Mountains of debris from Hurricane Irma grow in collection sites throughout the Florida Keys, as do trash-storage costs now facing Monroe County.
County commissioners, meeting Wednesday in Marathon for their first full session since the Category 4 hurricane targeted the Keys Sept. 10, will hear that three privately owned properties in the Lower Keys rented as debris-collection sites will cost a combined $7,687 per day.
“The county needed additional staging sites for debris collection and cleanup resulting from Hurricane Irma,” and that will cost $375 per acre, per day, for the properties on Rockland Key, Cudjoe Key and Ramrod Key, county engineer Judith Clarke reported.
Debris-collection space at the Cemex property in Tavernier will cost $80,000 per month, a contract going to the commission says. Rent for part of September will be billed at $48,000.
That is in addition to the use of other sites, including county-owned Rowell’s Waterfront Park on Key Largo.
Commissioners will deal with a number of hurricane-related issues at the 9 a.m. Wednesday session at the Marathon Government Center, including:
▪ A report on damage to the county-owned Pigeon Key, a historic property beneath the old Seven Mile Bridge. “Every structure on the island sustained damage,” an initial summary says. A dock was destroyed, roofs were damaged, and one building at the former railroad camp was knocked off its foundation. The island has been closed to visitors indefinitely.
▪ Formal approval of a resolution that waives permit fees for a number of storm-related repairs to buildings damaged by the hurricane. Those include water and electric permits, stairs, shutters and some storm-damaged drywall.
▪ A change to Monroe County rules on commercial signs, which would allow “placement of temporary signs” during a six-month moratorium on new or permanent replacement signs. The proposed “zoning in progress” rule would give county staff time to draft sign-rule changes.
“The county was already contemplating updating its sign code,” says a report from legal staff. The temporary ban on new permanent signs would help businesses avoid spending money “rebuilding signs ... damaged by Hurricane Irma to a code that may soon be modified or replaced...”
Commissioners also will hear a report from the Florida Department of Transportation on its five-year plan for Monroe County improvements, and discuss ways to allow meetings to be held electronically by county advisory boards.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206