MINUTES OF MEETING
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on Monday, October 17, 2005 at 4:05 p.m. at the District Office, 10300 NW 11th Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Bob Fennell President
Bill Eissler Vice President
Glen Hanks Secretary
Also present were:
Pete Witschen Severn Trent Services
Ed Goscicki Severn Trent Services
Jean Rugg Severn Trent Services
Janice Larned Severn Trent Services
Scott James Severn Trent Services
Mike Acosta Severn Trent Services
Mel Entus Severn Trent Services
Dennis Lyles Attorney
John McKune Engineer
Mr. Witschen called the meeting to order and called the roll.
There is an addition to the agenda to include the drainage permit request for Amera 1800 Plus, which was continued from the last meeting.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the September 19, 2005 Meeting
Mr. Witschen stated each Board member received a copy of the September 19, 2005 minutes and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.
Mr. Eissler stated on page 10, the minutes reflect Severn Trent saving the District $350,000 plus opportunities for additional savings. Where are the savings?
Mr. Goscicki responded we propose to take on the administrative, staff, HR, IT and accounting tasks to save the District on paying salaries.
Mr. Eissler stated those do not add up to $350,000. The minutes reflect savings of $150,000 in the management of the District, which I can relate to.
Mr. Goscicki stated the $350,000 savings were identified given our price comparison to the current budget.
Mr. Eissler stated the minutes also reflect the fee of $219,000 includes chemicals, maintenance and sludge disposal. It cannot include those items.
Mr. Goscicki stated these items are included in the operations. The $350,000 was only an estimate of what we think we will be able to save the District over the current budget. We have not fine tuned this estimate to an exact number but went through a price proposal taking on all of those responsibilities.
Mr. Hanks stated there is a total operating budget of $8,650,000. On page 10, Ms. Mellis, Mr. Murray, Ms. Rugg, Mr. Zilmer, Mr. Daly and Mr. Hyche should be grouped as Severn Trent employees.
Mr. Fennell stated on page 21, in the sentence, “what I want is good sewer systems, water systems or my canals”, the word “not” should be added before “to flood”.
Mr. Eissler stated on page 13, “Sunshine Involvement” should be “Sunshine Improvement”.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Acceptance of the Audit for Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2004
Mr. Eissler stated the audit for fiscal year 2004 was completed on December 17, 2004 but should have been presented to the Board in March.
Mr. Goscicki stated it may have been presented as a draft but our records do not show it was formally accepted by the Board.
Mr. Eissler stated a new audit is going to be due in two months.
Mr. Goscicki stated the same auditor was working on the audits for NSID, which was not completed.
Mr. Hanks stated the audit comes from the financial reporting for this month for items occurring in fiscal year 2004. I do not know if anyone is aware we are running a shortfall on our water and sewer revenues of approximately $280,000. I checked with Mr. Daly as far as what has been billed and in September of 2004, the water revenue was $730,000. The average water and sewer revenue is $300,000. This was due to one month being swaggered and no other months under the order of magnitude of billing. As a result, our revenue increased by $400,000, which is reflected in the budget for fiscal year 2004/2005 as well as 2005/2006. We will start having problems if the revenue number is incorrect.
Mr. Witschen stated I would be happy to prepare an analysis.
Mr. Goscicki stated it sounds like there was an error in the accounts receivable.
Mr. Eissler stated something happened with the accounting.
Mr. Fennell stated we are in much better shape than we used to be. I am pleased to see a balance sheet detailing our operating expenses. Assets for construction and progress are not assets until construction is completed.
Mr. Goscicki stated there is conjecture on my part but it could be as we are making partial payments against projects and logging them as construction in progress and assets.
Mr. Fennell stated assets are either cash or what is on hand.
Mr. Witschen stated it can become an asset when supplies are delivered and paid for.
Mr. Fennell stated we look at the long and short-term liabilities from a business standpoint. Our bonds are payable. We do not do much in the way of short term payments. I am not sure if Contributed Capital is the balance for the funds we have available but I understand the terms. I am just trying to understand how it applies to us. We have fund equity, which would be our profit.
