BRIDGE JUMP STUNT & PERMIT WAIT TIMES ON DECK FOR MARATHON COUNCIL

Marathon City Hall

The Marathon City Council will convene for its next public meeting on Tuesday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Marathon City Hall. All interested persons are welcome to attend. A host of familiar topics of interest to Marathon residents are slated for discussion, including:

  • A request by Hoonigan Industries to jump a car over the open portion of the Boot Key Harbor Bridge. Originally proposed in January 2022, the request to the city was denied by staff due in part to improper planning and permitting, liability concerns and questions about the structural integrity of the bridge under the stress of such a jump. The council will revisit the possibility and logistics of permitting the stunt.
  • A proposed $30,000 pledge to support Keys AHEC, an organization left severely underfunded when its request for $650,000 to help with health and dental care for vulnerable Keys children was left out of the state budget.
  • A proposed fee schedule for the use of Marathon’s public boat ramps. Discussions of the fees at past meetings revolved around per-use launch and parking fees for visitors, while residents would continue to use the ramps for free or pay a smaller yearly fee for unlimited use.
  • An update from city attorney Steve Williams on the city’s status with the Department of Economic Opportunity. Although the city and state signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on May 11 to narrow and specify permits and planning approvals that must be sent up to the state level for approval, the two entities intend to work to streamline the process further. There are options available for the city to shorten its wait time for permits, including decreasing its permit appeal period from 30 days to 5 days. An ordinance amending this appeal period is scheduled for public hearing.
  • An update on options for software used to identify and cite illegal Marathon vacation rentals advertised online.

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.