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MINUTES OF ALVA TOWN MEETING, JUNE 28, 2001

7:00 P.M. @ ALVA MIDDLE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM

 

Sarah Gillim, President, opened the meeting by reviewing the meeting of the Board of Directors on June 7 at the Alva Museum.  The firm of Vanesse and Daylor and also Carole Cunningham made their presentations to the board to act in the capacity as our planner. The Board decided that Carole Cunningham would be best suited to meet our needs, and she has been asked to be our planner. A letter has been sent to the County requesting funding for our project.  A meeting was held with the Commissioners on June 26.  We have to abide by the sunshine law: each Board member has to file a financial disclosure; we have to prepare minutes for each meeting; and we have to notify the public about our proposed meetings. After the forms are filled out, we have to meet with the Planning Office and the Commissioners. It may be possible that we could receive funding within six weeks.  At this moment we need $1700 for the first two tasks on our plan.   

Carole Cunningham stated that she was happy to have been selected.  We have a wonderful opportunity and we have great assets within our community to get the necessary work done. By enhancing our community, we can preserve its special character.  Her goal as planner and facilitator is to listen and learn about the plan and help guide us through the mechanics of creating a plan so that it has a visual quality that can be translated into reality.  Think of the plan as a living document that we will be involved in shaping and administering over the years.  We should become involved with the Florida State Department of Community Affairs.  After meeting with the various committees and people in the community, she would like to have a major workshop to bring the plan together. She has spent quite a few years as a planning professional.  She received her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and Economic Development in 1980.  From 1990 to 1993 she worked with Lee County as Director of the Redevelopment Agency and the Growth Management Department; therefore, she is familiar with many of the persons that should be involved in our project, especially those in the regional planning council. She has worked for the cities of Orlando, Ft. Myers Beach, North Port and St. Cloud on similar projects. 

We were brought up to date on the Babcock Ranch proposed deal with the state.  The heirs have approached Florida about selling some of their land in the Telegraph Creek area to the State for conservation in exchange for development rights on 20,000 acres of their land, which is mostly in Lee County and within the Alva district.  Jim English and Sarah are going to meet with the Babcock family to learn exactly what they want to do.  Later in the meeting, it was proposed that they be invited to attend the next Alva town meeting. 

Everyone should check the Alva web site, www.AlvaFL.org, which was prepared by Steve Brookman.  He did a great job.  If anyone would be like become the Webmaster in his place, please let him know. .

Pastor Bill Brewer had mentioned the idea of having a Neighborhood Watch for parts of Alva.  John McGraw, Crime Prevention Practitioner from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, spoke to us about how we can organize such a group.  Recently, within our village area, we have had four residential, two car, and one commercial (Alva Diner) burglaries.  In all instances, it affects everyone in the community.  We should watch out for our neighbors, and if you see a burglary or crime taking place, call 911.  If you have suspicions about an odd looking car in the wrong place or someone who acts strangely, you can call 477-1200 and ask for a zone deputy to check things out.  You do not have to give your name.  The Sheriff’s Office would like our cooperation in reporting things so they can do a better job of patrolling.  With such a group as ours, we are powerful enough to report if they are not doing a good job.  In establishing a Neighborhood Watch, and he thinks there should be several in our area, a block captain is needed to monitor the activity in the area and also a coordinator to report to the committee.  He would like to schedule a meeting as a training session for captains and coordinators.  We are in the Sheriff’s Zone 22.  It was brought out that we would have to purchase our own Neighborhood Watch signs.  An information book was available to those who wished to have it.   

Committee Reports:

Agriculture:  Chaney Reese is away at this time. Other members of this committee are Jim English, Lee Cutshall, Brent Golden, and Frank Green.  Florida has approved the way for farmers to save their agricultural land by selling their development rights to the state.  They can continue to farm and everything they always did for 30 more years without the threat of commercial development encroaching on their rights.  Carole, our planner, is familiar with this new law. 

