Marco Island planning board approves $8.8M project at Veterans' Park

Rendering of the bandshell to be constructed at Veterans' Community Park on Marco Island

The Marco Island planning board Friday approved unanimously an $8.8 million project to build a 32-foot star-shaped bandshell and other facilities at Veterans' Community Park.

Construction of the project, which also includes restrooms, improved parking, play areas and landscaping across nearly 11 acres, is expected to last 11 months, but the start date has not been determined, said Timothy Pinter, public works director.

Daniel Smith, director of community affairs at the city's growth management department, said staff recommended the plan's approval with conditions like vacating a section of the right-of-way to built the restrooms and shielding lights from residents on Joy Circle.

Smith said another concern from staff is the vehicle turn-around on Joy Circle.

"We don't want those vehicles going down on Joy Circle and finding out it is a dead end," Smith said.

Landscape architect James Pankonin with Kimley-Horn said they have discussed making a drop-off and turn-around at the intersection of West Elkcam Circle and East Joy Circle.

"We are leaning towards making that modification to facilitate that turn-around," Pankonin said.

Renderings of the bandshell and bathroom facilities to be constructed at Veterans' Community Park on Marco Island

Former Councilor Larry Honig, now a member of the planning board, lauded Councilor Erik Brechnitz for spearheading the effort to create the Marco Island Community Parks Foundation. 

The foundation was incorporated in January of last year to raise funds for the city's parks, including their maintenance and capital improvements.

"It is going to take it (the park) to whatever the next level is," Honig said.

In March 2020, City Council authorized a $168,223 contract to Manhattan Construction Company for construction management services.

City Council approved a design services contract with the firm Kimley-Horn for approximately $595,000 in August 2019.

In March 2019, City Council approved the project's master plan.

City Council authorized a $100,000 contract with Kimley-Horn in March 2018 to update the project's original master plan approved in 2009. Kimley-Horn's original plan was not implemented amid the financial crisis affecting the U.S. and the project's hefty price tag of nearly $25 million.

In 2003, City Council authorized the issuance of a $10 million bond to purchase the land to be used for the park after residents voted in favor of it. 

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