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Council gets back to business after break

August 8, 2012
By BOB PETCHER, , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Officials at the Town of Fort Myers Beach believe they are getting double dipped when it comes to being charged for animal control services.

Town Manager Terry Stewart brought forth the cost problem of the Lee County service during his manager items report at Town Council's first meeting since taking the month of July off.

"The County charges each one of the municipalities that it provides this service to," he said. "Based upon what the County has deemed a full-cost allocation, which simply means that every cost that is associated with providing a service to another governmental entity to charge it to a governmental entity, the problem is that they are not extending that to the allocation of revenues."

Article Photos

Beach Mayor Larry Kiker and Town Manager Terry Stewart in conjunction with many municipalities throughout the country declared “August 4” as Coast Guard Day in a small ceremony at Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach. Team Coast Guard is presented with the local proclamation.

Stewart used an example to back up his claim.

"If the County were to receive a grant that covers the full cost of the spaying and neutering program, then that should be allocated to that and the Town should not be charged twice for that," he said. The cities of Bonita Springs and Cape Coral have expressed the same concern.

Stewart said he has worked with County administration in attempts to find resolution, but has not found success in that avenue. He asked Council to allow him to craft a letter to County commission in identifying the issue and requesting attention to it for resolution. He also suggested a letter to the other municipalities that have concerns to join the Town in the effort.

"The staff that we have here at Town Hall has taken good looks at great lengths with the County on various issues," said Councilwoman Jo List. "They have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for this town in the course of the last few years as a result of their efforts in renegotiating."

Public Safety Committee to be reestablished

Council unanimously approved to introduce an ordinance to initiate the formation of a Public Safety Committee and set the only required hearing date for adoption on Aug. 20. The ordinance will repeal any ordinance creating the Public Safety Task Force and Traffic Mitigation Agency and move current task force activities to a standing committee.

"There was a strong pedestrian and bicycle safety issue along Estero Boulevard. This essentially will repeal ordinances done previously and reestablish a committee based upon the standards that are set forth with a new ordinance," said Stewart.

Estero Boulevard Interlocal to be sent to County

An interlocal agreement to establish cooperation between two governmental entities in the upcoming improvement project of Estero Boulevard was unanimously approved by Council members. The document will be forwarded to County officials for consideration involving recommendations and modifications.

"It provides that we will coordinate with the County because we will be replacing some of the utilities at the same time, and it has a dispute resolution process provision," said Town Attorney Marilyn Miller.

Three development issues approved

Council unanimously approved a rezoning, sign variance and Commercial Planned Development amendment during three separate public hearings Monday morning.

The five Town officials approved a request to rezone 821 Estero Blvd. and 831 Estero Blvd. from Residential Conservation to the Downtown Zoning.

Council then allowed for a sign variance at Pierview Hotel located at 1160 Estero Blvd. The sign will be allowed to be eight feet in height and set back one foot instead of three feet due to issues relating to utilities and other businesses' right of ways.

CVS Pharmacy was allowed to officially extend its hours from 7 a.m. to midnight each day of the week. The original CPD was assigned to Eckerds, the business that previously was located at the 7001 Estero Blvd. address. An amendment was needed to revise the existing CPD.



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