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Steering Committee will keep residents informed concerning island incorporation

March 22, 2017
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

Recent events on our Island have led to discussions concerning our future. Members of the Greater Pine Island Community Association have taken on the task of providing some answers to questions many Island residents have raised regarding these events. The GPICA has retained the services of BJM Consulting to conduct a preliminary financial feasibility study for Incorporation.

The GPICA appointed an Incorporation Steering Committee of seven community leaders representing the villages of Bokeelia, Pineland, Pine Island Center, St. James City and Matlacha/Cape Royal, to establish community goals with BJM Consultant Joe Mazurkiewicz that needed to be addressed as part of his incorporation study. The committee has met twice and plans further meetings as the incorporation study moves forward. Members of the GPICA decide by vote at each stage on future funding and directions the study should focus on.

The Incorporation Committee is meeting on an as needed basis once new elements of the study are finalized by our consultant. Plans are to gather information necessary to address concerns raised by our community. When the study is complete, a survey will be taken to establish what direction community would like to proceed.

The Incorporation Study focuses on government "Lite" with no plans to make or propose any changes in the service area or management of Greater Pine Island Water Association Inc. or of the Matlacha-Pine Island Fire District. The plan does not anticipate any increase in property taxes for the mill levy would remain the same as currently assessed in unincorporated Lee County. All services would be contracted from Lee County at the current level.

The Pine Island Plan, which is currently an element in the Lee County Comprehen-sive Plan, would become the Land Use Plan for our community and could only be changed by our community. All future annexation proposals and land use changes would be subject to community approval.

As we go forward many new questions will come up and we will do our best to provide answers to all in our community.

Noel Andress

Member Incorporation Study Committee



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