Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Islanders have their say

Newly-elected Beautification Advisory Committee Officers Vice Chair Alan Brown and Chair Sydney Mellinger. Photo by Carole Musgrave

Newly-elected Beautification Advisory Committee Officers Vice Chair Alan Brown and Chair Sydney Mellinger. Photo by Carole Musgrave

It may be a quiet time of year for most residents and businesses here on Marco Island, but things certainly have been busy at City Hall. Over the past few weeks, Interim City Manager Dr. James Riviere has made several changes in the organizational structure of the departments and personnel at the City’s administrative level.

Also, the many people, who have volunteered to participate on advisory boards and committees to bring the voice of the residents to the decision-making process, have been very industrious. They have been scheduling meetings and doing the research necessary to make sure informed decisions are made in the best interests of the community. All Marco residents are urged to become educated on the issues, to attend the meetings and to voice our opinions, but it always seems to be a few citizens who are prominent, whose faces are often seen and voices frequently heard. The issues affect all of us who live here, so it behooves us to get involved.

Of primary importance to all is the planning of the Water and Sewer Department Rate Structure. The Committee’s process will involve both the City Manager and General Manager of the newly created Marco Island Water and Sewer Utility. The Utilities Advisory Board members are Ken Honecker, Chairman, Richard Bergmann, Frank (Mike) Nocifora, Amadeo Petricca, and David Rasmussen.

The meetings will be

Bike Path Master Plan for Marco Island. This is not a map, but a proposed plan at full build-out. Some of these bike lanes and shared-use paths are currently built, but many are not.

Bike Path Master Plan for Marco Island. This is not a map, but a proposed plan at full build-out. Some of these bike lanes and shared-use paths are currently built, but many are not.

held at City Council Chambers/Community Room at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 21 ( focus on single family homes) and July 28 (focus on commercial enterprises). The meetings will cover the following:

  • ?Water rate structure for all user groups (Homes, Condominiums and Commercial)
  • Wastewater treatment rate structure for all user groups (Homes, Condominiums and Commercial)
  • Price of reuse water
  • Basis for the Utility debt service cost recovery
  • Modification option for the current rate structure
  • Rate adjustment implementation schedule

UAB Board members will be present at an informal meeting at Iberia Bank on July 20, prior to the City Council meetings.

The Planning Board work closely with City Planner Kris van Lengen on a wide range of issues including the possible of a CRA, a Community Redevelopment Agency, which would provide funding for improvements to the town center area of Marco.  The CRA Ad Hoc Committee of volunteers has been formed to discuss the pros and cons and to educate the public and show what improvements can be possible if through a CRA.

The Beautification Advisory Committee (BAC)’s new committee members include Alan Brown, Sandi Johnson, M.A. Kline, Susan LaGrotta, Sydney Mellinger, Barbara Murphy and Susan Oldershaw. Current BAC projects include review of a proposed Fertilizer Ordinance, creation and maintenance of a Butterfly Garden, “Marco in Bloom” landscape awards, Arbor Day celebration, city tree plantings, education seminars for citizens, and other projects.

Current Bike Path Map shows all the facilities which have been built through the end of 2009.

Current Bike Path Map shows all the facilities which have been built through the end of 2009.

The BAC also sends delegates to other committees such as the Veterans’ Community Park design committee, the “Trees R Cool” project and the Jane Hittler Park redesign committee. The Committee was recently responsible for the City achieving “Tree City USA” status.

The Bike Paths Committee has done an amazing job in helping the City plan for building bike/pedestrian friendly facilities. As of December 2009,  the City has completed approximately 23 lane-miles of in-road Bike Lanes and 9 miles of Shared-Use Pathways.  Through the efforts of the committee members, for every $1 spent on Bike Paths, the City has received $3.50 in grant funding through 2010.  For FY 2011-2014, funding efforts by the committee have increased the programmed funding yield to $8 in grant funds for every City $1 spent. The Bike Path Committee will be updating the Current Map at the end of 2010 when several other facilities will be completed.

The next Bike Path Committee meeting will be Friday August 13 at 9am City Hall 1st Fl Conf room.

Other volunteer panels include: Arts Advisory Committee, Beach Advisory Committee, Bike Paths Committee, Code Enforcement Board, Parks and Recreation Committee, Veterans park Committee, and the Waterways Committee. All board and committee meetings are open to the public. Go to the City website, www.cityofmarcoisland.com for meeting schedules.  If you would like to volunteer, call Laura Litzan at 389-5010.

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