The month of April brought us a successful Spring Break with the normal traffic congestion, pedestrian crossings on Gulf Boulevard, and the tremendous amount of patience shown by all of our residents. The tourism component that exists in our community adds to the vibrance of our City and keeps our tax base lower. The businesses are thriving because of the activity as well. As you know, we were awarded the prestigious Trip Advisor’s Award for having the 9th best beach in the United States. Each of you share a part of this honor by caring for the pristine beach area and being ambassadors of our City. Let’s work harder to maintain this designation and aim for the top spot!
The Crystal Island Roadway Improvement project is still completing the punch list stage when the remainder of restoration work is completed. I want to thank each of the residents for their patience and understanding as this project draws to a close. The parking problems that were previously experienced in the area of 140th Avenue to approximately 143rd Avenues, have decreased. The Board of Commissioners will have the final public hearing on the rezoning and development agreement for the Schooner Project on June 9th, 2021 at 6 p.m. Our new Building Department addition is in the final stage and we are looking forward to a May completion date. The next Breakfast with Bob is scheduled for Thursday May 27th, at Archibald Park at 8 a.m. Please join us for an hour of information, conversation, and sharing.
On the COVID-19 front, the governor has removed the emergency order and individual businesses and city facilities are free to set their own standards. In our City Hall, we will be continuing the mask mandate for the public and employees to protect employees that have pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, we just lost another jurisdictions law enforcement officer who succumbed to COVID. We are not out of danger yet so please be patient. If you prefer to meet with a staff member without a mask, we can meet at the steps of City Hall keeping socially distant. Please get vaccinated for everyone’s sake and don’t worry which vaccine you get. At this point it is important to get vaccinated as soon as you can! Be safe!
BUILDING OFFICIAL(S)- DEVELOPMENT REPORT- (April 2021)
City Building Official, Frank DeSantis reports that our redevelopment/economic development continues at a fast pace including several large condominium projects on-going and under plan review.
- The Madeira Bay Project (44 units) at 13101 Gulf Blvd. The side banks need to be re-graded to meet code. Waiting on as-builts and revised drainage calculations. Spoke to Al, NO CHANGE.
- The Madeira del Mar Condominiums project (13 units, 4-stories with two floors above parking) 15305 1st Street East. Pool coping and mar site scheduled for this week with landscaping next week, waiting on final storm drainage install at rear of property. Site landscaping, parking & pavers left. Final cleaning & punch list items, elevator install is at 99%, the project is at 99% completion.
- The Harbor at Town Center Condominiums project 212 150TH Ave – The second half of the 5th floor slab is scheduled for pour; the roof is scheduled for pour in 3-weeks. The project is at 22% completion.
- The Holiday Isles projects –
- 555 150th Ave. (Hampton Inn Hotel) – NO CHANGE Overall progress is still at 1%. Permit has been extended per Executive Order 20-52.
- 565 150th Ave. (31-unit residential condo building) – Permit has been issued to the contractor, no scheduled date to start.
- The Office Suite Downstairs – The M-E-P’s & Fire inspections should be completed by this week. The final punch list items are being corrected. The project is still ahead of schedule and is estimated for completion by Mid-May.
Monthly Totals (04/01/2021 through 04/30/2021):
- Building Department:
- 111 different types of permits were processed & issued.
- $210,551. Permit fees collected.
- $10,092,548. Permit estimated value or cost.
- 188 completed inspections (average 9-per day)
- Building Code Compliance & Residential Rental Inspections:
- 5 new code compliance cases were created.
- 5 code compliance cases being resolved.
- 28 open/outstanding code compliance concerns with the help of the Special Magistrate.
- 3 rental units scheduled for inspections.
- PCSO-Community Policing and Code Enforcement (MUNIS).
- 0 new code compliance cases were opened.
- 3 existing code compliance cases were resolved.
- 34 code compliance cases remain open.
