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 Vice President
Sharon Zich Secretary
Also present were:
John Petty Manager
Dennis Lyles Attorney
John McKune Engineer
Isabello Rodriguez CH2M-Hill
Jane Early CH2M-Hill
Randy Fredericks Field Supervisor
Doug Hyche 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 January 22, 2007 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member
received a copy of the minutes of the
There not being any,
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Award of Contract for a Boom Lift
Mr. Hyche stated this is for an aerial man lift.
Mr. Hanks asked how many hours is this for?
Mr. Hyche responded this is a purchase.
Mr. Petty stated we have many tall structures on the site. We rented them in the past and when the idea of purchasing them first came about, we said, “Why did we not think about this before?” We checked and determined purchasing makes more sense.
Mr. Hanks asked are we going to be paying an excessive amount for maintenance?
Mr. Hyche responded it comes with a one year maintenance warranty. The maintenance is relatively simple. It will not be an excessive amount.
Mr. Hanks asked what type of life expectancy do they have?
Mr. Hyche responded this one has 2000 hours. If maintained property, you can get a good 15 to 20 years.
Mr. Petty stated it is a hydrologic device like our backhoe or front end loader, which we are used to maintaining. This is similar in nature.
Mr. Hanks asked is this a used piece of equipment?
Mr. Hyche responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked were the others used?
Mr. Hyche responded at this price used is all you are going to get.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the price for a new one?
Mr. Hyche responded $60,000 to $80,000, depending on the type.
Mr. Hanks asked what will you be using it for?
Mr. Hyche responded trimming trees, changing lights inside the garages, hanging tanks, etc.
Mr. Hanks asked inspection of the catwalks?
Mr. Hyche responded yes. You can also lift it up and reach over items in constricted areas.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
Mr. Lyles stated just a quick update
on our legislation. I informed you at
the last meeting, we received negative questions from Representative Bogdanoff
who represents eastern
Mr. Hanks stated there are no
Special Districts in eastern
Mr. Lyles stated correct.
Mr. Petty stated the issue may be landowner elections versus electoral. Landowner elections make sense when all you have are landowners and no electors. There are those who may come after Special Districts from the vantage point of landowner elections being out of place or old fashioned. They have their place in time but there comes a point in time where you should transition over. Our legislative act does not cover the time period so we are doing it but there are those who may have angst against Special Districts who may see this as an opportunity. It could be they are defending the landowner’s election to protect Special Districts. We do not think we are weakening it.
Mr. Fennell stated the new Special Districts already have this built into it their act. We are an older Special District and did not have this written into our act.
Mr. Lyles stated I thought about this and we discussed it a great deal within the firm, because there is more than one of us working on this issue. A few years ago, we had a bill to collect our Special Acts into one bill so you did not have to look at the bill, then the amendments and then try to figure out which was in effect. We were required to do this in 2000/2001. At the time we did this, a previous member of the Legislative Delegation did some amendments to our Special Act. One of the amendments was to change the nature of the Board, the size of the Board, the meeting and election times and moving to an electoral system. After the Board authorized the bill to proceed, without any involvement, Governor Bush vetoed the bill for the issue of switching to a different Board without going through the statutory process. It may be they are saying, “I recall the Governor vetoed it so it must have been the right decision because he is the Governor and he is not here to veto it so I am going to pursue this same logic.” This is all we can think about. We cannot conceive of anyone having a problem with the contents of this proposed bill on any policy level. Mr. Petty is correct. What we usually get yelled at by other elected officials about is the fact only landowners can vote. We are trying to take this away. Believe me, 90% of the Legislative Delegation is applauding this effort but we have two people harpening back to the veto from four or five years ago and wondering whether this should still be the case, even though everything has changed.
The member of the Legislative
Delegation, who was our biggest adversary at the time, was made aware of the
fact we are coming forward with this.
She applauded our efforts and is very pleased. She wished it had happened sooner but she is
glad it is finally happening. Now she is
Mr. Fennell asked is the eastern district a republican or democrat area?
Mr. Lyles responded the Broward
County Legislative Delegation is the most heavily democratic delegation in the
Mr. Fennell asked is this along those party lines?
Mr. Lyles responded it is somewhat party oriented.
Mr. Hanks asked has anyone ever made a comment about Special Districts running along the same lines as other professional Boards? You have professional engineers or surveyors who sit on the Board in some capacity. Has there ever been this thought as far as utilities?
Mr. Lyles responded no. I do not think it will be helpful to propose
this because it affects many people and their pocketbook. There are many different things other than
engineering and scientific based activities relating to water treatment and
production. Everyone who is in a
position to have a say about this wants to see qualified members on the Board
but no restrictions on their qualifications other than residency. This is only a status report and we are
continuing on as before. I just wanted
you to know questions are being raised and it may be interesting in
B. Engineer – Discussion of Capital Improvement Program and Consideration of Work Authorization No. 34
Mr. Petty stated at the last meeting, the Board authorized staff to assign a Work Authorization under certain parameters. We have been in discussions with CH2M-Hill about this process to make sure we had all our concerns addressed. They worked well with us. This is Work Authorization No. 34. In the first part of the work authorization, they will look over items we itemized previously. They validate them by component based on the resources we have, permitting requirements, policies and the economics in getting it done. They have been doing this and will continue to do so. This should be completed by the next meeting. The components we identified to date are subject to change. You will see in Work Authorization No. 34, where each component is identified as a task to be defined and explained before the Board and signed off by staff before they actually start the work. Our Water Use Permit is tied to our effluent reuse, which is tied to our Wastewater Treatment Plant. We want to maintain as much flexibility as we can.
Before we define the size and pay for something we may not be able to use, we will do it on a task by task concept. Mr. McKune brought this into the discussions as our coordinator and we think this is going to work very much to the District’s benefit. Work Authorization No. 34 is the overall authorization to do the design and its specific elements will be approved one at a time. You currently approved one, which is the Water Use Permit. This will be used as a component. We summarized into the Water Use Permit; membrane; wastewater process feasibility, which is the effluent reuse concept and replacing Plants A and B with F, which is the solid system including the Centrifuge and belt press. The digester transfers to and from the engineer. The components will change as we go through this program, as you see different tasks getting priority.
Once each task is approved, the status of our capital improvement project will be reported to the Board. We have a timeline, which breaks down each component into job tasks. You will see the progress as we proceed along the timeline. Of course, when we approve a task, we should know the time projection for completing the task and the cost. We are going to check with the engineer to see if we are on time with the construction and the project and how the money was spent. You also need to follow the funding as well.
Work Authorization No. 34 includes CSID’s vision of the next 20 years in utility services, which is to meet future regulations in a speed adaptable and reliable and lasts 10 to 20 years. Step two is to prepare an Interim Report, which we are going to be modernizing. We expect the Engineer’s Report to be 30 and 50 pages to define the task. It goes through the process of putting down objectives of how you are going to do this in a timeline in a formalized document. We will use this document to obtain our funding, build the facilities and talk to other government agencies and residents about what we are doing. As the task may change from time to time, we are asking for the engineers to do a quarterly update so you do not have an Engineer’s Report and as-builts that are substantially different from this report. We want the report to have supplements explaining why we decided on the path we took so at the end of the day, you have an Engineer’s Report matching your as-builts. Since we expect a two year construction period, the Engineer’s Report will have updates every six months.
Step three is to write the specifications, the District obtains the funding and the Engineer needs to bid and award the contract based on priority and oversee the construction. Work Authorization No. 34 allows them to do both the design and oversight. The rate hearings should be between April and June. At the next meeting, we expect to give you the results of the rate study you authorized and take direction from the Board. If it calls for additional rates and we suspect it will, we will have rate hearings where you will discuss changes to the District’s rates. Mr. Lyles can speak on this further. We expect the bid specs to be written by our engineer between March and June. They may be written after June but we expect most of the work to be specked out between March and June of this year. Are you talking about the elements?
Mr. Petty responded the tasks are going to be completed sequentially according to priority but we expect this to happen by the end of June. There may be one or two elements left out because we do not have a customer for effluent reuse but 80% to 90% of the job should be specked out.
Mr. Hanks asked are there six different items including the Water Use Permit, replacing Plants A and B with Plant F, effluent reuse and membrane?
Mr. Petty responded yes. There is the water treatment process, which is the membrane; wastewater feasibility, which is effluent reuse; Wastewater Treatment Plant changeover, which entails replacing Plants A and B with Plant F and the engineering; solids handling of the wastewater facilities.
Mr. Hanks asked is the rate sufficiency included?
Mr. Petty responded it is not part of the capital improvement program. We are doing the rate study as it own entity.
Mr. Fennell stated obviously the rate study bears on the capital improvements.
Mr. Petty stated we will include it
in the consideration but it has a different scope. It does not come under the 7% contract
administration. It is on its own. We expect to have construction start this
summer if we can stay in our timeline.
Construction should take two years to build the majority of the plant,
in particular the effluent reuse, possibly taking longer than those two years. It depends on how successful we are in
negotiating the process of who can buy it.
