he City of Marathon will hold a Council Meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at 9805 Overseas Highway.
Mayor John Bartus joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to preview the meeting and discuss upcoming projects for the city.
Bartus is in his fourth term as Mayor and has 14 years in City Council. His term limit will end this November.
Bartus said, “Trying to get a bunch of stuff done during my last months on council.”
The City Attorney/Deputy City Manager Steve Williams, Planning Director Brian Shea and City Manager George Garett will head to Tallahassee next Monday to discuss a number of issues.
Bartus said, “Every building permit that we’ve issued, everything that’s gone on, every development agreement and every transferable building right that have happened, we have paper trails. We have documentation. There have been some rumors and allegations that the City is manufacturing building permits. Whoever is promulgating those things, it is an absolute lie. There’s documentation for everything. Hopefully we’ll finally get to make our case in front of DEO (Department of Economic Opportunity) to basically give us the same MOU that we had before all this started back in February because their punitive actions have really impacted us, local residents, local builders and really put a kibosh on a lot of the things that are happening with our local construction industry and we’re just trying to make sure that we’re able to make our case to some people who really need to understand exactly the way things have been happening in Marathon…and how we have followed everything to the letter.”
The discussion at tomorrow night’s City Council meeting will focus on land use and zoning map changes.
There is also a proposed pledge to support Keys AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) for $30,000. The group did not receive any funding from the state last year, so the City of Marathon will help.
Bartus said, “I think that’s a very worthwhile investment because of all the things AHEC does for our community. They really help out a lot of families, a lot of areas and we’re very happy to be able to provide them with something.”
Another item up for discussion tomorrow night will be the Gumkhana/Hoonigans stunt group that jumps bridges and other geological formations. They would like to come to Marathon and stage a stunt jump over the Boot Key Bridge.
Bartus said, “There’s nothing left under that except what they want to do for the jump and they’ve made an interesting case and they’re going to make that case in front of City Council Tuesday evening and we’ll have a nice presentation. It should be an interesting, lively and fun discussion.”
The stunt jump was originally proposed in January 2022, but was denied by Marathon staff, so they’re back again.
Hoonigans has a YouTube channel and the Boot Key Bridge jump will likely air there and they have specialized, souped-up cars that are designed to make these jumps. Their plan involves a whole lot of safety and they have billions of dollars in liability insurance.
They have done jumps in Monroe County before.
Bartus said, “They do have a really good record, a lot of good recommendations from other local government they’ve worked with.”
Hoonigans would also like to make a $30,000 donation to the City’s Rotary Park reconstruction or reconstruction of the City’s skate park.
Bartus said, “They would like this to be their feature jump of the current season they’re in production with right now. So they do some fun stuff. I mean, I don’t necessarily think I would like to be in an automobile that leaves the ground for an extended period of time, but these guys do and this is what they do.”
Hoonigans has done a structural study on the bridge and there’s no chance the bridge will collapse.
It will likely bring notoriety to the City of Marathon.
It could also help the Rotary Park restoration project. The park has been in Marathon for 20 years and some of the elements have seen some wear and tear, so the city decided to rebuild.
They went to the original contractor and they went to the local children to design the park.
Bartus said, “The kids decided which elements they loved and how the park is to be laid out. The city helps finance this. The community actually gets together and does the build, which is what happened 20 years ago.”
The build is scheduled to begin June 20 and run through June 26.
If you have construction skills, the City wants you. If you don’t have construction skills, the City wants you. There are so many ways to help with the build.
There are also sponsorship opportunities for the park.
To volunteer for the project call 305-743-6598 or click here: https://www.facebook.com/188441436594891/photos/a.188486276590407/379601917478841/
To see the agenda for the City of Marathon’s Council Meeting tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., click here: https://www.ci.marathon.fl.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/city_council/meeting/32011/01_agenda_website.pdf