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Longboat Key Letters – Week ending September 15, 2017

Longboat Key News encourages Letters to the Editor on timely issues. Please email to: letters@lbknews.com or mail to PO Box 8001, Longboat Key, FL 34228. We also print letters sent to Town Hall that address Longboat Key issues. We reserve the right to edit.

Hurricane Irma Update

To: Town Commission

Residents have full access to Longboat Key, and all roads are passable.  We ask that everyone use caution when driving around any remaining debris.  Some roads are single lane but passable.  As of yesterday around dark we had emergency vehicle access to all roads and buildings.

We mobilized our debris management contractor yesterday and they helped us with some of the larger trees.  Town crews spent Sunday night staged at SMH and left the hospital at first light to begin the clearing process.

The mandatory boil water notice remains in effect until laboratory tests have confirmed the system water is safe to drink.  Residents and businesses must boil all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes be boiled.  A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient.  As an alternative bottled water may be used.

Power is still out in some areas; it is on a street-to-street basis.  FPL has established a webpage, www.fplmaps.com where you can report outages, or check on the status of a reported outage. FPL reports 77,000 customers out in Manatee County and 123,000 customers out in Sarasota County.

Storm related yard debris that is containerized or bundled and placed at curbside will be collected by Waste Management as regularly scheduled on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.  Bundles should be tied at both ends, be no longer than 4 feet and 16 inches in diameter; each container or bundle should weigh no more than 40 pounds.

Collection of garbage will resume its normal schedule on Thursday, September 14, 2017.  Garbage and recycling service will resume on Monday, September 18.

Contractors or owners seeking an Emergency Repairs Permit must contact the Building Department either by phone or in person at the Building Department Office. The following information must be provided:

· An explanation of the emergency circumstances; and

· Specific work to be performed; and

· Property address; and

· Contact information for contractor and property owner.

A verbal authorization will be given by the Building Official to begin emergency repair work. Within 24 hours of the verbal authorization, a permit application for the emergency work must be submitted to the Building Department. Access to Bay Isles and Bayview Drive were opened during the evening yesterday.

 

Streets

We continue to clean up streets and sidewalks.  Under Ordinance, 06-20 the Town will do first push on private roads listed in the Ordinance and collect debris as designated in the ordinance maps. We are working with Bay Isles Association management on a plan to collect debris as directed by the Ordinance.

We will start large volume debris pick up once we have cleared streets and sidewalks. We don’t want to start pick up too soon because residents need time to carry their debris to the curb.

 

Water Wastewater 

We will continue boil water advisory until cleared by the lab tests (hopefully by Thursday). We had a few smaller water leaks due to uprooted trees but they have been repaired or will be shortly.

The waste water system is under high stress because of power outages.  Our smaller lift stations require generator power.  Our crews are shuttling the generators between the stations without power.  So far, we have been able to keep up with it. We have requested additional generators but have not received them. We have not had any wastewater overflows yet. But it is a possibility.

 

Facilities 

We have checked all Town buildings and other facilities. Like everyone, we experienced tree damage but no structural damage.  Our building official has done an inspection Town-wide and finds no serious structural damage from the storm.  We are inspecting the Colony today.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Lift Station D

To: Public Works Department

FP&L crews are on site doing final tree trimming, damaged post-tension cable removal. Primary voltage wiring crew on the way they will stay on site until power is restored.

James Linkogle

Project Manager

Longboat Key

 

Citizen Comfort Station

To: Town Commission

Commissioners: we have had a few requests from people who are out of electric for a place to charge cell phones, etc.  Therefore, we are going to open Town Hall for folks who want to charge up, get a cool glass of water with some ice, talk with their neighbors.  We have some volunteers who are willing to greet folks and help out so our staff can continue to do their jobs. I don’t know if we are going to see two citizens or 200 but we’ll try it and see what happens. We will use the Chambers with tables and chairs.

It will take a while to get set up this morning and for the word to get out.  Please feel free to stop by and see how it is being received. Also, please pass the word to those without power who might want an air-conditioned break.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager, Longboat Key

 

FPL Update

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

The efforts of Public Works folks, the Police Department, Fire Department, town staff to cope with what blessedly turned out to be a lot less than the disaster we expected has been tremendous.

