MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District
was held on
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Robert Fennell President
Sharon Zich Vice President
Glenn Hanks Secretary
Also present were:
Ken Cassel District Manager
Edward Goscicki Co-Manager
Dan Daly Interim Manager
Susan F. Delegal District Counsel
Jane Early CH2M Hill
Sean Skehan CH2M Hill
Cory Johnson CH2M Hill
Daniel Bohorquez CH2M Hill
John McKune District Capital Improvement Coordinator
Jim Aversa CSID
Doug Hyche CSID
Randy Fredericks CSID Drainage Supervisor
Kay Woodward CSID Accountant
Jan Zilmer CSID Human Resources
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Goscicki called the meeting to order and called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the March 17, 2008 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member
received a copy of the minutes of the
Ms. Delegal stated Mr. Lyles had some comments. I am sitting in for Mr. Lyles today as your legal counsel. On the minutes of the March 17, 2008 meeting at 3:00 p.m., if you go to page 20 under the attorney’s report, there are a couple of matters he asked me to clarify on his behalf. The initial statement states, “Mr. Lyles stated they are trying to convert us to Chapter 192.” He wants me to clarify there is no attempt to convert us. I think one of the issues the Board had discussed was whether or not to potentially convert to a Chapter 190 District. It should be clarified to state there was discussion regarding the potential conversion to a Chapter 190 District. If we make that statement, the rest of it flows well.
Along the same lines in the second paragraph where it states, “The state will likely object to this.” I do not believe he thinks the state will object. I think it is a decision this Board can make. We can discuss this later on because I have done a comparison for you with regard to this potential.
Mr. Hanks stated so that line should be struck from the minutes.
Ms. Delegal stated I think so.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisors’ Requests and Audience Comments
Mr. Fennell stated I gather there is no particular item before us. Did anything come in, which I am not aware of?
Mr. Goscicki stated we moved this item up to the front of the agenda when we had a number of people coming to the meetings to give their input to the Board. When we have members of the public here it is good to have them say their piece and not keep them hanging around for an extended period of time. I do not see any general public here today.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any audience comments?
There not being any,
Mr. Fennell asked are there any Supervisors’ Requests?
Mr. Hanks responded I am going to tie them in later under the Engineer’s report.
Mr. Goscicki asked do you want us to move this item back to the end of the agenda?
Mr. Hanks responded I think it is good at the front.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion of Pension Plan Options
Mr. Goscicki stated the last time this came up for discussion there were a couple of options. The budget which was put together this year funded an 8% contribution. The current policy is for a 6% contribution. There was discussion looking at what an 8% contribution would mean in terms of benefits to the employees and cost to the District. The Board was shying away from an 8% contribution and looking to stay at a 6% contribution for this benefit plan. I believe you asked staff to look into a matching benefit plan.
Mr. Zilmer stated we spoke to The Hartford Group and talked about converting our 457 plan to a 401A where the employer can make matching contributions. We are pondering this considering the fact we are losing revenue from water because there will be additional administrative fees. We are already paying administrative fees for our current plan. Now we are going to incur additional administrative fees for the 401A plan. The other issue is how to calculate what it is going to cost the District. If we try to do a comparison based on current employees who are in the plan, what happens if the other employees decide they want to participate? In order to be able to determine how much it can affect the District, you have to calculate every employee you have. The bottom line is it will be expensive.
Mr. Hanks stated you are saying from a time commitment from our staff to figure out how much it is going to cost.
Mr. Zilmer stated no. The overall expense to the District is going to be greater than just increasing the contribution you currently have. You cannot budget for this.
Mr. Hanks stated you can still budget. We can put an allocation or a line item in the budget. If it does not get used, it is fine. I assume we are going to have the current retirement plan continue on in its present form and this 401A will be a supplementary endeavor.
Mr. Zilmer stated that is correct.
Mr. Fennell asked how many employees do we have covered under the current plan?
Mr. Zilmer responded we have 58 current employees. In the 457 plan, which is a voluntary plan, we have approximately 20 employees who are enrolled in it. Everyone is enrolled in the Money Purchase Pension Plan. The other 38 employees are relying completely on these contributions as a source for their retirement.
Mr. Hanks asked is the Money Purchase Plan the 6% contribution?
Mr. Zilmer responded that is correct?
Mr. Fennell stated so there are 58.
Mr. Zilmer stated there are some people who have not met the qualification dates yet. If we stay with the Money Purchase Pension Plan and increase it by 2%, it will bear $50,000.
Ms. Zich asked how many of these employees are just CSID?
Mr. Zilmer responded all of them.
Ms. Zich stated none of them are shared with NSID.
Mr. Zilmer stated yes, but they are CSID employees.
Ms. Zich asked does NSID share the cost?
Mr. Zilmer responded they have their own employees, but in the shared personnel breakdown they share this.
Mr. Fennell asked is our action for the employees contingent upon NSID approving it?
Mr. Zilmer responded no.
Ms. Zich stated part of the administrative cost for this will go to NSID.
Mr. Goscicki stated “shared employees” is not the correct terminology for us to describe this. We used to have truly shared employees where half the salary was paid by CSID and half of the salary was paid by NSID. A few of them received two paychecks and in some cases they received three paychecks. We cleaned all of this up approximately a year and a half ago. Those employees are now 100% CSID employees. They are paid by CSID. They charge their time to these other districts and you recover a percentage of their cost.
Ms. Zich stated so we recover everything.
Mr. Hanks stated we recover everything because they are still working for the District. They are only allocating a part of their time.
Ms. Zich stated any expense we have for NSID we get reimbursed for.
Mr. Zilmer stated we take the total expense for the employee, which includes workers compensation, and make a determination on the percentage that would apply to NSID.
Mr. Fennell stated there are 58 employees who are in the Money Purchase Pension Plan. What is the other plan 20 of them are in?
Mr. Zilmer responded it is through The Hartford Group and it is called 457. It is similar to a 401K.
Mr. Fennell stated that is a volunteer plan.
Mr. Zilmer stated it is a volunteer plan.
Mr. Fennell asked are we matching anything into that?
Mr. Zilmer responded no.
Ms. Zich asked do we have administrative costs for it?
Mr. Zilmer responded no. All of those are passed on to the participant, which is the employee.
Mr. Hanks asked what if we move to a 401A?
Mr. Zilmer responded we will incur administrative costs. There is a $400 annual fee and an additional $20 a year per participant.
Mr. Hanks stated we are not talking that much. We could be talking approximately $2,000.
Mr. Zilmer stated for administrative fees. Because we are not for profit we do not qualify for the typical plans out there. This 457 plan was designed for our type of industry.
Mr. Fennell stated so we have a 457 and we can start a 401A.
Mr. Zilmer stated we can do a conversion.
Mr. Fennell asked will people lose any money?
Mr. Zilmer responded no.
Mr. Fennell stated but you cannot contribute to a 457.
Mr. Zilmer stated the employer cannot, nor in the Money Purchase Pension Plan. We ultimately have to come up with a different type of plan.
Mr. Hanks stated we can probably put a cap on what we contribute so it does not blow our budget out of the water; dollar for dollar contribution up to a maximum cap.
Mr. Fennell stated the idea was to do a couple of different things here. One was to make the job more attractive. Secondly, to make sure people are putting aside the amount of money they need for retirement. I still think we will want to pursue the understanding of a conversion from a 457 to a 401A. I assume people will be foolish not to contribute. If someone is going to match funds, the first thing you always do is take the maximum amount you can get.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have input from other people as far as what the experience has been in other districts making contributions and what percentage enrolls?
