MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held Monday, June 24, 2002 at 4:10 P.M. in the District Office, 10300 N. W. 11 Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Robert Fennell President
Karl Miller Vice President
Also present were:
Gary L. Moyer Manager
Rhonda K. Archer Finance Director
Dennis Lyles Attorney
Jane Early Engineer
Steven Weinberg Attorney for Eagle Trace
Louis Brawer Property Manager
Mr. & Mrs. Martin Friedman Residents
Warren Craven WCI Communities
Roda Fodderingham City of Coral Springs
Stephen Read Resident
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order and Mr. Moyer called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Appointment of a Supervisor to Fill the Unexpired Term of Office
Mr. Moyer stated Mr. Churchill passed away and we will certainly miss him.
Mr. Fennell stated Mr. Churchill was a valuable member of the Board and brought a wealth of experience from a number of areas and we will miss him.
Mr. Fennell introduced Mr. Steve Read and stated I have known him for a number of years and he has lived in this community for 19 years. He is a respected member of the community, works in sales for 3M and is the Commander of the U.S. Army Reserve in South Florida. He will bring a wealth of experience to our Board.
Mr. Miller stated I would like to put a notice in the paper so that anyone interested can put in a resume as well.
Mr. Fennell stated since there is only one year left and we only meet once a month, we don't want to spend too much time trying to move forward.
Mr. Miller stated we can have it resolved by the next meeting.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the May 20, 2002 Meeting
Mr. Moyer stated that each Board member had received a copy of the minutes of the May 20, 2002 meeting and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.
There not being any,
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Presentation by Eagle Trace Community Association
Mr. Weinberg stated I am an attorney and represent the Eagle Trace Community Association. I asked the Eagle Trace board not to have a lot of people here today but asked Mr. Brawer who is the Property Manager, and Martin Friedman, past President of the Association as well as his wife to be here. The Board is aware that there is a berm that runs along the west side of the community on the other side of the canal and the plat limits of the community are on the east side of the canal where it meets the waters edge. You have the Eagle Trace Community, the plat boundary, a canal that runs north and south along the Sawgrass and to the west side of the canal is a berm. The berm literally drops into the canal. I will try to be for the most part factual, in my story and then we will get into the issues. In the early 1980's apparently the Sawgrass Expressway Authority desired to construct and build the Sawgrass Expressway. At that point in time the Coral Springs Improvement District maintained the drainage canal that essentially sat in the northbound right hand lane of the Sawgrass Expressway. In other words, to build the expressway they needed to relocate the canal. In doing so, the Coral Springs Improvement District and the Sawgrass Expressway entered into negotiations for the relocation of that canal. Florida National Properties deeded the expressway property to the Expressway authority in 1983 or 1984 and thereafter, they started the construction and relocation of the canal. It appears they finished the relocation of that canal sometime in 1986. I have taken it upon myself to review all of the records of the District as well as the Florida Department of Transportation and it appears that the original plans provided for the berm to be constructed with a terrace, meaning that at the top of the berm as it came down there would be a 12 foot terrace and then it would drop into the water. The theory being, in my review of the information, is that a maintenance vehicle would be able to traverse on the flat terrace area and take care of the property of the upper portion of the berm and have access to the lower portion. It appears that the berm was not constructed that way. In fact when the Sawgrass Expressway went to closing with the District on the swap of land, the deed was held in escrow. One of the reasons the deed was held in escrow was because of the concerns of the engineer that the berm was not property constructed. In 1993 for whatever reason the deed was recorded. Here we are in 2002 and we have a berm essentially in a state of disrepair. In an effort to bring some understanding to what we are looking at we made booklets. The District felt compelled to retain engineers, I believe it was Gee & Jenson, and they performed the survey of the berm and issued reports that the berm was not constructed correctly. Mr. Moyer on behalf of the District wrote several letters back and forth to Sam Goren indicating the construction deficiencies and in fact what is interesting to note is a factual account in 1989 the District authorized, Florida National Properties to install some improvements on top of the berm, I guess as a sight line issue concerning the Eagle Trace Community. In fact, in theory the District didn't even own the property then but nevertheless they issued the permit. In the late 1990's because of the unsightliness of the berm, the Association made inquiries as a result of the City having made inquiries to maintain some property. As a general rule the District's theory behind its establishment, was to try to obtain its