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North Naples News and Collier County Updates
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Well, your District 2 office is back from some time off, and getting caught up.  If you reached out in the last couple of weeks and haven't yet heard from us, we will be with you shortly.  In the meantime, there's a lot of activity going on in North Naples and throughout the County that I wanted to make sure you were aware of:

First, beginning next Monday, August 17, at 8am, full-time residents of Collier County can begin to apply for individual financial assistance to help cover overdue rent, mortgage payments, electric bills or childcare expenses.  We have set aside $15 million of our federal CARES Act funding to give to our neighbors who are struggling with the economic effects of the pandemic.  There's more information at the bottom of the newsletter; if you or anyone you know is in need, make sure they get this information and apply as soon as they can.  Applications will be accepted through noon on August 31, but these one-time funds will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Next, for those who live or work in Palm River, Tuesday morning, August 18, the construction project to replace the Palm River Boulevard bridge will begin at last!  (You might remember we talked about this at the last Coffee with The Commissioner.)  You should be seeing the lighted signs announcing that now.  It will take a bit of time to set up all the detours, etc., but you'll start to see the workers doing that Tuesday morning.  Palm River drivers:  be extra cautious and nice to one another, and begin allowing extra time to enter and exit the neighborhood.  More details are below on this as well.

Finally, later on Tuesday, we take the next step in the l-o-o-o-o-n-g process of our partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on ways to increase coastal resiliency and manage storm risk.  The USACE has released their Draft Tentatively Selected Plan to reduce risks within our County from future coastal storm events.  Basically, they have been working with us since October 2018 to analyze and assess various ways to reduce economic damages as well as risks to life and safety along our coast, and now they are announcing their tentatively chosen strategies and methods to accomplish that.

So on Tuesday the 18th, from 1 - 3:30pm, the USACE will hold their first of two public meetings virtually.  (The second meeting will be on Monday August 24, from 5:30 - 8pm, for those who cannot attend during the work day.)  Following these meetings, public comment will be accepted through September 14.  These issues are very important to our area in particular; I encourage you to participate if at all possible to learn about the work that is being done to plan for our future.

Note:  I know that many of you who took the time to attend the last public meeting in this process last September were unhappy with the structure of that meeting.  This time will be different -- there will be a formal presentation, and the opportunity to ask questions. Here's a brief video explaining the process and where we are, and then details to register for the virtual meeting (and a link to some FAQs) are below:
Collier County Coastal Storm Risk Management Study
I'll be back with more updates as our office gets caught up.  As always, you can reach out to the District 2 office whenever you have questions and concerns, about these or any other projects or topics.  And remember: stay safe, be kind (from an appropriate distance), wear your mask and wash your hands!
Palm River Bridge Replacement

Palm River DetourThe Collier County Board of County Commissioners approved an approximately $1.3 million contract with ZEP Construction, Inc. for the replacement of the Palm River Bridge located over the Palm River Canal on Palm River Boulevard in summer of 2020.

This two-lane bridge, built in 1960, needs replacement since it is now functionally obsolete. The existing bridge, 60-feet long and 33-feet wide, will be replaced with a new structure, 70-feet long and 48-feet wide to meet current Florida Department of Transportation Design and Safety Standards.

The new bridge will include 11-foot travel lanes with four-foot shoulders and a six-foot sidewalk on the east side.

Additional work includes reconstruction of residential driveway entrances, as necessary, within the limits of the project, as well as various stormwater management features. Construction is anticipated to be completed in about one year, possibly sooner, if no major impacts from weather or other unforeseen circumstances. To safely construct the new bridge, a temporary closure of Palm River Boulevard between Palm View Drive and Viking Way will be required. Residents and visitors will need to utilize a posted detour . This presentation includes more details. For comments or questions, please email Palmriverbridge@colliercountyfl.gov.

Collier CARES Relief Funding Program
CollierCARES Offers $15M for One-Time Payments of
Childcare, Electricity, Mortgage and Rent
 
Full-time Collier County residents behind on certain basic living payments due to the economic challenges presented by COVID-19 may qualify for one-time emergency assistance through the county’s CollierCARES Individual Assistance program. Applications for childcare, electricity, mortgage, and rent assistance open on Monday, August 17, at 8:00 a.m., and close on Monday, August 31, at noon.  Qualified applicants must apply online at www.CollierFLCARES.com.  We have partnered with the United Way of Collier and the Keys to accept these applications.
 
For this short-term program, residents with incomes up to $75,000 (up to $150,000 for households) may receive one-time payments up to $11,250 per household.  The payments will be made directly to the childcare provider, mortgage company, power company, and/or property owner/landlord.

Documentation will be required, and the past due bills must have accumulated as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Applicants must prove loss of employment or reduced hours due to COVID-19 and must verify Collier County residency.  I know you may have a lot of questions; you can see the FAQs HERE.  Also, if you need help to apply online, you can go to any Collier County Library branch for assistance from library staff; they'll be happy to help.
  
CollierCARES applications will become available for small businesses to provide grants for relaunching and rehiring on Monday, August 31, at 8:00 a.m. and will close on September 14, at noon.  You can sign up for alerts as application portals open and as the deadline approaches at www.CollierFLCARES.com

For general information about the CollierCARES program, call 239-252-8999 or dial 311 within Collier County.

Collier County Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study

Collier County Study Area

The community is invited to learn more about the study and its findings during two virtual public meetings, where USACE staff will be available to answer questions:

  • Aug. 18 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 24 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

To participate in the virtual public meeting, go to at https://usace.webex.com/meet/alicia.m.logalbo  a few minutes before the start of the meeting you will attend.  You'll be asked to enter your name and email address, then click  'join the meeting.'  For the presentation’s audio portion, call 877-336-1829 – access code: 9556794, security code: 1234. A backup line can be reached at 888-363-4749 (access code: 5073286, security code: 1234). 

All the study documents and an FAQ are available online for viewing as well.

To submit comments on the Collier County Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study, email Collier-CSRM@usace.army.mil or send by regular mail to: Mr. Zach Martin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, 803 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510. The deadline is Sept. 14. 

H O T L I N E

866-779-6121
The best sources for clear information on the pandemic are our state health department or the CDC.  The Florida hotline above is staffed 24/7.
 
Florida Department of Health 

Florida COVID-19 Dashboard
(updated daily at mid-day; contains county-specific data)

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 site

World Health Organization
 
Copyright © 2020 Andy Solis, District 2 County Commissioner, All rights reserved.


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