MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
A 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:
Kenneth Cassel District Manager
Jane Early District Engineer
Dan Daly Director of Operations
Jim Aversa Chief Operator, Wastewater Plant
Doug Hyche Utilities Director
Randy Fredericks Drainage Supervisor
Kay Woodward District Accountant
Jan Zilmer Human Resources Manager
Gil Veliz Resident
Jesse Veliz Resident
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Cassel called the meeting to order and called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the August 18, 2008 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member
received a copy of the minutes of the
Mr. Hanks stated on page two, under the third order of business, end the sentence at “warranty bond” and delete “or some other munis”.
There being no further additions, corrections or deletions,
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
i. Right-of-Way Plantings
Mr. Fennell asked do we have someone from the audience who wants to make a comment?
Mr. Cassel responded yes we do.
Mr. Daly stated we have a letter to Mr. Veliz in your agenda package.
Mr. Cassel stated it is under the Manager’s Report. I apologize for the photographs included. We had a problem with the printer, but Mr. Daly has color photographs on the wall for you as a display.
Mr. Daly stated we have some plantings on our canal bank. We asked Mr. Veliz to remove them. They were put in for a reason. I guess personal reasons are the best way to put it. We have a disagreement because we have a policy, and another point of view from one of our residents.
Mr. Veliz stated before Hurricane Wilma we had a couple of large trees in our backyard. They were beautiful trees which provided shade, privacy and relaxation. Hurricane Wilma blew those trees down. We put in an addition to our house and extended our backyard after the hurricane. We extended the patio around the pool and put in a fence around the left side, which is the north side of the property. I have a survey if you would like to see it.
We were instructed by the building department, as well as planning and zoning, to plant bushes along the exterior of the fence. It dresses the fence up and makes it look nice. We planted flowers and bushes going all the way to the corner of the property. We recently planted a couple of Fishtail Palms. The one closest to the water is approximately 11 feet from the center line and the second one is approximately 19 feet from the center line. There is quite of bit of space between those two bushes and the water.
We thought these two trees would give us some of the privacy and shade we are lacking now. It provides a perfect place for our natural wildlife. We have alligators in the canal, ducks and different types of tropical birds and snakes. However, my neighbor complained about the trees because he no longer has a water view, but his house never had a water view because it is on the other side of the property.
I had a batting cage back there for my son who plays competitive baseball. He complained about it so we took it down. I planted 10 to 15 Christmas Palms on the inside of the property for more privacy. The neighbor constantly sits over the fence and looks on to our property over the pool. My wife and two daughters are always swimming. Therefore, we planted these two trees to give us additional privacy. I imagine this gentleman complained. When I called I was told it is against regulation to plant anything in the right-of-way. What would happen if a storm came through and blew every tree in the right-of-way?
Mr. Fennell responded it could possibly flood the entire area and cost us millions of dollars. In fact, that is what happened to us the last time and it was a disaster.
Mr. Veliz asked are you referring to the clean-up?
Mr. Fennell responded I am not just referring to the clean-up. We spent approximately $100,000 on a study. When this area was first built there were no trees along the banks. We spent a large amount of money to find out what would happen if some of these culverts got blocked. The main purpose of the canals is drainage. We found out it would be disastrous. This became a real issue for us. The second issue is the canals. There is a misconception by people who live on canals that they pay for the canals. This is not true. Everyone pays the same amount of money for the canal property. We all had to pay for bond issues for the canals. We want these canals to be useful and not get us into a flood. Which area is this in?
Mr. Veliz responded it is Cypress Glen.
Mr. Fennell stated canals are beautiful and we all love them, but there is a real danger if they do not drain properly. This has been our main concern. Where is the property line?
Mr. Daly responded I believe it is on the fence.
Mr. Fennell asked is this a public property?
Mr. Daly responded that is correct. It is in the right-of-way.
Mr. Fennell stated it is not just a right-of-way. The residents pay for this land. This is actually public similar to a park.
Mr. Veliz stated I understand.
Mr. Fennell stated we have other issues. When the trees got blown down, we had to pay a great deal of money. As a result, our rates were doubled from what they were before the hurricane. The trees got away from everyone. They all love their trees. They all love planting in the area. No one believed their tree would ever do any harm, but it did. People who do not live in a house end up paying for the homeowners’ tree removals.
Mr. Veliz stated I paid for the removal of my two trees.
Mr. Fennell asked were they on CSID land?
Mr. Veliz responded they were approximately five or six feet from the wall.
Mr. Fennell stated we found out, with the exception of a couple of different trees, when the water level goes up high it kills the roots. You really do not want to plant trees anywhere that the canal starts to go down because it makes for a poor tree. We had houses that actually had trees across them. Trees fell across canals. They can often fall back, depending on the wind because you have no root structure in the canal. Basically, the trees are put there for beautification with no thought to the integrity of the water system. This has been a real issue. People do not think they have to be concerned with the safety of the waterway or the safety of their house. Therein lies the issue of safety during hurricanes. The third issue is we have to get back there to maintain those canals.
Mr. Veliz stated in the 12 years I have been living there, my son and I are the ones who go back there and clean the canal on a weekly basis. There are bottles, debris, containers and plastic bags; among other things. In the 12 years I have been living there I have seen people cleaning the canal a half dozen times. I am there most of the time. We maintain it. When the two good trees fell down, I cleaned them up at my expense.
Mr. Fennell stated we have to maintain it. It is not your land. It is actually part of a collected land of people. We are charged with maintaining these canals so they work. We need to have a consistent policy which treats everyone equally.
