Estero Boulevard Lighting To be Discussed…..Again


The never-ending saga about the lights – or lack-there-of – on Estero Boulevard will be front and center again at the Monday morning Fort Myers Beach town council meeting. An FPL representative and the town’s lighting consultant will step to the podium to take questions.

After years of studying the issue and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on consultants to study the issue, it’s still unknown who will pay for any additional lighting or where that money might come from. Nobody even knows what the cost will be yet.

What is known for sure is that in 16 days 50 more lights along the Boulevard will be turned off with the start of turtle nesting season. They will remain off for 6 months.

What is also known is that the town council wants lights on the Boulevard and they want those lights to be amber. In a perfect world for this council those amber lights will be paid for and installed by FPL, under FPL’s tariff program, which would cover the majority of the cost.

The problem to this point has been that FPL does not have an amber light that meets the FWC requirements for turtle-friendly. They are said to be testing one (The Visionaire BLX-II for those keeping score at home). Whether or not that light would be added to the FPL roster is expected to be known in June.

Another option being discussed is whether the town wants to get into the lighting business and take on the cost to install the lights to make Estero Boulevard safer. Everyone understands that cost will run in the millions and would probably require a tax increase.

Of course let’s not forget that lee County owns Estero Boulevard and has told Fort Myers Beach they will not be getting any additional funding to light the road. The County is turning over $1.4 million to the town council to use as needed, however, that was money set aside to light 41 crosswalks the county had been planning to pay for as part of the Estero boulevard road construction project. It’s now up to the town to also light the crosswalks.

We will carry the Monday morning town council meeting live on our Facebook page.

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