Don Scott, Executive Director of the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), presented an overview of the MPO and its role in local transportation planning. They will be adopting their Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for 2040 in December. This plan is updated every five years and looks at land use and the impacts of associated growth on transportation.
Scott stated that while Collier County is planning to extend CR-951 from Logan Blvd. to Bonita Beach Road, the extension from Bonita Beach Road to Corkscrew Road has not been modeled by the Lee County MPO. In addition, the proposal of an extension of CR-951 from Corkscrew Road to Alico Road has been deemed a low priority due to the low level of use, so it is not a cost-feasible project and is not in the LRTP.
He invited all residents to attend an MPO 2040 planning workshop at the Estero Community Park at 5 – 7 p.m., on August 25.
Council member Bill Ribble gave an overview of the office buildings he has investigated to support the Village’s growth over the next 5 years. The three potential sites with ample office space, conference rooms, council chambers and parking are: The Brooks Town Center on Coconut Road, Corkscrew Palms Building at 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle and Picaya Bay at 9911 Corkscrew Road. He compared the office and chamber space, future expansion capabilities, build out costs and fees of all of the buildings.
While all three buildings offer similar amounts of chamber space and comparable fees, the Corkscrew Palms Building offers more space for future expansion and a larger number of parking spaces for those wishing to attend Council meetings.
Ribble will come back in the near future with a draft lease agreement as the Village is close to exhausting the available office space in the Estero Fire Rescue (EFR) headquarters, and EFR would like the Village to exit the building in October 2016.
Interim Village Manger Peter Lombardi updated the Council on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins October 1. The proposed General Fund expenditures are $6,418,650, leaving a projected fund balance on September 30, 2016, of $6,253,540.
The projected Fund Balance of $6,253,540 provides for $2,630,240 in Unrestricted Reserves, $980,700 Restricted Reserves for Road Capital Projects, $642,600 Restricted Reserves for Park Capital Projects, and $2,000,000 for Emergency Reserves.
The TRIM Hearing and first budget hearing is set for September 3, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., and the final tax millage rate hearing and budget hearing will be held on September 16 at 6:30 p.m., at the Village Hall.
Council member Jim Wilson spoke to the fact that the budget should include a traffic study of the Corkscrew Road corridor. He asked Don Eslick, interim chairman of the Estero Council of Community Leaders (ECCL), to address this issue.
Eslick stated that the ECCL has spoken with two different, experienced transportation planning/transportation engineering firms and they both recommended conducting a study starting from the east end of the Lee County overlay of Corkscrew Road (about 1 mile east of the proposed Corkscrew Farms property) going west to US 41.
The study should look at the type of improvements that are necessary for the roads and intersections, as well as the access to and egress from the various communities along the corridor. The study could be completed within two – three months.
In addition, Eslick stated that the ECCL will discuss urging the County to increase its 2015-16 budget to $2,000,000 annually for sidewalk and bike path improvement projects. The ECCL wants to supplement the Village’s efforts to get the County to fund sidewalk and bike paths on Estero Parkway by approving a Village-wide email campaign prior to the County’s public hearings in September.
Following a discussion by Council, it was agreed there should be a $30,000 line item in the Village budget for a Corkscrew Road corridor study.
During public comment on non-agenda items, Don Eslick, stated that the ECCL is committed to seeking the support of the Village Council first on “within the Village’s boundaries” issues to be decided by the Council or jointly with the County or other governmental bodies.
In addition, the ECCL hopes to compliment the Village by using their considerable communication capabilities to educate the residents about the important public policy issues facing the community and, where appropriate, to mobilize them in support of the needed solutions.
Additional information is available in the minutes of this workshop.