Ed and Pat Zunz

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

To: Town Commission

I met with FPL this morning. Of the 10,400 accounts on Longboat Key 2,190 are out of power as of 4 a.m. this morning. They are aware of all outages on LBK. Their assessment is that most are the result of feeder failures on the mainland. Today an additional 560 workers arrived in the two-county area to work on the power lines. They will be focusing on the restoring the feeders. Once feeders are restored, large areas of outage on LBK should be restored. Then they will begin working on the smaller outages that may be due to a downed line. I can’t predict when any specific power will be restored but with the additional workers and equipment in the region restoration will be soon. While it is stressful to be without power (I am without power at my house, too) please continue to exercise patience.

In the meantime, please tell folks if they need a place get into air conditioning or charge your cell phone or use WiFi come to Town Hall and cool off, charge up, have a snack, and see your neighbors.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager, Longboat Key

 

Post Storm Beach

To: Town Commission

Attached are a few pictures taken by James Linkogle today. There was likely some loss of sand but there was not massive beach loss. We actually fared better than I expected.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager, Longboat Key

 

Code red notification

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

Hopefully the fine folks at Manatee will remember they need to turn it back on and the personnel with the know how won’t have the day off.

Terry Gans

Mayor, Longboat Key

 

To: Town Commission

We have emailed and sent a code red phone message to all LBK addresses notifying that there is no water service n there will be a boil water order in effect until the system is restored n cleared

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Town of Longboat Key

To: Town Clerk Trish Granger

Currently sitting in public, WiFi hot spot.

Pool a disaster and some trees damaged but in general all not too bad,

still without power.

You guys were great, seriously. I now know where the fees go to keep all these systems up and running — if any resident ever moans, direct them to me.

Bobby Halliday

Longboat Key

To: Mr. and Mrs. Halliday

It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend, although different circumstances would have been my preference.  I hope that we made your evacuation a little easier and that your home was in the same condition as when you left.

There are no longer storm reports being prepared, however, Town staff will continue to update the Town’s website with information on post-storm activities.

If you are using your cell phone to access the site (www.longboatkey.org).  If you “land” on the Mobile version, scroll to the bottom and select “Classic” site. All new information will be posted under “News and Announcements.”

If there is anything you have any questions on, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Trish Granger

Town Clerk

Longboat Key 

 

First report from LBK

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

Lots of limbs down. A few trees. The pines along John Ringling west are down but east is clear. Power outage sporadic. A few wires down. Town buildings look fine after a quick drive by. Spanish Main flooded. Some condos have trees down. Village has downed trees and limbs down.

Paul Dezzi

Fire Chief

Longboat Key

 

Status of the Key

To: Town Commission

We now have FPL on the island fixing all the downed lines. That is the biggest obstacle to opening up the island for our residents. Our Town crews are still clearing roads in Country Club shores and elsewhere. There will be some roads that are only partially passable and we might have one road that we won’t get open until tomorrow. We have restored water pressure but are still under boil water advisory.

My objective is to get residents and businesses back on island as quickly as possible.  When we give the all clear to return we will ask people to drive carefully.

The south entrance from Coon Key Bridge to St. Armands is being worked on by the City of Sarasota.  The Cortez Road access is under the control of the Manatee Sheriff.  We hope to have the Town open to residents to return by 4 p.m. today. It won’t be perfect but folks will be able to come home. We’ll continue to clean up for a few weeks. Town government will be open for business tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Commission mail

To: Mayor Terry Gans

After reading all the mail today a few things come to mind:

Passing the underground utilities referendum was a good move since most of the FPL problems dealt with overhead utilities

The town staff went beyond the call of duty during this crisis. Those of us who did not lose power are most grateful to FPL.

Ray Rajewski

Longboat Key

 

Status

To: Town Commission

First in teams are being deployed at first light. They have road clearing and general clean up to do.  Electric wires are down. FPL notified. There is no water service yet. Some flooding. Town buildings look ok from outside.

