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CEPD OKs tentative plan for beach renourishment assessments

December 14, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District's board recently directed its consultants to move forward on the final draft for the proposed beach renourishment project, plus voted in a new administrator.

At the Dec. 12 meeting, economists Drs. William Stronge and Gary Jackson returned before the commissioners to present the changes that were requested during the November meeting.

Last month, the board voted to treat multi-family homes with fewer than 10 structures like single-family homes on the recreational assessment. It also voted to provide a homestead discount to single-family homesteaded residences, and it voted to assess an Upper Gold Coast beachfront parcel for the first time and charge the owner of record, Gulf Way Improvement Association, letting it sort it out.

Article Photos

Consultant economist Dr. William Stronge reviews the most recent updates to the apportionment methodology for the proposed beach renourishment project at the Captiva Erosion Prevention District's meeting on Dec. 12.

An earlier change to the apportionment methodology requested by the board involved raising the project's cost from $15 million to $18 million in calculating the millages to provide wiggle room. The assessments - not final until the project's true cost is determined - are spread out over 10 years.

APTIM Coastal Planning & Engineering has estimated the total cost at $30 million. Adding in funding from the state, county and other sources, the cost share for Captiva came in at about $12.52 million.

At the recent meeting, newly-elected Chairman Mike Mullins explained that the 2010 beach renourishment project was estimated to cost $15 million but came in less than $8 million.

"Because we got money from the various entities," he said.

Mullins reiterated that once the final cost of the proposed project is determined, taking into account sand, labor and such, the yet-to-be-approved methodology will be used to calculate assessments.

"We don't know what it's going to be at this early stage," he said.

Following discussion, the board directed Stronge and Jackson to complete and present at the next meeting their final draft of the methodology and apportionments with the changes for a vote.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners voted 5-0 to give Assistant to the Administrator Carolyn Weaver, who has been acting as the administrator since Damon Grant left, the permanent position.

Hans Wilson, of the panel's consulting firm Hans Wilson and Associates, spoke before the board and recommended hiring Weaver as the new administrator and moving forward on finding her replacement.

"She was really overqualified for the administrator assistant position, but she had a good relationship with Damon and commissioners at the county," he said, noting her work experience with the county. "I think she will fit the role well. I think she'll serve you well, and I think she'll be here for a long time."

Newly-elected Vice Chair Michael Lanigan voiced concern about a lack of leadership experience.

"I think her role as administrator assistant is consistent with her career history," he said.

Treasurer Bob Walter disagreed with his reservation.

"She has the county experience, she has the local contacts," he said. "I find her extremely bright and very engaged."

"She wants the job," Walter added. "Does she have a lot to learn? Yeah - don't we all?"

Commissioner Dave Jensen explained that he has been working with Weaver and worked with Grant, as well as worked with Grant's predecessor and the person who served as administrator before that.

"I think she's the real deal," he said of Weaver.

"I know it's a tiny bit of experience, but let's roll with it," Jensen added. "I think we have a great team. I think she can be a great asset."

Wilson noted that he has worked with the board's administrators for the last nine years. He felt the qualified person should be organized, diligent and dedicated to the district. The person should have the agility to work with "five distinct bosses" - the board - be a good communicator and personable.

Wilson also recommended that Weaver be involved in the selection of her replacement.

"If she is, the two of them will make a good team," he said.

Following the unanimous vote to approve Weaver's promotion, the board and Wilson discussed her replacement's role. They decided to make it a "deputy administrator" position rather than an assistant.

It was agreed that Wilson and Weaver would come up with a new job description for the right-hand position to be presented at the next meeting, while getting Weaver temporary help in the interim.


- The board elected its new officers for the year, which consists of Mullins as chair, Lanigan as vice chair, Harry Kaiser as secretary and Walter as treasurer.

- Weaver provided an update on the straw poll that was sent out to get an idea of how voters on the island felt about the proposed beach renourishment project. A total of 279 cards were mailed, of which eight came back undeliverable. Of the 269 remaining, 88 had been returned as of the meeting - 80 were in support of the project, six were against it, and two were undecided about it.

- Weaver presented the board with quotes for the rope and bollard repairs that were damaged by Hurricane Irma and the fence repairs at Alison Hagerup Beach Park. While the fence quotes need a bit of adjusting so they are "apples to apples," the board approved moving forward on the projects.

- The board approved for the district to provide work cell phones to the administrator and future "deputy administrator." Weaver had requested the devices to keep district-related business transparent, and noted that the phones will be in the district's name and stay with the district if a staffer leaves.

- Weaver reported that she is in the process of acquiring a third quote on redesigning the district's website and should have all of the information prepared to be discussed at the next meeting.



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