Since Hurricane Ian, General Manager Neal Hopgood and his DiamondHead team have loaned their ballroom to the Town of Fort Myers Beach for just about every meeting the town government needed to hold. They really stepped up when the town needed meeting space. That all comes to an end next month.
Starting in January the town’s governmental offices, which are temporary trailers, will move from the old Topps property, which is owned by the Fort Myers Beach Fire District, to the Bay Oaks property. In addition to Town Manager Andy Hyatt and his staff working out of the new trailers, all town council meetings and town committee meeting will be held in the new trailers.
Back in September, the Town Council approved a contract to lease 4 new trailers from BOXX Modular. The four-year lease agreement with BOXX is for $29,088.80 per month. Those 4 trailers will make up the government campus which will also include a more user-friendly setup when residents need to go in with permitting questions or when they have other questions they need answered by town staff.
It’s still unknown where the future permanent Town Hall will be located or when construction will begin. The Town Council seems to be leaning toward Hyatt’s recommendation of building a multi-purpose building on the Bay Oaks property, which would be incorporated into a new Bay Oaks building. However, we found out this week, that the town is also looking at an unannounced to the public location which is being considered for a new town hall. The town does not want to announce the new location for fear the property owner will raise the price.
The town does still own the property on Estero where the previous town hall was located before being demolished because of Hurricane Ian damage. What happens with that property if Town Hall is built at Bay Oaks – or somewhere else – has not been publicly discussed yet.