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Civic & Community Corner: Kim Testor, Deb Ballard, elected to Civic board

December 27, 2017
By Mike Land , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Every year since the Rec Center was built, the NFM Civic Association decorates and ceremoniously lights up the Community Holiday Tree it planted in front of the Rec Center and then ushers in the holiday season with an hour of Group Christmas Caroling. This year we were again led by the NFM High School Chorus, under the leadership of Mrs. Gwen Gregg. On Monday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 7 p.m. they serenaded us sweetly, starting outside singing "Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum" and completed the remainder of the program indoors due to the cold weather. They concluded with an encore that I requested, "O Holy Night" and it was done so beautifully that it really choked me up. Make a mental note to attend this feelgood event ushering the holiday season next year.

The North Fort Myers Civic Association met on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. at its usual location, Rooms 102A and B at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center. At that meeting two vacancies on our 12-member Board of Directors, were filled: Kim Testor, who also was elected Treasurer, and Debra Ballard, who agreed to assume leadership of the important Community Outreach portfolio.

Kudos to our outgoing Treasurer Peg Crishal for having just completed her term as treasurer and director with efficiency and dignity. She was present at all Civic Association meetings, events and functions wearing her green Civic Association shirt and helping, even at our weekly Farmers' Market gatherings, and she will be sorely missed and hard to replace.

Why not come to this association's meeting and join this worthwhile organization to help turn Our Town around? Dues are ten bucks a year, $15 for a family of up to 3 and $35 for businesses, which includes posting your business card on our website for the year. You'll meet new people, stimulate your brain and get involved!

As has been reported elsewhere in this paper, the new NFM Library had its groundbreaking recently. This new facility, which is estimated to cost 12 million smackers, is located at the site of our former library, and will contain all the newest industry thinking and library design. Congratulations for a job well done to the NFM Friends of the Library, led by its intrepid President, Linda Yorde and to the NFM Library Task Force, led by Frank Barrett, who utilized his engineering and organizational skills to assemble statistics to prove to the County how desperately we needed a new Library. And thanks also to our five county commissioners who found a way to fast track approvals.

The NFM Community Planning Panel and NFM Design Review Panel met jointly on Dec. 5 and heard a presentation on behalf of an application to locate a RaceTrac gas station on the southwest corner of Rt. 41 and Hancock Bridge Parkway, site of a former Walgreen's drugstore. They passed a motion stating that they had no objection to the application.

Without any fanfare the North Fort Myers Free Trolley began operating, taking folks to and from the Fort Myers Downtown River District. It will run until April 19, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday. It picks up and drops off at Rt. 41 and North Key Drive, an area with plenty of free parking. This is the perfect way to go see the monthly Art Walk and Music Walk downtown without the hassle of looking for that impossible parking space or paying for parking. And to our local merchants, remember that there are more potential customers in Fort Myers than here, so use skillful advertising and promotions to increase your business by luring customers over the bridge via the Trolley! Why not offer free transport from the trolley stop to your doorstep, discounts, coupons, specials, etc.?

The NFM Commercial Corridors Task Force, a joint effort of the Lee County Economic Development Office and the Horizon Council, has a cool and informative website at Develop It contains all sorts of useful info such as:

* It has over 2,700 acres of commercial land available for development

* Over 2 million square feet of retail space

* Over 1 million square feet of industrial space

* A quarter of a million square feet of office space

* 2,024 businesses

* 52,229 fulltime residents

* Average household income of $54,362.

* 25.6% of residents with Associates Degrees or higher

* Average daily traffic count of 43,700 vehicles at US 41 and N. Key Drive

* Ranked 20th Best Vacation Home Market by RealtyTrac

* NFM High School is ranked 103rd Most Challenging H.S. in America by the Washington Post.

I highly recommend that you go to this site and explore. things useful for your business or civic projects. I guarantee that you will find many.


Contact me at 239-823-3631 or if you have some event, project or idea that you would like in this column, or with any comments or questions. Visit



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