Friday, December 6, 2013

Tis the season

It’s that time of year again!  And we have no shortage of opportunities to help our local community.  Here are some selections:

Courtney DeFilippis of Islander Properties is collecting items to benefit the Homeless Coalition in Port Charlotte. They need:
Clothing-all sizes
Personal hygiene items
Bug spray
Tents/tarps etc.
For more information contact Courtney @ 941.286.8208

Doctor’s Choice Home Care is collecting non-perishable food items until December 20th.
Collection Sites:
Doctor’s Choice Home Care
4044 North Access Road near Sunnybrook Blvd & Winn Dixie
Drs. Sharma, Bassetti & Logan’s Office
1885 Englewood Road (corner of Englewood Isles Parkway)
for more information, contact Sue McNamara at 941-270-2505

Englewood Senior Giving Tree
Gift requests available now, collecting until December 16th for delivery
Doctor’s Choice Home Care
4044 North Access Road near Sunnybrook Blvd & Winn Dixie
for more information, contact Sue McNamara at 941-270-2505

Grove City Manor is looking for assistance with their Traveling Medical Bus/RV program.  Click HERE for more information. 

From the Roads & Bridges Committee

      Please be advised that the Charlotte County Public Works Department is authorizing a contractor to grade and place sand and shell material on our unpaved island roads, creating  an 18’ designated travel way. This project is being funded by our Don Pedro/Knight Islands Street and Drainage Municipal Services Taxing Unit. When this work is completed, the appropriate Charlotte County Departments will work to enforce the requirements that state all parties, including contractors and residents, will be responsible to repair any damage that they have caused to the roads and right-of-ways under OR 85-43 and Muni Code(s) 3-6-21. This will be done in order to protect our substantial monetary investment in this project and prolong its useful life expectancy.

     OR 85-43 and Muni Code(s) 3-6-21 require that all work done in the County rights-of-way require a permit from the Charlotte County Engineering, Building and/or Zoning Departments. This work includes, but is not limited to, planting of trees and shrubs, change in ground elevation and installation of signs or any structure or topographic feature.

                                                                                                                           December 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Invitation to a Celebration of Life

Folks coming from the mainland should drive down to Panama Blvd.( Palm Island Car Ferry) and follow the parking signs.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The 2013 Turtle Tally

The 2013 Sea Turtle season is over, and the numbers are officially in.  It was a very big season for turtle hatchings. Here are the results:

2013 Nesting Season – Don Pedro/Knight Islands


248 Nests   (compared to 319 in 2012)
196 Hatched Nests
14,792 Hatched Eggs (8,468 in 2012)
Disrupted Nests:  40 affected by storms – 19 predated by coyote – 3 by armadillo


17 Nests (compared to 5 in 2012)
16 Hatched Nests
1071 Hatched Eggs (182 in 2012)
Disrupted Nests: 0 affected by storms – 3 predated by armadillo, coyote, fire ants

The 20th annual "Art in the Palms"

Once again, Art in the Palms was a big success.  This mammoth effort, which takes months of advance preparation, is P.I.E.’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  According to the walk-on barge fees count (which are donated to the Island Kids Scholarship Fund), we had 744 visitors to the Island for the outdoor festival.  Preliminary tallies put the net proceeds of the day at $6000.00.

The Englewood Sun did a feature article in advance of Art in the Palms.  CLICK HERE to download the article.

We’d like to thank ALL of the volunteers who helped make this event possible by working tirelessly on the set-up, strike down and of course, manning stations on the event day itself.  We appreciate all of your hard work!

