Estates Civic [Golden Gate Estates Civic Association (GGECA)] tackles issues
(Note: Florida Rep. Mike Davis appears to be fixated on "Everglades restoration", which leads the reader to wonder who he's catering to, since the homeowners and landowners like Jesse Hardy -- targeted for removal by eminent domain, no matter how many times they prove that it is not about "restoration" but rather it is about CONTROL and the retaking of CONTROL of all natural resources, which in so doing also take control over "human resources" and freedom -- are certainly not what this 'elected official' deems important.)
June 29, 2004
By Alyssa Cameron
Everglades Echo Online
11725 Collier Blvd, Unit C
Naples, FL 34116
To submit a Letter to the Editor: [email protected]

Florida House of Representative Mike Davis, District 101, updated Golden Gate Estates Civic Association (GGECA) members on several current issues involving the Estates, June 16.

Topics ranged from the recent approval of the six-laning Immokalee Road project, to working with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and local government officials to reconsider the dates for construction on the I-75 project, which is currently slated for completion by 2012.

Davis announced the recent House approval of the $2 million Lake Trafford Restoration project, along with the $500,000 appropriated for the Big Cypress Preserve as part of the Everglades Restoration.

He also noted the importance of the Ave Maria University and the importance of proper development of the community services and infrastructure.

Davis also lamented that funding for student growth had been lagging for Florida Gulf Coast University, which is growing too quickly. Plans are now in the works for a matching grant that will provide funding for two new buildings.

GGECA Board Member Doug Rankin thanked Davis for his assistance in the I-75 project, adding that the Collier Boulevard extension to Bonita Beach Road would certainly help the area by making the drive smoother.

Davis reminded the members that Collier County Dist. 5 Commissioner Jim Coletta was pushing for the Collier Boulevard extensions, knowing that more people were traveling north and south.

"Back to the Everglades, the benefit has to be in replenishing the water flow," Davis noted while discussing the Everglades Restoration funding.

In closing, Davis shared with the members his recent meeting with FDOT officials pertaining to the rest area in Ochopee and the need for trained fire and EMS personnel for victims along Alligator Alley.

Davis thanked the Association for allowing him an opportunity to provide an update and noted that his job was made much easier from his personal knowledge of the local community members.

Other topics discussed included the Wilson Boulevard issue on limiting truck traffic. Next, concerns were raised over housing conditions in the Estates with 15+ people living in the same home, adding stress to the essential services. There is currently no law on the books to prevent this problem. Members noted that county codes need to be amended, pointing to how Golden Gate City addressed the problem through parking ordinances.

Board member Pat Humphries noted that Southern Estates resident Jesse Hardy had not signed any papers pertaining to the sale of his 160-acre homestead. The state plans to take the property by eminent domain if Hardy does not settle with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Following a brief discussion, and requests for letters in support of Hardy to be sent to the Governor, the GGECA voted to draft a letter stating while the Association supports the restoration concept, it is against using eminent domain to take Hardy's property. The letter will also oppose the lack of a guarantee of public access to the land and the inability to sink wells for drinking water for Collier County.

Discussion ensued over the commercial development on Collier Boulevard next to the new upcoming Golden Gate Fire Administrative Building north of Vanderbilt Beach Road. Concern was voiced that the height of the buildings should not exceed 44-feet. Members also voiced opposition to a proposed industrial park in that location.

Rankin questioned whether the group could check out the current regulations on access roads for ATV traffic in the Picayune Strand.

Board member Matt Hudson briefed everyone on the current County jail expansion, which he had personally toured. He said funding for the proposed Orangetree Substation was not included in this year's Sheriff's Budget proposal; however, there are plans to add more road patrol in that area.

Concerns were raised over the brush fires and the possibility of more until the rainy season is in full swing. Hudson, a member of the Golden Gate Fire Board, praised the efforts of fire crews who worked so diligently during the recent brush fires, including the one at the landfill. He said the crews worked nonstop for four straight days.

He said one good thing that came out of the busy fire season was the chance to implement the new tanker shuttle from Corkscrew. He said the fires also illustrated the need for emergency access into the Estates off I-75.

There will be no GGECA meetings in July or August. The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 15, at Fire Station #71, on 13th Street SW, directly behind the Estates Branch Library.

Copyright 2004, Tuff Publications, Inc.