Anna Maria City Hall to re-open June 11
Like snowbirds preparing to return to their primary residence, Anna
Maria city workers are packing to head north.
will only be traveling 10 blocks.
After a season in temporary headquarters
at Crosspointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes
Beach, the city crew is readying to re-open Anna Maria City Hall, 10005
The planned re-opening date
is June 11.
The main moving day is June 8.
"Some services may be interrupted," said
Mayor Fran Barford, referring to phone services and
other technical systems. "But I'm hopeful we'll keep it to a minimum."
"If people could bear with us and
have patience," said AnnMarie Thorpe, city administrative
has been closed for months while workers repaired the
building after removing mold identified shortly before the November election
of Barford and two city commissioners.
City officials blame
the cause of the mold on water that entered the building
when Roof USA was installing a new roof in the summer of 2006. Thousands
of gallons of rainwater coursed through the roof into city hall, causing
serious damage inside the building.
"It was really bad,"
said Thorpe, who walked through city hall June 1, pointing
out offices that had needed repair.
environmental report commissioned last year by then-Mayor
SueLynn found "significant mold contamination" in the trusses above the
ceiling tiles in the commission chambers, in the air in the locker room
and in the west wall of the building.
That report did not indicate
the mold posed a serious health issue, but eventually
city hall was vacated for the remediation work.
"It began to affect the health of
our staff," Barford said. "And when that happens, you
Since January, city meetings have taken
place primarily at Holmes Beach City Hall and city
employees have conducted day-to-day work at Crosspointe Fellowship, formerly
the Island Baptist Church.
wonderful," Barford said, referring to Crosspointe
Fellowship's assistance. "They've been so gracious. We just owe them
But, Barford added, there's
no place like home.
"We're in a fish bowl right
now," she said of the consolidated, temporary space
at the church. "We're all on top of each other."
A timeline distributed to city commissioners
detailed the relocation of the city government and
the associated expenses, beginning in August 2006, when the rainstorm
sent a deluge of water into the building, drenching the Manatee County
Sheriff's Office substation, the mayor's office and the administrative
The next day, with work taking place on
the roof, a water pipe burst in the administrative
"This took a hit,"
Thorpe said, referring to the commission chambers,
where she stood beside a ladder amid tools and construction material.
She walked from the chambers through a conference
room and into the administrative hallway and offices.
"Water was pouring in here,"
she said, pointing to a gap in the ceiling tiles. "And
my office was flooded. We had water coming in here. Everything was soaked."
Fans were brought in to take
out the moisture.
But in November 2006, city officials
received an environmental report showing mold in the
building and, by mid-January, the temporary city hall was set up at
Crosspointe Fellowship. City documents were
packed up in boxes. Furniture was placed in storage.
Over the next several months,
asbestos and mold were abated from city hall, the cooling
and heating system was cleaned and repairs throughout the building were
Last week, workers with the
Garry Group continued repairs, expecting to finish
up before employees returned June 8.
doing little odds and ends," said Terry Murphy of the
Garry Group. "We're putting it all back together. There's been a lot
of little things to do."
to come back and have our own space," Thorpe said,
standing in her empty city hall office.
estimated cost to repair city hall, excluding legal
fees, is more than $100,000, which city officials hope Roof USA will
"We had to use our city funds to move
forward with this project," Barford said.
For more information about the status
of city hall, call 941-708-6130.