Lee County has been named the receiver of the Bayshore Utility Company after it was deemed an abandoned utility. An abandoned utility is one that the courts have determined to be unmanned and under no entity's responsibility. As receiver Lee County will be responsible for compliance, operation and maintenance of the system.
The Bayshore Utility Company was a private utility under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission. Bayshore Utility provided potable water to approximately 200 customers within the Yatch Club Colony neighborhood, located in North Fort Myers. The utility has been under a consent order and court proceedings initiated by the Department of Health due to its failure to meet drinking water standards.
The consent order required certain capital improvements be completed to meet the water quality standards. After more than a year and because no apparent effort was made by the private owner to make these improvements, the Department of Health filed an Application for an Order to Show Cause to declare the utility abandoned and the Order was granted.
The Lee County Attorney's Office petitioned the Court requesting an emergency hearing to assign responsibility to the County. This petition allows Lee County to commence activities within the utility to protect the public health and safety of this community. Lee County was able to access the utility on April 25th and have found that significant repairs will be required to bring the utility into compliance.
The County is continuing to assess the system in order to create strategies to implement to provide reliable and safe drinking water services to the residents within this community.
Source: Lee County