ALVA INC. TOWN MEETING, JANUARY 23, 2003
February meetings: administrative board: Feb. 13, 7 p.m. ALVA COMMUNITY
CENTER, February 27, Community
meeting, 7 p.m., ALVA COMMUNITY CENTER.
About 20 people attended. Rob Andrys opened the meeting by introducing our speaker, Nancy Mcphee, from Lee County Parks and Recreation. He stated that the Christmas Party was enjoyed so much that the Board has recommended that we make this an annual event and have it at the Park with the lighting of the Christmas tree, etc. With regard to the Honorary Mayorís race, Dick Spence, Lynda Kendrick, and Maria Pagan are running. Dick Spence is holding a car wash followed by a pig roast at the Village Market on Saturday, January 25. Alva Inc. is working with Belinda Clemons from the Lee County Parks and Recreation Dept. on an Alva Spring Carnival for April 12.
TREASURERíS REPORT: Lynn Fensterer reported that the balance in our account as of January 23 was $7218.l9. Our quilt sale proceeds were $1248.61, spearheaded by Gay Bennett.
IRS has approved our 501C3 status as of 12/26/02. We have 5 years conditional compliance under Section 509A and 170B advance ruling period as a publicly supported organization. This means that donations are now tax deductible.
She filed our first corporate tax returns on 1/15/03. Robert Bowers, CPA, in Lehigh Acres is our accountant. He charged only $100.
Dues are now due for 2003. We will be starting a membership drive soon.
All of our meetings will now be held at the Alva Community Center, starting with the February 13 Board Meeting and the February 27 Town meeting. The charge is $10 per meeting rather than the $45 we have been paying at the School.
The Highway 80 meeting was well attended. Anyone who has a suggestion should write it down and send it to the State DOT, Mike Rippe, 2295 Victoria Ave., Suite 292, St. Myers, Fl. 33902. Many people keep asking that a traffic light be placed at Broadway and 80. Rob mentioned to the Staff that they should consider widening the turn lanes at Broadway. Work will begin on the road in February.
The Scenic highway designation for Rt. 78 committee, along with Hendry County, is writing a letter asking the State for this designation. This designation will prohibit large billboards, make Rt. 78 eligible for public funding for beautification, and the establishment of bike and pedestrian paths to connect Alva with the parks, the Franklin locks and LaBelleís parks. Alva Inc. must decide how we want to work with Conservation 2020 to obtain connecting conservation lands that would enhance our public park systems. Public meetings will be held throughout the county to see if the citizens still support the Conservation 2020 tax.
We need a member from the Alva community to sit on Lee County Trails committee to work with Lee County to obtain grants through their new staff member for US Park Service.
We need a new Planning Committee chairman since Rob Andrys is now President. We need a new Historic Committee chairman since Pastor Bill Brewer has moved out of the community. We should start collecting pictures for an album of historic pictures about Alva.
With regard to new business, we need committee members to begin the process for Lee County funding of overlay zones of the business, historic and mixed use areas. Lee County will fund up to $25,000 to accomplish this. We have to make up a business line where people can give a level of confidence to the investor and create an atmosphere where one would like living here.
Nancy McPhee gave an update on what is happening with our parks. She has been with Lee County Parks and Recreation for 12 years, and manages all of the park facilities east of I-75. That would be Hickey Creek, Caloosahatchee Regional and Manatee. An interpretative programmer has been hired for Manatee Park, and a series of programs are being planned for the public to enjoy. This includes some evening programs at the Olga Community Center. Panthers have been seen in the Hickey Creek Park and across the river at the Caloosahatchee Park, moving up to the Telegraph Swamp on the Babcock Ranch. The emphasis is on the success of creating wildlife corridors and creating new ones. Additional wetlands next to the Hickey Creek Park by the Greenbrier sanctuary have been acquired for Lee County by Conservation 2020. Areas are being established for mountain bikes, hikers, and equestrians, along with some places for kayaking. Volunteers are needed for all the parks. The Caloosahatchee park is fairly busy on weekends with the campground, which is the only campground in Lee County that you cannot drive into with your car. Only tent camping is permitted. The Park Staff is planning some small concerts and other activities at the park, one of which will be on Sunday, February 2. They have obtained a grant to remove some of the exotic plants from the park area, i.e., Brazilian peppers, etc. A burn is planned for the SW area of the park. If it cannot be done in February, then it will have to wait until fall. Everyone within a 2 mile area of the park will be notified of the time. Jim English explained how the burning was accomplished in prior times. A ceremony and replanting of trees will be done on Earth Day. Anyone wishing to help in this effort, please contact Nancy or Belinda at 728-2882.
The park has become a relocation area for gopher tortoises. Sarah Gillim recommended that the lights at the park be dimmed at night. This is being looked into because it does endanger animals that we want to protect.
A Triathlon is planned on March 8 as part of the Caloosahatchee River Basin Festival. This will involve 4 miles of kayaking, 3 miles trail run, and 6 miles of mountain biking.
The Alva Community Center will be renovated entirely. Belinda Clemons is the director of the Center and has planned all kinds of activities for the community. She has after school groups of children coming in. They will have cheerleading classes. Computer classes for seniors are planned. If anyone has an idea for a class, get in touch with Belinda at 728-2882. A Youth Dance for children from 10 to 14 at a cost of $5 is already planned. It can be seen that our community is becoming a vital influence in the area.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
Submitted by Jean W. Colvin