January 25, 2018
Photos by CAROL TEDESCO/The Citizen
The tangled remains of mobile homes and their contents lay heaped on a Sands Road property in Big Pine Key. The last day to put hurricane debris on county and private roads from Mile Marker 28 to 40, Little Torch Key to Big Pine and No Name keys, is Sunday, Jan. 28, according to county spokeswoman Cammy Clark.
Photos by CAROL TEDESCO/The Citizen The tangled remains of mobile homes and their contents lay heaped on a Sands Road property in Big Pine Key. The last day to put hurricane debris on county and private roads from Mile Marker 28 to 40, Little Torch Key to Big Pine and No Name keys, is Sunday, Jan. 28, according to county spokeswoman Cammy Clark.
Monroe County has set another deadline for final hurricane debris removal in some of the hardest-hit areas of the Florida Keys.
The last day to put hurricane debris on county and private roads from Mile Marker 28 to 40, Little Torch Key to Big Pine and No Name keys, is Sunday, Jan. 28, according to county spokeswoman Cammy Clark.
The final pass in this area will begin Monday, Jan. 29, and continue for several weeks until the debris has been collected. Leading up to the final pass start date, collection will continue in this area.

This part of the keys is the heart of District 2 county commissioner George Neugent's voting district. His county commissioner office is on Big Pine Key. He lives in Marathon and, I hear, doesn't spend much time in his county commissioner office. He has announced he will not seek a 5th 4-year term this year. One of the announced candidates for the District 2 seat is the current mayor of Marathon. The very last thing District 2 needs is another commissioner who lives in Marathon. District 2 was gerrymandered back in another time to give Marathon 2 county commission seats like much larger in population Key West had. That was a BIG mistake. District 2 should be re-gerrymandered so that none if it lies in Marathon; so that all of it lies below Seven Mile Bridge, which is what District 2 really is.
County public works crews will also perform a final pass on private roads in this area, moving any additional debris from the private road to the closest county right-of-way for collection by the county’s contractor. It is not necessary for residents on private roads to call to request a pick up.
Florida Department of Transportation is wrapping up its efforts clearing debris form the side of the road on U.S. 1, Clark said. The county expected those efforts to be completed within the next month.
It is illegal to put debris anywhere along U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys, including the Mile Marker 28 to 40 area.

Illegal, bishmeagel. Plenty of debris was put along U.S. 1, mountains and plains of debris. Which is what happens after big hurricanes smack the keys.
The final pass already is underway on county and private roads in the Mile Marker 16 to 28 area, and will continue until completed. The deadline to put debris along roads in these areas has passed, Clark said.

Historically, it has gone like this after a big hurricane. Residents put out their debris. The debris is removed. Residents put out the rest of their debris. That debris is removed.
For residents in the areas of the Keys where hurricane debris collection has concluded, hurricane debris can be taken to one of the county or municipal transfer stations for disposal, or into your regular solid waste or yard waste bins for collection by your regular haulers.

What percent of residents do ya suppose have the ability or means (trucks to haul) their hurricane debris to transfer stations? One percent?
The county and FDOT contractors are averaging clearing roughly 10,000 cubic yards of debris a day, Clark said. So far, they have picked up some 2.3 million yards of debris and about 19,000 household appliances, Clark said.

And how many beds, sofas, TVs, lawn mowers, bicycles, cars, boats, trucks, campers, mobile homes, etc.?
The county is requesting residents stack hurricane-related debris on the road shoulder in front of homes or on private road right of way in front of homes and not to put debris on vacant lots or other property. It will not be picked up.

So, debris that was put on vacant lots or other property, becomes a permanent tourist, rat and roach and other vermin attraction?
Hurricane debris needs to be separate from regular household trash. Contents of refrigerators should be thrown out in regular trash. This gets picked up by regular garbage collection. Debris also should be kept away from fire hydrants and utility poles.

Let's see. Irma smacked the lower Keys on September 10. All that formerly refrigerated or frozen food has been sitting in those appliances or lying on roadsides for all of this time. It's a wonder plague has not taken over the lower keys.
Things that are not eligible for free pick up by hurricane debris contractors include: cars, trucks, motor homes, motorcycles, trailers, boats or other watercraft and car parts like tires, Clark said.

So, all of that becomes permanent tourist attractions, and cars, trucks, motor homes, and boats affordable become housing for vermin and homeless people?
The final debris removal occurs while the county is facing a lawsuit from its previous hauler Ashbritt Inc. They are suing to receive a judgment that they did not default on their agreement with the county. Such a default could impact the company’s ability to receive any future government contract with the county or any other local, state or federal government agency.

Ashbritt claims it could not perform the contract, because the Florida Department of Transportation paid contract haulers considerably more than Ashbritt was going to pay them. Why did the esteemed county commission give the debris removal contract to a company that did not have its own contract haulers, is the question that never will go away?
tohara@keysnews.com