CEPD denies different requests for funding
The Captiva Erosion Prevention District’s commission voted down fund requests for two separate proposals at its recent meeting, as well as heard an update on filling one commissioner’s seat.
At the July 8 meeting, the CEPD staff presented a proposal to bring in a consultant office assistant for approximately 32-40 hours per week at a rate of $20 to $25 per hour for the remainder of the fiscal year to help with sorting and categorizing old documents, plus eliminating or electronically archiving them.
Administrator Carolyn Weaver explained that she and Deputy Administrator Joe Wagenti have been attempting to go through the backlog of years of files and binders, plus boxes in the CEPD storage unit, in an attempt to organize all the information and move it onto an electronic platform for easy access.
However, with the demand of their regular duties, they have made little headway on the project.
She noted that since she joined the CEPD, staff has been electronically saving information.
“It’s a matter of going backwards,” Weaver said of the request for additional help.
Hans Wilson, of Hans Wilson & Associations – the firm contracted with the CEPD on the hiring of staffers – explained that the prior administration had “their own system” of records management. With a better understanding of technology, the new administration is trying to modernize the paper system.
“It’s a new opportunity to improve things,” he said.
“A file management system better than what had been used before,” Wilson added. “To make it easier for anybody to access whatever information you are looking for.”
Vice Chair Michael Lanigan explained that he recognizes there is an issue with the existing filing system and that it needs to be taken care of, but he voiced concern with spending more money to fix it.
“It seems to me like we’ve been paying for this service and haven’t been getting this service,” Lanigan said, pointing out that it is a job duty. “How ever far it goes back, we haven’t gotten that service.”
Treasurer Bob Walter questioned the statement that staff does not have the time to do it.
“I find that hard to believe based on what I see,” he said.
Walter also voiced concern with the proposed scope of work for the new hire, explaining that he feels there is not clear direction on the project, and with what will happen when the initial funds run out.
He added that he is certain there are companies available for hire to do this type of work.
After Commissioner Dave Jensen also signaled his opposition to the proposed funding request – Chairman Mike Mullins and Secretary Harry Kaiser had excused absences – the commission decided not to proceed with an approval. However, it directed staff to look into possible companies to hire to do the work.
Also during the meeting, the commission was presented with a proposal by the Captiva Community Panel for the CEPD to fund the clean up and landscaping of the beach entrance off Andy Rosse Lane in the amount of $4,897, as well as fund a monthly recurring fee of $90 for the upkeep to the entrance.
Weaver reported that staff ran the funding request by the CEPD’s attorney, who advised that the proposed project does not appear to fall within the district’s beach and shore preservation purview.
In addition, in a checking with the Lee County Tourist Development Council, officials asked if the project was permitted though the county and noted that the county attorney would have to review the proposal. Also pointed out was that the project was possibly more “beautification” than restoration.
A motion to approve the CCP’s funding request died in a 0-3 vote.
At the meeting, Lanigan reported to the other commissioners that he has been working with staff to evaluate the proposed apportionment methodologies for the 2020-2021 beach renourishment project in an effort to identify extreme assessments or the unequal treatment of properties outside of the normal percentage hike anticipated over the last project. He said he hopes to sort out any issues beforehand.
“Rather than wait for a group of condominium owners to come in because they’re upset,” Lanigan said.
The commission also discussed the need for its consultant economists to get involved again.
Also during the meeting, Jensen provided an update on the Captiva Island Historical Society’s new documentary and its request for a $10,000 sponsorship from the CEPD. He reported that the chair of the CIHS agreed to provide the district with the outline of what the film will cover for it to review.
“We’re on board for that,” Jensen, also a board member of the CIHS, said.
“You’ll be able to see what we’re doing at some point,” he added.
At a prior meeting, CEPD commissioners voiced concerns about blindly sponsoring the film.
Jensen also reported that the CIHS knows the documentary will cost a minimum of $20,000 to make. Depending on the interviews and work involved, he added that the total cost could rise to $25,000.
The subject of the film is “Sands of Time: History and Future of Erosion on Captiva.”
Weaver told the commission that staff reached out to the CEPD’s attorney for legal counsel on potentially approving the $10,000 sponsorship. The attorney saw no problems with the proposal.
IN OTHER NEWS
– Weaver reported that staff has been hearing about Jensen’s seat.
He recently submitted his resignation, with an effective date of Sept. 27.
“Right now we currently have six candidates interested,” she said.
– Wagenti reported that the new bathroom trailer for Alison Hagerup Beach has been built and is expected to arrive within two weeks. It will be stored away until the parking lot site is ready.
He added that the survey of the lot is being finished; applying for permits will be next.