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.