Mr. Goscicki responded there are very few other districts with a sizable amount of district employees. There are probably three or four around the state we are familiar with who have a similar amount of employees. In most districts the employees are outsourced. The only other district I can think of offhand with a comparable set up is St. Lucie West and I am not sure what they are doing on their pension plan. It is probably the same 6% it has been because of the set up by Severn Trent. Mr. Zilmer administered it for several years. A good next step for staff to do is come back to the Board with how we will administer this program. Mr. Zilmer makes a good point in terms of how you put a budget together. We are in the process of putting a budget together. We will need to define an enrollment period where people will have to sign up. There will be enrollment criteria that you need to be an employee for a certain period of time. We will have to come back to the Board with the best way to resolve the administrative issues.
Mr. Hanks stated the 401A will be based on a calendar year with the IRS since it is based on the employees’ taxes, whereas ours’ is a fiscal year from October 1 to September 30. We are going to have one year in the span of two years. I agree the 401A is the way we should be going to encourage our employees to help pay for their retirement.
Mr. Fennell stated report back to us at another time on this.
Ms. Woodward asked are we attesting to do this retroactively from the beginning of this year, start mid year or start at the beginning of the next fiscal year? This will determine how we put together the information you need and also how we go forward with the budget.
Ms. Zich stated next month is already May.
Mr. Fennell stated I would say fiscal year 2009.
Ms. Woodward stated we still have the issue of 6% versus 8% for the current year.
Ms. Zich stated no. We thought we were going to get an increase in our salaries, but it did not go through. It is the same thing as this. You had the 8%, but it did not go through. It is still at 6%.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Appointment of District Manager
Mr. Fennell stated at this point Severn Trent is proposing
Ms. Zich stated I have not.
Mr. Hanks stated no. I realized I had checked a “to be completed” flag on one of my emails on Friday afternoon around
Mr. Fennell stated we have Mr. Cassel’s resume before us. I will give you my summary. He obviously has a great deal of experience both in government as well as development. He worked as an assistant city manager. He has also worked for Lennar. He has a great deal of different experiences with different kinds of programs. He has a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Public Administration. As far as understanding operations and utilities, not so much the details of utilities but how groups operate within the city or the state, he knows this.
If we are looking at the area of expertise we need, we obviously have good operating skills within our own group. The area we always need to be watching out for is how we interface with local city and state governments as well as different people who are always checking on what we are doing. This is what Severn Trent brings to the District and it is what we want the manager to do. I think he has these capabilities. The other thing we hope Severn Trent will bring is some wider expertise we can call on for them to do inspections and see how we are doing as well as give us advice. It has always a bit of an irritation when you already feel you are doing a great job, but as we all know there is always another viewpoint which can help us out. I see a good match there. I propose we make it a year to year thing. He and I went over the history of our organization, people coming and going.
Mr. Goscicki stated we had our challenges at Severn Trent a couple of years back with turnover of managers and most recently a year ago. It was our decision a year ago. Prior to that people were starting up competing companies or deciding to do other things. It has been the challenge we had and this Board has patiently worked with us on managers leaving. In this situation that is not the case. We are going to do an orderly and systematic transition. I am still part of Severn Trent. I am here to support Mr. Cassel in this transition and I will continue to support this Board in any way needed. This is not like our previous transitions where the new manager had to come in and scramble overnight to try to get up to speed with the issues and challenges of what is going on.
Ms. Zich asked how long will you be available to help Mr. Cassel?
Mr. Goscicki responded as long as Mr. Cassel wants me to help.
Mr. Fennell stated Mr. Cassel has the background experience. He may not know our particular operation, but he is qualified to come into this position. He had to work for boards before and different managers so he knows the peculiarities. I am sure he can do the job. I think he has also dealt in organizations where there are strong operational groups within the organization. Before we decide on this there is a CSID proposed organization sheet in the agenda package.
Mr. Goscicki stated it is under the Manager’s resport.
Mr. Daly stated it is similar to what we described in the scope of services Mr. Goscicki put out.
Mr. Fennell stated looking at Mr. Daly’s position, it essentially creates a position you have been temporarily filling called Director of Operations. We do not have this position, but I think we do need to create it. It divides all the people into two different groups; those who are direct employees of CSID and those services such as legal and engineering.
I want to see Mr. Daly and Mr. Cassel get together on this. I do think we need a Director of Operations. I would like to create this position. I do see the Director of Operations reporting to the District Manager. At the end you need to have a chain of command and you have to be able to make decisions. On the other hand you need strong feedback from people in your staff.
Ms. Zich stated I do not know about this. I thought Mr. Daly and Mr. Goscicki were sharing the responsibilities. This is why I was surprised when we got Mr. Daly down here.
Mr. Fennell stated they kind of came to this conclusion a few months back.
Ms. Zich stated I thought it worked well with Mr. Goscicki and Mr. Daly.
Mr. Goscicki stated it is very much a shared role in terms of the actual carrying out of duties. The Director of Operations is like the Chief Operating Officer in the front of a company. The role we take on is as the Chief Executive Officer of a company. There is a hierarchy, but there is also a division of responsibilities. We are not doing Mr. Daly’s job and Mr. Daly is not doing Severn Trent’s job. There is still a reporting relationship as Mr. Fennell said, you need a chain of command and lines of authority for ultimate decisions.
Ms. Zich asked how often will Mr. Cassel and Mr. Daly get together?
Mr. Goscicki responded they will get together in person more often than Mr. Daly and I did. We talked at least weekly and communicated through email on a regular basis. We met at least once or twice a month.
Mr. Fennell stated we are looking for more participation. I talked to Mr. Cassel about this. What we do not want to see happen from our viewpoint of Severn Trent is the managers get stretched to a point where they are managing many districts. We do not see our piece of the person here often enough to actually call him boss. He just seems to be a step-in General. That is not good enough. We need him onsite at least a couple of days a week.
Mr. Hanks stated we want you to feel comfortable enough to say to us as a Board, “Hey, I do not like how this is happening” or “Here, I think you can do this better.” Sometimes, in the past, things have been swept under the rug or hidden from our view. Let us know the good, the bad and the ugly. We have been through it all.
Goscicki stated Mr. Cassel will be living here and not
Mr. Daly stated this will post a couple of questions for me. What are your expectations for me? Where do my responsibilities start and stop? Last month in the meeting Mr. Fennell said some of the areas Severn Trent had to provide leadership in were some of the areas we are lacking such as finance, recording and etcetera. I think the oversight with regard to the operations part of it as far as performance, inspections and things like that we talked about. I will need to know where it starts and stops. Mr. Cassel may come in and say something is better off in a certain way. I will be happy to listen, but there may be times when we have an opposing outcome. There are different ways to look at things. If this is the way the Board wants it, it will be perfectly fine as long as it is outlined and we know what is going on; otherwise, it is very frustrating.
Ms. Zich asked is Mr. Cassel going to be working in this office or at the Severn Trent office?
Mr. Goscicki responded both.
Mr. Cassel stated I will be here several days a week.
Ms. Zich asked how many other districts are you responsible for?
Mr. Cassel responded right now I am responsible for three; CSID, NSID and PTWCD.
Mr. Hanks stated I like the way things have been working where Mr. Daly, for the most part, was running things here on the ground. If I am taking the nature of your question correctly, you are wondering about the new structure we are looking at now.
Mr. Daly stated Mr. Petty could be sitting here everyday like he had been and everything went through Mr. Petty, which was fine. As long as we know that is what is supposed to happen.
