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:
John Petty Manager
Dennis Lyles Attorney
John McKune Engineer
Janice Moen Larned
John Sutton Sutton Consulting Arborist
Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order and Mr. Petty called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Organizational Matters
A. Acceptance of Resignation of Mr. Eissler
B. Appointment of Supervisor to Fill the Unexpired Term of Office (6/2007)
C. Oath of Office of Newly Appointed Supervisor
D. Election of Officers
Mr. Petty stated the only item we would like to take action on is item A.
Mr. Fennell stated at the end of the last meeting, Mr. Eissler resigned. He served this Board well and I will miss his contributions. One of his parting comments was we need to diversify the Board more away from our strong engineering backgrounds. Perhaps we need a Board member with a financing background. This is a good idea. We see this as a corporate structure with a variety of different talents.
Mr. Petty stated we need the Board to approve Mr. Eissler’s resignation. If the Board does not approve it, Mr. Eissler will still be in the seat, whether he shows or not.
Mr. Fennell stated Mr. Hanks and I need to find someone to serve in Mr. Eissler’s unexpired term.
Mr. Hanks stated I have been putting out feelers and have been approached by someone who applied for a seat. Do we have a list of interested parties from the last General Election?
Mr. Petty responded no.
Mr. Lyles stated I have a copy of the list.
Mr. Fennell stated we need to solicit some resumes. I would be interested in having someone with a financial and accounting background serve on the Board.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the June 27, 2006 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member
received a copy of the
Mr. Fennell stated on page 22, Mr. DaSilva said the elevation was 17.5 for a 100 year storm event. I believe he said 18.5.
Mr. McKune stated I do not recall.
Mr. Hanks stated this can change depending on whether you are looking at the original permit.
Mr. Fennell stated on page 24, where Mr. Fennell stated, “No one at the city has information like this”, what I meant was “No one at the SFWMD has information like this.”
Mr. Hanks stated if I recall, SFWMD did not have any information on the height of the water within CSID for the 10 or 100 year storm.
Mr. Fennell stated this is what I am referring to; not the pipes but the fact SFWMD does not have a study within our area. They do not know what happens within a particular zone.
On page 29, where it says, “Our current policy is all trees are okay”, this is not our current policy. The statement I made was the homeowners were responsible for maintenance of the trees down to the water’s edge.
On page 33, where I said, “This decision is not one you can hold in abeyance,” the next sentence should say, “Do you also believe…”
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Public Hearing to Consider the Adoption of the General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2007 (Resolution 2006-3) and Levy of Non Ad Valorem Assessments (Resolution 2006-4)
Mr. Fennell opened the public hearing.
Mr. Petty stated the budget stands as is with assessments increasing from $82 to $158 per unit per year. Last year the assessment was $91.38. Most of the assessment is going towards reimbursing the Reserve Fund so we can get the $1,000,000 reserve in our drainage funds as soon as possible. As you recall, we are spending this money and then some in this year’s contract with Arbor Tree in the tree removal process, which has been completed.
Mr. Hanks stated I was looking at the check register for this month and saw we have $250,000 for engineering services we paid for. We are budgeting $50,000 for the General Fund. What are we paying for management fees? Knowing we are going through a major upgrade, our engineering fees should not be $50,000. What are they and where do these other engineering fees come into play in our budget?
Mr. Petty responded in the General Fund. For discussion purposes, we were going to discuss this matter under the Water and Sewer Fund budget discussion but it is applicable here as well.
Mr. Hanks stated I would also like to discuss the tree removal and how we are going to proceed. Is it appropriate to put a line item in our General Fund budget for a Sinking Fund for hurricane cleanup?
Mr. Petty responded we considered it. We assessed our engineering arrangement with CH2M-Hill, previously Gee & Jensen. As discussed in past meetings, the engineering services we have been receiving from Mr. McKune and Ms. Early are exceptional but the management concepts have been a challenge for us. I have been reviewing the bills for six months and asked the engineering firm of CH2M-Hill to provide me with a tally sheet. Of course, I had my own staff go through project by project what we have spent. At this time, we are not enamored with the percentages. We spoke with counsel who brought to management’s attention the fact our contract is not based on a percentage basis, but on an hourly basis. While it is true performance measures, which are part of my responsibility of oversight, are based on the industry standards and evaluating what they turn out to be, I am of the opinion administratively CH2M-Hill is slightly overpriced from the industry average.
In the Water and Sewer Fund Budget, we are recommending a new line item called “Capital Improvement Coordinator”. The reason why it is not in the budget is there is no real cost to drainage. The cost is going to be on a project by project basis from capital projects, which typically is not part of the budget but outside being paid from those funds. Those engineering fees run 14% of the contract construction price, 7% for design and 6% for contract administration. I consider this to be a retail price. It is not in the budget because it is covered by the Capital Improvement Program and its funding source. This is why the concept is not in the General Fund. It is our intent to propose to the Board we create a new line item, which will be funded from existing monies spent on-site for engineering and from future capital improvement funds on a per hour basis. We spoke with counsel and any such recommendation or appointment would be through the CCNA process. We are prepared to put this out for bid with the intent of obtaining the best possible resource we can. We believe we will have the value added on-site engineering to work with entities such as CH2M-Hill and making sure what the District is charged is better than retail. It is certainly better than what we currently have. This addresses the issue to some degree.
Mr. Hanks stated I was looking at the Work Authorization for the wastewater plant and discovered we were paying for contract administration, construction observation services during construction and shop drawing review. The not to exceed amount was $400,559. For this price, we can hire three full-time engineers and have them available to take on any asset we have.
