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The next SSPOA membership meeting will be
held next Tuesday, February 25, at the Sugarloaf firehouse. Social time begins at 6 pm and the meeting starts at 6:15.
The featured speaker at the meeting will be our District 2 County Commissioner Michelle Coldiron. Commissioner Coldiron has asked some top County officials to join her — County Administrator (CEO) Roman Gastesi, Assistant County Administrator Christine Hurley, Assistant County Administrator Kevin Wilson, and incoming director of emergency management Shannon Weiner. So we should learn a lot at the meeting about County goings-on. Also at this meeting we will be voting on SSPOA’s officers and directors for 2020-21 and on amendments to the SSPOA bylaws, and we will hear from the Sheriff’s Office.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.
The SSPOA Board
Census Public Meetings
Monroe County will be hosting representatives of the US Census Bureau in a series of public meetings to provide the community with information about the 2020 Census. If you have questions about the Census process or would like to assist in the Census effort, we encourage you to attend one of these meetings. The details are as follows:
Key West Meeting - Thursday, January 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Harvey Government Center on Truman.
Marathon Meeting - Friday, January 31, from 10 to 11:30 am at the Marathon Government Center.
Restoration Blueprint Deadline
Reminder - The deadline for filing your comments on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s proposed Restoration Blueprint is Friday, January 31. You can submit your comments online at www.regulations.gov/comment?D=-NOAA-NOS-2019-0094-0001.
The next SSPOA membership meeting will be this coming Tuesday, January 28, at the Sugarloaf Firehouse. Social time will begin at 6 pm, and the meeting will start at 6:15. Our featured presentation this month will be given by Jeannette Parker and Susie Nuttall of Florida Fish & Wildlife. Jeannette and Susie will be sharing with us FWC’s plans for improvements to the recreational areas near Old State Road 4A and the Loop Road and at Sammy’s Creek Landing.
During the business meeting we will be covering topics of local interest, including recent developments regarding the proposed affordable housing project on South Point, the Cudjoe wastewater plant, and the County’s plans for raising roads to address sea-level rise. We will also hear from the Sheriff’s Office.
We hope to see many of you at Tuesday’s meeting.
The SSPOA Board
FEMA recently released preliminary flood maps for Monroe County. For Sugarloaf Shores, there appear to be no changes from the draft flood maps to the preliminary flood maps. The most notable differences for our community between the new preliminary flood maps and the flood maps that are currently in effect are that (1) all properties on Upper and Lower Sugarloaf Sounds would be in a V zone and (2) many properties on the Boulevard side and nearly all properties on South Point would be in a Coastal A zone.
Next week, FEMA and the County will be hosting several open houses to provide the public with information about the new flood maps and flood risk. The open houses will not feature formal presentations. Officials will be available to answer your questions. The schedule for the open houses in the Lower and Middle Keys is as follows:
1. Monday, Jan. 27, 4 to 7 pm at Key West City Hall Commission Chambers, 1300 White St.
2. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 9 am to noon at Bernstein Park Community Room, 6751 5th St., Stock Island.
3. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 4 to 7 pm at Big Pine Park Community Room, 31009 Atlantis Dr.
4. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 4 to 7 pm at Marathon City Hall, 9805 Overseas Highway.
Please consider attending one of these open houses. You may arrive at any time during the 3-hour window for each open house.
The SSPOA Board
Recently a hearing was held before an administrative law judge in which three private citizens challenged the actions taken by the cities of Marathon, Key West, and Islamorada in accepting their shares of 1,300 new affordable housing building allocations (ROGOs). As we await the judge’s ruling in this case and the likelihood of appeals, concerned Keys residents have organized an effort to protest against the overdevelopment of the Keys. The addition of more building allocations will increase the risk of an unsuccessful hurricane evacuation, adversely impact our water quality and environment, add more costs and risks from sea-level rise, and result in still more traffic each day on the Overseas Highway.
For those of you who, like us, are concerned about overdevelopment of the Keys, you now have the opportunity to have your voices heard by signing a petition that will be delivered to Governor DeSantis. You can access and sign this petition by going to the Friends of the Lower Keys (FOLKs) website - friendsofthelowerkeys.org - and clicking on the star-shaped icon near the top of the homepage.
Let’s send a message to our elected officials and the developers that we oppose additional building allocations that will increase overdevelopment of the Keys. Please sign the Stop Overdevelopment petition. And feel free to forward this email to others.
