Village of Estero Mayor Nick Batos and Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons

The Village of Estero Council met for the first time with the Bonita Springs City Council in a joint public workshop on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

All agreed this was the first of more workshops to be held in the future as both communities will gain by working together as a team on specific regional projects.

This workshop provided an opportunity for the two councils to meet together and learn about the Florida Department of Transportation’s SUN Trail Program.

The Shared Use Nonmotorized (SUN) Trail Program is a state-wide network of corridors physically separated from cars to safely serve bicyclists and pedestrians.  Locally, there is a proposal to run a path along a 9.3 mile railroad right-of-way that goes through both Estero and Bonita Springs.  Other paths will also be considered.

Dale Allen, Executive Director, Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation gave a presentation on the overall Florida SUN Trail system.  The goal of the program is to have a statewide system of trails and greenways that are 1) safe 2) scenic and shady and 3) connected to special places such as parks and beaches.  These trails also promote tourism to the adjacent communities.  (Presentation)

Don Scott, Executive Director, Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), gave an overview of the SUN Trail system from the MPO’s perspective.  (Presentation)

Both councils agreed the workshop was beneficial and plan to conduct similar joint workshops in the future.

Bonita Springs City Council members present for this first workshop included: Mayor Peter Simmons, Vice-Mayor & District 4 Councilmember Peter O’Flinn; Amy Quaremba, District 1; Greg DeWitt, District 2; Steven Slachta, District 3; Mike Gibson, District 5, and Fred Forbes, District 6.

Village of Estero Council members in attendance were: Nick Batos, Mayor and District 6; Howard Levitan, Vice-Mayor and District 2; Bill Ribble, District 1; Don Brown, District 3; Katy Errington, District 4; and Jim Wilson, District 7.

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