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, March 18, 2002 at 4:15 p.m. in the District Office, 10300 N. W. 11 Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Robert D. Fennell President
Clinton Churchill Secretary
Also present were:
Gary L. Moyer Superintendent
Rhonda K. Archer Finance Director
Dennis Lyles District Attorney
Donna Holiday Recording Secretary
John McKune Gee & Jenson
Roger Moore Engineer
Roda Fodderingham City of Coral Springs
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Moyer called the meeting to order at 4:15 p.m. and called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the January 28, 2002 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated that each Board member had received a copy of the minutes of the January 28, 2002 meeting and requested any additions, corrections, or deletions.
There not being any,
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Award of Contract for Monitoring Well Head Repair
Mr. Moore stated in the last six months we have had inspections by F.D.E.P. and they found some minor leakage around Monitoring Well No. 2 of the deep well. We did some in-house repairs which was sufficient to hold it for awhile but we need repairs for the long term. We have verbal approval from F.D.E.P. to do this. I had two experts look at this along with our consultants and we need to sandblast and repair the connecting pipes and valves and pressure gauges on the side of the well head. The bid specifications call for the contractor to take the well head apart and TV the first four or five feet. If there is significant damage inside the well head we will have to take the well head off and repair it. We had a prebid conference that three well drillers attended and we received two bids. Item one is sandblasting, rewelding some of the connections, replacing the valves and piping with stainless steel so it should last another 20 years and that amount is $18,620.00. However, if we find that it is rusting from the inside we will have to cut the well head off and replace it. If that has to be done it will be $25,475.00 for a total of $44,095. I have verbal approval from F.D.E.P. and if that has to be done I will need written approval. I recommend the contract be awarded to the low bidder which is Diversified Drilling Corporation in an amount not to exceed $44,095. I hope we can get it done with item one which is $18,620.
Mr. Fennell asked when will you know if you need to do both?
Mr. Moore responded I will not know until they complete Item one.
Mr. Moyer stated in the total bid if you made the decision today to replace the well head, are you looking at $25,475 only?
Mr. Moore responded no. We think it is rusting from the outside. We have done minor repairs.
Mr. McKune stated the amount of leakage is minor and enough to cause water to evaporate and leave a rust colored streak down the side.
Mr. Moore stated it seems to be the opinion of the two well drilling experts that option one is the only one needed.
Mr. Fennell asked is it coming from a crack in the weld seam?
Mr. Moore responded yes in a couple of different places.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Work Authorization No. 20 for Contract Administration and Construction Observation for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase I Improvements
Mr. McKune stated we recently awarded a construction contract to Intrastate Construction Corporation in the amount of approximately $4.5 million for major renovations to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Work Authorization No. 20 represents our services during construction which is on a par with those you have received in the past and is based on some amount of work each month with the assistance of Mr. Moore. It comes out to approximately 3.8% of the construction cost which is about what it ends up being for projects of this complexity. The scope of services for us will be to provide the contract administration and construction observation services during the construction period; provide review of all shop drawings and prepare the record drawings based upon the survey information provided by the contractor and do those additional services during the course of the work that we all agree upon.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand Gee & Jenson has been acquired by another company.
Mr. McKune responded that is correct. Gee & Jenson has been acquired by CH2M Hill, Inc. a huge engineering firm having about 10,000 persons. We are going to be a division of CH2M Hill. It was a stock transfer. We are not losing the Gee & Jenson name. The personnel is still located mainly in West Palm Beach as before. This means for you as the client that we as your consultant will have more people to draw from as a resource. They have about an 80 man office in Deerfield Beach that does primarily water and sewer work. They have already been of assistance to us in dealing with some fairly complex items. It does not change our contract rates or anything like that.
Mr. Fennell stated of concern to us is that personnel can be shifted around very quickly. One of my concerns before this and still is, that we have good documentation of what C.S.I.D. has. I bring this up every once in a while that there has to be a copy here as well as in your records of all prints and all information. Is that still true?
