The Village of Estero has much to celebrate as we look back on 2023 achievements:

 

Low Taxes, Responsible Government

Estero maintains the lowest tax rate in the Southwest Florida region.
The Village amended its reserves policy to retain three months of operating expenses, which is “best practice” according to the Government Finance Officers Association. This reduction from 12 months of operating reserves ensures that Estero citizens are not overtaxed.
The Village maintains its “government lite” approach and has the leanest staff in Southwest Florida.

 

Public Works

The state and county continue planning and construction of road widening projects to accommodate continued regional growth.
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) planning for the future expansion of I-75 through Estero as part of the Southwest Connect Project. Details on this project can be found at https://www.swflinterstates.com/i75-south-corridor/ .
As Lee County works to widen Corkscrew Road through Estero, the county is already planning for future widening projects east of the Village to accommodate the thousands of new residents expected along East Corkscrew Road.
FDOT’s contractor installed landscaping at the Corkscrew Road/I-75 interchange. Residents will notice a variety of canopy trees, palm trees and shrubs.

 

Capital Improvement Projects

The Fiscal Year 2023-24 Capital Improvement Plan focuses on quality of life, beautification, bicycle/pedestrian safety, and improvements in traffic, parks, utilities and information technology projects:

Utility Extension Projects – Several projects to connect residents to central water and sewer to better protect water resources.
Estero on the River – New paths, a pedestrian bridge, parking and a restroom for residents to use the publicly owned property.
Sandy Lane and Broadway Avenue East – Bicycle and pedestrian improvements in an area that currently had no sidewalks or bicycle facilities.
Williams Road – Improved pedestrian safety and traffic flow.
Corkscrew Road – New paths, landscaping and street lighting.
Estero River North Branch Drainage Improvements – Improved drainage along the north branch of the Estero River to reduce the potential of future flooding.

 

Entertainment District:
Two firms are partnering with the Village to develop an entertainment district on a 20-acre site owned by the Village on Williams Road. The objective of this public-private partnership is to provide recreational activities desired by the community, along with a financial return to the community estimated at over $1 million annually. Phase 1 of the project is slated to begin in February. Targeted opening date is December 2024 to early 2025.

 

Hurricane Ian and Recovery
On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida resulting in the costliest storm in the state’s history. The Village maintained operations throughout the storm and recovery. In response to Hurricane Ian, the President of the United States declared a major disaster for the State of Florida on September 29, 2022.

Hurricane Ian recovery expenditures totaled approximately $7 million through the end of calendar year 2023. The Village has recovered approximately 98.5% of these costs through FEMA. Village staff continues to pursue the remaining monies and anticipates future expenditures to be minimal.

Locals and tourists alike use Estero River for kayaking

Locals and tourists alike use Estero River for kayaking

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