Sanibel, like all the barrier islands in Southwest Florida, took a beating from Hurricane Ian, but that hasn’t kept them down.
A lot of progress has been made in the four months since the storm. Blind Pass and Tarpon Bay beaches are open, and so is a mobile post office.
We all know the beach is the real economic driver on the island. The state knows that, too, so it’s throwing money at the problem.
In the legislature’s special session in Tallahassee, lawmakers added an additional $100 million from the general fund for counties impacted by Hurricane Ian and Nicole.
$12 million of that is going toward Sanibel’s beach renourishment and recovery.
For beachfront owners, the city said there’s help for them too.
“The same legislation also created a restoration reimbursement grant program for private property owners, funded with $50 million for general revenue. If there are private property owners out there who are looking to do beach restoration work on their privately owned land, that program is available. It’s a 50/50 cost-share program, and the maximum grant award is $150,000,” said a Sanibel staff member in a meeting on Tuesday.
It’s one more step toward getting Sanibel back to normal.
It isn’t the only good news that came out of Tuesday’s meeting. The town lifted the curfew that has been in place since the hurricane, and it was announced that the Sanibel School would welcome students back on Wednesday.