MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District
was held on
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Robert Fennell President
Sharon Zich Vice President
Glenn Hanks Secretary
Also present were:
Dan Daly Interim Manager
Edward Goscicki Co-Manager
Dennis Lyles District Counsel
Sean Skehan CH2M Hill
Cory Johnson CH2M Hill
Jim Aversa CSID
Doug Hyche CSID
John McKune District Capital Improvement Coordinator
Randy Fredericks CSID Drainage Supervisor
Kay Woodward CSID Accountant
Jan Zilmer CSID Human Resources
Bill Benson Keefe, McCullough & Co., LLP
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 February 25, 2008 Meeting
Fennell stated each Board member received a copy of the minutes of the
On page three, under the third order of business, it should be 80% of the salary less social security.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Fiscal Year 2007 Audit
I. Presentation by Keefe, McCullough & Co., LLP
II. Acceptance of Audit for Fiscal Year 2007
Mr. Benson stated I am one of the partners at Keefe, McCullough & Co., LLP. I would like to briefly mention two of the items, which are noteworthy in this year’s audit report. On pages one and two of our report is our audit opinion. It is what they call a qualified report. This is how we satisfy ourselves about all of the inquiries we made throughout the audit and it reflects the operation by staff for the District so that in fact, we believe the financial statements attached accurately represent what the District’s status is. I would like to tell you about few of the items and give you an overview so you can look at this and decide how you feel about the statements.
I am going to point out page five. I do not know if you remember from last year, but this is kind of new; government-wide financial analysis. I am looking at the top right corner. There are two columns where it is 2006 versus 2007. Two items fluctuated the most. Restricted assets went from $2.6 Million to $44 Million and non current liabilities went from $11.6 Million to 52.6 Million. As you know this is the result of the bond closing, which is probably the most substantial transaction we have done in the last two years with the District. Most of those bonds sit unexpended as of year end.
In the bottom half of this page you can see we had an increase in net assets of $1,005,959 in the current year versus $611,178 in the year before. As I pointed out in the past; although we show an increase in net assets of $1,005,959, we have approximately $2.3 Million in depreciation in that number. We meet our obligations, which are our principal payment requirements, etcetera.
If you look on page 14, the operating revenues were $8.6 Million and our expenses were $9.2 Million. Our net operating income or loss was a $527,957 deficit. The expense line item above that, provisions for depreciation and amortization, is $2.8 Million. I believe you have to give some consideration to this when you are evaluating the financials. There is an aggressive principal payment requirement with all of our debts, yet we still meet all of our obligations. I think you are actually doing rather well.
The other item I wanted to mention is on pages 30 and 31 where we talk about internal control and compliance. We spent a great deal of our auditing time looking at compliance with the internal control system. If you look at page 31 where it talks about compliance and other matters, the last sentence states, “The results of our tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards.” Last year we mentioned four comments, which were significant in our opinion. We issued a management letter this year to let you know, although we did not have any new comments, we feel things have gone 100% better this year.
All of the management comments mentioned in the prior year we tested specifically for them. We feel they are much better and things are running smoothly now. I am not talking about just the little things such as the cooperation we received during the audit, but also the state of the union. It appears as if everything was being reconciled monthly. Everybody was on top of it. When we made inquiries they knew the answers right off because they had been on top of it each month during the year as opposed to waiting until the end of the year to fix it. We had a much better experience. I feel more comfortable. We were a bit concerned last year. Many improvements were noted over the past year. I feel good about it. These are the things I wanted to mention briefly. We will answer any questions you might have about the report. I know last year we talked about timing and we needed to bump it up by two months.
Ms. Zich stated I think last year you gave it to us in August or September. That is why I was horrified.
Mr. Benson stated we were working to have this at your February meeting, but if were working on some things with your staff. We were both working on trying to get it done, but sometimes it does not happen as quickly as you would like. I see now the reason why we will not continue to try to move it up closer.
Ms. Zich stated I have to really compliment Ms. Woodward because this is a real turnaround and faster. I know it was around August because I was horrified. September is our year end and what can we do in August. You do not have a chance to do anything, but this is a great turnaround. I love the letter where we are now in compliance with everything. We should have been last year.
Mr. Benson stated it is not our job as the auditor to compliment Ms. Woodward. She is a big part of what we experienced in terms of cooperation, being on top of the monthly reconciliation and giving us a much greater comfort level during the audit.
Mr. Fennell stated just a philosophical question because of an appreciation for things like this where there is governmental concern. Does this make any sense, a depreciation? I can see the rationale. I just do not see it happening much under government. It makes perfect sense to me as this organization, but how does it depreciate its assets?
Benson responded there was a pronouncement in the 2003 timeframe, and it was
made based on the size of your organization, but GASB 34 required all
governmental organizations to put their infrastructure on their books. There was a big uproar because people were
asking how they were going to put the
There is a divergence of opinions as to whether or not it produces more meaningful statements or not. This made your financials, with the depreciation, look more comparable to a for profit entity. In a historical governmental context when people bought physical assets they went through the activity statement. They were expensed as a purchase. It did not give as good an indication of where you were really at. If you invested $20 Million in a plant, you had the asset to go forward with. Now what we are doing is putting the plant on your books and we are depreciating it, let us say $1 Million a year over a 20 year period of time, and trying to match the expense with when you would theoretically be getting the revenues from the asset.
Mr. Fennell asked is this with the actual life of the infrastructure?
Mr. Benson responded I believe we do use engineering guidelines for the useful life of what is out there. Even when we first put them on your statement, which I think was in the 2004 timeframe, not only did we put it on at the estimated cost, but also how far it was into the life. We were 50% through the estimated useful life. We depreciated 50% of it in the first journal entry. We tried to mirror where you were in the timeline of that asset. I am sure it is not perfect, but I think the consensus of opinion in accounting was it was better than having it expensed in the day you bought it. We are attempting to mirror the true economic cost of the asset and then where we are with expending these for the life of the asset.
