About 120 residents, elected officials, representatives of local businesses and community organizations attended the April 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony, officially “opening” the new Village Hall and celebrating the Village’s 1st year anniversary.
In addition, the Naples Daily News, News-Press, NBC-2, and Estero Lifestyle Magazine were present to document this historic event.
Following the pledge of allegiance and invocation by Rev. Kevin Morris, Hope United Church, all Councilmembers cut the ribbon, officially initiating the new Council Chambers.
Mayor Nick Batos welcomed the crowd to the new hall. He noted Council was also celebrating the anniversary of the very first Council meeting held on March 17, 2015. He thanked Florida SouthWestern State College for donating the distinctive dais and the Estero Chamber of Commerce for donating the American and state of Florida flags.
Lee County Commissioners John Manning, Cecil Pendergrass, Larry Kiker, and Brian Hamman then joined the Councilmembers behind the dais, where Commissioner Kiker spoke for the group congratulating the Village on their new “home” and its work to date.
The Mayor then acknowledged some of the other elected officials and special guests:
- Sen. Bill Nelson’s representative Tami Holliday
- Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott
- Former Interim Village Manager Peter Lombardi
- Gene Montenieri, Chairman, Estero Chamber of Commerce
- Dick Schweers, Chairman, Estero Fire Rescue Board of Commissioners
- Chief Scott Vanderbrook, Estero Fire Rescue
- Don Eslick, Interim Chairman of the ECCL.
- Wayne Smith, Chairman, Estero Community Improvement Foundation
- Charles Dauray, Chairman, College of Life Foundation and Estero Historical Society
The Mayor then introduced the Councilmembers who each made their own welcoming remarks.
Next, Councilmember Bill Ribble introduced and thanked the general contractors who worked on the Village Hall renovation:
- Andrew DeSalvo and Matt Stepan, Premier Commercial Real Estate
- Joe McHarris, McHarris Planning and Design
- Greg Goertler, Sterling Design Group
- Gary Levenson, Hamleg Corkscrew
- Neil Simon, president; Stephen McKenna, Jr., vice-president; Jeff Maas, Michael Seifert and Carey Foley, Enviro Struct
Councilmember Bill Ribble then introduced College of Life Foundation Chairman Charles Dauray, who presented the Village with three pieces of artwork, which are on permanent loan.
The Mayor closed the ceremonies by inviting everyone to take a tour of the newly renovated facility.