May ECCL Monthly Meeting
The May 14, 2021 meeting of the ECCL was held virtually on Zoom. The featured speakers speakers were Village councilmember Jim Ward, Estero Fire Rescue’s Susan Lindenmuth, and Vice President of Lee Health Coconut Point Alex Greendood. You can watch the video or read the summary below.
00:00:47 Jim Ward, Village Councilmember
00:18:36 Susan Lindenmuth, Estero Fire Rescue
00:31:30 Alex Greenwood, Lee Health Coconut Point
00:58:57 ECCL Councils, starting with new Safety Co-Chair Mark Russet
01:02:43 New Environment Chair Nancy O’Malley
01:07:12 Status Update on council projects, Mark Novitski
Estero Fire Rescue
Lee Health Coconut Point
The meeting of the ECCL took place, via Zoom, on Friday, May 14, 2021. After a welcome from President Jim Gilmartin and a few opening remarks, the first guest speaker, Jim Ward, was introduced.
Jim is the newly elected Estero Village council member for District 6. He has been active in community activities, especially at Spring Run at the Brooks and at the Commons Club, serving on the Boards of those groups. He is the liaison between the council and the Estero Chamber of Commerce.
Following a summary of his background, Jim spoke of his future wishes for Estero. He expressed the importance of implementing developments right the first time. The formation of the newly developed Estero Planning, Zoning, and Design Board will help streamline the planning and development process while considering the needs of both residents and developers. He expressed concern about our water quality and the effect that poorly maintained septic tanks could have on the Estero River and Estero Bay. Regarding the land purchased by the Estero council on the northeast corner of US 41 and Corkscrew Road, which include a part of the Estero River, Jim anticipates that much of the property can be kept natural, but will involve some commercial development to become an important focal point for Estero for both residents and visitors.
The next speaker was Susan Lindenmuth, Director of Public Affairs for the Estero Fire Rescue. She is a certified firefighter and EMT. Susan discussed the new fire station #45, to be built on East Corkscrew. Final plans and approval should be in place by the end of July and groundbreaking by the end of the year. The budget has increased due to increased construction costs, although because of prudent planning and purchasing, this is unlikely to be significant. There will be a training facility included in the plans, six new firefighters will be hired, and a new fire engine purchased. Education programs have been temporarily halted due to COVID. The smoke alarm battery replacement service for homeowners will be halted because of the high demand that affects the department’s readiness to respond to emergencies. The department is hoping to reinstate CPR training as of June 1.
Alex Greenwood, vice-president of Lee Health Coconut Point, gave a COVID update for the locality. He discussed several medical specialty areas added to Lee Health Coconut Point offerings, including allergy, orthopedics, rheumatology, and several pediatric sub-specialties.
Alex also described the initial plans that Lee health has for the 46 acres of land owned at the northwest corner of US41 and Coconut Rd.
Lee Health is currently involved in the planning and development process that is far from finalized. There will be further meetings with stakeholders where the Initial plans that include housing, a hotel, medical offices, health & wellness facilities, entertainment venue, restaurants, and public gathering areas will be examined and discussed. The plans will likely take a further 6 – 9 months before they are ready to be put forward for approval.
He provided these answers to the questions posed during the meeting:
- Mortality (covid) in the most recent month is 1.23 compared to 1.57 during year 2020.
- 34/350 icu patients are covid positive.
Mark Ruset, ECCL Safety co-chair, was introduced, and Nancy O’Malley, the new Environmental Chair. Nancy mentioned the septic tank pollution issue as an item being examined by the ECCL and discussed with the county commissioners and the Village council.
Mark Novitski, ECCL Chief Operating Officer, discussed several ongoing activities, including the Veteran’s Park location, the highway clean-up program, and Corkscrew Road’s widening. The ECCL also joined with the Estero Chamber of Commerce and the Estero Historical Society in awarding three $1000 scholarships to essay winners from Estero High School.
The next ECCL meeting, via Zoom, will be held at 10 am on June 11. There will be no meetings in July and August 2021. It is hoped that live meetings will resume in September.