Letters to the Editor, Oct. 23

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Collier County resiliency project

In “A plan for coastal concern” (Marco Eagle, page 6A, Oct. 16) the writers have done a heroic job in reducing the description of a highly-complex ‘Coastal Resiliency’ project proposal to one and one half pages.

I suspect that few people waded through the 1,100 pages of project documentation provided online by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE). As ‘one of the few’ I suggest a similar journalistic treatment of some unaddressed questions might give a broader understanding to the public. For instance:

The $3B price tag mentioned is just for openers. The documented ‘contingencies’ could raise the price to between $5.2 and $5.5B. Is any price tag attached to a 50-year project realistic?

Collier County is responsible for 35% of the final sticker price; unmentioned is that the county then becomes responsible for 100% of the operating and maintenance costs. Throughout my career with scientific equipment, service and maintenance costs were estimated at 8-10% of the sticker price, annually. Even at the $ 3B price point, that would estimate an ‘operations and maintenance’ budget of at least $ 240M annually, or almost 50 times the stated annual cost of renourishment and dredging.

It seems the resiliency plan makes no provision whatsoever for East Naples, an area the county is planning to improve and develop in a concurrent fashion.

The project provisions for Marco Island seem relatively paltry for a location that generates 30% of the County government cash.

A large storm surge through Everglades City could devastate the inner county almost to Immokalee. Seemingly incredible, but look at the county map for anticipated surge from a Category 3 or higher hurricane. The proposal offers no consideration, and in fact could worsen the outcomes of such a storm.

In the context of the ‘Rural Lands Stewardship Program,’ I recently read in this paper that “for the county to buy all those lands would cost $ 1 billion.” Arguably that would be a far better value proposition compared to this proposal. Conservation of water tables, reduced saltwater intrusion and superior storm water management now, compared with a 50 year proposal offering help to only the wealthiest coastal areas of Collier County.

Have the ACE consulted with the local Water Management District?

Have the ACE and the broader ‘resiliency project’ consulted with the Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Compact (SWFLRRC)? A parallel project, also Federally-funded through NOAA similarly considering coastal resiliency and sea-level rise in SW Florida, yet seemingly no word has passed between them.

Why did Miami-Dade County reject the ACE resiliency proposal for their area?

Andrew Tyler, Marco Island

I am supporting Jared Grifoni

Serving in elected office is no easy task. It takes patience, dedication, an ability to listen, and a strong resolve to make the right decisions even if tough circumstances.

I am supporting Jared Grifoni for Marco Island City Council because he has these characteristics. I’ve personally seen them for myself.

When the community first started to hear about COVID-19 people were scared. Jared took time out of his own life to participate in open community conference calls every single day for months with me and my fellow Marco Island citizens. He always was calm, professional, and reassuring whether he was answering a question for the first time or 10th time. I am thankful for Jared’s positive engagement and it should serve as an example for others to follow.

Karin Gsell, Marco Island

Take action, vote for Grifoni

I won’t try to convince you to vote for Jared Grifoni by explaining what he says he will do; I will explain what he actually has done. I won’t try to convince you to vote for Jared by slamming his opponents; I will convince you by explaining Jared’s character and his actions.

Here are examples of his actions: He has returned every email and phone call I have sent him. He supports youth programs, including the Youth Council and the Optimist Club of Marco. He supported my efforts to provide shade structures at Mackle Park, which should be coming soon.

Above all, my family credits Jared for saving my father’s barbershop in 2018. After being in business for 30 years, Joe’s Barbershop was in jeopardy of being shut down over a lack of parking. Jared sent us a lifeline, gave us hope, got involved and stood up for our small business. He encouraged us to work with our wonderful city staff, which eventually led to a positive outcome. I have said the words "thank you" enough to Jared, and now it’s time for me to take action, because actions speak louder than words. Please take action with me and vote for Jared!

Adrian Conner (Joe the Barber’s Daughter), Marco Island