Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A | Downtown waterfront development

Q&A: Clearwater's boat slip project to cost $2-million more

Clearwater's long-touted and hard-fought plan to build boat slips along the downtown waterfront will cost about $2-million more than city leaders initially promised when courting voters to sign off on the project. City leaders say that despite the trying financial times, they have the additional money. But if they didn't, the project might be in jeopardy.

What was the proposal?

The city planned to spend $11-million to build 129 floating concrete boat slips, a promenade, boardwalk and fishing pier near Coachman Park. The project would also include 1,700 feet of side-tie moorings that would be rented and 800 feet of free side-tie mooring for daytime visits and special events. Rentals fees are expected to pay for much of the project and its operations. Voters approved the plan in March 2007.

What's the project's status?

First, the good news: The city is in talks to let Misener Marine Construction handle the project. The Tampa company would build 132 slips, 1,800 feet of side tie mooring and 630 feet of free transient mooring, in addition to the other amenities. The bad news? The project is going to cost $12.8-million, or nearly $2-million more than expected.

What caused the overrun?

Officials say they need to build a stronger electrical system than the one originally envisioned so they can service bigger boats. Consultants underestimated the amount of power the project needed. In addition, prices on copper — an essential component to the system — have doubled since 2006. The city also wants to install a lighted walkway for boaters and enhance the landscaping. This means making some changes where nearby Cleveland and Drew streets connect.

Also, Misener officials say the slips need stronger structures to protect the boats from waves.

How will they pay the extra costs?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last April gave the city a $1.2-million grant for the boat slips. This money was not factored into the initial cost projections. The city also is talking about using $1-million from the Community Redevelopment Agency. This property tax money is generated from within the city's redevelopment district, which includes the area where the boat slips are proposed, and is earmarked for downtown improvements. The city already planned to use $500,000 from the CRA.

What is the City Council going to do?

The City Council appears ready to approve the contract but wants to hold off until mid May when members see just how much money Clearwater will get from property taxes and to wait until Councilwoman Carlen Petersen is back in town. However, Misener has agreements in place with a number of suppliers through early July. If they expire, prices could rise.

When will the project be finished?

If approved, design and permitting is expected to be completed by Dec. 31. Construction would begin in January and wrap up by June 30, 2009.

The city already has a waiting list of 400 names for slips.

What are city officials saying?

Mayor Frank Hibbard, one of the project's biggest champions, said he probably wouldn't sign off on the project if not for the grant and the CRA funding. "I'm unwilling to drive the city off the cliff," he said. City Councilman Paul Gibson, who campaigned against the project because he didn't believe it would make money, said he's even more convinced that the project won't, citing a poor economy and increased fuel prices.

Q&A: Clearwater's boat slip project to cost $2-million more

04/14/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 4:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Judge throws out $458,000 condo sale, says Clearwater attorney tricked bidders

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold on Monday threw out the $458,100 sale of a gulf-front condo because of what he called an "unscrupulous" and "conniving" scheme to trick bidders at a foreclosure auction.

    John Houde, left, whose Orlando copany was the high  bidder June 8 at the foreclosure auction of a Redington Beach condo, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground,  during a hearing Monday before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times ]
  2. Vision Zero plan to make Hillsborough roads safer to be unveiled

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Vision Zero, the coalition trying to make Hillsborough County safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, is set to unveil its action plan on Tuesday morning.

    Members of the Vision Zero workshop cross Hillsborough Avenue and Kelly Road during a on-street audit of Town 'N Country roads in January. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |   Times]
  3. Pasco EDC names business incubator head in Dade City, will open second site

    Business

    Pasco County economic development officials are busy reigniting their business start-up resources following the departure earlier this year of Krista Covey, who ran the Pasco Economic Development Council's SMARTStart business incubator in Dade City.

    Andrew Romaner was promoted this summer to serve as program director of the Dade City SMARTStart Entrepreneur Center, a start-up incubator service of the Pasco Economic Development Council. He succeeds Krista Covey, who relocated to Texas for another startup position. [Courtesy of Pasco EDC]
  4. What you need to know for Tuesday, Aug. 22

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, center, attends a hearing on Monday Circuit Court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater. The hearing was requested by attorneys representing John Houde, left, who filed a motion to invalidate the sale of a $458,000 Redington Beach condo, a deal orchestrated by Skelton, who stands accused of deliberately misleading bidders in a the June 8 foreclosure auction. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  5. Sarasota GOP names Dick Cheney 'Statesman of the Year'

    Blogs

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be honored as "Statesman of Year" by the Sarasota GOP, a title that twice went to Donald Trump.

    Dick and Liz Cheney