Even though the Town Council has moved on, the Anchorage Advisory Committee continues to discuss the Bayside Park location for a new upland services building. Here’s what committee members said this week…
Committee Vice Chair Sam Lurie praised Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros for being a strong proponent of the Bayside Park building. Lurie and Committee Chair Katherine Light made another pitch for the Bayside Park Building at a recent town council meeting. He said he though they made a good case. “They were very unreceptive to anything. I don’t know where their objections came from, such as ruining the view. If you look at the plans putting the building there it had a better view. I thought it was a little unreasonable. It’s really unfortunate they show it down really quickly. There was really no attempt.”
Another committee member said, logically if you take all the emotion out that’s the place it should have been.
The town council is in the process of getting bids to upgrade Bayside Park, for the most part leaving it as a park, adding shade, grass and a stage.
Currently upland services are being provided by Matanzas. The contract with Matanzas, expires on December 1st. The owners of Matanzas have said they are willing to continue to provide the service. In all likelihood the town will put the contract out for bid in July.
The committee wants the town to take the service in-house which would mean either buying property or finding property the town owns and building the facility. Both of those options will likely cost millions of dollars. Committee chair Katherine Light said the number one issue is water access. Waterfront property, if it’s even available, doesn’t come cheap on Fort Myers Beach.
Public Works Director Chelsea O’Riley told the committee the town has compiled a list of possible options for an upland services facility. She said the options range from town owned facilities to property with a price tag of $2.6 million. She also said after the town staff met with Moss Marine they are not interested in providing the service.
There are currently 70 mooring balls that are rented in the water around Fort Myers Beach. The town is planning to expand that to 89. The town signed a 10-year contract with the state to provide upland services to mooring field renters.
Another option for the upland services: trailers under the bridge. It’s not the preferred option however if there are no acceptable bidders for upland services it may be the only option. The trailers would include restrooms, shower and laundry facilities. Trailers take 14-16 weeks to get them ready for use.