Mr. Goscicki stated when Mr. Daly and I went through and worked out our scope of services, which we gave to the Board a couple of months ago for your approval, it was predicated on this framework. We are going to have someone in Mr. Daly who will run the day to day operations of the District. We saw the Board was looking for a District employee on the ground full-time to manage the daily operations and Severn Trent providing more of a senior level management, the fiscal services, records management, the general oversight policy development, overseeing the engineer and the capital planning program. That is how our scope was developed and it is what the Board approved a couple of months ago. Mr. Daly is still officially the manager of the UB Department. Unofficially, he has been doing this job for you for the last year. We feel with the Board’s approval of our contract and locking this scope down, it is time to recognize what Mr. Daly is actually doing, get this position formally created by this Board and if there is any personnel actions we need to take to recognize Mr. Daly’s role in this, to do it. This was brought to you as clean up work based upon the decisions the Board has already made with our contract. We need to clean this up, get this aligned and create this position. We will need to create a position description if the Board approves this and provide the details Mr. Daly is asking for.
Mr. Hanks stated let us go through a couple of different hypothetical scenarios. The engineer comes forward with recommendations for the wastewater plant because they anticipate future requirements coming down from DEP. Where does this go? Where does the first step go in terms of the idea?
Mr. Goscicki responded the first stop is actually with Mr. Hyche and Mr. McKune. The engineer is working with them on a routine basis in terms of getting their input and feedback as to how these things work within the existing organization. At a certain point, this is how we have worked. I will use the nanofiltration plant as an example. At a certain point when the engineer was getting ready to start walking down and set the design it was brought up to another level where both Mr. Daly and I got involved. We sat down and went through it. We both had different inputs to it. Ultimately it was resolved at a meeting with all the parties involved and decided what we were going to recommend to the Board.
Mr. Hanks asked when there are major differences in opinion, how are those going to be resolved?
Mr. Goscicki responded if there are major differences, this Board had made it abundantly clear you are not looking for Severn Trent to be here in a hierarchical oligarchic kind of role. This is a team environment. If Severn Trent and your Director of Operations do not agree on what needs to be done, we have to bring all of the options before the Board. Here are the options in front of you. Here is the rational we are looking at. Here are some of the viewpoints from staff. Here are the viewpoints we bring to the table. I do not think we will ever be in a position on a major policy or a major issue saying, “No Mr. Daly. I am the manager. I do not care what you say. This is the way it is going to be done.”
Mr. Daly stated it has not happened. We have had opposing views on different things. My view gets on the table and Mr. Goscicki’s gets on the table. It either gets resolved, it gets pushed off until later on or it comes before the Board.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we do need to create this position of Director of Operations. I am actually going to charge Mr. Daly and Mr. Cassel with doing it. You actually get to define your own job. You still have a book. You still have to be able to defend your position.
Mr. Hanks stated just like Mr. Cassel does.
Mr. Fennell stated you have to define what you are going to be doing on a day to day basis, what the job incurs and who reports to you. On the other hand, having a boss you have to be able to defend what you are doing. You have to come forward with proposals. You have to have a vision for what is going to happen and you have to be able to take inputs back and forth. You have to be able to have this kind of working position.
Mr. Hanks stated I think hiring and firing should remain with the Director of Operations.
Mr. Fennell stated yes, probably on a normal basis.
Mr. Goscicki stated that is the way our contract is structured. It states all of the District employees report to and are hired by the Director of Operations.
Mr. Fennell stated firing is always an issue, which involves more than just one person. It gets complicated, but certainly the Director of Operations should do the reviews and is the key to personnel issues. Of course, you have to be reviewed as well.
Mr. Hanks asked does this address your concerns at the moment?
Mr. Daly responded I want to point out a statement made a few months ago, which is true. We are running parallel in our positions. One of us wins a race one time and the other another. It may have been counterproductive. On the other hand, it may have improved the other person.
Mr. Hanks stated you can still run side by side and pull your fair share. It works. It may take us a little longer to reach decisions, but in the end any discussions we have are with the intention of producing better results. You all know my number or our President’s number. If there are concerns, we are an approachable Board. Let us just leave it at that.
Ms. Zich asked are we going to continue on with this or is this coming back?
Mr. Fennell responded there are two key positions right now which Mr. Daly and Mr. Cassel have to decide on.
Ms. Zich asked who is Mr. Bloom?
Mr. Goscicki responded Mr. Bloom is our lead accountant.
Mr. Hanks stated he has been here sitting in the back a couple of times.
Ms. Zich stated I do not think I have ever met him. It says he does our budget and analysis.
Mr. Goscicki stated yes.
Ms. Zich stated I thought Ms. Woodward did that.
Mr. Goscicki stated the budget is prepared by Ms. Woodward and reviewed and analyzed by Mr. Bloom. It is one of the checks and balances we built in where Ms. Woodward is doing your day to day accounting and Mr. Bloom’s job is to provide overview and analysis along with Ms. Rower who is sitting right here.
Ms. Zich stated I would not have been surprised if it was Ms. Rower, but I do not know who Mr. Bloom is.
Ms. Rower stated Mr. Bloom’s position is below me if you look at the Severn Trent hierarchy. When information comes to us Mr. Bloom reviews it because he is the accounting manager who reviews all of our districts, but I review CSID in addition to his review.
Ms. Zich stated I did not know Mr. Bloom did this. I never met him. He may have been here.
Mr. Goscicki stated he is very quiet.
Mr. Fennell asked so what is it we need to do here?
Mr. Goscicki responded this organization chart is really how we currently operate. This is a reflection of the way things are actually operated today.
Ms. Delegal stated we have been in discussions regarding the actual text of the agreement. We know you have arrived at a compensation package as well as the scope of services which have been referred to during the meeting. We are working on the front end of the agreement. There have been some negotiations on it. We spent several hours on this on Friday. I am going to anticipate at the next meeting, we both had a few things we were going to go back and check on, we will bring to you a document; either one we both agree on or if there are a few decision points we are going to present to you, we will point it out. It will be an opportunity to think about this more and address it when you actually see the scope of services attached to the document.
Mr. Fennell asked should we make a decision today or not?
Ms. Delegal responded you will be able to decide and then revisit it again when we bring the final contract to you.
Mr. Goscicki stated there are two parallel decisions. One is, who is your District Manager? Right now we have an existing contract with the District. We are operating on our old contract, which has been in place since 1992. What the Board approved two months ago is a new scope and fee. We are essentially operating under the new scope and fee even though we have yet to execute a new revised contract with new terms and conditions on the front end. Essentially we are operating under this. We started billing you based upon it, which is a reduction in our fee from our old contract. We are essentially operating under this purview now. Regardless of whether or not the contract is modified, we still have the issue of me transitioning to Mr. Cassel as your new District manager. Whether he is working under our old contract, new contract or some modification, it is a separate issue from the transition from me to Mr. Cassel.
The other issue is this Board has agreed conceptually that it wants to have a Director of Operations who oversees all the District employees and not have four on paper. A year ago Mr. Frederick reported to me, Mr. McKune reported to me, Mr. Hyche reported to me, Mr. Zilmer reported to me and Mr. Daly reported to me. That was how it was officially structured on paper. The reality is we moved to this organization approximately six months ago where all the District employees report to Mr. Daly. It is important to formalize this relationship because it is not right to have your employee continue to operate in this role without some recognition of his authority. If the Board wants to tweak some of the relationships in the contract, they can do it anytime they want.
Mr. Fennell stated so you are saying we should make a decision.
Mr. Goscicki stated I would like you to pass a motion officially appointing Mr. Cassel as your new District manager for Severn Trent.
