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, October 20, 2003 at 4:00 p.m. in the District Office, 10300 N. W. 11 Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.

 

            Present and constituting a quorum were:

 

            Robert D. Fennell                                       President

            William Eissler                                            Vice President

            Glen Hanks                                                Secretary

 

            Also present were:

 

            Gary L. Moyer                                           Superintendent

            Dennis Lyles                                               Attorney

            Rich Hans                                                   Staff

            Bill Joyce                                                    Staff

            Donna Holiday                                           Staff

            John McKune                                             Engineer

            Roger Moore                                             Engineer

            Steven A. Weinberg                                   Frank, Weinberg & Black, P.L.

            Mike Morrison                                           Morrison Builders

            Lewis Moscovitch                                      Resident

 

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS                         Roll Call

            Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order, and Mr. Moyer called the roll.

 

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS                    Approval of the Minutes of the September 15, 2003 Meeting

            Mr. Fennell stated that each Board member had received a copy of the minutes of the September 15, 2003 meeting and requested any additions, corrections or deletions.

            There not being any,

 

On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the minutes of the September 15, 2003 meeting were approved as submitted.

 

THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS                       Continuation of Discussion Regarding Docks in the Mariner’s Cove Area of Lake Coral Springs

            Mr. Lyles stated this issue arose several months ago with respect to an application for a dock to be constructed in the Mariner’s Cove area.  This matter made its way to the City of Coral Springs, but someone realized we had an easement there, and Rozann Abato owns the property together with a representative from her dock construction company and came to a meeting and asked the Board for permission.  It was at that point questions were raised as to who had the right to do what in this area.  The Board directed staff to look at the whole picture, including the lake, which we were being told the District had no responsibility for, and whether or not that lack of responsibility and ability to approve or disapprove permits flowed into the canal off of the lake where Ms. Abato resides.  The engineers and Mr. Weinberg have done their independent reviews.

            The lake, shown as Parcel A1 on the plat, was dedicated to the Homeowners Association (HOA) when the community was created, and there is no easement in favor of the District over the lake.  The only reference to the District I can locate is that in the master declaration documents for the community, mention is made of the existence of CSID and of the fact CSID may have boats on the lake for purposes of aquatic weed control.  We have no easement, obligation or agreement with the original landowner or the successor to the landowner to do any of that activity.  Apparently, we have voluntarily done some maintenance in addition to aquatic weed control over the years.  Staff has quantified this for the Board in looking over last year’s activities.  In any event, we have a canal easement for the full 100’ width of the canal that runs off of Lake Coral Springs and ultimately goes through a culvert and connects to the rest of our drainage system.  This gives the District the right to have water drain and flow within the canal easement.  There are no further rights reserved to the District.            One issue that sometimes comes up with these types of easements is whether or not there is a limitation on anyone constructing any structure, permanent or otherwise, within the confines of the easement.  In this case, not only is the easement not exclusive, it also does not make it a requirement that anyone come before this Board for approval to construct a legal structure within that easement.  We would only be able to say no to a matter that would not permit flowage through the easement such as a dam.  If they did it without our permission, we would have the right to go to court and have it removed.

            In summary, we have an easement for flowage and drainage; someone has applied for the appropriate permits through the City to construct a dock behind her home; and the City advised them to contact us.  I cannot offer a legal reason to deny the permit.

            Mr. Fennell asked is this different from our other easements?

            Mr. Lyles responded yes.  We do not have a lake maintenance easement along the real property; only a canal easement.  Therefore, we will not be getting land-bound equipment in there.  For purposes of the canal easement, we do not have any basis for saying we cannot utilize the easement to its fullest extent by virtue of the presence of a dock.

            Mr. Hanks asked is it being used and relied upon by the rest of the District for storage within the District?  Is there protection against future encroachments into that lake and loss in storage capacity that will impact the District?

            Mr. Lyles responded we have no right within that lake to do anything. We are passive bystanders, and the obligation to maintain it and make sure it functions properly was specifically directed to the HOA.

            Mr. Hanks stated the only role we would play is if we would have the ability to review, approve or reject any changes to that lake as a permitting agency.

            Mr. Moyer stated that lake was used as part of the storage calculations for the surface water management permit.

            Mr. McKune stated the residents are foreclosed from building something into the lake so I do not believe that will be a problem.

            Mr. Lyles stated even though the District does not have any rights with respect to the lake, the South Florida Water Management District permit has conditions that they have to meet as private owners.  In the absence of an easement on that lake, are we appropriately spending funds on aquatic maintenance and clean up activity?

            Mr. Joyce distributed a list of maintenance tasks and their costs performed on the Lake of Coral Springs from January 2003 to date.

