- Lee County, Florida
Infobox U.S. County
county = Lee County
state = Florida
founded = 12 May
seat = Fort Myers | area_total_sq_mi =1212
area percentage = 33.69%
census yr = 2000
pop = 440888
web = http://www.lee-county.com/
Lee County is a
countylocated in the U.S. stateof Florida. The county makes up the entirety of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the most populous county in Southwest Florida.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2000, the population of Lee County was 440,888. The population estimate for 2008 was 623,725. [ [http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080822/NEWS01/808220395/1075] ]
Between 2000 and 2004, Lee County had the fastest growth rate in
Hispanicpopulation in the country. [http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060309/NEWS01/603090396/1075]
Lee County was created in 1887 from Monroe County. It was named for
Robert E. Lee, Confederate general in the American Civil War.
Incorporated in 1886, Fort Myers is the center of a popular tourist area in Southwest Florida and the seat of Lee County. It is located about 120 miles south of Tampa at the meeting point of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caloosahatchee River. Fort Myers was the frequent winter home of
Thomas Edison, as well as Henry Ford. Lee County has been the host to several Major League Baseballteams for Spring Training, over the past several decades. Currently, it is the spring home of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the Minnesota Twins.
Fort Myers, built in 1850 as a military fort to fend off Seminole Indians that were massacring the area’s few settlers, was named after Col. Abraham C. Myers, who was stationed in Florida for seven years and was the son-in-law of the fort’s establisher and commander. In 1858, after years of elusive battle, chief Billy Bowlegs and his warriors were persuaded to surrender and move west, and the fort was abandoned. Billy’s Creek, which flows into the Caloosahatchee River and runs between The Beau Rivage Condominiums and Alta Mar, was named after a temporary camp where Billy Bowlegs and his men awaited ships to take them west.
The fort was abandoned until 1863 when a small number of Federal troops re-occupied the fort during the Civil War. In 1865 the fort was attacked unsuccessfully by a very small group of Confederates. After the war, the fort was again deserted.
The first settlers arrived in 1866, but it wasn’t until 1882 when the city experienced a significant influx of settlers. By 1885, when Fort Myers was incorporated, it was the second largest city only to Tampa on Florida’s west coast south of Cedar Key, even larger than Clearwater and Sarasota, also growing cities at the time.
Fort Myers first became a nationally known winter resort with the building of The Royal Palm Hotel in 1898. But what really sparked the city’s growth was the construction of the Tamiami Trail Bridge built across the Caloosahatchee River in 1924. After the bridge’s construction, the city experienced its first real estate boom and many subdivisions sprouted around the city.
In 1923, Collier and Hendry Counties were created by splitting these areas from Lee County. As recently as 2004, discussion had taken place surrounding the possibility of the city of Cape Coral becoming its own county, citing in particular a perceived lack of infrastructure support from the Lee County government. However a new county has not as of yet been created.
August 2004, the county was hit hard by Hurricane Charley, particularly on the northwestern islands of Captiva, Gasparilla and North Captiva.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,212
square miles (3,139 km²), of which, 804 square miles (2,081 km²) of it is land and 408 square miles (1,057 km²) of it (33.69%) is water.
Lee County is located on the southwest coast of
Florida. It is approximately 125 miles south of Tampa and 115 miles west of Fort Lauderdale via Interstate 75; and approximately 125 miles west-northwest of Miami via U.S. Highway 41.
Lee County is the sole county in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Charlotte County, Florida(north)
Glades County, Florida- (northeast)
Collier County, Florida(southeast)
Hendry County, Florida(east)
Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge
Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 440,888 people, 188,599 households, and 127,681 families residing in the county. The population densitywas 549 people per square mile (212/km²). There were 245,405 housing units at an average density of 305 per square mile (118/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.69% White, 6.59% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.77% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.07% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 9.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 86.7% spoke English, 8.7% Spanish and 1.1% German as their first language.
