I wish I had better news on the pandemic front as we move from November into the month of December, with our positivity index increasing and the infection rate increasing. Our Thanksgiving was clouded by this dark shadow hanging over us and the December joyous holidays are threatened. One word will help to make us safe, DILIGENCE. Do not let your guard down. Stick with frequent hand washing during the day, keep socially distant, and utilize a mask at work and when you are out in public. Additionally, get a flu shot. The flu shot is important because both the flu and COVID-19 are viruses and the symptoms can be similar. If a person has had a flu shot, the flu can be eliminated as a cause for the symptoms. Do not let this virus get the best of you but be DILIGENCE.
We do have a lot to be thankful for as we weathered the storm, and no one was seriously injured when Tropical Storm ETA struck unexpectedly the night of November 11th. Unfortunately, over 200 structures suffered water intrusion and over 50 might need to be rebuilt. There are several companies that want to repair damaged homes but are not licensed and the proper permits are not obtained. Therefore, inspections of the workmanship do not occur, and homeowners could be left with dangerous black mold and unsafe wiring conditions. The City is waiving permit fees for storm damaged properties but permits still need to be obtained. Also, the 72-hour requirement has been waived for having a POD in front of your home provided a copy of your building permit is attached to the street side of your POD. A Town Hall will be held on December 8, 2020 at 6 p.m. at City Hall for those parties who have damage from the storm but have questions about their coverage, FEMA funding, and the inspection assistance provided by the City of Madeira Beach. Please attend and meet with our planning staff.
December 12th is a great day for relaxing at ROC Park, enjoying the Merry Market coordinated by the Madeira Beach-Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce, and watch the annual Boat Parade. Please remain socially distant and wear a mask. Another change will be the Wednesday Market, which will be moving to Madeira Way. Please check with the Recreation Department for the details.
In closing, the staff at the City of Madeira Beach wishes you and yours the happiest of Holiday Seasons and we hope you have a safe New Year.
BUILDING OFFICIAL(S)- DEVELOPMENT REPORT (November 2020 – 10/28/20 to 11/23/20)
City Building Official, Frank DeSantis reports that our redevelopment/economic development continues at a fast pace including several large condominium projects 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. NO CHANGE.
- The Madeira del Mar Condominiums project (13 units, 4-stories with two floors above parking) 15305 1stStreet East. The roof dry-in is now complete, stucco has started, and the trade rough inspections are to start. Window installation has been pushed until after Thanksgiving due to COVID. The Duke Energy easements are resolved. The project is at 85% completion.
- The Gulf Grille project. (Restaurant) 14080 Gulf Blvd. – Underground utilities continue at Kitty Stuart park. The handrail for the beach access is complete and the restroom slab poured with the restroom unit on site. Insulation and the metal roof are complete. Drywall installation is to start, elevator equipment is on site and the pavers are scheduled for delivery 12-9-2020. The project is at 94% completion.
- The Harbor at Town Center Condominiums project 212 150TH Ave – The foundation permit is complete and closed. Plan review for the building is complete and the permit is scheduled for pick up in approx. 2 weeks. NO CHANGE.
- The Holiday Isles projects –
- 555 150th Ave. (Hampton Inn Hotel) – NO CHANGE Overall progress is still at 1%. Permit has been extended to 4-5-2021, per Executive Order 20-52.
- 565 150th (31 unit residential condo building) – Permit has been approved and is awaiting pick up by contractor. NO CHANGE.
- City Hall Generator Structure, 300 Municipal Drive – The structure is complete. The generator was delivered and set in place. Electrical wiring is approx. 90% complete. We are waiting for wire completion and coordination with generator manufacturer for scheduling the Duke power shutdown, to be coordinated with the Building Official. The project is at 98% completion.