More photos are available for viewing at the PHOTO GALLERY at our website: 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dr. Beach finished filming on the Island

Robbin Madden checked in with some media coverage for the "Buying Beachfront" pilot that was being filmed here and on mainland last week. Here's what she had to say:

Attached is an article in today’s Charlotte Sun:

Dr.  Beach on the water 

Expert tours area, extols waterfront living 


   When Stephen Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach,” visits beaches across the country to compile his yearly list of America’s Top 10 beaches, he usually likes to fly under the radar, quietly dodging the press until after his popular ratings are published. 
   This week, though, the world-renowned beach expert broke from his usual protocol to speak to local reporters as he toured up and down Charlotte County’s beaches and waterways, extolling the area’s pristine waterfront. 
   Leatherman was in town this week filming a television episode for a pilot program on waterfront living, as well as a three-minute promotional video highlighting Englewood beaches, Punta Gorda and the barrier islands, including Don Pedro and Knight islands. 

   “Normally when I come to an area, I am doing ratings of beaches, and I don’t usually meet with the media until after I’ve done the ratings because I don’t want to get the red-carpet treatment,” he said. “This is very different.” 
   And when it comes to waterfront living, different can be better. 
   “I thought it would be nice to go to a place that is a little less known but of high quality, and Charlotte County came up,” he said. 
   Unlike most coastal communities, Charlotte County offers the best of both worlds — miles of “Old Florida” beachfront and a harbor teeming with world-class fishing and boating. 
   “You have a beautiful environment here with the harbor,” Leatherman said. “It’s more laid back here, more easygoing and more friendly. 
   “Your beaches are more remote than most beaches, and that actually makes them in some ways better, because they are not overcrowded,” he added. “I’m used to the east coast of Florida where the beaches are jam-packed.” 

   Leatherman was joined by Emmy-awardwinning producer-photographer Russ Weston, who was directing the film crew. 
   Weston, who recently was on assignment in St. Louis, Mo., covering the World Series, has worked on television shows like the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” and National Geographic’s “Extreme Alaska.” 
   “This has been a neat community to work in,” Weston said of Charlotte County. “It’s been a lot of fun.” 
   The crew spent the day on Monday filming in Englewood and the barrier islands. Tuesday, they spent the day touring Charlotte Harbor; and today, they will spend it on the Peace River. 
   In June, the Charlotte County Commission approved a $79,000 budget transfer from the Tourist Development Trust Fund to fund the video and pilot episode, which then will be shopped to several major television networks. The pilot will combine Leatherman’s background in coastal science with beachfront living. 
  Realtor Robin Madden of Islander Properties in Englewood believes the investment will pay for itself and then some. 

  Madden met Leatherman a few years ago when he toured Palm Island to show reporters how he makes his “best beach” selections. 
   “He’s brilliant,” Madden said. “He is so well-known, so well-thought-of and highly respected. This is really going to help put Charlotte County on the map.” 

   World-renowned researcher and beach expert Stephen Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach,” has spent the last few days touring Charlotte County beaches and waterways filming a promotional video and a pilot episode for a television program on waterfront real estate. He is joined by Emmy-award-winning producer-photographer Russ Weston, who has worked on programs like National Geographic’s “Extreme Alaska.” 

Here’s a link to the NBC Fort Myers story that aired last night regarding the Dr. Beach TV Pilot 
Nov. 19, NBC (WBBH-Fort Myers)

Here are the previous stories on SNN and WINK

Nov. 18, SNN (Sarasota)

Nov. 18, CBS (WINK-Fort Myers)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

11/2/2013 Community Meeting with the Roads & Bridges Advisory Committee

Linda Cotherman, Chair of the R&B Committee, presided over the town hall-style meeting.  She began by introducing the committee members, with an explanation of the four “Districts” that each member represents and how these districts were organized.

The MSTU map of the Island was divided into areas not just by location, but also by road type and composition. For example, Dave Witters represents District 3, which includes the areas around Palm Drive as well as South Gulf Blvd. Both of these locations are in District 3 because they both have remnants of asphalt under the road surfaces. 

Tim Malone, Vice-Chair of the committee, represents District 2, the Hard Road. Linda Cotherman represents District 4, the remainder of Don Pedro Island, and its sand roads. Bill McNulty is the regular “at large” committee member, representing all districts.

Not present at the meeting were: Jeffery Jacobson representing District 1 (the Resort) and Don Milroy, alternate “at large” member.