            Mr. Fennell stated what is the status of the Lake of Coral Springs?  It appears we have been supporting maintenance and various other kinds of costs for the lake.  Should we have been doing that?

            Mr. Moyer responded we have no obligation to maintain private property.  Until this issue came up, staff was under the impression that we had certain easement rights that gave us control of that waterway.  The easement is strictly a canal and flowage easement, which means we have the right to flow water in that area, but we have no maintenance obligation there.  There are no rights to permit us to go on that property for maintenance.

            Mr. Lyles stated there is no obligation anywhere that has come to our attention that would create a duty on the part of the District to perform any maintenance activities.  You would presume that certain activities might arise from the drainage and flowage easement.  If something stopped it from draining and flowing we would have the right to clear out the stoppage.

            Mr. Hanks stated similarly, there is no obligation placed on the owner of that land to maintain that for our drainage and flowage.

            Mr. Eissler asked are we remiss if we continue to do maintenance in that lake by using the District’s money to maintain it?

            Mr. Lyles responded an argument can be made that we are using District funds generated from all the lands throughout the District to benefit private property.  Even though the association owns it, it is still private property.

            Mr. Eissler asked would the HOA have to hire someone to perform maintenance if we didn’t do it for them?  Are there companies that do that?

            Mr. Moyer responded yes.

            Mr. Hanks asked in terms of the overall water quality of the discharges from our system, are we better off keeping that under our control as to how often and which herbicides are used in this situation?

            Mr. Moyer responded the assumption is that the herbicides are going to be licensed and the company doing the work will have an occupational license and a level of expertise in that area and know what the rules are.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I am sure the association does not want to impede the ability of the District to manage the property or block the easement area or access around the community.  Small docks do not seem to impede this.  Are most of the docks small in nature?

            Mr. Morrison joined the meeting at this time.

            Mr. Morrison responded I do not know who set the standard, but the restriction has been nothing larger than 20’ by 20’ square.  A 400 sq. ft. maximum is all that we have been allowed to permit.

            Mr. Weinberg asked if a vehicle had to drive around the lake, can they navigate their way from the 100’ set back?

            Mr. Morrison responded yes.

            Mr. Weinberg stated the best thing to do is to have a representative of your Board meet with a representative of my Board to find a common solution.  Anything short of that is not the right answer.  We need to protect the District because we all live there.  The residents should have some rights to build a small dock with good construction standards that does not impede flowage or other uses.

            Mr. Eissler stated the dock can be built because we have no say.

            Mr. Lyles stated we cannot approve or deny.   However, we have an easement, and we are a public entity.  The City, as a rule, wants to know if an entity that serves the public such as a utility or this District has a problem with what is proposed to be constructed.  Therefore, your response would be either the Board objects for some reason or has no objection and let it go at that.

            Mr. Weinberg stated the simpler response might be to advise the City that the District has no authority to approve or disapprove of docks on the lake.

            Mr. Morrison stated the City of Coral Springs, as of the last four weeks, is now requiring that anything on the entire lake come here, which is why Mr. Moscovitch is here.  He is a new customer who has been put on hold due to us being unable to obtain the Board’s written permission.

            Mr. Fennell asked what are they doing for water management, control and drainage?  I do not think they knew that they took this responsibility on.  It seems like we are not involved.

            Mr. Weinberg responded the people of Lake of Coral Springs believe that the District is managing the lake area.

            Mr. Moyer stated the issue that concerns me is that the rules of the District be uniform throughout the District.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I believe Mr. Lyles and I can work something out in a simplistic way that will fairly keep the status quo and give the District control.

            Mr. Moyer stated the residents east of Lake Coral Springs will be treated differently unless this Board wants to change the policy and permit docks, which will make the canal banks dysfunctional.

            Mr. Weinberg asked do all the lakes not have lake or canal easements?

            Mr. Moyer responded they are owned in fee simple by the District or we have drainage and maintenance easements that are recorded as part of the plat.  I am concerned that there are two sets of rules.  You want us to spend public dollars to maintain Lake Coral Springs and have rights that the other people who spend the same amount of money do not have.  This creates an equity issue.

            Mr. Weinberg responded WCI intended this.  Everyone who purchased was told this.

            Mr. Moyer stated you may be correct in that WCI wanted to keep that lake private, but the misunderstanding staff has had for the last ten years is that we had easement rights to that lake.  It appears that WCI wanted that to be private and maintained by the Lake Coral Springs Association and not have any District involvement.

            Mr. Weinberg the only contrary aspect of that is in the Lake Coral Springs documents.

