Dean Park Historic District, Inc.

Minutes of Annual Meeting

10 am, November 23, 2019, 1585 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers


Present: Caitie Eck-President, Artis Henderson-Secretary, Ann Martindale-Treasurer, Donna Ellswick-Director, Terry Leary-Director, Michelle Nugent-Director, and Residents Erik Schaum, Tom Palazzo, Rick Janis, Penny Janis, Paul Barnett, Janice Barnett, Cheryl DeBono and Al DeBono and John Paul.

Absent: Brad McGrath and Sheila Pastor, Directors

 1. Call to Order by the President. The meeting was called to order by Caitie Eck.

2.  Report of the Nominating Committee. On behalf of the Nominating Committee, Ann Martindale nominated the following persons as Directors:  Caitlin Eck, Donna Ellswick, Artis Henderson, Terry Leary, Ann Martindale, Brad McGrath (Historic Preservation Commission  representative), Michelle Nugent and Sheila Pastor.

The following persons were nominated as officers:   President-Caitlin Eck, Vice President-Sheila Pastor, Secretary-Artis Henderson and Treasurer-Ann Martindale.

The following persons were nominated as Honorary Directors (dated first named as Honorary Director):  Pearl Moulton (2013), Tom Veal (2014), Jordan Parrott (2018), John Podczerwinsky (2018).

3. Election of Directors by 2019-2020 Board of Directors. All directors elected with no discussion or opposition.

4. Election of Officers by Newly Elected Board of Directors. All officers elected with no discussion or opposition.

5.  Approval of minutes of meeting of last meeting (May 6, 2019). The minutes were approved with no discussion or opposition.

6.  President’s Report – Caitie Eck. Caitie commented, “This year is our centennial jubilee. We have a big year coming up.”  She mentioned plans for this year’s Dean Park events, plus the 100th anniversary house tour.

7. Treasurer’s Report – Ann Martindale. Ann provided the Treasurer’s Report for fiscal year Sept. 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019.  The report is attached to the original copy of these minutes.

8.  Report of Historic Preservation Commission Representative – Brad McGrath. Brad was not present. The DeBonos asked about including the entire strip along Second Street in Dean Park Historic District. Ann said that the HPC can add additional properties to a historic district by going through the same process undertaken when the historic district was created.  This process includes a position vote from a majority of the residents of the existing and proposed district properties.  The DeBonos requested that we wait until after they’ve built their house on a lot on Second Street before approaching the HPC about extending Dean Park.

9.  Old Business

a. Update on 2020 Dean Park House Tour – 100th Anniversary – Sheila Pastor. Sheila was not present          , but provided a written update. Ann read through the list. Artis talked about food trucks. Ann, Artis, Terry, Michelle, Donna will be on committee. The group discussed the possibility of Dean Park shirts. Michelle said she’ll handle getting list of participants, asking sizes, submitting them for printing.

b.  Status of 2-way streets for First Street and Second Street. Michelle said she understands that the conversion will be after the end of “the season.”  She added that the city-owned parcel at the intersection of Michigan and Palm will be used as a staging area during the project, then landscaped and made into a park. Ann added that the project’s aim is to slow down traffic and make this feel more residential, create a community feeling.

c.  Status of City-owned parcels: (1) The Triangle, (2) parcel adjacent to 2643 Providence Street, (3) parcel at intersection of Palm and Michigan.  Donna reported on her conversation with Dr. Brown, the premier horticulturist here. He said the trees are not diseased, it’s transplant shock. They were planted in very warm weather. He says don’t prune them because that will put them into more of a shock. They don’t look great, but they should get better.  Rick said he had called the City about cleaning up the Triangle and treating the Bismarck palm.  He said he would follow up with the City this week.

     Landscaping Committee:  After an extended discussion on how to address landscaping issues in the Triangle and elsewhere in Dean Park, the group voted to establish a Landscaping Committee to work with the City to upgrade landscaping at the Triangle and elsewhere in Dean Park, including the median strip on Cranford.  As a first step, Michelle Nugent agreed to contact Johnny Streets to give him a “heads up” on this.  The Landscaping Committee will include Michelle Nugent, Cheryl DeBono, Donna Ellswick, John Paul and others to be asked (Barry Starke, Robert Andrews, Judith Andrews).

d.  Status of Warehouse Property – 2801 Michigan. No update.

e.  Status of Dean Park website, Ann said that she and Rick would be working together on the site.  Rick: It would be nice to have a visitor counter at the bottom.  Caitie: For Facebook page, I’d like to start promoting House Tour earlier this year.

f.  Community maintenance issues. No issues.

g.  Other old business.

     (1) Seaboard Property.  The group discussed the status of the proposed apartment project for the property at on Seaboard, the old railroad terminal property.  Ann said a large apartment project (300-plus units) was proposed, but the developer’s request for significant tax breaks from the City was not well-received.  Penny suggested alternate uses for the site such as shops, restaurants, walkable neighborhood.

     (2) 2610 Providence Street Apartments.  The group discussed the problem with on-street parking, including commercial vehicle parking, near the 10-unit apartment building at 2610 Providence Street.  Michelle Nugent agreed to follow up with the City on this issue.

10.  New Business

a.  Upcoming Dean Park Events for 2019-2020 (Artis)

     (1) Dec. 7 – Triangle Decorating, starting at 10 am (Rick).  Rick Janis discussed his proposal to upgrade the royal palm lights to LED commercial-grade lights, similar to those at the Burroughs Home.  He said we’ll do 4 palm trees this year and keep adding to that.  Other plans include putting re-usable luminaries around circle and laser sparkle lights on fronds.

     (2)  Dec. 14 – Dean Park Holiday Park.  For the triangle/holiday party, the group decided to have a separate get-together the following Saturday, December 14, 4 to 7 pm, at Tom and Donna’s house.  There will be pizza, soda, gift bags for kids and and a gift bag for kids.  Everyone is encouraged to bring a wrapped gift to share. Under $10.  Artis will send out e-vites for both holiday events.

     (3)  Jan. 25 – Progressive Dinner (Michelle Nugent)

     (4)  March 21 – Neighborhood Clean-up (Barry Starke)

     (5)  March 28 – 2020 House Tour (Sheila Pastor)

     (6)  April 18 – BBQ & Blues (Donna Ellswick)

b.  Other new business. None.

c.  Adoption of Budget for 2018 – 2019. Motion to adopt budget with additional $250 for Christmas pizza party. Seconded and approved.  The approved budget is attached to the original copy of these minutes.

d.  Set next meeting date. January 11, 2019