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Fort Myers Beach Updates: council vacancy, park renaming, and beach project delays

Posted at 10:06 PM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-08 22:06:39-05

The Fort Myers Beach City Council announced updates concerning a vacant council seat, the renaming of Bayside Park, and the rejection of all contracting bids for the beach renourishment project on Estero Island.

The council addressed the vacancy left by former council member Bill Veach, who officially resigned from his position. The departure was driven by the recent implementation of Rule 6, a state law mandating detailed financial disclosure from elected officials. This rule requires the declaration of most assets and liabilities valued at over $1,000.

Bill Veach, expressing his concerns, stated, "The number one reason was safety for me and my family. When it was first enacted I guess 50-60 years ago, we didn't have things like hackers and computer crime."

The town is now actively seeking a replacement for the vacant seat, aiming to fill it before the upcoming election in November.

In another development, Fort Myers Beach has rejected all bids received for the Estero Island Beach Renourishment Project. The project faced a setback as only two bidders responded, both exceeding the allocated budget.

City officials have advised re-bidding for the project outside of the shorebird nesting season to encourage more competitive bids. The renourishment was expected to follow the Emergency Berm Project which is wrapping up this week. The revised timeline now pushes the start date to June at the earliest.

The city council also announced the renaming of Bayside Park to Bayside Veteran Park. This decision followed a town-released survey in December, which showed a strong preference for this new name . Although a park sign had been ordered before the decision, the city will now commission an updated sign to align with the new name and to accompany a new memorial in the park.

Another approval was the expansion of the Fort Myers Beach Farmer's Market. In addition to its current Friday schedule, the market will now also operate on Saturdays.