Monday, March 30, 2015

Island Mailbag


From: Joe Scaletta
Sent:Sun 3/29/15 2:53 PM
To: Meryl Schaffer (


Thank you for the informative newsletter. I would like to point out one item in the Island News that is incorrect under the Waste Management.  Our Condominium Association, Island House on North Gulf had a landscape clean up party one Saturday last November.  I believed we could have a bulk landscape pick up so I called to schedule it.  I was informed that this does not apply to Don Pedro Island because they will not bring a "claw truck" to the Island and pay the barge fee to remove the bulk debris.  Our Association hauled 7 pick up trucks full of landscape debris to the Charlotte County landfill.  I would hate to see someone pile debris in front of their house and then find out it cannot be picked up.

Joe Scaletta


From: Bob Hayes
Sent:Sun 3/29/15 1:29 PM

Thank you so much for "introducing" the ISLANDS BETTER NATURE website to me. The photography is beautiful as well as educational.

The Pig in the Palms party was wonderful. The feast, with all the side dishes and Birthday Cake (yum), was on par with meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. Thanks to the organizers and whoever was in charge of weather - beautiful.

The thefts and vandalism are discouraging. We all moved to the island to let our guards down and not get too concerned with the guff the non-islanders cope with day to day.  The holidays bring the crowds. Apparently some folks need more activities.  It's a good reminder to keep a keen eye to protect one another.

Bob & Sue Hayes


From: Dick Sadenwater (
Sent:Sun 3/29/15 3:03 PM
To:Meryl Schaffer (

Thanks to all the PIE members who participated in this years tree project. The two year project has planted 84 Yellow Tab trees around the island that in years to come will put on a show for all of us to enjoy. The trees were purchased with PIE funds at wholesale prices.
Thanks to all who helped including Dean Beckstead and Palm Island Transit.
Happy growing to all our baby Golden Tabebuias.
Dick & Kathy Sadenwater
[Ed. Note: Dick Sadenwater is a PIE Board Member.]


From: Ray Smith (
Sent:Sun 3/29/15 2:47 PM
To:Meryl Schaffer (
...and thanks, Meryl, for putting out my milkweed interest request.  Have a few, but positive responses.
[Ed. Note: Ray Smith is also a PIE Board Member. In case you were wondering about the sign-off, his nickname is "Triple Play Ray".]


From: Wayne Ator
Sent:Sun 3/29/15 4:30 PM
To:Meryl Schaffer (
Thanking all who made this possible. We had a great time and it certainly made for a very special birthday for Wayne! Aren't we all so fortunate to be here?  Thank you, Cassie and Wayne

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Talkin' Trash

Questions were raised at the PIE Annual Membership meeting about the disposal of over-sized items or other non-standard waste.  Our thanks go to Board member Linda Cotherman for providing the following information:

Curbside Single-Stream
Recycling Program

• PAPERBOARD (cereal boxes, pasta boxes)
• 3'x3' CARDBOARD under the bin
• PLASTIC CONTAINERS codes 1 through 7 only (no caps)
• STEEL and ALUMINUM CANS (no lids)

All recycling materials can now be "commingled" or mixed together in your recycling bins. Sorting is no longer necessary and all recyclable items can be placed in one recycle bin. The single stream process allows additional plastics to be recycled-now plastics with numbers 1 through 7 on the bottom can be recycled and commingled in your recycnng bins. Single stream recycling is a
convenient and easy way to recycle curbside.

On Collection Day

Garbage, recyclables, and yard trimmings are collected once a week on the same day. Recycle bins and yard trimmings must be at least 5 feet away from the garbage cart, and the cart placed with the wheels facing the house. Please keep toys, bikes, and other "keepers" away from the curb on collection days, so they will not be "trashed" by mistake. All items must be at the curb by 5:00 a.m. on collection day for service.

