Monday, January 24, 2022

City News

Rick Zyvoloski

Rick Zyvoloski

Collier County Emergency Services stress oil spill threat still LOW

Rick Zyvoloski of Collier County Emergency Services addressed Marco Island City Council meeting Monday, emphasizing that according to Captain Close, USCG Sector St. Petersburg, “The oil spill threat to SW Florida has been LOW and continues to be low.”

To date, eddies off the West Florida coast have not connected with the loop current.  Some sheen has been observed, according to Zyvoloski, but “no goopy oil”! The state has appealed to NOAA not to restrict fishing in our waters.  The original strategy for SW Florida waters has been reviewed with an increase to 153,000 feet of boom being required to protect inlets and environmentally sensitive areas.  The main threat to SW Florida would be weathered tar balls. BP has now set up an office in Naples to plan for possible threat to our local area. Collier County continues to participate in conference calls daily with USCG and the state of Florida. Recorded updates may be heard by calling 239-252-7755. All reports of tar balls or sheen are responded to. There are many false positives due to the fact that saw gum Sargassum grass looks like oil in the water in aerial



views. If or when oil is found 94 miles off the west coast, with a 72-hour projection, action will be triggered. This would allow for seven days response time. The contractor has been asked for a two-hour response should the situation arise. Nets can be put out  to contain tar balls before they reach our shore.  Although currently, all boom is being sent to the Florida panhandle, Zyvoloski says that Collier County has received “a steady response that materials will be available to us if we need it.”

Collier County Emergency Services has issued the following information for our local area: Collier County business may submit business impact claims to BP: 800-440-0858

Businesses are encouraged to keep good records with respect to business trends. Tourism and Naples Chamber are keeping a pulse on this issue and collaborating with Emergency Management.

Re-Alignment in organization of Public Works and Sewer Department

In a memo sent on June 25, from James C. Riviere, PhD, Interim City Manager, to City Council, Dr. Riviere informed Council of the following re-structuring of city departments:

Mr. Tim Pinter has been promoted to Director of Public Works. Included in the Public Works Division is the Collection and Distribution (C&D) operations for water

Clarence Tears

Clarence Tears

and sewer. City right-of-way (ROW) and all utility field operations will now report to Mr. Pinter.

The Marco Island Water and Sewer Department is established with Rony Joel as General Manager. Mr. Joel is responsible for all water and sewer plant operations which include the north water plant, the south water plant, the wastewater treatment plant and the Marco Shores wastewater treatment plant.

Rainy Season Water Management

Clarence Tears, Director of the S Florida Water Management District, Big Cypress Basin gave a presentation at City Council meeting on Rainy Season Water Management. Since we are now entering the rainy season, in which we have the majority of our rainfall from May to October, the Water District has provided guidelines for what we can do to maintain neighborhood drainage systems:

  • Clear debris from ditches, swales and drainage gates
  • Ensure right-of-ways are clear
  • Identify and address drainage problems, blockages or flow restrictions
  • Utilize storm wise landscaping
  • Work with Water Management: Contact them if something doesn’t look right

Water must be held back during the dry season and let go during the rainy season. Tears praised Marco Island on being able to capture the majority of rain water through their retrieval and recovery system.

Tears informed the assembly that the system of canals,

Shown, left to right, Jack Green, Bruce Weinstein, Jake Hepokowsli, Eric Dial, Daniel Bernabei and Justin Martin of the Marco Island Waste Water Treatment Facility. Photos by Jim Sousa

Shown, left to right, Jack Green, Bruce Weinstein, Jake Hepokowsli, Eric Dial, Daniel Bernabei and Justin Martin of the Marco Island Waste Water Treatment Facility. Photos by Jim Sousa

weirs, spillways and culverts, can move more than 5.4 billion gallons of water per day—enough to fill Fenway Park to the height of the Green Monster 264 times a day, or fill up the Empire State Building almost 8 times per day.

The water district prepares for the rainy season and for possible hurricanes with annual updates on operational procedures and training; performing aerial inspection of the entire water system; regulatory inspections of impoundments and projects; communications equipment testing and emergency equipment on

Marco Island Waste Water Treatment Facility wins top prize

Ron Cavalieri, Chairman of the Florida Water Environmental Association. SW Chapter was at the Monday, June 21 City Council Meeting to present Marco Island with an Earl B. Phelps First Prize Award to the city’s waste water treatment facility staff. At the Florida Water Resource Conference Marco Island’s facility was recognized in its category as the water treatment facility which has maintained the highest removal of major pollution causing constituents prior to discharging it back into the reclaimed water production facility. Rony Joel, Director of Public Works, said he was surprised and had not anticipated receiving the award.  He asked Jeff Poteet, Operations Manager, to introduce his award winning staff at the meeting.

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