Mr. Veliz stated there are dozens of neighbors who have bushes hanging over the canal. How can this be justified?
Mr. Fredericks responded they are illegal.
Mr. Veliz asked are we going to have all of these people remove all of these trees?
Mr. Fennell responded we are not going to spend millions of dollars moving trees.
Mr. Hanks stated when the hurricane came through here approximately three years ago we pursued tree removal through the City of Coral Springs to help ensure in the future we would not be faced with millions of dollars of clean-up costs. We wanted to identify which trees were within the right-of-way which would present a potential hazard to the community as well as to individuals and we requested they be removed. We were rejected by the city. We were told we could not make those removals.
Mr. Fennell stated I believe there is an exception for nuisance trees.
Mr. Hanks stated unfortunately, many trees are still within the right-of-way. When we notice new plantings going up we have to provide you with a letter. We cannot allow these things to go in because some people will abuse the system.
Mr. Veliz stated I do not understand how these two small Fishtail Palms interfere with any operations.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand your point.
Mr. Hanks asked is this on a dead end canal?
Mr. Fredericks responded it is similar to a dead end. It started as a difference between the opinion of two people. Three homeowners are now complaining. I discussed with them on the phone that everyone who calls in has a privacy issue and they want to plant a tree for privacy. We cannot allow everyone who wants to plant a tree do so on the right-of-way.
Mr. Hanks asked have there been complaints from other neighbors about these trees?
Mr. Fredericks responded yes. A neighbor called me again wanting to know why the trees have not been removed yet. He says the trees are blocking his view of the canal.
Mr. Hanks asked Mr. Lyles, where are we on this issue?
Mr. Lyles responded this is not a new regulation or policy. This has been in effect for the life of the District. The District Board has never authorized plantings by private property owners or anyone else within the District’s right-of-ways. It received additional emphasis since Hurricane Wilma came through in 2005 in light of studies. I believe the District had to spend more than $3 Million of your money to clear out the trees and the damage they caused in the storm water drainage system. This is why they, in essence, kept the same regulation they always had, but became more aggressive in the enforcement of it when things were brought to their attention, and where field operations saw something after the initial clean-up was done. It is a response to complaints they receive. People have a heightened awareness of it. I got the sense earlier that this is going on because you have a problem with your neighbor, which is really not the case. We had several other situations similar to this since Hurricane Wilma. Prior to Hurricane Wilma, there were occasional structures, such as screen enclosures which people would inadvertently put into a right-of-way without being aware it was District property. The District has uniformly and consistently in every instance, caused whatever intrusion to be removed. There were a couple of occasions where pieces of buildings, through someone’s error years ago, ended up too close or just edging into the right-of-way. In some of those cases you altered the legal description of the right-of-way to make the corner of the house, which is in the right-of-way, not have to come down. Short of that, there really have not been exceptions to the application of this rule.
Mr. Veliz stated I understand if these two bushes cause an inconvenience, obstruction or danger to anyone during a storm.
Mr. Lyles stated unfortunately, there is a problem with equal application and enforcement of the regulation. If it is publicly-owned property, nothing can be planted there. The District staff, management, and most importantly, the Board, have made it clear this remains the policy; and enforcement is going to occur when these situations arise. It is not so much the size or type of tree, it is the fact it is not on your property. This is why they work with everyone who finds themselves in this situation. There is generally a way to relocate something onto the private property and not lose the value of the tree. Fishtail Palms can be moved easily. As you said earlier, they do not have large trunks. It is not an impossible situation in which the tree is going to die. It can be pulled back and relocated onto private property. Everyone is willing to work with you on timing. You have this even-handed requirement you must pursue.
Mr. Hanks asked does this circumvent us with having any flexibility on shrubs or beautification?
Mr. Lyles responded the problem with flexibility is once you start to do it on a case by case basis, you are going to have thousands of cases to look at. You are not going to be able to draw the line. It is pretty easy when you have a policy and it is your property you are applying the policy to and you do not allow exceptions other than a case in which an actual structure has caused the problem. We have dealt with it in limited cases. I am not aware of any flexibility being applied to landscaping or fences. It has been uniformly required by this Board and by previous Boards, with the exception of Mr. Fennel who has been here longer than everyone in the room. He knows the history of all of this; and once you start to apply flexibility, you lose the ability to apply it at all.
Mr. Veliz stated I just think there needs to be a clear distinction between something which poses a hazard or obstruction and something which does not. You cannot group everything together. I was asked to plant bushes on the other side of the fence. I planted Hibiscus and they are on your property.
Mr. Fennell stated you should not have done this. Your fence should have been moved back further, and you could have put in those plants on the edge of your property.
Mr. Veliz stated those Hibiscus do not pose any type of danger or inconvenience to the operation of the canal.
Mr. Fennell stated it is still not on your property. You could have planted anything you wanted on your property and you chose not to.
Mr. Veliz stated there are hundreds of property owners who have plantings on the District’s property. Are you going to ask all of these homes to remove all their bushes?
Mr. Fennell responded we actually spent $3 Million doing this. The problem was we had arguments similar to this. We found out what happened over a period of 30 years. The District was put at risk. Do you know what happens if you get one foot of water in your house?
Mr. Veliz responded I have been through a couple of hurricanes and there has never been water anywhere close. The District maintains a good system.
Ms. Zich stated we were here when we worked on it.
Mr. Veliz stated the water has never come close to going up the canal. I think there has to be some distinction.
