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
William J. Eissler Vice President
Glen Hanks Secretary
Also present were:
Michael Pawelczyk Attorney
John McKune Engineer
Doug Hyche District Staff
Ilana Rabone Severn
Janice Moen Larned Severn
Cedo DaSilva Ch2M-Hill
Bill Bensen Keefe, McKullough
Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order and Mr. Petty called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the April 17, 2006 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member received a copy of the April 17, 2006 minutes and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.
On page 13, in the seventh line, the word “food” should be “flood”.
Mr. Petty stated on page four in the first sentence, “not” should be deleted.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Hurricane Debris Removal and Canal Bank Restoration Status
Mr. Petty stated I will discuss this item in two parts. The first part is the status of the debris and the bank material. We are past the halfway point. The contractor has been very responsive on the main part of the contract. He turned out to be a very smart operator in making sure he gets paid the proper amount of dollars. We do not exactly get the bargains we like to get from our contractors, but the work he is doing is very good. The equipment he is using is also very good. He has been responsive other than a few scheduling problems in the first month as they were trying to get into a rhythm. We are now working on time.
Mr. McKune stated as of this morning, the contractor is totally complete in removing all of the trees. The entire District is clear. Now they are shaping the banks and adding fill. They expect to be totally complete within 30 days, but are aiming for three weeks subject to the weather. As Mr. Petty said, they are doing a great job.
Mr. Petty stated our punchlist is going to be minimal.
Mr. Hyche stated there will be a few sod replacements.
Mr. Eissler stated they did a good job.
Mr. Petty stated as part of the process, Mr. Hyche had the water management guys follow the contractor to inspect each canal as they were cleared. Staff notified the residents of our impending entrance into the canals for the removal of the debris. In turn, the residents have been contacting us to see if they can get a free irrigation system. Most of them were good about it and understood what was going on and did not have an issue. Out of all of the canals, we may have had less than 25 people calling in angry about their irrigation system.
Mr. Eissler stated that is terrific.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a huge relief.
Mr. Eissler stated if there is another hurricane, there will be a lot less trees in the canal.
Mr. Fennell stated we made our mid-May commitment.
Mr. Petty stated which was optimistic at the time.
Mr. Fennell stated this is good news.
Mr. Petty stated as we discussed, there are still quite a few trees standing which is a potential threat to the drainage system of equal nature to what we saw after Hurricane Wilma. If we are going to be pro-active, we discussed going after those trees. After spending this much money, you have to look at the trees as a threat in this area. To what degree they are a threat, we discussed this adamantly. We obtained actual bids from competitive companies since the prices we received from Arbor Tree seemed high. I think they estimated $1,400,000. It appears the apparent low bidder is Styles Landscape Company who will remove all living tree material in our easements and rights-of-way for $937,000. I asked Mr. McKune to do this before the land was actually cleared. He would have preferred to remove the trees after the land was cleared to get better count of the trees but we had some timing issues.
Mr. Fennell asked how long is this quote good for?
Mr. McKune responded 90 days.
Mr. Eissler stated for $937,000 they are going to remove trees and shrubs for 25 miles of canals from the canal bank 15 feet back.
Mr. McKune stated from right-of-way to right-of-way.
Mr. Fennell stated in some cases, it may be more than 15 feet.
Mr. Eissler asked will they remove everything?
Mr. McKune responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated there are still some Australian Pines out there.
Mr. Eissler asked how much does it cost per tree?
Mr. McKune responded between $800 and $2,000 per tree.
Mr. Eissler asked to remove the trees and stumps?
Mr. McKune responded right to the stump. The Australian Pines cost $15,000 to $20,000 per tree for removal.
Mr. Petty stated the one outside of the water plant building cost $6,000 to $7,500 to remove.
Mr. Eissler asked will FEMA pay?
Mr. McKune responded NRCS covers 75%. However, they will not pay for the second job.
Mr. Petty stated until we have the money, there is no guarantee.
Mr. Fennell asked when do we get money from the Federal Government?
Mr. McKune responded unfortunately the contractor has yet to submit a pay request. In fact, we agreed with him that he is approximately 100% completed with the tree portion, which is more than half the job.
Mr. Petty stated since we inspected the work as he has been going along, paying so much all at once does not bother me. If we had not been doing the inspection all along, I would be concerned about this much money going out the door before we completed the punchlist.
Mr. Fennell asked when do we get paid?
Mr. McKune responded as soon as we turn his request for payment into NRCS. We are told repeatedly the wait will not be too long.
Mr. Fennell asked what is the timing of the cashflow?
Mr. Petty responded we are getting no guarantees from NRCS. We are hoping to get the money after we pay the invoices. Once the money goes out the door, within 90 days we are hoping to get the money back.
Mr. Fennell asked how soon do we have to pay Arbor Tree?
Mr. Petty responded we have to pay them. We can only get reimbursement from NRCS on a paid invoice submittal.
Mr. Eissler stated we have to be 90 days out. Are we going to have to borrow money?
Mr. Fennell responded no. Do we have $1,950,000 in reserves?
Mr. Petty responded we have $1,000,000 in the Reserve Fund for our drainage.
Mr. Fennell stated according to last month’s statements, there was another $950,000.
Mr. Petty stated we may have cash, but I do not think we have another $900,000 in unaccounted carry forward. Between what is in the Reserve Fund for drainage and in the Enterprise Fund for capital projects, we have more than enough cashflow for this current situation.
Mr. Fennell stated if you look at the first page of our financials, for the General Fund there is $951,000 in the State Board of Administration. Are these our assets?
Mr. Petty responded yes. That does not include what vendors may be due to be paid.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand but we have $1,900,000 somewhere.
Mr. Petty stated we do not want to start allocating anything out of that fund other than the $1,000,000 reserve at this time. If you have monies in your bank account from this year or prior years budget where you saved a few dollars and now you have $400,000 in an unreserved carry forward, you never want to take that money and spend it unless it is from the audit. We should pull this number from the audit because it comes from a closed book year. Anything current we may get a bill for. The fact of spending over budget this year does not guarantee at the end of the year you will still have this money. We can have a hurricane next month. You do not spend the money before the audit. I do not have a number.
