MINUTES OF MEETING
The regular meeting of the
Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Bob Fennell President
Sharon Zich Vice President
Glen Hanks Secretary
Also present were:
Dan Daly Interim Manager
Dennis Lyles District Counsel
Sean Skehan CH2M-Hill
Daniel Bohoquez CH2M-Hill
Cedo DaSilva CH2M-Hill
Pete Colussy CH2M-Hill
Bill Barbaro CH2M-Hill
Doug Hyche CSID Utilities Director
Randy Frederick CSID Drainage Supervisor
Kay Woodward CSID Accountant
Jan Zilmer CSID Human Resources
Michael Scholl Public Risk Underwriters
Mark Grimmel Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Daly called the meeting to order and called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the September 17, 2007 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member
received a copy of the minutes of the
Mr. Daly stated on page three, in
the second to the last paragraph “we acquired more of our employees” should be
“we required more of our employees”. In
the same paragraph, “we will get them on a CAD drawing starting with the City
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Presentation from Mark Grimmel of Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs on Property Insurance, Question and Answer Session and Consideration by the Board to Change Insurance Carriers
Mr. Daly stated at this time, I would like to introduce Mr. Mark Grimmel and Mr. Michael Scholl from Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs. In our quest to save money for the District, we looked at everything we spent a large amount of money on. I had the great fortune to meet Mr. Grimmel one day and we started talking. Within a reasonable period of time, Mr. Grimmel re-bid our property insurance policy based on the companies he deals with. Based upon his proposal, we recommend going with this organization.
Grimmel stated not only do we try to improve the price, but we try to improve
the coverage as well. I provided to the
Board a copy of our annual report. We
are a publicly traded firm with 120 offices nationwide and over 4,000
employees. There are seven offices in
the State of
me today is Mr. Mike Scholl, Vice President of Underwriting for Public Risk
Underwriters who manages the Preferred Government Insurance Trust (PGIT) in
● Coverages are $1 million higher than the current program with no umbrella
● Increased limits
○ Coverages to $3 million
○ Same amount of coverage in property, auto and general liability
○ $500,000 per occurrence limit for each crime incident
○ $500,000 limit for employee theft through Travelers
● Windstorm perils
○ Windstorm deductible of 5% and minimum of $500,000 per occurrence through Travelers versus $25,000 coverage through PGIT for only named storms.
Mr. Fennell asked is the word “retention” used the same way as “deductible”?
Mr. Grimmel responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated I assume the sewer back-up coverage under the extension of coverage is in the case of someone suing us for causing a sewage backup in their home. Correct?
Mr. Grimmel responded this coverage is in place if the sewage backs-up into this office. Sewage in a resident’s home falls under the general liability coverage. Under general liability, we cover sewer back-ups for which you are negligent for. There is no exclusion. This is a common question. The first page of the comparison is for your owned property. The second page includes some of your liability coverage.
Mr. Fennell stated thank you for looking into this. I do not think we looked at our policy in my 15 years on the Board.
Mr. Daly stated it is hard to do it. When you gave me this direction, I called our existing insurance company and put them on notice and said “We will shop this and we hope you win.” We called Mr. Grimmel and he provided this proposal. Because of his expertise in the industry and dealing with similar companies, you should look at Mr. Grimmel and his company. In addition, our current provider does not want to give us a proposal until 20 days before the policy expires because they do not want to give you time to shop around. This is the tactic in the industry.
Mr. Fennell asked when is this up for renewal?
Mr. Daly responded the 31st of this month. We literally obtained the price from our current provider on Monday and met with Mr. Grimmel on Tuesday.
Mr. Grimmel stated I provided you with a list of what other water treatment districts are currently paying through PGIT.
Mr. Fennell asked what does public official liability insurance cover?
Mr. Grimmel responded this is commonly referred to as Directors and Officers insurance. In the interest of time, we tried to summarize the coverages. I am happy to answer any questions about this. On the second to the last page is the bottom line amount. Our estimate came out to be $92,000 less than what you are currently paying for this year’s renewal. I think it speaks for itself.
Mr. Fennell stated this is as much as we pay for our engineering or management firms.
Ms. Zich asked how many claims did we have last year?
Mr. Grimmel responded there were less than 10%.
Mr. Daly stated in all honesty, this savings is close to our workers compensation insurance premium for the year, which we just paid. This is a big decision and is not something I or any manager should take upon themselves to change. This needed to go before the Board because something of this magnitude can have many repercussions if we make a mistake.
Mr. Hanks asked what about if anything is missing?
Mr. Grimmel responded we went through this policy line by line. This policy is structured differently. Your existing policy has a $1 million umbrella. The umbrella policy has a separate deductible and different terms and conditions. We made every effort to meet the liability.
Mr. Hanks stated it looks like you have the cost for the liability.
Mr. Grimmel stated PGIT has 690
participating governmental members in the State of
Mr. Hanks asked how long have you been in business?
Mr. Scholl responded the trust has been in existence since 1999. HRH goes back 100 years.
Mr. Fennell asked does HRH insure us?
Mr. Grimmel responded Mr. Scholl’s group manages the trust. I handle the retail end by representing the trust to Boards and other Special Districts across the state.
Mr. Hanks asked is this something Mr. Scholl as the underwriter shopped for?
Mr. Scholl responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked does the list of utilities show who they are insured with?
Mr. Scholl responded yes.
Mr. Grimmel stated it is not a complete list since we insure a couple of hundred cities, counties and other Special Districts.
Mr. Hanks asked how do these companies compare in terms of their ratings?
Mr. Grimmel responded every one of these carriers have an A and best A rating. We will not work with anyone who carries less.
Ms. Zich asked what is the highest rating you can have?
Mr. Grimmel responded you can have A++ in insurance. Our lead property carrier, AIG carries this rate, which is the largest insurance company in the world. There are some carriers rating as low as A-. The A rating is the outstanding rate. Then it goes A-, A+ and A++.
Ms. Zich asked what is the lowest rating an insurance carrier can have?
Mr. Grimmel responded D.
Mr. Fennell asked what is Star Insurance?
Mr. Grimmel responded they are a
public entity specialist who insures governmental businesses. They are the insurer of our
Mr. Fennell stated I see a $100,000 retention. Is this the deductible?