Mr. Hanks asked why are the assets grouped with fund equity?
Mr. Fennell responded from a business standpoint, the people you borrow the money from operate this facility is in fact a liability. The residents then own this facility as a company. The net worth of the company is $30,000,000, with one exception, which is to the account for depreciation.
Mr. Goscicki stated in my governmental experience, most governments do not account for depreciation.
Mr. Witschen stated I attended a seminar a couple of weeks ago for GASB procedures where I was told you are required to book depreciation as a disclosure.
Mr. Entus stated this is part our Sinking Fund, where a utility has a life of 30 years. You are required by law to have repair and replacement monies in the reserves.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a good thing GASB is coming because it gives you better accounting on assets from 30 years ago.
Mr. Witschen stated you also do not want to shock the investors, which invest without reinvesting back into depreciation.
Mr. Fennell stated I appreciate having the balance sheet but there needs to be some amendments. I would like to invite Ms. Walker or Ms. Janice Larned to the next meeting to answer some of our questions. There is also a revenue issue in regards to the operating statement.
Mr. Hanks asked why is the sewer revenue down?
Mr. Eissler stated it should run with the water. If your water revenues are down, the sewer revenues are down.
Mr. Goscicki stated there are three components; irrigation only and combined water and sewer.
Mr. Eissler asked is this an accounting error?
Mr. Goscicki responded the financial statements are cash based, showing actual revenue. In many Districts, towards the end of the year on the expense side, we always show the actual revenues before they are spent, even though you have encumbered the funds and issued the Purchase Order. We will not know the true amount until the check is cut. There may be some funds on the revenue side from the utility bills but they have not cleared the system. We will verify this.
Mr. Fennell stated first we need to find out what is happening with the revernues.
Mr. Goscicki stated the three sheets I sent to the Board were provided by Mr. Daly.
Mr. Fennell stated the proposed budget is $8,100 for the new year.
Mr. Witschen stated we are equalizing the actuals for last year.
Mr. Fennell stated the question is what happened to the revenues over the last year.
Mr. Hanks stated the three components of revenue are irrigation, water and sewer and water, which are broken down into fiscal year 2003/2004, 2004/2005.
Mr. Fennell stated this shows the water revenue are down.
Mr. Hanks stated from October through September, you have $300,000 in water revenue, with the exception of September 2004, which was $729,000 or $400,000 over the average. October is low in 2004 and 2005.
Mr. Fennell stated I cannot believe we only have revenues of $76,000 in October as we had revenues of $729,000 last September.
Mr. Witschen stated I would like to look at the financials for September of 2003 to see what is going on between the two months.
Mr. Goscicki stated at the end of fiscal year 2003/2004, we had higher water revenues, which were carried over into our budget for 2004/2005. However, we have a shortfall in our water revenues for fiscal year 2004/2005, which carried through our projected revenue for fiscal year 2005/2006. If we continue to have the same water consumption, we will have a budget shortfall in 2005/2006.
Mr. Eissler stated in fiscal year 2003/2004, the revenue was $76,000.
Mr. Witschen stated if you exclude the September revenue with the extremely low amount and the October high revenue amount, the average is $316,000.
Mr. Hanks stated we need to look at where the problem originated. This does not make sense.
Mr. Fennell stated it looks like in the year 2003/2004, someone pulled a great deal of money into September.
Mr. Witschen stated nevertheless, it should be straightforward. We need to know whether this is caused by pumping, billing or accounting errors. It sounds like an accounting issue because they are trying to close out the books as of September 30th and perhaps they are anticipating incorrectly.
Mr. Goscicki stated I just spoke with Mr. Daly and it was exactly as we discussed. For October and last year’s revenue, the revenue was billed in September but not collected until October or even early November. It was billed in September but not trued up yet.
Mr. Hanks stated I hope this is merely a case of posting early because the worst case scenario is we cut our projected surplus in half this year.
Mr. Witschen asked was it a different way of accounting? The past two Octobers have been historically low, while this September was not historically high. I need to get you the answer and will do so within the next few days. I will see whether we accounted for it differently or were required to.
