MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held Monday, June 18, 2001 at 4:00 P.M. in the District Office, 10300 N. W. 11 Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Robert Fennell President
Clint Churchill Secretary
Also present were:
Rhonda K. Archer Finance Director
Dennis Lyles Attorney
Donna Holiday Recording Secretary
John McKune Gee & Jenson
Roger Moore Engineer
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and Ms. Archer called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the May 21, 2001 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated that each Board member had received a copy of the minutes of the May 21, 2001 meeting and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.
There not being any,
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Acceptance of the Audit for Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2000
Ms. Archer stated there are three important letters in the audit in addition to the financial information. The first letter is on page 2 and is the Independent Auditor's Letter and the important paragraph is the third one where they state, in their opinion, the general purpose financial statements referred to above present fairly in all material respects, the financial position of the District as of September 30, 2000 and the results of the operations and cash flows of its water and sewer enterprise fund for the year then ended, in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. Toward the back of the book on page 20, is the report on compliance and internal control over financial reporting. Under compliance, the last sentence, the Auditors found that the results of their tests disclosed no instances of non-compliance required to be reported under general auditing standards. Under internal control over financial reporting, they noted no matters involving internal control over financial reporting and its operations that they consider to be material weaknesses. If they had comments for management that were related to immaterial weaknesses that would be found in the next letter on Page 24, which is called the management letter. In this letter they point out their prior year findings and whether they were resolved and the current year findings and their recommendations.
They found last year that between the months of April 1999 through September 1999, utility taxes payable were not paid to the City. This was the period of time we were converting from one computer to the other. The October and November utility taxes were paid to the City in December. In April 2000, the balance of the utility taxes payable were remitted to the City. Their recommendation was that we do this monthly and not in bulk. Now that we are on the new computer system and everybody is able to read the reports and they know how much they are supposed to write the check for, we are paying utility taxes on a monthly basis on the first of each month. We have corrected that problem.
The next item from the prior year was that there was a $12,450 difference in the amount of customer deposits reported in the general ledger compared with the balance carried on the utility billing system. There was a $59,000 difference in the amount of utility accounts receivable reported in the general ledger compared with the balance carried in the utility billing system. Those were reconciled and they now both agree. It was a problem between the utility billing system not merging with the general ledger system on our old computer. It was corrected when we went to the new computer because they are integrated. The billing system talks to the accounting system on our new system whereas on the old system they did not talk to each other. If you made a correction to someone's bill due to a bad meter reading on the billing system, that information did not automatically get carried over to the accounting system. On the new computer, all of that is integrated and gets carried over.
Under current year findings, the cash balance in the water and sewer checking account at September 30, 2000 was $1,029,434. The water and sewer checking account does not earn any interest. The State Board of Administration account earned between 5.33% and 6.61% during the year. The water and sewer checking account receives daily deposits from the collection of water and sewer revenues. Generally, monthly collections exceed monthly expenditures. Their recommendation was that the District would determine a reasonable balance of operating cash and invest the excess with the State Board. We receive very large deposits from connection fees all of the time and we don't invest the funds daily. Based upon their recommendation we set up sweep accounts in all of our accounts so that the bank looks at our balances every day, sweeps out the excess money automatically and invests it. That works well. Even though it was $1 million the last day of the fiscal year, it is not always a million dollars. We get large deposit in sporadically and it didn't get invested immediately. We also determined how much we will keep in the sweep and how much we will send to the State Board so that we can earn the most interest that we can.
The next finding is that C.S.I.D. pays various expenses for other Districts and later bills them for reimbursement. Billings for reimbursement are currently running two months behind and they recommend that we re-examine the practice. They refer to it as advancing money and obtaining reimbursement from other Districts. As an example C.S.I.D. owns the copy machine and we charge the other Districts for copies they make on it. All of the Districts have to reimburse C.S.I.D. We have changed it and now we are going to run that through Severn Trent so Severn Trent is carrying the accounts receivable and C.S.I.D. isn't. We think that will keep the receivable off the C.S.I.D. books and not have them be out of pocket.
Mr. Fennell stated I am glad to see that Hoch, Frey & Zugman does that every year and gives us some things that we can improve upon.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Award of Contracts
A. 50 KW Trailer Mounted Electric Generator
Mr. Moore stated we put this out for bid and received sealed bids. When we put together the budget last year we noticed that we had no portable generators for the lift stations. I believe it will be beneficial to have this in place during the hurricane season. In the past we have used trash pumps but trash pumps don't supply electric, they can only transfer sewage from a lift station into a force main and they are not as efficient as a portable generator.
