Gulfshore Business Daily: May 19

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Lead Photo: Seagate Development Group has purchased 9.71 acres of land to build White Cap Construction Supply. Details below.

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FORT MYERS CITY COUNCIL SAYS FMPD WON’T MERGE WITH LEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Fort Myers Police Department will continue serving the city of Fort Myers. This comes after a lengthy discussion and more than 100 people showing up to the Fort Myers City Council meeting Monday in support of the police department. A lot of people from different backgrounds spoke in favor of the police. Not a single person who spoke wants the police department to be merged with Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Many speakers wondered why this was a topic on the agenda in the first place. Councilman Fred Burson asked for the discussion after Police Chief Derrick Diggs applied for the police chief position in Columbus, Ohio, WINK News reports.

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FLORIDA LEGISLATURE SPECIAL SESSION REVIEWING SEMINOLE TRIBE GAMBLING DEAL

A special session by Florida lawmakers about bringing sports betting to Florida began Monday in Tallahassee. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a multibillion-dollar gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in April, which means betting could be as easy as a few clicks on a smartphone. In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed an amendment mandating that Floridians must approve the expansion of gambling in the state. The governor says the amendment doesn’t apply in this case because the servers for the gaming apps will be on tribal property and managed by the Seminole Tribe. No Casinos, a group opposed to sports betting, is preparing for a fight, WINK News reports.

 

FTC REPORTS HUGE SPIKE IN CRYPTOCURRENCY INVESTMENT SCAMS

Since October, consumers have reported losing more than $80 million to cryptocurrency investment scams, an increase of more than tenfold within a year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Based on nearly 7,000 complaints received from consumers about these scams in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, the median amount consumers reported losing was $1,900, the FTC reports. Cryptocurrency investment scams take on a variety of forms, sometimes starting as offers of investment “tips” or “secrets” in online message boards that lead people to bogus investment websites, WINK News reports. For resources about cryptocurrency, click here

 

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU WARNS OF MOVING SCAMS

You could be out thousands of dollars when you need the cash most. This is the time of year when people move the most and it also is the time of year when moving scams pick up, the Better Business Bureau warns. Before picking a moving company, the BBB advises looking for their address and registration, getting everything in writing, keeping an inventory of your belongings, and being cautious if the company asks for a large down payment or full payment in advance. For a BBB scam tracker, click here.

 

LEE COMMISSIONERS APPROVE AGREEMENT WITH FGCU FOR WATER QUALITY AND TREATMENT RESEARCH

Lee County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve an agreement with Florida Gulf Coast University for a water quality research project to test methods for the removal of nitrogen from the Caloosahatchee River surface waters in order to improve water quality. The project will be funded by a $180,000 innovative technology grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which the board approved on April 6. The research, in partnership with FGCU and the South Florida Water Management District, will occur at the C-43 Water Quality Treatment and Testing Project Boma site in Glades County. In 2007, the Lee board voted to contribute $10 million toward the purchase of 1,700 acres of agricultural land, then owned and operated by the Boma family, in Glades County to construct a water quality project to benefit the Caloosahatchee watershed. For more information on Lee County’s efforts to protect and improve water quality, click here.

 

LEE COMMISSIONERS VOTE TO ACCEPT $3.8 MILLION FROM AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

Lee County commissioners voted Tuesday to accept $3.8 million in HOME funds from the federal American Rescue Plan. Funds will be used for rental assistance and to support the construction and rehabilitation of housing. The board also voted to amend Lee County’s 2019 and 2020 annual action plans to ensure the timely expenditure of funds for nonprofit capital and infrastructure improvements as well as increased outreach in response to community needs from COVID-19. The county also will amend the 2020 annual action plan to reflect the increase in HUD funding distributed to municipalities in Lee County. Funding provided to municipalities is based on the entitlement formula from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The amendments also transfer funding to programs supporting the Homeless Resource Day Center that The Salvation Army operates for individuals and families.

 

SEAGATE PURCHASES WHITE CAP LAND FOR MORE THAN $2.7 MILLION

Seagate Development Group has purchased 9.71 acres of land from Harvey B. Youngquist for $2.76 million. Derek Bornhorst at Lee & Associates represented the buyer and Gary Fluharty at B.I.G. LLC represented the seller in this transaction. The full-service development company will design and build a 45,000-square-foot facility for White Cap Construction Supply at 16542 Oriole Road in Fort Myers. The national building materials supplier’s new location will be adjacent to the upcoming Alico Trade Center being built by Seagate, with pad site leasing and sales by Lee & Associates. PDS Architecture is the exclusive architect on this project. Seagate will break ground on White Cap this month and complete the project in the fourth quarter of 2021.

 

GATES CONSTRUCTION BEGINS RSW SECURITY GATE 64 RELOCATION

Gates Construction has been selected to provide construction management and general contractor services for various projects under a continuing contract with the Lee County Port Authority. Preconstruction services are currently underway for the relocation of Security Gate 64 at the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), which includes site improvements, building and canopy construction, fencing and gates, security fiber and access controls, and utilities. Gates serves its clients from offices in Bonita Springs, Sarasota and Palm Beach Gardens.

