June 2023 Meeting Minutes

Greater Pine Island Civic Association – Meeting Minutes, June 6, 2023, Pine Island United Methodist Church

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

39 attendees signed in. The meeting was also livestreamed via Facebook.

President Deb Swisher-Hicks opened the meeting shortly after 6:30 p.m. Minutes of May 2, 2023 were approved by the membership.

Treasurer Mike Sweeney presented the June, 2023 Treasurer’s report:
• Money Market $16,763.80
• Checking $9,242.60
• CD Investment $76,656.20
• Income $2797.87 ($80 cash memberships, $17.87 electronic memberships, $2700 donations to Chiquita Lock Legal Defense**)
• Expenses total $300 for June Church Rental

** Chiquita Lock Legal Defense status:
• Original GPICA pledge $2500
• Donations from members $2700
• Matching GPICA donation $2700
• Current CLLD Total $7900

Deb then gave several announcements including:

  • A potential change to the Pine Island Plan’s height restrictions will be discussed at the next Board of County Commissioners Meeting on June 20, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. at the Old Lee County Courthouse.
  • The Florida Senate has approved the budget for Matlacha Corridor Repairs (HF 1716) including $2,800,000 for a traffic circle at Pine Island Road/Stringfellow Road. Commissioner Ruane has assured us that this work will not be done if Pine Islanders are against it.

Public Information Session

Next, Swisher-Hicks introduced Stephen VerVaecke, representing the engineering firm Morris Depew, who provided an overview of the development being planned by HTT Pine Island LLC & HTT Rental Holding LLC on four parcels totaling 8.68 acres on Tortuga St/Stringfellow Rd. in Bokeelia.

The property owner is seeking a new development order to begin construction of 15 multi-family residences (30 units) and two single-family residences, for a total of 32 units. The development is to have a dedicated stormwater management system, connection to the existing water main, a dedicated septic system, a small indigenous preserve, and building elevation, landscaping, and lighting in accordance with the Lee County Land Development Code. All the units will be rentals.

A question and answer session followed, including issues of parking lot lighting in the dark sky area, access on Tortuga St, the maintenance of the lake, and a critical drainage ditch on Tortuga St. that has been blocked since hurricane Charlie. Attendees were then asked to vote in favor or against the project. 0 voted yea; 26 nay. (For the full discussion and Q&A, please review the video of this session here.)

2023 Hurricane Preparedness

Deb introduced the guest speakers: Lee County Emergency Operations Manager Sandra Tapfumaneyi, GPI Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit, and Project Hope’s Hurricane Ian Support Group director, Tami Sager. Residents were advised to:

  • Create a new family emergency plan for the next hurricane
  • Take advantage of tax holidays (5/7-6/9 and 8/26-9/8) to purchase emergency preparedness materials
  • Call 1-877-693-5236 for help with insurance obstacles
  • Call 239-533-7996 for unmet needs
  • Evacuate when advised; all hurricanes are unpredictable and potentially very dangerous.
  • Our first responders must also evacuate so they may not be able to help residents who choose to stay.

Swisher-Hicks closed the meeting with the announcement that the July 4th GPICA meeting is cancelled. The next meeting is scheduled for August 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pine Island Methodist Church.

After a motion and a second, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8 p.m.

—Minutes respectfully submitted by Co-Secretary Helen Fox

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