-MINUTES OF MEETING
The regular meeting of the
Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Bob Fennell President
Glen Hanks Secretary
Also present were:
Doug Hyche District Staff
Janice Moen Larned
Dennis Lyles Attorney
John McKune Engineer
Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order and Mr. Petty called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the February 27, 2006 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member
received a copy of the
Mr. Fennell stated on page 17, in the second paragraph, the sentence “frankly I would not want to put my hands into someone else’s” should be “frankly I would not want to put my fate into someone else’s hands”.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Hurricane Debris Removal and Canal Bank Restoration Status
Mr. Petty stated Mr. McKune is handling the contract administration. We brought some pictures to show you the construction in progress. We are recording the progression of this work for posterity in case there is an audit by the federal government. The equipment they are using is unique. When they first put their equipment in the water, it seemed to take them a considerable amount of time to clear a canal but their speed increased exponentially as they got into a rhythm and now they are proceeding rather quickly. Mr. McKune brought a map where the blue lines signify the status of canals they have already been in where the majority of debris has been removed. On every canal, there is always something that still has to be addressed, whether it be the removal of trees, a couple of stumps or some sod work.
Mr. Fennell asked does the blue line indicate what has been done?
Mr. Petty responded that is where he has the barge for cleanup on the canals. The majority of trees have been removed from the waterway. He may still have some stump and sod work left to do.
Mr. McKune stated green represents the entire District divided into sections for which we received additional estimates.
Mr. Fennell stated I saw them working on the University side today. I do not know how they work on the barge when it is whipping back and forth across the canal.
Mr. Petty stated it creates waves 200 feet downstream.
Mr. Fennell stated I wonder how it stays afloat.
Mr. McKune stated you should see how they move down the canal.
Mr. Petty stated they go in a straight line. I would be bouncing off the banks.
Mr. Fennell stated there is no way any pipes will survive when the barge goes through.
Mr. Petty stated when the trees came down a lot of the pipes got pulled out. They will not be able to be repaired until we get the debris out of the way. We are putting out door hangers advising the residents. If we created the damage, we repaired it because they were not given notice but everyone will be given notice. The contractor is using a mid-size backhoe with a sheer lobster claw attachment to cut trees 24 inches in diameter and pick them up rather quickly. There have been observations by staff of some inconsistencies in the contract. He needs to provide fill material in one or two places. I think Mr. McKune spoke to him about the sod work and getting it in within a reasonable timeframe. He was using some mulch material, which at first we had some concerns that he was going to try to backfill with his own mulch from his facility. It turns out he was using the mulch for a seed bed. We did not call for it in our contract, but he has free mulch so he is throwing it down.
Mr. McKune stated he already has sod down along the south bank behind the club.
Mr. Hanks asked what are your thoughts on the dry cycle? Are the plants drought resistant?
Mr. McKune responded he is going to continue watering them. He has a small pump and a small boat and speeds up and down the canal. It will not be a problem.
Mr. Fennell stated I was concerned about the individual homeowners and how perhaps they had not been maintaining their property, but what I really saw was commercial interest who may be more at fault than the homeowners. The homeowners behind Sam’s Club decided they were not going to bother with those trees back there and that is a good thing because this was a nice screen for them and they really did not want it removed.
Mr. Petty stated I think there are two categories one is like Sam’s Club where they put up a wall and whatever is on the other side they never touch again. Then there is the canal behind the party center and Burger King on University heading north. They have a wall behind their unit where there are buffer trees that were probably required by the city. These are 15 to 20 year old trees. They mow this area and trim the trees. So you have places like Sam’s Club where the homeowners in back do not maintain up to their wall and then there are owners who put up a buffer, probably required by the city and maintain it through their landscaper. A third area is behind the Coral Springs Auto Mall, which is jungle. There are no buffer trees. We are going to talk about what our policy is going to be about trees later on in the agenda and it probably would be best to talk about this matter at that time.
Mr. Fennell stated there is more than one case. We are still spending a lot of CSID’s money on maintenance issues. They did not do the job they should have.
Mr. Frederick stated unfortunately in a lot of these areas the trees were there before construction and before there was a city policy. These trees were supposed to be removed before any building was done on that particular piece of property.
Mr. Petty stated if it is not on their property, there is no way you can force them to take it down. It could have been behind Sam’s Club if the property line is where the wall is and the rest is ours. The city could not force them to come onto our property and cut the trees when they bought their parcel. We can go more into this matter later.
Mr. Hanks asked are we having any water quality changes in the canal we should be worried about?
Mr. Petty responded I would not say water quality other than turbidity. We have turbidity screening required in the contract and he is maintaining it but we are stirring things up.
Mr. Frederick stated it clears up pretty fast. I have seen this in many places where there is a lot of turbidity and it takes a while to clear up. There are many floating little sticks and branches, which we will have to fish out.
Mr. Hanks asked how can you tell whether or not the contractor is on schedule?
Mr. McKune responded the contractor has 120 days to complete the contract. They are moving fairly quickly. The largest area has been completed.
Mr. Fennell stated I thought the contractor had 100 days to complete.
Mr. Petty stated we gave them 100 days but not much was damaged or had trees falling on them. This is the area that had bank erosion or fallen trees.
Mr. Fennell stated I am happy they are making progress but I do not know how to judge it. I do not know if this is going to be enough time.
Mr. Petty stated we think they are within their schedule and are optimistic they will be ahead of schedule based on our observations.
Mr. Fennell asked do they have a schedule?
Mr. Petty responded yes, to complete the job in 150 days.
Mr. Fennell asked do they have something broken down into timeframes?
Mr. Petty responded no, it is rhythm oriented. If we break this rhythm we cause time delays. If we aid their rhythm, which is what we started to do, they move more quickly.
Mr. McKune stated he has 10 days to give us a formal schedule.
Mr. Fennell asked is there a formal schedule?
Mr. McKune responded it is required. Right now he is trying to feel his way around. He has other crews he could bring in.
Mr. Fennell asked when you receive a formal schedule, would you give each Board member one?
Mr. Frederick responded sure.
Mr. Fennell stated by the way, the city did sort of hint if we really needed to use their area, they would be cooperative.
Mr. Petty asked are you referring to the regional park?
Mr. Fennell responded the area they do their mulching.
Mr. Petty stated it was nice of them to offer. We are not going to be mulching but it is nice to know it is there.
Mr. Fennell stated I was watching them size up the trees.
Mr. Frederick stated he cuts them the length of the barge. If a tree is too large, he cannot get through the canal.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Report from Mr. Fennell on District Accounting Procedures
Ms. Larned stated the field work is completed and in talking with Mr. Eissler, there are two items he is still waiting on but he is working on the comparisons. There should be a draft report coming in the next couple of weeks.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any issues as far as the amount of effort to get this done? Are we able to comply?
Mr. Petty responded there are no road blocks at all.
Ms. Larned stated there is more of a contention on their part with all of the other tax work going on.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have someone helping out from Severn Trent?
Mr. Petty responded yes. We are trying to keep this going as long as it is helpful.
Mr. Fennell asked are we paying for that?
Mr. Petty responded we are doing it under the existing contract at no additional charge.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion Items
A. Two-Way Radios to Facilitate Communication
Mr. Hyche stated we are out for bids. We will receive the bids on the 23rd.
Mr. Fennell asked did we receive any good responses?
Mr. Hyche responded we had a mandatory pre-bid meeting and four responded.
Mr. Hanks asked for the radios?
Mr. Hyche responded yes.
Mr. Petty stated we have satellite phones on order or will be on order next Thursday.
Mr. Fennell stated you mentioned we were having problems with the phone connections in here. Mr. Eissler tried to call in and had a hard time getting through. On the other hand you are saying we have 100 phone lines but some of them need to be repaired. Do we have BellSouth?
Mr. Petty responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated you can have them come in and do an analysis of our lines.
Mr. Petty stated we already had them do an analysis. Mr. Dan Daly has been working with Bellsouth and we actually have a plan in place that we will provide to the Board later on when we do the budgets. At that time, we bring the system back from the other building to here and make this system independent. Some of our staff floats from here to another office and the computer actually running our phone system sits in another building. We are trying to bring that system back. Severn Trent has been taking their employees off and Ms. Jean Rugg’s group, who were part of the move, adopted a new phone system Severn Trent has in that building and we can now take this system and bring it back. Mr. Daly has been working with Bellsouth on what would be necessary to improve our telephone system and upgrade the hardware in order to bring the computer system back. We would be glad to bring this to the Board at the next meeting.