 

EHC MANAGES HIGH-PROFILE ROAD PROJECTS

Fort Myers-based EHC Inc. announces the concurrent traffic switches involving Sandhill Boulevard, Burnt Store Road, SR-82 and I-75. The projects span three Southwest Florida counties, including Lee, Collier, and Charlotte. The past couple of months have been an interesting challenge for EHC, the construction company that provides pre-construction, earthwork, and infrastructure services states. As part of the sequence of work, the larger road projects require traffic switches. The start of this process is the widening construction on one side of the roadway. Traffic is then shifted to the newly constructed roadway to create a safe and productive work area for construction on the other side of the roadway.  An additional traffic switch may also be required to create a median work area where the traffic is shifted to both newly constructed outside widened roadway lanes. Project superintendents include Shane Graves, Mike Beck and Ronnie Skinner. Tony Hamilton is the vice president and owner of EHC. For the company’s latest updates, click here.

 

COLLIER COUNTY COMMUNITY LAND TRUST EARNS CERTIFICATION

The Collier County Community Land Trust has received its Community Land Trust Certification. The Collier County Community Land Trust is one of eight organizations in the nation to be awarded the designation through a model program between the Florida Community Land Trust Institute and Freddie Mac. The Community Land Trust Institute, which seeks to ensure permanent affordability by separating ownership of land from the home, was founded in 2000 by the Florida Housing Coalition. The Florida Housing Coalition teamed up with Freddie Mac in 2019 to launch the Training and Certification program to serve as a national model to build the organizational capacity of community land trusts and standardize operations. Formed in 2020, the Collier County Community Land Trust’s mission is to provide housing opportunities within Collier County that are permanently affordable. 

 

PHYSICIANS’ PRIMARY CARE OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA EARNS LABORATORY EXCELLENCE AWARD

Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida has earned reaccreditation of its laboratory from COLA, the national healthcare accreditation organization. Accreditation is awarded only to laboratories that apply the highest standards of quality in day-to-day operations, demonstrate continued accuracy in the performance of proficiency testing, and pass a rigorous on-site laboratory survey. COLA is a nonprofit, physician-directed organization promoting quality and excellence in laboratory medicine and patient care through programs of voluntary education, achievement, and accreditation. Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida, a physician-owned and operated medical practice, celebrates its 25th anniversary of caring for Southwest Florida families. 

 

Shannon Byrne

COLLIER COUNTY LAW FIRM WELCOMES BYRNE TO TEAM

Woodward, Pires & Lombardo P.A. (WPL) has welcomed Shannon Byrne to the team. Byrne is the former operations leader of Signature Medical Group of St. Louis and its 100 employees. Woodward, Pires & Lombardo P.A. has two offices in Southwest Florida and has been serving clients in legal matters since 1971.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES
 

Sam Galloway Jr.

Soup Kitchen Benefit honors the late Sam Galloway Jr.

The 18th annual Sam Galloway, Jr. & Friends Soup Kitchen Benefit was held May 6 to raise funds for Community Cooperative. The event honored the organization’s founder, the late Sam Galloway Jr., who passed away in March. Community Cooperative’s Board of Directors announced the Community Café, known as the Fort Myers soup kitchen, has been renamed to Sam’s Community Café & Kitchen to honor Galloway’s legacy of raising money to help feed the hungry in Southwest Florida. More than 700 attendees, a record for the event, raised a record $1.22 million for Community Cooperative to support its community programs. The event was held inside the service garages of Sam Galloway Ford in Fort Myers. It featured a Southern-style dinner prepared and donated by restaurants and businesses as guests raised funds to support those struggling with hunger and homelessness. Community Cooperative continues to seek volunteers and donations. For more information, click here.

 

Junior Achievement of SWFL receives $15,000 grant

Junior Achievement (JA) of Southwest Florida recently received a $15,000 grant from the Truist Foundation to help further its work and career readiness programs for middle and high school students throughout Collier, Lee, and Charlotte counties. Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida partners with classroom business volunteers to deliver lessons on financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to students at both public and private schools and after-school programs and special at-risk groups. The organization is currently preparing for its second and third JA Inspire events, which provide eighth graders the rare opportunity to explore potential career paths and connect with local employers for the high-wage and high-demand jobs in their community.
 

MK Architecture raises funds for Women Build program

MK Architecture joined in a fundraising campaign for Habitat for Humanity’s 2021 Women Build program. This year, MK Architecture raised $2,918, exceeding its goal of $2,500. Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program provides new homes for qualified single mothers in the community. There is currently a shortage of more than 34,000 affordable and available housing units for low-income renters in Lee County, MK Architecture reports. The company says it believes it is its civic duty to help protect the families of the community from homelessness.

 

Millennial Brewing Co. announces fourth annual Mac and Cheese Street Fest

Millennial Brewing Co. in downtown Fort Myers is holding its fourth annual Mac and Cheese Street Fest from noon to 10 p.m. on June 19. More than 10 food trucks and local restaurants will be offering their unique and inventive takes on mac and cheese for food enthusiasts. A drink menu offering beer, cider, cocktails and wine at both the indoor and outdoor bars will be available. This pet-friendly and family-friendly event will also feature live music, ax throwing and hand-rolled cigars. There will be indoor and covered outdoor seating along with free parking and admission. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Doghouse Rescue Academy via the Millennial Fund managed by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. 

 

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