Wengay Newton will not pursue his request to remove the fence around the St. Petersburg Pier and replace it with contracted security. During a City Council meeting Thursday, Newton was told permits to demolish the inverted pyramid should be finalized within 30 days.
“We expect the terms and conditions to be agreed to and the terms to be agreed to in less than one week,” said St. Pete Public Works Administrator Mike Connors.
He said he expects to have a permit in hand for either the inverted pyramid or the entire Pier within one month.
Newton questioned Connors on his assertion before setting his concerns aside, noting that Connors had also assured council the inverted pyramid needed only city permits to be demolished. That assertion was later contradicted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Newton expressed concern that the city could be held liable should a curious resident or visitor make their way past the fences and get hurt. However, city attorneys said that liability was not likely to be a problem because anyone scaling the fence or otherwise evading it would be trespassing.
However, during the meeting he said he was more concerned about aesthetics.
“I just didn’t want that sitting down there for a long time and we’ve got an ugly green fence just sitting there,” Newton said.
Connors alleviated those concerns, saying there would be fabric going up over the fence in the coming days with photographs of all the previous Piers on top of them.
Connors also assured Newton the fences were secured to the point where they could withstand heavy wind loads. He also said there are marina security personnel inspecting the fences and making sure the site is not being accessed by mischievous explorers.