In case you have not read your PIE emails over the past several weeks, let’s catch you up. The county has determined that our island firehouse needs to be replaced as it is not to code, not ADA compliant and smaller than is suitable to manage our needs into the future as the island population grows.
The county engaged Magnum Builders and Sweet-Sparkman Architects of Sarasota as well as Johnson Engineering to evaluate the existing and two potential alternative sites. They published their Site Evaluation Report and Recommendations on February 19th. The evaluation report indicates that “no land purchase or boat dock access is included” so we believe this additional information will need to be used to make a decision. Despite stating that “feedback from the community” was considered, members of the PIE board were unable to identify any residents who had provided input on the more subjective areas of the analysis.
PIE issued a call to action to postpone the County Commissioners site selection decision and to hold a town hall to accept community input. The decision has been postponed until April 9th and the Town Hall will take place Monday, March 18th, 2019. Your email from PIE yesterday provided an updated location for the town hall meeting. We hope to see many of you at the 11:00 AM meeting at the Englewood Chamber of Commerce location where we will have a presentation from the county and an opportunity to discuss the project and our concerns.
The site evaluation report has some factual errors and we have been made aware of some other rumors and published statements circulating on the island that are incorrect. Your PIE board voted Monday, February 11th, to circulate a Fact Sheet to point out and correct these issues.
As chair of the Barrier Island Fire Advisory Board, Candy Cohen took point working with other board members to produce this document over the past several days. Input was collected by a number of discussions with island residents, our fire station personnel and our sheriff to be incorporated in the document as well. As there is a subjective element in the Site Grading Matrix, we have incorporated this feedback to adjust importance of some items and to add additional criteria from an islander perspective.
That said, PIE has heard a disparity of opinions on the evaluated sites so we encourage each resident to consider what items are of importance to you to come to your own conclusions.
The Fact Sheet is made up of the following:
Other Important Links:
Fire Station 10 Evaluation Report (view/download)
Project Status Page on the Charlotte County Public Site