Lee awards contract for new Matlacha Fishing Pier
Last Tuesday, the Lee Board of County Commissioners awarded a contract to replace the Matlacha Fishing Pier to Kelly Brothers Inc. The project calls for the removal and replacement of the fishing pier at Matlacha Community Park.
The contract, in the amount of $833,805, is part of a total $1 million estimated cost being funded through Tourist Development Taxes collected on short-term lodging rentals, county officials reported.
The new pier will replace the existing pier, which is more than 50 years old and is closed because it has deteriorated from the elements. The project will include new benches, garbage cans, lighting, fish cleaning stations and ADA accessibility features.
“Everyone in Matlacha and the county want to see this project brought forward and completed,” said islander Karl Deigert. “The pier provides many with access to the enjoyment of the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve and provides our businesses with a revenue stream from local sales of goods and services along with restaurant patronage.”
The improvements are expected to begin next month and take about 6 months to complete, according to county officials.
Deigert went on to say, “Hopefully, the members of the Lee County BOCC will vote to repair the pier as the plan has been approved by all county oversight departments. One drag on the decision may be the project-funding source being Tourist Development Taxes. With tourism severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak a decrease and disruption in revenue stream may be cause to delay the project further. It has already been three years since closure occurred and we are hoping funding will go forward.”
The Matlacha Fishing Pier is part of a nine-acre park at the Matlacha Community Park located along Matlacha Pass. This body of water is famous for being the home of snook and redfish, as well as other local varieties of fish.
Matlacha Park is currently closed as part of the county’s efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, but the boat ramp remains open.