Marco Island City Council takes on capital projects, code compliance and illegal immigration

The public discussed this design of the proposed Smokehouse Bridge Wednesday as council approved going out for bid on the $11.5 million capital project.

The public discussed this design of the proposed Smokehouse Bridge Wednesday as council approved going out for bid on the $11.5 million capital project.

This archetectural rendering shows the promenade view of the walkways under the proposed Smokehouse Bridge. On Wednesday, council and the public discussed issues of safety for pedestrians crossing the current bridge.

This archetectural rendering shows the promenade view of the walkways under the proposed Smokehouse Bridge. On Wednesday, council and the public discussed issues of safety for pedestrians crossing the current bridge.

Marco Island Councilors Chuck Keister, left, Larry Honig and Chairman Joe Batte consider capital projects during Wednesday’s special council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Councilors Chuck Keister, left, Larry Honig and Chairman Joe Batte consider capital projects during Wednesday’s special council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Sidestepping another U.S. Constitutional issue, Marco Island’s City Council chose not to consider a draft resolution Wednesday. The document urged the Federal government to withhold voting rights for illegal immigrants. It would have denied the right to vote to citizens who entered the country illegally, even if they gained citizenship legally at a later date.

William Flasche, author of the draft resolution, contended that illegal entry amounted to a criminal act that required punishment. Forfeiting voting rights, he said, should be the penalty. Burt Saunders, city attorney, questioned the language of the resolution, saying it created questions that needed answers.

Councilors Larry Sacher and Larry Honig said they felt uncomfortable voting on issues other than city business. Without a motion from council, no action was taken.

The possibility of hiring a magistrate for the city, the second issue council considered, also failed to gain consensus.

Diane Flagg, director of code enforcement for Collier County, explained to council how magistrate hearings were conducted. The county has both a magistrate and a code enforcement board. City Council learned that each manages about 35 cases per month.

The city’s Code Compliance Board averages about eight cases per month. In recent years, failure to connect to the sewer system as required by the Septic Tank Replacement Program has dominated the board’s hearings and city staff’s time.

As with the county, Marco’s board hears cases, determines violations, assesses fines and mitigates charges when appropriate.

Although councilors contended that the city’s board did a good job, they were concerned about uniform enforcement. They feared compromises and mitigations gave the appearance of favoritism.

Dick Adams, a member of Marco Island’s Code Compliance Board, comes before council Wednesday to discuss how the board decides fines and mitigations. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Dick Adams, a member of Marco Island’s Code Compliance Board, comes before council Wednesday to discuss how the board decides fines and mitigations. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Diane Flagg, director of code enforcement for Collier County, explains to Marco Island’s City Council how magistrate hearings are conducted by the county. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Diane Flagg, director of code enforcement for Collier County, explains to Marco Island’s City Council how magistrate hearings are conducted by the county. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

The Code Compliance Board can be lobbied, a magistrate cannot,” said Councilor Amadeo Petricca. “I’m inclined toward a magistrate because compliance would be held to the letter of the law.” He also felt that the power of a magistrate would prompt quicker compliance.

Flagg told councilors they could have greater control over the existing board by setting limits on its powers and parameters on mitigation. Even with that, Councilor Larry Magel said the problem of handing down consistent rulings would not be solved.

Council continued to capital projects hearing replacement plans for the Smokehouse Bay Bridge, an $11.5 million capital project. The bridge crosses Castaways Waterway on North Collier Boulevard just south of the Esplanade and Winn-Dixie.

Built in 1963, the bridge had an expected design life of 45 years. Repairs were done on the spans in 2007, a year before life expectancy ended. In October, council received a Final Condition Assessment and Recommendation Report from an independent firm.

Safety issues in the assessments findings included lack of vehicle sight distance for stopping, lack of adequate shoulders separating travel lanes from sidewalks, and bridge railings that fail to meet standards for crash worthiness.

Structurally, concrete deterioration ranged between 51-57 percent with widespread degeneration of bulkheads under and adjacent to the spans. Soil loss under and around the bridge could amount to failure in a major storm event, the study concluded.

In a vote of 5-2, council authorized staff to finish the bridge’s bid package and send it out for bids. Councilors Magel and Honig voted against replacing the bridge at this time.

As a second capital project, Bryan Milk, city community affairs director, returned to council after his presentation on March 18. He originally presented a 28,370-square-foot building for $4.2 million that would replace the existing community center at Mackle Park.

On Wednesday, he presented a construction alternative providing two modular buildings of about 8,000 square feet each. The first would be placed along side the existing building allowing programming to continue uninterrupted.

The second could be built at a later date. Cost for the first modular section of the building would be about $1 million.

Based on the revised model, council voted 7-0 to authorize Milk to come back with the exact cost of the first modular and to include what it would cost to renovate the exiting facility.

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Comments » 22

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Before City Council takes on building any new bridges they must first check with Klabautermann now Klaus for his extensive knowledge about bridge building and everything else for that matter.

He's a blogging genius in his own mind.

1Paradiselost writes:

I have a question maybe someone could answer?

The Obama bridge (aka the new span S.S. Jolley bridge) is 2,440 feet long. It cost the American taxpayers $25.5 million dollars to build.

The Smokehouse Bay bridge is 80 feet long and will cost the resident taxpayers of Marco Island $11.5 million dollars to build.....

