not all the rich people are blind... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

(This was on the front page...lead story of Palm Beach Post)

(FYI Jupiter Island is home of lots of OLD money...very exclusive...)


By Stephen Kiehl, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Section: A SECTION Edition: FINAL Page: 1A

Article Text:

JUPITER ISLAND - The computer meltdown and ensuing chaos forecast for the millennium may be a fanciful doomsday scenario, and it may never happen, but Jupiter Island isn't taking any chances.

On Friday the town commission authorized spending $61,000 to buy generators, radios, food and other supplies so the island is prepared for the worst.

And that's just the first step. Town plans call for spending an additional $162,000 for emergency supplies - including ammunition and bulletproof vests - and staff overtime. The town is planning to be self-sufficient for the first two weeks of the new year, at a cost of $223,000.

"We do want to be ready, but we don't want to just go spending money wildly," said Jupiter Island Mayor Joseph Connolly.

Still, his town is unique in its extensive preparations for Y2K, the term used to describe the problem that computers could have when 1999 becomes 2000. Computers that aren't prepared for the switch may think it's 1900, and that could cause problems for banks, utilities, food distributors - anything that relies on computer dates to function.

While most towns and cities are taking steps to fix the Y2K problem with their computer systems, few are preparing for public safety risks like Jupiter Island. In Stuart, officials are making the same preparations for Y2K as they would for a hurricane, said City Manager David Collier.

Many of the expenditures on Jupiter Island's Y2K budget are also needed for hurricane season, said Town Manager Jim Spurgeon. For example, a $25,000 generator for the utility office would have been needed even without Y2K. And of the $223,000 planned, $79,000 is for staff overtime - money that won't be spent if there are no problems.

Town residents, however, are making special preparations of their own. The town's building office has received requests from residents for permits for generators, motor homes, water storage tanks, diesel fuel tanks, 8-foot security fences and even observation decks.

Most of that is not allowed under the town's zoning rules, but the commission will consider an ordinance at its next meeting that would allow such emergency measures to be installed for a window of time before and after Jan. 1, 2000. After the turn of the century and all returns to normal, the special installations would have to be removed.

At Friday's town commission meeting, residents expressed their approval of the town's preparations.

"This is absolutely excellent," said Christopher Smith, a former vice president of Microsoft who led a town workshop on Y2K in March. "Jupiter Island is now one of the leading towns in the country for Y2K planning."

Smith has made arrangements for a town police sergeant to stay at his house on New Year's Eve, partly in an effort to keep town workers on the island, but Smith also reasons that having an armed officer around would protect his family in the event of social unrest.

Though Jupiter Island's Y2K plans call for a police patrol boat to keep a close watch on the town, at a cost of $26,120, Spurgeon emphasized that the town doesn't anticipate having to defend itself against marauding gangs. And despite rumors, the town does not plan to raise the drawbridge leading to the island.

Another exclusive island community, Palm Beach, is not making any special plans for Y2K safety, said town spokeswoman Janet Kinsella. The town is adequately covered by emergency plans already in place, she said.

Jupiter Island's Y2K Contingency Planning Budget

There are three levels of spending. Among the items town commissioners approved Friday for Priority 1 spending were:

Portable generator $10,000

Utility office generator $25,000

4 mobile radios $4,000

5 business band radios $3,000

Fuel supply $6,000

Radio tower $3,500

Alternative water supply $2,500

Cameras $2,500

Total of all Priority 1 spending: $61,350

Priority 2 and 3 spending requests include:

Bulletproof vests $4,000

Ammunition $1,000

7 days of boat patrol $26,120

Oxygen generator $5,000

Propane tanks $10,420

5 rental motor homes $10,000

Food/supplies for 2 weeks $7,000

2 security guards for public works dept. $9,600

Total of all Priority 2 and 3 spending: $162,420

Copyright 1999 Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.

-- weasel (, May 03, 1999


I would pull up the draw bridge. I wish I had a draw bridge to draw up. Or a moat with alligators. Those people sound like they are really organized and will stay two jumps ahead of the masses.

Got an island?


-- Taz (Tassie, May 03, 1999.

$7,000 for food and $2,500 for water? how many people live on this island?

-- Shelia (, May 03, 1999.

It's a fair sized place, narrow but long. Ocean on one side and the intracostal waterway on the other, and some of the prettiest aqua- blue water north of the keys. I think they must have it imported.


-- Mr Deedah (, May 03, 1999.

does anyone have the link to that news article? i'd like to print it up from an authrized website such as the newspaper's it was printed at and make copies for all the city council here where i live. at least some people are thinking!


-- pamela (, May 03, 1999.

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