MARATHON, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners held their January monthly meeting on Wednesday at the Marathon Government Center. Here are some of the highlights:
Approved 2 New Code Compliance Positions for General Code Inspectors
The BOCC approved adding two new general code inspectors to the Code Compliance department to keep up with the increased workload following Hurricane Irma. In 2018, the department handled 776 cases with notice of violation/hearings, a 65 percent increase from 2017. The department currently has nine code inspectors, including three specialty inspectors for unsafe structures/land clearing, vacation rentals and wastewater.
Approved Purchase of Conch Trailer Court on Conch Key for Affordable Housing
The BOCC approved the $1 million option to purchase the Conch Trailer Court on Conch Key for an affordable housing site. The purchase is in response to the County Commission’s post-Hurricane Irma direction to acquire and redevelop trailer parks as workforce housing.
The 16,120-square-foot property, at 2 North Conch Ave., includes 12 permanent residential ROGO exempt dwelling units. The seller is retaining the five transient residential units. Staff proposes to submit an application for a Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery grant to obtain funding for the purchase price and site development costs.
The companion resolution on the Monroe County Land Authority agenda will pay the $10,000 non-refundable option fee on the trailer court. The option will run through Dec. 26, 2019.
Approved Florida Keys Community Land Trust Placing Temporary Housing on Big Pine Key
The BOCC approved allowing the non-profit Florida Keys Community Land Trust to place temporary emergency housing for emergency relief workers for three years on five lots on a Big Pine Key property owned by Conch Republic Housing Alliance, LLC.
The vacant properties are located on Linda Street and avenues F, I and G. The housing will be for construction workers employed by the trust and working on Hurricane Irma recovery projects. Plans for the temporary housing include each site having two Airstream-type RVs that can house up to three construction workers per RV.
Approved Resolution for Potential Non-ad valorem Special Assessment for Canal 266 on Big Pine Key
The BOCC approved a resolution to potentially collect a non-ad valorem special assessment levied within the County toward the cost of providing capital costs, operations and maintenance for the Canal 266 air curtain on Big Pine Key. The air curtain, which keeps out weeds and helps with water quality, was part of the County’s canal restoration demonstration project and was destroyed in Hurricane Irma. Several property owners who live on the canal supported the resolution.
In November 2018, the BOCC directed staff to replace the air curtain. There will be at least two more public hearings taking place before the assessment would take place in November 2019 for property owners along the canal.
Passed a Resolution Endorsing George Neugent for Governing Board of South Florida Water Management District
The BOCC approved a resolution recommending and endorsing former County Commissioner George Neugent for appointment by the Governor to the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District.
South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern half of the state. The district covers 16 counties, including Monroe County, and a population of 8.1 million residents. The Governing Board has nine members, who are appointed at large.
The BOCC recommended Neugent due to his extensive public sector policy experience, environmental and water quality expertise and his proven record of accomplishment in public service, collaboration and consensus building.