rights of ways or use of property in the form of easements. In most instances the District does not own the property to the waters edge and in most instances in fairness to the District, it is the property owners responsibility to maintain property. I started a letter writing campaign to Ms. Archer and she wrote back saying no, it is your responsibility. I wrote back saying it was not our responsibility, show me. Apparently after consulting with counsel for the District, I received a letter saying, see section 3.04 of my declaration for Eagle Trace. My declaration for Eagle Trace only covers the property for what Eagle Trace is comprised of which is not the berm area - it is on the other side of the canal. I then made inquiries of the F.D.O.T. who disavowed any responsibility. I then took it upon myself on behalf of the association to have the berm surveyed and what it revealed on a certified title search was that the District was in fact the owner of the property from the top of the berm through and including the canal. You have in front of you pictures of the berm area and apparently it shows a lot of dead vegetation, a lot of unsightly vegetation and what I characterize as a complete state of disrepair. The association at one point did and still does want to improve the berm and change the sight lines as far as the view. I agree if the property were owned by the association subject to an Improvement District easement, we would be responsible. I have made demands upon the District to repair and maintain the berm in accordance with City code which requires that you maintain its original state and we have a dispute with Mr. Lyles as to what the original state was. Was it grass, when it was improved in 1989 by F.N.P. or is it just dirt? I don't understand why it has taken from mid 1999 to the current date, to get some action. Essentially the Association would like to see the maintenance of the berm which is land owned by the District which is probably an unusual circumstance in the District sense. Secondly, to the extent that the City code requires it be brought back to its original state, we met with the City of Coral Springs and the discussion came up about putting grass on the berm and the problems that presented was access and maintenance. With all fairness, not the Associations problem but in fairness it is, we all live in the same community and have to help each other. To that extent the Association made an offer, although it was not formal in the sense of being approved by the board but there is some authority sitting here today, that we would pay the incremental cost to install seagrape. The City of Coral Springs landscape architect was present at that meeting with Mr. Lyles and Ms. Archer and he concurred that seagrape would be a good solution. It requires no maintenance. Not only would the association consider paying the incremental cost for the installation, the maintenance obligation of the District would be zero in the sense that grass has to be mowed four times per year and the seagrape requires no irrigation, it is natural, it is indigenous to the community and it is a good solution. To that extent I ask the Board to consider working with the association and that is why I didn't bring 50 people here. Everybody is upset but that is not going to help resolve it. I ask the Board to consider working with the association for a resolution of this. The City of Coral Springs indicated they would put on the bid list of the City, the cost of the seagrape so that we could obtain a good cost and we would reimburse the City. In July 1998 there were a couple of letters issued by the Coral Springs Improvement District under Mr. Moyer's signature, one was to David Unsel of the S.F.W.M.D. when they were in litigation with the Authority. This is after they obtained the services of Gee & Jenson to issue a report and this letter was written with the knowledge of the report that there were construction defects on the terrace. it goes on to say, "the Expressway authority and the District desires to record the deeds, however, prior to the Districts approving the relocated canals it is necessary that the S.F.W.M.D. address whether any enforcement actions will be taken against the Districts after the date of acceptance in dealing with the deviations from the as-built relocated canals to the design cross sections. Simply stated, I do not want the Districts to be penalized in the future for any construction defects that were caused by the Expressway Authority." I cannot understand why the District would have accepted the deeds, knowing that there were defects. More importantly, in a letter of February 26, 1988 to Mr. Goren who was the escrow agent, the letter concludes the following, "Some of the defective construction of the relocated canals may adversely effect the ability of the District to properly drain the properties within the Districts and all of the legal positions aside, the Authority has the moral obligation to honor its commitments so that the property owners within the Districts are not adversely effected." Here we are fourteen years later and the property owners are adversely effected. When these property owners moved in the canal wasn't even there, the improvements were made after the community started, albeit the west side of the community was not constructed, still Eagle Trace was there. I think there is a requirement that this be worked out. I don't want to threaten anyone but suggest that sharing the resources and the abilities we can find a solution.
