Concrete Piles Could Be On Estero For Awhile


Interim Town Manager Keith Wilkins met with Lee County on Thursday and they are not budging. Lee County will no longer be cleaning up the debris on Estero Boulevard after the state decided not to extend its deadline for debris cleanup reimbursement. Now what?

There appears to be a slight possibility the state will step in and help and, perhaps, pay for one final clean sweep of Estero Boulevard. Town officials don’t appear to be holding out much hope that will happen, And, the state has not set a deadline to decide, so those piles continue to sit there. That leaves the responsibility with the town.

There are massive piles of debris up and down Estero Boulevard. Some piles block the sidewalk completely pushing residents out into the road to get around them. Other block the bike lanes. A few have rebar dangerously protruding from them.

There’s no way of knowing when all of that debris was pushed out into the Estero Boulevard right-of-way. Was it before the March 1st state deadline or was it after? There’s no doubt that anything added to the Boulevard starting this week, when this first came to light, will be well documented and whoever adds to the debris mess will be held accountable.

But what happens now?

If the state decides not to intervene and do a clean sweep of Estero Boulevard, the responsibility falls on the town. Your ears aren’t failing you. The town would be responsible to clean up a Lee County owned 7-mile road. That would most likely result in town staff trying to determine which land owner or contractor created every pile on Estero Boulevard, getting in contact with those responsible, and making them pay to remove the piles. A tall task for a government operating at full capacity for sure. An even taller task for a government struggling to financially survive and focus on getting residents permits to rebuild their homes and businesses.

Lee County has told Interim Town Manager Keith Wilkins the county has no plans to go after the contractors or homeowners who created the piles but the town is welcome to do so.



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