Mr. Fennell asked can you communicate with the lift stations and pump stations?
Mr. Petty responded we are still working on that. We love the concept but the practicality is I have not seen a working system of any value to me yet. But, aside from that, SKADA makes sense. I would like the operator to look at the meter for leaks and signs of damage or loss. The same thing goes when you turn on some of these pieces of equipment. I want you to feel the vibrations, hear the noise and see how a bearing gets hot. We have SKADA throughout our utility system and well fields.
Mr. Fennell asked what is SKADA?
Mr. Petty responded data acquisition and control. We have some on/off functionality and basic commands but do not have any routines built into our system. We have gone through two or three attempts at trying to do computerized control (i.e. we do not need operators, just one guy to program it and it will run). It has not worked so far and my personal opinion is not very high of that system. I have not seen one run a utility but certainly you can use it turn equipment on and off.
Mr. Fennell stated you can run a phone line or use RF. I do not know whether the phone system is any cheaper. In some ways the RF systems are expensive to install; at least $2,000 to $5,000.
Mr. Petty stated we have both types of systems. Using the old method, we were able to keep the system functional better than anyone else. I like the idea of having as much as I can out there but after awhile the value of the dollar spent does not give you the same return.
Mr. Fennell stated if you are going to look at phone systems, this might be a good time to see if there are any other phone systems out there for the money.
Mr. Petty stated Mr. Hyche addressed this item at the last meeting, however Mr. McKune and I wanted to hold off because this is the first time we have heard of it. Mr. Hyche was saying “I do not need radios or telephones, just give me a skid mounted generator I can keep in the warehouse and when the power goes out, I am going to put it in the lift station and it is going to run off the floats”.
Mr. Fennell stated this might just be the thing to do.
B. Portable Generators
Mr. Fennell asked did you go out for bids?
Mr. Hyche responded I was given the approval to go out for bids today.
Mr. Fennell asked are we going to get eight or ten generators?
Mr. Hyche responded ten 20 KW skid mounted generators.
Mr. Hanks asked is this sufficient to operate the pumps?
Mr. Hyche responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked how big are they?
Mr. Hyche responded you can haul three of them in a pick-up truck.
Mr. Petty stated we have one of those hydraulic lift mechanisms for our pumps.
Mr. Hanks asked what size pumps do you currently have?
Mr. Hyche responded 40 horsepower, some are 10 horsepower.
Mr. Hanks asked do you prefer kilowatt or horsepower?
Mr. Petty stated if you try to start both of them at the same time you can trip a line. You have to do them one at a time. What this means for us is when we first install them, there may be a period in the first day where there is going to have to be someone standing next to these pumps in order to keep the second pump off until we drop the level down.
Mr. Hyche stated we also have three portables that we will be shuffling around.
Mr. Petty stated they made the system work with one pump last time. This time they have three generators plus 10 fixed stations. This will give us the ability to sit back here to work on this utility site versus running around out in the field.
Mr. Fennell stated last year at this time, we ordered two additional pumps. However when we needed them, they were in Pompano getting painted and we could not get a hold of them.
Mr. Petty stated they look great. They are painted just like the trucks.
Mr. Hanks asked is our manpower sufficient to handle the trees, truck trailer, generators and these skids?
Mr. Hyche responded yes. I talked this over with the staff and this is the way they would like to go. They could handle it more efficiently with those 10 generators and those three portable ones than with one portable.
Mr. Fennell asked what is not to prevent my neighbor who also has a pick-up truck from steeling a generator?
Mr. Hyche responded we have to buy some chains. The city had some generators missing, but they were not chained and locked down. We will also have a 24 hour watch on them.
Mr. Fennell asked what are you going to chain them to?
Mr. Hyche responded the lift station.
Mr. Petty stated we can chain it to something heavy enough they cannot haul off.
Mr. Hanks stated I was making a presentation the other day when one of our student commissioners mentioned the city had a retainer agreement with a rental company for generators.
Mr. Petty stated you are relying on them to be there after the hurricane. We could not find anyone to get our generators. This is a good idea to have as a back-up
Mr. Hyche stated only if they match our connections and have the right power.
Mr. Petty stated you never can do better than having the generators on-site.
Mr. Hanks stated I am just trying to think of different ways to use the $100,000 we are spending on the generators. Hopefully we will never need to use them.
Mr. Fennell stated I think you will. We have occasional power outages throughout the area. How many lift stations do we have?
Mr. Hyche responded 22.
Mr. Petty stated we are a force main system.
Mr. Hanks asked is there a way to do a joint purchase with another utility?
Mr. Petty responded we belong to
several different groups where basically you will respond with back loads,
front end loaders and generators during an emergency. I said to Mr. Hyche, “if we get these 10
generators and they have a problem up in
Mr. Hanks asked does it not make sense to stagger the purchase of them so we are not purchasing them all at the same time or buy them in quantities?
Mr. Hyche responded it would if we bid them that way.
Mr. Petty stated we are going to bid them and get a price to you for your consideration. I wanted to get you a real number, not just a merchandise catalog number.
Mr. Fennell stated I think the
electricity being out caused more economic problems than anything else as far
as lost wages. We could not pump gas or
do anything. No one evacuated, which I
frankly think you cannot evacuate
Mr. Hyche responded we can tie it into the new system.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a good suggestion. I know there are companies who specialize in this who can provide generators by a certain time and day. Are we in trouble after 12 hours?
Mr. Petty responded with lift
stations you can be in trouble in as short as four hours. If we have a rain event of five inches or
more, it can be within an hour because we have an infiltration issue. If the water table and the pressure increase
our lift stations could go bad real fast.
The residents here in
Mr. Hanks asked do we have anyone maintaining a response unit in the state?
Mr. Fennell responded each state out
west has something like that. I think we
signed some type of agreement to cooperate with other areas. You need to have a preplanned policy for what
generator we would need, who would go and exactly what kind of response we
would have so we know exactly what we do in this situation. Let’s go forward with that, because I believe
we need to cooperate. You are right; we
need to think about what we need ourselves, especially in the middle of the
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Work Authorization No. WA-29 for the Non-Hurricane Water Management System Vegetation Removal
Mr. Petty stated this is for the engineer to evaluate the scope of our proposed tree management program as preventive maintenance for a hurricane.
Mr. Fennell asked have we actually asked him to do the work and this is the work authorization?
Mr. Petty responded yes.
Mr. McKune stated this is the same proposal we gave you before in the preparation of plans.
Mr. Petty stated this is a not to exceed number.
Mr. Hanks asked what specialized sub-consultants are needed?
Mr. McKune responded none. The work is all done in-house.
Mr. Lyles stated Mr. Petty commented that this was a not to exceed number but the document does not specify. Is the $25,000 a not to exceed number?
Mr. McKune responded this is what we anticipate.
Mr. Petty stated he would have to come back to the Board to request additional money if he exceeded $25,000. He cannot do work and then come to us with a bill.
Mr. Hanks stated without additional authorization.
Mr. Petty stated Mr. McKune has a preliminary number from the contractor. I think he received a number between $1.3 and $1.4 Million based on the number of trees standing.
Mr. Fennell asked did you go out and look at the work yourself?
Mr. McKune responded those are the areas we looked at and those are the prices per area.
Mr. Petty stated there are a couple of different programs. Mr. Frederick is going to show you one. I am showing you the other. This is a minimal step in addressing trees in the future. We are only going after damaged trees and trees in the way of our equipment. Ornamental trees may or may or not pose any real threat to our existing banks. Coconut Palm, for example may not be a real direct threat. As you start thinking of other ornamental trees maybe that changes. Under this policy you would look at where people have put hedges in the reservoirs, small ornamental plants, which are going to grow into big ornamental plants later on and then of course, what we have already talked about, which is a required buffer. Where do you draw the line and what trees do you take out during this contract? The $1.3 to $1.4 million is for clearing everything from right-of-way to right-of-way and edge to edge and making a green space, which is the same concept but without ornamentals.
