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CEPD votes on funds for CIHS film, new attorney and more

By Staff | Mar 17, 2020

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District’s commission approved donating funds to a recent documentary about erosion by the Captiva Island Historical Society, hired a new attorney after the retirement of its existing one, and approved new operating procedures at its recent meeting.

At the March 9 meeting, the commissioners voted 4-0 to pay $10,000 to the CIHS for usage rights related to the “Sands of Time” film, which explores the history and future of erosion on Captiva. Prior to the vote, Chairman Mike Mullins noted that it cost the CIHS $20,000 to create the documentary.

“It’s our film, the filmmaker works for us, that content is our content,” CIHS Board President Tom Libonate, who was in attendance, said. “We’re giving you for compensation the right to that content.”

After a brief discussion, the commission voted to approve the funding.

Also at the meeting, the commission learned that CEPD attorney Nancy Stroud had announced she planned to resign and retire and did not feel she could see the renourishment project to its end.

“She’s been with us since the 1980s,” Mullins said.

Administrator Joe Wagenti reported that staff requested proposals from eight possible attorneys for their services and five responded. One of the respondents was attorney Ralf Brookes, who works with the Captiva Community Panel and has a background and history of providing service on the island.

According to the proposals, Brookes quoted $130 per hour compared to $225 to $335 per hour for Lewis Longman Walker Attorneys, $250 to $450 per hour for Dickman Law Firm, $375 or $500 per hour for Becker Lawyers and $435 per hour for Quarles & Brady. Brookes also offered free travel.

After a quick discussion, a motion was made to hire Brookes, which passed 4-0.

Also during the meeting, staff presented the commissioners with proposed standard operating procedures for beach monitoring, like coastal inspection, vehicle usage and monitoring checklist.

“We did quite a bit of clean up with our SOPs,” Wagenti said.

He noted that the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s feedback was incorporated.

“This is our final (version) that the board has looked over,” he said.

The commission voted 4-0 to approve the SOPs and archive them for the future.


– Wagenti reported that the CEPD collected over $400,000 in revenue from the parking meters last year. He noted that since raising the rates, more money was collected last month than in February of 2019.

“We’re up 25 percent in revenue,” Wagenti said.

– The commission discussed the details of a contract with firm APTIM regarding the design and pre-construction services related to beach renourishment projects on the island, but no vote was taken.