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Ceremony planned for new Pine Ridge government facility

By Staff | Oct 22, 2009

A ribbon-cutting for the Pine Ridge Government Complex will take place today with representatives present from the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Iona McGregor Fire District and the Lee County Tax Collector’s Office.
The cost of the Pine Ridge Government Complex project was $9 million due to the county owning the land prior to construction.
The nine-acre complex has two buildings, which includes the tax collector’s office and the emergency responders’ building.
The doors of the tax collector’s office opened July 13, after workers moved there from the Summerlin Square site.
The 10,000-square-foot building provides additional space for a driver’s license service that the office did not have at the previous location.
The office also features motor vehicle and vessel registration, real estate and personal tangible property tax, local business tax, and hunting and fishing services.
The emergency responders’ building contains the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Iona McGregor Fire District, Lee County Emergency Medical Services and a large meeting room.
There is also a helipad on the property for quick response by the EMS helicopter.
There is a total of 40,450 square feet between the two buildings, with the emergency responders’ building containing the majority of the space.
Gordon “Booch” DeMarchi, special events coordinator of public resources for Lee County, said the complex is important to residents because it increases the customer service available in the area.
“In these difficult budgetary times that everyone is facing, government is being asked to do more with less,” he said. “Thus, these agencies in the Pine Ridge Government Complex have pooled their efforts and budgets to stretch those tax dollars.
“In other words, it would have been a whole lot more expensive for all four of these agencies to individually purchase land and build a stand-alone building just for its agency,” DeMarchi said. “That plan would have cost four times more money than the cost of this combined project.”
The new complex is located at 15650-15680 Pine Ridge Road in Fort Myers.
The ceremony starts at 11 a.m.