Guest Commentary: Our Island needs the proposed community center

Dear parents: The Optimist Club of Marco Island would like to provide you with some information on the proposed Community Center that has recently been in the news.

When the Mackle Park Community Center opened in the 1980s the Island had 6,000 residents and the park had a limited number of programs. Since that time our Island has grown to more than 12,000 residents, with more families, residents and visitors using the community center now than ever before. As the existing Mackle Park Community Center continues to age and maintenance costs continue to rise, more and more events compete for the limited space the building and airnasium have to offer.

The proposed Community Center has the potential to meet today’s needs and the future needs of our community. The proposed community center will provide meeting rooms (today we only have one available), a learning kitchen, multi-purpose rooms, an expanded teen center and a new gymnasium with indoor running track. While no design or square footages have been decided on the need for this new facility has been established.

Using an approach called a “Public/Private Partnership” (3P) the center can be built and financed by the building contractor and leased back to the city over a set number of years. This lease will be much like a home mortgage and the city will make monthly/quarterly payments during the lease period.

The details of the project as it stands now are for a facility with approximately 38,000 square feet, which includes the gymnasium. While the cost of the project is expected to be just over $6 million the cost per square foot is cheaper than today’s building costs for many of the homes on Marco, with the gym portion being around $160 sq. ft. and the building being $130 sq. ft. The funds for this project are currently available in city accounts but the 3P approach allows the city to budget this over a long term and retain funds for other items. No new taxes would need to be created or existing taxes raised to build the facility. While existing park staff will be used for this facility some additional staffing will be needed.

While we know that several organizations don’t want this facility to be built and others are concerned the city is going to be competition for programs they currently offer, we ask you to please help us and the community by supporting this project at city meetings. You can also help by informing those who do not want this project to be built that this new facility will not just be for kids but for the entire Marco Island community.

We the board of directors of the Marco Island Optimist Club fully support this project knowing that it would greatly enhance our community for both the young and the young at heart.

Sincerely,

Board of Directors

Optimist Club of Marco Island

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Comments » 21

dc5799 writes:

Why should we finance something we own already? And I still don't like the idea of only one bid. Usually if it sounds too good to be true it is.<old people saying>
Also who is the Optimist Club?

RayPray writes:

The Optimist Club exists for the following reasons:

1. To enable tubby middle-aged guys, unimportant in the real sports world, to get their rocks off by strutting around the football field and growling at young kids.

2. To promote bogus life values in these unsuspecting victims and accelerate the destruction of their brains and joints.

For young boys football is an especially vile & reprehensible activity:

"...when the researchers started dragging in apparently healthy non-concussed players for memory tests and MRI's to establish a control group, they were surprised to discover that players had impaired brain functioning despite not having suffered a concussion. Ultimately, the study found that the sheer number of hits that a player had taken over the previous week, completely irrespective of whether a concussion had been suffered, was the best predictor of brain impairment."

"this is particularly scary, because it means that the vast majority of brain damage in football players might be occurring in the absence of any easily recognizable symptoms...."

For these poor kids should perhaps be renamed 'The Pessimists' Club'

ajm3s writes:

Priorities matter, and given the amount of debt which currently surrounds this barrier island, the folks, especially the "young at heart" will get a real wake up call when the water/sewer COS offers a glimpse of the burden of capital cost and debt.

The bulk of your water/sewer bill for most residential consist of these borrowing costs. So no matter how cheap building costs are, the burden of additional capital and debt does have an impact.

The new Community Center is another mislabeled "need" regardless of how Optimistic you may be. Whether I drink my water in rose colored glasses or not, the bill is still the same, and it is rising. And now I "need" a new Community Center for the young of all classes? Really, I need this"?

ajm3s writes:

To be fair and balanced, from the Optimists website, under the tab labeled "ABOUT":

The opening line offers a glimpse of the Optimist's mission:

"The Optimist Club of Marco Island (OCMI) was founded in 2008 in an effort provide quality sports programs to the youth of the Marco Island area."

