Privatize Estero Park Land

The Banner article by Brittany Carloni published in the August 19, 2019 edition, “What will Estero do with 100-year old house?” brings to the surface some issues caused by the Village of Estero purchasing 62 acres of land along the Estero River in January 2019.

The article focuses on the some dilapidated houses at the southern end of Highlands Avenue, but calls into question what Estero should do with the complete parcel of land.

Regarding at least one of the houses, Stephanie Miller, vice president of the Estero Historical Society said “We would like to see it saved”. The article outlines some of the cost to do that.

Village Manager, Steve Sarkozy indicated the village has made no decision on what it would do with the house and that Estero is still figuring out how to use the largely undeveloped land.

The bigger question is why should Village of Estero officials and staff be involved in the detail planning for 62 acres of land.  As a government, the costs of any mistakes they make will be forced on Estero residents. Did Estero citizens realize the liabilities they were incurring when they voted to make Estero a local government?

The Village of Estero should encourage the formation of a non-governmental organization to become the owners of the land.  With the proper deed restrictions, the land can be preserved and developed to meet general guidelines established by the Village.  If there is not enough support from the public to create such a park owner, than Estero should put the land up for sale without restrictions.