            Mr. Lyles stated it is not a duty, obligation or expectation.  It puts on notice anyone who is looking at this master declaration document that CSID may be in there with a boat for purposes of aquatic weed control.

            Mr. Weinberg stated something can be put together in the form of a license.  I am asking the District to consider the intent of this.

            Mr. Moyer stated we do not have jurisdiction.

            Mr. Weinberg stated the Board of Lake Coral Springs Association will ultimately state that the docks need to be constructed in accordance with City building code for the safety of the residents and the District.  To the extent I can bring a resolution type of agreement, I am willing to do that on behalf of the Board.

            Mr. Hanks stated the issue before us is what to do on the dock.  We need to authorize staff to write a letter to the City of Coral Springs thanking them for directing Ms. Abato’s question to us, advise them that we find no objection, and encourage them to continue the policy of directing requests to us.

            Mr. Moyer stated no objection indicates that we made a judgment, which we have no objection to.  I am not sure we should go that far because if something happens, it will be said that we looked at this and had no objection.  If Mr. Lyles is in agreement, I would say that we do not have the jurisdiction to approve, disapprove or comment.

            Mr. Hanks stated I do not think we should open it up that far because if there was not that restriction or if the Lake Coral Springs Association changed their property owners association and allowed docks of any size then it can interfere with us.

            Mr. Fennell stated we need to determine who is responsible for the flood control in that area.  I am not sure it is us.

            Mr. Moyer stated there is a difference between flood control and storage.  We have storage rights.  However, if we receive complaints about litter in the lakes, our response will be to tell them to call their association.  However, we will continue doing what we do to provide Lake Coral Springs with flood control.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I would like to have a meeting with staff and the appropriate representatives of the association to try to find a resolution.  I believe that CSID has maintenance obligation and flood control.  It has been put out there since the beginning of time from when every resident bought into this community, and there is an expectation that has ripened into an obligation.

            Mr. Fennell you said you thought we did not have jurisdiction.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I said you did not have jurisdiction for the approval or denial of the dock.  I said if the dock can be proven to effect flowage or the ability for access, then I believe that you potentially have an approval or rejection right.  Case law in Florida demonstrates that the holder of an easement can put no further restrictions on it than is necessary for it to carry out its intended purpose.

            Mr. Eissler asked does floodwater flow into that lake, or does the water from the lake flow out into the rest of CSID’s canals?

            Mr. McKune responded it flows out.

            Mr. Hanks asked how many acres are we talking about in terms of Lake Coral Springs?  Is it above the 40-acre threshold?

            Mr. Moyer responded yes.  It is approximately 125 acres.

            Mr. Hanks stated then this would be the subject of an individual permit through the South Florida Water Management District.

            Mr. McKune stated I do not believe there is a separate permit for that lake.

            Mr. Moyer stated that started in 1971 as a rock pit before permitting.

            Mr. Hanks stated there may be some information contained in the surrounding permits.

            Mr. Fennell asked who is in control of that water area?

            Mr. Lyles responded the HOA.  We have not looked at all the permits and whether there are conditions attached to permits which might impose an obligation that we are not able to tell you about today.

            Mr. Eissler asked wouldn’t it be prudent for CSID to continue maintaining the lake?  It is to our benefit to do that.  It is all part of our drainage system.  It would behoove us to continue maintaining the lake.

            Mr. Hanks stated if Lake Coral Springs decided against maintaining weed control, would we see an upturn in the amount of weed control that we would have to do on the remaining canals?

            Mr. Fennell stated from a practical standpoint, we should be the group in charge of the water in this area.  A public safety issue is at large here.  We want to treat them the same as the rest of the people in the District, but we need to get the agreements, easements, etc., from Lake Coral Springs in order for that to happen; otherwise, they will have to take on certain responsibilities themselves.

            Mr. Eissler stated since we do not have the responsibility and money is involved, CSID should maintain it, and they should be paying CSID to maintain it because it is a private lake.  We should be responsible for that lake.

            Mr. Fennell stated the other homeowners are paying money for something they have no access to.

            Mr. Lyles stated I anticipate additional staff review and a meeting through Mr. Weinberg’s office.  One distinction between this lake and other lakes in CSID is something we started out with at the beginning of the discussion.  That is, in those lakes where we have fee simple ownership or strong easement rights, we do not permit docks.  In this lake, we are going to take the position that we have no jurisdiction; therefore, we have nothing to say about the docks and they can stay.  It will be a difficult sell to the rest of the community for us take this lake over and maintain it at the District’s expense and allow them to have docks but no one else.  This distinction argues in favor of continuing maintenance with our resources on a contract basis with the HOA because we can do it cheaper than a private company.  Perhaps we do it on a contract basis while helping to discharging our responsibilities as a government agency.  You must also consider liability.  A nearby District had two drownings and lost their insurance.  Currently, CSID would not be responsible.  There are reasons why you do not want to be in total control of the lake as well as reasons why you want it to be maintained properly, which can be done through a contract that we can negotiate with the HOA.

