Planning for the Village of Estero is one of the municipality’s primary overriding governing functions. It provides the framework for the development of the community and the management of land use and other resources. “Strategic Thinking,” needs analysis, interests, and the development of goals and projects comprise the Village of Estero’s planning.

The are many acronyms used in the planning process. Here are a few of the essential local and county planning tools and acronyms. The Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Transportation Management Area (TMA), Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), and Village of Estero Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) identify and prioritize our infrastructure projects.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

The MPO is the policy board created and designated to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process. Working in conjunction with adjoining counties, the MPO represents localities in all urbanized areas (UAs) with populations over 50,000, as determined by the US Census.

The MPO is a board comprised of 18 members, including all five county commissioners, elected officials representing each incorporated area (city, town, or village), plus the Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Secretary or his designee.

  • Lee County: All five county commissioners
  • City of Bonita Springs: Two elected officials
  • City of Cape Coral: Five elected officials
  • City of Fort Myers: Three elected officials
  • City of Sanibel: One elected official
  • Town of Fort Myers Beach: One elected official
  • Village of Estero: One elected official

The MPO submits transportation improvement programs to the state for inclusion in the statewide program, the MPO self-certifies that they have met all federal requirements. MPOs are designated by agreement between the governor and local governments that together represent at least 75 percent of the affected population (including the largest incorporated city, based on population) or in accordance with procedures established by applicable state or local law.

Mayor Ribble is Estero’s primary representative, and Vice Mayor Katy Errington is the alternate. The Board meets monthly to provide direction in planning future transportation improvements and projects.

Transportation Management Area (TMA)

An urbanized area with a population over 200,000, as defined by the Bureau of the Census and designated by the Secretary of the US Department of Transportation (DOT), is called a Transportation Management Area (TMA). An MPO in a TMA has a stronger voice in setting priorities for implementing projects listed in the transportation improvement program and is responsible for additional planning products. The planning processes in MPOs in TMAs also must be certified by the Secretary of DOT as complying with federal requirements.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

Each MPO is required under 49 USC. 5303(j), to develop a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The MPO TIP was developed in cooperation with the state and public transit providers. The TIP is a five fiscal year comprehensive list of federal, state, and locally funded projects for all modes (or kinds) of transportation:

  • Transit
  • Roadway
  • Bridge
  • Aviation
  • Seaport
  • Rail

It also includes commuter rail, bicycle, pedestrian, and enhancement projects like landscaping and greenways. The MPO board adopts the TIP each June.

The MPO TIP includes:

  • Capital and non-capital surface transportation projects
  • Bicycle and pedestrian facilities (Rails to Trails)
  • Lee Tran buses
  • SW Florida Regional Airport
  • Page Field airport
  • Transportation lab

And other transportation enhancements, Federal Lands Highway projects, and safety projects included in the State’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

The MPO TIP includes major transportation activities, including Federal (I-75 and US41) highways, State roads, Lee county roads in all of Lee County.

The MPO Board champions projects in their city or Village while unincorporated Lee County transportation projects are championed by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.

The Lee County MPO FY 2020/2021 through FY 2024/2025 TIP is to be discussed and approved at their June 18, 2020, MPO meeting. You may view the document here.

The ECCL President sent a letter to Randy Cerchie, Lee County Transportation, and Don Scott, MPO Executive Director, on our concerns for the Alico Rd Extension to SR 82 – No funding for construction. The TIP identified the land acquisition for this project should be complete by December 31, 2020. More information to come.

Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)

Capital Improvement Programming creates the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)

Capital improvement programming is the scheduling of selected physical plans and facilities for the Village of Estero over time. Improvements are based on a series of priorities, and according to the community’s present and anticipated funding from taxes and fees.

Because the Village of Estero has limited resources to improve roads and parks, decisions are made based upon what public works are most important to the community, and when.

The law prevents municipalities and states from adopting official operating budgets for a period of greater than one or two years. The CIP permits a long-range forecast of certain types of expenditures, which can be a guide to the specific content of each year’s officially adopted budget.

The Village of Estero adopts the CIP each fiscal year to permit a re-evaluation of anticipated expenditures, and to permit adjustments such as changed financial conditions, technology, costs, material, and workforce availability. Proposals for an additional year also extend it.

This process of constant re-evaluation and revision prevents hasty action and encourages flexibility in changing situations. The compilation and coordinated listing of the proposed improvements is of great value to a community.

The Village CIP identifies transportation projects and their funding sources. Transportation projects could be identified in both the Lee County MPO FY 2020/2021 through FY 2024/2025 TIP, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 Village CIP.

The Village Mayor invited the ECCL Transportation Council Chair, Executive Management Team, and Village staff to participate in a project ranking process for 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 Village CIP.

The benefits of the CIP process are immeasurable. The process presents the opportunity to review and provide input into anticipated significant capital expenditures for the community. Understanding the total project, for example:

  • Burying conduit for lighting
  • Installing storm sewers
  • Installing curbs
  • Landscaping
  • Irrigation
  • Installing sidewalks

And road paving to avoid digging up new landscapes or sod later is critical to be the best steward of our taxpayer dollars. You may review the Village CIP here.

On June 17, 2020, Public Works Director David Willems presented the preliminary CIP for fiscal years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 to the Village Council to solicit council and resident input and comments.

Residents and concerned citizens will be able to provide public input to the Village of Estero CIP at the July 8 and July 22 Village Council meetings. The CIP final ranking and approval will take place on September 9 and September 23 to be approved for FY 2020/2021 starting October 1, 2020.

ECCL Transportation Council

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