|Published:||Sep 18, 2013 5:55 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 18, 2013 5:55 PM EDT|
MATLACHA, Fla. -- News about the future for a piece a Matlacha's past. The Snook Inn has been a landmark in the community for decades. A section of it burned down in 2009.
It sits in the middle of a construction zone at the foot of the bridge. The county wants to turn the old building into public restrooms.
As Clayton Bishop casts a line from "the fishingest bridge in the world'' he admits parking and restrooms are scarce. "We just need to have restroom facilities," he said.
Lee County is looking to change that. The pink building on a small section of county property is what's left of the Snook Inn.
The county wants to turn the historic building into public restrooms for tourists and fishing enthusiasts, and turn the section at the foot of the bridge into a park with parking spaces.
"This is just going to add a little bit of civilization to the site," said project architect Jeff Mudgett.
The Snook Inn, originally a fish house, was built in the late 1930's. Around the 60s it expanded, and later became a sit-down restaurant.
In 2009 fire ripped through a section of its tiki hut. At the time, the restaurant was abandoned.
Once the county surveys the site, it will hold two public hearings on the matter.
"The core of the building, the walls and the roof will remain the same,' said Gloria Sajgo, with the Lee County Planning Division.
As for the park, plans include a place to clean your catch.
"If you catch anything you have to bring it home. It would be convenient to do that here," said fisherman and Matlacha resident Bill Campbell.
It will have benches, and at least one display of art.
The new site will be named the Matlacha Bat House Park, thanks to the bats that call it home.
The team for the Bat House Park is comprised of local businesses with the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. It's a special program to help small and minority, or women-owned businesses succeed.
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