Mr. Fennell stated for the next meeting we would like you, Mr. Cassel, to come back to us with a proposal for the Director of Operations where you and Mr. Daly sit down and define what those paths are and are not. I assume also including some of the discussions going on here with our legal staff should have a bearing on it. Somehow out of that comes whatever it is that job picks up versus what our new contract talks about.
Mr. Fennell stated the other thing, Mr. Cassel, make sure there are not any more shared employees and employees are either CSID or not. We certainly want to continue keeping our employees employed by other groups. That is one of the things we are going to insist upon Severn Trent. You need to help us sell our services to other districts in order for us to contain our size.
Mr. Daly asked may I make a suggestion that NSID and CSID enter into an agreement with this budget season coming up so we have something formalized?
Ms. Zich responded I think it is a great idea.
Mr. Goscicki stated it was started. Mr. Daly is absolutely right. Budget time is a good time to do it. We had discussions on and off over the year with regard to how to clean this up on both sides from an administerial perspective. Say we come up with a flat fee arrangement for CSID to provide utility billing and customer service for NSID. Here is how much we are going to charge you per account. We are going to bill you on a monthly basis. All of the employees are CSID employees and will remain CSID employees. You are just charging a neighboring district through an interlocal agreement for the services you provide. The same thing with SWCD and their human resources services. We have management of PTWCD. We provide supervision of their field operations. We need these multiple interlocal agreements to be able to capture the fact we are helping these districts out.
Mr. Fennell stated I see Mr. Daly and Mr. Cassel’s objective is to make sure our facilities and personnel are fully utilized. I know it may cause some issues sometimes, but I really see our Director of Operations doing this; selling our services to other groups. There are certain scales which work for us and others which do not. Obviously, accounting services and billing services we have capabilities going beyond general local districts and we can be selling those. This is an issue from a legal standpoint that if you have some thoughts on it, it will be nice to know.
Daly stated I have been informed by the Riverwood CDD at
Mr. Goscicki asked when did they say that?
Mr. Daly responded they told me about two weeks ago.
Mr. Goscicki stated they have not told us. They told us the opposite two days ago so I am not sure of what they are doing.
Mr. Fennell stated the issue here as far as the chain of command goes, I want the Director of Operations to go out and sell our services.
Mr. Hanks stated all of these positions are really defined. The only thing I do not have a good handle on as far as the scope of services is Mr. McKune.
Ms. Zich stated I do not understand either. Do we have a contract with you?
Mr. Goscicki responded no we do not. Mr. McKune and I met up on this issue this morning. I asked Mr. McKune to come back to me with some of the areas where he sees himself providing continuing services. In the last year a big part of Mr. McKune’s efforts have been involved with the pre-design aspects of the major capital improvement program. We are at the point where we are wrapping up the pre-design. Mr. McKune, Mr. Cassel and I met this morning on this. We asked Mr. McKune to come back with a suggested scope. This is one of the clean up things we need to do.
Mr. Fennell stated our own engineer reports in through operations and into the District manager. Just like he needs to resell his services to the Board, you need to resell your services.
Mr. Hanks stated I am trying to define where we are going. We see your role as being for this year, next year and the foreseeable future. With regards to how we are going to be proceeding, one thing we have to consider in house is if we approach you as becoming an employee of the District. We want to find out what the scope is and what you anticipate in terms of projects coming down. We pretty much know what we have going on for the next three, four, five years in terms of plant operations and construction.
Mr. Fennell stated it is up to management to figure out what they need to do their job correctly.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Summary of South Florida Water Management District Grant and Alternative Water Supply Meeting
Mr. Goscicki stated you were well represented. We had your engineers. Mr. Hanks was there along with Mr. Cassel and me. Mr. Skehan, do you want to give an overview of the meeting?
Mr. Skehan responded sure. The purpose of the meeting was to get better details from SFWMD. It was to better understand where they are going, what they are looking at and what the opportunities are for possible alternative water resource funding. In regards to your situation here at the water plant and associated projects to that, a Florida Aquifer Well may be a potential candidate for funding; not 100% or 50%, but some “seed money” as they describe it. In the past, CSID has not been active in looking for funding opportunities for the District. There are some opportunities for some “seed money” for some of the current projects. What I have seen in some of the other projects in the past is $250,000 or $200,000. It varies depending on the size of the project. We talked about the water use permitting, what the status of it is and how it ties into what will be taking place as far as looking for some alternative funding.
Mr. Goscicki stated SFWMD presented their formula; if you build a 3 MGD reuse facility, here is the maximum amount of grant money available. They are very anxious. The people we met with were the alternate water supply grant people. They have their pot of money and they are more than happy to spend their money. Their task is to spend this money on alternative water supplies. That is the key issue. One of the messages we left them with is that we appreciate the grant program. We are not ready to commit right now to an alternative supply program. Our real goal is that we do not want their money. We want our full consumptive use permit to stay in the Biscayne Aquifer so we do not need to go to an alternative water supply.
Mr. Hanks stated if I may, I will put in a couple of key points. The timeline for this year’s grant money is such that we do not have any projects we feel need to be processed and put into this.
Mr. Skehan stated at this point there are possibly some portions of the membrane plant, which can be inserted into this pending the decisions SFWMD makes related to the water use permit. If we want to be proactive, we can have a grant application in for the Florida Aquifer Well also.
Mr. Hanks stated one of the key components is it has to be fully funded by the Board irrespective of the grant money from SFWMD. We will be going forward with the project regardless of whether we get any money from them.
Fennell stated it sounds good. This
sounds like it is a first step. What is
needed here, the county was the last one to actually try to do something along
these lines four or five years ago, is a unified approach to understand what
our water needs are and have a unified voice.
We can form a common group and come up with a common program to go after
this so we adequately present the arguments for water uses in our area. We have not done this. We have mostly tried to maintain our water
district and do a nice job for our local area.
Obviously there are bigger issues starting to affect us and we need to
formulate policies which do well for us and
Mr. Hanks asked are you saying to educate the consumers as to the real cost associated with going to the Floridian Aquifer, which the policy makers are directing us to go to?
Mr. Fennell responded I think so. I think we need to sit back and decide what we really want, what our goals are with regards to water and what we think is the best policy. I do not think we should run out and grab on to somebody’s grant money for some other idea. I am not sure it is what we need. I have my own ideas about this, but I think we need to look at it from a rational standpoint. I know this is a highly charged political item, but in the end we have to supply the adequate water needs for our area at the lowest possible cost without impacting environmental issues. I am not sure those are all being done with current policies.
We actually do a lot now which we do not get credit for; for instance recharging the aquifer by having the canal systems around us. We actually keep an extra foot or two of water as opposed to areas which do not have these canals. I cannot calculate how many billions of gallons we have, which our canals help hold within our area. This has to be helping the aquifer. I think this is an issue and I do not think it is adequately understood. I suspect the amount of water we actually use for sewers and drinking water is less of an immediate issue over the entire area we have. We are probably maintaining at least 24 to 36 inches of water. I think we more than adequately refill the aquifer than what we use as far as drinking water. I do not think proper proportions of what we are looking for our problem are there.
I think we can do better as far as managing the water flow when we need
it. We can have water transferred from
one area to another. I do not think we
are doing a good job of reflowing water back into nature, the
Mr. Hanks asked what can you do with $2.5 Million to cut down on the surface side of the water consumption? If we are stuck with a 7.15 MGD withdrawal allocation, where are we going to get our biggest bang for the buck for $2.5 Million? Looking at the water billed versus water used or water treated, we have been told all along we have 4% line loss, 5% line loss. You go to this month’s charts there are several months in there where it looks like 20% of our water is not billed for. Let us focus in on some other areas. We can conserve how much water we put out there. This also saves us on how much water comes back and how much we have to treat.
