Proposed Riverfront Land Purchase Workshop

Estero RiverVillage Manager Steve Sarkozy briefed Council and a packed Council Chambers on a prospective environmental land purchase.  This is 62 acres on the northeast corner of US 41 and Corkscrew Road and extends north to the Estero United Methodist Church and east to the railroad tracks.  This includes a significant portion of the Estero River.

Initial plans would call to preserve the heritage trees on the south end of the property, protect the river and provide a source of recreation for Estero residents.  The long-term vision is to connect this land to the Koreshan State Park to provide up to 330 acres of contiguous green space for residents to enjoy for generations to come.

The purchase price is $26 million, including closing costs and expenses for design/development alternatives.  This purchase will not draw down reserves or compromise the Village’s ability to respond to natural disasters or jeopardize any other projects in the Capital Improvement Program. (Presentation)

 riverfront land purchaseRob Moher, President and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, spoke supporting this purchase “saving Old Florida” and announced that the Happehatchee Center Board of Directors had approached the Conservancy to take over their adjoining land off of Corkscrew Road.  The Conservancy expects that to happen within one year.  In the meantime, Moher stated they look forward to providing their expertise and working with the Village on this “legacy project”.

A number of residents spoke in favor of this purchase with one resident speaking against the purchase.  When Mayor Boesch asked the crowd to raise their hand if they were in favor of this purchase, all but two people raised their hands.

No voting occurs during workshops so this will be brought back for a vote at the next Council meeting at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, September 20.

Public Hearings

Resolution 2018-12 – Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes

This resolution adopts the tentative ad valorem taxes for Fiscal Year 2018-19.  The proposed millage rate of 0.7798 mills was suggested to be reduced to .775 mills.  This would be the third annual reduction in millage rate by the Village should it be approved.

The second public hearing and voting will be held on September 20, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.  (Summary sheet and attachments)

Resolution No. 2018-13 – Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19

BudgetCouncil moved this resolution, adopting the tentative budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.  The proposed expenditures are as follows:

General Fund                              $   6,153,640
Special Revenue                              1,179,460
Debt Service                                    1,600,000
Capital Projects                              37,099,020
Total                                              $46,032,120

The second public hearing will be held on September 20, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. (Summary sheet and attachments)

Action Item

Audit Services RFP 2018-01

AuditCouncil approved the ranking of firms for RFP 2018-01 Audit Services to the Village and authorized staff to execute an agreement with the number 1 ranked firm, Tuscan & Company, P.A.  The firm will audit five years of the Village’s financial statements starting with the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, with the Village’s option of two one-year subsequent fiscal years (seven year maximum).  $37,000 has been budgeted in 2018-2019 for Auditing Services and the proposed cost from Tuscan & Company, P.A is $31,000.  (Summary sheet and attachments)


Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program

PaceThe Village is being asked to create membership agreements with Green Corridor and participating PACE lenders which finance property owners’ energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation project improvements. PACE financing is re-paid as a non-ad valorem special assessment on the property owner’s regular tax bill.  A representative for PACE and Simon Properties gave a presentation on this program.  (Presentation)

Staff and legal counsel will research and confirm the financial impact and legal exposure, if any, to the Village.  No voting occurs during workshops.

Additional details will be available i