Mr. Frederick stated they are not exactly cleared out but for the most part they are. We are not saying that if we did clear all the trees out that people could not put a picnic table back there. We just did not want anything growing.
Mr. Petty stated we have two different viewpoints, one from Mr. Frederick perspective, which I respect, for green space. What type of storm event are we designed to handle assuming the canals are working? Is it a five year, ten year or twenty-five year storm event?
Mr. McKune responded 100 year storm event. The water can remain in the bank as long as it is flowing.
Mr. Hanks stated during the 100 year storm, the water is up to your door.
Mr. McKune stated you will be in good shape unless you have some blockage then the water will rise. It will rise even quicker if the grate in the street is blocked.
Mr. Petty stated the city has actually learned how to clean those in the last couple of years.
Mr. Fennell stated as I remember your explanation from before on us relying upon knowing the pump but we are also relying upon a certain amount of absorption. By the way, it was not over a short period of time, because I remember it was a two or three day period.
Mr. Petty stated we have had actual conditions exceeding that.
Mr. Hyche stated in nine hours we had 14 inches of rain.
Mr. Fennell stated I remember going to work in the morning and having to take the C-14 canal to go home because that was the only way to get back to my house.
Mr. Hyche stated this was because the water in the C-14 was up to the top of the banks.
Mr. Fennell stated it was and I still contend my street was at direct connection to C-14 so water was coming into our street from the drain.
Mr. Hanks asked what are the elevations? Are they in the hundreds?
Mr. Hyche responded about 16.5 or around there.
Mr. Fennell asked can you look at my
Mr. Hanks asked what is the width of the outfall canal?
Mr. Frederick responded the width of
the canal on the outfall to the pump station is 60 to 80 feet. At
Mr. Petty stated if you recall, we talked to you about the emergency plan in the NRCS program. Our concern was to free up every culvert area. They look at your crossings, pipe elevations, the size of your pipes and how much water you are actually moving. The size of the canal is not the body of water you are moving.
Mr. Fennell asked which one will ensure in 15” rain where we have trees falling that I will not get flooded?
Mr. McKune responded keeping debris out of the canal is the best way.
Mr. Fennell asked is there anything less than that?
Mr. McKune responded it is a matter of probability. If you had a tree in the right-of-way and it were to fall to where you would only have the top 10 feet leaning over, the likelihood of that causing problems is minimal. However, if you have a tree standing 100 feet tall 15 feet from the top of the bank, that could cause a problem. I recommend clearing from right-of-way to right-of-way.
Mr. Hanks asked what is Arbor Tree’s recommendation regarding wind events?
Mr. McKune responded Arbor Tree has criteria for trees. The issue then becomes if you have a healthy tree that will not blow over here and have some growing over there, I cannot get there.
Mr. Frederick stated I received a complaint from a resident who has two ficus trees over 100 years old.
Mr. Hanks asked how can they be over 100 years old when this area was not developed at that time?
Mr. Fennell responded because until
recently I had two
Mr. Frederick stated we do not want
to cut down the
Mr. Fennell stated we had an issue
Mr. Hanks stated the water would still flow through. On these canals are you talking about a 16 foot culvert under the street?
Mr. Frederick responded water will, but debris getting blown into these canals at the same time and clogging up on these trees will not flow.
Mr. Petty stated the truth is we have not had such an event to say one way or the other what is going to happen. We can speculate. There is no insurance that if you do the green way space you will not have any trees in your canal. The trees are going to cause blockage. There are going to be trees over 20 feet high. Those are the ones we are worried about and our easements in a lot of areas are five feet. A homeowner could have a 60 foot Upper Pine, a 35 foot Bay tree and a 70 foot Australian Pine in their yard.
Mr. Hanks stated one picture shows an Australian Pine going bank to bank. Yes you are going to have some debris hanging up on it, but you still could maintain what looks a fair amount of clear water to provide drainage for it.
Mr. Petty stated it would depend on
how quickly you tried to move that water.
We probably could have handled a five inch rain event because it would
have been slow moving. If we turn on all of our pumps, we could keep up with
it. I do not think we are going to have
any guarantees on any options you pick.
Keep in mind that a lot of these homes in
Mr. Fennell stated I think this is the only time we will have time to do this. If we do a partial job, the big trees will grow again and in five or ten years the problem will return. We need to do the right thing and any consequences but you will never have a better time to do the right thing.
Mr. Hanks stated we can impose criteria on the types of trees allowed.
Mr. Fennell asked what kind of criteria?
Mr. Hanks responded to restrict ficus and Australian Pine trees.
Mr. Fennell asked what about height?
Mr. Hanks responded the only way you can deal with the height is by changing the species.
Mr. Petty stated another smaller
District in the area has adopted such rules, which Mr. Lyles and I familiar
Mr. Fennell asked are those trees legally supposed to be there?
Mr. Petty responded I do not think they are illegal. I think we have the right to clear our rights-of-way to provide our function, which is great but I do not know that I could call the trees illegal.
Mr. Fennell asked what will maintain drainage in the event of a hurricane?
Mr. Petty responded I could tell you with a certain level of confidence, I could maintain drainage with Option B, which is permitted ornamental trees. If a Coconut Palm pulls out of my canal I am not concerned. A lot of debris can fall in these canals during hurricane events. Screen enclosures with fiber glass material are far more deadly than any tree that would fall in. I see those in every backyard. The material from plastic that gets blown in is far more capable of causing a blockage. The silt coming from the bank where it is not being kept from erosion control because all I have in some cases is sod that is growing poorly. The trees have been providing, to some degree, beneficial use by keeping the soil together with the root system. It is a form of erosion control. I do not want any trees on my slopes. The issue there is if the root wall gets inundated with water, it is going to be a stunted root fall which is capable of causing me bank erosion. I do not want anything on the slope. On top of bank you have the ability to provide some degree of latitude as long as the residents do not expect us to spend another $3.5M cleaning it up next time.
Mr. Hanks stated I think for the remaining residents of the District we should make a commitment to maintain their right-of-way if they agree to maintain their trees if not removed by us.
Mr. Fennell stated we are outlining a brief policy here but in the end this has to be proven that it will not endanger us.
Mr. Lyles stated you are stating a fact. If we are going to adopt a policy it might also be a good idea to have a rulemaking procedure to the water control plan. We are going to have to show that the existence of some trees is somehow creating a negative impact on the drainage, not just with the right circumstances. They have to prove the trees do no harm. We have to prove they are harmful or potentially do harm. We are talking about regulating property. For canals we own by fee simple, we are going to have to retrace the ownership patterns for these canals. Where we actually own property as opposed to just maintaining the easement of the flowage of drainage, we have greater rights. We can say “sorry but this is our property and we determined as a District that we do not want to allow trees to be planted here because of what happened after Wilma“. It is all going to take a process.
Mr. Hanks stated we are trying to improve on the current level of flood protection.
Mr. Fennell asked what do we need to do to ensure the drainage flows properly?
Mr. McKune stated if you get debris in the canal, you will have a problem. How much depends on what size debris and how rapidly the water is moving down the canal. It takes the smaller debris mounded up in front of the culvert therefore, leaving tremendous headwall. The engineering is to keep trespassing from the canal.
Mr. Petty stated I think the suggestion to you is not to try and go from a policy where we did not touch trees and we are lousy with the things now. As a matter of fact, I think one of the city’s slogans is “we are the city of trees.” I can tell you after going out in the field these last couple months, we have a whole lot of trees. I am trying to talk you into going to the next step. I am not looking for a rule adoption at this time; I am looking for an administrative policy.
Mr. Fennell stated we are going to spend $1.5 million but we need to determine on what and for what purpose.
Mr. Petty stated I am not asking for $1.5 million. I am looking to see if the Board can consider an administrative policy wherein staff adjusts the contract out now to start removing trees considered to be hazardous which would consist of all non-ornamental within the right-of-way.
Mr. Fennell stated I am not sure this is good enough. I hear one argument saying basically these were designed so there would be no trees in the lake. If you are going to put trees in the right-of-way what effect will this have?
Mr. McKune responded I did not say there should not be trees in the right-of-way. I said it was designed to have no trees blocking flow. If there were enough trees to flow into the canal then we have a problem.