Mr. Hanks stated there should not be any great discrepancy in October versus September. I read this as pulling money in from September from October, which then created a shortfall for the next fiscal year.
Mr. Fennell stated it is not as bad as 2004/2005. The question is whether we have a revenue shortage or an accounting error. It looks like an accounting error.
Mr. Witschen stated this is one of the many questions I will get answers for.
Mr. Fennell stated no matter what your answer is, we are going to want to see the total gallons going in and out. This will tell us what really happened.
Mr. Witschen stated it will be part of the analysis.
Mr. Hanks asked is there a main meter?
Mr. Entus responded yes. There are different ways to check this out.
Mr. Fennell stated we just approved an audit, which did not point this out to us. It is good to have new information coming in every month.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Drainage Permit Request Submitted by Amera 1800 Plus, Inc.
Mr. McKune stated this permit request was provided to the Board last month but was continued to provide Mr. Hanks with the floor and flood elevations, method of discharge or lack thereof. We spoke to the Developer’s Engineer and reviewed the criteria in the District’s drainage manual. This site is unique as it is does not have an off-site outfall. Therefore all the retention and rainwater drains into on-site exfiltration trenches. The inlets going into these exfiltration trenches are set at an elevation above the 10 year flood elevation, which is required. The top of the inlets are three inches lower than the 100 year flood elevation, which is also acceptable. The 100 year elevation is the required, minimum crown road elevation.
In regards to why this property does not drain into an inlet, there are only two available storm sewer systems, one on University Drive, which belongs to DOT who denied our request and another at the back of the property into the service alley, 300 to 400 feet away. However, the City Engineering Department told the engineers they could not tie into this inlet because it was a private system installed by the parcel. Therefore, we developed the exfiltration trench system, which is acceptable to us and to the city and our recommendation stands. In our recommendation letter of approval provided to the Board last month, we said “a site design with no emergency outfall and zero discharge drainage system may flood during certain storm events and the owner shall take full responsibility for any flood related conditions set forth by this design”. It is acknowledged they may have a drainage problem and they accept full responsibility for whatever problems may develop. As far as the District’s drainage criteria, it meets those criteria.
Mr. Hanks asked will it negatively impact the rest of the community?
Mr. McKune responded no.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
There not being any, the next item followed.
Mr. McKune stated some time ago, we started design on the sludge improvement project. Within the proposal, there was a modification to the effluent pump station built in the 1980’s to include the pump installation of a modified pump into a modified effluent pump station. However, since that time, we discovered one of the two existing pumps, which pumps the effluent down injection wells, is in need of repair and we do not think it will last until we complete the design of the project, bid the project and install the pump. Therefore, we recommend the District remove this portion of the work from the project being bid and purchase a replacement pump. The damaged pump will be sent to a shop to be rebuilt and will be installed in the modified pump station.
Mr. Eissler asked are you buying a new pump and rebuilding the existing one?
Mr. McKune responded yes, because we need a third pump.
Mr. Eissler stated it does not come as a surprise when a pump deteriorates. Do we have a preventive maintenance program?
Mr. McKune responded yes. It is included in the overall project. They have been maintaining the pump but it is beyond the realm of on-site general maintenance.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have someone on staff who can re-build pumps?
Mr. McKune responded we have a full-time staff person who re-builds our lift station pumps, better than the manufacturer but these are unusual pumps.
Mr. Eissler asked what is the cost for a new pump?
Mr. McKune responded $35,000.
Mr. Eissler asked what is the cost to re-build?
Mr. McKune responded $15,000 to $18,000.
Mr. Eissler asked what are you requesting?
Mr. McKune responded to authorize staff to issue a Purchase Order for the new pump. The estimate we received was $35,000.
Mr. Lyles stated we have this problem fairly regularly. However, in our special act from 1970, there is a $4,000 cap on constructing or performing maintenance services for a project. As all of you know, any maintenance type service for a project, is going to exceed $4,000. Furthermore, we do not have the ability like other local governments to take advantage of a sole source as cities and counties because they are home rule power entities. We are out there on our own and only have specific authority granted through a special act. Are you telling the Board we have contractor doing other work and this problem has arisen during the course of the work we are going to do? I think you said the pump was pulled out to be repaired by a separate contractor.
