CCP throws its support behind two initiatives
The Captiva Community Panel’s board moved forward in support of a proposal to clean up the Andy Rosse Lane beach entrance and agreed to work on prohibiting fishing on the Blind Pass Bridge.
At the June 11 meeting, President David Mintz recommended that the panel submit a request to Lee County for it to pay $5,000 to clean up and landscape the beach entrance. Last month, a landscaper on the island had submitted a rendering of the potential project, quoting the total work at about $4,897.
Mintz also suggested that the panel ask the county to cover the ongoing cost of $90 per month to maintain and keep up the entrance, which the landscaper had quoted as part of the rendering. Lastly, he recommended that if the county refused the requests, the panel would at least pay the initial cost.
Several questioned if the proposed project fell under the panel’s umbrella of “planning.”
“I don’t know if that’s what we do or want to do,” Panel Member Bob Walter said.
Panel Member Jay Brown agreed, adding that he likes the project.
“I’d like to see it proceed but – I guess my question is, is it a proper use of panel funds for a project like this?” Brown asked.
Secretary Mike Mullins echoed that sentiment.
“I’m with Jay’s earlier point – is this a role we should be playing?” he asked.
After some discussion, a motion was made to approve Mintz’s idea of requesting the county to cover the initial project costs and ongoing maintenance fee, with the panel covering the $5,000 if it refused to do so. The motion died in a 2-8 vote, with Mintz and Panel Member Mike Kelly voting in favor of it.
Treasurer Tom Rathbone had an excused absence.
After additional debate, Mintz put a new motion on the table.
He suggested that the panel support the proposed project and again request that the county cover the costs of it. If the county did not, the panel would assist the community in finding a way to fund it.
Panel Member Mike Lanigan questioned why something urgent had to be done about the beach entrance when there were ongoing concerns at Blind Pass Bridge; concerns that the panel had talked about in prior meetings, yet no movement had been made toward trying to remedy the situation.
He reported that only days ago he found an abandoned knife and fishing lures on the bridge – which families with small children use – along with a discarded cast net in the water with old dead fish.
“What’s more important?” Lanigan asked, comparing the safety of people crossing the bridge to a vegetation project in the Village. “Once again, a Village-centric issue that takes precedence.”
Following some final discussion, the panel voted 7-3 for Mintz’s revised motion.
Mintz, Mullins, Brown, Kelly, Vice President Mike Borris and Panel Members Rene Miville and Ante Baumgarten voted in favor of it, while Walter, Lanigan and Panel Member Dave Jensen opposed it.
Toward the end of the meeting, fishing off of the bridge was brought up.
As part of its review of the Captiva Code, the panel had discussed moving forward on closing off fishing as a way to circumvent issues observed on the bridge – littering, fishing equipment and beach chairs taking up walkway space and forcing pedestrians and bikers to travel in the road, and such.
The panel had agreed that a meeting needed to be scheduled with the Lee County Department of Transportation, which has authority over the bridge, to find out how to revoke fishing from it.
During the recent meeting, Mintz made a motion to follow through with the county.
It passed unanimously.
Also at the meeting, the panel heard about a preliminary proposal to relocate The Island Store’s liquor section to a site across the street to open up space for more groceries. Lisa Bramm, director of property management for RLR Investments, and Richard Johnson, of Bailey’s General Store, gave an overview.
“We’re planning on doing major repairs to the store,” she said.
Bramm noted that the store is registered and recorded as a historic site and building.
She explained that there are some proposed ideas, which they wanted to review with the panel before diving in to get its feedback. She noted that the plans would entail a lengthy and costly process.
As for The Island Store, Bramm reported that the proposed scope of work would consist of repairing the siding and putting on a new roof, using modern materials built to last longer while keeping the look.
“It will look the same,” she said.
Johnson explained that there are proposed plans to renovate the store’s interior. In doing so, they thought of moving the liquor store across the street to provide for much-needed floor space.
“This is just an evolution of what we have here today,” he said.
“That building needs a lot of work, not just on the outside but on the inside,” Johnson added.
He noted that the footprint of the store would not change, just the layout inside.
Bramm added that the site for the potential stand-alone liquor store was once zoned for a package store, but no longer is. They would have to pursue rezoning it, which would include more time and money.
IN OTHER NEWS
– Jensen reported that in the first five weeks of the iguana control pilot program, the hired trapper caught 76 iguanas in total and has identified hot spots. He visits the island weekly on Tuesday.
– Mintz reported that the contract has been amended for the Captiva Drive project. The design and engineering blueprint is anticipated to be completed this summer.
– Brown reported that panel should have a draft report of its consultant’s supplemental wastewater study by late summer. The panel will have time to evaluate it, then a final report will be written.