LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Thousands of dollars in extra money could be coming to Bonita Springs. On Wednesday, leaders voted to add more property to the city, a process known as annexation.
"I think everyone wants to make it look like this is some kind of land grab by the city of Bonita Springs and it's all about money" said Carl Schwing.
But Schwing, who is the city manager of Bonita Springs, said it's not. He tells WINK News the decision to annex around 100-acres of unincorporated Lee County is about a better way of life. "We have a lot of amenities in the city of Bonita Springs that we can offer to our new residents, as well as to our new corporate citizens, so I think they see that as well in their decision making" said Schwing.
City leaders approved an agreement to bring around 50 homes into the Bonita Springs city limits. Schwing said it's something those folks applied to do. "From our prospective this is something people have a right to do, they have a right to make a choice, under which city they're going to be" he said.
Another major site approved in the deal, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, and a nearby golf course. They could soon officially be in the Bonita city limits.
Schwing admits the whole thing will bring in more revenue for the city, but not as much as some people think. "Even though the Hyatt has a taxable value of about $22 million that only means about $17,000 a year additional to the city of Bonita Springs" said Schwing.
A final vote on the annexation could come in about 2 months.
Homeowners and businesses who still want to join Bonita Springs have until Thursday at 5p.m. to turn in their applications.
Otherwise in November, they can vote to stay in unincorporated Lee County or become part of the new Village of Estero.