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LA-MSID hosts ribbon cutting for preserve project

May 1, 2019
By MELISSA BILL (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

On Wednesday, April 24, local representatives and agencies joined the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District for a ribbon-cutting ceremony of its Blackstone Preserve Project. The project is part of its Moving Water South Phase II and was constructed in partnership with Florida Depart-ment of Transpor-tation, Florida De-partment of En-vironmental Protection, South Florida Water Management District, Florida state legislators and Lee County commissioners.

District Chairman Michael Bonacolta opened ceremonies following an invocation by Pastor Randy Moody from Buckingham Presbyterian Church.

According to Bonacolta, the municipal district completed Phase I of the water flow improvement project back in 2013.

"Blackstone is part of Phase II and will deliver around 700 acre-feet of water into these wetlands. This will create a big improvement in our water flow movement. The project was made possible by a $517,000 grant from FDEP, $200,000 from SFWMD and coordinated efforts with FDOT that saved more than $20 million. These improvements will provide for the residents of Lehigh Acres as well as those living along the Caloosahatchee," Bonacolta said.

Blackstone Preserve is part of the district's Moving Water South, Phase II, which has been identified as a top priority project to reduce future flooding and to store and divert stormwater that flows into the Caloosahatchee River, resulting in a reduction of nutrient loading.

The project, in cooperation with the State Road 82 road widening project, will help with some of the run-off generated from the additional road lanes. The extra watershed will be stored and treated in the Woodridge Preserve. A potential Phase III Project would pass stormwater through the Woodridge Preserve to water-starved lands to the south of LA-MSID's boundaries.

Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann was on-hand to give special remarks.

"I'm happy to be partnering in many small ways on this and other projects including the GS-10 parcel. These projects will benefit all of Lee County. My goal is to eventually add the GS-10 project to our park system," Mann said.

Mann finished by thanking the municipal district and other agencies for their great partnerships and all that they contribute.

District Manager David Lindsay then took the podium to thank everyone involved and give a brief overview of the projects' history and future.

"In the 1950's this area was largely unestablished and was used for cattle ranching. During those days under the control of the East County Water District, plans took the water flows towards the North. Now our goal is to move things back in the right direction by moving the waters back to the South. With Phase II completed, we can begin negotiations with the Airport Authority and Lee County to continue the process of moving the waters in a southern direction," Lindsay said.

Prior to the ribbon-cutting, Bonacolta thanked everyone involved in getting the project completed and the district's staff for its resourceful in allocating grants.

In May LA-MSID will host another ribbon cutting to mark the completion of its Hendry project.

The Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District will hold its next meeting on May 20 at 6 p.m. at the LA-MSID, at 601 East County Lane. For information, visit the LA-MSID

 
 

 

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