Today my subject will just be about the Islands. First, Marco Island – Tigertail Beach. People have been inquiring lately about access to Tigertail Beach and when the boardwalks will be complete. The county is building, and in some cases rebuilding, the boardwalks from the huge parking lot (a place for residents, friends, visitors and tourists to park!) to the water. By the time you receive this column, three of those boardwalks are scheduled to be completed. Actually, they look finished right now but are awaiting the installation of the ADA required handrails. Those should be arriving and installed by the end of this week.
I was at Tigertail Beach the other day and there was a lot of visitor activity and season hasn’t even begun. One of the boardwalks to open by the end of February is my favorite; the one at the far end of the parking lot and the closest to access the actual beach. This boardwalk will be a blessing for all wanting to go to the beach and get there easily, with plenty of parking available nearby.
Shortly after completion of the boardwalks, the plan is to upgrade the appearance of the parking lot by removing dead material and improving the planting areas. In the future, a bathroom will also be installed at this end of the parking lot. Finally, the other boardwalks will follow and should also be complete by the end of February. Hopefully, this will take the pressure off of the parking situation at South Beach, and people will even be able to buy lunch from Tony Smith’s concession stand (best hamburgersaround!) while enjoying their day at the beach!
The next Island to discuss is Goodland. Two items on the commission agenda for this coming Tuesday, Nov. 13, but not voted on yet, are: 1.) The renaming of the Goodland bridge to the Stan Gober Memorial Bridge – which is ever so appropriate as we all reminisce about our wonderful friend, Stan. His son Steve has stepped right in to carry on the family tradition at Stan’s Idle Hour, but we will always remember Stan with love! 2.) Finally, after years of communication and negotiation, Goodland will join the Collier County Water System. Right now, Goodland pays the highest water rates in the entire state of Florida! After Tuesday (hopefully a positive vote from all) they will be joined with Collier County and life will be better for the Goodlanders. There will be no tax increase, no water rate increase for county users and no extra expense. As you can see, a lot depends on positive votes from the commissioners on Tuesday.
Last, we have Isles of Capri and Fiddler’s Creek, who have been on completely opposite sides of a specific issue. After all stakeholders sat around a table together and discussed how we could best come up with a solution, we are moving on to the Commission meeting on Tuesday for a positive recommendation.
Of course this isn’t the end of the issue, but it provides a path to the next step toward results everyone can live with and accept. It’s SO much better to communicate and compromise than fight about an issue out to the bitter end. I’m so proud of these marvelous, wonderful members of my District.
Hmmm, I sound like a mother hen, beaming with pride, don’t I?