            Mr. Moyer asked what letter do we write to the City?

            Mr. Lyles responded I agree with Mr. Hanks.  We do not want to back away from any rights with respect to the canal.  Let us tell them that the District Board has no objection to Ms. Abato’s request and that we do not have any jurisdiction in connection with property that abuts the lake.

            Mr. Eissler asked how do we go about contacting the association to contract with us to maintain the lake for a fee?

            Mr. Weinberg responded I cannot speak for the Board on that sense of the business decision.  However, my Board wants to work things out with the District.  I do not have the authority to cast upon the association an additional expenditure.  Give me a couple of weeks to get a Board together, then I will speak to Mr. Lyles and tell him what their position is.

            Mr. Eissler stated Ms. Abato can have a dock.

 

Mr. Hanks moved to authorize staff to send a letter to the City of Coral Springs indicating that the District has no objection to Ms. Abato’s particular case.

 

The motion died due to lack of a second.

 

            Mr. Fennell stated we have to add that this is not the same as an approval.

            Mr. Morrison stated that will not get us a permit from the City.

            Mr. Fennell stated we cannot approve it.

            Mr. Morrison stated based on my experience with the City, if you put in that last disclaimer, the City will not consider it.  No objection will tell the City that you do not object and that they can issue a permit.

            Mr. Fennell stated that implies approval.

            Mr. Eissler stated in my mind, it does not.

            Mr. Lyles stated it says we have no objection to this and that we are not approving anything.  We do not have any objection to you issuing a permit for this dock based upon the canal easement.  That is all it has to say.

            Mr. Eissler stated I am for that.  We should not be a stumbling block for them getting a dock.

            Mr. Fennell asked are you approving the dock?

            Mr. Eissler responded we are not approving it, but I have no objection.  It is a matter of legal wording.

            Mr. Lyles stated we advised the City to let us know that when easements are involved with CSID, we want them to contact us.  It is important to continue demonstrating that we are working together.

            Mr. Moyer stated let us be specific about the easement.  We have no objection because all we have is flowage rights.  What they propose to do will not adversely affect the flowage rights, but it may adversely affect maintenance activities, but we do not have maintenance rights to do that.  Be very specific.

            Mr. Fennell stated I do not want to imply something with words that we do not mean.  We cannot approve a dock because we do not have jurisdiction.  We can say that we neither approve nor deny a dock.

            Mr. Hanks asked do we want to review the language or delegate this to Mr. Moyer or Mr. Lyles?

            Mr. Fennell responded we cannot approve the dock because we do not have the legal authority to do it.

            Mr. Eissler stated we cannot not approve it; therefore, we have no objections.

            Mr. Moyer stated I want to point out to the City that this is a unique case because I do not want them to think that this is universal within CSID; that we do not have the right to approve or disapprove.

            Mr. Hanks stated the City has taken great steps to improving their review of easements and are questioning more easements throughout the City, and we want to encourage them to do that.

            Mr. Lyles stated we need to put accordingly we have no objections to the construction of the dock because we do have an easement and we are a public agency, and the City does want to know what our take on this is.  We do not want them to get the impression that they did not need to ask us.  We want to thank them and make sure they know that we appreciate them asking us, and we want them to continue to ask.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Fennell seconded by Mr. Eissler with all in favor, due to the unique nature of this case and because of the particular easement, the Board neither has the right to approve or deny; therefore, does not object.

 

            Mr. Eissler stated I would like to have someone look into the possibility of a contractual agreement between the Lake Coral Springs residents and CSID for maintenance of the lake at a fee basis since it is a unique situation.  We need to consider if we are misappropriating CSID money by putting money into that lake.

            Mr. Hanks asked is this the only private lake in Coral Springs that we are maintaining in this manner?

            Mr. Moyer responded this is the only lake that I am familiar with that we do not have any rights to.

            Mr. Lyles stated you have directed me to meet with the counsel for the association and come back with the outlines of an arrangement that would be mutually satisfactory.

            Mr. Hans stated regarding Lake Coral Springs itself, I received a request from someone to build a dock.  We decided on the lake we have no jurisdiction.  Is this how we need to respond?

            Mr. Hanks stated be sure to thank the City for referring to us.

