Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Council to reconsider prohibition on bed-and-breakfasts

ISLAMORADA -- Vice Mayor Ted Blackburn called last week for a discussion on once again making bed-and-breakfasts legal in Islamorada.

"If you look at that concept here, it might be something that the people might be interested in pursuing," he said at the Aug. 8 Village Council meeting.

In 2005, the village passed an ordinance forbidding bed-and-breakfasts. Coconut Cove Resort owner Paul Bates has long argued that the ordinance was targeted at him. The two sides have a long-standing legal fight that deals in part with an 11-bedroom building that he has been running as a bed-and-breakfast since it received state licensing in 2004.

The village has long maintained that it is not targeting Bates.

In either case, Blackburn said his proposal has nothing to do with Coconut Cove, nor with state restrictions on new lodging units in the village. From the standpoint of growth laws, bed-and-breakfast rooms, he said, should be treated the same way hotel and motel rooms are.

Council members expressed a willingness to discuss Blackburn's proposal at a future meeting.

Also last week, the council approved the wording of the solicitation for its next garbage hauler. The village will now formally post a bid request for 30 days.

The village's current garbage contract, held by Advanced Disposal Solutions, is worth approximately $3.1 million each year. Though the contract expires on Sept. 30, Advanced will likely get a 90-day extension to provide enough time for the procurement process.

The solicitation calls for companies to submit prices for five- and 10-year contract periods. Bids are to include twice-weekly residential garbage pick-up, just like Advanced currently provides.

But the solicitation also calls for changes to the village's hauling services. Most notably, the village plans to implement mandatory recycling for businesses in conjunction with the new contract.

Last week, the council also called for a change in the bid documents to require proposers to include a price for the issuance of standard-sized garbage containers to all households. The village could potentially use standard containers to implement an incentive-based recycling program.

Under such a program residences would be charged an extra fee if they fill more than the allowed number of trash bins per week. In theory, a desire to avoid the extra fee would lead people to avoid tossing recyclables into the garbage can.

In addition to Advanced, trash-hauling conglomerate Waste Management, Kansas-based Deffenbaugh Industries and local recycler Jorge Cabrera have indicated their intent to bid on the garbage contract.

However, Cabrera, owner of Key Lime Roll Offs, would have to partner with a bidder-of-record since the proposal requires that companies have 10 years of garbage hauling experience in Florida.

Another item was pulled from last week's council meeting agenda. Councilman Dave Purdo had planned to present a case to oust the village's engineering consultant, Wade Trim. But he said after the meeting that he decided to hold off while he gathers more information on what the appropriate fees would be for the type of work Wade Trim is doing.

Wade Trim oversees the design and construction work of the contractor designing and building the village's 123.5 million sewer project.

Since the beginning of this year, Wade Trim has billed the village between $222,000 and $353,000 monthly, records show.


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