Tuesday, September 29, 2020

City Council Highlights

 

 

By Steve “Stef” Stefanides

Marco Educators Honored at Meeting

City Council moved quickly through a relatively light agenda on last Monday as they dealt with proclamations recognizing educational excellence at the Tommie Barfield Elementary School, the Marco Island Charter Middle School and the Marco Island Academy.

Both Tommie Barfield and the Charter Middle School were presented with proclamations recognizing their “A” rating in the State of Florida and the Marco Island Academy was honored for being recognized by the Washington Post as being in the top 2% of High Performing Charter Schools within the nation.

Staff members from all three schools were present for the presentations.

Progress at Mackle Park

Parks and Recreation Supervisor Alex Galiana would report to council on a number of issues, but would provide an update on the new Mackle Park Community Center project. With the last day of summer camp at the park the contractor has received all his permits and was staged and ready to begin the demolition of the old building.

Staff has moved into temporary quarters in the old Teen Center trailer and work was rapidly proceeding on the necessary projects to enable the city to utilize the facility at the Family Church of Marco Island on Winterberry Drive. That facility on the church’s campus will be used to continue programing while the new building is constructed at Mackle Park.

Beach Committee Making Progress

The Beach Advisory Committee came forward to report of a number of projects they are working on and Vice-Chairman Katie O’Hara was pleased to report that they had made substantial progress having beachside vendors move away from plastic straws and convert their operations to the non-petroleum base straw for their drinks as offered on the beach.

“We are very appreciative of their efforts to make this transition,” said O’Hara. However the group did point out that they are still battling the issue of the new style straw littering the beach, primarily in the areas by the resorts.

“This is a constant effort in education of those that frequent the beach

Three Marco Island schools were honored for excellence at the Marco Island City Council Meeting on August 15. From left: Tommie Barfield Principal Karey Stewart, Marco Island Charter Middle School Principal George Abounader, and from Marco Island Academy, Principal Melissa Scott, Brenda Rhinehart and Board Chair Jane Watt. Submitted Photo

Three Marco Island schools were honored for excellence at the Marco Island City Council Meeting on August 15. From left: Tommie Barfield Principal Karey Stewart, Marco Island Charter Middle School Principal George Abounader, and from Marco Island Academy, Principal Melissa Scott, Brenda Rhinehart and Board Chair Jane Watt. Submitted Photo

to leave it in the pristine shape they find it,” said Gene Burson, chairman of that advisory board after the meeting.

Marco Shores Wastewater Project

Councilman Victor Rios attempted to bring back to council the issue of how to pay for the work to be done to rebuild the older wastewater treatment process that is presently in place that services Marco Shores residents.

When the city purchased the utility from Florida Water Services they were required to also assume responsibility for the aging Marco Shores facilities. That physical plant is in need of replacement and the city’s Tallahassee lobbyist has received some initial funding for the project.

At present the city is proceeding with some design criteria for the project, which has been estimated initially at around $6,000,000. Firm numbers would not be in place until final specifications are drawn and bids are received on the total capital costs.

Councilman Larry Honig called a point of order in the discussions to remind the council that they had already chosen not to proceed to place money in the 2017 budget to acquire a legal opinion as to council’s legal rights to assess the property owners at Marco Shores. “We agreed as a council not to move forward with the attorney’s assessment; therefore this issue is moot and the discussion should be ended,” said Honig.

When Councilman Rios attempted to debate the issue, Councilman Honig reminded the chair that the point of order had to be ruled on and shut down any further comments from Rios. Chairman Brown reminded the board that it was an informal discussion during a budget workshop and any consideration of reconsideration was really not in order, which Honig agreed with.

City Manager Roger Hernstadt reminded council that they would have to make the business decisions regarding how to proceed and that decision would have to be made during early 2017.

A motion by Councilman Rios to add the item to a future agenda failed for a lack of a second, and the meeting would quickly come to an adjournment.

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