MINUTES OF MEETING

CORAL SPRINGS

IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

 

            The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on Monday, January 22, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. in the District Offices, 10300 NW 11th Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.

 

            Present and constituting a quorum were:

 

            Bob Fennell                                                President

            Glen Hanks                                                Vice President

            Sharon Zich                                                Secretary

           

            Also present were:

 

            John Petty                                                  Manager

            Dennis Lyles                                               Attorney

            John McKune                                             Engineer

            Isabello Rodriguez                                      CH2M-Hill

            Ed Flavin                                                    CH2M-Hill

            Kevin Alvarez                                             CH2M-Hill

            Cory Johnson                                             CH2M-Hill

            Sean Skehan                                              CH2M-Hill

            Rob Hungate                                              CH2M-Hill

            Randy Fredericks                                       Field Supervisor

            Doug Hyche                                               District Staff

            Brenda Schurtz                                           District Staff

 

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS                         Roll Call

Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order and Mr. Petty called the roll. 

 

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS                    Approval of the Minutes of the December 18, 2006 Meeting

            Mr. Fennell stated each Board member received a copy of the December 18, 2006 minutes and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.

            There not being any,

 

On MOTION by Ms. Zich seconded by Mr. Fennell with all in favor the minutes of the December 18, 2006 meeting were approved.

 

 

THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS                       Award of Contracts

            A.        Potable Water Flocculent

            Mr. Petty stated this is a coagulant aid we add in the water treatment process.  Staff has been evaluating various alternatives and believes this one to be the best as it is the lowest responsive bid.

            Mr. Fennell asked are we awarding the contract to Generic Chemical?

            Mr. Petty responded yes.  We find the chemical they are offering breaks down better in the potable water stream.  We were concerned with some of the synthetics and the end result after settling in the water.

            Mr. Fennell asked what does this chemical do?

            Mr. Petty responded the flocculent aid comes in a fabric mesh style, which aids in getting fine particles out of the suspension process.

            Mr. Hanks asked has this chemical been tested so we know we are getting the right type of treatment and dollar amount?

            Mr. Petty responded yes.  This fits within our budget criteria.  The chemical offered by Tropichem Enterprises did well in performance measures but we were not satisfied with what we were going to end up with in the treatment process.

            Mr. Hyche stated we used Whisprofloc consistently for years.  The chemical Generic Chemical is providing us, FBS-A105 is the synthetic version.  Whisprofloc is shipped to us from Switzerland and is getting harder to obtain.  Generic Chemical is no longer carrying it.  We tested FBS-A105 for 30 days at the plant and it gave us better quality water than Whisprofloc.

            Mr. Hanks asked if we were comparing our dollars and performance, is Generic Chemical the best?

            Mr. Hyche responded yes.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the contract for potable water flocculent was awarded to Generic Chemical at the lowest responsive bid amount of $20,000 per year.

 

            B.        Aquatic Weed Control Chemicals

            Mr. Petty stated Mr. Frederick bids this contract out every year and recommends award to the lowest responsive bidder of each chemical.  This way we get the best price for each chemical. 

            Mr. Hanks asked are we sharing this bid with our sister districts?

            Mr. Petty responded the other districts have their own departments but we bid the chemicals together in order to get the best price possible.

            Mr. Frederick stated some companies offered the same price on specific chemicals, which is the manufactures set price.  I recommend splitting the business between two companies.  For Induce, Glades Formulating bid Surf-Ac 910 for $8.50 per gallon.  I provided the label for this chemical.  At the bottom it says, “Not for aquatic use”.  Therefore, I had to eliminate them from the bid.  In this case, we will go with X-77, which was bid by UAP Timberland in the amount of $14.10 per gallon.

            Mr. Hanks asked are these prices consistent or similar to what we have seen in the past?

            Mr. Frederick responded yes.  As a matter of fact, I think some of them are lower than what they were last year?

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the contract for the purchase of aquatic weed control chemicals was awarded the lowest bidder for each respective chemical; and in the case of two low bidders staff has the ability to split the purchase with each company.

 

FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                    Consideration of Request for Surface Water Management Permit for Lakeview Office Building

            Mr. Petty stated we will defer to the engineer on this matter.

            Mr. McKune stated this item was going to be discussed by Ms. Early but she has not yet arrived.

            Mr. Petty stated we will hold this item until Ms. Early’s arrival.

 

FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                         Staff Reports

A.        Attorney

            Mr. Lyles stated we had our final public hearing before the legislature delegation with respect to the special bill amending your act providing for the changes on voting, bidding thresholds and benefits for the Supervisors.  The bill was approved unanimously and sent to Tallahassee for final action by the full legislature.  The largest hurdle was the local public hearing.  While we are going to follow the bill and monitor it, we will do some face to face explanation of the bill in Tallahassee.  We are comfortable the bill will make it through the process and this spring, we will have implementation of a series of amendments to the special act authorizing the District and setting forth its powers.

            Mr. Fennell stated so this has a chance of going through.  Last time, Tallahassee had some problems with this.

            Mr. Lyles stated I am not expecting to have a problem this time around.  If I hear something to the contrary, I will be on the phone with you right away.  This can be handled by staff in Tallahassee.

            Mr. Fennell asked when do they meet?

            Mr. Lyles responded in another month or so.  This item will be done at the end of the session like all the other special local bills are.

            Mr. Fennell stated by April or May, this will be over with.  Our elections are in June.  How does this bill affect the election?

            Mr. Lyles responded the election will have to be held in connection with the November General Election.  The first time around, we are suggesting staggered terms.  You will have two four year term seats and one two year seat.  The next landowners meeting is scheduled for the June meeting.  I do not think it is possible to do this any other way than to have the landowners meeting in June.  The Board at that time will make the determination of when the conversion will take place.  It will only be in connection with a regular General Election.  There will be no special elections or off year elections.  We will hold this landowners election as we have in the past.  Assuming this bill passes, the 2008 General Election is when you will have the first electoral vote for members of this Board.

            Mr. Fennell asked what about the bidding threshold?

