Water-Related News

Decision on Fort Myers Beach stormwater fees postponed

Residents are off the hook at least for now for an average monthly utility fee of $26.50 added to their water bill. It would help offset $1.6 million in debt relating to Fort Myers Beach's ongoing stormwater-system installation project, and would possibly help fund the project's future. Thus, it could be billed for an undetermined about of time.

The Town Council was poised to vote on the matter Dec. 7 but discovered the required 30 business-days notice for a public hearing wasn't fulfilled - the Thanksgiving holiday threw it off by one day. So now, the hearing notice has to be reposted, with a Feb. 1 hearing now scheduled.

"We lose $149,000 each month," said Mayor Anita Cereceda, assuming the fee is implemented. The council approved pursuit of the fee in September.

The $38 million project, which gives runoff a place to go and treats it before it moves into natural bodies of water, is limited to town streets other than Estero Boulevard, which belongs to Lee County. It began in 2008, with $8 million in cash having thus far been spent out of the town's general fund. The town is $1.6 million short of paying it back.