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Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
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Anna Maria City Pier to close for year after 'extensive damage' from Hurricane Irma

ANNA MARIA — While Hurricane Irma's last-minute shift helped spare large swaths of Florida cities from catastrophic damage, the Anna Maria City Pier didn't fare so well.

The damage to its signature pier is worse than originally anticipated, and Mayor Dan Murphy said the structure suffered "extensive damage" that may keep it closed for more than a year, according to the Bradenton Herald.

After Irma rolled through, Tampa-based engineering firm Ayres Associates conducted an initial assessment of the pier and found it to be in poor condition, the Herald reported.

The storm ripped off decking, tore of a section of roof on the City Pier Restaurant and slashed several portions of boardwalk, the report revealed.

The assessment also found several shifted beams and missing pilings that, together, wouldn't be able to provide safe support for the walkway. Leaks and holes also were discovered in the restaurant's ceiling.

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Following the assessment, the firm wrote that the facility should be immediately shuttered until the appropriate repairs were made. Those fixes will take at least 12 months, according to the report.

Mario Schoenfelder is the restaurant's owner and leases the property on the pier. But it is up to the city to fix the damages, the Herald reported.

The restaurant is expected to remain closed during the rebuild.

Murphy told the Herald he plans to meet with Manatee County officials in the coming days to put a plan together on how the city will fund the repairs. He says he will also meet with the firm to determine the cost of the repairs and a more specific timeline.

Information from the Bradenton Herald contributed to this report.