On Monday the Town Council will consider a resolution taking the next steps to expand its mooring field by 19 balls. The Town of Fort Myers Beach currently operates a 70-slip mooring field east of Matanzas Pass Bridge.
The town is looking to expand the mooring field to add the additional 19 moorings west of Matanzas Pass Bridge accommodating vessels up to a length of 85 feet.
In 2019, the Town Council authorized staff to begin the permitting process for the Mooring Field expansion.
Final steps to the expansion included updating the Harbor Management Plan to include the newly permitted area prior to DEP issuing the permit. The Anchorage Advisory Committee has updated the plan, which will now be called the Matanzas Mooring Field Management Plan.
The Town has received the Army Corps of Engineer permit. Once a DEP permit is issued the town may begin moving forward with construction.
The town had estimated the cost of expanding the mooring field at $200,000. On Monday the council will also consider a resolution to apply for a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Wildlife Service’s Florida Boating Improvement Program to pay for the expansion. If the grant is approved the town would have to kick in $100,000 of its own money as a match. The grant also requires the town to maintain the expansion for 20 years.
The town is also considering buying two condos at The Harbor House for upland services for mooring field residents. Those services include rest rooms, washer and dryers and other amenities, which are being provided by Matanzas Inn right now.
The town council has instructed the town manager to look into the details of a condo deal after voicing concerns the town would be locked into an HOA type situation where rules can be changed and fees raised by the condo board.
Construction would also need to be done on the condos to meet the needs of the mooring field residents and money to pay for that would come out of the town’s budget.
Mooring ball rental fees are $18/day, $103.00/week or $312.00/month which includes taxes.