Mr. Grimmel responded this is what the agent retains. We combine 700 governments together and their combined premium contribution is $105 million. The agent will retain roughly half of those monies to pay for the claims. This is how we get the biggest benefit for our dollars. One example is if your truck knocks someone’s rearview mirror off as it is pulling down the road. We know we are going to have those claims.
Mr. Hanks stated this is the same idea as an individual paying a higher deductible insuring that rather than having these extraordinary high deductibles of $100,000, you are approving everyone’s risk together and spreading them among the various members.
Mr. Grimmel stated let’s say I have property worth $5,000. PGIT on a non-hurricane loss bears the layer between $5,000 and $25,000. Then we have the excess carriers above this. On a G/L loss, if someone calls and says their pipe burst, PGIT bears the first $100,000. If the claim gets above this amount, it gets tendered to the carriers.
Mr. Fennell asked is it like a re-insurance rate from a medical standpoint?
Mr. Grimmel responded yes. The easiest way to describe PGIT is it is an insurance company. We are trying to be open and share with you the financial stability of the carriers. The backing of PGIT in the event of a large claim is very good. They are all A rated. My understanding is you purchased your workers compensation insurance through FMIT. Correct?
Mr. Daly responded yes.
Mr. Grimmel stated PGIT is the same type of program and is set up under the same statute as FMIT.
Mr. Hanks asked are these existing customers?
Mr. Grimmel responded a lot of those have been around since 1999.
Mr. Hanks asked such as
Mr. Grimmel responded
Mr. Hanks asked did we track this with our existing carrier?
Mr. Daly responded no.
Mr. Grimmel stated your policy term ends on the 31st.
Ms. Zich stated we have not said we will go with them for next year.
Mr. Daly stated correct. They submitted an invoice to us a week ago for next year’s policy. We should be allowed to make up our mind. Normally it automatically renews and we never did our homework ahead of time to find out where else to go. It is not like shopping at a grocery store.
Mr. Fennell asked is there an advantage to having a two year policy as opposed to a yearly policy?
Mr. Scholl responded it is nice to get a two year policy but given Florida’s geography, we cannot commit to a two year guarantee on the property or workers compensation. If you are interested, we can explore it.
Mr. Grimmel stated my experience has been if you can get a two year lock on a premium, you certainly want to go this route. I think we are probably in a softening insurance market across the nation and you should see a reduction in the liability rates. I do not think a two year program will meet your client’s needs.
Mr. Hanks stated I want to take action on this but prefer to wait until our attorney looks at the policy.
Mr. Fennell asked what is our situation?
Mr. Daly responded we have to make a decision before the end of the month. This was the only meeting we could bring this to the Board. If you decide to go with HRH, District Counsel can write a letter to the existing carrier thanking them for their service over the years and putting them on notice you are going with another carrier. Please make sure it is done professionally.
Mr. Fennell asked from a legal standpoint, do we need to consult with other professionals?
Mr. Daly responded I do not know. Our current provider/broker deals with a much higher level of organization. We are small potatoes for them as they are writing a policy less than $500,000. They mainly write policies ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million. This is not to say they will not miss us as their commission rate is substantial.
Mr. Grimmel stated your broker is ultimately responsible for going into the market and trying to putting together the best program. There are limited markets, especially in the property sector for this type of risk. With the size of your current program, you have one or two other options available at this time. Normally someone on the brokerage side understands the rating, who is being competitive and who is hungry for business. In this case, PGIG has done a tremendous job with a lot of public entities and districts throughout the State of Florida in the last few years but ultimately that is your broker’s responsibility.
Mr. Daly stated I spoke to Mr. Goscicki about this matter a month ago and he said there are not many people who write these policies. He deals with Marsh all the time and says they are a large one who writes these policies. There are not many companies in the industry. I was complaining about how the rates have been increasing and this year it is even higher.
Mr. Grimmel stated it is the same as health insurance. You have to market it.
Ms. Rower stated all of our districts are either with PGIT or the Florida League of Cities. As Mr. Goscicki was saying, there are not many players in the governmental entity market. We worked with PGIT. They are one of the leaders.
Mr. Hanks stated we should go back and check last year’s record. Have we priced this with anyone else? How come no one went out and priced it before?
Ms. Rower responded I was not involved.
Mr. Hanks stated if you go back and take a look at the minutes, you will see we had this discussion from a Board’s perspective for years.
Mr. Grimmel stated because PGIT is a government entity, I can provide your attorney with all the statues but Marsh does not recognize us as an insurance company. When they do their marketing, they do not want to deal with us.
Mr. Hanks stated it is not anything directed at you. It is a general frustration for our past managers.
Ms. Rower stated to be honest with you, it becomes a relationship. I do not know who chose Marsh to begin with.
Mr. Fennel stated we never had a discussion about this type of insurance. It has been grandfathered in. Your concern is how we can grandfather in a $250,000 year expense. It is a line item in the budget.
Mr. Daly stated I suggest Mr. Grimmel and Mr. Scholl remain at the meeting in case Mr. Lyles has any questions.
Mr. Fennell stated one of the reasons we want to have more employees in-house is due to the fact we have someone actively thinking about what happens here and where our costs are coming from on a day-by-day basis and not just accepting things.
Mr. Daly stated we are dealing with the customers when they call us up because their bill is going up $10. The $10 is very important to them and makes every penny we spend important when we put the budget together.
Mr. Fennell stated thanks to staff.
Mr. Daly stated I have two rival companies competing for workers compensation insurance, which has already been paid for because it was renewed on October 1st. However, there is a period of 60 days where you can terminate.
Mr. Fennell asked how much do we pay for workers compensation per year?
Mr. Daly responded about $100,000.
Mr. Fennell stated this is substantial.
