MINUTES OF MEETING
regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement
District was held on
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
John McKune Engineer
Roger Moore Engineer
Bill Joyce Staff
William G. Benson Keefe, McCullough & Co.
Nicholas A. Gross Keefe, McCullough & Co.
Mr. Fennell called the meeting to order, and Mr. Moyer called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the May 17, 2004 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated that each Board
member had received a copy of the minutes of the
There not being any,
ORDER OF BUSINESS Acceptance of
the Audit for Fiscal Year Ended
Mr. Benson introduced himself and gave a presentation on the audit, which is attached hereto and made part of the record.
ORDER OF BUSINESS Co
Mr. Moyer stated the Center for the Medical Arts has submitted a proposal to reconfigure their stormwater management system. Enclosed in the agenda package is a letter from CH2M-Hill indicating that the modifications do not change their being in compliance with the rules of the South Florida Water Management District and the District.
Mr. McKune stated this project had been previously permitted. This is a reshaping of an on-site lake with some modifications to the on-site drainage structures. There is no outfall to a District canal.
Mr. Hanks stated CH2M-Hill’s letter specifies that the project will utilize ex-filtration trench, yet John Haley’s calculations says they are not going to be utilizing ex-filtration trench.
Mr. McKune stated they are there and part of the system.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Questions and Comments on the Proposed Budget
Mr. Hans distributed an updated copy of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2005.
Mr. Moyer stated the public hearing to adopt the budget will be held next month. The overall numbers did not change in terms of the assessment remaining the same, but the narratives were not consistent with the numbers that were shown in the summary.
The Board reviewed the budget and accorded to add a travel and per diem line item in the amount of $2,000 to be derived from the renewal and replacement reserve account.
ORDER OF BUSINESS Co
This item was tabled.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
Mr. Lyles stated I have had a great deal of contact with the governor’s office since our last meeting. They have many questions about the codification bill. They want to know why we are exempting ourselves from certain provisions of Chapter 298, and they question if it violates the governor’s policy against allowing a special act to violate general law. I explained to them that we started out many years ago as a 298 drainage district but when we passed a special act in 1970 to create this special improvement district, we significantly broadened the scope of what it does. It was no longer a water control district so while we agreed in this original act that certain provisions of Chapter 298 would carry over and be applicable, they also specified the ones that would not be. It is back and forth with them. The governor has until the end of this week to veto this bill, and it is still waiting for a thorough staff analysis. They have asked many questions some of which were easily answered and some of which can only be answered by the fact that this was supposed to be a codification bill. It is supposed to combine previous amendments into one act, not create substantive changes. They are all over the issue of elections, and I have represented to them on the District’s behalf that you are very much in favor of changing Chapter 189 that would allow this Board and others like it to voluntarily convert to a popular election system and that you proposed it and will support it. It was not included in the codification bill because it would be a substantive change to the bill. In fact, the governor vetoed such a bill two years when someone else tried to put that language into a codification bill.
Mr. Fennell asked is there anything proactive we should do?
Mr. Lyles responded it is technical at this point; not a political exercise.
Mr. Eissler asked if the term was not fulfilled and we went to a general election, could someone bring suit saying I was duly elected for four years and now we are changing this in two or three years?
Mr. Lyles responded I supposed that there is a potential for that, but a bill made its way through the process to change the date of municipal elections in Broward County from March to November. This means if cities opt in, it is not mandatory, and certain elected city commissioners will have shorter terms.
Mr. Hans stated with regard to the Lake Coral Springs issue, they feel our rates are higher than what was reported the first time they were here. I gave them a breakdown of costs for the maintenance of Lake Coral Springs, which includes employee expenses, time and labor, and they have opted for us to do the minimal and they contract the additional work.
Mr. Hanks asked would we be prudent in responding to them and specifying that their application of herbicide would be uplands, or do we want them to apply directly into the lakes?
Mr. Lyles responded their master declaration documents specify that if anyone is going to do aquatic herbicide type weed control over and above CSID’s normal level, it has to be done with prior approval of CSID. Therefore, they are not in a position to do whatever they want to do whenever they feel like it. However, we wanted to come before the Board to obtain guidance on how to respond.
Mr. Fennell stated there is a growing issue with water contamination so they simply cannot put anything there.
Mr. Eissler stated I recommend that we be the ones to apply any and all chemical treatments to Lake Coral Springs because our people are trained and licensed.
