Interim Village Manager Peter Lombardi reviewed the budget for the coming fiscal year, which starts October 1, 2015, and goes through September 30, 2016. Lombardi recommended that Estero maintain its property millage rate of .8398 cents per $1,000 of taxable value again next year. Estero will be bringing in more money next year as property values are up from last year. The Council will hold its budget workshops on July 10 and July 22.
Vice Mayor Howard Levitan announced that state-licensed architect Scott Anderson has volunteered to join the Design Review Board. That leaves one vacancy, so on July 1, Council will select one of the previously vetted volunteers to complete the 8-member Board.
Council member Bill Ribble investigated future Village office space 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. The Village is looking for a site with ample office space, conference rooms, council chambers and parking to support the Village’s growth over the next 5 – 7 years. Ribble narrowed the potential sites down to three buildings: The Brooks Town Center on Coconut Road, Corkscrew Palms Building at 9401 Corkscrew Palms Circle and Picaya Bay at 9911 Corkscrew Road.
Phil Flood, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), gave an overview of some of the projects the SFWMD is working on, including those affecting the Village of Estero and the region. The SFWMD is primarily concerned with flood control, water quality, water supply and natural systems restoration. They do not look at housing density of potential developments but vet the effects of such developments on the water supply. Flood stated the “brown water” in the Caloosahatchee is caused more by runoff from our lands rather than releases from Lake Okeechobee, thus the need for more water storage during the rainy season. You may go to their website at http://www.sfwmd.gov/.
A number of residents spoke in support of the creation of a citizens’ Estero Historic Preservation Committee being formed to include the Estero Historical Society, Happehatchee Center, College of Life and representatives of the Koreshan Historic Site. Council asked Village Attorney Burt Saunders to prepare a resolution supporting such a group.
Additional details are available in the minutes of the meeting.