Amadeo Petricca: Just say no to $7.5 million building
The city of Marathon hired an architect to design the rendering of this building for their City Hall complex.
The city of Marco Island does not own these permit-ready construction plans as presented.
The estimated cost of this building is $7.5 million. The city hired a lobbyist to solicit grant money from the state for $2.5 million (1/3) and the balance of $5 million (2/3) from the city to be bonded since interest rates are low. A majority of council (4 yes and 3 no) are for this project.
These dollars were not budgeted in the FY 2015 budget nor are they budgeted in the FY 2016 budget. The city implemented a bucket system budget in FY 2015, meaning the city would increase ad-valorem taxes sufficient to fund current year requirements as well as banking money in buckets to pay for future capital improvement projects.
The reasoning was to not bond future projects (pay on cash basis) to have the general fund debt free in five or six years.
That system is still in effect.
This project has not been full vetted with the citizens (registered voters and property owners), which has created another problem in Marco Island.
Because the city is not pursuing grant funds from the state does not mean this project is dead. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee is preparing to have a workshop meeting in the near future to present this project to receive public comments as to their approval or disapproval of this project. Should not all voices be heard? Politics should not enter into your decision making. Transparency is more important than anything else.
When will it stop?
Reach Amadeo Petricca at firstname.lastname@example.org