Mr. Fennell stated we looked because we wanted to be sure. Our distinction was there could be an issue with these canals getting blocked and causing problems. If the canals flow well and it does not rain much, everything is fine. Are there any other comments?
Mr. Hanks responded we never approved the shrubbery.
Mr. Lyles stated not to my knowledge. I see staff members moving their heads in the negative as well. We are not aware of, historically, approving the installation of landscaping on District property. I cannot think of an occasion where it happened. We have discovered it after the fact.
Mr. Hanks stated we discovered it after the fact and had to deal with working with the city to address non-conformities.
Mr. Veliz asked do any of you live on a canal?
Ms. Zich responded I live across from a canal and no one there has anything on the canal anymore. All of the trees fell into the canal.
Mr. Hanks asked are we going to create a non-compliance issue for this gentleman with the city?
Mr. Lyles responded you are going to be creating a couple of issues. You are going to be creating a precedent. It is something you are going to hear about the next time someone is in front of you with this type of issue. I do not see a specific legal problem associated with the city’s enforcement of its landscape codes and maintenance requirements. The big problem is you will no longer be uniformly enforcing this policy which has been in effect over the years. This creates an opening for other people to come before you.
Mr. Hanks stated if we give approval to one person and deny someone else, it introduces other issues we do not want to be faced with.
Mr. Lyles stated this is a cautionary statement.
Mr. Fennell asked what are you asking of us?
Mr. Cassel responded Mr. Veliz was requested to remove the plants and he wanted to address the Board to determine whether or not any relief can be provided.
Mr. Lyles stated it is actually a request for a variance from the application of your No-Landscaping, No-Structure requirement on District property.
Mr. Fennell stated essentially there is a motion on the floor for a variance.
Mr. Lyles stated no there is not. This is a request from a property owner. No one has made a motion at this point.
Mr. Fennell stated so we can deny it, table it or pass it.
Mr. Hanks asked if we were to revisit the landscaping requirements and no structure issues to further refine it and give you approval for decorative grass, I am just opening up to discussion. Additionally, if we were to go ahead and revise in the future the right-of-way regulation policy to allow certain shrubbery or privacy screening provided it is maintained, would it be opening this up further?
Mr. Fennell responded it must be exact.
Mr. Hanks stated this is what I am trying to say.
Ms. Zich stated you should have moved the fence up and put in the shrubs. Why is the fence out so far that you cannot put shrubs next to it?
Mr. Fennell responded the city’s request is not wrong. The problem is replacing the fence in order to fulfill the request. He is essentially seeing the land as his, but it belongs to CSID. The real problem is this issue is not the worst case at all. The problem is, we still fear we have too many people who are at fault and they can hurt us all. It is not just a real fear, but it is a real possibility with the right amount of rain. We have, probably, the most advanced studies from anyone around here. You may not be aware you are surrounded on four sides by canals.
Mr. Veliz stated I am willing to post a bond, a maintenance agreement, or whatever it takes to allow me to keep these two bushes. When you say “post a hazard” we need to be realistic because you cannot group every planting, bush and tree into the same category.
Mr. Daly stated approval for the bushes to stay will not sit well with the neighbor who complained. There might be a laundry list of complaints about the value of their property being lower because there is no longer a view of the canal, among other issues.
Mr. Fennell asked are items on our property an issue?
Mr. Daly responded that is correct.
Mr. Fennell stated you may have planted it, but it becomes our issue.
Mr. Veliz stated he may have bought that home as a waterfront property, but it clearly was not because my property is directly behind his.
Mr. Fennell stated there is a problem of keeping the bushes low. We are not following our own policy. Are there any other questions or points?
Mr. Hanks responded if we had the support from your neighbors, it would make it a different situation; however, we also received complaints. We have an established policy and unfortunately, I can see ourselves opening up to future problems with your neighbors or other people who want to plant shrubbery which may not be a good option. You made some thoughtful choices in selecting your plants. Unfortunately, our policy to accommodate you is not flexible at this time.
There being no further discussion,
Mr. Fennell stated thank you for coming. I believe we sent out a pamphlet outlining our policies, but we haven’t done so recently.
Ms. Zich stated I believe we should send a letter to everyone who lives on a canal detailing our policies.
Mr. Hanks stated it is important to remind the city that our District policy does not allow plantings to exist in the District’s right-of-ways, and when they are conducting their reviews requiring plantings on the exterior of fences, they should accommodate sufficient room on their property.
Mr. Fredericks stated this gentleman failed to tell everyone his landscaper was told by the city to call the District because it was the District’s property. He stated he looked around and saw other plantings within the right-of-way, and did not think it would be a problem.
Ms. Zich stated this is why everyone needs a letter.
Mr. Daly stated we should do something for everyone and touch upon canals as well as other things the District is doing.
Mr. Hanks stated keeping meters clear is another important issue.
Mr. Daly stated we will probably
want to send it out after the holidays because it appears we will be close to
Ms. Zich stated we may be able to send it out before Thanksgiving. The problem is between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Mr. Fennell stated we can provide a status of our $40 Million construction project, and we have many other interesting issues to discuss.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisors’ Requests and Audience Comments
Ms. Zich stated I would like to
change the November meeting. It is
currently scheduled for
Mr. Daly stated a couple of people
here may be gone on
Mr. Hanks responded no. I try not to book too many meetings, too many times per week.
Mr. Daly asked does it have to be a Monday?
Mr. Hanks responded it does not.
Ms. Zich stated I will be gone for the entire week.
Mr. Fennell stated I am open.