Mr. McKune responded it is part of a system being designed, not a project under construction.
Mr. Lyles stated it is not theoretically or technically within the ambit of a potential Change Order or contract amendment for an ongoing project. You are looking forward to the work needing to be done separately as opposed to a part of a larger contract to be bid. Is that correct?
Mr. McKune responded yes.
Mr. Lyles asked is there a potential to include this request in the larger contract to be bid and part of the overall work to be done? This is what we need to do.
Mr. McKune responded this was the original intention, however, we cannot wait that long.
Mr. Lyles asked have we bid the contract?
Mr. McKune responded no.
Mr. Entus stated under our operating permit, we are required to have redundancy on our deep well pumps. However, because of the condition of our existing pump, we do not have viable redundancy and this would be considered an emergency purchase. Even though we had planned on purchasing a new pump in a few months, we cannot wait this long.
Mr. Lyles stated the legislature does not give us emergency purchasing powers, even if our permit conditions have not been complied with. However, they give us a standard to advertise the bid for two weeks and then perform the work. I understand we cannot wait several months and would love to get this act amended so we do not have to do this from time to time when we run into these threshold issues. However, I would be remiss if I did not bring this matter to the Board and staff’s attention. The cure seems to be to go out for bid, award the bid and perform the work done as long as it comes in under some number the Board is comfortable with today and not wait for it to come back to the Board for the contract to be awarded. With the Board’s approval, we will not only give the authorization to go out to bid for two weeks but also the ability to sign a contract and perform the work.
Mr. Fennell asked is the pump working?
Mr. Entus responded yes, but it can go any day.
Mr. Hanks asked what happens if the pump quits tomorrow?
Mr. McKune responded you have no option but to purchase a new pump.
Mr. Lyles stated we have been in similar situations and in emergency situations, we have done what needed to be done and have the action ratified by the Board at a subsequent meeting. We are not going to let the system go down. However, in order to comply with the Special Act, I recommend we go out for bids.
Mr. Hanks asked can we develop relationships with other utilities in relation to pumps breaking down? Can we borrow this piece of equipment from other utilities without having to purchase a new pump immediately?
Mr. McKune responded it would be difficult to borrow such a piece of equipment because this is a large pump, which is enclosed inside of a building. This is a unique circumstance.
Mr. Fennell asked how do we handle emergency situations? There should be some legislation.
Mr. Lyles responded other Special Districts ended up having to hire Lobbyists to attend committee meetings and presentations in Tallahassee. However, they spend a great deal of time and money for something as simple as a $100,000 purchase. We have not seen it necessary to pursue this route unless something opens up to us. What we have asked for before and has not happened is the creation of a statewide amendment to Chapter 189 allowing Special Districts, unless they choose to limit themselves, to take advantage of the statutory bidding and thresholds. There should be some way to do this on a general level.
Mr. Witschen stated I used to be a Lobbyist and you need to be careful when you open up any legislation. You just do not know what is going to happen out there. If it was statewide legislation non-specific to us, we should look very carefully at it.
Mr. Fennell stated if a hurricane hits us badly, we may not even be able to meet for a month.
Mr. Witschen stated you have to take care of public safety first. The intent of the law is to not punish those who are trying to provide legitimate infrastructure. You would have to replace the pump immediately.
Mr. Fennell stated this type of situation is currently occurring in New Orleans on a day to day basis where the Army Corp. of Engineer is not getting funded. We are talking about $10,000,000 being spent and if they stop, the city will flood again. This could happen to us.
Mr. Entus stated when it comes to following the advice of the attorney; we can and will do so. However, if it is a matter of health, safety and welfare, we need to make the determination at the time to purchase what we need and come back and talk to the Board afterwards.
Mr. Lyles stated in past years, we had such situations occur from time to time where I have been consulted and said “take care of it and we will ratify it with the Board”. We have no way to comply with the statute without jeopardizing health, safety and welfare.
Mr. McKune stated once we obtain the pump, we need to install it. I would like to reinstall the pump as a Change Order to an existing construction contract.
