MADEIRA BEACH – A new attraction will be added to the city’s bustling City Centre municipal and recreation complex.
The Madeira Beach City Commission gave a go-ahead at a Feb. 23 workshop to move forward with plans for construction of a multi-use fishing pier, to be located near the rec center and ROC Park at the complex’s east end.
The pier will be a joint venture of the city and ROC Park developer William Karns. Its $200,000 cost would be split between the city and donors supplied by Karns.
City Manager Shane Crawford said he would like to see construction of the pier begin as soon as Karns’ donors are lined up. Money for the pier is in next year’s budget, but could be moved forward to this year, Crawford said.
Karns said after the meeting he is looking for a major donor to sponsor the pier, perhaps as a memorial to a child, in keeping with the park’s purpose. Other smaller contributors also are welcome, he said.
Crawford said the pier would have an education component for kids and be a fishing pier open to the public. Though docking of boats would not be permitted on the pier, there would be space for a ferry or excursion boat to temporarily stop and load or drop off passengers.
Permitting for the fishing pier is nearly complete, Crawford said. Getting the pier’s needed permits will aid the city in getting powerboat permits for docks planned behind city hall down to the Intracoastal Waterway, which are now authorized only for sailboat use. Powerboats are preferred because of their greater revenue-producing potential.
The new fishing pier will help establish Madeira Beach as a waterway destination, said Doug Speeler Sr. of Speeler Foundations Inc., the company that will design and construct the pier.
“We have a lot of beautiful waterways, we have beautiful cities down those waterways, but few destinations,” Speeler said. “You all are becoming one here.”
The renovation of the city marina, plus the addition of the piers around city hall and the fishing pier, “puts you on the map as a destination,” Speeler said.
Speeler’s proposal for the fishing pier shows a T-shaped structure 190 feet long and 8 feet wide, with a 58-foot T-head, extending into the Intracoastal from a site behind the recreation building.
The commission gave Crawford approval “to move forward with doing the fishing pier, as soon as Karns has his donors lined up.”