Mr. Fennell stated I think it is interesting. I do not know if it so much as for profit, but it is for ongoing business. It is going to be here forever. We could do a foiled depreciative reserve; something which depreciates the asset. Essentially, you use up everything you have. At the end you are done, and that is not true with what our intention is. Our intention is for this to go on forever which means we must, from time to time, redo the assets. We partially did that with the bond. I am trying to reconcile if this was true. If I was collecting the amount of money I should have from the appreciation and storing it somehow, then I probably should not have had to go out for a bond. In the world of districts people would take exception to that and say you did collect enough. You had the money, you constructed it and you used it. You were able to make all the payments on the bond over what I will call the first life of the plant. Had you made your depreciations, you are charging the current owners twice. When you get to the end of the first phase of the life and you have to get another $40 Million bond, you will not charge the people who were just charged.
What I am saying is you would not have included the bonds so the bonds are going to be repaid with the revenues coming in over the next 20 years. When we take the $40 Million sitting in restricted assets right now and let us say we built a brand new plant, I would argue the people being charged for it are the people who are going to pay the rates over the next 20 years and not the people who have been using the plant for the past 25 years. From a conservatism standpoint, I would think what you are suggesting is better. If we could get not only plant one, but the cost of plant two from the people using it from 1980 to now, it would have been great. I am not sure you are really matching up the revenues coming in and the true cost of the plant.
Mr. Benson stated instead of floating a bond many organizations have done impact fees. You come into this area and you are hit with a $3,000 fee to plug into the system because the system was built by somebody for a purpose. There are some people out there who are trying to match the ongoing cost. Out of all the districts we look at, we audit approximately 100 districts, this is a well capitalized and well run District. It does run similar to an ongoing business where some of them are more difficult to manage.
Mr. Hanks asked what information should we take away?
Mr. Benson responded one of the things I always do is try to say ok, we have an accrual basis statement we are showing with a depreciation and now we have to run a check book. When I look at your net change in assets, which is a $1,005,959 loss, you have to look at two things. You have to add back in your depreciation, which was $2.8 Million and you have to take off your debt service requirements. You are not spending them. You are paying liability, but they are not in that number. One is not a use of cash, the depreciation. One is a use of cash, but is not in the number. Does this make sense? What I am doing in my head as an accountant is saying we are $1 Million minus. I add back $2.8 Million, which is now $1.8 Million to the better. The principal is approximately $1.5 Million a year. I take those off and it will tell me where I am going to come in. I am saying you guys have done a very good job in terms of managing this over the years to have cash be sufficient not only for your current expenditures, but also for your upcoming principal payment requirement. I do not know if I am answering your question. I am trying to take the net surplus or deficit and adjust it in my mind for how it would be on a cash basis in my check book.
Mr. Hanks stated we are trying to build up reserves in case another hurricane comes through, which will happen one day. We just do not know when. We are trying to build up the reserves so we can act quickly to restore things rather than having to go off and issue another bond. Is it a concern that we are operating at a loss?
Mr. Fennell responded yes and no. We are actually the stockholders. We could have actually written everybody a check at one time. If we were really stockholders we would want to see the net asset increase. On the other hand he is saying it is not so bad because in order to get the extra $1 Million you would have had to charge another $1 Million in fees. We actually saved that money by not charging people, but we really took the money out of the assets.
Mr. Benson stated that is correct.
Mr. Fennell stated from an operating standpoint we always want to at least have some reserve we are retiring. If we are not at least paying our expenses with our income every month, we are in deep trouble. That is a real danger point if we ever get to that point. Secondly, we should be putting some kind of reserves in because assets do decrease. Frankly, for the period I have been on the Board we have been able to fund out of the reserves from the money we do get. We have some new plants out there. We could not just fix them anymore. We declared these assets were no longer useable. At that point we did not have enough money to do it and we had to borrow.
Mr. Benson stated when you get to an entire water treatment plant, it is something so large it would be a drain on your current cash flow. I actually think the bond refinancing looked good. I think the thought process you have about building reserves is great. You do need to think like this when you are looking at rates and rate increases. It is not just getting by to pay the bills. There are other things to think about, but overall it looks like you are at least on target with that analysis.
Mr. Fennell stated there is one page I want to point out, which is page 15. One of the things I would like to push forward is the cash flow analysis. Ms. Woodward, did you do this?
Ms. Woodward responded no. I did not.
Mr. Fennell stated this is one of the things we really need on a yearly basis for ourselves. Where does our operating cash come from? Where is it spent? This takes in all of the different areas such as the money we do set aside. If you go from the top you will see we have $8.6 Million in operating activities. Basically we have net cash provided by operating activities. We have $3,246,193 after we paid for employees, goods and services. Out of that we had to pay bonds, cash flow out, as well as other kinds of things. Part of the money we get it in depreciation expenses also goes to pay for additional other expenses.
Mr. Benson stated this year, with the bond refinancing, looks a bit out of sorts. We generated a tremendous amount of cash flow through the borrowing function, but this is an important schedule.
Mr. Fennell stated the cash flow is always important to us because it decides whether or not you will be able to pay people’s bills the next month. This is why I like to see cash flow because it is like the checkbook account at home. Obviously we have many restrictions on how we spend the money. What happens to the money from the depreciation expenses? What account does it flow into? Does it flow into renewal accounts? Does it flow into general accounts?
Mr. Benson responded we do not match it up because it is a non-cash expenditure. We do not fund it into a bank account. We take the entry, which in effect lowers. If we have the plant on the books for $20 Million at the beginning of the year and let us say we depreciate it for $1 Million, at the end of the year it is going to be on the books at $18 Million. We did not necessary fund it in cash. Some boards do this. Some boards say they would like to have sinking fund account and they transfer an amount each month.
