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City Council Highlights

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By Maureen Chodaba The City Council of Marco Island held their regular meeting on May 2. A proclamation for National Safe Boating Week (May 21 – 27) was presented to the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron. A similar proclamation was presented to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla at the April 18th city council meeting. The Beautification Committee announced the recipients of the 2016 Marco In Bloom Landscape Awards. The professionally landscaped single family home award went to J. Richard and Cheryl Corley of 1451 Caxambas Court, while 505 Tigertail Court, owned by Trigg and Dawn Kuhn was the ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor

Lettertoeditor

Larry Honig Running for Re-election Announcement I’m running for re-election on a positive platform to bring back a sense of community on Marco Island through a less intrusive, more respectful government. Here’s what I want to accomplish: 1. Get back local control of our community. We need fewer government regulations. We should reduce our use of consultants and lawyers who don’t understand our community – there are plenty of good people right here in Collier County that we can use. We can streamline government services – for example, I’d like to see faster review and approval of permits. 2. Create ... Read More »

City Council Highlights

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By Maureen Chodaba The City Council of Marco Island held their regular meeting on May 2. A proclamation for National Safe Boating Week (May 21 – 27) was presented to the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron. A similar proclamation was presented to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla at the April 18th city council meeting. The Beautification Committee announced the recipients of the 2016 Marco In Bloom Landscape Awards. The professionally landscaped single family home award went to J. Richard and Cheryl Corley of 1451 Caxambas Court, while 505 Tigertail Court, owned by Trigg and Dawn Kuhn was the ... Read More »

Gopher Tortoise – There is an App For You!

Pair of adults eyeing each other. Breeding season is from August-November. Photo by Jean Hall

Submitted No person shall take, attempt to take, pursue, hunt, harass, capture, possess, sell or transport a gopher tortoise or parts thereof, their eggs, molest, damage or destroy their burrow except by permit from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The month of March has been devastating for gopher tortoises in Marco Island. There were five gopher tortoises reported killed in March in an area that is highly populated by gopher tortoises. The gopher tortoise can live to be over 50 years old, but do not reproduce till they are 15-20 years old. The current generation is aging, and ... Read More »

A Sad Reminder: Dispose Fishing Line Properly

Monofilament carelessly left in the environment entangled this osprey,
resulting in death. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted A dead osprey was reported to be hanging from a pine tree near the fire station on San Marco Road this week. When city staff arrived, the osprey had already fallen to the ground. Its left talon was hooked by a circular fishing hook, and the body was wrapped by the line several times over with braided and monofilament fishing line. Even more heartbreaking, was the sight of the osprey’s partner perched in the tree over its dead mate. Reportedly, it was crying out for hours as its mate was hanging from the tree by the fishing line. Abandoned fishing ... Read More »

Marco Island State Grant Success

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Marco Island will be the recipient of nearly $1.3M in grants from the State of Florida, enabling the city to fund three projects for the benefit of the island. The projects approved are: • Renovation of Fire-Rescue/EMS Facility ($250,000) • Storm Water Master Plan Drainage Improvements ($299,140) • Marco Shores Alternative Water Solution ($750,000) Governor Rick Scott completed his review of the state budget on March 15 and made his veto decisions early without impacting the three submitted City of Marco Island projects that were recommended for funding by the Florida State Legislature. This is ... Read More »

Guest Commentary

Lettertoeditor

Mr. Harris, try using facts instead of misinformation! In his most recent LETTER TO THE EDITOR Bill Harris once again attempts to mislead the Marco Island Community with misinformation and irrelevant statements. To wit: He specifically challenges my comments that despite the contention of a small group of people at the July 20 Regular Council Meeting that while they demanded that Council “listen to the people” that, in fact, the number of petitions submitted only represented about 20% of the registered voters. He states: “Councilor Sacher should recall that year 204 only showed about 36 percent overall voter turnout, so ... Read More »

Governor Vetoes Veterans Community Service Center

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff A lobbyist hired by the City of Marco Island last year has been hard at work seeking funding for various projects earmarked by the city. Among the projects on the list was a new multi-purpose building at Veterans Park dubbed the Veterans Community Service Center. “Unfortunately, we learned that despite our successful efforts to encourage the Collier County Delegation to the State of Florida the legislature to include $2.5 million to match city funding for the veterans community park service center in the state budget submitted to the governor – and the legislature supported and included ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: Victor N Rios

Lettertoeditor

To the editor: It is unfortunate that Councilor Honecker has resorted to a direct personal attack and create discord amongst City Councilors. I forgive Mr. Honecker since it is obvious that he has let anger trump common sense. When I ran for City Councilor of Marco island, I promised that I would be “an independent voice on City Council”. I committed to be a good steward for our citizens’ money and I promised that I would Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk. In other words I committed to say it like it is, and that is what I have ... Read More »

LTE: Request to Reconsider the Proposed Rental Ordinance

Lettertoeditor

To: City of Marco Island Council Members After reviewing the most recent draft of the proposed Rental Ordinance 15-01, I am providing the following comments, and request that the Council seriously reconsider the scope of the proposed ordinance. The noise and nuisance problem that Council is attempting to address is limited to a small number of single family homes that are rented for less than 30 days. In addition, ordinances already exist to address noise, parking, and occupancy, and these ordinances apply to all Marco residents regardless of whether they own or rent the property they occupy. The proposed ordinance is extensive and represents unnecessary ... Read More »

