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"It's a significant blow:" Bonita Springs discusses losing insurance discount

Bonita Springs joins Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, and unincorporated Lee County on the list of places where FEMA is rescinding a 25% flood insurance discount October 1.
Posted at 11:00 PM, Apr 04, 2024

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Imperial Shores was one of Bonita Springs hardest hit areas after Hurricane Ian. Home owners in the area are saying FEMA is top of mind, once again.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is taking away a 25% flood insurance discount in many places of Lee County starting on October 1.

Bonita Springs is on that list.

Mike Hassett lives near Imperial Shores Boulevard. He told Dominga Murray, the Fox 4 Community Correspondent for Bonita Springs, that he lost two cars and dealt with significant home damage after Ian.

"Some people said they got over 7 feet. I got about 6 foot, 7 inches," he said.

Bonita Springs city councilors are now pushing back. They say FEMA did not communicate this change was coming. The city and Lee County says staff complied with everything FEMA asked for.

"You're [FEMA] going to downgrade us based on a staff assessment and then say there's no right to appeal," councilman Jesse Purdon said, expressing frustration over the situation.

Councilman Nigel Fullick led a motion at the latest city council meeting, saying Bonita Springs' staffers have done nothing to deserve the rate change," he said.

"I'd like to propose a vote of confidence in our staff and city manager," he said.

Council unanimously voted in favor of that motion.