June ECCL Monthly Meeting

The June 11, 2021 meeting of the ECCL was held virtually on Zoom. The featured speakers speakers were Alexis McLennan, Public Information/Public Education Director for San Carlos Fire Rescue; David Willems, Public Works Director of the Village of Estero; and Mary Gibbs, Community Development Director of the Village of Estero. You can watch the video or read the summary below.

Guest Speakers

Alexis McLennan
Alexis McLennan,
San Carlos Fire Rescue

Guest Speakers

David Willems
David Willems,
Village of Estero

Guest Speakers

Mary GibbsMary Gibbs
Village of Estero

The ECCL Zoom meeting was called to order at 10:00 am on Friday, June 11.

After opening remarks, President Jim Gilmartin introduced the featured speakers:

Alexis McLennan is Public Information/Public Education Officer for San Carlos Fire Rescue, which covers the area north of Estero Parkway.

She discussed a new station coming to Alico Rd and two other possible future locations. She presented statistics for the department and also announced that fire alarm battery changing is once again available for those in the San Carlos area, as are the other outreach and public events. One such program available to communities is the Step Smart fall prevention program, which also includes free balance screening provided by Lee Health. In response to a question, she directed people to the www.leegov.com site for current hurricane planning, including shelters, etc.

Dave Willems is Public Works Director for the Village of Estero. As Public Works Director, David oversees the Village’s construction and maintenance programs, including roadway, storm water, landscaping, sidewalks, and bike paths.

He outlined items in the 2020- 21 Capital Improvement Program, including:

— Corkscrew Road widening and River Ranch Road improvements

— New traffic signals planned near Lowe’s and at US 41 and Pelican Colony

— A roundabout west of US 41 on Williams Road (just west of Walgreen’s) and improvements to the roundabout at Via Coconut and Williams Road

— Bike paths are planned for a number of roads.

— Future landscaping on Ben Hill Griffen, Via Coconut and Corkscrew Road.

–- Current work on Interstate 75 intersection at Corkscrew Road

— Two monument signs to be located on US 41 and Three Oaks.

— Estero river drainage issues and sediment removal is also under review.

Mary Gibbs has served as the Community Development Director for the Village of Estero for the last 6 years. Mary manages Planning, Zoning, and Building Permitting.

Mary outlined new projects that have been approved including a car wash (following agreed amendments to reduce noise and improve the design) north of the Aldi store and a real estate office near Via Coconut. Site work was approved on Estero Crossing, which includes an Oak & Stone Restaurant.

Other future developments include a four-hundred-acre area between Wildcat Run and The Preserve next to Bella Terra, which has been acquired by GL Homes who plan on 554 single family homes. Another development with three hundred apartments and commercial space is planned across from Genova and also upcoming is a new West Bay high-rise.

A cell tower is proposed on land near the Elks Club; a gas station and mini-warehouse east of Stoneybrook and future development of 43 acres on Coconut and US 41 owned by Lee Health.

ECCL Update

President Gilmartin reiterated ECCL’s commitment to water quality and its work with the Calusa Waterkeepers. He noted that the new ECCL brochure was available in PDF form and was available on request.

He announced the resignation of Barry Freedman who will work on heading the development of Estero’s “Destination Website” project. This will help boost our local economy by encouraging visitors and business development. This is endorsed by the ECCL, The Estero Chamber and the Village council. The ECCL is aiming to recruit a new Membership Development Director.

CFO John Quin noted that ECCL had cash reserve of $40,708. Plans are still progressing in order to acquire a 501(c) 3 status.

Chief Communication’s Officer Allan Bowditch, mentioned an article on blue-green algae (available on the www.esterotoday.com website) which was commented on favorably by the Calusa Waterkeepers. It emphasizes the ECCL’s focus on water quality and our close collaboration with the Calusa Waterkeepers.

The new ECCL brochure was made available to communities along East Corkscrew Road so that potential residents would be made aware of the ECCL and its aims. ECCL has become active on NextDoor and continues posting on Facebook.

Allan also mentioned the initiative being undertaken by Brian Hurwitz’ cardiovascular sub-committee, as part of ECCL’s Health Council. A survey is being developed to help establish a map of AED devices located in Estero communities to help improve response times and increase efficiency when dealing with patients with a serious cardiovascular event.