FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

Contact:            Pete Winton, Lee County Administration
                          (941) 335-2777

COMMISSION OKs ESTERO PARK FUNDING/I-75 INTERCHANGE CONTRACTOR

FORT MYERS, Fla. (September 24, 2002) – The Board of Lee County Commissioners today approved the following items during its regular weekly meeting.  They are:

Estero Community Park – Approved $669,195 for Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects to do the final design, permitting and construction oversight of Estero Community Park.  Park/Mudgett/Smith also developed the master plan for the park through a comprehensive public input process.  Construction is expected to begin within nine months.  The construction manager is J.L. Wallace Inc.  The master plan includes a recreation center, disc golf course, water playground and picnic shelters.  The initial 10-acre phase of the 65-acre park, which is just west of Estero High School and east of U.S. 41 on Williams Road, was completed in December 2000 and includes two, lighted football/soccer fields, a concession/restroom facility, and a parking lot.  The phase being planned will encompass the remaining 55 acres that run north toward Corkscrew Road.  Construction cost will be between $4 million and $5 million.  For more information, contact John Yarbrough at 461-7410.

Daniels Interchange – Approved APAC-Florida Inc. as the contractor for major intersection improvements at the Daniels Parkway/Interstate-75 Interchange.  The price is $852,788 with a completion date by December 15.  Improvements will include doubling the capacity of the off-ramps, including dual right-turn lanes and left-turn lanes onto Daniels Parkway.  They also will include lengthening the left-turn lanes from westbound Daniels Parkway onto southbound I-75 (toward Naples).  The money is coming from the Port Authority ($150,000) and Florida Department of Transportation ($1 million for resurfacing Daniels from I-75 to Treeline Ave. in 2003 and $390,000 from congestion management projects in 2005).  Lee County DOT will advance the funding and construction, with repayment from FDOT in 2003 and 2005.  Contact Scott Gilbertson at 479-8580.

Senior AIDES – Approved an agreement with the Dr. Ella Piper Center to participate in the Senior AIDES Project.  The program provides on-the-job training to limited income seniors 55 years and older.  The federal government pays the workers’ salaries and benefits.  The Senior AIDES improve their skills and professional development by working in various county departments.  They can work with the county for up to two years.  The county benefits by having additional help to get work done. The seniors benefit by getting valuable on-the-job experience.

Keep Lee County Beautiful – Approved the 2002-04 Board of Directors for Keep Lee County Beautiful.  They are: Chairman Steve Personette (Sprint), Chairman-Elect Neala Hoch (SP Recycling), Vice Chairman Dave Cerrato (Malcolm Pirnie), Treasurer Minette L. LaCroix (SI Ventures), and Secretary Cindy Bear (School District’s Environmental Education Program).  Also approved up to $88,000 in funding to KLCB for promotion and education programs about recycling and not littering.  For more information, contact Lindsey Sampson at 338-3302.