Mr. Moyer stated let me address some of the issues that Mr. Weinberg has brought to your attention. The reason the District finally, by Board action, agreed to have the deeds recorded is that we simply did not want to own the underlying fee simple property on which there was a super highway built. We felt there was more liability owning that property with people crashing into each other than there was by the District accepting the deed. The concerns that were raised with the S.F.W.M.D. were appropriate at that time and that is, we didn't want big brother coming back to us and saying, by the way redig your canal because it is not in accordance with the side slopes that you by your permit issued to you, have to construct canals by. The whole Sawgrass Expressway story is a disaster. I don't know if you remember that but it was a true disaster where I think people even went to jail for overdigging canals and there are cases where they undermined. Part of the concern about the drainage integrity was that they actually undermined part of the canal banks by overdigging the canals and there were occasions in North Springs Improvement District, north of Wiles Road, where property was falling into the canal. That was the concern we had when I voiced that we were concerned about the drainage integrity of that canal at that time given the cross sections. The reality is at the end of the day when we looked at each other in 1988, there really wasn't any other choice, other than for the District to own a part of the toll road and the Board of Supervisors at that time, chose not to own a toll road.
Mr. Fennell stated at that time there was no property along those lines.
Mr. Moyer stated there was no property that was constructed at that time that backed up to that embankment.
Mr. Fennell stated then no one was surprised when they moved in to have the canal bank.
Mr. Weinberg stated in 1989 Florida National Properties was issued a permit by the District to plant the materials and it is that material which has now died.
Mr. Moyer stated I know Ms. Archer has been in contact with representatives of WCI which were the original permit holders. Is there an update on that situation?
Ms. Archer responded the District did issue a permit to Florida National Properties at the time which is now a part of WCI Communities and that permit was given to them to install weeping love grass from Atlantic Boulevard to Royal Palm Boulevard. it appears that when they went in, there was an irrigation system that was later abandoned and some actual trees that were installed, I believe palm trees and deciduous trees. Some of those are still out there but it is hard to tell where the weeds leave off and the trees take over in some areas. I called Mr. Craven, who is here today and talked to him about the permit that was issued and the maintenance responsibilities under that permit and rather than speaking for WCI, I asked Mr. Craven to be here today to tell the Board and the residents of Eagle Trace what he told me.
Mr. Craven stated I am the Director of Development with WCI Communities. I wasn't here when this transpired and some things in your presentation I was not aware of. I do have some knowledge of the Sawgrass Expressway construction. My understanding is that we were issued the permit, we installed the landscaping and irrigation system and it was our intent to turn the maintenance obligation over to Eagle Trace Homeowners Association. We cannot find any evidence that that ever happened so I venture to say the responsibility of maintenance still lies with us. We are willing to participate in some kind of remediation but some of the things that have come out such as this section being changed, I need to look into a little further. We are still willing to participate in some way in the resolution of this.
Mr. Moyer stated you may not have had direct knowledge but I can tell you that Florida National Properties had a lot of direct knowledge of the situation of that canal bank and how it was dug and actually participated in brokering the deal between the District and the Expressway authority to get these swaps and you may recall there were monetary damages. There was a suit against the Expressway Authority in which Florida National Properties received compensation for taking lands. That was primarily in North Springs yet they had a lot of knowledge about what was going on with that.
Ms. Archer stated in my conversations with Mr. Craven he indicated certain commitments.
Mr. Craven stated I committed that we would go in and clean it up once and then turn over the maintenance to the District. We are trying to work with the D.O.T. to gain access to it from the expressway side because now I would have to send a crew over in boats and it will take forever. I know there was a job just let on the Sawgrass berm expansion and we are hoping to work in that window to do this work more efficiently and economically.
Mr. Weinberg stated at some of our earlier meetings the D.O.T. indicated that they would give us access.
