Don’t miss the 4th of July celebrations in Marathon!

Marathon Mayor Robyn Still joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the city.

There are big festivities for the 4th of July on Thursday.   

Still said, “It’s sponsored by Rotary Club of Marathon and obviously the City of Marathon’s involved in that too. A parade starts at noon. It starts around the high school, middle school, it goes all the way down to the beach, and then the opening ceremonies I think the parade actually starts at 11, opening ceremonies at the beach will be at noon, and fireworks around nine o’clock when it gets dark. Come out with your family. Rotary is going to be serving concessions. We’ll have hot dogs, hamburgers, snow cones, soft drinks, water, some adult beverages for grownups like beer and such. I just advise people please be respectful in choosing where you park. People live along Sombrero Beach Road, so please be aware of that. Don’t block driveways, don’t leave trash behind, treat it with respect. I know everybody wants to come out. It’s a beautiful fireworks show. If you’re going to have fireworks at your own home, please be careful. That’s extremely dangerous. We just look forward to hopefully no rain but a safe and happy July 4 where folks can celebrate Independence Day.”

A city council meeting last month was basically business as usual.

Still said, “Our regular city council meeting was actually finished in under 15 minutes, there were things that were on consent, usually this time of the year, there’s not a lot that’s happening, people are on vacation. There wasn’t a lot that came out of out of planning. So there wasn’t a lot of stuff for us to hear. However, we did have a workshop last week. Our planning director, did part of the workshop and we learned about AI and Chat GPT and how that could be used by planning departments. We did some hands on fake planning for areas in Marathon. It was really interesting to see what that would generate back. Then we discussed at the end of the workshop, the plans and the timeline for addressing the flooding issues on Sombrero Boulevard. We know that’s not a great situation out there. The people that live out there really have it tough when we get a lot of rain and big rain events. We went over the timeline, we had the engineering company, who was there to speak about what they’re doing, and kind of a timeline for making improvements out there. I was very interested, I didn’t know when you hear about engineers, and you wonder how you choose your engineering firm. There are a lot of our local contractors that are using this exact same engineering firm. So that made me feel a lot more confident in our engineering firm to know that local contractors are using this exact same firm. In fact, one of the contractors that spoke, this contractor also has done work for him. So I think they have it well in hand, it’s going to take some time, there’s permitting issues, that obviously with everything else that you are waiting on. I think there’s an emergency permit that I believe the engineer either has or is planning on applying for to see if we can get it to kind of speed up the process of permitting. But hopefully it will come to City Council within the next couple of meetings so we can put it out for bid and then wait for companies to bid on it to come actually do the work.”

The city is trying to get the water down on Sombrero Boulevard.

Still said, “We do have a new pumping system that is in place that our last rain event, it seemed to get it drained really quickly. So that is an improvement. We made some adjustments to it, lessons learned. Sometimes they’re tough lessons. But we have a backup pump in case the one that we have out there permanently fails. So we’re trying to be as best prepared as we can, and especially looking into its rainy season and hurricane season. We understand the struggles out there and while you might not see stuff happening in front of you, there are things that are happening behind the scenes to try to address these issues.”

There will be a city council meeting in July.

Still explained, “We just kind of flipped the date. We’re going to do it on the date that we have our regularly scheduled workshop on the 23rd of July is a special call meeting. It starts at 5:30. We’re going to have our first initial look at the budget, because we’re going into budget season. So we will have that as a city council meeting on the 23rd of July.”

The ROGOs are also a topic of discussion.

Still said, “Kimberly Matthews, she’s been going around. She’s come to two meetings that I’ve been at. I’ve only taken the survey once because I don’t want to skew it. I don’t want to do it more than one time. However, there are still workshops that are available. The City of Marathon, we’re going to bring her to, I don’t know if it’ll be July, might be August, but we plan to have her come and do it there, we will post that. I urge everybody, every resident in Monroe County, to please take that survey, please attend one of the workshops, I think she has it to where if you can’t attend, you are able to do that survey, it is critical that everyone in Monroe County takes that, even if you think it may not affect you, it does affect you. We are all one community even though we’re spread out. What affects the Upper Keys, affects the Middle, affects the Lower and the same in reverse. So it is extremely, extremely important that everyone takes this survey. We have to go to the legislature and we have to ask them for the building permits that we’re going to want. That’s going to be important, and we need to know what the residents are wanting. My understanding is and what I would like to see and continue to see is we are all going to work together as one unit. To be united, I think is the best thing. I think we all need to work together and I think that that is our best approach.”

Don’t forget about the summer programs.

Still said, “The Parks and Rec camp is amazing. I meet with George Garrett city manager every Monday, unless something is happening. Yesterday I went through the front door. The campers were in council chambers having camp and I was like the mayor is reporting for camp. Please let me in, sign me up. Because it looked like even in the rain, they were having a good time. They were inside. So that is a wonderful summer program. You don’t have to sign up for the whole summer. If you want just a week, it’s my understanding you can do that. There are other amazing camps around town. If you’ve just moved here, and you’re new, I moved in the summertime and I had two young kids, but we had our business, so they had to be at the store with me. But if we had not had that, summer camps would still accept my kids, which was amazing.”