Marathon OKs another discount for Laundromat
Oct 13, 2012 (Menafn - Florida Keys Keynoter - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The Marathon City Council on Tuesday finalized a new "Laundromats" category to its wastewater fee schedule to keep the only such Middle Keys business open.
Maytag Clean Laundry owner Donna Farmer appealed to the council last month for a lower rate, saying her 1,326 monthly bill based on 19.11 equivalent dwelling units is too high to turn a profit.
EDUs are based on expected water use and cost 4,730 each in Marathon. An EDU count was assigned to every property as part of the citywide central sewer system. Farmer was originally assessed for 31.7 equivalent dwelling units at more than 1,800 per month.
In 2009, the city created a law allowing the lease of EDUs so Farmer, who rents her U.S. 1 storefront near mile marker 50, wouldn't have to make a 20-year commitment of 148,387.
But the council compromised with Farmer again Tuesday, discounting her 19.11 EDU charge by 75 percent. That decreased her monthly bill by 591 to 734.47.
Farmer asked to be charged one EDU, as is the policy in the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District. But the council said that's unfair because a laundry much larger than Farmer could take advantage of that flat rate in the future.
In other business Tuesday:
--The council approved, for a second time in as many meetings, an amended development agreement for a proposed 95-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel near mile marker 48.
There were initial questions about the project violating the city's 37-foot height limit, but property owner Roger Masters and partner Prime Hospitality Group submitted designs with several minor architectural features well within city code.
Planning Director George Garrett is able to grant small variances as long as the extra height is not habitable space. For the Marriott, the features are basically four-sided roofs on top of stairwells surrounding the hotel and one larger area at the front of it.
Masters and Prime Hospitality are almost assuredly seeking 19 units from the city's pool of 100 new hotel room allocations granted by the state Cabinet in January. They had 46 in hand and purchased the old Longhorn Lodge property near 125th Street for another 30. Nineteen more from the city pool would make 95.
--The council approved an official city flag, the design of which is based on a design used at the City of Marathon Marina in years past. Two designs were considered but the council chose the existing one with minor changes: Eliminating a "Welcome To" banner at the top and changing the bottom from "Islands of Marathon" to "The Heart of the Florida Keys."
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