Marathon passed three new laws at the recent council meeting. The first covered lighting rules as it concerns sea turtle nesting, the second was to adopt the Anchoring and Mooring law to govern Boot Key Harbor and the third … on pigs.
“I have a little experience with — and don’t take this the wrong way — pigs,” said councilman Dick Ramsay to a huge laugh from the gallery.
The intent of the new law is to allow Marathon residents to keep the animals as pets. Councilman Chris Bull said he didn’t think the law was specific enough.
“I thought [this ordinance] was for indoor pigs, but it talks about pens. And I didn’t see anything about piglets. It doesn’t contemplate a litter of 8 to 12 piglets,” he said.
Bull was the only dissenting vote on the new ordinance.
In other news:
• The City Council instructed staff to immediately post a letter to Monroe County government, regarding a special Keys commission to be formed that will divvy up funds derived from fines levied on Deepwater Horizon for the oil spill. The council publicly discussed its preference for an 11- member committee with a representative of its own choosing.
“[The appointment] should be at our discretion, not theirs,” said councilwoman Ginger Snead.
City Manager Roger Hernstadt said his counterpart in Monroe County Government also floated the idea of partnering on the cost of a lobbyist that would help secure the oil spill monies and also a state grant to pay for wastewater.
“Let’s see if we have a seat at the table before they ask us for a check to dance,” said Marathon Mayor Mike Cinque.
Previously the council had spoken of naming Mayor Cinque, however the letter does not name any specific person.
• The council agreed to discuss a grant to fund an economic study that would be commissioned by Friends of Old 7 at its Jan. 8, 2013 meeting.
• Capt. Chad Scibilia of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported on a rash of burglaries in mid-November including some of occupied residences. He told commissioners that the alleged burglar was in custody and property ready to return before some of the victims woke up and realized what had happened.
• The council agreed to changes to a request to utilize Marathon Community Park to stage a music festival in mid-January. Instead of having a nonprofit group get a permit to sell beer and wine, it has hired a local vendor to do so. Conch Records will pay $1,500 per day for use of the park.
“As long as it stays with beer and wine, I don’t see an issue with the commercial use. More power to you. I hope you make money,” Snead told applicant Cliff Rydell.
• The council accepted a bid of $162,734 to install landscaping in the median of U.S.1. The contract went to Tropic Landscaping and Lawn Maintenance of Homestead. Staff noted that there were no local applicants and that the $20,000 over budget price reflected incomplete data in the planning stages.
“We can’t keep telling landowners in Marathon to improve landscaping and not hold up our end of the bargain,” said Cinque.
• The city council accepted a land dedication from Charles Zapotocky. The lot fronts the “Lake Edna” quarry pit on Grassy Key.
• The city sent the state a survey specifically outlining the 98th Street City Hall parcel into two separate lots. Originally, the land was acquired with a state grant to be developed as a park. Currently the “back” two-thirds is devoted to parks and recreation use and the “front” one-third for city administration.