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The Mackle Park Community Center Project is a truly worthwhile project and it is so incredibly frustrating to hear people discuss a project that they have absolutely no knowledge of the details.
FACT: The current structure is completely outdated, code noncompliant, poorly hurricane resistant, and totally insufficient in terms of capacity.The existing structure has been at maximum capacity for 3+ years preventing valuable programmming and community services from coming to Marco Island. Continuing education programs, health and fitness courses, wellness programs, community events, and general purpose meeting space are all prevented from coming to marco as a result.The existing structure is not ADA compliant. It is not built at the appropriate flood levels, and is not hurricane rated. A full study of the issue in 2005 found the existing structure would be more expensive to renovate than replace given its poor underlying design and structure.
I, like many others, understand the needs for fiscal responsibility. And as is en vogue these days- it seems that dealing with expenses with a heavy dose of skepticism is appropriate. This does not, however, mean that every worthwhile project needs to be decimated with the drone of negativity.
From the infomation that I have seen, the expanded space and facilities from building a new community center and resulting increase in revenues from space rentals and adding programming would cover a large part of the annual finance payment. Perhaps leaving an annual cost to the taxpayer of 50-100k dollars (a cost that would go away after the note is paid off). What does this mean in actually dollars on our tax bill? for a Single family home of around 400,000 value? About 7 dollars annnually.
Parks and Recreation has shown a knack for providing a valuable product and service the community at a nominal cost (see Farmer's Market, Seafood Festival, Veterans Park as projects that have cost the taxpayer little or nothing and even generated revenue for the city)..... I think we sould give them a chance to present their case completely before we ruin an opportunity to bring a wonderful amenity to our beautiful island for almost NOTHING!
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