Roughly 30 people gathered to listen.  Linda gave a brief history of the creation of the committee and its activities to date.

Complaints about the marle material used to patch our roads led to Charlotte County’s decision to form an MSTU Advisory Committee. The MSTU ordinance was changed to allow for the formal committee, positions on the committee were advertised and the BCC voted to approve the members as recommended by staff.


One recommendation put forward was immediately implemented by the County: they contracted independent consultants, “The Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies” (a non-profit organization based at the Engineering Dept. of Penn State) to review our roads and make recommendations for their repair and maintenance. (CLICK HERE for report)

The other recommendation implemented was running a test strip on Bocilla Drive of a new material, consisting of a 4” washed shell base with #250 coarse sand on top. It was noted that since placing the material mid-August, there had been no maintenance of the patch other than local dragging.  There was also 7” of rainfall, including one day with 3” of rain. Even under bad conditions, all standing water was draining within 24 hours.  Everyone agreed that the test was successful.

The experts supported the new material in the report that they submitted. Other recommendations were:
1-Remove the marle in pockets where possible, and scour what remains so it will perk more (note: the expert did not say to remove the asphalt from District 3 roads. He said it should be scarified and raked into the road base)
2-Bring in sand from the sides of the road to help build up the base
3-Maintain an 18’ wide travelway with a 4 degree crown, so that water diverts off to the sides of the road
4-Compact the new (correct) road material
5-Groom the road with the proper equipment as part of an “as needed” maintenance schedule.


Will this material work in the Tarpon Drive area (District 3)?

Dave Witters responded, indicating that crowning with the shell barrier will absorb water, and the sides of the road will store water.  This way, there should be no silt deposit in homeowners’ yards.

Will the sand roads be rated for tonnage?

This led to a discussion of large vehicles on the sand roads, and the amount of distress it causes. Linda noted that there is an ordinance in effect that holds contractors responsible for road repairs, and there are ways to address and enforce it.  She even cited a county that requires contractors to post a bond against completion of road restoration.

Did the expert have a recommendation for the Resort?

Bill McNulty made it clear that the Resort roads are private, and will not be included in the improvements.  He lives in Sabal Palm Point, one of several areas outside of the resort included in District 1. The expert was invited to the Resort, separate from the general evaluation, to inspect the Resort roads and make suggestions. The roads there have different needs and perameters: there is less vehicle traffic, different material, more crowning and drainage.  The big problem there is dust.


The committee explained that we currently have a 2-year renewable contract for road improvement and maintenance in place. This contract was awarded prior to the existence of the committee, from an RFP that was very generic with minimal specifications. As a result, the contractor placed the wrong material on the roads and established a regular maintenance schedule (every 3 months) regardless of road condition.  No one was happy with this.

However, the present contract is effective until September of 2014. This leaves Islanders with two options.

The current contractor gave the County an estimate of $141,000.00 to blade the sand roads and apply two coats of the new material. However, the estimate did not include the removal of the marle and other road preparations recommended by the expert. So the first option is to spend the $141K on the contractor’s offer while we set up a new contract to take effect when the old contract expires.

“If we’re going to do it, we might as well do it right,” said Jon Goranson. He pointed out that placing the new material over the old clay is a waste of money.  “I believe the marle must come up, must be scarified” he said, expressing confidence in the expert recommendation. “The guy was very thorough.”

With 30 days of notice, the old contract can be terminated and a new RFP can be created with more line items and specifications in line with the expert recommendations. Then the County can bid out the RFP and award a new contract. The committee estimated that this process can take up to 6 months, but “if we are willing to wait, we have the opportunity to do it right”, Linda said.

Linda suggested setting up minimal maintenance on the roads to get through the winter, allowing time to write the new RFP and re-bid the contract.  


Bob Cornelius raised the issue of lines criss-crossing the roads right under the surface. Tim pointed out that most of the utilities fall within the rights-of-way, and with the new travelway being only 18 feet it should lessen the impact. The committee agreed that the contractor needs to be held responsible for identifying and marking lines. 