Curbside Yard Trimmings

Place your yard trimmings loose in an extra garbage can, paper lawn and leaf bag, or bundled. The cans or bundles cannot weigh more than 40 pounds each. Limbs cannot be more than six (6) feet in length and ten (10) inches in diameter. Yard trimmings in plastic bags will NOT be picked up at the curb.

Bulky Item Pickup

Waste Management provides two no-charge curbside collections up to a total of twenty (20) cubic yards of unbundled yard trimmings, refuse, or bulky items (no construction and demolition debris from renovation or home improvement) from residential units per year, excluding disaster related clean-ups. Residents should notify Waste Management at 629.1106 or toll free 1.877.567.2974 to request this service.

Appliances (White Goods)

Appliances (refrigerators, ranges, washers, dryers, water heaters, and dishwashers); and electronic equipment (televisions, computers, monitors, and microwaves) will be picked up 4 times per year at no charge, and no call to Waste Management is necessary. (Please remove doors from refrigerators & dishwashers.)


Furniture (chairs, sofas, and/or rugs) is collected once a week on the same day as your garbage, recycle and yard waste. Items must be placed to the curb by 5:00 a.m. and at least 5 feet away from the garbage cart, no call to Waste Management is necessary.

Curbside Motor Oil/Filters and Non-Leaking Lead Acid
Battery Collection

Curbside motor oil filters and non-leaking lead acid battery collection is available on your service day. As of July 6, 2009 orange colored stickers are no longer necessary for your used motor oil or oil filters to be picked up by Waste Management Use a transparent gallon container (milk jug type) with a screw type lid for your oil and a clear plastic bag for your filters and place items 5 feet away from your garbage cart. Place non-leaking vehicle lead-acid battery at the curb 5 feet away from your cart as well.


Charlotte County residents can recycle six (6) passenger tires per year curbside. Residents in unincorporated areas can place tires with rims at the curb on their recycling day.


We offer curbside pickup and recycling of your old unwanted electronics. Your e-waste will be picked up on your regularly scheduled service day by the e-waste truck. Complete the E-Waste Curbside Pickup Request Form at least two days prior to your scheduled pickup day and your request will be electronically sent to Waste Management. If you prefer, you can also call Waste Management at 94l.629.1106 or 941.697.0012 (Englewood Area). Jt's that simple!

Always remember to place all your items out by 5:00 a.m. and to keep five feet between your garbage cart, recyclables and e-waste. Works/SolidWaste/Recycling/


Solid Waste

Report Illegal Dumping
CALL 1.866.Y.DUMP.CC (1.866.938.6722)

Charlotte County takes Illegal Dumping seriously. Call 1.866.Y.DUMP.CC to report illegal dumping in Charlotte County.

What is Illegal Dumping:

Illegal dumping is disposal of waste in an unpermitted area. It is also referred to as Hopen dumping," "fly dumping," and "midnight dumping" because materials are often dumped in open areas, from vehicles along roadsides, and late at night. Illegally dumped wastes are primarily materials that are dumped to avoid either disposal fees or the time and effort required for proper disposal. These materials typically include:

          •  Construction and demolition waste such as drywall, roofing shingles, lumber, bricks,
             concrete, and siding
          • Abandoned automobiles, auto parts, and scrap t.ires
          • Appliances or "white goods"
          • Furniture
          • Yard waste
          • Household trash
          • Medical waste

Report the illegal dumpsite: online or call1.866.Y.DUMP.CC (1.866.938 .6722) to report the site or to learn more about the illegal dumping program in Charlotte County.

When calling do the following:

1. Identify the exact location of the illegal dumpsite including closest major cross street.
2. Describe what is at the dumpsite.
3. Try to identify the person or company that did the illegal dumping. 

**DO NOT dig through the site or confront people dumping**

What can be done about illegal dumping in Charlotte County?

Report It! Call: 1.866.Y.DUMP.CC

Stepping Up at The Hammocks

This was forwarded to us by PIE member Lindsay Yates. What a terrific story about the great things that a community can do with cooperation and leadership. 
We had to agree with Lindsay's assessment: "I hadn’t heard a thing about the potential development.  I’d like to meet these Hammocks people and give them a kiss."