Let's do some simple math....

The final cost of the new span of the S.S. Jolley bridge came in at $9,221.00 per foot.

The proposed cost for the new Smokehouse Bay bridge at $11.5 million is $143,750 per foot!

That is $134,529 more per foot than the Jolley Bridge.....

WHY?

ed34145 writes:

Hey Petricca: It's much easier to lobby ONE person than SEVEN.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sparky100 writes:

1Paradice I had the same question. How do you spend 11 million on 80' of bridge, must be those sexy arches.

42yearsago writes:

i suppose if u could afford a direct access property u would have purchased it. now the tax payers will for u

mhs513 writes:

Raising the height of the bridge would also require lengthening the bridge. Would that be wise?

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Klaus,

Before long you will be thanking Michelle Obama for this bridge since it will eventually come out of our tax dollars like the J.J. Bridge did.

Klaus we all know that you are renting your present residence. You lost the ability to own one years ago. Now that is just too bad isn't it now.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

And how do I know that? Sue told me.

42yearsago writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ur property value will increase my taxes will increase

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

You see 42 it would matter to him if Klaus was an owner not a renter.

marcofriend writes:

Comparing Smokehouse Bay bridge with Jolley Bridges is apples and oranges. Smokehouse Bay is actually 2 bridges that need to be built and not one. The new bridge will be higher than the original (the original bridge has a clearance on the Southbound side of 9.05 ft and 9.72 ft on the Northbound side). The new bridge will be 13 ft based on the meeting held 3 years ago. Much larger boats will be able to clear, especially without the obstruction in the middle of the waterway.

marco826 writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're post makes total sense to me. People who are your detractors have no original ideas, only criticism.

marco826 writes:

in response to Ocram:

Klaus,

Before long you will be thanking Michelle Obama for this bridge since it will eventually come out of our tax dollars like the J.J. Bridge did.

Klaus we all know that you are renting your present residence. You lost the ability to own one years ago. Now that is just too bad isn't it now.

You sir are a misinformed loggerhead.. I mean bloggerhead....

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

I hear The Comedy Clubs needs a couple of new acts......but they are looking for originality. Sorry guys!

26yearsonmarco writes:

1P,

I have to admit, this is one of your most intelligent posts.

First of all, I have asked why the existing cannot be repaired at a much lower cost than replacing it, and why an Engineer was not hired to make that assessment, but never received an answer from anyone. The money the City spent on the design process would have been more than enough to pay for it.

Second, the lineal foot price difference you have figured out deserves an honest explanation, and if the figure is right based on the “selected design”, or “eye appeal” mandate, than the City needs to have an Engineer design an alternate bridge, which does one thing: It gets you over the waterway. I don’t care what a bridge looks like as long as its functional, and does not cost almost twice as much as the S.S. Jolly Bridge.

This sounds like the same “Deal” brought upon “We the Tax Paying People” by our “Politicos” at the time when the Veterans Park was purchased from a local developer for over three times the square foot price of comparable properties. This fact was based on a number of appraisals that were performed at the time, and only the highest one was considered.

26yearsonmarco writes:

More Food for Thought on how our Government operates:

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally ...you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the only school curriculum allowed to explain how we got here is evolution, but the government stops a $15 million construction project to keep a rare spider from evolving to extinction ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote who runs the government ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat ...
you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman can be strip searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more ...you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher’s "cute", but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes .. you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government's plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can’t find work ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more "safe"
according to the government ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

1Paradiselost writes:

26.... says

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more "safe"
according to the government ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

I could not agree more!!

ajm3s writes:

in response to 26yearsonmarco:

1P,

I have to admit, this is one of your most intelligent posts.

First of all, I have asked why the existing cannot be repaired at a much lower cost than replacing it, and why an Engineer was not hired to make that assessment, but never received an answer from anyone. The money the City spent on the design process would have been more than enough to pay for it.

Second, the lineal foot price difference you have figured out deserves an honest explanation, and if the figure is right based on the “selected design”, or “eye appeal” mandate, than the City needs to have an Engineer design an alternate bridge, which does one thing: It gets you over the waterway. I don’t care what a bridge looks like as long as its functional, and does not cost almost twice as much as the S.S. Jolly Bridge.

This sounds like the same “Deal” brought upon “We the Tax Paying People” by our “Politicos” at the time when the Veterans Park was purchased from a local developer for over three times the square foot price of comparable properties. This fact was based on a number of appraisals that were performed at the time, and only the highest one was considered.

Nice!

26yearsonmarco writes:

I always thought there were subjects that we all could agree on in spite of what the “Politico’s” try to force us to believe for their good only.

If both sides could remain focused on the subjects created by “Politico’s” to separate us, “We the People” have a chance to bring our Once Great Country back to the Republic it was founded to be.

http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes...

HAPPY EASTER

WizeOlMarco writes:

In addition to the Smokehouse Bay-Esplanade canal bridge I thought the new bridge proposal was to include a new Collier Blvd bridge for the waterway/canal near Bluebonnet Ct and Amazon Ct (Copperfield Waterway)?

1Paradiselost writes:

Correct me if i'm wrong... But the Barfield Bridge was built for 3.4 million?

Why 11.5 million for the Smokehouse Bay Bridge? BTW.. The Barfield Bridge is twice a long!

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