Our sister district, NSID is currently under their capital improvement
program and the final leg of expansion of its facilities. They are going to be hit hard on their
Consumptive Use Permit. They use
Mr. Rodriguez stated we are fighting for the major task on the capital improvement but everything ties together with the Water Use Permit. We presented it to SFWMD who is already working on a modification for the Water Use Permit. We are talking to them about the wastewater facility. They are looking positive about the way we are presenting the program because it will improve the treatment for the water and provide recharge of the aquifer. Everything comes together, which they are positive about. So far we have done water quality testing and getting samples for the wall water. We are getting a good idea of the type of membrane on how things are going to be tied together for the Water Use Permit in relation to the wastewater. We are going to show SFWMD what we have, what type of wastewater and what type of water treatment will go into the water facility to distribute to our clients. We are happy with what we have been discussing with them.
Mr. Hyche stated we have been doing some sampling through wells as well and the water coming into the plant. We are looking at each of the nine operational wells and still collecting samples from two other wells for a total of 11 water wells looking at the water quality, range of water quality and expected blended water quality so we can start securing design parameters for our systems. This will tell us how much bypass blending we can do, meaning how much of the water has to be treated. The treatment system we will be designing, can remove a a lot of your hardness.
Mr. Fennell asked what do you mean by blended?
Mr. Hyche responded with your softening process, you are able to soften down to a certain level but you cannot get all the hardness out. With a nano filtration membrane, you can remove everything to where you are left with H2O. You do not necessarily want to distribute this water because it is aggressive on your pipes. You need to re-stabilize this water. One way of doing this is to bypass putting back some of the well water going through a cartridge filter for pre-treatment.
Mr. Hanks stated you still have some type of filtration on it to chlorinate or ionize so you have disinfected water meeting parameters downstream. You are maximizing the efficiency of the membranes by treating to the best ability a certain portion and maybe half or a quarter of the water is going to come back in a raw state because we have good well water down below.
Mr. Hyche stated absolutely.
Mr. Fennell stated you are not talking about blending in wastewater.
Mr. Hyche stated you will send the reject water to blend with your reuse system.
Mr. Petty stated for the irrigation quality reuse water only.
Mr. Hyche stated we are trying to match up your well water quality with your finished and also regulation water. You need hydrogen sulfide removal to get the rotten egg taste out of the water. All of this has to be taken into account. We need to match up your goals with your well water quality and how much of the water has to be treated with the nano filtration membrane and how much can be blended back around to save on capital costs for equipment. I have a picture of a membrane. There are spiral wound elements 40” long and 8” in diameter. Water flows in one end.
Mr. Petty stated it is easy to think of it as a filter since we say nano filtration. It rejects the dissolved minerals based on an electrical repellent more than fine hairs or fibers.
Mr. Hyche stated it is easier to conceptualize this as a strainer removing sodium.
Mr. Fennell asked does this work in salt water?
Mr. Hyche responded yes. There are different radiations of nano filtration and reverse osmosis membranes removing more or less than what you want. Certainly the more you remove, the higher the pressure and the higher the operating cost.
Mr. Hanks stated if you were using this in a desalination technique the waste product has some environmental issues associated with it. What concerns do we have with the bypass product?
Mr. Hyche responded certainly if you are doing reverse osmosis, you have a great deal more sodium and chloride.
Mr. Hanks asked what are the issues?
Mr. Hyche responded there is calcium and magnesium, which are not a great concern to the District. They are more worried about sodium and chlorine, not calcium and magnesium.
Mr. Hanks asked how do you dispose of the calcium and magnesium?
Mr. Hyche responded it is a concentrated stream. For a gallon of well water, you will treat 85% and get a usable product and 10 to 15% will go towards disposal reject. It has a more concentrated level of calcium and magnesium. The disposal methods are deep injection well or blending with your reuse facility. We think you will be able to blend with the reuse facility and gain the benefit of the water so it will not be wasted. It will actually go to a beneficial use.
Mr. Rodriguez stated this is why we call it part of the validation process because they will decide whether it will go into the wastewater, irrigation water or the injection water.
Mr. Hanks stated when you throw it back into the wastewater stream; your hardness is almost the same as what you had come out originally.
Mr. Hyche stated you are going to be removing a certain amount of hardness with the membrane and when you blend it back together, you almost have the same water you left the ground with. You will increase your hardness but your wastewater will go to the reuse.
Mr. Hanks asked at this point in time, are there any environmental concerns?
Mr. Hyche responded no. Most concerns occur with the sodium chloride and the total dissolved solids.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the result of sending the water into deep injection wells?
Mr. Hyche responded it is a common way of disposing waste.
Mr. Hanks stated we understand the concept of deep injection wells and how safe it is.
Mr. Hyche stated the way I look at it is you are taking the concentrate and blending it into your reuse facility. You are taking a waste stream and turning it into a beneficial use by maximizing your ground water withdrawal rather than wasting 15% and sending it down a deep injection well.
Mr. Fennell stated you gave us a more in depth overview than the last time we met.
Mr. Petty stated this is the concept of taking water out of ground and splitting it in two and using one side for drinking. When the water is done being used for drinking, it comes back to our Wastewater Treatment Plant to be treated and is put back into the ground similar in nature to the way it came out of the ground. This concept was always part of the initial validation concept. What they told you tonight is SFWMD looked at it and this is exactly what they are hoping people will do more of.
Mr. Fennell stated they are not going to force us to go down to another water level.
Mr. Rodriguez stated we are not expecting to.
Mr. Hanks stated the City of
Mr. Petty stated by being one of the first utilities with reclaimed water, which is considered beneficial to push back down into the ground, we have the potential.
Mr. Hanks stated also on the table is aquifer recharge with the reclaimed water.
Mr. Petty stated Mr. McKune is
talking with representatives of the SFWMD for doing this on the west side of
the berm in conservation area 2A or what we call the
Mr. Fennell asked what are we going to put out there?
Mr. Petty responded we could put our effluent reuse water, which is treated wastewater with our reject stream combined to put the water back to where it was when we pulled it out of the ground and release it there.
Mr. Hanks stated release it into the Biscayne Aquifer, which will elevate the water levels appropriately.
Mr. Petty stated it will give you a positive water pressure. In conservation area 2A, the concern is it seeping out through the ground water table. If we put water in at this location that is a positive back pressure on the water. It keeps it in conservation area 2A instead of bleeding through into our canals and draining out to the ocean. By putting the water at this location, you can provide some hydraulic back pressure, which should retard the seepage rate from conservation area 2A.
Mr. Fennell asked how good is this water?
Mr. Petty responded it is good water.
Mr. Hyche asked are you talking about the wastewater?
Mr. Petty responded the effluent reuse. It will be similar to the water we are pulling out of the ground, which is very good.
Mr. Fennell asked does this mean we need a new Water Treatment Plant?
Mr. Petty responded currently what we are talking about doing and what is part of their design work is adding a deep filtration system to the plant. You do this to pull off any floating bacteria. We are treating bacteria at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the solids look like sludge but at the finer end of the effluent is dust. This is actually bacterial runoff. You have filters to take off so your chlorination process is effective. The deep vent filtration pulls any suspended material out of the water so it can be disinfected and therefore safe. In this case, the water quality will be short of magnesium and a great deal of calcium. We put it back in through the reject water taken from the membrane plant and chlorinate it. This will be similar to the water we pulled out the Biscayne Aquifer. The only difference is it may have more dissolved solids and chlorine.
Mr. Fennell asked what prevents it from coming back into the water we draw out of the ground? In three years will it be back in our well?
Mr. Petty responded absolutely. The water we are pulling out of the ground now came from someone else’s facility. The hydraulic cycle guarantees the water we are using has been used billions of times. We are not making any more. It is the same water here since the beginning of time.
Mr. Hyche stated by the time water
Mr. Petty stated our responsibility is to make water.
Mr. Hanks stated what we are dealing with is the perception of the quality of the water. It is the perception; not the reality.
Mr. Fennell asked why not just drop back into the local canal?
Mr. Petty responded this is what many engineers are proposing to do. The concept goes back almost 50 years. Show a place where visually it disappears and the permitting agencies say “yes”. Privately they will agree with the engineer putting it back into a canal, if it is treated properly, is the exact same thing.
Ms. Zich stated I always wondered why you have to put it way down.
Mr. Petty stated out of sight/out of mind. This policy has been around for 50 years.
Ms. Zich stated no one is going to think about it. If you treat it well, it does not make any difference.
Mr. Rodriguez stated we had this conversation with them and they were receptive.
Mr. Fennell stated my understanding is we are going to pipe water out of the C-14 Canal. Is the water going over the hill and dumped or will it be distributed? What is the plan?
Mr. Rodriguez responded there are many options. Let’s compare the one we have to tell us how we are streaming the treatment to be able to dispose of it.
Mr. Fennell stated our permit expires this year. What month?
Mr. Petty responded I do not recall. Since we are applying for a new permit, as long as we are working on it, the deadline is immaterial, as long as we have an application in and are in the process.
Mr. Rodriguez stated it expires in August of 2007.
Mr. Fennell asked what happens if it expires and is not renewed?
Mr. Rodriguez responded we already have some indication. We will be having a prefabrication meeting this month where we will be sitting down and completing the application before submitting.