The Hammocks: Beating the builder to thepunch

By Harold Bubil

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 11:04 a.m.

Homeowners in The Hammocks Cape Haze neighborhood here were less than
thrilled when a national builder planned to buy a chunk of foreclosed land and
construct units smaller than those already in existence.

Their fear was that the new units would further erode alreadydepressed
property values.

So the owners banded together and forked over $3,400 each to buy the property

“A nobrainer,” said Sam Desiderio, vice president of the Hammocks' master
homeowners association.

The Hammocks, with 162 residences measuring 1,500 to 2,600 square feet, suffered
the fate of many a mid-2000s condo project built in an overheated market: It was
born at the wrong time.

Tampa-based developers Stewart Saad and Searing Merrill completed the units and
a luxury clubhouse — with shiny dark flooring made of reclaimed barn lumber — in
2006, before losing the property to a bank.

Mike Russcol bought a Hammocks unit in 2007 for $560,000 and used it as a
vacation home for a few years before moving in full time after retiring three years

“I should be wearing a scuba tank,” Russcol said, referring to how far underwater he
would be if his 2,500-square-foot unit were mortgaged. “The prices that they are
going for now would be about half what I paid.”

Hammocks prices are still low — a 1,600-square-foot unit sells for $180,000 — but
the hemorrhaging of value appears to have stopped.

At least part of that reversal is attributed to the homeowners' aggressive —
unorthodox — move to buy the community's land.


The association got involved in the land-buying business two years ago, after
national homebuilder D.R. Horton proposed completing the complex.

Horton planned to build units measuring 1,300 to 1,500 square feet, said Carolyn
Maddy-Bernstein, president of the Hammocks' master association and the
Hammocks Preserve section of the community.

“People became very afraid that what they wanted to do was going to diminish our
values,” Maddy-Bernstein said. “At that point, we thought we had to protect
ourselves and our amenities.”

Homeowners weren't the only ones to see Horton's plan as a threat to property

“It definitely would have had a degrading effect on their property values,” said Janet
Romano, of StoneGate Bank in Venice. “I think it would have changed the nature of
their community.”

Russcol remembers being skeptical.

“At first we said, 'You're crazy,' ” Russcol said.

Sarasota attorney Chad McClenathen, who counseled the Hammocks' leadership,
said many condo communities with undeveloped land have considered preemptive

“Not many follow through on it,” he added. “It is hard to do. It takes a lot of
volunteer time. They have to negotiate with the developer. Then they need to get
approval from the membership, tied in to amending the documents so the
procedures are in place to grant the the approval.

“Then, like they did at The Hammocks, they need to line up financing for those
owners who prefer to pay in installments instead of a lump sum.”

But those concerns were ultimately outweighed by the desire to buy the property.

“The uncertainty of having that land here and the specter of another builder coming
in and doing what Horton had intended to do was keeping prices low — things would
never appreciate much as long as that was a possibility,” Desiderio said.

Some residents were concerned that adding several dozen more units might
overwhelm existing amenities, which include a clubhouse, a pool, tennis and pickle
ball courts and a fitness center, Desiderio added.

Straw vote

The association formed a nine-person land acquisition committee to negotiate.
Eventually, the two sides agreed on a $500,000 price.

For those who didn't want to, or couldn't, pay the required $3,400 per unit for the
purchase in a lump sum, the association obtained a $100,000 loan from StoneGate,
which specializes in lending to condo associations.

“It is very unusual for a condo board to do something like this,” said Romano, who
arranged the loan. “The loan was the easy part. Doing the due diligence and the
document work was the hard part.”

That paperwork involved changing condo documents to convert the vacant land into
a common element.