The SSPOA Board
Upcoming General Membership Meetings
Social starts at 6pm and meeting starts promptly at 6:15pm
January 28, 2020
February 25, 2020
March 24, 2020
April 28, 2020
President Stuart Schaffer
Vice President Jose Pagan
Treasurer Michelle McCann
Secretary (Interim) Carrie Brechtelsbauer
Board Member Tom Martin
Board Member Bill Hunter
Board Member Mia Howe (newsletter)
Board Member Jack Marchant (Social)
Board Member Mark Tousignant
Membership Committee Chair - Cindy Urban
Beautification Committee Chair - Synda Patten
Marine/Environmental Committee - Joe Keel
Consider volunteering for the SSPOA Board or a committee. Board elections are held in February. Members can join committees at any time. You need not be a year-round resident. Board meetings are conducted monthly and snowbirds and travellers may join by phone.
Thank you for considering service to your community!
Please mark your calendars to attend the next SSPOA membership meeting on Tuesday, December 3, at the Sugarloaf Firehouse. The featured presentation at this meeting will be made by Sarah Fangman, Superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, on the Sanctuary’s proposed Restoration Blueprint. The Restoration Blueprint contains many proposals and alternatives intended to improve the condition of our Keys marine environment. Among those are proposals to change the existing rules governing access to certain areas of the Sanctuary, including proposals to limit access to some areas that are frequented by Sugarloaf Shores residents.
Please note that we are tweaking the start time of this meeting. As always, social time will begin at 6 pm. But the start time for the meeting has been moved forward to 6:15.
We hope to see many of you on Tuesday, December 3 (the week after Thanksgiving).
The SSPOA Board
Update on recent mailbox thefts. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Daily Crime and Information Report Nov. 19, 2019 Follow us on Twitter @mcsonews and on Facebook at MCSO – Florida Keys. All of our press releases can be found on our blog at floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com Detectives investigating checks stolen from mailboxes in Lower Keys Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating instances that occurred recently in which checks were stolen from mailboxes on Big Coppitt Key and Sugarloaf Key. There had been no arrests as of Tuesday. In each separate instance, the checks were endorsed by the five victims and placed in a mailbox. The checks were stolen from residential mailboxes on Shore Avenue and Dondi Road on Big Coppitt Key and Sugarloaf Boulevard on Sugarloaf Key. The incidents were reported to the Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 14, Nov. 1 and Nov. 18. In one incident reported on Nov. 18 from Sugarloaf Boulevard, a $2,921 check intended for the county property appraiser’s office was stolen and fraudulently cashed. The Sheriff’s Office urges residents to take their bills/checks to the U.S. Post Office and mail them there. Anyone with information about these crimes should contact Sheriff's Office Detectives at 305-292-7060. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.
Beautification Committee Plans for Sugarloaf Key
The SSPOA Beautification Committee is formulating plans for restoring the vegetation along our roadway that was lost due to Irma. SSPOA members are asked for their input at this time. The Beautification Committee will present its proposal at the next SSPOA general meeting on April 24, 2018 at the fire house. The overall recommendation of the Committee is to replant all missing trees and to maintain the established pattern and choice of trees for consistency.
Phase 1.The replanting of coconut palm trees along the Boulevard. Presently there are 129 trees at the South or East side and 97 on the West or North side. Twenty-eight trees are missing on the South side. Five trees are missing on the North side near the power lines and would be replanted depending on the homeowner’s preference.
Phase 2. Replanting of 7 coconut palms behind the South Point Drive entry walls. We will seek permission from Monroe County for grading and laying sod along the Boulevard bike path.
Phase 3. Replant Royal palms on the North side of South Point Drive and bougainvilleas to flank the entry walls. We will also plan to put a sign at the entrance to Sugarloaf Boulevard.
The implementation of this plan will rely on the help of property owners along the Boulevard to water new vegetation and generally be vigilant during the initial establishment period.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Your Beautificationn Committee
Marine Debris Removal
DRC, which is the state’s contractor for the post-Irma marine debris removal project, has contacted SSPOA to discuss the project. DRC said that it recently spent three days running sonar equipment through the canals of Sugarloaf Shores and found very little underwater debris. They are aware of the wooden dock with attached shower along the eastern rim of Lower Sugarloaf Sound, which will be removed. They are also aware of some debris in Tarpon Channel between the Upper Sound and the Ocean. And they are aware of a small boat on the marine floor at the southeast corner of the Lower Sound (which they are not allowed to remove because it is a vessel).
