MINUTES OF MEETING

CORAL SPRINGS

IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

 

            The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on Monday, September 17, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. in the District Offices, 10300 NW 11th Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.

 

            Present and constituting a quorum were:

 

            Bob Fennell                                                President

            Sharon Zich                                                Vice President

            Glen Hanks                                                Secretary

 

            Also present were:

 

            Dan Daly                                                    Interim Manager

            Ed Goscicki                                                Co-Manager – Severn Trent Services

            Dennis Lyles                                               District Counsel

            Jane Early                                                   District Engineer – CH2M-Hill

            Sean Skehan                                              CH2M-Hill

            Isabelo Rodriguez                                       CH2M-Hill

            Cedo DaSilva                                             CH2M-Hill

            David Green                                               CH2M-Hill

            Kevin Mulshine                                           Prager, Sealy & Company

            Denise Ganz                                               Ruden, McClosky, et. al.

            John McKune                                             District Capital Improvement Coordinator

            Doug Hyche                                               CSID Utilities Director

            Randy Frederick                                         CSID Drainage Supervisor

            Jim Aversa                                                 Chief Operator – Wastewater

            Kay Woodward                                         CSID Accountant

            Jan Zilmer                                                   CSID Human Resources

            Numerous Residents

 

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS                         Roll Call

Mr. Goscicki called the meeting to order and called the roll. 

 

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS                    Approval of the Minutes of the August 20, 2007 Meeting

            Mr. Fennell stated each Board member received a copy of the minutes of the August 20, 2007 meeting and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.

            Mr. Daly stated on pages two, all instances of “Mr. Mulshine” should be “Mr. Bill Benson” from Keefe, McCullough.

            Ms. Zich stated on page three, the statement “I did many of these and I am amazed at the amount of material” should be “I did many of these and I am amazed at the amount of time it took to complete the audit.”

 

On MOTION by Ms. Zich seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the minutes of the August 20, 2007 meeting were approved as amended.

 

THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS                       Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of the Water and Wastewater Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2008 (Resolution 2007-13)

            Mr. Fennell opened the public hearing.  Are there any comments from the public?

            Not hearing any,

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the public hearing was closed.

 

            Mr. Fennell stated we just signed the bonds and I want to thank everyone who was a part of this endeavor.  I also want to thank Mr. Hanks and Ms. Zich who have been performing heroic efforts over the bond issue and the budgets.  Without their effort we would not have the kind of District we currently have.  Thanks to the public service of Ms. Zich and Mr. Hanks, this is all possible.

            Ms. Zich stated I want to thank Mr. Fennell.  He does a great job.

            Mr. Fennell stated the District is in good shape and moving in a great direction.

            Mr. Daly stated Ms. Zich met with Ms. Woodward and me in regards to the budget and financials.  I do not know if this was unbeknownst to the Board but this meeting was helpful and beneficial.  Mr. Fennell has been open about the direction he wants to take and we are appreciative.

            Mr. Fennell asked are there any further questions or comments on the budget?

            Mr. Daly responded the Board was concerned about the interest income and felt the numbers were slightly conservative.  As a result, we changed the Interest on State Board Funds from 3% to 5.25% and Interest Earnings Trust Accounts from 4% to 4.50%.

            Mr. Fennell stated sounds good.  This means we can get a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

            Mr. Daly stated correct.  The idea was this was originally a conservative budget.

            Mr. Goscicki stated we tried to be conservative on your revenue in terms of underestimating revenue and overestimating your expenditures to make sure you are in the positive at the end of the year.

            Mr. Daly stated there was another issue with regard to percentages for raises.  They will be close to where they were last year.  What was the overall increase?

            Mr. Zilmer responded the overall increase to last year’s budget was 3.1%, which was based on performance appraisals.  In reality, there was an increase of 2.8% because we did not fill open positions last year.  We are actually increasing the budget by $63,000.  For our 63 employees, the increase ranged from 5% to 2% based on attendance.

            Mr. Hanks stated the drainage canals in CSID look good but I want to make sure the employees keep the canals clean but still address the water and sewer components as we just authorized $42 million in bonds.  By the time we finish paying off the bonds, we will end up with $4 to $5 million, which is a great deal of money.  I want to make sure we are making the best use of the staff we have and not in the position of where we have people sitting around.

            Mr. Zilmer stated you only have four employees involved with drainage/canal maintenance and they are not sitting around.

            Mr. Daly stated with Mr. Frederick’s direction, they go above and beyond.  You have seen the compliment letters.  Mr. Frederick should be the one they look up to as far as customer service.  Over the past few months, we required more of our employees.  We have a graph showing every ½ hour what they are doing, where they are, who they report to, etc.  Saying we had three water breaks and it took all day to repair them, does not tell me anything.  Unless you know what the workload is, you cannot analyze it and make it more efficient.  They are doing their work with a smile on their face.  We will always wonder whether we need a crew or have them do other things.  The whole idea is for them to do other things, for example, the fire hydrant painting program.  In one hour they should be able to drive “x” amount of streets and identify “x” amount of fire hydrants and put them on a map.  We will get them on a CAD drawing and send them to the City of Coral Springs.  We will then institute a second plan of painting them.

            Mr. Hanks stated I do not want to get into the cutting of personnel because in an emergency situation, we need these people around.  We are going to need these people to clear blockages and handle the lift stations.

            Mr. Daly stated we are now looking at things, which have not been looked at in years.  The whole idea is to make the place a little better.

            Mr. Fennell stated one of the things helping us is having Mr. Daly here taking on an on-site, operational characteristic and assisting with the smaller jobs.