Mr. Fennell stated at one time you suggested having our own engineer to oversee the projects. This is what Mr. Petty is talking about.
Mr. Petty stated staff can look over the money. We can look over the applicable issues as far as other entities and their percentages. I am not comfortable with management being in a confrontation with a professional engineering firm such as CH2M-Hill. I would rather have another engineer be there with the same traits. I am comfortable with Mr. McKune’s experience in this regard and it would be his experience better than we hope to receive from this bidding process. It would give us the coordinator, administrator and value added engineer we are looking for.
Mr. Hanks stated there are other tasks we can put them to use on. When the bid plans are completed, they can do some type of quality control and value engineering. Maybe this position could pay for itself ideally.
Mr. Petty stated we believe from our analysis, it would not cause any increase in the current budget in comparison to last year’s budget. As a matter of fact, I think the District will do better in its dollar value.
Mr. Fennell stated good point.
Mr. Petty stated I suggest you use a Sinking Fund for emergencies such as hurricane preparedness. In the past, the Board found it in its best interest to hold $1,000,000 in reserve in the General Fund for such emergencies. As we just saw from Hurricane Wilma, $1,000,000 was adequate. The District has additional resources including interfund transfers. There is also quite a bit of commercial paper available to us on short notice.
Mr. Hanks stated I kept hearing from the Water Utility Districts along the gulf coast there was difficulty acquiring loans because their customers and infrastructure were wiped out from Katrina. They did not have customers to provide the revenue to back up the loans. Is this our concern?
Mr. Petty responded not to us
because if there is no one here to serve, we do not want to tax the existing
residents to re-build
Mr. Fennell stated the money came from Westinghouse.
Mr. Petty stated AllState Insurance Company invested the money from a mutual fund.
Mr. Fennell stated the landowners took out loans.
Mr. Petty stated Special Districts put out bonds equal to $4,500,000,000 on dirt to install utilities, drainage and canals. I suspect it is still available. However, I do not recommend you keep a reserve capable of re-building the system. I would consider this to be a harsh financial burden on existing users. Keeping a reserve capable of getting you though a workable emergency is what we built into the system after Hurricane Wilma. If all of the people leave, could we rebuild this utility as a means of getting people to come back? I do not think it could be done. I do not think we could find operators to service a utility in a ghost town nor do I think we could get supplies or maintain it operationally for any length of time. In a Katrina type situation, you are looking at decades before it comes back. How could you possibly rebuild a utility and have it open its door at 8 million gallon a day and say, “Now we are waiting for you to come back”? Could you do it in small increments by saying, “We are the utility and we will start out at 100,000 gallons a day? Yes. This is the reserve we currently have available to us. The $1,000,000 would give us a start.
Mr. Fennell stated you bring up a good point as to what happens in catastrophic events and whether it is possible to rebuild.
Mr. Hanks stated it gets you into a
“what if” scenario when you are balancing your risk. What I was questioning was related to a Wilma
type event. I did some research and
according to the
Mr. Fennell responded there are also issues where you would spend your money after the catastrophe and the amount of money you have to raise. On the other hand, if you have a category three canal system and decide to rebuild the canal systems in preparation, you may actually be able to raise the money, get it up to a category four and at least test the canals. There is then the question of when the appropriate time is to spend the money, before or after.
Mr. Hanks stated it may not be a question of spending the money but acquiring it so we have the ability to make selected improvements to the systems.
Mr. Fennell stated good point. If you are going to spend money over time,
Mr. Hanks asked do you say to the 25% of the population who stayed, “You still have your homes but our utilities are destroyed. Sorry we are not going to serve you.”
Mr. Petty stated if there are still
jobs and homes, we are still in business.
We can rebuild in a flash. I will
have semis in here with water purification systems that Mr. McKune
specs out for me. We will get them from
the Army. Katrina took away all
businesses and homes. When I say
Mr. Hanks stated we should be putting away $150,000 every year for some type of reserve.
Ms. Larned stated we are currently in good shape for a similar event because we have credit worthiness from the banks. We have been communicating with them. This is a case of where you will have to be in a partnership between public and private, not unlike where we obtained our roots from. A great deal will be headed up by the feds but they do not want to put the money on the table. They are going to want to determine the buildability, which is when you will get the insurance companies in.
Mr. Hanks stated we have been in a period of historically low interest rates. If we go to a period where we are looking at 10 to 12 percent interest rates as opposed to the five percent we are currently at or lower, the cost of borrowing the money becomes more of an issue or burden. Whereas if we store money away, we have purchasing power.
Ms. Larned stated there is an issue called “intergenerational parity” where you put in today what may not be drawn on for a catastrophic event like a Katrina. We could be building up reserves for 20 to 25 years to the point where people putting money into the fund will not receive benefit from it. Therefore they would have some resistance from it. If in fact we had enough money in a reserve allowing us to maintain our credit worthiness, if in fact there is a plan to rebuild, then you can borrow but we will be subject to interest rate risk. However, depending on what the market would bear, we will also be in a tax exempt status so we could go in and get the benefit of lower rates but we will structure it so it will be affordable to whatever the plan would call for over a period of a year. This way, the people who are receiving the benefit are paying for it.
Mr. Hanks stated if we put away $150,000, which equates to $13 per household per unit per year, then in 10 years we will have acquired enough money to redo another $1.4 million cleanup effort.
Mr. Fennell stated we will have more money than that.