Mr. Fennell stated in that case you probably have trees that fell into the canal, which we cannot control.
Mr. Hanks asked do we know what level of dead loss we can tolerate?
Mr. McKune responded no.
Mr. Fennell stated there must be a rational on how much you can tolerate. We are going to have different kinds of trees fall in, maybe not as much, but we are going to have something.
Mr. McKune stated the amount you can tolerate is the crown of the road.
Mr. Fennell asked could we have staff do a study? There was a waterway study done by the county.
Mr. McKune responded if you start blocking canals you will not flood the entire District at once. It will flood everything behind it in that neighborhood.
Mr. Hanks stated if you are talking catastrophic flooding, it is in the order of magnitude of 15 inches of rainfall. The idea is you will be flooded wall to wall. If you block a canal, there are alternate paths as long as we are not isolated by roadway debris.
Mr. Petty stated I think you raise a good point. As you watch the water levels rise and the roadways flood, you now have channels to move the water around any trees that are down in your canal. If you are outside the canal area and are dealing with flat ground, the amount of trees is no longer an issue. It is possible we would be able to have flooding in a house with our pumps on because it would still be coming to us over land. Therefore, we cannot determine the number of trees that can be taken down.
Mr. McKune stated do not count on sheet flow.
Mr. Petty stated I have a singular restriction and a headwall. We reached the elevation where the water table went up to 12 feet. I have enough ground area around this headwall, which has been plowed by a tree. I should be able to overcome that clog. However, if every headwall is clogged on every path, it is a different story, but I do not think it is going to happen this way. I do not think the system is designed where this can happen.
Mr. McKune stated it is not designed to have a flow around sheet flow. There is no way it can get blocked so far in there.
Mr. Petty stated no, because you stop at the top of the bank. Mr. Hanks is referring to a storm event going beyond top of bank.
Mr. Fennell asked for there to be flooding, how many trees will be down? The premise is we clean from right-of-way to right-of-way. This would be the best we can do and what it was designed to do under the criteria.
Mr. Petty stated the design criteria would not be true unless the design criteria considered trees. Many trees did not fall down during the last hurricane.
Mr. Fennell stated there is a piece of logic that is not quite right.
Mr. Petty stated if we say no trees on top of bank between here and the water level, this is a compromised position and gets you what you want. If we have a five foot easement, you cannot control a tree coming out of the water. You cannot guarantee my safety during such an event under any circumstances.
Mr. Fennell stated there is a degree of safety.
Mr. Petty stated the tree can grow within five feet on my property. What am I guaranteeing you?
Mr. Fennell responded that it will not block the flow of water.
Mr. Petty asked how do you know? It is on my property and you cannot control it. A 70 foot Australian Pine is on my property.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we should cite you unless you cut the tree down.
Mr. Petty stated we do not have that ability.
Mr. Fennell stated we will go to the city and have them cite you. We will not have trees that are taller than the width of the canal.
Mr. McKune stated that was the idea.
Mr. Fennell asked what do we have to do to insure the water flows and will not be impeded?
Mr. Petty responded I can bring in a specialist who can tell you that the root will hold the tree, even it is an Australian Pine because there is no supportable data stating an Australian Pine falls sooner than any other tree. What happens is the Australian Pine is closer to the water and the root is saturated and therefore, falls more easily. However if the tree is on dry land and not at the water line, it will hold just as well as any other tree.
Mr. Fennell asked are you saying an Australian Pine will not fall?
Mr. Petty responded I am saying it will hold as well as any other tree. The question is whether the house will fall or the flagpole will fall.
Mr. Fennell asked will it fall into the canal? If it falls into the canal it will impede the flow of water.
Mr. Hanks stated it does not make a difference if you get flooded by watering coming through the roof or under the door.
Mr. Fennell stated financially it makes a huge difference. I think we are talking about what will impede the flow of water if a tree falls into the water. If nothing falls into the water, we are okay. If something falls into the water, then we are discussing the degree.
Mr. Hanks asked have you seen a tree down in the water?
Mr. Fennell responded yes, I
have. I have seen how much the tree
causes a problem. I saw this happen on
Mr. McKune responded we can predict what will occur but not to the degree of a bunch of trees.
Mr. Fennell stated statistically you can figure out if you have 100 trees fall into this canal what will happen.
Mr. McKune stated if you take the example of one tree that falls across the bank it would not be a big deal but if the same tree fell bank to bank and snapped in two places across the canal and the center piece fell into the water and flowed into a culvert, it could flood the culvert.
Mr. Fennell asked are we designing for the worst case or in such a way we hope it will not happen? Most of the time this is not going to happen.
Mr. Petty responded if material going into a canal is a major concern, you may want to consider an alternative construction method other than an open canal. You may want a culvert pipe. If your concern is material going into a canal putting residents at risk, five or six trees can cause a major problem to our drainage system during a hurricane as well as two or three screen enclosures or vehicles running off the road during a major rain event when they lose visibility.
Mr. Fennell asked can culverts be blocked?
Mr. Hanks responded it is not an option because culverts provide surface storage and you are going to end up violating the maximum discharge criteria or stormwater permits.
Mr. Petty stated it is highly costly to budget.
Mr. Fennell asked is there something else we can do like dropping a drain into the canal? Is there is a way to prevent the water from being blocked?
Mr. Hanks responded we can get a report from CH2M-Hill on whether the CSID canals provide flood protection in the event of a hurricane.
Mr. McKune stated if we do not pump the canals, we cannot protect property.
Mr. Fennell stated there was such a report prepared several years ago on what the system can do, how much water comes in and out, etc. I do not think any criteria were taken into account on what happens when you block the canals. We are at a point where we need to establish some criteria. The engineer is telling us if we block these canals, they will flood.
Mr. McKune stated I suggest minimizing the potential impact by removing as many trees as feasible from the right-of-way.
Mr. Hyche asked does the NRCS have some wording on flowways?
Mr. Petty responded FEMA does if they do not. This is a proactive issue. If we were going to try to build our own system of removing trees by getting equipment to cut down trees we may be able to apply for funding but not for cutting down trees.
Mr. Fennell asked what is our current policy on private property?
Mr. Petty responded we do not evaluate private property for a negative impact during a class three hurricane.
Mr. Fennell asked is there criteria for evaluating bank clearing?
Mr. Petty responded no.
Mr. Hanks stated I am worried about the pump station not working.
Mr. McKune stated there is nothing you can do if the pump station does not run. NSID and Sunshine have their own pump station.
Mr. Fennell stated you will flood when the pumps do not go on. I discovered areas close to the C-14 canal are filled in with sand to get them under grade.
Mr. Frederick stated this is why the canals are deeper on the west end of the District because there is a natural grade of land. Therefore, they needed to dig the canals deeper to get the fill onto the land.
Mr. Hanks asked was the SFWMD criteria met?
Mr. McKune responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated bring in the old criteria. The big question is what is impeding the water.
Mr. Hanks asked if one pump is down, one is out for repairs, what level of flood protection are we providing?
Mr. Fennell responded not good protection. We are authorized by the SFWMD to pump three of our pumps. We have four pumps. We cannot legally turn on the fourth one, but we do.
Mr. Frederick stated no we do not. Only in the event of an emergency unless one of the other three went down.
Mr. Fennell stated a few years ago, we reached the 20 year wear on these pumps. We discovered one of the pumps was bad. Then we checked the others and discovered they were all bad. As a result we went in and replaced all of them. In fact, we got into the hurricane season and had one go down and actually rented a pump and had it sitting out there. To make sure this did not happen again, we replaced all of the pumps and put a fourth one in place. Fortunately we have a spare pump. We cannot have them go down. If they do not work, we are done. If a tree falls into a culvert and the water does not flow out , the people in that area will be in trouble. There are only two outfalls and the area is actually divided in half. Actually there is one pump per outfall and only one canal going to that outfall. It is not like there are multiple ways to reach the pump. We do not even have parallel paths.
Mr. Frederick stated because the Sunshine canal has an outfall going right through the center. There is no way to get the east side and west side connection. If one station did go down, you cannot go through another station.
Mr. Fennell asked does anyone know why we did not pump into their outfall?
Mr. Hanks responded because their outfall is into the C-14 canal.
