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MAYOR’S FINAL UPDATE FOR TS ETA, NOV 9
The TS warning is lifted for the Keys but be careful of squally weather for a day or two.
We had our final EOC call for TS Eta at 1130.
The shelters are closed.
Schools, KCB City Hall, and most offices will be open tomorrow. The Farmers Market in KCB has been given permission to open tomorrow, it is up to them depending on weather.
The hospitals and the airports are open.
US 1 is open with some potholes on the 18 mile stretch at MM 110 and 111 and roadbed cleanup is underway. FDOT bridges have been inspected and are safe.
One FKEC transmission line is out of service until 5 PM, but it is a redundant line.
THANK YOU TO THE ENTIRE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TEAM IN THE KEYS AND KCB, GREAT JOB!
MAYOR’S UPDATE ON TS ETA, NOV 9, 9AM
Eta was kind enough to pass to our east, putting us on the left side of the storm, greatly lessening our impacts. Your Police and city staff did a great job preparing and keeping us safe throughout the night. Please give them a big thank you.
We are opening canals at 12:00 PM today, but still be on the lookout for squally weather as the outer bands pass today.
I will update you following the 1130 EOC call this afternoon on facility openings and impacts around the Keys, but first, please see below from Police Chief Kris DiGiovanni:
All roads in KCB are passable, no obstructions. There are large puddles blocking the bike paths and on some of the streets. Clara and Sadowski intersection is not draining at this time. There are a few palm fronds in the road that we have been clearing. At this time (7:11 a.m.) in the dark, no destruction observed. No reports of homes flooding at this time. No additional police resources needed during the storm and no MRE’s consumed. No reported streets blocked in Marathon. Upper Keys currently has some roads blocked but they are working on them. It does not sound like US1 is blocked anywhere in the County. We had more streets flooded in the prior rainstorm than in Eta. 7th Street is clear and the retention pond is full. Sunset Park has a few palm fronds and small branches, no downed trees and undetermined beach erosion due to high tide, but it appears normal at this time. East Side Park seems o.k. The Entrance Park seems o.k. No reported power/cable outages in KCB. No reported sinking boats in KCB at this time. Stay safe”.
Thank you, John
MAYOR TS ETA EOC CALL UPDATE FOR 5 PM NOV 8
The storm is progressing as forecasted. TS force winds should be arriving soon with the possibility of hurricane force late tonight as the eye approaches. Storm surge is still forecasted to be 1 to 3 feet.
Fisherman’s Hospital is closed.
Please do not travel until the winds subside sometime tomorrow.
Our police and building department are on duty to help if needed.
MAYOR’S TS ETA 1130 EOC CALL UPDATE
Eta is expected to be a hurricane in our area with 75 mph winds and 2 to 3 feet of storm surge.
KCB canals will close at 3 pm so we can secure our boats.
Liveaboards and mobile homes are under a mandatory evacuation starting at 5 pm. The shelters are open.
Tramastar will stop operations at 6 pm for 24 to 36 hours. The Marathon airport will close at 5 pm and Key West will close at 9 pm.
Garbage service throughout the Keys will be one day later next week.
Mariners Hospital ER will be open, but Fisherman’s may have to close.
Your Keys Emergency Management Team is very experienced and ready to protect us and our property. Please follow all protective measures and limit travel so we can all be safe. Let us not put our first responders in harm’s way.
Thank you, John
MAYOR UPDATE FOR TS ETA, 5 PM EOC CALL
We are currently in a TS warning and Hurricane watch. The watch is because Eta’s winds are near hurricane force and it is expected to hold it’s strength. We are also in a storm surge watch, but predictions for KCB have not changed from the 1 to 2 feet previously predicted. As with wind, always prepare for one level higher. I am preparing for 3 feet.
TS winds are expected to arrive from 2 PM Sunday to late Sunday night. Isolated tornados are also forecasted.
Rainfall totals are expected in the 6 to 12 inch range with 18 inches possible.
Shelters will open at 12 noon Sunday and COVID protocols will be enforced. Rapid testing will also be available.
MAYORS UPDATE FROM 1130, NOV 7 EOC CALL FOR TS ETA
The Keys are in a Tropical Storm Warning.