Mr. Petty stated a 58% increase is projected. I agree because we budgeted $850,000 for reserves for this year
Mr. Hanks stated it is not currently in our reserves. It is what we are putting into reserves.
Mr. Petty stated this is what we are charging the residents. Since we have an offsetting revenue for carry forward of $251,000, you can subtract this amount from the $850,000 to get the amount we are charging for a Reserve Fund this year. This is what we currently have in the budget. Our intent was to stop once we reached $1,000,000. However what I am hearing from the Board is they want to keep going until they tell us to stop and will decide each year what is appropriate based on the threat.
Mr. Hanks stated there will be other items we will be taking a look at. As far as the General Fund, there are going to be some monies allocated for the pumps. There are going to be other issues where we need to have funds.
Mr. Petty stated you are correct. We are seeing those come up as we speak.
Mr. Fennell stated I agree. The study we performed shows what we can do such as laying new canals or other things making sense as far as possible flooding. We do not have to put all of the money into reserves. We are in a nice position where we have paid off our canals and are therefore in good financial shape. What was the original amount of the canals?
Mr. Hanks responded $15,000,000 to $18,000,000.
Mr. Fennell stated they are probably worth $35,000,000 to $40,000,000. We are in good shape but going forward we are going to have strong reserves. We were in good shape before the storm. Have we received any FEMA funds?
Mr. Petty responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked from the state?
Mr. Petty responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked from the city?
Mr. Petty responded no, but it is a nice thought.
Mr. Fennell stated there are huge reserves through the city.
Mr. Petty stated they spoke about spending $38,000,000 on the storm and we were able to get $30,000,000 of it back.
Mr. Fennell stated we are raising our rates, getting some money back and building strong reserves. The Hydraulic Study was one of the best things we have done in a long time. From this study we are going to come up with a capital improvement project list for drainage. I do not think the list has been prepared yet.
Mr. Petty stated it was not in this year’s budget as coming from capital improvement funds. Typically you would have a separate five year budget category, which has its own source of funds, whether it be a reserve category or from loans.
Mr. Hanks asked do you have any items to bring to our attention?
Mr. Petty responded we feel $158.50 is a good number considering the costs. This was because the District was in a good position before Wilma. At one of the first meetings I attended, there was a group who wanted to do only piece of the work for $10,000,000. I think we were able to minimize the financial impacts of the District by letting the engineer get involved.
Mr. Fennell stated although it was not quite as expeditious as we wanted, by going out for bid, we probably saved ourselves $500,000 to $1,000,000.
Mr. Petty stated we recommend the Board consider adopting Resolution 2006-3.
Mr. Hanks stated Mr. Lyles legal fees have doubled.
Mr. Petty stated this was done at his request due to the legal issues now and in the future.
Mr. Lyles stated this year we are under budget but staff projected next year was going to be a busy year. My fees have not increased but they are anticipating a great deal of activity in the coming year.
Mr. Hanks stated likewise with Engineering and Special Consulting.
Mr. Petty stated part of the engineering is the consolidation we just discussed.
Mr. Hanks asked what went under Capital Purchases?
Mr. Petty responded this was due to the theory we would be budgeting items.
Mr. Petty stated the blanks in the resolution will be filled in according to the budget you just approved.
Mr. Hanks stated the costs of operation are $158.50 and there are 1,113 taxable units according to page two of the budget.
Mr. Petty stated we will apply those numbers to the resolution.
Mr. Fennell asked what are the rates for NSID?
Mr. Petty responded between $400 and $800 per household, just for the drainage. Since this District has additional powers, there are some landscaping, recreational facilities and mitigation areas.
Mr. Fennell stated with this increase compared to the city and NSID, we are in good shape.
Mr. Petty stated since you paid off your debt service, you are in a good position. This is an enviable position everyone would like to be in.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Distribution of Proposed Water and Sewer Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2007 and Consideration of Resolution 2006-5 Approving the Budget and Setting the Public Hearing
Mr. Petty stated this is a similar process to the adoption of the General Fund Budget. This is not going on the roll.
Mr. Fennell stated obviously we are in good shape. Can we use the ad valorem assessments for the Water and Sewer Fund?
Mr. Petty responded yes, within the
limits allowed, whether you are a Water Control District or a CDD. There is a process we have to go
through. Most people find this process
to be not as beneficial as the special assessment based revenue source. The concept of using tax money to offset
fixed costs for a utility have been pushed aside in the last 20 years by most
governments as being a poor way of apportioning the costs and the burden of the
utility. The utility should be self
sustaining. I only know of a handful in
the state. The only one worth mentioning
is the City of
Mr. Fennell stated pay as you go. I can understand where this could be an issue. Mr. Hanks was talking about a catastrophic event where in order to keep operating; you need a capital infusion to raise capital. It sounds like we still have the power to do this. If you think about it, this is a strength private businesses do not have and it makes you financially strong. If you have to, you can get the money somehow as long as there are people around.
Mr. Petty stated if the land has value, we have a way of providing interest earnings. Before you is similar to what you had in prior years. Ms. Larned and I went through different budgeting practices and changed a couple of items. The first page lists the expenditures. We are not looking at any increases in the revenues over and above our projection of water and sewer, which is projected at the same level as last year. Last year we had over $8,100,000 in revenues and this year we are projecting $8,600,000. Most of the difference is coming back to you in contract personnel services. As explained when discussing the General Fund Budget, CSID owns all positions versus other Districts utilizing our personnel. We call this “shared personnel”.
Mr. Fennell asked have we made the change where everyone is now working for CSID?