Mr. Fennell stated we could have easily hooked our canals up to their pump.
Mr. Frederick stated I do not think you can do that. You cannot hook one District to another.
Mr. Petty stated Drainage Districts have to be independent.
Mr. McKune stated it would not work because the canal would have to be low enough, unless you have a dyke to maintain a certain minimum level.
Mr. Fennell stated I see a couple of places where our canals come close to the other District’s outfalls. If my pump station got blocked; I could pump into their outfall.
Mr. Petty stated I have seen pumping interconnects between Water Management Districts. The closest was Indian Trail and North Palm Beach County Drainage Districts interconnecting. They have difficulty in Indian Trail getting through to anyone.
Mr. Frederick stated we do not have a problem in normal main events. Our pump stations are all working.
Mr. Petty stated even in abnormal rain events.
Mr. Frederick stated I cannot say what would happen if we had a category five hurricane and it sat over us for three days. Chances are we could not keep up with something like that.
Mr. Fennell stated the bottom line is we need criteria. Are there three criteria?
Mr. Petty responded we came up with some criteria.
Mr. Fennell stated one is go from right-of-way to right-of-way or removing anything that might block the water flow from off of the right-of-way.
Mr. Petty stated the next one is, from top of bank to top of bank and the third is to allow biannuals to be permitted so long as the homeowner has the expense while taking out any tree we desire from right-of-way to right-of-way, which are going to be non-ornamentals such as Australian Pines, Banyons and ficus trees. If the resident does not want to sign off on a permit, we will take it out.
Mr. Frederick stated as long as we can maneuver around or ultimately knock it down when we do the maintenance or emergency work.
Mr. Fennell stated we do not have a policy for trees.
Mr. Petty stated we asked the engineer and he cannot give us any numbers or predictions.
Mr. McKune stated these canals are very narrow, eight feet on one side. The larger side is for maintenance purposes. On one side, we cleared all the way back to the right-of-way. On the other side we cut the grass within 30 feet from the top of the bank. Anything in from that will remain for maintenance purposes. We do maintenance all the time, such as dredging.
Mr. Petty stated we will send a backhoe out there.
Mr. Fennell asked do we need to do some maintenance to prevent trees from falling in?
Mr. Frederick stated one resident has ficus hedges along our property.
Mr. Petty stated which poses no threat to the District at its present state. It is only if you imagine it unmaintained and growing to the height of 30 to 40 feet, can you see any harm to the drainage.
Mr. Fennell asked where on the plan is this area indicated as a maintenance area?
Mr. McKune responded it is not indicated specifically as a maintenance area. There is five feet from the right-of-way on both sides. If we maintain from the top of bank on the wide side, there would be 30 feet.
Mr. Petty stated when we looked at the contract for removing the trees, the apartment side is five feet and our side was the maintenance side.
Mr. Fennell asked what policy should we have for the maintenance areas? Should there be a policy outside the maintenance areas? In the maintenance areas, we would remove the trees. There should be a policy if the trees on a resident’s lot falls across the canal and blocks it. Is the resident liable?
Mr. Petty responded it is an act of god. The resident had no intention of the tree falling down on you. It is like his screen enclosure falling into the canal.
Mr. Lyles stated the same thing would hold true with a tree on your property falling down on your neighbor’s roof and damaged his home.
Mr. Hanks asked does the Board have any liability if flooding occurs?
Mr. Lyles responded there is some liability from failing to meet permit conditions that results in flooding that otherwise would not have occurred, which damages someone’s property. If you are not maintaining the drainage system properly and maintaining it negligently and flooding occurs and damages someone’s property, we can find ourselves on the receiving end of a claim for property loss. We could lose a case like this. Trees falling into the canal are an act of god. Whether it is on our right-of-way or private property and blocks the flow of water, I do not believe we will be incurring liability in this scenario.
Mr. Hanks stated if a road fell in and flooded, this would be an entirely different situation.
Mr. Fennell stated or there was a tree in our maintenance area we could have cleared up.
Mr. Lyles stated if trees in our right-of-way or maintenance area fall down by an act of god and flooding occurs, then we are not responsible versus if we allowed a culvert to get soaked up or collapses because of shifting and it does not function anymore or the system does not function in accordance with the way it was permitted. The permit does not require us to do anything about the trees but the culverts are required to be open and flowing.
Mr. Fennell asked have we had this type of situation before?
Mr. Petty responded not in 47 years. Not since CSID started.
Mr. Fennell stated the area is different than it was 20 years ago.
Mr. Petty stated within the last 10 years, we had the greatest rainfall events in our history with floods of 15 inches. I do not mean there should be a concern but I do not think there is an imminent danger. I think we have a great record. If we are going to go after the trees, you should do this in steps. There is nothing that says we have to go from not addressing the trees to removing every single one.
Mr. Lyles stated I think the letter the Board requested at the last meeting has now been finalized and sent out. I am talking about the letter to the residents saying “we are coming into your neighborhood and behind your home and removing storm debris”. There is nothing in the letter about removing a healthy tree. I think this could come back to haunt us if we do so under the debris removal notice and contract we awarded. While we are there certain trees that are determined to be a hazard to drainage are also going to be removed and you are going to have a firestorm of negative reaction to that.
Mr. Fennell stated we removed all of the trees across the canal. Do we have an estimate of $1.4 million for removing everything from the maintenance areas?
Mr. Petty responded yes, from right-of-way to right-of-way.
Mr. McKune stated we can tell the contractor not to remove certain trees or we will start deducing from their amount.
Mr. Lyles asked have you had any
discussions or investigated with the Planning Department of the City of
Mr. Petty responded we have not
spoken with the City of
Mr. Fennell stated I spoke to a couple of people and they felt we needed to stand up and finally do this. Commissioner Levinson was talking about a committee being formed to review the tree situation, not only on our canals, but due to the fact a lot of trees fell down. Perhaps in the end this could be attributed to trees that grew too tall. I told him we would be more than happy to assist him. Will it happen right now? Probably not. We will see what happens because of the election for the new Mayor and two new Commissioners. We will see if the political arena has changed. I think we can work with the city. The question is, who in fact is responsible for reporting fallen trees, who is it reported to and who will enforce it? One would say, “CSID runs the water plant and they inform us”. We would say, “you have the ordinance”. I think a lot can be done along those lines. We need some criteria, which we do not have of what is considered to be a dangerous tree to block flow.
Mr. Hyche stated this is like the situation where behind the Auto Mall, there are trees, which were planted when the Auto Mall was built as a buffer. They never maintained it. You can call Code Enforcement out there and tell them we are not maintaining those trees and they will say, “those trees are on your property and you should maintain them”.
Mr. Fennell stated then we will remove them.
Mr. Hyche stated I am sure when those trees were planted, it was with the understanding the Auto Mall would maintain them.
Mr. Lyles stated Code Enforcement said there is nothing you can do about it. Our approach is trees on canal banks and right-of-way abutting private property have to be maintained by the property owner. We need to get the city to make sure the Auto Mall is under compliance.
Mr. Petty stated this is a long standing issue.
Mr. Lyles stated it is, however, they are going to rip these trees out and not care about what it does to our property.
Mr. Petty stated I know there are going to be repercussions but we are spending almost $2 million to clean up the existing tree issue. If we let the tree issue sit, it is probable by our estimates, half of the trees were removed by Hurricane Wilma and half remain. Financially speaking, there is no financial reason to go after these trees today. I can take the money, put it in the bank, wait for the next hurricane and have plenty of money to take care of the trees at that time.
Mr. Frederick stated I am not suggesting you remove the trees. I am saying these people need to be responsible like they should have been in the first place.
Mr. Petty stated we have no
enforcement authority. We have to rely
on the City of
Mr. Fennell stated I think this is an opportunity for us to make this change and I think we should. We need to step up and help them. Are you saying in certain areas, we actually owned areas of the canal?
Mr. McKune responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked are we responsible for anything on this property including the trees?
Mr. Petty responded not for maintenance purposes.
Mr. Fennell asked is it our land?
Mr. Petty responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked can we dig up a tree if we want to?
Mr. Petty responded if we own the property we can clear it.
Mr. Lyles stated this is an incorrect statement. It is on property owned fee simple by the District and no easement is extended to require the private property owner to install any landscaping. I recommend you check before you start cutting healthy trees.
