The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on Monday, February 24, 2004 at 4:00 p.m. in the District Office, 10300 N. W. 11 Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.


            Present and constituting a quorum were:


            Robert D. Fennell                                 President

            William Eissler                                      Vice President

            Glen Hanks                                            Secretary


            Also present were:


            Gary L. Moyer                                       Superintendent

            Ed Goscicki                                             Vice President, Severn Trent

            Dennis Lyles                                          Attorney

            John McKune                                        Engineer

            Roger Moore                                           Engineer

            Dan Daly                                                 Staff

            Rich Hans                                               Staff

            Bill Joyce                                                Staff

            Donna Holiday                                      Staff

            Stella Loftus                                           Staff

            Steve Weinberg                                     Frank, Weinberg & Black, P.L.

            Peter Berlin                                           Lake Coral Springs Association


FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS             Roll Call

            Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order, and Mr. Moyer called the roll.


SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS         Approval of the Minutes of the January 12, 2004 Meeting

            Mr. Fennell stated that each Board member had received a copy of the minutes of the January 12, 2004 meeting and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.

            There not being any,


On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Fennell with all in favor the minutes of the January 12, 2004 meeting were approved as submitted.





THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS            Consideration of Award of Contract for Wells 4 & 5 Modification

            Mr. McKune stated I would like to table this item until March.  We will be taking bids this Thursday.


FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS        Status of Proposed Maintenance Agreement Concerning Lake Coral Springs

            Mr. Weinberg joined the meeting at this time.

            Mr. Berlin stated we do not believe in double taxation.  We have been paying taxes as well as the residents who live on the lake and the Homeowners Association, and the City of Coral Springs has been using our taxes to maintain the lake for “x” number of years, and everything has been good.

            Mr. Fennell stated there is a difference.  This is the Coral Springs Improvement District, which was separately funded and set up by the state for a couple of purposes.  One was for the water and sewer.  You and I paid money into this place, and we own this facility.  The second item is the water drainage and maintenance.  You and I also pay for those.  The City is a separate organization.  There are certain common rules that exist within that City, but they never paid any money into the District, and they have never helped us in many ways.  However, there has been a great deal of cooperation between the City and us, but we are set up financially different.  We are also elected by members within the District, and we all live within the District.  Our goal is to serve the people of the south part of Coral Springs within our District for sewer water and drainage and to make sure houses do not get flooded.

            Mr. Lyles stated let us remind ourselves how we got to this point.  It started with some applications for dock permits, which came before the Board.  One of the docks was on Lake Coral Springs proper, and another dock or two were proposed to be located on a canal that flows off of Lake Coral Springs.  In reviewing the records to address whether or not the Board would be in a position to refuse to permit dock structures, it was brought to light and pointed out to us that the Association owns the lake.  It is unlike any other body of water that we are familiar with in the District.  It is owned by a private Association.  Over the years as a matter of convenience and based upon a mistaken assumption that it was the same as other bodies of water throughout the District, staff maintained the waterway and did more than just aquatic control and ensured that the flowage is there so that the permit conditions are met.  Staff performed aesthetic matters such as cleaning up trash and coconuts and pulling boats out that get stuck, etc.  Do we have an easement?

            Mr. McKune responded we have a flowage easement.

            Mr. Hanks joined the meeting at this time.