Mr. Eissler asked how can you do this when it has not been bid?
Mr. Lyles responded there is a contract in place and a contractor mobilized and on the site to do this work. Since we are going to have the rehabilitated pumps available, Mr. McKune will provide the Board with a Change Order at next month’s meeting to reinstall the pump.
Mr. McKune stated there will not be any increase in money because of this work.
Ms. Walker faxed me a letter written by Mr. Jerry Growleck who lives directly behind Well 4 on West Atlantic Boulevard, West of University Drive in Oakwood, regarding a well we rebuilt a year and a half to two years ago. We bid and let a contract for a General Contractor to totally rebuild everything above grade including the box, piping, controls and electronics. We completed the job, which looks great and we put the well into service three months ago. However, after a week, the pump shut down from pumping sand. It should not have pumped sand because when the well was rebuilt three years ago, it was developed for several days to clean it out. As I am told, it was developed property because it was a clean well. In reality, it is not.
In the past three months we had to bring in a maintenance driller, who is not part of the bid contract. He was going to be paid with a Change Order to the existing contract to refit the well. In the meantime, the General Contractor lost his field crew when he went to Australia and this job ground to a halt. We have left the site in fairly good condition but the driller left 50 feet of well column against the fence. Mr. Growleck walks his dog every day down the asphalt path adjacent to the well and has lost his patience. Perhaps we should have paid more attention to get the job completed. I suggest we have the driller come back and pick up his equipment and make sure the area is dressed and coordinate with the General Contractor in a very narrow time period to complete the work.
Mr. Hanks asked why is the original contractor not taking care of this problem?
Mr. McKune responded we asked the contractor to remove the screen, install a new screen and get it ready for the equipment. We then developed the plans and specs for two wells; this well and another well around the corner, to install the pumps and perform the grade work. After the first contractor was totally paid and went away, we did the design and let the contract for the above grade improvements and purchasing the pump.
Mr. Hanks asked is the pump working?
Mr. McKune responded no. The well is current out, which is not a problem because it has been out for two years and we have sufficient capacity. We were just trying to get it done for the least amount of money.
Mr. Eissler stated it should not be a big deal to clean up the site.
Mr. McKune stated I am going out there tomorrow morning. The site should be clean.
Mr. Fennell stated lets make sure we have a good relationship with the resident. We have crews that go out and refurbish pumps.
Mr. Eissler asked can we take the pipe offsite?
Mr. McKune responded it is not your pipe.
Mr. Fennell stated we should go out there and do whatever we need to do.
Mr. McKune stated Mr. Witschen needs to look at the site and decide what to do.
Mr. Eissler stated we should tell them if they do not take the pipe by next week, we will do it for them.
Mr. Lyles stated it may not be the District’s pipe but it is the District’s property. If the pipe is not supposed to be there, we can store it somewhere.
Mr. Witschen stated I will report back to the Board on how we can resolve this matter.
Mr. Fennell stated I like the idea of you being sensitive to our customers needs.
Mr. McKune stated it may be best for Mr. Witschen to call the resident because I have been calling him and getting nowhere.
Mr. Eissler stated the man has been very patient as the well has been under construction for a long time.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
Mr. Fennell stated I made a suggestion at the last meeting about having a one page report for the canals on the water height and purity. How do you know whether or not those canals are doing what they should be doing?
Mr. Eissler responded S.F.W.M.D. controls the elevation of the canals.
Mr. McKune stated we control the height but they control the discharge. Staff can prepare a summary of monthly pumping amounts.
Mr. Fennell stated I would like to see how many times the pumps turn on.
Mr. Hanks stated my understanding of our permit is we do not have any set criteria for water quality as to when pumps turn on/off. North Springs and Tamarac have set pump schedules. We do turn on/off the pumps as we like but we have to maintain certain water quality standards. We are limited to 150,000 gallons.
Mr. Eissler stated I called Mr. McKune because the canals were very high and we were expecting a great deal of rain. It was up to S.F.W.M.D. to tell him when he could turn the pumps on.
