What plan? Town center merchants know little about redevelopment plan

Previewing Monday’s City Council agenda

For merchants in Marco’s Town Center District, little is known about City Council’s plan to discuss redevelopment in their area.

“I don’t know enough about it to comment,” said Cindy Roloff of Marco Craft & Shell Company located in Town Center Mall.

That appeared to be the sentiment of other businesses there.

The Mall, located on North Collier Boulevard and within Marco’s Town Center District, has had extensive renovations over past years including landscaping, cobblestone paths and tin roofs that added a cohesive “old Florida” look to the complex.

However, the district as a whole has not shared in such upgrades. Council discussions will consider ways to reshape the area to become more attractive, pedestrian friendly, supportive of business needs and architecturally interesting.

The plan is aimed at relieving stress points where densities are hazardous and existing buildings are unsightly, a “Finding of Necessity for a Community Redevelopment Area” study explains.

Florida Statue Chapter 163, Part III, affirms that Community Redevelopment Areas are created to improve the general welfare, tax base, and for redevelopment of specific geographic areas.

Mike Foley of Breakfast Plus said he honestly didn’t know anything about redevelopment, and Janet Keefe of Obsession said she was not familiar with it at all.

Initial consideration on Monday will be based on a report prepared by Kimley-Horn Consultants addressing planning and funding public improvements.

Recommendation for establishing the redevelopment area came to council in a letter from James Riviere, chairman of the Marco Island Planning Board, with a unanimous vote of the board.

“Just the fact that others don’t know about it is a story in itself,” said Roloff.

Also to be discussed ...

Utility oversight board

On first reading, Council will consider a permanent advisory board to make recommendations regarding city-owned water and wastewater utilities.

The oversight board would offer technical, managerial and financial advice to Council, but would not be allowed ultimate authority for decisions regarding the utilities.

If established, $10,000 for administrative and $30,000 for rate consultant support would need to be transferred from the Council’s 2010 contingency fund. No allocation for the oversight board exists in next year’s city budget.

San Marco streetlights

Council will consider transferring ownership of its 63 streetlights on San Marco Road to Lee County Electric Cooperative.

LCEC would provide electricity and maintenance at a flat rate per light per month of $22.67 amounting to an estimated annual savings of $10,700 to the city.

The transfer agreement would allow the city the option of buying back the lights for $1 and would reduce 2010 budgeted overhead by the amount of the $10,700 savings.

Capital improvement list

During first reading on Nov. 9 to incorporate capital improvement elements into the Comprehensive Plan, council was asked to supply a list and description of those improvements to residents.

The projects being considered in the plan, spanning 2010-2014, will be provided at the back of council’s chambers during second reading on Monday.

Since estimates for projects such as Smokehouse Bridge have changed since initial proposals, the Public Works Department was asked to reflect the most recent cost estimates before a motion to incorporate capital projects into the comprehensive plan.

2011 sewer construction

Council will hold a public hearing to consider final assessment and bonding for the Copperfield and Goldenrod sewer assessment areas scheduled for construction beginning in April under the Septic Tank Replacement Program.

Prior to Monday’s meeting, 615 residents in the two areas were notified of the hearing.

Grants and awards

Council will consider six community assistance grants.

The Island Parks and Recreation Foundation is requesting $5,000 for general festival support and a service grant of $2,550 for police and traffic control, fire services and park facility use.

The Optimist Club of Marco is requesting $5,000 for general festival and community event support.

The Art League of Marco Island is requesting $5,500 for general festival support and a service grant of $3,000.

The Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island is requesting $1,000 for general festival support.

The Marco Island Foundation for the Arts is requesting $5,000 for general festival support and a service grant of $950.

The Marco Island Seafood Festival is requesting $5,000 for general festival support and a service grant for $3,000.

All funds will come from the city’s parks and recreation budget.

2010 meeting schedule

Council will finalize its 2010 plan for regularly scheduled meetings. Meeting frequency will remain the same and be held the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month unless the day falls on a holiday. Meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. in the community room at 51 Bald Eagle Drive with work sessions starting from 2-3 p.m. preceding the second meeting of the month. Work sessions will conclude by 5 p.m.

The proposed schedule is Jan. 4 and 19 (Tuesday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday); Feb. 1 and 16 (Tuesday since Presidents’ Day is Monday); March 1 and 15; April 5 and 19; May 3 and 17; June 7 and 21; July 19 with no meeting scheduled for the first Monday of the month; Aug. 2 and 16; Sept. 7 and 20; Oct. 4 and 18. November and December have only one meeting on Nov. 1 and Dec. 6.

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Comments » 2

maharg writes:

There is nothing wrong with the Town Center. Re-development would be a boondoggle and not a dime of public money should be spent on this.

MarcoJimbo writes:

Amen. I never could understand the City staff's obsession with putting us ever deeper into debt with big ticket construction projects, unless it's to provide lifetime job security to certain well-connected individuals and their companies. Hopefully, this practice will provide fodder for some interesting debate during the current City Council election campaigns.

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