Mr. Goscicki stated it goes back to your earlier comments. We do not set up a sinking fund, but we do set up a renewal/replacement fund. We are not matching the depreciation as the source of the renewal/replacement fund, but we do have a renewal/replacement fund set up as a percentage of the total debt. Part of it is a requirement of the bond program, which says you can set up a certain amount as a reserve. We actually exceed it to take care of the routine renewal and replacement. What we are trying to do, and the reason why you have such a good financial position, this Board has always been in the position of making sure you set aside enough money so the asset would absolutely last the 20 or 30 years of your bond. Also, that you did not wind up in a situation other governments end up in. You put out a debt and you are still paying debt. It is like a car payment where you are still paying your car payment, but your car is now a piece of garbage that does not work anymore. This Board has never been in that position.
Mr. Fennell asked does it go under our general fund or unrestricted funds?
Mr. Goscicki stated it is just an accounting entry. It is not cash at all. There is no cash involved in the depreciation because we did not set it up to be a sinking fund. It is an accounting activity you go through to show the values.
Ms. Woodward stated if you have a plant which cost you $40 Million and your saying it is going to last you for 20 years, you actually expensed it for $40 Million 12 years ago. All you are actually expensing each year is you are saying this plant should last us 20 years so we are going to expense it $2 Million per year to show the life expectancy and the years over which the plant will actually generate revenues for you. When you see the depreciation expense, it is an expense we are taking this year. The cash was actually expended in a prior year.
Ms. Zich stated last year I was amazed when we did the audit. It was so late when we got it and then there were so many problems with it. Those are problems, which should have never existed. I do not know how to say this nicely, but they should not have existed. Now they are all cleaned up. It looks great. I was not on the Board prior so I did not know to complain. This is great. I compliment Ms. Woodward and whoever helped her with it.
Mr. Goscicki stated we need a motion to accept the financial audit for fiscal year 2007.
Mr. Fennell stated I would like to put forward a commendation to Ms. Woodward for the effort she has put in over the last year in helping to clean up many of the different problems we have had and the special attention she has paid. I do not think this would have been as good without her.
Ms. Zich stated I second that.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisors’ Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion of Pension Plan Options
Mr. Daly stated Mr. Zilmer and I had a discussion with the pension plan organizers. They have yet to supply some information.
Mr. Fennell stated but we are still looking at switching to a 401K or some type of matching plan.
Mr. Daly stated we hope to bring this to the meeting next month. It will be the seventh month of the year and you will have six months worth of financials, which means we can tie down many of these numbers as we go into budget season. We have not even tied down this year’s pension number. It got approved at 8%, but I think it is still at 6% in the minds of the Board members. We also expect to bring to you a state of the District discussion item so we can make sure we are on target for next year with some of the budget numbers we have.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Permit Request from FPL to Replace Underground Cables at Ramblewood and Riverside Drive, Adjacaent to Canal L-103 and C-1
Mr. Fennell asked are they asking for it or are they already doing it? What is going on?
Mr. Skehan responded this is a typical permit application. We went through the process of reviewing and going through it. There is nothing unusual here. Ms. Early’s group is going through and doing their standard review of this.
Mr. Goscicki stated there is nothing unusual and the engineer is recommending approval.
Zich asked is this at the
Mr. Fennell responded I did not know that.
Ms. Zich stated well I live by the east one and he lives by the west one. So this is the east one.
Fennell stated this says
Skehan stated the set is east of
Fennell stated the one by
Mr. Skehan stated there is a lift station there and many properties.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Architectural Concept of Water Treatment Plant Improvements
Mr. Hanks asked where is this going to be built? Do you have a spot picked out for it?
Mr. Skehan responded out on the back 40. There is a general location.
Mr. Goscicki stated it will be very visible to anyone coming into the facility. When you look at these renderings the front of this building will face the entryway. We will position the full front of the building with the architectural features facing outwards so it is something the public will see rather than seeing the back end of an industrial building.
Mr. Skehan stated this is the east phase. There are two basic concepts. One is more residentially appealing with the pitched roof line. The other has the look without a pitched roof line and is more of an industrial look.
Ms. Zich asked what is the difference in cost?
Mr. Skehan responded it is an insignificant difference. Correct me if I am wrong Mr. Johnson, but I believe it is approximately $200,000.
Mr. Johnson stated it was approximately $100,000.
Mr. Skehan stated the one with the pitched roof is more expensive.
Ms. Zich stated the hip roof looks much better.
Mr. Johnson stated based on our experience with these types of buildings, the flat roof versus the pitched roof, the life cycle cost justifies the pitched roof rather than the flat roof. It is more maintenance friendly.
Ms. Zich stated I was thinking the same thing because I have lived down here for so long. The water sits on them and it is not good.
Skehan stated one of the things we are looking at for the roofs is perhaps a
metal roof that would have a long term life expectancy also. It will be much better than any flat
roof. Our architect has been here and
has talked with the planning people at
Mr. Hanks asked will there be offices associated with this?
Mr. Skehan responded there is limited office space here. There is an operator’s room. There is additional office space. There is some limited locker room space. It is mostly a plant with an electrical room.
Mr. Johnson stated maybe 20% of it is people space and the other 80% is processing and electrical space.
Mr. Goscicki stated we did go through the people space in detail. We went through what we really need to put in here. Originally in the conceptual design we had a laboratory. We removed the laboratory recognizing we have one in adjacent buildings, which are close enough to do the operation on these. What we did not have was locker room space. We did need locker room space and actually expanded it beyond the original concept. Beyond that there is a control room/office where the operators will work out of. It is nominal in the amount of new personnel space.