Monthly Totals (27 days only, 10-28-20 through 11-23-20):
- The Building Department totals for the month to date were:
- 57 different types of permits were issued
- $14,961 Permit fees collected
- $588,750 Permit estimated value or cost
- 170 completed inspections (average 9 per day)
- On the Code Compliance side;
- 4 new code compliance cases were created
- 7 code compliance cases being resolved
- 28 open/outstanding code compliance concerns with the help of the Special Magistrate.
- PCSO-Community Policing and Code Enforcement processed;
- 0 new code compliance cases were opened
- 0 existing code compliance cases were resolved
- 37 code compliance cases remain open
- The Residential Rental Inspection program processed;
- 30 – unit inspections
*Starting to schedule inspections Oct. 5 for all those that have paid their inspection fee and business tax
It’s the year 2020 and even the tropics took extra advantage of the Hurricane Season by producing storms to the last possible moment. Tropical Storm Eta approached our coastal area late afternoon of November 11th. Although Eta did not bring much wind damage, the flood waters became a significant issue for the communities we serve. In just a little over a 24-hour period the Department responded to 70 emergency calls, 43 in less than 6 hours. Our monthly emergency response call volume on an average totals 155.
Tropical Storm Eta was projected to stay miles west of our area at the 11 pm advisory on Tuesday, November 10th. By the morning hours of November 11th the tropical storm shifted east and was coming right at the Tampa Bay Area. During tropical storms, Pinellas County Emergency Management typically does not issue evacuation orders. With the volume of calls the Department received for rescue from rising waters on streets and in homes, the City will be amending the Emergency Action Plan with an “Evacuation” advisement for citizens to include tropical storms. During Eta, there was no mandatory evacuation issued for any communities.
The Department went into action by mid-morning. Issuing Level I Activation and cancelling all scheduled leave for all members. While C shift was scheduled to be on duty that day, A-shift was recalled to return to the station for additional resources. Truck 25 and Engine 25 were responding to calls as the Fire Chief and Fire Inspector prioritized and dispatched emergency calls coming in through Pinellas County Web EOC throughout the early morning hours of November 12th. On regular days, the 911 dispatch center can handle the volume of calls however during storm events operational procedures change.
MBFD responded to medical emergencies, small fires, electrical issues do to outlets smoking from water damage, fire alarms, and rescues from flood waters. The high level of flood waters took many by surprise. The crews maneuvered through chest deep waters with the assistance of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and their resources of a boat. Crews would pull the small rescue vessel to those in need of assistance. Those seeking help were families with children, individuals and pets. The goal was to reach all that needed us and it’s believed MBFD was successful in doing so.
The Department will be researching the cost of acquiring a High Water Vehicle to assist in the rescue and evacuation process. Although a low frequency/high risk type of rescue situation having this resource available will be of tremendous help with future evacuation of citizens. Many Fire Departments in flood prone communities throughout Pinellas County have such a vehicles as part of their fleet.
Damage to the city itself was minimal. Unfortunately, the citizens bore the brunt of the surging flood waters and some homes may be uninhabitable or maybe completely destroyed. Compared to Hurricane Irma, in my opinion, T.S. Eta was much worse due to the flooding causing the call volume to be high even for a storm event. The aftermath in regard to debris clean up was much easier for Eta than Irma.
To look at this event in a positive perspective the Tampa Bay Area fared way better than most impacted during the 2020 Hurricane Season. Eta reminded us that no matter what month it is, when living in Florida it’s important to be prepared for a storm. Having a hurricane kit prepared, important documentation at reach, evacuation plan ready and your barrier island re-entry access pass on hand is a good start. Visit www.PCSO.org or call City Hall at 727-391-9951 to request your pass.
CITY OF MADEIRA BEACH MARINA
Cooler weather has arrived and with it comes some of our most prevalent pelagic species Mackerel. Both Spanish and King Mackerel will arrive this month and are found in very similar locations. Spanish have already shown up in good numbers and are on the beaches from Johns Pass south to the Don Cesar. Look for birds and the bait, that is where the Spanish will be. I like to troll around 5 knots using light spinning reels with 40-pound leader and a #100 Kingspoon in gold or silver. Make sure to put the line out at least 100 feet behind the boat so the spoon stays in the water. Holding the rod tip down to the water will also help you keep the spoon down. Make sure you have a strong grip and light drag as the strikes will be violent.
