There are a few things going on now, but mostly people are planning for the summer off. Yesterday I met with the city manager, Bill Moss, for the President’s Council meeting. Here is what is going on with the city.
First was street repairs. Gulf Shore Boulevard is getting new drainage system upgrades similar to what we had a few years ago. Some streets around the Naples Beach and Golf club are affected. Also there were several city streets that are to be resurfaced over the summer. None set for Royal Harbor though.
The new fire station plans are approved. It will replace the old station next to the City Hall. The old one will be torn down this summer. The new building will be a 50 year structure capable of withstanding a Category 5 hurricane. It will be roughly 20,000 square feet and nearly double the size of the one now. It will cost taxpayers over 6 million dollars. We saw plans; it is really something.
We also had a big discussion on landscaping noise led by the president of Gulf Shore Condominium association. He had done a lot of research and presented a very compelling case on noise reduction.
His premise was that the present gas-powered lawn care products are not being studied and improved upon to reduce noise. Makers have decided not to go this route but to put their R and D into electric machines. These include blowers, weed whackers, mowers and so on. He stated that these machines , although more expensive, are much quieter and had recyclable batteries that could be recharged using solar panels affixed to landscaper’s vehicles, very similar to the panels used by the boating public to recharge boats.
His idea was to try and see if Homeowner associations would buy into a voluntary program that would ask landscapers to start to convert these gas machines to electric or battery ones. He suggested starting with just blowers or weed whackers, and ask the lawn companies if they would agree to start using them. His thought is that if many associations insisted on hiring people that would convert, the noise level would decrease a lot. I think this has merit and so did many of the people in attendance. It was voted to try some experiments. One was to see if the City could get their landscapers to only use electric on areas around 5th Avenue, see if it makes a difference. Several other presidents said they would approach their landscapers to see if they would try it.
I will keep you informed on this. This approach uses the power of the purse, and it may well be an idea whose time has come.
Discussion then led to solar power. FPL is trying to outreach customers to increase their solar presence. They had several proposals that were presented, but all in attendance felt they were “ugly” and disrupted the beauty of Naples.
One of the firefighters in attendance had been working on the recent wildfire. He stated the fire was caused by a lawnmower. I read somewhere it was a spark from throwing a rock but he could not confirm that. Anyway it started from a small spark and the fire traveled a total of 9 miles before they stopped it.
You can see on the corner of Sandpiper and Marlin the county is now repairing the rail and pipe under the road. It has been the victim of a errant driver. Seems to be a good corner for this. However, if you drive through Royal Harbor, you might see how many mailboxes have also been bumped.