Friday, April 10, 2020

City Council Meets in Special Session


Marco Island City Council met on Friday, March 20, 2020 in Special Session to authorize city staff to seek a reduction in financing rates relative to the city’s outstanding utility system refunding revenue bonds (water and sewer utility).

Refinancing would result in approximately $5.8 million savings to ratepayers over the next 13 years. Those bonds would be refinanced at an unprecedented 1.87% interest rate.

Councilor Larry Honig praised the prompt work done on this matter by Council Chairman Erik Brechnitz and Finance Director Guillermo Polanco.

When this opportunity arose, it required city staff to coordinate all data and documentation on short notice for council’s review and approval. It required council’s approval, signatures and transmission of those documents by 3 PM on Friday, or the opportunity for substantial savings would be lost. 

Council passed the resolution for refinancing by a vote of 6-0. Councilor Sam Young was absent from that meeting.

City Manager Update on COVID-19 Virus

City Manager Mike McNees provided council and the community with an update on the city staff’s progress regarding the coronavirus response. McNees reported that since the March 16 meeting, all departments were pressing ahead to ensure that necessary city services remain uninterrupted.

Marco Island Police and Code Enforcement officers visited all restaurants, entertainment venues and bars to go over the latest directions from the Governor’s office regarding their operations. “I’m pleased to report that we are receiving a high level of cooperation from all segments of our business community,” said McNees, following the meeting’s close.

McNees also reported that all of the public city access points to the beach have been closed on Collier Boulevard. In addition, the county park at Tigertail Beach has been closed, as well as the South Beach access point and parking area, and the MICA Sarazen Park and parking area. 

MICA Executive Director Ruth McCann reported to McNees that the MICA Board of Directors would, out of an abundance of caution for the safety of Marco citizens, close the main Residents Beach parking area at sundown on Friday, March 20, until further notice.

McNees explained to council that the beach itself is not the problem, but rather, the individuals congregating in large groups and in close proximity with each other on the beach creates a problem. “Everyone is trying to take the appropriate actions to safeguard our citizens. As I’ve said before, we are in unchartered waters with this challenge. We ask our residents and guests to have patience and humility during these challenging times and remember to practice those suggested adjustments to their behaviors. No direct contact with each other, cover yourself in a sneeze or a cough, wash your hands frequently, limit your groups to 10 or less, and travel only if necessary,” said McNees, before returning to his office. 

Marco Island City Council will meet again on April 6 at 5:30 PM in council chambers at 51 Bald Eagle Drive. Stay abreast of all the breaking news at www.coastalbreezenews.com .

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