BRADENTON -- A resolution to apply for a $910,155 grant through the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission boating and infrastructure program will likely pass Wednesday as part of the Bradenton City Council consent agenda.
It is the second attempt this year to obtain a grant to help offset upgrade and dock replacement costs at the city-owned Twin Dolphin Marina and Pier 22 restaurant.
The city leases the marina and restaurant to the Don Miller Development Corp. of Bradenton, which will fund the project without tax dollars as part its long-term agreement. According to City Clerk Carl Callahan, Miller Development is responsible for all costs related to maintaining the restaurant and marina. The city receives between 7 and 10 percent of proceeds from boat slip rentals and restaurant profits.
Callahan said since the marina is owned by the city, the council must act as the agency to apply for the FWC grant "as a pass-through agency only. It's our marina and ultimately we are responsible, but our deal with Miller Development is that they pay all fees for the submerged land lease and all upkeep and expenses."
In April, Miller Development failed to land a $399,000 grant to help offset a $1.2 million project to renovate docks nearest the walkway leading to Pier 22 and to replace "Dock C," which is the row of slips farther east. Callahan said the grant attempt "was close, but didn't make the final cut."
The April proposal was to replace Dock C with new 60-foot floating docks with full utilities and amenities. The project also was to expand walkway dock lengths to 100 feet.
That scope of work is the
same in the new grant application, but more work is now anticipated, driving the project cost up to just under $3.3 million.
The city is now applying for a larger grant to help offset higher costs to Miller Development.
The resolution states recent real estate trends for residential waterfront development severely affected the availability of public boat slips in Manatee County.
"The city of Bradenton recognizes this deficiency and is interested in pursuing the design and replacement of aged and end of useful life public docks," the resolution states.
Callahan said he was not clear on just how much more work Miller Development has planned as this is just a grant application. Hugh Miller, president of Don Miller Development Corp., did not return a call for comment. If approved, all project information will go through the city planning process prior to construction.
Callahan said he understands more docks will be included in replacement and upgrade plans.
According to the resolution, the project also includes replacing the air conditioning at Pier 22.
Costs associated with the project include demolition, design, permitting, replacement and construction of floating docks with full utilities, pilings, gangways and dock accessories.
Of the 84 docks included in the resolution, 39 would be designated to boaters coming and going for the day rather than long-term rentals.
Signs at the marina state 90 percent of all boat slips must remain open to the public as part of a municipal marina, but Callahan said it's not a requirement to leave that many available for transient boaters.
"We do have restrictions for live aboards, but it's only a certain percent," he said. "I'm not sure of the exact number, but I believe there are about 24 spaces currently for live aboards and they used to have be on the east side only. They are trying to get some of those restrictions eased, and I think the city is willing to work with them on that."
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041.
or follow him on Twitter @urbanmark2014.