Saturday, April 18, 2015

INFO CENTRAL PRESENTS: Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex

    On April 10, 2015 a meeting with commissioner Truex was held at the Palm Island Clubhouse. Approximately 80 persons attended and many items were discussed. 

    Commissioner Truex gave an update of the construction to occur on Placida Road from Rotonda West Blvd. south to the Boca Grande causeway traffic light. The design phase is to be completed this summer and construction will start in the fall. The new design includes a turn lane and a 10’ wide multi-use path.

   Winchester Blvd. construction is proceeding well and is ahead of schedule.

   We were informed that the legislature is in the process of discussing changes to FEMA and the flood plain maps. At present, their thought is to raise the flood elevations 2 or 3’ higher then present. This would put all of us in non-compliance, which would increase our flood insurance rates drastically. Commissioner Truex is presently lobbying to prevent this from happening.

   We were informed that the islanders pay about $6,000,000.00 per year in ad valorum taxes, of which approximately 42% goes to the school board. The rest of the county pays in about $101,000,000.00 per year. These amounts do not reflect what is paid to the MSBU’s.

   The update on Stump Pass/Beach Renourishment was that the permits are expected in May or June and construction will begin with the jetties on the south end of Manasota Key in August or September.

   The fire ISO rating was discussed. This rating is important to us because our fire insurance is based on this rating. To date our island rating has been very poor based largely on the fact we do not have enough pressure or water flow from our hydrants. Since we are now getting water from Englewood Water District, Chief Taylor will test our hydrants soon.

   A pre-bid meeting was held on April 8 in conjunction with a proposal for a construction manager to oversee the proposed work on the island roads. The proposals are due April 21 and the bid will be awarded by the county commissioners some time after that.

    After several requests from the audience, Commissioner Truex stated that he would discuss with the sheriff changing several of the deputy day shifts to night shifts during holiday weekends and spring break.

   A member of the audience stated he was on the Charlotte County Marine Advisory Committee, which is trying to implement a “minimum wake” zone in the barge crossing area for safety reasons.

   A statement was made about safety concerns and the plantings in the road right-of –way on North Gulf Blvd. Commissioner Truex said that this issue will be addressed when a construction manager is selected and included in the island road work project.

   Evacuation of the island was discussed, with the commissioner pointing out that the islanders need to be the first of the county residents to evacuate as it could take up to 70 hrs. for all residents.

written by Linda Cotherman, PIE Director 4/18/2015

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