Mr. Fennell stated I applaud this first meeting. I am looking for a strong effort in this. We need to unify not only us, but others as well. I think we need to take a lead in this. The county tried to take a lead before, but could not actually do it because it did not have a dog in the fight. They really do not have any responsibility for water, but we do. We have it in two different places; making sure it does not flood our property and making sure we have enough. We should be the ones doing this. We have to devote our effort to it. It is the right thing to do.
Mr. Hanks stated we will need help from local lawmakers too.
Mr. Fennell stated we will.
Mr. Hanks stated not just the representatives, but also the county commissioners. They have a big say in their policy, which affects how they are dealing with stormwater treatments in other districts.
Mr. Fennell stated first off, let us define what the problem is and let us have some rational engineering approaches to how we will solve this problem. I do not see those out on the table yet. I see extremist political viewpoints for environmentalist requirements and others pulling for their own water. I actually do not see a rational approach.
Mr. Hanks stated there are approaches we need to bring into the mix and we need to bring in our legal counsel. We need to find out what it is under Florida Statute we are required to do. One thing the statute says is you have to pull it from the economically best quality water. Where does this come into play with us having to drill down extra feet at additional costs and pull out poorer quality water? What happens if we do not comply?
Mr. Goscicki responded we have reached the point where, in my personal opinion, we have transitioned out of sound logical scientific based decision making by SFWMD and DEP on water management issues. You are getting into regulation by pheon rather than by sound scientific analysis. You will see it in the issue on ocean outfall that is ongoing right now. We are saying we do not feel good about this anymore and we could use change. Meanwhile, there were environmental impact studies done and there is no model on the Biscayne Aquifer right now. We are in a situation where we can model locally and if we can show we are not having a local problem outside of our boundaries, we are in a good situation. It is a challenge we are faced with where the science is not there right now and we are into decision making, which is being done by policy formulation and not by science.
Mr. Fennell stated obviously we have to do something about this. The surprising thing for me is I did not realize how little science has actually gone into the new computer models available to us. I saw what we did with our own canal system. I realize what can be done. We can model this and it is not being done. It is important we push this forward. Maybe we will end up being the leaders in this. Certainly with the model we did, we have done something most other areas have not done. We have a good viewpoint. There are still a few holes I am after to fix. What bothered me was when we could not predict the height of the C-14 canal during a hurricane. The fact we cannot do this and the fact SFWMD cannot do this tells me there are some real issues. We need a formalized group going forward to resolve the issues of how these studies should go.
Mr. Hanks stated there should be an allocation for fiscal year 2009.
Mr. Fennell stated we need it for going to the committee meetings and for more rational approaches. I am not out to spend $10 Million for this. We already have a pretty good program we can build on. First off, there should be a series of meetings we should call from an engineering standpoint. What are the problems, what are the possible solutions and let us go study them. Let us come back and look at the real alternatives. I think we have to do this. I also think we have to get stronger in aiding SFWMD; even though they have an $800 Million budget. Never the less, the people who sit on the board are all appointees and do not always have our viewpoint at heart. We need to find out who people are, but first we have to start off with a rational approach. What is it we think is the problem for SFWMD for our area and what we think the solutions are? Then we have to decide on the solutions and put them forward.
Cassel stated we had a meeting with the engineers and the City of
Fennell stated I think as part of our budget we can sponsor a development. We can call it a working group. You can get together with NSID, the city and
others. I have seen this kind of organization
before such as in
Hanks stated there are few bodies which have all three uses or all three
charges, water, sewer and drainage, under one roof. The City of
Mr. Fennell stated continue this. We would like to see a budget item for the coming year for some kind of working group committee.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
i. Discussion of Eagle Trace Berm
Mr. Fennell asked is this the same berm?
Mr. Goscicki responded it is the same berm. Apparently, the Sawgrass Expressway wants the District to sign off on the completion of the work. The landscaping the District requested has never been done. We need to get with Mr. Lyles and put together a piece of correspondence back to them saying the restoration work is not done to the satisfaction of the District. This goes back a year and a half now.
Mr. Daly stated November of 2006 was when we had a long discussion. Mr. Petty came to the Board saying he wanted to plant $75,000 in trees and that he would get the DOT to pay the District back. You all said no. It appears the Board made a decision that DOT should be responsible for the damage they did to the berm. I believe there was some discussion about having a letter sent to DOT putting them on notice as to where we were heading. I am not sure if it was done. Now they want us to sign off on this and they have not improved the berm.
Mr. Hanks asked did the directive or request go back to the DOT? I remember there was discussion about the contractor being non responsive to it.
Mr. Daly responded I never saw a letter.
Mr. Hanks asked Ms. Delegal, can you check with Mr. Lyles to see if anything went out of your office in this regard?
Mr. Delegal responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated we do not want to sign off on this.
Mr. Daly stated the engineers were told they should not sign off on anything until we discussed this with the Board.
Mr. Fennell asked what does it look like?
Mr. Daly responded I have pictures.
Mr. Hanks asked have they provided as-builts for their low spots and high spots or anything of this sort?
Mr. Daly responded they provided us with the clean up of pipes and things like that.
Mr. Fennell stated there were issues too about how anyone gets to it.
Mr. Daly stated there are two miles either way that you have to come in.
Mr. Hanks stated we had that discussion when the wall was still open and there was urgency on the matter.
Mr. Daly presented the Board with slides of the Eagle Trace Berm.
Mr. Hanks stated that is south of
Mr. Daly stated this is Eagle Trace looking at the wall that way.
Mr. Hanks asked what used to be there? Do we have any old photographs?
Mr. Daly responded I do not, but I know the gentleman who came to the meeting one time said he had many photographs. I know the discussion had to do with the developer putting trees there because they wanted to beautify it.
Mr. Hanks asked whose right-of-way is that?
Mr. Daly responded ours.
Mr. Frederick stated this particular
area is not where the people are complaining about. It is over by the north end of the Eagle
Trace development. This is the south end
Mr. Daly asked did you take pictures of the north end?
Mr. Frederick stated those pictures are not from me.
Mr. Hanks stated let us talk about the tree issue. We had $4 Million worth of tree removal a couple of years ago. Why would we want to put our trees back?
Mr. Fennell responded we certainly do not want to put them on the edge of the canal.
Mr. Frederick stated the trees in this area are maintained by Eagle Trace. They want overgrown trees so they do not have to look at the wall. When they cleared this area with the bulldozer they damaged many of the trees on the edge. DOT has done some work over there in the last day or two. They put some sod down, but they just leveled it out. They were supposed to have leveled it out, then put the sod down and put sod all the way to the top of the berm, but they are not doing that. Mr. McKune put in a call to Mr. Forbe with CH2M Hill and told him DOT is not doing what they are supposed to be doing and we are not going to sign off on this. My guys have done a great deal of clean up on this berm.
Mr. Hanks asked what was our request to DOT?
Mr. Daly responded I do not know. This was all during Mr. Petty’s tenure. By reading the minutes, the request to DOT was supposed to be for them to improve the area back to what it was. I am not sure if we have pictures or anything. I know Mr. Petty came in asking for $75,000 to appease the homeowners over there.
Mr. Fennell stated we did allow them to take over the area. Have they done anything?
Mr. Daly responded this is all new to me. We went out and got some pictures and I figured you might remember something.
Mr. Hanks asked what is our exposure on this? It is District property. The plants were taken out by DOT. We did not direct them to. We did not authorize them to. What is our exposure either to the city in terms of tree protection ordinances or to Eagle Trace?
