Tom Midyett, who first brought the issue to Rodrigues’ attention in April while the Legislature was in session, invited him to visit the island.View More images >>
“Tom Midyett contacted my office on May 22 to see if I had any plans to be in Boca Grande so he could meet up with me and show me the seawall,” said Rodrigues. “Sue Najar had also communicated with our office on the issue. Now that I was back home in the district, I wanted to get out there as soon as possible. Saturday, May 26, was the first chance I had to make it out there. Tom was gracious enough to make time to show me around on the short notice.”
The structure has been raising concern for the residents of Boca Bay since Tropical Storm Debby caused damage last year. Several of the rocks in the revetment that the community paid to have installed back in 2004 were either washed out into the Gulf or picked up over the seawall itself when the storm came through in June of 2012.
“The seawall is clearly in need of repair,” said Rodrigues. “I have already been in contact with DEP to advocate for the funding to repair the structure.”
Midyett was pleased with the meeting.
“I think that the obvious poor condition of the seawall speaks for itself, without any individual having to make a point regarding needed repairs,” continued Midyett. “I am told that Chad Lach, Park Manager of Gasparilla Island State Park, has requested that DEP/State Parks immediately spend approximately $450,000 to make the repairs recommended in the engineer’s report. I was very pleased that Representative Rodrigues said that he would encourage DEP/State Parks in Tallahassee to provide this funding in order to make the needed repairs to the seawall as soon as possible.”
After the inspection, Rodrigues and several residents of Boca Bay had lunch at the Boca Bay Pass Club, which overlooks the seawall in question.
This wasn’t his first visit to the island. Rodrigues also visited during his campaign.
“I think the island is great. Beyond the physical beauty of the causeway, beach and island, it has a great ‘small town’ feel to it as well,” said Rodrigues. “It was great to get back again. After lunch, I took my wife and son over to the Loose Caboose and we had orange-pineapple ice cream for desert. It was fantastic!”
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