If any of you is aware of any other large items of debris underwater in our canals or in the Sounds, please let us know ASAP so that we can identify them to DRC.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Sugarloaf Shores recovers from Category 4 Hurricane Irma
The eye of Hurricane Irma crossed directly over Lower Sugarloaf Key on the morning of Sept. 10, 2017, with winds estimated at 110-120 mph. The category 4 storm uprooted trees, tore off roofs and created up to 3 feet of surge. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported in Sugarloaf Shores.
Those who stayed were without electricity and water for many days. Residents were allowed to return to their homes on Sugarloaf on Sept. 17 with a guard at the entrance and a curfew in place. Upon return, most found electricity restored with water available a few days later. Waste Management resumed regular pickup relatively quickly. Internet and cable services stayed dark for many weeks.
Recovery will take many months as homeowners battle with insurance companies and struggle to find contractors. Debris piles will likely continue into 2018 with the contract calling for 3 passes through our neighborhood. Please help maintain clear roadways by placing yard waste and trash in the proper piles for efficient pickup, and then, sweeping up debris left behind for placement in barrels. SSPOA will work with the county to repair landscaping once debris-hauling services have concluded.
Further storm-related information can be found on Monroe County's website keysrecovery.org.
Deep injection well goes online at wastewater plant
The deep injection well at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Plant is now operational following authorization from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Beginning Tuesday, May 31, 2017, flows were directed to the well. This marks the completion of the final phase of plant construction.
The Cudjoe Regional Central Wastewater System began with public meetings and design in 2008. Construction of the system began in 2013 and is now nearly complete. A few small neighborhood areas that were added to the project are left to finish. About half of the properties within the system have already connected.
Connections to the system are ongoing, with approximately half of the properties having connected to the system.
Completion of the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System also concludes the final major chapter in the decades-long, Keys-wide effort to complete the Monroe County Wastewater Master Plan and bring centralized wastewater treatment to the Florida Keys.
“It is my great pleasure to applaud my colleagues on the Monroe County Commission and our partner the FKAA for exhibiting stewardship and highest commitment to water quality by going beyond state minimum requirements,” stated Monroe County Mayor George Neugent.
“It has been an expensive and almost 20-year journey to provide central collection and the highest level of treatment to wastewater throughout the County. It will be a great day when all states require toxic and nutrient-ladened waters to be cleansed before being discharged into nearshore waters.”
Engineers present details for Sugarloaf Blvd. bridge replacement
The replacement for the Sugarloaf Blvd. bridge will be a wider, single-span structure free of support columns in the canal. At the March 29, 2016, SSPOA general membership meeting, Monroe County Director of Engineering Services Judith Clarke and representatives from Kisinger Campo and Associates outlined plans for the project requested in the fiscal 2017/18 budget.
Construction is expected to take nine-12 months, but could be done more quickly if the contractor agrees to working extended hours or if the county structures the contract to prioritize rapid completion. If county commissioners approve funding, construction could begin as early as fall 2017. One lane would remain open at all times with temporary signals regulating traffic flow similar to bridge work on Geiger Key in 2015.
Phased construction calls for the western portion of the bridge to be demolished first. As that side is rebuilt, additional curbing and a five-foot-wide hike/bike lane would be added as an extension of the current path.
The northside canal wall requires reconstruction to support the single-span bridge. Improved materials allow for a wider bridge of the same depth without the need for supports in the waterway. During demolition, a work barge would be positioned under the bridge, temporarily impeding, but not entirely shutting down access. During the remainder of the project, boats would be allowed clear passage. The new bridge would allow for a ten-foot vertical clearance based on median water level as surveyed last year including during the exceptionally high king tide. Additional sea-level rise considerations are not yet factored in at this early design stage.
Water and sewer pipes would be relocated at the beginning of the project and put back in place at the conclusion with disruption expected to be only an hour each time.
SSPOA will keep residents informed of developments via meetings, The Sugarloafer, Facebook, www.sugarloafer.org and emails. Please make sure your current email address is on file for these and other important updates. You can reach SSPOA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding the bridge replacement plans, contact Ms. Clarke at 305-295-4329 or email@example.com.