The City of Marco Island held its ground breaking ceremony on Friday, March 23rd on the site of the former Fire Station 51. That station was seriously damaged due to a fire in July of 2016 while its crew was out on another call.
Then City Manager Roger Hernstadt and Chief Mike Murphy leveraged the city’s lobbyist in Tallahassee and received a grant for $250,000 to proceed to have plans drawn for the replacement of that facility. The following year another grant of $750,000 was received for construction costs, however the insurance carrier was balking at paying for more than damages and for the last 18 months the city attorney has been negotiating to obtain a settlement.
For the last 18 months the city and the insurance carrier have been tangled in intense negotiations regarding whether to pay for simple face lift or to pay the city for replacement of the structure.
The City Attorney, Alan Gabriel was able to finally settle for
$375,000. The clock has been ticking on those grant monies and the application of them for this project must be utilized or the amounts repaid to the State of Florida. A new updated contract for $3,231,062.00 was before council at the February 5 meeting. Another proposed contingency escalated that contract to $3,617,168.00 for the 8,645 square foot facility proposed to be built by DeAngelis Diamond Construction.
The ground breaking was attended by a number of legislative delegation members, city councilors, city staff, DeAngelis Diamond Construction personnel and members of the community.
Station 51 handles approximately 40% of the calls for service on the island. Crews are presently running out of a trailer, located at the city’s utility department campus, which is adjacent to the Station 51 site.