Mr. Petty responded the switch is effective on October 1st.
Mr. Hanks asked is this why we also have the increase in operating expenditures?
Mr. Petty responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated I think this will solve a big administration problem for us. In some ways, the jobs are remaining the same.
Mr. Petty stated I think the job performance just got better. In the past, the people who were shared tended to have superiority about their position. Now they must compete with the business entity because the service is being purchased rather than being owned.
Mr. Hanks stated there is one person who has a better chain of accountability.
Mr. Fennell stated this is a good idea, not that they were not doing a good job before. It actually puts you as the manager responsible for how well the employee performs in another district because we are selling those services, which is a good idea to do.
Mr. Petty stated I will compare those to the industry.
Mr. Fennell stated this is good news.
Mr. Petty stated there were some corrections in the Severn Trent contract and in your position with the on-site computer system. There is no more computer time because it is the intent of CSID to upgrade the computer system through a purchase program and upgrade the software. This brings everything on-site and under your ownership so you do not have to lease any time or space from Severn Trent.
Mr. Hanks stated Computer Time and Project Management Services were zeroed out.
Mr. Petty stated the Project Management Services line item was dedicated to Mr. Roger Moore and Mr. Mel Entus. We are moving those dollars over to your new Capital Projects Coordinator to handle the projects we have been pushing over to CH2M-Hill on a regular basis. It is $55,000 this year versus $15,000 last year.
Mr. Fennell stated Project Management Services is down to zero, which almost cancels out the engineering fees.
Mr. Petty stated it was for legitimate work we were getting charged per hour for. We prefer to have Mr. McKune’s brain power behind it versus Mr. Entus. As good as Mr. Entus was, I would put Mr. McKune’s experience way beyond this level but at the same cost.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have a month to digest this?
Mr. Petty responded yes. We are requesting you consider this budget for discussion purposes. This is not the final budget. Those were the highlights. The rest of the items are their percentage equivalent of the General Fund.
Mr. Fennell stated I like that the Interest Revenue is up. How did we do last year?
Ms. Larned responded better than estimated.
Mr. Hanks stated as far as the rates, electric increased by $2,000.
Mr. Petty stated it is projected at the new rates as we know them. Our operator did this calculation based on his experience.
Mr. Fennell stated I see interest rates of two and three percent. Are we doing better than these rates? The money market rates are currently 4.5 percent.
Ms. Larned responded yes. We try to match it to when we need it when our bills come in. Some of the overnight sweeps are still down one percent.
Mr. Fennell asked who is managing it?
Ms. Larned responded we have a State Board Administration Account, which is a state sponsored pool investment program. We also have a sweep account at the bank generating one percent. We try to shift the funds over to the State Board Account. We do not have active investments. It is more of a matching strategy. This will get us three to five percent interest depending on how the market is.
Mr. Fennell stated in the past we have not received what I think we should have.
Ms. Larned stated some of these interest earnings are in our bond debt service reserves. We can always do the longer term financing but the money has to flow back in to retire the debt. This is where we get our five percent working capital.
Mr. Petty stated the District is
somewhat limited in this regard after
Mr. Fennell stated my goal is to get at least what a T-Bill gets.
Mr. Petty stated we have a good Money Manager watching over our system making sure we are as tight as we can.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have anything going into the Renewal and Replacement line item this year?
Mr. Petty responded $50,000 was budgeted. We had a long discussion with Ms. Larned. I will have her tell you what the difference is between Repairs and Maintenance and Renewal and Replacement.
Ms. Larned stated Repairs and Maintenance is for ongoing annual expenditures. It does not extend the life of the asset. Renewal and Replacement extends the life of the asset. If you do not spend the funds for the year, it carries over into an item to be replaced in the future. For accounting sense, it has to do with whether or not it is depreciable.
Mr. Hanks stated we have a decrease in our projected surplus.
Mr. Fennell asked does depreciation mean anything to us?
Ms. Larned responded no, it is strictly an accounting issue. The only time depreciation comes into play is if you are a full profit organization. It gives you tax benefit. However, this all has to do with what we went through the last few years with GASB-34. For the General Fund, we would have to do this as well. We always ran the Water and Sewer Fund like a business so we could track the aging process of the equipment but you do not hold the cash. You only have to make accounting entries so you know what you are striving for.
Mr. Fennell stated the reason for doing this is because we need to put away funds for the replacement of items.
Mr. Petty stated of course you should always look at the lifespan of a piece of equipment and towards rebuilding, but if I have a 50 year lifespan in front of me at a utility plant and a resident is paying for it with bonds and you want to charge them again for the next 50 years, they are going to say, “That is great but I do not think I am going to be around”. Part of this is why we changed the budget process from what Mr. Moore started because he had lifespans but he had 25 plus years. I do not want to be held accountable to the existing rate payers because I cannot show they are going to get benefit in 25 years from re-building. The other reason why I do not like it is because renewal and replacement is not included in the depreciation schedule. No accountant understands the lifespan of this utility for sure. They certainly do not understand the concept of renewal and replacement. I am out there every year making sure this system is running in as new condition and replacing worn out material. While they are saying, “You purchased it here and it has a 10 year lifespan which means in 10 years you are done”, I am going to tell you in 10 years it may be as good as new in many cases.
Mr. Hanks stated in 10 years the motor is going to go.
Mr. Petty stated this should be the only thing you should care about. Yet on his depreciation schedule, I should have already taken money for 10 years and have it rebuilt. There are certain items you have a fund for but not in total.