Mr. McKune responded yes and we are improving the documentation. There were periods of time, a long time ago, when some of the recordation was not thoroughly done and some records have been destroyed either by age or lost and we are in the process now of replenishing those records for all of the system components.
Mr. Fennell stated next month I would like to see where the depository is for all of these engineering records here to make sure they are here. Secondly, I would like to have someone from your new parent company come and tell us why we should deal with them. I know why we deal with you but I want them to tell us why we should be dealing with them and what they have to offer us and what that is going to entail. This is a huge change.
Mr. McKune stated it potentially could be down the road but based on my understanding the persons you will deal with, will not change.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand what you are saying and you also said there is an 80 man office near here. My understanding of how these things are done is there is often consolidation and cost cutting. There may be changes that do effect C.S.I.D.
Mr. McKune stated as part of the negotiations, they understood this particular office of Gee & Jenson was here at the request of the Districts and developers in the area and it shall remain there.
Mr. Fennell stated Gee & Jenson has been of great service to C.S.I.D. and there is a name there but that is not who the owners are anymore.
Mr. Churchill asked isn't the discussion academic? We have a contract and if the parent company changes, the contract stays valid. We won't need to know what Mr. Fennell is talking about until it comes to renewal time.
Mr. Fennell stated that is what we are doing here. We are talking about a new contact.
Mr. Churchill stated no, we are talking about an addition.
Mr. McKune stated it is an addition to an existing contract. I think it is a good suggestion to have someone from the new company at the next meeting.
Mr. Fennell stated I want to know what they can do for us and why this is better for C.S.I.D. What are they going to do above and beyond what Gee & Jenson was already doing?
Mr. Churchill asked if we don't like their answer, what are we going to do, switch companies?
Mr. Fennell responded we might.
Mr. Churchill stated then we lose Gee & Jenson anyway.
Mr. Fennell stated we can develop in-house engineering and that is an issue we may face in the future. They are going to have to talk to us about that.
Mr. Fennell asked is the fee for this work authorization fair?
Mr. Moyer responded it is in line with what we expect to pay for contract administration and certifications for a water and sewer plant project. It is different for subdivisions because we have a different level of on-site inspection that is paid for by the District but in this case Mr. Moore will be a part of all of this but this is in line with what we have paid in the past.
Mr. Churchill asked do we anticipate going beyond the 12 month period?
Mr. McKune responded not if we don't add to the scope of the work.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Revisions to the Permit Criteria Manual
Mr. Moyer stated the engineers recommend that we change special condition "A" of the permit application that is part of our permit criteria manual that deals with giving the District unilateral authority to use whatever area we are permitting under the permit, for our use and if there is any removal or reconstruction, it places the permittee on notice that that will be done at his expense and not the District's expense. Generally, this has not been an issue but is something we want to include in our permits to protect our interests.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
There not being any, the next item followed.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
2. Update on Construction
Mr. Moore stated the construction is going well with the exception of a problem we had a couple of weeks ago. In the process of installing new pipes, a backhoe ran over a piece of existing pipe. They did not break the pipe but loosened some earth that was on top of the pipe. This is the pipe that runs from the headworks to Plant C and D. We replaced a piece of this pipe about six months ago and ran into the same problem. As a result we had a sewage spill. We did all the reporting and clean up. We will investigate different lengths of pipe as we go forward in this project and we will bring back to the Board areas that we need to replace. Hopefully, we won't find it the same way we found this and we can prepare and plan for it in advance of any problems.
Mr. Fennell asked what was the response of our neighbors?
Mr. Moore responded to the best of my knowledge we had no complaints. We had three F.D.E.P. representatives here who walked through the site with me on Friday afternoon and gave us an all clear. They actually wrote to the contractor a letter of commendation about how he helped take care of this situation. They are used to contractors working in the right of way and breaking force mains and causing problems. When they found out this was purely an accident, they wrote the letter.