Mr. Daly asked what about November 11, 12 or 13th?
Ms. Zich responded that week is fine.
Mr. Hanks stated I can probably squeeze it in on November 12th or 13th .
Mr. Lyles stated if we have two members present, the rest can attend the meeting and vote via telephone.
Ms. Zich stated I am not going to be available.
Mr. Fennell asked how about
Ms. Zich responded it is good for me.
Mr. Hanks stated it sounds good.
Ms. Schurz asked have we settled on
Ms. Zich responded that is
correct. It will be
Mr. Hanks stated we should meet at Are you available, Mr. Lyles?
Mr. Lyles responded I should be available.
Mr. Hanks stated December’s meeting is on the 15th. What was our decision in January?
Mr. Daly responded I am not certain since you approved the schedule last month.
Ms. Zich stated we are not meeting on Martin Luther King Day.
Mr. Cassel stated we are meeting on
Mr. Hanks stated we will go back to the third Monday in March.
Mr. Cassel stated we will meet on
There being no further discussion,
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Public Hearing to Consider the Adoption of the Water and Sewer Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 (Resolution 2008-9)
Mr. Fennell stated I open the meeting to public comments. Are there any comments?
There not being any,
Mr. Fennell asked are we in compliance counselor?
Mr. Lyles responded yes sir.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any changes since the last time?
Ms. Zich responded I like the way Ms. Woodward wrote everything down for me. This is broken down in order for us to see everything equally.
Mr. Fennell stated we should take a
more active participation in the special districts in
Mr. Daly stated I believe you are referring to the Florida Association of Special Districts.
Mr. Fennell stated we joined it and they have a meeting next year. I believe it is in July. It makes sense for some of us to attend. Is it possible for all of us to attend?
Mr. Lyles responded you can all attend. It is a publicly-sponsored, informational lecture program. My firm is a member of the Florida Association of Special Districts as well. The Sunshine Law will only become a problem if you discussed CSID business at this meeting. Many Boards will have all of their members attend. There is precedence to the fact it does not constitute a violation of the Sunshine Law.
Mr. Daly stated I would like Ms. Woodward to have the floor with regards to some changes from last month.
Ms. Woodward stated there are basically two changes from last month. I wanted to bring them to your attention so you understand which numbers were changed. You will notice under Administrative, Plant Operations and Field Operations there is a line item titled, Insurance. This is your general liability insurance.
Mr. Fennell asked what page are we on?
Ms. Woodward responded the administrative and plant operation expenses are on the second page. Field operations are on Page 3. Under administrative, you will notice insurance is $7,133. Last month showed $10,931. Plant operations insurance is currently showing $99,865. Last month showed $135,089.
Mr. Fennell asked are we paying a $100,000 difference in this proposed budget from last year’s budget?
Ms. Woodward responded it is going to be approximately a $77,000 savings over what you saw in the budget last month. Under field operations, last month it was showing $26,030 and this month it is $16,889. In the water and sewer combined for all three categories it represents an approximate savings of $48,000 in expenditures over what you saw budgeted last month. In addition, because general liability insurance also covers the assets you have in your general fund, while we are not going to be going back because the general fund has already been passed, we will still show a net savings of money that is being expended out of the general fund of roughly $25,000 to $29,000. We simply did not have the premium update available at the time we adopted the general fund budget. These are the changes to the expenditures.
The second item you will notice has been changed is an item which actually nets to $0. If you look down at the last item in the revenue section it says transfers in from renewal and replacement. The number you saw there last month was $0. This month, $35,000 is showing. Also, under field expenditures we are now showing a $35,000 expenditure instead of $0. This represents an item we did not have available to us at last month’s meeting. It represents pumps which need to be replaced in lift stations. This needed to be provided for so that work can be done in the early part of next year.
The net effect of all of this which we want to check on is when you look down to the bottom of the third page, at the bottom of field operations, you will see a line which says debt coverage required 1.10. This determines how well we are doing, among other things. When we are planning the operating budget of the water and sewer fund, we are making certain we are following the bond requirements; we are in a position to take care of the payments related to this debt; and we have sufficient funds to cover this requirement. While we are required the coverage of 1.10, we have budgeted 1.49. We have a comfortable margin, and you should be satisfied we are on track to take care of the bonds appropriately.
Mr. Daly stated with regards to insurance, as Ms. Woodward had categorized it by plant operations, field operations and administrative, lump sum numbers go back to a budgeted number of approximately $290,000. This came in at $202,000 with our current insurance broker, which has now come down to $169,000 for our general liability insurance.
Mr. Fennell stated these are revised numbers for income. We are looking for approximately $500,000 more in revenue.
Mr. Hanks asked is this reflecting an approximate 15% increase in our costs for running the plant?
Ms. Woodward responded it is 14%.
Mr. Fennell stated our overall operating costs are only going to be up approximately $100,000. The biggest difference I see is in the debt service requirement. We have a proposed budget of $2 Million. Last year we had a budget of $2 Million, but we had actuals of $3 Million. I am looking at the summary on the last page. If you go to the first page it says we adopted a budget in Fiscal Year 2008 for $2 Million, but our actual was $3 Million, which was $1 Million more than what we budgeted.
Ms. Woodward stated at the time the 2007 Bonds were closed, roughly $4.4 Million of the proceeds from the sales of those bonds was isolated in a separate trustee account at US Bank, which is holding funds to be used for the first couple of years worth of interest payment. Technically, the remaining operating expenses were not required to come up with the interest for the first year and a half or two years. Although the expenditures are made, those monies were actually set aside upon closing. We did not actually have to come up with those first two years from operations.
