09/05/2013 at 2:58pm
Officials Come Together for Water
Mayor Alan Mandel and Pink Shell Marketing Director Ellis Etter invited State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Representative Ray Rodrigues to come to Pink Shell's Gulf-side resort on Thursday morning in response to islander's concerns that Governor Scott did not visit either Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel during his trip to Ft. Myers last week. They were accompanied by County Commission Vice-Chair Larry Kiker, and Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane. Also in attendance were Fort Myers Beach Vice-Mayor Joe Kosinski and Councilmembers Dan Andre and Jo List.
Several local business owners and managers were invited to participate in a round table discussion of the economic and image impacts the current water release issues have made on their livelihood. Many expressed concerns about continued and future implications for the health of our local economy, especially in the European market.
"I live about 25 minutes from the beach and my kids come play here all the time,” said Benacquisto. "Both Ray and I are here to hear the concerns of the people directly affected by this.”
Benacquisto told us that she has been hearing from farmers who have land in the Caloosahatchee Rivershed - runoff from some 800,000 acres of which account for more than 50% of the brown-colored water coming down the river.
"They are coming to us looking to enter into a partnership with the state to find a solution,” she said. "We have also been urging Congress to approve funding for the C-43 Reservoir and other short-term and long-term solutions.”
Keri Hendry Weeg