            Mr. Lyles responded the bidding threshold will be substantially altered to bring you in line with other agencies of local government.  For example, a $4,001 item will not have to be advertised in the newspaper.  In many cases, the threshold is going to be $150,000, which is similar to what CDD’s do with their ability to buy services and goods.  There was also the compensation for the Board members.  After 30 years of the Board receiving $200 per meeting, they will receive $400 per meeting.

            Mr. Fennell stated this has a good chance of passing.  The Board will be in better shape and have a better ability to make decisions.  If the upcoming Board wants to have General Elections, they certainly can, with no cost to us for doing so.

            Mr. Hanks asked does it allow us to change the size of the Board?

            Mr. Lyles responded no.  There will still be three members.

            Mr. Petty stated keep in mind when you make this change, there is no going back.

            Mr. Fennell stated the Board has to decide whether or not this is in the best interest of the residents.

            Mr. Petty stated I believe we added the phrase, “Up to the Board” mostly for NSID’s benefit.

            Mr. Lyles stated the process we discussed in the past about urbanization and the petition process has to do with the expense and time concerning work not required for everyone serving as an elected official.  One of the concepts in the present law is the degree of urbanization.  You certainly reached and surpassed the threshold as you are near build-out.  NSID is not quite there and they may not do it at the first possible opportunity, which is in 2008 because they are still developing large tracts of land.  They may wait another election cycle or they may never do it.  They are not obligated to do it and as Mr. Petty said, once you do it, you cannot go back.  They are not as far along the path of being a totally urbanized built out area as CSID.  Now it is a matter of your judgment of when and if you think it is appropriate. 

            Mr. Fennell stated from a political standpoint, we are in better shape.

            Mr. Lyles stated believe it or not, one or two members of the delegation thought this should not happen without the necessity of having a petition from 10% of the registered voters on having a special election and referendum.  Their opinion was this was in the original bill and we needed to go through those steps to change it.  Everyone else is saying, “They are proposing to go from a landowner’s election to one person one vote process, what could be more democratic and fair than that?”  In the end, while the representatives did not concede the point, they voted in favor of the bill.  We are optimistic it is going to pass in Tallahassee. 

            C.        Manager

            i.          Discussion of Water and Sewer Rate Sufficiency

            Mr. Petty stated we provided to the Board additional material for consideration.  In looking at the rates adopted in the early 1990’s, the intent was for them to pay the operating costs plus produce less than $1 million per year for capital improvements and a Renewal and Replenishment Fund.  Over the years we have not made any adjustments.  In looking at the rates now to see if they are still as good as they were before, we found we are not making our goals of the $835,000 plus for capital improvements.  In fact we are in the negative by $753,000.  The question from the prior discussion was, “Why does the budget not show a deficit”.  The budget shows revenues higher than what the rates project based on historical conditions not on flow times rate considerations.  When you look at a rate sufficiency, you can only count on the rates coming through based on flow.  We cannot count on the conservation rate, which raises a considerable amount of revenue as the residents may start conserving.  They have been conserving since we instituted the rate in the early 1990’s and continue to do so.  Therefore, we do not count this rate in looking at the sufficiency.

            We transferred $200,000 out of our reserve; otherwise we would be in a negative mode.  You have budget projections higher than what the rates will get you without going into the conservation rate surcharges with the $200,000 transferred from the reserves.  Our recommendation to the Board is to revitalize our rates.  It has been 15 years since we have done so and we feel it is prudent at this time.  We suggest using the mid-rate analysis and not the high end rate analysis, which is usually six figures.  We should have CH2M-Hill perform this work at a fee between $30,000 and $35,000.  We believe having an independent rate analysis will get us back on track with whatever capital program we decide to adopt. 

            Ms. Zich stated it is time to do a study to see where we stand.

            Mr. Fennell stated we can certainly do the study.  If we look at our capital budget as adopted, we brought in capital outlay money of $150,000.  However, after making the adjustments for personnel, it was a wash.  Where we are showing more expenses are in plant and field operation costs.  The plant operations are $300,000 more, with $163,000 allocated for electrical work.  There were also some insurance costs, which were part of the rate structure.  We had some maintenance costs but they are included in the normal cost of operations. 

            Mr. Petty stated exactly.  In 15 years, those are the cost increases we will be looking at.

            Mr. Fennell stated field operations increased a couple of hundred thousand dollars due to salary and wages.  There are pension and health expenses, which are a wash.  Electricity increased from $87,000 to $132,000.  I was surprised to see Repairs and Maintenance dropped.

            Mr. Petty stated we moved those funds to Renewal and Replenishment. 

            Mr. Fennell stated in general, our fixed operations are increasing.  We knew this would happen with the personnel changes, which makes us a stronger organization.  We talked a year or two ago about other ways of cutting down expenses.  We got rid of security, which saved us a couple of hundred thousand dollars per year.  We will do as much competitive bidding as we can but it is time to look at the rates.  The Board has to decide on the type of rate structure.  We currently have a rate structure in place where the cost increases the more water used.

            Mr. Petty stated these are conservation rates.

            Mr. Fennell stated they gave us the greatest use.  Despite the sufficiency, people spent more money on water than they thought.  We actually received more money by those rate structures.  I do not know if we can neglect the fact of the rate structure being a big part of it.  I know you are thinking we should not count on it.

            Mr. Petty stated you are correct.  There will always be some monies in there but the conservation rate has lowered usage by a measurable amount between 1992 and now.  Part of this is due to the fixture requirements for toilets and shower heads in homes.  I do now know whether people are trying hard to conserve water but certainly the industry is trying.  This should continue.  While there will be income from a conservation rate by design, how much you can count on is difficult to determine.  From a financial viewpoint, we do not recommend you count on it.

            Mr. Fennell asked are there any other ways to bring in revenues?

            Mr. Petty responded this Board has always considered other ways.  We are starting to get requests from other government agencies to do utility billing and other services off of the new computer system, which is now in place.  Staff is in the trial mode of the computer system as we speak.  It is one-fifth the size of the system it is replacing and 10 times faster.  It is amazing.  IBM has done a wondrous job in the manufacturing of the chip they have in this machine.