Mr. Churchill asked is this sewage under pressure?
Mr. Moore responded this particular line is under what is called "gravity pressure", just the weight of the water from the headworks going to a lower elevation at Plants C and D. There are other lines in the right of way that are under pressure that runs off of our lift stations.
Mr. Churchill stated we are using a lot of vinyl liners in other areas. Where we have old pipe can we use a vinyl liner?
Mr. Moore responded we have discussed that. We are going to do investigative testing of some of the pipe that is similar to this which was installed around the same time. We are going to dig up areas, take a sample and see how thick the material is. Once we get the new plant finished and can convert the flow, we may sever the two ends and line the pipe as you suggest. We will look at all the options and before we do anything we will get a cost and bring it back to you.
Mr. Fennell asked will there be a fine or any consequences?
Mr. Moore responded no fines, no consequences. We received commendations from the agencies on how we handled it.
Mr. McKune stated the fortunate part of this break was that the contractor was installing the new pipe that would have taken this old section out of service. We were a day and a half away from having this pipe out of service.
Ms. Archer stated that was the luck too because we had the pipe on site that we could install. If we did not have the pipe on site and had to wait for a delivery, it would have been much worse.
Mr. Churchill stated you will replace this pipe as we do new construction but do you know where these repairs may be needed?
Mr. Moore responded sewage has a different intensity of gases at different points in the force main. In the force main there is a higher velocity and it is moving faster. When it gets to the headworks it has a lower velocity and work in a gravity situation.
Mr. Fennell responded are we replacing all of the pipes?
Mr. McKune responded the worse section has now been replaced.
Mr. Moore stated because this is a gravity line, some gases became trapped in little pockets and ate through the pipe. There were a few high points in the pipe.
Mr. McKune stated hydrogen sulfide forms with the moisture in the space, sulfuric acid and the sulfuric acid eats through the pipe.
Mr. Moyer asked what do we need to do if we find any other pipes that are not perfectly level, release valves on the high points of the pipe?
Mr. Moore responded that would be a simple solution. Between 15 and 30 feet from where we had the problem, I have a picture of a pipe that looks the same as the day we put it in. If the rest of the pipe looks like that, it will last another 30 years. When we hit the first piece six months ago, we thought someone had put a cheap concrete patch over it. We found the same material on top of this pipe and we think what happened is the sulfuric acid, reacted with the limestone and made its own patch over the pipe.
Ms. Archer stated I want to update you on several meetings we have had with the City of Coral Springs, residents and representatives of the Eagle Trace Homeowners Association over the last year or so who are concerned with the berm between their project and the Sawgrass Expressway. They are not concerned about the east side of the berm but their view across the waterway that was relocated when the Sawgrass was constructed. They look across the waterway and see this piece of land that the District owns that runs between this waterway and the Expressway which we have no access to and it has become overgrown with exotics. At one time Coral Ridge Properties went in with a permit from the District and planted weeping lovegrass hoping that would hold it, and require no maintenance but it never really took hold. In addition there are scattered trees. We periodically spray the vegetation so that it doesn't encroach into our canal, it turns a dark brown and the residents are unhappy with the look. We have exhausted all of our efforts to try different approaches to get in there and maintain it. They thought they had transferred that permit to the Homeowners Association but we can't find any evidence of that. We tried to have the City cite the Express Authority to maintain that area under the ordinance that requires the abutting property owner to maintain to the water line, but the Expressway Authority has said they will not do it and they are not required to do it. The City has the position that the ordinance only applies to residential property. Our problem is that we have no access to the berm, the berm is not constructed according to the design cross section that was part of the agreement we entered into with the Expressway Authority to relocate this canal. There is supposed to be a 20' flat maintenance area but it was not constructed that way.
Mr. Moyer stated I believe that was to be a natural area.
Ms. Fodderingham stated it needs to be maintained whether it is considered a natural area or not.
Mr. Moyer stated Sherwood Forest is not maintained.