Mr. Fennell stated it is not as if we actually spend the money. Where do we put it?
Ms. Woodward responded the District did not have to come up with those funds to make the payment out of operations because they were withheld from the closing of the bonds.
Mr. Lyles asked are we are talking about the capitalized interest period?
Ms. Woodward responded yes.
Mr. Lyles stated the way it works with a bond issuance for a public agency such as this one is, it is really not interest earnings, which helps pay for it; although the interest earnings do get used for the capital project. Capitalized interest is a way of borrowing the small additional increment to the construction amount and putting it in the trust account, dedicating it to the first year and a half of interest payments. In any event, interest payments are coming out of the capital of the bond issue assessments as opposed to operating. We did not have extra income from interest earnings which we are using for this purpose. The bonds, indenture and all of the documents were structured this way. It is a typical way of doing a government bond issue. It spreads out the time period between when you borrow the money and start to do the improvements and when everything comes on line financially. You are not making interest payments in the first year or two. It is not interest earnings. It was borrowed specifically for this purpose and is part of the structure of the bonds.
Mr. Fennell stated I have never seen it in regular businesses.
Ms. Zich stated you will not.
Mr. Cassel stated it is strictly a governmental type situation when you borrow the bonds.
Ms. Woodward stated you basically round off the numbers. You borrowed $42 Million; $38 Million is available for your construction project and $4 Million has been set aside to take care of the interest during the capitalized period and to ensure those payments are available to the bondholders.
Mr. Fennell stated the money sits around and earns interest.
Mr. Lyles stated what is more commonly the case is you are doing an improvement which is not generating any benefit in the early stages. It is under construction. The plant expansion is not generating revenue. In order to phase into it, it is typical to borrow some of the initial interest so you can increase financially and you have an amortization schedule you have seen before. There is nothing being affected either positively or negatively by this.
Mr. Hanks stated it would be more applicable if we were adding additional capacity rather than replacement capacity. With regard to technology sharing revenue, we have revenues in the amount of $42,000 to $43,000 coming in. We previously rented computer time and purchased this machine. How are we doing relative to our projections from a while ago?
Mr. Daly responded we purchased the machine last year.
Mr. Hanks asked did it cost $200,000?
Mr. Daly responded it was approximately $200,000. We charged NSID and others as technology sharing or sometimes we charged a fee for some smaller districts we do billing work for. With regards to NSID, we obviously use our technology. The telephone system in the NSID water plant comes through our building with our operator for voicemail, email and internet. It all gets manifested in this.
Mr. Hanks stated we brought in or we are projecting to bring in $43,000 worth of revenue. We also saved rental on this machine.
Mr. Daly stated we had this cost when Severn Trent Services had the machine in the amount of approximately $1,000 per month. We had to do something with regards to purchasing a machine since it was outdated
Mr. Hanks stated we are still making some good use of our investment on this. We are going to recuperate our value in five years.
Mr. Daly stated provided everything stays the same we should either keep the same amount of Districts unless we are able to increase the amount we service.
Mr. Hanks asked do you believe it was a good choice?
Mr. Daly responded I definitely do. There is nothing better than an IBM. You can plug it in and check it every 10 years to ensure it is still working properly.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have flexibility in this budget to look into slip lining?
Mr. Daly responded no.
Mr. Hanks stated we do not really expect to need it this year, but I would like to see it in a future year.
Mr. Daly stated there is one other highlight, which Mr. Zilmer can speak to. He was able to nail down the health insurance. What was the original increase they came back with?
Mr. Zilmer responded it was 28% over the plan we had.
Mr. Daly stated Mr. Zilmer worked with the broker and the broker worked with the insurance companies.
Mr. Zilmer stated we had to change
the plan a little bit. We went with an
HMO. We found out 99% of the employees
were using the HMO. Everybody was taking
the TOS plan, which is a much higher monthly premium, but they are not using
it. We could not justify a 28%
increase. We went out to Humana, Cigna, Blue
Cross and several others and no one came in with the price we had. If you remember, last year
Mr. Cassel stated in discussions with staff we looked at the fact of how many employees could potentially move to another plan if there is a variety to choose from, which could save the District money. This is why we ended up with three offerings; to see the worst case scenario if they all took the most expensive and if someone shifted over. Mr. Zilmer has done a good job of convincing a number of individuals that they are going to get as good a service or better by using the plan they selected, which results in savings to the District.
Mr. Hanks asked do any of these plans offer wellness incentives?
Mr. Zilmer responded no; however, there is a separate policy for wellness. We have a wellness plan with a company called Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company, which maybe 20 or 25 employees signed up for.
Mr. Daly stated I received a call just two weeks ago saying, “I want to provide services to you free of charge. You will see me as your nurse.”
Mr. Zilmer stated when you walk in for that wellness plan, if it is $30 per month, it is going to be $30 per month for the entire life.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any other questions or comments?
Ms. Zich responded I went over this last month and I went over it again this morning. It looks good to me.
There being no further discussion,
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Resolution 2008-10, Removing Edward Goscicki as a Signatory and Designating Pamela Rower and Kenneth Cassel as Signatories for the Coral Springs Improvement District
Mr. Hanks stated I did not have any problems with this.
Mr. Fennell asked who will be our signatories?
Mr. Cassel responded Ms. Rower and I.
