Dedicated to preserving the tranquility and beauty of Alva

P.O.  Box 2022, Alva, FL 33920

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Rob Andrys opened the meeting at the Community Center at 7:15 p.m.  About 25 people attended.  Everyone introduced himself, and was asked to sign in. 


Minutes of last meeting were approved as posted on the web site.  Tom Colvin made motion to approve; Terry Carbonell seconded; passed.

Treasurer, Lynn Fensterer, reported a balance of $7399.19.  This includes a payment of $1154 for liability insurance for the officers and directors of ALVA INC.  Dues are due for this year.

Membership dues were discussed as to whether we should require them at all.  The charter states that anyone who is a resident of Alva or has a business in Alva can be a member and anyone outside of Alva can be a non-voting member. Any change would require a change in the By-laws.  Those who are actively involved in the group tend to contribute, and we have many fund-raising events, so we really do not need the membership dues.  On the other hand, by not paying may dilute the influence of the core members.  Lynn made motion not to charge dues; Terry seconded.  After discussion, it was decided to table any further action until the next meeting. A change in the by-laws requires approval of 2/3 of the members.


Schedule of meetings:             May 8: Board meeting at Alva Museum

                                    May 22: Town Hall meeting at Community Center

Sometime in May, probably around the 19th, a Local Planning Agency meeting will be held to recommend or deny Alva Community Plan to the Lee County Commissioners at Lee County Commission Chambers.  Look for date of LPA meeting on website and board at Wayside Park.

There are over 300 signed petitions in support of the Alva plan and over 150 letters at the County regarding comments to the plan or disapproval.  We have to encourage as many Alva citizens as we can to attend this meeting to show support for the Plan.  All who can write letters are asked to do so NOW.  Alva is the target for development.  If we do not win support for the Plan at the May meeting, then the Commissioners may not pass it.  The Board will receive comments from the Planning Office by next Wednesday, and we have 17 days to respond.  It was pointed out that we should take as many family members who can attend, which includes children and babies.


Announcements:  The Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association, Mike Buff, President, (Riverwatch) was instrumental in having the Army Corps of Engineers give $10,000 grant to begin a study on how to fix the Caloosahatchee River’soxbows.  With over $5 million from the Corps and Lee County’s match of $1.2 million, the future now looks much brighter for the River. This shows how a small organization with a grand vision can make a big difference for everyone in SW Florida.


Everyone agreed that the new sign placed in the Wayside Park was very effective.


Terry Carbonell asked for support from the community and ALVA Inc. to support their and her neighbors to vacate High Street from the Boat Ramp to Julia Street.  She stated that the transfer from public ownership to private ownership would allow those who live there to be able to care for the land in front of their houses down to the river. She stated that High Street has never been used in over 40 years and had become overgrown and a place to dump trash.  Rob requested that Terry bring this up again at the next meeting for further discussion.



Parks and Trails:  Laura noted that the Lee County Trails and Blueways committee has a two year goal to finalize their plans.  However, she will contact the Lee County DOT sidewalk committee to seek Alva’s request for a connecting sidewalk from the Community Park to the School. 

Fund-Raising:  The Spring Fling was well attended.  Maria Pagan thanked everyone who worked so hard to make it a success, especially Lynn, Lynda, Terry, Rosie and Maria.

Planning:  We need a new chairman.  Membership should be encouraged.  Also we need more people on the Board of Directors.

Community Affairs:  It was suggested that we should start a Food Bank wherein we can help those in the community who need food.  Rosie said she would be willing to be in charge.  Everyone should bring a can or grocery item at every meeting.  It is hoped that Lynda can work with Kash and Karry to obtain items for the Bank.

Historic:  Needs a new chairman.


New Business: 

Elections are next month.  We need nominations for officers and the Board.

Nominated:  President:  Rob Andrys; Vice President: open; Secretary:  John Payne; Treasurer:  Lynn Fensterer.  Board of Directors:  All those who previously served; Terry Carbonell; Mary Reed.  Nominations were closed after no further names were suggested.  Nominations can be provided to the nominating committee or from the floor at the next meeting.

Design the Alva Wayside Park: Dave Barra, Landscape Architect from Lee County Parks and Recreation, stated that the County has repurchased the Park, so they are now responsible for the park.  They would like for everyone to think about how they would like the park to look and figure out what is necessary to be done.  As long as it is in the jurisdiction of Parks and Recreation, Alva is not liable for the property.  They would welcome our maintaining and beautifying the park.  The Alva Garden Club has expressed interest in obtaining plants and flowers for the park.  After much discussion, the main points brought out:  keep it simple and easy to maintain; plant more trees; plant native plants and flowers; fill in the pond; village green concept; possibility of having Christmas tree; perhaps some artwork showing heritage; post a permanent sign listing historic significance of Alva, and the village atmosphere to be preserved; perhaps some picnic tables; access to water and electricity; a small fence around park; low lighting for evening; several parking spaces; proper trash receptacles to be maintained.


Everyone sketched ideas on tracing paper over the maps of the Park that were provided.  Mr. Barra will collect the strongest ideas from these tracings and produce a sketch that reflects these ideas balanced by the Parks and Recreation Department guidelines.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


Recorded by Jean W. Colvin