Skepticism from liveaboards as Fort Myers Yacht Basin negotiations continue

Skepticism from liveaboards as Fort Myers Yacht Basin negotiations continue

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fort Myers City Council talked more on their ongoing negotiations with Dallas-based developer Suntex Marinas on Monday about their plans for redeveloping the Fort Myers Yacht Basin.

They heard from several of the liveaboards who are residents of the Yacht Basin, who now display signs reading “Stop Suntex Marinas” along their boats that are docked there.

“We’re scared to death,” says Bill Westberry, who has lived on his boat at the Yacht Basin for five years and was present during Monday’s meeting.

“Don’t give away one of the city’s jewels. The history of the yacht basin is so important to many people,” he adds.

It was first built back in 1939, and has been managed by the City of Fort Myers ever since.

Suntex Marinas has plans to build new restaurants, shops, and floating docks along the riverfront at the Yacht Basin.

While Westberry says Suntex has pledged to accommodate liveaboards like him, he fears the unintended consequences of construction.

“You’re going to have anchors all over the river, in front of homes, likely dumping raw sewage into the water,” he explains.

But Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson argues the city is being transparent during the process.

“I’ve got good confidence that Suntex wants an agreement that the city is going to be happy with. Not just staff, but the residents as well,” says Mayor Anderson, adding that he believes the changes are in the best interest of the City of Palms as it continues to grow.

“The more people we bring downtown, the more downtown prospers. That’s good for the entire city,” he says.

The mayor says that he hopes to make the eventual agreement between the city and Suntex available for the public to review and will host a series of public hearings on the redesign of the basin.

Avi Adkins

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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