            Mr. Goscicki stated since Mr. Daly has taken on the roll, you truly have an Operations Manager overseeing the operation from a business perspective; not only seeing if the samples are being collected correctly or whether the treatment plant was operating properly; but whether we have the accountability systems and cost controls in place.  Mr. Daly has taken a major effort in moving this accountability forward.  This is something we will talk about more under the manager’s report. 

            Mr. Hanks stated engineering fees are not reflective of our capital projects budget.

            Mr. Goscicki stated correct.

            Mr. Hanks asked are the costs allocated in construction costs over the course of the next five years?

            Mr. Goscicki responded you need to spend $39,000 over the next three years.

            Mr. Hanks stated over the next three years, we are going to be spending $4 million in engineering fees.  The engineering fees listed here are $50,000.

            Mr. Daly stated it is going to be in the Capital Budget because the monies will come out of the bond proceeds.  The Capital Budget will be effective as of right now because the bonds will be closing tomorrow. 

            Mr. Goscicki stated there is a debt service component because all of your capital is now being funded through debt and is included in this budget.

            Mr. Fennell stated it looks like we are going to bring in $500,000 more in revenue and do a fair job of holding down the costs.  We need this additional money set aside, even though it says Available for Debt Service and the Project Surplus, in order to have funds.  We need to set up different accounts.  I do not see it in this budget.

            Mr. Goscicki stated you are not seeing it in your annual budget due to how we structured the entire five year rate structure with capitalized interest in the first year.  You do not need the revenue from the rate you are currently putting into place this year to meet your debt service coverage today but you will need it next year and the year after.  Some revenue is going to be accounted for as surplus in the overall cashflow projections we worked out in terms of how much money we needed to borrow.  It is also accounted for in the five year program. 

            Ms. Woodward stated I recalled one component where out of the $591,000 for Projected Surplus, if you drop below the debt coverage of 1.29%, you will notice we have to use $331,000 out of the $591,000 for renewal and replacement.  This is a requirement of the new bonds.

            Mr. Fennell stated I was happy to see a cashflow sheet.  Over the next three years, this document is going to become more important than the monthly budget.  I am convinced we are going to maintain our budget.  What can go awry fairly quickly are the capital expenditures.  This is what we want to see every month. 

            Mr. Goscicki stated we actually used forms in other districts showing what was budgeted for the project, what was encumbered to date, what was spent to date and the remaining balance on the project.  You will be able to see what we encumbered and awarded for a contract.  For example, if we awarded a contract for $5 million, we will show what has been allocated and what the actual cashflow is in terms of what we spent to date against the budget.  We will track it on a monthly basis.

            Mr. Fennell stated we need certain kinds of supervision; one is good engineering, another is good fiscal oversight and the last one is good management oversight.  This will be important for us over the next three years.

            Mr. Hanks asked are the rest of Mr. McKune’s services shown in the capital budget?

            Mr. Daly responded yes, with the exception of $4,000, which was held until some invoices were paid.

            Mr. Hanks asked what are we looking at in terms of the overall picture for projected engineering services for the next year?

            Mr. Goscicki responded in the draft budget, we put Mr. McKune’s fees upfront so you could see them.  We projected $80,000 for this fiscal year.  However, the Board felt it should be capitalized as part of the budget.  As a result, we took it out but brought it forward so the Board could see it last month.

            Ms. Zich asked are we going to get a monthly update?

            Mr. Goscicki responded yes.

            Mr. Fennell stated this is what we are asking for because we are spending as much money on our capital budget as we are on the operations budget.  We have $8 million in our operations budget and are going to be spending $8 in our capital budget.

            Mr. Daly stated you asked what you can expect.  In May of 2006, the Board spent $450,000 in engineering fees alone but we have only paid $250,000 so far and have another $200,000 to go.

            Mr. Fennell stated next month we are going to see a capital and cashflow update, not only for operations but for capital, as well as the usual schedules.

            Mr. Hanks stated Postage increased by $3,000.  Why did this item increase if we are not mailing our agenda packages and they are being delivered to us?

            Mr. Goscicki responded most of the postage was for the water and sewer bills.

            Ms. Zich stated $31,000 was expended for the water and sewer bills.

            Mr. Hanks asked is the Communication Expense for website setup and operation going to cost $30,000?

            Mr. Goscicki responded this was the consulting fee amount we budgeted for Ron Sachs Communications last year.  It is an allocation we moved into this year’s budget when we terminated the agreement with Ron Sachs Communications.  We have enough money to hire someone to provide technical support.

            Mr. Hanks asked is this an optional line item?

            Mr. Goscicki responded yes.  You may spend this money or may not spend it at all.

            Mr. Hanks stated we need to have some public relation involvement.

            Mr. Fennell stated we definitely need to have a newsletter and public relations for our constituents.  We need to communicate with them on a regular basis.

            Mr. Daly stated we had a meeting last Friday with Mr. Hyche, Mr. Zilmer and Ms. Woodward in regards to the newsletter and have already come up with some topics.  We will put it together here as best we can and seek outside help if necessary.  We should have a draft for the Board to review at the next meeting.

            Mr. Hanks stated we budgeted $20,000 for Electronic Document Storage last year.  We did not pay anything this year and budgeted $20,000 again for next year. 

            Mr. Daly stated Mr. Petty felt strongly about budgeting money for utilizing the city’s resources, which we did not have.  It was left in the budget to see if we could get the manpower.

            Mr. Hanks asked what about management fees?