Mr. Petty stated there is no cutoff date while you have the application into SFWMD. I worked with them for two years after the expiration date. As long as you are working with them in good faith, you are not predisposed. You arbitrarily close out your discussions with them because of the deadline.
Mr. Fennell asked will they necessarily approve it on this date or hold it for a period of time?
Mr. Petty responded the status of your application is under review. If they reject your application, then you start worrying about the timelines. As long as it is being processed, we do not have an issue. Either way, our matters should be signed, sealed and delivered long before the August deadline. When you approved this task, we expected this to be completed in 120 days, which puts us well before the August deadline. We expect to have the permit in our hands by then.
Mr. Fennell asked if we do this and get this nice water, how much of a percentage of our water will be effluent? Are we talking about half, quarter or all of it?
Mr. Petty responded part of the review process is determining how much money will we have available for effluent reuse? SFWMD will be satisfied if we can do 2 million gallons a day.
Mr. Hanks asked is our total capacity five million gallons?
Mr. Petty responded processed water is eight million gallons. Our permit is going to be around 6.5 million gallons. We do not have this much water going out so our Wastewater Treatment Plant does not need to be sized as much. We have some redundancies built in. We will be able to process up to eight million gallons but this will be with all facilities on-line. As you all know, Plant E, which you approved a year ago is supposed to be a redundant plant so you can cycle the other two million gallon a day plants for repairs and maintenance. I think we are going to end up processing six million gallons a day. In the end, we hope to be able to treat it all but we are thinking it will be one treatment of two million gallons a day.
Mr. Fennell stated the deep water injection well is eventually what you want to get rid of.
Mr. Hanks stated we will still have a need for it.
Mr. Petty stated we will have to keep it because they require us to have an alternative disposal site. They are up to $5 million.
Mr. Fennell stated something is always going wrong.
Mr. Hanks asked do we need to take any action at this time?
Mr. Petty responded no.
Mr. Fennell stated we will be doing all the engineering and design. As part of your design philosophy, I want to have copies of all designs and programs.
Mr. Petty stated absolutely
Mr. Fennell stated we own the design.
Mr. Petty stated along with the design, we expect the engineers to prepare a Quarterly Report as we modify this. We expect them to be before this Board every month during this construction project. We currently have a Water Use Permit. At the next meeting, we should have the Water Treatment Plant concept and the replacement of Plants A and B. We will be tracking progress and funds on a monthly basis. The last item is facility testing as required or available to us as they build facilities’ becoming a beneficial use to us.
Mr. Fennell asked how much is it going to cost us?
Mr. Petty responded it depends on whether we will be able to treat two million gallons a day of our effluent or eight million gallons. If we can meet our goal of two million gallons, I will be happy. This is part of the reason why the regulatory agencies want you to have the alternative disposal or a deep well. In many effluent reuse facilities, when you are discharging to a water body, as we are proposing, many times they will have rain events. In this case we either have to store the water for a rain event or have an alternative means of disposal.
Mr. Hanks stated I am thinking in
terms of the ability to aim for the
Mr. Petty stated the revenue stream is cost recovery only. Typically you only charge for your pumping costs because the treatment costs are part of the permit. This is how you were able to operate the Wastewater Treatment Plant. When you try to calculate how much you should charge for the effluent reuse, you have a PR issue so you price it fairly low. Secondarily, you can only get cost recovery and since treatment stops at the chlorination process, your holding tanks and pumps are all you can charge for.
Mr. Hanks stated even though we are adding tertiary treatment, it is not considered. Under today’s regulations, we are able to do secondary treatment and pump it down to the ground.
Mr. Petty stated correct, without using a filter.
Mr. Hanks stated the regulatory agencies may have a different opinion.
Mr. Petty stated it is going to be from our perspective on where we draw the line and will be based on a similar analysis. You are absolutely right; you may be able to cut it off further back. This treatment process usually has to do with getting compliance on your Consumptive Use Permit and therefore is part of our regular treatment. Cost recovery should be only for the section occurring above and beyond. Your residents have to pay for it as a cost of doing business today. The effluent reuse customer should pay for bringing water to them.
Mr. Hanks stated which in a built out situation could still be substantial.
Mr. Petty stated you want to recover your cost. If you are pumping, you do not have to recover your cost. If we get a customer in NSID, we discussed the possibility for them paying for the cost of the water but they will also pay for the piping. If we are running the piping to them, they will have to incur the cost. We are going to have to run some numbers to see if this is feasible and a financial benefit to NSID. Since they have a strong need for their Consumptive Use Permit, going to Fordam, hits their pocketbook. The treatment train will change drastically and the cost per thousand gallons of water will jump dramatically. The cost of a pipeline may be something they can fit in. As you brought up earlier, we may affect other customers along the way. Currently we have NSID who is interested in working with us at least on a concept basis.
Mr. Fennell asked what does the two million, four million or six million gallons per day compare to the amount of water we have in our canals?
Mr. Petty responded nothing. It is less than a summer storm.
Mr. Fennell stated it is an acre foot of water.
Mr. Petty stated we have almost
5,000 acres in the District. Figure one
inch of rainfall across 5,000 acres. One
afternoon rainstorm is much more than we produce. You made an improvement and took a step
forward. SFWMD is looking for us to be
positive. By us taking the water and
putting it back in a nearby area helping support both the
Mr. Fennell stated maybe we should do this and getting the water to the right place is a good thing. It seems like we have a gigantic lake and if we cleaned off the water enough, we should make it such that we can put it back into the canals. The out of sight/out of mind is there.
Mr. Petty stated your current permit has some rapid infiltration beds as an alternative disposal or deep well. We have three rapid disposal beds, which we can put our effluent into. They are percolation pods where the water will seep into the groundwater table.
Mr. Fennell asked can you handle them?
Mr. Petty responded they can probably handle a great deal of water. We have not tested them because our deep wells have always been able to function with well water. They are an alternative disposal source, which is why we do not have to build a deep well.
Mr. Hanks stated of course we are subject to winds.
Mr. Petty stated if it rains, you cannot use your rapid infiltration beds.
Mr. Fennell stated this is the dry season and there is not much rain.
Mr. Petty stated this is why they
are asking our Drainage Districts to start crossing borders. If you recall, we cannot cross a border or
take drainage across the street. The
most famous parcel was at
i. Rate Study Status
Mr. Petty stated your engineer put a team together to work diligently on this rate study. I spoke to them this afternoon. We expect to have the first draft ready for discussion by staff in the next 10 days. It will be at your next Board meeting for review. We asked them to look at funding in the same capacity commodity format as in the past. We asked them to look at one new item, “Institutional”. Since we are re-building the Water Treatment Plant and do not have connection fees to help us pay for it or any other way, we were asked to look at the institutional portion of the cost of running this facility, which the homeowners own. This will be a fee we will either add to the current user fees and pay it monthly or see how appropriate it is to use alternative means. Institutional costs have no relationship to how much water you use or to the monthly concepts we build.
Mr. Fennell stated there is a fixed cost.
Mr. Petty stated we looked to see if
it is more appropriate to put this fee on our assessments to have it show up on
your tax bill. We looked at other
utilities who subsidize the utilities with the institutional cost through the
ad valorem tax base. The closest one is
the City of
Mr. Fennell stated in the future, we should consider doing some serious reconstruction of interconnects. We can do this by area. We can also have a Board member, especially someone with Ms. Zich’s experience join in some of these discussions.
Ms. Zich stated I wish to participate.
Mr. Petty stated the study should be ready by the next Board meeting. This rate study is to be delivered to us in electronic format, which gives us the ability to make changes each budget year so we can adjust the rates.
Mr. Hanks stated I had a meeting earlier last week with Ms. Early and CH2M-Hill regarding the Stormwater Criteria Manual. The additional expansions to existing houses do not add a burden to our stormwater management system but collectively represent a sizable increase. We were talking about finding a way to take care of those additional impacts.
Ms. Early stated we were trying to figure out some type of bank for improvements depending on the square footage of the addition.
Mr. Petty stated like a retention bank.
Mr. Hanks stated years ago, there
was a lawsuit in
Mr. Petty stated this gives us an option to say no.
Mr. Hanks asked for every single
house permit going through the City of
Ms. Early responded we have not received any requests before.
Mr. Hanks asked is it appropriate to expect the homeowner to retain an engineer to figure out a way to install an exfiltration trench? I do not think this is going to happen. We were trying to figure out different mechanisms to help address some of these situations to prevent an issue in the future.
Mr. Petty stated I can see on an
individual basis where if you could not show a material impact to the District,
it will be difficult to say, “No” but if you look at 100 homes, there is an
impact to the District. Working out a
structure for handling this impact since land is at a premium in
Mr. Hanks stated I recognize this will be a capital improvement program. We will have to design the type of improvements to be conducted, establish a cost and decide for each one. It is fairly simple for the City Building Department to say, “You need to get your receipt from CSID demonstrating you paid your drainage impact fee”.
Mr. Petty stated I want to work with the engineer on this issue, bring it back to the Board at a later date and determine the cost so we can set a flat fee, which can be paid when the permit is issued. We do not have any way to police this. It does not go through our process. Working with the city to collect the fee may be the easiest way to do it, if we can come up with a cost and there were to be a quick review of what land was available and what we think will work.