Mr. Hanks asked is there a way to find out what trees are remaining and what was removed?
Mr. Petty responded the majority of the trees are Australian Pines.
Mr. Lyles stated those are what we call nuisance trees.
Mr. Petty stated you cannot classify it this way. Most of the Australian Pines that fell were not on the top of bank. All of them were at the water’s edge and were growing wild. We have information from out sister Districts who had done a detailed study on this particular tree. If the root is at the water’s edge, you get root rot, which makes it unstable, which is why they fall. A tree above the water line, not by species but by location cannot be deemed any more topable by a wind than any other tree.
Mr. Fennell asked who said this?
Mr. Petty responded a tree expert.
Mr. Fennell stated I can show you where some Australian Pines fell across a resident’s property.
Mr. Petty stated I do not think so. This gentleman has experience from Hurricane Andrew. No tree can survive all winds. We had cyclone activity during this storm. I am going to put this guy against your eyewitness account.
Mr. Hanks asked did you get in touch with Arbor Tree on what they are seeing out there?
Mr. Petty responded I can go either way. I am concerned with the repercussions. I am not pushing this Board to try to make what is clearly a difficult decision while Arbor Green is on this canal. Clearly we can do this at a later date. This is a straightforward tree cutting job we are being asked to do. You do not have to make this decision today.
Mr. Fennell stated if you do not cut the trees now, I do not think they will get cut.
Mr. Hanks asked can you confirm what percentage of exotic/nuisance species has been removed?
Mr. McKune responded it depends on the area. Some areas are totally cleared of nuisance species.
Mr. Hanks asked have you walked all of the canals?
Mr. McKune responded not all of them.
Mr. Hanks asked is there more of an issue with the exotics or evasive species?
Mr. McKune responded I do not like to use the term evasive. This is not an evasive tree removal program.
Mr. Hanks stated I am trying to make this palatable and improve upon our plan.
Mr. Fennell asked what do you recommend?
Mr. McKune responded clearing within five feet of the right-of-way. If we are on the shallow side, we will clear all the way to the right-of-way. On the wide side, I would go out at least 25 feet. I can justify any tree within this confined band should be removed for maintenance purposes.
Mr. Hanks stated we need to issue a change order for a scope of work.
Mr. McKune stated correct, or we can go with an estimate from the contractor, which we can reduce if we do not remove all of the trees.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we have to do this. We should write a letter to the city asking them to inform the residents they should remove the trees we are not responsible for in our right-of-way. The cases here are clear from an engineering standpoint of why we want to do this. The reasons for not doing it have nothing to do with flooding.
Mr. Petty stated there has been no example of a flooding problem.
Mr. Fennell stated I think it is clear that is exactly what we are afraid of. I agree with the engineer in that this would be the right thing to do to insure we have good flood control.
Mr. Petty stated if this is true, why does no other Drainage District have such a policy and we have not been able to institute a policy for 30 years?
Mr. Fennell responded it is not true. I can tell you of one District who has a 15 mile long canal that does not have any trees along it.
Mr. Petty stated SFWMD has the
Mr. Fennell asked why do these canals have trees along them?
Mr. Petty responded I have no idea.
Mr. Fennell stated it is because they do not want responsibility for the drainage. What is your rationale?
Mr. Petty responded I do not think the District can afford it because if you take this policy, it says only the District can say what happens within 30 feet of a resident’s backyard. Granted we own it, but it is 30 feet in his backyard or five or ten feet in another backyard, and the only thing we are going to allow to grow there is grass. I am going to tell this homeowner he has to maintain it. It is going to be like the box cuts that happened in the Dells. We told the Dells they have to maintain the green space as we were not going to. They planted all types of plantings there, but did not maintain it in a way we expected them to, which was to grow grass and mow it every week. What is to keep these people from saying, “you will have to maintain it”. This is what I think you may end up with.
Mr. Fennell stated I think you are right and this is what we are going to have to do. What you are saying is, previous policies have shown people will not maintain their right-of-way. There is an issue of cost. If Mr. McKune’s evaluation is correct and this is the right thing to do, then this is the only recourse we have. Previous history has shown it will be done by decree.
Mr. Petty stated we have arterials in our drainage system. It would be very much in the District’s existing policy to say you would do a clearing of the arterial canals.
Mr. Fennell stated you need to start looking at what is going through your pumps and start clearing from there.
Mr. Hanks stated clearing from the
pumps back is a good start. In Sunshine,
staff cleared from right-of-way to right-of-way and got the City of
Mr. Fennell stated if this is true, that does not account for the argument of no one cutting down all of the trees.
Mr. Petty stated not throughout the District, just in specific areas.
Mr. Fennell stated I would like for you to prove it does not hurt anything.
Mr. Petty stated you are making a statement that the system will function as a whole, although I cannot agree there will not be localized flooding if a pipe gets clogged.
Mr. Hyche stated you cannot guarantee it no mater what.
Mr. Petty stated you can do the best you can.
Mr. Hyche stated for the most part, the east side has to be done because there are Australian Pines for miles.
Mr. Fennell stated the Australian Pines were not even planted by CSID, but were planted by Westinghouse.
Mr. Hanks stated if we remove all of the Australian Pines, we remove the seed source.
Mr. Frederick stated we have some places where there are plants growing on the edge of the canal. We need permission to remove them.
Mr. Petty stated I believe some action would be better than no action.
Mr. Fennell stated some compromises are going to have to be made. Lets remove all of the exotic/nuisance trees.
Mr. Petty stated I will ask you to call them specific species rather than exotic/evasive because we may have an issue. Our responsibilities do not include controlling exotic tree species. However, going after any trees potentially harming the District facility is within our charter.
Mr. Fennell stated lets remove all the ficus, Australian Pines and any nuisance trees.
Mr. Petty stated we should remove all trees the engineer deemed to be a danger to the District’s arterials. This gives you the broadest scope.
Mr. Fennell stated lets instruct Arbor Tree to also remove all ficus, Australian Pines or nuisance trees or any other trees the engineer may deem dangerous to the waterway within our right-of-way.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like to
restrict this to the use of the east/west outfall canals in
Mr. Fennell stated where I live, we have culverts and any trees that fall in there, are going to block the culverts. Why is this any different than the main arterials?
Mr. Petty responded the main arterials affect 50% to 100% of the residents. Localized flooding is just that; the people who live closest to the arterials have better drainage than these people will ever have regardless of what you do. I cannot give you equal drainage. If I am furthest away, I am going to get water draining away from me before you see the water levels go down because you have to wait until all the other canals drain. There are advantages and disadvantages. There is no way to make the entire system the same for everyone. I cannot do it with water pressure, water quality and I especially cannot do it with drainage, but that does not mean we cannot remove the trees.
Mr. Fennell stated even though my neighbors and I live next to an outfall, they are not going to get any benefits because of the culvert near the park and the one on Ramblewood. I think the pattern repeats throughout the neighborhood. You certainly cannot block the C-14 canal, but the other ones are actually in more danger from being blocked because they are smaller in diameter.
Mr. Hanks stated there is too much to piece together right now. Is there any reason why we need to make a decision today?
Mr. Petty responded I see no immediate threat.
Mr. Hanks stated Arbor Tree is here for 150 days and we are 10 days into the contract.
Mr. Petty stated you may be spending excessive dollars, but due diligence should always be the first course of action.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like to get a concept from Mr. McKune on how he wants to have this done, what canals and where.
Mr. McKune stated I would be happy to do so but I need some guidelines/criteria. I prefer going from right-of-way to right-of-way if money and politics were not an object.
Mr. Hanks asked what canals do you think will be more affected by this? When I go out there, I want to see what trees are coming out and which trees are still standing.
Mr. McKune stated we can do that, but it is a question of trying to minimize the potential. On the narrow side of the canal where you have 35 feet from the top of bank and wetlands, we have a 100 foot Australian Pine. All I can do is minimize the problem.
Mr. Fennell stated at this point address what you can. I think there are additional dangers out there we have not addressed.
Mr. Hanks stated if we do not take a holistic approach, we could be spending a great deal of money and not get anything for our money.
Mr. Fennell stated I think this is the best money we have spent.