[ http://www.hometeamonline.com/mioptim... ]

So this expansion is for the benefit of the COMMON resident on Marco Island? If so, we need more bocce courts, my neighbor wants a dock for his radio controlled sailboat on the pond, I want a Maypole just because I can now ask for anything under the auspices that is for all the "young at heart".

happy6 writes:

dear optimnist club....yes we have grown...and we have spent huge sums of money..strp, water plant, bridges, bike paths, veterans park, recycle plant, beach re-nourishment, city hall, new fire station, new fire trucks, police cars, motorcycles, boats, jet skis, traffic lights, street lights, and the list goes on...sorry we missed mackle park...use the school auditorium or classrooms to hold your meetings in...WE AIN'T GOT THE MONEY!!!!!

dwbadger writes:

When you are broke you don't go building new buildings. Marco Island has great weather and is a beautiful island, why would we need an indoor running track? Why does the island need a fitness center when alternatives are already here? Why do we need a kitchen? Again a facility that is not needed paid for by tax payers. What a waste.

lauralbi1 writes:

As long as it is not used for Charter School classrooms, we can look at it
Ed Issler

JohninMarco writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

As long as it is not used for Charter School classrooms, we can look at it
Ed Issler

With what money? Considering that the city is over 300 million in debt and is only paying on the interest, please tell us where the money will come from Mr Obama.

happy6 writes:

i seem to remember back when we built the new city hall building...there were going to be rooms etc that could be used for meetings...also, churches will rent out meeting rooms....so will hotels...and a learning kitchen..good grief....surely there are cooking classes folks can attend.
we should not spend a dime investigating this fiasco...for any reason, including eddie issler's.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to MarcoIslandWoman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A earlier Post from MariKlabautermanne

February 7, 2011
4:36 p.m.
Suggest removal
Reply to this post
Written on MIA is ‘MIA’ no more – Marco Island Academy lays out plans for coming school year:
"And do us a big favor Herzili, aka Klabautermann and stand by your own ever bragged about words of calling for a referendum since last July."

"Klabautermann is assassinated by you and others. He was a Democrat. And he was in favor for a referendum.

I am a republican. I am not in favor for a referendum. I learn Fromm MMM how to do business on Marco Island.

Marianne Herzili"

Now what is it, were you prefabricating then or are you prefabricating now?

seacolony6 writes:

Good Luck, Optimists. Don't you realize most of the bloggers here are anything but Optimists??

MarcoCitizen writes:

I suspect the Optimist Club is the Parks and Rec committee that foolishly recommended this turkey in the first place.

Out come the backroom hacks trying to save face for an unneeded and unwanted projects.

These City cronies need replacement by realistic city dwellers.

Jim Rivere - our leader -(who refuses to read opinions) replace those optimists with members of the Realist Club.

ajm3s writes:

in response to MarcoCitizen:

I suspect the Optimist Club is the Parks and Rec committee that foolishly recommended this turkey in the first place.

Out come the backroom hacks trying to save face for an unneeded and unwanted projects.

These City cronies need replacement by realistic city dwellers.

Jim Rivere - our leader -(who refuses to read opinions) replace those optimists with members of the Realist Club.

Your last line was EXCELLENT!

dc5799 writes:

Go to the MI Sun Times today to see Bryan's scaled down version of the new comm. building He say's in 12 yrs. we will own the building after leasing it.Am I s----- or do we not own the building now?
Also MIPD NEEDS NEW POLICE AUTOS. too much milage(smile). These planning board meeting's are busy busy.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

in response to ajm3s:

Your last line was EXCELLENT!