            Mr. Goscicki responded we did not do anything with the management fees.  The current budget reflects only a 3% increase.  Obviously this is something we need to discuss as we move forward.  We have a proposal to present to the Board today for your review.

            Mr. Hanks asked is this based on past practice?

            Mr. Goscicki responded yes.  There may be some opportunities to reduce this fee, depending on what we do. 

            Mr. Hanks asked where do we stand with the actual revenue projected from outside billing fees, rent for the facilities and shared employees?  How do these items look for the fiscal year going forward?  Are we sharing them with other districts?  Can the budget endure if the other districts choose not to go forward?

            Mr. Daly responded the Board of Supervisors for each of the districts will have to make up their own minds.  It is down this year compared to where it had been last year with the onset of Severn Trent Services taking the accounting component of NSID in-house.  This component of our revenue stream is no longer being used by CSID. 

            Mr. Hanks stated we do not have the personnel.

            Mr. Daly stated correct.  This has been taken care of to a certain degree.  The water and sewer as well as drainage was approved in NSID and the other two drainage districts.  The numbers originally going into their budget came from this office.  Have they been altered? 

            Mr. Goscicki responded no.  As the District Manager for Pine Tree and NSID, both of those Boards recognize the synergies and benefits of having a working relationship with CSID.  The only change from the current year to the upcoming fiscal year, as Mr. Daly pointed out was the accounting, where there were not much synergies.  There were isolated individual resources rather than a company resource.  This decision was made by Pine Tree, NSID and Sunshine to take their accounting in-house.  The remaining functions such as personnel, customer service and general oversight of the operations through their joint use of an operations manager and some of the other technical resources were seen as a benefit and I do not see this changing going forward.

            Mr. Fennell asked since we now have a reliable computer, can we handle more business?

            Mr. Daly responded definitely.

            Mr. Fennell stated I intend to use my resources fully.

            Mr. Goscicki stated your computer system is a big part of this utility billing system and you continue to provide service to a number of districts, one of which is the Riverwood Improvement District.  They are happy with the service they get from CSID.  STS is both the manager and operations company for this District but for the billing, they said “If it is not broken, do not fix it and leave it alone with Mr. Daly. 

            Mr. Daly stated this has to do with the fact the attorney left the District and all of the District Managers have moved on.  Only two people know anything about the history of the District; which is me and a Severn Trent Services employee.

            Mr. Fennell stated we have the resources for a new system and should ensure we can expand this to a point of where you feel comfortable we are not overusing.  Along those lines, we are going to make sure we had agreements with the other districts.

            Mr. Daly stated I noticed in the August minutes of 2006 where it was discussed but I am not sure whether or not there was a directive to get this in writing.

            Mr. Lyles stated we have been trying to formalize these relationships and are working on drafts.  We will continue working with Mr. Daly to get those agreements in place.

            Mr. Goscicki stated Sunshine WCD changed management companies.  Since the same management company is not involved, they are anxious in formalizing some of those relationships.

            Mr. Fennell stated we can make sure we have good service through the other groups so they know what is expected and we know what is expected.

            Mr. Daly stated exactly.

            Mr. Hanks asked are there any concerns from Mr. Hyche, Mr. Frederick and Ms. Early regarding this budget in terms of too much money being allocated or not enough money being allocated?

            Mr. Hyche responded not for me personally as far as the operation.  Mr. Daly and I discussed this budget several times and we whittled it down as much as we could.

            Mr. Frederick stated it appears appropriate for what we know now.

            Ms. Early stated I am comfortable with it.

            Mr. Hanks stated are there any reservations with it?

            Mr. Frederick responded I am worried about some increased chemical expenses, which I was not aware of.

            Ms. Zich stated the budget is just an estimate.  As you know, prices go up.

            Mr. Frederick stated I put in a 5% increase for chemicals but the actual was not what I expected.

            Mr. Daly stated you may have noticed the chemicals were broken out.  Ms. Woodward had painstakingly gone through invoice after invoice to break out what it would have been last year had we not done this.  It is still going to increase $100,000 more this next fiscal year than last fiscal year.  I could not believe this number.

            Mr. Hanks asked how does it compare?  Did we do a comparison?  We switched chemicals to save money.

            Mr. Goscicki stated there was an increase between the cost of chlorine gas and liquid chlorine on a per pound basis.

            Mr. Hyche stated this was done through risk management.

            Mr. Hanks asked did we receive a reduction in our insurance rate when we eliminated the chlorine gas?

            Mr. Daly responded not to my knowledge but I can check.

            Mr. Goscicki stated we performed cost comparisons on bulk chemicals and to my surprise, we found out some of the prices you were getting were better than some of the prices Severn Trent Services received.  You received better governmental prices than group prices across the state.

            Mr. Daly stated I told Mr. Hyche we need to prove this $100,000 increase and there were two ways to do so.  One way is to find the financing to make this happen.  Severn Trent Services was nice enough to assist us.  Another way was not to do anything and find out what we used quantity wise and then multiply by the current cost to see if we are in the ballpark.  Unbelievably, there figures came out to be correct.

            Mr. Hanks asked did this budget reflect the savings we had from eliminating most of the overages?

            Mr. Daly responded we still have it.

            Mr. Hyche stated we eliminated the areas where we had overages.  You have to go back two years to see a difference.

            Mr. Daly stated in addition, Mr. Aversa, our Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator is taking a daily inventory of the level in the tank because it is like liquid gold.  He is noting when a person comes in to fill the tank up and checks the invoices to make sure he gave us what was ordered.

            Mr. Hanks stated I am happy with the budget.

            Mr. Goscicki stated as part of the budget process, we provided Resolution 2007-13 for the Board to consider. 

