OP ED: VERO BEACH, FL MARINA EXPANSION PROJECT – FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

By Len Markir

Mayor Brackett informed me yesterday that I have been incorrect regarding how much money is remaining from the money received from Florida Power and Light for 3 Corners. I appreciate his assistance in providing the current remainder of those proceeds in the General Fund of approx $21 MILLION Dollars. I wish to correct all the texts, Emails and published articles that used the incorrect total.

Now, my earlier texts, Emails and published articles should be adjusted to read generally as follows:

The City Council has taken action in regard to the City Marina and the proposed City Marina expansion project to approve the MAXIMUM sized design concept proposed by the marine architect. They have further applied for about a million dollars of grant money from the state based upon this MAXIMUM sized expansion. 

There are 3 phases to complete the project, and they have decided that Phase 1 will be substantially the construction of the new dry rack storage building for approximately 140-160 boats. The maximum length of the boats will be 30 feet long. The construction will require acquisition and demolition of the Waddell office building and using that site for staging and parking. The cost for the rack storage building in Phase 1 was estimated last August to be over $7 MILLION Dollars. It will consist of a ‘gift’ to the Marina Enterprise Fund of over $3 MILLION Dollars and a ‘loan’ of over $3 MILLION Dollars 

Phase 2 and 3 will consist of rebuilding the existing marina complex, expanding the number and size of slips, and re-configuring the mooring field with new ground tackle.

Existing rack storage building
Proposed rack storage building


If I understand the article in a last August 32963, the total cost is estimated to be about $7 MILLION DOLLARS for Phase 1 and approximately $21 MILLION Dollars for the remainder of the Master Plan. Therefore, it looks like the entire project last year was estimated to cost approximately $28 MILLION Dollars. Based upon current inflation rates, my estimate is that the cost when contracted will be closer to $30 MILLION Dollars. Now that I have an accurate remainder of FPL money from the Mayor, I can again say, now with certainty, that the balance of the FPL money is slated to be transferred to the Marina Enterprise Fund for the construction, AND IN ADDITION, the City must commit to transfer an as-yet unknown amount of additional  monies from surplus General Funds to complete this project. There does not seem to be any money allocated now for potential extra costs as a result of traffic studies or a full environmental impact study of the estuary.

In this document I am simply addressing the cost of the marina expansion and the impact on the General Funds for this ‘limited business operation’ which may have a positive impact to somewhat less than 1% of the residents of the City, the boating public. The major impact will be to generate business revenues for the marina. 

There are legitimate conversations which should be addressed now that the entire scope of the project is available to the VB residents. These conversations may, or may not have been adequately addressed during the past several years of the development of the Master Plan:

THE IMPACT TO THE SITE
THE IMPACT TO THE USERS OF THE MARINA
THE IMPACT TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
THE IMPACT TO THE BACKWATER ESTUARY
THE IMPACT TO THE GENERAL FUND AND THE TAXPAYERS 
THE ‘IMAGE’ IMPACT TO VB WHETHER THIS MARINA IN THIS LOCATION WILL BE A  BOATER ‘DESTINATION SITE’

The  City Council could determine that the 05 May ‘workshop’ is an appropriate time to seriously catalog and respond to the input from people regarding all of the above elements which would necessarily be affected because of this expansion project.

One thought on “OP ED: VERO BEACH, FL MARINA EXPANSION PROJECT – FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

  1. Pingback: Op Ed: FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!! VERO BEACH, FL MUNICIPAL MARINA. PHASE TWO. | Vero Communiqué

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