Mr. Hanks asked how is this built out for the plank capacity as we are anticipating right now under our current structure or is there extra space within the building envelope to accommodate additional extension of the membrane?
Mr. Skehan responded the envelope captures the expected capacity for build out, but we went back and forth in discussions. What we made provisions for is should another addition be needed or more capacity be needed at some time in the future the provisions we are allowing for is to be able to have piping connections, which will be easy as well as making it so you do not have to rip up certain things. There will not be anything destructed or put in the ground on the north side, which would be the direction and the expansion that would take place. Nothing will be put in the ground there. Some of those provisions are being provided for now.
Mr. Hanks stated right now it is sized for our current filtration capacity.
Mr. Johnson stated there is a maximum capacity of 7.4 MGDs.
Goscicki stated we did provide for some space within the building for auxiliary
equipment. We did look at this and there
was a good bit of back and forth in looking at the design and how to keep the
cost down without over sizing everything.
At the same time we recognize this is
Mr. Hanks asked what is our total plank capacity these days for water?
Mr. Johnson responded 7.2 MGDs.
Mr. Fennell asked was there any input from the city?
Mr. Goscicki responded that is the next level of discussion as we get into the water use permitting issue. I think it is more likely the city may want some of our reclaimed water. I think they will need reclaimed water credits in order to get consumptive use permits. It is the same thing we may need. The big issue will be whether we can take what is now a waste product and turn it into portable fuel.
Mr. Hanks stated that is one of the meetings Mr. Johnson and I had with SFWMD. There is another meeting coming up in early April as it relates to water consumption, conservation, etcetera. It would be with the City’s consulting engineer as well. We are starting a dialogue with them as far as what are we really going to be pursuing because of the issue with regards to the incremental increase for the filtration.
Mr. Skehan stated at the last meeting one of the things we had talked about is if within the District we are able to demonstrate the consumption of water levels from the Biscayne Aquifer is not going to be affecting water levels outside of the District such as the Everglades and canal levels so that recharge within the District is particularly important to be able to demonstrate. One of the things we also talked about is some regionalization. Some of the discussion last Friday was to try to go in this direction as well the purpose of being able to sit and meet with the City and NSID to see how cooperatively something can take place. This is building out some of the discussions that Mr. McKune and Mr. Hyche had in the past and trying to move this forward. Right now we are in the middle of the water use permitting process. NSID is in the middle of the process and the city is there also. This goes back to some of the evolving discussions we have had out there and we are looking to see if there is some cooperativeness that can be put on the table. Are there ways to be able to hold water levels in the canal system and how all of these things can be pulled together as a regional concept rather than an individualized concept.
Mr. Hanks stated there are some funds available from the SFWMD for some of these programs. There is an aggressive schedule on the timing for the application. I do not know what we will be able to consider for this year, but we know the program is out there. If not this year, we should be working towards application for fiscal year 2009.
Mr. Johnson stated there are two pools of funding and they both have been significantly decreased due to budget cuts at the state level. There are grants for conservation type projects.
Mr. Hanks stated there are different ways of demonstrating you are not discharging, you are not losing the water and you are in deed recharging the Biscayne Aquifer.
Mr. Fennell asked so what does it take for us to earn these grants?
Mr. Skehan responded it means identifying specific projects.
Fennell stated we want an overall project, which talks about how we conserve
water all over the
Mr. Johnson stated you probably have to earn your own bids for construction only. Not for studies and not for modeling.
Mr. Fennell asked how do you do anything constructive if you have not modeled them?
Mr. Hanks responded it has to be funded regardless of whether the grant is received. If we are going to be pursuing it file the grant for additional stations to increase storage and they do not grant it to us, we still have to go forward with it and pay the bill. We want to be careful as to what we are pursuing.
Mr. Skehan stated part of where we are going with the water use permitting is using the model where the modeling and the process for water use permitting is we are identifying what can or may not take place. If we can see additional storage will be beneficial, we can come up with a project to say we will increase the level in the canal and we will construct a barrier to help facilitate it, or maybe a pump station to take some water from NSID and put it into the canals here. I believe at the last meeting Ms. Early mentioned there were two billion gallons which went out. These are the kinds of concepts she will come up with in the process for the water use permitting and just by sitting down to meet with these people, discuss these projects as well as what options are out there.
Mr. Fennell asked do they have models, which show what will happen?
Mr. Skehan responded models for those types of things you have to do yourself.
Mr. Johnson stated it is much more involved. This is a three dimensional model where you have different parameters, different controls and the variability of a number of unknowns. You know the classic number of equations should equal the number of unknowns. In this situation you are lucky if half of the number of equations satisfy the number of unknowns. You have to start picking and choosing what you are taking and what you are not.
Mr. Fennell stated I would talk to their engineer before doing it.
Mr. Skehan stated there is an upcoming meeting scheduled in early April. Something will potentially come from the meeting as to what can be evaluated, what is of mutual interest to the different permittees out there trying to get their water use permits.
Mr. Hanks asked if we have to develop a new source from the Floridian Aquifer, what are the potential cost implications?
Mr. Skehan responded if we have to go to the Floridian Aquifer, it will probably be another $2 Million; $1 Million for the well and another $1 Million because the concentrate coming from the Floridian Aquifer would need some modification to the injection well system. The implications are approximately $2.5 Million.
Mr. Goscicki stated it is compared to if you have to go to reuse, you are into phase two of the bond issue program, which was put on hold. The reason we put it on hold is because if we are going to go that way, we will need to look to other people to help pay for it.
Skehan stated what we are hoping to be able to demonstrate now with the
modeling we are doing as part of the water use permit, one of the amendments we
did at the last Board meeting, is to evaluate the current planning model the
SFWMD has. We are trying to use it
instead of generating a brand new model.
