Islamorada Village Council is going virtual again for its meeting on Thursday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. 

Up for consideration will be a resolution to illuminate what’s considered the village’s downtown.

Located between MM 81.2 and 82 on Old Highway, art galleries, studios, restaurants and boutique shops line the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District. It’s the spot to be every third Thursday of the month for Art Walk with vendors, music, food and drinks.

Currently, streets within the district are poorly lit. And it’s not visually appealing.

Recently, the village issued a request for proposals for lighting design and installation of fixtures, but none was  received by the deadline. Village staff then requested estimates for the design and installation of lighting from two companies. Transportation Solutions & Lighting was the only one to provide an estimate, at $381,945 for design and installation. 

The village’s adopted fiscal year 2019-20 public works capital projects fund budget included $300,000 for the design and installation of the lighting system. A budget amendment increasing the fund by $81,945 would be required to cover the actual cost of the project. 

The project would be funded with local government discretionary sales surtax proceeds. If the village opted to apply to the Monroe County Tourist Development Council for total or partial funding, the project could not begin until after Oct. 1, 2020, and the application process could delay it for an additional year. 

All in all, Vice Mayor Ken Davis said he believes the addition of light posts will serve the arts district well.

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“It’s one of the nicer spots within Islamorada and it’s considered our downtown area,” he said. 

Residents are encouraged to watch or listen to the meeting broadcast live on Comcast (within Islamorada only) on the Comcast local government channel 77, streamed live on the village website or on Zoom with the meeting ID: 91106564166.

The meeting can also be accessed by telephone. The call-in number is 301-715-8592. When prompted, dial the access code: 911 0656 4166#.

Public comment options have been expanded. Public comment will be accepted by webinar link, by telephone or by email.

To be acknowledged during the public comment period, use the “raise your hand” feature. People will be unmuted to provide public comment in the order that they click on the raise your hand feature.

Those accessing the meeting by telephone can dial *9 to “raise your hand” to be acknowledged when the public comment period opens.

Public comment may be submitted via email to [email protected] to be read aloud by the village clerk during the meeting. Public comment should be submitted by 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 7 to ensure inclusion in the meeting. Email may be submitted during the meeting and will be read aloud by the village clerk if received timely. Please type “public comment” in the subject line of the email, include whether the comments are of a general nature or relate to a specific agenda item and identify the agenda item. Include your name and address. Please keep your comments under two minutes in length or your comments may have to be abbreviated. The agenda is available at the village’s website, islamorada.fl.us.

WATER FACILITIES WORK PLAN

Also up for consideration will be the first reading of an ordinance to amend the village comprehensive plan to update a water facilities work plan.

The village, like other municipalities, is subject to the South Florida Water Management District’s requirements for local water supply planning. State law requires local municipalities to update and adopt a 10-year water supply facilities work plan into the comprehensive plan within 18 months of the SFWMD’s approval of the Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan (LEWCSP). With potential limitations on continued use of traditional water supply sources, the work plan and comprehensive plan amendments address development of traditional and alternative water supplies, and conservation and reuse programs necessary to serve existing development for a 10-year period. 

With the LEWCSP’s approval in November 2018, a May deadline is looming to amend plans within the work plan update. 

The village’s water user rate over the last eight years is averaging 171 gallons per capita per day. This consumption rate is higher than the adopted level of service of 149.5 gallons per capita per day. The village says it’s likely that the higher rate is due to the greater number of resort and transient uses than other areas of the Keys. 

In addition, there could be inefficiencies in the aged utility infrastructure. The replacement of the transmission lines is being addressed in the next three years by the water provider, and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) has programmed almost $30 million on a transmission line replacement for the village. 

On top of conservation and education efforts, it’s recommended that the village request that FKAA increase leak detection efforts to the greatest extent possible.

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