Mr. Lyles stated we made it very clear that we can maintain and we have never walked away from that responsibility but maintain means what we do as a District to facilitate surface water management and canal and stormwater systems and it does not mean installation of golf course level landscaping. We made that clear and we know if we just go in and clear everything out and do the kind of rough maintenance that is normally done by the District, that is going to create another problem for the homeowners and we suggested they are not going to like it if we react to being notified that we are not maintaining this property and do our normal maintenance. The attempt has been to try to find some alternative that will produce a long term betterment to the situation without any short term undue expense to the District.
Ms. Fodderingham stated I think why it is being brought to you today is to let you know about these meetings and I think Ms. Archer wanted to make sure they could go forward to begin to look at what some of the alternatives may be. It is my understanding the Homeowners Association is saying that Sea Grape is a good alternative, that any cost above and beyond the normal maintenance, they would look at paying that difference. They also understand if the District is cited, the District can go in and clear out everything if they want to do so. They can take out all the exotics, the trees, do whatever they need to do to maintain it to District standards. We were trying to facilitate to see if we can come to some mutual agreement that may be beneficial to both parties.
Mr. Fennell asked is there any difference in the amount of money that the people in that area pay as opposed to what I pay. I am not on a canal and I pay for drainage.
Ms. Archer responded no.
Mr. Fennell stated everybody in the area is paying a certain amount of money to maintain these canals for the general benefit of everyone. Those canals were built by bond funds and each homeowner in the District has paid for that. The people in that area are paying nothing additional for the canal. In essence, someone wants me to pay more money to beautify their view.
Ms. Fodderingham stated I don't think we are saying to beautify anyone's view. There is an issue of how the property is being maintained. The City if we have to will ultimately cite the District.
Mr. Fennell asked are you going to cite other areas too?
Mr. Moyer stated you are not going to cite a park that is a natural habitat, that is not maintained. There are lots of areas in the City that are natural habitat areas.
Ms. Fodderingham stated I cannot respond to that because that is the first I have heard of that. It is my understanding that initially FNP obtained a permit to do some improvements to the property.
Ms. Archer stated they have photos of what it looked like and F.N.P. made it look like a golf course when they sold the lots.
Mr. Moyer stated Mr. Fennell's point is very good and that is we have a flat rate for drainage whether you live on a canal or not.
Mr. Fennell stated the canals have to be maintained to ensure water flow and there is no danger of impeding that flow. There are two issues and one is, can anything practically be done and the second issue is, who will pay for this. That becomes an equitable issue.
Mr. Moyer stated I doubt that the Homeowners Association at Eagle Trace is willing to spend their money to beautify the backs of 50 homes.
Ms. Archer stated they have already determined they are not willing to spend their money to do it. That is why they are asking us to do it.
Mr. Churchill stated if you drive down Shadow Wood Boulevard from University to Riverside and look to your left on the canal as you approach Sherwood Forest, that brush comes right down to the canal. Nobody is beautifying that. The people who live across from it look at that. It is natural flora and it is a city park. No one is demanding that the City manicure the park.
Ms. Fodderingham stated I think the difference is that you are talking about rights of ways here, and generally rights of ways are maintained. I believe these are recorded as rights of ways.
Mr. Moyer responded these are recorded as drainage and maintenance areas. This is not a right of way.
Mr. Fennell stated there are two issues. One, is there a practical way to do it and secondly, is it going to cost something in the realm of what we could entertain without being unjust to the rest of the District. If it were a nominal cost, we could go that way. I think the long term issue is maintenance. I think they want this to look pretty like their side of the canal. The City doesn't do that for the parks. In the long run that Association is going to have to take over and I can see where we can do an initial something if it is a small amount of money but after that, they would have to maintain it forever. Do you think that is possible? That seems reasonable. They are looking for something above and beyond the purpose of the canals and they are looking to put a tax burden on the rest of the District to improve the view of 50 houses. No one else gets that view, only the people who live there.