Mr. Daly stated it was something we thought about during hurricane preparedness. In the event we are hit, have no electricity or generator and we need to sign checks; we need someone to provide this service. Ms. Woodward actually approves the checks.
Ms. Zich asked are you living in
Mr. Cassel responded I am living in
Mr. Daly stated she lives in
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Work Authorization No. 48, Injection Well System Mechanical Integrity Testing (MIT)
Mr. Hanks stated I looked this over and it looks like it has the various components we need.
There being no further discussion,
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports (Continued)
A. Manager (Continued)
ii. Irrigation vs. Domestic Report
Mr. Cassel stated this is a request you asked staff to look at. Mr. Daly put together the irrigation versus domestic chart for you. Mr. Daly also remembered you asked for the number of meters per subdivision, which is before you right now. It did not make it into your package.
Mr. Fennell asked are these the meters for irrigation?
Mr. Cassel responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any opportunities here which make sense?
Mr. Daly responded we are going to need to look at it closely to see who is closest to us, among other things. The idea is we were able to get it on a piece of paper in order to start analyzing what we have. There are some subdivisions with 125 homes and one irrigation meter. There is the chance it does not belong to a home.
Ms. Zich stated there is hardly any irrigation in Shadowood. Everybody in this area has a well.
Mr. Hanks stated it looks like 8% of our usage is exclusive irrigation.
Mr. Fennell asked when you say route, what does that mean?
Mr. Daly responded these are the routes the meter reader serves. You can look at something like Spring Hamlet Villas and you know there are 89 homes in there or 89 meters they have to read. If I want to bill them individually, I can actually do that.
Mr. Fennell stated I want to understand the difference between commercial accounts and domestic accounts. What does commercial mean? Is it a building like ours?
Mr. Daly responded commercial is a place where people do not live.
Ms. Zich stated like the Coral Square Mall.
Mr. Daly stated restaurants, the mall.
Ms. Zich stated the mall would not be in here.
Mr. Daly stated it is route 460. They have two irrigation units.
Mr. Hanks asked did the ownership and meter issue at the Coral Square Mall get resolved?
Mr. Daly responded I do not know. I think it is still pending; the litigation with their attorneys and our attorneys. I do not know what is going on with the attorneys. I know we have a position we are holding to.
Mr. Fennell asked where are The Fairways located?
Mr. Daly responded I think in Eagle Trace.
Ms. Zich stated it is a section of Eagle Trace.
Mr. Fennell stated it looks like one of our highest.
Mr. Daly stated we did have builders out there who always put irrigation systems in when they build the houses.
Mr. Fennell asked does it make any sense to do this? Mr. Hyche asked to do reuse for these?
Mr. Daly responded yes it does. The reason it would, and it depends on how you sell it, is if you take some of these subdivisions which have no irrigation meters and do not have a lot of canal area, they are most likely using our water for their lawn. In a situation like that, if their water rates go so high that they are actually paying the sewage portion of it, which is 100%, it is great and it is easy to do by saying we will sell them reuse water.
Mr. Hanks asked do we know what the restrictions are from a regulatory standpoint as to where this water came from? Have we gone through that hurdle yet?
Mr. Daly responded I do not believe so. No. This subject came up with management and the engineering group saying part of our consumptive use permit was to look at reuse. If that is the mandate, then you would think there should not be too many hurdles.
Mr. Daly stated there are certain requirements such as chemical requirements.
Mr. Hanks stated what I am getting at is there are probably prohibitions as to how close you can get to an establishment. If we want to target Eagle Trace, there are going to be restrictions out there where they are not going to be able to have it around their clubhouse because they have outdoor eating. I do not know what those restrictions are as it pertains to residential. Most of our District is residential. If you’re prohibited from being 50 feet away from any residential structure, why bother looking at it? That is the type of laymen’s synopsis.
Mr. Fennell asked is there any way for us to get rid of wells?
Mr. Hanks responded you are going to need those wells for backup. In the event you are not using it, you have to dispose of that water some place.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a good thing to reuse the water. I am trying to look for a way to justify it financially, but I am not seeing it.
Mr. Hyche stated in most cases you are going to find that you are going to be producing more water than we can use. You will always be required to have storage.
Mr. Fennell asked what if the restriction was instead of using water three times a week, you use reuse water? One subject point to this would be you keep your house looking good and you are essentially helping the environment. Is there going to be a case where we have to put in new pipes in any streets in any areas?
Mr. Hyche responded potentially down the road; although, we have a pretty good pipe system here. Of course we are tracking it. Our water loss is not that great.
Mr. Fennell stated obviously with restrictions coming we will have droughts. We will panic for a year and then two years later we will have more water than we know what to do with.
Mr. Hanks stated we have opportunities here on our site. We also have parks dedicated to us, but I do not know if we ever transferred titles to the city.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we need to keep looking at this. Is there a smart way to do this? Obviously, we need to be thinking of something. We still did not have our meeting yet where we will all get together.
Mr. Hanks asked were we supposed to have it in August?
Mr. Cassel responded no. It was after the engineer finished their reports and I think it got moved to September. I will follow up.
Mr. Fennell asked when are we meeting?
Mr. Cassel responded CH2M Hill is supposed to finish their report and get it back to us. I have not seen it yet. I tried to nail Mr. Skehan for a date with the water reuse issue, but he is home sick today. I do not have an answer for you.
iii. Discussion of FEMA Flood Map Update
Mr. Cassel stated this is information to let you know we are aware of and participating in a meeting as they go through to remap the FEMA flood maps to make sure CSID is included in that information and we get a fair representation involved in that process.
