by SC Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen
City Manager Judy Zimomra brought the city directors to provide an annual update on city government to the Condominium Association of Sanibel Island this past week.
The last year saw enactment of a city ordinance allowing Class 1 electric bikes (EBikes) on the shared use pathways all over the island. She spoke of grants that allowed for the printing of 200,000 bike maps containing laws and information on bike safety on the island. These are available for distribution by businesses and condominiums when requested.
The number of traffic cams available on the Sanibel Bound app has increased to allow you to look at various intersections to see how traffic is moving before venturing out or returning home.
A big move by the city was the purchase of the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank location on Library Way. It will be turned into a new Center 4 Life location for senior citizens.The bank is moving to the former Suntrust Bank location on Periwinkle Way. The current Center 4 Life location was the original library on the island and will remain operational until the new location is available and remodeled.
Natural Resources Director James Evans spoke of a good year for Red Tide. He spoke of state government initiatives that are helping to include the better releases from Lake Okeechobee.
The Coyote issue was brought up as being a balance between public safety and wildlife management. The city is studying the issue with further reports to come.
Evans also spoke of the erosion issue near Blind Pass that has been temporarily patched, but will undergo a new artificial sand dune barrier that will be made of fiberglass, rebar with a concrete cap. Construction should begin March 1, with an expected completion date of May 1. Community Services Director Keith Williams added that the cost is being covered by the Lee County Bed Tax Fund.
Williams reported that a contract has been awarded for the dredging of the Sanibel Marina entrance and work on the eight-week project will begin next week.
Police Chief Bill Dalton spoke of the 37,000 calls for service the department received in 2019. He cited up to 13,000 cars a day coming over the causeway in season. Traffic control is a major issue on the island, but he encourages avoiding trying to get off the island between 3 and 7 p.m. daily when it’s most congested.
Recreation Director Trish Phillips spoke of the facilities at the Recreation Center available to residents and guests alike.