Mr. Daly stated the fact is, we do not take advantage of the company we have right now, due to their rules. We hold safety classes and will have a safety inspection by STS this month. We can only improve from what they happen to say. It is nice to have outside professionals pointing out things for us. Our current policy is for everyone to be drug tested before they are hired. If there is an accident, they get tested immediately. We do not have to do random testing but those two things alone; will allow us to get drug credits. Mr. Grimmel’s company will be invited to provide a proposal for the workers compensation. Our other insurance broker for our health insurance has already provided a proposal to us. There are some schools of thought where the property and workers compensation should be in the same house while other schools of thought say it should be elsewhere. We will see what happens.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Request for Drainage Permit for Coral Springs Retail
Mr. DaSilva stated this is a permit request, which came through our office for drainage review. We issued a letter to the applicant requesting additional information on May 25th and gave final approval in July. I request the Board approve this request based on our letter of recommendation. The proposed site is an existing site, which they are adding an additional building to the existing building by deleting some parking. The site is just west of University Drive, south of Royal Palm Boulevard and north of Ramblewood Drive.
Mr. Hanks stated I have a contractual relationship with the applicant as I am one of their traffic consultants.
Mr. Fennell asked what is your conclusion?
Mr. DaSilva responded approval based on our recommendation letter. They provided the drainage calculations as required in the previous letter.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the building coverage on this parcel going to end up being?
Mr. DaSilva responded I do not have the exact numbers.
Mr. Hanks asked are they providing enough storage?
Mr. DaSilva responded they are providing stormwater runoff through exfiltration trenches.
Mr. Hanks asked are they meeting their required storage?
Mr. DaSilva responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked is this based on the building?
Mr. DaSilva responded they have a small retention area in the back of the building.
Mr. Hanks stated the retention area is at elevation nine. The parking lot is at elevation 11’ or 11.5’.
Mr. DaSilva stated it meets the requirement.
Mr. Hanks stated this is our opportunity, if they are not in compliance with our drainage criteria, to bring them into compliance. Are they in compliance with our permit criteria?
Mr. DaSilva responded yes.
Mr. Hanks stated the 130 L.F. drainfield on the north side of the property has a 15” diameter pipe.
Mr. DaSilva stated it is adequate.
Mr. Hanks stated our DOT recommendation is to have an 18” diameter pipe.
Mr. DaSilva stated the 18” diameter pipe is used for DOT roads. We requested both.
Mr. Daly stated Mr. Hanks wanted to ask the insurance broker about the chlorine gas.
Mr. Hanks stated it may not have any bearing at this point but with the prior insurance company, we kept seeing increases. One of the reasons we went with a more expensive liquid chlorine system was to reduce the risk. Where is our savings from reducing our risk?
Mr. Fennell responded good question. You may not be aware but there is a substantial risk for chlorine gas leaks as the plant is in a residential area. We spent a considerable amount of money changing to liquid chlorine.
Mr. Grimmel stated the rating was based on the assumption this operation took every measure for risk mitigation and safety.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
i. Discussion of Cash Flow – Cash Transactions Analysis
Mr. Daly stated Ms. Woodward prepared a well-structured document for the Board’s information.
Ms. Woodward stated there should be three pages of summary cash transactions. The first two pages are in the same format you have seen in the past few months. Under the General Fund, you will notice an additional line item was added to show another $389,000 came in from NRCS when they adjusted the contract. They agreed to give us an additional 3% reimbursement on engineering. This money came in the second week of September.
Mr. Daly stated this is good, especially for this particular fund because we were lenient.
Mr. Fennell asked for the General Fund?
Ms. Woodward responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated this is the one we were concerned about. This is good news.
Mr. Daly stated very good news.
Ms. Woodward stated we showed this as a separate line item so it will not be hidden from view. In the Water and Sewer Fund, there was a major change in the far right column under “Restricted Investments”. This reflects the fact we have net bond proceeds from the sale of our bonds of roughly $41,700,000. Those funds were deposited with US Bank on September 17th and changed the nature of what the schedule will look like. The third page is a summary of the face amount of the bond, the net amounts taken from it and where those monies were initially deposited.
Mr. Hanks asked what is “Original Issue Discount”?
Ms. Woodward responded this is where we are selling something for less than the face amount. Depending on how competitive bonds are in the market when you decide to sell them and whether the interest rate you are offering is above or beyond what the market will bare, will determine whether you have discounted the bonds in order to sell them or offer them at a premium. Typically you offer them at a premium, if you are offering a higher interest rate. The reserve will be true for the original issue discount.
The record will reflect Mr. Lyles joined the meeting.
Mr. Fennell stated is our money making good money? We are supposed to be making 4 to 5 percent on our $41,000,000 sitting there.
Ms. Rower responded the money is in the trust account and earning interest.
Ms. Zich asked how much interest?
Ms. Rower responded 4.6%. There are permissible investments allowed within the Trust Indenture. I am currently working with an Investment Banker and looking at buying some other government issues based on our cash flow so we can earn a higher yield than what it would earn in just the trust vehicle by itself.
Mr. Fennell stated great. Please do this. As we know, even though we have all the money we currently need, we are not going to be able to build everything. There is going to be a payout. We know at least over the next three years, we will be paying.
Ms. Rower stated we are working with a schedule and doing some type of laddering. We think interest rates are going down and are looking at locking in some monies within the next 30 days due to the fact of what the current interest rates are doing.
Mr. Hanks stated the trouble is everyone else is looking ahead with money in one pocket and money out of the other. Actually 4.6% is not bad when we are paying 4.8%.
Ms. Rower stated when you are talking about a range of $38,000,000, we have to ladder some of those out.
Mr. Hanks stated I want to make sure we do not get taken by surprise to where we need help.
Ms. Rower stated correct. We have to look at the Cash Flow Analysis on when the construction draws are occurring. We work closely with the engineers. It is worth it even if you can earn another 50 basis points on $20 million.
Mr. Fennell stated it is worth it but it will probably be limited to federal funds.
Ms. Rower stated the bond document gives you a descriptive analysis on what we are allowed to use the money on. Obviously if it is not beneficial or you are only gaining 10 basis points, it is not worth the cost. I will work closely with Ms. Woodward.
Mr. Hanks stated on page two, under the Water and Sewer Fund, there were expenses and disbursements of $569,000.
Ms. Woodward stated those are for all the expenditures you see in your income statement. On the cash transactions, I attempted to show the money going in and out between the checking and trust accounts. In other words it was not true income. We were only moving money from one account to another. I tried to show this so you understand this is not a revenue source. I only show a couple of lines of detail here. The rest of the detail is in the income statement.