Mr. Hanks stated I am bringing this up at this time so we can get your involvement and Mr. Lyles thoughts or issues with it.
Mr. Lyles stated I do not have any concerns at this time.
Mr. Fennell stated today it rained for awhile but then went away. Since it is not raining now, we do not have to fix the hole in our drainage system. We spend a great deal of money doing these studies. It told us we had a problem. What are we going to do about it?
Ms. Early responded I obtained some
information about the dike from SFWMD.
The surveys we have recently taken show the lowest spot on the
Mr. Hanks asked is this on the east or west side of the canal?
Ms. Early responded west side. The highest elevation of the C-14 Canal in 1999 was 9.4’.
Mr. Fennell asked do they have any data from 1979?
Ms. Early responded the maximum elevation in 1985 was 7.8’.
Mr. Fennell stated ask them for data for 1979. There was water back flowing into my street out of the canals. They are not giving you the entire truth.
Ms. Early stated in 1991, the highest elevation was 8.03’.
Mr. Petty stated keep in mind, these are monitored by plotters and during the flood of 1979, they probably sank and the data is not available.
Ms. Early stated on the
Mr. Hanks asked is their pump rate 150,000 gallons per minute?
Ms. Early responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated your own data says we can get up to 12’.
Ms. Early stated correct. The finished floor is 12’ in the east basin. I cannot get SFWMD to say whether we even need the dike anymore.
Mr. Fennell asked was it designed to be 15’?
Ms. Early responded years ago it was designed for 15’ but this was because no one else controlled the water. Now everyone controls their water.
Mr. Fennell stated if it was designed at 15’ and it is 11.5”, the C-14 Canal is still at 15’
Ms. Early stated correct.
Mr. Petty stated we have a hydrologic model telling us when we should be concerned about flooding since we are a flood control District. If we have a hydrologic model indicating there could be a flood condition we can prevent economically, I do not care if the SFWMD cares about it, I care about it. I do not see any problem. Of course the engineer’s concentrate on the SFWMD water requirements because this is the minimum you are going to get a permit for. There is no maximum. If we can consciously go after this, we have an obligation to do so.
Mr. Fennell stated when you say 11.5’; there is not a higher berm behind it.
Ms. Early stated it starts at 11.5’ and then the water rises and falls.
Mr. Fennell asked is there a berm behind it going up to 15’?
Ms. Early responded no. The house pad goes up to 12’.
Mr. Fennell stated it goes back to the design. Give me a good reason why this does not go back to the design?
Mr. Hanks responded we have a berm at 11.5’. Where is the berm located?
Ms. Early responded just south of
Mr. Hanks asked just south of the professional complex?
Ms. Early responded it is in one of those developments. Is this where the drainage model we prepared did not agree with the original drainage assumptions? There were some discrepancies in this area.
Ms. Early responded yes.
Mr. Hanks stated if the District has a stage 12’, you have a perimeter elevation of 11.5’
Mr. Fennell stated I understand what you are saying but this is a tough assumption to make.
Mr. Hanks stated we are downstream from the Sunshine W.D.D. pump pumping 150,000 gallons per minute with the cross section of this east outfall. Was the change in the hydrologic grade line due to the cross section and is our stage going to be higher, lower or the same than what we are expecting the Sunshine east outfall canal to be?
Mr. Petty responded the east outfall canal mirrors the C-14 Canal. There is a small amount of change from the times we looked at it but the east outfall is so wide to where our pumps did not even make a dent.
Mr. Hanks stated if we are going to make a decision impacting whether or not we keep the elevation of the berm where it is or raise it, we need accurate information. We may say it may not be much of a change but it could turn out to be more.
Mr. Petty stated the higher priority is the duality we looked at before where we do not go up to a 12’ stage. We keep our stages for the 100 year storm below the 11.5’ by getting more pipes outward of the basins and relieving the restriction in those basins. I think this is a much stronger answer than the berm issue. The berm is for the sheet flow, which we do not have anymore now that homes are there. Berms are good at re-directing sheet flow. If you saturate the ground, the berm is not going to move anywhere because we are going underneath the sand and through the coral rock. The groundwater is going to build. The idea of flood control has to be with relieving water to a down hill source, which is the C-14 Canal. How do we get it there? We get it there best by coming up with the suggestion the Board had, which is to make sure our pipes are clear and provide a secondary outlet for each of our bases, wherever practical.
Mr. Fennell stated we need to do this but the real issue is whether or not this is a problem. It really is 3.5’. We are 3.5’ lower than the original design. No one seems to know why this occurred. It looks like the builder decided to level it off.
Mr. Hanks stated he built different house pads.
Ms. Early stated they did not want to have a house pad and then have a berm in the back yard.
Mr. Fennell stated nevertheless, it is 3.5’ below the C-14 Canal. I saw two big pipes.
Ms. Early stated it is not on the
C-14 Canal; it is on the
Mr. Fennell stated you are
wrong. If you look at the end of the
Mr. Petty stated Sunshine has a
permit with CSID to open a valve and the water flows in backwards from the C-14
Canal. This valve is by the pump station
Mr. Fennell stated we are not talking about 6”; we are talking about 3.5’. This is huge. Otherwise, we might as well sell the C-14 canal and make $1,000,000 worth of landfall. I think this is a major problem.
Ms. Early stated I do not think it is a problem but our permits from SFWMD do not specify. House pads are at the 100 year storm level and roads are at the 10 year storm level.
Mr. Hanks asked if you are working on a large project, whether it be a 100 acre industrial park or 5,000 acre District, what is your elevations set at? The preliminary is required to be at the 25 year storm as a minimum.
Ms. Early responded the 100 year house pad is at 12’ and we have the dike at 13’.
Mr. Fennell asked is there a reason why they built the C-14 Canal to 15’ instead of 12’?
Ms. Early responded my understanding was always to keep the water from going into the District. Mr. Hanks is saying now we have a way to get the water out.
Mr. Fennell stated he is just being innovative, but it should be at 15’, which is the design level.
Mr. Hanks asked how far do we have to go if we were to put it at 15’?
Ms. Early responded there is an easement. When we had to remove the trees, the homeowners were angry with us.
Mr. Hanks asked did you take pictures?
Ms. Early responded I should have.
Mr. Fennell stated I think this is important. We want the canal back up to 15’.
Ms. Early stated Phase 1 removed those trees and make it look clean.
Mr. Fennell asked did Sunshine WCD know their canals were down 3’ lower?
Ms. Early responded when we started removing trees, we realized it. There was so much growth back there and you could not tell what was going on.
Mr. Petty stated it was not done by survey but by visual. The berm was flattened.
Mr. Fennell stated we need to get it back up to 15’. We cannot physically change it but NSID needs to put it at 15’.
Mr. Hanks asked has Sunshine completed their analysis?
Ms. Early responded we are bringing a Work Authorization before the Sunshine Board for us to do the ICPR.
Mr. Petty stated Sunshine approved it at a cap of $75,000.
Ms. Early stated we need to start doing the survey.
Mr. Hanks asked do they have a hydrologic model?
Mr. Petty responded no. The model is going to be transferred from the county.
Mr. Hanks stated what is of more concern to me is not so much the outfall, which goes down to the C-14 Canal because we have the east and west outfall, but what happens along the west outfall canal for Sunshine and along our north corridor. If Sunshine’s stages are higher than the perimeters along this location, it does not matter what happens along the east outfall canal because it is controlled by SFWMD. It is affected by the level in the canal. If it is something on the north border, where there are stages significantly higher than the perimeter elevation, we are going to receive their runoff in a 100 year storm. This is going to be more of an issue than what happens on any side.
Mr. Fennell stated you are correct. There can be more problems than this. Can you answer the question about the north edge?
Mr. Petty responded we know there is
a problem at the north edge. There is
one such problem south of the Walgreens on
Mr. Fennell stated which means they can run into us.
Mr. Hanks stated this is also why SFWMD regulates how many pumps you have and your basic discharge.
Mr. Fennell stated I am not so sure. The answers they gave me were nebulous and extreme. Do they have a model for their canals and discharge?
Ms. Early responded I am sure they do. This is the only information he gave me.
Mr. Hanks stated there was a C-51
basin study done in
Mr. Fennell stated I do not see how
they can talk about
Ms. Early responded yes.
Mr. Petty stated they have already
been hit with $9 million to repair the
Mr. Fennell responded I feel strongly about this. I need to know if this is a significant problem. They owe us an answer and we cannot take no. It cannot be a case of embarrassment because of the public, safety and health. I am hoping this was an error on their part in not cooperating with you fully. It sure does not sound like we have their full cooperation. I will give public statements if I have to in order to make sure we get this information. I feel strongly about this. We will know whether or not this is a real problem. If it is a real problem, we will solve it.
Mr. Hanks stated we identified differences in our own system from the model done by hand in the 1970’s to today’s model done by computer with the updated information accounting for hydraulic losses in the system. We are looking at this and trying to say, “SFWMD has problems. We are concerned about this. How come they do not have a model? What are you doing to improve our situation?” Have we exhausted all the remedies within our own District and within the confines of our District to improve this situation on our own?
