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Madeira plans sizeable marina project
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Eight new boatlifts similar to this one will be installed on the upgraded “B” dock at the Madeira Beach Municipal Marina. Commissioner Terry Lister takes a look at one of the two existing lifts at the marina.
MADEIRA BEACH – The city of Madeira Beach's marina will be getting a major upgrade of its dock space.

City commissioners approved the specs at a July 22 workshop and authorized Central Services Director Dave Marsicano to get bids for replacing “B” dock, and to construct a floating fuel dock.

“This is definitely a sizeable project,” Marsicano said.

Both the B dock and the fuel dock will be made of aluminum instead of the composite plastic material previously planned. Aluminum docks are more durable, Marsicano said, and could be expected to last 20 years or more. They will both be floating docks.

The new B dock will feature additional boatlifts, and the “walk ups” to the lifts will be eliminated, making the dock much safer.

The B dock will have seven monthly rental boat slips with lifts on the west side and one transient lift on the east side. Rentals are $15 per foot per month, and those have already all been rented, Marsicano said. “People were arguing over who would get them,” he said.

The fuel dock will be extended from 75 to 134 feet, and made a floating dock. It will then be much easier to push boats in and out of, Marsicano said, which will help reduce the lines of boats waiting to be fueled that have been common on the weekends. More customers can be served, he said, resulting in more income for the city.

Construction of the new dock facilities is slated for completion by next February.

The money to build the docks is already in the budget, City Manager Shane Crawford said. The project is being partially funded by grant money.

Crawford said he believes the dock upgrades will be a big income producer for the city.

“We expect to fare very well on the new dock facilities,” he said.

City employees offered buyouts

For the first time ever, the city has offered buyout packages to any of its workers who want to leave, for whatever reason.

Crawford explained the buyout plan, which offers six month’s pay to any employee who takes the offer. He said the purpose of the buyout program is not to get rid of disgruntled workers, as some believe.

“The message we are sending has been, ‘If you are not happy here, or would be happier somewhere else, we want to help you,’” Crawford said. He said dissatisfied employees, for whatever reasons, “often don’t put into the job what we might be looking for.”

No one has to take the buyout package, and no one is being forced out, he stressed. “Everyone that works here has a right to retire here, if they are still producing,” he said.

Crawford said another reason for offering the plan is that the work at city hall has changed a lot since he became city manager. And that has made some employees unhappy.

“You worked here doing ‘X’ and the work has changed or increased dramatically, and some people don’t like change,” he said. This buyout gives those workers the opportunity to leave if they want.

Buyout packages are commonly offered by other communities in the area, he added.

Tom Gonzales, the city’s labor attorney, stressed the buyout plan is not a severance package where workers are being terminated.

“We have offered this opportunity to anyone who wants to take it,” he said.

Crawford said the buyout plan is “cost neutral, it won’t cost the taxpayers a cent.”

That’s because non-critical positions are being held open for the six month buyout period, and some jobs may be eliminated, he said. Those who sign up for the program must choose a date before Oct. 1 to leave, and will not be able to come back as an employee any time in the future.

Four employees chose to take advantage of the buyout program by the announced deadline, Crawford said. More may be interested, but have been reluctant to express an interest because they have felt, in a layoff period, their name will be at the top of the list.

Crawford said he believes “a couple more” employees may want to take the buyout, now that the plan has been explained more fully. He recommended the commission extend the eligible time period for a few days. The commission agreed to do so.
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