Ms. Archer stated we called them and talked to Christopher Warren and talked about getting access for our people or WCI's people and they had no desire to give us access even after they put in writing that they were going to give us access if we needed it. We have not had any success at all.
Mr. Weinberg stated it is interesting because the F.D.O.T. is a derivative of the Sawgrass Expressway Authority and if you look at the old files, which I have, there are letters back and forth which indicated you wanted an access point once every fifth of a mile. To accept the property without the slope being correct and now to not give access, it is not fair. They stated in meetings that Ms. Archer attended that they would give access.
Ms. Archer responded later they stopped coming to the meetings altogether.
Mr. Weinberg stated I believe someone could bring an action against D.O.T. to correct the slope of the berm but there is a statute of limitations issue.
Ms. Archer stated probably between the three groups we can put enough pressure on the D.O.T. to give us access Mr. Craven needs to get men and equipment in to clear it out.
Mr. Lyles stated what we know for sure is that there is not one single feature of this entire controversy that is like anything else that we run into. It is completely unique.
Mr. Weinberg stated that is why I didn't have people here. At our meetings they are screaming. It has been going on for three years. It doesn't help anybody to have lawsuits or threats of lawsuits, that is why I am here with just a few people and I appreciate WCI's presence and the Assistant City Attorney. I beg the Board to consider putting some directive out there that will authorize working with us to fix this and to the extent that there is an incremental cost increase for seagrape versus grass, I have a Board willing to write the check.
Mr. Moyer stated it is more than that. We need an entity to maintain it because the standards that we will maintain that to are not going to be acceptable to the association. Our maintenance criteria is to maintain for drainage integrity, not aesthetics. We don't want the canal bank falling into the canal. That is our concern. With the root structure that is existing even though it is ugly to look at, the canal bank is not in fact falling into the canal which meets our criteria.
Mr. Weinberg asked what about the fact that the City has a law that requires people to maintain their property in the original condition?
Mr. Moyer responded I would argue and probably Mr. Lyles has indicated that that is the original condition. It is nature and that is natural vegetation.
Mr. Weinberg stated we are at opposite ends on that. Someone sprayed that vegetation several times and that is probably why a lot of it is dead.
Mr. Craven stated on that subject, I spoke with Mr. Dyess and he said that at one time that was planted to the permitted specifications and the irrigation system was working and it was sprayed by the District and that is why it is in the condition it is in now.
Mr. Moyer stated we wouldn't spray things if it didn't need to be sprayed. I suspect it had not been maintained for a long period of time. I suspect when you go back and look at it, these people contacted the District said it is overgrown and ugly and that we probably did go in and spray it which is basically all we do with the canals under our jurisdiction. It sounds to me that if Mr. Craven and WCI are willing to remove what is there and you are willing to plant whatever you want to plant, that the problem looks like it is going away.
Mr. Weinberg stated two issues still remain. One is the initial cost of the grass, I think the District should be responsible for that. You didn't take title legally until 1993 or 1994 and the property was improved with the more costly homes there at that point. In theory I could make the point that it should be brought back to its natural state including the vegetation.
Mr. Moyer stated I understand WCI is going to do that as well.
Mr. Weinberg stated I request that WCI perform the clean-up, the District put up the cost of grass, we pay for the incremental cost of the seagrape and as I understand it the maintenance thereafter is non-existent.
Mr. Moyer stated you are going to sign a release that says you never expect the District to come back in and maintain that to any standard we are talking about.
Mr. Weinberg stated I suggest the answer to that is limited in nature. obviously, it can't be subject to you spraying it with defoliants. If there is any need to replant sections in the future we will need access to fix those areas. I can't have any affirmative action by the District on the property.
Mr. Lyles stated we want to ensure that this release would obligate the District to perform no more than the routine maintenance it performs in other areas throughout C.S.I.D. boundaries where we have responsibility for drainage along canals and canal banks.
Mr. Weinberg stated I understand and that is not unreasonable.
