State Delivers Over $15 Million to Fort Myers Beach

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Representative Adam Botana brought the Town Council the good news Monday when he shared that the state budget, which kicks in July 1st, includes over $15 million for Fort Myers Beach. The final piece is Governor DeSantis’ signature. He does have line-item veto power.

$7.547 million of the $15 million will be used to replace revenue the town lost in the aftermath of hurricane Ian. The town lost revenue from parking, permit applications and other sources when the storm came through damaging nearly every structure on the beach. The town government at the time was lost about what to do as executives and the state converged on Fort Myers Beach to lend a hand and try to get the government back up and running to help residents first get out from under the debris, then star the rebuild process.

$8 million of the $15 million will be used to build a new permanent Town Hall. The town was under-insured for its Town Hall and the Town Council has not even publicly a announced where a new Town Hall could be built. Town Manager Andy Hyatt has pitched a plan to build a new Town Hall on the Bay Oaks property and perhaps incorporate it with a new Bay Oaks building. There has also been some chatter that the town was looking at an existing building to perhaps purchase as their town hall. That location has never been publicly revealed.

The town also still owns the property where the old town hall stood on Estero Boulevard. The building was a total loss after the storm and was demolished a few months ago. The town has received some insurance money and has brought in a public adjuster to try to get more.

Botana said over the last 2 legislative sessions Fort Myers Beach has now received over $50 million to help recover from Hurricane Ian. The $15 million that the town will get if the Governor signs the budget are grants and do not have to be repaid. Botana said, “That’s Floridians helping Floridians.” He also said he’ll be asking for more money for Fort Myers Beach during the next legislative session.

Botana credited State Senator’s Jonathan Martin and Kathleen Passidomo for their help bringing money back to the beach.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I’m with the lighting and the sidewalks. When turtles aren’t nesting, why can’t our lights be on bright? And please fix our sidewalks!!

  2. First Governor DeSantis got us on the island after 10 days of being stonewalled by city government. Now is helping with our budget. He has run a tight ship with budget surpluses. I for one appreciate it after dealing with the Michigan state government for years.

  3. It’s about time, DeSantis! Now please don’t use it for more tourist crap. Even though I am sure that is why he sent it. We need to start helping our islanders get back to normal. The businesses are making $$, the traffic is horrific, but we are all still trying to cope with our PTSD, and being priced out of our homes. The islanders that didn’t lose their lives in the storm, lost most of their homes and ways of life to help the difficulty of sustaining after the storm took everything from them. So Beach Radio, do your thing for us too. I know we may not give you your 15 minutes of fame, but we will appreciate any help you can get for us. Like building back our POOL.

  4. The Poooooooooollllll! We need our pool back. Use your phone as a flashlight. Jeez, we have spent enough on making sure you tourists are safe and happy. Now can we please use some of these $$ to get our pool back?

  5. Perhaps they can spend some money on Estero Blvd lighting 😵‍💫 Me and my wife walked from MargaritaVille to The Whale and then to Diamondhead to support them for what they do for the island but had a hard time seeing where we were going .. There are holes in the sidewalk where trees used to be but you can hardly see them with the DIM street lighting … Someone’s going to get hurt if they haven’t already ….

  6. That is great news. Bankruptcy was a certainty until grants and loans were secured post-Ian. Thank you to each individual who made it happen and to the State of Florida for stepping in to assist our community.

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