            Mr. Lyles stated we have a flowage easement so that the water that is part of the entire surface water management system can go through there.  Our rights are limited to flowage.  With this having come to light, the Association was notified that we have no say in the construction of a dock.  It is up to the City of Coral Springs.  At the same time, we are not going to be able to maintain this anymore because we cannot use the funds that are derived from our assessments to maintain private property.  Mr. Weinberg was here with a representative once before and the way it was left was they were going to go back and digest all of this at the Association.  There was a proposal on the table that the Board had authorized whereby the District would be reimbursed; there would be no pass-through of anything other than straight costs of the maintenance that was being done there.  The idea was it could be done in that fashion less expensively than the Association hiring contractors to do these things.  I assumed he presented this to the Association, and their response is the letter contained in the agenda package, which seems to say that this is okay, but they do not think they should have to pay for any of this.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I agree with Mr. Lyles in his characterization of how we got here.  A unit owner requested to install a dock and when it came before the Association, we took a long, hard look at all the documentation and the fact that there were many other docks on the lake.  Here is where I disagree with Mr. Lyles: I think that the CSID has the right to object to the installation of the dock if it affects flowage.  Unless you can demonstrate that it affects the flowage, you have no approval rights in that area.  What came out of the last meeting with the engineers was that the six pylons that would hold up the dock would not effectively affect flowage.  The other concern the District had was that the docks could create and impede the flow of the water through the system if pieces of the dock became loose and dislodged and ended up in the catch basins.  There was a fair understanding that trees, lawn furniture and other moveable objects would make it into the lake long before pieces of the dock.  The lake was designed as part of the system of the District and while the District does not own the lake, it does not own many of the lakes that it takes care of.  It operates through easements and in this case, a flowage easement.  It is an easement in my perspective but called something different.  It is a use right of the property.  From the standpoint of approval or denial, clearly it appears from the documentation that if a dock affects flowage, the District could object to it.  Lastly, the people in the Lake Coral Springs area feel that they pay a fair share of CSID expenses as does everyone else who shares in the “system”.  I    It is hard for them to understand why all of a sudden after ten years, they are being asked to change that course of conduct.  It does not appear to be a mistake as characterized by Mr. Lyles although on your side of the table it may now be recognized as a different situation but from this side of the table (the Association members) the taxes have been paid by the residents; the lake was there and people pay a premium to be on the lake for purposes of the view.  The people in Lake Coral Springs would be happy to continue on the same relationship, but this does not seem to be the wish of the Board.  We seem to be in disagreement.

            Mr. Fennell asked what is our current policy for docks?

            Mr. Lyles responded we are not here today about docks.  It is not a matter that affects this issue one way or the other.  In other areas of CSID where we own the waterway, docks require a permit from the District, and the District’s policy has typically been not to permit these things.  In response, it was pointed out that we do not have any permitting authority because we do not own the property, and we ultimately agreed with that position.  We are past the dock issue.  However, to be fair, it has been demonstrated by engineers and by others on behalf of the applicants that the docks are built in a manner that is eminently safe and meets every applicable engineering and permitting standard that District staff is aware of.  Therefore, it is solely a matter for the City of Coral Springs to approve or disapprove; not this Board’s as it would be were it on another body of water within the District.  There is a substantial difference.  We do not own this lake.  The reason I characterize the previous level of maintenance as a mistake is staff has told you that it was under the impression that this body of water was owned by the District and through this sequence of events, it came to light that it is not owned by the District.  We have a flowage easement.

            Mr. Fennell asked who owns the lake?

            Mr. Weinberg responded Lake Coral Springs Community Association.

            Mr. Fennell asked is it one Association or are there a number of them?

            Mr. Weinberg responded one master Association, and there are approximately eight or nine neighborhoods that comprise the master around the lake.

            Mr. Fennell asked what kind of status do you have?

            Mr. Weinberg responded we are a not-for-profit corporation recognized by the State of Florida filed under Chapter 617.

            Mr. Fennell asked do you have certain kinds of legal responsibilities and duties?

            Mr. Weinberg responded we have a legal responsibility as a not-for-profit entity to have a Board election under the declaration of covenants and restrictions, which ties the entire parcel together.  Anyone who lives in that community has the responsibility to pay for their share of assessments regarding common area maintenance.

            Mr. Lyles stated I am sure that one of the enumerated powers of this Association is the ability to own and maintain property and to assess the residents within the communities for the ownership and maintenance expenses that occur as a result of that ownership.

            Mr. Fennell asked do we have any other cases like this within the District?

            Mr. Lyles responded no.

            Mr. Weinberg stated there is a perception that the District has control over “the waterways” within the confines of the District that it uses to flow its water through the system.  This relationship with the District was in place long before any houses were built.

            Mr. Fennell asked was the lake taken out for the purposes of the drainage of the system?

            Mr. Moyer responded no.  The lake was excavated for the purpose of generating fill for the development of Coral Springs.