Mr. Brawer stated I have been representing Eagle Trace, Georgetown and developments for over five years. Actually C.S.I.D. has done little if anything in the nine years I have been living adjacent to that canal as far as maintenance, upkeep, cleanliness, removing debris from that canal. As a resident if I had a wish list I would want the dead vegetation removed, seagrapes and what other vegetation that could be planted there to grow to a height so that the sight lines would be mitigated. I would like it to be green. I don't want it to be brown and black and dirty and full of debris. How it gets paid for I think Mr. Weinberg has come up with a nice solution. There are now three parties involved and something can be worked out. We are not talking about a great deal of money.
Mr. Weinberg stated we can get the seagrape for $11,000. Some of the vegetation is good vegetation. I think someone needs to go in and selectively clean it up and take a look at it and say this is where we are going to do the plantings. I don't even think it will be from one end to the other. There are sections that are in fairly good condition.
Mr. Fennell stated I see five issues. One is maintainability. I didn't hear any solution to that. There is an access issue. You are maintaining the slope is not correct and there is not a good way to get equipment in and there is an issue of insurance liability. The fourth issue is what it should look like. The difference between a park, versus natural conditions. The fifth issue is who is going to pay for this. There are costs that have already been paid for these canals. Everybody in the district whether they are on a canal or not, pays money for those canals. You may have paid additional money to live on that canal but that money did not go for the canal. It went to the company that sold the land to you. It did not pay for that canal. The maintenance of that canal is paid by everybody in the District. The reason the canal is there is for drainage. The main reason for the District is to drain the land. That is my primary responsibility. My assessment is the same as your assessment. The assessment is $80 and there are 11,500 households each putting in that amount of money per year. We have replaced the pump stations, we repair culverts. If we get a lot of rain the canal levels go up and we can be in flood conditions without the pumps. Each and every one of us are paying for that and there are 11,500 of us all paying as much as you although we don't actually get to see the canals. I have to have a fair balance between who is actually paying for this and what they are paying for and what you are after.
Mr. Friedman the value of the property and we pay taxes on that real estate and if that value is depreciated because of your lack of maintenance and lack of keeping that area clean and green, effects our taxes, then all of us in Broward County and all of us in Coral Springs will pay less in tax for that area as this property value goes down and all of us are contributing to that also. I want to know what you budgeted to maintain that canal and clean that canal if anything.
Mr. Moyer stated let me address that because I think you have a misunderstanding. A special purpose district such as C.S.I.D. does not levy an ad valorem tax. Ad valorem can be used for anything the government wants to use it for, for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. We don't levy that type of tax. We levy what is called a benefit and maintenance assessment and it is uniform on 11,500 units. We levy $83 per year. It doesn't matter whether you have a million dollar house or a one hundred thousand dollar house. Everybody pays the $83 per year. Its purpose is specific and it is not aesthetics, it is to drain the lands within the District. That is why I am saying our charge as a District and how we spend your tax money is different than taking money from the general fund and spending them for any purpose that we deem to be nice to spend for health, safety and welfare. The city can spend monies for health, safety and welfare but we cannot do that. That is the concern. If it cost $100,000 to do this canal, we open ourselves up to somebody who lives in Ramblewood, not on a canal, coming to this Board and saying you misappropriated my money. You took my money and spent it on a purpose for which you are not legally authorized to spend that money.
Mr. Friedman stated you are obligated by Coral Springs law to maintain that free of debris and everything else. You are within the city limits of Coral Springs, it should be cleaned and maintained.
Mr. Fennell stated my point is who pays for this and there are 11,500 other people who are paying for this.
Mr. Friedman stated in a community when you live in a taxing authority you share the risks. I may not call the ambulance this year but I am going to pay my ambulance fee. There are certain services provided to the community as a whole and I don't think this is a service that this there to benefit the Eagle Trace community. I see this as the District owns a piece of property and the District has an obligation to maintain it. In all fairness when I look at the surroundings of this building they are beautifully maintained. Is that necessary for the drainage purposes of the District?
Mr. Moyer responded no and they are not maintained by drainage dollars. This building and this plant site is a utility site that is maintained by utility fees which are not restricted to showing a particular benefit to any given property. That is the problem we have.
