NAPLES — Editor's Note: This story has been updated since its original publication.
The city will make an offer to buy the Naples Woman's Club parking lot for $1.53 million after at least three offers by private buyers were made on the property.
Club President Lee Kraus said while other offers were higher, she wanted to keep the property with the city. The motion to make the offer passed 5-2 with Councilman Sam Saad and Councilwoman Dee Sulick dissenting.
Sulick said she wanted to know what the property would be used for in the long term after Mayor John Sorey hinted that another entity had expressed interest in locating there.
In the meantime, the city will acquire about 50 additional parking spaces it will open for public use. Six times a year, about 30 spaces will be blocked off for the Naples Woman's Club's regular meetings through an agreement. The property was appraised at $1.45 million by the club and $1.625 million by the city.
Raise for city employees
Council modified a three-year contract for its employees, which includes a 2-percent retroactive wage increase and a 2-percent wage increase for the coming year.
The contract applies to 200 city employees who are part of the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, also known as AFSCME.
Changes to the contract will cost the city an additional $199,500.
Park Shore Improvement District
Council approved the first reading of a resolution to potentially create an independent taxing district for the Park Shore neighborhood. The Park Shore Association Inc. requested that the district be created when it proposed design improvements to the area at a recent council meeting.
Approval of the second reading Dec. 17 would mean voters in the neighborhood could decide in a mail ballot next year whether to establish the district. But recent outcry from property owners and voters in the neighborhood prompted council to also schedule an informational workshop at its Dec. 5 meeting to educate Park Shore residents about what the district would mean for them.
That meeting will be held before the regular council meeting at 8:30 a.m. in council chambers.
Some residents and council members worried that the seasonal population of the area could mean that many property owners and part-time residents won't get a say on the tax because they are not registered to vote in the county.
St. Ann's soccer field fence
Residents circulated a petition to protest the installation of a 7-foot-tall fence around St. Ann's School soccer field downtown.
School officials and a city police officer who deals with that area of town, said the fence would keep kids on school grounds and intruders off the property.
The fence would also allow law enforcement to see into the property through the chain links instead of obscure their view like a taller hedge might.
Those against the fence said it would be an eyesore.
The city's code says the school can have a fence of 3-feet in height. The school now has a 4-foot hedge around its field and a chain-link fence around its playground.
Council decided to continue the item to its Dec. 5 meeting so that the school's principal can talk to neighbors against the fence about a more decorative solution.
The petition against the fence included three pages of signatures.
Council appointed Gerald Murphy to the collier County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for a three-year term.
Michael Randall was also appointed to serve on the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board for a two-year term.