July 7, 2023

GPIA Meeting Minutes | June 20, 2023

  • Location: Fishers of Men Lutheran Church
  • Board Members Present: Aaron Barreda, Co-Chair; Jay Sanderson, Co-Chair; Treasurer Dave Conner and Board Member Kristen Gustin
  • 22 attendees signed in; five attended online
  • Co-Chair Aaron Barreda opened the meeting at 5:30 p.m.

Treasury Report

Treasurer Dave Conner provided the treasury report:

  • YTD $75,877.19 balance in primary operating account at First Horizon Bank
  • May expenditures
    • Business insurance: $572.66 with Florida National Ins Solutions
    • Charitable contribution to Matlacha Hookers Fishing Derby: $100
    • Charitable contribution to Kiwanis Park rebuild: $372.02
    • Legal and professional fees: $235
    • Office/general administrative expenditures: $217.24
    • Postage/shipping: $15.75
    • Office/warehouse Rent: $600
    • Office repair/maintenance: $26.61
    • Utilities $416.67

Project Updates

Temporary Storage Containers

Pathfinder Mission has decided to pull operations out of Florida and return to Texas. GPIA, in collaboration with Pathfinder, has delivered 51 storage containers. Moving forward, Pathfinder has provided GPIA with the plans and some remaining materials to keep the project going. GPIA hopes to resume building the containers in August after securing an appropriate location for storage and construction and planning for implementation.

  • GPIA is seeking donations for materials and volunteers to help build the containers. The cost of each unit is $750 to build.
  • Contact GPIA Director Erin Lollar-Lambert to get involved.

Lions Club International

  • The Lions Club will be partnering with GPIA for a supply drive. The date and inventory TBA

Mold remediation

  • Mold remediation is continuing on the island. Click here to fill out the form to receive help


  • The GPIA website is live. Please visit the site for more information on GPIA, to receive help or to volunteer.

GPIA membership discussion

  • The group discussed adding a fee for membership in the GPIA. A motion for a $10 annual membership fee was made and approved.

Committee/Other Updates

Updates from Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane, Chair Resilient Lee:

Pamela Smith, Executive Assistant to Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane, delivered a message from the commissioner regarding the proposed changes to the Lee County Land Development Code. (See full text below.)

The commissioner is committed to rebuilding the Matlacha Civic Center. All input from the community is welcome.

  • Please email suggestions to Erin Lollar-Lambert by July 18. GPIA will compile and review at the July monthly GPIA meeting.
  • After discussion, GPIA will submit to the commissioner’s office.

Donations Committee Update, Coordinator Julia Gaylor, Vice Madam, Matlacha Hookers:

Julia was unable to attend the meeting but sent an update. The Matlacha Hookers are hosting a Hurricane Preparedness Raffle at the July 15 Mango Mania event at the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church. The winner will receive a 7500 watt Champion generator (gas or propane powered), solar power pack, $50 gas card, extension cord and gas can. Tickets will be available at Mango Mania for $10/ticket. Winner will be drawn at the close of Mango Mania. Winner does not need to be present to win.

The Matlacha Hookers are also working on creating a Hurricane Preparedness kit to hand out to full and part time residents of the island and Matlacha. They are currently working on a list of items to determine the cost per kit. Hoping to provide at least 500 kits. The Hookers are shooting for a giveaway in August.

Matlacha Hookers have pledged to purchase a Starlink Unit for one of the GPIA partner locations and pay for service for 1-2 Hurricane Seasons to start. The Starlink will be available for island residents post a future disaster.

Construction Committee Update, Coordinator Mikes Maillakakis, P.E., General Manager Greater Pine Island Water Association:

Mikes reported on the progress of the collaboration of GPIA, Fire Department and Water Association. The collaboration will include the production of an informational guide for response after future disasters including locations where residents will be able to locate accurate information about post-storm recovery, as well as developing plans for a future Area Operations Center. The Greater Pine Island Water Association has donated $800 for a Starlink for GPIA AOC-designated location.

Southwest Program Manager Rebuilding Together Update, Chris Reesor:

GPIA is collaborating with Rebuilding Together, a national organization of licensed contractors committed to making essential repairs to help residents return to or stay in their homes. Rebuilding together is committed to putting 30 free roofs on Greater Pine Island homes.

To register for a roof, click here to visit the Unite Florida Ian Recovery Portal. While Unite Florida is focused on low-income households, Rebuilding Together has many programs and can assist most households. When contacted, inform Unite that Rebuilding Together is the contractor.

—Minutes Respectfully submitted by Erin Lollar-Lambert

Statement from Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane on proposed changes to the Lee County Land Development Code

I am writing this statement to clarify the half-truths and rhetoric because of last week’s Lee County Board of Commissioner meeting where we unanimously set a hearing for potential changes to the LDC in Lee County. The vote was to set up a public hearing and nothing else. In my sixteen years in public office, I have participated in many public hearings where the outcomes have varied. The outcomes have been denial, the outcomes have been continuance, the outcomes have been rejection and the outcomes have been approval.

On June 2, 2023, I requested in writing to the county manager and county attorney to postpone item number eight on the agenda for the vote of setting a public hearing for LDC changes. The email was sent to both the county manager and county attorney as well requesting the item be pulled from the county commissioners. The county manager denied both of my requests.

I was elected to be the Chairman of the Long-Term Recovery Task force for Resilient Lee. I have focused on working on maximizing recovery, planning, and protecting us from further hurricane storm surges.

On January 17, 2023, I requested staff to bring back potential alternatives to the LDC for our review and it wasn’t until June 1, 2023, that I was made aware of the potential changes. I was in favor of looking at standardizing the height for all unincorporated Lee County for resiliency to 35 feet but never said i wanted to add a third story.

To twist my vote in misleading statements that I am in favor of radical changes is totally false. I voted to move to a public hearing on June 20, 2023, as my prior attempts to postpone were rejected by the county manager. To influence the community that I have voted for change is disingenuous and unfortunate, as I have worked endlessly for 16 years in office to improve our community.

Lastly, I have answered emails and phones calls through 0734 today, but I am grossly disappointed that the emails twist the facts that the public hearing was approved as well as changes to the LDC.

At the June 20, 2023, meeting, we will have information presented to us to vote on moving forward, rejecting, deferring, or modifying any potential changes to the LDC. Any action taken on June 20, 2023, will determine the next step of potentially sending it to the hearing examiner who will review and the results for a zoning hearing. I believe that hearing would be after our recess from break on August 1, 2023.

  • I am open to considering a height increase from 28 feet to 35 feet without adding any additional floors. Two story only.
  • I am not in favor of adding 40 additional feet to any building.
  • I am not in favor of eliminating restrictions on density.
  • I am voting NO June 20,2023

—Statement submitted by Pamela Smith, MMC, Executive Assistant, on behalf of Commissioner Kevin Ruane

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