- PCSO-ACISS Cases (Activities that generate case #’s)
- Deputy Moren, 90 cases
- Deputy Snyder, 56 cases
- 146-Total Cases
In March, the Community Development staff began working with the land use planning consultant who will help develop the land use map changes needed to bring the city into compliance with the county, and with its own development policies and patterns. There are specific problems with the current maps and land use categories that cause conflict with the county and that leave the economic sector vulnerable to permanent loss. Even the existing development in Johns Pass Village and in some areas along Gulf Blvd are not reflected by the existing city definitions. This means that they would not be able to rebuild to existing levels if destroyed or severely damaged by storm. What is more, over the years the county downgraded the land use in the Village and along Gulf Blvd to a low-level suburban sprawl type. This was done without the understanding of the Madeira Beach community. Since the city is obligated by law to be compatible with the county, protection of the property values and economic health of the entire city, requires both the city and the county maps be amended. More detailed zoning and design regulations will follow, and the staff is developing a schedule for public input meetings to help in this process. Both landowners and business owners will be invited to participate by way of mailed invitation and door-to-door visits.
CITY OF MADEIRA BEACH MARINA
The marina staff would like to bid a fond farewell to Nick Boesch, one of our teammates, as he starts a new career as an electrician. God’s speed and good luck on your new adventure. With his departure, we are welcoming Boris Buncic and Taylor Donaldson to the team.
Our new digital fuel dispensers were installed on April 12th and are working great. Thanks to Adams Tank and Lift for the great work getting them installed ahead of schedule.
Warmer weather is here and with the uptick in temperature opportunities for some of our larger gamefish will arrive in our coastal waters. Snook fishing will fire up this month inside and around the passes. I prefer to target the larger fish at night or in the early morning hours. Looking for strong outgoing tides near the new and full moon phases will improve your chances dramatically. Look for good ambush points where the current will bring crabs, shrimp, and other baitfish to the fish for easy opportunities. Examples such as rocky turns in seawalls, large dock or bridge pilings, deep drop offs, large boats or floating docks are good starting places. I do not pass up an opportunity to toss a bait on a shadow line either. Toss your bait on the bright side and let the current take it into the shadows where the fish are waiting to pounce like a jungle cat. Live baits such as large shrimp, pigfish, white bait, mullet, ladyfish, and pass crabs all work well. The key is finding out what the fish are feeding on, observe the water to see what baitfish or crustaceans are moving through the area. Use stout spinning tackle with 50-pound braided line, 40-to-60-pound fluorocarbon leader and a sturdy circle hook matched to the size of the bait. Snook are still all catch and release so take care of these awesome fish. Make sure to support larger fish under their stomach and get them back in the water as soon as possible after a quick photo.
April Paring Revenue over the last couple years:
- 2021- $322,735
- 2020- $7,416 (beaches closed due to COVID-19)
- 2019- $281,292
- 2018- $228,566
Back in February I had the opportunity to assist with the launch of the Central Pinellas Vaccination site on East Bay. This site is much larger than the other vaccination sites with the ability to vaccinate up to 2000 residents per day. The other vaccination sites are capable of up to 500 per day. At this time the vaccination was available to ages 65 and up. The response to the ability to get vaccinated was overwhelming. To see how many of our older population that wanted the vaccine was truly eye opening. There were different emotions from these individuals as well. Tears of joy from many residents, expressions of happiness and some nervousness to essentially the unknown. This was a collaborative effort between the Department of Health, Pinellas County Emergency Management and many Pinellas County fire organizations. I worked side by side with Fire Chief Burton from Pinellas Suncoast Fire District at the check-in station. Fire Chief Barrs from Treasure Island Fire Department was the site coordinator and District Chief Poirer from St. Pete Beach also assisted in the launch. There were firefighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, nurses and many other volunteers and health care professionals that participated in this venture to achieve the common goal of providing the COVID-19 Vaccination to our community. It was refreshing to see ego’s left at the door and everyone working together to make this happen, regardless of rank or position. The launch of this site was covered by the local news outlets and they were on-site throughout the day. This was an experience I am truly grateful to have had and be able to assist with getting this vaccination out to our community.
As of March 31, 2021, the Board of Commissioners have held 12 meetings in 2021. All meetings are open to the public. For March 2021, the Board held 3 meetings. The public can view meetings by webcast or on Spectrum Ch. 640 and public comment is accepted by email in advance of each meeting. Regularly scheduled meetings are held:
Board of Commissioners Meetings – City Hall, 300 Municipal Drive, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
- Regular Meeting 2nd Wednesday @ 6 p.m.
- Regular Workshop Meeting 4th Wednesday @ 6 p.m.
Meeting dates and times are subject to change due to holidays, etc.
