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Downtown Fort Myers - A big investment in rebuilding the city of Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian

City staff prepare for a possible 175 million grant award by vetting crisis and emergency management agencies
A grant committee gathered to discuss potential consulting firms in preparation for a 175 million dollar grant.
Posted at 8:22 PM, May 28, 2024

It's a significant investment in rebuilding Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian.

As your Fort Myers Community Correspondent, Fox 4's Miyoshi Price spoke with the director of grants about how the city plans to pay for 12 projects, including drainage upgrades on Michigan Avenue.

"Out of Twelve of the projects we submitted, six were for critical infrastructure projects," says Jessica McElwee, Director of Grants and Special Projects. "Some drainage and pedestrian impacts on Michigan Avenue or within the city view neighborhood. We also submitted some things for the Midtown infrastructure improvements, hoping to make a big resiliency and revitalize some of these areas.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)gave Lee County more than a billion dollars from its disaster recovery program to repair Hurricane Ian's damage. The funding will assist with the County's long-term recovery following Hurricane Ian. It is all possible because of the Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery Program. The city of Fort Myers wants 175 million from the County.

Half of the projects involve new buildings and infrastructure, while the other half will focus on flood mitigation and related work.

A committee of city staff discussed the vendors they hope to use for crisis and emergency management consulting if the city is awarded the money.

After reviewing seven consulting firms, the committee moved three to the in-person presentation round. Witt O'Brien's, Tidal Basin Group, and Aptim are the three vendors who have chosen to present to the public and city staff.

The meeting date has not been decided, but we will continue to track this grant process.

McElwee shared a breakdown of some critical projects the funds will go towards.

"These funds can go towards repair from areas that maybe were flooding or had some, you know, drainage damages during the storm, but it also is an opportunity for our community to expand and grow and be revitalized," says McElwee. "

The city won't know if they will be awarded the 175 million until August 6th.