They were the first signs of the beach vibe returning to Fort Myers Beach after Hurricane Ian. Volunteers painted and installed colorful street signs all over Estero Boulevard after the storm destroyed nearly every street sign on the island. However, the Town Manager says they are coming down.
This is an about face from the town which clearly stated 8 months ago that the homemade signs would continue to mark the streets. Town Manager Andy Hyatt told Beach Talk Radio News Monday that the signs will be coming down and they will be brought to the Historical Society where they will be displayed and preserved for “future historical reference.” When Hyatt mentioned the signs would be going to the Historical Society at Monday’s Town Council meeting, not a single council member said anything about their previous stance.
Back in March, when the Town Council approved a nearly $400,000 contract with V&H Construction, to install the new green street signs, the resolution clearly stated the artistic signs were staying: “The community has shown great resilience and engagement by creating artistic road name signs. While these do not meet the legal requirements of road signage, this project is not to remove any existing artistic signs. It is the desire of the town to retain the artistic signs currently erected and to promote continued engagement, creativity and demonstrations of community resiliency in recovering from Hurricane Ian.”
No reason was given as to why they are now coming down.
The new green D.O.T. approved street signs will start to be installed in the next few weeks. The money to pay for the signs will be reimbursed to the town by FEMA.