Mr. Fennell stated I see a number designated for reserves and unreserves of $840,000. It looks like we have $1,900,000 in total assets. They account for how much we normally spend.
Mr. Petty stated before we allocate the funds, I would make sure this was carry forward. I apologize for not having this information for this Board meeting but I did not verify this number.
Mr. Fennell asked when do you spend the reserves?
Mr. Petty responded whenever you want.
Mr. Eissler stated maybe never.
Mr. Fennell stated we have $1,000,000 in designated reserves. Is there a cashflow issue as far as what is in our General Fund budget?
Mr. Petty responded there is no program the spending has been allocated for. In regards to the reserves, it depends on what this Board decided as a policy. You may recall in our discussions on emergency preparedness and what levels we would be able to stand this year, we discussed increasing the reserve.
Mr. Fennell stated I am looking at the General Fund budget which has been pro-rated for this year to $965,000. How much do we have in reserves?
Mr. Petty responded you would have to look at last year’s audit. We do not have a finished audit for this year. It is almost ready to be reviewed by staff and management so we can comment on a management level.
Mr. Fennell stated it looks like the State Board of Administration has $1,900,000 of our dollars. This is who we invest with.
Mr. Petty stated this is not the only source. It is the only source we can do for an overnight account over the short term. There are other sources approved by the state for short term use. We can do CD’s.
Mr. Hanks asked what do we have to maintain in terms of cash on hand to be in compliance with our bonds?
Mr. Petty responded we do not have an issue on the bonds since they are paid off. There is no reserve required. This would be a separate fund. I apologize for not bringing this number to you, but I was comfortable with our current financial position.
Mr. Fennell stated we have some short term bonding potential. We actually spent $1,400,000 with Arbor Tree.
Mr. Petty stated correct as well as engineering fees.
Ms. Larned stated $1,900,000 is reflected in the report we provide to the Board each month. The monthly revenues and expenditures at this point in time show more revenues than expenditures which is adding to your fund balance, but it is not for the entire year. We brought over from last fiscal year $1,400,000 in reserves. This is why you do not want to look at what is falling at the end of the month because you still have to go the rest of the year. You can count on the $1,400,000 and how it was audited. Perhaps at the next meeting, we will be able to answer any questions.
Mr. Petty stated between the Utility
Fund and General Fund, we have more than adequate monies to not only do the
existing tree removal program but also consider removal of the standing
trees. We can either remove all of the
trees or some of the trees. Our sister
District, Sunshine, approved at their meeting last week of removing all the
trees. This is not to influence this
Board in one direction of another, but the issue is already out there for
Mr. Fennell stated they are looking for some consistency.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Right-of-Way & Surface Water Management Permit for Expansion of Sawgrass Expressway to Six Lanes from Atlantic Boulevard to Coral Ridge Drive
Mr. DaSilva stated we are in discussions with the consultant. Since we received direction from the Board to model the entire District, we asked them to provide 10 year and 100 year discharge calculations. We are trying to finalize the numbers so we can include it in our model. We divided the District into sub-basin drainage areas and identified any pipes, culverts and canals. We also calculated the actual land use at Mr. Hanks request and taken similar size lots and averaged the square footage. We completed the west basin and we are half way into the east basin. Once those numbers are finalized and we have tables and percentages, we can plug those numbers including the discharges from the Sawgrass and model how the pumps are going to operate under a 10 year condition as well as a 100 year condition.
Mr. Fennell asked is there an urgency to approve this permit?
Mr. Petty responded no. We are not asking for a vote at this time. We have issues with this, but nothing is coming before the Board for a decision today.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Work Authorization No. WA-30 for CSID Storm Water Update
Mr. Petty stated this work authorization is for the hydrology profile.
Mr. Fennell stated we authorized $30,000 at the last meeting.
Mr. McKune stated this is a request for $20,000 estimated per month plus surveying. Mr. DaSilva received two surveying proposals.
Mr. DaSilva stated I would like to take them back with me because there are differences between the two. For certain work, the District is going to end up paying anywhere from $200 to $300 per cross section for the survey.
Mr. Fennell asked how many sections?
Mr. DaSilva responded 12 miles.
Mr. Petty stated to do a hydraulic profile for a portion of the District does not make any sense. How much will it cost the District?
Mr. DaSilva responded $80,000.
Mr. Petty stated this is what I anticipated.
Mr. DaSilva stated The C-14 canal has a four mile stretch and there is no elevation difference. You may be able to survey every 1,000 feet.
Mr. Hanks stated you do not need to do a cross section because we do not see the sludge in the C-14. This is SFWMD’s concern.
Mr. DaSilva stated the C-14 has a catching swale within the right-of-way at the property line. Some sections are already built. Our property line is flat and varies within six inches. I do not foresee you having any more than that. We can be pro-active and say, “we do not need to survey every 100 feet or 500 feet”. We can survey every 2,000 feet and drive around with the surveyors so they understand what we are looking for. We are looking for low and high points.
Mr. Fennell stated a surveyor came
to my neighborhood last week and we drove down the outfall. They removed three to four feet from the
Mr. Petty stated there was a berm constructed to retain water.
Mr. Fennell stated it was not an isolation berm; it was the top of the canal.
Mr. Petty stated the top of canal is
80 feet with a three foot high berm at the property line to separate us from
Mr. Fennell stated these outfall canals separate my area.
Mr. Hanks stated I am concerned about the canals at Sunshine than I am with the C-14.
Mr. Fennell stated the height of the
C-14 actually backs up this canal to
Mr. Hanks stated it depends on how much they are pushing up because you will have a hydraulic radiance across the east outfall canal. The north end better have a higher end than the south.
Mr. Fennell stated this is one
issue. I would like to know the height
of the area. I am surrounded by the C-14
on at least two sides. We are going to
have to talk to the city about the permit.
