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Date of Issue: May 28, 2008

Anna Maria-county commission meeting postponed

Anna Maria Mayor Fran Barford and city commissioners will have to wait a bit longer to attempt to resolve any differences with the Manatee County Commission over the city's inclusion in the next full beach renourishment project slated to begin around 2011-12.

The city had planned a May 30 lunch and walking tour with county officials of the major beach areas in need of renourishment, but county commissioners cancelled the meeting to deal with a more immediate issue - a proposed natural gas pipeline (see separate story).

That pipeline might go through some projected "borrow" areas that would be used for the renourishment sand, said Charlie Hunsicker, director of the county conservation lands management department, possibly endangering the entire renourishment project.

County commissioners now plan to first meet with the company that envisions the privately funded operation to determine if the pipeline will interfere with any borrow pits for beach sand.

"The county commission needs to get that issue resolved before we proceed and talk about Anna Maria," said Barford.

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