            Mr. Weinberg stated my investigation deals with the applications made to the South Florida Water Management District and to the Army Corp of Engineers and the design of the District that the calculations included the water retention in that lake.

            Mr. Moyer stated that is true for the surface water management permit.

            Mr. Weinberg stated they use that lake as part of your application.

            Mr. Fennell asked did the taxpayers of this area pay for building that lake?

            Mr. Moyer responded no.

            Mr. Weinberg stated for the development of a section of homes under the concurrency laws, developers dredged the canals then dedicated them through easements or ownership to the District.  Although this is a different scenario, the way it came to be is no different than any other canal or lake in the District.  Here it was retained by WCI then given a flowage easement whereas in other areas, a whole easement was dedicated to the District.  The essence is the same in my opinion.

            Mr. Moyer stated the issue of storage and calculations is true.  The lake area is included in the stormwater management permit for retention and detention to meet South Florida Water Management District criteria, but the beneficiaries of that are the people of the residential and commercial properties around this area.  There is nothing unusual about that water body being included as storage.  In fact, if it were not included as storage, they would have to reproduce that amount of storage for the residential and commercial properties in the area.  Just because we used it in our calculations, I am not sure whether that is significant or not.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I do not think that number of homes would have required that much storage.  I am making an observation based on visualization.  It is a large lake.  I have seen communities that have the same number of homes with less storage.

            Mr. Moyer stated Mr. Berlin mentioned double taxation earlier.  I do not want you to think this is a double taxation issue.  Most of your communities are gated and private.  You pay for the operation and maintenance of those gated private roadways because you chose to make it and keep it private, and there is benefit for doing that, but the public does not have access.  If the public is not treated equally, then there is a difference.  Clearly in this case, the public is not treated equally.  The public cannot do the things in Lake Coral Springs that they may be able to do in other areas of the system.  This is the difference between public and private.

            Mr. Berlin stated the public can access the lake by boat.  There are no restrictions.

            Mr. Weinberg stated it is used for the public because everybody benefits from the use of the water flowage.  If you are going to talk about the surface rights as Mr. Moyer talks about, that is one issue—surface rights meaning boats.  If you are talking about all the way to the bottom of the lake and the capacity that the lake holds and where the water goes, it seems like it was integral to the water management system of the CSID so I think it has public benefit.  I do not see the difference, and this is the problem.  No one can come up with an answer.  I do not understand why we have to pay for it.  The biggest problem I have is the concept that the CSID was there long before any homes were there so every resident who bought into the community does not have a line item on the Lake Coral Springs budget for lake maintenance because it has always been part of the CSID.  If I start adding a line item, it will be a nightmare for us.  What are our constituents going to say?  Why are we paying for lake maintenance?  We should not be paying for CSID taxes then.

            Mr. Fennell stated if you did not want to pay those taxes, then you would have your own drainage canal.

            Mr. Weinberg stated the homeowners’ point is that they moved into a community and paid a premium to have visualization of the lake.  They got what they paid for.  The lake was part of the District.

            Mr. Fennell stated they did not pay the people of Coral Springs.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I am not suggesting they did.  I am simply suggesting what their perception is.  Peoples’ perception goes a long way.  Their perception is they have been paying taxes on it for over ten years through the District as a non ad valorem assessment.  It is our fiduciary obligation.  Mr. Berlin is here as a fiduciary as much as this Board.

            Mr. Moyer stated this is the issue.  These gentlemen sit here as a fiduciary for the rest of the residents who paid these assessments for CSID.  It almost comes down to a legal issue of whether we can spend monies that we raise in the form of non ad valorem assessments on private property.

            Mr. Hanks asked on the assessments to the residents of the CSID, is there a premium paid by those who are on the water?

            Mr. Moyer responded no.

            Mr. Hanks stated many people in the District pay the same amount and do not get any benefit other than the same flood protection from the lakes and canals, nor do they get a visual benefit.

            Mr. Weinberg stated most people understand that a house on a canal has more value.  You are always paying a premium for the visualization of living on water.

            Mr. Fennell stated you were the one who suggested we had no control over those docks and should let it go.  You said there was the possibility of that and that we should not even be here.

