September 10, 2017, is a day many on the island have been happy to put behind them. However, for the residents of Villa de Marco West it has represented a long 9 months of work and negotiations. Those long hours have culminated with the commencement of work to restore their seawall and grounds to normal, while allowing some of their condominium units to once again be occupied when that work is concluded.
Sitting at the intersection of Collier Creek and the Marco River, the complex offers some of the most beautiful views of the tranquil waters on the island. Dolphins play alongside the docks as manatees make their way into Collier and Smokehouse Bays.
Approximately one third of the boat traffic on the island traverses through Collier Creek and into the Marco River where residents and visitors alike enjoy a day out on the water.
“We see everything from a 12 foot kayak to a 70 foot motor yacht come past on any single day,” said Ben Farnsworth, president of the Villa De Marco West board of directors.
Farnsworth has been immersed in the details of dealing with the serious damage to their seawall due to the ravages of Hurricane Irma. The loss of that seawall caused the land below one of their building structures to be eroded out from beneath it. The building remained structurally sound, however all of the utilities that serviced it were lost and caused it to be uninhabitable until the seawall is replaced, utilities restored to normal and the land under the structure backfilled and returned to normal.
Kelly Brothers Marine Construction arrived onsite this last week to begin the 4 to 5 month process that will return the picturesque site to the peaceful and tranquil location which boaters are accustomed to seeing.
On June 29, the condo association welcomed guests and dignitaries from the city and the county to join with them to toast the commencement of the construction that will accomplish that goal.
“Safety is our major concern and we want to insure that we don’t have boaters or day walkers coming onto the site. Our residents are quite aware of the ongoing construction, but we don’t want to see someone coming onto the private property and possibly being injured,” said Farnsworth.
Farnsworth went on to compliment what he described as the excellent cooperation they’ve received from all levels of government. “The city, county, state and federal agencies have all been helpful to finally getting us to this stage in our recovery,” said Farnsworth.
After receiving a special “blessing” from Father Tim Navin of the San Marco Catholic Church, attendees enjoyed some light refreshments and exchanged a number of anecdotal stories regarding the storm and their experiences.
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