Due to continuing complaints from residents, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners directed County Administrator Roman Gastesi to send a formal request to the Florida Department of Transportation to stop the hurricane debris burning operations on Cudjoe Key.
The approximately 213,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris at this site on Blimp Road was collected by the FDOT’s debris contractor MCM Construction, which is responsible for the disposal of the collected debris.
Gastesi sent the request to stop burning via email on Nov. 16. The County has not received a response yet.
Here’s the background:
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved the use of an air curtain incinerator to burn vegetative hurricane debris at the temporary debris management site on Blimp Road on Cudjoe Key. The Governor’s Emergency Final Order authorized the operation, which began there Oct. 26.
To date, about half of the debris at the Blimp Road site has been burned using air curtains, an accepted practice under FEMA’s Public Assistance Debris Management Guide. The operation requires the daily approval of the Florida Forest Service. Monroe County Deputy Fire Marshal Craig Marston has been monitoring the operation.
Property & business owners: are you getting what you need to move on? Come to part 2 of our recovery workshop and get the assistance you need.
11am to 1pm
Saturday, November 18
Marathon City Hall
9805 Overseas Highway
Concerns about the 50% Rule? Permitting? Building Code? These are essential issues for you to understand as a property owner. Get on-site clarification from Marathon City Council and Monroe County representatives. Suffering economic loss from your business or rental property? You may qualify for assistance you are not aware of. Ask specialists from the SBA. Attendees to our last event were able to get same-day help and expedited results. Getting what it really costs to rebuild from your insurance company? (or are you feeling shortchanged?)
Insurance companies are disputing each other’s claims – wind v flood – delaying payout and making unreasonably low offers. Some are just missing things altogether. Get expert input from legal and insurance specialists. Plus, updates on FEMA, temporary housing, debris cleanup & more.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-507-4898.
The Tampa Bay Rays yesterday donated a total of $100,000 in grants to 12 nonpro t organizations located in the Florida Keys, providing relief from Hurricane Irma. The organizations were selected by researching nonpro t organizations in the areas hardest hit, talking to individuals who are in the area providing relief and consulting with Rays community partners for recommendations.
In addition, several Rays staff members donated supplies to the Florida Keys SPCA, Southernmost Homeless Assistance League, Inc. and Wes- ley House Family Services, and volunteered in an estuary clean-up proj- ect while in the Florida Keys on a week-long trip.
Recipient organizations and their Hurricane Irma relief missions include:
AIDS Help: to provide rental and utility assistance to those unexpectedly unemployed or underemployed; facili- tate relocation, as warranted; determine access to emergency healthcare and offer mental health counseling to the anguished and anxious; replenish basic needs; and implement resource identi cation to every member of the community.
Community Foundation Florida Keys: to provide relief and recovery to Florida Keys residents from Key Largo to Key West affected by Hurricane Irma through helping them get their lives and homes back in order with repairs, transportation needs, rent, utilities, clothing, food, housing, medical supplies and childcare.
Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Florida Keys: to rebuild Middle Keys Shelter, which was severely impacted by Irma. The organization provides comprehensive services for individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse.
Florida Audubon Society: to assess and rebuild nesting platforms for ospreys, and to continue supporting popu- lation monitoring projects such as the Florida Keys Hawkwatch.
Florida Keys Children’s Shelter: to provide shelter, clothing, food and counseling to Florida Keys children as their families rebuild after Irma.
Florida Keys Community College: to provide nancial support to students and employees whose needs include housing, transportation, textbooks, laptops, school supplies and lost jobs.
Mote Marine Laboratory: to repair damage to the exterior infrastructure to the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration, which includes the coral raceway systems, specialized tanks and chillers.
Redemption Impact: to support families and veterans affected by Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys through adopting a family in need, distributing items, providing labor and consoling family members who are having a tough time coping with reality.
Reef Relief, Inc.: to improve and protect the coral reef ecosystem by engaging the entire community in its envi- ronmental literacy efforts with a special focus placed on youth education.