Even after the price and the loan were arranged, Maddy-Bernstein remained

“I thought, 'This isn't going to work,' ” she said. “I thought we would get way down
the road and then our owners wouldn't vote for it.”

A year ago in February, the association held a town hall meeting and a straw vote on
the acquisition.
“Everyone wanted to buy it,” Maddy-Bernstein said.

The vote was 100 for acquisition and 13 against. Condo rules required 67 percent of
those voting in person or by proxy to approve.

Some of the nays were from absentee owners who did not want to pay assessments,
Desiderio said. Other no-voters wanted to buy the land, but had reservations about
the process.

Desiderio said the key to the favorable vote was open and frequent communication
with the owners.

“We had multiple town hall meetings and sent out a great deal of literature,”
Desiderio said. “We wanted to make sure this was very transparent and that people
had all the information they needed to make an intelligent decision.”

One thing that was absent was acrimony.

“We had no meetings where people were shouting at one another,” Desiderio said.
“People realized we have this opportunity and it wasn't going to cost them that

The empty land could still be developed, McClenathen said. But he doesn't see that
happening anytime soon.

“Everyone gets used to it as open space,” he said. “I have never had a community
elect to sell it down the road and develop it.”

Copyright © 2015 — All rights reserved. Restricted use only.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Follow up to Chief Taylor's Meeting

We received this excellent follow-up from Larry Hinds, an Islander from Kettle Harbor Drive. He was a training Captain at Sarasota County FD. Although his primary focus was EMS, he was qualified on the fire side as well. He has a graduate degree in education and Executive Fire Officer status in fire and EMS from the University of Florida, in addition to being affiliated with the fire service for 25 years.

Fire and EMS Safety Commentary

     It was a pleasure to attend the meeting hosted by PIE and learn about the Charlotte County Fire Department taking over the fire/EMS service for the island. Chief Taylor did a great job at answering questions and I believe we are lucky to have her in charge.
     There were many questions asked about EMS service and fire suppression capabilities and I believe we now have the best protection that has ever been experienced.
     I wanted to go a bit further concerning fire and EMS protection with the following insights:

      · Our water supply is guarded at best; the Resort announced they had a 500 gpm water flow which is under half the pumping capability of a fire pumper.  Residential hydrants have about 400 gpm output and data reveals that MANY fires require over 1000 gpm. 
      · Considering that we face more challenges to receive fire protection, it is incumbent on everyone out here to be pro-active concerning their own safety and this should include:
      · Operational smoke alarms
      · Kitchen hood extinguisher systems   (
      · Charged fire extinguishers
      · Established evacuation plan
      · Over 40% of house fires begin in the kitchen and this fact is not lost on professional firefighters and nor should it be lost on the public
      · EMS pro-action should include keeping medical information handy including all personal and medical history written down in advance. There is a program referred to Vial of Life (Click to view) enabling one to print and store information in a ‘vial’ for easy access to hand to paramedics
      · Take 1st Aid and CPR training. This can be done through the Red Cross and the American heart Association (AHA).  I am affiliated with the AHA as an instructor and may be able to help.
      · As Chief Taylor informed, everyone should clearly label their house address with 3” reflective lettering easily seen on approach to the house. 

I’ve visited the crews at the island station and I think the experience they hold will pay dividends to us, especially regarding EMS care. In my opinion, fire protection requires more pro-action on our part due to limited personnel and water supply.

Friday, March 13, 2015

INFO CENTRAL PRESENTS: Charlotte County Fire Chief Marianne Taylor

Wednesday March 11th, 2015

Chief Marianne Taylor had a full house for her Q&A this morning at the Palm Island Resort Clubhouse.  Sally B. Johnson of PIE’s “Info Central Presents:” introduced Chief Taylor, who then gave a short background of Charlotte County‘s assumption of Station 10 before taking questions from the audience.

What is the status of the fire station remodeling?

