The Fort Myers Beach town council gave staff direction to move forward with the Bayside Park plan pictured here. Bayside Park could be the first of the three major projects, the town has borrowed $10 million to help fund, that sees shovels hit the ground.
The upgrade to the lot between Nervous Nellies and Snug Harbor will include a permanent stage, artificial turf and some sort of shade tree. Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros pretty much demanded the tree be put in the design. She’s been asking for a shade tree ever since the design was presented.
There’s also been a lot of discussion about some type of Veteran’s Memorial. There’s been a lot of discussion about some sort of memorial being part of this redevelopment. A group of veterans, led by Forest Critser, have volunteered to help with the design of a Veteran’s Memorial. As soon as they make a recommendation, it will go before the council for approval and then be forwarded to the design team.
Today, the park includes a non-functioning fountain and a gazebo that, at times, is used by the homeless. This project has come a long way. It was about 6 months ago that the town staff nearly fast-tracked a 3-story building through that would have been the home base for mooring field residents and also include town office space. That plan was dealt a death blow when residents and business owners in the area organized against it.
The project is expected to take 4 months once it begins and cost approximately $1.5 million. The town might be able to start the project in May or June depending on how the bidding process goes.