Ms. Fodderingham stated the City's position is strictly to try to facilitate between the District and the Homeowners Association.
Mr. Churchill stated you have offered to take action against us, not them, so I don't think you are neutral on this. I don't know of any action you have mentioned against the homeowners.
Ms. Fodderingham stated the property is owned by the District so we would cite the property owner.
Mr. Churchill stated my point is that you said you are just there to facilitate but the pressure is exerted against C.S.I.D. That is exactly where the pressure is.
Mr. Fennell stated and the citizens of our District. The people in our District would pay more money for 50 particular individuals. No one will ever see this improvement except them.
Mr. Lyles stated let me restate something we tried to state earlier. The thing we are here for today is to make you aware that some of this is going on and there have been additional meetings and proposals laid on the table and to tell you that with your blessing we will continue to try to refine this if you let us go forward with it. The second important thing here is that the position you both just articulated vigorously, we articulated that just as vigorously to the homeowners and their management people and their attorney. That is what gave rise to the idea of we will go in and do what we do to property that we own and are responsible for maintaining and the increment that is over and above what we would do just to maintain it in our normal course of business is something they will be responsible for. That is what everybody is trying to put together and to inform you about today. The City has received a barrage of complaints from the sources you might suspect regarding the maintenance of this property. We are ready, to do the kind of maintenance that we do and at the same time to let everybody know that they are not going to like it and we are not going to plant landscaping, we are not going to irrigate it and do any of those things but if you want to coordinate the two activities, our kind of clearing and stabilization and we will come to an agreement on what that consists of and then at your expense some additional treatment is installed and that resolves this situation between the District and Eagle Trace. That is something we will bring to our Board, describe and see if they want to go forward with it. We are not talking about doing something special at additional District expense for the people in Eagle Trace. The record should be very clear that is not the proposal under consideration today. We are talking about coordinating two different activities. One, which we would normally do more or less and one which Eagle Trace wants to do in addition to what we do but at their expense. There are problems. This goes back a long time when someone constructed a bank in a way that doesn't meet the cross sections and because of what was going on and everybody thinking everybody was in a hurry to get this road completed and get our canal system back in order, we accepted as a District something that in a different setting we would have been a little more reluctant about and take more time with but apparently there wasn't time. There is some evidence that a permit was issued and landscaping installed at the expense of and with the maintenance responsibility to what is now WCI and it was to be turned over to the Homeowners Association. There is no document anywhere that anyone can find and we went so far as to request that the archives in West Palm be searched. We looked everywhere that anyone could think to look in both our records and WCI's records to try to locate that document and it apparently does not exist. The original agreement between the Sawgrass Expressway Authority and this District, no one can lay their hands on. We are trying to describe the tenor of the discussions and where it has gotten as of now to see if you want us to continue to try to refine it or not.
Mr. Churchill stated I think we should. My concern is what you just articulated is not what I just heard. I heard the City's position was that they want us to maintain that bank in the same way every other bank is maintained.
Ms. Fodderingham stated I don't think that is what I am saying. If the bank is maintained we know it will be maintained to the standards of the District for the purpose of being able to properly handle the drainage which may mean putting in grass. We are aware of that.
Mr. Fennell stated all that means is, is there an impediment to the flow of water. If the bank is heavily vegetated such that it is holding the dirt, so there is no degradation of the side of the bank, that is good. I'm concerned that if this is steeper than it should be, there might be an eventual erosion problem that could be a more serious problem than just a visual problem. Is the City willing to maintain that area?
Ms. Fodderingham responded I could not answer that question without talking to city staff but I don't think it is something the City is willing to maintain.
Mr. Fennell stated we are looking at ways it can be adequately maintained. We are not looking at ways that will cause us great expense in doing that, nor going into the future. Our assessments are not high and I would be hard pressed to increase assessments in this District to beautify the view of 50 people. I hope that is not what the City is asking. Are you asking that the rest of the 30,000 residents of this District support a view park for 50 people?