If it is acceptable, we hope to be able to show that by use of this
model we will not be affecting the water levels in the
Mr. Fennell asked what do you want us to do here?
Mr. Goscicki responded we are looking to see which one you like better. It costs approximately $100,000 more if we go with the hip roof design. If we stay with a more institutional flat roof as we have in some of the other facilities, it will save you some money. We will build some good will with the city by going with the hip roof design. They made it clear it is satisfactory at the city level.
Ms. Zich asked have we had any problems with the roofs out there? Those are flat roofs.
Mr. Skehan responded not thus far, but this building is going to be much closer to the edge of the property.
Mr. Fennell stated this has to blend in with the other structures too.
Mr. Goscicki stated it will be close to the gate where you came in.
Mr. Skehan stated this also ties into one of the other plans we will want to discuss later in the meeting, which is landscaping. We discussed landscaping last week with the city. The east side will be offset for a decision and planning purposes until later. They know right now this new structure is coming along and there will be some landscaping features, which will be what they will be looking at in the future.
Mr. Fennell asked is there any reason why we would not have an office down there for people coming in to drop off their money?
Mr. Skehan responded part of the concept for the turnaround out there was a drop box.
Mr. Fennell stated at one time we had a big discussion about a gate and putting some place out there with a bathroom for a guard. We are actually going to have a building there now. Can we move the gate by the office?
Goscicki stated this needs to be secured inside our fenced facility. This is the water treatment plant. You are getting into all of the federal
Mr. Fennell stated we put fences around the current one. Is there going to be a fence around this one?
Mr. Skehan responded the fence already exists down the property line.
Mr. Fennell stated we usually had two layers. We had the outer layer and we did not want anyone getting into that facility so we built a stronger fence there. At one time we thought we needed it for security of the facility.
Mr. Johnson stated you are now dealing with something enclosed entirely within a building.
Mr. Skehan stated the hip roof is going to have better potential. You can insulate it whatever way you want to. The hip roofs have many different features you can add to it. The resilience to the weather in a metal roof helps; the reflectiveness, the insulation, and the ventilation provided in the pitch area. There is some greenness to this.
Mr. Hanks asked will the plant area be air conditioned?
Mr. Skehan responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked what hurricane level can this take?
Skehan responded 140 mph winds, which is category four. That is the
Ms. Zich asked do you have any buildings here with a hip roof?
Mr. Skehan responded no.
Ms. Zich stated as I look out, every one of them has a flat roof. We already have all flat roofs. This would be the only hip roof.
Mr. Fennell asked is there any kind of bunker?
Mr. Skehan responded the central operation is geared towards being able to maintain operations in a category five or category four hurricane. The central part of the structure will meet these standards. When Hurricane Andrew blew through, the FKAA was right in the eye of the storm. It took the full shot. I was down there the day after the storm and was pleasantly surprised because the plant was operating. There was manual operation. They had 80% of the plant, which was still functioning and it was a category five storm.
Fennell asked what would happen to the residential stock here in
Mr. Goscicki responded you would not have many customers to serve.
Mr. Fennell stated it sounds like they built it right. Are we building it right?
Mr. Skehan responded yes.
Mr. Johnson stated we internally discussed what it would take to go from category four to category five. In this situation you build a concrete bunker and it goes up; not $100,000 to $200,000, but closer to $500,000 or more.
Mr. Fennell stated I am thinking of the personnel who might be hunkered down here. You can build bunkers in your home for $4,000 or $5,000. The bunker for the controls does not have to be a large room.
Mr. Goscicki stated if there is a category four hurricane coming this way and the facility is not ready, we would not have somebody there. Our recommendation would be to send the staff home, let them hunker down where it is safe, when the storm passes you bring them back and you get the facility back up and running. That was one of the lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew. The standard practice of the utilities was to have a core crew and put them in the buildings. They are not doing anything anyway. They are certainly not going to go out and operate anything during the storm. It is safer and better to send them home during the storm and then bring them back after the storm is over. You look at the category of the storm what the facility is designed for, but with a storm of this category you get your people out of harms way first.
Mr. Fennell stated at this stage you can put in a concrete room in the building. A concrete wall is not expensive. You can make an area like the control room a bunker.
Mr. Skehan stated the control room is a good thing to place close attention to, but if you have certain portions of your process outside such as tanks and piping, those things are not going to be affected by a concrete wall. All of those things are being planned to withstand 140 mph winds. That is the code we are required to build to.
Mr. Hanks stated my suggestion is we authorize them to proceed with this look knowing this is probably what we will end up with.
Mr. Fennell stated I like option one.
Ms. Zich stated I always think a hip roof is better than a flat roof.
Mr. Skehan stated we have already presented the basic concepts to the city. They are aware there could be another concept out there. Their general idea is to have something with a hip roof, which is more appealing.
Mr. Fennell asked did they say they do not want a metal roof?
Mr. Skehan responded it is something we need to take forward and discuss in more detail with them. If there is some reluctance to do it, I do not think we are going to be recommending any other type of roof such as a tile roof.
Hanks stated if they are reluctant on it take them down
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
Goscicki stated I want to formally introduce Mr. Cassel to you. Mr. Cassel is a new member of the Severn
Trent Services staff. He will officially
be starting with us on
Mr. Fennell asked where will he reside?
Goscicki responded he will be working out of our office in
Mr. Fennell stated thank you for bringing this to our attention. Mr. Cassel, we are going to give you a try. I would really like for you to give each one of us a resume. We cannot all meet with you together, but each one of us can meet and talk with you individually. I would like to have you sit down with Mr. Daly. I am looking forward to see what kind of relationships you are going to build with our current staff. I want to avoid any kind of personality disorders going forward. We want you to get to know our staff first. We will try it out for a few months and see how it goes. We have a large body of people here who have great experience. This current Board looks for contribution for everything. We are looking for people to contribute. I guess we need to see whether or not you can fit into this philosophy.