Ms. Delegal responded as far as the city is concerned it is going to depend on who did the removal. That is where you are going to get more into the lines of who is responsible. If we own the land and someone else took the trees out without a permit, then we get into that debate with the city. The city is going to say you should have gotten tree removal permits through their ordinances and you did not do it. It is going to be a matter of deciding responsibility. If it is not something we did and was not an action of this Board, I do not think we have a particular amount of exposure.
Mr. Hanks stated with regard to Eagle Trace, and the homeowners there, we authorized them to put up landscaping in the past. Are we under any obligation to put it back or is that subject to any particular agreement we had?
Ms. Delegal responded not knowing all of the details we have to look into under what authority we allowed them to do this.
Mr. Fennell stated we have to look back. It has been several years.
Mr. Daly stated the Board at one time gave the HOA $5,000 to plant trees on the berm. They came back to us after the hurricane and after DOT went in and asked us for more money. Mr. Petty had some discussions back and forth with them. I do not think it got off to a good start, but I think it ended up a little better. He said he would come before the Board and ask for $75,000.
Mr. Hanks stated I suppose we can ask them to restore it.
Mr. Fennell stated the problem is the natural state is terrible. It was covered with all kinds of trees and holly. It looked really bad. You could not even get to it to maintain it. This actually looks much better than when it was in its natural state. This is actually maintainable. The issue we always face as a Board is what our responsibility is for the canals, which is to keep the water flowing. Is it really our responsibility to beautify two miles or more of canal? That is a great deal of money to spend on somebody else’s private backyard.
Mr. Daly asked my question always was why would that particular corner of Eagle Trace get the landscaping, but the other miles of it never did?
Mr. Fennell responded I do not know.
Mr. Frederick stated the other part of it is blocked by a wall.
ii. Investment Status Report
Mr. Goscicki stated I wanted Ms. Rower to give you a quick update of where we are with your bond funds.
Ms. Rower stated currently the bond funds are still invested in the government investment which was originally put in when the bonds were taken out. The reason for this is because the treasury market tanked during the months of February and March. Because of this, for yield purposes, the funds they are currently invested in are earning a higher yield than the treasury. They have started to rebound again. The one issue I want to bring up is the fund they are currently in is called The First American Government Obligation Fund. It tries to keep a $1 NAD, but it does invest in different items. I know we all look at the yield, but I think with the responsibility we have in the public entity we might want to move into the treasury market for the protection of the principal amounts. I wanted to bring this to your attention. The yields are higher in what you are currently in than if we went into an investment with the treasury; however, treasuries give you more security than the investment they are in.
Mr. Fennell asked what are they currently invested in?
Ms. Zich asked do we have anything in here about this?
Rower responded I did not put this in the agenda package because I wanted to
provide you with the most current information.
If you look at this, it will show you our yield as of
Mr. Hanks asked is your value always fixed with the treasury or does it depend? You are still selling it on the open market. Do they always have the value of what you put them in for before?
Ms. Rower responded it depends on whether you carry it out to maturity. For example, when you buy a treasury bill they are only in three to six month increments. When you are purchasing it you can purchase a six month treasury bill and you will get it returned; however, every time you go into it, it is going down to a five month and two day return based on what the market has been. If you purchase one today at 1.40% and hold it for six month maturity, you will get that returned. Treasury notes are for a longer period of time.
Mr. Fennell asked what are we currently invested in?
Ms. Rower responded we are currently invested in a fund called The First American Obligation Fund.
Mr. Fennell asked what are they invested in?
Ms. Rower responded right now the portfolio is mixed. They have approximately 8.5% agency notes of bond. They have 23% in agency discounts and notes. They are in 47% of agency repurchase agreement. We are looking at the treasury because of the risk factor. You are not going to make as much interest because we go back and forth. We are looking at yield, but at the same time as a public entity we want to make sure what they are invested in is going to change on a monthly basis. We are better off losing some yield, but to know we are in a more secure investment.
Ms. Zich asked how would we lose our principal?
Ms. Rower responded an example is many people are saying they would not invest in Freddie Mac.
Mr. Hanks stated I am not worried. Are you worried?
Mr. Fennell responded no.
Mr. Hanks asked are you worried Ms. Zich?
Ms. Zich responded no.
Ms. Rower stated this is why I am coming to the Board. I do want you to know it is in a mutual fund which has other items that are government agencies.
Mr. Fennell asked are they short term?
Ms. Rower responded I do not have the maturity of them.
Mr. Fennell stated the only way we are going to get hurt is to buy a bond and then the value changes because of market value and we have to get out of it. They are fairly short term.
Mr. Hanks stated the other risk we are facing is not being mentioned, which is the risk of the plant, the cost of materials, etcetera and increases.
Ms. Rower stated that is correct. It is one component because of the fact that I do not have a crystal ball. I do not know if we go ahead and lock into a treasury, whether rates will climb. If rates start going down, you can lock into a treasury note for one year.
Mr. Fennell stated at this point there are two risks; the Federal Government goes broke or interest rates climb back up. The biggest risk is buying something for 1.5% note and then suddenly everybody realizes this is a terrible yield causing the bond value to drop.
Ms. Rower stated this is why we have not invested and I wanted to bring it to you.
Mr. Fennell stated I do not have a sense of worry as long as you invest in federal funds. Sooner or later we have to come out of this recession and interest rates will go back to normal. At that point, the bonds are going to drop in value in order to compensate.
Ms. Zich asked how short term can we go?
Ms. Rower responded the money market is liquid.
Mr. Fennell stated I think there is more of a risk buying longer term notes.
Ms. Zich stated so do I.
Ms. Rower stated I will get you more information on this fund you are in.
Mr. Hanks stated as long as we are in this kind of turmoil please keep coming back with information to see how things are going.
Goscicki stated one additional item we have for the Board in this regard is we
got into conversations with SunTrust on these investments. The Board will recall approximately two to
three months ago they passed by motion the authority to staff to move forward
with an investment plan working with SunTrust.
SunTrust came back to us after reading the minutes, but they would like
to see a resolution adopted by the Board.
This just came up this week. We put
together a resolution. The resolution
states, “A resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs
Improvement District authorizing SunTrust Bank to accept trade orders for the
Series 2007 Water and Sewer Revenue Bonds from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Whereas, the Board of Supervisors of Coral
Springs Improvement District has authorized the execution of investment
contracts as outlined during the course of the discussion to execute the
appropriate instruments by a motion made by Vice President Zich on
Ms. Rower stated if in the future we decide to purchase T Bills or purchase something through that, this resolution authorizes SunTrust to accept it; however, at this time they are staying in our money market based on the decision of the Board.
Mr. Fennell asked counsel, do you have any issues with this?
Ms. Delegal responded I have not seen it before, but it seems to me all it does is put into resolution form something that has already been authorized by motion because SunTrust is requiring it. It is fine.
iii. Monthly Water and Sewer Charts
Mr. Fennell asked are there any questions on this?
Mr. Hanks responded yes. What is the produced to billed water comparison?
Mr. Hyche responded this is on a monthly basis. We are taking numbers from Mr. Daly on his billing cycle, which are probably billed from the 15th of the month to the 15th of the next month. Our recording cycles are from the 1st of the month to the 31st of the month. It can reflect an overage. It does not reflect any maintenance issues we have done on the system. We dropped a 4 Million gallon storage tank four times in the cleaning process. Part of the water was reclaimed; however, there was so much water that it did go out and overflow into the canal. It could not be helped.
Mr. Hanks stated I was just noticing we had four months where we were well over 20% out.
