Marathon Councilman Dick Ramsay presented yet another “crazy idear” Tuesday night. The difference is this one just might work out.

After discussions with financial and legal staff, Ramsay proposed the idea of creating a lease pool of EDUs or Equivalent Dwelling Units for local businesses and their mandated sewer connections.

The proposed policy is aimed at business owners like Maytag Laundromat Donna Farmer who leases her business space from Ed Putz.

“Unless you own the property, you can’t as a lessee of the property, purchase the EDU,” Ramsay explained.

He raised the issue for discussion purposes to vet the idea with other council members. Encouraging the other council members to consider the approach, particularly for a laundromat, which he deemed a basic community need.

“This idea is certainly out of the box, but that’s what this city is famous for,” Ramsay concluded.

Farmer reported that she hoped to reopen the Laundromat within the next couple of weeks.

“First and foremost, I want to thank the community for their outpouring of support,” Farmer began.

She continued by confirming that Putz was not going to be willing to purchase the necessary EDUs for her to continue to operate, and a program like the lease pool would help her to keep the facility open.

City attorney Jimmy Morales said though there were still some policy considerations to be ironed out, he said the idea is certainly workable.

“This policy certainly has tremendous merit,” applauded Vice Mayor Don Vasil.

In other business:• Vasil reported to the public and other council members on the city’s participation in the recent Florida League of Cities meeting. After three days of marketing and management seminars, Vasil said he was pleasantly surprised at the city’s statewide recognition for their efforts.

“I had no idea how well Marathon was recognized across the state,” Vasil said, adding that both he and city manager Clyde Burnett received frequent congratulations from fellow governing officials on Marathon’s effort to balance the budget and properly manage growth.

“I believe we’re headed in the right direction both financially and in growing our great city,” he concluded.

• Council members encouraged the public to come and offer their input during the public hearings on millage rates and the 2009-2010 budget. The first public hearing will be Sept. 3 at 5:30 PM at the Marathon Government Center at 2798 Overseas Hwy. The special call meeting to adopt the final budget and millage rate will be Sept. 10 at 5:30.

• After Battle in the Bay dragon boat-racing organizer Karen Bowers showed a video trailer about cancer survivors competing in the competition, the council easily approved the event for next year.

Amnesty Period for Expired Permits
The City of Marathon wants to resolve all of the expired permits in the City and perform inspections for safety issues.  The City plans to accomplish this goal by February 1st, 2010.  For a short time, the Building Department will be charging a $10 fee to clear a permit that expired prior to January 1, 2009 that did not have final inspections.  After February 1, 2010, the fee will go back up to $65 to clear these expired permits.

“Many residents are surprised to find that they have expired permits, due to them or their contractor not getting a final inspection on their permits” said Mayor Cinque. Some of these expired permits were issued prior to Marathon becoming a City.  This becomes a problem for the homeowner when they go to sell their house, or in a worse case, there could be safety issues involved.  It seems during the real estate boom, while there may have been expired permits attached to the real estate number, no one seemed to notice, but now the banks are looking closer than ever.

The City has options available to the homeowner to remedy the situation and revise the records:  If you produce evidence that the final inspection was approved, the City of course will correct their records.  For a short time as mentioned above, the administrative permit is available for $10 that will enable the City to perform a visual inspection of the completed project, document final inspection approval, and record it to clear the expired permit.  Ignoring your expired permit may interfere with future real estate title searches or transactions, and it may cost you more later. Please see the friendly City Building Department Staff; they are ready to assist you to expedite the clean up all of the expired permits.

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