Gulfshore Business Daily: Oct. 1

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Maryanne Dignan
Lead Photo: Photo by Adrien Olichon from Pexels

 

FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM COMES WITH CONCERNS
A Southwest Florida insurance broker has shared his concerns about the new federal flood insurance program with Congressman Byron Donalds. About 1.7 million Floridians with flood insurance will see a new federal system raise their rates by at least 150%, according to several prominent Southwest Florida insurance brokers. FEMA’S National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) recently revealed the new rating platform called Risk Rating 2.0.  Effective Oct. 1 of this year for new policy holders, it replaces a program that has been in place for more than 50 years. The new program will take effect April 1 of next year for all existing policy holders. For the full story, click here.

 

CMX CINEBISTRO OPENS TODAY AT COASTLAND CENTER MALL IN NAPLES 
Promoted as a restaurant with a movie theater, CMX CineBistro opens today at the Coastland Center mall in Naples. Guests are advised to arrive a half-hour before showtimes so that the wait staff can deliver meals from full menus prepared by classically trained chefs and craft cocktails from a full bar and lounge. The venue’s kitchen is larger than one of its six theaters. The cinema features state-of-the-art projection and technology, including leather reclining seats with tray tables. All patrons must be at least 21 for the dinner-and-movie experience after 8 p.m. nightly. The theaters and entire complex also are available for private events. 

 

MEETING ON FLOOD INSURANCE CHANGES HELD OCT. 12
A meeting open to the public will be held in Cape Coral regarding flood insurance changes and FEMA Risk Rating 2.0. It will take place 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Yacht Club Ballroom, 5819 Driftwood Parkway in Cape Coral. Glorida Tate, the Cape Coral city council member for District 1, Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane for District 1, and Brian Chapman, founder and CEO of Chapman Insurance Group, will speak at the meeting. 

 

NEW FLORIDA LAWS TAKE EFFECT TODAY 
In addition to Florida’s minimum wage increasing from $8.65 to $10 per hour today, other new state laws take effect Oct. 1. The minimum age increased from 18 to 21 years to purchase and possess tobacco products and nicotine products. The Florida Building Codes Act changes the way law enforcement agencies must enforce building codes. The “Combatting Corporate Espionage in Florida Act” changes the severity of the trafficking trade secrets to foreign groups. Text messages from political advertisers must include a disclaimer that identifies messages as an advertisement. For a complete archive of new state laws in 2021, click here

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FORT MYERS STARTS LOAN PROGRAM FOR SMALLER AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS 
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency has announced a Revolving Housing Loan Program for smaller affordable housing projects. The loans are meant to incentivize the development of affordable housing options, something the Community Redevelopment Agency says is desperately needed in the area. The program is available in the Cleveland Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard redevelopment areas. The loans will target smaller projects, like single-family homes and apartments with fewer than 40 units. Loans must be repaid within two years. Once the loan is repaid, that money goes back to the trust so it can be loaned out again in the project area to help build more affordable housing, WINK News reports.

 

MIROMAR DEVELOPMENT RECEIVES CODE VIOLATION FOR CLEARING LAND WITHOUT PERMIT
Miromar Development Corporation removed native trees without a permit earlier this year from a 110-acre lot near Estero. The Estero-based development company received two Lee County code violations and a pause button on the project. Crews cleared the northwest corner of Estero Parkway and Ben Hill Griffin Road for what’s supposed to become Phase 2 of University Village. Phase 1, just across the street, is full of restaurants, including a Mellow Mushroom pizzeria. Miromar planned Phase 2 to have 11, 24-unit apartment buildings, a 31,000-square-foot, non-fast-food restaurant (without a drive-thru), and a 5,500-square foot, drive-thru fast-food restaurant. Miromar Development, which owns Miromar Outlet Mall, the Miromar Lakes subdivision and other area real estate projects, did not return calls or emails seeking an explanation. For the full story, click here.