Mr. Fennell responded I agree.
Ms. Early stated I spoke to Mr. McKune today. We are going to meet with him and prepare a Work Authorization to do a feasibility study. This will be the next step. Based on the feasibility cost, we can choose a project.
Mr. Fennell asked did we already authorize some money for this study? I thought we did.
Mr. Petty responded you did for the hydrologic study. This Work Authorization is to prepare the design for those interconnects. We have not authorized it.
Mr. Fennell stated on the agenda for the next meeting, I want to have the item, “Status of Study for Improved Hydraulics”. I applaud where we are going to go. We are going to have monthly meetings and status reports. This one is just as important and in some ways more critical. If we get this wrong, there is no Water District. There are three things we are looking for CH2M-Hill to do:
1. Hydrologic Study recommendations (internally versus externally)
2. Software program for determining how long it will take the drain water
3. Capital Improvement Program
Ms. Early stated we cannot pump until we reach a certain elevation.
Mr. Fennell asked how do you reach this conclusion?
Ms. Early responded it is based on the permit through the SFWMD.
Mr. Hanks stated we have requirements by certain water quality within the canals, just as you have to provide water quality within your drinking water and a certain amount of treatment and quality for the effluent going into your deep water injection. There are different ways of measuring such as storing a certain amount of inches.
Mr. Fennell stated six to eight months ago, I called the SFWMD looking for data on whether or not we actually had a problem. I asked them for a Hydrologic Study. They forwarded me to the Weather Bureau. I found out no one really knew but us what was going to happen in our area. You are correct. There may already be a permit restraining us but the individual who set the permit number was either us or them or both of us. We have better information now on what can happen. We need to test the Hydrologic Study so when the pump is turned on, the parameters on the number of inches or saturation of rain should be accurate.
Mr. Petty stated what you are asking for is a capital improvement program for water management. I think you are on target and ahead of us. Under our Consumptive Use Permit, the SFWMD wants us to retain more water than we ever retained before. They are asking us to delay turning on our drainage pumps for even longer periods. In other words, if we cannot turn on our pumps before a storm, when we turn them on, we are going to need more pumps than what we have because the ones we have are not going to retain any water if it is already here. This is why we are always pumping ahead of the storm. This is all very material and we have to come back at the next meeting with a Capital Improvement Program including SFWMD’s hydrologic model of the C-14 Canal or any other discharge area we are concerned with and of course, how we are going to handle this operation.
Mr. Fennell stated I want to see a
study for the retainage of water to hold up against our study. We are not an island but surrounded by water
and there has to be a study predictive of what can happen for water flowing into
us. This is what happened in
Mr. Hanks stated when you have an analysis on what improvements can be made, think about whether or not the District created these issues. I want to know if there is a way to tighten up the Permit Criteria Manual for re-developed projects so the burden of finding solutions is on the District within our limited land area as well as the overall property owners who contributed to the concerns out there.
Mr. Fennell stated keep in mind; the hurricane did not happen last October but a year and a half ago. In regards to the city and the build-out from 30 years ago, the models did well for what you could do at the time. However, given the data we know now and the fact we have a build out situation and the tools we have on hand, we can do much better. We can actually protect ourselves in an intelligent way. I do not think we have any real issues so much with what we thought were going to be the issues 30 days ago. Frankly, this is a good plan and worked fairly well. For the calculations, they did a good job. We know better now, can make improvements and are knowledgeable about what our problems can be. With this knowledge, we cannot fail but to step forward and take the right steps.
Mr. Hanks stated we still need to be fiscally responsible as well.
Mr. Fennell stated we do.
Mr. Petty stated we have our direction.
Mr. Fennell stated this is not going away.
Ms. Zich stated this is a subject I am interested in since my property became an island in 1979.
Ms. Early asked was this an isolated area?
Mr. Fennell responded the canals can retain the water but the streets can still flood because the drains off the street are filled. My own street has an issue regarding renewal of the permits with the city. They are supposed to go out and clean the drains. It turns out they did not know about them.
Mr. Petty stated there is a resident
here tonight who submitted an application to the City of
Mr. Fennell stated correct. How do we address the issue?
Ms. Early responded one of the ways
it is currently being addressed is by the five year permit renewal
program. The difficulty we are having is
we contact a subdivision based on the appraiser’s information and they give us
the number for the HOA. We send the HOA
a letter and they contact us saying they were the HOA five years ago. It takes forever to contact them. Now I have an HOA saying they are the HOA of
this property but the city is supposed to maintain. Then the city calls me and says, “Why should
I have to do this?” I tell them, “This is
a requirement and all of
Mr. Petty stated part of the issue is there is a SFWMD provision saying “If you permitted the development of a scale of “x” or smaller, it is your job to go back every five years and get a new permit”. This happened without too much of a fight because not many people figured out it would be much trouble. It is a ton of trouble. Our enforcement capability is minimal. As Mr. Lyles knows, we have no policing action. The issue is when does it become more practical to take over the system or administer the permit?
Mr. Fennell responded we may do this
but before we do, we need to have a list of issues and send a letter to the
City Manager of the City of
Mr. Hanks asked are you suggesting we pull together all the records?
Mr. Fennell responded I do not think they know what permits they have.
Mr. Petty stated we should talk about the scope. What we will bring back to the next meeting is what we can tell you about the scope of the secondary drainage issue, which is the permit problem we currently have. The engineer can bring this back to the next meeting so the Board has some indication of the scope.
Mr. Fennell stated we need to let the city know about this.
Ms. Early stated they know. Ms. DaSilva met with them and I spoke to them on the phone.
Mr. Petty stated what the President is requesting is a formal presentation from the Board versus staff.
Mr. Fennell stated I am talking about a formal letter outlining the permits they are responsible for.
Mr. Petty stated if you recall, we had these preliminary discussions on the trees. The City Assistant Manager and Public Works Director are open to the concept of the District having secondary drainage.
Mr. Fennell stated now we have to make sure we adequately enforce it. If the City Manager cannot take appropriate action, I will talk before the City Council. I want to let the City Manager know first.
Mr. Petty stated I want to give them the option if they do not think they can handle the drainage properly and I do not believe they are set up to do so, as the Drainage District we will allow them to come to a decision.
Mr. Hanks stated we are always
talking about different ways we can provide services to other communities. Rather than taking on the ownership and
maintenance responsibility of the drainage system, we can offer it as a service
to the neighboring communities, since we are familiar with the drainage
system. We can provide it as a contract
service to the City of
Mr. Petty stated we know they are not funding any program for maintenance and the taxes and fees they are currently getting does not go towards this issue. Certainly the money is going to have to be re-allocated from an existing project. The city gets state revenue sharing for road drainage, which is a secondary system. They get money delegated from the state for such maintenance programs we will never see.
Mr. Fennell stated step 1 is to list everything they need to look at. If we have not done so, then we are negligent. How we handle the problem, depends on their response. We have to do our part first, which is to enforce it. If the city is saying they are not responsible and are directing us to the Shadowood HOA, there is not one and they are passing the buck.
Mr. Hanks stated it is no different
Mr. Petty stated it is a problem, which SFWMD has acknowledged, which is why we are being charged with a five year permit processing.
Mr. Fennell stated we are going to look for this every month as a report item.
ii. Short Term Funding
Mr. Petty stated this is designed to be a funding mechanism for such things as the pipes between the drains. It is also going to be used for short term funding versus trying to build up a large capital reserve, which we may or may not spend. This way we do not tax or assess the residents before the need arises. We will use this revolving Letter of Credit instead. We have a current project in mind for this money, which is the second part of our wastewater expansion program for building digesters. We have $3 to $3.5 million in our capital program. The contract was for $7 million. As a result, we have a $5 million short-term note to cover the construction cost of the digester expansion and start a CIP for the water management. This is a new type of mechanism providing the banks with assurances, whether it is from a revenue source such as water and sewer monthly billing or from drainage assessments. It is flexible and takes into account what we anticipated. It works with us. The one you have in your agenda package is the wrong one. This is actually a draft. We have a new one to provide to you. We expect the short-term to be extinguished when we go for long-term funding on our Capital Improvement Program. Mr. Lyles still needs to review this and it is quite possible he will recommend we have Bond Counsel review, since a tax exempt status is required.
Ms. Larned stated we are working on a parallel path within the Capital Improvement Program to make sure the funding is in place at the time we need it. We distributed to you a customized borrowing instrument for this capital program. We have been negotiating with SunTrust to secure this borrowing, which is both advantageous and reasonable in its terms and conditions. We wanted to make sure it was flexible in matching when we get the money to when we need the money. In other words, we want to get the cash quickly. We asked for a variety of terms so we can minimize the cost of our money. We will have a draw period and options for a long-term payout. Keep in mind we still want to issue long-term bonds for the full capital program. This is in interim financing the manager spoke about. We also sought a favorable interest rate reflecting the credit worthiness and our position within the community. We ask for a pre-payment penalty so if we were to extinguish this, we can do so without having to pay a penalty.
