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Date of Issue: May 25, 2006

Pier problems discussed in Bradenton Beach

Nighttime parking is restricted and a more watchful police presence will be maintained at the Bradenton Beach City Pier in the wake the recent weeks' host of vandalism problems.

Public Works Director Tom Woodard told city commissioners last Thursday that the men's rest room had had several problems in the wee hours of late, including overflowing toilets and damage to signage that apparently injured the vandal.

Police Chief Sam Speciale said he has told officers to begin a more regular patrol of the pier in the late-night hours in the hopes of stopping the problem.

"We'll be checking the pier every two hours per night," he said. "We're going to get a little proactive."

He said he had placed "no-parking" signs at the pier entry as a temporary measure, and city commissioners agreed unanimously to have the signage be permanent. The parking ban will run from midnight to 7 a.m. seven days a week.

Closure of the pier during those hours was broached by Mayor John Chappie, but the option was rejected by city commissioners.

"Let's see what happens in the next two weeks," Commissioner John Shaughnessy suggested.

The matter will be revisited by commissioners at the June 1 city commission meeting.

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