            Mr. Fennell stated since we consolidated our organization, we can certainly look at ways to sell more of our services.  This should give us more leverage in our own services.

            Mr. Hanks stated as the population increases and re-development continues, there is going to be an increased demand for water, not just in our District but in other locations.

            Mr. Fennell stated leveraging our abilities might be a good thing for us to continue to do.  In the future, we may see more and more water restrictions from the SFWMD on how much water we can pump out of the ground.  We may need to start looking at reductions in the free water used for irrigation as there may be other means out there.  We may be in a situation 10 years from now where we can charge for reclaimed water.

            Mr. Petty stated absolutely.  You will hear more about this later in the meeting.  It is going to get more competitive.  It is already more competitive from all the utilities trying to provide the best water they can for their residents.  We are in this battle as we speak.  One of the first items the engineers are going to discuss tonight is the Consumptive Use Permit, which gives us the right to use the Biscayne Aquifer.  We definitely want to fight for this good water supply.  As water use becomes more critical, our position will be one we want to protect.

            Mr. Fennell stated there are other issues we can look at from a revenue source perspective.  As far as the county is concerned, we are in an excellent physical position as far as getting water.  We are at the top of the Biscayne Aquifer.  There actually may come a time when what is needed out here is for us to pump more water and ship it east.  I can see this happening.

            Mr. Petty stated we are already being asked by SFWMD to do as much recharging to this area as possible.  This will be discussed by the engineer in their presentation. 

            Mr. Fennell stated we need to look at additional revenue sources.  We are in a position where we have good wellfields and can build some new ones.  If we have to, we can pump enough water for our neighbors.  We actually have a location on-site where we can process water rather than having it shipped to us. 

            Mr. Hanks stated unfortunately, we do not own the water falling on us.  It is under the jurisdiction of the SFWMD who is providing us with a license to utilize a certain portion of their water source. 

            Mr. Petty stated I understand the suggestion.  Our engineers are familiar with those politics.  SFWMD issues five year permits.  We discussed this matter with the engineer and what will be looked at is what this utility does as an entity.  If you are perceived as being a leader in the governance of water and wastewater utilities, then you may get extra consideration from the permitting agencies.  This is what we are going to be striving for.  The position you discussed in the past was referred to as a Regional Water Supplier position, which has been pre-empted by the county in the last couple of years.  I think we are in a very good position to show we are a leader in the governance of utilities in Broward County. 

            Mr. Fennell stated we are trying to give you some direction of how this fits into the rate study.  We are also going to look at better ways of purifying water.  When the other utility companies went down around us and people needed water, they were shipping it in from places 1,000 miles away in order for people to have water when we still had water on-site.

            Mr. Petty stated there were millions of gallons on-site. 

            Mr. Fennell stated there should be a way to provide water in those situations such as selling bottled water rather than cutting costs or raising prices.  I like the rate structure we currently have with the conservation rates.  I recommend increasing each rate a certain percentage and calling it a day.

            Mr. Petty stated staff suggests having CH2M-Hill perform a rate study having to do with the capacity and commodity rates study as well as a fixed commitment to the community, which many utilities have.  This may be supported by ad valorem charges or other fees and charges.  It should be based on how much water you use.  There should also be a fee based on the urban environment.  In most large utility structures, there are three types of rates; fixed administration, fixed facility costs by a General Fund or ad valorem and capacity and commodity.  Capacity has to do with fixed items like personnel requirements under DEP.  You cannot vary those and must have a fixed number of operators per shift.  Electricity and chemicals are variables based on how many gallons you make with the understanding you must have a fixed number no matter whether you do 5 million gallons or 3.5 million gallons.  We have these wonderful variable frequency motors, which are supposed to save us electricity but never do because you must meet the pipeline pressure of 85%.  Even though the motors have the ability to go from 0 to 100%, they are at 85% before they even push water into the pipe.  We have variable, fixed and institutional costs, which we want to balance out.

            Mr. Hanks stated I want to see included in the study recommendations for tying into certain commodity costs so we can track and adjust it in the future without having to put away money in our utility rates.

            Mr. Petty stated whatever formula is adopted in the rate study, we will present to the Board during the budget process.

            Mr. Fennell stated we should take a base cost like electricity and tie it to the budget going forward. 

            Mr. Petty stated we can do this.

            Ms. Zich stated whatever we need to get in excess of what we have; we need to add to each person’s bill.  Is a certain percentage of everyone’s bill fixed?

            Mr. Petty responded yes.  In the 1992 rate study, the fixed portion represented only debt and not fixed costs.  The commodity portion of $1.90 per thousand dollars represented both fixed and variable operating costs. 

            Ms. Zich asked does everyone’s bill have fixed and commodity amounts?

            Mr. Petty responded we want to have the rate study look at the possibility of having a fixed amount for the institution itself coming out of the General Fund assessment.

            Mr. Fennell stated you want a tax.

            Mr. Hanks asked does this help to alleviate some of the problems we saw with the utilities on the Gulf Coast?  A number of utilities had been wiped out by Hurricane Katrina.  Where do they get the funds to rebuild?

            Mr. Petty responded I do not know if this is a good solution but it certainly could not hurt because you have a third revenue source.  With all the people gone, I do not know if it would be fixed.  You still need to have value in the land.  We have the fixed cost for the institution.  Then we move over to those categories such as employee costs which were fixed by rule and possibly electric and chemical costs and have the variable cost portioned on the bill.  On their ad valorem assessment in the General Fund along with drainage responsibilities, they will also have a portion assigned to water and sewer. 

            Mr. Fennell stated all those justifications may sway the Board but in the end we have to sell this to the public.  It will come down to me comparing the costs you have now and costs you are going to have.  This has to be on page one.  I need to know what people in the center part of the city in North Springs, Tamarac and Margate are paying, what we are paying and what we are going to pay in the future.  I need to have much more straightforward justification.

            Mr. Petty stated the costs before and in the future is what we will compare it to.

            Mr. Fennell asked are we going to be back here in three or four years doing the same thing or do we need an escalation clause?

