Saturday, September 21, 2019

Donna Fiala’s Coastal Comments

Donna Fiala

Donna Fiala

What a wonderful way to start a new year! A new newspaper in town and it is our own, with our own people doing the writing!

It has been a wonderful holiday season, starting with Chanukah for our
Jewish friends, and moving on to Christmas for our Christian friends. The nicest thing about this holiday season is that it brings families together for the celebration. I hope everyone reading this column had a most joyous holiday, and that we can all look forward to a better New Year than we had last year with better health, better weather (it was certainly hot last year……..hot and dry), better finances, and lots more happiness.

The New Year always starts a little slowly, but we should see a marked
improvement in tourism this year over last year, which should help our
economy immensely, get people back to work, and rescue businesses that were floundering and hanging on by a thread. Tourism, especially on Marco Island, is extremely important. When you think about it, we have no other business but the tourism business. We can’t plant agricultural fields as they do in other parts of the county. We can’t build manufacturing plants or industrial parks as they do in other parts of the county. Tourism is our most important asset and we must nurture it. Yes, the traffic gets congested and the restaurants are crowded, but we should be thankful because our unemployment rate should drop and our businesses might end in the black this year. We live in a paradise. Let’s all just lean back and enjoy it and smile at all those who enjoy it with us so that they will come back again and
again.

I’m sure you have noticed by now how nice the 951/Collier Blvd. corridor is looking with the median landscaping installation. The County and the City will continue to apply for grant dollars to finish other sections of the median landscapng along this corridor, until the entire length of 951/Collier Blvd. is finished. This is a State Road and those applications must be made to the State, who then awards the grants. With dollars being very tight, we can never tell whether those grants will be awarded or when, but we’ll keep you posted.

The expansion of the boat/trailer parking area on 951/Collier Blvd., from 19 spaces to 86 spaces, is moving along at a good pace. The expansion will also include fish cleaning tables with a new way of disposing the fish bones rather than throwing them in the water.

The Isles of Capri boat parade was really outstanding this year. I hope you all got to see the awesome entries, which includes dolphins dancing over a boat, a huge flamingo with moving wings, and marvelous decorations on many, many more. The Capri Café treated all the entrants to the most wonderful pizza you ever tasted! If you have a chance, stop by and try it. You won’t be sorry.

Although you can’t see it, work has begun on the Jolley Bridge expansion. First the old bridge had to be improved, and then utility work started. You can see all the vehicles, but I guess until you see the actual construction it doesn’t feel like they have started. Rest assured though, they have. For those of you who don’t know, this project is being paid entirely by stimulus dollars. It should take two years to complete, and put many people to work building it. Collier County was hoping we would receive enough dollars to also build a fishing pier, but alas, we did not. If some miracle occurs and we
receive additional dollars………………………well, I’d better not even begin to dream of a fishing pier yet, but I can hope – right?

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this exciting new breath of fresh air newspaper on Marco Island. It should make for fun reading.

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