Hello. My name is Margaret Blank. I am the former General Manager of the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District. I resigned in August 2014 in order to pursue new adventures with my family in New Hampshire. The District came a long way in my three years as General Manager. We transitioned from a construction firm to an operating utility. We reached a mutually beneficial agreement with our neighbor, the Village of Islamorada. We secured $18 million in state money. And we got the ball rolling again on Federal money from the Army Corps of Engineers. This is all thanks to the team at the District, our friends in Marathon and Islamorada, Rep. Holly Raschein, Rep. Joe Garcia, and Sen. Bill Nelson.
So why the blog? Well, the wastewater projects place a tremendous financial burden on the Florida Keys community. Unfortunately, the pain is not evenly distributed and that has real consequences. Key Largo citizens are taking a serious financial hit compared to other folks in the unincorporated area. I want this blog to be available as a resource so that, if they choose to do so, Key Largo citizens can advocate for themselves and turn that situation around.
I’m in New Hampshire now, so why do I care what happens in Key Largo? For one thing, I still own property there. I’m still a taxpayer. This situation affects me, too. I lived in Key Largo for ten years. My daughter spent the first eight years of her life there. We still have many friends in the area. Some as close as family. I know that people are struggling financially. The unfair financial burden of the sewer project does not help.
When you see the numbers, you’ll see how much Key Largo really contributes to the Keys-wide community. And you’ll see how what you get back compared to the other unincorporated areas. Then you have a decision to make. Is this okay with you? Or do you want it to change?