Mr. Hanks asked are you referring to the requisitions paid to consultants or is this a draw?
Ms. Woodward responded it is for the draws on construction. The $157,000 is for cost of issuance items such as the attorneys, trustees, etc.
Mr. Hanks stated thank you for bringing this to us.
Mr. Fennell stated this is great.
Ms. Zich stated I appreciate this. You can see where everything is going. Looking at the check register does not help me. I want to see where we are spending the money.
Mr. Fennell stated the next thing you are going to give us is a schedule, which is what we are actually looking for.
Ms. Woodward stated exactly.
Mr. Fennell stated it is going to tell us where we expect expenditures for construction as well as our general operating expenses and what cash we have available. They can use this to foresee when we go broke and do something about it. This is only going to be as good as the information coming from the engineer. Therefore, we are going to be looking to our engineer to make sure we have excellent schedules, particularly pertaining to scheduled completions. Tied to this is a real understanding of when the contractor expects to get paid or when we need to have a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time so we know going forward what our expenditures are going to be. We have not done this for a long time as far as the scale of the operations. We always had enough money in the bank to cover our bills. We borrowed money for 30 years and we better make sure we use it wisely.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of September Financials and Check Registers
Mr. Hanks asked are there any surprises?
Mr. Daly responded no.
Mr. Hanks asked was there any unusual activity?
Mr. Daly responded no.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports (Continued)
ii. Report from Mr. Frederick on Grinding of Tree Stumps & Erosion Report
Mr. Daly stated Mr. Mark Westfall from the City of Coral Springs contacted us regarding complaints he received about the condition of the canals and canal banks. They have an ordinance stating “If you cut down a tree, you have to grind the stump”.
Mr. Frederick stated when we had our tree removal project, this was never mentioned. We had several meetings with the city and they knew we were going to flush cut these stumps and were worried about grinding them. All of a sudden Mr. Westfall is telling us all stumps have to be grinded because he received complaints.
Mr. Daly stated we had thousands of stumps.
Mr. Frederick stated he is not going to enforce this unless he gets a complaint. We received a complaint from a resident.
Ms. Zich stated I saw them grinding stumps on 19th Street.
Mr. Daly stated not by us.
Mr. Frederick stated we have not grinded any stumps yet.
Mr. Hanks stated if we have a situation where we are required to access the canal bank, we should request an easement or right-of-entry from the property owner.
Mr. Daly stated good idea. Mr. Colussy from CH2M-Hill found out in the last month NRCS is willing to give us more money. We still have to expend more money for the canal bank project, but they will pay 75%. Mr. Hyche, Mr. Frederick and Mr. Colussy put together a plan for residents complaining about their canal banks. Will they take care of some of the tree stump grinding?
Mr. Colussy responded we need to remove them for maintenance purposes so they will qualify.
Mr. Daly stated this is a good thing. Otherwise it costs hundreds of dollars to grind a stump.
Mr. Hanks asked what was the reason for not grinding the stumps in the first place?
Mr. Frederick responded I wanted to stump grind but it was an astronomical figure to grind every tree we were talking about removing at the time.
Mr. Fennell asked where is the area in question?
Mr. Frederick responded south of Sherwood Forest off of Shadow Wood Boulevard. This is the canal by the Jefferson Apartments running under the mall and north to Shadow Wood.
Mr. Fennell asked are those stumps on District property?
Mr. Frederick responded yes. The fence is where the District property line is for the canal.
Mr. Daly asked will NRCS take care of something like this?
Mr. Colussy responded yes, as long as it is for maintenance. They are lenient.
Mr. Daly asked for maintenance of our property or the waterway?
Mr. Colussy responded maintenance of the canal bank. We cannot cut the grass around the stumps.
Mr. Fennell stated we did not plant those trees.
Mr. Frederick stated the homeowner probably planted them because they are in the direct line of the house. They were obviously there for a long time because of the size of the stump.
Ms. Zich asked were they Australian Pines?
Mr. Frederick responded yes.
Ms. Zich stated they were all along the canal across from me by Visconti. Those were there ever since I have been here.
Mr. Hanks asked is this part of the Capital Improvement Plan we are looking at for the drainage system where we are considering the canal expansions?
Mr. Frederick responded no. The only reason this is being addressed is because a homeowner called the city and the city is calling us because we cut the trees. They told us they have an ordinance where if we cut the tree, we have to grind the stump. We did not grind the stump.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have our own stump grinder?
Mr. Frederick responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked should we?
Mr. Hyche responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated if it gets to the point of where we are grinding a lot of trees, we should consider getting a stump grinder. If we had one, we could go out with our own people and do the grinding.
Mr. Frederick stated in some cases, the stumps are easy to grind. The ones on the side of the bank are hard to reach. We need a special grinder for those.
Mr. Fennell asked what direction do you need?
Mr. Frederick responded we want to get permission from the Board to grind these stumps.
Mr. Daly asked was there a cap on what NRCS allows?
Mr. Colussy responded we originally had a project agreement with NRCS for $2.6 million. We have $200,000 left. Our project agreement was slated to end at the end of September. NRCS extended it to the end of December of this year. We have $200,000 to spend on stump removal, bank restoration or any other upgrades for storm related problems in the District.
Mr. Hanks stated the problem we are going to run into is we are going to need to go out for public bids. By the time you put the notice out for a public bid and they come back, it will be too late in the year to do anything.
Ms. Zich stated we are in the middle of October. If you go out for bids, we will not get it done by the end of the year.
Mr. Fennell stated we will have to go out for bids right now in order to receive them by November 1st.
Mr. Hanks stated the question is what the scope will be.
Mr. Fennel stated it is determined by the manager to not exceed a certain amount of money, which is the amount of money we can get.
Mr. Daly stated the certain amount of money also entails Part B, which we have not received yet. We are not including the engineering fee.
Mr. Colussy stated the engineering fee is a 10% reimbursement for this project of the final construction cost. We received a cost estimate for the bank restoration of $100,000.
Mr. Fennell stated since we have to do this work anyway, it is better to do it now.
