Mayor Nick Batos reported that he, Interim Village Manger Peter Lombardi and a representative for the Village Attorney continue to negotiate with Lee County regarding an interlocal agreement for services and the level of services they want the County to provide Estero. It was stated they are getting close to an agreement.
Mayor Batos suggested the Council should consider establishing a capital improvement program, looking ahead five years at what improvements or investments need to be made. A list of these items, along with projected costs, could then be prioritized as suggested by staff, Estero residents and consultants. Items to be considered would include local roads, sidewalks, median landscaping, gateway signs, an entrance to the Community Park and building a city hall. This will be discussed further at upcoming workshops.
At this point, two Estero residents spoke about their concerns regarding the lack of sidewalks and bike paths on Estero Parkway. They expressed safety concerns with the increase in traffic on the Parkway once Walmart opens for business. Mayor Batos stated this is an issue that is being discussed in the negotiations with the County. It first has to be determined who owns this road, which currently is the responsibility of the County.
A great deal of time was spent reviewing the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins October 1. Interim Manager Lombardi said this budget would result in a millage rate of $0.8398, which is the same rate homeowners paid this year. The budget will be brought forward at the July 15 Council meeting, with public hearings in September.
The Village Attorney will prepare a draft ordinance for a franchise agreement with Florida Power & Light, which should amount to $975,000 annual revenue for Estero.
Additional information is available in the minutes of this meeting.