            Mr. Petty responded we request this model be authorized and require CH2M-Hill to prepare the formula so we can upgrade based on our costs.  Each cost category can be upgraded as we do the budget.  The model we adopted in 1992 had the capability where you could put the costs in, recalculate the methodology, come up with new rates and go through the rule adoption process each year.  This is something we can do every year during the budget process.  We can show the Board when increases are necessary and you can decide whether it is a material change or not and we will adopt whatever is necessary.  We have been asked for the rate study to be usable by staff in this manner since you do not want to have to come back every three years.

            Mr. Hanks asked can we use the model from 1991, throw in today’s numbers and come up with a projection?

            Mr. Petty responded we could but it may only be usable for the next couple of years.  As soon as you start looking at the capital improvement program, which we hope to have later on this evening, I do not know whether this rate works there.

            Mr. Fennell stated the big issue is how much money we are going to be spending on capital.  In your old study, you were paying off $3 million in bonds.  We are now down to $2 million. 

            Mr. Petty stated it will be concurrent with the rate study.

            Mr. Hanks stated there will be some capital improvement component, which gets thrown back into the rate study.

            Mr. Petty stated correct.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the Work Authorization with CH2M-Hill to prepare a rate sufficiency study in the amount not to exceed $35,000 was approved.

 

            ii.         Monthly Water & Sewer Charts

            Mr. Petty stated these charts are standard in nature.  Our water loss is still at an enviable 6.5%. 

            iv.        Utility Billing Work Orders

            Mr. Petty stated the work orders are in acceptable ranges.  We have nothing to bring to the Board’s attention at this time.

            v.         Complaints Received/Resolved

            Mr. Petty stated there is nothing out of the ordinary or anything that has not been resolved.  Your Customer Service Department does a good job.

            Mr. Hanks asked are we making progress on bringing the wastewater infiltration back into line?

            Mr. Petty responded we still have infiltration issues and always will.  With a system of this age, there is no way around it.  From my own observations and talking to the operators, I believe they have enough tools to handle all the infiltration issues they currently have.  You allowed them a search tank, which costs $600,000 giving them the opportunity to store water in case there is horrendous inflow.  The day to day material seems to be handled by the design.

            C.        Engineer – Consideration of Work Authorizations

            1.         Consumptive Use Permit Renewal

            2.         Capital Improvement Analysis

            Mr. Petty stated the key to everything we are going to be doing in the capital improvement program, follows the Consumptive Use Permit.  The biggest issue is accessibility to the Biscayne Aquifer and high quality water.  Your second choice for a water supply is not even close to the Biscayne Aquifer’s quality.  The cost of treating water jumps dramatically.

            Mr. Fennell asked what is our second choice?

            Mr. Hyche responded Florida Aquifer.

            Mr. Petty stated this is a brackish water supply.  It is fairly deep.  You are looking at reverse osmosis.

            Mr. Hanks asked is this where we dispose our waste?

            Mr. Skehan responded it is part of the Florida Aquifer but there are usable and un-usable parts.  This is defined by the specific water quality, which are totally dissolved solids.  Anything below 1,500’ to 1,600’ can potentially be used as a disposal zone.  However, you want to have this area completely isolated away from any potential usable zone.  The injection zone is down 2,800’ to 3,000’ and is isolated away from the potential use of the upper Florida Aquifer, which is anywhere between 800’ and 1,200’.  For reverse osmosis, the reject has to come off the membrane process.  Then you have to make modifications to your injection well system and/or potentially have another new injection well, which is costly.

            Mr. Petty stated while this all may be fun for us as operators, it is costly for our users.  The reason why we are getting into these other matters is because politics can become so heavily involved in Consumptive Use Permits.  Effluent reuse, which is using every drop of water to the best of your ability, is a strong component in the Consumptive Use Permit.  We have been able to use financial efficiency as a rule of thumb.  The Consumptive Use Permit is a fairly straightforward and highly important issue for us, which has 1,001 parameters tied to it.  This is where we hope to show with the engineer’s capital improvement program, we are a leader in the county.

            Mr. Skehan stated we already discussed the opportunity of selling bottled water.  It is something to give consideration to.  It is nice to be here today to discuss your Improvement Plan for water and wastewater.  We are going to look at several different items about why the CIP is important to CSID.  One item is the water use permitting side of the equation.  So much is tied to your water use permit as it is a trigger for what you want to do in the future relative to your water treatment process have a line treatment process.  You currently have a lime treatment process with three different trains.  The first train was constructed in 1972, the second was constructed in 1976 and the third was constructed in 1984 or 1985.  What you have is an aged process, which you have made significant investment into when it was originally constructed.  At this point, you need to look forward because it reached its design age and is beginning to show what is taking place. 

            What is important is providing the highest level of service to your customers through affordable rates, high redundancy and reliability.  The key word is “reliability”.  Replacement of aging infrastructure is a key component.  Ultimately, your goal in being able to provide this level of service to your customers is to meet current and future regulations.  Several items have to do with what you are able to do with the new technologies available for the implementation of advanced water treatment technologies and effluent reuse.  The responsibility to the regional aquifer is to be able to recharge and give this opportunity back to the Consumptive Water Use Permit.  Tied to this is the Water Management District and DEP looking for CSID to implement some use or level of water resource so there is no loss of water in the system.  It is the best management of your resources to ultimately preserve the aquifer allocation.  We pointed out already; this is a significant item for where you want to be able to go.

            What we are going to look at this evening is replacement of aging infrastructure on the water side and looking at similar items on the wastewater side; what needs to take place; the proposed projects in the CIP and ultimately how this is going to fit together for you given the age of your system and how you can provide the best level of service to your customers.  Since you are familiar with the condition of the plant, we will revisit some of the components of your facility. 

            Mr. Petty stated this facility has been economically feasible for a long time.  I feel the Board and staff have done a wonderful job of operating the facility for the length of time they have but I do not know if you can squeeze another nickel out of what has already been taken out of these plants.  I have seen this before and it going to start looking bad.  It is not because you did not get your money’s worth out of it.  It is because we did. 

