Monday, September 21, 2020

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: “For your kind consideration” & “Be Practical!”

 

 

For your kind consideration

We feel this is the right time for the City Council to impose a spending moratorium on large projects on the island until the tremendous debt imposed by the water company purchase and sewer construction projects is absorbed. We believe now is NOT the time to add more debt for projects that are not critical. We also believe the city needs to learn how to preform “due diligence” on its projects.

Due Diligence, it is used to investigate and evaluate. It spurs investigation in all relevant aspects of past, present, and the predictable future. It translates into basic common sense, such as using help from knowledgeable people, through research and doing the appropriate homework.

We now know that due diligence was not performed on either the water company purchase or the sewer system. The proof is in the debt and the fact that we still do not know the cost of fixing the underground systems.

We are now hearing about new large projects that don’t appear to have had the appropriate due diligence. We have already spent $2,000,000 on the Smokehouse Bay Bridge (SHBB) and still do not have the answers If we were putting the bridge out for bids, why are there so many questions? Some as basic as, should it be built now? Why not ban vehicles, with a gross weight of greater than 10,000 lbs, from crossing the bridge until due diligence is completed, perhaps for five years? Those vehicles can use the entry from Route 92 and San Marco Rd to eliminate the need to cross the SHBB and use Route 951 for deliveries before the bridge. Or use Route 951 to Bald Eagle to San Marco Rd. The 80% condition and the relief of the heavy weight vehicles should allow sufficient time for due diligence.

We believe that the spending of $450,000 for the Fire Department and $2.2 million for Mackle Park enhancement, as well as other large projects, can be put off while the city absorbs the already heavy debt.

We would like to recommend the City Council establish a FIVE YEAR MORATORIUM on spending for high priced projects and use the money to reduce the debt. This would give the city time to complete due diligence on any of the problems that the water and sewer systems, as well as the new projects that are under current consideration.

Between the three of us, Jack Markel, retired from American Water Works Company after over 37 years in the water industry, managing utilities having a capacity of up to 105 million gallons; Peter Clapp, owned and managed a structural steel fabrication company and a specialty equipped sheet metal plant after retiring from senior management of large corporations; and Richard Kaelin, retired Vice President of a large corporation in Illinois that purchased several companies after using due diligence.

Thank you and with respect,

– Jack Markel, 13 yr Marco home owner and 26 yr Marco land owner

– Peter Clapp, 17 yr Marco homeowner

– Richard Kaelin, a 15 yr Marco homeowner

 

Be Practical!

In reading a letter to the editor by Ms. Fay Biles, magnificent leader of the Marco Taxpayers Association about the building department of the city in reference to two different families who complained about the poor inspections during the construction of their homes.

Each county has a building code which is required by the state. Each project requires a building permit in its location. The above families, I assume hired an architect and engineer to design and prepare documents for a building permit to build their homes. The city reviews the documents to make sure that they follow the codes. During construction, the building department follows a standard procedure during that phase, for which they pay a fee for the permit to build.

The architect and engineer should be hired to include monitoring in the construction phase to assure that the building is being built in accordance with the construction documents they prepared. I am not familiar with these two homes, but to assure compliance to the owners’ desire, monitoring by the professionals should be done. We can’t expect the city inspectors to do all of that.

I, as a local architect, request that monitoring be a part of the agreement with the owner. I’m not expecting the city to do my job. I have always had good feelings working with the contractor, the city and most important, the owner.

– Herbert Rosser Savage, AIA

  Marco Island

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