Mr. Fennell stated we have back-up systems here at the plant.
Mr. Moore responded that is correct. This is a portable generator to go to the various lift stations.
Mr. Churchill asked is there an advantage to having a local company? If we had a generator identical to the one in North Springs, we could be a back-up for each other.
Ms. Archer asked do the generators have to be identical to be used in both areas?
Mr. Moore responded I talked extensively to the low bidder. It will perform exactly the same. It will look slightly different. The specs will make it perform exactly the same. The wiring configuration will be exactly the same so they can be used between other utilities with the same facilities. My intent is that we will share it with North Springs if we need to. It is not a local manufacturer. There is no maintenance associated with the contract. We will probably enter into a maintenance agreement with the provider of the North Springs generator.
Mr. Fennell stated we don't have anything like this at the present time.
Mr. Moore responded that is correct.
Mr. Fennell asked what happens if the electricity goes out in Ramblewood? The lift station will no longer work.
Mr. Moore stated that is correct.
Mr. Fennell asked what are the consequences if the power is off for 12 hours?
Mr. Moore responded if we can't get out there with a trash pump and pump it from the lift station into a force main, you can have a back-up.
Mr. Fennell stated suppose we have a hurricane and here at the plant and are doing fine but if the lift stations don't work, nothing is coming in.
Mr. Moore stated depending on the number of lift stations, we may recommend that you buy a couple more of the portable generators. The crews will go around and pump down one lift station at a time and do it on a rotating cycle. During a bad storm you will need to get the stations pumped down. You need the manpower and equipment to get them pumped down. You may need three crews and three generators to get around to the 45 lift stations. You have to start somewhere. There is a sequence to go through.
Mr. Churchill stated I have no doubt that we need at least one. I have no problem buying it.
Mr. Fennell stated I agree but I want you to go back and assume that we have a three day power outage and come back with a plan on how to handle all of those lift stations with the equipment you have.
Mr. Moore stated no amount of manpower can handle that at this point in time. If all 45 lift stations were down, we would have to bring in extra manpower and generators. Depending on which section it is located, a lift station can store from six to ten hours of sewage. That is just sewage. If you have heavy rains and infiltration, you may have other problems in that general location. This is going to be for the intermediate storms and power outages to one or two stations. This is not going to take care of Hurricane Andrew.
Mr. Fennell stated I am thinking more of a hurricane that just brushes past such as Hurricane David and we are out of power for two or three days.
Mr. Moore responded you may have four stations out that can be easily handled with a unit such as the one we are proposing.
Mr. Fennell stated I want you to come back with what we are capable of and for how long.
Mr. Moore stated you are asking what one unit will handle.
Mr. Fennell responded that is correct but even though we spend a lot of money on equipment at the plant, we need to get the sewage to the plant.
Mr. Churchill asked are you asking how many generators we really need?
Mr. Fennell responded I thought we were set for disaster but if the power went out in a quarter of the area, which is 12 lift stations, I think we would be in serious trouble for a day.
Mr. Churchill asked do you mean without this generator?
Mr. Fennell responded I think this generator is a drop in the bucket. I want to know what kind of disaster we can handle and keep water flowing and keep the sewer going before the house becomes untenable to live in. When a sewer backs up you can't live in your house.
Mr. Moore stated if you get more than 10 lift stations down, with just our present manpower, even if we pulled every man we had, going from station to station we would need four generators to continuously pump them down.
Mr. Fennell asked where do you pump this into?
Mr. Moore responded into the force main. The pump down time on a lift station shouldn't be more than 15 minutes.
Mr. McKune stated that depends on how much sewage is backed up into the system.
Mr. Fennell stated I think you could come up with the number with a few hours of work.
Mr. Moore stated I can come back to the next meeting with a report. You have to look at how much manpower you have to have to go around.
Mr. Fennell stated from my standpoint it is how big of a disaster can we take and for how long. The whole District is out for X amount of time how long can we handle that? It sounds like if the power is out for more than ten or twelve hours, we are in trouble.
Mr. Moore stated I would say ten or twelve hours.
Mr. Fennell stated that is one parameter. Then you can say half the District. You need to define the problem which is one that we have not looked at before and then the possible solutions.
Mr. Gonzales stated in the water plant we have three wells that can supply about 2,100 gallons per minute. If we have a major storm event, and trees fall over and water lines break, there is no way we would run out of water within four or five days, depending on the severity.