            Mr. Weinberg stated the record will reflect that you have no control over the docks’ approval.

            Mr. Fennell stated I believe you were the one who brought up the issue that we have no control over that waterway.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I do not know if I would say that.  I think you have control to the extent it effects flowage.  We would not have the right to block the flowage through the culverts.

            Mr. Fennell stated if a dock had the potential of blocking flowage, would we have the right to deny that dock space?

            Mr. Weinberg responded if the engineers can come up with a reasonable justification.

            Mr. Fennell stated deciding ownership is the key issue.  Can the Board spend money on maintenance or beautification?

            Mr. Lyles responded if the District owns the canal or the lake, it has the right and duty to maintain it.  If the District possesses nothing more than a mere flowage easement over a lake so that the water goes through it, then it has the right to insist upon its flowage not being obstructed and the only “right” that can be enforced is going to court for an injunction or complaining to City Hall about the issuance of a permit that would adversely impact flowage.  However, the Board cannot deny a permit for the construction of docks.

            Mr. Eissler asked do we have the right to continue spending money on a private lake if we do not own it?

            Mr. Berlin stated you have to ensure flowage through the lake.

            Mr. Moyer responded your area is a high maintenance item for us.  I agree that we need to make sure that that area does not flood, but what level do we go in and maintain algae, coconuts and other things that do not have any affect on the flowage of that lake?

            Mr. Berlin responded I believe alga has some effect on the flowage because it would trap debris coming through the waterway.

            Mr. Moyer stated ultimately, it ends up getting into our system and at that point, we would have to maintain it but to spend time and effort going into the lake area proper to maintain aesthetic issues is what we are struggling with.  Do we have the right to spend people’s money on this?  If you build a condominium under the South Florida Water Management District criteria, they dig retention ponds that are privately owned.  The District does not spend your money on that private property to maintain those retention ponds; the condominium Association maintains them.

            Mr. Hanks asked if we saw the need to go in and do something to maintain the flowage, does that easement give us the right to do so?

            Mr. Moyer responded I think it does.  If the lake was full of weeds, we would treat it because that is going to be a flowage issue at some point.                                                                         Mr. Fennell asked what about liability?

            Mr. Lyles responded it is not a problem for the District in this instance because unlike your other water bodies, if an injury occurs to someone or their property as a result of negligent maintenance, it is a liability exposure in other parts of the community.  You are not the owner of this particular lake.  The only thing that is giving us exposure is our voluntary undertaking of maintenance activities.

            Mr. Moyer asked do you have an opinion on what they can or cannot do?

            Mr. Lyles responded to be consistent with your previous policies and the adoption of budgets over numerous years and the purposes to which you expended the funds that you raise through this assessment process, you have only knowingly expended those funds on water bodies and canals that the District owns.  You have unknowingly undertaken to provide this level of maintenance on a water body that is privately owned.  With this having come to light, I do not see how you can continue maintenance at this level.  You have an obligation to ensure that the District’s flowage rights are not impeded.  You are in a difficult position to knowingly continue to provide that level of service on privately owned property.  You need to reduce dramatically what it is you are doing so that it only is an activity that you and staff are comfortable relates to the flowage that you have the right to expect over this body of water or you need to have some sort of funding mechanism with the private property owner.

            Mr. Hanks asked how frequently do we apply herbicides to the regular canals?

            Mr. Joyce responded approximately three to four times a year for aquatics.  We spent a great deal of time picking up coconuts and debris and rescuing boats.

            Mr. Eissler asked do you receive these complaints from people who live on the canals?

            Mr. Joyce responded we have received complaints in the past.

            Mr. Hanks asked is three to four times a year consistent throughout the District?

            Mr. Joyce responded yes.

            Mr. Weinberg stated l would like to cite the actual easement document.   Please confirm that ownership does not have to be simple.  It can be a use right.  This is a matter of law.  It can be an easement.  Ownership does take the form of easements many times.

            Mr. Lyles stated many of the easements are canal easements.