Historic Preservation:  Pastor Brewer has sent emails out to the committee members, and they will meet on July 2 at 7 p.m. at the Alva Diner. 

Membership/Fundraising/Public Relations: Lynda Kendrick reported that her fantastic group will meet again on July 10 at Tom’s Diner. They are working up an Alva Labor Day Annual Fundraiser at the community center.  They hope to have the Alva Volunteer Fire Department do their great cooking for us.  She is having T-shirts made up in green with white letters:  Keep Alva Green.  A Trash and Treasure Sale will be going on during this event.  She wants everyone to start practicing their dancing, and in October they want to have an old fashioned Barn Dance.  There will be a ‘Penny (Dollar?) Pot” outside the door at every meeting for any donations one wishes to make.  Their goal for the first year is $5000.  This is to be used for special expenses not covered by funding.  She has prepared a membership applications, which can be printed from the web site. Everyone who becomes a member of A Living Vision for Alva will receive a special membership card.  She is working with the Riverdale Library on obtaining all the names and addresses in Alva, which will be available only to her committee. 

Treasurer’s Report:  Lynn Fensterer, Treasurer, stated that we had a balance of $579.34.  She made disbursements to cover printing and signs of $47.60.  Our balance is now $324.85.  Our incorporation is in progress.  Once that is established, then we can apply for a non profit status.  She is contacting smaller local publications about reporting our meetings with the hope that eventually they will devote a special page to our plans. 

Parks: Dick Crockett reported on the status of the Alva Park. The Flywheelers used to have an annual show at Alva Park, but when the county decided to charge for parking, they moved to LaBelle.  This is unfortunate because the Fire Dept. made money by selling food, and others held a fleamarket outside the park, and they cannot do this anymore. We should contact the county officials who are responsible for this and try to draw these events back to the Park.  Regarding the Wayside Park, it seems that everything depends on whether a road can be routed through the park, thereby making an intersection with Broadway and then entering Packinghouse Road.  As it is now, it creates a safety hazard with two different entries onto SR 80.  The surveyors have already done some work on this.  Steve from Alva Diner stated that our group will be the first to know what the result will be.  Dick asked for ideas about how we could utilize the Wayside Park if and when it is returned to our care. 

Planning:  Rob Andrys thanked everyone for attending the meeting.  Before all we have done is talk, but now we can start really planning.  Everyone should be patient so everyone can arrive at a consensus.  According to the Lee County Board of Commissioners, the Alva planning community district goes all the way to SR 31 on the north side of the river and up to the Charlotte County line.  Discussion was held on this subject—as to whether we should stay with the Fire District parameters or extend it to SR 31.  A motion was made that we extend the area to Rt. 31 on the north side of the river and up to the Charlotte County line.  This will include the Babcock Ranch.  This motion was seconded.  A motion was then made to wait until the next town meeting to vote on this issue, and this was seconded.  We will have a month to notify as many people as we can about the upcoming vote.  Rob stated that we need people to donate a location for signs to advertise the meetings.  He will also check with Intracoastal Real Estate about placing a sign on their property where those traveling on Joel Blvd. can see it.

Bikepaths:  We would like to eventually connect Alva with the Regional Park with a bike path on SR 78.  When SR 80 is four-laned, we would like a bike path from Alva to Hickey Creek Mitigation Park.   

Lynda Kendrick stated that July is clean up your yard month.  Bring your bags to the Adopt a Road sign on N. River Road before July 27.  Let’s clean up Alva.   

Sarah stated that Elly McKuen, who is helping with the redevelopment of Charleston Park, will be at our next meeting.  The residents of Charleston Park are interested in having a bike path from there to the Handy Store on SR 80. 

The next Board of Directors Meeting will be held at the Alva Museum at 7 p.m. on July 12.

The next Town Meeting will be held at the Alva Middle School auditorium at 7 p.m. on July 26. 

 Respectfully submitted,

Jean W. Colvin, Acting Secretary

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