We have been working with SunTrust and received their full attention. What you have before you is an easy and accessible loan commitment recognizing our sustained delivery of operations in the community, our good financial management of the District assets and our fine financial history. To summarize, the SunTrust staff recognized CSID and its excellent credit standing. In so recognizing, they are offering us an interest rate and administrative cost far below what they offer their best customers. We are pleased to present this commitment letter to you.
Mr. Petty stated we are not asking for action tonight since counsel has not had a chance to review it. It is quite possible we will have to get Ms. Denise Ganz from Ruden, McClosky, our Bond Counsel to work on the tax exempt status. We will wait until Mr. Lyles has a chance to read this and then we will take it to Ms. Ganz.
Mr. Fennell asked is this a Line of Credit?
Mr. Petty responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked do we normally have to pay $2,000 plus $7,500 in legal fees? In order to get the Line of Credit, will we have to spend $12,000?
Mr. Lyles responded it will be substantially more. In order to get the tax exempt status, a qualified Tax Attorney will have to render an opinion that the interest on this $5 million note is exempt from tax under Federal IRS regulations. This may or not be picked up by the bank’s Bond Counsel. I have not spoken to them about this. I will approach this as if it is assumed it will be picked up by the bank’s Bond Counsel. If this is the case, it is not going to be any more money. However, between their legal fees and your legal fees, especially if we have to involve Ruden, McClosky, the total could end up being $20,000 rather than $12,500.
Mr. Fennell stated this is before we actually borrow the money.
Mr. Petty stated we will only do this if we have to borrow the money.
Mr. Lyles stated you will not incur this on the off chance you are going to borrow the money.
Ms. Zich asked why SunTrust versus any other bank?
Mr. Petty responded we called Bank of America and Wachovia, who is our banker. We also spoke to several other sources such as Prager, Sealy & Company who we get money from. For these short-term notes, the closest they could come was a Bond Anticipation Note, which was not going to suffice for this instrument. We also went to the Association of Counties, which has periodic bonds and loan capabilities and the Florida League of Cities. The responses were so off course to where we could not use any of them. SunTrust was the only one who sent people out saying, “How can we help you because we do not understand what you need?” They were the only ones who wanted to work with us. None of the other banks wanted to work with us or understood our concept of having a revolving Line of Credit.
We do not want to incur $20,000 every time we need money. I want to do it once and set up an instrument I can draw on continuously because I want to use this instead of a Reserve Fund. I need short-term funding where I can spend a $1 million and in next year’s budget put this into the assessments, extinguish the note and move on. I do not want to put an assessment on the residents where I build up $5 million in a Reserve Fund and take their money out of circulation and sit on it. I rather have a revolving Line of Credit made available to me if it makes sense to do so. Trying to get the banks to understand this concept was extremely difficult. SunTrust were the only ones who got past step one.
Mr. Fennell stated businesses do this all the time.
Ms. Larned stated the rate they are giving us compared to businesses is almost 100 to 150 basis points lower because of the tax exempt status.
Mr. Hanks asked what is a basis point?
Ms. Larned responded 1.5 percentage point. Ours is going to be 5.41% if we move forward. Most large commercial customers are paying 7.32%.
Mr. Hanks asked what happens as interest rates go up and down? Is this structured so we have a fixed rate?
Ms. Larned responded during the draw period, which is up to one year, it will be a variable rate set on a percentage of LIBOR. We have a benchmark to which we pay every 30 days.
Mr. Fennell asked what is LIBOR?
Ms. Larned responded London Inter-Bank Offered Rate. Every 30 days, the rate will be reset every 30 days. For example, when we first started talking about this, the rates were slightly higher. We already took advantage of the fact we have been delayed. Once we get through the draw period and depending on what we determined as the long-term financing, we will have options to go out either one year up to the bond years. We are not anticipating using it at this point. We are anticipating using long-term bonds to encompass the entire capital plan. You are only using this as interim financing. Should the Board choose to use the benefit of this particular instrument, we can term it out up to five years and it will become a fixed year.
Mr. Petty stated we have certain limitations. Short-term funding is all we are going for. We are not going to do long-term funding where we need to have a public hearing. This is for renewal and replenishment items. We are not exceeding the $10 million cap. We are looking for District Counsel to tell us if we missed any limitations. Our District is controlled on how it gets its financings and what we can do. We are trying to stay within those specific corridors by making sure the District has the money available when it needs it and only the amount it needs, without having to go through a huge amount of paperwork to get another $100,000 or $1.5 million.
Mr. Hanks asked is this structured to where if we need $1 million in June and $2 million in September, we will be able to make those draws at different times?
Mr. Petty responded yes. Once you make a draw, it is interest only for the first year. Within the year, you have to set the term and the interest rate. When you set the term, you set the interest rate. Until you do, you are at this monthly LIBOR standard. When you set the term within this year; you can have a one year, two year or three year note, no greater than five. At this time, you will decide what you can do. We wanted interest only for the first year, because we needed time to get it in the budget so we could charge assessments.
Mr. Fennell asked once we have this deal worked out, how many times can we go back?
Ms. Larned responded we can draw it in $200,000 increments. There is no limitation.
Mr. Fennell stated during the
hurricane there was an issue where other districts could have used money for
hurricane cleanup, even though we were fine.
In fact, the City of
Mr. Lyles stated you cannot do this. It is a financing with a cap of five years. Otherwise, it has to go through the validation process. Regardless of how it comes before you, legally it will be considered a bond if has a term of five years or more. You are good for five years unless you take it out with your permanent financing sooner. Keep in mind, this is for informational purposes and you will not be voting on this issue until the next meeting. I just received information today about a permanent regular bond financing of well under $5 million at a slightly lower interest rate. The costs, independent of the interest rate were well over $150,000. This is a cheap transaction for a tax exempt entity as opposed to a corporate entity. It is an aggressive borrowing structure in terms of keeping the costs within the maximum flexibility. If you did this issue in the conventional local government way, the costs will be excessive.
Mr. Fennell stated on the other hand, if I was in the lending business and could get a short-term tax exempt loan of over 5%, I would jump on it. T-Bills are currently 5% and under.
Mr. Petty stated SunTrust has bankers in their firm. The banks have merged so rapidly some of these employees are little more than store clerks. We found this out when talking with the banks. This is why SunTrust was responsive. They understand the banker’s mentality. They saw the rooftops on their liability as being nil. This is why the proposal is as flexible as it is. Mr. Lyles is correct on uncovering fairly quickly what took us several months to put together. His perception is paramount.
Mr. Fennell stated we have money in the bank. Why do we need this financing?
Mr. Petty responded you do not have any more money in the bank. This is why we are looking.
Mr. Fennell stated we still have some money in the bank.
Mr. Petty stated the General Fund still has some funds but the Water and Sewer Fund has been committed under the current contract. We will bring this to you in the completed form at the next meeting for the Board's approval. We will then take District Counsel's recommendations for execution. We will get this done so we can bring monies in for this contract. There will still be some money under the $5 million cap to be available to the Water Management Capital Improvement Program in particular for any pilot studies considered, which we may bring to you at next month's meeting. Certainly $2 million is not going to buy a great deal of drainage but it can buy several key elements.
Mr. Fennell asked are we limited in what we spend this money on?
Mr. Petty responded we cannot spend it to pay the electric bill.
Mr. Fennell asked can we spend it on canal improvements?
Mr. Petty responded yes. Part of this will have to be opined by District Counsel under the tax exempt status. In the past we had earthwork approved under the tax exempt status.
Mr. Lyles stated think capital items versus ongoing maintenance items.
Mr. Fennell stated it makes sense.
Mr. Petty stated in regards to the long-term funding, we are continuing to speak to multiple entities. We are working with two entities on the long-term funding for this capital improvement project, which has been estimated between $35 million and $50 million. We are also talking to Prager, Sealy & Company who is the underwriter for most of the bonds the District issued and to SunTrust. We are using these entities to get a competitive financial structure for the Board to consider.
Mr. Fennell asked what is our rating?
Mr. Petty responded we received a AAA rating with our last water and sewer bond issue. Ms. Larned looked through the bond issue and there are ongoing costs. We are asking both entities to give us "all in" interest costs. This includes the cost of having coverage on revenue and currently a 110% requirement on our revenue is required. There is a mandatory renewal and replenishment program where a number of dollars have to be collected each year to a maximum of $1 million. There are several other issues. Our position has been we are 30 years old, have rooftops, a financial history and this is no longer a gamble. This is fairly stable government institution. It is almost like the time to where you no longer have to take what is given to you. We are going to have a proposal from Ruden, McClosky for your next meeting. Mr. Lyles will serve as Bond Counsel for any long-term issue. We spoke to Mr. Lyles about his working relationship with Ruden, McClosky and he recommended them as well.
