Proposed improvements to Archibald Park in Madeira Beach would include this new look for the Snack Shack.
MADEIRA BEACH – A plan that would transform the city’s prime gulf front property will be going out for bid.
The Madeira Beach City Commission decided to move forward with a long-talked-about upgrade project for Archibald Park after hearing a proposal for major improvements to the grounds and historic log cabin at their Sept. 25 meeting.
Total cost of the project could approach $400,000, which would exceed the amount budgeted, City Manager Shane Crawford said. Once the bids are received and the price of the upgrades determined, the city will have an itemized list and can choose what parts to move forward with, Crawford said.
The plans presented would transform the look of the park, with a columned archway entrance, extensive landscaping and walkway upgrades, and a facelift for the cabin among the highlights.
Jeff Earhart of the design firm Cribb Philbeck Weaver Group of Oviedo, said the improvements would rejuvenate the park. The parking lot would be milled and resurfaced. New landscaping proposed includes a row of date palms illuminated by two sets of up lighting, white and a turtle-friendly yellow that would change with the nesting season. Lighting would be added to the parking lot and around the building, Earhart said.
Three pay stations will be placed at the park walkways to the beach. The wooden boardwalk will be upgraded with recycled materials. Parking spaces will be increased from 23 to 31 by making each space a little narrower.
A signature feature of the new look will be an archway entrance supported by two 4-foot by 4-foot columns. At the center, “Archibald Park” and the city logo will be emblazoned in metal script.
As they exit, visitors will see “Thank you for visiting.”
Art Droste of Powell Studio Architecture described upgrades to the Snack Shack cabin and restrooms. New walkways to the cabin’s front entrance will match the existing decking, Droste said. Inside, the kitchen will be updated and a new spiral staircase will provide access to the second floor.
The bathrooms will undergo a facelift, with new tile work and fixtures, and exterior siding to match the Snack Shack cabin. New decking out front and canopies with Hardie Board siding complete the look.
“We are ready to go to bid on the project,” Crawford told the commissioners.
Grants may be available to pay a portion of the walkway cost, he said.
Mayor Travis Palladeno said he wanted to go ahead with the parking lot improvements and walkways first. Crawford advised the commission to wait and see what the costs are.
“We’ll get something started” on the Archibald Park makeover, Crawford promised after getting a final approval from the commission to proceed with the bidding process.
Nuisance law gets an OK
A new ordinance dealing with chronic nuisance properties was approved with little change by the commission. The unanimous vote in favor rated a round of applause from a crowd of interested residents attending the meeting.
The approval came after commission members rejected a number of changes recommended by Vice Mayor Robin Vander Velde. She said terms such as “dangerous dog” (“Does that mean one or two bites?”), “alcoholic beverage establishments” (“Are liquor and package stores included?”), “private security” (“Does that mean a person or handy weapon?”), and “victim” needed further definition.
The commissioners agreed with Mayor Palladeno’s advice to “move forward with the law as it stands,” after agreeing to expand a more lenient violation rule for alcoholic beverage establishments to include all commercial retail businesses.
Neighborhood Watch leader Elaine Poe said that change did not weaken the law’s intent, in her view.
“I don’t care about the bars and restaurants because they are not the biggest problem,” Poe said. “All we want are the (violating) landlords out of our hair.”
Firm picked for oil spill claims
The law firm Motley Rice, LLC of Charleston was picked to represent the city in investigating and evaluating damage claims relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
City Attorney Thomas Trask had recommended the firm. He said their fees were significantly lower than other law firms offering similar services.
“That’s a huge benefit,” Trask said.
Also, no fees will be paid unless money is recovered.
“If you don’t get anything, you don’t pay anything,” he said.