Mr. Friedman stated in any political setting someone can argue did you go outside the scope of your authority. Did you put in a fountain that was not necessary. The question here is that the C.S.I.D. is a property owner and as a property owner it is bound by the minimum laws created by the City and other governmental codes. This property is not being maintained.
Mr. Fennell stated there is an issue of cost and who pays for it and the responsibility of individual people. That is a huge issue. It is not an issue for the other people who pay for the drainage canals. I believe you bought that land knowing it was on a canal and they probably raised the price $20,000 for that property and the people who got that money was not the District.
Mr. Weinberg stated those houses sold not at a premium but a discount because they backed up to the Sawgrass. WCI came in and improved the existing landscaping because they felt it necessary. I am asking the District to recognize its obligation and put it back to the original state with the assistance of the association and WCI if we can get access from D.O.T. Going forward there is no maintenance, it is self sufficient. I am told that by the landscape architect for the City and everyone else I consulted with. I am asking the District to pay for the cost of the grass, we pay for the incremental cost of the seagrapes and WCI pays the clean-up.
Mr. Miller asked are you asking us to pay for the grass?
Mr. Weinberg stated the cost of the grass that would have had to be put in under city code.
Mr. Fennell asked what are we going to do in the future when there are issues where the vegetation grows into the canal? I believe your committee came before this Board a few years ago and your association was going to take on the cost.
Ms. Early stated I think this first came up when the Sawgrass Authority sprayed through the fence and down onto the slope. If it starts to grow through the fence they spray. You are not going to stop them from spraying.
Mr. Friedman stated we were going to put seagrape from top to bottom.
Mr. Fennell asked what are you going to do about them growing into the water and becoming a real danger to the drainage system.
Mr. Friedman asked how much of a buffer do you want from the water line to the first seagrape plant?
Mr. Moyer stated I would have to get the information from a forester.
Ms. Early stated if the water rises during the rainy season, that is where they are going to spray.
Mr. Weinberg stated through the 1990's everything existed with the improvements in place. For whatever reason they stopped maintaining them or someone sprayed them.
Mr. Moyer stated we never maintained it.
Mr. Craven stated my understanding is that the maintenance obligation was going to be turned over to the homeowners association but there is no documentation that that ever happened. What was originally planted was very low maintenance. The same situation as the seagrape. It is something planted that should be able to stay without much maintenance if any because of the limited access. The only way to access it now is from the water which is not an efficient way to maintain the berm.
Mr. Fennell asked how are we going to solve that?
Mr. Weinberg stated my suggestion is to work with D.O.T. and get their approval for access so WCI can clean it up and a contractor can be hired to do the planting with the appropriate insurance and the cost of that contractor can be shared by the District and the association.
Mr. Fennell asked what does the City say to this process?
Ms. Fodderingham responded the City through this process has been trying to facilitate to get the parties together and come to some resolution. One of the items in the past was that we needed to get an understanding of the differentiation in the costs so we know the responsibility of the District versus the homeowners association. We now know that WCI still has an open permit and I think they need to be responsible for adhering to the requirements of the permit. If we need to sit down with all the parties to try to facilitate it we will but it is up to the District, the association and WCI to come to a resolution that will be amenable to all parties.
Mr. Weinberg stated I was in a meeting and was told that the City believes that the District is in violation of the City code. I am asking if that is the case.
Ms. Fodderingham responded that is correct and is our last resort to cite the District for being in violation that we want to try to come to some resolution.
Mr. Moyer stated I would proffer to you that there are probably 3,000 properties in this City that are not in accordance with the code. Under our enabling legislation of what we are legally permitted to spend these peoples monies on, I am willing to tell a judge that we don't have the grant of authority to spend money on aesthetics. We can only spend money on things that directly benefit the drainage system.
Mr. Weinberg stated if that is the case I will ask the District to recognize its responsibility to enforce the permit against WCI or force the Sawgrass Expressway Authority to reconstruct the berm. You can't sit here in a neutral position.
