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The rebuilt Naples Pier won’t be named The Crypto Midway Pavilion or Hertz Pier, Naples City Council agreed June 6, with one councilman calling naming rights “tacky.”  

Instead, Council agreed the city manager should consider a plaque listing donors at the pier’s entrance and other, more discreet, options for naming rights.  

“We have to be extremely careful about how we honor the past while shaping the future,” Mayor Teresa Heitmann said at a special City Council meeting June 6, noting that the Norris family had provided funds when it was last rebuilt. 

“I do not see that we’re renaming the pier,” she added. “It was never named the Norris Pier. It was the Norris family and it’s marked at the front and it should always be honored and remembered from our past, so moving forward, I don’t see it as dishonoring the family who has rebuilt this several times.” 

City Manager Jay Boodheshwar agreed, saying he always recommends installing a separate plaque telling the story about the original or previous donor, their legacy and how their gifts have helped to maintain the pier.  

After Hurricane Ian destroyed the iconic Naples Pier, the city partnered with the Community Foundation of Collier County to create The Naples Pier Fund for tax-deductible donations. So far, about $1 million has been received for the roughly $20 million project. More donors are interested in making large gifts but want naming rights and signs on the historic fishing pier. 

New Naples Pier renderingsThe Federal Emergency Management Agency originally was going to reimburse 75% of the Hurricane Ian-related project, but after analyzing the extensive damage, it raised its share to 90%. The state and city will share the remaining costs, but FEMA reimbursement could take up to three years. It will be the seventh time the pier has been rebuilt since it opened in 1888. 

Earlier this year, Council expressed concern about its Park Naming Policy when it was discussing Johhny Nocera Skate Park and approving another donor sign, Edge. Updates are pending and must go through the Community Services Advisory Board, which will make a recommendation to Council.  

City councilman Ray Christman pointed out that when the city opted to raise funds through naming rights for what’s now Baker Park, it ended up being a financial burden getting all the funds.  

“I don’t think selling off naming rights for pavilions or benches or anything else is the way to go,” Christman said. “I think it’s tacky.” 

Council didn’t vote at its special meeting but asked the city manager to consider the options and its naming rights policy and bring it back for further discussion. 

The city manager also countered rumors that the city doesn’t have the money to rebuild, saying it has the funds, and donations would be subtracted from the city’s budgeted amount. The project is in the bidding and permitting phases, and city officials hope to award a contract and begin construction this summer. Reconstruction is expected to take 1½ years. 

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