FHERO is a regional collaboration of six counties: Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee, the city of Belle Glade, and the Community of Immokalee in Collier County whose purpose is to coordinate the collective economic power to advance the region. The designated contact for Collier County is Christie Betancourt, Collier County CRA, Immokalee Operations Manager, and the Non-Profit Organization Engaged in Economic Development contact is Melanie Schmees, Naples Chamber Business & Economic Research Director. The 2017 compliance report summarized activities including working with local board of realtors, Immokalee Foundation, Collier County Airport Authority and professional networks to gather information on available sites and buildings for sale and lease.
In 2019, FHERO was awarded a Regional Rural Development Grant in the amount of $97,500 which included $22,000 for the development of a Strategic Economic Development Plan for the Immokalee community. The consultant, VisionFirst, is tasked with developing a three-year plan for the community of Immokalee and eastern Collier County in partnership with the Immokalee Community Redevelopment Area and Collier County Economic Development Office. The plan is to be completed in June 2020.
A site tour was conducted by VisionFirst on March 13, 2020. Staff provided with VisionFirst with updates to draft Strategic Plan. A draft copy of the plan was provided to staff in June 2020. Final copy will be presented at a future CRA meeting.
The new digital flip-book edition of the FHERO Guide is live, active and public. For complete 32-page guide please visit http://passportpublications.com/FHERO_Guide.html
The CRA was awarded through FHERO a Site Improvement Plan DEO Grant totally 13,540 for Professional Services for Airpark Blvd. The Proposed scope of work include general consulting, engineering, planning, and survey services to evaluate the subject site for commercial development.
The CRA was also awarded through FHERO a Retail Demand Analysis DEPO Grant totally $7,700 for Professional Services for assessment of retail demand in the Immokalee Community. The Retail Demand Analysis is being finalized a draft will be presented to board at a future meeting.