Florida Turnpike Info
Officials with Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise plan to introduce an all-electronic system Feb. 19 to collect tolls from motorists who travel Florida’s Turnpike between Exit 1 and Exit 47.

That segment of the turnpike, known as the Homestead Extension, is a primary route on the way to the Florida Keys.

The new system affects four toll plazas between mile posts 0 in Florida City and 47 at the Miami-Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale line. It eliminates driver stops at booths to pay tolls and officials say electronic toll collection is safer, more efficient and seamless.

Tolls are to be collected only with SunPass, a prepaid toll program, or with TOLL-BY-PLATE, a system that photographs each vehicles license plate and mails a monthly bill for tolls, plus a $2.50 administrative fee, to the vehicles registered owner.

Vacationers traveling in their own cars can obtain a mini-SunPass sticker via mail before their trips for $4.99 and receive the cost back in toll credits. The pass also is available at many major Florida retailers and Turnpike service plazas. It works on all Florida toll roads and many bridges, said officials, adding that SunPass customers typically get a 25 cent discount at most toll plazas and exits on turnpike roads. Officials caution motorists that under no circumstances should they attempt to stop in high-speed electronic tolling lanes.

For details on purchasing a mini-SunPass, visit www.sunpass.com.


Art in Public Places
Sneaks One by EVERYONE
The vote went down in Old City Hall this Tuesday.

A new section was created: “Funding of art in new construction and major renovation projects.”

“They snuck that one right by everyone man and it ain’t right.”

Vice Mayor Mark Rossi just finished traveling the globe over the holiday and is all for the implementation of more art on the island and showcasing the local talent. Only, not at such a high cost.

  The group Art in Public Places set out to secure one percent of additional funding for every half million dollars spent on new development and renovation. For every $500,000 that’s an additional five grand.

“That’s a lot of money,” says Rossi. “I wanted to do $750,000 at half a percent (.5%). Everyone that does construction now in Key West will pay five percent. Builders, developers, homeowners. Nobody said a word about it.”

Rossi believes the community, contractors, and developers weren’t aware of the new funding of art section created in Chapter 2 of the Code of Ordinances.

The sponsors were commissioners Teri Johnston, Clayton Lopez, and Jimmy Weekley.

“It’s been talked about for awhile,” enters Commissioner Weekley. “This is for developers and renovators, and is not geared towards individual, private homeowners. The art can be anything, interior or exterior, a mural or some kind of sculptor. Look at First State Bank on the boulevard. They have a manatee sculptor. That’s art! They stepped up to the plate early on. The manatee promotes their business.”

The ordinance is effective now. Every time a new half million-dollar-plus home or business is constructed or renovated a Key West artist will be commissioned to provide the accompanying art which will promote the artist, and the City of Key West for being a destination for art.

Again Commissioner Weekley, “visitors and residents will be able to appreciate the art around town! This will be good for the local economy.”




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