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CEPD updated on initiatives, more

By Staff | Feb 18, 2020

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District’s commission recently heard updates about some ongoing projects related to the Alison Hagerup Beach Park, Redfish Pass, and public beach access, as well as received confirmation that staff are now district employees, including a new assistant administrator.

At the Feb. 10 meeting, Administrator Joe Wagenti reported that the permits to allow for water and electric lines to be installed at the Alison Hagerup parking lot, plus for the placement of the bathroom trailer, had been submitted to Lee County and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

He noted that he planned to meet with the contractor later in the week to finalize the bid.

Wagenti estimated that the permitting would take 30 to 60 days.

“I want him to start immediately after that,” he said of the contractor, adding that once the work is completed the trailer will be moved out of storage and placed at the site as quickly as possible.

Upon questioning, Wagenti estimated that the work would take one or two months.

He also reported that he has been researching a possible entrance gate for the lot as the commission previously discussed. It would allow people to leave the parking lot after hours, but not enter it.

On a different subject tied to the same lot, Wagenti explained that staff have been hearing from the county and public that people leaving the lot early have been offering to sell their $30 all-day parking ticket to others. At last month’s meeting, the commission voted to change the parking fee structure.

Aimed at increasing parking fee revenue and reducing traffic congestion in the area, the new fee structure that was approved is $10 for up to two hours, $15 for up to three hours and $30 for all day.

“They can sell their ticket to other people in the lot,” he said.

Wagenti reported that in looking for a solution, he found a meter system that requires people to input their license plate number, which is then printed on the ticket that they must place in their vehicle.

The commissioners showed little support for the idea, suggesting that people would not bother inputting their license. They suggested putting up signs first saying the tickets are not transferable.

“We’ll put up signs and go from there,” Wagenti said.

Also at the meeting, Wagenti provided an update on the ongoing project to examine and evaluate Redfish Pass as a possible sand borrow area. APTIM is conducting a comprehensive geophysical and geotechnical sand search of the pass to determine if its sand can be used for beach renourishment.

Wagenti reported that a profile of the area has been completed and is being analyzed.

He added that in the next two months, APTIM is scheduled to take 16 core samples from the pass, which will be analyzed for the sand. Wagenti expects the project to be completed within a year.

Also during the meeting, he told the commission that APTIM is scheduled to turn over a proposal within two weeks related to a recent assessment it conducted of public beach access on-island.

“Maybe we can optimize the current parking situation,” Wagenti said.

The CEPD has been looking at ways to increase public access because it could quality future renourishment projects for a larger percentage of federal and state funds than it is eligible for now.

Also at the meeting, it was announced that Wagenti and part-time staffer John Riegert Jr. were no longer contract employees, but were now district employees. Chairman Mike Mullins and Treasurer Dick Pyle, who worked with the staff, reported that the change went into effect as of mid-January.

“They are employees of the Captiva Erosion Prevention District,” Pyle said.

It was also announced that Kimmy Foulds had been hired as the new assistant administrator.

IN OTHER NEWS

– Pyle confirmed that $2.3 million in capital funds was moved in January from the CEPD’s Banks of the Islands account into a Fifth Third Bank account and invested into Treasury bills and notes. The commission had approved the shift in funding because the money had not been gathering any interest.

– Wagenti presented the commission with three LiDar proposals, which is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflected light with a sensor. The aim is to use the data to identify island vulnerabilities in relation to sea level rise.

“We’re getting information,” Mullins said of the proposals. “We’re not making any decisions.”

The commissioners directed staff to obtain samples of what the final reports would entail.