Mr. Lyles stated it seems they want the District to pay for everything that is done and if something needs to be done to control weeds over and above your normal application, they will do it with their own contractor to save money. It is my understanding that the Board is directing staff to notify them that pursuant to their master declaration and HOA documents, they are not authorized to apply any chemicals and herbicides to waters of the District including but not limited to Lake Coral Springs. We will take the next step on the District’s behalf.
· Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
There being no further report, the next item followed.
· Update on Construction
Mr. Moore stated approximately six months ago, we bid the refurbishing of water softners one and two. We completed unit two, and it is up and running. It will probably have a 25-year life span if it is properly maintained. We need to do this to the other two units. Unit one is approximately the same size as unit two, but unit three is three times the size. We are in the planning and design stage of unit four. We hoped to put the refurbishing of units one and three in with unit four, but unit one is down so we recommend bidding the refurbishing of unit one.
Mr. Moore distributed a handout, reviewed the projects listed and stated we request authorization to bid this particular project.
Mr. Hanks asked what will this bring us in terms of new life on that plant?
Mr. Moore responded if properly maintained, it should last another 25 years with the exception of general maintenance.
Mr. Hanks asked do you think they are decent structures to refurbish versus replacement?
Mr. Moore responded yes.
Mr. Moore stated the integrity tests for the deep wells were successfully completed with a couple of exceptions. Most of the valves that operate flows to the deep wells were not operating efficiently, and they are going to request that they be replaced. At this time, they asked us to give them a schedule of replacement. I feel comfortable that they will live with a schedule of bidding. However, I am going to meet with them next week regarding another problem and if they say they want it done in the next 30 days followed by a letter of warning, I will ask the Board for two directions. I need five valves for deep well number one and four valves for deep well number two totaling approximately $42,000. I will ask the Board for authorization to change order this into a current contract to avoid violations. However, I believe they will work with us when we give them the written schedule and advise them that we were authorized to bid it.
Mr. Lyles stated staff is seeking authorization to prepare the change order, but it will come back for ratification. This is typical for a change order process. I do not see a legal impediment.
Mr. McKune stated we will have to ask the well contractor to do something to the well to keep it from flowing out onto the ground, which will cost approximately $4,000.
Mr. Moyer announced Mr. Joyce’s retirement, and the Board expressed their thanks for his time and dedication.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor's Requests and Audience Comments
Mr. Fennell stated I attended a meeting last month for the Broward Everglades working group. They are trying to gather support for their efforts. It is mainly aimed at trying to purify the waters, and the everglades are their main focus. They are looking for ten parts per billion of phosphates. Their goal is to restore the water to the same purity it used to be. However, rainwater plays a significant role, and phosphates occur naturally. Some areas of Broward back pump into the everglades, and they are trying to figure out how to purify those waters. They want the water flowing into the everglades to be as pure as the water that is in the middle of the everglades. It does not affect us directly. It is a single solution for a single problem. I mentioned that we have other concerns pertaining to availability and wastewater. None of these problems are being addressed.
Mr. Moore stated they are seeking support for best management practices.
Mr. Fennell stated if we decide to support this, we should establish our own policy on what we want our own local water quality levels to be and mesh with their policy. They called and asked me if we put forward a resolution of support. They are spending a lot of money, and there will be pressure on us to do something.
Mr. Moore distributed a letter dated June 8, 2004 from Jerry Graulich regarding Well No. 4 and stated I spoke to Mr. Graulich and he is happy as long as we complete our well by November.
Mr. Moore distributed a letter dated June 16, 2004 addressed to Andrew Ponnock regarding 10163 Vestal Court and stated Mr. Ponnock came to me with a bill in the amount of $24,000. His sewer backed up, and he is requesting reimbursement. After investigating the problem, I responded with my letter concluding that his wife indicated there was previous damage prior to moving into the home. It is our policy for a plumber to determine where the problem is, and we usually fix the situation. We normally do not have any damage. We sometimes reimburse them for the plumber’s cost. Mr. Ponnock waited until the third event after he had a major sewer back up. He also has an unconventional floor drain in his laundry room, which supposedly flooded his house. We do not feel we have any liability.
Finally, we received a noise complaint about people working different times. I explained to the resident what was happening and he was understanding. I assured him things were moving forward.
