Left to right: Councilmembers Jim Boesch, Jon McLain, Mayor Bill Ribble, Commissioner Ray Sandelli, Vice-Mayor Katy Errington, Councilmembers Nick Batos and Jim Wilson.

The meeting started with District 3 Lee County Commissioner Ray Sandelli introducing himself to the Council and residents.  Sandelli was appointed by Governor DeSantis last month to fill the vacancy left as a result of the passing of Larry Kiker.  Sandelli stated he is a native of New Jersey, served with the Navy’s Blue Angels, has a 40-year career in real estate and has 3 children.  He thanked the local mayors for meeting with him to provide their guidance.

proclamationCouncilmember Jim Wilson presented a proclamation which was bestowed upon Robert L. King to King’s wife Janet and son Richard. The proclamation related the gratitude of the residents and the Village Council for King’s many contributions to Estero.  King, who recently passed away, had served on the Village’s Planning & Zoning Board for two years along with being engaged in many community service activities for a number of years for the benefit of all Estero residents.  (Proclamation)

RobersonThe Government Finance Officers Association presented the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the Village of Estero for its comprehensive financial report for the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2018.  This national award is presented for the highest level of performance in governmental budgeting.

In addition, when this award is granted to an entity, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Preparation is presented to the individual/department designated as primarily responsible for this achievement.  Mayor Bill Ribble is shown presenting this certificate to the Village’s Finance Director Lisa Griggs Roberson.  This is the third year in a row that Lisa has received this award.  (Certificate)

Public Comment: Debi Osborne, Director of Land Protection, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, spoke about the importance of purchasing the River Oaks Preserve which is approximately 10 acres located at the eastern end of E. Broadway.  She suggested using impact fees to purchase this preserve.

Public Hearings

Resolution No. 2019-12 – Ad Valorem Taxes

budgetCouncil voted to move the proposed tentative millage rate for fiscal year 2019-2020 of 0.7750 mills to a second reading at 5:30 p.m., September 18. This proposed tentative millage rate is greater than the rolled-back rate of 0.7630 mills by 1.57%.  (Resolution)

Resolution No. 2019-13 – Fiscal Year Budget 2019  

Council voted to approve this resolution adopting the tentative budget for fiscal year 2019 – 2020 of $20,409,460.  Proposed expenditures include: general fund $5,596,670, special revenue $1,138,830, debt service $1,415,800 and capital projects $12,258,160. A second public hearing will be at 5:30 p.m., September 18.  (Resolution)

Again this year, the Village will have the lowest tax rate in southwest Florida, the lowest ratio of staff to population (11 full-time staff members supported by contractors and other partnerships) and a reserve of 12 months of operating budget.  (Presentation)

First reading of ordinances

Ordinance No. 2019-27 – Burger King Restaurant

Council voted to continue the first reading of this ordinance to refer it to the Design Review Board for them to review a number of issues including the pattern book for the restaurant, landscaping, parking, stacking of vehicles and architecture.  The ordinance pertains to amendments to the Estero Town Center Commercial Planned Development to construct a Burger King fast food restaurant in the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks Parkway.

Ordinance No. 2019-28 – Capital Improvements element

cipCouncil voted to move this ordinance to a second reading.  This ordinance pertains to adopting amendments to the Capital Improvements element to update the Capital Improvements schedule for Fiscal Year 2019/2020 and adopt the most recent Lee County School District Capital Improvement Plan.  (Ordinance)

Action Items

Water and Sewer Expansion

Council voted to approve a $59,700 contract with Banks Engineering to perform a number of design services for the Water and Sewer Expansion Project.  A portion of Estero homes are still on septic tanks, which can contaminate the groundwater and Estero River. This contract will determine the preliminary design for what is necessary to convert from septic tanks to the sewer system as well as the cost of converting from septic to the sewer system. (Summary Sheet)

Interlocal agreement regarding distribution formula for allocation of revenue from local option fuel tax

Council voted to continue this item until further details are obtained.  Historically, Lee County has had separate agreements with each of the municipalities (City of Bonita Springs, City of Cape Coral, City of Fort Myers, City of Sanibel, Town of Fort Myers Beach and the Village of Estero) specifying their share of the 5-cent and 6- cent local option fuel taxes.

Resolution No. 2019-15 – State of local emergency

Council approve