PHOTOS: Sewer project leads to headache, hotel stay and a ‘river runs through it’

Votes and notes from Monday’s City Council meeting

City Manager Steve Thompson receives accolades from councilors during his first-year performance review Monday, a complete turn-around from his last review six months ago —  during the height of a heated debate over the city’s past financial practices.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff // Buy this photo

City Manager Steve Thompson receives accolades from councilors during his first-year performance review Monday, a complete turn-around from his last review six months ago — during the height of a heated debate over the city’s past financial practices.

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Kenny Gaskin, 11, Noah Barron, 12 and Jacob Olszewski, 13, of Boy Scout Troop 234 visit Marco's City Council Monday, May 18 and took some notes as they earned points toward a citizenship badge.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff // Buy this photo

Kenny Gaskin, 11, Noah Barron, 12 and Jacob Olszewski, 13, of Boy Scout Troop 234 visit Marco's City Council Monday, May 18 and took some notes as they earned points toward a citizenship badge.

Don Henderson of the city's waterways committee shares goals of the committee for 2009 including a seawall ordinance to better define when a seawall needs replacement or repair.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff // Buy this photo

Don Henderson of the city's waterways committee shares goals of the committee for 2009 including a seawall ordinance to better define when a seawall needs replacement or repair.

City Manager Steve Thompson receives accolades from councilors during his first-year performance review Monday, a complete turn-around from his last review six months ago —  during the height of a heated debate over the city’s past financial practices.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff // Buy this photo

City Manager Steve Thompson receives accolades from councilors during his first-year performance review Monday, a complete turn-around from his last review six months ago — during the height of a heated debate over the city’s past financial practices.

— Among the notes and votes from Monday's City Council meeting, was a discussion on how Marco's STRP led to a headache, hotel stay and a ‘river runs through it’ for residents near Kendall Drive.

KENDALL'S STRP HEADACHES

Council was briefed, with an urging by Fay Biles, president of the Marco Island Taxpayers’ Association, about problems reported in the Kendall sewer district, which led to resident Bob Brain being put up in a hotel after reporting headaches and the inability to access his property.

City Public Information Coordinator Lisa Douglass said Public Works Director Rony Joel showed compassion for Brain’s likely sensitivity to noise and a reported rotten egg smell, which could be associated with sulfur or the more toxic, hydrogen sulfide fumes.

Several years ago, hydrogen sulfide had caused one STRP worker to lose consciousness, however the process was improved and that risk no longer exists, Douglass said.

Now everyone wants to be relocated and there is no evidence of any odor, Douglass said.

Thompson assured the reporter there was no health and safety risk. He said the 18-foot deep cut is messy and blocking Brain’s access, and although inconvenient, is par for the course with big construction projects such as the STRP.

Resident Jerry Stought e-mailed resident Bill McMullan and later council and reporters questioning why a “river runs through it.”

Thompson explained large amounts of water was unexpectedly coming from a lake in Hideaway and the situation is now as good as could be expected with such a project.

CITY MANGER DOES 180 ON PERFORMANCE REVIEW

It could be called a complete turn-around in City Council's perspective on City Manager Steve Thompson’s performance.

During his first review six months ago, residents’ and councilors’ were requesting to oust Thompson for not sharing critical information written in a transition report by then-outgoing interim City Manager Dana Souza.

All seven City Councilors praised Thompson emphatically Monday during his first annual review, particularly for his leadership, open communication and accessibility. Department directors gave Thompson a standing ovation after the review.

Chairman Rob Popoff recommended a nominal reward of a one-time bonus or vacation to be discussed during the budget cycle beginning in June although a larger bonus or raise would have been suggested in better economic times.

CAXAMBAS BRIDGE REPAIR

Council unanimously approved a contract with Thomas Marine Construction to repair Caxambas Bridge, which Public Works Director Rony Joel said suffered the most impact during the last two hurricanes. It’s the largest bridge owned and operated by the city on Marco, although traffic is limited, Joel said. The approximate $450,000 repair is the minimal amount to extend the life about 15 to 20 years, he added.

“It needs to be fixed tomorrow for the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Councilman Chuck Kiester.

COUNCIL ALSO...

- Approved an ordinance to allow the Code Enforcement Board to lower fines when requested rather than mitigation requests going before City Council.

- Appointed Carol Glassman and reappointed Tarik Ayasun to the Code Enforcement Board. Councilman Frank Recker requested more time to make his appointment.

- Appointed Sal Soldano to the Police Pension Board.

- Approved amendments to the city attorney’s contract to save about 15 percent annually in counsel services, which equates to a savings of about $70,000.

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Comments » 1

happy6 writes:

the folks on kendall need to understand...IT IS CONSTRUCTION...i saw a lady yelling at a worker today...ridiculous...and she was YELLING...in the lamplighter district we bought them water and cold drinks...ours went smoothly....a little compassion/understanding goes a long way....the strp is a pain/ugly and dirty....but it will all be put back eventually. she should yell at the city, not the poor worker trying to do his/her job.

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