Mr. Petty stated we discussed the assets
a great deal and our responsibilities concerning those assets. We have been talking to our engineers for the
last several months trying to figure out where we should be going. We know our Asset Management Program is not
what we need it to be. This came to
light when the Sawgrass Expressway was built and they cut some of our drainage
pipes. One question was whether we owned
them. When we build capital improvement
facilities like this we keep track of the money spent. However, what about any contributions or the
drawings coming with it, the caps and whether they are easily attainable? I have documents concerning this District
stored in 15 different locations and CH2M-Hill has documents. We also use the storage place on
After years of building, it is now time for management to take ownership and start managing the asset instead of building the asset. Our assets are the public facilities and the associated lands. We get these public facilities by donation, construction, acquisition, plat, agreement and condemnation. These facilities are typically water management and wastewater facilities. Do we have any assets to worry about and is this a big deal? Yes, it is a big deal. Once you put the package together it causes considerable angst to see we do not have a centralized program where all of this is available. We are talking about the ownership records for these documents such as title, liens, right-of-way, easements, Bills of Sale, legal descriptions, shop drawings, specifications, as-builts, insurance, agreements and contracts. We are allocating renewal and replacement money into rebuilding and extending its life. These are items we need to have and we have a strong need to put all of this together.
We are proposing to build an asset management system for the District to own. You will have all your information in a centralized location and this is our theory on how it should operate. You will have three ways to search for these items; locating on a map, keyword search and article as indicated by the folders. For example, there are three different search criteria; legal, management and operations. If I was coming from operations, I will certainly use the map. If I work for management and concerned about insurance, I will probably go folder by folder and pulling only the assets I need. In water and wastewater, this is where I will have most of my pieces. We do not insure distribution and collection lines. We insure lift station pumps. If I was doing legal work and wanted to find out how I had the right to work in a specific area, I will do a search by description. This will be done under the keyword search. If you were going to use the maps and not the other two criteria, you will select an area, for example area 32, which is a subset of these Districts. These folders will hold only the information on area 32. In the past they had the information for the entire District. Now they just have the information for area 32.
If you need further information, you can select a specific area by highlighting it. The folders will change to include the information such as the water and sewer lines, the easements they are in, how they were conveyed and any specifications or other information pertinent to the system. In this manner, we will be able to address our repairs, maintenance and management. This will be performance based management by proactive maintenance. All of your assets are in this system and can be queried to check their status and life expectancy. We will do this through three additional positions; two allocated to NSID under the current priority, half to Sunshine WCD and half to CSID.
Mr. Fennell asked is this known as a management information system?
Mr. Petty responded yes. We will have customized database development. We have to create a database if you are going to ask queries and search.
Mr. Fennell asked did we digitize schematics some time ago?
Mr. Petty responded Mr. Roger Moore digitized blueprints for 10 years. We cannot find the records. We know they are here. We have the idea of going for additional personnel after the database development, once the Capital Improvement Program is up and running. We figure this will take up two positions. A total of four to five people will be running this Asset Management Program for the core districts. Currently NSID is on a $100 million purchasing spree. They are the ones who have to pay for the people upfront. We want to start with their capital program because they have the most updated record. The CSID records are 30 years old. If we are going to use anybody as a guinea pig, let's use NSID because they have the best records to date. Their Board has been told they need two more people and they approved this in concept. Sunshine has 35 year old systems with easements and right-of-way but we know they have to do a great deal of work. They will need to know where their right-of-way begins and ends and what the rights are to have this drainage facility there.
We approved hiring a half a person at their last meeting. CSID should have a person or half of a person to start up this program and training. CSID wanted to be the paternal District and own the staff. We can do this either way. NSID approved the two positions and will own the two positions. We can do it this way or have CSID create three new administrative positions and we will start billing NSID for two positions and Sunshine for .5. CSID will pay for the remaining half. We are asking you tonight to consider this. Should you consider the matter, we need to discuss cost recovery. Since NSID approved the two positions, you will start receiving compensation. Sunshine approved its half. The only exposure you will have is for the remaining half. Let's not forget the database design, which we are proposing to do through ASI. They were awarded the hardware installation and software update on our current utility billing and government accounting program. We have been working with them since 1997. They are a good company for this process. We have experience with a strong database, which is adaptable. We are working with them because of their history with us, can tie it to our accounting system and their system works over the internet. The technology they have with their database development works with this piece as we want this to be assessable from anywhere at any time by those who have access.
We think the database design is going to cost some real money. The cost will be brought before you after we talk to them and not before because we do not want to raise their hopes. The other districts will utilize the cost recovery like NSID and Sunshine did on the accounting upgrade and hardware purchase. CSID has ownership and spreads the cost recovery to the other districts. Once the system is up and running, the other districts may want to do cost recovery. This may help us out but I do not want you to count on it. We can count on our core districts participating.
Mr. Fennell stated the problem is you are always waiting on information. It is always hard to justify the costs because it is not like we are going to sell more water with it. It supposedly makes management more efficient. Once it is in the computer, you need an expert to get the information.
Mr. Petty stated there is no magic to it being on a computer. The magic is in the attention to it by staff. The issue is to have a working database. Whether it is electronic or manual, I do not care. I want all the documents I have assets on. I need to have all these documents because this is what my job entails. Over the years it has been somewhat clouded by the building of assets. I am talking to you about putting another $30 million to $50 million into the Water Treatment Plant and I still do not have a working asset program.
Mr. Hanks stated it is dependent on follow through by everyone involved. If you do not ask for the as-builts, we do not get them. If they get entered, it does not do us any good. This is the same problem we are running into with trying to track down records.
Mr. Fennell asked where do we tie in? If the system does not interface with other computers to where CH2M-Hill cannot enter their designs to show up magically on your computer, then you have an expensive translation job trying to take their data and entering it onto your computer. I suggest you figure out who you need to communicate with or change systems.
Mr. Petty stated we are not looking for our engineers to do it.
Mr. Fennell asked how will you know what your assets are?
Mr. Petty responded I know what my assets are by taking employees who have 25 years experience and breaking them away from their current job. The three positions are not necessarily working on this. We are taking Ms. Susan Walker out of accounting. She has 20 years experience obtaining information. If there is anyone who can get this information, it is Ms. Walker. She is not going to take no from anyone. It is not just the engineer she will have to talk to. She will have to talk with staff who has 30 years experience and get the information out of them. She has been doing this every year since she has been involved in the budget. She will also have to talk with District Counsel. I am familiar with IT and will not turn it over to anyone else. We will contract with ASI to build it by contract and oversee the tough itemseed to repair and maintain. Otherwise, it is going to be us working on the system and inputting the data.
Mr. Fennell asked what computer will this run on?
Mr. Petty responded the AS 400.
Mr. Fennell stated we own this machine.
Mr. Petty stated as well as the software. You are going to be building the software. You already own the database. Meanwhile, someone has to pay for those people. We can certain put the three people onto those districts.
Mr. Hanks stated as far as many of these assets, we know where they are. If we have to maintain something, I am not certain this is a big issue. Are there any programs recording the inventory of water mains and drainage systems?
Ms. Early responded all of our drawings are in auto-cad. They used to be digi-cad. Now we are using micro-station.
Mr. Fennell asked how do you go from auto-cad to micro-station?
Ms. Early responded we transfer them.
Mr. Petty stated this is not about blueprints at all. One example is when a lady fell into a meter box at the Coral Square Mall. She sued the Coral Square Mall who in turn passed it to us and said, "Please give this to your Insurance Adjustor as our records show this is your meter and you are responsible." I asked Mr. Hyche, "What is wrong with our meter vault and how can we not maintain them? Some lady just fell through one". He said these were not our meter vaults as we do not have any lines inside of the Coral Square Mall". I said to him, "You must master meter from the road"". He replied, "I do not have any master meters." I then asked, "How do we meter them?" He referred me to his Distribution Supervisor who said, "We do not own any water lines. We just have a bunch of meters and you would not believe the problem we have. They keep changing the stores inside".
Mr. Fennell asked are you metering individual stores?
Mr. Petty responded no.
We metered the original stores and charged them according to the fixture
count. This was back in 1987. The stores changed 15 times since then but
they are still using the same meters. We
have not charged them any differently. I
do not know what the fixture counts are.
No one knows who installed the meter vaults. We do not believe we own
the water lines going to the meter vaults.
There must be 15 miles of water and sewer lines inside of the complex
coming off of the main lines on
Mr. Hanks stated there are numerous instances where you have private developments in a gated community.
Mr. Petty stated I do not know how I could have a water meter on private property unless Mr. Lyles negotiated a certain instrument to give me access to it. This is not standard. Typically your meter is set right at the end of your line before the private property starts.
Mr. Hanks asked what do you think the cost differential is going to be to get it set up versus having to address each one individually using staff?
Mr. Petty responded I am not getting answers to whether or not we own it, whether we have a right-of-way for and if it is in an easement.
Mr. Lyles stated I am hearing the questions and had several references to legal counsel throughout this discussion but I cannot offer too much about how we got to where we are. I have been here for 10 years and we have only done a few of these. I have a set of records for CSID but do not have the quantity Mr. Petty has. I became involved with the lady falling through the meter box and the Sawgrass Expressway issue with the damage to the lines. My first request was to show me the instruments. We have not found them. The problem is having a system locating the instruments still requires you to do the research of locating the document and loading it so the software search engine gets you there. This is a monumental task we occasionally have to do on a case by case basis. If you do it for every right-of-way, every pipe, every easement and canal; it will be terrific.
Mr. Fennell stated you are talking about doing an inventory on the entire system.
Ms. Zich stated it will take many people to accomplish this.
