TREASURE ISLAND – Interim Treasure Island City Manager Amy Davis said last week that requests for bids have gone out to replace the Central Beach Trail.
City commissioners recently agreed to accept a settlement of $604,700 in a lawsuit with the designer of the Trail 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.
If bids come in at or under $604,700, the city will select a contractor and move forward with the work. If bids come in over $604,700, city leaders will have to decide if they want to pay the difference or head back to mediation.
Mayor Bob Minning said in March that plans call for the nearly 1-mile long trail to 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.
New city hall
Harvard Jolly Architects and Tim Haahs, an engineering and architectural design firm, presented the first phase of a study on the city’s needs for a new municipal building and parking at the Aug. 15 city commission meeting.
The initial results show the city needs over 75,000 square feet of space to adequately house its current operations. The city currently works out of just under 44,000 square feet, which includes City Hall (13,570), Public Works (9,932), police/fire station (11,660) and the city community center (8,747).
The proposed square footage would be: City Hall, 21,420; Public Works, 11,110; police/fire station, 23,665; and community center, 18,920.
The possible locations and style of the building, or buildings, will be addressed during future phases of the study.
The parking needs assessment showed adequate parking during a typical weekday but busy on weekends, especially near the beach from February to July.
Haahs said a parking garage would need to generate $150 per space per month to be financially self-sustaining. Unfortunately, only one current city lot, located at Gulf Front Park, is capable of generating that level of revenue.
However, the study was based on the city’s $1.50 per hour parking rate, which will be raised to $2 soon. A further analysis, based on the $2 rate will follow over the next five months.
In other action:
• City leaders honored Treasure Island city employee Travis Jones as a good samaritan after he prevented an armed robbery Aug. 8 in the parking lot of a Publix store in Seminole.
• Honored police officer Kathy Lovelace for 30 years of service with the city. Lovelace is retiring later this month.
• Police Chief Armand Boudreau announced that the police and fire departments will host Public Safety Day on Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot of the Public Service (fire/police) Building. Among the activities planned are tours of the police and fire departments, a bike rodeo, a vehicle extrication and a water demonstration of the city’s personal watercraft.
• Commissioners approved the Elizabeth M. Vasti Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 14 from 7 to 11 a.m. on Paradise Island. The event will benefit a scholarship fund for graduates of St. Jude’s Catholic School attending St. Petersburg Catholic High School.