Redington Long Pier coming down, one way or another

It looks like the Redington Long Pier is coming down, one way or another. Storms over the weekend sent debris into the gulf. Pieces of wood washed up on Redington Shores.

"There's debris all over the beach," said Maureen Chmel. "My grandson picked up a small piece of wood. People can step on things."

The pier has been closed for more than a year. It was built in 1962 and stretches 1,200 feet into the Gulf of Mexico. Tom Hasse says it's what brought him to Redington Shores in 1966.

"We went fishing that night and I caught a 9-pound redfish. That's all it took. I've been coming here ever since," he said.

Hasse says the town will lose a lot if it loses the pier.

"It saddens me that it's in disrepair like this," he offered. 

The town doesn't own the pier and the man who does blames the town for its disrepair.

"You see that building? City Hall," said Tony Antonious, who says he has talked to developers who will fix the pier if the town changes zoning to allow a hotel to be built in the pier's parking lot.

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"Have an emergency meeting," he continued. "Let the guy start to fix it."

Town officials say they can't talk about it because of a lawsuit. Officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection say the same thing.

Antonious says the state will demolish the pier as soon as a judge gives approval. Some fear a storm may take it first.

"The fear is that a storm is going to take this down and it's going to hurt somebody," added Chmel.  

Either way, these may be the last days of the Long Pier.