ISLAMORADA -- A new Islamorada visitor's center is slated for construction near the entrance of Founders Park later this year.
But on Thursday, Vice Mayor Ken Philipson plans to argue that the building, which will also serve as the headquarters of the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce, should be the last commercial enterprise allowed on park grounds.
"It's prompted by citizens who feel that the park needs to be a park," Philipson told the Free Press Monday. "I just want to make sure that we don't have any more commercial entities in the park."
The vice mayor said his proposal does not apply to non-recreation-related village structures.
In 2010 the town completed a combined village hall and fire station on the southeast corner of the park and the village utilities department recently proffered a nearby portion of the property as a possible site for a sewage pump station.
Still, Philipson said he doesn't believe the pump station will end up in the park and that he won't support it.
Also at its May 10 meeting, the council is slated to debate the possibility of making sewer grants of up to $3,000 available to the owners of four deed-restricted affordable homes on north Plantation Key who have not yet hooked into the system.
The grants would only be available for homes that have at least five years remaining on the deed restriction and would come from the village's affordable housing fund. The fund, which is financed through fees the village imposes on construction, has a current balance of $191,000, a staff report says.
The debate about the hook-up grants comes on the heels of the Village Council's unanimous decision last Tuesday, May 1, to pay for $28,000 in back sewer bills for residents of the 16-unit Woods Corner housing complex in north Plantation Key.
The subsidies, ranging from $500 to $2,200 per homeowner, will be taken out of the affordable housing fund. Woods Corner residents received the enormous sewer bills in April, after state auditors discovered that the village had failed to bill them for a many as 51 months of sewer service.
On a more expensive sewer matter last week, the council unanimously approved a $750,000 work authorization for the engineering firm Wade Trim, which has been assisting the village in getting an estimated $110 million sewer project started.
Under the authorization, which extends only through the end of September, Wade Trim will monitor and watchdog the work of the village's sewer contractor -- expected to be Veolia Water North America.
The village did not seek competing proposals before awarding the authorization to Wade Trim.