WHAT THE COUNCIL SAID WHEN CAMPAIGNING FOR OFFICE
We have five members of Village Council elected in November of 2020. Here is what they said in September 2020 when asked if they were satisfied with the progress at the Fills and what they’d expect to see by Memorial Day 2021:
"Yes I’m satisfied with progress. We need paved parking, parking meters (revenue to pay to clean and run the fills) and then re-visit what is needed at that point. By Memorial Day 2021, I’d like to see paved parking with parking meters and someone to manage the usage of the area."
"It’s much improved but more could be done. My preference would be to limit use to locals with a paid-for parking pass, mainly local guides who launch boats for charter. I would like to see uses limited to resting, and walking, without food preparation, swimming, fishing, or other uses that generate trash. It should be re-landscaped with native vegetation, and all erosion damage should be repaired by FDOT to prevent runoff. That would be a good start.
By Memorial Day 2021, I would hope the erosion problem will be fixed to stop the [polluting] runoff. I would like to see landscaping in place. I would like the Fills to be closed for the holiday and all holidays and high-demand periods."
"Glad the Village is addressing it at long last, but I am not satisfied with the direction. Why should [Islamorada] residents provide a beautiful scenic park for [non-village] day trippers with [our] tax dollars?
By Memorial Day 2021: We should work with FDOT, FWC, FDEP and any other agencies to reduce the Village costs to taxpayers for this."
"NO! I don’t think Islamorada should take on this obligation for expensive improvements and ongoing maintenance. In 2014, FDOT submitted a detailed plan for improvements and limited parking and use of the Fills – at FDOT expense. I do not understand why this should now be our responsibility.
Fills by Memorial Day 2021: Extremely limited paid parking, no other uses encouraged."
"The current course charted by council should be revisited. It appears that nearly $500,000.00 has been budgeted for 2021 to build substantial infrastructure at the Fills. Even if that is the path eventually chosen, the cost should be primarily borne by the land owner, the state. I support investigating whether the Fills could be incorporated into an existing protected area which might force the state to restrict access.
Fills by Memorial Day 2021: Depends upon the other elected council members willingness to take another path. I don't believe creating an environment similar to Anne's Beach is advisable or workable at the Fills."