Important Meeting at DiamondHead Tonight

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Meetings are being held this month for Lee County to get public input on the Draft Action Plan for the $1.1 billion Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Fort Myers Beach meeting is tonight at 5:30PM.

Lee County does not broadcast these meetings live so we will be there to cover the meeting and report on it here on our website Wednesday.

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Dan Allers said the town is ready to present its case for why the island deserves some of the funding.

The Draft Action Plan is published at www.leegov.com/recovery/cdbg-dr for review and comment until August 31st. Comments can be emailed to recovery@leegov.com, mailed to Lee County Administration in care of the Office of Strategic Resources, 2115 Second St., Fort Myers, Fl, 33901, or provided during one of the public meetings.

CDBG-DR funds may be spent on a limited number of eligible activities related to impacts from Hurricane Ian that include housing, infrastructure, economic revitalization, public services and planning. At least 70% of the grant must be used for projects that benefit Low-to-Moderate Income households, which HUD defines as a family at or below 80% of Area Median Income. For example, in Lee County a single-person household would qualify at $47,700 or less per year, whereas the limit for total household income is $68,100 per year for a family of four.

After public input has been received, Lee County will submit the Action Plan to HUD for review and approval.

Lee County’s Office of Strategic Resources and Government Affairs has prepared a timeline describing the necessary steps and other information at www.leegov.com/recovery/cdbg-dr. This webpage will continue to serve as an informational resource for CDBG-DR activities. Interested parties are encouraged to visit this resource periodically for updates.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This funding should not be based on Means Testing which is unconstitutional paralleling the same concerns about affirmative action. It should be based on the individual’s personal losses. Property owners shoulder the highest tax burden, but when calamity strikes, our taxes primarily fund government recovery without aiding the affected property owners. Instead, we witness a cycle of tax inflow and outflow within the government. Meanwhile, escalating property taxes yield no reciprocation, merely driving further governmental expansion. Recent employment data revealing a 60% government job growth suggests an impending trend where most will work for the government needing more and more funding.
    Regrettably, the current system inadequately supports those who’ve incurred significant losses but managed to save. A viable solution could involve establishing a dedicated fund offering low to no-interest loans, surpassing SBA terms. This strategy, drawing from a substantial source of around $1.1 Billion, could extend vital resources to those impacted by events like Ian, aiding their recovery and rebuilding endeavors.
    While damage concentrated in areas like Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel/Captiva, Pine Island, and parts of the Cape, these locales should unquestionably take precedence in funding allocation. Swift attention should be directed towards addressing the needs of the affected property owners in these communities.
    Moreover, the concept of means testing can be perceived as incongruent with American ideals, mirroring criticisms of programs like affirmative action that redistribute wealth without valuing hard work. This perpetuates the shift of resources from the diligent wealth earners to those with less effort invested. Consequently, a fairer approach entails acknowledging the contributions of industrious property owners and providing substantial crisis aid, fostering unity and shared responsibility.

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