|Posted by Anne Siren on December 14, 2012 at 2:25 PM|
Pompano Beach – Another statue of James Edward Hamilton, the long ago mailman whose tragic death has inspired art, cinema and literature, may overlook the inlet where he died. Dubbed the Barefoot Mailman because he walked the beaches to deliver mail to South Florida, Hamilton’s likeness is being proposed to enhance the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge.
City Engineer Lou Friend has been working with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) sculptor Frank Varga and architect Scott Bakos on designs that will enhance the city’s northeastern most entrance.
Pompano has budgeted $1 million to improve the bridge’s appearance, but this week Friend said that figure could be less with the participation of FDOT, which is assured, and neighboring Hillsboro Beach and Lighthouse Point, which is not.
What is being proposed is a two-story bridge house and Hamilton’s statue atop a tall column to create a landmark entry, Friend said. Other improvements include a new sidewalk, a decorative railing, a protective pedestrian screen, paint job, lighting and bronze lettering on the bridge face naming the cities it serves.
Friend said erecting the Barefoot Mailman on the Pompano side of the Inlet pays homage to its history. “It’s our architectural connection,” he said.
Bakos said the current bridge shows a “lack of character.”
Residents of Hillsboro Shores were enthusiastic about the plans calling it a “great signature” and “wonderful.”
Sculptor Varga has already made his mark on local art. He restored the original Barefoot Mailman statue in front of Hillsboro Beach Town Hall and cast the statue at the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse. Hamilton is believed to have lost his life when he attempted to swim the Hillsboro Inlet to retrieve the boat he used to cross the waterway. His story inspired a book by Theodore Pratt and a movie made in 1951 starring Robert Cummings.
Three food firms vie for kiosk contract
Pompano Beach –The Community Redevelopment Agency [CRA] will negotiate with the three top bidders for the kiosk food service contract. The three emerged from an original list of five. They are: Dh2 Inc., the company rated highest by a staff selection committee, DiMaria Properties LLC, ranked second and Snack Time Catering LLC, with the third number of points.
The vendors are vying for a five-year contract to operate the 339-sq. ft. kiosk in Beachfront Park, a project of the CRA.
Dh2 got points for its décor, menu, financial strength, professional presentation and reputation. DiMaria lost points for not having experience in fast food service. Snack Time for not having a creative menu. Criteria for the vendors was to provide high quality, freshly made food at a moderate price. The bid proposal calls for the vendor to pay $2,500 a minimum month or 12 percent of gross, whichever is higher.
CRA engineer Horacio Donavich, lead staffer on the project, said two of the bidders have already exceeded the minimum and the negotiations will focus on getting the “best opportunity for the city ” as well as reevaluating all the information provided by each vendor and doing due diligence.
Tuesday, a family spoke for Frank DiMaria who has operated Frank’s Ristorante on E. Atlantic Blvd, for 38 years and who recently spent $70,000 upgrading his restaurant façade. His restaurant location is less than 200 feet from the kiosk, the speaker said, and the restaurant has plenty of storage and refrigeration space.
Dh2, Inc. was a bidder for the restaurant operation on the Deerfield Beach Fishing Pier, but did not make the short list for the contract awarded last week.