            Mr. Skehan stated Mr. Petty’s point is all too important because the Board and staff have done an excellent job.  It all works together to be able to keep the plant operating where it is currently.  In actuality, the life expectancy of some of the components of your system is probably five years ago.  In our overview of the plant, we are starting with the lime and sludge ponds, which are difficult to manage.  The sludge does not go away with the lime process.  It piles up and has to be dried and hauled away.  This facility has been part of the lime process in the past.  Twenty-five years ago when the utility was constructed, there was no community around you.  This is similar to what was taking place in other utilities.  Now you have a community growing around you and a line having the potential to blow out.  You received complaints and you will want to give consideration to this on how this is handled in the future.  In addition, the lime and sludge dust goes into the plant and affects the equipment.  It is labor intensive to take care of this. 

            Another component is the corrosion on the filters.  There is no surface rust, but rust going into the equipment and affecting various components.  On process number 3, which is the largest unit, the corrosion is going through structural components.  It is not supposed to be there.  Therefore, it is important to recognize what to do and how to move forward into the future in regards to the best options for the utility. 

            Moving towards the wastewater side of the facility, there is significant corrosion.  In Units A and B, one of the units failed and is no longer functionable.  As you proceed through the facility, the corrosion issues are considerable.  It is hard to look at beyond what is there.  One particular wall failed and was reinforced with vertical and horizontal beams at the bottom and top to be able to continue to operate. 

            Additionally, when you have this level of corrosion taking place, things become less safe.  This is a primary consideration because of insurance rates.  There are indentations in one of the tanks due to fatigue to the steel and corrosion is taking place along the bottom and top of the structure.  It is evident in many different places.  You have a number of different options to look at and give consideration to for the future.  In the past when the utility was first established, you looked at this from a 20 to 25 year time frame.  Now having reached its ultimate life expectancy, you want to invest another 20 to 25 years into the future. 

            Ongoing construction projects on the wastewater side of the facility include: 

                    Nano filtration, a way to replace the lime softening process 

                    Reclaimed water facility

                    Wastewater A and B replacement

                    Sludge facility, replacement of the belt filter press and roof

        Injection system monitor well, issues with corrosion in the tubing in the monitor well, which is currently being replaced

                    Emergency generator

            It was great sitting here a couple of years ago after the hurricanes and having water going out to the customers.  There were a few utilities around but they were not providing any water and were actually begging for water.  You were in the pilot’s seat in that particular year and can continue to do so with additional augmentation of the generator system. 

            Continuation of Ongoing construction projects: 

                    Reclaimed water conveyance, which will tie into the reuse system

                    Operating building expansion for an emergency response center

            We have seen the importance of managing emergencies in the past and having a place for staff to be able to stay and do what they need to.  This is something to consider for the future.

            Mr. Fennell asked are ongoing projects ones we already funded?

            Mr. Petty responded ongoing projects are ones we have contracts out for subject to funding availability, in keeping track with everything being done now.  It was envisioned the purpose of this CIP was to have additional funds to complete the work.  If we are delayed for any reason, we will stop any portion of this contract until we get the funds.

            Mr. Fennell asked what projects do we currently have in place?

            Mr. Petty responded the emergency generator the Board wanted us to have to give us the ability to operate for more than just a few days. 

            Mr. Hyche stated we want to operate for 14 days or more.

            Mr. Petty stated Mr. McKune has a new digester being constructed under this contract. 

            Mr. McKune stated the current projects are all for the wastewater side.  It is basically a solids handling improvement program including a new digester, which we are in need of.  There are five different pump stations conveying various portions of the waste stream; a new roto-guard, which takes water out of the sludge for further processing and a new chemical storage building.  In the past, we utilized a shed for 15 years to store aquatic maintenance chemicals.  DEP in one of their annual site inspections was concerned the shed was going to fall down. 

            Mr. Petty stated we did this for groundwater protection.

            Mr. Fennell asked what about the water treatment side?

            Mr. McKune responded there is no current CIP on the water treatment side.  There has only been maintenance over the past year.

            Mr. Fennell stated you were talking about doing something with one of the units.

            Mr. McKune stated you are referring to Unit 3, which was shown to be most corroded.  It needs to be taken out of service and have a complete overhaul but at the present time, we cannot do so because of its capacity. 

            Mr. Petty stated we have no facility to use in its place.  If we turn it off, we do not have enough capacity to make the daily demand. 

            Mr. Fennell stated we authorized the design.

            Mr. McKune stated it was rolled into the CIP.  It can still be done.  What we anticipated was a stop gap measure to take the existing one out of service for its needed maintenance and replace with a new plant.

            Mr. Hanks asked did this have something to do with reverse osmosis?

            Mr. Petty responded yes.  It was included in today’s discussion of the CIP.  What they call nano filtration, is what we call the membrane softening process.

            Mr. Fennell asked what have we funded on the water purification site?

            Mr. McKune responded you authorized the design of the fourth water treatment unit.  If this plant continued using lime softening, you would need $8 million in addition to building the tank for new filters and lime/sludge dewatering system, which alone costs $2 million to $3 million in construction costs.  We held back design of the fourth tank because we were looking at other options. 

            Mr. Fennell stated we were going to do it but now you are coming back with a different proposal.

            Mr. McKune stated correct.

            Mr. Petty stated since you have to apply for the Consumptive Use Permit, this is the time to make the decision. 

            Mr. Johnson stated I am going to discuss the difference between nano filtration or membrane softening and your current lime softening.  This process is similar to reverse osmosis, which is something you should consider in your 20 to 25 year outlook.  Nano filtration is a much more robust process and more flexible.  It should be able to handle regulatory challenges as they occur over the next 20 to 25 years.  Rather than lime softening, you have chemicals straining out the organics and the color from the water as well as calcium and magnesium.  It is an easier system to operate and much more consistent operation.  There are significantly lower operator requirements.  It also eliminates the sludge handling.  It is highly automatable.  This is good technology moving forward and what many other utilities are starting to implant. 