Mr. Lyles stated this is not just inventory. We can do this in the field. You need to find ownership documents supporting the inventory you think you own.
Mr. Hanks stated we do not own the water mains in this corner of the city. Does this change how we approach it? We are still the utility providing the water. Your homeowners and the city are looking to us.
Mr. Lyles stated if at some point it turns out we cannot confirm what is there, we are going to have to go to property owners and say, "We are updating our records and need you to sign this easement so you can continue to get water and sewer service." Alternatively, we can get a group of questionable areas under one lawsuit and file something in court to get a prescriptive easement declared for us to continue providing public services in the areas where we think we have a pipe but we do not have the document in hand. You need to weigh the cost of creating the system versus doing it ad hoc.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the cost?
Mr. Petty responded the cost is for half of a person now and two more people at the end of the deal, one of which you will own. I think we can get your Asset Management Program built with personnel costs and maintained with 1.5 people. I will bring back to you the cost of the software. However, we already have a database company who does great database work. All they have to do is build a separate module for us working off of the existing relational database.
Mr. Hanks asked do we need to put this out for competitive bid?
Mr. Lyles responded no. This will be considered a professional bid as opposed to maintenance of a project or equipment or capital cost items.
Mr. Fennell stated it is almost like an accounting and engineering firm but they are not talking to each other. Is there any way to get those two together? Our assets in the end are going to be designed with them. First of all, the accountants have an accounting computer and I am not sure they talked to the engineering firm.
Mr. Petty responded they have not done so. GASB-34 makes us do a great deal of checking on the documentation but it does not give you any beneficial use of the information. We want to dig out of this cavern of information around us and have something workable.
Mr. Hanks asked do you need anything from us today or can we mull it over?
Mr. Petty responded you can certainly mull it over if the Board prefers. We are asking for you to consider it.
Mr. Fennell stated we will consider it. You are making a good case. The problem is if you do not tie in the hard assets, he can say, "We have 15 pipes going under the Coral Square Mall and here is where they are opposed to being a nice accounting asset costing us $1.4 million. The $1.4 million will not answer the questions you are asking.
Mr. Petty stated we have done it. Mr. McKune is part of this as well as Ms. Early and our staff. We allocated Ms. Walker to be our chief data digger. No one knows better than her and she will not take no for an answer from someone like Mr. Hyche who says he is busy. This is what we are going to need if we are going to get any answer for this in a reasonable amount of time. We do not have money to allocate to this forever. NSID has nine months to find all this information. They are going to be one of the easiest ones to shake. Once it is done, Ms. Walker gets pulled out of there and then we want to have her work on Sunshine and CSID to pull the data out of them. We will keep using her to build new structures while staff maintains. We do not want high level maintenance. We want medium range maintenance.
Mr. Fennell asked who is Ms. Walker working for and who does she report to?
Mr. Petty responded she is a CSID employer. One of the two NSID positions is filled by Ms. Walker.
Mr. Fennell stated I do not see a strong enough effort between the operational and the accounting.
Mr. Petty stated we will make the documents available to all departments but it is useful for and tied to the accounting system so the GASB-34 requirements can be taken from the fixed asset. We do not want the fixed assets to be controlled by the accounting standards because it gives operations and legal no justice. Of course we want legal to have input into this because they are the ones who need to do the absolute Bill of Sale or correct the action if there is no Bill of Sale or easement. They are the ones who have to go out and get you one. Of course operations is tied to it because they will have access. Am I going to tie it to the engineer so they can input data? No way are those engineers putting data into my system.
Mr. Fennell stated one of the issues most corporations face is they have separate computer systems throughout the corporation. There is one for accounting, one for engineering design, one for sales and one for inventory. None of them talk to each other. The more modern systems are able to talk to each other. The internet actually drove this so the systems could talk to each other. One is using 32 bits, another is using a different type of language, the format and
fields are different. Suddenly someone is writing a 5,000 line code in order to transfer information. I want to see how this ties together.
Mr. Petty stated we have those same considerations.
Mr. Hanks stated let’s give these questions to different staff members so we can get the level of detail in order to reach our own decisions for the next meeting.
Mr. Fennell asked do you need anything from us tonight or can we put it off until the next meeting?
Mr. Petty responded we are going to be meeting with the company to go over training on our update next week. I can talk to them about how they can structure such a design. I want to work on the personnel at this time. We want to move Ms. Walker to NSID.
Mr. Fennell asked can we do this on a temporary basis like six months?
Mr. Petty responded it is difficult to hire people that way.
Mr. Hanks asked do you have someone in mind as a candidate?
Mr. Petty responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked to work part time for CSID?
Mr. Petty responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated I do not know if this is the right system or not but the fact is he is trying to get his hands on managing a 30 year old system with disparaging data.
Mr. Hanks stated the people involved are not going to be sticking around with the District. The people who were here 30 years ago are approaching retirement. We have been talking all along about one of the issues with the accounting, which is the lack of redundancy. If we re-assign Ms. Walker to NSID and train someone for this other position, now we have a redundancy. If the new person goes away, we still have Ms. Walker who is familiar with the accounting system and can help provide the training. I think this is an excellent opportunity.
Mr. Petty stated it does cover an item, which has been on our books for awhile.
Mr. Fennell asked are you asking for permission to hire three people?
Mr. Petty responded yes, with CSID being the paternal District.
Mr. Fennell stated we are willing to have the machine.
Mr. Petty stated you can do this if you wish subject to NSID paying for two employees.
Mr. Hanks stated we have the opportunity for this to be a revenue generator to other districts. If we do not take the opportunity to say, “We are taking over the ownership”, someone else will have the opportunity.
Mr. Fennell stated that is true, however we own the machine.
Mr. Hanks stated but if they are taking the lead, our exposure is still half of a person.
Ms. Zich stated this seems to be a great deal of information to be pulling out.
Mr. Fennell stated the problem is he will have to prioritize what he goes after.
Ms. Zich stated the issue with the mall sounds like a nightmare.
Mr. Petty stated I looked for the information on the mall. How can I possibly have water and sewer there since 1986 and we do not have the information? I know they have irrigation systems, which are not metered.
Ms. Zich stated it could be nice having one person instead of three.
Mr. Hanks stated we are not having any additional exposure. NSID is already committed for two employees.
Mr. Petty stated you can amend the motion to say, “With NSID funding for two employees.”
Mr. Petty stated thank you very much. We will be bringing back the exact details to you.
Mr. Fennell stated this was a tough one.
Mr. Petty stated we discussed the Florida Retirement Program for the employees some time ago. Mr. Lyles looked at the resolution and suggested we bring it before the Board since it has been six months since we talked about it. At the next meeting, Mr. Lyles will provide a resolution to the Board for consideration. We are looking for authorization to apply to the Florida Retirement Program so we can give our employees better benefits. If you are making $30,000 a year, the state will match whatever the IRA was. If you have 10 years of service, in 5.34 years it will beat your IRA at 4.35 years. If you retire and are going to live for more than 4.34 years, the state is a better program. If you just want your cash and are only going to live for two years, stay with the IRA. We have some 25 to 30 year old employees heading for employment who will not get any benefit out of a State Retirement Program, which mandates you must have 10 years in before you are vested.
Ms. Zich stated it is usually five years.
Mr. Petty stated the guys who will retire soon will not be vested in time and will stay with the IRA. We told the young employees to look at it and let us know.
Mr. Fennell asked do you need a decision today?
Mr. Petty responded no. We just wanted to bring this information back to you.
Mr. Fennell stated the general thinking is retirement funds are passé and IRA’s always beat them. I am surprised to see you have data saying it is not true. This is the rationale for doing away with all the pension plans. The real issue is it is easier for corporations not to have to fund pension funds anymore because they never funded them completely. They like the idea of IRA’s since they have no responsibility. It does not necessarily benefit the employee.
Mr. Petty stated you may have seen a trailer on your way in. Our emergency generator is broken. In the trailer is a mobile generator, while the emergency generator is being fixed. They were working on it but it was not putting out the amps it was supposed to.
Mr. Fennell asked is this our new one?
Mr. Hyche responded no, this was the old one. We wanted to replace it in the next contract.
Mr. Petty stated we are going to have the trailer on-site until the emergency generator is repaired.
Mr. Fennell stated for the April agenda, I wish to have discussion on hurricane preparations. This is the appropriate time to see if we have everything we need. We have the time to do something if we need to.
iii. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
There not being any, the next item followed.
iv. Utility Billing Work Orders
Mr. Petty stated these were for the metering re-reads.
v. Complaints Received/Resolved
Mr. Petty stated we had quite a few complaints because of the holiday season we do not go out and shut off meters. In the last couple of months, we had three months of notifications for payment and now we are doing the shut-offs. The complaints for this season were normal.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of December Financials and Check Registers
There not being any,
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Agenda Items for Next Meeting
• Presentation of Hydrologic Rate Study
• Status of Study for Improved Hydraulics (Requested by President)
Agenda Items for April Meeting
• Hurricane Preparations (Requested by President)
Items Discussed at Meeting for Future Agendas
1. Update the Board on the results of the Sunshine WCD survey regarding the water levels at the north corridor.
2. Sending letter to the City of
3. Discussion of Document Management Program