by Dr. Larry Murray…….
When the new county Emergency Management Director took office last year, I called to tell him that the county spent way too much time and energy planning hurricane evacuation and not enough was spent on post-hurricane problems, most prominently debris removal. Looks like my “prediction” has come true.
Monroe County should long ago have designated sites for storing mountains of hurricane debris. Using the School District property at Marathon Manor is a disaster. The soil will be contaminated with who knows what and thus problematic for its previously intended use as a track and athletic fields. If and until the soil is decontaminated, assuming that is possible, the land will be useful only for parking. The six figure sum that the School District paid for design for athletic use will just go down the drain.
There is also the issue of who will pay for the decontamination, principally soil removal. Some think FEMA will do it, but I would not bet on that. Most likely the expense will fall on the cash-strapped School District. The net will be a vacant field that could have been used positively. Poor planning is obvious.
Will the county and the School District learn anything from this experience?