April 2023 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved in May 2023

Greater Pine Island Civic Association — Meeting Minutes, April 4, 2023, Pine Island United Methodist Church

Board Members Present: Deborah Swisher-Hicks, President; Nadine Slimak, Vice President; Mike Sweeney, Treasurer; Helen Fox, Co-Secretery and Board Members Shari Perkins, Scott Wilkinson, Tim Heitz. (Excused: Connie D’Alessio and Sue Dahod)

27 attendees signed in. The meeting was also livestreamed over Facebook, which reached another 170 people.

President Deb Swisher-Hicks opened the meeting at 6:35 p.m.

Members voted to approve the March 2023 meeting minutes.

Treasurer Mike Sweeney reported:

  • $16,763.38 Money Market balance
  • $7648.94 Checking balance
  • $76,370.54 CD Investment balance
  • Income: $244.11
    • New or renewed Memberships recorded online: $134.11
    • In-person or mailed memberships $110
  • Expenses: $495
    • March Church Rental $300
    • Roetzel & Andress Law Firm $195.

Mike added that the March church rental will be reimbursed because of the lack of technical support, and that the law firm expense was for completing the work on updating GPICA’s 501(c)(4) status.

Parks & Rec Facilities Update

Swisher-Hicks introduced the new director of Lee County Parks and Recreation, Mac Young, and his associates, Kathleen Loomis and Lisa Weaver. Young gave a brief summary of the condition of several parks and recreational facilities on Greater Pine Island, took audience questions and agreed to follow up later with answers. The Parks department is also looking for a new location for a summer camp for Greater Pine Island children. An indoor space and bathrooms are required.
Attendees with information about a possible camp space or questions were encouraged to email him at MYoung@leegov.com

Samaritan Health and Wellness Center

Swisher-Hicks introduced Susan Hook, Executive Director of Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, Inc. of Cape Coral, which provides affordable healthcare and counseling to uninsured and underinsured adults and children.

Thanks to a new partnership between The Beacon of Hope and Samaritan, Samaritan will provide health services from the Beacon’s Pine Island office.

  • When: every other Wednesday between 8 a.m. and noon starting April 5. Samaritan will expand clinic hours should there be enough demand.
  • Scheduling: To schedule an appointment, call The Beacon at 239.283.5123
  • Cost: Appointments are $50. If a patient can’t cover the fee, financial support is available. Samaritan patients are may also receive laboratory and/or other tests at a substantial discount.
  • No proof of residency or income is necessary.

Chiquita Lock Removal

Swisher-Hicks introduced Michael Hannon, President of the Matlacha Civic Association (MCA), who gave a power point presentation about the history and current state of the waterways and mangroves around the Ceitus Boat Lift and the Chiquita Lock.

Hannon explained that the City of Cape Coral is planning to remove the Chiquita lock, which filters pollution from the city’s canal system while keeping salt water from fresh water areas. Florida DEP (FLDEP) has issued a notice to approve the Cape’s application to remove the Lock.

MCA contends that the Lock removal will cause further environmental damage to the health of the waterways and to the mangroves that we rely on as buffers for hurricanes and is developing a coalition to oppose removal of the Lock. MCA is seeking partners to become named petitioners in the action and provide financial support for the effort.

MCA has asked that:

  • GPICA join as a petitioner on a lawsuit challenging the FLDEP approval to remove the Chiquita Lock.
  • The GPICA provide $12,500 for legal fees

(For Hannon’s full presentation, please review the video below beginning at about minute 42)

According to GPICA bylaws, the GPICA Board is required to discuss the issue and develop recommendations to then bring it to the full membership for a vote. A vote of the membership is also required to spend more than $1,000.

GPICA VP Slimak offered a motion that the Board discuss the issue at a special meeting and then determine whether to call a special meeting of the membership if needed.
Members voted in favor of the motion.

After a motion from the audience and a second, the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

—Minutes respectfully submitted by Co-Secretary Helen Fox

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