Mark your calendar: Energy and environmental issues on Tuesday’s BCC agenda

The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area extends from Biscayne National Park in Dade County to the northern boundary of the Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge in Martin County.

 

From Ginny Sherlock, renowned local attorney, civic activist, and former Associated Press editor: Energy and environmental issues dominate Tuesday’s Martin County Board of County Commissioners meeting agenda, with a presentation on the status of the coral reef tract, an ordinance to implement a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, and proposed amendments to the Land Development Regulations to provide standards for solar energy systems and facilities to be considered by the Board.
There will also be presentations on the Martin County Golf Course Design plan and the 2017 and 2018 Stuart Air Show.
Agenda Item 7A is a pre-set presentation scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on the status of the coral reef tract monitored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area extends from Biscayne National Park in Dade County to the northern boundary of the Hobe Sound Wildlife Refuge in Martin County.
THANK-YOU NOTE: Kudos to the County’s Public Works Department for getting Sandhill Crane Crossing signs installed on Pomeroy Street between Kanner Highway and Willoughby Boulevard, where a high number of birds have been struck and killed by vehicular traffic.  Let’s hope the signs alert drivers to be on the lookout for sandhill cranes in the roadway.
Item 6D is a public hearing to consider adoption of amendments to Article 3 and Article 4 of the Land Development Code to permit solar energy facilities to be constructed in the AG-20 zoning district and to authorize solar energy systems as accessory uses in all zoning districts.  The proposed amendments also create standards for solar energy facilities (sometimes called solar energy farms).  The intent of the proposal is to encourage installation of solar systems (panels or other solar power-generating devices) for specific structures as well as solar facilities that generate power for transmission off-site.
The PACE program will be discussed in Agenda Item 6A, which was continued from a previous meeting.  The program provides financing for homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to their properties.  The program was available in Martin County from 2013 until it was terminated last year.  Staff was asked earlier this year to develop a proposed ordinance to reinstate the PACE program and to identify potential funding sources.
A presentation about the 2017 and 2018 Stuart Airshow is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. as Agenda Item 7B.  There is no published agenda summary, making it impossible to preview the presentation in advance.
Another pre-set item is 8B1, an update on the status of the Martin County Golf Course design project which is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.  The County has been asked to spend $12 million or more to rebuild and upgrade the clubhouse and other facilities as well as to re-design the course, which has been a mainstay in local golfing activities for many years.
The Consent Agenda contains the usual requests for expenditures to be approved without public review or discussion, including yet another infusion of tax dollars into the Bathtub Beach Renourishment program to increase the contract amount to $5,175,050.00 from the originally approved amount of $2,641,000.00.  This project is an example of the old adage “a death by a thousand cuts” as change order after change order after change order has been presented and approved to nearly double the contract cost in just over a year.  Staff is asking Commissioners to approve Change Order #8 on Tuesdaywithout discussion or explanation on Agenda Item 4B1.
Finally, Item 8A2 should be interesting in light of a potential shake-up in City of Stuart managerial ranks.  County Commissioners are being asked to consider a number of outstanding, unresolved issues between the County and the City, including an Interlocal Agreement for Fire Protection and Emergency Services; collection of impact fees for projects constructed within City limits; Willoughby Boulevard extension funding; water and sewer services for the Avonlea property and the Snug Harbor subdivision.  The City of Stuart has seen an exodus of mid- and high-level employees in the last six months (including former City Public Works Director Sam Amerson who was hired last month to replace retiring County Utilities Director John Polley), and the City Commission at its last meeting placed City Manager David Ross on administrative leave pending a meeting later this month to consider terminating his employment.  Ross has been working with County Administrator Taryn Kryzda on potential resolutions for City-County issues.  It is unknown how the City shake-up might affect plans to move forward with solutions negotiated by Ross on behalf of the City.
On other matters on Tuesday’s BCC agenda:
– Agenda Item 2A is a presentation by the Martin County Supervisor of Elections to announce results of local school arts and poster contests.
– The usual Consent Agenda item 4B2 is a list of payments made by the County for the last two weeks – nearly $10.5 million in taxpayer dollars handed out with no explanation as to where the money went aside from about $3 million in employee salaries and benefits.
– Adoption of ordinances amending the Old Palm City and Hobe Sound CRA zoning codes are Agenda Items 6B and 6C, respectively.
– An executive session will be held for commissioners to discuss labor negotiations regarding the Teamsters Union with a presentation from the negotiations management team.
Download or view Tuesday’s agenda items at:
Attend the meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday at the Administration Center, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, to express your views on these or other issues or e-mail commissioners at sheard@martin.fl.usefieldin@martin.fl.ushjenkins@martin.fl.useciampi@martin.fl.us, and dsmith@martin.fl.us, with copies to the County Administrator and the County Attorney at tkryzda@martin.fl.us and swoods@martin.fl.us.

Related posts:


Comments are closed.