Marina Tops List of Council Priorities

At last Thursday’s workshop, the new Gulfport city council discussed some of its priorities for the coming year. Below, we’ve broken down the priorities by councilmember. The order does not indicate priority unless indicated.

Mayor Sam Henderson’s Priorities

• Extend the Pinellas Trail spur into downtown, including crosswalks

• Increase the pace at which Gulfport replaces its sewer lines

• Address 49th Street with regards to public safety. It includes either moving the police department or increasing the use of the 49th Street Neighborhood Center as satellite station, having a greater police presence, and enhancing facilities on 49th Street

• The 49th Street Retrofit project, which will involve the collection and physical treatment of stormwater before it enters Boca Ciega Bay and/or Clam Bayou

• Update the marina in phases

Vice Mayor Dan Liedtke’s Priorities (Ward One Councilman)

 The vice mayor put upgrading the city marina at the top of the list. Here’s the list of his priorities; the vice mayor also included a lengthy explanation of his priorities, which you can read here.

 Here are the vice mayor’s priorities:

• Marina upgrade

• Beach renourishment/replenishment [Not discussed during the workshop]

 “Anything that makes it look like it did prior to the 90s,” Vice Mayor Liedtke said. He’d like to see the beach come out as far as the Casino between the Williams pier and the Casino.

• Casino kitchen upgrade

 “We’re subsidizing the Casino and I’d like to see us not have to do that,” Vice Mayor Liedtke said.

• Employee healthcare costs

• Pending union contract negotiations

• Explore possibility for renting city hall space to private industry if the city moves the police station

Ward Three Councilwoman Jennifer Salmon’s Priorities

Councilwoman Salmon listed the priorities below, although she told the Gabber “this is a first round; I have other concerns that are not necessarily CIP [Capital Improvement Project] type projects.”

 Her priorities include:

• Five-year financial plan with a 20-year infrastructure plan, including a marina plan

• Infrastructure

• Marina

• Clam Bayou

• Upgrade parks and playgrounds

Ward Two Freshman Councilwoman Christine Brown’s Priorities 

Top of the list for Councilwoman Brown? The marina.

 “I want them all to be number one. But because the marina is a revenue producer I think we should put it on top so we could bring in the fund to address the other items,” she told the Gabber.

 Her priorities include:

• Marina

• Infrastructure

• Clam Bayou

Ward Four Freshman Councilman Michael Fridovich’s Priorities

Councilman Michael Fridovich wants the city to borrow $5 million, something he said at the workshop and reiterated via e-mail to the Gabber.

 “Money is cheap now,” he said “Now is the time to make things happen here.”

 His priorities include:

• Create a five-year financial plan for the city

• Borrow $5M to move police station, upgrade foliage, upgrade the marina, and replace some of the sewer infrastructure. He told the Gabber the marina upgrades he wanted to see included Harbormaster Denis Frain’s list “excluding mooring balls.”