Mr. Daly stated there is a large sinkhole. It will not be long until the entire bank goes into the water.
Mr. Frederick stated a chunk of land is getting ready to break off along the water’s edge.
Ms. Zich asked where?
Mr. Frederick responded in Eagle Trace.
Ms. Zich asked is this near the area in Eagle Trace where we already did some restoration work?
Mr. Frederick responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked where is the property line?
Mr. Frederick responded near the fence. The residents are already complaining about not being able to maintain the bank. A couple of people called to tell me they are getting cited by the city because they are not maintaining the bank. We are running into a problem as to whether the homeowners or the District are responsible. Are the homeowners expected to spend their money to repair the bank so they can maintain it or is the District responsible?
Mr. Fennell responded they are responsible for cutting the grass.
Mr. Frederick stated exactly. They are saying “Why should I spend my money to repair your property”?
Mr. Fennell responded it is common property for everyone. It is funny how it becomes common property once it needs to be repaired.
Mr. Hanks asked what are the conditions in the canal?
Mr. Frederick responded pretty good. There is a shelf, which eroded over time but you do not see a huge build up. There is supposed to be a two to one slope.
Mr. Daly stated we have an estimate for $100,000.
Mr. Frederick stated in these locations, we received a price of $100,000; 75% to be reimbursed by NRCS if the work is done by the end of December.
Mr. Daly asked using the geo-tube?
Mr. Frederick responded yes.
Mr. Daly asked are these the same people who did work for us in the past?
Mr. Frederick responded exactly the same.
Mr. Daly asked does it have to go out for bid?
Mr. Fennell responded you have a bid.
Mr. Lyles stated we have a proposal. Going out to bid means publishing a notice in the newspaper for two weeks. This is maintenance of District infrastructure and falls under our bidding thresholds of $4,000. It has to be noticed and bid.
Mr. Fennell stated it sounds like we should do the bank restoration and stump grinding at the lowest amount we can get.
Ms. Zich stated do it quickly.
Mr. Fennell stated we should go out for bids now. When the bids come in, the manager and President will select the lowest bidder. Can we do this?
Mr. Lyles responded under the circumstances, you need to put a not to exceed amount on it and authorize them to award to the low bidder. It is in the nature of an emergency.
Mr. Hanks asked has any member of CH2M-Hill been out to these sites?
Mr. Frederick responded Mr. Colussy has.
Mr. Hanks stated there have been situations where you have a layer of rock between 1’ and 5’ deep. Over time the soil, especially if you cut too deep, erodes out from underneath. You have an unsupported shelf and eventually the weight snaps off. Have we looked at what the conditions are in the canals at this location? The application of the geo-tube appears to be on the surface. It may not be addressing the underlying problem.
Mr. Colussy responded we did not do any investigation in this area.
Mr. Hyche stated I think the shelf is still there.
Mr. Colussy stated where we used the geo-tube previously, we sent drivers down and it was eroded underneath. However, the soils report said it was from the same rock. We did the work. It has not been there a long time but it seems to be holding up fairly well.
Mr. Frederick stated one of these locations was supposed to be repaired with the last bank restoration we did but unfortunately they did not have the material in the canal to fill the tube so it did not get done. The homeowner complained about how steep the bank was, how hard it was to maintain and gets closer to his pool every day.
Mr. Hanks stated then we start dealing with whether or not there is a responsibility. I do not think the District constructed these canals. They were constructed prior to the construction of the homes. Most of Coral Springs was built this way.
Mr. Colussy stated there are problems with the banks as they are failing. You may be right.
Mr. Fennell stated if we can fix it, particularly now, we can with the amount of money we can get from NRCS. Let’s go ahead and do it. He is correct. Another three feet of erosion is going to eat up this guy’s backyard and we are going to have a $100,000 lawsuit. Frankly, we are left with the responsibility for the canal.
Mr. Frederick stated we are going to end up with the same situation we have with another homeowner where the bank eventually broke up at his pool after a storm.
Mr. Hanks stated when you are putting together the design for any structure; you have to take into consideration the subsurface conditions. If you are on a bank, you do not build your house on the edge of the bank.
Mr. Lyles stated our job is to make sure drainage occurs, not to make sure they have a nice gently sloping bank.
Mr. DaSilva asked is this a four to one slope?
Mr. Frederick responded I do not think so.
Mr. DaSilva stated if this is the same neighborhood, when they built the schools, they pushed the dirt over the canal and re-did the canal and this is what washed off.
Mr. Hanks stated another solution is to establish the bank by putting in more dirt there and excavating it back with stack bags or do nothing.
Mr. Colussy stated we stacked bags on one lot in Eagle Trace. It worked out nicely but was expensive.
Mr. Frederick stated it was more expensive than the geo-tube.
Mr. Hanks stated I am concerned the application of the geo-tube in this situation may not be the best use. I am familiar with the geo-tube being used to address beach erosion or retaining walls. If we are talking about trying to stabilize the bank, this leads me to think it is not just the issue of erosion of a bank but an overall bank stability issue. The answer is not going to be to put in more soil with additional weight.
Mr. Fennell asked has anyone from our engineering firm gone out there?
Mr. Colussy responded we did a visual inspection but not a geotechnical inspection.
Mr. Fennell stated the question is whether or not we have the correct analysis. What is the engineering firm’s recommendation?
Mr. Colussy responded we used the geo-tube before in instances like this and had good success. However, we are trying to make repairs in an emergency situation. Margate uses geo-tubes. We looked at the areas where they used it and even after some storms, they worked out well. I agree with Mr. Hanks. It is a good idea to do additional investigation into the expense. If the Board wants to do this, we can.
Mr. Fennell asked how much will the additional investigation cost?
Mr. Colussy responded we need to have divers and geo-technical work performed. It will probably cost $5,000.
Mr. Frederick stated if we do not get there within the time limit set by NRCS, we are not going to receive reimbursement.
Mr. Lyles asked have we determined in this particular location whether we are the owner of this bank or have an easement for maintenance purposes? In some cases we have a wide right-of-way and CSID owns fee simple title. This looks like an easement but I do not know.
Mr. Frederick responded there is no right-of-way there now.
