A new historical marker will replicate the design of our existing marker near the bay and highlight our neighborhood’s rich history east of the Trail.
WBMA Wins Competitive Grant!
By Norm Luppino
Just as our newsletter was going to press, we received the wonderful news that our Association was awarded a Neighborhood Enhancement Grant in the amount of $6,362.65!
The grant, which is administered by Manatee County government, requires the Association match the County’s contribution through both cash outlay and sweat equity by our residents. Projects include adding new historical and entrance markers and the general maintenance of our public landscape triangles – such as trimming palm tree and re-mulching.
The grant application process was quite cumbersome and fiercely competitive as many Associations throughout the county vied for the limited funds. However, through the hard work and expert writing skills of WBMA directors Carole Martin and Julie Grossner, our Association prevailed. Great work ladies!
SRQ Demos Old Tower to Make Way for New Development
The demolition of SRQ’s old air traffic control tower in September was the final step in preparing the north endof the airfield for future development. The tower was vacated in June of 2018 and was emptied of hazardous materials like asbestos in preparation for the demo. The actual demo took only 3 days, but a week was spent sorting through the materials for recycling.
The standalone building, built in the mid 80’s, had no base building to accommodate any administrative functions. It was open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight and only closed during the threat of a hurricane. It was 88 ft tall and consisted of 6 floors plus the top cab. The cab housed the air traffic controllers where they monitored airplane activity on the airfield and within 5-10 miles of the airport. An average of 15 – 20 people worked there daily, and records indicate that during the life of the tower, controllers guided approximately 5 million planes to and from SRQ.
The function of the air traffic control tower requires that the top floor be completely free of any obstructions that would prevent a 360-degree view of the airspace from the cab, therefore, the tower’s elevator only went to the sixth floor requiring controllers to climb a very steep stairway to access the cab.
Construction cost of the new air traffic control tower was approximately $25 million and funded by the FAA, FDOT and the Airport Authority. It stands taller, extending 135 foot above ground, and improves the line-of-site across the airfield. The FAA began operations in the new air traffic control tower in June of 2018.
At SRQ Business is Soaring with 37 Nonstop Destinations
Allegiant Airlines and SRQ announced Tuesday, September 13, that they will add an additional 8 nonstop
flights at SRQ beginning in November of 2019. The new destinations include, year-round service to
Knoxville, TN (TYS) and seasonal service to St. Louis/ Belleville, (BVL), Chicago/Rockford (RFD), Des
Moines, IA (DSM), Flint MI (FNT), Fort Wayne, IN (FWA), Louisville, KY (SDF) and South Bend, IN (SBN).
Traffic continues to increase at SRQ and was up 48.7% for the month of June over June 2018. The new
nonstop routes are expected to bring nearly 54, 000 passengers to the Sarasota/Bradenton area
“The success of Allegiant Air in the short time that they have been in our community has been a major
drive of that increase,” said airport president and CEO Rick Piccolo.
Allegiant alone has generated over 228,000 passengers and $138 million economic impact in our
community. In late 2018, ultra-low-cost carrier, Frontier also began service at SRQ and in 2019, legacy
carriers, United and American added flights. The additional service by all the carriers has not only made
fares more affordable but has also had a $309 million economic impact on our community.
On June 20, 2019, a public hearing was held with our Manatee County Commissioners to discuss ADU’s for Manatee County. ADU’s are one way Manatee County is trying to address the lack of affordable housing in our area. As we’ve discussed in our meetings, newsletters, and emails, the vast majority of you are opposed to ADU’s in our neighborhood for a myriad of reasons including size, parking, flooding, short-term rentals, lack of code enforcement and much more.
You showed up and they listened! Thank you to all the WBMA members that showed up for the County Commissioners Meeting. We had approximately 50+ people in attendance and had over 290 ballots turned in that opposed the ADU’s.
Our County Commissioner, Misty Servia, led the charge voicing many concerns regarding ADU’s and after much discussion and debate the day ended with Stephen Jonsson (Chair) saying “We need to do a lot more work and keep the people informed”. A motion was made to “Take no action and go back to staff to hold a future board work session on the suggested revisions from today”.
This is a great example of what can happen when our association gets together with a common message and takes action. Thanks for showing up and voicing your concerns! We’ll continue to keep you informed as we get additional information.
I hope to see you at the July Meeting!
Read the Herald Tribune Article Here