TS Eta is becoming better organized and has stronger winds at 50 mph and could go to 60 mph soon. The track is tending more toward the east bringing the center across the Key Largo area. The wind field and rain effects can still be widespread so do not let your guard down. The arrival time in the Keys has not changed and the entire Keys are in the cone.
Campgrounds and RV parks will be evacuated at 9 AM Sunday. Shelters will be open for residents in Mobile homes, liveaboards and low-lying homes. The shelters are Key West, Marathon and Coral Shores High Schools. Times for shelter openings are still being assessed. Rapid COVID 19 testing will be available for shelter guests.
State Parks and Campgrounds are closed Sunday and Monday.
Snake Creek Bridge will be locked down starting 6 AM Sunday.
KCB offices and facilities are closed on Monday.
Stay safe, John
EOC CALL FOR TS ETA, 5PM NOV 6
TS Eta is still very disorganized and expected to arrive near KCB with TS winds on Sunday afternoon or evening.
Rainfall is still expected to be from 5 to 10 inches with areas of 15 inches and be mostly to the North and East of the storm.
Tides are still expected to be 1 to 2 feet above normal in the middle keys.
Sand and bags will be available by the City Garage as long as supplies lasts.
Stay safe and smart, do not drive through standing water, you do not know how deep it is.
EOC CALL FOR TS ETA 1130 NOV 6
KCB will follow the County’s lead and declare a Local State of Emergency for TS Eta tomorrow morning at an Emergency Commission Meeting 11 am.
Not much more information on the storm’s development. The county emergency managers will hold another call at 5 pm today when we expect more information from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft.
The only new weather information at this time is that sustained TS force winds are now approaching a 50% probability starting sometime Sunday morning through Sunday evening. Expect at least 65 mph winds. There is also expected to be a tide rise of 1 to 2 feet above normal on the bay side as the storm approaches and passes. (Like we saw with Wilma but a lot less.) The tide rise on the ocean side is the same at the 1 to 2 feet prediction.
The County is looking at opening some general population shelters.
KCB City Hall will be closed on Monday and we will evaluate keeping it closed for Tuesday as the storm dictates.
As we obtain information on garbage service for Saturday and next week, we will post it here and send an email blast. Please secure any loose items in your yards, including trash and recycling containers.
TS ETA EOC COORDINATING CALL UPDATE FOR NOV 5, 2020
TS Eta will start heading our way and be over water tonight. It is expected to strengthen and arrive in the Florida Straits Monday morning. However, it is expected to be a very large storm (100+ miles in width) with heavy rain and possibly TS force winds starting in the Keys as early as Sunday. Eta will most likely be a long-lasting event with effects into the middle of next week as it moves slowly into the Gulf of Mexico.
Please prepare for a strong TS with winds in excess of 60 mph and tides running 1 to 2 feet above normal. A cat one hurricane can’t be ruled out. The County Emergency Manager is evaluating shelters for live-aboards and mobile homes. No mandatory evacuations are planned at this time. Usually, they are considered when a storm approaches a strong cat 2 or above.
ETA EOC COORDINATING CALL FOR WEDNESDAY NOV 4, 2020
Today we had our first EOC coordinating call on TS Eta. Key information:
- The NWS will not have a good idea of what kind of storm we will see from the remnants of ETA until Friday morning or afternoon. The thinking now is that it will be a TS or Nor’easter type gale as it interacts with shearing from our north. However, the weather will be widespread, windy, and rainy. Rainfall for the next week could be from 7 to 15 inches. Tides could be 2 feet above normal.
- No evacuations or other protective measures are ordered now but will be reviewed daily. Evacuations are not seen as required.
- The Hurricane Center will still provide tracking and updates even though it may become a remnant low pressure system because it is expected to gradually strengthen starting on Friday. Rapid intensification is not expected.
- Arrival of rain and wind is expected on Saturday and may last through Monday. This could be a very diffused system.
Please be prepared and secure your property and boats.
Thank you, John
MAYOR POSTING FOR OCTOBER 16, 2020
At Next Thursday’s Commission meeting, October 22nd, we will say thank you and goodbye to our City Attorney who has served us for over 31 years, Tom Wright. His dedication to our City has been nothing but exemplary.
We will also be thanking Commissioner April Tracy as she retires from the Commission. April stepped up to fill a vacant seat in February 2016. Her current term is through November 2022. April has been an exceptional Commissioner bringing her vast knowledge of local business to each issue.
