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Commissioners get updates on projects, Everglades work

Updates on Everglades restoration projects, the Plantation Key courthouse complex and the status of Marathon’s new county library will go to the Monroe County Commission, meeting today in Key Largo.

John Mitnik, the South Florida Water Management District’s director of construction and engineering, plans to discuss “hydrological and ecological constraints within the Everglades system that limit water-management options” during the 9 a.m. meeting at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center at mile marker 102 bayside.

“This is more of a technological and scientific discussion” than commissioners have heard in recent discussions of a draft resolution to urge faster action by the state and federal governments to help Florida Bay, said Lisa Tennyson, county legislative affairs director. “We’re just bringing more information to the board.”

Environmental advocates for Florida Bay and the Everglades are not on the agenda but may comment in public discussion, Tennyson said.

In a separate topic involving South Florida waters, Charles Knight of Florida Power & Light will brief commissioners on revised plans to contain problems with the canal cooling system at the Turkey Point nuclear power plant. Commissioners previously chided FPL for not acting to fix highly salty water in their cooling system that could threaten underground aquifers and Biscayne Bay. The Keys’ drinking-water supply is also at risk.

County projects manager Doug Sposito will have a PowerPoint presentation on the $28 million rebuilding of the Plantation Key government center complex and the status of efforts to move the Marathon library to the north side, or bayside, of U.S. 1.

A resolution forwarded by the county’s Climate Change Advisory Committee will ask the board to approve a commitment to a target goal “|of reducing greenhouse gases in both county operations and communitywide by 40 percent by 2030...”

“This new target provides adequate time for significant changes while remaining aggressive enough to maintain pressure for change and momentum for contributing to achieving the long-term goal of 80 percent global emissions reduction by 2050,” a summary report says. The reductions will be calculated on a 2012 baseline.

Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206

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