Three Bonita Springs’ parks could get lightning detectors


BONITA SPRINGS – Escaping lightning strikes unscathed doesn’t always happen. Bonita Springs’ Parks and Recreation is asking for $28,500 to install more of those lightning detectors to warn people when lightning is in the area.

The new detectors would service three parks. Parks and Rec. reps want to install detectors in parks that get a fair amount of traffic. While the city already had the lightning detection service, the individual equipment comes at a steep price and not everyone is for it.

“Café of Life group uses the Leitner Neighborhood Park,” said Nicole Perino, Director of Bonita Springs Parks and Recreation, “so that’s why we wanted to add it to that park area.”

The Dog Park and River Park will also benefit from the alarm system.

“Our soccer fields have them,” Perino said, “our baseball fields have them, our pool and rec center with the skate park and golf course have them. So we try to put them in all high user areas.”

Isabella Mecum lives near Leitner Neighborhood Park and used to go there as a kid. She says the detectors are a good idea.

“Parks are where your kids go,” she said,” and letting them know that lightning is near is just a good idea for their safety.”

Joe Reimann, who walks his dog at the dog park, says it’s a waste of money.

“If it’s something that’s maybe $2,000 or $3000 then it might be worthwhile, but it’s not something I want my tax dollars going for.

In the past year and a half, two people have died in Southwest Florida from lightning strikes; not always when dark clouds are above. City council still has to approve the cost in the final budget hearing at the end of September. There are still a number of lightning detectors at other parks in Bonita Springs.

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