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor Resolution 2007-13 Adopting the Final Water and Wastewater Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2008 was adopted.

 

FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                    Consideration of Request for Right-of-Way Permit for Monitoring Well in Canal L-106

            Mr. Goscicki stated a consultant from DEP contacted us requesting permission to install a monitoring well to see if dry cleaning fluids worked their way into the ground water table.

            Mr. McKune stated this is for the dry cleaning place on University Drive.

            Mr. Daly asked near Crown Liquors?

            Mr. McKune responded next door.

            Mr. Fennell asked what necessitates the need for staff to install a monitoring well?

            Mr. McKune responded they already picked up some contamination.  The plume is moving in a southwesterly direction towards us.  I do not foresee this being a problem.

            Mr. Hanks asked what expense will we incur by installing the monitoring well?

            Mr. Hyche responded they are installing the well and paying for it.

            Mr. Hanks asked are they going to pump the toxins out or let them disburse?

            Mr. McKune responded in a prior request, the applicant pumped it out for three to four months and spent a great deal of money.  Although they did not totally remove the toxins, they let it disburse.  This works depending on what the contaminant is.  This plume is much smaller than the one before.

            Ms. Zich stated I do not understand this at all.

            Mr. Fennell stated no one knows why, because we do not see anyone do it, but people dump dry cleaning fluid on the ground, which percolates into the ground and contaminates our water.  We had the same problem eight years ago.  It turns out where the fluid was dumped was only about three to four blocks from here.  Since our wells naturally draw the ground water towards us, so the plume they contaminated moved into our canals and towards the water supply.  It was a big deal.

            Ms. Zich asked how do you find out this is occurring?

            Mr. Hanks responded depending on what type of chemicals and what business they are in, the state and county regulates it and imposes certain fines and installs monitoring wells. 

            Mr. Fennell stated we were concerned about this to the point of our wells getting shut down and contaminated.  This ended up at the city after we started drilling additional wells.

            Mr. Hyche stated we sent a great deal of money sampling.

            Mr. Fennell stated it was touch and go for awhile.  There was a canal behind the dry cleaners and a school who used the ground water for irrigation of the grass where the kids played.  They came in with diagrams of the plume expanding over time.  They put a drill in there and cleaned the ground water by pumping it up and then back in.  There was a trailer sitting out there for at least six months.

            Ms. Zich stated this is interesting to know.  Thank you for explaining this to me.  I was not aware of it.

            Mr. Hanks stated I want to put on the record we are allowing them to make use of our right-of-way for the installation but not guaranteeing them access to the canal.  I have not been out to the site and do not know if they can physically get to this location. 

            Ms. Zich stated I am looking at the map they provided and trying to visualize where they are going to install the well.

            Mr. Hanks stated on the canal bank.

            Ms. Early stated behind a resident’s home.

            Mr. Hanks stated we better get this well installed and monitored.  It is going to be to everyone’s benefit to make sure the plume does not remain out there.

            Mr. Goscicki asked Ms. Early, do you know what will be above ground?

            Ms. Early responded a 2’ by 2’ concrete slab.

            Mr. McKune stated at grade.

            Mr. Goscicki stated there will be nothing above grade.  Has anyone contacted the homeowner?

            Ms. Early responded I did not.  I do not know if the applicant did.

            Mr. Goscicki stated I suggest the applicant notify the homeowner, if the Board approves this request.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the request for a Right-of-Way permit for installation of a monitoring well in Canal L-106 was approved, subject to the applicant notifying the affected resident and providing a copy of the notification to the Board.

 

            Mr. Hanks stated when we get applications for right-of-way permits or stormwater permits adjacent to our canals and facilities; we should request boat access easements so we have the right to go through these properties to access the canal.  Broward County recently installed guardrails on their county roads adjacent to our canals, which impedes our ability to get boats in and out.  Therefore, when we receive these types of applications, I want to make a standard condition for the applicant to acquire an access easement for the canal.

 

FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                         Consideration of Work Authorization No. 40 for Preparation of Bid Documents and Specifications for Pump Stations 1 and 2

            Mr. Fennell stated this work authorization is from CH2M-Hill to prepare the bid specifications in the amount of $65,000.

            Mr. Hanks asked was there a contract for this project?

            Mr. Goscicki responded it will be considered under the Engineer’s Report. 

            Mr. Hanks asked does it apply to this work authorization?  There were certain conditions within this contract, which I have issue with.  Is it appropriate to address those issues first or authorize the work and then deal with the contractors?

            Mr. Goscicki stated we are currently operating under a General Services Agreement dating back 30 years.  We can continue to authorize the engineer to perform work under this old General Services Agreement and then take up the new General Services Agreement as we move forward.  The intent of this item is to create a new General Services Agreement and bring it up to current standards.

            Mr. Hanks stated it does not matter whether or not the engineer is reimbursed because at the end of the day, it is going to be governed by the new contract we accept.  Is this correct?

            Mr. Lyles responded yes.  This work authorization gives the engineer approval to proceed and provides their estimate of cost.  All work authorizations are subject to the underlying prime agreement showing the details you are referring to.  I do not think anyone from CH2M-Hill will disagree this work authorization will be subject to any modifications to the primary Engineering Services Agreement.

            Mr. Goscicki stated this was discussed at previous Board meetings when the engineer presented the recommended improvements.  We met with the engineer, Mr. Hyche and Mr. Daly and discussed what we can do more effectively internally with our own staff rather than bidding it out.  This is a reflection of those meetings.

            Mr. Daly asked is the flat fee/lump sum fee of $65,000 typical for the design portion? 