Mr. Moyer stated when you look at the cost of enforcing and taking legal action to enforce, the Board can make the decision that the costs are excessive and will not benefit the District as a District. I don't think we spend $40,000 or $50,000 suing the Turnpike Authority to make them reconstruct something knowing in all likelihood we are not going to prevail. The Board can show good judgment.
Mr. Fennell stated looking across at this property, water is going to go up and down and in fact we need to spray there and make sure that vegetation is not going to get in our pumps and that is what we should be doing. You are saying for some offset above that which we will call the high-water mark or whatever our engineer's tells us is appropriate, at that point you would like to see some kind of improvements. At that point you are talking about funds from WCI or yourselves planting the vegetation. There are issues of access, insurance and maintenance ability. The other issue as a representative of all of the taxpayers is the cost. I have 11,500 people who pay $80 per year. There is a very limited amount of what I would approve above our normal issues and anything over that I would have to ask is the money being spent for the general good or for the benefit of a few. There is a small amount of money we are willing to come across with. We certainly want to maintain the canal for everybody and I think if you are willing to put the money in and WCI is willing to put the money in to what I will call a natural state. You are not going to get a parkland there, there is no way to do that. We want to be reasonable to all parties concerned. We are looking for a way to maintain the canal. We are looking for a way for you to improve it. Under certain conditions we can allow certain parties access to the land so improvements can be made and we have done that before.
Mr. Miller asked does WCI have an open permit?
Ms. Fodderingham responded from my discussions with Ms. Archer, WCI has an open permit from the District to also maintain that area.
Ms. Archer responded I see it two different ways. We issued a permit to WCI to install the landscaping and to maintain it. Two years after that we issued a permit to the HOA to plant seagrape and maintain it. They have never done anything under that permit but that is the most current permit that is outstanding. Under that permit we could in fact, let them go in and plant the seagrape and do whatever maintenance or no maintenance as required under that permit. WCI is willing to clear it so that it can be planted.
Mr. Moyer stated it sounds like a basis for a plan.
Mr. Fennell asked do you agree to that?
Mr. Weinberg responded no. We made an application for one but we never accepted the permit.
Ms. Archer stated we issued the permit after they made the application. There is usually not an acceptance by the applicant.
Mr. Fennell asked if you come and ask for a permit and we give it, isn't that the same as acceptance?
Mr. Weinberg responded I disagree.
Mr. Fennell stated you can come and ask for something, we can grant it but then you can decide you didn't really have it.
Mr. Weinberg stated I am suggesting that we never implemented the permit.
Mr. Fennell stated you may not have done it but that doesn't mean that you didn't have it.
Mr. Weinberg stated I am asking the Board to authorize Mr. Lyles and I to work together to come up with a solution. That is all I am asking this Board to do. I will take the responsibility to work with WCI to get bids for the clean-up and get bids back to the Board on cost of installation so we have some real numbers. I think if Mr. Lyles and I write a letter together to the D.O.T. for access we will get it.
Mr. Lyles stated I think it should be made clear that this request is coming from the City of Coral Springs as well as us.
Ms. Fodderingham stated we can assist in that effort.
Mr. Miller stated if the Sawgrass Authority sprays the seagrape we can be back in the same situation.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Award of Contract for Water Supply Wells 8, 9, 10 and 11
Ms. Early stated there is a bid tabulation in your agenda package. Four bids were received, the lowest base bid was received from Morgan General Mechanical Group, Inc. with a total base bid amount of $1,425,270.00. The engineer's estimate for this work was $1,163,630.00. We are recommending award of the contract to Morgan General Mechanical.
Mr. Moyer asked did Mr. McKune say why? Is it a bad estimate?
Ms. Early responded they based the estimate on previous wells that we have done recently and they made phone calls to different people and this is the number they came up with. He was surprised at the bids.
Ms. Archer asked do you think we need to rebid it?
Ms. Early responded he didn't think he would get better prices after he talked to them.
Mr. Miller asked do you have experience with Morgan General?
Ms. Early responded I am not familiar with them and I don't know if Mr. McKune is or not. He would have checked them out if he wasn't.
