In August 2018, Q. Grady minor (QGM) completed the final initial Bird of Paradise design for a welcome sign; however, the construction of the welcome monument sign was on hold until the completion of the donation of the Sign Easement which was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on May 24, 2022.
In September 2020, the MSTU approved the “Field of Dreams” mural proposal, which received over 60% of the community’s votes in a survey. This new sign design reflects the culture of the community.
On June 29, 2022, QGM prepared a Proposal of $10,195 and 90-day Schedule for engineer/landscape drawings to rework the existing plans to reflect the new mural and to add new lettering “Welcome to” and “Immokalee My Home” for the Welcome Sign to reflect the new community supported design.
A Notice to Proceed was issued on August 4, 2022. There is no water at the site. A Change Order in the amount of $2,622 was processed as additional services QGM to secure a FDOT permit for a directional bore crossing SR29 to bring water to an irrigation meter at the site. Change Order #2 for an additional 90 days was approved due to the upcoming holiday and uncertainty of how much longer Immokalee Water & Sewer District and FDOT may need to process and release the utility permit for the FDOT directional bore application submitted by QGM on October 28, 2022. QGM incorporated FDOT and Immokalee Water and Sewer District’s comments into the final plan.
On January 20, 2023 Staff issued a Request for Quotes for the construction of the monument sign. An on-site, Pre-Bid Meeting was conducted on February 10, 2023. QGM provided written responses to the bidder’s questions on February 14, 2023. The quotes were received on February 20, 2023. Additional documentation was provided to the County’s Procurement Services Division and they authorized Staff to proceed with the lowest bidder, Vetor Contracting, to award the contract after the Cost Reasonableness study was accepted. The Purchase Order for the Contractor was issued on March 22, 2023. The Contractor is coordinating with LCEC to locate the power source and QGM staked the sign location on April 26, 2023.
FDOT’s Approved Utility Permit was utilized for the water service tap and directional bore under State Road 29. The purpose of the directional bore is to allow for a tap and drill into the existing 10” portable water main located west of SR29 for irrigation to the sign location east of SR29. The bore work commenced and was completed on May 4. 2023. Vetor Contracting received a permit for the construction of the welcome sign on June 6, 2023. Construction commenced on June 4, 2023 with work on the footers. The inspection for the shearwall, linter beam and filled cells was completed on June 28, 2023. The stucco work and painting were completed on July 7, 2023.
An Artist Agreement with Martha M. Cantu was executed for her artwork. This was for the same mural as displayed at the Welcome Signs at S 1st Street/Eustis Avenue. Ms. Cantu started her mural on July 8. 2023 and completed the mural on July 12, 2023.
On August 14, 2023, the pole post and water lines were installed. The electrical meter main inspection was completed on August 17, 2023; and Vetor notified Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) of the inspection approval for the installation of the power loop and electrical tie-in. The rip rap was completed on August 18, 2023. On September 12, 2023, the County provided LCEC the permit. Awaiting LCEC to schedule their work for power.
On August 29, 2023, Immokalee Water & Sewer District (IWSD) was contacted to connect the water line. The backflow was installed on September 12, 2023, and IWSD will schedule to hook up the water line to their 10” water main. Once completed the irrigation installation will be scheduled for the final inspection with an estimated completion date of September 30, 2023.
In 2018, the MSTU board approved two monument designs from Q. Grady Minor & Associates, P.A. for monuments located at the Farm Workers Village entrance (Panther Crossing) on SR 29 and on the corner of South 1st and East Eustis Avenue located across the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee. In late 2019, Lykins Signtek was awarded the construction contract to do repairs to the monument located on SR29 and New Market Road, replace the monument located on South 1st Street and East Eustis Avenue.
The Immokalee Beautification MSTU partnered with the United Arts Council of Collier County (UAC) to facilitate a “Call for Artists” to redesign the “Welcome” signs in Immokalee. Eleven (11) artists submitted proposals and three (3) proposals were selected to advance to community review. After a week of online voting, over 4,500 votes were casted to select the winning artist. Laura Burns, Executive Director of the UAC announced the winner and noted the overwhelming response at the September 23, 2020 Immokalee MSTU Meeting. The majority of the online voters were very locally connected to Immokalee. The Survey reflected voting participants as: 68% lived-in Immokalee, 50% worked-in Immokalee and 76% were raised or attended schools in Immokalee.
Congratulations to the winning artist, Martha M. Cantu, for her “Field of Dreams” proposal receiving over 60% of the votes.
Artist, Ms. Cantu completed the mural on the sign located downtown on First Street and Eustis Avenue. The installation of the lighted lettering and landscaping was completed on March 1, 2021.
The sign on the corner of State Road 29 and New Market Road was installed on June 6, 2021 and landscaping completed on August 2, 2021. Currently, construction on the Panther Crossing sign is on hold until the needed easement acquisition is finalized.