Several new projects have been added to the County’s New Development listing. The projects are in various phases and continue to be progressing through the SLC Planning & Development Dept. We will request to be placed on the County Planning & Development meetings agenda distribution list to ensure that we are notified of any development project that is located on the Island. We appreciate all of Kori Benton’s efforts, Sr Planner-SLC Planning & Development, to keep us informed on the progress of these projects. The details for all of the projects are being finalized in the next week, and will be placed on the PC website, Governmental Affairs Committee page.
Summary of the September 15th Membership Meeting
Guest Speaker: Capt. Paul Langel, SLC Fire Dept. (BDA-bio-directional amplifier survey and code requirements for high rise buildings)
Capt. Langel provided background information, Florida statute and code requirements and future timelines. This legislation addressed issues in communication coverage discovered by first responders during 9/11. The April 27, 2020 letter (attached to this email and available on pcofhi.com, Governmental Affairs Committee) from the SLC Fire Dept. provides more details on deadliness and those impacted by the requirements. It is unknown at this time if there will be any changes in the process or deadlines during the next legislative session.
Capt. Langel emphasized the need to be proactive and this meeting was meant to help build awareness of the process/resources available. To ensure that your Association receives all current information from the Fire Dept., contact Kelly Machado, Assistant to Capt. Langel at 772-621-3322 to ensure that current email addresses are provided. Capt. Langel’s email is email@example.com. Also, in attendance was Josh Franklin from Signal Corp 561-699-8748, firstname.lastname@example.org. Signal Communications performs the surveys for the Associations.
Additional information provided during the discussion:
· Legislation applies to buildings 75’ at the highest occupiable space.
· Deadlines included in April 27th letter from Capt. Langel. (available on pcofhi.com)
· Process improvements are for the safety of the first responders and the residents.
· Lack of communication coverage is attributable to the type of construction of the high rises, in addition to the location of the signal.
· Solutions for the Associations to improve the coverage is costly and various alternative options to improving it at a broader level were discussed. (i.e. add a new site; strategic antennas on the building roofs; add an amplifier to the fire trucks). Capt. Langel advised that the Fire Dept has all updated radios and signal boosters.
Capt. Langel’s openness and willingness to work closely with us is greatly appreciated. PC Board will continue to look for alternative solutions, connect with expert resources and communicate new information to the membership as it becomes available.
August 18, 2020 Meeting SummaryGuest Speaker: Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Governing Board Member South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). (website: sfwmd.gov)
Charles Grande introduced and welcomed Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch to the meeting. The two have worked together over the years on water related issues in the area.
Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch launched into her discussion by explaining the organization’s structure, reporting relationship, and the direction. It is composed of 5 Districts with the South being the oldest. The current problems with Lake O were placed in context by explaining the history of the development in the state since 1923. (Meeting presentation is available on the PC website, Governmental Affairs Committee.)
SFWMD began a new journey in 2019, when the Governor replaced all of the board members and the current mission was developed. For the first time “to safeguard and restore South Florida’s water resources” was included in the mission. Governor DeSantis 2019 Executive Order 19.12 outlines the new strategic plan and is useful to review in order to gain a better understanding of the direction.
The SFWMD projects all tend to be long term efforts and the 3 significant projects were described: the EAA reservoir, C44 reservoir, and C-43 reservoir. Funding for all of the efforts was also explained and more information is included in the presentation slides, including other major project timelines.
Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch was asked what we, as interested residents, can do to support water resources efforts. “Become an advocate!” was the reply. She further explained the need to build relationships with elected officials, speak out during public meetings and voice what’s important to you.
Additional questions from participating PC members were discussed, including one on the Lake O height schedule (LORS). The criteria for determining the level now considers “Human Health & Safety” impacts, along with agricultural needs. The Army Corp manages the Lake level and SFWMD is the local sponsor.
Ms. Thurlow-Lippisch’s enthusiasm and passion are infectious. We all took away information that we can share with others to support the effort to improve the water quality in our area.
As you may be aware, the first weekend in August there was a water main break that required repair and a precautionary boil water notice went into effect for South Hutchinson island. At that time, the normal alert process was put in effect by notifying the press, posting on the FPUA website and Facebook page. Since some were unaware of the alert, FPUA suggests that your Association can be placed on the customer notification list in order to be notified directly. If you would like to be placed on the list for future alerts, contact: Jann Widmayer, FPUA Community Relations Manager email@example.com .
Update on the A1A crosswalk at Island Dunes. After some delays, FDOT has advised that the construction of the crosswalk will be completed by the end of November. This is most welcome news for all of those in the Island Dunes area.
Summary of the Membership Meeting June 17th
Senator Gayle Harrell, Florida State Senator District 25, provided a very informative presentation identifying some of the key legislation passed in the last session and other issues currently impacting the state. Highlights of the discussion:
· The opening of the 2020 session in January was filled with optimism and plans to continue the focus on education, clean water and Everglades restoration.
· Covid-19 changed that. In February, Senator Harrell, Chair Health Policy Committee, met with committee members to review the budget in anticipation of the impacts of the virus. Additional funds were placed in the current year budget ($58M) and next year’s ($300M). However, the impact has been greater than anticipated at the time.
· Current initiatives in the budget: education including funds for safe schools and mental health resources in the schools; record funds focused on environmental issues including Legacy Florida funds for the Everglades to stop releases, Forever Florida funds for land conservation efforts including land buying programs, such as rights of way for public beach access points.
· State revenue is reduced dramatically ($878M in April), mostly due to reduction in sales tax receipts.
· The Governor will be reviewing the budget, but at this time it is not anticipated that a special session will be called.
· Bills passed in last session impacting Condo Associations: SB#476 cannot prohibit law enforcement vehicles parking on property; SB#1084 Emotional support animals must be permitted provided required documents from a physician are presented.
· CARES (Corona virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) has dispersed federal funds to counties with a population over 500,000. However, local counties are less than 500,000 and do not qualify for these federal funds. Local counties may submit separately to gain additional funds.
· The State has addressed the virus through many initiatives primarily protecting the most vulnerable individuals: five Covid-19 only nursing homes have been set up throughout the state; established testing criteria for nursing home admittance; ensured adequate hospital beds and equipment; prepared to address “hotspots” when they develop, as demonstrated in Indiantown. The basics are essential: wear masks and wash hands.
· Discussed the killing of George Floyd and the response throughout the country. The senator indicated that we must engage in deeper conversation and listen to each other to come up with solutions to increase our cultural awareness. Major conversations in the state will continue.
We thank the Senator for her time with us and appreciate her efforts on our behalf in the State government. We gained increased awareness of the issues impacting our area, which were made apparent as Senator Harrell was asked to leave the meeting early to address the Roosevelt bridge closure.
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