            Ms. Early responded for construction services, we charge an hourly fee.  The other work authorizations for the plant were a lump sum for the design.

            Mr. Hanks asked is CH2M-Hill agreeable to doing this as a lump sum for the design services and an hourly not to exceed fee for the construction services?

            Ms. Early responded I do not think this work authorization includes construction services.  This is for design and bidding.  Once we go out for bids, we will come back with a recommendation for award of the contract.  We can then issue a work authorization for an hourly fee.  We originally estimated closer to $100,000 and then reduced some items.

            Mr. Goscicki stated the most significant item in this work authorization is the preparation of the specifications to bid this project out.

            Mr. Hanks asked do we need to go with digital drawings at this point?

            Ms. Early responded we do not have anyone who will do hand drawings.  No one wants to work with 30 year old drawings.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Mr. Fennell with all in favor Work Authorization No. 40 for Preparation of Bid Documents and Specifications for Pump Stations 1 and 2 in the amount of $65,000 was approved.

 

SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                        Staff Reports

            A.        Manager

i.       Consideration of Resolution 2007-14 Designating Edward Goscicki, Dan Daly and Sharon Zich as Assistant Secretaries

            Mr. Fennell asked why do we need this resolution?

            Mr. Goscicki responded there are occasions where the timing may not allow us to advertise the meeting in order to have two Board members present.  You need another official of the Board to sign documents and since Mr. Daly and I are not members of the Board, this will allow us to sign and attest documents along with another Board member.

            Mr. Lyles stated the key word is “attestation” as opposed to the authority to sign for the Board and requires the President and Vice President to sign.  This is subject to a motion passed designating an Assistant Secretary or a Secretary to sign documents.  None of the individuals listed in the proposed resolution are being given additional authority.  They are simply being made administerial agents to attest to the signature of the President and Vice President.

            Mr. Hanks stated you still need to have public notice if Ms. Zich wishes to attend as a Board member.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Mr. Fennell with all in favor 2007-14 Designating Edward Goscicki, Dan Daly and Sharon Zich as Assistant Secretaries was adopted.

 

            Mr. Goscicki stated the Board talked about the need to formalize Severn Trent Services relationship of how we are currently working, what we do and do not do.  We recognize the fact the current contract we are operating under is split into two separate contracts, which were assigned to Severn Trent Services several years ago and are not an accurate reflection of the services we are currently providing.  Mr. Daly and I met several times in the past several months to discuss how things are working.  I wanted to get his perspective in terms of what is working well, not working well and how we move forward.  We believe what we are doing now works well for the District and the services Severn Trent Services provides and the way we are working with Mr. Daly and his staff is a well functioning organization.  It draws on the best of the abilities the individuals and entities bring to the table.  Our challenge is how to describe what we are doing and sharing those responsibilities. 

            I tried to put together a scope of services by going back to the standard scope from Severn Trent Services, which we use for other districts where we provide a full range of services.  We cut out items we are currently not doing and created a section defining at a minimum, what we need the District to continue providing.  I will provide this to the Board for review and discussion at the next meeting.  The basic framework was for Severn Trent Services to remain serving as your District Manager.  Mr. Daly will remain in the role of managing the day to day operations of the District and oversee all employees of the District.  Severn Trent Services will also be in charge of the fiscal responsibilities as well as the capital improvement program.  We tried to include all of this in the scope.  How we report to the Board is your prerogative in terms of how you see this relationship.  Mr. Daly and I do not have a problem with this.  We are working well together and just need to formalize the relationship.  The proposed scope of services was provided to the Board and the District Attorney. 

            Mr. Hanks asked are you available by phone to discuss this further?

            Mr. Goscicki responded absolutely.  Call me anytime.

            Mr. Fennell stated I am looking for a general management scope.  I think Mr. Daly and his staff are doing a great job of operational control and I see their strength.  I think you have some deep talent in your organization, which we have not taken advantage of.  I want to see them come here once a year and do safety or utility inspections.

            Mr. Goscicki stated this falls out of our operational expertise but we are happy to include them as we have a strong emphasis on safety within our company.  I will try to get our Corporate Safety Officer out here this week.

            Mr. Fennell stated those are the types of services we want on a day to day basis.  It is good to have someone come in to look at the operation to find out what we are overlooking.

            Mr. Hanks stated do not be afraid to tell us something.

            Mr. Goscicki stated if we are going to do a safety audit, I guarantee you we will find something wrong.

            Mr. Hanks stated maybe they can do a safety report or operational review.  If you perceive a problem with the operations, let us know.

            Mr. Goscicki stated the safety report does not show what you are doing wrong.  It only tells you the status of your current program and how to improve it. 

            Mr. Hanks stated if there is a component or permit condition we are required to monitor every six months, we need to have it.   Maybe Severn Trent Services did not do it but we should have some document in our files.  This is probably more of staff’s responsibility but we need the oversight or to be accountable to someone.

            Mr. Daly stated I am sure staff will feel good when a report comes back saying they are in compliance with all of the regulatory agencies and governmental agencies.  We never had this oversight and it did not matter whether or not staff did a good job.  Staff does a nice job and it is well within their means to look for some problems.  If you do a safety report, pictures will be included.  I want to know the condition of the lift stations.

            Mr. Hanks stated this would be more of an engineering role than a Severn Trent Services role.

            Mr. Fennell stated we are looking for a safety report and doing what we have to in order to comply with national and local regulations.  We sometimes miss things.  You guys operate large facilities throughout the world and maybe someone can tell us how we are doing. 