If you are interested in filling April’s term, please call the City Clerk for information. The Commission will vote to fill her seat at the November 12th regular Commission meeting.
Mayor Posting – October 9, 2020
October 10th is Sergei Proudnik Day in KCB. We lost a great neighbor and American a year ago. Please remember our good friend and former owner on the Key Colony Inn. He and his family will always be our neighbors and in our thoughts and prayers.
The Commission and staff had a very productive meeting with our City Hall architect yesterday. Each department made recommendations to maximize the efficiency of their offices while continuing to make cost saving decisions on size and function of each area. The post office is now part of the new building, saving a lot of overhead costs of a separate building. Our next and hopefully last meeting on a design will be November 5th at 9:30am in Marble Hall.
With the departure of our City Administrator, the entire staff has stepped up to ensure we have not dropped the ball on any issue. Vice Mayor Sutton and I have divided the larger issues between us and reported yesterday to the Commission on each. We are researching the best way going forward on how to fill the Administrator position and will agenda a decision during the December 10th Commission meeting.
The Governor’s latest order 20-244 has launched Florida into phase three of our COVID 19 response. Bars and Restaurants are open and there are no restrictions on group sizes. Monroe County and KCB still require masks in businesses and government facilities. The Commission voted to require each participant sign a COVID 19 waiver prior to entering Marble Hall for social functions. The waiver format will be voted on next Thursday at a special meeting at 9:30am.
Many Vote by Mail ballots are out and early voting in Monroe County starts on Monday the 19th and ends the 31st. Please vote!!!
Transportation Master Plan – 2nd Public Meeting – October 6, 2020
Monroe County would like to thank those who attended and provided valuable feedback at the first public meeting of the Transportation Master Plan on September 24, 2020 at 5:00 P.M. The Transportation Master Plan will provide future direction for US-1 within Monroe County. The primary objective of this study is to identify transportation needs, develop goals/objectives, and develop an action plan to meet those goals. The action plan will identify potential short-term solutions (1-5 years), mid-term (6-10 years) and long-term solutions (10-20 years). These solutions may include roadway, signal, and signage/marking improvements to address traffic issues and/or multi-modal solutions addressing the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit.
If you were unable to attend the meeting, a recording can be viewed using the provided link below. If you would like to provide feedback or more information on the Transportation Master Plan, please go to the project’s website us1masterplan.com. Here, you will find progress on each phase, a public survey, and an interactive map where you can pinpoint areas of concern. We encourage you to provide as much feedback on your idea of traffic issues (congestion, safety, signals, pedestrian, bicycle, etc.), where these issues are and possible solutions. If you provided feedback at the public meeting, please feel free to provide more.
Please share this information with friends and family, whether they are locals or tourists, as everyone’s experience on US1 is unique and valuable to developing a Transportation Master Plan that can make cruising through the Keys safe and enjoyable for all.
Please use the following information to join the public outreach meeting on November 12, 2020 at 5:00 P.M.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Or iPhone one-tap:
US: +16465189805,,91763418220# or +16699006833,,91763418220#
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 518 9805 or +1 669 900 6833
Webinar ID: 917 6341 8220
International numbers available: https://mcbocc.zoom.us/u/aHjV9sKOX
Please use the following link to view a recording of the first Public Meeting: https://monroe-fl.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=ecd97d9e-2771-4b10-8fbc-20b42c600fa9
Please use the following link to access the Transportation Master Plan website: https://www.us1masterplan.com/
Please use the link below to access the Transportation Master
MAYOR POSTING SEPT 18, 2020
We just completed the second meeting in two weeks concerning our new City Hall preliminary design and were presented with the architect’s “worst case” cost estimates. His estimates took into consideration all design alternatives recommended by the Commission, staff, and residents. Following a lengthy discussion, the Commission asked our architect to:
- Downsize the plans to include the post office as part of the main building, eliminating a separate building in Gazebo Park;
- Consider a 10% reduction in office spaces;
- Build a new “Marble Hall” to accommodate 200 people;
- Keep the critical offices spaces (police, building and admin departments) elevated on stilts for safety and resiliency;
- Use the most cost-effective building materials, interior products, and design;
- Remove many good, but expensive design elements.
There are several opinions on the final cost of the building, but we will not know the market rate until we complete the design and bid the project. Our Building Official is a very experienced local General Contractor and is closely monitoring construction costs.
