MINUTES OF ALVA TOWN MEETING, JULY 26, 2001
7:00 P.M., ALVA MIDDLE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
The President, Sarah Gillim, opened the meeting by presenting a brief outline of the discussion of the Charter and Bylaws of ALVA held at the Board of Directors meeting. Financial disclosure forms were given out to those who wished to be on the Board of Directors.
TREASURER'S REPORT: Lynn Fensterer, Treasurer, stated that we now have a bank account in the name of ALVA, Inc. At the last meeting, our balance was $344.85. We now have $1364.85. Much of this was from the collection of membership dues. We have had several generous donations, also. She is attempting to obtain our Federal ID Number. The Corporation papers are well underway. Representing our group, she attended the July 23 Lee Planning meeting. She presented our statement that we would like the Alva boundary to stop at SR 31 and not go further west. Since the Bayshore group felt the same way and wanted to go east to SR31, the Lee Planning group assured Lynn that they would change the boundary to satisfy both groups. At the last meeting, we postponed our vote on the Alva borders. Our boundary now goes on the north side of the river up to the Charlotte County line, west to SR 31 and east to the Hendry County line, and on the south side of the river from the Hickey Creek Mitigation Park to the Hendry County line. We are not planning to make any drastic changes to what the Lee Plan currently allows for Alva. Alva is one of 20 planning districts in Lee County. Our group is not trying to establish a governing body. We are interested in preserving the land and establishing guidelines for any future development in the area. William Redfern made the motion to include the area up to SR 31 north of the river in the Alva community; John Payne seconded; motion passed.
An article about the Babcock Ranch proposal was in the newspaper. Lee County Planning has not received any formal request. We need to keep abreast of this situation since a new city would result if they obtained a zoning change from one unit per 10 acres to one unit per acre. Dan Moser, Lee County Bike/Pedestrian Advisory Committee Chairman, with the Lee County Health Department, spoke to us about our concerns about future bike and pedestrian paths. Paved shoulders are now required for any new development in the area. The map of Rt. 78 will be revised next year, so we have to indicate our wishes before that happens. On SR 80, it is normal to include bike and pedestrian sections; however, this does not usually happen in the rural areas. We should take our requests to a public hearing. These people are willing to listen, but we have to make our wants known to them. He observed that we do not have very many speed limit signs in Alva, especially around the school area. This should be changed. Their plan is for 15 years down the line, and Alva is not on the list. We must stay on top of the local and state committees about traffic, bike and pedestrian needs in our area. It is a good idea to establish these areas because it will not only help those on bikes and walking, but also the motorists who will be able to notice these paths. There are other alternatives to concrete sidewalks, and we should investigate these. He stressed that we should request that our needs be addressed on the new updated map.
Mike Rippe, District Director, from the Florida DOT, located in Ft. Myers, discussed the proposed widening of SR 80. They recently resurfaced the road from SR31 up to Buckingham Road. Next month, they plan to widen to 4 lanes from Grandma's' Grove up to Hwy. 78A. Next will be from Hickey Creek to Iverson Rd. (River Oaks entrance); and then from Iverson to the Hendry County line. Construction is fully funded for all three of these projects for 2003-2004. All of this will be four laned with a 46' median. Only a 5' paved shoulder is shown for the highway. They will be having a workshop to explain what they plan to do. The original plans for this project are now outdated, so new plans must be drawn up. They will begin the plans in September and it is expected to take 18 months to finish the plans. Someone asked about the possibility of joining Packinghouse Road and Broadway and having a traffic signal there. Another signal should be considered for Joel Blvd. He explained that this would be a county decision--it is not on SR 80. We have to obtain a signal warrant to obtain guidelines as to whether a signal is necessary at certain intersections. We should obtain the Manual on Uniform Control Devices. $200,000 per centerline mile has been allocated for landscaping. A landscape plan has not yet been developed. If we have any ideas, we should contact Pat Moore, Landscape Architect for Lee County. If desired, the $200,000 per mile could be used for sidewalks or walkways alongside the road. We should start talking to the county about this now. Jim English made a motion that we appoint a sub-committee within the Traffic, Bike and Sidewalk Committee to investigate and decide what we want to have with regard to the signal lights, sidewalks, and everything pertaining to what was discussed, and this should then be presented to the County; Mike Dove seconded; the motion was passed. Members within the committee will be appointed to this sub-committee, and this group will deal exclusively with the DOT issues discussed tonight. Jim English brought up a problem with the Alva Cemetery, which is operated by a Board of Trustees. Additional land has been sub-divided to be used as needed; more roads are needed. There seems to be a problem having this approved by the County. The Board of Trustees wishes to record a plat of land so that lots can be available in the future. Right now, nothing is being done by the County. He asked that everyone call our Commissioner, Mr. Albion, and discuss this problem with him. The Alva Cemetery is on Rt. 78 about one mile west from the Alva schools.
Agriculture: Sarah brought out the issue about the Corps of Engineers destroying the citrus trees on property owned by Jim English, which the Corps alleged infringed on their right-of-way. The Corps is supposed to maintain the navigability of the river; and it does have certain easement rights facing on the river; however, it is felt that timely notice should be given in such a situation. After discussion, it was felt that this comes down to a legal matter, and it was suggested that before we send a letter to the Corps from our group, we should perhaps invite the Corps of Engineers to come to our next meeting and have them explain why they took the action they did. We can use this as a dialog with the Corps to develop a better relationship with them. David Turkel made the motion that we ask the Corps to send a representative to our next meeting to discuss what their rules are in regard to the river and easements; this was seconded by Lynda Kendrick; motion was passed. Mike Dove volunteered to arrange this.
Membership, Fundraising: Lynda and Maria reported that we will have our first big fundraiser at the Alva Community Park on September 1 from 9 a.m. until. This will be known as Alva's first Labor Day Community Picnic. The overall goal of the committee for the year is to raise $25,000. They have been contacting all of the local businesses to request donations for raffles. She stated that she is aiming to have a boat or a car donated as the grand prize. There will be games, bake sale, white elephant sale, clowns, etc. Plan to come and bring your wallets. Their next meeting will be held at the Alva Diner on August 7 at 7 p.m. Everyone was reminded to fill out his membership form.
Planning Committee: On August 1, Rob Andrys, Chairman, and Sarah Gillim will meet with Paul O'Connor of the Lee Plan committee to go through the first steps in obtaining financial support from Lee County. After that meeting, the next step will be to meet with the commissioners, after which time hopefully the money will be approved. We need money to do a mass mailing to everyone in Alva, as well as for other projects. The Traffic, Bike and Sidewalk Committee will meet with the Planning Committee at Rob Andry's house on August 2 at 7 p.m. Call him at 728-2807 to find out how to reach his house. He is located at 23031 Tuckahoe Road. Anyone interested in being on the sub-committee to work with DOT, please come to this meeting.
The next Board of Directors meeting will be held on August 9 at the Alva Museum at 7 p.m. The next town (general) meeting will be held on August 23 at the Alva Middle School auditorium at 7 p.m. We hope to have the Corps of Engineers there, and also good news about our funding.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Jean W. Colvin, Acting Secretary 728-2196