            Mr. Goscicki stated I can do this.  We talked about process optimization, safety, asset management, regulatory compliance and monitoring.  You have the systems in place to do those kinds of things.  What you are asking for is what Severn Trent Services does every time we take over an operation.  You are asking for the expertise we bring.  If we were running this, we would do different levels of review and then come back and audit ourselves on an annual basis.

            Mr. Fennell stated I think this will work well and we will know exactly what we are getting.

            Mr. Goscicki stated we will try to put out some memo to quantify the general management policy and implementation.

            Mr. Hanks asked do we need to take action on the CH2M-Hill contract issue?

            Mr. Fennell responded our practice is to move forward with the contract now and create the framework.

            Mr. Hanks stated I want to be clear.  Article 2 says “Guaranteed compensation of 7% of the estimated construction cost”.  The way I am reading this, it is clear this is guaranteed.  There is additional compensation “defined as exceeding one information request in acquiring the required building permits from the City of Coral Springs and/or other permitting agencies”.

            Mr. Fennell stated we will deal with this next month. 

iv.     Discussion of Press Release

            Mr. Fennell stated I looked at the press release and it looks fine.  We need to hire someone who can write press releases for us when we need them.

C.                 Engineer

            Mr. Hanks stated we need to discuss the work authorizations.

            Mr. Goscicki stated the work authorizations for the Nano Filtration Plant and the next phase of the Wastewater Plant were lump sums for the design or 7% of the construction amount.  They were negotiated and approved by the Board six months ago.  The plan was to bring it all together as a package.  However, we did not want the Board to execute them until the bonds were sold.  At this time, we can now have the Board sign those work authorizations.

            Mr. Hanks stated the other component of the contract was the ownership of engineering documents.  In the past, it was made clear the product was owned by CSID but this agreement does not say this. 

            Mr. Lyles stated we have made clear and it has been understood by CH2M-Hill all engineering documents are a public record as it is paid for with public funds.  I am not sure if we specifically own the documents for purposes of selling to other entities; however, they are public, permanent and remain in our files.  Ownership is another issue and we will have an explanation for the Board at the next meeting.

            Mr. Hanks asked after this meeting, are future meetings at a different time?

            Mr. Goscicki responded yes.  Our next meeting and future meetings are at 3:00 P.M.

            The record will reflect the Mr. Fennell left the meeting.

A.                 Manager

ii.      Discussion of Cash Flow – Cash Transactions Analysis

            Ms. Zich stated it is nice to have a cashflow analysis.  Are we going to see the cashflow of the General Fund and Sewer Fund every month?

            Mr. Daly responded yes.

iii.     Ron Sachs Communication Termination Letter

            Mr. Goscicki stated this is an informational item to let you know we terminated the contract with Ron Sachs Communications.

            Ms. Zich stated we can hire someone to provide those services as needed.

            Mr. Hanks stated I have no recollection of the Board taking any such action.

            Mr. Goscicki responded the Board did not take any action.  The contract lapsed at the end of August without being renewed and we formally released them.

iv.     Discussion of Press Release

            Mr. Hanks stated I have a couple of suggested edits. 

            Ms. Zich asked who prepared this press release?

            Mr. Hanks responded Mr. Daly.

            Mr. Daly stated I provided this to you so it could be changed by the Board.

            Mr. Hanks stated in the third paragraph from the bottom of the page, the sentence “Bonds for the project will be underwritten through a proposed, staggered, rate increase of 15 percent rate in the first year, 14 percent in the second year, and 14 percent in the third year.”  I recommend cutting out all of the percentages and leaving it simple by saying “Bonds for the project will be underwritten through a staggered rate increase.”

            Mr. Daly stated by making this change, I may be able to get this to fit on one page.  Do you want to leave in the sentence “The rate increase is the first since 1993”?

            Mr. Hanks responded yes.  In the next paragraph, the words “of 15 percent” should be deleted. 

            Ms. Zich stated this sounds much better.

            Mr. Hanks stated I do not know if we need to go into what the increase was in the third year.

            Mr. Daly stated you are correct.

            Mr. Hanks asked are we under any obligation to have these details?

            Mr. Daly responded we are not under any obligation to put out a press release at all. 

            Mr. Lyles stated this is totally voluntarily in addition to the notice requirements, which you already fulfilled.  Every legal requirement has been fulfilled.  This is over and above what is needed.

            Mr. Hanks stated I just want a “feel good” letter and not put a lot of details out there.  People are not likely to read the meeting notices.  They might read this and I want to make sure we have a nice, clean and simple notice.  We should try to keep it down to one page.  How detailed do we want to get in the second part of this press release?

            Mr. Daly responded not very detailed.  We just said we issued bonds and are going to improve the condition of the Water Treatment Plant.  We never increased our rates but we are doing so now.  I think we should delete the paragraph regarding Mr. Skehan.

            Mr. Hanks stated I like the sentence ”Making these changes to the plant is the only way to handle more rigorous water drinking standards and water quality regulations.”  You can probably incorporate this in there by saying “This bond issue will help us meet increasingly rigorous federal and state standards for water.”

            Mr. Goscicki stated if Mr. Skehan is saying it, then I believe it.

            Mr. Hanks asked will you be putting this press release in the Sun Sentinel?

            Mr. Daly responded the Sun Sentinel and the Coral Springs Forum.

            Mr. Goscicki stated I suggest leaving out the last paragraph in regards to Phase 2.  It is confusing and suggests we are going to be spending more money.

            Mr. Hanks asked do you have an understanding of what we want, Mr. Daly?

            Mr. Daly responded I believe so.