John Sickles asked about the road rights-of-way. Plans for the ROWs will be included in the new contract. It was also said that a savings in barge fees can be realized by combining marle removal with bringing over the new material.


The committee reminded the audience that the mil rate for our R&B MSTU is scheduled for a reduction, from 1.7 to 1.1 mil, starting next year.  That is because we have finished paying off the bridge loan. Islanders commented about the 900K reserve in the MSTU fund, and were told that the County will be slowly drawing off the reserve for the road improvements until there is a “reasonable” amount left in the fund for emergencies. 

The committee is optimistic about working with the County to the benefit of all Islanders. They were surprised and pleased when Public Works invited the committee to help write the specifications for the new RFP.  Working with the new commissioners and a new PW Director, Linda said, “It’s a new day, as far as I’m concerned."

At the end of the meeting, the audience expressed their confidence in the committee, leaving the final decision to them. "They really know what they're talking about" said Sharon Porro. "Tell them whatever the committee decides is okay with us."

Friday, November 1, 2013

Congress agrees to delay flood insurance premium hikes for 4 years

From online ezine “Insurance Journal”, dated October 28, 2013:

Key House and Senate members have reached a bipartisan deal to delay changes to the federal flood insurance program that are raising premiums for many homeowners. The bill would require regulators to address affordability of the coverage before implementing rate hikes.
The new legislation calls for a four-year delay in most rate increases and requires FEMA, which administers the flood program, to complete an affordability study and propose regulations that address affordability issues.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

From the Island Watch: Water Testing

The latest water quality test results taken on the Island shows no pollution in the Gulf, Intracoastal Waterway and canal test sites.

PIE starting this water testing program a number of years ago, to establish a base line of water quality and it monitor any deviation that might indicate a potential for future environmental concern.

So far all of the test results have been negative, indicating that the tested waters show no signs of pollution.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Consultant Report previewed at R & B Meeting

The R&B Advisory Committee met on 10/17 at the Public Works Annex on San Casa. They reported that the cleaning of the culvert on Palm Drive is in progress, and the Kosinski Bridge inspection has not been done yet.  Charlotte County will update us at the next meeting.

The report from the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies at Penn State was reviewed.  Generally, it stated that the test patch of road on Bocilla Drive was going in the right direction, adding some specifications that might improve the work.  It was agreed that the present contractor (under contract with the County until September of 2014) will use the same material to fill the roads.  The material consists of 4” of washed shell, 2” of beach sand. The roads will be graded and crowned.  They will ultimately be 18’ “cart-ways” or “travel-ways” within the right-of-ways.

Discussion also determined that road grading will also be done as needed, as opposed to staying to a specific timetable throughout the year. Also discussed was more prep work before the shell & sand are placed, such as possibly removing some of the marle that had been placed in the past.

The committee also spoke about the possibility of having a county-owned tractor left on the island, rather than accruing barge fees per trip, but this needs to be checked by the county attorney.

SAVE THE DATE: the R&B committee will be hosting a community meeting/ workshop on November 2nd at 10:00 AM under Tim & Rose Malone’s house. (111 Bocilla Drive) Join the committee to discuss future plans for road maintenance and improvements.

The next regular meeting of the R&B Committee will be held on November 20th at 3:00 PM at the Public Works annex on San Casa

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The 2013 Annual Island Beach Access Clean-Up and Cookout

You may have noticed that the Island looks a little trimmer after this weekend. That’s because a group of community volunteers met on Saturday to tidy up the vegetation at the PIE Annual Beach Access Clean-Up and Cookout.

Mowing, weed-wacking, pruning, trimming and weed pulling gave everything a lift. Workers cleaned up the beach easements, the ferry landing gardens, the firehouse gardens and the Century Link gardens.