In 2005 the population was 76.6% non-Hispanic white, 14.3% Latino, 7.5% African-American and 1.1% Asian. (Source=http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12/12071.html)
There were 188,599 households out of which 22.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.73.
In the county the population was spread out with 19.60% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 24.00% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 25.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $40,319, and the median income for a family was $46,430. Males had a median income of $31,247 versus $24,380 for females. The
per capita incomefor the county was $24,542. About 6.70% of families and 9.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.20% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.
Lee County Sheriff's Office"
:"See: Lee County School District"
*Burnt Store Marina
*Fort Myers Shores
*Lochmoor Waterway Estates
*Matlacha (on Matlacha Island)
*Matlacha Isles-Matlacha Shores
*North Fort Myers
*Pine Island Center
*Pineland (on Pine Island)
*San Carlos Park
*South Fort Myers
*St. James City
*Big Hickory Island (
Lovers Key / Carl E. Johnson State Park)
*Cayo Costa (
Cayo Costa State Park)
*Estero Island (Town of Fort Myers Beach)
Gasparilla Island(community of Boca Grande)
*Little Hickory Island (Beaches of Bonita Springs)
*North Captiva Island
*San Carlos Island
Sanibel Island(Town of Sanibel)
Southwest Florida International Airport, in South Fort Myers, serves over 7.6 million passengers annually. Currently, the airport offers non-stop flights to two cities in Germany( Munichand Dusseldorf) and two in Canada( Montrealand Toronto), in addition to 35 domestic non-stop destinations. 21 airlines operate scheduled service to and from the airport, with Delta Air Linesserving a pluralityof the airport's passengers. On September 9, 2005, the airport opened a new terminal.
Page Field, also in South Fort Myers, just south of the incorporated limits of the City of Fort Myers, is the county's general aviation airport. Prior to the opening of Southwest Florida Regional Airport in 1983 (now Southwest Florida International Airport), Page Field was the county's commercial airport.
Seaports and marine transport
portoperation continues in Boca Grande, being used as a way-point for oil distribution. However, Port Boca Grande has been in decline for many years as the shipping industry has moved north, especially to the Port of Tampa.
In addition, a private enterprise operates a high-speed passenger-only
ferryservice between Fort Myers Beach From San Carlos Island and Key West. Another ferry service is offered from Fort Myers to Key West
Southwest Florida Expressway Authorityis an 8-person body including transportation officials from Lee and Collier Counties, the role of which is to raise toll revenue to widen and improve major arteries throughout both counties. Of particular priority is the needed revenue to widen the I-75 freeway beyond the 6-lane expansion due to begin in March 2007.
:*"', coordinated by the Southwest Florida Expressway Authority. [http://www.i75mobility.com]
:*"'. After it intersects with State Road 82, it is called Lee Blvd.
Bi-county transportation corridor
In March 2005, Lee County and Charlotte County concluded a transportation study on creating a circumferential freeway that would bypass downtown Fort Myers, running through downtown Cape Coral and
South Fort Myers.
freewayis being designed as an 8- to 10-lane structure, including minor frontage roads. It is to begin at the Jones Loop Road interchange with Interstate 75south of Punta Gorda in Charlotte County, and end at an upgraded Colonial Boulevard interchange with Interstate 75near Lehigh Acres. [http://www.bicountystudy.com/]
Major road bridges
Cape Coral Bridge(College Parkway/Cape Coral Parkway): Two 2-travel-lane spans (one eastbound, one westbound) connect Cape Coral with South Fort Myers, over the Caloosahatchee River.
:*Interstate 75: Two 2-travel-lane spans (one northbound, one southbound) between the State Road 78 ("Bayshore Road") and State Road 80 ("Palm Beach Boulevard") interchanges, over the
Matanzas Pass Bridge(State Road 865): 3-travel-lane single-span bridge crosses Hurricane Bay and Matanzas Pass within the incorporated limits of the Town of Fort Myers Beach, connecting the mainland to the barrier islands.
