Shearon, Police Chief Sam Speciale, Building
Official Ed McAdam, Public Works Director
Tom Woodard and Special Projects Manager Dottie
Poindexter, is working on terms for a pier
Shearon said the pier team, which meets every
Friday morning at city hall, is still seeking
input from restaurant owners about setting
up an ideal franchise situation.
The team will review input on May 12. Those
interested should submit a written notice
to the city with suggestions.
The pier was shut down in 2004 after the roof
of the restaurant was damaged by winds from
a nearby hurricane. The lease with the franchisee
was voided, and the commission decided to
fund a massive reconstruction of the pier.
Plans included a redesigned restaurant, a
day docking facility, a bait shop, rest rooms
on the end of the pier for anglers and a dock
master's facility for an upcoming mooring
field south of the pier.
For more information, call city hall at 778-1005.
draws larger crowd
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
BRADENTON BEACH - About 15 people joined a
group of about the same number of committee
members to work on their vision for the future
of this city on Wednesday, May 3. In doing
so, some disagreed with prior ideas and objectives
but nearly all of them enjoyed the Greek salad
and snacks provided by Vice Mayor Lisa Marie
The meeting was the third in a series of six
visioning sessions mandated by the city's
recent designation as a Florida Waterfronts
Community. Phillips, who was instrumental
in the city's successful quest for the designation,
formed a committee called WAVES (Waterfronts:
Accessible, Viable, Ecological, Sustainable),
which has been working on the vision.
Facilitator Dr. Thomas Taylor went through
the suggestions to arrive at four major areas
of concern and split the large group into
teams to work on each area separately. When
they finished, they went down the lists.
The four areas were: keeping Bradenton Beach's
Florida beach community atmosphere, people
moving and parking, special places and projects
and the downtown business district, also know
as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
One hotspot in the Florida beach community
area was the large number of homes in the
residential areas that are being rented out
on a nightly or weekly basis. The group, especially
homeowners in that area, felt that it detracted
from the residential flavor while some of
those with ties to the resort industry felt
it competed unfairly with their businesses.
The group decided that stricter enforcement
of zoning rules would be the only way to stop
The group appeared to feel that the Florida
beach community flavor was something that
came from the residents, and that the city
needed to make sure that residential areas
are being used as such, not for short-term
They rejected a suggestion of horse-drawn
carriages along Bridge Street, citing the
logistics of cleaning up after the animals
and the stress the horses could be subjected
to from heat and traffic. They also rejected
talk of building new parking lots, unless
they were off Island as part of a park and
ride project. Another suggestion was to take
out the raised rumble strips surrounding the
roundabout, at Gulf Drive and Bridge Street
and they decided that landscaping should be
used for traffic calming so as not to impede
Under special places and projects, that group
decided that an earlier suggestion to build
gutters along Gulf Drive would impeded storm
water runoff. Instead, they suggested building
more collection and treatment areas along
They suggested that neighbors of Herb Dolan
Park hold their own visioning to decide what
to do around the city's largest park. They
also wanted to develop a partnership and connectivity
with the Cortez Waterfronts program and Manatee
County to work on future projects.
The group handling the downtown CAR district
tackled a lot of subjects including preservation
of historical buildings. One suggestion from
Phillips was to develop a historic overlay
map to prevent buildings in those areas from
being torn down and replaced with new ones.
They said that an overlay should also be developed
for the north end of the city. They also wanted
to develop the new WAVES office on Church
Street into a preserved historic building.
WAVES holds its next visioning session on
Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to noon at city
hall. Those who are interested, but cannot
attend the weeknight meetings are invited
to help the committee work on a vision for
the city's future.
For information, call 778-1005.