We keep talking about street drainage but there are big pipes flowing
from one street to another, to the inner canals. My entire street is drained by one 30 inch
main going over NW 1st. We
are supposed to have another inlet in the middle of the block but we could not
find it. The water flows to
Mr. DaSilva stated agreed but we need to focus on what we can control and what we can change.
Mr. Fennell stated we can change anything through permits. The city draws their permit for us for these drains.
Mr. Hanks stated my understanding is the streets were originally owned by Coral Ridge Properties who then sold off a master development to homebuilders. They retained the services of an engineer to the District.
Mr. DaSilva stated an HOA was never formed. Usually they take care of the drainage. When you have an HOA, the homeowners are responsible for the water.
Mr. Petty stated there is no statute
saying the drainage is going through an HOA.
Government is the primary source of drainage. HOA’s sometimes pay for private
infrastructure behind a locked gate but will not handle residential drainage
systems on a street unless it is a private street. The City of
Mr. Fennell stated this was a great study. It is already revealing not only issues we have to address but some issues we have to work with the city on. I do not think the city going to initiate the study. It is going to come from us and when the study is completed, we will be able to talk to Mr. Levinson and others at the city and say, “We need to work on this to make sure our city is safe”.
Mr. Petty stated we may get involved in the repair work since we know how to do it. One of the reasons we suggested this study is if flooding ever occurred and we had localized flooding from catch basins filling up, when people inform us their drainage is backed up and they are flooded out, we have very sound and scientific reasons for what actually happened. This is a good reason for us to do the model besides making sure water flows during a rainfall event, more extreme than what we experienced in the last 30 years because we have not had flooding other than localized in 30 years.
I am bothered by the engineer’s proposal for payment because the $30,000 was based on us asking for a ballpark figure. The survey work was discussed but we were asking for ballpark figures. I prefer the proposal from CH2M-Hill have a not to exceed number for the work. Secondly, they need to decide whether they will perform the survey every 100 feet or 1,000 feet. I recommend spending the $80,000 in surveying to try to save $5,000.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the scope of the survey?
Mr. DaSilva responded surveying 25 feet from the property line.
Mr. Hanks asked around the Sawgrass Expressway and C-14, Sunshine east outfall, Sunshine west outfall, both sides and the north boundary?
Mr. DaSilva responded you start from the property line and go 25 feet on each side.
Mr. Hanks asked 25 feet into platted
Mr. Petty responded we thought we would have engineering for $20,000. Now you are asking for a survey costing $80,000 that appears to take longer than a month to complete. Mr. McKune, Mr. DaSilva and Ms. Early have done a great job, but I worry about this type of procedure.
Mr. Hanks stated if we sent this out for competitive bid, we are talking about some serious changes. How is it going to affect our timeliness in getting this project bid?
Mr. Petty responded I would not mind doing this but timeliness means something to us. We have to follow the CCNA process since it is an engineering firm doing specialized work. Of course we can do it and we have the time to do it. Our engineers can write the specifications for the survey so we know there are no problems.
Mr. Hanks stated the specifications were already completed because we received two proposals.
Mr. Petty stated I do not believe we should concentrate on the $80,000 number because we can look at this number, prepare another survey and figure out if it is reasonable in our minds. My concern is with the monthly figure versus the not to exceed number.
Mr. Hanks stated I agree. As far as coming up with a monthly not to exceed number, we are talking about $30,000 for this study.
Mr. McKune stated $35,000 was authorized to start the surveying so we would not have to wait until this meeting to approve the work authorization.
Mr. Hanks asked of the $30,000 we authorized, how much has already been expended and into what tasks?
Mr. DaSilva responded our fees are probably $15,000 for the past month, including breaking up the entire District, adding and subtracting areas and preparing the model.
Mr. Fennell stated this takes us out a long way because we get our model but we do not have new data. The real question is how much of the new data works versus the 30 year data.
Mr. DaSilva stated the data has not been modified.
Mr. Petty stated the original permit was issued in 1975.
Mr. Fennell asked how valid is the old data?
Mr. Hanks responded it is not a question of having old data but having enough data.
Mr. Fennell stated we have enough data to do a model.
Mr. Hanks stated we have assumptions, which is what we had in 1975. Our request to CH2M-Hill was to verify the assumptions made in 1975 were being followed and the effect of the developed condition.
Mr. Petty stated you are referring to as-builts.
Mr. Fennell stated as-builts are different.
Mr. McKune stated the canal configurations are much different.
Mr. Fennell asked are the heights significantly different in each area?
Mr. McKune responded yes.
Mr. Petty stated you saw this on the east outfall.
Mr. Fennell asked were any diagrams done when the bank was removed?
Mr. McKune responded drawings were done.
Mr. DaSilva stated we have a berm elevation for the east outfall canal.
Mr. Fennell stated the question is how accurate our data is. They have diagrams showing how it was supposed to look, but no diagram taking three to four feet off the top of the canal. If this is true, then we do not know anything.
Mr. Petty stated we have our history. There are very strong points on why we should do the model. I agree the $30,000 amount was to get started. I am looking for a cost not to exceed number so I am not stuck paying $20,000 a month for the next year and a half. I would like this Board to make a decision based on a ballpark number from our engineer on what the survey will cost. The engineer should understand the work within our District, not the exact cost of the survey. However, in pursuing the calculations and the computer model, he should have enough data to provide me with a not to exceed number.
Mr. McKune stated we can give you a very good not to exceed number for the formation of the model and option one or two. You can play the “what if” game for a long time but if two pumps go down for repair, I want to do the work on an hourly basis at your request. The majority of our work is building the model, which Mr. DaSilva and his staff are doing right now.
Mr. Fennell stated build the model.
Mr. DaSilva stated the two models should not exceed $40,000. We should have the model for the next meeting.
Mr. Petty asked do you think the survey work will be done that quickly?
Mr. Fennell responded this is without the survey work. You come back and put the data in before the survey work.
Mr. Petty asked will that be another two months?
Mr. DaSilva responded no. It is an assumption of what would happen if we lowered it down and raised it.
Mr. Petty asked what is the not to exceed number for CH2M-Hill’s side of the work sans the survey?