            Mr. Weinberg stated one easement states, “The Grantor hereby grants unto the Grantee and successors and their assigns an easement for the construction and maintenance of a canal for the water drainage and flowage over, upon, and under that certain land”.  The other side goes on to say (this is where Florida National Properties (WCI) granted to the CSID in 1990), “The Grantor is the owner of the land (FNP), the Grantee (CSID) acknowledges that the property is an integral part of the water management design of the west basin of the CSID”.  Back in 1990 when the property was dedicated under this “Grant of Easement” (title of document), it is part of the integral part of the system.  I do not believe that you have to own fee simple in order to have the rights to maintain or the obligation to maintain or the ability to maintain.  I think an easement is an ownership right in Florida law.  I ensure title all the time based on easements.  The easement on the main part of the lake in paragraph four goes on to say, “Grantee, on behalf of itself, further hereby consents to the grantor the intended conveyance of the title to the property owners improvement situated on it and to be situated therein, including the properties owners Association for the sole and exclusive members and not for the public”.  Therefore, when the Grant of Easement was taken, there was an acknowledgement before the Associations were built that there would be an Association, but you had the rights to use the property for your catch basins.  There will be many angry people, and I do not know how to make this go away.

            Mr. Moyer stated it is a legal issue more than it is a policy issue of the Board.

            Mr. Weinberg stated the District did sign off on easements as an acceptance.

            Mr. Hanks stated I agree that that lake is an integral part of the CSID.

            Mr. Weinberg stated paragraph seven of the easement goes on to say, “the Grantee by acceptance of this easement hereby agrees for itself its successors or assigns to maintain the property”.

            Mr. Moyer stated then you misled this Board when you came before us for the docks.  If maintenance is applied, then you would be subject to the standard operating policies of this District.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I forwarded every document to Mr. Lyles, and I said to the Board every step of the way that unless the docks affect the flowage aspect we own the property.  I do not believe the approval or denial rights are held with the District.

            Mr. Lyles asked does that easement say we are responsible for maintenance?

            Mr. Weinberg responded yes.  It says, “By acceptance of this easement, the Grantee (District) agrees to maintain the property”.  However, at what level do you maintain?

            Mr. Joyce stated we did an inspection of the lakes today.  There are no aquatic weeds in the lake at this time, nor does it require a treatment.  There are several hundred coconuts in the lake.  In the past, we have removed the coconuts because that is what we would do because we were under the assumption that it was ours to maintain.

            Mr. Berlin asked can coconuts cause obstructions in the channels that would affect flowage?

            Mr. Fennell stated your lake does not flood because we have two pump stations, which drains everything.

            Mr. Weinberg stated one of the things we spoke about at the last meeting was having those docks inspected every other year after the first five years.  A nominal fee of $100 or $150 to pay an inspection fee is reasonable.  These are the things we can put into place, which could create revenue for the District and give a level of assurance that the docks are being maintained properly; otherwise, we will take the responsibility in the agreement to enforce the unit owner to remove the dock.

            Mr. Fennell stated I redirect staff to come back and see what would have to happen in order for us to legally be able to do this.

            Mr. Lyles stated you have heard reference to the master declaration and its master Association.  There is a set of homeowners documents, dated 1992, and Section 5.3 maintenance says, “The corporation (the Association) shall maintain the lake and the cost and expense of such maintenance, including the cost of the expense of aeration and applications of herbicides for aquatic weed control shall be an operating expense of the Association”.  With this reference to the Association acknowledging its responsibility to maintain this lake and this expense, we can take your direction to staff and revisit this.

            Mr. Fennell stated what is the Board’s sense?  My sense is that we cannot spend money on private property.

            Mr. Hanks stated retrieving coconuts should not be the District’s responsibility.  However, I feel better knowing that the District is controlling the application of pesticides and herbicides to the lake and controlling how often and which kinds of chemicals end up in our water supply system.  Although there have been restrictions for DRIs, etc., I have seen abuses on the amount of pesticide applications.  I do not want that to happen in this case.  I think we should keep control over the application of herbicides but cut back on surface cleanups.

            Mr. Eissler stated if Mr. Lyles can assure the Board that legally we can pay for the aquatic weed control of Lake Coral Springs, I would be in favor of that because it is part of the waterway and the entire system of the District.  It would behoove us to maintain the lake as far as weed and algae control, but I do not think we should be responsible for anything else.