            Mr. Hanks stated we do not need to vote on this item as we already discussed it.

            Mr. Daly stated correct.

v.      Pension Benefit Discussion

            Ms. Zich stated this item should be on the next agenda.

            Mr. Hanks asked does it have an impact whether we discuss it this month or next month?

            Mr. Goscicki responded I do not think we are planning on making anything retroactive for the last 20 years.

            Mr. Zilmer stated we revise the Pension Plan once a year and are just completing the plan for fiscal year 2008.  We are not going to do anything retroactively.  There is virtually no change to the plan we currently have.  We are just increasing it by 2%.

            Ms. Zich stated we just have to make a decision on the 2%.

            Mr. Hanks stated we are still under the 457 plan.

            Mr. Zilmer stated 457 is a voluntary plan.

            Ms. Zich stated this has nothing to do with what we are currently discussing.

            Mr. Zilmer stated exactly.  This is the plan the District makes the contribution for.  The current rate is 6%.  We were hoping last year to switch to the State Retirement Plan but it is an expensive plan and one you cannot get out of if there are bad investments.  The District has to make it up.  This year the rate could be 10% and two years from now it can increase to 15 to 16%.  We felt it was wise to increase the current plan.

            Mr. Hanks asked does this also include options for the employee?

            Mr. Zilmer responded we choose the electives and all of the funds.

            Mr. Hanks asked is this the plan Mr. Frederick and Mr. Hyche has available?

            Mr. Zilmer responded yes.  They also have the option to enroll in the 457 plan. 

            Mr. Hanks stated if they want to put away an additional 4%, they have the option to do so.

            Mr. Zilmer stated correct.

            Mr. Hanks asked is there an option within the 457 plan to make a match?

            Mr. Zilmer responded yes.

            Ms. Zich stated we can discuss this further next month.

                        vi.        Monthly Water & Sewer Charts

            Mr. Hanks stated in November of 2006, we had a serious drop in revenue to $150.

            Mr. Daly stated this is probably a bad number.

            Mr. Hanks asked what do these numbers represent?

            Mr. Goscicki responded the dollars per month in revenue.

            Mr. Daly stated when Mr. Petty was here, they used to have a rolling average.  This number could have been caused by an inaccurate reading.

            Mr. Hanks stated we are starting to see a divergence in our revenues because of the rate increase we adopted.  The color of the water looks fine.

            vii.       Utility Billing Work Orders

            Ms. Zich asked how can you misread 121 meters?

            Mr. Daly responded we had an employee who worked for us for three months and was recommended by another employee.  He did a great job in the first month, not so great in the second month and by the third month was finished reading meters before everyone else.  When I went back and looked at some of the readings, I realized there was no way this guy could read 17 meters in two minutes.  We put together a letter to the affected residents saying “You may have noticed a less than normal sized water bill this month.  It will be made up next month.  Be rest assured it will not go into the higher pricing bracket.”  For customers who are calling us because they did not receive the letter either because it got lost in the mail or they did not read it, we sent someone out to re-read the meter just to give them the piece of mind to make sure they never go into a higher pricing bracket due to this error.

            Mr. Hanks stated thanks for picking this up and handling it diplomatically.

            Mr. Daly stated you have to handle it diplomatically.  The customers have to have trust in the water bill they receive every month. 

            viii.      Complaints Received/Resolved

            Mr. Daly stated we did not have any complaints this month.

B.        Attorney

            There not being any, the next item followed.

C.                 Engineer

i.          Consideration of Updated General Engineering Services Contract

            This item was discussed above.

ii.         Discussion of Feasibility Study

            Mr. Lyles stated we need to have a brief overview/presentation regarding the final action taken by having the documents finalized on your bond issue.  We have a couple of additional actions for the Board to take.  I want to introduce Mr. Kevin Mulshine from Prager, Sealy & Company, who is your Underwriter.

            Mr. Mulshine stated the size of the bond issue was $43,255,000.  The bond will start maturing in 2015 through 2037, which “wraps around” the existing debt service.  You did not see the bond issue in your current fiscal year budget because it is capitalized through December 2009.  The average coupon on the bond is 4.7%.  We have an arbitrage yield, which takes into account the real costs such as the insurance.  When we added the cost of insurance, the arbitrage yield turned out to be 4.84%.  Therefore, we felt it was material to update the Feasibility Report.  The District said three months ago it needed cash for the contracts.  There was an initial plan to take the interim financing out of long term financing.  However, staff and management said, “We are going to reduce the cost and do permanent financing.”  I have not worked in utilities for a long time and I was nervous about everything getting into place, especially with the market we are going into.  However, I feel everyone did a wonderful job and I was actually surprised we put out a timetable to close in September and we actually closed in September.  It worked out wonderfully.  The good news is when we first went out to the investors; we went out with the Feasibility Report.  In this report we set forth the debt service.  This is the one change that came back. 

            Mr. Green stated in the first Feasibility Report, we had a $45 million bond issue.  We did a cashflow analysis of when we were going to spend these funds associated with the construction project and re-sized the bond issue to reflect the fact we were not going to spend the total amount upfront and earn interest on the balance of those funds.  Assuming the interest income will be available to pay for these construction projects, will allow us to get to this $43 million issue size.  This will reduce our projected debt service payments on the bond issue by $1 million in the first year and $150,000 for the remainder of the bonds.  In my opinion, this is a material change and a positive change.  We are asking the Board to accept our revised Engineer’s Report, which you approved last month but has since been revised.

            Mr. Hanks asked is this going forward?