Midpoint Memorial Bridge(State Road 884): 4-lane single span bridge that connects Cape Coral with Fort Myers, over the Caloosahatchee River. The Midpoint Bridge will be part of the future Bi-County Transportation Corridor.
Sanibel Causeway(State Road 867): series of three 2-travel-lane single-span bridges and two 3-travel-lane island causeways crossing the mouth of the Caloosahatchee Riverat the Gulf of Mexico. The causeway connects South Fort Myerswith Sanibel.
Fixed-route bus service is provided by the Lee County Transit Department, operated as "LeeTran". Several routes extend outward from the Downtown Intermodal Transfer Center; in addition, suburb-to-suburb routes are operated, as well as park-and-ride service to and from both Fort Myers Beach and
Southwest Florida International Airport.
The Downtown Intermodal Transfer Center also serves as an intermediate stop on
Greyhound Linesbus service.
Lee County's daily newspaper is the
Fort Myers News-Press.
Lee County's weekly paper is Florida Weekly. ( [http://www.floridaweekly.com Web site] )
In addition, Breeze Newspapers ( [http://www.breezenewspapers.com Web site] ), the
Naples Daily News( [http://www.naplesdailynews.com Web site] ) (circulation 56,981) publishes a "Bonita Daily News" edition ( [http://www.bonitanews.com Web site] ), which serves Bonita Springs in southern Lee County. The Daily News is owned by the Ohio-based E. W. Scripps Company.
ArbitronStandard Radio Market: Ft Myers-Naples-Marco Island. [http://www.arbitron.com/radio_stations/mm001050.asp]
With an Arbitron-assigned 783,100 listening area population, the metropolitan area ranks 62/299 for the fall of 2006.
The metropolitan area is home to 32
Nielsen Media ResearchDesignated Market Area (DMA): Ft. Myers-Naples. [http://www.nielsenmedia.com/nc/portal/site/Public/menuitem.3437240b94cacebc3a81e810d8a062a0/?vgnextoid=130547f8b5264010VgnVCM100000880a260aRCRD]
Number of TV homes: 479,130
2006-2007 U.S. rank: 64/210
NBCAffiliate [http://www.nbc-2.com NBC-2]
WFTX- Fox Affiliate [http://www.fox4florida.com FOX 4]
PBSMember Station [http://www.wgcu.org WGCU Public Media]
CBSAffiliate [http://www.winktv.com WINK TV]
WXCW- CW Television Newtork Affiliate [http://www.cw6tv.com/ CW 6]
*WZVN - ABC Affiliate [http://www.abc-7.com ABC-7]
MyNetworkTV[http://www.mytv8.com My TV 8]
Azteca America[http://www.dlatinos.tv 14]
*"It has been [http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060509/SPORTS/60509003/1010 announced] that the Florida Flame will not return for the 2007-2008 season."
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?q=33901&ll=26.535094,-81.910629&spn=0.374670,0.705803&hl=en Google map of Lee County]
Government links/constitutional offices
* [http://www.lee-county.com/ Lee County Government / Board of County Commissioners]
* [http://www.leeelections.com/intro.htm Lee County Supervisor of Elections]
* [http://www.leepa.org/ Lee County Property Appraiser]
* [http://www.sheriffleefl.org/ Lee County Sheriff's Office]
* [http://www.lee.k12.fl.us/ Lee County Public Schools]
* [http://www.swfrpc.org/mpo.htm Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization]
* [http://www.sfwmd.gov South Florida Water Management District]
* [http://www.swfrpc.org/ Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council]
* [http://www.floridafirejobs.org// Lee County Fire Chief's Association]
* [http://www.leeclerk.org/index.asp Lee County Clerk of Courts]
* [http://publicdefender.cjis20.org/ Public Defender, 20th Judicial Circuit] serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties
* [http://sao.cjis20.org/ Office of the State Attorney, 20th Judicial Circuit]
* [http://www.ca.cjis20.org/ Circuit and County Court for the 20th Judicial Circuit of Florida]
* [http://leecountychat.com/ Lee County Chat] Online Discussion Forum.
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