From The Desk of Rae Burns, Environmental & Stormwater Technician for the Town of Fort Myers Beach


Rae Burns, the Environmental & Stormwater Technician for the Town of Fort Myers Beach, and her colleague, Chelsea O’Riley, the Public Works Administrative Specialist, bring two issues to the attention of island residents.

“The Town’s Public Works Department has not been using any vehicles on the beach for the past month or so,” begins Chelsea. “As a result, staff now empties all garbage and recycling bins at beach accesses directly from Estero Boulevard, and are analyzing how long it takes to make these runs, figuring the difference in time now as opposed to in-season. They proceed south to north on the island, and must do two runs to keep garbage and recycling separate.” “If we don’t keep these apart,” adds Rae, “then it all becomes garbage.”

Chelsey explained that the two daily refuse runs occur between 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. “We have had a few complaints so far,” she explains, “mostly from the neighbors at the beach accesses about the morning times. We appreciate that those folks may hear some early morning noise – hopefully it is us and not racoons – and we want to know who this may affect as we continue in this process. When we have feedback from residents and can complete our analysis, we will take the results to Town Council in August for their decision on how to proceed. We are looking to save taxpayer’s money, as that is always the Town’s goal, while collecting trash in the most efficient way possible, but we need to hear from business owners and citizens.” To comment, please contact Chelsea at 239-765-0202, extension #1701, or email at

In the second matter, Rae reports that there are private vehicles illegally driving on the southern end of Fort Myers Beach, quite near the Little Estero Island Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) that is home to several species of endangered nesting shorebirds, their young and eggs, as well as numerous sea turtle nests in the area. “These cars are cutting through an empty lot down there,” she says. “This is blatantly illegal as well as downright dangerous, and once we catch you, you will be subject to a significant fine, as our goal is to always protect the CWA at all costs.” To report anyone driving illegally on Fort Myers Beach, call 911 and notify Rae at 239-765-0202, extension #1312, or via email at


Gary Mooney