Mr. McKune responded it is the cost of the data. We will give you a number in a couple of days.
Mr. Fennell stated Mr. DaSilva gave us a number of $40,000.
Mr. Petty stated without knowing how much money had been spent to date.
Mr. Eissler stated I like the idea of having a not to exceed number but they do not know what is going to happen. Mr. McKune is very good at submitting change orders. If they said a not to exceed number and the job is not completed, we are not going to go anywhere else. I know what you are trying to determine and agree with you, but from Mr. McKune’s standpoint, unless they give us some numbers it is not going to make a difference because we are going to pay to get the job done. I am all for saving money on the survey work. I can survey the C-14 canal. The elevation cannot change by inches and I can see saving money by not going every 500 feet. We are going to have to rely on our consultants to determine the cost because we want the data.
Mr. McKune stated we do not have a problem with a not to exceed number when we can thoroughly define the work. If we have an open ended agreement, someone will cancel on us. We end up giving you a not to exceed number and coming back to you for overruns.
Mr. Fennell stated surveying is not in the scope.
Mr. McKune stated the sub-consultant fee is for surveying.
Mr. Eissler asked will the surveying be bid out?
Mr. Petty responded Mr. McKune already bid it.
Mr. McKune stated we need a local surveyor.
Mr. Hanks asked what companies have you received proposals from?
Mr. DaSilva responded from Douglass Levin & Associates and Dean Gershire. One was for $80,000 and the other was for $100,000 or $300 per cross section compared to $150.
Mr. Hanks stated as a Civil Engineer, I approached Dean Gershire and other firms providing surveying services for a third party. He is good but I found his prices to be on the high end rather than at the middle or low end. As part of my duty to the community to keep an eye on the budget, I have seen numbers from various firms at half of what is out there. You got a good differential of high and low bids.
Mr. McKune stated the main thing is competency, not cost.
Mr. Fennell stated I suggest we approve the work authorization with the conditions CH2M-Hill not exceed $40,000 and the sub-contractor not exceed $60,000. If you need more money, come back to the Board but that should get you started.
Mr. Hanks stated I agree but I request another condition as to who will own the model and the results so if we need to get the work done in five or ten years from now, we will have ownership of the model.
Mr. Fennell stated this is a good point.
Mr. Petty stated CSID will own the model.
Mr. Hanks stated I recommend putting out an RFQ for surveying services so we have the ability in the future to select a qualified firm.
Mr. Petty stated I discussed with Mr. Hyche last week having a pre-approved list of contractors. If the Board approves, Mr. Hyche will finalize this list and speak with counsel.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated you can do a continuing contract for surveying services as long as you can define the scope of those services in the RFQ.
Mr. Hanks stated many municipalities will send out a request for qualifications. They may not have any one project at that instance, but they send out a request for qualifications to identify qualified consultants.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated on a rotating basis. It is up to the Board. It is probably easier to find a qualified surveyor and use this surveyor. You can have a continuing contract and issue task orders to them. You can define your scope of work, which I feel is important under the CCNA process for advertising services to indicate what this surveyor is going to do. Even though it is not problem specific, it is District specific.
Mr. Petty stated there are two kinds of surveying; the type of surveying we are referring to today, which has to go into the model and be extremely accurate, and the survey identifying sewer lines and pipes.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated it would be a non-exclusive agreement whereby if ABC Corporation cannot do the surveying, Mr. McKune can hire a sub-consultant or we can do another RFQ.
Mr. Petty stated we would probably do a bid specifically with that quality in mind. We would be happy to start the work.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Distribution of Proposed General Fund and Water and Sewer Fund Budgets for Fiscal Year 2007 and Consideration of Resolution 2006-1 Approving the Budget and Setting the Public Hearing
Mr. Petty stated we would like to pull this item from the agenda at this time as we are still working on this budget.
Mr. Fennell asked what about setting the date for the public hearing?
Mr. Petty responded you should do that after you adopt the proposed budget, not before. We can start the process by simply stating we are adopting last year’s budget but we have time to wait.
Mr. Fennell asked when do we have to do this by?
Mr. Petty responded at the next meeting. We need to set the assessments by the second week in September.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Report from Mr. Fennell on District Accounting Procedures
Mr. Fennell stated our accounting firm is here to report on our accounting services.
Mr. Benson stated I am a partner in the accounting firm of Keefe, McCullough & Company. We provide ongoing annual financial services to the city. We were asked to perform a special project for Severn Trent. I met with Ms. Larned, Mr. Petty and the Board President to make sure we understood what you were looking for, which gives you the best opportunity for an outcome meeting the Board’s needs. We decided to update our understanding of the internal accounting control system, adequacy of the system and whether the controls were designed properly and operating as originally intended. In addition, there were specific pieces of information brought up at meetings or to Board members and District management regarding items residents and vendors reported on including the timeliness of accounting, accounts payable processing functions, disbursing funds to vendors, whether or not the accounting codings were going into the appropriate accounts from the general ledger and other items relating to cash disbursement. Staff wanted to understand better whether these were substantive allegations or misinformation to the people at large.
There were also questions regarding whether or not the current workload of the accounting staff was appropriate and how many hours they charged to CSID, what they were paid and whether or not it was appropriate based on our knowledge of the accounting market locally. We took a quantitative approach to answering these questions to help you make good decisions as you move forward in an organization. Also, we evaluated what we currently use from an IT perspective in terms of how up-to-date the hardware and software are, who owns it, upgrade costs and whether or not we should be considering migrating to software other than what you are currently using. We reviewed the accounting backup procedures in terms of how adequate it was based on what we know as an accounting firm and what is taking place on a daily, weekly and monthly basis at the District; contingency plans for turnover in accounting personnel; exposure with the management company and business disruptions due to storms.
We had a post procedure meeting with the Board President, District Manager and Treasurer prior to this meeting where we revealed what I consider to be confidential information. I wanted the Board President and District staff to understand the basis of our opinion. Anything we are withholding from this public forum is what we feel is confidential information and not appropriate to be disseminated to the public at large.
