On Monday evening, the City Council dispatched a number of loose items that helped clean the slate of old business for the upcoming council meeting on November 9. The normal 5:30 PM start of the meeting was moved to 6:30 PM to allow candidates seeking a seat on the council to attend. However, only the incumbent, Jared Grifoni and Dr. Richard Blonna, afforded themselves the opportunity.
Proclamations were handed out to those councilors who have chosen to not continue to serve in the future and to Councilman Larry Honig, who is completing a total of 8 years of service and is term-limited. Council Chairman Erik Brechnitz complimented them for their service to the community.
A major discussion revolved around an amendment to the Site Development Plan previously approved that would see the addition of mezzanines to all the commercial warehouse units being constructed at 921 Windward Drive. The addition of that amenity and other proposed changes caused the planning board to review the previously approved plan at the request of city staff.
As part of those negotiations, amenities which appeared to have made these units “inhabitable” were removed. The units were designed initially for “storage,” but eventually morphed into high-end storage for collectibles, exotic cars or even motorhomes. The planning staff would be careful to ensure details concerning potential overnight occupancy and parking would be adhered to.
The changes to the SDP with the protections and amendments agreed to by the petitioner were adopted by a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Reed objecting.
One of the major items to be discussed that evening dealt with the city’s potential purchase of the property abutting the City Campus at 1310 San Marco Road. That building, which is known as the Medical Arts Building, was being proposed to provide additional parking and office space for a growing number of city staff, especially in the Building Services Department. This department is engaged in permitting and inspections throughout the city. In addition, the Water/Sewer Utility customer service unit, presently located in the downstairs of City Hall could be relocated to that new space.
City Manager Michael McNees explained the relocation of Fire/Rescue Administration and staff would be relocated to that facility as construction begins on the replacement of Fire Station 50 early in 2021. This would provide savings to the project, which would have required the acquisition of temporary quarters.
McNees had entered into a contingency contract with the owner for the negotiated price of $2,250,000. He proposed the utilization of funds on hand between the General Government Reserve and the reserves from the Building Services Enterprise Fund for the purchase of the 9100 square foot building.
McNees advised the county indicated a desire to add some aspects of the Supervisor of Elections office and the Collier County Clerk of Courts system may also have an interest in some remote service offices for Marco citizens.
The Council voted 7-0 to allow the manager to proceed to acquire the property should appraisals and inspections come back positive.