            Mr. Fennell stated we need to see what can be done understanding that they are part of the District.  We would like to do whatever we can to work with the Association to meet a common ground as much as we can legally do.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I will make an effort to do some research and pass it on to Mr. Lyles for his consideration.


FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS            Consideration of Permit Requests

          A.      Wendy’s at 1475 North University Drive

          B.      Best Buy at Atlantic Crossings

            This item was deferred until the March meeting.


SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS            Consideration of Request of Staff to Implement Late Fees and Other Charges for the Utility System

            Mr. Moyer stated we are distributing a request to advertise a public hearing.  Currently, the District does not have any penalties or late fees, and there are a group of people in the District who play games in terms of letting their accounts become delinquent until we show up to turn the water off, and it is a recurring problem.  We think we can address this by instituting a late fee.  Currently we do not charge for estoppel letters, which staff takes the time to prepare.  Most places charge for the estoppel letters.  I suggest charging for this service.  The City charges $30; we recommend $25.  We also recommend making our return check fee policy consistent with the City of Coral Springs.  These items are changes to rates, fees and charges and need to be advertised as a public hearing.

            Mr. Hanks asked is there a way of setting up for direct deposit?

            Mr. Daly responded it is advertised on the back of your monthly bill.  In addition, we should have credit card payments set up in approximately 40 days.


On MOTION by Mr. Fennell seconded by Mr. Eissler with all in favor staff was authorized to advertise a public hearing to amend the rates, fees and charges for the utility system.


SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS      Consideration of a Request to Participate in the Annual Waterway Cleanup

            Mr. Moyer stated we have a request to participate in the Annual Waterway Cleanup.  We customarily contribute $2,500.


On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the request to participate in the annual waterway clean up in the amount of $2,500 was approved.


EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS         Staff Reports

            A.      Attorney

            Mr. Lyles stated I have an update on the codification bill in Tallahassee.  We were contacted during the past several weeks by the legislative bill drafting staff in Tallahassee.  They asked us to go beyond what we proposed in our codification bill, which was a strict compliance with the law to incorporate amendments over the years, and help them out with a reorganization of some of the issues related to liens and payment of assessments.  It is moving in the process, and they had a question about some of the 30-year old drafting in the original bill and asked us to give them a proposed rewrite of that section of the act, which we have done on Friday.

            I have nothing further from Representative Ritter’s staff or office regarding supplying a letter.


          B.      Engineer

                   1.       Monthly Water & Sewer Charts

            Mr. Moore stated Mr. Gonzalez, chief operator who worked for this District for 29 years and handled the charts, has passed away.  He was a dedicated employee.

            Mr. Fennell stated we thank him and his family for his years of dedication to the people of CSID, and we are sorry to hear about his passing.

                   2.       Update on Construction

            The Board scheduled a walk-thru at 3:00 p.m. on March 15, 2004.


          C.      Superintendent

Mr. Moyer introduced Mr. Goscicki to the Board and stated Mr. Goscicki was head of utilities in Broward County many years ago and now works for Severn Trent.  He is the regional vice president for utility operations, and he is also an engineer.  My role with Severn Trent is changing.  I will be working for Severn Trent on a consulting basis, although I plan to continue attending these meetings.  While it is a change in status, it is not a change in operating protocol within the company.

Mr. Fennell stated next month, I would like to review in general, staffing both from Severn Trent and our own internal staffing.  We should be doing this regularly anyway.


          D.      Complaints

            Mr. Joyce stated we have not received any complaints for the last two months.


NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS            Supervisors Requests and Audience Comments

            Mr. Hanks asked what is the update on the lightning protection?

            Mr. McKune responded we approved the project but are holding off on starting construction until we do the walk-through to make sure that these portions of the project will not interfere with each other.  We had a brief construction meeting with the lighting protection contractor, and he has agreed to delay bringing his men and materials on site.


TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS           Approval of Invoices


On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the invoices were approved.



            There being nothing further,


On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.










Glen Hanks                                                              Robert D. Fennell

Secretary                                                                  President