The Bradenton Beach Commission voted unanimously Thursday to authorize the City Pier Team to select a third party to remove a floating day dock damaged by Tropical Storm Colin at no cost to the city.
The 5-0 vote focused on the repair of the severely damaged day dock parallel to the Historic Bridge Street Pier.
If an agreement is not met between the city and a third party, emergency funds not to exceed $30,000 would be approved for Sarasota-based Duncan Seawall, Dock and Boat Lift LLC to perform emergency dock repairs.
“There are sections of the day dock that are broken. There are sections of the day dock that are able to be Band-Aided again, that we’ve already Band-Aided and Band-Aided and Band-Aided,” Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale told the commission at a regular city meeting that lasted more than three hours. “We can make the day dock usable with the understanding that the day dock has to come down.”
Steve Porter of Duncan Seawall recently inspected the pier and day dock after Tropical Storm Colin hit June 6 and told Speciale the pier damages are cosmetic.
Damages to the day dock, however, are more severe. Speciale told the Herald earlier this month the day dock eventually needs to be removed or replaced.
“We have a person that came to the city that is interested in the day dock and we would not have to pay him anything to take it,” Speciale said. “What he’s proposing to do, from what I understand — correct me if I’m wrong — is that he will remove the two end pilings — now this is a person from Cortez who has experience and knows everybody in Cortez that has experience in building docks — that they will come in, remove the pilings, they will float that broken section out, replace the pilings that are in there.”
Speciale told commissioners it’s a safety issue and he can reopen the day dock once the damaged portion is removed.
“The temporary fix is I have to take that section out,” the police chief said to Bradenton Beach Commissioner Ralph Cole. “Whether we give it to somebody and they float it out, or if Duncan Seawall comes in and demolishes it and pulls it out.”
City Attorney Ricinda Perry said officials could run a newspaper advertisement for the day dock.
“You simply run an ad. If nobody else responds, then we know what to do and give the chief the authority to decide what is in the best interest of the city with respect to what comes in,” Perry said. “Or have a special meeting called to let the commission review the options.”
Bradenton Beach Mayor William Shearon said it is an excellent idea because the day dock is an asset.
“Time is of the essence,” Shearon said. “It’s not only because the day dock is down and we can’t have pleasure craft there. Also, too, there is boarding and unboarding of people on the dinghy docks, so that’s a factor. We have to do something now and, then on top of it, we could have a storm event that would really complicate things if it isn’t done in a timely manner.”