Council accepts $5,000 check for fireworks display

Steve Stefanides

On Monday the Marco Island City Council handled a wide range of business, including accepting a check for $5,000 from the Marco Island Civic Association to help defray the $52,000 cost for the fireworks display on July 4.

MICA board of directors present a check for $5,000 to help defray fireworks costs for July Fourth.

The city covers $26,000 of those expenses and the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking additional contributions.

Curt Clawson due Monday

MICA also announced that it will sponsor a special presentation by U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fort Myers, on Monday, April 25, at the Rose Historical Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. to discuss brown-water discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and how it is affecting the local environment.

“Representative Clawson will also be discussing what plans are being discussed for how to handle discharges in the future,” said Ruth McCann, MICA executive director.

With just 74 sleeps left before Marco’s sky lights up with the July Fourth fireworks display from the Gulf, there’s still a shortfall of nearly $11,500 to cover the $52,000 total cost.The city of Marco Island, on behalf of its residents, has as usual pledged half of the overall amount ($26,000), and to date, businesses and individuals have stepped forward with $14,505 toward the other $26,000.“What complicates this event for Marco Island is the requirement of a large commercial barge (which makes up approximately 30 percent of the total cost),” says fund coordinator the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce.“The fireworks display attracts many visitors to Marco Island who consequently contribute to the Island's summer economy — just when we need it most,” says the chamber.Send contributions to Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce, Fireworks Fund, 1102 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, 34145. Otherwise, bring donations to the offices in person. Chamber telephone number is 394-7549.

Safe Boating Week

Council also approved a city proclamation, declaring the week of May 21-27 as Safe Boating Week. Members of the Marco Island U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary were in attendance for that presentation.

The auxiliary concentrates its role in boating education, marine safety, vessel-safety checks and marine environmental protection.

One of the highlights for the week will come on Saturday, May 26, when the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron seeks to defend its record for having the most mariners show up with a lifejacket.

“Last year the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron led the state and it finished No. 1 when 95 boaters and one canine showed up at Rose Marina wearing their life jackets,” said squadron member Gene Burson. A similar record-setting attempt will happen again on Saturday, May 26, at 9:30 a.m. at Rose Marina on Bald Eagle Drive.

Bike, shared-use paths coming

Al Musico, who serves as chairman of the bike path advisory committee, updated council on the progress they will see as grant requests from the state Department of Transportation begin to start filtering into the city.

He said money has been acquired for the completion of sidewalks to connect with the Goodland Road (Route 92A) shared pathway that the city constructed several years ago.

That pathway will continue past Marco Island Academy and help provide a safer environment for both students and adults.

Land development code

to be updated

Council also approved on a 4-3 vote the expenditure not to exceed $90,600 with the firm of Calvin, Giordano and Associates, who will take a phased approach to update and revise the city’s land development code and comprehensive plan.

The city incorporated in 1997 and in 2001 produced its first comp plan in addition to adopting the county’s land development code.

“Those documents were reviewed over seven years ago,” said Sarah Propst, a planner with growth management. “The comprehensive plan must be a living document that reflects the needs of the current city and in turn should be used constantly, to ensure that the city is moving towards the desired goals.”

There was some confusion about the project as some council members argued that the Planning Board only wanted to move forward in a piecemeal fashion and the contract presented was for the entire project.

“This contract ties the firm to completing the project for the total costs quoted, but may be canceled at the completion of any segment of the work order for the predetermined costs of the segments completed. There is not penalty for that, however if we individually bid each segment, that could cost us more,” said City Manager Hernstadt. “Should you desire to end this relationship with the firm, you may do so and only pay for the work done as called out in the contract.”

The resolution passed 4-3, with council members Ken Honecker, Bob Brown, Larry Sacher and Amadeo Petricca voting in favor of the contract. Victor Rios, Joe Batte and Larry Honig were opposed.

Next council meeting

The next Marco Island City Council meeting will be on Monday, May 2, at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.