In terms of our understanding of the internal accounting control system and whether or not it is adequate for this size organization, we believe it is, with the exception of possible segregation of duties as we feel the opportunities are somewhat limited. Other than segregating of some duties, you have a good control environment. We had a separate series of questionnaires and standardized checklist for an organization like this. We find the flow of information and accounting funds, check disbursements and cash receipts are good. With regards to processing of the accounts payable function and timeliness of vendor payments and accuracy of general ledger codings, we noted no real delays.
We calculated the number of days from the vendor invoice date to the date of the check and from the date of the check to the date it cleared the bank statement. I informed President Fennell, some people do not cash their checks right away and others put it in their drawer for three months and it does not clear the bank for another 90 days. The average time from invoice date to check cut date was 32 days, which I did not feel was inappropriate. On the General Fund side, the average time was 20 days. In addition, the average number of days on the water and sewer side was 10 days from the date the check was cut to when it comes back through and eight days on the General Fund side. If someone is saying we never pay, I beg to differ based on the sample. The size of samples we are using is for the size of this organization. We also found no instances where items were coded to the wrong places. As a matter of fact, the people who are coding, seem to understand their job responsibilities and where items should go within the general ledger.
In terms of the current workload of the accounting staff and number of hours devoted to CSID, we determined 70% of the accounting staff’s time gets charged to your District. In a 40 hour workweek, this is 28 hours a week. There is a 60/40 split, where 40% is the General Fund. We discussed at length with Mr. Fennell and Mr. Petty, the amount of money the District pays for accounting services. I feel strongly, the fees are reasonable based on the market. You have a well trained person. I am not saying there are not issues, but I think the District Treasurer agrees with my assessment. She is a seasoned person and it is a tight market. You could not hire someone on a full-time basis for what you are paying currently. The duties performed are check writing, bank account reconciliation, general ledger, creating the monthly statements and involvement in the ongoing budgeting. They know the specific dollar amounts being charged. The District Manager has all the information. You can question our assertions on whether or not you come to the same conclusions, but I feel strongly you are going to find they are reasonable.
Mr. Fennell stated throughout CSID, we need to have better accounting of who is being charged for what. We have many shared employees. When I was involved in engineering, we filled out time cards on a project basis. I believe we need to do this so we know who is working on what and for how much.
Mr. Petty stated we did not discuss the billing process. We were talking more about making better calculations by supervising and monitoring. The Board will receive a detailed analysis of this process during your budget process. We also discussed the sharing of people with other districts. CSID has a paternal stance with the facilities and everyone else relies on your strength. Therefore, all of these positions should be owned by CSID and be self supportive through CSID through an Interlocal Agreement. Mr. Hyche is a good example of a CSID asset as he originally came from NSID. Now that he is with us, a certain percentage of his time is being spent on NSID. I asked him to start working on his replacement. An allocation of his time is shared with NSID for a limited period of time but CSID gets the benefit. He should receive a slight benefit in his pay but that is based on the Board’s position. He is your employee for 40 hours a week. You can share him with another District, as long as it is mutually beneficial to the other District, CSID and to the employee.
Mr. Fennell stated the concept of a split employee where they work for either us or someone else and we charge out their time.
Mr. Eissler stated I think it benefits everyone.
Mr. Hanks asked is this allowed under the Florida Statutes?
Mr. Pawelczyk responded it is not disallowed. It is more or less an interlocal arrangement.
Mr. Petty stated we should do this by written agreement instead of by oral agreement.
Mr. Fennell stated make it clear who you work for or we could find ourselves buying services from NSID. I am pushing for us to have as many services as we can and if we need to have an agreement with other districts, we would sell those services. We sell floor space to other districts. I think we need to formalize this. Otherwise, we are dealing with one name firms who do not work for anyone.
Mr. Petty stated we have good employees who have strong loyalties. However, the loyalty is with four or five girls and we want them to like us best.
Mr. Benson stated this came out of many discussions we had. The good news was when people thought the person was working for four or five districts it was only 70% for our District. I think the supervisors should know that. Whatever you do, you need to put the correct supervisory controls over the workers.
Mr. Fennell stated we are going to get to a point where we know who the employees work for, how their time is spent and how to charge the services out.
Mr. Eissler stated I am all for making this formal. My observation over the past four years is we have made out very well at CSID for what we pay our employees.
Mr. Fennell stated we are going to find out.
Mr. Petty stated I am sure there have been one or two instances where we have responded to a need and have not adjusted the percentages the way the agreements should be done just because things were happening too fast. Also, there were many times when this industry was growing so fast it was difficult to track.
Mr. Benson stated statements like this should be taken in context. If you look at four years ago versus today, there is some tightness in the accounting industry and as a result, what you pay to get someone today versus four years ago might be two different things. At the current time, I believe the arrangement you have is definitely fair to the District. The Board President as well as the District Manager and the Treasurer have a handle on the accounting.
With regards to hardware and software, there were some discussions relative to who owned what machine, what software was on it, whether it is adequate, outdated, could be thrown away or a new one could be purchased. We tried to ascertain who owns the equipment. We have an AS400 machine, which was purchased in 1999 and has a 70 gig hard drive. At that time, the machine was eight years old. It was actually owned by Severn Trent. The contract has a “Right of First Refusal” provision so if Severn Trent ceases to provide services to the District, the District could negotiate with Severn Trent to retain the machine. The price will have to be determined at the time based on the age of the machine. The software is slightly antiquated and there are some upgrades available to it. We called the software manufacturer to see what is available and you may want to consider an upgrade to the newest version. A decade in software time is many lifetimes. As a result, the conclusion is there are some potential benefits to the District if they turned around and considered upgrades. The drive you have is a good system but we are up to 84% capacity. Your findings are typical of what you find at other companies. The current District Manager is on top of where we are and has some ideas for the supervisors in terms of where we go next. It will cost approximately $165,000 for a new machine along with the licensing and upgraded software. This gives you more power than you need but five years from now, I will probably be back telling you to do this again.
Mr. Fennell asked what is your recommendation?
Mr. Benson responded Mr. Petty has a proposal for possible replacement of the server, which I feel you should consider because you are fairly close to capacity.