Our thanks to Valerie Guenther for organizing the event, and the following volunteers for helping out:

Dwayne Allen
Cassie Ator
Cathy Crowe
Linda Cotherman
Barbara DeYulio
Pat & Jim Gordon
Gil Guenther
Sally B. Johnson & Dick Aulenti
Rose & Tim Malone
Sharon Porro
Dick Sadenwater
Angela & Charles Seymour
Ray & Marie Smith
Lindsay Yates
Gary Wilkins

Monday, October 14, 2013

Roads & Bridges Committee is up and running

The newly appointed Roads & Bridges advisory committee had it’s first meeting on July 16th, 2013.  First order of business was selecting officers and assigning terms for it’s members. Linda Cotherman will serve as committee chair, and Tim Malone will serve as vice-chair.

There was some discussion regarding the cleaning of a culvert pipe that runs under the road on Palm Drive. Also, the County Engineering Dept. received an estimate for an inspection of the Kosinski Bridge, and the committee approved the payment.  County bridges are normally inspected by the State of Florida every two years.  Our bridge need this inspection due to it’s age and material.

The conversation regarding the condition of the roads and the rain damage sustained by them was extensive.  The committee was informed that a purchase order had been issued for the unpaved road experts, The Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies at Penn State, to perform an assessment of the roads. The consultants’ report will provide recommendations on how to proceed in the most economically and eco-friendly way to correct the road issues on the Island.

The County and the committee discussed ways to address the problems in the interim while awaiting the professional assessment.  A test of a new road material was conducted on a long stretch of Bocilla Drive.  This material consisted of a washed shell base with a sand topping.  The Penn State representative inspected the test strip, and seemed encouraged by the result. County staff continued to monitor the situation while awaiting the report.

The next step will be reviewing the consultants’ report and implementing their suggestions

Running through the Palms 5K from Dennis Johnson

We are planning our 2nd Annual Running through the Palms 5k and we need your help. Volunteers are needed in areas such as sponsorship, product donation, advertising, day of activities, Race time staff and much much more…  All proceeds go to help with Englewood Youth Soccer Association.

Please join us Tuesday October 15th @ Englewood Beef O Brady’s 6:15 pm for an event planning and volunteer coordinating meeting.

Below is the link to sign up for the race on February 2nd, 2014 at 8:30 am.

If you are interested in being a sponsor or donating to the club please use the link below.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but still are interested in helping please email and state what area you are interested in volunteering, and best time to be reached and method in before the meeting so that we can add you to that committee…. 

Not interested in volunteering but you would like to sign-up to run… Click the link below and get registered today….

You can’t volunteer or run but would love to make a donation towards this event… Please go to and click on EYSA 5k sponsor form…

And finally, if you don't want to register online, you can download the flyer/application form RIGHT HERE and mail it in.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Be Aware! Charlotte County eyeballing home repairs

An article in the Herald Tribune (9/18) titled “Charlotte sweeps unlicensed contracting” gave a heads-up to homeowners.  Several months ago, Charlotte County hired 3 new workers, two inspectors and a building official that specializes in investigating unlicensed and/or not permitted contracting.  He previously worked for the state Workmans’ Compensation.

Where regular code compliance is complaint driven, this new ‘enforcer’ goes out looking for violations. And homeowners need to be aware of the problems that can come up:

1- You can run into trouble if you don’t have the proper permit for the job. Getting caught in the middle of a job that hasn’t been permitted properly can cause delays. And while you can get the permit after the fact, it can cost up to 4 times the amount that you would have paid before the fact. Island Watch suggests that you check the county website for information on permitting at will find that just about everything needs a permit.

2- Hire a licensed contractor. Even if they are licensed, “handymen” are very limited as to what they can do. Be aware that unlicensed workers frequently have no insurance. If an unlicensed worker is injured, often they are forced to sue you for compensation.  And homeowners liability insurance does not cover worker injuries.  Finally, with an unlicensed worker you have no recourse if you get substandard work.

3-Get all of your inspections done. If you don’t close your permit by getting your final inspections done, you could end up having to do the work over again. The code may have changed since the permit was pulled, and you may have to re-do the work to be compliant with current code. Or for instance, if you close a wall before the final inspection, you may have to open it up again so the inspector can check the electrics. The County may be slow, but eventually they do catch up with permits that have not been closed.  Don’t get caught up short.

