fgcuDr. Sandra Kauanui, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, announced they are conducting a fundraising effort in order to build a new Center on campus to support this important program.  The Center is currently housed off-campus in the Emergent Technologies Institute.  They have been given a commitment of $4 million to be matched by the community.

There are only three such Centers such as this in the country.  One of the examples of this program is there are currently 75 student-run businesses in the area generating over $2 million in revenue.  These students are not leaving the community, which is one of the goals of this program.

Dr. Kauanui will be traveling to Israel with Governor Ron DeSantis in a future trade mission to work on joint ventures.

Ordinance No. 2019-22 Second Reading and Pubic Hearing

Council voted to adopt this ordinance which pertains to appeals from the Planning & Zoning Board and Design Review Board. This ordinance allows an appeal by the Council or Village Manager of decisions made by the two Boards and states Council may take jurisdiction of Board decisions within a 30-day timeframe.

Action Items

Contract renewal for the code enforcement Special Magistrate

gavelCouncil voted to approve this contract with Special Magistrate Joseph Faerber.  The cost for the Magistrate was approximately $17,000 last fiscal year, excluding staff and attorney costs.  The amount varies from year to year depending on the number of cases and hearings.

Ranking of Estero River sedimentation analysis consultants

Estero on the River

Council voted to approve the ranking of consultants and negotiate a contract to perform the sedimentation analysis of the Estero River.

The consultant selected is Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc. This is a local group which has worked with Bonita Springs and has experience with dredging in Estero Bay. They will survey the river to understand what is at the bottom as a result of Hurricane Irma.  Staff will coordinate these efforts with FGCU.

The final contract and cost will be brought before Council for approval.  The FY 2018-2019 budget includes $150,000 for this project.

Removal of the sediment will probably not occur for two years.

Mining in the DR/GR

lime rock mineCouncil voted to extend the existing contract with Bill Spikowski, Spikowski Planning Associates, in order to address areas of concern pertaining to mining in the DR/GR.  These concerns will be submitted to the same state agencies as those submitted by Lee County regarding proposed changes to land-use policies covering lime rock mines.

The extended contract is not to exceed $10,000.


Community Development block grant – Urban County Cooperation Agreement

There was a discussion about an opportunity for the Village to be included in the Urban County Cooperation Agreement for federal entitlement funds.  Bonita Springs uses these funds for sidewalks.  Council will address this at a future meeting.

The next Council meeting will be conducted at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2019.