This year, several miles of roads that have not been repaved since the inception of cityhood are scheduled for attention.

During his first year serving as Marco’s City Manager, Roger Hernstadt instituted a plan to deal with recurring city capital expenses.

It was quickly dubbed the “bucket plan,” wherein during each budget cycle the Marco Island City Council would ensure adequate resources be set aside for capital expenses that occur regularly.

“I really wish we had more in the kitty to address all of those areas we know should be done, but this is the second year of the plan and it appears to be working well,” said council chairman Bob Brown.

This year, South Collier Boulevard, south of Winterberry; Collier Court; Swallow Avenue; Panama Court; Huron Court and short sections of Seagrape, Valley and Landmark court will be repaved.

The contract for $537,777 for the work was approved early in April.

The city will be tagging onto a contract Collier County has with Preferred Materials for work being done throughout the county.

“We tore up that end of the island over the last three years to address an ongoing project with storm sewers and have had to wait for the appropriate settling of the materials,” said Tim Pinter, public works director.

Last year, the budget plan provided money for repaving the areas around Mackle Park and the YMCA.

Previously the only streets that were repaved were involved in the STRP (Septic Tank Replacement Project).

Other departments benefit

The “bucket plan” has allowed for department heads to save money on higher maintenance costs on vehicles, city officials said.

“The plan has allowed us to stabilize our vehicle expenses,” said Capt. David Baer of the Marco Island Police Department, who recently took over as the administrative captain for the department. “Older vehicles have historically cost us more in maintenance sometimes than replacing them with newer units.”

Similar savings have been found within the fire-rescue department, said chief Mike Murphy.

“By instituting this plan we have been able to better plan financially for the city, rather than just react to issues. The recent updating of the overhead doors, the replacement of the structural firefighting gear, upgrades to the software to allow for implementation of the new computer aided dispatch system the county has upgraded to are all examples,” said Murphy.

“Even condominium complexes plan for their regularly scheduled capital projects and put money away so they don’t have to be borrowing or scheduling special assessments,” said council member Ken Honecker.

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