Chief Taylor said that they are getting the station up to County safety standard requirements economically.  The kitchen is remodeled, soffit & roof repairs are done, tie-downs have been strengthened and they increased the fire rating of ceiling levels downstairs.  Installation of a sprinkler system will be under way soon.  The firefighters are taking pride in their new station, volunteering to help with things like painting and pressure washing.

What is the staffing level by shift? Are all of the firefighters trained paramedics?

There are 6 firefighters assigned to the Island, two per shift.  One is a firefighter/paramedic, one is a firefighter/EMT (emergency medical technician).  Since most of the calls are medical and not fire, it is more cost-effective here to have more improved medical services than fire suppression, plus it meets the needs of the Island. “We provide not only fire suppression but also ALS (Advanced Life Support) services”, said Chief Taylor.  “We can do everything that you can do on an ambulance except transport.”  The mini-pumper has been outfitted for ALS because it can reach more locations on the Island. “All of the people out here have been with us for a long time, they are very experienced and knowledgeable”, she concluded.

Many Islanders have cell phones with out-of-town area codes, so if we dial 911 will there be a problem locating the emergency?

Chief Taylor emphasized the importance of dialing 911. “The best course of action is to call 911 and get all of your information to dispatch. They will know what to send and get the information to everyone who needs it.”  Any phone – cellphone or landline – can be used to call 911.  And she asked us to let her know if there is any incident where a call isn’t routed properly.

She then gave a short account of what happens when you dial 911 (indicating she would clarify this with dispatch).  The signal pings off the closest cell tower and goes to the sheriff’s dispatch station in Punta Gorda.  Dispatch is trained for all aspects of medical emergency and can notify everyone who needs to respond.  Dispatch tones out to Station 10 and simultaneously calls the barge directly.  If there are cars on the barge they will offload to wait for second units. Once responders are Island-side, if the call is critical the barge will wait Island-side to load the ambulance.  If not, the emergency vehicle will coordinate directly with the barge to load for return to the mainland.
Always call 911 to report fires, such as brush fires or beach fires.  Take note: the former Department of Forestry (DOF) is now Florida Fire Service.

Have you familiarized the firefighters with the entire Island?

Charlotte County took over December 31st at 8AM. They have 3 shifts (a, b, c) with each staff member on 24 hours, off 48 hours.  So, over a 3-day period each shift got one full day of orientation.  The firefighters have maps, and were shown access points and areas with difficult access.  The Resort provides access whenever the County needs it (with notice).  They have wall maps in the station with notes.  Jay Julian has helped with orientation.  “Yes, we are familiar with the Island but we continue to familiarize because it’s a must” the Chief said. They have some new personnel at the mainland stations that may not be as familiar with the Island.  But new technology at the station has a mapping system that pinpoints each call and provides info such as gate codes or keys, phone #, instructions and direction from dispatch.  They are also willing to do orientations with crews from other stations.

How can we help emergency personnel find us?

First and foremost, make sure you have a house number that is visible and reflective and close to the road.  CC has two programs for identification: they offer house number signs at $25 each that are reflective and printed on both sides, and they also have a lightbulb that you can screw into a porch light that flickers when you flip the switch (great for condos). 

Also, when you have a call, especially at the Resort, be aware that condo addresses have a building number and a condo number.  Make sure you give dispatch both.  Also, give specific landmarks that will help firefighers find the location i.e. “first house after the bend in the road”, etc.  If there is an extra person on-site during an emergency, send them out to the road OR send them out on a golf cart to guide the emergency vehicle in. According to Chief Taylor, “The more information you can give us about your location the better.”

Where does the ambulance take us?

The State mandates that they move you to the appropriate location based on need. For example, a cardiac emergency is transported to the Venice cardiac center, traumas go to Lee Memorial Trauma center in Ft. Myers (which is a Level 2 trauma center), burns go to Tampa burn center.  Other injuries can go to Englewood, Fawcett or Bayfront in Pt. Charlotte.  If you make a request, emergency personnel will try to take you there.  Sarasota memorial is not in the service provision area, but if you insist, they will take you there if they can give up the extra time that they will be out of service (i.e. if it is off-season).  The call volume in this area has increased so much that CC can’t afford to lose much service time for their ambulance and personnel.  “Our goal is to get you to the treatment you need as fast as possible.”