Mr. McKune stated there seems to be a change in attitude from staff. The gentleman running the pump stations would turn the pump stations on when he felt like it. His goal was to protect the District and he operated within the four walls of the permit, which was not to pump any more than a certain amount of water.
Mr. Fennell stated we would like to see the pumping records for the month, with a number of us to meet.
Mr. McKune stated there are discharge criteria where you are limited to so much water.
Mr. Hanks stated I do not need to see a report.
Mr. Eissler stated neither do I. The ph level is increasing again. It always stays at 9 but is going up to 9.5. Is 9.5 considered to be high?
Mr. McKune responded yes. In my opinion this is an anomaly.
Mr. Eissler asked is this the function of our new chlorination system?
Mr. McKune responded it may be.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the minimum ph?
Mr. Eissler responded 6.5.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the maximum?
Mr. Eissler responded 10.
Mr. Goscicki responded it is getting to be on the high side. At a meeting or two ago, we discussed the fact that sodium hydrochloride can increase the elevation of the ph level. One of the options is to back off on the lime softening to bring the ph level down.
Mr. Entus stated these ph levels are not out of line but you do not want to go any higher. There is a strong correlation with the amount of chlorine you put into the water, which will bring your ph down and you are limited on the amount you can put in. They are keeping it pretty well balanced.
Mr. Hanks asked did you have reverse osmosis in Plantation?
Mr. Entus responded yes, however this is a membrane treatment plant.
Mr. Hanks asked did it make a difference on the ph?
Mr. Entus responded no. Our ph was around 9.5 but the water had no color to it. You can take the color out by adding more chlorine but then you create more problems.
Mr. Hanks asked did you have trouble with saltwater?
Mr. Entus responded no. When you get to the point where it is no longer feasible to maintain without adding some major improvements, you want to look at the cost between membrane treatment and lime treatment and you are no where near this point. You are talking about a major capital investment. It does not cost any additional money to operate a membrane plant rather than a lime softening plant.
2. Utility Billing Work Orders
This item was discussed earlier in the meeting.
C. Manager – Consideration of Resolution 2006-1 Authorizing the Execution of Agreements and Other Documents Related to the Disaster Relief Funding Agreement
Mr. Witschen stated these documents will allow us to participate in the state financial aid program.
Mr. Hanks asked is Mr. Doug Hyche the appropriate person to have for the second signature?
Mr. Witschen responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked what documents need to be signed?
Mr. Witschen stated in the event there is an emergency; this would give us the authority to request the necessary supplies. The forms are part of the Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement the Board approved and signed. This designates staff to execute and submit documents.
Mr. Hanks stated I am surprised we never had this before.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have an Emergency Handbook?
Mr. Witschen responded I was told there is one and I will make sure the forms are updated and these documents are included.
Mr. Fennell asked did we receive our auxiliary power station for the lift stations?
Mr. Entus responded we may have purchased one or two. I will check.
Mr. Witschen stated we provided a flow chart of invoices to the Board for informational purposes. However, this may be more relevant next month when we discuss the financials. It goes through the different thresholds and steps as orders are placed and invoices sent until the final PO is closed.
Mr. Hanks asked can you place checks where goods were received?
Mr. Witschen responded I would be happy to. As part of the PO process, there is sign off as goods are received.
D. Complaints Received/Resolved
Mr. Eissler stated we had many water leaks. We used to have one complaint a month. Now we have a dozen in the month of September.
Mr. Witschen stated when I receive this information; I make sure the complaints are not geographically centered around one location. As we move forward, we will get a better understanding of what is occurring.
Mr. Eissler asked who is responsible for a water leak on someone’s front lawn?
Mr. Witschen stated you could have a main leaking in your front lawn because your right-of-ways are a minimum of 50 feet and you only have 22 feet of asphalt on the other side.
Mr. Eissler stated it could well be our responsibility.
Mr. Entus stated normally the rule of thumb is a leak in the service line leading up to the meter, is the responsibility of the District. However, if it is on the other side of the meter, it is considered internal plumbing and is the customer’s responsibility.
Mr. Hanks stated there is a request by Lake Coral Springs for a canoe to be sent out for debris and coconuts.