Mr. Hyche stated if you do it over a running 12 month average, it surmounts 5% to 8%.
Mr. Goscicki stated if you look at a couple of the months in here, you will see you actually billed more water than you used.
Mr. Hanks stated you have to figure the time periods do not match up, but there are big gaps.
Mr. Goscicki stated it is going to be subject to maybe a three or four month running average on a count of full water. I think it gives the Board a better indication of what is running.
iv. Utility Billing Work Orders
Mr. Hanks asked are there any issues on this? It looks like we are down from last year.
Mr. Daly responded no.
v. Discussion of Creation of Director of Operations Position
This item was discussed under the fifth order of business.
vi. Six Month Operational Status Report
Goscicki stated before you move into this item I wanted to bring one last item
to the Board. The Board has seen the
latest cover of the Florida Water Resources Journal. This journal is published throughout the
Mr. Fennell stated okay the six month operational status report.
Mr. Daly stated this is for your information only. It does not require a discussion.
Mr. Hanks asked with regard to the drainage system, have there been any changes as a result of compliance from having it in-house versus having it with CH2M Hill?
Mr. Daly responded we got one more and that was it. There were 65 letters put out as of last week and we only got one who responded, paid the fee and had the engineering report come back. I actually called Mr. Marooney at the city to see if there is a way to tie in our District with the city. He said not unless the Board asks the city to come up with a program.
Mr. Hanks asked will it be appropriate to run through the District manager or is it something we need to adopt through resolution where we request the city what form should be in it? The other question I have is directed to counsel. In terms of the building permit, do they need to demonstrate compliance? Maybe we can do it both ways. If it is a building permit, they will need too demonstrate compliance with the CSID stormwater maintenance requirements and the city can assist in the enforcement of five year renewals for stormwater permits.
Mr. Daly responded in previous discussions Mr. Lyles said we really do not have a lot of teeth with regard to compliance. When I say the department put out 65 letters, they were 65 additional letters that CH2M Hill was unable to find because we have the records here. It is a difficult task. The problem is to identify these entities with current owners and/or management companies and to notify them.
Ms. Delegal stated I know this issue has been before you in the past. Mr. Lyles did find that when this program was implemented there was an enforcement provision saying failure of the property owner to recertify to the District compliance with the five year plan will result in the District’s revocation of the permit and notification to SFWMD and local governing authorities regarding this.
Mr. Fennell asked what does that do?
Ms. Delegal responded it does not look to me like it is particularly self enforcing. Our thinking is if we want to try to have some enforcement mechanism beyond this statement, we might need to have a revocation procedure and adopt a policy or rulemaking by the Board. You are going to need some due process in order to do this, which are generally notice and a public hearing to give the opportunity to be heard.
Mr. Hanks stated I think this is an area we can put more effort into. It will certainly show SFWMD and the county that we are taking pride in our waterways and interested in protecting our resources. Let us not just look at this to see what we need to do to be in compliance, but let us look at it as a way to improve our water quality.
Mr. Fennell stated the other issue along this line is the city is responsible for maintaining street drainage. The city also has a huge issue because some of these drains go two to three blocks underground into the local canal. They get blocked up and people cannot find them. The city has a way where they come out and take leaves out of the local drain, but they do not actually know where all the canals are. Consequently, street flooding is out of their hands.
Mr. Hanks stated there are two issues around this. The design of the actual inlets causes the inlets to clog up with leaves when the drainage is all done. When you have a hole in the curve where the water goes into you have a better effectiveness.
Mr. Fennell stated my street is a cul-de-sac and there is a drainage into it, which drains from our street and goes underneath a couple of houses to the canal a couple of blocks away.
Mr. Hanks stated maybe we should have staff go back through our records and provide the city with copies of the drainage plans.
Mr. Fennell stated we were going to do it at one time, but I do not know if we ever got around to it. The idea is to make sure we have adequate flow from the streets.
Mr. Goscicki stated the situation describing this is the city owned stormwater system. You are not looking for the District to map it out, but to make sure the city is aware.
Mr. Fennell stated the city is currently responsible for what is on the streets. Just as we have these permits, they are essentially charged with maintaining adequate street drainage, but make sure they know where everything is at.
Mr. Hanks stated if we have any questions on our records, we should request information from the city to supplement our records here.
Fennell stated I think the issue comes from a permit standpoint. The city has to have some kind of drainage
permit. I am not sure they are going
through and cleaning out all of the culverts they should. I know some special districts do it
themselves. I think
Mr. Frederick stated they usually respond if they get a complaint.
Mr. Fennell stated I do not think there is a methodical way to go after it. That is what I am asking for.
Delegal stated we are monitoring what is going on in
other thing I know Mr. Lyles had talked to you about, and he asked me to
prepare, is a comparison chart. It
discusses some issues regarding the potential of converting to a Chapter 190
District as opposed to remaining as a special act of the legislature. I am going to briefly touch on a couple of
things. The CDD statute does allow an
existing special district to petition for reestablishment as a CDD. What you do is file a petition with the
municipality. In this case it is the
You will probably want to look at this and discuss it at a later meeting. There are three things to talk about. As you know you are a three member Board elected by landowners for a four year term. Initially the Board of Supervisors will change to five Board members if you convert and after the sixth year, two of the Board members will be elected by qualified electors and will also have to be qualified electors. One Board member will continue to be elected by landowners. Thereafter, all Board members will be elected by qualified electors for four year terms. It will be a gradual conversion to elected Board members by qualified electors.
The second point to talk about is it will allow for an increase in the mandatory bid threshold. It will convert from a $4,000 mandatory threshold, which you are currently under, to a $150,000 mandatory minimum. There are some other provisions regarding compliance with CCNA and the bidding for public works. The final thing you want to think about is the dissolution procedure. Currently CSID can only be dissolved by the Florida Legislature, unless there are some other general provisions for abolishment of district. Under a Chapter 190 district, the city can adopt an ordinance to provide for a plan of transfer some or all of your services. They will have to demonstrate the city can provide services as efficiently, at a higher quality of service and at a same or lower charge. For the city to do this, the CDD can then go to court if you want to challenge this finding and have the circuit court review whether or not the transfer plan is in the best interest of the citizens.
Mr. Fennell stated thank you very much. That dissolution thing is not good.
Mr. Daly stated there was discussion in a previous Board meeting regarding our canal banks, who owns it and what our liability is. Mr. Hanks was involved as well in this discussion. I am not sure if we ever came to a resolution on this. The reason I am asking is because we want to put a number in the proposed budget. Right now I believe we put in $300,000.
Ms. Woodward stated I think so. The problem is we do not know what a good number is.
Mr. Hanks asked Ms. Delegal, can we get together to have a more in depth discussion if more time permits tonight.
Ms. Delegal responded I know from other meetings that Mr. Lyles assigned research on this. I know some work has been done in this regard. I will discuss it.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisors’ Requests and Audience Comments (Continued)
Mr. Fennell asked what was the root cause of the electric failure we had?
Mr. Hyche responded the root cause was a tripped breaker outside the gate caused by a backlash of power through the grid system by FP&L.
Mr. Fennell asked will this happen again?
Mr. Hyche responded it will not. You approved for me to put in monitors so it does not happen again. The switching back and forth was caused by a phantom signal.
Mr. Fennell stated electrical waves do not go just one way down a wire. They go back and forth. If you turn one thing on, the wave can go forward and if it does not hit right, it can go back down the line. That is what happened. Ours was going back and forth. It did not completely fail. It was an unmatched condition. There is no guarantee that when a failure goes down you will have all three phases go down at one time. You can have ⅓ go down. We should be able to handle it now. The other thing I have is the high bank issue.