Mr. Petty stated this is our initial recommendation. What is holding us back is the customization to make it work for Special Taxing Districts. We used all of our expertise in the late 1990’s building this system to work for us. We are competent enough to work with the software supplier into building equity into the upgrades, but we need to hear it from them first before we can positively recommend this. We planned to do this before coming to you with your proposed budget at the next meeting.
Mr. Fennell stated the machine only costs $20,000 to $30,000. Most of the expense will be in the licensing.
Mr. Benson stated there was a great
deal of discussion about whether or not the machine was ever backed up. The machine is backed up daily. There are two employees who have tapes that
leave the building with them. In
addition, we mail tapes periodically to Severn Trent's offices in
In terms of contingency planning, we felt if there was turnover in the accounting personnel department, the requirement to replace this individual falls to Severn Trent. This is one of the benefits of having a large company behind you. Although Ms. Larned has spent a tremendous amount of time here, it will probably take six to nine months to have someone trained in any capacity. Some of this vulnerability comes from the size of this organization. If you have a one person accounting department and lose the one person, you do not have any opportunities for cross training. Therefore there is some vulnerability with regards to your current management company and they will probably assist you in this turnover. We also discussed what needed to be done in replacing your management company. You would have to do an RFP, which is a big undertaking, especially considering your current arrangement with many of the employees. You have a unique arrangement. I am not saying it does not work, but it is a unique organization and one that will require a great deal of thought and care.
Mr. Petty stated you are not required to do an RFP for management services. You can do this through a selection process at the Board’s pleasure. We are exempted from this process. Should anything happen to Severn Trent, I am sure District Counsel will walk you through this process comfortably. As part of Severn Trent’s commitment, Ms. Larned and I brought over a senior accountant. We felt vulnerable after going through the audit.
Mr. Eissler asked does Mr. Dan Daly have a good idea of where everything is?
Mr. Petty responded he knows where the files are on the computer, but when it comes to the processing of the checks, payables and bank accounts he is not up to speed.
Mr. Fennell stated he only deals with the billing. The employee checks are cut by personnel and not by Ms. Walker. She performs only accounts payable functions.
Mr. Eissler stated you always run the risk of someone leaving. It is a good idea to bring someone in from Severn Trent to observe. However, if they leave, you will have to start all over again. It is a never ending problem. When someone leaves, you would be surprised how fast someone comes in. It may take six to nine months to be proficient but we could have someone come in within a short span of time who is familiar with accounts payable and receivables.
Mr. Bensen stated in the real world when someone leaves, Mr. Petty calls Ms. Larned and she gets a replacement immediately. If she cannot, in a number of cases someone from our firm can come in temporarily. The bottom line is we deal with it. Is this our number one objective? No. I am only saying in the event we lost that person, we would get by. There may be some short term pains but life goes on. Overall, the purpose of this undertaking was to look at a few of your vulnerabilities, whether it was your accounting personnel or IT systems. I think it is a good thing to do, maybe not on an annual basis but every five to ten years to see where your weak spots are. This is prudent to do in terms of managing your business.
Mr. Eissler stated Ms. Walker should have a procedural manual so if someone had to come in from Severn Trent they have a starting point.
Mr. Bensen stated this is a good
beginning. The last two steps in our
process was in regards to business contingency planning. With the last storm, CSID was the lone
If you lived here last October, you discovered cash was important. We performed a calculation and determined you have a 1,000 gallon generator with a diesel tank to run your operations for a week. We believe you should set aside $15,000. We discussed whether this $15,000 should be taken out in anticipation of a storm and deposited in the bank the following Monday or whether it was too difficult based on how storms occur. It is not to be used for any other purpose. Our thinking is if you have one week of diesel fuel onsite and at the end of the week you still do not have power and need to fill up the tank, in today’s dollars the cost is $12,500. You have enough fuel for two weeks and at the end of the two weeks, you hope FP&L is far enough to where they reached providing electricity to public utilities. The other $2,500 could be spent at Home Depot or incidental type expenses you may encounter. We realize this recommendation has to be considered carefully as this is a large petty cash fund. A number of our clients have substantially increased their petty cash fund as recently as the last six months. People were spending their personal money during the storm on behalf of the District and having to get reimbursed which we feel is not the appropriate way to go.
While it is a risky recommendation, we believe having $15,000 for a business of this size makes a great deal of sense. The Board could probably come up with or we could recommend some suggestions. For example, have one supervisor spot check it once or twice a year. Mr. Petty was helpful in terms of working with us, sharing the information and his ability to motivate the accounting personnel. The study went very well and some of the findings were valuable to the District. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service.
Mr. Eissler stated I am real appreciative. The District is in good shape.
Mr. Fennell stated we reviewed our capital outlay due to Hurricane Wilma in regards to revised bills for generators which we approved last month.
Mr. Hanks stated in the Hurricane Preparedness Report we need to deal with “What If” Scenarios. What happens if there is power but no people?
Mr. Bensen responded the benefit of having a management company is they have the ability to import regional staff in the event of a storm.
Mr. Petty stated the Hurricane Preparedness Plan deals with loss of personnel in a membrane process.
Mr. Fennell asked what about the second tank of diesel fuel?
Mr. McKune responded the contractor is currently purchasing the fuel.
Ms. Larned stated I am pleased with the report. There is goodwill with Severn Trent staff to assist in peak times. The Board should be pleased with this report.
Mr. Eissler stated we are pleased.
Mr. Fennell asked when should we receive the written report?
Mr. Bensen responded within a week along with the audit.
Mr. Fennell stated we are also expecting the proposals for the generators.
Mr. Hyche stated we went out for bid on the 10 generators the Board asked for. We were looking so good but with the time delay in receiving the generators, we realized we did not specify it correctly. We found out we could only get five generators for the $100,000 we originally asked for.
Mr. Petty stated we had to size the generators to run a pump. The trouble is, you have to size it to run two pumps. Therefore, we have gone to a fall back position with a red face and embarrassment by saying, instead of having 10 generators, we are going to ask the Board for five because the cost is considerably higher than what we thought.
