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Treasure Island settles Beach Trail lawsuit
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The Central Beach Trail in Treasure Island will soon be rebuilt following a settlement in a lawsuit. The original trail, which opened in March 2013, developed cracks and needs to be replaced.
TREASURE ISLAND – City commissioners have agreed to accept a settlement for $850,000 in the ongoing lawsuit with Phil Graham Landscape Architecture over cracks in the Central Beach Trail.

The mediated deal calls for the construction of a new Beach Trail and the replacement of 17 access modes to the beach, which also have cracks. The current sand wall will remain.

“The next step is to get signatures, get the engineering and design done and take off from there,” said Treasure Island Mayor Bob Minning during the March 7 City Commission meeting. “If the bid comes in at the price stipulated in the mediation agreement, we’ll be ready to go.

“This has been a long time coming,” he added, “and we’re encouraged that we’ve been able to resolve this matter.”

Minning said plans are to come one foot off the landward side of the trail sand wall and soft cut the entire length of the nearly 1-mile long trail. Everything on the landward side of the sand wall will be removed and replaced.

The trail opened in March 2013 and within two months cracks began to appear. Phil Graham Landscape Architecture was the design engineer on the project and Vero Beach-based Coastal Technology Corp. provided the structural engineering.

The Beach Trail, which runs parallel to the shoreline behind the “Miracle Mile” of Treasure Island motels and resorts, was first constructed in 1966 and then given a facelift and widened in 1998. In recent years, the heavily used concrete path was showing its age and parts of the sand wall along the path started to crumble.

In 2011, Treasure Island voters approved a small property tax hike to rebuild the trail to 21st century standards. After several months of design work, and a tour to Clearwater’s Beach Walk, construction began on the new trail in November 2012 at a cost of $1.2 million.

The new trail meanders through Treasure Island’s dune system from 104th Avenue north to 119th Avenue, with access nodes along the path.

One of the best features of the trail is the sand wall, capped with a bench top, which provides a nearly mile-long seat along the beach.

In other action, commissioners:

• Passed two ordinances on final reading that move regulations regarding recreational vehicles from the city’s land use regulations to the city codes.

• Passed a pair of ordinances on final reading that move regulations on junked, abandoned and wrecked property from the city’s land use regulations to the city codes.

• Passed an amendment to the city’s Florida State Revolving Loan Fund agreement for a 2-month extension, to allow Advanced Engineering Design Inc. and the city contractor to finish work on the rehabilitation of four lift stations located on the Isle of Palms and Isle of Capri. Forty-eight percent of the $1.22 million project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the remaining 52 percent by the State Revolving Loan Fund.

• Passed a resolution supporting home rule regarding the local regulation of single-use plastic bags.

• Moved forward on a resolution to waive garbage disposal fees and allow for the use of a banner over the Treasure Island Causeway in connection with the Suncoast Kingfish Classic. A request to waive the cost of off-duty police officers was turned down.

• Moved forward on a request by Ryan Barca and Spencer LaBarbera to enter into an agreement with the city to operate Sand Runners LLC, a beach gear valet service, which would provide transportation of items belonging to beachgoers from the parking lot or hotel to the beach.

• Moved forward on a request to revise the location of five metered parking spaces in front of the Sunset Inn, 7925 West Gulf Blvd., to accommodate guests while loading and unloading luggage upon check-in and check-out.

• Failed to move forward on a request to reduce code enforcement liens on a home at 13 Treasure Lane. The liens, which are related to tall grass and overgrowth in 2008, total $13,400.
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