March ECCL Monthly Meeting

The March 12, 2021 meeting of the ECCL was held virtually on Zoom. The featured speaker was Matt Feeney, Assistant Manager of the City of Bonita Springs. You can watch the video or read the summary below. 

00:00:00 Intro
00:00:05 Welcoming Remarks
00:01:48 Matt Feeney, City of Bonita Springs, on Nitrogen reduction through Bioreactor Project
00:49:08 Vote on changing to a 501(c)3 results
00:52:08 Mark Novitski on ECCL Business
00:54:03 Allan Bowditch on ECCL History
01:05:11 John Quin, Treasurer’s Report
01:06:47 Barry Freedman, Virtual Visitor’s Center
01:17:20 Jim Gilmartin, Closing Remarks

Guest Speaker

FeeneyMr. Feeney is the Assistant City Manager of Bonita Springs. Matt discussed the development and future of the Felts Avenue Bioreactor. This award-winning effort is the first of its kind in Florida to reduce nitrogen levels to improve water quality. The 3acre site is located off Old 41 and near the Imperial River, a major tributary of Estero Bay. The watershed is affected by rainwater and run-off from homes, golf courses, and agriculture, especially fertilizer.

Current control efforts are wet retention (ponds) and dry retention (grassy areas). With funding from the state, the city, and a grant, $800,705 was raised to develop a series of sunken beds that incorporate wood chips, filters, pipes, and pea gravel to filter the water, predicted to last over 15 years. Once the infrastructure is installed, the land is available for other uses. The Felts Avenue area now serves as a parking lot for 101 cars. In the planning stage, a second phase is to plumb a direct line to the reactor from the Imperial River.

Mr. Feeney presented a PowerPoint presentation with a great deal of data. The data is available on the recording of the meeting on the ECCL website.

ECCL Updates

Pres. Gilmartin reported that the Board and members had approved changes to the bylaws to allow the group to apply for 501(c)3 status. He outlined the benefits of such a change.

A letter was sent to the Lee Parks & Recreation asking for ECCL requesting to discuss the Larry Kiker Preserve.

A request was made to include a Veteran’s Recognition Park near the bandstand at the Estero Park.

Health – Lee Health has developed and will examine the results of a market needs assessment to determine local healthcare priorities in the medium to long term.

A Lee Health “Health Fair” is scheduled for April 17 at the health center Coconut Point.

Finance – February revenue was $3000, with $1400 added after expenses. $8000 is currently outstanding for member community dues.

RussertSafety – Mark Russet, a resident of Stonybrook, has been named as the co-chair of the Safety Council.

Corkscrew Road widening is expected to begin in May.

Over 3000 pounds of rubbish has been collected by Adopt a Highway volunteers on Hwy41 in Estero.

Economic Development – Work has begun developing a Virtual Visitor center, a website with maps and info for prospective visitors. Digital marketers are begin contacted.

History of the ECCL – Progress is being made to compile a historical document summarizing the ECCL’s civic engagement over the last 20 years. Including helping to make the greater Estero area the best place to live, work and play.

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