Mr. Fennell stated revenues are going to increase slightly due to the fact we are going to charge out services and our expenses are going to increase. On the other hand, we are going from administrative costs of $800,000 a year to $1,100,000, which is an increase of $210,000.
Mr. Hanks asked is this for the computer?
Mr. Fennell responded no, $188,000 is for salaries and wages.
Mr. Petty stated there is $40,000 budget for two new systems; Transaction Overlay and Electronic Document Storage. There are small increases in the personnel area associated with benefits.
Mr. Lyles stated if this is something the Board decides to proceed with, there are going to be some costs associated with it. If the Board decides not to proceed, those fees will increase. It is not reflective of an increase this year but of an anticipated level of activity next year, which may or may not occur.
Mr. Fennell stated Management Fees remain the same.
Mr. Petty stated our total revenues decrease because Mr. Entus is gone.
Mr. Fennell asked what is our total revenue to Severn Trent?
Mr. Petty responded I have not added it up but I can do that. It is based on the management fee, transaction overlay, electronic document storage and other cost recovery items such as printing and binding and rentals and office supplies. Whatever we spend we bill.
Mr. Hanks asked do we need to take any action other than setting the date of the public hearing?
Mr. Petty responded we would like for you to approve the budget for consideration and set the public hearing.
Mr. Fennell stated $300,000 is budgeted for wages and salaries. We discussed the pension program.
Mr. Petty stated the Board asked staff for an example of such a program. We prepared something for you.
Mr. Hanks stated electric is the big issue.
Mr. Fennell asked what will it cost to run our machines per kilowatt hour versus buying electricity?
Mr. Petty responded we will see if there are any savings.
Mr. Fennell stated normally you do not get ahead.
Mr. Petty stated I agree it should
be looked into. This is an issue in
Mr. Hanks asked does it make sense to use methane in certain Wastewater Treatment Plants?
Mr. Petty responded you are bringing up old ghosts. I am a huge believer in propane and the diesel fuel system we have. I think the system in the ground has some potential for being competitive and putting us in a very good position. It is the most easily accessible fuel source we have. We should do this evaluation and give you a good picture of what is going on. As FP&L raises prices over the next couple of years, which we think they will, we will be able to have a better understanding of where the breakpoint is for us.
Mr. Hanks asked does this meet our noticing requirements?
Mr. Lyles responded yes.
Mr. Hanks stated our normal meeting date is the third Monday. This is the second Monday.
Mr. Petty stated if you want to meet a week later, I am available.
Mr. Lyles stated on my annual schedule, August 14th is listed as the regular meeting in August. I do not know whether there was a holiday.
Mr. Hanks stated I am available.
Mr. Petty stated there could have been a problem with one of the Board members who wanted to change the date.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a moot point now.
Mr. Hanks stated we can always change it.
Mr. Fennell stated it is fine with me because August 21st is more of a problem. We will keep it on August 14th.
Mr. Lyles stated we have enough time to advertise for the public hearing.
Presentation by Arborist John Sutton
Mr. Petty reported the areas on the slope, particularly before top of bank, is designed to hold water and be saturated. Therefore, every tree in the design area holding or retaining water is going to be flooded and no tree can be considered safe. Mr. Sutton confirmed the trees closest to the water are the worst trees.
Mr. Fredericks noted the residents plant trees and let them grow wild. Mr. Sutton agreed it was due to the wrong tree in the wrong tree and lack of maintenance. Mr. Fennell added the resident was putting the residents upstream in jeopardy.
Mr. Hanks asked whether the removal of the tree will require a backhoe. Mr. Sutton reported Ficus Trees are difficult to remove because of their large trunk. Australian Pines are easier to remove.
Mr. Fennell noted when trees fall into the canal their branches break. Mr. Sutton reported the branches can float downstream clog culverts or cling to other debris not moving and create dams. If the wind blows across the canal, the trees can fall on houses.
Mr. Petty noted when there is a rise in the canal, the water levels during extreme events are intended to flood the area and move the trees.
Mr. Hanks asked whether the top of bank has to do with how stable the trees are. Mr. Sutton responded it did not but he worked in mountainous areas and in some cases where a tree is sitting on a berm or slope, they seem to be more stable. It depends on the direction of the wind.
Mr. Fennell recommended going to the city with recommendations on properly screening property. The right-of-way needs to be cleared. Mr. Frederick suggested screening on the property line of the wall behind Home Depot and maintaining the hedge. Mr. Hanks added the city required the wall and hedge and the residents will see the wall if the trees are removed. Mr. Sutton stated the stumps should not be removed because as the roots decay they will create water channels and increase erosion. Mr. Frederick stated there is evidence of this already occurring.
Mr. Hanks asked what the effective way of educating the residents was. Mr. Fennell responded a letter was going to be sent out to the residents and a pamphlet on the dangers of having trees near canals and houses should be included.
Mr. Frederick asked about the proper way to remove trees from right-of-ways to avoid roots from decomposing. Mr. Sutton responded flush cutting the trees, poisoning the stump to keep it from growing back, planting grasses and grinding the top of the stump and any roots above grade just to the surface.
Mr. Hanks asked whether it would make sense to plant different species. Mr. Sutton responded in this situation with the wall, it would make sense. The slope will be difficult to mow.
Mr. Fennell stated one problem area is in the outfall canal next to the Sawgrass Expressway. Mr. Frederick noted there is a big problem behind the auto mall.
