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City council covers multiple items

May 14, 2019
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

At its meeting, the Sanibel City Council voted to proceed with the Sanibel-Captiva Road erosion project, to expand an advisory committee by one seat while appointing new members, and to withdraw from a regional organization, as well as recognized a former planning director who passed away.

On May 7, the council voted 5-0 to authorize City Manager Judie Zimomra to enter into negotiations with Humiston & Moore Engineers in order to move forward on the full design, engineering and permitting for the emergency shore-protection project south of Blind Pass, adjacent to San-Cap Road.

"The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheetpile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment, along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400-foot section of vulnerable roadway," according to documents prepared by the firm. "Additional rock will be included for toe-scour protection north and south of the existing revetment seaward of the new wall and tapering of the rock further landward."

Article Photos

Mayor Kevin Ruane reads a proclamation recognizing former Sanibel Planning Department Director James Jordan posthumously for his 33 years of service to the city as Jordan's family stands by.

City staff and the council held a brief discussion before the unanimous vote was cast.

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Also during the meeting, the council members addressed two vacancies on the Sanibel Historical Preservation Committee. Councilmember Richard Johnson, liaison to the committee, explained that the city had received six applications. He suggested the names of James Goodwin and Michael Cohn.

"We had six very good candidates, with only two positions," Johnson said.

Councilmember Holly Smith suggested applicant Leslie Adams as another to consider.

Following some back-and-forth discussion, it was pointed out that the council could expand the committee by one seat and appoint all three recommended candidates. The dais voted 5-0 to do so.

Also at the meeting, Vice Mayor Mick Denham brought up the subject of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. He explained that the organization's focus has changed over the years.

"I think it's reasonable for us to withdraw," Denham said of the city's membership.

He also recommended that the city look into the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.

"I would like to suggest that we become more involved with that group," Denham said. "They would provide us a way to get our message out to other local communities on some of our Best Management Practices."

Others on the council shared their thoughts.

"I think it's unfortunate the Regional Planning Council has lost its teeth," Johnson said.

"I think we are overdue in this withdrawal," Smith said, adding that she would need more information about the new organization before she could vote on whether the city should become engaged.

After discussion, the dais voted 5-0 to withdraw from the council only.

The meeting opened with Mayor Kevin Ruane reading three proclamations. With the family present, the first recognized James Jordan posthumously for his 33 years of service to the city of Sanibel.

The second proclamation recognized May 18-24 as National Safe Boating Week, while the third one recognized the 40th anniversary of the Sanibel-Captiva American Business Women's Association.


- Community Services Department Director Keith Williams provided an update on the Donax Rehabilitation Project. He reported that the project remained on schedule as of the meeting.

Williams also reported that staff is seeking to employ direct purchase ordering for large-size equipment needed for the project, as opposed to having a contractor purchase it. He pointed to a list of proposed items for all three stages of the project and estimated that the move will save taxpayers about $206,000.

- Natural Resources Director James Evans provided a water quality update.

He reported that the city received its field permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to conduct algae raking on-island as part of a pilot program. However, the city is not seeing enough red drift algae wash ashore so staff is working to amend the permit for Fort Myers Beach.

"Since they have the conditions that would support that," Evans said.

He added that the city submitted its application for a second pilot program last week to harvest the algae from the water before it reaches the shore. Evans noted that it is a different permit that typically takes more time and effort to obtain approval for.

- The council voted 5-0 to appropriate and budget $27,600 in additional funding to dredge the entrance to the Shell Harbor canal system due to higher than expected cubic yards of material excavated and removed.

- The council voted 5-0 to approve a bike map brochure created with grant funds from the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The Sanibel Bound app will be updated to include the information.



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