Thursday, May 6, 2021

Council Considers Issues Other Than ALF

Photo by Steve Stefanides | Council celebrated years in service for Marco Island Fire Rescue Department personnel.

Besides the controversial item concerning reconsideration of a zoning change to allow a modified Continuing Care Residential Facility on property presently owned by Naples Community Hospital, the Marco Island City Council took on a myriad of other business during its February 4 meeting in chambers.

Fire/Rescue Personnel Honored

Chief Mike Murphy and Deputy Chief David Batiato introduced personnel from the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department who were honored for a total of 75 years of service within the Marco Department.

Battalion Chief Jeff Kutzke was honored for his 30 years of service; Rescue Lt. James Jay for 15 years; and Firefighter Sergio Deleon, Firefighter Jesse Yarnell and Engineer Ed Cabal each for 10 years of service.

Chief Murphy would also announce that long time Battalion Chief Tom Bogan would be retiring after close to 30 years of service with the department at the end of April.

AD-HOC Parking Solution Committee Gives Report

Council would first hear from the AD-HOC Parking Solutions committee which detailed several items, from cleaning up alleyways to a possible trolley system that would move residents and visitors around the island. Robert Cholka, chairman of that committee, would detail a number of those items and possible costs associated with those items.

Council would include those suggestions with their mid-year deliberations on the 2019-20 budget and the Coastal Breeze News will provide an in-depth review of those suggestions in the weeks to come.

During citizen comments, Maria Lamb would remind councilors and the public that the county would be reviewing how to move forward on a reworked fertilizer ordinance and would be seeking input from Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City regarding how best to proceed. Lamb, however, said she would oppose any “one size fits all,” style of ordinance.

EMS Discussions Continue With County

Chief Murphy would update council on his ongoing discussions regarding the possible expansion of drug protocols within the county, to include allowing city paramedics to administer the same narcotics as their similarly trained paramedics from the county. This would eliminate any disparities in the level of care being offered to citizens due to delays in the County Medic units arriving on scene.

Cross manning of units has also been an issue which may result in a reduction of the level of services to residents with the city. Ongoing discussions are proceeding to avoid such a reduction in services.

County Manager Leo Ochs has also made a proposal for the city to pay additional funds for the placement of another unit on the island on a fulltime basis, which Chief Murphy disagrees with.

Reconsideration of Changes in Parking Ordinance

Some issues regarding changes made in the city’s parking ordinance will be reviewed at a future meeting as a vote was taken to reconsider those changes made at the last meeting.

Veterans Community Park

Kimley-Horn and Associates gave an update on its findings to date regarding finalization of plans for the vision for Veterans Community Park. Some discussions relative to the ranges of costs for some of the development within the park. Councilor Victor Rios would seek more refinement to some of the costs.

Councilor Howard Reed would do an in-depth review of the plans as presented in an effort to not lose, what he considered to be some of the positive aspects of park, especially preserving the open space for “special-events.”

Phasing of some of the development of the park was something which was also discussed.

Councilor Larry Honig praised the planner’s work. He would suggest we target a cost of $5 million for the work to be done and move forward so that the residents would know where council was going.

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