ESTO - Efforts to replace aging water lines in the Town of Esto are nearly complete. Town Attorney Jeff Goodman advised members of Esto Town Council in Thursday's council meeting that funds from Northwest Florida Water Management District and USDA Rural Development grants are now available to pay for the project.

Phase I and Phase II of the project cost $209,274.99 and $703,057.31, respectively. The project now awaits only checking off the final punch lists to be complete.

The town also made a step in re-branding itself with the approval of a new town logo that will appear on letterhead and be featured at the Town Hall.

Council also members approved a new nuisance ordinance which will go into effect March 20. The ordinance is expected to give the town more authority in to enforce code issues such as property eyesores.

The first reading of a contract granting Airspeed Networks exclusive franchise rights as the town's internet service provider was held. A second reading will take place at the March 16 meeting, at which time the contract is expected to be approved.

Commerce Street will be submitted to be resurfaced under the Small Community Outreach Program (SCOP) grant. The approximate cost of the resurfacing project is $337,000.

Council member John Hagans proposed a community clean up day at John Clark Park which would include a cook out for the volunteers. The event is still in the planning stages, and council members are expected to revisit the idea in an upcoming meeting.

The board also approved to hire a part time public works technician. Stuart Collins was selected for the position at a pay rate of $12 an hour and will work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Esto Town Council will meet again in a special session at 6 p.m. on March 16.