May 2022 Meeting of the ECCL

May 13 at 10:00

Estero Park & Recreation Center
9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd, Estero, FL 33928
(239) 533-1470


Summary of May 2022
Monthly Meeting


Jim Gilmartin, ECCL’s President, welcomed the attendees, followed by the “Pledge of Allegiance.” Jim introduced Mary Gibbs, Estero Village’s Community Development Director.

Mary Gibbs provided an update on developments taking place and those about to take place in the Village

Recently completed Estero developments include

  • AutoZone’s building on Corkscrew Road next to the Houck Dermatology Building

Currently under construction are

  • Coconut Landing- on ten acres annexed from Lee County
  • Estero Crossing – a commercial & residential development
  • The Reserve at Coconut Point on Williams Road
  • The car wash across from The Vines

New business and remodeling included

  • A.D. Wines at Miromar Outlets
  • Paw-radise on U.S. 41
  • Tequila on Corkscrew Rd

Future development plans include

  • A Lee Health parcel at University Highlands
  • A High Rise on West Broadway
  • Corkscrew Crossing.
  • Wawa in the former Ruby Tuesday site
  • Marketplace – a restaurant and retail site next to Rapallo
  • The Pavich Office Center.
  • Genova -new construction is being considered on Corkscrew Road
  • The Colonnade Continuing Care on Corkscrew north of Genova
  • Milan Villas on Three Oaks & Williams
  • Downtown Estero, north & east of the Broadway Shops

To see the entire presentation, please click here (coming soon)

The next speaker was Joe Ryan, Director of Ancillary Services at Lee Health Coconut Point.

Joe outlined the services available at the Lee Health facility, including the emergency room, surgical suites, overnight stay rooms, and physicians’ practices and diagnostic services. In addition, the non-clinical Healthy Life Center offers education, massage, acupuncture, and support groups.

Future developments include a site on Ben Hill Griffin between Grandezza and Hertz Arena for primary care, rehab, and x-rays. There is acreage zoned for medical offices on the current Lee Health Coconut Point campus. The opportunity to build a hospital next to the Health Center remains, although there is no specified date for its development. The Lee Health-owned property on the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Coconut Road land is currently for sale. Lee Health seeks a developer to develop the vision created with the local community’s input.

Lee Health has fully acquired the Bonita Health Center (BHC). There has been some tenant turnover, but every suite is assigned, including oncology, rheumatology, E.N.T., pulmonology, urology, neurology, a women’s Center, and an allergy clinic.

The Center will be the home of the Richard M. Schultze Cancer Clinic at the cost of $10.4 million. The cancer center will include a physician’s practice, 12 exam rooms, four individual treatment rooms, and a 32-chair treatment infusion center. The plans are for this to be fully functioning by mid-2023.

To see the entire presentation, please click here.


The President’s Report – Jim Gilmartin.

  • Jim first mentioned the collaborative relationship between the ECCL and Calusa Waterkeeper Organization. He pointed out an important initiative to reduce nutrient runoff in our area and improve water quality. A major goal for reducing nutrient runoff is to establish various demonstration projects in selected local communities and then expand the project to other communities to improve our water quality significantly.

The Calusa Waterkeeper and the ECCL look forward to hearing from interested local Communities in greater Estero. Several communities have already expressed an interest in being involved in the pilot exercise; hopefully, we can interest others in joining. Please get in touch with Jim Gilmartin, President ECCL, or John Cassani at

  • The ECCL is in dialogue with the Village Council to establish interest in a project to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ECCL has been in touch with FGCU and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, which have expressed their support and interest in assisting with the initiative, given the growing concern about the average increases in annual temperature and the resulting impact which it causes. The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation policy director James Evans and Bob Moore, Co-Founder of the Lee County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project, have already implemented several initiatives in Sanibel.
  • The Greater Estero Virtual Information Center website (GEVIC) project is the idea of the ECCL, and a GEVIC Task Force further developed the concept. After numerous meetings, presentations, and dialogue, the Village requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between GEVIC and the Village was submitted to the Village of Estero by the GIVIC Task Force.

