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New surveys will provide updated report on Longboat Key canal conditions

Last year’s pitch to start the canal maintenance program on Longboat Key was met with commission confusion.

After the confusion during the last attempt at creating a canal maintenance program, commissioners agreed on one thing: it’s time to get some new surveys.

The last time Longboat Key’s canals were surveyed was in 2016. From March 24 to 31, survey crews will be on the waters of Longboat Key, conducting updated conditional surveys to figure out what is needed to get Longboat’s canals back to baseline.

Assistant Public Works Director Charlie Mopps said one of the problems that commissioners debated at the end of last year was the $17 million price tag that came with the initial cost of a canal maintenance program.

That cost was to re-baseline the town’s 81 canals to get them back to normal conditions. Hypothetically, after that would be completed, then a maintenance program would be implemented.

But commissioners worried about rushing into the baseline work, which would have been another assessment for the town. It was a tight deadline to get the program approved if it was to be on the 2024 tax roll.