Goscicki stated we are thinking very much the same way. Mr. Cassel will be starting here on
Fennell stated mostly our operations on a day to day basis are well handled by
the people here. They are here most of
the time and are the first responders to problems. We are looking for someone to handle issues,
which are not day to day issues. How do
we deal with
Mr. Cassel stated it will be a great opportunity to work with all of you and get to know you. One of my philosophies is to get to know the personnel, understand how they work and how the operation goes. I have always gone into an operation looking at who I have to work with, what their expertise is and how to maximize it.
Mr. Fennell stated it sounds great. We need to all come to an agreement going forward, but we are looking for a long lasting relationship.
Mr. Goscicki stated the other major item we want to talk about is the landscape.
I. Monthly Water and Sewer Charts
II. Utility Billing Work Orders
The above items were distributed to the Board for informational purposes and are attached hereto as part of the public record.
Mr. Lyles stated there was discussion regarding the
potential conversion to a Chapter 190 District.
We were going to do a background investigation and give something to the
Board as we get closer to the fall when it starts to become an issue. We are looking into it. There is some legislation pending again this
year. Depending on what gets filed and
what happens in
Every kind of district has a scope which is so broad, it requires them to go through the government agency that created them and submit a justification/deposition paper outlining their role to basically justify their existence. The Florida Association of Special Districts is objecting to it and taking action on it. It is probably not going to become anything. We have not thought it necessary to request you as an individual Board adopt a position or lobbying presence because so many districts, and such a broad spectrum of districts, are doing this. We should be fine with this. We are doing an analysis for you.
Mr. Hanks asked what is Chapter 192?
Lyles responded Chapter 190 is the authorization on a statewide level for the
creation of CDDs. There are over 500
CDDs in the State of
Mr. Fennell stated there is also conversion to election.
Mr. Lyles stated it converts the board to a five member elected board. There is a variety of things.
Mr. Hanks asked are there any changes to the ability of the District to enforce the stormwater renewals or anything along those lines?
Mr. Lyles responded I met with Ms. Early about this and we will have more for you at the next meeting. We are operating under a voluntary self-imposed program, which has its origins in the county’s discussions over what it wants to do with stormwater management systems. It was something recommended back when Mr. Moore was here. We adopted unilaterally that we were trying to enforce or convince people we have to comply, now that we are five years into it. Whether or not you want to go forward with it or modify it in someway is something you will have to hear from Ms. Early about. Chapter 190 will not give you additional authority in this regard. You will be exactly in the same boat you are in today.
Mr. Hanks stated it is something we will have to work out with either the city or the county.
A. Manager’s Report (Continued)
Mr. Goscicki stated I did have one other issue I forgot to bring up. We had a bid out this month for rehabilitation of potable wells six and seven.
Mr. Fennell asked where are those located?
Mr. Hyche responded six is in the Ramblewood area and seven is right by the park as you go down Coral Springs Drive on the left hand side.
Mr. Goscicki stated we know the Board does not like anything brought to you like this, but this is part of an ongoing maintenance renewal program. We did not think it was appropriate to hold this up for another month. The bids came in and we wanted to bring it to you to see if you would consider it today.
Mr. Hanks asked have we had any dealings with these companies?
Mr. Hyche responded with Layne, Inc. yes.
Mr. Goscicki stated as the Board can see this was properly advertised. The District’s estimate was $67,000. The bids came in significantly lower. The low bidder was $37,400 and the high bidder came in at $59,000. We have a good price from a vendor staff is recommending.
Mr. Fennell asked what are they going to do with the wells?
Mr. Hyche responded redevelop them. It is also has high pressure with screening in it. It cleans up vines. It clears out the gravel. It is an excellent process.
Mr. Hanks asked what are the risks to the well by pursuing it in this matter?
Mr. Hyche responded the impact of doing any well rehabilitation has a risk. We have done this twice for NSID, both with high pressure plastic. The yields came back very good.
Mr. Hanks asked is something we can put in the budget so every year we have a couple of wells rehabilitated?
Mr. Hyche responded it is a maintenance issue. We will watch the wells. We will do a draw down and a full analysis on the wells. As the flow drops off we will know there is a problem with the compaction of the screen so we have to go in and clean these out.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like you to submit an estimate on how much we should be allocating each year so we can incorporate it into next year’s budget.
I. Project Status Report
Mr. Hanks stated I suppose this is a decent time to ask a question about the landscaping. I see we had a site plan amendment for landscaping upgrades. Was this the one we authorized a month ago?
Mr. Goscicki responded the reason the engineer has this in front of you today is to discuss how to move forward with the implementation of this landscaping. They met with the city and Mr. Skehan is going to give you an update on it.
Mr. Skehan stated last week Mr. Daly and I met with six people from the city.
Mr. Daly stated they gave us a subtle warning. They did it as nicely as possible. They said they were very embarrassed by the phone calls they have been receiving from our neighbors. They thought we were done because they approved this over a year ago.
Mr. Skehan stated they emphasized the need for us to move forward as soon as possible. The plan approved last year is for the east side, south side, west side and very limited along the north side. Part of our goal was to sit down with them and convince them we did not need all these trees and voice the concerns of the Board that planting all of these trees may be problematic in the event of a hurricane. We do not need to be doing it in certain locations; one of them being the west side because there is a well matured hedge line along the west side already. Our landscape architect, Mr. Barber, was at the meeting. Ultimately we got down to the basics. They are interested with us doing the south side and a tiny area where there is a gap.
The Board was presented with a slide presentation in reference to this topic.