Mr. Petty stated I do not think it will be the last money we spend.
Mr. Fennell stated but this will be
the best time to do this until the next hurricane hits. The amount of damage in
Mr. Hanks stated $12,000,000 worth of damage will cost $150 per household.
Mr. Petty stated we will not stop there because this probably will need additional maintenance. I think you answered the questions before. I would like to see a study showing what happens to the water as it reaches the top of bank and the floor pads of the road, which are a foot to a foot and a half from the top of the road. Before you start saying there is going to be catastrophic flooding if the trees fall in, we will model it. We can say how many trees it may take but we can only make assumptions that these pipes are blocked and the water is past the top of bank. We currently have no model but we can make one.
Mr. McKune stated we can prepare a model and do so fairly easily but it is expensive because we have to create brand new models.
Mr. Fennell stated if we authorize a study, we have to prepare a model and it will be another three months out by the time we actually take action. Where do you think Arbor Tree is going to be at that point?
Mr. McKune responded gone.
Mr. Fennell asked what cost would we incur by delaying this decision?
Mr. McKune responded I do not know.
Mr. Petty stated you may gain the justification for the residents who cry out, “don’t take my tree” and just might have the poof for the tree to come down because you have the hydraulic model showing catastrophic flooding will occur. From past experience in talking about trees coming down and from present experience, from the people who have called since we laid out the limited door hangers, people are going to want to save the trees they have in their backyards that are in our right-of-way. Do you have a document saying, “catastrophic damage or flooding may occur”? This would be very helpful.
Mr. Fennell responded four months from now, when Arbor Tree is gone and it now costs $3 million and do not remove the trees, it would be nice to have a document saying it was presented to the Board.
Mr. Petty stated I do not know what we are protecting the residents from.
Mr. Fennell stated we are protecting them from flooding. I think we are saying, we want to ignore the flooding potential by asking for more information. I think the time is right to do this.
Mr. Hanks stated the time is right to see where we stand in terms of flood protection. We had initial criteria set up years ago where the amount of storage was provided based on how much open space there was.
Mr. Fennell stated it was based on buildout.
Mr. Hanks stated the Permit Criteria Manual was based on the amount of open space, not on a set number. If you decrease the storage, you decrease the need.
Mr. Fennell stated the problem is any model based on what you are thinking about doing is one taking into account the blockage of individual canals. The premises for the whole argument were based on the canals working. If the canals do not work, the drainage does not work. This was clear from the initial study.
Mr. Hanks stated we can finish the floor projection when the model comes back.
Mr. McKune stated I will provide the permit and model to Mr. Hanks.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Permit Requests
Mr. McKune stated this is a modification to an existing permit issued some time ago to add a 3.5 acre parking lot. The calculations were reviewed by our office. The runoff discharges into the Sawgrass Expressway canal. We agree the project meets the District’s criteria and recommend approval within our standard proviso.
Mr. Fennell stated since the site is designed with no emergency outfall and zero discharge drainage system, we should inspect the storm lines.
Mr. McKune stated there is an outfall.
Mr. Hanks stated it looks like their parking lot is a foot higher than the lot.
Mr. McKune stated I do not know why.
Mr. Hanks stated no pre-treatment is required. Is the water quality being taken care of in the canal?
Mr. Petty responded it is being
taken care of in the conservation area.
The District does not maintain the canal system. We are not trying to get nutrient removal in
the canal per se.
Mr. McKune stated all of the water quality is done on-site.
Mr. Hanks stated there is no water quality treatment on the site. When the initial permit was approved three or four years ago, it was for institutional use. This does not exempt them from water quality but I believe the west basin provides for water quality. NSID also provides them water treatment.
Mr. Petty stated NSID has a lake system, not a canal system.
Mr. Hanks stated we need to establish whether there is a canal system for the west basin that CSID provides water quality to. Otherwise, we will be losing an opportunity to correct any past errors.
Mr. Petty stated the other issue may
be while the District has their permit, it cannot be held accountable but all
new construction was. We may not be
doing water retention requirements within our system even though we have
Mr. McKune responded 17 acres.
Mr. Petty asked will we delay anything by doing further research?
Mr. Lyles responded you could approve this permit, subject to the engineer confirming any applicable water quality standards are met.
Mr. Fennell asked is this site currently under construction?
Mr. McKune responded yes. They are building a classroom addition on a 1.3 acre building area with .41 acre of impervious area. The stormwater is routed through the existing drainage system, which ultimately discharges into the C-14 canal. There is water quality treatment provided through an exfiltration trench.
Mr. Fennell asked why are we discharging directly into the C-14 canal?
Mr. McKune responded I do not know.
Mr. Hanks asked are they maintaining the appropriate perimeter around the C-14?
Mr. Petty responded the interconnects on the C-14 should always be at an elevation that would do just what you are saying. They only reason they would be allowed is due to the cost of running pipe.
Mr. Hanks stated do they need to provide pre-treatments?
Mr. McKune responded yes, under their SFWMD permit.
Mr. Petty stated we can approve this with them being at risk with whatever other agency they must submit to. We are not guaranteeing them their drainage will be approved by any other agency.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
Mr. Lyles stated since the last
meeting, two significant government meetings took place, which may have some
impact on CSID. Two and a half weeks ago
there was a local public hearing for the Broward County Legislative Delegation. I was not present at this meeting and no bill
was taken up at that meeting involving CSID.
However, they discussed a bill to transfer the Sunshine Water Control
District from an independent Special District, similar to this one, to a
dependent Special District of the City of
Mr. Fennell stated our lobbying interests are solely for CSID.
Mr. Lyles stated you need to confirm
there is no joint lobbying effort on behalf of the SWCD and its struggles with
Mr. Petty stated you are jointly
engaged with Mr. Book with the SWCD. Mr.
Book was asked to look out for CSID’s best interests
during this legislative session. An act
Mr. Fennell stated our lobbying interests are to pay for lobbying interests pertaining to CSID. We will not pay for any other interests for any other group.
Mr. Lyles stated it is not our intention to pay Mr. Book to lobby for Sunshine. It is to lobby our District, if we have a position to lobby.
Mr. Petty stated I think we are in compliance with all of the objectives and the direction is to protect CSID’s best interest.
Mr. Lyles stated I would like to discuss some semantics. Mr. Petty believes CSID’s best interests are to fight SWCD’s fight. I believe to use those funds to fight SWCD’s fight is not something within our power or our best interest. I want to make sure we do not have any disagreements in between meetings and the Board is giving us clear direction. It is not just what is in our best interest, such as, making sure things do not happen in other District’s that have other battles to fight. The reason why we were paying for Mr. Book, as well as NSID was we both had codification bills filed with the legislative delegation and amendments were being made to those bills without our knowledge. We wanted to make sure they did not substantially alter the legislation, creating a framework for this District to operate. We did not pay Mr. Book to handle something that only affected NSID.
Each District was paying a Lobbyist to watch its own codification bill pending before the Broward Legislative Delegation and the Florida Legislature. There is no bill pending relating to CSID. There is only the bill relating to the SWCD. I want to make sure my representations or understanding of the Board’s direction in the past is correct. If they are incorrect, I was to make sure I corrected any misstatement I have made regarding the Board’s position. I want it to be made clear that Mr. Book is not using CSID funds to fund his activities to lobby against the bill for the SWCD. I would like clarification from the Board in terms of the direction of staff.
Mr. Hanks asked is SWCD resisting?
Mr. Petty responded yes. I think the CDD is in the best interest of
their residents. They do not believe the
Mr. Fennell asked is it because their streets are across the canal?
Mr. Petty responded I think it is because they had nothing better to do. The instructions to date have been for Mr. Lyles to protect the interest of CSID during this legislative session. If any issue comes up you believe negatively impacts this District, you are to let us know. The SWCD is perfectly capable of fighting its own battles. We do not have to be involved. I think your involvement with the lobbyist is to protect your interest during the session and not fight SWCD’s fight. Do not think for a minute the bill being pushed against the SWCD is exactly the same type of mechanism you were staring at four weeks prior. I think you are concerned and want the information, but certainly we do not need to use CSID’s dollars to fight SWCD’s battle.