            Nano filtration is also easy to phase in as it is contained within a building.  You size your building to a certain size to allow for expansion over time.  It is fairly modular for sliding and skidding new membrane racks into a building.  You can add to it over time.  Boynton Beach is using nano filtration.  They started out with a 4 mgd facility but the building was large enough to fit another 4mgd.  They chose to do this instead of going the lime softening route.  Other membrane facilities CH2M-Hill is working with is Cooper City Utilities, Bonita Springs Utilities, Fort Pierce Utilities and FKAA.

            Mr. Fennell asked what happens when the membrane gets clogged and what is the life of the membrane?

            Mr. Johnson responded there is a cleaning process where acids or bases are used to clean the surface of the membrane as they will clog over time.  You will apply a low ph or high ph chemical to remove the materials on the surface and recover most of the performance of the membrane.  This may happen once or twice a year.  Depending on how well the membranes are maintained, a typical design life is three to five years, although there are facilities who make it to 10 years.  It is built into your overall operating process.

            Mr. Fennell asked in five years do you need to purchase a new membrane?

            Mr. Johnson responded just the membranes.  High pressure vessels house the membrane unit.

            Mr. Petty stated approximately 70% to 80% of what you are building is fixed and does not go away for 30 years.

            Mr. Fennell asked how much are we paying per membrane every five years?

            Mr. Petty responded the membrane cost is computed as a consumable.  You will not have the lime cost or by-products cost but you have the membrane replacement cost.  Historically the three year figure is the most conservative, with five years being the norm.  There are tubes with seven to eight membranes stuck together.  You are going to replace those tubes as they deteriorate.  You will not do a whole train at once but it could be just the second stage as not all membranes are created equally.  You can remove the second stage and put in new tubes and then a year or two later go after the first stage.  It is a consumable calculated into your rate structure each year.  The trains are rated on performance.  You clean them once the performance gets to a 75% recovery and you have decreased flow.  Instead of being able to make 8 million gallons a day, they will only be able to make 7 million and then 6 million gallons.

            Mr. Fennell stated it is a general failure method.

            Mr. Petty stated correct.  You may have time to stage this as you see fit.

            Mr. Skehan stated depending on the amount of capacity you have for a plant like this, you will not be using all the capacity at one time.  Your typical average day use is 4 mgd.  If you have more capacity in your trains, say 8 mgd, you are going to be using each train incrementally.  There is a rotation to their use.  It is like rotating the tires on your car.  You need to have them in different positions and use them for different parts to get longer use out of them depending on the cleaning and how well you take care of them.

            Mr. Hanks asked does this give us the flexibility to adapt to changing water conditions as per the surface water permit?

            Mr. Johnson responded to a degree. 

            Mr. Hanks asked what if SFWMD says we cannot use the Biscayne Aquifer anymore?

            Mr. Petty responded these pressure vessels will be okay but the membranes will have to be switched.  The headers will probably have to be changed out because of increased pressures.  Generally speaking, most of this system will still be usable.  More importantly, if the regulations change and arsenic or another contaminant hits a regulation level we have not anticipated, the membranes do a rejection of dissolved solids based on this membrane.  By adding more pressure or possibly changing out a few membranes, we will have a whole new tank and structure. 

            Mr. Hanks asked are there different membranes addressing certain pollutants?

            Mr. Petty responded usually.

            Mr. Fennell asked what is the response time of the system; gallon in and gallon out in time?

            Mr. Petty responded it takes an hour and a half to soften the water.

            Mr. Hyche stated if you started from scratch.

            Mr. Fennell stated this can be done in the early morning hours.

            Mr. Petty stated we can turn them on and off with the sun if you wish.  A number of plants turn on at 8 a.m. and off at 5 p.m.

            Mr. Hanks stated in some instances, we will not see a continuous use of electricity like we see on these plants but it would go up and down with the demand.

            Mr. Petty stated we could manage the facilities to be off peak hours.

            Mr. Hyche stated to some degree.  You would still have high service capabilities.

            Mr. Petty stated this is part of the design.  You do not turn it on all at once.  It needs to be done in stages so the red line needle on your electric meter does not go nuts.

            Mr. Fennell asked what is the running cost per gallon difference?

            Mr. Johnson responded it depends on different locations.  They can be comparable to lime softening.  In some cases, it can be cheaper than lime softening or in other cases, it can be more expensive. 

            Mr. Fennell asked out here will the running cost be greater or less than what we are currently paying?

            Mr. Petty responded the cost of lime softening to membrane softening from one facility to another is the same as if not better than the long term.  We are not looking to make a decision today on whether we do the membrane process or the lime softening.  We are looking at what gets us to handle the next 20 years in regards to the regulations and whether lime softening can address it.  If so, then we need to include it in our CIP, if it is the most economical and answers all the questions.  However, we have not gone through the research to evaluate it.  We have not asked them to go to DEP and SFWMD.  We have a Consumptive Use Permit hinging upon effluent reuse and whether we are using every drop of water coming out of the ground.  You need to determine whether or not you are using the best technology or the best practices possible.  This is all part of the CIP we are going to be asking you to authorize CH2M-Hill to prepare.  We discussed this on a staff level and see certain positives coming out of this consideration.  However, until they actually start getting price quotes from the manufactures of these membranes and we do a pilot test product on our water, we cannot give you a definitive number on cost.

            Mr. Fennell asked what is the difference in capital costs for 8 million gallons of this type versus 8 million gallons of a brand new type?

            Mr. Skehan responded overall, you are going to see costs similar to what you are going to have in the lime process.  From a capital cost point, it is going to be better to invest in the nano filtration.

            Mr. Fennell asked by what percentage?

            Mr. Skehan responded 15% to 20%.  Without knowing what components are going to be necessary, it is not good for us to identify the cost.

            Mr. Fennell stated you probably compared the differences in cost for this system to another facility.

            Mr. Petty stated there are parameters we are ignoring.  The biggest one is whether or not it can handle the next 20 years.  To say lime softening plants are more economical than the membrane for this District for the next 20 years is erroneous.

            Mr. Fennell stated I agree.

            Mr. Petty stated lime softening plants cannot handle arsenic; this can.  It depends on what parameters you are looking at.  I do not know if I can continue getting a five year permit for this process if I have a waste stream.  It may make sense using the Consumptive Use Permit.  I understand there has to be an evaluation of costs but we also have to look at what our obligations are.

