MARCO ISLAND — After months of wrangling, counter wrangling, and counter-counter wrangling, the controversial issue of erecting a permanent public facility on Hideaway Beach grounds, the Hideaway Beach District Board passed a motion on Thursday agreeing to the location and financing of a public bathroom.
The bathroom is a condition set by Collier County Commissioners in 2008 for Hideaway Beach to get a $1.6 million contribution of bed taxes, the county tax on hotel stays, and use it to help control beach erosion to the central area of Hideaway Beach.
This is the second time that tourist development dollars went to help control beach erosion at the beach which surrounds the gated Hideaway Beach community. A point of contention has been that the beach is not easily accessible to the public.
“The public bathroom will be located on the beach, easily accessible to all, and, I wish to strongly stress, be adjacent to, but not on, Hideaway Beach’s private picnic area,” emphasized Richard Freeman, the District Board’s Chairman.
“It will be a permanent structure, about 8 by 12 feet in composition, and a unisex facility,” he added
Contained in the motion, are the following City of Marco Island and Hideaway Beach obligations:
(a) Collier County, at the request of the City of Marco Island and Hideaway Beach, will pursue all necessary grant applications for the project. All applications and permits will be in the name of the county and city except the public restroom. The city will provide the design plans to the county prior to beginning work.
(b) Hideaway Beach will provide full funding for the public restroom. Unless permitting or completion is delayed by regulatory agency review or acts of God, if the public restroom is not built within one year from the date of completion of the six additional erosion control structures or t-groins, then the city shall remit back to the county the funds expended by the county for the erosion control structures.
(c) Hideaway Beach District will pursue all necessary grant applications, engineering, environmental, and permits for the public restroom. All applications and permits for the public restroom will be in the name of Hideaway Beach District and/or the underlying property owner. The district will provide the design plans and location to the county for approval prior to beginning work.
(d) The district will obtain for the benefit of the public an easement for the public restroom. The district will own, operate, monitor, and maintain the public restroom and provide reasonable access for the public during the time that the county’s Tigertail Park is open to the public.