COLLIER COUNTY — Maybe it’s about money. Maybe it’s about community improvement. Either way, some lively debates are expected at Tuesday’s Collier County Commission meeting.
Commissioner Frank Halas expects discussion over a number of other issues, all of which involve money.
“The Naples Zoo (at Caribbean Gardens) no longer wants to pay (its) fair share of $250,000 (in rent) a year. They’re saying they’re a nonprofit,” Halas said.
However, the zoo charges a pretty hefty admission charge and the City of Naples has never kicked in any money to offset the zoo’s rent, Halas said.
“Where’s the city with all of this?” Halas asked.
Another issue Halas, and others, expect to turn contentious: moving around tourist development tax dollars, specifically, pulling tourist development money out of county museum operation, he said.
Halas said he understands the economy is shaky, but if every special interest group wants to pull back money – there’s also a proposed decrease in impact fees for parks and recreation – the county will not be able to afford any services, or pay off its some $600 million in debt, he said.
Another contentious community project to be discussed at today’s commission meeting: rezoning some 5 acres of residential land near Calusa Park Elementary School for a recycling center.
Some parents have expressed opposition to the project, although county employees have stressed that this is going to be a recycling center, not a recycling plant.
The proposed Santa Barbara Boulevard center would be similar to the collection center on Marco Island, say county employees. Collier’s recycled goods are transported to a Broward County plant. The issue is scheduled to be addressed at 3 p.m.
Also, five residents will be appointed to serve on the new Radio Road East of Santa Barbara Boulevard to Davis Boulevard Advisory Committee.
Commissioners created the new tax district over the summer, and will hand off advisory decisions to Dale Johnson, Suzanne Chapin, Thomas Frank DePouw, Renato Fernandez and Paige Simpson. They are the only five people who applied for the appointment to represent some 3,212 owners in 11 Radio Road area property associations.
Affected associations are Sapphire Lakes, The Shores, Furse Lakes Club, Granada Lakes Villas, Ibis Club, Madison Park, Blue Heron, Sherwood Park, Berkshire Lakes-Berkshire Pine, Sabal Lakes and Plantation.
County officials estimate that district’s tax base is $546.2 million. At 25 cents per $1,000 worth of property, that would raise about $137,698 for the county in 2010.
“As a community resident, I wish to ensure that the Radio Road East of Santa Barbara continues to be a thriving residential community that meets the needs and expectations of the residents,” Johnson said.
Today’s meeting starts at 9 a.m. at 3301 U.S. 41 East. To read a copy of the commission agenda and back-up materials, go to naplesnews.com or http://apps2.colliergov.net/Common/docs/Agendas/Complete/10-27-09/CoverSheet.pdf.