Mr. Hyche stated even if you ordered them now, you are not going to get them before this hurricane season. You will get them after the storms.
Mr. Fennell stated the price increased from $10,000 to $20,000. Are the portable ones $25,000?
Mr. Hyche responded no. They cost $40,000.
Mr. Eissler stated last year they were being painted when the storm hit. At least they are painted now. Have generator sales gone through the roof?
Mr. Hyche responded yes.
Mr. Eissler stated now is the time to be in the generator business. You are talking double the price and size. If they do not come until next September or October, it is still needed for next year.
Mr. Fennell asked are they double the weight?
Mr. Hyche responded they will have to be on trailers. Some of them are 10 horsepower and others are 20 horsepower.
Mr. Fennell asked how many pumps do we have?
Mr. Hyche responded two that are 40 horsepower.
Mr. Petty stated our concern was once we get it to the location whether they were going to be stolen. We were hoping to mount the single units to the ground and remove them with a crane. If they are going to be on wheels, it is going to be a different story. We will have to take precautions to make sure no one can get bolt cutters and take away our $25,000 generator. We can purchase five mobile units for approximately $100,000 or $20,000 each.
Mr. Eissler asked when you bring them on the trailer; do you take them off the trailer?
Mr. Hyche responded you can remove the wheels.
Mr. Fennell asked are you going to purchase them?
Mr. Petty stated we want to take it out for bid and bring it to the Board for consideration with prices and delivery dates.
Mr. Eissler asked who miscalculated?
Mr. Hyche responded it was our mistake.
Mr. Fennell asked have we ordered them?
Mr. Hyche responded no.
Mr. Petty stated we will come to the next meeting with the bids. We were told there was no rush from the manufacturer and even if we ordered them three weeks ago, we were still looking at delivery in November.
Mr. Fennell asked should we look at some type of rental agreement?
Mr. Hyche responded we could look into it but it requires some hard wiring by our electrician and our staff.
Mr. Eissler stated good idea.
The record will reflect Mr. Hanks left the meeting.
Mr. Fennell stated let’s look into that. Even a couple of days after a hurricane is better than not having something.
Mr. Hyche stated with the three generators we currently have, we can shuffle them around. Last time we did this with one generator.
Mr. Eissler asked when is the extra fuel coming?
Mr. Hyche responded in eight weeks.
Mr. Fennell stated the Governor said we are on our own.
Mr. Eissler stated gas stations are purchasing generators. They do not want to but the state is going to force them.
Mr. Fennell stated the state did not force them but if they had a certain number in an area, they had to purchase one. There is no question you must harden the resources you have locally. We are going to do it. Gas stations and Publix should have generators. Publix has 80% of the food stores down here.
Mr. Petty stated they did well during Hurricane Wilma.
Mr. Fennell stated they did well but they realized they could have done better. They need to have a generator for the fresh food section.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
Mr. Pawelczyk stated we were
discussing earlier about hurricane debris removal and canal bank restoration in
connection with the cutting and removal of all trees. I looked at the statute and cannot find
anything exempting the District from obtaining a permit from the City of
Mr. Lyles spoke to someone regarding an easement. If it is an easement, it is not our property. You can remove certain trees like a large Ficus or Australian Pine that is clearly in our way to access the canal bank, but if there are certain trees a foot off of the perimeter not impacting us, then it might not be within our easement rights and we may not need to remove that tree. It depends on the access you need and the purpose of the easement. We are looking at this as a policy decision but these are some items we need to clarify. Mr. Lyles asked me to bring this matter before the Board.
Mr. Eissler stated I asked whether this includes shrubs as well as trees in the easement and I was told the answer was yes. You are going to have tremendous backlash from the citizens who live on the canal if you remove their prize shrubs/trees. Many homes are not far back from the easement. For $900,000 I would rather be more selective. Before we agree to spend $900,000 to remove all vegetation in the right-of-way we should consider all options. I think it will be a problem.
Mr. Fennell stated there are two issues; an access issue and whether the trees/shrubs present a probable danger to impede the flow of water if they fall down in a storm. The city has never taken up these issues.
Mr. Eissler stated the city will require the District to replace the trees we remove.
Mr. Fennell stated this is why we need to sit down with them. Once we get the engineering study telling us what we need and have some backup, we have to present it to them. The second issue is the city is clearly responsible for the drainage throughout the city, not just the streets but the pipes as well. I do not think they understand how much they need to be doing. They certainly have not done any type of study. We are going to have some joint legislation to determine what type of trees will remain on the canals. We are also going to have to step up the permitting. We have a five year cycle where we need to have permits done. It is up to us to tell them what they need to do. They may not even be aware of this or know what is there. I do not think this will be coming up before the Board. When they get their hands on this, we should help them take on their part of the responsibility; otherwise, my street will flood. There is only one drain on my street; two and a half lots long, going under my street to the next street and finally to a canal. As far as I can see, there is a blockage in the middle of the drain. This needs to be corrected. What I want to see come out of this study is not only looking at our canal responsibilities but the total drainage responsibility for the area. We are going to share these results with them. Then we will make a presentation to the City Council. We need to get them involved because they need to start spending some money. We are also going to have to come up with a common city requirement. I think we will end up with a separate specification for the streets and another for the canals. There should be two distinctly different rules.
Mr. Petty stated good idea. Mr. Pawelczyk was talking about being held accountable for the trees on our property or within our easements. To a certain degree, we are going to be exempt from the city’s tree ordinance because we were here before the city and were grandfathered in. We have a legitimate case.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated I do not think there is any grandfathering in whether the trees are there or not.
Mr. Fennell asked because of their right of government?
Mr. Pawelczyk responded
correct. Even if you lived in an annexed
area and the City of
Mr. Petty stated I would have a problem with it.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated we can research it if you like.
Mr. Petty stated you cannot be shut down by an ordinance infraction. We are the drainage entity and cannot be shut down because they disapprove of us removing a tree we feel may shut us down during a hurricane or any other storm event. When you see these issues, I believe Mr. Pawelczyk believes the city has opposition. I know you to be a fine attorney and we have this right. I suggest we figure out how we can find the requirement so the District can do its business.
