The Flagler Beach pier, symbol of the city’s breezy resilience, will reopen to the public Friday morning at 9 a.m. after a 73-day hiatus imposed by the coronavirus emergency.
The pier will open with some restrictions. While all visitors will be allowed on–pass-holders and other ticket-holders–they will be limited to 50 people on the pier at any one time. Personnel at the tackle shop beneath the A frame will be counting visitors. Once on the pier, people will see markings on the planks meant to ensure respect for social distancing: there’ll be no huddling of fishermen or visitors.
“If you have an annual pass you can go on, if you want to walk out you can,” Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney said,”as long as there’s not 50 people there.”
The pier will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The reopening is in line with Gov. Ron DeSantis moving Florida to Phase 2 reopening after the emergency, with allowances in public places for gatherings of up to 50 people. The city reopened its boardwalk last week, but kept the picnic tables closed. The picnic tables will now reopen. But fishing on the Beach and the walking of pets will continue to be permitted only north of 10th Street North and south of 10th Street South.
The decision for reopening the pier was reached in consultation with the Flagler Health Department, Larry Newsom, Flagler Beach’s city manager, said today. “We don’t make a move unless we have coordination,” he said.
“We recognize the importance of opening the Flagler Beach Pier, as well as the picnic areas on the Boardwalk,” the department’s chief, Bob Snyder, said. “We support the decision to open the Pier in a manner that emphasizes social distancing and other public health best practices.”
The pier has had it rough for the past four years, losing 160 feet of its east end, including the broader, t-shaped fishing platform. That reduced the pier’s length to 630 feet. It was closed after Hurricane Matthew for 15 months. This time, the elements had nothing to do with the closure.
“I feel good about the fact that Flagler County is doing their job as far as citizens on keeping the rate down as far as the virus,” Newsom said. “That’s what’s allowing us to do more than what a lot of cities and counties can do, so as city manager I have to give citizens kudos.”
Meanwhile, Newsom said, he had plans on his desk for a $14 million, 1,000 foot concrete pier that he said could be built within the next three years, on the south side of the existing pier. The existing pier would remain, because of its iconic status. Newsom said the city has already secured a $10.8 million obligation from the federal government.
That amount of money can be spent for a pier but the funky pelican floor is collapsing and it’s owned by the county really!! Whose hair brain idea was this. Sad we spend money on stuff that doesn’t need to be taken care of right now and we neglect other things that need to be taken care of.
Note: Flagler Beach government is the Funky Pelican’s landlord.
One of the better restaurants in town. FB needs to take care of their tenant. As much as FB taxes the property holder, the Funky Pelican should be a FIVE STAR eatery.
Reopen everything. People are hurting. High risk people can stay home.
Andrew J Churney says
Totally agree! The “cure” has been 10 times worse than the disease!!
Joseph H Fontaine Sr says
Try telling that to someone who has lost a family member. People are so insensitive.
Don’t you think if it was as simple as stay home if you are high risk, that perhaps we would have done that in the first pace? Sadly, that isn’t how it works.
It’s about time they are going with concrete.
Eva Mowry says
South of the existing pier? How far south, anyone know?
Joseph H Fontaine Sr says
within 150 ft or there abouts
Lance Carroll says
Like sands through the hourglass….
Paul Harrington says
How long have we been talking about the new pier and funding? We have a waste water treatment plant discharging hundreds of thousands of gallons of fresh water into a salt water habitat which lead to environmental problems a year ago.it sure seems like our priorities are out of whack.
That’s $14,000,000 for the pier and $16,000,000 for waste water renovations. We can’t get enough money from the county or state to cover the expenses of tourist. Sounds like we need to have public meeting to go through the details. We’re still paying for 2008 🤔
Maria Darcy says
The virus did not keep the pier shut down and cause the revenue loss, which by the way the taxpayers have a right to know how much revenue was lost. The mismanagement of this beach town can not be blamed on a virus. I urge people to drive up and down the beach, and the side streets, and make a list of the neglect they see, then put that list on social media. Let’s hold these politicians accountable for the neglect of this little piece of paradise.
I dont live in Flagler Beach and dont frequent pier etc. but seems to me the money would be better spent elsewhere just saying. 14 mm is alot of resources then two piers. ?? Unsightly right. IDK
Mr. Deeds says
A Commissioner wanted to do a concrete pier thirty years ago. Finally.
I come to Flagler Beach and really enjoy the pier. Thank goodness it’s being restored to it’s former glory and then some.tourosm is a big part of the beaches economy. The pier is a major highlight.
Lance Carroll says
Please explain former glory?
Concerned Citizen says
Seems like this is the first we are hearing of it. And once again thru Flaglerlive.
Where are the public notices? Where are the meetings and workshops? Does no one in this state follow Sunshinel aws? Our local governments seem to have no problems tossing millions of dollars around. With no public input.
But then again what do you expect from Flagler Beach. and a less than stellar leadership. When you have a City Manager that calls his consitutients assholes. And wants to fight. Or a Comissioner that runs over a cyclist after having a few drinks. And avoids a DUI. Or a woman beater. Or a Comissioner that attacks a rape victim on Social Media. We haven’t forgotten. Even with all of the convienient distractions.
After all that I suppose spending money friviously pales in comparison to a local governing body that regularly committs crimes. And gets away with it.
yeah right, says
“The existing pier would remain, because of its iconic status.” Nonsense, that’s just another way of saying “we’ll wait till the next storm and let FEMA tear it down”. The people that run this town must have dropped out of school in the ninth grade.
The pier was here before any of you came here and there will be one long after you’re gone. So bitch on people
Gone I will be, you can have your pier
I will be gone and you can have the pier and the rest of it
TRACY REED says
This is the most hideous and INSANE idea I have ever heard of. A FILTHY concrete pier on our beautiful beach. I grew up here and I am 60 years old. Why, why??? What about all the other problems FLAGLER BEACHSIDE like parking for the disabled etc what about leveling our sand on the beach from the hurricane damage so the beach is like it used to be? This is not a good sign. Why take something beautiful and quaint and make it hideous? Where are the proper meetings so CITIZENS CAN BE HEARD? There are so many other things that can be built – at least put this nasty concrete ugly monster on the NORTH SIDE AWAY FROM SIGHT. Flagler is known for its waves, quaintness, and tranquility. HUGE MISTAKE!!!! HUGE! After years of nastiness and agonizingly repair and shut down of A1A from hurricane damage, now this – the dirt the filth – making local restaurants suffer even more? This needs to be moved to palm coast area just let them deal with it. Why can’t things just BE!! Just a gross idea.