Mr. Lyles asked who owns the property?
Mr. Frederick responded the homeowner.
Mr. Lyles asked do we have an easement over it?
Mr. Frederick responded if we do, it is maybe a foot.
Mr. Lyles stated we have no business going outside of our easement. Arguably the Board can decide to spend the money to do something inside of our easement but you are not required to. You are required to provide a functional storm drainage system for the entire District. This is part of our charge and what you are in business for. However, to go onto private property and improve it in this way is outside the scope of our authority in any scenario. We cannot improve this property with public funds.
Mr. DaSilva stated I recall doing a survey on Classic Drive.
Mr. Frederick stated the fence is on their property line. Everything outside is ours.
Mr. Lyles asked do we have a recorded deed making us the sole owner of this property or do we have a plat map showing there is a canal maintenance easement along this strip of property? Two entirely different analyses have to be brought to the open depending on the answer.
Mr. Hyche stated we will have to verify this with the county.
Mr. Hanks stated I am
concerned. If this is not within our
charter or special act to maintain it in this matter, we are going to be
setting a precedent within the City of
Mr. Fennell stated I understand but there is the question of who still owns those canals. It could turn out to be us.
Mr. Hanks stated if this was a river; which changes over time, we would not be having this discussion.
Mr. Lyles stated as a general
Mr. Hanks stated I see some evidence of erosion or bank failure. However, I have not seen enough of an engineering recommendation for what is a substability issue to say this is the right solution. You have not sent divers down or performed a geo-technical evaluation.
Mr. Fennell asked should we grind the stumps on this property?
Mr. Lyles responded we are the
permittee to do the tree removals. A
condition is you do it lawfully.
Apparently the City of
Mr. Fennell asked what is the proposal?
Mr. Frederick responded to give me approval to do the stump grinding.
Mr. Fennell asked how much money should we allocate?
Mr. Frederick responded enough to grind 10 to 11 stumps the city says we are responsible for.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any other stumps to grind?
Mr. Frederick responded we had some stumps behind Home Depot and the school off of Shadow Wood and I was concerned we might have to do some maintenance because we have a maintenance area there. However, the stumps are not a problem as they do not interfere with our maintenance.
Mr. Hanks asked should we authorize $4,000?
Mr. Colussy responded it will cost more than $4,000.
Mr. Frederick stated probably. Some people charge different prices for grinding stumps.
Mr. Fennell stated we have an opportunity to remove stumps in the next couple of months. It will be a quarter of the value it will normally cost us if we go out and identify them. Correct?
Mr. Colussy responded it is 25 cents on the dollar.
Mr. Fennell stated we should authorize $25,000. We should get the bid quickly and proceed in the next two weeks. I direct the manager to accept the low bid and I will come in to sign the contract as long as we meet the requirements for NRCS.
Mr. Daly stated if something happens in the future, we already know we have a bid of $100,000 for those four properties.
Mr. Fennell stated there was an issue to do this on a case-by-case basis. We first need to establish whether or not we own this land by fee simple.
Mr. Hanks stated once it is determined it is our land; we need to find out how we can access it since this is a gated community. We may have to bring in a boat.
Mr. Frederick stated we can use barges in some areas.
Mr. Hanks stated the homeowner can grant us an easement.
Mr. Fennell stated if we do not move quickly, we are not going to be able to get 25 cents on the dollar, which means we probably will not do it as we do not have the money. I am looking for ways to do anything we can. You are not coming up with the answer.
Mr. Daly stated the question is whether we are supposed to do anything legally.
Mr. Colussy asked if it is determined it is District property, would you want to authorize an investigation? We can have a diver go down and look and then we would know the conditions for sure.
Mr. Fennell stated you should do it.
Mr. Colussy stated if you decide you want us to do the geo-tubing to prove it is feasible, we can get it installed quickly.
Mr. Frederick stated if you do not want to get involved in this work, let me know what I am supposed to tell these residents when they call and complain.
Mr. Hanks asked what is our exposure if the bank was to catastrophically fail and take out part of the pool?
Mr. Lyles responded it depends on whether we own it fee simple, whether we were the permittee or our agents constructed it, whether someone constructed it and turned it over to us and whether it was inspected by our engineer and certified as being required with a four to one slope. If it was constructed negligently and we own it in fee simple and waived our right to complain about the way it was constructed, we might own the problem but it is a long way from here to there. In most cases, we are going to have an easement and it is not going to be our job. The purpose of the easement is to maintain our stormwater system so it flows; not to create banks and slopes where they do not exist or where erosion affects it over time.
Mr. Hanks stated I am sure Gee & Jensen was the engineer of record on the design. They have been the engineer for the District for a long time. We are going to need a determination on whether this was built according to the requirements at the time.
Mr. Skehan stated it sounds like they need to have a study done to gather the information, be able to assess where the ownership is as well as the conditions as to how it was constructed, whether it needs to be repaired or re-constructed and better understand the full spectrum of all issues tied to it. There are legal and engineering issues. To understand this, all of those items need to be addressed.
Mr. Hanks stated you need to take a look to see if we have something constructed according to plan.
Mr. Skehan stated we are looking at a small piece of the entire canal system. What is left in the funding from NRCS?
Mr. Colussy responded the deadline is December 31st.
Mr. Skehan stated any extensive study looking in greater detail at the entire canal system is going to be a huge effort, but a smaller study could be done by December 31st in order to take advantage of the funding.
Mr. Hanks asked do you think there will be a disruption in activity?
Mr. Skehan responded no.
Mr. Hanks stated we can take it off the table.
Mr. Hyche stated I was speaking to Mr. Jesse Wilson at NRCS yesterday. In my opinion, he was willing to give us a time extension after he asked us if we were involved in the project going forward.
Mr. Colussy stated NRCS has been good to work with and when we are in a tight spot they have always come through for us. This is only an option. I know he wants to close this project out, however, if we needed another 30 to 60 days, I am sure he will allow it.
Mr. Fennell stated we can either resolve it here or stop the discussion.
Mr. Colussy stated we can easily find out the ownership. Then we can get some costs to do an investigation of those sites.
