A proposal to raise the local roads in two Florida Keys neighborhoods swamped by 2015’s king tides comes with estimated costs of more than $3.5 million.
Monroe County commissioners, meeting Monday at the Marathon Government Center, will review a report of prolonged flooding that affected portions of the Twin Lakes community in Key Largo, and the ands subdivision on Big Pine Key.
“The king tide event of 2015, which due to a combination of tidal and storm conditions, caused long-term, disruptive flooding,” says the report authored by environmental consultant Erin Deady in conjunction with engineering consultants.
Information from the study can be applied to other areas that may need street improvements due to “potential sea-level rise effects on roadways,” it notes. Commissioners will be asked to approve a resolution to move forward on the work.
Raising about about 1,600 feet of road in the Twin Lakes area to a 5-inch height would cost an estimated $920,000. Raising about 1,800 feet in the Sands community to an 11-inch height is estimated to cost $2.6 million.
Executives of Air Methods, the firm operating the the for-profit LifeNet helicopter ambulance based in Key West, in December requested a $400,000 annual subsidy from Monroe County in exchange for lowering its per-flight charges, particularly for Keys residents.
County Administration Roman Gastesi in turn suggested a $1 subsidy, according to emails provided by Air Methods.
“I disagree with providing a subsidy to LifeNet because we (Trauma Star program) waive hundreds of thousands of dollars in balance billing annually to our residents and are still operating in the black,” Gastesi wrote.
Air Methods contends the estimated $3 million cost for the county to buy a used air ambulance are not factored into the county’s operations costs for Trauma Star. Commissioners on Wednesday will be asked by staff for direction of expanding Trauma Star service.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206