The Fort Myers Beach Town Council approved Interim Town Manager Jim Steele's recommendation following a request for qualifications at its Feb. 21 meeting.
This approval is the next step in the process to rebuild the Hercules and Cocoanut Drive fishing docks and the Delmar Avenue observation deck.
Eleven qualified firms responded to the RFQ, which was open from Dec. 29 to Feb. 3. A selection advisory committee - Environmental technician Rae Blake, Public Works Director Scott Baker and Community Development Director Kara Stewart - evaluated the responses and ranked them. Steele recommended the top three firms in two categories, environmental assessment and marine engineering.
The council's unanimous approval means that Steele will return at the March 6 meeting with a recommendation of which firm or firms should be selected so the town can get bids and proposals on the docks.
If the council stays on schedule, it could still be September before any work is started - the town has to secure permits to do marine work, especially near mangroves, said Chelsea O'Reilly, Public Works Administrative Assistant, in a previous article.
Hercules and Coconut had docks that were torn down in October 2015, and Delmar was given a "park" with Tourist Development Council funding in 2010. In summer 2016, staff held community meetings with the residents of the streets to discuss improvements to their streets and come up with plans that the residents approved. During budget season, the town set aside $150,000 to spend on the three streets. Hercules and Coconut were to get new fishing piers; Delmar was to get an observation deck, two benches and an unfettered view to the Back Bay.