Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff // Buy this photo
MARCO ISLAND — Marco’s bridges are getting a lot of attention lately with nearly $50 million in bridge projects approved or discussed in the last couple weeks.
City Council is to review a plan to replace the Smokehouse Bay Bridge and consider a contract to repair Caxambas Bridge. These are among a relatively long list of items to be reviewed by council in the double-header Monday.
The Smokehouse Bridge planning session Monday comes after learning that the Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge will get an additional $28 million span and a $500,000 face lift on the existing span. The Goodland Bridge will also get $500,000 in repairs.
The inland Smokehouse Bay Bridge is in the early stages of design compared to plans for the Island’s two major bridges.
A design charrette is planned for the City Council meeting beginning 2:30 p.m., Monday.
The Smokehouse Bay Bridge is located on Collier Boulevard near the Winn Dixie. The city has been setting aside money to replace the two Smokehouse Bay Bridge spans, including $500,000 set aside in 2009. The longterm estimate has been that replacement would cost about $13 million.
The project will link the Veteran’s Community Park with both the Esplanade and the newly remodeled Jane Hittler Park. Design plans considered include a fishing pier and options for pedestrian walkways.
The city has retained five architects to create their own independent bridge designs and each plan will be presented at the council workshop, which begins 2:30 p.m., Monday.
The Smokehouse Bay Bridge replacement project will be a multi-phased process with phase I being the design stage. Depending on which design is selected, the timing, expense and completion of the following phases will be impacted, Keith Dameron wrote in a prepared release Tuesday.
Dameron plans to host an In the Round on the bridge plans at Orion Bank June 22.
The workshop begins 2:30 p.m. with the Smokehouse Bay Bridge, short-term rental housing ordinance update and a brief presentation from the waterways committee among the discussion items.
CAXAMBAS BRIDGE, CITY MANAGER PERFORMANCE REVIEW AMONG EVENING TOPICS
At the regular session beginning 5:30 p.m., Monday, city attorney contract amendments are to be proposed, City Manager Steve Thompson is to receive his first annual performance review and a contract with Thomas Marine Construction for repairs to the Caxambas Bridge at a cost of about $425,000 are being considered.
The 2009 budget included up to $600,000 for Caxambas Bridge repairs, Public Works Director Rony Joel reported.
Councilman Chuck Kiester and Larry Magel reviewed possible ways to save the city money on legal fees while working with city attorney Alan Gabriel of Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L., based out of Fort Lauderdale.
Magel said the proposal includes an approximate 15 percent savings for the city. He became involved as a member of the financial planning committee seeking ways to cut administrative costs.
Last year city legal services cost about $500,000, and with new fixed-fees for some services along with the elimination of about $17,000 annually in charges for commuting from the East Coast, the city could save about $60,000 to $75,000 annually with the proposal, Magel reported.
A new member is sought for a trustee to serve on the police pension board to replace David Caruso, who cannot serve due to other commitments.
The Collier County Coastal Advisory Committee seeks to appoint one of three Marco members. Victor Rios is up for re-appointment.
Three-year terms for three members of the Code Enforcement Board expire June 1. The members are Tarik Ayasun, who was appointed by Councilman Bill Trotter, Bob Schuh, who was appointed by Councilman Chuck Kiester, and Donald Schwartz, who was appointed by former City Councilwoman Terri DiSciullo in the seat now held by Councilman Frank Recker. Kiester, Recker and Trotter are expected to make new appointments.
MARRIOTT CRYSTAL SHORES RESORT BEACH ACCESS, PROJECT DELAY
Council will be reviewing a request for a conditional use permit for Marriott Crystal Shores Resort. This item is continued from the April 20 meeting. The request is to delay construction completion once scheduled for 2011 up to 2015 and delay construction of the beach access the city required as a condition of issuing permits. The Planning Board reviewed the matter in March and has recommended a temporary pedestrian beach access be constructed within about three months if delays are approved.
CODE BOARD POWERS TO DECREASE FINES
There will be a second reading and public hearing for an ordinance providing authority to mitigate and reduce fines to the Code Enforcement Board. Currently the code board reviews fine reduction requests, makes a recommendation to council and the mitigation is then decided by council. Code Enforcement Board Chairman Jose Granda recommended the change in light of an increase in the number of requests to reduce fines, particularly from banks in foreclosure processes. City Council will still review appeals, but it is expected to decrease the time obligation required by council in reviewing such fine reduction requests.