LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve multiple projects including conservation and land management, a new 911 system, widening of Corkscrew Road, and a $2 million plan to combat homelessness in our community.
The Board approved a land management plan for the GS-10 Preserve in East Lee County that includes a water management and restoration project by the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LAMSID).
In April 2019, they approved the purchase of the 624-acre GS-10 Preserve through the Conservation 20/20 program. The Board and LAMSID entered into memorandum of understanding to partner on the management of the land.
The land management plan provides a general overview to construct a filter marsh to provide flood mitigation, TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) credits for improving surface water quality, and to provide for nature-based recreation.
Conservation 20/20 land purchases
The Board voted to pursue acquisition of two parcels through the Conservation 20/20 program that are near publicly held land. The parcels are:
About 0.23 of an acre located inside the Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve in North Fort Myers, east of Interstate 75 and south of Bayshore Road.
About 2.5 acres located within the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed area, a 60,000-acre area of interconnected environmentally critical land.
Both parcels were recommended unanimously by the Conservation 20/20 Land Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee.
The Lee County Conservation 20/20 program acquires land from willing sellers for resource-based recreational opportunities such as hiking, birdwatching, nature study, photography and paddle craft launches.
For more information, visit www.Conservation2020.org.
Corkscrew Road widening
Commissioners awarded a contract for the first phase of widening Corkscrew Road east of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway to four lanes.
The widening project is a top-tier transportation priority for the Board. The first phase will create a six-lane, divided arterial road from Ben Hill Griffin Parkway east to Fire House Lane and a four-lane divided arterial road from Fire House Lane east to Bella Terra Boulevard. The project also includes relocation of potable water, reuse and wastewater utilities. The $23.3 million contract is with Lee County-based Cougar Contracting.
The roadway will include 4-foot bike lanes. Sidewalks along the portions in unincorporated areas are part of the project. The Village of Estero has an agreement with Lee County to build shared use paths for the Phase 1 roadway portions within the village boundary after roadway construction. The Village limits include the south side of Phase 1 and the north side from Ben Hill Griffin to the western boundary of the Wild Blue development.
The Phase 1 widening project is within existing right-of-way and will begin this spring. Phase 2, which will extend east to Alico Road, will require some land acquisition. Total project costs for both phases, including design, land acquisition, construction and construction inspection is expected to be $52 million.
For more information on the project, go to www.corkscrewroadwidening.com .
Next Generation E911 system
The Next Generation E911 system will add capabilities such as the improved location of 911 callers using cellular phones and text-to-911 functions.
The contract with Vesta Solutions Inc. is for all associated services, software, equipment and infrastructure at Public Safety Answering Points, which include Lee County Public Safety, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Cape Coral Police Department, the Fort Myers Police Department and the Sanibel Police Department.
The $2.9 million contract includes three years of warranty service and will be paid for with E911 reserve funds. The project was bid through an Invitation to Negotiate, and four bidders responded.
The Board has made upgrading the system a priority. The work is scheduled to be completed before the end of the year, with most of the installation and training planned for this summer. The system also improves call processing and management.
Lee County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to spend nearly $2 million to quickly house families living on the street. It'll help homeless parents and children who could wait up to 30 days for temporary housing.
FOX 4's Rachel Loyd covered the county's $2 million plan to fight homelessness, and you can view it here: Lee County approves $2 million plan for homeless.