Mr. Fennell stated make it clear to Mr. Book we cannot spend CSID dollars for the defense of SWCD. We cannot stretch our interest too much on them. There are common areas where we have other interests and general safeguards for all special interest groups. We want him to look out for our interests but we currently do not have any items in the legislature.
Mr. Petty stated I spoke to Mr. Book and we know of no direct threat or any other similar action but he is wary and watchful. If there are going to be multiple voices coming from the District we should specify what they are responsible for so we do not find ourselves in these situations. If the Board wishes to direct District Counsel or the manager to relinquish a position, you should let us know so we do not have a conflict.
Mr. Lyles stated all I attempted to
do was to communicate to the city what the Board’s intentions were. It went no further than that. There is obviously a difference of opinion
among your staff about the method to be used to go about engaging and
protecting the CSID Board from things that might happen. You have a manager and a Board. I think the Board sets the policy. I certainly understand whatever policy is
being espoused outside of one of these meetings by any staff member including
myself, is going to conform with what the Board has set. I do not ever intend to give the Board its
policy or dictate policies to the Board but we need to have a cohesive
communication with the rest of the government agencies that might impact this
Mr. Petty asked what do you think
the downside is on your scenario? I thought we had good communication with the
city and our President had been in contact with the city. I went to several informational meetings with
city staff discussing our cleanup of hurricane debris and I have been in
contact with the City of
Mr. Fennell responded I received direct calls from the Mayor about our communication with them. The attorney has in fact helped us through political and legal matters and he has a perfect right to do this.
Mr. Petty stated I would be happy to defer to counsel.
Mr. Fennell stated the Mayor called me saying, “I understand CSID, NSID and others are going to band together and hire Mr. Book to kill this bill”. He asked me what we are doing. Of course this was the first time I heard this and said, “we have a lobbyist there as far as I know and we are not going to become dependent as far as I know”. The problem is this is not our fight.
Mr. Petty stated we would like to see the crux of an independent District being converted to a dependent District.
Mr. Fennell stated we have very specific issues we can get involved in as a District, mainly as it pertains to our own District and doing our job.
Mr. Petty stated it is not my intent
to be an independent voice and I am not trying to make this a personal
issue. I have nothing to gain. If you prefer the interaction between this
District and the City of
Mr. Fennell stated we just affirmed that a relationship as far as Mr. Book goes is we have a certain budget every year and we cannot spend this money to protect other people’s interest. As far as maintaining relationships with the city, those will be maintained at a number of different levels. Your job is to apprise the city of what we are doing, how we are going about it and in many cases, to quall their fears. If they have issues with that, then I will step in or the attorney will step in to help you out. However, I do not know you as the manager can perform all of the functions.
Mr. Petty stated the structure is such that all communications from the Board go through me for implementation and goes from me to you for results. Without that structure, the manager function does not work. It then turns into an administrative/secretarial function or duty listed function, which I am more than capable and willing to do.
Mr. Fennell stated we have several different groups reporting to the Board directly; one is the attorney, another is the company we use for our audits.
Mr. Petty stated you hired them during this meeting but the instructions from them go through me. Whatever your directions are, I will do my best to follow but the definition of the position is such as it exists now is that it would go through the manager’s office.
Mr. Fennell stated it also has to go through me because you report to the Board.
Mr. Petty stated this is the hourglass function. There are the supervisors, the manager and implementation.
Mr. Fennell stated the policy is we are interested in protecting CSID, but are not going to spend funds to protect another District.
Mr. Petty stated we are already in that position and I have defined that as the instruction to Mr. Book. Your instructions are to look out for anything during this legislative session negatively impacting CSID. I am looking for a motion to this affect.
Mr. Hanks asked do we actually need a motion?
Mr. Lyles responded the manager has impressed upon one. I was satisfied with expressing your consensus this was the decision to be made. If it helps to clarify the instructions, I am all for it.
Mr. Petty stated it does not make it clearer. I am looking for a motion because it causes action.
Mr. Lyles stated last week the
Broward County Management and Efficiency Study Committee met and requested
representatives from a number of Districts to attend. I was unable to attend but I asked an
associate to in my steed. I provided the
Board with a written summary of what took place at the meeting and do not need
the Board to take any action. However, I
want you to be aware, this group, which is supposed to be reviewing efficiency
and management practices of Broward County Government and its subordinate
agencies, is looking at Special Districts throughout
Mr. Petty stated the request is not
for public records. Mr. Lyles received
all of this information. It is already
available in his office, he just does not know
it. It was received by his office weeks
before the request even came in. For all
Districts Mr. Lyles works on, electronic copies of all documents in our office
were provided to his office. What Mr.
Lyles is asking for is to represent this District’s position at various
meetings being held at the county or state level. This is what I told him I would not
participate in. I told Mr. Michael
Pawelczyk I could not fulfill this request without the Board telling me to get
involved. This group has been trying to
get a District of stature outside of the East Broward County Water Control
District to come to these meetings for more years than I can remember. We have avoided that historically. My predecessors have because this local
government agency does not have oversight over this independent District. To go to the meeting would give them provenance
to continue their actions. We saw no
reason for it. We are not a subsidiary
Mr. Fennell stated I authorize you.
Mr. Petty stated as much as I respect you, you have no power as an individual. You only have the ability to instruct staff as a Board. Not that I would not follow your wishes, but the Board must act in that capacity.
Mr. Fennell stated your stance was you would not be involved in politics. This is a political issue.
Mr. Petty stated we normally do not support candidates.
Mr. Fennell stated the attorney does report to the Board and we are the ones who chose him and voted on the engineering firm.
Mr. Petty stated I need to know who has the authority according to the Board, to represent the District.
Mr. Fennell stated when staff cannot
agree on issues, obviously I step in and make
decisions for the full Board. Mr. Moyer
did not fly to
Mr. Petty stated we will step back accordingly.
Mr. Fennell stated as far as this information, I understand your opinion.
Mr. Petty stated not anymore. I will keep my opinions to myself in the future. Mr. Lyles has the information by CD.
Mr. Lyles stated the CD provided to my office has all of the minutes and all of the records for all of the Districts my office has something to do with. I made a specific request for specific items related to CSID and this Management Efficiency Study, which I do not perceive for a moment as jurisdiction over CSID but I do believe they need to be dealt with effectively. I cannot be in a position of being told staff is not going to give me my information. I need to get things when I ask for them. To say they are on a CD with all of the other Districts, is not appropriate. I want to work effectively on your behalf with all of the staff. I think we need to air this out right now. It is unprecedented for me to have to call the President of this Board and ask for direction and I have not done that. However, I am bringing this up today because if you are going to be effectively represented by me and my firm, you need the full participation of all of your staff in that effort. This needs to be done in an effective way; not piecemealed or stonewalled.
Mr. Fennell asked what information do you need?
Mr. Lyles responded there was a request by my associate for the number of residents in the District, the level of the assessments and for a copy of the current adopted final budget. Of course I received all kinds of documents during the course of the year but they are the official records of the District.
Mr. Petty stated if you are asking for the attorney to direct staff, it is at the pleasure of the Board.
Mr. Hanks stated if Mr. Lyles needs something, give it to him.
Mr. Petty stated not a problem.
Mr. Petty stated we would be happy to give Mr. Lyles anything he needs at any time.
Mr. Lyles stated I very much appreciate it.
Mr. Hanks stated we need everyone to work together.
There not being any, the next item followed.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
2. Utility Billing Work Orders
3. Complaints Received/Resolved
Mr. Petty stated there is nothing material to report to the Board.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of February Financials and Check Registers
Mr. Fennell stated the only issue remaining is in regards to the tree removal policy. We may need to have a special meeting to resolve this matter. It is obviously up to the Board to do this. I would like for Mr. Petty to write the pros and cons for such a policy and provide to each Board member. We do not have a lot of time to do this and I think we are going to waste money if we do not get something started. Right now we have a deadlock between how far we want to go and we have to discuss this with a third member. I think we are going to break some ground and actually come up with a policy because we do not have one.
Mr. McKune stated tomorrow I will tell the contractor not to do anything until the Board makes a decision.
Mr. Fennell stated unfortunately we are trying to decide whether or not to do anything. Can you have this list of pros and cons to us, Mr. Petty in two weeks?
Mr. Petty responded I will do my best.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at
Glen Hanks Robert Fennell