Mr. Eissler stated we used to clean Lake Coral Springs for the residents and rescued their boats even though it was not our lake. However, we do not provide this service anymore.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Invoices
Mr. Hanks stated we spent $2,000 for advertisements for employment. What position is open?
Mr. Witschen responded I do not know but I will find out.
Mr. Eissler stated for $600, you can run an employment ad for three days in the Sun Sentinel.
Mr. Fennell stated it seems like we were not spending enough money in operating expenses for the General Fund yet we raised taxes. Our expenditures are half of what was prorated.
Mr. Witschen stated you are looking at financials that closed the end of last year and we are now into a new budget year.
Mr. Hanks stated one of the invoices was for $4,500 for seal coating and street repairs. Was this bid out?
Mr. Witschen responded the Charter requires me to obtain an answer.
Mr. Hanks stated there was a brown water complaint. Is it unusual to get brown water from plants in the District?
Mr. Entus responded this is the first I heard of it and will check into it. Someone may have flushed a hydrant improperly.
Mr. Eissler stated last month Severn Trent proposed Plan A, which was to run the entire District. I have a Plan B. Should it be presented in writing through the District Manager because it would involve me resigning from the Board? I am violently opposed to any company taking over CSID because the Board would lose total control and every employee would be employed by Severn Trent. I spend a great deal of time talking to our existing employees from operators to individuals in management. I am not prepared to resign today from the Board and this has nothing to do with any individual but with the philosophy of running a business. I feel I have the qualifications to run CSID because I run many businesses and have been responsible for building many plants over the years, mostly $1,000,000 operations.
I propose the Board appoint me as District Manager for a period of not less than six months at a very nominal salary. I would be a full-time employee to save the District a tremendous amount of money, at least $250,000 or more. At the end of six months, if I do not save the District any money, I would quit and you could hire a new District Manager. We can do everything ourselves. We already do our own billing and payables. I am so hard pressed to find out what Severn Trent does for $230,000. Mr. Witschen has been our District Manager for one month and I have no idea how many hours he spends on CSID. However, he spent four hours and 25 minutes in this plant last month. We can purchase a new computer system for a minimal amount. As a citizen of CSID and a member of this Board, I feel we have been HAD. I can reproduce what we need for less than $50,000 with two other companies but we need someone to retain the records. Mr. Entus is part of the package but we received a bill from Severn Trent for $1,900 for last month. Why are we receiving bills from Severn Trent. I asked several times if the $230,000 included Mr. Roger Moore’s salary? It did not. I can get you the payroll records to prove this.
I was told Ms. Susan Walker prepared the budget but I have three people who swear they received no help from Severn Trent. I cannot think of a task other than recordkeeping that we need Severn Trent for. We also need Safety Consultants. If someone was to spend six months here on a full time basis, they could not save $250,000. We spent a fortune on nonsense. We were also paying $800 a month to lease a truck for Mr. Moore. Why do we pay $230,000 to a company for work we can do ourselves? I have nothing against the company or its personnel.
I would do the work Severn Trent currently performs for a nominal amount of money full-time for six months. I have done this for other companies and have 45 years of experience in the chemical business and have an MBA. This is a chemical plant and we have government requirements to meet. Severn Trent has lost a lot of accounts and people in the last few months. It does not take a great deal of investigation to talk to these people, no matter where they went. If I was to take this position, I would have to resign from the Board and I am fully prepared to do so. However, I would need to be advised by counsel as to how and when. If I was not doing a good job, I would try to get my job back and it would be up to the Board to elect me. I would like to give something back to the community.
Mr. Hanks asked have you heard anything from the Commission on Ethics?
Mr. Lyles responded no.
Mr. Eissler stated NSID would probably go along with this plan.
Mr. Lyles stated if you have something to say as an elected official of this Board and you bring it up at a public meeting, you cannot go wrong because you put the information out there in a public setting and everyone is hearing it at the same time. I have no contrary recommendation or advice on how this thought process should go or how this proposal should be put on the table. My understanding is Mr. Eissler is intending to put something in writing.