Trust me!
Big Jim "Quagmire" reads everything while sitting in his fat mans leather chair that gets posted. He has the 55' flat screen hooked up as his monitor.
Did you also see that Chief Murphy wants a new fire boat. Hopefully for a quarter of a million dollars it fits under the bridge on N. Barfield on its way from the revamped (for an additional $35K)fire station on Elkcam.

ajm3s writes:

in response to happyhorowitz34145:

Trust me!
Big Jim "Quagmire" reads everything while sitting in his fat mans leather chair that gets posted. He has the 55' flat screen hooked up as his monitor.
Did you also see that Chief Murphy wants a new fire boat. Hopefully for a quarter of a million dollars it fits under the bridge on N. Barfield on its way from the revamped (for an additional $35K)fire station on Elkcam.

Chief of Marco Island is envious of Isle of Capri Chief. This is where it is getting a bit contentious. How many law enforcement and safety agencies between city, county and state need to have their own water craft.

It is getting to look like some type of envy. And guess who pays the bill for our illustrious chief wanting more stuff on the water.

Then he will want another station, then another pumper, then another ladder, then a quint, and on and on we go,,,,, where we stop nobody knows. Except some of us in the business who see a real politician dressed as a fire chief.

One thing is for sure, Mr. Murphy knows how to dress things up. He is so prissy.

dc5799 writes:

I didn't know we had an old fire boat. Did they ever use it to put out a fire?

RayPray writes:

in response to dc5799:

I didn't know we had an old fire boat. Did they ever use it to put out a fire?

There are ZERO fires on Marco Island.

When is the last time you have encountered a burning building here?

That's why our Fire Department has so much free time for running side businesses and community & school outreach schmooze-fests

dc5799 writes:

in response to RayPray:

There are ZERO fires on Marco Island.

When is the last time you have encountered a burning building here?

That's why our Fire Department has so much free time for running side businesses and community & school outreach schmooze-fests

Been here since 1997. Never saw a burning building. Never saw a burning anything.

ajm3s writes:

in response to RayPray:

There are ZERO fires on Marco Island.

When is the last time you have encountered a burning building here?

That's why our Fire Department has so much free time for running side businesses and community & school outreach schmooze-fests

Mr. Murphy needs to fill time and keep the marketing or political campaign in full swing.

I am simply amazed at how this city sits at the dais, and simply melts when Mr. Murphy raises the safety flag followed by manpower stats to show that Marco Island is providing services with below industry standard means.

What he fails to tell you is that most communities operate below government manpower recommendations given a wide breath of metrics to choose, i.e. population, per capita income. etc. including the old standby, millage.

There seems to be a pattern in government, that if you create standards or recommendations that are not met, we can cajole the population in believing, we have a "true" problem or situation that "needs" to be addressed.

So again, RayPray goes right to the core of which I would like to add a request for a listing of fires that destroyed homes beyond habitation on this island.

And imagine this record was achieved in an environment where Mr. Murphy has stated ad infinitum, they were understaffed, under equipped, not enough hydrants and on and on we go. I believe the reference stick needs to be re-calibrated.

People wake up, this city is spending and requesting undue amounts of money on safety under the illusion we are in peril.

Imagine that, in a city in which building and safety code compliance is stellar by any standard you wish to choose, be it government or insurance industry standards.

I think we have more than enough resources to combat fires in light of the city's record for maintaining building and safety code compliance.

Why do I then need to add "insurance" coverage with a more costly fire department with more stuff. If you live in fear of your safety, I cannot convince you otherwise. If you do not, then I recommend you begin the call to stop the expansion of the fire department. It is breathtaking, I may need a Scottie.

If councilors believe I have it wrong, I am open to a dialog. But please do not begin your rebuttal with "if I saved one life and it was yours".

Because last time I attended a council meeting, Mr. Murphy stated that he has brought back folks from the dead. Truly, a miracle given his current resources.

For the record, I would never make such a claim, I simply believe in doing the job that one is trained to do with given resources and the rest is up to matters outside our control. I would never claim I brought someone back to life, it is not mine to make, unless of course you believe you can.

marcoislander writes:

optimist club HA HA HA more like mothers of marco in disguise I frequent the park frequently It is GREAT THE WAY IT IS

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