Mr. Moyer asked what is the time of completion?
Ms. Early stated I will get that information to you.
Mr. Fennell stated we first started this when there was seepage from the dry cleaners.
Ms. Archer stated we started talking about this then and we had to take that well down and then we had to refurbish some other wells and if we can't use the existing wells all of the time, we have a problem. We need to get them under construction. They will be less productive than our existing wells. We recently had to take one of our wells down because we were getting some bad tests back and we refurbished that one and we opened the interconnect with the City when we did that because we were not able to pull enough water out of the ground ourselves to meet the demand and we had no choice.
Mr. Moyer stated I don't think there was a water quality issue other than the performance of the well.
Mr. Miller asked have we discussed putting in these additional wells previously?
Ms. Archer responded yes, we have been talking about them for a couple of years. We were working on a location with the City.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have the money for this contact?
Mr. Moyer responded the nice thing about our financial structure is that we generally run a surplus of about $1 million per year. We talked about doing these wells two years ago. On an annual basis we self fund these types of projects. The same thing with the wastewater plant. We thought we would be building the wastewater plant 18 months ago. Again, we have generated enough monies so that I can tell you yes, we do have funds to do that.
Mr. Fennell asked are we clear on our right to this water into perpetuity?
Mr. Moyer responded it all gets permitted through S.F.W.M.D. and their consumptive use permits are for a period of five years and you are always at risk with them.
Mr. Lyles stated that has been the case to date and will continue to be the case of every utility authority under the jurisdiction of S.F.W.M.D.
Mr. Moyer stated it is unreasonable to think they would not issue a permit since everybody is depending on this. This is not for new growth. At one time they were concerned about coming in and trying to limit what you do for new growth. This is to provide water for existing users and they would be hard pressed to say they are not gong to renew our consumptive use permit.
Mr. Lyles stated permits are evaluated and issued pursuant to a set of criteria. It is not a discretionary decision on the part of the people on the Board or the Director of the S.F.W.M.D. If we meet the criteria and they are basically engineering standards, then we have reached the point where we are entitled to a permit or renewal of a permit.
Mr. Miller asked can we get by with two additional wells as opposed to four?
Mr. Moyer stated I thought at one time that is what we were talking about.
Ms. Archer stated I think the tests show that they are less productive than our existing wells and it is because they are smaller wells and we can't get as much water out of them as we would have hoped. The ones we have on site are a certain size that are much greater than the ones that are going to be installed.
Mr. Moyer stated I will climb out on a limb and recommend to you because there are some valid concerns and questions that you have on this. I do not want to wait the 30 days but I would rather have the answers to the questions that we have all raised here than to spend $300,000 of the publics money just because the bids came in and we want to rush to do something. We are anxious to do this but I don't think 30 days is going to put us in any worse shape than we are already in. I will ask to table this until we get the answers.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Construction Financing Agreement for University Drive Subdivision 1
Mr. Moyer stated item six is to finish University Drive subdivision 1 in which the proposal is that we go into a contract with a developer to extend the lines in the subdivision in that area. We thought we would have a financing agreement back from that developer and we don't have it for this meeting and we are asking to table this.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Request for Irrigation Permits
A. Coral Baptist Church
B. Lakeview Professional Village
Mr. Moyer stated these are for irrigation permits both of which are on Lakeview Drive in the western part of the District, north of Atlantic Boulevard. We usually don't issue irrigation permits but in the case of large irrigation users we have done that in the past and the reason we do that is that we have some ability to terminate their use of the water if we get into a drought condition or if our canals start to dewater.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
There not being any, the next item followed.
1. Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
2. Update on Construction
3. Discussion of MOMS Program
Ms. Early asked to postpone the presentation on the MOMS program until you have a full Board.
C. Superintendent - Questions and Comments on Proposed General Fund Budget
Mr. Moyer stated there is nothing required of the Board today. That will come back to you next month for a public hearing.
Ms. Archer stated Mr. Daly set up the email system so that you receive everything he gets.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor's Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Invoices
Karl Miller Robert Fennell
Vice President President