LGPOA ANNUAL MEETING
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Richard Leydon at 10:05 a.m.
PRESENT: Marietta Abele, Paul Holmes, Richard Leydon, Rhonda Olson, Barbara Orcutt, Terrie Weibley
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the January 6th, 2017 minutes was made by Richard Leydon and seconded by Rhonda Olson. The minutes were approved.
Paul Holmes reported that at the end of 2017, the LGPOA had $14,000 in the account. The primary expenditures were for additional officer coverage during peak holidays and Spring Break. For this fiscal year, the LGPOA has 176 members as of today, with approximately 10% enrolling online.
President Richard Leydon reported that Garlon for destroying invasive species such as Brazilian Pepper continues to be available through Phyllis Nesmith (see www.lgpoa.org). Bring your own container.
Linda Soderquist submitted a written report via Rhonda Olson. Shorebird nesting season is underway. Crows and armadillos raid eggs from their nests, and increased boats anchoring at the South end and using the shoreline as if it were a public beach have made the area less hospitable to shorebirds. Turtle season begins May 1st and islanders and guests are urged to follow the usual guidelines; no chairs or other items left on the beach overnight, lights dimmed and dogs under the owner’s control. Several dead turtles have washed up recently. If you spot one, call the FWC. A painted dead sea turtle indicates that it has already been reported.
Rhonda Olson reported that an army of island locals who swept the beach clean with heavy equipment, manpower and controlled fires to eradicate debris from the Irma-destroyed Pink House completed that work on December 30th, 2017. However, whatever was buried or hidden in the Gulf waters continues to wash ashore. Beach swimmers should be cautious since unknown debris is still out there. The Pink House clean-up was taken in lieu of the second of the twice-yearly Coastal Clean-ups. The earlier Coastal Clean-Up event held September 30th, 2017, was especially effective due to a large number of island participants, all of whom received a t-shirt for the event. Eldred’s Marina and all participants in both of these clean-ups are deeply appreciated for their efforts to keep Little Gasparilla Island a natural treasure.
A concern was raised regarding a washing machine and another appliance deliberately pushed from a boat into the bay within feet of island docks. All property owners may dispose of old appliances free at the transfer station behind the Home Depot in Englewood on McCall Road. The transfer station makes it easy via a clean, neat drive-in paved area. If you witness dumping of appliances in the waters off LGI, take photos of the act, attempt to document the boat’s registration number and contact the FWC.
Richard Leydon and Mary Lou Davidson (via phone line) reported that work continues on issues surrounding “roads” as well as possibilities for future island access, should marina spaces dry up. The County has not been helpful thus far in exploring solutions. This will be a long process, and a meeting will be held with District 3 Commissioner and Board Chairman Truex tentatively scheduled for the end of April. A question was raised about past rumors concerning expanding the public ramp and docks. Committee members will follow up.
Florida Power and Light (FPL)
Present for this meeting were Jane Wolford and Steve Norton. Steve is the FPL Area Manager and his family owns a home on LGI. Recent on-island efforts have included changing out poles, thermography assessment for wire hotspots and new automated switches to open/close from the mainland. The FPL is attempting to notify property owners prior to a planned work outage. It was noted that islanders do not receive U.S. Mail until they leave the island, so that a more helpful method for notification is via internet for many. A suggestion was made that Mary Lou Davidson contact Matt Skees to arrange for notifications via the Coconut Telegraph. Individuals may also go to www.FPL.com to sign up for text notification of outages.
Several residents complained that abandoned tie-downs are creating a hazard on the beach and in the water where some are submerged on the north end from Marsh street north, especially by the round house. Steve will convey this and see that it is addressed.
Outages are caused not just by storms and faulty equipment but also by tree encroachment and ospreys dropping branches, etc. Steve remarked that after any outage on the island, once it is repaired, the crew makes a second inspection to spot any other trouble areas. There is a five-year plan to change out coaxial on the island. Once permitting is begun, the process takes about a year.
Richard Leydon thanked FPL for their diligence and asked that Steve please convey islanders’ appreciation for the crew that worked so swiftly after Hurricane Irma. He also reported that the phone company is considering removing service permanently since there is very little demand for land lines.
Chief Bill Underhill is on-island permanently, serving full-time with a day or two to run errands per month. A new cart for paramedic services is on-island, and this week a cart that expands access for fire-fighting will arrive. Chief Bill reported that last year there were 47 calls to LGIFR, and 39 of those were for EMS. This year there have been 15 calls to date, evenly divided between fire and paramedic services. There is a burn ban effective for the island and the entire county. The county will issue citations for any burning. The Chief wants all to know that there is a slight delay when calling 911 before dispatchers route to LGIFR. The chief has encouraged residents to keep the on-island number available; 941-270-7607. Residents should also call 911, but calling the local number may expedite the response.
Islanders questioned why the house on the South End nearest the Pass remains perpetually unfinished. Discussion ensued. It was reported that the same owner has an abandoned property closer to the north end, and residents have observed an open door, rodents and children playing around it that do not live there. Richard Leydon will follow-up.
Several islanders wondered about the stench from the sewage situation at Hideaway Condominiums. Others reported that efforts are underway to repair the system, and that spills are being covered with lime.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 a.m. by President Richard Leydon. Attendees exited to a cookout potluck lunch on the grounds of Placida Beach Condominiums.
Respectfully Submitted by Terrie Weibley.