Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer’s News Report

By Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Town Initiatives – Snapshot


Yes, we are still under a National, State, and Local State of Emergency. But, we are also in Phase 1 of recovery and re-opening efforts. We are anticipating the Governor will be proceeding to Step 2 of the State Recovery Plan in the very near future. As a result of the Governor’s most recent Executive Orders a number of businesses have been authorized to re-open, many of them with reduced occupancy (50%) and certain restrictions on their operations. Existing Vacation Rental properties have been authorized to resume reservations with restrictions: no international travelers are allowed to make reservations at vacation rental properties and 11 states that are also prohibited (see website “News” for list). Certain properties are exempt from the Order including hotels and motels. Continued good news for the Town, there have been no new reported positive COVID-19 tests of our residents since April 1! This gives us some confidence that what we are doing on Longboat Key, is working. There continues to be a number of positive tests on the mainland in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties. With the increased activity and interaction on the island, we need to be vigilant and continue aggressively following CDC guidelines on washing hands, not touching your face, maintaining social distancing, and minimizing interaction with others. The Town has extended its Executive Orders through June 15th. There have been some minor changes to the Town’s Orders including the continued incremental opening of the Tennis Center, re-opening of public parking at beach access points, and allowing groups of 10 or less to submit public use permits. As we continue recovery and re-opening of amenities, please check www.longboatkey.org for the latest info.


Public Records Requests

The Town has launched a new on-line program called “JustFOIA,” an easy to use public records request program. It allows individuals to submit their requests anonymously (as required by Florida Statutes) or create an account to track the status of their request. The program reduces processing time and provides greater efficiencies in tracking outstanding requests. It also provides the Town Clerk’s staff the ability to enter verbal or written requests on behalf of a requester. Need a record from the Town? Try it out. Visit www.longboatkey.org and select the “I Want To” link and select “Request Public Records.”


Virtual Commission Meetings

Town Hall remains closed for walk-ins. The Governor has extended the Executive Order that provides flexibility to local governments for meeting quorum and Sunshine Law requirements. Commission meetings are being held virtually. Our next Town Commission Regular Meeting is June 1 at 1pm. Agenda items are limited and the public will still be able to view, listen, and provide public comment. Instructions on how to participate is posted on the Town’s website with meeting agendas and materials. On June 15 there is a Special Workshop (Budget) at 9am and a Regular Workshop Meeting at 1pm being planned.


Fire Stations Project

In early June the firefighters from the South Station will be moved into the temporary facility and demolition of the existing facility will begin. While that Station is under construction we will also be renovating Station 91 on the North end. The residents should not expect any service impacts during construction.


Outdoor Venue at Town Center

Phase 1 of the outdoor venue site work continues. The Commission has approved the overall Concept Plan for the Town Center property and Phase 2 improvements for the outdoor venue. As part of the FY21 Budget process, staff will be reviewing costs and funding sources with the Commission for Phase 2 outdoor venue work.



The Utilities Undergrounding Project continues full steam ahead. Contractors are currently working on the South end of the island installing electrical and fiber conduit, and communicating with neighborhoods on the lighting plans. Public updates are available on the Town’s website.


Upcoming Meetings/Events*

June 1, 2020 1pm, Town Commission Regular Meeting (Virtual)

June 15, 2020 9am, Town Commission Special Workshop for FY21 Budget (Virtual)

June 15, 2020 1pm, Town Commission Regular Workshop (Virtual)- Tentative

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Longboat Key News

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