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Sand sharing deal moves forward
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TREASURE ISLAND – City commissioners moved forward Aug. 17 on a staff recommendation to award a contract to Gator Dredging of Pinellas Park to provide beach sharing services as part of its beach erosion emergency restoration plan.

The plan would be put into play in the event of a hurricane or a major weather event that causes damage to Treasure Island’s beaches. Normally, state and federal funds would be used for such purposes, but that process would take as long as 18 months to two years to complete.

If necessary, up to 134,000 cubic yards of sand from the city’s widest beaches would be transferred to areas damaged by weather, such as the north end of the island at Sunshine Beach. The work would be complete within 90 days.

“This is being done with the thought of (ultimately) being reimbursed by the state and federal authorities,” said Mayor Bob Minning.

Cliff Truitt, director of engineering for Coastal Technology Corp., which is acting as a consultant in the process, said a wedge of sand would be removed leaving a minimum of 250 feet of beach after the borrow area is removed.

Gator Dredging estimated its services at $513,833.

Commissioner Phil Collins asked how Gator can arrive at the price without knowing in advance how much damage there will be.

“We gave them an estimate of 65,000 to 134,000 yards, in that range,” said Truitt. “They worked the estimate from that.”

The sticking point in the discussion surfaced over a performance bond required by the city for any project involving a cost of $100,000 or more.

The city would pay Gator $22,500 for the first year and $18,000 the second year of the contract to purchase the bond. The bond would pay Treasure Island in the event Gator fails to show up when asked or doesn’t complete the work.

Collins wondered why the city must pay for a bond to guarantee that Gator shows up.

Commissioner Alan Bildz wondered if the city should go with another company that requires a smaller bond “for something we might not ever need.”

City Manager Reid Silverboard suggested putting a statement in the performance bond ordinance that would waive the performance bond requirement.

“That way, we can move ahead and enter into a contract with Gator,” Silverboard said.

Commissioners agreed and the proposal will be heard next as an agenda item.

In other action, commissioners:

• Moved forward on a request by the police department to purchase a used late model car for the Criminal Investigation Division. Funding in the amount of $3,720 would come from the Police Forfeiture Fund, $1,280 from general fund and $7,000 from $7,000 budgeted in the police department account. Total cost shall not exceed $12,000.

• Moved ahead on a resolution authorizing a rate increase for city attorney Maura Kiefer. Her current monthly retainer is $3,247 with an hourly rate of $110 for litigation and nonlitigation matters. Kiefer is requesting an increase to $150 per hour for litigation-related matters and $125 for nonlitigation affairs. Since being appointed city attorney six years ago, she has received one retainer increase and one hourly rate increase.

• Moved forward on a resolution authorizing an interlocal agreement with the Pinellas Planning Council for planning and mapping services.
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