            Mr. Fennell stated I agree.  Are there other options for water treatment other than lime softening?

            Mr. Johnson responded yes, ion exchange is another potential process.

            Mr. Skehan stated one of the facilities I was closely involved with was the Fort Pierce Utility Authority.  I was the Project Manager when this project was completed six years ago.  We performed a study for them 10 years ago about the potential for them to go to a membrane process.  They have the shallow part of the Florida Aquifer, where the water quality is extremely good.  It is 250 mg per liter in chlorides and the TDS are low.  The Director of the water plant said, “We should have done this a long time ago and are so happy we did this”.  Significant growth is taking place in St. Lucie County.  They started off with 4 mgd and now have more than 9 mgd.  This is not representative of where you would be right now because this project was bid almost eight years ago.  At the time, the costs across the marketplace from a construction standpoint for steel, concrete and labor were $10 billion.  Construction costs have doubled or tripled since that time.  They are happy because they are able to meet the regulations. 

            In your lime process, the filters will soon have to be covered because the virus requirements for birds flying over and having their droppings go into the water.  You have the opportunity to take similar steps for the future.  Two months ago train 3 went out of service, which was your largest unit.  As a result, you had to purchase 1 million gallons of water per day for two weeks from the City of Coral Springs.  The redundancy in your program is not there as it held together very well.  You have done a phenomenal job in getting your program to where it currently is.  However, you should give some careful consideration on where you want to be going into the future.

            Mr. Hanks asked what type of land use are we talking about with a nano filtration process?

            Mr. Skehan responded you are talking about a 50 x 100 building.  The Boynton Beach facility on Boynton Beach Boulevard, just west of Military Trail has two offices an upstairs area, large electric room, control room and laboratory.  You have the space.

            Mr. Hanks asked what is the timing to construct?

            Mr. Skehan responded the same amount of time as the Fort Pierce and Boynton Beach projects.  The Fort Pierce project took 18 to 20 months.  Very little took place to cause any problems.  The design work takes four to six months.  I know Mr. Petty and Mr. McKune will push to have this prepared in a timely fashion.

            Mr. Hanks asked are there opportunities for design builds?

            Mr. Skehan responded there are always different opportunities to deliver a project like this.  It is certainly far too premature to give consideration to it.

            Mr. Fennell asked what is our top priority?

            Mr. Skehan responded to provide the highest level of service to your customers.  The Water Use Permit for CSID expires in August of 2007.  In our task order, we will be looking at what is taking place.  We anticipate SFWMD being part of those permits.  Reuse is a big question.  They will want to know if reuse is taking place.  Without delving into this and knowing all the details, your allocation should be protected because you are at build-out.  Your allocation is going to be based on what was used between 2005 and 2006.  However, the WCD is known to govern what they want to take place.  We do not necessarily agree with them shoving something down people’s throats but they will have to be considered.

            Mr. Fennell stated when we first authorized the design; there was a fair amount of urgency.  You have not taken any of the urgency today, especially with the pictures of the water purification facility.  We are looking at quick action in the design. 

            Mr. Petty stated this has changed.  On a staff level, we held onto it due to the issue of money.  If we put money into the lime softening treatment process, we have the ability to take down Plant 3 and clean it but we do not address anything else in the future.  We do not get any greater capacity because we already have enough water to meet demand.  We are building the maintenance piece you need so you can clean Plant 3.  While we had an issue with this plant breaking down, it is a significant amount of money.  With all the supporting facilities it normally requires, you end up spending $10 million.  This is why we wanted the engineers to evaluate this.  You are correct by saying this is the most important thing.

            Mr. Fennell stated if we need to make quick decisions, let’s do it.  We made a fair amount of changes in the wastewater plant.

            Mr. Petty stated we are starting to catch up.

            Mr. Fennell stated it is probably in better shape than the water purification side.  My opinion and the opinion of the engineers is we need to move quickly.  What do we need to do to make decisions and how can we help you out?

            Mr. Skehan responded you are already heading in the direction you need to go in.  The rate study and Water Use Permit set the stage for where you want to go.  You should give us the opportunity to work closely with you to see which components are going to be important.  We do not want to be presumptuous.  We have a rate study prioritizing what needs to be done.

            Mr. Petty stated we are going to request the Board approve a Work Authorization tonight for the engineer to proceed with a CIP in the following steps:

        Step 1:  Obtain the Consumptive Use Permit in an amount not to exceed $12,000.

        Step 2:  Prepare the capital improvement analysis in an amount not to exceed $55,000 (to be run concurrently with step 1).

            Both of these numbers must fall within acceptable engineering percentage standards, which are currently 7.5% of the estimated constructed costs.  Once you accept the CIP, it must fit into the 7.5% normal engineering design work criteria of the entire estimated construction cost.

            Mr. Hanks asked do we need to have engineering design in the CIP?

            Mr. Petty responded yes.

            Mr. Hanks stated we will have design permitting plans for the CIP.

            Mr. Petty stated correct.

            Mr. Skehan stated initially you want to look at the first step. 

            Mr. Fennell stated I do not want to give away money for the design of the water treatment plant.

            Mr. Petty stated they are not getting this money.

            Mr. Fennell asked so money has not been wasted or spent?

            Mr. Petty responded no.  I am sure Mr. McKune has spent this money elsewhere.

            Mr. Fennell asked what are we authorizing and for how much?

            Mr. Petty responded we are authorizing a Work Authorization for a Consumptive Use Permit in an amount not to exceed $12,000 and a capital improvement analysis, to be run concurrently, in an amount not to exceed $55,000, which must fit under the engineering design criteria of a CIP not to exceed 7.5%.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor a Work Authorization for a Consumptive Use Permit in an amount not to exceed $12,000 and a capital improvement analysis, to be run concurrently, in an amount not to exceed $55,000, which must fit under the engineering design criteria of a capital improvement program not to exceed 7.5% was approved.