            Mr. Lyles stated be very specific.  It is privately owned, and we do not have an easement over that lake; therefore, we have no jurisdiction to approve or disapprove.

            Mr. Joyce asked how do I direct staff with regard to complaints we receive from Lake Coral Springs about litter in the lakes, runaway boats, etc.?

            Mr. Eissler responded we cannot change anything now.

            Mr. Weinberg stated I respectfully request that you continue to operate status quo.

            Mr. Lyles stated if you continue to do the routine matters staff has undertaken in recent months for the next month so, you can anticipate being reimbursed for that minimum maintenance activity in this particular body of water pending negotiations with the HOA.

            Mr. Fennell stated given that expectation, we will continue service until the next meeting.

            The Board unanimously agreed.

            Messrs. Weinberg, Moscovitch and Morrison left the meeting at this time.

 

FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                    Consideration of Award of Contracts

            A.        Belt Filter Press

            Mr. McKune stated on October 2, we received two bids for a belt filter press.  We have a piece of heavy equipment there, which has been requiring more maintenance.  We will have the existing contractor take it from the truck and put it in place.

            Mr. Fennell asked what class of sludge will we end up with?

            Mr. McKune responded Class B.  Whatever we do, we want to be part of an ultimate solution that could be Class A.

            Mr. McKune stated we put in the specifications that we wanted short-term delivery.  We spoke with the bidders, and they both have equipment so we do not have to wait for the complete construction process to take place.  This will save us time.

            Mr. McKune described the two proposals submitted by Andritz-Ruthner for the polymer feed system and discharge chute.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the belt filter press contract was awarded to Andritz-Ruthner in the amount of $169,500; Proposal No. J1325-01-101603 for the emulsion polymer dilution and feed system was approved in the amount of $7,250; Proposal No. J1325-02-101703 for the cake discharge chute was approved in the amount of $2,850.

 

            B.        Chemicals for Aquatic Weed Control

            Mr. Moyer stated staff inadvertently thought the bid opening was a day earlier than it actually was and opened the bids.  However, there was one bid the next day.  We need to make clear that even though the bids were opened a day early, those bids were not given to any of the bidders.  No one had access to the bids.  Helena Chemical Company is aware of this, but they are not going to file a bid protest.

 

On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the chemicals for aquatic weed control were awarded to the lowest, responsive and responsible bidders respectively and in the case of the same bid, the contract was awarded to the same bidders and will be purchased in accordance of availability and the minor deviation from bid specifications described by Mr. Moyer in connection with the pre-opening of the bids was waived.

 

FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                         Consideration of Work Authorization No. 23 for Engineering Services for Mechanical Integrity Testing of the Deep Injection Wells

            Mr. Moyer stated this item is a requirement of the permit, and a time constraint is involved.  We had to pay $10,000 in fines because the last report was three days late.

            Mr. McKune stated the cost is $75,000 for the engineering, and the contractor will cost $150,000.  We would like to get the contracting and work completed before the next rainy season so that we do not run into a hydraulic problem.  We have a large injection well and a smaller one.  The large well is capable of taking the entire flow of the District.  When we do the testing, the well is taken out of service; therefore, we can only put the entire flow from the District down the smaller well, which is adequate to take the flow during dry days, but not during the rainy season.

            Mr. Eissler asked is this a budgeted item?

            Mr. Moyer responded I did not see it in the budget.  It may have to come out of the capital improvement program.

On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor Work Authorization No. 23 for engineering services for mechanically integrity testing of the deep injection wells was approved in the amount of $75,000.

 

SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                        Staff Reports

            A.        Attorney

            There not being any, the next item followed.

 

            B.        Engineer

                        1.         Monthly Water Update & Sewer Charts

                        2.         Update on Construction

            Mr. McKune stated the major work has been done.  We are finishing the painting of the head works.  When this is done and cured, we will be able to run the flow through the head works and into the plant.  The only thing left to do is the final testing.

A trip to visit the site was planned for 4:00 p.m. on November 17, 2003.

 

            C.        Superintendent – Correspondence Dealing

            Mr. Moyer stated Dan Daly provided me with a letter dated October 6, 2003 addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Parrish regarding an outstanding utility bill.  They have agreed to pay $1,000 on October 31 and make payments according to schedule.

 

            D.        Complaints

            There not being any, the next item followed.

 

SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                  Supervisors Requests and Audience Comments

            There not being any, the next item followed.

 

EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS                     Approval of Invoices

 

On MOTION by Mr. Eissler seconded by Mr. Hanks with all in favor the invoices were approved.

 

            There being nothing further, the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      

Glen Hanks                                                                  Robert D. Fennell

Secretary                                                                      President