Mr. Fennell stated I believe you are in much better shape than the incoming sewage.
Mr. Churchill stated I think it would be a good idea to talk to the suppliers and say we are going to buy one, but if we buy three, what is the price.
Mr. Fennell stated Mr. Moore may come back and say in order to do it right we need ten portable pumps and ten power stations and a way to get to each one of these crews in order to prevent a disaster.
Mr. Moore stated I will put together a list.
Mr. Fennell asked are there different levels of service from the power company?
Mr. Moore responded this utility is a priority. Hospitals are first and utilities are second. This particular plant has two feeds to it. Our North Springs plant has a single feed.
Mr. Fennell asked how are the lift station pumps powered? Not from this location.
Mr. Moore responded whatever the power is running through that particular subdivision where the lift station is located.
Mr. Fennell stated those are the kinds of things we need to know and we may end up saying it is too much money and not worth spending or we may decide that there is a need for a certain number of generators.
Mr. Churchill stated the trash pumps are still available. We are talking about two things. One, we are talking about this proposal which we both agree we should do and then we are talking about coming back with a study saying how we become better equipped.
Mr. Moore stated this is just a beginning. I will bring back a report but we probably cannot plan for a disaster. We have trash pumps but I don't believe they are efficient enough to get from station to station quick enough to get the lift stations pumped down. They will help. We may find that we can handle a 25% emergency with three pumps and maybe next year or the year after we budget a couple more or work it out with North Springs that they have two and we have two because it may be that one will get power on before the other.
Mr. Churchill stated maybe you can come up with a reasonable scenario. How much of an emergency can we handle with three generators and the trash pumps that we already have.
Mr. Fennell stated there are a lot of ways to approach this but it is a good issue to work on.
Mr. Moore stated I will work it backwards from what can be handled per generator and go up to if the whole District were out for three days and what it would take.
Mr. Fennell stated I can't believe someone has not thought of this already.
Mr. McKune stated I think this will be a useful exercise and we will all learn quite a bit from it. There is quite a bit of storage available in the wastewater collection system which he will take into account when he talks about numbers and hours. The ultimate bottom line is since all of the homes are set 18" above grade, in the ultimate disaster and this is something the agencies recognize and acknowledge, once this gravity sewer system fills up, the manhole lids will pop a little bit, the excess wastewater will go out into the swale and down the storm sewers and will end up in the canal system. That will prevent the disaster that you envision of backing up into the homes. There will always be a storm sewer inlet in close proximity to the low manhole in the system and all the District staff has to do is go out there with a big barrel of HTH and broadcast it around in those rather limited areas. If it is a rainfall event causing the problem, it will soon be washed out through the storm water pump stations. The old saw that dilution is the solution to pollution is very true and that is what happens during a hurricane. It has been thought of and that is the realistic way of solving the problem. What Mr. Moore is doing with this emergency generator is an excellent stopgap, a good safeguard and prevents the occasional overflow because of individual station malfunctions or a tree falling across a line. I don't believe in the last 25 or 30 years we have had the problem of a backup into a home and we have had some extreme rainfall events.
Mr. Gonzales stated we have never had anything major.
Mr. McKune stated that is the ultimate out. We want to bring the wastewater in and treat it at the plant but if we can't keep up with the system, it gets to a point and shuts off automatically. We would rather it didn't do that but it is available.
Mr. Fennell stated I think it is worth a few hours of Mr. Moore's time to go through this exercise and see what can possibly be done.
Mr. McKune stated 25 or 30 years ago when lift stations were designed and permitted for construction, all lift stations had an overflow at the top with a pipe into the nearest canal. We no longer do that because it is an explicit pollution hazard but they know it is going to happen in the way I described it.
B. Underwater Diving Bids for Culvert Cleaning
Ms. Archer stated we have different culverts on a rotating basis that we clean. We usually get four or five bids but this year we received only one bid from Industrial Divers. They are also the company that did the inspection report and identified the condition of the culverts. The only bid for C.S.I.D. was $26,900.
Mr. Fennell asked how much was it last year?
Ms. Archer responded everybody always asks that question but it was different culverts last year with different problems. You really can't compare the two because that was last year's culverts and these are different.
Ms. Holiday stated the law changed and they had to add one diver to be in compliance with OSHA standards and that raised the price.
Mr. Churchill stated it doesn't look like too many people want the job which may raise the price.