GEVIC is an information database about all things in and about greater Estero. There is no other website that currently provides the content or potential economic power of GEVIC to greater Estero. The MOU proposes that GEVIC be seed-funded by the Village of Estero and other investors. GEVIC has received the exceptional financial commitment of $120,000 from many Initial Founder businesses and individuals, clearly attesting its worth.

The MOU encourages the Village to become an Initial Founder and match at least the commitment of local businesses. The MOU addresses the concerns provided to the GEVIC Task Force by the Village and commits to reimburse Initial Founders for their investment.

The vision is for GEVIC to promote Greater Estero as a destination to visit, invest, live, learn, work, and play and provide residents and businesses with information on greater Estero not currently available online in one place. GEVIC will be a portal to a website that offers information locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

A vote on a resolution approving the MOU is scheduled for May 18, 2022.

  • The ECCL’s Health Council’s Cardiovascular team has undertaken an important project to identify the location of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in Estero. With the help of many communities, the project will help to reduce the time taken to treat individuals that experience a myocardial infarction (MI) by ensuring that the closest AED device can be quickly and easily located. The investigation results are currently being compiled and shared with the local emergency teams and Estero Fire and Rescue.
  • The ECCL’s Adopt a Highway program, headed by Julie Yellig, has collected over 9,380pounds (almost 5 tons) of rubbish along U.S. 41 in Estero since October 2020 – a fantastic accomplishment. The program has been extraordinarily successful in attracting many volunteers from various communities in Estero. Volunteers have adopted other county road sections in Estero from Country Creek, Estero Rotary Club, River of Life Church, Suffolk Construction, Pro-line, and several FGCU organizations.


  • In addition, with the support of the Estero Village Manager Steve Sarkozy and the Keep Lee County Beautiful program, an Adopt a Road program was initiated this season for:
    • Estero Parkway (led by volunteers in the Cascades)
    • Via Coconut Point (led by volunteers in Genova and including participants from Rapallo, Mirasol, Colonial Oaks, Shadow Wood, Wildcat Run, and Lighthouse        Bay)
    • Williams Road (with volunteers from Genova and Pelican Sound).


Allan Bowditch, ECCL’s Chief Communications Officer, concluded the meeting.

Allan pointed out the range of brochures and support documents available to members for their community managers to hand to new residents to help them understand the importance of the advocacy work undertaken by the ECCL.

Allan also mentioned the initiative being undertaken by the Village of Estero to convert those homes with septic tanks to the main sewer. An upcoming article will explain the importance of this initiative in helping to reduce pollution in the Estero River and the timeline for the project etc.

The Meeting was Adjourned

The Next ECCL Monthly Meeting will occur at the Estero Recreational Center on Friday, June 10, at 10 am. The ECCL will not meet in July, August, or September.


Our Speakers

Mary Gibbs

Mary Gibbs

Community Development Director, Village of Estero

Mary Gibbs is the Community Development Director for the Village. She has been the director since June 8, 2015, and previously was Director of Lee County Community Development for 23 years.

Mary received her master’s degree in Business Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University and a master’s degree in Geography from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

She is a nationally certified planner and has worked in local governments in Florida since 1977. In 2017, she was inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planners Fellows for significant planning achievements. She is also a member of the Florida Planning and Zoning. Mary will discuss the development activity in Estero.

Joe Ryan PT, DPT, MBA

Joe Ryan PT, DPT, MBA

Director of Ancillary Services, Lee Health Coconut Point

Joe is currently serving as Director of Ancillary Services for Lee Health and is based out of Lee Health Coconut Point in Estero. He has been with Lee Health since 2010. Joe is responsible for the operations of the ancillary services departments, including Radiology/Imaging Diagnostics, Cardiovascular Services, Breast Health, Laboratory, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Cardiac Rehab, and Respiratory Therapy.