Mr. Hanks stated concurrently with this, I want you to get someone from your office to look into the permitted drawings to see what was certified as far as being complete and what was accepted by the District. Look at the plat to see what was dedicated to the District for the use of the public. At what point does it become ours? Do we have to take some action accepting the improvements?
Mr. Lyles responded we may not have been one of the signers to the plat because we may not have owned property within the four corners of the platted area. It could be dedicated effectively to the District by plat. Whether this is a recorded instrument like an easement or a deed, it requires an act of formal acceptance by the Board of the governmental body it is deeded to.
Mr. Hanks stated these plats do not have dedications or conveyances to the District. At what point do we take over the physical improvement of the canal?
Mr. Lyles responded there has to be an instrument of conveyance such as a deed or Bill of Sale indicating it was conveyed.
Mr. Fennell stated you are authorized to work with $4,000 but not exceed it to resolve any engineering issues arising from the fact we find out the land is ours.
Mr. Hanks stated we should have a coordination meeting to strategize on how to do this.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Presentation from Mark Grimmel of Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs on Property Insurance, Question and Answer Session and Consideration by the Board to Change Insurance Carriers (Continued)
Mr. Daly stated since Mr. Lyles is here, we can finalize the insurance matter.
Mr. Fennell stated we received another quote for our insurance saving us $90,000 a year. The question is why we had not done this before. This was always a line item in our budget and we continued with the current insurance company. Mr. Daly was good enough to get a competitive bid for us. By doing this, we will save 30%. What more do we need to do?
Mr. Lyles responded I reviewed the policy to see if we had any special steps to pursue such as services to perform repairs. We do not have to take any steps with insurance. It is a matter of what is in the best interest of the District as determined by the Board. If the Board wants to authorize this policy and these rates; it is within your discretion to do so at this time.
iii. Broward County Library Funding of CSID Branch
Mr. Hanks stated the City Commission
neglected in its recent round of budgeting to cut out the local library on
Mr. Fennell stated it is out of our purview, although from time to time we donate money to various charities. What can we do here?
Mr. Lyles responded there is a problem with a Special District funding the operations of a public project like a library. Cities can spend their money and exercise their powers in any way not expressly prohibited by the legislature with a statute or by the constitution. Special Districts on the other hand have powers expressly and directly given to them, which in our case is the special act. There is an obscure case where the use of a park for housing a public library is considered a park or recreation use and I think this is a narrow loophole to get at what you want to do. I did not want to just say no.
Mr. Hanks stated if the park out here is in the District’s name and we saw fit to put a building on the land of the park for a library, it would fit more in with the use.
Mr. Lyles stated donating District funds to a library run by a city or county is difficult.
Mr. Hanks stated I saw this as an asset to the community and I wanted to try to save it.
Ms. Zich stated it is an asset to the community.
Mr. Hanks stated it is unfortunate the City Commission did not see fit to fund this library. It takes $300,000 per year to fund the library. The county funds a portion of it and the city funds the rest.
iv. Discussion of Employee Severance Pay and Policy/Procedure Manual
v. Pension Benefit Discussion
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
vi. CSID Newsletter
Mr. Daly stated Mr. Hyche put together 90% of this newsletter.
Mr. Lyles stated it says canal bank maintenance is the homeowner’s responsibility down to the water’s edge.
Mr. Daly stated except the water’s edge is getting closer to their homes.
Mr. Fennell stated there are some nice pictures. I will take this home and look at it. Does it talk about our new bond issue?
Mr. Daly responded yes, on the first page.
Mr. Hanks asked can you get the two fonts to be the same size?
Mr. Hyche responded yes.
Mr. Daly stated we could probably have a better canal bank picture.
Mr. Fennell stated we will try to provide our comments by Friday.
Ms. Zich asked is Mr. Fennel considered Chairman or President?
Mr. Lyles responded he is technically President.
Mr. Fennell stated please get name cards for us.
Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
vii. Utility Billing Work Orders
Mr. Hanks asked did you get the utility billing sorted out?
Mr. Daly responded yes.
viii. Complaints Received/Resolved
There not being any, the next item followed.
i. Update of Water Use Permit by Sean Skehan
Mr. Skehan stated the Water Use Permit is the foundation of what has taken place here. We received several pages of questions from the Water Management District three to four weeks ago dealing with the Water Use Permit. One significant item is the groundwater modeling, which is an integral part of the water use permitting. The Water Management District is interested in looking at the effects of your water use on your neighbors. The groundwater modeling becomes important because of where you are situated with your extensive canal system as you are sitting right at the end of the everglades. As the modeling effort becomes fairly complicated, it becomes rather extensive and costly. We discussed with Mr. McKune and Mr. Goscicki since CSID is in the process of going through their water use permitting and NSID is in the process of starting; potentially combining efforts with all three utilities to undertake this groundwater modeling. It will benefit each utility to try to mitigate the high cost of doing a separate model for each utility.
Mr. Hanks asked will you bring in a specialist?
Mr. Skehan responded staff is well versed
in groundwater modeling. They are
working on a groundwater model for Miami-Dade and have done one for the Florida
Keys Aqueduct Authority and a number of other utilities throughout the state. Given the circumstances and the location, the
model is fairly pricy on an individual basis.
Mr. McKune attended many meetings thus far with the City of
Mr. Fennell asked are you talking about a complex computer model?
Mr. Skehan responded yes.
Mr. Fennell responded why does SFWMD not have one?
Mr. Skehan stated they have a model, which they use for planning purposes. They make certain assumptions in these models but do not have the specific data from individual wells in this particular area. The expectation from SFWMD is each individual utility is required to get the data so the model can be calibrated against actual operating conditions.
Mr. Hanks stated SFWMD is establishing the performance criteria and it is up to the individual districts or independent utilities to demonstrate they are complying with the performance criteria.
Mr. Fennell asked do they have a problem or are they asking us to create one?
Mr. Skehan responded we are going to look to see what assumptions they made in this particular model. This is all tied into the lower east coast planning documents. We will see how it applies and how well it runs initially to see if it will be applicable and acceptable to SFWMD. If it meets the criteria they are looking for, we will make a full run of the model.
Mr. Fennell stated I am getting confused because six months ago, they did not even have a model for the flooding in our District. When you asked them about the flood levels, they did not have anything.
