duck key

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys


























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9:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Government Center on 63rd St, Ocean, Marathon, Florida



1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. on May 13, 2003 at the Monroe County Government Center on 63rd Street, Ocean, Marathon, Florida.


2. Attendance


Present Absent

Tom Neville, Chairman Bruce Franck

Dick Adler

Fred Bucholtz

Gerry Fortier

R.J. Helbling

Dick Holland

Dennis Kulig

David Lyon



Judith Adler

Tony Appell

Joe Fernandez

Ed Gottchalk

June Helbling

Don Johnson

Adam Muik

Michelle Koby

David Rice

Gene Rohrscheit



3. Old Business

3.1 Expand Duck Key Security District and build a gate house.

Discussion was opened on establishing a Security Building for the island of Duck Key.



Tom Neville said that a substation would provide a police presence on Duck Key. R.J. Helbling was previously asked to meet with Hawk's Cay about this matter and he did.

R.J. Helbling stated that the goal is to expand security for the property owners including Hawk's Cay and Home Owners of Duck Key.

Sheriff Roth said in a previous meeting that he would finance a security camera for the building.

Commissioner Rice stated that legally you can not stop traffic with a gate house. The gate house would be window dressing and a sense of security for the Island.

Don Johnson stated that with a guard house and police substation people will look for an easier place to park their campers, fish off the bridges, etc. It will be a perception and you will see things go away like the campers. The camera will also be an important part of this.

It was discussed that Outdoor Resorts and Ocean Reef have a security building that stops traffic. How can they do it and Duck Key can not? The reason given by Commissioner Rice was that both Outdoor Resorts and Ocean Reef own the property. They are both privately owned. Whereas, Duck Key thoroughfare is County property.

Tom Neville handed out a blueprint of what is proposed for a new gate house at the old boat ramp.

It was discussed where to house the security building. Rent property from the old Brenner Building which is not available. Don Johnson said to construct a small building to house security at the entrance of Duck Key. The original plan was located by the Marina condo. The gate house located by the marina would not stop the traffic coming in whereas the new location is better for that.

The security building would expand security to seven days, twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year. It would also expand revenue. This would create value for the home owners by establishing a gated community or the perception of a gated community.

Commissioner Rice said that the County Engineer and County Legal department agree with the plan. The permits need to be approved.

The security is to serve the entire Island. It is to discourage traffic on the Island. It will establish security by recording everything and having a security camera.

It has been asked why the county does not patrol Duck Key on a consistent basis. By offering the gate house for the department we will see the county officers here more often. Tom Neville asked Sheriff Roth this and he replied that the police force is where the crime is and there is no crime on Duck Key. Most of Duck Key's "crime" is barking dogs, loud parties, fishing off the bridge, campers parked on the island with people sleeping in them, and broken water lines, etc. It was asked what kind of powers the security of the Island would have. Joe Fernandez, head of Eagle Security, said they have very little power. They call the sheriff if there is any problem. The security person asks for cooperation and it is usually given.

Get a commitment on the statement, "If we had a guard house, the police would be there."

Michelle Koby stated that security for the Villages of Hawk's Cay voted unanimously on April 17, 2003 to have the security in evidence at the beginning of the road.

A concern was voiced that Hawk's Cay has more renters and has a bigger need for the security. Michelle Koby said she doesn't think so. The security for the Villas is tight and they are so close together that driving by to check is done quickly. Don Johnson said that Hawk's Kay has a Manager on Duty 24 hours a day that takes care of problems.

A motion was made by Dick Holland and seconded by R.J. Helbling and carried by a vote of 8 to one abstaining to expand Duck Key Security district and build a gate house.



3.2 Establish a board for Security

Discussion was opened on establishing a board for security for representation of the commercial and residential arena.




Tom Neville stated that they need to have equal representation for Hawk's Cay and the residential side. They need to draw up something legal for this.

