Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - August 9, 2016
August 9, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #17

Palma Sola Channel Aids to Navigation Project


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Alan Lai Hipp, Environmental Program Manager
Ext.  6008

Action Requested

Authorization to initiate the design and permitting process required prior to the County officially assuming permitted ownership of the private aids to navigation which mark the main channel providing access to Palma Sola Bay.  

Authorization for the Chairman to execute a letter to WCIND requesting the performance of a bathymetric survey of the Palma Sola Bay Channel in an amount not to exceed $10,000.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Florida Statute 125

Background Discussion

Parks and Natural Resources is proposing that the County assume ownership of the aids to navigation (channel markers) in Palma Sola Bay in order to more clearly delineate the main navigational channel leading to and from the public boat ramp located on the western end of the Palma Sola Causeway (currently owned and operated by the City of Bradenton) for the benefit of the general public. A clearer, more visible marking scheme will benefit local boaters as well as those who do not possess local knowledge of the waterways within Palma Sola Bay. The general layout of the currently existing aids to navigation is shown on the attached aerial map exhibit. No major alterations of the channel are expected; however, slight changes could be necessary based on avoidance of submerged aquatic resources and presence of appropriate water depth. The majority of the existing aids to navigation will remain in the same location; however, all will be removed and upgraded by using larger diameter wooden pilings for stability and durability and larger sized fluorescent green and red day markers for increased visibility at distances.

Parks and Natural Resources requests authorization to initiate the design and permitting process required prior to the County officially assuming permitted ownership of the private aids to navigation which mark the main channel providing access to Palma Sola Bay. This authorization request does not include the aids to navigation marking the Flamingo Cay or San Remo channels, nor does it include the approximately eight channel markers which lead directly to the Palma Sola Yacht Club marina; it is intended that these aids shall remain permitted to their respective owners.

Prior to installation, all aids to navigation which are part of this project must be permitted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Coast Guard. A detailed bathymetric (depth) survey will be conducted to identify potential navigational restrictions and to determine the best location of aids to navigation. At this time, Parks and Natural Resources requests authorization to submit a request for performance of the bathymetric survey to the West Coast Inland Navigation District as well as the appropriation of $10,000 of WCIND funding. If any navigational restrictions requiring dredging are identified, Parks and Natural Resources will advise the Board as to related costs. It is anticipated that this project will require a significant amount of coordination between the County, the currently permitted owner of the aids to navigation, the West Coast Inland Navigation District, and the permitting agencies.

Once permitting and design have been completed, a qualified marine contractor will be selected through a competitive bid process to install the aids to navigation.  WCIND funding will be used for the installation. After the scope of work has been completed satisfactorily, Parks and Natural Resources will return to the Board for execution of the official transfer of ownership of the navigational aids.

As noted in the attached RLS response from the County Attorney’s Office, such an assumption of ownership would impose some liability on the County for the condition of the channel. However, it is in keeping with the convention of the County maintaining ownership of aids to navigation which lead to County owned boat ramp facilities. While the Palma Sola boat ramp is not currently maintained by the County, there is the potential that it could be in the future. It is Parks and Natural Resources intent that responsibility for the aids to navigation remain with the currently permitted owner, Palma Sola Yacht Club, until conditions in the channel meet County approval; only then will a request to officially assume ownership be presented to the Board for approval.

County Attorney Review
Formal Written Review (Opinion memo must be attached)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records

Please provide signed copy to Nan Summers, ext. 6052, nan.summers@mymanatee.org

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
$10,000, WCIND

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs
$10,000, one time cost

Attachment:  RLS.pdf
Attachment:  PSB WCIND funds.14.pdf
Attachment:  PS Channel Project.pdf