How is it determined whether to transport by helicopter?

Chief Taylor said that “our medics make the decision whether to call for a helicopter.” The helicopter is used almost exclusively for trauma injuries.  Air Med is housed at Station 7, Bay Flight is housed just over the county line in Northport.  It depends on who is closest who will respond.

How do we make sure that tourists know what to do in an emergency?

All of the rental units on the Island are privately owned.  In the resort, emergency info is put right next to the phone in the rental unit.  It needs to be reinforced that 911 info has to be there.

Can you tell us about our ISO rating? (ISO=Insurance Services Organization)

“I’m going to tell you something you don’t want to hear: you have virtually no ISO rating”.  The Chief then explained that this is primarily because we are inaccessible by land. Our 24/7 fire protection coverage has no bearing on the ISO rating.  40% of the rating is water supply.  “Fire flow” is the sustained pressure available for fire protection with normal daily operation.  The system can’t sustain what ISO requires for fire flow.  Bocilla Water & EWD will have the answer to the fire flow issue.  [Bocilla Utility is not recognized by ISO] 

Since the Island does not have a bridge, Chief Taylor looked into using their fire boat for the rating.  However, to qualify the fire boat must meet the same rating as a fire engine.  Which means that the boat would have to be too large to carry the same equipment load.  They are still working with ISO to determine what a do-able rating for a fire boat would be.  The other 60% of the rating relates to apparatus and equipment, units are also given on initial response time (the mainland 2nd unit response doesn’t count).  Chief Taylor was asked to keep in touch with someone who can inform Islanders on progress of ISO rating.

Why do we pay so much more than other county taxpayers? Are we the only ones paying through an MSBU?

“We assess the tax based on what it costs us to pay for your service.”  Previously we only paid for equipment since we had a volunteer station.  The equipment is dedicated to Island use and only to the Island, it only leaves the Island to go for servicing.  Also the firefighters do not leave the Island to answer other calls, they are dedicated staff 24/7.  Yes, the Barrier Island MSBU is the only taxing unit with property owners paying external to the County fire protection MSTU.  LGI has their own fire service and their own funding.  CC supports them with second units only.

Why does the shift change occur on the mainland? 

All fire and county vehicles cross on the ferry free of charge, but personal vehicles of the firefighters incur cost.  The County found it was more cost-effective to rent parking at the lot and do the shift change there.  Previously they had done the shift change off-Island at the fire station, but that involved overtime for the staff.  Linda Cotherman, PIE Board member, suggested that the firefighters could do a walk-on to keep the truck on the Island side, which would eliminate the half-hour of having the station empty during the shift change. Linda asked  “What happens if the barge breaks down?  The firefighters could be stranded on the mainland.” Chief Taylor said she will look into it.

Have you tested the water pressure at the hydrants?

Because of the sprinkler installation at the firehouse, they had an engineer out here within the last month as well as CC fire inspectors.  The water pressure at 14 PSI does not meet ISO standards (20 PSI), or the 500 gallon per minute standards. Dean commented that the resort meets the 500 gpm standard.

Jay Julian asked if the County has done an equipment inventory.  Taylor said that they just did one and will be doing another.

What kind of equipment is on the mini-pumper to make it ALS-equipped?

Chief Taylor gave a list as follows: jump kit w/IV meds, pain relief, CPAP, thermal blankets, medical glide scope for intubation, a monitor/defibrillator that can send heart tracer directly to the hospital wirelessly (except Englewood).  “We’ve got some wonderful technology out there. At this point we can go from call to cath lab in 16 minutes.”

What is the role of your staff in the event of a hurricane?

