FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pete Winton, Lee County
BOARD TAKES CAUSEWAY ACTION/BUYS
FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 20, 2003) - The Board of Lee County Commissioners today approved the following items during its regular weekly meeting. They are:
Causeway Drawbridge - Approved a recommendation by consulting engineers and DOT staff to replace Sanibel Causeway Bridge A (the drawbridge) and authorized a re-evaluation to determine the type of replacement structure to be built. The options include a similar type drawbridge (26 feet), a mid-level (48-foot) drawbridge that would allow more boat traffic through without being raised, and a high-level (70-foot) fixed span. The cost of the bridge replacement is estimated at anywhere from $15 million to $22 million, to be funded with bonds repaid from tolls. The re-evaluation report, with a recommended option, is expected by October.
Conservation 20/20 - Approved the purchase of a 77-acre parcel through the Conservation 20/20 Program. The tract is located along Hart Road just north of Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers. Purchase price: $618,000. The site contains an upstream segment of Powell Creek, from its confluence with Powell Bypass Canal to Able Canal. It also provides flood protection for Forest Park and Suncoast Estates.
Utility Purchases - Authorized 22 positions for the county's Utilities Division to operate and maintain Gulf Environmental Services (GES) and the recently purchased Gateway Services District Wastewater Treatment System. The county plans to purchase GES, which serves portions of south Lee County, by July. The action provides for appropriate staffing of three wastewater treatment plants, two water treatment plants, 98 raw sewage lift stations, and the water distribution system.
Lobbying Ordinance - Sent proposed revisions to the county's lobbying ordinance to a June 24 public hearing (5 p.m. in the Commission Chambers). The revisions clarify certain sections of the existing ordinance, strengthen other areas and add several exemptions, including government officials or employees who are acting in their official capacity or in the normal course of their duties. Elected officials and covered employees will have to complete uniform lobbying logs quarterly, even if they have no contacts with lobbyists. In addition, those lobbying on behalf of an organization or issue who are unpaid or volunteers will not have to register as lobbyists. However, officials and employees will have to log contacts with them in the quarterly lobbying logs. The county's ordinance is stricter than state requirements, which mandate that lobbyists register, but officials/employees are not required to complete lobbying logs.