Boards, Commissions, and Committees are a valuable part of the local government process. The members are volunteers and provide a great service to the City and to the community. Duties and responsibilities include assisting in the reviewing the City’s policies and procedures, Code of Ordinances, and the City Charter, and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners.
- Planning Commission – 7-member board – regular meetings held monthly, 1st Monday at 6:00 p.m. – members must be citizens and eligible to vote in the City – Additional information, please contact Community Development Director, Linda Portal at 727-391-9951, ext. 255 or 244; email@example.com.
Special consideration given to applicants with one or more of the following professional experience and credentials:
- Architecture or landscape architecture
- Civil engineering
- Real estate sales or land development
- Natural or environmental sciences
- Urban planning
- Civil Service Commission – 5-member board – regular meetings held quarterly, dates and times vary – members must be citizens and eligible to vote in the City – Additional information, please contact City Clerk Clara VanBlargan at 727-391-9951, ext. 231; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special consideration given to applicants with HR professional experience and credentials.
Applications may be obtained at City Hall, downloaded on the City’s website at https://madeirabeachfl.gov/advisory-boards/ or obtained from the City Clerk.
Public Works staff has received the new Kubota beach tractor. The purpose of the new Tractor is to pull the surf rake which is a mechanical beach cleaner that picks up seaweed and trash just above the high tide water line. Beach Masonizing cleans the wrack line (high tide water line) every Wednesday and pulls the seaweed to a pile at the low tide line. The wrack line is natural material that washes onto the beach is referred to as wrack and includes algae, sea grasses, and some invertebrates such as sponges and soft corals. Wrack serves as the primary source of nutrients to beach communities and is the foundation for the food chain. Nutrients from decomposing wrack cycle back into the surf zone and contribute to the value of this area as a nursery for economically important fish species. Wrack is also an important source of cover for wildlife. Wrack that washes onto the beach during storm events or normal high tides at the end of sea turtle nesting season can contain post-hatchling sea turtles. Wrack deposited higher up the beach plays a key role in dune development.
Crystal Island Updates
A final walk through is scheduled second week of May.
- All inlets and outfalls are in place and tied in.
- curbs are in place throughout the entire project area (Johns Pass Ave, Lillian Dr, Flamingo Dr and Crystal Dr).
- The first lift of asphalt is in place throughout the entire project area
- The final lift of asphalt (approximately 1.5”) is in place throughout the entire project area.
- Concrete and Paver Driveway in progress.
- Irrigation and sod restoration in progress.
- City Inspector is keeping a detailed punch-list of items that need to be corrected/completed. The Contractor is working on the punch-list items.
The weather heated up and so did activity around the Recreation Center in April! Kingfish season kicked off with a slew of tournaments throughout the area. Madeira Beach specifically hosted tournaments on opposite ends of town as the Wild West King Rush Tournament took place in John’s Pass on April 25th and the 28th Annual Spring King of the Beach took place at R.O.C. Park. Both tournaments will return in the Fall for more exciting fishing action!
April was also a very busy month on the athletic fields. Madeira Beach Youth Baseball and Softball was full steam ahead with games going on 6 days a week. NSA Softball visited the complex for a pair of tournaments which brought teams from all over Tampa Bay. The youth soccer season began with the largest registration numbers to date for Spring Soccer and Madeira Beach Youth Flag Football kicked off it’s inaugural season teamed up with the Seminole Recreation Department. All in all, a very busy month for youth athletics.
Looking ahead, the City of Madeira Beach has begun planning for the 75th Anniversary of the City. Currently seeking community input and folks who want to volunteer, the City is looking to host a marquee event each month during 2022. If you are interested in a particular event or volunteering at one more information is available here: https://madeirabeachfl.gov/75th-anniversary-celebration/
Below are some upcoming events and activities throughout Madeira Beach:
- All Month – Summer Camp Registration – Recreation Center
- May 12, 19, 26 – Madeira Beach Market on Madeira Way – 10am – 2pm
- May 15 – Grunt Hunt – Madeira Beach Marina
- May 22 – Mad Beach Throwdown Car & Music Festival – Madeira Way & ROC Park
- May 31 – Memorial Day – City Offices Closed
- June 5 – Trash Pirates Beach Clean Up – 8am – 10am – All Madeira Beach Beaches