 

TWISTED CHEESERY GRILLED CHEESE EATERY OPENS MONDAY IN EAST NAPLES 
The longtime Red’s Pizzeria in East Naples will reopen Monday as Twisted Cheesery, a new local eatery with variations of artisan grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, salads and appetizers. The contemporary grilled cheese concept shows that “a good sandwich is a work of art and the grilled cheese is our canvas,” according to Twisted Cheesery’s owners, Calvin Joiner and Mike Voorhis. The pair also teamed up last year to create Twisted Sheep Pizza and Brew, a local artisan pizza joint on U.S. 41 East. Their new twisted concept at 2795 Davis Blvd. will be open for lunch initially from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

CAPE CORAL CONSIDERING PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR SUNSPLASH WATER PARK 
On hot summer days, Sunsplash is usually packed with people looking to cool off, but while it is a big attraction for Cape Coral, the costs are not so attractive. The city says the park’s expenses far outweigh the park’s revenues. The timing might be right for the city to get out of the water park business because a company that specializes in running water parks is interested in running Sunsplash. The city is considering a proposal to enter into a public-private partnership with ProParks Management. The proposal calls for the company to take over operations and maintenance of the park for the next three decades. ProParks says it wants to refurbish the lazy river, add cabanas and expand the children’s play area if a deal is met. A vote on the proposal could come as soon as next month, WINK News reports.

 

FORT MYERS CLOSE TO REGAINING OWNERSHIP OF CITY OF PALMS PARK 
Leaders are in a renewed back and forth over a baseball stadium, once the spring training home to the Boston Red Sox. The city of Fort Myers is one step closer to owning City of Palms Park again. As of Wednesday, both the county and the city are on the same page to move forward with Fort Myers regaining ownership of the ballpark. In the early 2000s, Fort Myers transferred ownership of the park to Lee County in an effort to take the financial burden off taxpayers, but the maintenance picked up by the county didn’t come cheap. That is why the county recently and happily agreed to get the park off its hands and demolish it at the city’s request. But demolition is on hold because the city wants the park back intact to use as a possible multi-use complex. Lee County commissioners will vote Tuesday to return the park to Fort Myers, WINK News reports

 

NEW IMMOKALEE FIRE STATION NO. 30 BREAKS GROUND
Wright Construction Group broke ground to commemorate the construction process of the new Fire Station No. 30 in Immokalee. The $4 million dollar project is scheduled to be completed in October 2022. In partnership with Architect GMA, Wright Construction Group Inc. will provide design-build services to build the new fire station, directly across the street from the existing Fire Station No. 30. The new three-story structure is designed to be able to withstand an ultimate wind speed of 170 miles per hour and will have all impact-resistant cladding. The first floor, having access to the Apparatus Bays, will also be equipped with bunker gear storage, shop areas, conference rooms, a lobby, and a laundry room. In contrast to the traditional overhead coiling doors, the proposed three apparatus bay exit doors will have vertical folding doors installed, allowing for a quicker response time for the trucks leaving the apparatus bay. The third floor will have a full kitchen and dining room, five full bathrooms, a fitness room, a lounge room, all bunk rooms and an outdoor porch. 

 

STICKBOY ANNOUNCES ‘STICKY NOTES EDUCATIONAL SERIES’
Stickboy Software and IT has launched its new Sticky Notes Educational Series. The goal of the series is to help educate small- to medium-size businesses on all things technology-related. The first episode in the series features guest speaker Dr. Bennet Hammer of Hammer IT Consulting to discuss some of the latest cybersecurity trends, high-profile data breaches and potential cybers threats to businesses. The virtual webinar will be hosted at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7. There will be networking opportunities before and after along with a live Q&A session. Register here.

 

HEATHERWOOD CONSTRUCTION LAUNCHES THREE PROJECTS FOR LENNAR
Heatherwood Construction has partnered again with Lennar to build clubhouses and amenities in three new communities. Heritage Landing in Punta Gorda will be enhanced by a new tennis center and chickee bar. Both Timber Creek in Fort Myers and Lorraine Lakes in Lakewood Ranch will feature new clubhouses that will include a grill room, exercise room, an aerobics room, outdoor dining, and outdoor bars. Heatherwood Construction has partnered with Lennar in more than 10 amenities projects. Rafael Valdes is Heatherwood’s senior project manager on all three projects.