Mr. Fennell stated I do not think we have a fight yet. We are going to use this engineering study as the explanation as to why we need some rational changes in the law or some laws doing certain things.
Mr. Petty stated such as a tree policy for the canal. I love this idea and will be glad to sign on knowing full well what my maintenance responsibilities are and will not have those issues.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated I think it is a balancing act between removing all the trees and acquiring the permit. I do not think the city will object to us removing the Australian Pine that is more than likely to fall over because they have a history of falling over in hurricanes and blocking the canal right-of-way, which is going to affect drainage and flood the rest of the District.
Mr. Petty stated we are going to ask you to withhold any action on our bid for the trees. Your sister District is going to try the clearing. If they start this work, they are going to have a lot of these issues come up. You proposed some actions, which I will be glad to undertake as manager. I already contacted the city to discuss the tree policy but I would be happy to rephrase it to them.
Mr. Fennell stated we are going to have joint legislation with the city. I direct you to review our current policy for granting permits. The first thing we should do is communicate with them what the needs are, why they are there and the rationale. I will work with you on a political level to make sure it goes through.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated what is noticeably absent from the ordinance when I reviewed it is there is no exception applying to this situation for maintained rights-of-way. There is a road right-of-way but nothing dealing with water.
Mr. Fennell stated I do not think they thought of it.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated I do not think the county did either.
Mr. Fennell stated there are two separate governments, the city and us, each doing their own task and we have not talked to each other enough to get to a joint agreement.
Mr. Eissler stated I think it goes beyond that. The issue is with the county and SFWMD who were never involved.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated the county has a tree ordinance and all cities are adopting their own.
Mr. Eissler stated the city has a
great tree ordinance for street trees in
Mr. Fennell stated we are the ones who should tell them what it should be. We do not want them telling us. We are the ones who have the expertise and are spending the money. It is our obligation.
Mr. Eissler stated it is also our money.
Mr. McKune stated I revised the work authorization approved by the Board last month and had Mr. Petty sign it.
Mr. Petty stated you authorized the District Manager to sign for you.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
2. Utility Billing Work Orders
3. Complaints Received/Resolved
Mr. Eissler stated our water line loss is outstanding. We had a 5.4% loss.
Mr. Petty stated it is considered to be your target.
Mr. Eissler stated unbelievable.
Mr. Fennell asked is it because this is a dry month?
Mr. Eissler responded no. It is for the entire year.
Mr. Hyche stated I can take the line closer to 5.0% if I include the processed water.
Mr. Eissler stated the system is working well. Do we have chlorine canisters on the property?
Mr. Hyche responded they are long gone.
Mr. Petty stated I did not mind the cylinders so much as I did the black iron pipe system we used to have.
Mr. Eissler stated in regards to the utility billing work orders, the numbers jumped dramatically to 106 in March for the re-reading of meters. It is three times what it used to be. Are residents questioning their bill?
Mr. Petty responded yes. I will take care of it.
Mr. Eissler asked is there a problem with our meter reader?
Mr. Petty responded no. It is a customer service increase in response. Mr. Daly has been extremely proactive in responding to customers so they can get better education on how meters work. He is very nice to the customers and sends out the testers more often to show them what is going on. This reflects how many times we have educated the customer.
Mr. Eissler stated it is positive, not negative.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of February Financials and Check Registers
Mr. Fennell stated Ms. Larned left the meeting and I wanted to know the current state of where we think our cashflow is for the General Fund. There is a cashflow line item showing how much is in the bank and how much we expect to pay for FEMA. It is actually a timeline of cashflow. There are supposed to be certain recommendations. Maybe there is so much we do not want to take out of reserves and I would like to understand the rationale.
Mr. Petty stated the other reason you want to see this is to determine when we should wipe the account and move something into a longer term investment versus an overnight account.
Mr. Fennell stated we were planning on borrowing money from the water and sewer side. We had a few issues about cashflow and did not want to stall any of our projects. It is starting to look to me like we are going to be close. The most we will need to have, even if we remove additional trees, is another $500,000.
Mr. Petty stated we are doing well.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we are going to be in good shape.
Mr. Petty stated compared to your sister districts, you are sitting better.
Mr. Eissler stated CSID is doing very well thanks to our employees.
Mr. Petty stated as follow-up, Mr. Hanks asked at the last meeting why there were legal fees of $25,000 to Law Collins under “Current Charges” for the Water and Sewer Fund. We had to obtain outside counsel to handle an allegation by an employee. He also wanted to know why under the Water and Sewer Fund we had $400,000 less in revenues than expected. The reason is it takes 40 days to get it on the books so we are always 40 days behind. At the end of the year we will make up the $400,000. This is actually where we are supposed to be but we are prorating the budget.
Mr. Fennell stated you are prorating it by time. On March 4th, the city presented us an award for the Waterway Cleanup. First I accepted the award along with other people who participated in the cleanup and then I explained how good we were doing. The meeting went well. We have an opportunity, especially with the tree removal to go forward with a recommendation for the removal of the trees and for any other issues with the city. I am familiar with a number of the commissioners and have no problem working with them.
Mr. Pawelczyk asked do you want us to start preparing the Interlocal Agreement for sharing of employess?
Mr. Fennell responded yes.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated it may take some time to draft it.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand but we need to move in this direction. We need to change the relationship of the employees and who they work for. In the meantime, we will continue to work well with other groups but will make it clear who works for whom.
Mr. Pawelczyk stated we will get started and I will work with Mr. Petty to develop the scope of work. We will report back at the next meeting on the status, if the agreement is not in final form. My job is easy but Mr. Petty is going to have a difficult job in terms of listing the employees and the scope.
Mr. Fennell stated he has some changes in the organization methodology to work with, which is always hard to do. Once this is completed, it will be very easy to make those changes. We can legitimately charge for services to other districts. This will go a long way towards us solving our structure issues. I feel good about this.
TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert Fennell