Mr. Fennell asked who is doing it and how are they doing it?
Mr. Cassel responded the meeting they were going to have was canceled because of the storm. I did not receive a new date yet.
Mr. Fennell asked are you going to it?
Mr. Cassel responded yes. I will be in attendance. I also believe someone from CH2M Hill or Mr. Hyche will be there.
Mr. Fennell stated okay. I have a real concern that this is not just a political meeting, but there is actual engineering involved in this.
Mr. Cassel stated typically, when I met with the gentlemen who work on the flood map issues, they do not care who is doing what. They just do their job, do their engineering and re-look at the drainage basins for pervious and impervious. How they are working? Do they work? How do they work? What are some of the potential issues? They do their own modeling of the flood zones. They look at their models and they look at what they have done to establish their current boundary lines of flood elevations. I have seen them go back and, let us say your base flood elevation used to be seven, they increase it to eight. People will ask why it is eight. When it was seven, you had X ratio of pervious to impervious. You had this type of drainage, but now the total drainage basin has changed. You now have a different flood criteria you have to start dealing with. They do not make recommendations on how to fix your issues with drainage, but they look at it and tell you where you should be with as far as the 50 year, 100 year, 500 year type storm.
If you take it on the municipal side, municipalities have the option under NFIP to set a finished floor elevation at or above base flood elevation. If your base flood elevation is eight and the city demands your finished floor elevation must be at nine, that is one foot of freeboard. The residents get an extra break in their flood insurance if the city requires stronger criteria then what the actual flood criteria is. They go back periodically and look at things every so many years, different areas as they change and modify, to make sure their estimates for their flood criteria for their flood insurance rate maps are accurate.
Mr. Fennell stated do the insurance companies use FEMA maps.
Mr. Cassel stated your flood insurance is a Federal flood insurance policy. They go back and check their rate maps to make sure that, looking at all of the potential changes in the area and potential losses, they have their rates set properly.
Mr. Hanks stated a lot of those maps for this area are from 1992. There have been a lot of changes and this is going to be an opportunity to have this discussion with some of the people who just do flooding.
Mr. Cassel stated We are making sure the District is involved in the process to make sure we understand exactly where they are coming from.
Mr. Fennell asked how does SFWMD get involved?
Mr. Cassel responded they are kind of involved, but this is strictly run by the FEMA operation people who come in to do rate studies. They talk to the different agencies, as far as how they are handling the potential flood waters, but they also look at historical data to say what our flood elevation is and what it should be for our rate maps.
Mr. Hanks stated SFWMD may get involved in certain locations where they can identify any problems and give any additional regulatory restrictions.
Mr. Cassel stated that is correct.
iv. Landscape Berm Update
Mr. Cassel stated I have been playing phone tag with Mr. Power since our last meeting. I am about to the point of just going over and camping out in the offices over there until I get to talk to someone and get them to sign off on the berm.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the reason we have a berm there?
Mr. Cassel responded it is part of the master landscape plan for the improvements which were going on.
Mr. Hanks asked how big of a berm are we dealing with?
Mr. Cassel responded it is the one on the east side of the property. It is about four foot high with trees on it. They told us we had to get the berm done prior to getting the CO for the chemical building. We are trying to get them to sign off on the fact the berm is done so we can make sure when we go for the CO for the Chemical building we will not have them come back and tell us we have to do all of the landscaping. There is another component of landscaping in the master plan which will be done in conjunction with the RO plant and Plant F. We do not want them to hang us up to do that landscaping prior to doing the other work because a lot of it is around the building. It would be kind of backwards. We are trying to make sure they sign off on the fact we can do the CO on the chemical plant with the landscaping we have done, as requested by them.
Mr. Fennell asked are they dodging you?
Ms. Schurz responded they have returned a few calls, but it has been back and forth.
Mr. Cassel stated I called a number of times myself. I have had Ms. Schurz calling.
Mr. Daly stated I know Ms. Early called to.
Ms. Early stated I did finally speak to them and that is why Mr. Cassel got involved. I explained to him the bond issue that was sold and that it is a base project; exactly what Mr. Cassel is describing. I said we just wanted a sign off on phase one of the berm for the chemical building. He called and left a message. He said he was going to right up the letter.
Mr. Hyche asked did Mr. Powers want a component of the dates and times we would be completing the rest of the landscape?
Ms. Early responded I explained the schedule for the bond issue, but he did not want to budge on that.
Mr. Daly stated I thought Mr. Westfall was the one who agreed to doing just that area to appease the residents.
Ms. Early stated he was at the meeting.
Mr. Daly stated he was the one who agreed to it.
Mr. Hanks asked did we call in just for the landscape inspection to get that approval?
Ms. Early responded we did not need it. They did not have to get a permit to do that landscaping. After we were finished, I called to ask for a sign off to be in compliance with the chemical building. They said it looks great.
Mr. Cassel stated they just will not approve the piece of it. I will probably go to the City Manager this week.
Mr. Hanks stated the only other requirement in their code is a certain number of trees per square foot of open space not occupied.
Ms. Early stated they want a buffer from the plant. We are probably over on the trees. They are saying this is a buffer for the homeowners.
v. Monthly Water & Sewer
Mr. Fennell asked are there any questions on this?
There not being any, the next item followed.
vi. Utility Billing Work Orders
Mr. Daly stated something interesting is there were 44 to 50 questions requiring re-reading meters in July and August of this year. Last year it was 67 to 117. Each month it occurs when we put the new rate increase in. They had not had a rate increase for years. It did not become an issue this year like it did last year.
