Water-Related News

Lee County officials discuss water-quality issues in Tallahassee

FORT MYERS — Lee County Commission Chairman Larry Kiker, Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass and County Manager Roger Desjarlais advocated for the Board’s legislative priorities in Tallahassee on Thursday. While their discussions covered a broad range of issues important to the County, a particular emphasis was placed on water quality funding.

The group met with Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam, DEP Deputy Secretary Drew Bartlett, Senate President Pro Tem Garrett Richter, Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee Chair Matt Caldwell and the other members of Lee County’s legislative delegation, including Representatives Dane Eagle, Heather Fitzenhagen and Ray Rodrigues.

The meetings stressed the importance of funding of projects related to the Caloosahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee, including a $15 million infrastructure project for the C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir. Other issues of note discussed included funding for Lee County projects related to storm water runoff, flood control and nutrient-load reductions.

Water quality is exceptionally important to Lee County’s economy. More than 85 percent of visitors to Lee go to beaches, survey results show. Three-quarters indicate that “clean, unspoiled environment” influenced their decision to visit. Lee County sees 4.8 million visitors annually; their estimated spending is $2.8 billion in the local economy.

Lee County Commissioners receive legislative updates weekly from Assistant to the County Manager Glen Salyer, who also joined officials in Tallahassee. The 2014 state legislative session is scheduled to end May 2nd.

For Lee County updates, visit www.lee-county.com. Click on “government” and “Board of County Commissioners.” Then scroll down to “2014 Legislative Priorities.”