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Anna Maria pier will be closed for at least a year, mayor says

A fisherman sits in the waters off the Anna Maria City Pier, still closed from damage from Hurricane Irma.
A fisherman sits in the waters off the Anna Maria City Pier, still closed from damage from Hurricane Irma. ttompkins@bradenton.com

Hurricane Irma is long gone, but she left a scar on Anna Maria Island.

The Anna Maria City Pier won’t be open for at least another year, according to the city’s mayor, Dan Murphy.

“We had both wind damage and water damage,” he said. “It’s pretty extensive.”

After Ayers Engineering took a look at the blows Irma brought — including on the City Pier Restaurant’s partially torn-off roof and portions of the boardwalk — residents and visitors won’t be fishing or dining from the pier any time soon, though they still have the option of visiting Rod and Reel Pier, which reopened nine days after the storm.

From a mandatory evacuation, to a water shut-off on the island, to debris cleanup and recovery assessments, Murphy’s schedule before and after Irma has been busy.

“It’s a formidable task, trying to put a city back together,” Murphy said of Anna Maria, where the population hardly scrapes past 1,700.

Although Mario Schoedenfelder is the restaurant’s owner and leases the property on the pier, it’s up to the city to fix the damages. According to Murphy, the restaurant’s manager, Dave Sork, is tasked with figuring out what items will need to be taken from the restaurant.

This week, Murphy said he will be meeting with Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker and the Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Elliott Falcione to figure out how the city will fund the rebuild.

The mayor will also meet with the engineering firm to plot out exactly how long the repairs will take, how much it will cost and what state or federal permits they will need.

Murphy said that he got a call from Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s office last week.

“He was interested in knowing what role he could play,” Murphy said.

Hannah Morse: 941-745-7055, @mannahhorse

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