Let’s check in with the City of Marathon

George Garrett, City Manager in Marathon, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the city.

Robyn Still has moved from vice mayor to mayor of Marathon.

Garrett said, “What we didn’t know was who would be the vice mayor this year and that turned out to be Lynn Landry. So congratulations to both of them.”

One item up for discussion at last night’s council meeting was the preservation of the Wyland Wall.

Garrett said, “What we all know is the Kmart shopping center here in Marathon. The really cool thing was between the number of local people who were just intently interested in preserving the wall, and then Mr. Wyland himself, there were, the last count I saw was, well over 6,000 people weighing in on the issue saying the wall needs to be preserved. I have to say that the company involved in putting in this new shop at what was Kmart contacted us, said we got the message. We want to be good neighbors in the community and in fact showed up last night to say just exactly that. To their credit, truly to their credit, they said, look, we didn’t understand the importance of this, we made a mistake, we’ll go back and completely revise our plans to make sure we preserve that wall. So the Wyland painting, which frankly was just redone about a year ago, is going to be preserved as part of a new business there. It was very gracious of the owners.”

It could turn out to create more support of the new business.

Garrett pointed out, “The cynic in me says that there an incentive, 6,000 people that are grumpy about something like this disappearing certainly get gets a company’s attention, but they handled it very well. They were very gracious and frankly, I think twice during their discussion said, look, we recognize that we made a mistake and we’re going to fix it.”

When will they submit a new plan?

Garrett said, “I don’t know how quickly they can do that. I know that they have some plans in place in our building, although I don’t think we issued permits to either demo what they needed to modify or to improve what they wanted to. I’m going to guess we’ll see something around the beginning of the year with the season we’ve got right now I suspect their architects will take a couple of months to get this done. I would guess that around the first of the year and maybe a little sooner.”

The business is expected to occupy the entire space of Kmart.

Garrett said, “I don’t think they’re getting that intervening space between Kmart or what was Kmart and Winn Dixie, and there are some smaller storage spaces in there between the two.”

There were some changes in the sheriff’s department.

Garrett said, “We have Donny Barrios leaving us unfortunately, he was the interim commander here at the Marathon sheriff’s substation. I think we really created great relationship with him and wish him well as he goes down to take over the substation at Cudjoe. We have Lissette Quintero coming in as the lieutenant and commander, acting captain for the station. Good people.”

The end of the season is upon us.

Garrett said, “I want to wish everybody happy Thanksgiving as we come into that in the next week or so. Then there are a number of events that lead us into the Christmas season. The City of Marathon is going to put up some new decorations around City Hall. We’ve got some brand new decorations coming to our poles along US 1. We have a lighting ceremony at Community Park on the second, which is a Saturday. Then on the 15th we’ve got an evening, sort of season Christmas season event, at Community Park and there will be a surprise. I think everybody will really enjoy the surprise. So just keep it on your mind and keep thinking about it. That’ll be a special event.”

The Winter Wonderland will be held at Crane Point Hammock on the 16th.

Garrett said, “If you’re out looking for things to do with the kids and whoever, then there’s plenty of opportunity.”