This is a slide of the generic look. This is the southeast corner. This is the east phase. This is the eastern portion of the southern property line. The canal is here and all of the apartments are down along through here. All of the circles represent the oak trees they want. They are adamant about having them. Oak trees are the most resistant to hurricane damage and they do not want anything else.
Mr. Fennell asked can they guarantee they will not blow over?
Mr. Skehan responded there is no guarantee on their part.
Mr. Fennell asked why are they recommending something, which will blow over?
Mr. Skehan responded palm trees can blow over also.
Mr. Fennell stated that is not good either.
Mr. Skehan stated they need a barrier. The round circles are also filled in with eureka palms. There is a hedge of eureka palms. There is a berm in certain places.
Fennell stated those are not too bad because at least when they come down they
do not take down a car or roof. A recent
Mr. Skehan responded they have specific requirements. They are supposed to be canopy like trees and intermediate shade trees. We tried to dance around this as much as possible and limit the number of trees. This is because of the complaints some of the city fathers are hearing and the way the canal bank looks right now.
Ms. Zich stated all of the trees they originally made me put in my yard are down; all from the storms. I replanted some trees. They are all down.
Mr. Daly stated we brought this to the gentlemen there. Categorically you could see one by one they closed their minds. This is the standard. There are no ands, ifs or buts.
Mr. Hanks asked was their previously an approved site plan?
Mr. Skehan responded this is a site plan submitted to be able to meet the current city codes.
Mr. Hanks stated if this site was developed before there were landscaping codes specific to this type of jurisdiction and then they created it after the fact, we would need a nonconforming use. If we were to implement a certain level of changes, at that point we would have to comply with those changes. The question is to what extent.
Mr. Daly stated they hinted this would hold up any permits we wanted to pull.
Mr. Hanks stated as far as I am aware the city, and their building department, does not have any expertise in utility plants.
Mr. Skehan stated it is a formality and from what I understand they require the engineer to sign and seal on some things. The engineer has to sign and seal on roofing and structures. I think it is checking off the box for them.
Mr. Hanks stated so the city wants all of these oaks. Are they live oaks or laurel oaks.
Skehan responded they are live oaks.
Mr. Fennell stated I expect the city to be responsible for replacing all of these trees when they blow over. Will they agree to this?
Mr. Skehan responded we did not ask them that particular question, but we can go back and ask them.
Mr. Goscicki stated not only would I not expect them to agree to this, I expect them to remind the District if the trees fall down and they are not replaced, you will be subject to a $250 per day fine for every tree you do not replace.
Mr. Skehan stated this is the southeast corner. The next one is coming down continuing from the east side. This is still the southern border. Take this just up around the turn here and make sure we capture any visible gaps. We are not doing anything on the west side. At this point we are not doing anything on the east side. We do not think we are going to have to do anything on the north side. If you are going to put in landscaping, you will have to put in some irrigation that will go with this. The cost for the landscaping was approximately $75,000.
Mr. Fennell asked can we use any of our own waste water to irrigate?
Mr. Skehan responded the cost is not in the water itself. You could do that, but we do not have any reuse quality effluent at this point.
Mr. Fennell asked what about the canal?
Mr. Skehan responded with the canal system you start getting into different permits required to be able to pull water out of the canals. Then you will have maintenance issues to deal with. The amount of water projected to be used is approximately three months of use so everything will get established. The live oak is resilient to drought conditions, eureka palms are resilient to drought conditions and the bahia grass which will be on the back side of the berm is the same thing.
Mr. Fennell asked are we going to water this from here on out? This goes against the SFWMD’s philosophy of conserving water.
Goscicki stated we will be irrigating during the initial phase to get the
plants established. The only time you
will irrigate is on an as need basis. This
is why it is bahia grass and not
Mr. Skehan stated this is more of a zero state approach to minimizing the amount of irrigation and the amount of upkeep. The eureka palms are resilient in this aspect and so are live oaks. We did not talk about sable palms and putting them as part of the border along the south side. They were not interested in any queen palms or sable palms. We talked about royal palms, but they are more expensive so we steered away from them. The live oaks were the preferred tree. We talked about cypress trees.
Mr. Goscicki stated I think the basic issue is we need the Board to look at how we want to proceed. This requirement is part of the building permit for the ongoing construction and not the new construction. We never had this bid out as part of these construction projects.
Mr. Skehan stated that is correct.
Mr. Goscicki stated we were holding off trying to negotiate with the city on what we had to do with this package. The city is now saying we have to get it done. The engineer is having to negotiate moving forward with just the baseline rather than do the whole thing. We do not want to do all of the landscaping now while we have all this other construction going on. The issue we need the Board to give us direction on is how we want to move forward with this construction. The two options are to put together separate bid packages and put it out to bid or do a change order with the existing contractor who has already offered us a price on this.
Mr. Fennell asked what was his price?
Mr. Skehan responded it was somewhere around $160,000. This cost we have here now is a cost estimate we put together with our landscape architect as a result of the discussions we had last week.
Mr. Hanks stated I think we have to go out for bids on this, but in the bid specifications provide an alternate for separate pricing. There are other plants out there. Right now the city is saying no to other species.
Ms. Zich asked what are their approved trees they want you to plant? It cannot be just Live Oak.
Mr. Skehan responded this is the tree of preference for them.
Mr. Daly stated they gave us no other options.
Mr. Skehan stated there is probably Cypress Trees. There could be Black Olive Trees. There are a number of Palm Trees.
Mr. Hanks stated if you can, work in some specifications with different line items for different plant materials. There can be shortages from time to time with a particular plant. We do not want to get caught in a situation where we cannot get the Oaks that are 16 feet high, but we can get Red Maples at 16 feet high. We want to be able to have the flexibility where we can work with the city’s inspector to get those plants in and still have it within the contract to have the flexibility.
