MARATHON -- Four taxi companies and 14 drivers have registered with the city since the council passed an ordinance in May to regulate passenger vehicles for hire.
Under the new law, taxi businesses are required to register with the city at a fee of $500, which covers one vehicle in their fleet. They are required to pay an additional $50 for each vehicle they operate.
Owners are also required to add the city as a certificate holder on their insurance to ensure the city is notified if premiums aren't paid and there is a lapse in coverage.
"We're doing pretty well on taxi companies," Stacy Charlton from the Code Compliance Division told the Marathon City Council during last week's meeting.
In response to the state's call for local governments to adopt water conservation ordinances, Marathon Planning Director George Garrett proposed one for consideration at the meeting.
The ordinance spells out a schedule for the watering of landscaped areas within city limits. Properties with an address ending in an even number would be allowed to irrigate on three specific week days, while properties with an odd-ending address would permitted to do so on three different days. The rules mimic the South Florida Water Management District's irrigation schedule.
Councilman Dick Ramsay said he'd support the ordinance "because I have to," but suggested that legislators considering charging areas more for overconsumption. In light of Marathon's conservative use of water, he felt the city should be rewarded with reduced rates.
Mayor Mike Cinque asked city attorney John Wolfe if Marathon had any choice in the matter. Wolfe said the decision was in the council's hands.
Cinque said he doesn't like to impose ordinances just for the sake of doing so. The council opted to ignore the issue until the state makes it impossible to do so.
In reports presented by members of staff, the council learned that the Sheriff's Office will come in $100,000 under budget this fiscal year, returning those funds to the city for future use. Likewise, the legal department is running approximately $200,000 below budgeted amounts.
Cynthia McPherson addressed the council on behalf of the Marathon chapter of the Zonta Club, which is an international organization striving to enhance the status of women and children. In support of its "Zonta Says No" campaign, McPherson requested permission to tie orange ribbons around the trees lining the U.S. 1 corridor. The campaign's purpose is to raise awareness and end crime against woman and children.
The council offered its support and encouraged McPherson to get the word out to the public regarding the meaning behind the orange ribbons. She said she plans to execute a full media blitz for the campaign.