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Elevator contact approved, LCSO to remain offsite

By Staff | Aug 20, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Fire Chief Jeff Pawul, left, reviews for the Captiva Island Fire Control District's commissioners the proposed upgraded maintenance contract for the elevator at the fire station.

The Captiva Island Fire Control District’s commissioners approved a new maintenance contract for the station’s elevator and heard an update on possibly sharing space with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

At its Aug. 13 meeting, the commission voted 3-0 on a resolution to update its five-year KONE elevators agreement, which was up for renewal. Last month, Fire Chief Jeff Pawul explained that the existing contract covers “oil and grease” only, plus quarterly service visits, for $1,600 annually.

He continued that at least once or twice every year, the elevator has required repairs totaling from $1,500 to $3,000, which the district paid for out-of-pocket because they are not covered. Pawul noted that the contract could be upgraded to a $3,700 flat-rate annual agreement, which includes repairs.

Under the direction of the commissioners, he brought forward a resolution for the upgrade.

Before the vote, Pawul reported that over $18,000 was spent on the elevator from 2015 to 2018.

Also at the meeting, he provided an update on the discussions about possibly letting the on-island deputies relocate their administrative offices into the fire station. Pawul explained that he passed along the district and commissioners’ parameters for the partnership to the LCSO and officials responded.

The officials reported that the LCSO utilizes its current office space rent-free, and they have decided to continue using it for the time being. However, they are hoping to access the station just for meetings.

“I was surprised they don’t pay anything,” Pawul said.

The commission had no problem with the decision, nor them using the station for meetings.

“I think maybe it’s for the best,” Commissioner Sherrill Sims said. “Keep it simple.”

“I’m fine with it,” Commissioner C.W. Kilgore said.

Also during the meeting, Pawul spoke on some of the district’s recent calls.

At about 2 a.m. Aug. 10, a call came in about a boat taking on water right outside the Intracoastal Waterway. He explained that normally the occupants are directed to contact a vessel towing service, however the operator had told the U.S. Coast Guard that the boat was taking in water too quickly.

The Captiva fire crew responded to the scene.

Pawul reported that there were two adults on board an approximately 20-foot flats fishing boat. The crew escorted the vessel and its occupants to safety at the marina at the South Seas Island Resort.

“It seems like we’re having more and more every year,” he said of water calls in general.

On Aug. 6 at about 4 p.m., the crew responded to a report of a pedestrian hit by a vehicle on Captiva Drive, near The Green Flash. The woman has been walking along the S-curve when it happened.

“The car swerved and clipped her,” Pawul said.

While the driver did not stop immediately, he was pulled over eventually.

Pawul reported that the woman did not sustain any major injuries.

“Surprisingly, after being hit by a car, she was doing really well,” he said.

Also at the meeting, Pawul provided an update on some recent repairs and costs to the district. He explained that it refueled the generator for $3,000 and paid about $1,500 to fix the station’s upstairs air conditioner. The day of the meeting, the training room’s A/C unit was out and a service call put in.

“It’s too soon for this stuff to be breaking,” Sims said.

The district also replaced the three rotted, wooden Captiva fire signs at the station’s doors.

In addition, Pawul estimated that the replacement of a fire hydrant north of The Green Flash may cost the district a couple thousand dollars at least. He explained that a vehicle hit it in the last several weeks.

“They actually ripped the hydrant off (the base),” Pawul said. “It was lying in the bushes.”

In some follow-up questions from the commissioners, he reported that the district owns all of the island’s fire hydrants and it maintains them, even the couple of private hydrants. The district allocates about $6,000 to $7,000 annually in its budget for needed repairs and maintenance to the hydrants.

“It’s not a huge deal,” Pawul said of the upkeep. “We just do it.”


– Pawul reported that the fire district will need to consider updating its website to make it ADA accessible. Under a new Florida law, special districts are being required to be in compliance.

“The website is a mandate by the state,” he said.

Pawul noted that the Captiva Erosion Prevention District is also addressing its site.

– Pawul had his next negotiation meeting with the union set for Aug. 16.

– There were 36 calls for service in July, compared to 35 for the same month in 2018.

“We’ve basically been trending the same as last year,” he said.

In a year-to-date comparison of the numbers, the district is down 20 calls for 2019.

– District staff conducted 17 annual inspections last month.