Mr. Skehan stated I am referring to the planning document.
Mr. Hanks stated they are not
looking at global issues. They are
looking regionwide in
Mr. Fennell stated the responsibility for having this type of analysis program to cover the entire area has to be theirs. Frankly, we have more data in this District than the others. If they are trying to get every district to find an analysis model of a particular water flow, someone here does not know what they are doing.
Mr. Skehan stated the District was trying to augment or arrange some of the issues in and around these other utilities. The regionalization is something they are currently interested in.
The record will reflect Mr. Fennell left the meeting.
Mr. Skehan stated we are looking at this in CSID and NSID to see if this can move forward. Mr. McKune was looking at some of the details. Overall it could be a $250,000 proposition by doing it alone. If you divide it by three, you are looking at doing this in a much more economical manner. I do not want the Board to be surprised by this, which is why I wanted to present this to you. We can talk about this in more detail and talk to our ground water modeler. Mr. McKune is trying to get some information. There have already been some preliminary discussions. This all ties back into getting the details.
Mr. Daly asked what is Royal Land
Utility doing? They have 1,100 accounts
and have to do the exact same thing you are saying. It makes absolutely no sense for every single
city down to the everglades to spend the exact same amount of money to do the
exact same thing. I do not buy it. Something about this does not sit right with
me. It also does not make sense for
Mr. Hyche stated especially since SFWMD already has the data.
Mr. Daly stated I want to know what they are doing before we decide what we should do.
Mr. Skehan stated your neighbors to
the south are
Mr. Daly asked are we looking for additional use? Is this predicated or mandated by the fact we want more use?
Mr. Skehan responded we are looking for limited additional use but they are looking for the justification of giving you a 20 year permit. This has all been a change over the last 10 years from what they used to require. An incidental model would be done and you could do it in a couple of hours on your computer.
Mr. Daly asked why are we looking for more reuse?
Mr. Skehan responded because it will fit into what you have here.
Mr. Daly asked did we over build the plant?
Mr. Skehan responded no.
Mr. Daly stated if we are built out in the District and there is zero growth, why do we need additional water? There are ways to get around using less water per year than we have.
Mr. Skehan responded this is a
potential way to do this. The City of
Mr. Daly stated we have done this in the past. There are probably two or three ways to do this. Are we being led down a path to spend money on something we can use to fix the problem by looking at it from another set of eyes or different viewpoint? If it is going to be mandated by government, I am still going to ask questions.
Mr. Hanks stated we should have Mr. McKune look at this and give us some answers back.
Mr. Skehan stated we have been in some discussions with Mr. McKune and Mr. Hyche has been tied into this. Some meetings have been taking place between CSID and the other agencies.
Mr. Hanks asked if the City of
Mr. Skehan responded they are looking at some incremental increase. Mr. Daly’s comment was this does not line up.
Mr. Daly stated there are other ways to use less water than spending money.
Mr. Hanks stated I understand where
Mr. Skehan is coming from. If SFWMD says
you have to do it, you have to. I
understand completely about Parkland and
Mr. Skehan stated this is why I wanted to bring it to the Board’s attention to be able to say “these are in the information request at this point and if you want to give some consideration to it and look at it, we can generate some discussion about it and be able to get the right answers on the table”.
Mr. Hanks stated it is a couple of months worth of work.
Mr. Skehan stated it is an extensive deal.
Mr. Daly stated if you do the work, terrific. I just want to know why it is mandated and why a government entity such as the SFWMD would put the burden on the residents it is supposed to serve. Eventually it has to be paid for. This is what I have an issue with. The burden is on CSID and NSID.
Mr. Skehan stated all of the residents are using the water.
Mr. Hanks stated the waste goes downhill. That is where it goes and where it eventually ends us.
Mr. Daly stated then we should charge sewer rates.
Mr. Skehan stated this is why you are collecting on it at the same time.
Ms. Zich asked is there anything else to discuss?
Mr. DaSilva responded we still have the two presentations, which we postponed due to time constraints.
Mr. Hanks stated it is perfectly fine with me to take them off of the table. I looked at your presentation and agree with you.
Mr. DaSilva asked do you want us to come back next month with them?
Mr. Hanks responded no.
Ms. Zich asked do you want to permanently table the presentations? I am not even aware of them.
Mr. Hanks responded there were some concerns expressed by a certain member of this Board relating to a berm on the east outfall canal. The engineer ran some models on the C-14 canal with the 100 year flood and ran the water towards the pump station on the east outfall for the Sunshine WCD. You compared two elevations and determined our flooding from internally is higher than the water levels outside of our District.
Mr. Daly stated I will put them on next month’s agenda.
Ms. Zich stated list them at the top of the agenda.
Mr. DaSilva stated they are short presentations.
Ms. Zich stated if there is one thing I am interested in with this entire District, it is the flooding.
Mr. DaSilva stated the other presentation is on the Feasibility Study results.
Mr. Colussy stated the recommendations of the Feasibility Study for cost and constructability.
Mr. DaSilva stated the study was provided to the Board in the last agenda package.
Mr. Hanks asked will we have staff look at establishing whether or not there is a right-of-way easement?
Mr. Daly responded to the degree they can.
Mr. Hanks asked what do you think we need to do?
Mr. Lyles responded we already tasked CH2M-Hill with giving staff and ultimately the Board a report on this issue. It is probably based in large part on documentation, which will be in their files and has to be located. Whatever was recorded at one time has remained the same. The only thing changing is if the erosion affects the bank. I do not think the Board is asking for a field survey at this point. They want to know the legal status of the various types of ownership along the areas we have under review. I thought I heard Mr. Hanks indicate he wanted to have a meeting about this issue, which he will be part of with staff prior to having it come back to the Board. I think this is a good idea.
Mr. Hanks stated there are certain issues with regards to the original design, where we went with it and some key features I wanted everyone to be looking into so we can establish the baseline for the construction drawings.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert Fennell
Notes for 9/17/07 Meeting
AGENDA ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING
1. Drainage and Feasibility Presentations (list first on the agenda)
2. Pension Benefit Discussion
NOTE: Future meetings will now start at 3:00 P.M.