To reiterate the facts:
- Most of the City Hall offices are condemned by 2 building officials and backed by engineers’ reports;
- Rebuilding at the current elevation is not legal under the current Florida Building Code;
- FEMA has recognized these facts and authorized a Specialized Project grant for about $3.2 to $3.5 million, based on the original square footage;
- Additional funding is being sought, and the Commission is very conscious of the construction and financing costs;
- The City has done much to save money since Irma where we ended in debt after cleanup, but now have over $2 million in reserves. We have always had the lowest or second lowest millage rate in Monroe County for as long as I can remember. Even during this pandemic, we have voted to hold the line on our millage even though other revenues may be much reduced;
- Recently we upgraded our sewer treatment plant with a $5 million addition and did not raise sewer rates.
This is by far the best Commission, staff and volunteers I have served with and they have been very good stewards of your money. They speak their own minds, do their homework and are looking out for you, our neighbors.
As long as I am your Mayor or Commissioner, I will work hard to set the best course for KCB and will vote to build the best and most cost-effective City Hall to serve us for the next 50 plus years.
MAYOR POSTING SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
To our winter residents that are deciding whether to return for another great winter season, PLEASE DO SO AND FEEL SAFE. The protective measures your Keys Leaders have enacted throughout this pandemic have been the best in the State and our public works staff has worked tirelessly cleaning. Today, we only have one person hospitalized in the Keys. Your Keys friends and neighbors are doing a great job wearing masks and social distancing. When I get out of my car, put on my mask and head into a store, I see everyone doing the same. If you are concerned about traveling, my experience is that hotels and restaurants are doing an excellent job keeping you safe.
So now, let us shift gears and talk about KCB.
Your Commission and staff, like you, have been working hard under less than ideal conditions and much personal stress. Even under these conditions, the City is doing well and hosted many vacation renters this summer.
I want to recap where we are with City Hall and update you on our next steps. Much of the building is uninhabitable, that is a fact. Second, to rebuild it at its current elevation is not legal under Florida Building Code and not in the best interest of this city. That is why FEMA has proposed a Specialized Project grant so we can build above the proposed new flood plain.
The process with FEMA and the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) is exacerbating and time consuming. All Keys governments are expending many man-hours to recover cleanup funds from Irma. Our staff must answer and re-answer countless questions for FDEM just get the second half of our Irma cleanup money. We are now doing the same thing with FEMA for the grant that they are awarding KCB for City Hall. For us, FEMA and FDEM, COVID-19 has made the process much more difficult.
It is looking like the total project with furnishings will be around $5.5 to $6 million. Approximately $3.2 to $3.5 million will be FEMA and the State’s shares. We are applying for other grants to help fund the project. The best news is that the cost of money is the lowest in years at 2.25%. Therefore, I do not see a hardship financing our share of the construction costs. At 2.25% one million can be borrowed for only $50,000 per year.
Additionally, there is a proposed option for alternative financing from a KCB resident. We have the time to consider his proposal while we work though FEMA and State grants. He is a developer with much experience in financing projects like ours and may be able to help us with financing below 2.25%. This would be in the form of a Public Private Partnership (P3). P3s, are covered under Florida Law and help Florida municipal governments fund projects.
The Commission is considering giving him a month or two to do a feasibility study at his cost to see if he can help. A P3 does not mean that the process is out of our hands. We are progressing with design and financing of the project. Our next workshop on the City Hall design will be September 10th and available on ZOOM. Please look for the e-mail blast from us and keep watching the city calendar for further meetings of interest.
What is Key Colony Beach? If you are a full time resident, seasonal resident or visitor, you know what a special place this is. Not only are you enjoying a tropical paradise, you are among a great group of people that have kept this little island city the “Gem of the Florida Keys” for more than 60 years. We do ask that our residents and visitors protect our beautiful reef environment, the safety of each other and our friendly tropical lifestyle. Our famous sign, “Honestly now, what’s your hurry?” is not just a reminder that you are off the highway, it is an invitation to enjoy our city, by slowing down on land and in our canals; to “share the road” with our many pedestrians, canal boaters, paddlers, swimmers and manatees. Thank you! – Mayor John DeNeale
“63rd Annual KCB Days”
March 8, 2020
“St. Patrick’s Day Parade”
March 17, 2020
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