A special-called closed session precedes the Jan. 4, City Council meeting, which begins at 5:30 with a community forum, followed by the second reading of an ordinance to establish a Utilities Advisory Board.
The City’s Utilities Advisory Ad Hoc Committee has worked with the city attorney to create a standing committee to assist council with rate reviews and utility issues. Council will recommend approval of the ordinance providing for a Utilities Advisory Board to serve in an advisory role.
“In this instance, City Council is helping residents on ongoing issues associated with the utility system,” says Marco Island City Manager Steve Thompson.
“The Council had two concerns on first reading in December. One was concerning financial considerations; they recommended some changes to the purchasing limit. The other was assurance that they were not giving up involvement, and responsibility to control the Advisory Board. Both of these issues have been addressed.”
Scheduled next for discussion is the contract award for construction of Mackle Park, Phase 3A.
“This is a continuing master plan for putting in islands around the walking track, and widening the track,” says Thompson. “It further improves the park. They are recommending low bid.”
Phase 3 capital improvements have been organized into two major capital projects, A and B. Project A consists of widening the pathway around the lake, construction of a sidewalk, lighting installation around the walkways, a fountain in the lake, and replacement of the chickee hut.
Council will recommend the contract award to Douglas N. Higgins, Inc.
The third agenda item is naming city facilities and rooms. Council has discussed possible naming opportunities to recognize present and former residents who have given exceptional service, or provided substantial contributions to the city. Chances to name the former Veterans’ Park, the Police Administration Building, Fire Rescue Headquarters, and City Hall are among those included for recommendation.
“Council has requested the opportunity to name city facilities after outstanding residents of the community,” says Thompson.
“They have asked for recommendations on the process they should use. For example, it has been suggested that a room or building be named after former Councilmember Glenn Tucker, and all they will need to do is bring forth a site and a name they would like to have approved by council.”
The Linear Park Trail Grant is scheduled next for consideration. Grant funds are available from the Florida Department of Transportation for construction of a shared use path from San Marco Road to Mackle Park, along the power line easement. Authorization is requested for Thompson to accept $210,000 in grant funds.
“It’s putting constructive use to an easement, with an attractive, landscaped walkway,” says Thompson.
The linear park trail will provide enhanced off-road pedestrian and bicycle access between recreational, tennis courts and Mackle Park; cultural, library and new museum; and government, city hall facilities. FDOT funding will require council to authorize use of the construction contingency fund, to cover the city’s $165,000 share of estimated $375,000 construction costs.
Council is recommending authorization for the city manager to accept the grant, and transfer local matching funds from available construction contingency budget.
Next, City Council must appoint a Marco Island resident to serve on the Firefighters’ Pension Board of Trustees. This board is comprised of five trustees who serve staggered two-year terms. Two are firefighters, two are legal city residents, and one is chosen by a majority of the trustees and the City Clerk, from interested residents who have submitted resumes.
Then, council will discuss selection of an engineering firm based on quotes, to assist staff in future coastal engineering projects. Consulting services included in the quote are beach restoration and renourishment, shoreline stabilization, sand source and borrow area investigation, inlet management, marine structures, coastal models, studies and permitting, dredging and waterfront development.
This is a continuing contract, and the City often awards contracts to several consultants, to obtain a better fit of skills and negotiation of rates. Services are engaged only as needed.
Hideaway Beach is in the process of retaining an engineering firm to advise them about beach structural additions, according to Thompson. Council is recommending acceptance of bids by coastal engineering consultants Humiston & Moore, and Taylor Engineering.
Finally, Hernando Bridge Emergency Repair will be discussed.
“Five years ago, the City adopted a master plan for bridge repair and replacement,” says Thompson.
“Depending on condition of the bridge, due to budget changes, some have been pushed back. Unfortunately, the Hernando Bridge has continued to deteriorate. There are funds available in the Bridge Repair Reserve, and we need to go ahead and make those repairs, by amending the budget and adding the Hernando Bridge repairs to the work plan.”
Of Marco’s 15 bridges, only three remain to be addressed in the immediate future. The two Smokehouse Bay Bridges are in the initial design stage, and are expected to be replaced in 2014. The Hernando Bridge will be remediated to extend its useful life. The Winterberry Bridge will require reevaluation in the next three to five years.
The recommended motion will be to proceed with repairs, using money from bridge repair funds.
Items on the agenda are generally heard in sequential order, and may be rescheduled to a later date for consideration, due to length of the agenda.
For more information about the upcoming Marco Island City Council meeting, visit cityofmarcoisland.com, or call (239) 394-5000.