Ms. Archer stated I had Mr. Schooley call around to find out why we didn't get more bids. We have five people on our bid list that we send the bid information to. All the people he talked to said they were busy somewhere else, one is in South Carolina and they are not doing any work in the area so they are not bidding here. They are all too busy in other areas. In one of our other Districts, we have an engineer who has a list of about 20 different companies that do this type of work and he will give me that list and when we put this out for bid next year we will send the bid information to everyone on that list.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Change Orders
A. Change Order No. 1 with Intrastate Construction Corporation for the Water Treatment Plant Improvements Contract for a Net Increase of $7,650.03
Mr. McKune stated this is change order no. 1 on the water plant contract. The current contract amount is $1,447,502. This change order is an increase in the contract amount of $7,650.03. This represents the insertion of a new 16" butterfly valve into a space in the high pressure distribution piping that used to be occupied by an inoperative 16" flowmeter. We have two new flowmeters being installed and the reason we need to insert this new 16" butterfly valve is that immediately adjacent to this valve pit which was pre-existing, we have an existing 24" valve that can no longer be repaired. Instead of trying to spend a lot more money removing and trying to repair the inoperative valve, we will leave that vale fully open in the line and install this valve immediately ahead of it. This is a good price and will save approximately $40,000 over the alternative of repairing the existing valve.
B. Change Order No. 2 with Intrastate Construction Corporation for the Wastewater Treatment Facility Phase 1B Improvements Contract for a Net Decrease of $5,400.00
This item was pulled from the agenda.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Questions and Comments on the Proposed General Fund Budget
Ms. Archer stated this is an opportunity for the Board to ask questions. Next month is our public hearing. We distributed the budget at the last meeting and asked you to study it and this month you have an opportunity to ask questions and we will adopt it next month. On July 1, we will get the certified number of assessable units from the Property Appraiser. We anticipate that will go up a little bit which will bring our assessments down a little bit. We are still fine-tuning the capital improvement program which we anticipate will drop the assessment down a little. We are trying to keep the assessments at what they were last year but it may have to go up a little bit.
Mr. Fennell stated most of the increase is coming from the reserves we are setting up.
Ms. Archer stated most of the operating categories remain the same. It is the reserves that are going up a little. By July 1, we will have the number of units and I will send out a package so that you will have enough time to review it prior to the public hearing.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
Mr. Lyles stated since we have had discussions in a couple of contexts today regarding possible emergencies, we received a request from the State of Florida that this District execute a State-wide Mutual Aid Agreement with the Department of Community Affairs. I spoke briefly with the engineer before the meeting began and he also has some information. It is a combined legal and engineering issue. Essentially, it is an agreement by which we would agree to be a participant if called upon and requesting aid if we have an emergency that will allow us to call upon other agencies to help us with personnel, equipment and things of that nature during any kind of FEMA type disaster. In the past it has just been cities and counties entering into these agreements with one another and the State of Florida and they have now opened it up to special districts like this one and they sent a proposed agreement and asked that it be signed and returned to the State if you desire to participate. It is not mandatory and it is a basic agreement that does what I said and that is we will be obligated if called upon and we have the resources to do it to help out in an emergency and more importantly for us we would be able to call upon other agencies such as the city, North Springs, the county, anyone who has the equipment and personnel to help us in an emergency. The expense of the personnel and equipment is borne by the requesting agency. If you don't agree on what the bill should be, there is a mechanism for binding arbitration spelled out in the agreement. It is a way that the financial part is put on hold until the emergency is over and then you figure out how to pay for it and the proper amount.
Mr. Fennell asked what is the obligation part?
Mr. Lyles responded if we have equipment and personnel that are needed to help with the emergency, for an example if North Springs has that power outage you talked of earlier, and we have the emergency generator and equipment to make it work, they will call us and we will send our generator and maybe our personnel and once the emergency is over we will send them a bill for what it cost us to provide that help.
Mr. Fennell asked what happens if our power goes out while we are helping them?
Mr. Lyles responded if we have our own emergency that comes up in the meantime or if we are already over stressed, you are not obligated to go elsewhere with your personnel and equipment if you have your own emergency. This is if you have the capability and you are able to provide it.
Mr. Fennell asked when do we have to sign this agreement?
Mr. Lyles responded this month. You can take the formal action during the meeting authorizing execution. It is set up to be executed by the Manager. If, after reviewing it you don't have any further questions and you are satisfied with it and I will tell you that it is a standard form that all the agencies around the State are executing, then the Manager will sign it and send it on to the State of Florida with the necessary background information filled in. If for some reason someone on the Board has further questions that we can't answer on a phone call, we can bring it back next month.