Mr. Skehan stated we can pursue the Board’s goals for this. I think what we heard last week was a very strong and adamant position on where they want this to go.
Mr. Hanks stated I can understand because we have not moved on this in a year. At this point they want us to move on it and they probably do not want to give us any opportunity to negotiate, discuss or delay things any further. Let us get these other prices in there as well so we do have the flexibility as we start installing.
Ms. Zich stated my head is spinning because I cannot believe there is only one tree.
Mr. Hanks stated it costs $60,000 for an irrigation system to use for three months. Is there any other way to irrigate them, which will be less expensive?
Mr. Fennell responded you turn it off for another six months, eight months or ten months, turn it on again and it does not work. That is what is going to happen.
Mr. Hanks stated we are going to spend $60,000 on it and then another $10,000 to fix it. Are we required by city code to have a permanent irrigation system or can we go ahead and make it part of bid package for watering to be provided for three months? They can come by with a watering truck.
Mr. Skehan responded I think a watering truck was initially part of the cost estimate we had here to get it established in the first couple of weeks and then rely upon the irrigation system.
Mr. Fennell asked how much does a watering truck cost?
Mr. Skehan responded I do not know.
Mr. Fennell stated we are talking $60,000 in a two month period. It is $2,000 a day. If we bought a truck for $40,000 and filled it up ourselves, we could water it ourselves.
Mr. Goscicki stated you will not get a watering truck for $40,000.
Ms. Zich stated let us see if we can find someone to come and water them for two months.
Mr. Fennell stated moving on with the project status report. Anything to be brought up?
Mr. Hanks responded yes. Why the delay? The original completion was to be in February. The revised completion is estimated for July based on delivery of blowers.
Mr. Skehan responded there are a number of things tied into this. Originally there was a delay and it was tied to the permitting of the stormwater and the components of it. The blowers are part of it right now. We are close to resolution with the blowers, but it has been a thorn in all of our sides.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of February Financials and Check Registers
A. Cash Flow Summary Report
Mr. Fennell asked what happened to our investments?
Mr. Goscicki responded we put it in a program, which has been put in place. Those accounts have been set up. I do not have the details on it right now.
Mr. Fennell stated just come back and tell us how our money was invested. Meanwhile there is money we still have tied up in the B Fund. Do you have any insight into that?
Mr. Goscicki stated there is more of it we can take out.
Ms. Woodward stated that is being transferred. The funds will be available today. On water and sewer we have $51,000 and $8,500 out of the general fund. It is all being transferred into our operating account
Mr. Fennell stated we still have $400,000 sitting there.
Ms. Woodward stated $350,000, but at least we are getting more back.
Mr. Goscicki stated NSID had $14 Million of the water and sewer fund tied up in there. The good news is most of the money is to repay WCI Communities for construction.
Mr. Fennell stated I really like this sheet giving us the perspective of what we think will take place. It will be good to do an A and B versus comparison. Are there any other questions?
Ms. Zich responded no, but I wanted to say something about the water. Have you looked at the revenues? The revenues are scary. I know we are trying to encourage people to conserve water, but while we are conserving water our revenues are $500,000. We are down $500,000. People are really conserving. Another thing you might note is the delinquency fees. That is were we are above. We are collecting so many delinquency fees and $500,000 in the revenue. By the end of the year at the rate we are going, there is going to be a little over $1 Million.
Mr. Daly stated earlier I said Ms. Woodward, Mr. Zilmer, Mr. Hyche and I are going to put together a statement of the District. This will be in there along with some things we can do to offset it.
Mr. Goscicki stated we are also coming out of the winter months, which is typically a lower period of irrigation. As we get into April and May, those are the higher irrigation months. We may hopefully see an uptake. It is a serious issue. We are significantly under budget compared to our projections. You are still positive in revenue because we did the budget for $495,000 in interest income.
Mr. Fennell asked is that from the money we borrowed? Well that has to be real income because that had to go back and roll in to pay our capital.
Mr. Goscicki responded it is real income for this year, but you are absolutely right. We planned for this income. In terms of this year and balancing the books it is real revenue.
Mr. Skehan stated that money is ultimately expected to go into the capital improvement project.
Mr. Fennell asked if we spent it, where is it? Is it gone?
Mr. Goscicki responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated we have an issue here.
Mr. Goscicki stated you can see here you are doing well in planned operations of $326,000 and total operations of $114,000. There is a positive side also. Staff has been doing a good job of watching the expenditures and keeping them down. Even though revenues are coming in under budget, your expenditures are coming in under budget as well.
Mr. Hanks stated you mentioned the delinquent fees. If you look at the credit card fees, they are high. We are much higher than we should be.
Mr. Fennell stated we increased our income because we raised our rates.
Ms. Woodward stated we managed to get the $530,000 out of the construction fund. The transfer of that cash out of your other bank occurred and the money was deposited in an operating account.
Mr. Goscicki stated we did well on the interest revenue we made.
Mr. Hanks stated we have to invest our funds in the safest manner possible and not with the highest interest possible.
Ms. Zich stated safest with the most interest.
Mr. Hanks stated that would be the best of both worlds, but number one is the safest and the interest is next. Do we have or can Severn Trent Services provide that type of leadership or guidance?
Mr. Goscicki responded this is why we proposed going through the Sun Trust investment program. We try to optimize what we can invest in. As Mr. Daly pointed out we are limited in what we can invest in.
Fennell stated we could have invested in T bills. We could have been doing it all along. We could just buy T bills. We do not have to ask anyone’s
permission. Unfortunately they are low
right now, but we could have been doing it all along. Somehow
THIRTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
Mr. Fennell stated for a variety of different reasons we
were thinking about moving next month’s meeting to
Zich stated either
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert D. Fennell