By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
BRADENTON BEACH According to Mayor John Chappie,
there will be some big improvements in the way the city
looks come August of next year.
Chappie updated the city commission on projects the city
has undertaken after going through the files and records
of the citys projects/programs manager, which is
vacant at this time due to the resignation of Dotty Poindexter
Chappie said the citys canal dredging project, which
addresses the two small canals at the 20th Street area
of the bay, is at a standstill while the city looks for
a place to put the sand taken up from the canals, so it
can dry out before being removed.
The city initially sought to place it at Herb Dolan Park,
where it would be fenced from public access, but the scope
of the job grew to the point that there would not be enough
room. The city was looking at a second location on the
northern bayside of Coquina Beach, where a park and ride
for city employees is also being planned.
Chappie said that depends on how contaminated that sand
is. He has planned a meeting with Building Official Ed
McAdam and engineer Karen Erickson on Jan. 11 from 2 to
2:30 p.m. to discuss whether to phase the project over
time or not do it at all, since the cost estimates have
grown. The city has a grant to pay for some of it.
The city has also planned two improvement projects along
Gulf Drive. One goes from Cortez Road north to the city
limits and it calls for bicycle lanes on both side of
"I met with Chris Piazzo (the engineer for the project)
and he felt that the two $300,000 grants we have would
be enough to pay for the lanes on both sides," Chappie
He suggested that the city use a $10,000 and a $20,000
grant, that it got to install a new welcome sign on the
south end of the city, be used for for landscaping along
the bike path instead. He said the old sign could be fixed
up for less money.
Chappie said Piazzo would be at the Scenic Highway committee
meeting on Jan. 9, at 1 p.m. to discuss the project. He
said if all goes well, the bike lane project would start
in July and be finished by August.
Another beautification project for Gulf Drive running
south of Cortez Road to city limits is nearing the construction
phase. That project would add landscaping along rights
of way and street ends to the beach. It would also add
a handicapped ramp on the beach and possibly public restrooms
and showers at two street ends. Chappie said he had appointed
McAdam as the citys facilitator for that project
and he would update the Scenic Highway committee on Jan.
Chappie said construction could begin in April, if all
goes well, and it, too, could be finished by August.
Chappie added that the city had gotten responses to its
ads for a new projects/program manager and that he would
make his recommendation on whom to hire at the commissions
first meeting in January.