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Wednesday, 17 February 2021 13:46

Fort Myers Beach Town Council Meeting Report

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Action by Fort Myers Beach Town Council at its regular meeting on Monday, earlier this monts, involved enhancements of the Mooring Field, an upcoming traffic signal at Old San Carlos and Estero Boulevard, and appointments to two of the Town’s advisory boards, among other items.

Public comment was about Lee County’s plans for the Big Carlos Pass Bridge, consulting with FWC to find out if window tinting is an option for compliance with turtle lighting regulations, the ongoing dune walkover dispute, report from the Town Attorney that mask mandates have been ruled constitutional, conducting landscaper fertilizer training modeled after the City of Sanibel’s, joining with Lee County to receive FEMA funding to help pay utilities for lower income families that have been impacted by COVID, and confirmation that pan handling is illegal in the Town.

Council approved Resolution 21-02 to update the Matanzas Mooring Field Management Plan and add language about the expansion of the Mooring Field. These actions were necessary for the Town to complete the final steps in the permitting process with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the expansion. The Army Corps of Engineers has already approved the engineering permit.

This expansion has been in the planning stages since 2019, when it was first approved by Town Council. It encompasses the west side of Matanzas Pass Bridge and adds approximately 19 mooring systems. The added systems allow for accommodating vessels up to 80 feet, increasing the current vessel limit of 52 feet.

Related to Mooring Field, Town Councilors approved Resolution 21-04 authorizing the Town Manager or his designee to apply for and administer a grant from the Florida Boating Improvement Program (FBIP). If received, this grant would provide up to $200,000. A $100,000 match would be required by the Town, to be budgeted for in the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year’s cycle. The grant would be through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and could be available after October 1, 2021.

In other business, Council approved a contract of $75,572.82 for construction engineering inspection on the new traffic signal with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. This approval authorizes the Town Manager to execute contract documents from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). This is the Town’s first Local Agency Planning (LAP) project which provides reimbursement from FDOT for construction and construction engineering inspection.

Rebecca Guidry was appointed by Council to the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Advisory Board (BORCAB). Council also appointed six members to the new Nuisance Abatement Board (NAB). NAB members appointed were Anita Cereceda, Charles Meador, Jr., Dawn Thomas, Jan Fleming, Monica Schmucker, and Tre Gillette. Schmucker was chosen as the chairperson.

Other agenda items:
• Recommendation to Lee County of two possible locations at Lynn Hall and Bowditch Point Parks for a scaled-down, single version of the original arches previously located on San Carlos Island;
• Acquisition of the Town’s pension and deferred compensation plans for employees by Envestnet Retirement Solutions, from Mass Mutual;
• Authorization of the Town’s voluntary, no-cost participation in the proposed Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Compact;
• Recap of the public hearing conducted by Lee County about plans for the Big Carlos Pass Bridge on the south end of Estero Island; Town Council decided not to join with the City of

Bonita Springs to advocate for an alternative to the proposed construction of a 60-foot bridge to replace the current bridge.

The next regularly scheduled Town Council meeting will be on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard. (The President’s Day federal holiday is Monday, February 15.) In keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about COVID-19, Council meetings are social distanced with reduced audience capacity. Masks or other face-coverings are mandatory.

Council meetings are broadcast live on the Town’s YouTube channel and Comcast Channel 98.

Visit the Town’s website at, click on the title Mayor and Council, then go to Meetings & Agendas. Agendas and minutes of meetings are also available at that link.

To find out when Council meetings are scheduled, visit the Town’s website, and scroll down the homepage to the calendar.

Keep up on meeting schedules by signing up to receive emails through the website’s Notify Me feature. Find that feature under the Popular Pages column on the homepage.

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