INDIAN SHORES — Landscape architect Jonathan Toner of Terra Tectonics and Town Engineer Bob Brotherton worked together to come up with an alternate design to correct the drainage issue at Sand Castle. The drainage situation occurred as a result of the Gulf Boulevard Beautification Project.

Ameriscape developed a proposal to do the alternate design work at a cost of $5,989. This proposal was passed unanimously by the Town Council at the April 9 meeting with the mayor absent.

The alternate design Toner and Brotherton developed resulted in a cost reduction of about $14,000 less than the original proposal.

“The previous proposal included a labor cost of $196 per hour to dig ditches,” said Town Administrator Bonnie Dhonau. The new proposal does not require that.

Dhonau supported the revision and recommended that the project be paid for through the beautification funds generated by Building Department permits.

“Should additional funds become available under Penny IV to further the monument project, we (town of Indian Shores) can consider reclassifying these fees under Penny III,” said Dhonau.

The town’s monument project is slated to be the “Reclining Whelk,” a stainless steel interpretation of a shell that was dominant in the indigenous Tocabaga tribe’s culture as rendered by Mark Aeling of MGA Sculpture Studios, LLC. 

 The information necessary to use Penny IV funds will not likely be available until the end of the year.

“In the meantime,” said Dhonau, “the balance of Penny III monies have been encumbered for the monument project.”

Ordinances passed on second reading

The leave-no-trace and fire ordinances both passed unanimously on their second and final readings. Amending both ordinances is to ensure “the public beach and beach access areas are free from any obstruction of person property, to promote public safety, and to protect endangered sea turtles,” according to Mayor Pat Soranno’s post-meeting message.

The mayor plans to develop some educational materials after the “verbiage is codified” to help residents “keep the beach safe and beautiful.”

The council passed an ordinance to establish the composition and role of the Administrative and Finance Committee. Since the town administrator’s duties have expanded to manage the day-to-day operations of the town and some of the Administrative and Finance Committee duties have been reassigned to the town administrator, it was necessary to review and clarify the duties of the committee. The committee’s responsibilities now primarily revolve around reviewing budgets and establishing salaries/raises. The town administrator’s duties were previously adjusted in a resolution from 2014.

Proposed floodplain ordinance passes on first reading

The council tentatively passed the proposed floodplain ordinance revised to comply with the FEMA approved model ordinance. A special meeting for the final reading of the ordinance was scheduled for April 16.

Town enters agreement with Smarsh archiving service

The council unanimously agreed to enter into an agreement with Smarsh, an archiving service, for Smarsh to archive text message traffic on the town’s cellphones. Town Attorney Regina Kardash had reviewed and approved the agreement.

The cost is $2,070, including a $140 per connection charge for 10 phones. Although this was not a budgeted item, “I believe it can be absorbed in the Administrative Department’s budget for the balance of this fiscal year,” said Dhonau.

The archived texts can produce public records. According to Kardash’s understanding of the agreement, “retrieval is incorporated into the fees.”

“This will ensure the town is in compliance with Sunshine Law requirements and provides us with the ability to respond to public records requests,” said Dhonau.