Florida awards nearly $2.5 million to Marco Island to acquire 60 back-up generators

Damage from Hurricane Irma can be seen on Marco Island on Sept. 13, 2017, three days after the hurricane made landfall.

The state of Florida awarded $2,475,000 to the city of Marco Island to acquire 60 back-up generators that will power its sewer pumping stations and reverse osmosis wells during an extended outage, according to a city news release sent Tuesday.

In August, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the funds through its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to improve the community’s resilience to hurricanes.

The city will receive and execute the grant contract provided by the state, according to Chris Byrne, the city's emergency management recovery coordinator. 

"This is a reimbursement grant, reimbursement is based on completion of project milestones," Byrne said.

These additional generators will put the city in a much better position to respond during emergencies, according to city councilor Charlette Roman. 

"During Hurricane Irma, I remember that when the city needed more generators, they were hard to come by," Roman wrote in an email to the Eagle. 

"Our dedicated staff worked hard to move the on-hand generators around to the various lift stations to keep everything running smoothly."

City Councilor Larry Honig lauded Byrne for making the award possible. 

"Chris Byrne is Marco Island’s secret weapon," Honig wrote in an email to the Eagle. 

"He understands and maneuvers through the federal bureaucracy with skill and resolve, to get our fair share of government money." 

"Chris Byrne, other staff members, and the Ad Hoc Hurricane Review Committee all contributed to improving our island's preparedness and response post-Hurricane Irma," vice-chair Jared Grifoni wrote.

"Their efforts should be recognized and applauded." 

From 2017:Hurricane Irma: How Marco Island weathered the storm