We did better than predicted but need time to make island safe. Checkpoints will stop traffic until the clear notice is given and it is safe to return. Please be patient everyone is working as hard as they safely can to open up island.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

To: Town Clerk Trish Granger

We are in the first phase of remediation post Irma.  Once we are given the “all clear” from the Town of LBK the entire staff available will be focused on assessing and remediation in the buildings and common areas.  The office will remain closed Monday, September 11th. We will do our best to keep in contact with Owners via email.

Please be patient as we begin our post hurricane plan in place.

Thank you!

Kathy Podolsky

Property Manager, Grand Bay

Longboat Key

 

Incorrect information on road blockage

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

A Longboat Key business owner was just told by the Bradenton Beach police department that Longboat Key residents will be denied re-entry via Bradenton Beach and will have to drive through Sarasota (after the storm). They said there will be a roadblock at 119th Street and Cortez.

I just spoke to a police officer on the phone and he said that the city of LBK preferred this route and for us to contact you.

Could you please verify this and explain the circumstances? It is very unsettling, especially to those in the north end, driving twice as far through equally hazardous conditions and increased traffic. I understand if Bradenton Beach was washed out, but only if that is the case. Thank you for your assistance!

Patty McBride

Longboat Key

 

To: Patty McBride

Our police chief has advised me that the information you received is erroneous.  You must understand, however, that return to LBK from either direction after a mandatory storm excavation could be subject to a variety of conditions depending on circumstances.  At one extreme, if storm damage was such as to present serious safety issues, entry might be denied for a period of time until a safe return could be assured.  At the other extreme, a driver license and proof of LBK residence might be sufficient for reentry during the early stages of recovery to make certain that a stranger was not seeking entry for improper purposes while the town was substantially uninhabited.  I hope this will relieve your concerns and provide comfort that the town is protecting your best interests.

Ed Zunz

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Status on returning after Hurricane Irma

To: Town Commission

First in teams are being deployed at first light. They have road clearing and general clean up to do.  Electric wires are down. FPL notified. There is no water service yet. Some flooding. Town buildings look ok from outside.

We did better than predicted but need time to make island safe. Checkpoints will stop traffic until the clear notice is given and it is safe to return. Please be patient everyone is working as hard as they safely can to open up island.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Power on north end

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

Dave, I am writing to ask you to look into the power outage on the North End. At 3:30 Monday afternoon the power came on in the village and stayed on for about half an hour. Then the power went off. I’m afraid that FPL thinks they solved the problem, but they did not, and they may have gone away thinking they solved the problem.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Ed, power was restored at 2:30 Monday afternoon for a half hour, then went off. I am wondering if FPL thinks they fixed the problem and have left the island.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

To: Gene Jaleski

Town manager says FPL is aware that not all power has been restored here.  We do not understand why there is such a checkerboard effect here with restored/non restored power. I will find out about debris clearance/pickup from Public Works.

Ed Zunz

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Many thanks for your efforts.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

To: Gene Jaleski

You can go on www.fpl.com to see status of an outage or report one.  At this time I am told only Broadway has power, and 79,000 Manatee households are still without power. Our two sons in Sarasota say much of Sarasota is still without power.

Ed Zunz

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Ed, a thought going forward for a top-notch community. Retain an FPL approved power line maintenance company to respond to emergency situations to restore power to all homes as fast as possible. I would be willing to be taxed a little extra each year as this would be less expensive than losing all the refrigerated food in everyone’s home without power, much less the added inconvenience of a hotel or inland friend’s house.

This can be done and should be part of our emergency preparedness plan.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

Our Town Staff deserve thanks

To: Town Commission

Our town staff…truly all of them, but foremost our first responders, our Police and our Fire Department, did and are doing an awesome job during an incredibly trying and difficult time.

They are to be commended for their patience, forbearance, and professionalism; their calm, cool, and courtesy; and their responsiveness, prompt action and reaction while their own lives and livelihoods were threatened in the same measure as ours.

A great team that deserves unequivocal accolades all around!  Thank you from the heart!