Service will not roll in sustained winds of 45 mph.  They will move the equipment off the Island, encourage everyone to evacuate and then evacuate themselves.  The station is plugged into emergency management and will know at what time the winds are expected, so they can coordinate with the barge to move fire personnel and emergency vehicles off island.  They would be able to do search and rescue by boat after an event.

What equipment would you like to have that you don’t have at the fire station?

On the fire side, a turbo-draft. This will allow firefighters to draft from a water source from 200 ft. away.  It can flow water out of a canal.  We do have floating pumps.  Vehicles include an engine, a tanker (carries extra water) the ALS-equipped mini-pumper and the Polaris (provides access where other vehicles can’t go).

Should we have our home sprinkler systems inspected?

Yes.  She will look into the inspection requirements. “96% of all fires in a building with a sprinkler system are put out with one sprinkler.”

In the past, many Islanders would go to the fire station for minor injuries i.e. cuts or sprains.  Is this appropriate?

“We don’t want to be treated like a clinic because that’s not in our scope of operations” Chief Taylor commented. If you have a medical emergency and call 911, you will be treated.  The proper protocols will be followed, and if you don’t want to continue treatment by going to the hospital, you can sign a refusal to release the firefighters.  One reason why they can’t treat (for example, a sprain) is that they don’t have a way to differentiate between a sprain and a fracture, so if they treat for a sprain and you have no follow-up you could have complications.  The state is working towards a “community paramedics” program to do vaccines and some home health care, but this has not been developed yet. In the meantime, “do not come to them because it’s not what we do.”

Where do we get fire extinguishers re-charged?

Google ‘fire extinguisher recharge near port charlotte fl”. There are two listings in Pt. Charlotte: ABC Fire Equipment Corporation and Fire Pro LLC.

Friday, March 6, 2015

INFO CENTRAL: Upcoming Q&A with Marianne Taylor, Fire Chief

On Wednesday, March 11th INFO CENTRAL PRESENTS: will be hosting Charlotte County Fire Chief Marianne Taylor for a Q & A at the Palm Island Resort Clubhouse (10 AM).  PIE has assembled the following list of questions that will be addressed by Ms. Taylor (if you have additional questions please send to or bring them to the presentation):

1.  It is our understanding of the protocol regarding a 911 call responding to the island that the barge will hold for the emergency vehicle and no one else is to be loaded on. If the barge is already loaded, are they off-loaded to accommodate emergency vehicles only?  Also, once the emergency vehicle is off-loaded on island side; is it protocol for the barge to wait island side until transport returns with the patient.  Can you clarify?

2.  What was the process for determining the staffing of Station 10; and the back-filling of those selected?

3.  It is our understanding that the shift change for personnel is made off island; and we are left without coverage during that time period.  (as you might expect, there was a situation during that shift change that brought this to light)  Can the shift change occur on island?

4. What do the responders do during their shifts, aside from equipment maintenance at the fire station?  

5. Why are the emergency vehicles and equipment staged in front of the fire station? Is this a permanent situation?

6. How are the responders being prepared to locate our homes in the event of an emergency? What is the orientation procedure?  Do they have maps and GPS devices to assist them in finding locations? 

7.  Are Charlotte County responders permitted on the Resort at any time to familiarize themselves with the addresses and locations?  If not, why not?  

8.  What does the firehouse renovation include?  Will the islanders be able to  tour the facility once the renovations are complete?

9.  During the station renovation, is each vehicle coming over to work on the facility charged against our MSBU?  If so, could they not consolidate into one/two vehicle/s?  (At times, we have noticed 4 separate vehicles on site)

10.  Explain the discrepancy between our payment for fire service versus what other Charlotte County homeowners are paying.

11. We have been told that our homeowners' insurance premiums are substantially higher because of the 9-10 ISO rating for the Island.  Are efforts being made to lower the ISO rating? Does the 24/7 coverage affect the rating?  Does the change in water provision (the purchase of bulk water from Englewood Water District) affect the rating?  Please explain.