By Margie Plunkett
Seawall construction won’t threaten the sea turtles this year: The state turned down Lantana’s request to build after the start of turtle season, pushing back the start date to Nov. 1.
The town instructed its manager, Michael Bornstein, to bid the work and otherwise be prepared to start construction the first day possible, letting go its hopes
to connect to the Imperial House’s newly built seawall before turtle – as well
as hurricane – season.
The timing worried Council members including Elizabeth Tennyson, who voiced fears that any fierce storms this season could wreak havoc on the unprotected
Council member Tom Deringer also moved earlier in the month to seek state approval to build the seawall straight to the Imperial House’s wall. But Bornstein reported
that his Department of Environmental Protection contact told him it’s unlikely
such a permit would be granted.
The neighbors of McKinley park on Hypoluxo Island had better news: Deteriorating playground equipment that was removed as a safety hazard will be replaced –
although the new equipment won’t be as extensive as the original.
The town will piggy-back a contract with Wellington for the equipment, which will cost $26,450.68, a total that also reflects a 30 percent discount that was set
to expire at the end of April.
Replacement was initially estimated at about twice the amount – and Lantana had not budgeted money for the project. The town found money and moved it from a
previous capital account.
The new equipment will include swings and a module with a slide, climbing wall and other activities for children. But the town won’t replace the equipment
specifically for younger toddlers.
Neighbors had protested the abrupt removal of the equipment and the lack of communication before the playset was scrapped. The sentiment expressed at Lantana’s April 26
meeting was appreciation.
“I’d just like to thank the commission, mayor, town manager, that we are getting this equipment,” said Judy Black, head of the Hypoluxo Island homeowners
association. “It’s been a topic
that’s been discussed on the island. We very much appreciate the assets were
found to fund this.
The equipment, which will be purchased from Playmore Recreational Products & Services, is expected to be installed in about a month and a half. The product
is one often used by governments, Bornstein said. “It’s a basic modular system.
They’re very stout and sturdy.”
Lantana’s April 26 meeting honored Town Clerk Crystal Gibson with a proclamation for Municipal Clerks Week. Gibson drew accolades for the work she performs above
and beyond her expected duties. Mayor David Stewart got a little extra special
attention as well: The roomful of council members, staff and residents sang
Happy Birthday to him.