Mr. Hanks suggested requiring the auto mall to clear all trees and exotics from the right-of-way to the water line for future permits. Mr. Frederick recommended putting stipulations for the owner to maintain the trees. Mr. Sutton suggested planting Sabal Palm or Cypress Trees in an area close to the water with a wall on the other side. Mr. Hanks requested a list of suitable plant materials.
Mr. Frederick asked how close the trees could be planted to the water for it to be stable. Mr. Sutton responded Cypress Trees are best to plant close to the water. However, their roots can impede a boat going through the canal and can hollow out. If a Palm Tree hollows out, it turns to powder as it hits the ground.
Mr. Frederick asked if Florida Holly Trees are suitable. Mr. Sutton replied Florida Holly Trees are actually Brazilian Peppers. He recommended a small holly as they stand well in storms, provided they do not have a restricted root zone or the soil is saturated. The larger canopy trees slow down the winds.
Mr. Hanks asked whether it makes sense to leave the native species and do a case by case evaluation. Mr. Sutton responded this seems like a good strategy. A permit does not need to be obtained to remove the Australian Pines, which are the biggest hazards.
Mr. Sutton made the following recommendations:
Mr. Fennell noted the Arborist’s recommendation conforms to the engineer’s recommendation and requested a copy of Mr. Sutton’s report for the public record. He further requested a flyer to be included in the residents letter stating why the Board is doing this and what it does such as:
Mr. Hanks asked should the affected residents be invited to a meeting?
Mr. Fennell responded input from the residents will be on a case by case basis. How do we proceed?
Mr. Hanks responded in order to remove the protected species, the District has to follow city code, prepare a tree survey and determine where the trees will go.
Mr. Sutton stated I recommend having a tree fund.
Mr. Fennell stated the city already has a tree mitigation program but they could extend it for the entire area.
Mr. Hanks asked what was the cost per tree meeting city criteria?
Mr. Sutton responded 12 foot tall trees with a three inch caliper will cost $500 including installation.
Mr. Hanks stated I recommend removal of the exotics to determine the number of trees needed.
Mr. Sutton stated they should not be inventoried but instead be destroyed.
Mr. Fennell stated I met with the Assistant City Manager who informed him they did not have any issues with the nuisance trees but believe they should be removed.
Mr. Fennell stated this is a delicate situation and I hope the city will work with the District on mitigation improvements.
Mr. Hanks stated you do not need to do mitigation for nuisance species.
Mr. Fennell stated I suggest having another meeting with the city as far as mitigation and in the meantime, proceed with bidding out all the trees. Were trees in the right-of-way protected?
Mr. Sutton responded the District does not have an issue with other trees. The primary problems are with the Australian and Ficus Trees.
Mr. Fennell asked how much would it cost to determine whether or not a tree needs to be mitigated?
Mr. Sutton responded my fees are $100 per hour. I can look at a lot of trees in an hour but it depends on how far apart they are.
Ms. Larned stated there was a request from Mr. Petty to delay the Notice to Proceed for 30 days to give the engineer an opportunity to work with the company we received the bid from to determine what the impact would be for phasing and/or engaging the services of an Arborist for the protected species.
Mr. Hanks stated staff should obtain the permits to remove exotic evasive species within our canal right-of-way and the District should follow the letter of the city code.
Mr. Lyles stated there is no tree permit for mitigation and replacement. As long as there was notification to the city and they acknowledge the District is going to have an exotic/nuisance tree removal program, the District is in good shape. Staff direction at the last meeting was to approve the contract for the removal of every tree in the 25 foot clear zone and start work on July 28th. We need to modify this action to direct the contractor to remove nuisance species within the right-of-way.
Mr. Sutton stated I suggest the remaining trees be removed on a case by case basis and direct staff to look at the remaining trees and choose which ones need to be removed. The trees identified for removal will have to be looked at individually by the city.
Mr. Fennell asked is the city going to want to do this?
Mr. Sutton responded yes.
Mr. Hanks stated they are going to want to know the types of trees we are going to remove.
Mr. Fennell asked what happens after they decide?
Mr. Sutton responded they will either be relocated, removed or mitigated. If I was a homeowner and had a Bottlebrush Tree and was notified it was going to be removed, I would want to have the option of hiring someone to relocate it further into my yard and away from your easement.
Mr. Fennell stated we should put in our letter, “If your tree is not a nuisance tree, you have the option to relocate them into your own property or have the District make a determination”.
Mr. McKune stated move them 25 to 30 feet from the canal bank.
Mr. Sutton stated if a tree fell into one of these canals, you would not have any access other than by barge up and down the canal. You have homes close to the canal, fences and other people’s landscape that you are going to do a lot of damage to in order to get to the tree. This is what I based my decision.
Mr. Fennell asked what is the extent of the problem with the nuisance trees?
Mr. Sutton responded from what I saw on my tour, you do not have a big problem.
Mr. Fennell stated in this case, let’s move forward. Once we remove the nuisance trees, we can re-evaluate and see where we are at with the other trees. Once this work is completed, we will hire back the arborist.
Mr. McKune stated the contractor has an arborist on staff and as he removes the nuisance trees, we can have him keep a log, maybe before he mobilizes.
Mr. Fennell stated as part of the deal, we will give a list to the city with the problem trees and recommend to the city the trees to be removed from the right-of-way.
Ms. Larned stated we can raise this as part of the discussion at follow-up meetings and if there is any financial impact, then the door is open to say, “As we get more information back from the city and it costs us more, it can be discussed.
Mr. Fennell stated we will keep a list of trees, which are a problem as we go through and recommend to the city for removal.
