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Florida Keys Free Press

Marathon takes over sewer plants

MARATHON — Wastewater contractor Severn Trent was relieved of its service contract at May 22, and now the city’s utilities staff is in charge of operating all five of Marathon’s plants, instead of just two.  Utilities Manager Zully Hemeyer shared the news with Marathon residents at last week’s council meeting[…]

Commission approves fund swap

KEY LARGO — Although opposition was voiced from residents over wording in a multimillion-dollar exchange agreement between the county and the sewer district, the county commission approved the transfer of funds without hesitation at its last meeting. The agreement, upon legal validation by a judge, will send the Key Largo Wastewater[…]

Attorney search, development move along

MARATHON — The search for a city attorney, sustainability coordinator and sludge removal options, as well as action on residential and commercial development, moved forward May 26 during last week’s Marathon City Council meeting. Marathon has received about 15 resumes for its in-house attorney position. Currently contracting for legal services[…]

Options limited for removing coroner

GRASSY KEY — Removing embattled Monroe County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Beaver from his post could prove to be an administrative and political challenge for government officials investigating alleged mismanagement of the office.  County officials launched an investigation last month into whether Beaver should be removed. They also are looking into[…]

Homebuyer assistance program in works

ISLAMORADA — The Village Council last week discussed the ins-and-outs of a program which would provide financial backing for first-time homebuyers looking to purchase in the area. The program, which has been in the works for around five years, would allocate a $10,000 stipend for those that qualify. It would be[…]

Corrections & Clarifications

Mike Forster, mayor of Islamorada and owner of Mangrove Mike’s Cafe, recently took over the lease for Lobster Crawl Bar & Grill at Fiesta Key RV Resort, a 28-acre bayfront property on Long Key. A story in last week’s Free Press incorrectly stated he had assumed the resort’s lease. We[…]

Poincianas present problems

The regal splendor of the royal poinciana tree (Delonix regina) bursts into bloom in April and May and fills our skies and then our streets with its claw-shaped blossoms. The deciduous leaves are bi-pinnate with 25 small leaflets that are further divided into another 25 leaflets. They give the tree[…]

Marathon fishing family in new CBS reality show

MARATHON — A new CBS television reality show airing this week will test the character of those in dire financial situations, including a part-time Marathon family. The program, “The Briefcase,” finds couples in need of financial assistance, whether backlogged on loans or dealing with other hardships, and offers them an[…]

Mayor, cafe owner takes over Fiesta Key restaurant

LONG KEY — The mayor of Islamorada recently took over the lease for Lobster Crawl Bar & Grill at Fiesta Key RV Resort, a 28-acre bayfront property with 300-plus rental sites.  Mike Forster told the Free Press last week that the terms of the lease were still being finalized. The[…]

County's non-profit funding up to $1.9M

KEY LARGO – Monroe County will supply non-profit organizations with $1.9 million in the next fiscal year, a 10 percent increase over last year. The increase is long overdue, said County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy, who has been fighting for restored funding to the Human Services Advisory Board’s budget since it[…]