Ms. Fodderingham stated no. We gave several options to the Homeowners Association and one of the options was for them to maintain it and pay for the cost. We are aware that you would have to have them pay for anything above and beyond what your normal maintenance is.
Ms. Archer stated our position has been that we are already providing the maintenance that we need to provide for drainage purposes and that we go in our boats, spray the vegetation that is growing into the canal, we turn it brown, it goes away and we don't have anything growing in the canal and choking the waterway. Under City code they want us to go in and remove all of the Florida Holly because it is our property and it should be maintained, clear and free of those noxious species. Our position has been that it is growing wild and is not effecting drainage and we don't have any problems with that and it actually provides a buffer between the homes and the expressway.
Mr. Moyer stated it also provides stability to the bank.
Ms. Archer stated it provides a habitat.
Mr. Fennell stated there is an environmental issue. What is it that the City wants? Do they want an environmentally safe area or do they want a golf course area? I think it comes down to what we would be willing to put forward on a one time basis to clear up as much as we can above and beyond the normal amount. Secondly, who would maintain it from then on out which would not be us. We will maintain it as we do now which is for the flow of the water and cutting anything that impedes the flow of water.
Ms. Archer stated I don't think you are going to get that cleared out for less than $100,000.
Mr. Fennell stated if you think of how many people we have in this District you are talking about a couple dollars per head.
Mr. Churchill stated we can assess certain areas. Will the Eagle Trace Homeowners Association be willing to have a special assessment to do this?
Ms. Archer responded they have said no in the past.
Mr. Fennell stated that would be the fair thing to do.
Ms. Archer stated we actually issued them a permit to clear it out and relandscape and maintain it. They never did any work under that permit. They came back afterwards and said they were not authorized to ask for the permit.
Mr. Fennell stated we at this point would allow them to make improvements to the property.
Ms. Archer stated we have already issued the permit.
Mr. Fennell stated the next question is one of money. Who is going to pay for this? I don't have a problem with a nominal amount of money but I can't see $100,000. You are talking an additional $10 per unit for everyone in the District.
Ms. Fodderingham asked is there any way the staff can continue to look at the alternatives and give a dollar figure to the Eagle Trace Homeowners Association?
The Board agreed.
Mr. Fennell stated I think a good compromise position is those who benefit should pay. Those who don't benefit from it, don't pay.
Mr. Moyer stated we can assist them in that regard. If they said they had 50 or 100 neighbors and want to create a special assessment unit within the District, we can create that unit and put the amortization of the debt that we would issue for that purpose on the tax bills, we can collect it over 20 years. We have those types of powers and we can assist in that fashion as could the City because the City has the same special assessment authority that we do.
Mr. Fennell stated they have the power already through their Homeowners Association to raise funds for special things that they want to do.
Ms. Fodderingham asked do you have a time frame to come back with alternatives?
Ms. Archer responded I only see two alternatives now. My first thought was getting our own crew in there to clean it out when they are not too busy spraying but they tell me they can't get equipment in there. Two out of the three proposals I received were for small sections of that area at $20,000 each and the only one I received for the entire area was $100,000. I asked Mr. Schooley to find out how they were able to do the work and we are not. We are working with the Expressway Authority to see about relocating the fence so that we can get in there if we do get a contractor.
Ms. Fodderingham stated one of the things we talked about at the meeting is that we may not be talking about the whole segment right now, just taking the worst portion and work on that.
Mr. Moyer asked what if you go to the bottom of the slope and plant Areca Palms that grow to be 10' or 15' tall? You need to check with a landscaper as well because they are dirty plants. You have to let them grow. Maybe the solution is that every 10' you plant an Areca Palm and maybe our personnel can do that if you plant them small with the understanding that in ten years they will be 15' tall and the problem goes away. We just hide the problem. Those are the types of things you should be talking about other than going in and clearing that bank.
There not being any, the next item followed.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor's Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any,
Clinton Churchill Robert D. Fennell