City of Palms Post - July 2017

Freedom Fest will Light Up Downtown

Downtown Fort Myers will celebrate Independence Day on July 4 with the WINK Freedom Fest, presented by Fort Myers Pest Control.  More than 14,000 folks are expected downtown for the festivities. The excitement starts at 4:00 p.m. with entertainment, food and beverages, kids activities and a patriotic car show.  Join City Tavern for a chili dog eating contest at 6pm.  The highlight of the night will be the fireworks, starting at 9:00 p.m.

Please note, some downtown streets will be closed for the event, including Bay and Hendry streets.  Two trolleys will be available on the downtown route to help shuttle passengers to and from the festivities for a small fee.

More information is available on the River District Alliance webpage:

Solar Trees

Solar “Trees” to be Planted for Power

Several City facilities are about to get some new “trees,” but they aren’t the green, leafy kind.  Florida Power & Light will install solar trees at Centennial Park, Roberto Clemente Park, and the IMAG (Imaginarium).  These trees will provide clean, renewable solar power, at no cost to the City. As an added benefit, the trees provide shade and some even have charging stations for mobile devices!  The Dr. Ann Murphy Knight S.T.A.R.S. Complex will also receive a solar parking canopy from FP&L.

Wastewater Treatment Plant

Wastewater Plant Upgrades Guarantee Savings for City

The City’s two wastewater treatment plants are about to get some serious upgrades, thanks to an Energy Performance Savings Contract with Siemens. 

What’s an Energy Performance Savings Contract?  These contracts allow cities to make improvements that pay for themselves with the money saved through energy efficiency.  If you’ve ever bought an energy-efficient thermostat or light bulb, you know that they save money in the long run because your electric bills will be lower. Energey Performance Savings Contracts work the same way—and even better, they guarantee the savings! These contracts have helped thousands of cities, counties, school districts, and even the Federal Government to make needed upgrades without a major expense.

South Street Lots

City Announces Plans for South Street Lots

At the request of City Council, The City is immediately taking action toward the remediation of the former water plant sludge pits, located on several City-owned lots bordered by South St., Henderson Ave., Jeffcott St., and Midway Ave.  Action on the site will happen in four phases: 1) Securing the property, 2) Evaluating the site, 3) Obtaining community input, and 4) Physical remediation

Once the site is secured, anyone wishing to access the site may call (239) 321-8100.  Neighborhood residents that utilize drinking water wells are requested to contact the City’s Stormwater Manager at (239) 321-7630.  The City intends to move quickly, but regulatory requirements will require a measured approach to remediation and development of this property.  

Police Car

City Council Approves New Police Sub-Station

The Carrell Corners shopping center has generously offered the Fort Myers Police Department space for a new police sub-station.  City Council approved the new location on June 19, and it could be up and running by as soon as the end of the summer.

Police sub-stations help to reduce crime and provide consistent, noticeable police presence in our neighborhoods.  The FMPD has a list of potential police sub-station locations and hopes to have even more new sub-stations around town in the near future.

Finance Department

Finance Department Extends Winning Streak

For the 26th straight year, the City’s budget team has earned the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).  The Award reflects the City’s commitment to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.  The GFOA also gave the City’s budget manager and staff special recognition in the area of performance measurement.

“Our budget team does an excellent job every year,” says the City of Fort Myers’ Director of Financial Services Maria Joyner.  “It’s great that they can receive recognition for their hard work.”

Solid Waste Truck

Solid Waste Pickup Schedule- Independence Day

The City of Fort Myers Solid Waste Division will observe Independence Day on Tuesday, July 04, 2017.  All City offices will be closed, including solid waste and utility billing offices.
There will be no residential or commercial, trash or recycling collection on Tuesday, July 4th.  Residential and commercial customers will be serviced one day later than normally scheduled from Wednesday, July 5 through Saturday, July 8. 

Regular collection schedules will resume Monday, July 10th, 2017. 

Step Up To Work Students

"How I Spent My Summer Vacation"

Twenty-two high school students will spend their summer vacations as City of Fort Myers employees. The “Step Up To Work” program provides six weeks of valuable work experience—and income-- to high school students who live in City limits.  Student aides are working in several departments, including Parks, Recreation, the FMPD and FMFD, Public Works, City Clerk’s office, and the City Manager’s office. Good luck in your summer jobs!

Employees of Quarter

Congratulations to Our Employees of the Quarter

We are proud to announce our latest “Employee of the Quarter” winners:

  • Payroll Specialist Patricia Schallon- Finance Department & Harborside Event Center
  • Firefighter Jonathan Garcia- Fire Department
  • Officer James Langton- Police Department

The City Employee Recognition Program recognizes employees who make significant contributions, achieve outstanding accomplishments and provide excellent customer service.

New Firefighters

Firefighter Training Underway

Meet the Fort Myers Fire Department's newest firefighters, Jordan Green and Elizabeth Hautamaki, who began their orientation training on June 22. The training during this period will build upon the skills they learned in the fire academy and teach them the "Fort Myers Way" of fire ground operations.

Their two-week orientation will include training in Engine Company operations, vehicle extrication, emergency medical training, forcible entry, and firefighter health and safety. Welcome to the family, Jordan and Elizabeth!

Sandi Weightman- 30 year employee

City Employees Honored for Milestone Years

Mayor Randy Henderson, City Manager Saeed Kazemi, and Human Resources Director Ellen Clyatt honored 32 loyal and dedicated long-term employees at recent ceremonies around the City.  Service Awards are issued to employees reaching a milestone year.  Network Manager Sandi Weightman of the ITS Department was the longest-serving employee to receive an award—Sandi has been with the City for 30 years!

More employees will be honored for their milestone years of service in upcoming City Council meetings.

Steven Belden

Steven Belden Named Community Development Director

Please join us in welcoming Steven Belden to the City of Fort Myers!  Steven comes to us from the east side of the Sunshine State—he comes to us from the City of Cocoa, where he served as their Community Services Director.

Steven’s background is in regional planning. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and holds a Master of Regional Planning degree from SUNY-Albany.  He started his new position in Fort Myers in June.

B-to-B networking

B2B Luncheons Provide Networking & Information

The SWFL Enterprise Center’s June Business To Business Luncheon featured Lee County Economic Development’s Strategic Projects Manager Rachel Busch. She spoke on the services being offered by her agency, including the LEARN Initiative (Lee Entrepreneur’s Assistance & Resource Network) and the Develop Lee Initiative. The mission of Develop Lee is to provide a forum to discuss creative ways to revitalize areas that have lagged behind the economic recovery, including the MLK Corridor.
To become part of the Develop Lee task force, visit  To learn more about the SWFL Enterprise Center visit: or to register for the next B2B Luncheon, visit: .

Jefferson Park

Celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month

The U.S. House of Representatives, the State of Florida, and the City of Fort Myers have all proclaimed July as official Parks and Recreation Month!  Our parks and recreation activities are vitally important to maintaining the quality of life in Fort Myers. Join us by visiting a City park or recreation facility in July! Visit the City's website to find a park or recreation facility near you:

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