Ingrid Wisniewski

Longboat Key

 

Irma Information

To: Town Clerk Trish Granger

Thank you. Thank you for providing the hurricane info to those of us who are Snowbirds. You were most thorough and helped to reduce our stresses while away.  I am now waiting for the after storm update and assessment.

Joan Webster

Sarasota

 

Power on north end

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Ed, I believe we should have retained an FPL approved private contractor to repair all power outages on the island. Our issues are small for the most part, circuit breakers on poles, a few downed lines, perhaps even a power pole. But since there are no FPL crews visible on the north end, not even small problems can be addressed. I am not slighting FPL for having to address larger issues first, whence the possible two-week power outage and probable resulting black mold problems. I question the town not doing better emergency planning. Now many of us suffer needlessly.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat tKey

 

So sad

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

Ed, I am so sad that the town did not plan ahead for disaster recovery from power line damage. Now we are at the end of a very long FPL line of people without power, and we are a small population that has no leverage.  We could have had a private contractor on island to quickly repair problems. When the town says after all there are millions without electricity, I Wonder why the town didn’t plan for that and have a plan B.

Gene Jaleski

Longboat Key

 

Status

To: Town Commission

First in teams are being deployed at first light. They have road clearing and general clean up to do.  Electric wires are down. FPL notified. There is no water service yet. Some flooding. Town buildings look ok from outside.

We did better than predicted but need time to make island safe. Checkpoints will stop traffic until the clear notice is given and it is safe to return. Please be patient everyone is working as hard as they safely can to open up island.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Status of electric on north end

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

No evidence of FPL here as of 5:45.  No power at north end.

Pat Zunz

Longboat Key

 

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

FPLwebsite has status reports. I have no power at home either.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager 

Longboat Key

 

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

No power yet in several areas of the Village.  Is it possible they think they solved everything here?  We can’t get any info from FPL.

Ed Zunz

Vice Mayor, Longboat Key

 

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

FPL is well aware that parts of LBK are out of power. They restore power according to a priority that targets critical facilities first (hospitals, sewage plants, etc). They know we have residents and sewage facilities that are out of power.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

It is hard to understand why one side of a street is more critical than another since power non/power seems very random here.  It’s like a checkerboard.

Ed and Pat Zunz

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

To: Vice Mayor Ed Zunz

If you try to understand the design of the power grid you will lose your mind. It has to do with which transformers blew in the storm or after, which wires came down with storm debris and other things.  I am not able to explain why one house has power and another does not on the same street.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

To: Town Manager Dave Bullock

Of course we know you can’t explain it!  It is just that we have a bunch of irate Villagers asking us why.

Ed Zunz

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Mandatory evacuation

To: Town Commission

A mandatory evacuation for barrier islands, mobile homes, and low-lying areas including Longboat Key has been ordered by both Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Some shelter are open each county and more will be opened this afternoon.  Please go to the Town web site and or each County web site for updated info on shelter.

Town offices will remain open for the rest of today. We will be assisting residents with questions and preparing for relocation of our equipment off island as needed. Public safety forces will remain on island at increased staffing levels until the weather conditions dictate their evacuation.

We urge all residents to comply with the mandatory evacuation orders and find safe locations to stay during the storm.

Please continue to monitor the storm track and be aware of any changes. The more it moves to the west the worse our conditions will be. Susan Phillips will send out information about relocating commissioners shortly.

Dave Bullock

Town Manager

Longboat Key

 

Planning and Zoning Board meeting cancelled

To: Planning and Zoning Board

Due to projected impacts from Hurricane Irma, and after staff discussion with BJ Bishop, chair of the Planning & Zoning Board, it was decided to cancel the Planning and Zoning Board Meeting scheduled for September 19th.

This cancellation is based not only on the projected impact and on post-storm cleanup of the island, which will involve all Town staff, but we also are unsure of how long access to the island might be restricted.  Because of staff making storm preparations and anticipated recovery efforts, it will make it impossible to distribute an agenda packet to members in a timely manner.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.  Staff will work with the applicants to determine a future date for their hearings. Please stay safe!

Donna Chipman 

Office Manager

Longboat Key Planning, Zoning & Building

 

 

 

 

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