The LGPOA is celebrating its fourteenth year! Outlined below is over a decade of accomplishments achieved by tireless, talented volunteers past and present.
• As one of its first actions, LGPOA hired an attorney to resist efforts to establish a private sewer company on LGI (which would have enabled the construction of high density tourist facilities).
• High Speed Channel to Island: The LGPOA and the Navigation Committee were instrumental in acquiring both the North and South 25 mph access channels to LGI across Placida Bay after the State imposed a 5 mph zone on the entire Bay. Without this, we would be crossing from the mainland to the island at 5 mph.
• Island Zoning: The LGPOA worked alongside the LGI Advisory Committee to draft a County zoning ordinance for LGI that rezoned the entire island from residential multi-family tourist (RMFT, allowing Multi-family properties high-rise hotels) to single family residential only. This ordinance passed in 2013.
• LGPOA worked hand in hand with the initial Fire Board and an Advisory Committee to create LGIFR, Inc., our on-island fire and EMS Corporation. More info at www.lgifr.com
• Island Docks: The LGPOA worked with the island Dock Committee for over 3 ½ years to save existing LGI docks after the state Department of Environmental Protection threatened to fine or remove those which were found in violation of its rules. The LGPOA paid for a Lobbyist to assist the Bill, drafted by the Dock Committee, through the Legislative Process. The successful outcome of the Bill was due to the efforts of the Dock Committee and POA. The new law created a mechanism for docks to become compliant, avoid past due fines and allowed for future expansion. The Dock Bill was signed into law on June 13, 2014.
• Island Roads: While most of the North/South travel ways are private pathways, the POA has, at times, tried to improve them where possible and educate islanders of their private nature.
• Coconut Telegraph: LGPOA’s email newsletter has kept members informed of issues of importance including environmental and LGIFR updates, volunteer opportunities and social events.
• Exotic Plant Removal: The LGPOA started a program that provides an environmentally friendly herbicide free to its members for use in eliminating Brazilian Peppers and Australian Pines.
• Social Events: The LGPOA supports engaging social events including Fishing Tournaments, Kid’s Marine Clinics, Fourth of July Family Picnics, Golf Cart Poker Runs and Island Wide Garage Sales.
• Environmental: The LGPOA in coordination with International Coastal Cleanup and the Great American Cleanup has successfully organized numerous volunteer events to comb the beach and mangroves resulting in the removal of tons of debris and discarded items from the island.
Following Hurricane Irma, the LGPOA actively engaged with Charlotte County Health Department to monitor the status of the removal of the septic tank that was buried in the sand following the destruction of the “pink house”. It has since been removed.
Persistent phone calls and e-mails to representatives and various agencies made by islanders and board members past and present helped persuade Charlotte County to provide LGI with assistance. Once FEMA approved funding for “off road” clean-up efforts, the Charlotte County Department of Public Works was assigned to LGI to operate an environmental chipper to further diminish tree debris.
The LGPOA Board of Directors would like to acknowledge the efforts of numerous island volunteers, including builders, contractors and utility providers who pooled their efforts and offered their time, energy and equipment to manage all remaining debris left strewn across the beach by the storm. See pics at http://lgpoa.org/post-irma-beach-clean-up-success/nggallery/thumbnails
In 2018, The LGPOA approved the development of an educational tool to educate islanders and guests on how to ensure public health though the proper disposal of pet waste.
• Safety: To help prevent injury, the LGPOA has recently sent a written request to Florida Power and Light asking them to remove the abandoned power line supports that now protrude out of the sand since the hurricane.
In 2018, the LGPOA board voted to develop tools that would bring awareness to the safety and environmental concerns of pets on our beaches.
The LGPOA continues to work proactively with Deputy Ed Trentacosta from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department to prevent golf cart theft, speeding, vandalism, unruly behavior and underage drinking. The addition of police officers contracted by the LGPOA to patrol during peak times has helped to diminish these challenges, creating a more pleasant and safe environment.
• Communications: Over the last few years, the LGPOA has invested in updating its technology to streamline administrative systems and improve member communications. A new website and technical upgrades now allows us to manage our own content in real time, receive electronic membership payments, invite volunteers and field general questions from constituents.
In 2018, the LGPOA will launch a “Member Directory” which will be hosted on the LGPOA website. This will be a password protected directory that allows participating LGPOA members to access each other’s contact information. Member data will not be published unless member has provided consent on their membership renewal form.
• Administrative: In 2016, the LGPOA appointed a committee to propose and make amendments of the original LGPOA by-laws which were written in 2004. The intention was to have the by-laws reflect the way the LGPOA has functioned since its inception and integrate the use of available technology to reduce costs. Proposed amendments were passed at the 2017 annual meeting.
• Island Roads and Access: The committee appointed to research strategies for long term island access will resume conversations with Charlotte County Chairman Bill Truex. For over a year, the committee has been engaged in ongoing conversations with Charlotte County, affected property owners and builders to help negotiate solutions where the existing North/South cart path runs through private property.
The last fourteen years have posed several threats to our island that were thwarted by the efforts of the LGPOA. Undoubtedly, we will face more in the coming years. Your $40 membership fee will result in the following:
• Support the LGPOA’s continued efforts to act upon threats and further protect and preserve our island atmosphere.
• You will receive timely messages about current island issues through the LGPOA email network and our monthly newsletter, The Coconut Telegraph.
• You will be eligible to participate in the LGPOA social events and meetings.
• You will be able to voice your opinion on matters that affect the island.
Your annual dues support the above accomplishments. Without each member, none of the above would be possible.