Southernmost Homeless Assistance League, Inc.: to help fund the daily breakfast served to homeless resi- dents each morning.
Keys Vineyard Community Church: to provide relief to families in need with food and supplies.
Wesley House Family Services: to provide new toys to children in need this holiday season through the Holiday
If you are a homeowner or renter getting rental assistance from FEMA and still have a need for that funding and are eligible for it, you should complete and submit an application for Continued Rental Assistance. FEMA may provide up to two months of initial rental assistance for eligible applicants.
You may qualify for continued assistance if you:
• Demonstrate your disaster-related financial need; and
• Show you are developing a longer-term or permanent housing plan or demonstrate progress toward one. A contractor’s estimate of repairs can point to progress.
A permanent housing plan is one that would put you back into permanent safe, sanitary and functional housing within a reasonable time frame. You must continue to work toward obtaining permanent housing to remain eligible for Continued Rental Assistance.
MONROE COUNTY, FL – Monroe County homeowners and renters impacted by Hurricane Irma have received more than $50 million in assistance for housing and other recovery needs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Here is a fact sheet regarding assistance provided to Monroe County residents:
Since Hurricane Irma struck on Sept. 10, FEMA already has provided $50.7 million in grants to Monroe County homeowners and renters for uninsured damage to their primary residence and serious losses related to Hurricane Irma.
• More than 15,000 Monroe County households have received FEMA grants, which can include money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance, such as replacing destroyed personal property.
The Florida Department of Children and Families will administer one additional day of the federal Disaster SNAP Program, Food for Florida, in Monroe County to assist residents impacted by Hurricane Irma on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Florida Keys Country Club in Marathon. DCF has worked closely with local law enforcement and management at the venue to ensure safe and efficient operations.
DCF will return to Monroe County based on additional need in the community, as the previous DSNAP operation was held in early October, before many residents had returned from evacuations.
To qualify for the Food for Florida benefits program, applicants must have lived in one of the counties included in the Food for Florida program on Sept. 5, 2017, and not be receiving food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The following three nonprofit organizations in the Florida Keys are helping Hurricane Irma survivors with housing:
• Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC): Provides sheltering for men, women and families. Some facilities are accessible for persons with access and functional needs. It includes 38 beds for homeless. A recent grant from the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys has helped increase capacity. FKOC also can help Hurricane Irma survivors who have found housing, but need assistance with first and last month’s rent and security deposit. Contact: 305-295-7741
• Samuel’s House: Has funding to help Hurricane Irma survivor’s with first and last month’s rent, security deposit, utilities and medical. Keysstrong.org is providing some emergency assistance when people are being immediately evicted. Contact: 305-296-0240
• Catholic Charities: Has a rapid rehousing program, which includes first and last month’s rent and security deposit. Also has funds available for people being evicted from leased homes, as well as for mortgage and utility assistance. Contact: 305-292-9790
The Disaster Recovery Center in Key West at the Key West Fire Station #2 closed Tuesday, Oct. 17 and will reopen at a new Key West location, 3126 Flagler Ave., Thursday, Oct. 19.
Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the state of Florida are available to provide assistance to anyone needing help completing aid applications or updating their status.
Voluntary organizations also are available at the DRC and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.
CLOSED: Tuesday, Oct. 17, Key West Fire Station #2, 616 Simonton St.
REOPENING: Thursday, Oct. 19, at 3126 Flagler Ave. HOURS: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.
The No Open Burning Ban instituted by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 19, 2017, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma remains in effect.
However, due to special circumstances, open burning is permitted within the jurisdiction and authority of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at Bahia Honda State Park.
The park sustained major destruction of its vegetation and structures. Most of the road along Sand Spur Beach was heavily damaged. The picnic structures and bathrooms are not salvageable. Foundations were moved several yards from their original locations.
The park has an overwhelming amount of vegetative debris, which includes poison wood and other potentially hazardous native and non-native vegetation. FDEP requires special permitting for transportation of hazardous vegetation out of the county. The cost is prohibitive and the special permitting was not approved.