Mr. Skehan stated Mr. Bohorquez put together a presentation to answer some of your questions. If you want to take the time to do this, there is a presentation.
Mr. Fennell stated make this a scheduled item for the next agenda.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have a problem or not?
Mr. Skehan responded I have not seen the presentation.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the problem?
Mr. Bohorquez stated two months ago we had a meeting to discuss what we can do with respect to the C-14 canal and if it were to rise higher than 10.5 feet. We modeled the outfall canal from SWCD. We concluded the berms running through the canal going north are high enough and provide enough of a shield to our properties. We do not have any data from any other entity to model the C-14 canal and how it will behave. Just as Mr. Goscicki said we are ahead of the game from the District, but we do not know anything besides our backyards.
Mr. Fennell asked is it 10.5 feet?
Mr. Hanks responded that is pretty high.
Mr. Fennell stated that is how high it actually got. There is real data supporting this. That is the key here.
Mr. Goscicki stated the other point which came out of this modeling is 10.5 feet is the SFWMD forecast of a 100 year storm.
Mr. Bohorquez stated it is an actual reading.
Mr. Fennell stated an engineer looked at it and took measurements. What he found out before anything was built out was the flow levels through the canal were approximately 50% higher than their design.
Mr. Hanks stated design levels add a particular thing. If you take a look at your design discharge, it is based on a 25 year storm. They can say it is 50% more. I do not know exactly what is going on, but be careful in your approach and application of the words “50% higher than designed.”
Mr. Goscicki stated if a 100 year storm had been over the District, you are going to have area flooding. When it hits that one berm you will actually start to crest that berm in one location and it will flow out from CSID into that canal at the one lowest point. The concern about flow into the District does not happen during the 100 year storm event. If there is a storm surge, if there is a back water curve in, if the 10.5 feet becomes 11.5 feet, that is when you get into the unknowns. That is why SFWMD does not have anything to show on when this would happen and how it would happen.
Hanks stated we should not be looking backwards on what happened in the past,
but contact the
Mr. Fennell stated I think this is another thing we need to add to the water management issue. There is nothing more catastrophic than flooding in an area. They obviously have not done any current modeling to predict this.
Mr. Goscicki stated this is a very different county than other areas. The county I reside in has 100 year storm maps which actually show what the impact of storm surges might be in a hurricane event. Because we are a bowl here and so much of our activity is pumped, it is active drainage rather than gravity drainage. The county has a 100 year storm map which shows what the flooding will be during a 100 year storm event, but it is based on the ability to pump and what those activities are. It is apples to oranges compared to what other communities look at.
Bohorquez stated I contacted
Mr. Fennell stated the county is working on it, but not SFWMD. The issue for us from a safety standpoint is SFWMD does not appear to have a modern flood based computer program. This is a real issue. You had done a previous report for improvements of the east side. You made some recommendations and I think we need to look at them again next time.
Mr. Hanks stated see how we can tie it into alternative water supplies. I would also like to request the Board be provided with a copy of the SWCD report. This way we can see how the adjacent districts are operating.
i. Project Status Report
ii. Water Use Permit Update
iii. Landscaping Update
iv. Bond Issuance Engineering Report Amendment
There was no further discussion on the above listed items.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of March Financials and Check Registers
A. Cash Flow Summary Report
Mr. Fennell asked are there any questions on the check registers?
Ms. Zich responded no. I looked over them.
Mr. Fennell stated I did have a couple of questions on the financials.
The record will reflect Mr. Hanks left the meeting and a quorum remained present.
Mr. Fennell stated this is a question regarding the CSID general fund. We have a prorated budget and an actual budget. We actually have data of when the funds flow in. When we prorate it can we prorate it so we know when the funds flow in?
Ms. Woodward responded we can do that. Just to let you know, at the end of March approximately 93% of the assessment revenues were collected.
Ms. Rower stated I am sure when Ms. Woodward does the budget this year she will look at putting the assessments over the four month period where they usually occur and look closer at when the timing is up instead of dividing it over 12 months.
Mr. Fennell stated we had some capital improvements and reserve funds which accounts for approximately $450,000. Have we spent any of it yet? I know we are doing some stuff out there for the buildings.
Mr. Goscicki stated they have not started construction yet.
Mr. Fennell stated the other issue will be when they come back in two months. I think he is going to come back and tell us we can lessen the impact of a flood by digging the canals or doing some other things. It looks like there are some things we can do. The early results indicated the upper east side will have some flooding conditions unless we can figure out a way to interconnect them. When we come back we need to look at this again and understand what the costs will be. The reason I had not been pushing this before is I wanted to make sure this outflow canal was not our worse problem. It sounds like you are going to come back and tell us it is not our worse case. We still have an issue where we might have some drainage issues on the east side. We have to go back and decide how we are going to attack this. Engineering needs to give Ms. Woodward and you guys a heads up of what the cost of this will be. We can have a hurricane next year. Sooner or later in the next 20 years this issue will come back.
Mr. Goscicki stated we need to get from the engineer what the implication of the program will look like, sit down and have some discussion of what we might be able to do to fund this program. It can be part of our budget discussion. If we fall into this level, here is what it does to the assessments. If we want to fund the whole thing, here is how much money we need to borrow and here is what it does to your assessments.
Mr. Fennell stated so this is a strategic thing for us to focus on. You need to take a look at what the engineers come up with and then we need to look at it from a strategic standpoint. I know we have, this is going under the water and sewer fund, we show $494,539 there and then we had to back it out under interest.
Ms. Woodward stated because we are in the capitalized interest period on the 2007 Bonds we are not allowed to report income in excess of the expense. If you look at the revenue you will see $494,539 as a separate line item and when you go down to the debt service you will see interest expense in the same amount. Any differential between actual interest earned and interest paid is charged to Construction in Progress.
Fennell stated it is a little hard for me to figure all of this out. What I gather is unfortunately, at least for
the first four working months, we are about $500,000 under the input of
money. Somehow you guys have managed,
through different operations, to just about balance this out. I am a little surprised you are able to do
this, but it is great. I do not think
people realize we are set up to process a certain amount of water. This is not the southwest where you only get
10 inches a year. It is not the case
where we are really short of water. It
is a case of whether we will be short of money to process water. I do not know if people really understand
this is another key for us. The issues
Ms. Zich stated I also noted the revenue is low.
Mr. Fennell stated we are in the process of building a new water plant. Are there any options for us to sell water to other utilities? We may end up being one of the few facilities around which will have renewed facilities for the next 20 or 30 years. Other groups may have a hard time raising money or doing something.
Daly stated I know the city is looking at an override of sorts to avail ‘X’
amount of percent. I think the City of
Ms. Zich stated I did not know we had the ability to do that.
Mr. Goscicki stated by state law, cities have the ability to charge other municipalities outside their service area a 25% surcharge.
Ms. Zich stated I mean ours because of the fact we had to cut back in water and our revenue is so low. Do we have the ability to do this?
Mr. Daly responded we have the ability to raise rates.
Mr. Goscicki stated you can go through a rate process to raise your rates through a public hearing.
Ms. Zich stated we already raised them three years in a row. I do not know what we will be raising.
Mr. Fennell stated we are going to raise rates because our rates are too low. We have to raise them in order to support the bonds. We are still going to end up lower than other districts.
Ms. Zich stated I would hate to put a surcharge on water. They tell you on television to conserve and then when you conserve you get a surcharge.
Fennell stated they are talking like we are in
Zich stated if you ask the average homeowner in this area, they will think the
water we are drinking comes from
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert D. Fennell