Around Town: Annual Collier County facility tours now open for registration

The annual tours have been selected for this year. This is something I started years ago to familiarize our citizens with the services that Collier County offers but none of us ever think about such as garbage pickup or water and sewer issues, or just about a certain facility.

There is no cost to you or the county because each of you provides your own transportation to the site. Usually I try to focus just on government services, but occasionally I’ll include other sites as well, and this year I have again included points of interest that might be something you would want to know about.

There are always limitations on the number of people we can include, so please call my assistant, Alexandra, at 252-8601 to sign up for those you prefer. If, at the time you cannot attend after all, call our office ASAP because we always have a waiting list of those hoping that a vacancy will occur.

The tours start on Nov. 6, 2013, at 10 a.m. with a tour of the county’s government complex, the supervisor of elections office, the tax collector’s office and finally the Collier County Commission chamber. Inside the chamber, we will have the following guest speakers: County Manager Leo Ochs, the administrator of our growth management operation, Nick Casalanguida, Museum Director Ron Jamro, and finally, yours truly.

The next tour will be the Mosquito Control facility and the displays of many different kinds of mosquitoes, the planes that spray, and more, to be held on Dec. 5, 2013 at 10 a.m.

Then, on Jan. 22, 2014, we will have a tour of the Traffic Operations Center (the men will really love this one), and then a tour of the newly upgraded, expanded Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

On Feb. 20, 2014, will be a tour of the Naples Botanical Garden to view the construction and plans as they expand with their third phase.

On Thursday, March 13, will be a tour of “The Isles,” which we are all watching from U.S. 41 East as it takes shape. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to see first-hand what they are planning.

Finally, one of the favorites Domestic Animal Services — will be held March 18. There is always a great response to these tours and we have many “regulars,” so call soon to reserve your spot.

Many people are fans of the Little League games for our youth, and the Cindy Mysels park is extremely popular but has never had good parking and safe passage from wherever parking can be found to the actual entrance to the park. The Parks and Recreation Department, working with the parents of these young players, has worked out a plan with the East Naples Fire Department to use the parking behind their maintenance facility — free of charge.

In exchange, the county will maintain the property, keeping it mowed, etc. For safety reasons, a speed hump crosswalk and signage have been installed. Safety fences have also been installed, relieving parents of their safety concerns. Good work parents and Parks & Rec!

While talking about Parks & Rec, they are in the process of preparing the old roller hockey rink at East Naples Community Park off Thomasson Road to become a pickleball court.

The date of Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 is set for the Second Annual East Naples EXPO and Business Showcase. The location this year will be the banquet room of New Hope Ministries on Davis Boulevard, and will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. The booth sizes have been increased for added space for vendors and ease of navigating the EXPO for those attending. For further information regarding booths for vendors or questions for those wanting to attend, see www.EastNaplesMerchantsAssoc.com.

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