Reflecting back on 2022, the Village of Estero has made many improvements to infrastructure and enhancements to our community. Despite the impacts of Hurricane Ian, the fiscal health of the Village is strong. In 2023, many more capital improvements are planned.
Parks & Rec Updates
Part of the Estero on the River property acquired by the Village at the northeast corner of U.S. 41 and Corkscrew Road in 2019 has been preserved for public enjoyment with a new zoning designation for “Parks and Community Facilities” on 30 acres south of the Estero River. The Village has created a plan for a trail system to be built there. Phase one was delayed by Hurricane Ian but will open in early 2023 with recreational paths for public enjoyment.
In May, the Village of Estero purchased a 10-acre parcel at the end of Broadway Ave. East, situated between Cascades, Rookery Point and Country Creek, known as River Oaks Preserve. The Village contracted with the Coccoloba Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society to manage the property. Very soon, this area will become a hub for learning about local ecology and Florida’s natural landscape. Plus, native plants will be available for purchase right here in Estero!
The Village purchased the Golf Coast driving range at 9000 Williams Road with plans for future recreational use. In the meantime, the Village and the Estero Forever Foundation (EFF) have formed a partnership allowing EFF volunteers to operate the driving range until the property is re-developed.
The Village continues moving forward with several roadway and landscaping projects throughout the community. The Village started the design and permitting of bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Sandy Lane, Broadway Avenue East and Williams Road. The design of landscaping improvements along Ben Hill Griffin Parkway and Corkscrew Road, east of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway also began in 2022.
Utility extension to improve water quality
A critical piece of the Village’s efforts to improve the quality of water in the Estero River and Estero Bay is the reduction and eventual elimination of septic tanks and package waste water treatment plants in Estero—especially those located closest to the Estero River.
Phase one includes the communities of Cypress Bend, Estero Bay Village and Sunny Grove. These communities, which were severely impacted by Hurricane Ian, were selected first due to the large benefit (improved water quality) to cost (dollars spent) ratio expected for each. Future utility extension projects will include all properties along Broadway Avenue East and West. The Village will be working on the design and permitting for these areas through 2023.
Hurricane Cleanup & Repairs
The removal of Hurricane Ian debris in areas not impacted by flooding was completed in mid-December. Debris removal in flood impacted areas will continue into early 2023. The Village of Estero’s debris hauler, Crowder Gulf, removed more than 165,000 cubic yard of vegetative debris and more than 80,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris.
In the aftermath of Ian, the Village prioritized building permits for hurricane-related damage. For more information on permits, contact Village staff at (239) 221-5036.
Taxes remain low
The Village reduced its millage rate again for Fiscal Year 2022-23 to 0.75 mills, from 0.77 in Fiscal Year 2021-22. Estero’s tax rate continues to be the lowest in the Southwest Florida region! Additionally, the Village paid off its land purchase debt seven years early, saving the Village over $4 million in interest. The Village maintains its “government lite” approach and has the leanest staff of any municipality in Southwest Florida.