PAT COPELAND | SUN
Commissioners will not allow a gate to be installed at the north
pier parking lot entrance.
ANNA MARIA – Chair Chuck Webb dismissed a request from city pier tenant Mario Schoenfelder to put up a gate at the north parking lot and charge those who don’t use the pier facilities.
“It’s not really practical,” Webb stressed. “The tenant doesn’t have the right to all that property, just the right to use a number of parking spaces. We’re not in a partnership; we’re a landlord and a tenant.
“For all intents and purposes, they own those parking spaces. Under the lease, they’re responsible to do what they need to do to maintain them and to maintain them and keep non-customers from using them. I see it as a private property issue.”
He said Schoenfelder can put up no parking signs and signs warning that violators will be towed.
Regarding pier repairs and maintenance, Mayor Mike Selby explained that Schoenfelder is responsible for maintenance of the structure, which is inspected weekly by the public works director and the code enforcement officer.
“Mr. Schoenfelder and I sat down last year and talked about the possibility of the city taking over the maintenance of the pier,” Selby said. “As we get closer to the end of the lease term, I get more concerned about how our assets are being taken care of.”
Selby said maintenance costs have ranged from $18,000 per year to $54,000 per year. He and Schoenfelder discussed a figure of $36,000 per year, which the city would deduct from the rent, if it assumed the maintenance.
Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick asked about major damage from a storm, and Selby said insurance is too expensive. Commissioners told Selby to continue talks with Schoenfelder.
Commissioner SueLynn suggested that they seek funds from the Manatee County Tourist Development Council for pier maintenance.