Help us preserve Islamorada
DONATE TO THE ICA
FILLS MASTER PLAN ENGINEERS DECIDED --
AND THEN UNDECIDED
April 8, 2021: A Chance
to Voice Ideas
The frustration of local residents concerning the Fills has continued to mount. An opportunity to voice an opinion on the Fills came before council at its April 8 meeting.
A Fills Wish List of 14 features was created to develop the Master Plan of possible amenities that could be built on the Fill to turn it in to a public park – primarily paid for by Islamorada taxpayers to be enjoyed by the very people who have created havoc on the Fills.
The staff convinced the Village Council late at night at the Thursday, March 18 meeting, before allowing public comment, that an expenditure of $55,000 was just for plans for 14 features, but those features didn’t need to be implemented.
The Council voted 5-0 to approve the expenditure on March 18. But, then morning arrived and there was some second guessing.
To make matters worse a horrific incident became front page news on social media, the mutilation of two pelicans on the Fills. An outraged community wanted to shut down the Fills completely.
On April 8, the Council listened once more to public comment. Councilman Rosenthal made a motion to rescind the March18 vote but was unable to get a second. The consultant will proceed with the $55,000 master plan.
Click here to read about the late night decision of March 18 and the mutilation on the Fills.
The Fills: that two-mile causeway that connects Upper and Lower Matecumbe was once the most beautiful stretch of highway in the Florida Keys where you saw the azure blue waters of the ocean and the bay on either side with small lush islands just offshore, and numerous historic plaques reminding us of the unique history of the area.
However, for the past decade, the Fills has become a mini-landfill every weekend in the summer as day-trippers head south from the mainland to spend the day and leave their trash behind. Each year, it seems to get worse. All day partying, no restrooms, dangerous and sometimes deadly traffic issues, swimming in a boating channel, and trash left for the locals to deal with.
The Village negotiated a lease with FDOT for most of the area and FDEP for the makeshift boat ramp (now out of commission because of significant damage).
Click here to read more details about the Fills.
Someone was able to convince the Village Attorney and staff that it was inappropriate to vote on March 18 before inviting the public to voice their concerns.
Soon a letter came from the Village. Click here to see the letter from the Village.
The decision is being delayed until April 8, while the staff is continuing to suggest that plans, largely unwanted by the community, need to be approved:
“The Management Plan will not commit the Village to completing any elements of the Plan, but will help to expedite FDOT and FDEP approval of improvements included in the Plan that may be desired at some point in the future.”
Why not skip the FDOT portion of the plan and put up no parking signs? There is a perfectly acceptable plan completed by FDOT engineers in 2014 with several options that should work just fine for the boat ramp and FDEP.