Mr. Fennell asked what happened with tree root situation?
Mr. Moore responded we have not heard back from them since our attorney sent him a letter.
Mr. Fennell asked where was the blockage?
Mr. Moore responded in a manhole. We had a blockage in the same area. The trees are owned by the HOA. We spoke with the City regarding this particular subdivision and they told someone else that they are probably removing the trees because they are causing trouble in their own utility area. We cleaned out the roots, which were in the manhole.
Mr. Joyce stated the manhole is in the planting area in the center of the cul-de-sac and there happens to be large tree in that area. The roots from that tree grew into the main line where the connection is made and continued up the lateral towards the house. This is where the blockage was. When Roto Rooter went out there the first time to clear it, they managed to remove just enough for it to drain. As it continued, because of the floor drain in the house, it backed up again and the water flowed throughout the house. However, her statement to our staff was that when they moved into the house in February, there had been previous damage to the floor; obviously from a back up. Yet, they are claiming damages in the amount of $24,000.
Mr. Eissler asked should their homeowner’s policy cover this?
Mr. Joyce responded according to him, they will not cover it because it was not his property; it was on city property. However the HOA owns the streets; they are private. I suggested to him that he may have a better chance of getting their money back from the HOA.
Mr. Lyles stated my advice would have been not to send this letter. I would like to review his original letter. What standard policy do we have that issues a check in the amount of $228.29? I am not aware of it.
Mr. Moore responded it is our policy.
Mr. Lyles stated your letter indicates that we are accepting responsibility for something, but I do not know that we are responsible for anything. I cannot give you good advice on this at this point, but we will follow up with the appropriate letter. If we do send them a check, we will send a release to cover any damage that he received, which should be standard operating procedure.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have insurance that covers us in these cases?
Mr. Lyles responded if we were negligent.
Mr. Eissler stated if any complaint comes in with regard to money, do not acknowledge anything until we obtain legal advice.
Mr. Moyer stated if the tree is owned by the HOA, send them a letter to remove the tree.
Mr. Hanks stated it compromises the utility service for everyone.
Mr. Fennell asked have we looked at the lines?
Mr. Joyce responded we got it completely cleaned out and TV’d it. The lines are clear now, but I cannot tell how long it will stay that way because eventually the roots will grow back.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have an easement or some other grant allowing us to be in that area?
Mr. Moore responded I will have to look at the plat.
Mr. Eissler asked isn’t it standard procedure to run anything that can be detrimental to the District before counsel?
Mr. Moyer responded we have never dealt with such an absurd request. Typically, if the problem is identified and we confirm that the problem is on our side of the connection and someone spent money that they shouldn’t have, we reimburse them for their plumber’s fees. However, we have never taken care of damages and if it is a tree problem with roots, it is our position that they own the tree and it is their responsibility to solve the problem. Since we have the equipment, we will offer to solve the problem but if they do not get rid of the tree and it the roots return, it is their problem.
Mr. Eissler stated if you do it once, they will want you to do it twice.
Mr. Fennell stated the tree is not on their property.
Mr. Eissler stated as Coral Springs matures, it will happen repeatedly.
Mr. Fennell stated we will have to think about a policy.
Mr. Moyer stated it is a private road owned by the HOA, and it is my opinion that it is an HOA problem. When they are on public streets, the City, by code, requires you to put trees within the public right-of-way and those are the trees in most cases that end up causing the utility system’s fits.
Mr. Fennell asked who is responsible for that?
Mr. Moyer responded I would argue that under the landscaping code in the City, the City passes the obligation of maintenance on to the homeowner. The homeowner has to maintain to the curb line, and that maintenance, in my opinion, would include grass, trees and damage caused by roots.
Mr. Fennell stated we need to research what our insurance covers. We may have to be more aggressive going forward in inspecting some of our older lines.
Mr. Moyer stated we will keep you posted.
Mr. Fennell stated we need to solve this problem and do what is legally responsible for liability. I do not want to spend a lot of time defending ourselves.
Mr. Lyles stated let’s take a look at our easements. I assume there is an easement for utility purposes and depending on how that was prepared, it may give us the right to do what we need to do to maintain the area and preserve the integrity of our lines.
Mr. Moyer stated that is an expensive route because we have many thousands of trees.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Invoices
After review of the financials,
There being nothing further,
Glen Hanks Robert D. Fennell