Commissioner Rice stated that it should be decided how the Duck Key Security District Advisory Board would like it to work. The county attorney can draft it up and take it to the county commission. The county commission likes to handle local business at the local location. The next local county commission meeting is 5 weeks from now. The county has patched the roads and would like to resurface the roads and add pedestrian and bike paths along the road. It would be better for all if the decision was made on the guard house then the resurfacing and additions could be made.

Ed Gottchalk stated that Duck Key Property Owner's Association does not want pedestrian and bike paths on the residential islands. They are in favor of having security and would prefer it on Duck Key Drive. They will settle for the other site.

David Lyon voiced concerns about combining the residential and commercial parts of the island in this venture. It was stated that this has been looked into and if the residents went alone on this, they wouldn't have enough funds to build the building. It would cost the residents $400 a square foot to versus what Hawk's Cay could do for it. That funding the commercial and the residential dollars is the issue. Tom stated that there should be an advisory board to work things out between the commercial and residential sides. He said it would be a nice step to merge the commercial with the residential. It would show growth on both sides. David Lyon said that he's not against anything. He feels the residents need to have a voice in it.

Don Johnson said that the advisory board would be 50/50. Both sides working together with the same goals.

It was voiced that the people of Duck Key need to find out what's going on. How is that being done and how can it be done? It was stated that there was a public notice in the paper for the meeting today. A concern was that a lot of the home owners of Duck Key have left for the season. How could those people be reached? Commissioner Rice said they could consider a newsletter.

R.J. said that the advisory board needs to vote today.

Tom said that the advisory board should be have equal representation for the commercial and the residential.

Tom said that a newsletter from the advisory board to everyone telling them when the vote will be held.

Commissioner Rice stated that there are two issues here. #1 is do you want to expand the security district? #2 is the mechanics issues. Look at two processes.

Don Johnson said he would like to get a gate house in. Get a substation there for the perception and get in agreement so Commissioner Rice can get the road done.

Dick Adler stated that it has been eight years since the original agreement with Hawk's Cay on this and nothing has happened. He would like to get a vote today to include the gate house, then get a newsletter to the people of Duck Key.

A motion was made by Dick Adler and seconded by Dick Holland and carried by a vote of 9 to 0 to form an advisory board of 4 people from Indies and 4 people from the Residents.


3.3 Establish who is allowed to drive gulf carts.

A discussion was opened on who is allowed to drive gulf carts and other security issues on the island.



Gerry Fortier voiced concern over young children driving gulf carts around Duck Key. He feels there is a need for a welcome wagon or something on that order to establish the laws on gulf carts, garbage day, etc.

Tom Neville discussed writing letters to property owners that included rules for gulf carts.

Fred Bucholtz said there have been problems with weddings and parties with loud bands at Hawk's Cay. People from the island have written letters. Letters have been sent to Commissioner Rice and others. Are there any ideas on how to approach this?

Judy Adler stated that this could be a Duck Key Property Owner's Association problem.

Dick Adler stated that in the 1988 agreement of the Covenant there is a declaration of restrictions that covers this. Duck Key Property Owner's Association should get their lawyer to contact Hawk's Cay lawyers to resolve this.

Tom Neville asked Ed Gottchalk to bring this up at the next DKPOA meeting.

Dennis Kulig would like to invite someone from the crime watch organization so he could explain what 911 is for&emdash;not just for accidents.


3.4 Newsletter to voice concerns of security on island and to inform property owners of meeting times.

Tom Neville proposed that a newsletter be written. R.J. Helbling said he would draft the newsletter. Then everyone could read it and initial it for verification. Then the newsletter will be mailed out to Duck Key property owners.


4. New Business

Tom Neville proposed that the next Duck Key Security District Advisory Board by held June 11, 2003 at 9 a.m. at the Monroe County Government Center on 63rd Street, Ocean, Marathon, Florida. It was decided and passed.


A motion was made by Dick Adler and seconded by Gerry Fortier and carried by a vote of 9 to 0 that the board establish a process for the transition of it's members.


Make a decision on the secretary for the Duck Key Security District Advisory Board at the next meeting.

David Lyon volunteered to watch over the budget.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.


Minutes submitted by

Connie Champagne

My Professional Solution







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