            Mr. Lyles responded we need this action to be taken by the Board today because it is part of the financing process.

            Ms. Ganz stated it is important for you to approve the actual principle amount.

            Mr. Goscicki stated this was an intricate process.  Prager, Sealy & Company were certainly key players in driving this through along with Bond Counsel, General Counsel, staff at CH2M-Hill, Ms. Woodward and the rest of the team.  Mr. McKune and Mr. Hyche were key players in terms of what we spent to date and how to make this work.  It was very much a team effort.

            Ms. Zich asked did you just change three tables?

            Mr. Green responded yes.  There was a change in the debt service schedule for the new bond and the project debt coverage table.

            Ms. Ganz stated there were four tables; one showing what the debt service on the Series 2007 bonds and two tables reflecting the debt service from another table along with assumptions for the revenue, actual debt service, existing debt service and how much will be left over.  There is a rate increase of 3% required in order to meet your rate covenant going forward, with additional rate increases if you choose to make them to fund additional projects.  These tables are the same in substance to what you had before but changes the actual debt service for the 2007 bonds.

            Mr. Hanks stated to clarify; we have our rate structure showing what we are going to be able to put away for future improvements and extra bonds.

            Mr. Mulshine stated I would state this slightly differently.  When you went out to obtain your rates, I made certain assumptions on the interest rates because your greatest impact was the capital program.  The biggest variable impacting you on the capital program at the end of the day is the capital costs on those facilities in the form of debt service.

            Mr. Hanks stated this will allow us to be more flexible when it comes time to do the second bond issue.

            Mr. Mulshine stated we will re-evaluate it at that time.

            Mr. Lyles stated a motion accepting the final Engineer’s Report related to funding the water and wastewater projects dated September 2007 is in order at this time.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the final Engineer’s Report related to funding the water and wastewater projects dated September 2007 was approved.

 

SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                  Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments

            There not being any, the next item followed.

 

EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                     Approval of August Financials and Check Registers

            Ms. Zich stated I did not see anything out of the ordinary.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Hanks seconded by Ms. Zich with all in favor the financials and check registers for August 31, 2007 for the General Fund in the amount of $131,821.55 and for the Water and Sewer Fund in the amount of $926,478.30 were approved.

 

            Mr. Hanks stated I have been working with Mr. Daly on the invoices, especially on the hourly not to exceed ones.  The descriptions provided for the work completed only listed the position and number of hours but did not indicate what task was done and we had no way of verifying whether or not it was charged to the correct project.  I want to see a description of the work performed.

            Mr. Daly stated Mr. Rodriguez provided a spreadsheet today for the July statement but it only listed a name and what office they belonged to but never said what function and task this individual performed.  I want to see how many hours were spent on each task.

            Mr. Goscicki stated Ms. Early and I along with Mr. Daly discussed the need to set up the level of detail we want to be able to collect information against.  This way, CH2M-Hill can set up their accounting systems in this manner and be able to give us this information easily.  It is important we get this level of detail from CH2M-Hill on each work authorization.

            Mr. Hanks stated especially on things like this Feasibility Study where we reallocated $40,000 per month. 

            Mr. Daly stated according to the spreadsheet, to date we spent $750,000 on engineering fees.  We are looking at ways of minimizing costs in the District.  One way to do this is to look at the anticipated engineering costs.  However, I am not experienced in this and will defer to people with better expertise.  When you go into a contract saying not to exceed $450,000, I can guess it is going to end up costing $450,000.  There may not be money there for the District to spend based on scrutiny and oversight. 

            Mr. Hanks stated we need to decide whether we need to have this extra supervisor looking into this or if we have the right personnel.

            Mr. Daly stated I think the engineering firm has a right to run their company the way they see fit.  However, I am remiss in saying it is not needed.

            Mr. Hanks stated the client has a right to ask for the backup documentation.

            Mr. Daly stated I agree.

            Mr. Goscicki stated for clarification purposes, one of the reasons we put in a not to exceed number is to put the risk on the engineer for the scope we laid out on the maximum amount you are going to receive.  It is duel edged process; we want to know what we are spending and see the justification so we can manage it appropriately and secondly, we are telling the engineer to manage it within the budget and not to come to the Board and ask for any more money.

            Mr. Hanks stated when you have an undefined task; you do not know how long the investigation is going to go on, particularly with a drainage study.  If you throw a number out there, which you and the client are comfortable with but when you start getting into the project you realize this is not going to cover the scope we are dealing with, then you have to receive additional authorization.  Quite often, I will go into a job and charge an hourly not to exceed amount.  What I am looking at as a consultant is how many hours I can go up to without exceeding it.

            Mr. Goscicki stated you are absolutely correct.  We awarded the project to you and you have to keep the services during construction to the awarded amount.

            Mr. Hanks stated you are talking about a lump sum, not an hourly not to exceed amount.  We need to get a handle on where we are going with some of these items.  We had some big ticket items out there, especially for hurricane cleanup or unusual items. 

 

NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                       Adjournment

            Ms. Zich stated I want to remind everyone, future meetings are going to start at 3:00 p.m.

            There being no further business,

 

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

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      

Glen Hanks                                                               Robert Fennell

Secretary                                                                   President


Notes for 9/17/07 Meeting

 

AGENDA ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

1.            Scope of Services for STS Contract

2.      Pension Benefit Discussion

 

Dan Daly

 

1.Check to see if the District received a reduction in their insurance rate when chlorine gas was eliminated.

 

Edward Goscicki

 

1.      Have someone from STS provide a safety report to the Board.

 

 

NOTE: Future meetings will now start at 3:00 P.M.