While the Council and Staff of Fort Myers Beach have no shortage of issues to look after on land, from development to traffic to parking, their meeting on Monday kicked off with a presentation by members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on sharks, and their relationship with humans in our area. Nancy Sheridan and Brent WInner, scientists with the FWC, stood before the audience and the Council to give a quick list of facts about local sharks, and the results of human interaction with them.
For the most part, the presentation’s purpose was to allay fears that people may have in sharing these waters with sharks. As Sheridan explained, sharks are not only an apex predator, but also a keystone species that proves vital to our ecosystem.
Winner went into detail about shark attacks in our area, explaining that Lee and Collier Counties combined only recorded 8 shark bites since record keeping was started. Winner also stated that most shark bites are exploratory, where the shark tests to see if what they are biting is a member of its usual prey species. Most time, after a shark bites a human, they do not sustain an attack.
The Council unanimously approved a cutoff date of March 1, 2016 for entering into a contract to this year’s 4th of July Fireworks celebration. This means that the town will not enter into a contract with a service provider for the fireworks if $10,000 of contributions have not been collected by this date.
The Town has previously collected 20,000 for this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration, and is currently processing a contract.
The Council also voted this week on the Island’s Farmer’s Market moving to a new location for this upcoming season. Previously held on the lots underneath the Matanzas’s Bridge, the market is looking to move to the Bay Oaks property towards the middle of the island.
Stated reasons for the move was both to get away from construction, and increase the visibility of the event. Right, there will be an estimated 22 vendors taking up 28 available spots at the new location. The event takes place every Friday, from November through April, 7:30 am to 11:30 am.
The Council approved this item in a unanimous vote.
Finally, the item regarding the implementation of fees in regards to Ordinance 15-08, which calls for the creation of a stormwater management program and utility by the Town as well as the establishment of a utility fee, was delayed to the first regular meeting in January in order to comply with notice requirements.
“This will give us the opportunity to bring in more information and to help the residents,” Mayor Anita Cereceda said.
This was the final regular Council meeting this year. They will reconvene on Monday, January 4th.
By Trent Townsend