And finally, don’t forget that permits are required for things like mangrove trimming, dock construction, or any work that involves the moving of tortoises and/or their burrows

Click HERE for copy of Herald Tribune article.

Bocilla Utilities finalizes bulk water purchase from Englewood Water District

The Island Watch received an email from Robin Sofa, Project Coordinator from Englewood Water District, indicating that Bocilla Utilities will be purchasing bulk water in the future from Englewood Water District. On June 6th, 2013, an agreement was signed by the District and Bocilla Utilities for a bulk water connection to the EWD distribution system.  

There was a field meeting held on August 6th with Bocilla Utilities and EWD staff.  According to the email, the connection to the District’s system is anticipated for the end of this year.

Bocilla Utilities is back under the regulation of the Public Service Commission, the entity that regulates rates for Florida utilities. It is customary for the cost of infrastructure to be passed on to the water customers through a rate increase.

Also noteworthy, Bocilla Utilities has a new website:  The new website allows you to sign into a new customer portal to manage your account, as well as providing an informative section on water leaks and high bills.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dr. Beach Filming TV Pilot on the Island

Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman a.k.a. "Dr. Beach"
On July 17th, 2013 several of the directors of PIE met to hear a presentation about a proposed project to film a TV pilot on the Island.  Robin Madden of Islander Properties hosted the get-together, and provided follow-up information about the new series in development, “Buying Beachfront”.

The series would feature “Dr. Beach”, the Director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research. For the past 23 years he has been publishing a list of the “Top 10” beaches in the country, and is known worldwide for his annual rankings.  Dr. Beach is a professor of environmental science and expert on beach quality, coastal impacts, hurricanes, beach erosion, currents. He is a former Director of the National Hurricane Center.

“He came to our island 3 years ago after being introduced by a mutual friend”, says Robin. “Dr. Leatherman loved our island and has since visited quite a bit.” However, much as he appreciated our beaches, the Island never made the rankings due to our lack of accessibility and amenities.

But his general liking of the Island led him here when be developed a television pilot entitled "Buying Beachfront". The pilot will feature a Realtor and Dr. Beach, with buyers looking at three beachfront homes. Dr. Beach will focus on the scientific aspects of buying beachfront homes, such as beach quality, impact glass, flood/pilings, currents, environmental issues, etc.

A production company has been identified for the filming, and 8 houses listed with various Realtors on the Island have already been screened with the owners. The production company will have input into the homes that will be used for the pilot.

Charlotte County is providing $79,000 to film the pilot from the county’s bed tax, which is used to fund marketing efforts for Charlotte County tourism.  The Englewood Area Board of Realtors is also contributing $1000.00 towards the funding of the pilot.

When the series is picked up, Dr. Beach hopes to film the series (possibly 12 shows per year) on various beaches in Florida. He may also film one other segment of the series elsewhere in Charlotte County.  Dr. Beach will also film a 3 minute video that focuses on all of Charlotte County.

The timeline for filming is not established as yet, but could begin as early as October. The group was told that a minimal number of people will be involved. 

Reaction from the audience was mixed.  While they appreciated the information about the filming, there wasn't much room for local input.  “Its a done deal” said one attendee.

One PIE director pointed out the inconsistency of the message: on the one hand, they were told that the pilot would not bring a lot of tourism to the Island. But on the other hand, tourism promotion funds are being used to produce the show. 

PIE President Jim Gordon was unable to attend the meeting, but noted that he "would like to thank Robin Madden of Islander Properties for hosting the visit by Dr. Leatherman and for inviting PIE members to attend. While there are different opinions regarding this initiative, the information presented was helpful to all who attended."

Friday, June 28, 2013

Congratulations to the new Knight Island/Don Pedro Island Streets and Drainage MSTU Advisory Committee!