 

            Mr. Fennell stated this is an old plant, which we have kept running.  Mr. Petty shared the Board’s concerns a year ago to do something.  I understand we have a Water Use Permit and need to proceed but I think we need a facility.  It sounds like you are leaning towards the nano technology and we should do a comparison as soon as possible.  I would not wait until August.  No matter what happens, we need to do something about this facility.

            Mr. Petty stated we just had consensus on your point, “If we are going to build a test facility, this is the way we can get it in quicker and get some capacity onsite to help alleviate our concerns about Plant 3”.

            Mr. Fennell stated just make sure the base you lay down is 50 x 100.

            Mr. Skehan stated in meeting our goals, the decision is made but in meeting those goals, you are going to meet current and future regulations and ultimately provide reliability to your facility. 

            Mr. Fennell stated reliability means operating in a hurricane, which we are serious about. 

            Mr. Petty stated yes we are.

            Mr. Skehan stated the facility will be inside a building built to Florida building code, which can withstand up to 140 mph winds.  After Hurricane Andrew, we worked closely with Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority and their water facility in Florida City.  This was not an RO or membrane plant but their high service pump and operations buildings were still intact even though they took a direct hit from the hurricane.  The wind meters blew off at 140 mph.  I had a project down there at the time where we had water stored in the ground for ASR.  We did not know the day after the hurricane if they had water because there were no communications.  I was able to navigate my way down there and everything was flattened.  I was able to find the plant, which was remarkable because every landmark was gone.  Coming down the quarter mile of roadway into the facility I saw monkeys running across the road but then I heard the most pleasant sound you could hear, which was the hum of motors running.  Everything was set up to be able to run manually and they were still pumping water down to Key West.  They were able to provide Homestead and Florida City with water.  They were the only utility left running.  This was one of our facilities.

            Mr. Fennell stated we do not want what happened in New Orleans to happen here where if the utilities go; the place is no longer livable.  We had a close enough call but this could happen if we do not take care of our plant.

 

FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                    Consideration of Request for Surface Water Management Permit for Lakeview Office Building

            Mr. Flavin stated this request meets the criteria.  The special conditions are listed in the letter, which are standard.  It meets water quality with an exfiltration trench discharging to the C-2 canal.

            Mr. Hanks asked is C-2 the canal running by Lake Coral Springs?

            Mr. Flavin responded yes.

            Mr. Hanks asked is there surface storage?

            Mr. Flavin responded they do not have storage but there is an exfiltration trench.

            Mr. Hanks asked is the stormwater to the 100 year flood elevation?

            Mr. Flavin responded yes.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the drainage permit request for a Surface Water Management Permit for discharge into the C-2 canal for construction of an office building on Lakeview Drive was approved.

 

FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                         Staff Reports

            C.        Engineer – Consideration of Work Authorizations

            3.         Utility Site Landscaping Plan

            Mr. Petty stated we request removal of this item from the agenda as we do not have anything to bring to your attention.  We are still on track for the design of the landscaping plan.  You may have noticed on your way in here we have a berm at the far southern portion of our utility site.  We actually called it “preloading” since we are not building anything yet.  CH2M-Hill is working on a landscaping plan with Mr. McKune.  We expect to have this item at the next meeting.

            Mr. Fennell stated CH2M-Hill was supposed to find out if there were any issues with the canal coming from Sunshine, which is 11’.  No one got back to me.

            Mr. Petty stated we did the survey work and were looking at the impacts.  If I recall correctly, it was the most exposed at some intersection roads.  We have not heard back from CH2M-Hill on a recommendation regarding what if any bulwark needs to be put there.  They are still working on it.  I think they have seen two other outlets.  In my last conversation with them, even if put bulwarks there, the water would come out of another spot.  This is what is causing the delay.

            Mr. Fennell stated we found out the berm was down but there was still a question on whether there were points behind it at a higher level.  Is this a significant problem?

            Mr. Petty responded we do not yet have the answer.

            Mr. Alvarez stated we need to meet with the stormwater group.

            Mr. Fennell stated ask them whether or not we have a problem.

            Mr. Hanks stated also ask them where we stand on the revised stormwater management manual for dealing with issues and concerns related to the east basin.

            Mr. Petty stated as well as the retention capability.

            Mr. Fennell stated I also want to tell them we love the study done and want to make it operational.  We are looking for actual predicted models our own people can use on-site to predict the hours needed to remove flooding water and what will happen when they turn on the pumps.

            Mr. Hungate asked how is your system interconnected to the WMD?

            Mr. Fennell responded they have three pumps on the C-14 Canal.

            Mr. Hungate stated I am not sure how they model their interaction of minimum flows or levels. 

            Mr. Fennell stated we do not know either but we know how we can do ours because CH2M-Hill performed a $100,000 study.  It was great to know.  We want to use this study to aid our operations so they can adequately predict how much water they need to remove with 5” of rain. 

            Mr. Petty stated we need to take your system and make it portable to be used by District staff.

 

SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                        Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments

            There not being any, the next item followed.

 

SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                  Approval of December Financials and Check Registers

            Ms. Zich stated I saw a big payment for Christmas bonuses, which is nice.  Do we give yearly bonuses?

            Mr. Petty responded this was a policy adopted by this Board.

            Ms. Zich stated these are considerable cash bonuses.  Only because of my accounting knowledge I know you cannot give anyone cash without putting it on their payroll.

            Mr. Petty stated it is on the payroll.

            Ms. Zich asked why is it in cash?

            Mr. Petty responded it was requested.

            Mr. Hyche stated it is handed out at their Christmas party.

            Ms. Larned stated it is not just one bonus.  It is cumulative. 

 

On MOTION by Ms. Zich seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the check registers for the General Fund dated December 31, 2006 in the amount of $899,357.21 and the Water and Sewer Fund dated December 31, 2006 in the amount of $1,162,754.09 were approved.

 

EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                     Adjournment

            There being no further business,

 

On MOTION by Mr. Fennell seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      

Sharon Zich                                                               Robert Fennell

Secretary                                                                   President


Notes for 1/22 Meeting

 

Agenda Item for Next Meeting

 

        Work Authorization on Utility Site Landscaping Plan