City receives $1.7 million in grants from TDC
During Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council approved the acceptance of five Tourism Development Council grants totaling more than $1.7 million for the completion of various facility improvements at some of the island’s most frequented sites for both residents and out-of-town visitors.
The largest grant, totaling $946,500, will be put towards beach maintenance on Sanibel. Pursuant to their agreement with Lee County, the city will perform work as outlined in the project description and submit a detailed invoice to the county. The county will then reimburse the city to cover those expenses, not to exceed the grant amount.
Additional Tourism Development Council grants approved on Tuesday include:
• $313,600 for completion of a beachside restroom facility at Lighthouse Park
• $280,000 for construction of a family restroom facility at Bowman’s Beach
• $102,000 for replacement of dune walkovers
• $90,000 for restorations at Bailey Beach
After the council voted unanimously to accept the Tourism Development Council grants, Ric Base, president of the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce, was quick to praise the efforts of the council and City Manager Judie Zimomra. He stated that receiving those funds was “incredibly important for us.”
“We are the jewel of this county,” Base added. “You need to put money back into the product in order to keep that product fresh.”
Councilman Marty Harrity was equally pleased.
“We always talk about money going that way,” said Harrity, as if motioning towards the Fort Myers side of the causeway. “and never coming back here.”
“This has been a great team effort,” he added.
In other business, the council approved an agreement between the city and Lee County Public Safety to support the Sanibel Police Department’s 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point up to $50,000 for fiscal year 2011.
According to a city memorandum, the agreement would reimburse half of the costs associated with providing an emergency generator and other generator-related work for the department’s 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point.
Police will submit paid invoices to Lee County Public Safety for work performed and work completed by any contractors or subcontractors. The county will reimburse the department by direct voucher upon receipt of paid invoices.
Also, the council approved extending a contract with Planning Specialist Ken Pfalzer for an hourly fee of $55.25, not to exceed a yearly total of $24,000.
Pfalzer’s services are required for work on several projects, including completion of Sanibel Plan Amendment for updates of the Capital Improvements Element, completion of the 27-year update of the Interior Wetlands Conservation District, preparation on the 2011-12 Evaluation and Appraisal Report for the Sanibel Plan and other tasks assigned by the Planning Department Director, Jimmy Jordan.
According to the agreement, Pfalzer’s hourly fee reflects a voluntary 15 percent reduction from the original $65 per hour rate agreed upon in their 2008 contract.