Teresa Heitmann on NewsMakers
How about a new park at U.S. ...
Burning questions for:
Brenda Fioretti, President, Naples Area Board of Realtors: How soon can I sell my house or condo at a profit? Are foreclosure and short-sale buys still such a hassle?
Developer Jack Antaramian: The worst is over for the home market — but what about commercial?
Naples City Council member Teresa Heitmann: How about a new park at U.S. 41 and Goodlette-Frank Road?
They are guests on this week’s “Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle” news/interview program airing at 10 a.m. Sunday on ABC7.
Highlights will be in Sunday’s Perspective section and online at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.
Lytle: You heard Jack Antaramian’s idea for a park on at least part of the property at Goodlette-Frank Road and U.S. 41. What do you say?
Heitmann: Well, if you don’t recall, that was one of the things that I was hoping would happen, mainly for stormwater storage and some retentions ponds. So I’m really excited to hear what he had to say.
Lytle: But you don’t have any money.
Heitmann: I have money. (Laughter).
No, the city is ... yes, we’re being very conservative. But we do have some money put away for greenspace.
Lytle: That much?
Heitmann: Not enough.
Lytle: OK. Referendum?
Heitmann: I think a referendum is exactly the way we should go. I think that the voters should decide with the new numeric nutrient criteria.
Lytle: For the bay.
Heitmann: For the bay, for clean-up, that if we’re really committed, and we’ve been talking about this for a long time, that this might be the opportunity to have some water quality in storage.
Lytle: Hate to be a Grinch, but there’s going to be a voter who comes along and say, oh yes, well, why does the city have to bail out a developer? That property is not being used for anything else, so why should we bail out Jack Antaramian?
Heitmann: I wouldn’t look at it that way. I would look at it as an opportunity to actually do what we’ve been wanting to do as a city and as a county, and that’s clean up Naples Bay.
Lytle: There’s a discussion going on across the county that so far the city doesn’t seem to be really a part of, and that’s about the future of fire and ambulance service consolidation.
My question to you is, should the city be a part of that, or should the city remain off to the side?
Heitmann: The city should not be a part of that. I think that the county is wise to do what they’re doing and to consolidate. They had the monies to build the facilities and the equipment, and I think that the city needs to focus in on its citizens and the issues that we have within our city.
Lytle: But maybe you could save some money on fire protection by pooling resources and efficiencies and cutting administration — all those good things.
Heitmann: The theory is good, but if you really do some homework on it, which I have since the day I was elected and approached about this consolidation, you really need to look at the numbers.
Because they have boards. They have the millage rage. Our millage rate for the city covers fire, so I think that we would increase our millage rate in order to cover and go into consolidation with the county. So I encourage them to do it, but I think the citizens of the city would prefer that it remain separate, being that we are very cost effective as a city and are able to do it without a separate millage rate.
Other issues discussed in the full interview: Naples Municipal Airport and business reimbursement for the TECO gas line break.