The marina hosted the Veterans Day Boat Parade on November 14th and there was a great turnout. Thousand’s of dollars were raised for numerous local veteran’s charities. Please go to http://veteransboatparade.org/ or their Facebook page for all the details.
The registration page for the annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade is located at https://madeirabeachfl.gov/festival-of-lights-boat-parade/ Participants can sign up there or in person at the marina.
Public Works staff and the Consultant met with Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) Contract Manager to discuss the CFI application for the Watershed Management Plan. The CFI Contract Manager is recommending a “high” ranking after their initial review. Initial recommendations and early meetings appear to be positive, but there is still a long way to go before grants are awarded.
Sanitation has collected over 350 tons of trash and debris in 11 days following Tropical Storm Eta. The staff is working hard trying to remove the debris as quickly as possible. Stormwater and Parks Staff has been diligently picking up debris at the beaches and parks as well.
Public Works is scheduling inspection and cleaning of stormwater systems. Routine cleaning of the pipes will improve stormwater drainage. Routine cleaning can also help identify locations that may need additional repairs. Inspections are also required as part of the City’s NPDES permit.
Public Works staff has been coordinating and reporting losses to FEMA and the Counts due to Tropical Storm Eta. Staff has also been coordinating with FDEP, the County, USACE and FDOT regarding Johns Pass Inlet.
GIBBS & REGISTAR: CRYSTAL ISLAND UPDATE
Crystal Island Updates
Project is still on schedule to be completed in 3/2021.
- All storm inlets installed.
- Over half of the outfalls are installed.
- Curbs are in place on Johns Pass Ave, Lillian Dr., and Flamingo Dr.
- Curb work has begun on Crystal Dr. north of Flamingo Dr.
- First lift of asphalt is in place on Johns Pass Ave, Lillian Dr., and Flamingo Dr.
- Roadwork is beginning on Crystal Drive. Contractor will work on one lane at a time to allow traffic around the work zone.
- Concrete and Paver Driveway in progress Lillian Dr. and Johns Pass Ave.
- Irrigation restoration in progress Lillian Dr. and Johns Pass Ave.
The holiday season is upon us! The month of December is loaded with family events. The Recreation Department had quite a few events in the month of October and November. The annual Halloween Barks & Boos dog market was a blast! We also held our first drive thru trunk or treat event. We have over 200 kids come to the event! We are looking forward to doing both events again next year. The Veteran’s day Boat parade was a huge success. We had over 60 boats participate this year. Although the weather was rough, King of the Beach was well attended. Congratulations to all the winners!
Sports & Programming, Madeira Beach youth baseball and softball is wrapping up their regular season. Our youth soccer league is coming down to the last few weeks of games. The championship game will take place in mid-December. We have teamed up with the Seminole Recreation Department for this year’s youth basketball league. Registration is open and will close December 6th. Childcare will offer a holiday break camp from December 21st-23rd and 28th-30th and January 4th. The Wednesday Morning Market is back! The market takes place every Wednesday from 9:00am till 1:00pm in the city hall parking lot. Lots of local craft vendors and farm fresh produce.
- Dec 5 – John’s Pass Tree Lighting with Santa and Jingle Bell Kid’s Fishing Tournament – All Day
- Dec 12 – Merry Beach Market – ROC Park – 2:00pm – 6:00pm
- Dec 12 – Madeira Beach Festival of Lights Boat Parade – 6:30pm
- Dec 18 – Drive-In Holiday Movie – Rec Center
- Dec 19 & 20 – NSA Softball Tournament
Questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to see, please contact the Recreation Department at 727-392-0665. Thank you!