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Farewell, Times Square

Letter to the Editor

September 14, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Farewell, Times Square

To the Editor:

Hurricane Irma is taking aim at Fort Myers Beach. We all need to say farewell to Times Square... Enjoy one last meal at the great restaurants Take some final photos

It is very distressing to think about when (not if!) a major storm surge will destroy Times Square. Times Square will never be rebuilt as it is now. FEMA will not allow buildings on the ground at pedestrian level and the financing and property insurance would be nearly impossible to obtain.

It is so frustrating to know that our town had an opportunity to work with TPI Hospitality and prevent such a disaster! Mr. Torgerson was willing to invest millions of dollars into our community, but before a proposal was even formally submitted a few uninformed vocal residents began a campaign to destroy any new idea. The town council responded horribly and did the property owners of this island a huge disservice.

Why is the Fort Myers Beach town council so adversarial with a developer that wants to work with us?!! We could have had the coastal protection system (and a nice boardwalk along the shore) in place by now.

Now it is too late to get a protection system in place for hurricane Irma. It is also likely too late to work with a friendly developer Even after the rude reception TPI Hospitality received, Mr. Torgerson offered to DONATE the coastal protection system design to the town. But our totally irresponsible town council would not even accept the gift!!

After Times Square is gone the residents will scream to get it back, but the process of our town council attempting to get federal and state money to rebuild will we slow and painful. New buildings would need to be elevated or a coastal protection system would need to be designed and constructed. Working with the federal and state government will allow very little local input like we could have had with TPI. Maybe around the year 2030 we can all enjoy the new elevated Times Square!

It would be great to work with TPI on the traffic problem also. But our town council can only function by treating all outside parties as the enemy.

Notice to all the residents and politicians that do not want "their" island to change:

Change is on the way! It is moving right at us at 14 miles per hour with sustained winds of 175 MPH.

Dale Bonnema

Fort Myers Beach

 
 

 

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