Mr. Sutton stated an aerial photograph may be helpful.
Mr. Fennell stated given the city is in a position to make a decision, we will give them the ability to respond to our letter and do the work immediately. We will tell them, “We think these trees should be removed for the safety and welfare of our people.”
Mr. McKune stated we can have two zones; one from the canal out 30 feet and the other 30 feet from the right-of-way. As the Arborist cuts the trees, he will keep a log by lot, block, number of trees, lot type and diameter.
Mr. Fennell stated we will be doing the same thing at the same time putting the city on notice there is a problem and they need to step up and do something about it quickly.
Mr. Lyles stated I think staff understands what their direction is, which is to start the contract.
Ms. Larned stated thank you Mr. Sutton for your presentation.
Mr. Fennell stated we appreciate it and I learned a lot.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Acceptance of the Audit
for Fiscal Year Ended
Ms. Larned stated the audits were mailed to the Board under separate cover. I can give a brief overview.
Mr. Lyles responded this is something the Board can table to the next meeting as the deadline of submitting it to the state will not come until later. Since this meeting is becoming rather long, we can have the Board take action on the items needed to be handled.
Ms. Larned stated I defer to the engineer as far as any items.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Work Authorization No. WA-32 for Phase 2 Wastewater Plant Improvements
Mr. Petty stated this item is in conjunction with Item 9A for the award of contract for the Phase II Wastewater Treatment Plant. The low bid was $6,800,000 from Intrastate Construction Corp. The Work Authorization is for our engineering and inspection services during construction. It is anticipated to last 17 months.
Mr. Hanks asked what does ESDC mean?
Mr. McKune responded Engineering Services During Construction. We also review and prepare the shop drawings. We are asking for an hourly rate not to exceed of $459,000 or $27,000 per month.
Mr. Hanks asked is this based on the hourly rates in Exhibit A or in the rate increase?
Mr. McKune responded the total amount regardless.
Mr. Lyles stated the way it is presented is Exhibit A to the Work Authorization, which is the current schedule of hourly rates.
Mr. Hanks stated once the new hourly rates go into effect, we may be billed $138.
Mr. McKune stated the cap stays the same.
Mr. Hanks stated there may be a change in the number of maximum man-hours to be expended.
Mr. McKune stated the goal is to keep the man-hours down.
Mr. Hanks stated we have no other option.
Mr. Fennell stated you can say the rates will stay the same. We are eventually going to have someone in here monitoring the work.
Mr. Hanks asked when is construction expected to start?
Mr. McKune responded the contractor will be hauling the fill tomorrow.
Mr. Hanks stated this locks the District into a 17 month contract. Is there flexibility to modify the scope?
Mr. Lyles responded these work authorizations are in accordance with the underlying contract CH2M-Hill has as District Engineer. However, you can approve this work authorization subject to modification with 30 days written notice for termination.
Mr. McKune stated it is already stated in our contract.
Mr. Lyles stated you can make your approval contingent upon modification or termination of this work authorization at any time during the projected time frame for this project. This would make it consistent with the underlying agreement. I do not think CH2M-Hill would have a problem with it.
Mr. McKune stated if you terminate, you will have a real problem with the certification of the job because you need an engineer who is not associated with the owner in order to prepare the certification. Therefore you need CH2M-Hill. Of course it can be done but it is cumbersome.
Mr. Hanks asked is this to meet a state requirement that certification of the plant must be performed by an outside party?
Mr. McKune responded yes. The contractor cannot certify his own project. This can be a real problem.
Mr. Lyles stated the idea is you want to reserve the right to make changes to the work authorization pursuant to the underlying contract. If the project is not working out the way you want it to, ultimately you need the right to terminate because you can make it happen. You will make a business decision should it come to pass on whether to terminate the work authorization or do something else. The motion is sufficient the way it currently is. You are recognizing there would be additional expenses if we terminate the contract, but you have this right.
Mr. Hanks stated I want to make it clear to CH2M-Hill that we have been seeing a lot of expenditures and things are getting too expensive.
EIGHTH ORDER OF
of Drainage Permit Request for Chick-Fil–A Located at
the Corner of
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Award of Contracts
A. Phase II Wastewater Treatment Plant
Mr. McKune stated I provided the Board with a recommendation for award of the contract for the digester project.
Mr. Hanks asked can we get tabs with numbers instead of roman numerals?
Ms. Rabone responded I would be happy to make this recommendation to staff. However, this is the way they prepare the packages for each district. However, if you would like your package to look a certain way, we would be happy to accommodate you.
Ms. Larned stated we will speak to Ms. Rugg.
Mr. Hanks stated it is probably due to the lateness of the hour that I am having problems following the tabs.
Mr. Hanks read the following letter into the record:
“On July 13, 2006, one bid was received for the above referenced project at the office of CH2M-Hill. The only responsive bid was submitted by Intrastate Construction Corp. with a Total Base Bid of $6,800,000.00. The Engineer’s estimate for this work was $6,810,430.00.
We have reviewed the bid and recommend that the Board of Supervisors award the project to Intrastate Construction Corp. in the amount of their bid subject to funding being available. A copy of the bid tabulation is enclosed.”
Mr. McKune stated it is remarkable that their bid amount was close to our estimated amount. We had this happen before, even to the penny.
Mr. Fennell asked did they receive a copy of your estimate?
Mr. McKune responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked why was there only one bid?
Mr. McKune responded the bidder is here and there are very few costs for mobilization. He is also familiar with the job site.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand why he bid on the project but why did no one else respond?
