MARCO ISLAND — There are safety concerns on Marco Island after an advisory board said more than 300 homes there are too far away from fire hydrants.
One councilman says it's the result of poor planning when the island was first established.
City leaders are now exploring a two-pronged plan - adding a $500,000 tanker to the fire department for now and then later coming up with $6-million to permanently add and replace hydrants.
Marco Eagle correspondent Danielle Dodder has more coverage from Monday's special meeting of the Marco City Council.
A memo prepared by the public works department explains, “the issue of concern is the distance between fire hydrants and certain residential properties. Many properties are not within 500 feet of a fire hydrant and some are in excess of 1,000 feet. City Council requested that the UAB review this issue and report back to City Council prior to establishing the FY11 Water and Sewer Department budget.”
“We consider this a safety issue and it should be addressed as soon as possible,” Ken Honecker, chairman of the UAB, explained to Council. “We took an outside of the box approach by recommending that 1,000 feet would cover us. Six million will get us to all fire hydrants in 1,000 feet.”
Honecker recommended borrowing from the general fund for the project and repayment of funds by the water and sewer department using operating funds.
Chairman Frank Recker asked of the number of inadequate hydrants, “Where is the hard evidence for this? Is it just anecdotal?”