Mr. Hanks stated just for information, Friday is the Water Resources Task Force meeting. I believe it is at
Mr. Lyles stated I have nothing to cover which has not already been covered. We did tell you at the last meeting we had some issues with the proposed arbitrage engagement agreement with Deloitte Tax, LLP. We let them know we are not in agreement with some of the terms; primarily the damage limitations and guarantees. They are standing behind their work. We are in negotiations with them. We have not completed this. The ball is in their court, but we should be timely on the obligations under Federal Law with regard to arbitrage rebate calculations. I would have liked to have an agreement here this month for the Board’s signature, but they have not given us a response to our suggested changes yet.
C. Engineer – Project Status Report
Ms. Early stated the pump stations are coming along well. I think the only outstanding issue on Pump Station #2 is they are finishing up the lightning protection and they have to paint it. We were held up with Pump Station #1 because of the storms; hopefully, he will start on that this week. The fences should be completed on both pump stations. They were finishing Pump Station #1 last week. We are getting relatively close to completion.
I have one other item that came up
on Friday. I do not know if you received
the email I sent you. There is a Broward
County Initiative kick off meeting.
Apparently there is some funding available with SFWMD for some
Mr. Fennell stated I think it is a great idea. There is going to be some time spent.
Ms. Early stated Mr. Cassel and I
discussed this. In the past when we have
gone for grant money or funding, it has typically been between $6,000 and
$7,000 so we agreed on a budget not to exceed $6,250. I have the meeting on
Mr. Fennell asked how much is the funding?
Ms. Early responded it says up to 50%. When I called to discuss what we were doing with the pump stations, he said it does qualify. I have to do a narrative on flood protection. I have a lot of information and I have a lot of information on the culvert.
Mr. Hanks stated looking at this map with the flood elevations; this does not do us any good if the actual stages in the SWCD canals, especially their west outfall canal, are higher than what we have encountered.
Ms. Early stated I think that pipe helps without taking that into account.
Mr. Hanks stated I am more concerned with anything coming in from SWCD. I have never seen any of the SWCD reports you guys prepared for them.
Ms. Early stated I do not know if maybe you were not here. We did a PowerPoint presentation.
Mr. Hanks stated I am not talking about the east outfall canal. I am more concerned with the west outfall canal.
Ms. Early stated I will email you the information.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a great idea. Do you need approval on anything here?
Mr. Cassel responded just the direction to enter into a work authorization agreement for up to $6,250 to do the submittal and application paperwork.
Mr. Daly stated I do not know how specific they were about what they are willing to grant money for, something which will probably cost us a fortune coming up is the repair of the pipe on the east pump station which goes out to the C-14 Canal.
Ms. Early stated there are a lot of things I can include. It says in the report you have to be committed to these projects. I think it goes through 2010. We have to commit to doing the projects.
Mr. Hanks stated you have to budget the full amount. It has to be an approved project. Feasibility studies are excluded from the costs. Anything that is changeable and goes into the ground you can get reimbursed for.
Ms. Woodward asked can it also apply to budget amendments if you have a project that was not specifically budgeted for up front?
Ms. Early responded I do not think it has to be in the actual District budget, but since we have been talking about, we have done these studies and made recommendations, these are things we want to do. Now with the help of SFWMD, we can get funding.
Mr. Hanks stated the trick with many of these issues is the timeframe to conceptualize, design, permit and start construction is much longer than the window of opportunity SFWMD gives you. You have to have those already in the budget. You have to already be going ahead with the bypass out here. This is just a windfall that you are able to put together a report and get reimbursement for it.
Mr. Fennell stated except that is a significant amount of money.
Mr. Hanks stated I was just using that as an example.
Mr. Fennell stated I forgot how much it is.
Mr. Early stated it is approximately $2.2 Million.
Mr. Fennell stated we could actually commit to that without the bond fund. We just keep our rates up for a year or two. If you get the $1 Million back for it, we could actually pull it off.
Mr. Hanks stated that would be our assessment.
Mr. Fennell stated we kept it up because we want to rebuild our reserves for what we are doing here, but we may have enough reserves in the next year or so to be able to pull this off. If we get $1 Million back from them for this, we can actually pull this out without having to go through a bond issue.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like you to bring back to the Board a summary in terms of timelines. What steps do we need to take? What can we go ahead and put in there? What are the limits on the reimbursements? Are we capped at $100,000? Just so we can put it on the record and have it as a reference to come back to.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of August Financials and Check Registers
There being no questions or comments,
A. Projected Cash Flows
B. Summary of Cash Transactions
Mr. Fennell asked are there any other issues?
Ms. Zich responded the SBA. I just cannot believe we cannot get any place. Why can we not just get the money? How long has this been going on?
Ms. Woodward responded it has been
going on a year. There original goal was
to have all of this resolved, collected and disbursed by
Mr. Fennell asked is there interest on this?
Ms. Woodward responded no.
Mr. Fennell stated so we are going to get a little bit more in September and then a little bit more in October. Can you or Ms. Rower take one more look at what is actually in those? Should we be pulling our money out or not? What are those funds and are they in fact an issue where they are not going from AAA to AA, but from AAA to B?
Ms. Zich asked if we have not gotten it back in the year we have been talking about it, are we ever going to get it? Maybe a 17% loss is better than not getting anything.
Mr. Hanks asked do we need the money right now?
Ms. Zich responded no, but we do not want to lose $181,000.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert D. Fennell