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Tag: Islamorada News

ISLAMORADA PLANNING DIRECTOR RESIGNS

Islamorada’s planning department is seeking a new director following the recent resignation of Ty Harris. Having served as the head of planning since fall September 2018, Harris’ resignation on July 18 comes just less than 20 days into Greg Oravec’s time as new village manager.  “In the short time I worked with Ty, I found him to be very intelligent and customer-oriented,” Oravec said in a statement to the Keys Weekly on July 21. “We appreciate his service to the village and our citizens and wish him the best moving forward.” Senior planner Hank Flores has stepped in as acting planning director...

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ISLAMORADA TRAFFIC SOLUTION? VILLAGE MULLS MULTI-MILLION PARK-N-RIDE

Traffic and parking concerns in Islamorada prompted village council members’ consideration of a potential property on Upper Matecumbe Key.  Concerns were expressed during a recent council meeting, however, over where the money would come from for property located at 81981 Overseas Highway. The dais is set to gather on Wednesday, July 21, at 5:30 p.m. for a special meeting to discuss whether to put in an offer before a looming deadline. At a previous meeting in April, council members directed staff to investigate the property that has a suggested price tag of $2.15 million. It’s listed...

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DAMAGED BOAT RAMP IN ISLAMORADA LIKELY CLOSED THROUGH 2021

A boat ramp visitors and locals once used at the Fills is still closed due to damage sustained earlier in the year. Repair work could last through the end of the year before reopening to boaters. With allotted parking and stiff fines, the scenes of cars packing onto every inch of open space, the crowds of people packing along the shoreline and chaos are no longer witnessed at the Fills. At Indian Key boat ramp, activity at the boat launch came to halt in February when a contractor placed equipment into the water and disturbed the hard pack surface at the entrance.  An evaluation by the...

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ISLAMORADA COUNCIL MEETING GETS HEATED OVER PROPOSAL TO LIMIT OUTSIDE COMMUNICATION

With the oath of office administered by Village Clerk Kelly Toth, new Islamorada Village Manager Greg Oravec proceeded to his seat next to the council — ready for his first meeting on July 1. A tense exchange ensued not long afterward among members of the dais and residents in the gallery over a proposal that looked to discourage discussion of quasi-judicial matters outside a public hearing.  A proposal altering the way stakeholders and those interested in quasi-judicial matters communicate with council members outside of a hearing was ultimately shut down by three council members. ...

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ISLAMORADA RESIDENTS CAN ATTEND MEETINGS IN-PERSON

Islamorada Village Council Chambers are open to village residents who wish to attend regularly scheduled and special meetings. Those taking seats inside the chambers at the Founders Park Community Center are strongly encouraged by the village to wear masks, but they’re not required.  Members of the public can still view and listen to meetings from their homes by watching Monroe County’s MCTV channel 77 or logging on via Zoom.  A special meeting called by Mayor Buddy Pinder on May 13 lasted just over an hour, as members discussed the next steps following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ set of executive...

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Masks encouraged, but not required, among village meeting goers

Islamorada Village Council Chambers are open to village residents who wish to attend regularly scheduled and special meetings. Those taking seats inside the chambers at the Founders Park Community Center are strongly encouraged by the village to wear masks, but they’re not required.  Members of the public can still view and listen to meetings from their homes by watching Monroe County’s MCTV channel 77 or logging on via Zoom.  A special meeting called by Mayor Buddy Pinder on May 13 lasted just over an hour, as members discussed the next steps following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ set of executive orders...

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SWIM ZONE AT POPULAR BEACH EXPECTED BEFORE HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Boats heading to the popular bayside beach in Islamorada will soon need to anchor farther from the shore. Those that don’t could face fines.  Twenty white buoys will soon be placed to create a swim/vessel exclusion zone at Port Antigua and White Marlin Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key. The idea to push boats 300 feet from the mean high water line — and making people swim to the popular area — saw the village council’s unanimous approval last August.  Enacting a boating-restricted, swim-only area off the beach looks to address ongoing safety issues as well as problems from the commotion that’s seen...

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History of Diving Museum celebrates military

This May, the History of Diving Museum celebrates past and active military service members through special programming and visiting opportunities. Since opening in 2005, the History of Diving Museum’s founders, Joe and Sally Bauer, instituted a program to extend free admission to active duty military service members. The museum’s military outreach expanded when they joined the Blue Star Museums program at its inception in 2010. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families and the Defense Department, over 2,000 museums participate annually with a goal to help service...

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12 FINALISTS IN RUNNING FOR ISLAMORADA MANAGER

A special meeting of Islamorada Village Council will examine 12 candidates in the running for the next village manager position.  Set for Wednesday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m., the dais will hear from the search firm the village hired, Colin Baenziger, regarding the selection process and the next steps. Council will mull and select finalists for interview next month. Candidate salaries will also be discussed.  Former village manager Seth Lawless’ resignation for health reasons last summer led the village council to hire Baenziger. Maria Bassett, village finance director, has served as acting...

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ISLAMORADA MOOSE MEMBERS RECOGNIZED FOR BIKE DRIVE

Ken “Sarge” Keidel, of Florida Keys Toys for Tots and an active member of the Islamorada Moose Lodge, and Krissy Carnahan, president of the Islamorada Moose Lodge, recently received the Toys for Tots award in the name of Marine Pfc. Bruce W. Carter, who received the prestigious Medal of Honor award posthumously. The Toys for Tots award recognized the local bicycle drive during Christmastime, when the Moose donated around 70 bikes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Islamorada Moose members Brian Geblaw and Andy Rivers assembled a number of bikes before handing them over to the Toys for Tots. The...

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