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County BOCC approves agreement for water quality project

By LEE COUNTY - | Feb 24, 2021

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners voted on Feb. 16 to approve an agreement with the city of Fort Myers for a cooperative project to improve the quality of water discharged to the Caloosahatchee River from a canal in the city limits.

The project is for the improvements, operation and maintenance of a portion of the L-3 Canal, located just south of Boy Scout Drive between Cleveland Avenue and Summerlin Road. The goal is to improve water quality flowing from developed areas into the Caloosahatchee, which has a Total Maximum Daily Load for total nitrogen and is currently subject to a state Florida Basin Management Action Plan.

Last week’s action was the second step this month moving forward with the project. On Feb. 2, the BOCC approved a contract with TSI Disaster Recovery for the construction of the project, which includes clearing, grubbing, excavation, filling, modification of existing drainage structures and the installation of a weir, concrete sump, control structures and storm water piping. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $400,000 grant for the project. It is expected to pay 100 percent of the design and construction costs. The project is budgeted in the current fiscal year.

The agreement with the city of Fort Myers specifies that the county will construct the improvements and be responsible for them for a period of five years. At the end of that time, the responsibility for maintenance of the canal will revert to the city. The agreement also establishes criteria for sharing TMDL water-quality credits on behalf of the county and the city.