City - News

Posted on: April 26, 2017

CRA Commissioners Pass Resolution Honoring Legislators Benacquisto and Caldwell

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Fort Myers, FL: The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) honored community redevelopment proponents Florida Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Florida Representative Matt Caldwell by adopting Resolution No. CRA 2017-1 at their monthly CRA Board meeting on April 26, 2017. This official decree thanks the two state legislators for their acknowledgement of the benefit of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fort Myers, and for their ongoing efforts in their respective leadership roles to preserve and continue the Fort Myers CRA.

The legislators’ support comes as a response to Florida House Bill (HB) 13, which would terminate all CRAs in the State of Florida by 2037 unless the governing body that created the CRA approves its continued existence by a super majority vote and would not allow the creation of any new CRAs after October 1, 2017 unless created by a special act of the Legislature; and Senate Bill (SB) 1770, which would also terminate all CRAs by 2037 and will only allow the creation of new CRAs by a super majority vote of a city or county.

The current Florida Statute Chapter 163, Part III, allows a county or municipality to create a CRA to carry out redevelopment of slum or blighted areas when certain conditions exit. Examples of these conditions include the presence of substandard or inadequate structures, a shortage of affordable housing, inadequate infrastructure, and insufficient roadways.

Community Redevelopment Agencies have proven historically to provide distressed communities with a better economy through improved infrastructure, job opportunities, and housing. Their mission is to make housing and urban areas safer for residents, to preserve and grow business, and to provide a sense of place for all who live there. CRAs have demonstrated that the use of Tax Increment Funding (TIF) dramatically improves the economic and social outcomes within their  argeted areas. These outcomes benefit both cities and counties and, more importantly, the taxpayers.

In the 1980s, Fort Myers City Council established the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency under Florida Statute 163, Part III, and designated itself as the governing body of the new agency. Over the years, this CRA has established these 14 redevelopment areas that use Tax Increment Financing:

  • Central Fort Myers Redevelopment Area
  • Cleveland Avenue Redevelopment Areas I-IV
  • Downtown Redevelopment Area
  • Dunbar/Michigan Redevelopment Area
  • East Fort Myers Redevelopment Area
  • Eastwood Redevelopment Area
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard Redevelopment Areas I-IV
  • Velasco Village Redevelopment Area

For more information, please contact the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency at (239) 321-7100.

About the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency was created in 1984 by the City of Fort Myers, Florida, under Florida Statute Chapter 163, to formulate a plan and strategy for the revitalization of the downtown River District. The Fort Myers CRA has continued to grow, and redevelopment districts have been added throughout the city. Today, the Agency oversees 14 different redevelopment districts within the Fort Myers city limits. The Fort Myers CRA, along with the City’s Community Development Division, prepares plans for the revitalization of each district and coordinates the implementation of the plan’s recommendations. Tax Increment Funds (TIF) generated by each district, combined with other funding sources, are used to upgrade the public infrastructure and to stimulate redevelopment, The Fort Myers City Council members, sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, oversee the Agency’s divisions and their operations. The Fort Myers CRA office is located at 1400 Jackson Street in the River District.

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