Tows could cost up to $375

The City of Marathon has proposed a tow-away zone to eliminate illegal parking of pickups and trailers using the Harbor Drive boat ramp behind the airport. The entire length of Aviation Boulevard, both sides, and the first 500 feet of Harbor Drive headed north, could soon be marked with signage prohibiting parking.

Neighbors have complained for months about vehicles and trailers causing congestion at the Aviation and Harbor intersection, as well as parking illegally on the bike path that rings the Marathon airport.

Councilman Dan Zieg said the tow ordinance will work only if neighbors call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office who have the authority to tow illegally parked vehicles.

“I hope this is a good first step, but it may require more,” he said. “Maybe we should put a sign at the boat ramp that says ‘Can’t find your rig? Call these tow companies.’”

According to Tom Richards at Paradise Towing, tows would cost about $300 Monday through Friday or $375 on the weekend. He said towing a pickup and trailer means the tow company has to send two units.

Mayor Mark Senmartin said once enforcement begins on the tow-away zones boaters will get the message pretty quickly.

“It’s not cheap to pull away a ‘dually’ and a 30-foot trailer. Once they get hit with that, they’ll get the idea really quick,” Senmartin said.


City Attorney David Migut said the second reading of the ordinance will take place on March 8 to allow time for comment from other agencies and the public. The Council also said it would hold a workshop with the neighbors soon to address other measures to relive the congestion.

In other news:

 • By law, the Marathon Council must wait 60 days before it can pass the resolution to put a community pool question on the ballot. Migut said the April date still gives the city plenty of time to craft the required language for the August ballot.

•  The Council authorized the city to spend up to $250,000 on furnishings for the new city hall, but staff said they hope to economize by moving some existing furniture and spend less.

• The Council approved a $285,000 overrun on the city hall construction to pay for modifications on the floor plan, flooring and security systems. City Manager Chuck Lindsey said the project is still under budget.  

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Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes weird and wonderful children (she has two); and occasionally tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister.