Updated: Apr 1
On March 14, 2023, the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council hosted a Federal Economic Resiliency and Recovery Workshop. Under the direction of the Economic Development Administration within the Department of Commerce, the workshop was designed to discuss projects that would benefit from supplemental funding coming to our area.
At the workshop, Mike Hannon spoke with the Area Specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pine Island is eligible for USDA-funded water and wastewater projects because the island is a rural area. Lee County, however, has a system for prioritizing wastewater projects which is more heavily weighted towards high-density population areas. As a consequence, Pine Island is very low on the Lee County priority list. On March 21, 2023, Deb Swisher-Hicks, the President of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association, appeared before the Board of Commissioners for Lee County to discuss this issue. Deb provided the Commissioners with the USDA information.
Comm. Kevin Ruane has been pushing Lee County to explore this source of funding. We hope the County follows through on this opportunity with all due haste.