Veterans’ Community Park designs are in

Council to approve $12 million phased park plans, $100,000 building software upgrade

Veterans memorial planned at Veterans' Community Park to be paid for by fundraising endeavors of the Marco Island VFW.

Photo by Submitted, Submitted

Veterans memorial planned at Veterans' Community Park to be paid for by fundraising endeavors of the Marco Island VFW.

Veterans memorial planned at Veterans' Community Park to be paid for by fundraising endeavors of the Marco Island VFW.

Photo by Submitted

Veterans memorial planned at Veterans' Community Park to be paid for by fundraising endeavors of the Marco Island VFW.

Phase one plans for Veterans’ Community Park for about $12 million. Later phases may include an additional $12 million to $14 million performing arts center.

Photo by Submitted

Phase one plans for Veterans’ Community Park for about $12 million. Later phases may include an additional $12 million to $14 million performing arts center.

— Details on two projects, Veterans’ Community Park and integrating city software, which have been discussed for more than a year are coming together at Marco’s Council meeting on Monday.

Design plans for Veteran’s Community Park and details of new software proposed for the building department will be presented at a workshop beginning 3 p.m.

VETERANS COMMUNITY PARK PLANS

Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk will present the Veterans’ Community Park plans developed by Kimley-Horn and Associates in partnership with the Ad Hoc parks committee and residents.

If council accepts the master plan, funding options will be decided at a later time.

Milk anticipates a phased approach with later phases to eventually include building a performing arts center. Construction of the park, including a band shell, bike paths, large round community gathering area, concessions and other design elements are estimated to cost about $12 million and the performing arts center to cost another $12 million. The park was once called the “Glon property,” and is located near Elkcam Circle and Bald Eagle Drive. The land purchase was one of the many projects former councilman Glenn Tucker spearheaded while serving on council for 10 years and may serve as a monument to the service he gave to the city, City Clerk Laura Litzan has said.

BUILDING SOFTWARE PURCHASE

City Council reviewed a request to purchase software and hardware for the Community Development Department June 1 and asked for Steve Olmsted, director of the department, to come back with a more detailed cost-benefit analysis of the purchase.

City Council and an Ad Hoc financial planning committee have advised that the city could use software upgrades to increase efficiencies and this software is anticipated to help with that.

“Unfortunately, at the most difficult financial time, the city needs a comprehensive review of all of its software,” said Councilman Ted Forcht.

Olmsted said the current system is fragmented with different software being used for permitting, petitions, planning, zoning, environmental monitoring and code compliance. The purchase would streamline these functions.

Councilman Jerry Gibson mentioned at the June 1 meeting that another use of the software would be implementation of the short term rental ordinance’s requirement of creating a database of Island resort rentals in residential neighborhoods.

The software costs $103,022 and hardware costs $16,500. Annual maintenance of the software will cost about $10,000, and the $4,000 now spent on maintaining the current code enforcement software will be eliminated.

Olmsted will present the uses of the software in more detail, including the possible offset in these increased costs. Council may decide to add the purchase to the agenda.

City oversight of an employer-assisted housing program is also among workshop items to be discussed 3 p.m. in the Community Room, 51 Bald Eagle Drive. See related story for more information.

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