Let’s check in with the City of Marathon

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

The Sombrero Beach playground demolition started yesterday. 

Still said, “I was out there yesterday, briefly, and the demo was scheduled to be still ongoing. They expect that to take, I think they said until the 16th. The company is going to start the reconstruction and barring any unforeseen weather delays, they are anticipating reopening that playground with all of the new equipment and the UV sunshade sometime mid February. I’m looking forward to that. I also learned that the app for our parking meters is now working. I’ll be talking about that with our IT department. We’ll be doing some videos, some information videos later today, out at the beach to kind of tell about that. So that’s a new announcement. So that’ll make it easy if you’re on the beach, and you have not paid for enough time to park, you’ll be able to use your phone, go on the app, not have to pick up your children and your stuff to go back to the parking meter. You can add your time there. Just like parking, I think down in Key West is how they told me that that kind of works.”

Street flooding has also been a discussion point recently.

Still said, “We understand the issues we have with that, especially in Sombrero Beach Boulevard. I think I’ve seen it referred to as Lake Sombrero. I can certainly understand that the flooding has been bad. We had a lot of rain that contributed to that flooding problem. We passed a resolution last city council meeting to have an engineering firm start work on that problem and they are starting work on it. They’re going to be doing what they feel is best to try to take care of that issue. I think I may have seen they’re hoping to have a resolution in the next few months to where maybe that flooding can be taken care of. But we just ask for patience from the residents, we completely understand. We send crews out there to pump it out. It does take time to do that. But that does help some but I know it’s not as quick and better of a solution as people want. But we are working on it. We are aware of it and we’re trying to move forward with that.”

Another issue is the homeless situation at 20th Street.

Still said, “I’m sure we’re going to have some discussion. We’re still working on that. Like we said before, 20 Street’s not a perfect solution and we’re trying to work with the businesses and all of us try to work together to kind of come up with a good solution.”

What other goals does the city have for 2024?

Still said, “Obviously, our legislative priorities, we’re going to Tallahassee later this month, to work towards those goals. Obviously, one of the more popular topics are going to be the building allocations, building rights at the state and the municipalities, the county are talking about. I think that’s going to be something that’s going to be a work in progress. I’ve heard the Monroe County Mayor, she talks very, very accurately describe a fluid situation, and we just need to all work together to come up with a solution that is the best for all of our residents in the county and in our cities. It’s not going to be perfect progress, but as long as we’re working together, I think we’ll make some progress with it.”

What were some of the highlights of 2023?

Still said, “We resolved the Boatworks litigation. So I think anytime you can resolve that that’s the best positive, you can kind of put that behind you, we can move forward and focus on some other things. Parks and Rec are wonderful. We were able to give our city staff raises. So things like that when you look at the positives.”

Having the city work with nonprofits may also continue into the new year.

Still said, “I will suggest that. I think that was a very positive thing that had been done in the past, it had been discontinued. But I think that’s very important. There’s a lot of ways that city council wants to support and help the community, but we don’t have the resources that some of these nonprofits have. They have people and things in place that can support some serious needs in our community and if we can budget to fund some of that, if that’s the best way we can help, and I think that’s what we need to do. That’s us being able to help the needs in our community, but putting the resources in the hands of the agencies that understand how best to use those resources.”

Tuesday, January 9 is the next city council meeting at 5:30 pm.

Still said, “We can’t do it without the public. That’s why we’re there. I believe in the public reaching out to your city council members. That’s why we’re here. I need to hear your voice. I need to hear what you want. I need to hear your opinions because this affects you. So your voice is very important. It’s important to me. We might not always get the answers that we want, but we need to at least ask the questions and we need to have discussions. This government works for our residents and we want to make things better for our residents. But if we don’t know what they want that makes it really difficult for us.”

City Council workshop may be rescheduled because it is right before a delegation is planning to go to Tallahassee.

Still said, “I’ll at least bring that up on Tuesday at the city council meeting of when to reschedule it, whether it’ll be that following week or the week right before we go to Tallahassee, we’re not going to cancel it or at least I’m not going to ask for it to be canceled. I’m just going to have to reschedule it. We’ll see what my fellow council members think about when that should be rescheduled along with city staff. But I think the night before we leave to go to Tallahassee, we probably don’t need to have that workshop. I think we need to be concentrating on getting ready for Tallahassee, but we definitely need to have the workshop and just reschedule it for another date this month.”

The Wounded Warrior ride will be coming through Marathon this weekend.

Still said, “The ride is coming through Friday. Please line the streets. Go on our city website and you can look on my Facebook page also and the city Facebook page will tell you what times they’re going to be coming to station 14, I believe, fire station, but please line the streets and support these folks. I was able to be there last year and speak to them and you just don’t know, just the honor it is for me to be able to be there to thank them for their service and their sacrifices. I think we need to line the streets and let them know how proud we are of them and how much we appreciate their support and their dedication and their sacrifices.”