BY MARCY SHORTUSE - A slightly lower millage rate for iguana trapping is a bonus that taxpayers might be facing in the new fiscal year, but the program will still essentially be run the same way it has for the last few years.
With trapper George Cera at the helm, the cost of the program in the new fiscal year will be $95,200. The millage rate will tentatively decrease from .307 to .289, by approximately 6%.
That number, however, depends on property values in the future.
In 2009, Carol Napoli and Becky Paterson started the Whidden’s Back Bay tournament to honor their friend and fishing buddy, Midge Callahan. This year, the tournament has taken on a new meaning with the passing of Barbara Whidden Chatham, and will be held on Sunday, April 22.
The tournament will start at 9 a.m. and fishing will end at 1 p.m.
Public opinion surveys are being returned this week to the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority, and the results will be announced at the authority’s next regular meeting on Wednesday, April 25.
A GIBA engineering meeting will also be held in the meantime, on Wednesday, April 18 at 2 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium.
BY LIZA STROUT - The Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board met Wednesday, April 11, in the Woman’s Club Room of the Boca Grande Community Center to consider three proposed changes to Boca Grande Properties.
Seats were filled by interest in the plan presented by Michael Epstein of Seibert Architects for changes to the Johann Fust Community Library.
Exterior changes include new translucent panels over the current wooden-slat roof of the existing potting shed to create a "secret garden" area, new garage doors that match those in the original construction drawings, a new storage building and new handicapped-accessible parking, and entry to the building.
The remodeling is being done in such a way that the only changes noticeable from the street will be those to the garage.
On the inside, though, the library will be transformed while maintaining its historic nature. The current children’s library will be moved to its own building attached to the new secret garden.
The staff area will be moved into the space that the children’s library now occupies. The garage, which is now used as a storage area, will become the library’s new media library, complete with its own accessible restroom.
The area now used as staff offices will be turned into a reading room, and it and the Main Library will be remodeled with new carpeting and custom wood shelves. Check out will become the new display area. Accessible parking will now be on the other side of the library entrance, and the ramp will be brought up to code.
Throughout this process, conduits, pipes and wiring that are not in use or part of the original 1949 structure will be removed and any holes left by the removal will be repaired.
The proposal was approved unanimously.
Also approved were changes to two existing homes on the Gulf side of Third Street.
BY MARCY SHORTUSE - If you’ve picked up your home phone and heard the words, “code red” recently, it doesn’t mean it’s time to evacuate. It means that the Gasparilla Island Water Association has included you on their emergency notification list.
BY LIZA STROUT-
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott was on hand Wednesday to meet the citizens of one of the most far-flung outposts of his watch, Gasparilla Island. He discussed with those who attended beach access issues and a brand-new island golf cart.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club hosted the sheriff, who is up for re-election this year. The Fire Department and Lee County Sheriff’s Department were present as well.
The island’s Food for the Poor network, a group of people who are currently working on the Boca Grande Friendship Village II in Haiti, are proud to announce that they have raised $213,000 toward their $356,000 goal.
The community center, with a price tag of $45,000, has been paid for. The $20,700 water filtration system has been paid for. At least 11 of the 20 houses scheduled for building have been paid for, as well as several clusters of fruit trees.
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