Mr. Eissler stated I will submit my proposal to Mr. Witschen. I did not speak to the other Board members ahead of time so this is the first time they are hearing this.
Mr. Lyles stated the next step is to have something in writing to become part of the records of the District and a discussion item at an upcoming meeting. To the extent there are any other specifics regarding the timing as to how the Board will act, the proposal is for a mechanism and an individual. There may be some interest on the rest of the Board regarding the mechanism and not the individual and vice versa. I can talk to Mr. Eissler regarding this and get into some details.
Mr. Hanks stated as far as the mechanism, my personal opinion is we need to have someone working directly for the Board and it is time to have management and engineering services with Mr. Kune’s company accepted. I am not worried about CH2MHill’s role in providing a valuable service. However, in terms of Mr. Moore’s involvement in operations, fiscal and administration, it is time to pursue a new course. I am happy to hear Mr. Eissler’s proposal. I understand the technical side of things and it is no secret I am interested in this side of the operations, but I did not know how to go about doing so. As far as pursuing a course of action, we should focus on the structure, what roles are going to filled by CSID employees, what tasks are going to be outsourced and what tasks are going to be bid on as needed. I enjoyed working with Severn Trent and hope there will be some roles we can involve them in. We spent considerable time over the years looking at the budget and putting out money for consulting services. Unfortunately, I do not think the District has received the value it is entitled to and it is time to make a change.
Mr. Fennell stated we currently have a contract with a management company and have been considering changes over the past several months. One of the issues we have to consider is any changes we make, have to be structured for the long term and we need long term sustainable management or succession management.
Mr. Eissler stated this would be one of the functions I would be willing to undertake.
Mr. Fennell stated I looked at viable candidates to manage the District. What has to be ascertained is if we can attract the talent we need on a paid basis and I am not sure we can easily do that.
Mr. Eissler asked how many different District Managers have we had this year?
Mr. Fennell responded three.
Mr. Eissler stated there is no way to know how long any District Manager will stay. You should get someone who can be trained to be a District Manager. It may even be a current employee within the District. You do not have to bring someone in with governmental experience since this is a chemical plant. You can hire someone to help you with the government rules and regulations.
Mr. Hanks stated we have been evolving for a number of years and now it is time to break out with our business strategy.
Mr. Eissler stated you can save $250,000 without taking out a loan and hire a District Managers. There are multitudes of people who are qualified. Mr. Witschen is very qualified and I have no problem with him. The question is whether you want this to be a CSID operation or a Severn Trent operation or company “x”. I want it to be a CSID operation. We have 1,100 homeowners and I want the homeowners to run the District. I do not want a company who has 15,000 employees. There is nothing wrong with Severn Trent who has 5,000 employees in the United States. However, we are a small $30,000,000 plant with 1,100 customers. I want my water to be good and we can accomplish this because the people who work here and manage this company, live here and want to have good water and are not concerned about the bottom line. I want this to be the best quality water at the best possible price, run a sound business and have happy employees. We can make this a great operation. There is no harm in reducing revenue to pay for what we have to do.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
Glen Hanks Robert Fennell
CSID Notes for 10/17/05 Meeting
• Susan Walker
1. Why was there a shortfall of $280,000 in the water and sewer revenues? Was it caused by pumping, billing or accounting errors? The Board felt this was an accounting issue in trying to close out the books as of September 30th.
2. Why are the assets grouped with fund equity?
3. Why is the sewer revenue down? Verify if there are funds on the revenue side from the utility bills that have not cleared the system.
• Pete Witschen
1. Perform a site visit to Mr. Jerry Growleck’s property on West Atlantic Boulevard, West of University Drive in Oakwood to determine whether Well 4 behind his property has been cleared. There may be piping left by a driller which needs to be removed. Call the resident to provide a status report.
2. Update the Emergency Handbook with the documents related to the Disaster Relief Funding Agreement.
3. What position was $2,000 spent for advertising?
4. Was the invoice for the $4,500 seal coating and street repair bid out?
• Mel Entus
1. Determine whether the District received its auxiliary power station for the lift stations.
2. Determine what area the brown water complaint was made from.