 

SUNSHINE ACE HARDWARE RECOGNIZED WITH ‘PINNACLE’ STATUS
All 11 Sunshine Ace Hardware family retail locations earned Pinnacle Performance Retailing status through “Higher Ground,” Ace Hardware’s strategic growth plan. Pinnacle stores must meet stringent company benchmarks for retail excellence, including high customer satisfaction ratings, extensive associate training, quick fulfillment of online orders, growth in business-to-business sales and other criteria. Sunshine Ace operates nine hardware stores in Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Pinellas counties and two Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware stores in Manatee County.

 

Maryanne Dignan

ALLIANCE FOR PERIOD SUPPLIES OF SWFL ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBERS
The Alliance for Period Supplies of SWFL has appointed Maryanne Dignan, Geri McCarthy, Jan Palmer and Tamika Seaton to its board of directors. Dignan is a Bonita Springs resident and volunteers with The League Club and New Horizons of SWFL. McCarthy is a former educator, spending 20 years teaching in Barrington, Rhode Island. She is a member of The League Club and a graduate of the Class of XXII of Greater Naples Leadership, where she continues to serve on its committees. A Cape Coral resident, Palmer currently serves as a volunteer at the Alliance for the Arts and spent seven years as a “cuddle” at Cape Coral Hospital. Seaton is the founder of Naples Image Consultants and previously served as the executive director of the Florida Lions Eye Clinic. Before that, she was the senior development officer at The Shelter for Abused Women and Children. Since founded in 2019, The Alliance for Period Supplies of SWFL has distributed more than 1.7 million pads to women and girls in need.

 

Stephen Schahrer

BETTER TOGETHER WELCOMES SCHAHRER, HAYFORD
Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families in crisis and preventing the need for foster care, has hired Stephen Schahrer as chief administrative officer and general counsel and Pamela Hayford as marketing and communications manager.

Pamela Hayford

Schahrer earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Florida Gulf Coast University, followed by a Juris Doctor from Liberty University School of Law. He has served as a volunteer host family with Better Together. Hayford brings more than 25 years of experience as a journalist, working as a writer, reporter, editor and page designer. Before joining Better Together, she spent 15 years as the editor of Southwest Florida Parent & Child magazine, part of The News-Press Media Group. During that time, she learned of Better Together. Hayford earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Bowling Green State University.

 

THE CFA SOCIETY NAPLES WELCOMES NEW BOARD FOR 2021-2022 FISCAL YEAR
The CFA Society Naples has confirmed a new board for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Serge Ecityan of BMO Wealth Management will serve as president of the board, along with Mia Hyatt of FineMark National Bank & Trust as vice president, Thomas Mathews of Florida Gulf Coast University as secretary and Richard Smith as treasurer. The balance of the board includes Anthony Cirillo, Jay Folz, Chelsea Ganey, Tyler Hardt, Andrew Hill, Travis Jones, Garrett Komiskey and Leroy Munster. The CFA Society of Naples promotes ethical and professional standards within the investment industry and encourages professional development through the Chartered Financial Analyst program.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES 
 

LARC awarded $2,000 grant from autism license plate proceeds 
Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens (LARC) received a $2,000 grant from funds generated through the sale of the Florida “Support Autism Programs” specialty license plates. The grant will provide a sensory toolkit for individuals with developmental disabilities at LARC. The sensory toolkit includes large busy boards, liquid motion bubblers, sensory pillows and blankets, visual picture schedule charts and timers and an ocean wave projector. The Autism Services Grants Council awarded a total of $124,160 in grants to 19 Florida-based nonprofit organizations that provide services and programs for individuals with autism and related disabilities. The funds available through grant opportunities, offered by the Autism Services Grants Council, are generated through the sale of the Florida “Support Autism Programs” specialty license plates.

 

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