County Commissioner Donna Fiala hit the ground running when she returned home to Collier County following her annual summer pilgrimage to Ohio, her original home state. One of Fiala’s first stops was Marco Island, where she held a well-attended Town Hall Meeting. The energized and enthusiastic District One Commissioner brought along Collier County Planning Commission Chairman Mark Strain to discuss a number of projects that are in the works for the county.
Strain gave residents an overview of a number of projects that have been approved or are in the planning stages; from growth along the 951 corridor to the Sports Park Project near I-75 and 951. Plans to build a new relief roadway running parallel to 951 beginning at Manatee Road and running to Immokalee Road will help to relieve traffic pressures from anticipated growth in that corridor.
Strain also reviewed the plans for building a fly-over at the intersection of 951 and U.S. 41, in addition to the state’s plans for the realignment of the traffic turning patterns at the intersection of I-75 and 951.
The area of East Naples, which Commissioner Fiala also represents, is undergoing considerable growth and she was excited about the soon-to-be-opened WAWA convenience and gas station to be located at the intersection of Price Street and U.S. 41, in addition to the continued development around the Lely community and Fiddlers Creek.
“When one thinks about Collier County they are amazed to find that it encompasses 1,475,200 acres and that 77.44% of that land is placed in conservation or preservation status and cannot be built upon,” said Fiala.
In 1950 Collier County had 6,488 residents. In 2000 the population was just over 250,000 and by the year 2040 it is estimated to rise to 483,700. Fiala emphasized the need to plan for that growth now and rather than simply reacting to it after it comes.