Good Afternoon Fellow Florida Marine Contractor Member’s,
I have been following many of you on Facebook or Instagram and seeing a lot of nice work taking place across the state. I just want to tell every one of you what a great job you’re doing to change the public’s thinking into realizing that the Marine Industry is a sought after needed profession. We are a dire part of what a Client needs to either enjoy or repair their property. We are also involved in building structures at every major waterfront facility to include marinas, commercial boat ramps, parks, public docks to 1000’s of personal residences across the state. From the Vendors and Suppliers, the Consultants along with the Marine Contractor, again I say, GREAT JOB!
Behind the scenes, your FMCA Board Of Directors and Executive Director Kelly White have been working really hard on some issues around the state that have popped up.
We have had some unintended consequences of House Bill 735 that created a hurricane of issues for the Marine Contractor. Here soon, we will be releasing a write up in more detail on this issue and what we are doing to address it.
We have had seagrass study requirements and issues around the state both at the Federal and State level that need some ironing out. We have internally as a Board had some success in dealing with the FDEP on some of these issues but certainly have more ground to cover.
We are pursuing an exemption for the Florida Marine Contractor to be able to use a surface to water air supply rig (Hookah Rig) without having to be classified as a full fledged diver. This is needed for many reasons.
Intend to pursue legislation & funding that makes it legal for a Marine Contractor to be allowed to use all public boat ramps in order to conduct their business. Advocate for making the locations next to public boat ramps usable for commercial use. I guess we could call it a designated commercial area for contractors.
We have had some issues with contractors trying to get a State Certified Marine Contractor’s license versus finding someone that the state Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) will approve to sign off on them. This has proven to be one of our biggest issues around the state. We have many qualified individuals from through out the state that are unable to get approved to be a State Licensed & Certified Marine Contractor. They have taken the test but it appears the next steps are near to impossible. I will be doing a detailed write up of this going forward.
In the past, before the economy of 2008 & 2009, we had a lot of momentum with the state legislative branches as well as the Federal and State agencies. We have noticed that we are starting to develop a great rapport with these agencies again along with some direct and very appreciated support from our Governor, Ron Desantis.
Knowing what FMCA has accomplished in the past with creating the State Certified Marine Contractor’s License along with assisting in the creation of the USL&H work comp code, I first handedly witnessed that all this was done with the help of a qualified lobbyist. When the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 hit the Marine Contractor across the state, we had to stop lobbying as well as lower dues from $1,000.00 a year down to around $450.00 per year in order to keep membership alive. I was President during that era. My one goal along with the help of the Board of Directors was to save the FMCA. We accomplished that goal and have been building back ever since. Here we are, almost 13 years later with thriving Marine Contractor’s all over the state and our membership is the best it has been in years. It has been a passion of mine for many years to create a working relationship with a new lobbyist to start helping us tackle some of our issues. I didn’t want to just work with anyone. We knew that we needed to work with a group that understood our issues and knew how to navigate the system in order to produce viable results we can sink our teeth into. We are there now! Our board voted last month to move forward with Jenkins Hill Consulting to tackle the above issues I listed above as well as work with us on future issues. My sole goal for FMCA is to bring results to the Marine Industry that give direct benefit to you as a member. I, along with the Board, are excited for this move. Please understand that this doesn’t come for free unfortunately so I made the recommendation in our last meeting to increase our membership dues from the $450.00 per year to $650.00 per year starting effective for renewals due in July. It is the minimum needed in order to not impact your wallets too hard but still make this lobbying decision viable. I was President when we voted to drop the membership fees so I feel it is only right for me to be the one to request to increase them. Please understand that I weigh a lot into this decision and would never push for it unless I truly thought it would directly affect your companies in
On May 13, 2022 I was a guest speaker at the Construction Licensing Officials Association of Florida’s (CLOAF) annual meeting. I was invited to speak about HB735 and the unintended consequences, of which there are many. Some additional issues were uncovered during the presentation, as well.
In the end, the presentation was beneficial and well received. I think I may have brought about some change in a couple of the licensing departments, we will see the impact, if any soon.
If you would like a copy of the of the Power Point, please email me at email@example.com and request a copy. If you are aware of a city or county that are sunsetting the local construction licenses prior to 6/30/23, please email me with details and copies of any announcements/post cards.
Kelly White, Exec Dir
The extension approved by the BOCC last Tuesday applies to all local licenses issued by Lee County this past update cycle (almost 2400 in total). As you noted, this would extend the expiration date of those licenses from 9/30/2022 to 6/30/2023.
David M. Loveland, AICP | Director
Department of Community Development
1500 Monroe St, Fort Myers, FL 33901
office: (239) 533-8509
cell: (239) 839-1988
The FMCA has received confirmation “1” Specialty Marine Contractor license has been extended to 6/30/23 by the Lee County License Division. We have inquired if the extension applies to all of the Specialty Marine Contractors or just the “1”. If it does not apply to all, we have inquired about how we should request an extension for the remaining Lee County licensed Specialty Marine Contractors. Update to membership will be provided upon receipt of response from Lee County.
If you are licensed in Hillsborough County or any other county that is sunsetting the licenses prior to 6/30/23, please reach out to the licensing department of that county. If you know of any other counties sunsetting their licenses, please let us know.
While attending a Republican Women’s Club of Duval Federated event, I had the opportunity to speak with Representative Fischer regarding HB 735 and the unintended consequences. Rep Fischer was on the committee for the bill and was surprised when I advised him about the numerous counties that are sunsetting their licenses and closing their local county licensing divisions. I submitted an outline to his staff yesterday, as well as, documentation from several of the county websites. We are awaiting a response, but he did agree that was not the intent of the bill, but rather to deregulate licensing requirements on “Occupational” types of licenses such as painting, interior trim carpentry, etc. and not to impact Building Contractor (technical/structural) or Tradesmen.
The Board is in the final stages of contracting with a Consulting firm to lobby on our behalf regarding this issue and several others. Please attend the EXPO on October 7th & 8th for discussions about where we are headed with the lobbying and provide suggestions on what is impacting your company.
I will be speaking at the Construction Industry Licensing Officials Association (CLOAF) on May 13th regarding the bill and the unintended consequences. I will update the membership with any feed back I receive from the meeting.
Stay tuned folks, looks like we maybe gaining some traction!!