Okay, so lets just call it the “Roads & Bridges” Committee, or R&B for short. On Tuesday, June 25th, the Board of County Commissioners voted to fill the 6 positions on the new committee from candidates who applied from around the Island. The ordinance forming the committee detailed representatives to be appointed from each of 4 geographical “districts” plus one at-large member and one at-large alternate. It also restricted membership to “resident electors” only (candidates who are property owners in the MSTU and are registered to vote using that address).

Here are our new committee members:

District #1 – Jeffery O. Jacobson

District #2 – Timothy W. Malone (There were no applicants that reside in this district. The Board decided to select an applicant from another district to fill the vacancy.)

District #3 – David J. Witters

District #4 – Linda B. Cotherman

Regular at large member – William E. McNulty

Alternate at large member – Donald W. Milroy

According to an email from Sandra Wright of Charlotte County Public Works, “Each member will receive a confirmation letter to confirm their appointment and information from the County Attorney’s office regarding the Sunshine Law. The length of the members’ terms will be determined at the first meeting. The Steering Committee will receive a courtesy email to let you know the date, time and location of the first meeting should you wish to attend. Meetings are open to the public. After the first meeting, the Committee will receive meeting notices and meeting notes. The Public will be able to view that information on the County Website.

Palm Island Transit launches new Website

On 6/20, we received an email from Stephanie Ryder of Palm Island Transit introducing their brand-spankin’-new website.  According to her message, “We now have the capability to post in real-time updates regarding weather, mechanical problems, delays, etc.  When there is an announcement, there will be a banner on all the pages with the information you will need.  So instead of a phone call…you can now just access the website and find out what is going on.”  The site is compatible with mobile devices, so you can check the website while on the go! Take a look at:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Follow-Up to Info Central's Insurance Seminar

Like many of us, Island neighbor Larry Hinds found himself a little at sea after the Insurance Seminar hosted by Info Central on 5/29.  So he started doing some research, and was kind enough to share.

NFIP – National Flood Insurance Program:
RCBAP – Residential Condominium Building Association Policy
SRL – Severe Repetitive Loss
COBRA – Flood Zone: 
The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (COBRA) of 1982 and later amendments, removed the Federal government from financial involvement associated with building and development in undeveloped portions of designated coastal barriers (including the Great Lakes). These areas were mapped and designated as Coastal Barrier Resources System units or "otherwise" protected areas. They are colloquially called COBRA zones. COBRA banned the sale of NFIP flood insurance for structures built or substantially improved on or after a specified date. For the initial COBRA designation, this date is October 1, 1983. For all subsequent designations, this date is the date the COBRA zone was identified. 
COBRA zones and their identification dates are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs)
Flood Zone – designated by rate tables 
Common flood zones in our area are AE and VE. Much of our area is determined to be in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), which is defined as an area of land that would be inundated by a flood having a 1% chance of occurring in any given year (commonly called the 100-year flood).
· AX Zone: A flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas outside of the 100-year floodplains, or that have a less than 1% chance of flooding in any given year, whereby there is no established base flood elevation (BFE) and flood insurance is typically not required by federally-back loans. (Lender discretion, but rarely required).
· AE Zone: A flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas in the 100-year floodplain. In most instances, Base Flood Elevations (BFE) are derived from detailed hydraulic analyses and are set accordingly throughout the zone. Example: If a property is in an AE zone with a BFE of 5ft, then construction regulations stipulate that the first habitable floor must be above 5ft. It essentially states that you are in a flood zone and could potentially flood up to the BFE based on simulated models and hydraulic analyses, therefore regulations restrict you from doing certain things below the BFE. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
· VE Zone: Everything for the AE Zone and apply here. In addition, this "velocity" zone includes the potential for wave action associated with the potential flood hazard. BFE's tend to be much higher (i.e. 12-14ft vs. 4 or 5ft) and building codes are much more restrictive.

Other Comments
· Wind and flood insurance policies are not required to be concurrent
· Single Adjuster Program allows adjuster to write flood AND wind insurance policies
· Golf Cart Addendum policies permitted by some insurer