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Civic set to dole out scholarships
March 20, 2019

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When the North Fort Myers Civic Association decided to hold its Wiffle Ball Bash, the idea was to eventually give out a scholarship to a deserving North Fort Myers student.

Last Tuesday, at its monthly meeting at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center, the board decided to would set the wheels in motion to offer its first scholarship, provided they have met the deadline to do it.

The board is looking to offer the Mark Lipton Scholarship, an $800 award for a high school senior and North Fort Myers resident interested in a law career.

The scholarship is named after the Civic Aassociation board member and Democratic candidate for the Florida State House who passed away shortly after Christmas while on his honeymoon.

The board decided to table the measure so it can do research and make contacts.

In the meantime, the Civic Association continues to do fundraising. It made $484 this month from its Flapjack fundraiser at Applebee's, and in April will sell raffle tickets at North Fort Myers Community Night with the Fort Myers Miracle on April 27 and Century Link Park.

President Doug Dailey said he wants to find a veteran or even perhaps a local baseball player to throw out the first pitch. Dailey did so at the first community night last season.

The group will also set up a tent at the community park baseball fields on April 6 to raise awareness for the Civic Association and let parents know about the promotion with the Miracle.

Also, the annual Town Hall Meeting is beginning to take shape. It will be held on Wednesday, April 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. County Commissioner Brian Hamman is expected to speak, and County Manager Roger Desjarlias, the Lee County Sheriff's Office and representatives from the FDOT are also expected to be there.

Also, vice president Danny Ballard visited the North Fort Myers Community Pool at its grand reopening and got together with Jesse Lavender, director of Lee County Parks & Recreation, to talk about softball fields.

"It's been asked over and over by us. We have people driving to Punta Gorda twice a week and playing," Ballard said. "There are softball tournaments every weekend and these fields would host games every day of the week."

Ballard said he wanted Lavender to put softball fields into the budget for next year, and that Lavender knew that the fields would pay for themselves.

"We know there's enough land at the north end of this complex to put them there. The land isn't being utilized and wouldn't infringe on the community," Ballard said. "We can put at least four fields there and maybe more."

Ballard also said that the state is looking at getting rid of septic tanks in the state, as water quality has become more of an issue, particularly in this area.

There is an ordinance on the books in Lee County that already serves this purpose, but has not been enforced, Ballard said.

"It's going to cost a pretty penny, maybe $100 million to put in enough sewers. You can't eliminate septic systems without having something to replace them," Ballard said.

John Gardner added that septic systems on the river aren't being inspected or cleaned. As a result, people along the river are walking ankle deep in "poop," thus the reason Yankee Beach on the North Shore is closed regularly due to fecal matter.

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