Mr. Lyles stated they know they cannot beat his price.
Mr. McKune stated another big contractor recently acquired a large contract but lost two of their primary Project Managers.
Mr. Hanks asked is this because
there is a great deal of utility work going on or they are in other areas like
Mr. McKune responded yes, they are leaving the area. Once a contractor is in an area and they are doing a good job and know the customer, they will stay there. In NSID, we have one construction contractor who has virtually been awarded all of the contracts in the last five years because no one can beat their prices.
Mr. Fennell asked is there a legal problem with only receiving one bid?
Mr. Lyles responded no. You followed the statutory process, the publication was done and the engineer supervised the process so it was done properly. They also beat the engineer’s estimate. There is no reason for you to go back out for more bids. It is not likely you would save money. It is likely you would spend more money and have delays.
Mr. McKune stated we had a mandatory pre-bid meeting at our office where five General Contractors showed up. They were interested. We tried to get bids from them and sent out notices.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have enough money in the bank to cover this contract?
Ms. Larned responded I will contract the District Manager to see how he wants to handle this.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a great deal of money.
Mr. Hanks asked is this necessary for the continued operations of the plant?
Mr. McKune responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated with this amount of money, we may be talking about having a bond issue. We are meeting the budget but expenses are going to double this year.
B. Portable Generator
Mr. McKune stated this project was handled by District staff. They obtained bids for portable generators for the lift stations around the plant. They only received one responsive bid from Walker Miller Equipment with a total base bid of $93,930.00. No one could beat their price.
Mr. Fennell asked is this for the purchase of five generators?
Mr. McKune responded yes. At one time we tried to obtain ten but for whatever reason we decreased the number to five.
Mr. Fennell stated there was an issue when we tried to order them.
Mr. McKune stated this is a good price.
Mr. Fennell asked when will we receive them?
Mr. McKune responded in four to eight weeks; closer to four weeks.
Mr. Hanks stated condition seven in the bid says 180 days from the date of contract.
Mr. McKune stated Mr. Hyche was told by the contractor it would take four weeks.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like to see us get them closer to 60 to 90 days.
Mr. Fennell stated I would like to amend the delivery date.
Mr. Hanks asked can we legally amend the date?
Mr. Lyles responded staff submitted the bid with the specification of 180 days.
Ms. Larned stated the bid states “Within 180 days”. Can we accelerate it?
Mr. Lyles responded what you are doing is putting an additional requirement on the contract that was not in the bid specifications. However, it does not hurt to try. We can take direction from the Board that you are willing to bid so long as the generators can be delivered within 60 to 90 days.
Mr. McKune stated you can choose a date but the contractor can only do what he can do. If he has them made and he can put you ahead in the line, then he can meet this date.
Mr. Fennell stated we can accept a partial delivery.
Mr. Hanks stated we can request one within 30 days and two within 90 days.
Ms. Larned asked can the Board accept this bid subject to consideration from the vendor to have delivery within 60 to 90 days?
Mr. Lyles responded I think we are looking for more specifics from the vendor. The problem is this bid was submitted on June 26th.
Mr. Fennell stated we should approve this and have Mr. Hyche expedite delivery.
Mr. Hyche asked is there the ability to provide an incentive for early delivery?
Mr. Lyles responded the problem is it was not listed in the bid specifications. You have the potential for someone saying, “Had I have known about the incentive, I would have submitted a bid.”
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Hurricane Debris Removal and Canal Bank Restoration Status
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
A. Attorney – Update on
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
B. Engineer – Consideration of Hourly Rate Increase
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
2. Utility Billing Work Orders
3. Complaints Received/Resolved
These items were tabled until the next meeting.
TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
THIRTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Financials and Check Register for June
Mr. McKune responded your District Manager is going through them.
Ms. Larned stated I will check with Mr. Petty.
Mr. Fennell stated we have some nice changes taking place in the District. We are going to have people working for CSID. We are also going to move to an hourly billing accounting system so we can track hours on different projects. How is this working?
Ms. Larned responded once we get the budgets approved and work is beginning, we will track.
stated in one year, DOT will be putting in drainage along
Mr. Hanks stated finally.
Mr. McKune stated in the process of doing this, they are going to be in the vicinity of our water main. Whatever they want to do, they can and if we are in the way, we have to move it at our expense.
Mr. Hanks stated unless it was in an easement and they acquired the easement by eminent domain.
Mr. McKune stated the Board needs to sign the agreement with DOT saying that we will adhere to whatever they request us to do. I need the Board to authorize Mr. Petty to execute the agreement with DOT.
Mr. Lyles stated this does not get submitted until you have an agreement.
Mr. McKune stated we have the agreement but I do not have it with me. This is a standard DOT Agreement.
Mr. Lyles stated the document before you empowers the District Manager to execute and approve the agreement. Although I have not seen the agreement, I am sure Mr. McKune will make sure I receive a copy. I will then review it.
Mr. Hanks stated my understanding is this is standard practice. Is this your understanding?
Mr. Lyles responded yes.
TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
Mr. Fennell stated all remaining items were tabled until the next meeting.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like for Mr. McKune to look at the site for Chick-Fil-A. There are 1.9 acres of undeveloped upland and I would like to consider using this land as flood protection.
Mr. McKune stated in other words, you may not want to allow them to build on this property.
Ms. Rabone stated I drove by the property and they are under construction.
Mr. Frederick stated they already cleared the land.
Mr. Lyles stated they are clearing at their own risk.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:05 P.M.
Glen Hanks Robert Fennell