Planning Board discusses Density Credit Ordinance

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By Pat Newman Acknowledging that there is “work to be done here,” Planning Board Chairman Charlette Roman and fellow members will once again review proposed changes to the Density Credit Transfer Ordinance at its March 20 meeting. With the end of the temporary moratorium set on density credit transfers looming, the board chose to continue its discussion from March 6 after debating the language contained in the ordinance and the actual number of credits that exist. Alan Gabriel, Planning Board Attorney recommended that the proposed ordinance which was advertised for public hearing be “reformatted” and more importantly that it is ... Read More »

Design, Use of Mackle Park Community Center Discussed

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was supposed to be a discussion about the size and design of the proposed new Mackle Park Community Center. As happens often times when the subject of Mackle Park comes up, though, the joint workshop between the Marco Island City Council and its Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) — held Tuesday, Jan. 20 — quickly devolved into a discussion about projected programming numbers, competition with private community and business organizations, and whether or not the sole focus of this project should even be Mackle Park. The workshop was a culmination of more than ... Read More »

Commercial Properties Landscape Buffers: Let’s Keep the Island Beautiful

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It is well-known that Marco Island is naturally beautiful and not just for its beaches. Designated as a “Tree City USA” for five consecutive years, the landscape and trees are very important to all residents for the high quality of life standard on the island. Appointed by City Council, the Beautification Advisory Committee’s mission is to advise them on the beautification of the community’s landscape that is consistent with the tropical character and natural beauty of Marco Island. This committee strives to educate residents about planting the right plants in the right place, irrigation with water conservation techniques and proper ... Read More »

Planning Board Drafts Rental Ordinance

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By Pat Newman A rental ordinance requiring property registration, a fire inspection and enforceable fines for violating city codes governing noise, parking and tardy trash can removal was drafted by Marco Island’s Planning Commission at its Nov. 21 meeting. Following hours of public comment both for and against an ordinance regulating long- and short-term rentals, the board decided to use the city of Marathon’s ordinance as a model and proceeded to go section by section adding and deleting lines to make it Marco Island specific. Board Chairman Monte Lazarus deferred to members in the decision, calling the model ordinance “tangled-up.” ... Read More »

Utility Rate Discussion Continues at City Hall

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Last week, Marco Island’s Finance Director Guillermo Polanco sent a report out to City Council members. The topic: balancing the budget for Marco Island Utilities. According to City Manager Roger Hernstadt, the report says the Council voted to approve the budget on September 8th and 22nd, 2013 that included a 2.1% increase in utility rates. The Council deferred the implementation to determine if the implementation of a new rate structure would mitigate the need for the additional revenue. Unfortunately, that effort has not reached a consensus to date. Therefore, the Council will have to either ... Read More »

New Median for Bald Eagle Drive and Park Avenue

City staff hopes the new right-turn-only, permanent median will help will traffic congestion caused during the Farmers Market and other large events held at Veterans Memorial Park.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Next month, the traffic pattern at the intersection of Bald Eagle Drive and Park Avenue will be changing. According to Tim Pinter, the city of Marco Island’s public works director, the city will be building a raised concrete median island there to limit the traffic exiting from Park Avenue onto Bald Eagle Drive to right turns only. The median is slated for construction during the first week of November, and while city staff does not yet have a firm price for the project, they are soliciting bids from contractors. Still, the project comes at the ... Read More »

Change Comes to Code Enforcement

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Since April, Marco Island’s Code Enforcement Department has been quietly undergoing reconstructive surgery. It started with the assignment of city Environmental Specialist Nancy Richie to the three-person department to carefully examine all means and methods used by enforcement officers. The process will continue through this year as City Manager Roger Hernstadt and the City Council make crucial decisions about hiring a magistrate and organizing a new City Code Advisory Committee. “Nancy was a good, impartial person to bring in there and examine how (the department) was handling its responsibilities in an unbiased way,” explains Hernstadt. ... Read More »

Smokehouse Bay Bridge Update

Work on the southbound span of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge is about 20 percent complete. PHOTO BY FRANK STEIGER

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The sign posted on the exit door of the Starbucks at The Esplanade on Tuesday, Sept. 30, sent caffeine junkies into instant withdrawals. Starting Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 8:30 PM, the store would be closed — closed? — due to a boil water notice, and unless otherwise notified, the store would not reopen until Saturday, Oct. 4. According to Jeff Poteet, general manager of Marco Island Utilities, bridge contractor Quality Enterprises will be tying in a new 20-inch water main that was recently installed as part of the $8.625 million Smokehouse Bay Bridge project. In ... Read More »

Get Out and Vote on Mackle Park Referendum

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com The time has come for Marco Islanders to cast their ballot and let the City Council know where they stand on the construction of a new Mackle Park Community Center to replace the current 25-year-old center. The referendum question: “Shall the city expend up to $3.5 million to construct a new community center up to 16,000 square feet at Mackle Park?” It is a question that — in some way, shape or form — the Marco Island community has been dealing with since 2005 when the city released the Mackle Park master plan. Since the ... Read More »

PRAC Tackles Farmers’ Market Issue

File Photo.

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was a scene unfamiliar to the members of Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Twenty community members attended the committee’s special workshop Aug. 5 focused on the future of the Farmers’ Market. These 20 individuals were all market vendors. In attendance representing city staff were City Manager Roger Hernstadt, the city’s Recreation Facilities Manager and Farmers’ Market Manager Alex Gliana and Community Events Coordinator Samantha Malloy. Sandi Reidemann and Jacquie Koon of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce were present. The workshop came on the heels of rising concern over suggested changes ... Read More »