Mr. Fennell asked if we decide six months from now that we want to get out of this, can we do that?
Mr. Lyles responded it rolls forward for a year and then you have an obligation to notify the State at least 60 days before the end of the current year that you want to withdraw, otherwise it will be automatically renewed.
Mr. Moore stated it is my understanding that we are talking about FEMA money which is what I applied for, for all of the Districts after Hurricane Irene, and you are not eligible for FEMA money unless a document of this nature is signed.
Mr. Lyles stated it is all under the umbrella of FEMA. whether or not you would be prohibited from making a request to FEMA if you are not one of the participating parties, I can't say. It doesn't seem to say that on its face. FEMA regulations and State regulations may say we are not going to process your application unless you are participating in the state-wide emergency act. Each agency enters into an agreement with the Department of Community Affairs. FEMA gets administered state by state.
Mr. Churchill stated municipalities are already doing it. We are just entering into something that is already up and working.
Mr. Lyles stated in the past it was limited to cities and counties and they have now expanded it to special districts.
Mr. Fennell stated it is another form of insurance that we were just talking about. The more you can call upon a wider range of resources to fix a problem, the safer you are.
Mr. Lyles stated our codification bill that we prepared has been vetoed by the Governor. I have not yet received a copy of the Governor's veto message regarding Coral Springs Improvement District. He typically puts something in writing and distributes it expressing the reason for the veto. He also vetoed a bill that came out of the local legislative delegation to enact amendments to the North Springs Improvement District's method of electing Supervisors and he did issue a written veto message in connection with that bill and his explanation was that the State Statutes, specifically Chapter 189 provided a method for the local residents and voters to petition and to enact change to the method of electing Supervisors. If it passes, it automatically goes to five member boards with one person one vote conducted by the Supervisor of Elections office. That being his formal, expressed reason for vetoing the N.S.I.D. bill, I have to believe that is probably the same message we will receive regarding the C.S.I.D. bill. It means a couple of things. One, we will now, in order to continue to comply with State law regarding codification of special acts into one current special act for each District, be filing another bill next year on behalf of C.S.I.D. It will be the same bill and we will see what happens. There may be other things in the legislative hopper next year that you will have to take as they come about. I can't tell you that I have heard anything or that anyone has announced any plans to do anything for the coming year.
I have a note from Mr. Miller and he has expressed the idea that he would like to consider starting the process to amend the special act to change the method of electing members of the Board of Supervisors. The answer to the question at least for now in his absence is, the Board cannot do it on its own. You can't pass a motion and amend the act. You have to follow the procedure outlined in Chapter 189, F.S. with the petition of 10% of the registered voters signing and go through a referendum and an election and that is a way to do it. I assume Mr. Miller will want to talk about this further at the next meeting but he did want his feelings on the subject expressed at this meeting and as I understand it, those are his feelings.
As an aside, the County also had a bill passed for appropriation of $100,000 to fund a county-wide study on consolidation under the County's umbrella of special districts doing water management functions and that was also vetoed.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
2. Update on Construction
Mr. McKune stated the water and sewer charts are included in your agenda package. You might notice there is a little more water use during the month than the previous two months. Most of the rain for that month occurred in a very short period of time. If you look at the previous two months of water use, you will see they were down somewhat. Three months is about as long as you can keep people on water restrictions on a voluntary basis.
Ms. Archer stated after the Governor's veto I took another stab at our newsletter and I have the printer typesetting this now and bringing me a proof. If you have any changes besides what is in here let me know. I had to change a lot of things because we talked about a proposed bill and now we are talking about a vetoed bill.
Mr. Fennell asked when do you need the changes?
Ms. Archer responded by next Wednesday and if I don't hear from you by then, we will have it printed and we will get it out in the mail. We also are in the process of sending out the water letters where we have to tell you what is in the water.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor's Requests and Audience Comments
Mr. Churchill stated this morning as I was leaving the condo, I discovered water coming up through the pavement and I called and talked to Ms. Messenger and it was a delight talking with her. She didn't know me but she immediately did what she had to do, the guy was there within 20 minutes to see whether it was our problem or the District's problem and she called me at the office within 10 minutes after that. She is efficient, cheerful and a pleasure to talk to. I never had occasion to call in before but it was great.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Invoices
Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Clint Churchill Robert Fennell
• add Mutual aid agreement to agreement list
• give diver portion of minutes to Nick
• give Dot the Supervisors comments section.