Make A Donation to the PIE Action Fund
PLEASE NOTE: You do not need a PayPal account to use this feature. You may process a secure 1-time check out as a guest. If you would prefer, you may send a check to: PIE, PO Box 3151, Placida, FL 33946.
Please note that PIE is a 501(C)4 organization and
contributions are not tax deductible.
LINDA COTHERMAN (Chair)
Former general contractor, project manager for Giffels Webster civil engineering and surveying firm, septic tank and drain field designer/installer, Linda also holds an AS degree in Paralegal Studies.
Theresa is an attorney currently practicing with Shrager & Sachs in Philadelphia, PA.
The PIE Action Fund Appeal
P.I.E. has been working to ensure that the private utility company, Environmental Utilities LLC, (EU) will be denied approval from the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to install and operate a central sewer system on our Island.
With the EU sewer proposal, the County is in effect abdicating their responsibility to taxpayers to a new LLC that has no expertise to oversee this expensive infrastructure effort. Under this scenario, there is no recourse and no protection for islanders against any potential costly errors. While the County has purchasing and legal support for large capital projects, EU is a new unproven LLC with limited access to these crucial services.
To date P.I.E. has raised $20,000 of our $70,000 goal. We are now asking you to join us with a substantial contribution. As this is a significant effort, a suggested donation of a minimum of $200 per household is requested. All donations will be accepted for this important cause. These funds will pay for the attorney fees and expert witnesses that will be needed to prevail.
Our donation request is a small amount compared to being hit with a $20,000+ bill to hook up to a system operated by a new limited liability company. When small, privately-owned utility companies have critical system failures the financial impact to the customers is significant. Charlotte County has plans within a 10-year window to bring a central wastewater system to the area which we believe will be a better option for all Islanders.
If you have already donated the minimum and beyond, please accept our gratitude. Your support has enabled us to get this far, and we hope that you will continue to support our efforts in the future.
To donate to the legal fund, go to News/Sewer & Utilities Reporting. Here, P.I.E. has a complete timeline of events that have occurred with this issue, as well as links to documents. Or you may send a check payable to “P.I.E. Action Fund” to P.I.E., PO Box 3151, Placida FL 33946.
P.I.E. remains committed to keeping everyone informed throughout this effort. If you have not been “docket watching” with the Public Service Commission on a regular basis, let us share some information below.
In October of 2020 Environmental Utilities LLC (EU), began the process of applying for a Certificate of Authorization with the PSC for the proposed sewer system which would serve Little Gasparilla Island (LGI) and Cape Haze (CH) in addition to Don Pedro/Knight Island.
U also submitted a confidential financial statement and requested bifurcation of rate/cost information from the certificate. This means that the PSC could approve the Certificate without EU’s financials being required to be available to the public and affected parties. This is information which would include the only details on what the installation cost would be, the extent of hook-up costs, or what rates owners would pay when they are mandated to hook up to the system.
On December 17, 2020 EU mailed out required notices to affected homeowners informing them of the plan to install the wastewater treatment facilities. This notice gave homeowners 30 days to comment or object to the EU plan.
Initial concerns arose when many residents did not receive the required notice that a sewer system was being proposed. At P.I.E.‘s January membership meeting a motion was approved for the Board to hire an attorney to fight the granting of the Certificate to EU to extend sewer to the Island.
P.I.E. also moved quickly and sent out a CALL TO ACTION to members asking them to send letters to the PSC to object to the separation of the rate/cost information from certification. P.I.E. and its members were successful in flooding the PSC with hundreds of objection letters which caused the PSC to deny the Motion to Bifurcate.
P.I.E. then partnered with the Cape Haze HOA to hire an attorney and prepare for the PSC’s Administrative Hearing for the application. On March 8, EU filed a motion to remove Cape Haze from the proposed service area. This leaves a smaller number of residents to spread the overall costs of the sewer system and will impact the timeline for the anticipated rate/cost information that will be submitted to the PSC.
While P.I.E. has had initial successes in fighting EU’s lack of transparency related to the costs and rates of the project, we are early in what will likely be a long, costly legal process. P.I.E. has filed objections with the PSC that are based on the following:
OUR GENEROUS DONORS
PLEASE NOTE: We are proud to acknowledge your contribution with all of our generous donors below. However, if you would prefer to be listed as an Anonymous Donor, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Patron's Circle ($1,000.00 and more)
Mike & Amy Beukema
John & Lisa Giglio
Ronald & Denise Marten
The Benefactors ($500.00 and more)
Zach & Linda Bawel
Edward & Dena Craig
James & Christi Davis
James & Christie Davis
Sherry & Don Esch
Curtis & Lou Ann Hanvey
Meryl Schaffer & JeanPaul Jenack
Deirdre Fortune & Jeff Lenz
Ruth & Lee Levant
Andy & Julie Nichols
Tami Cashi & Michael Orsini
Vicki Millette & Mike Riley
Peter & Shelly Schaffer
The Advocates ($200.00 and more)
Sally Johnson & Dick Aulenti
Fred & Susan Brown
Layton & Linda Burkhardt
Tirso & Mindy Carrega
Chris & Kim Cobourn
Gil & Lila Collver
Tri & Jennifer Dang
Jim Luscombe & Kris Doubles
Bob & JoAnn Elardo
Jeff & Robin Fleck
Terri & Sharon Kent
Jack & Debra Malone
Paul & Gina Maynard
Terry & Linda Miklos
Ken & Sally Mingerink
Steve & Kristi Mowery
Joe & Susan Noto
Jim & Cori Palmere
Bill & Carol Peterson
Gayle Moore & John Purvis
Jerry & Laurie Slomkowski
Heather & Ben Stout
Debbie Lietzke & Bob Thompson
Mark & Laurie Weinstein
Mark & Amy Wineinger
Adil & Makduda Zainulbhai
Vivian Correa & John Ziegert
Friends of P.I.E. (up to $200.00)
David & Candy Cohen
Mark & Carol Hassenberg
Peter & Vicki Hosmer
Richard & Dana Planer
Don & Jean Schultz
PIE is a 504(C)4 organization and as such contributions to the PIE Action Fund are not tax-deductible.