MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
A regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Coral Springs Improvement District was held on Monday, January 26, 2009 at 3:06 p.m. at the District Office, 10300 NW 11th Manor, Coral Springs, Florida.
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 CH2M Hill
Sean Skehan CH2M Hill
Gerrit Bulman CH2M Hill
Rick Morales CH2M Hill
Ed Goscicki Severn Trent Services
Brenda Schurz Severn Trent Services
Dan Daly Director of Operations
Jim Aversa Chief Operator, Wastewater Plant
Doug Hyche Utilities Director
Randy Frederick Drainage Supervisor
Kay Woodward District Accountant
Jan Zilmer Human Resources Manager
Bonnie Epstein Resident, Eagle Trace
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Cassel called the meeting to order and called the roll.
Mr. Cassel stated you will notice there is a revised agenda placed before you. We shifted a couple of items in order to expedite the meeting.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the December 15, 2008 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each Board member received a copy of the minutes of the December 15, 2008 meeting and requested any corrections, additions or deletions.
Ms. Zich asked what happened with the recording equipment?
Mr. Cassel responded we thought all the meetings were completely downloaded off of the equipment. It did not completely empty out and we ran out of recording space. We made sure this time the recorder is completely free of space so we can get the entire meeting. I apologize for any inconvenience. The last part of the minutes is summary based on our notes and recollection of the meeting.
Mr. Hanks asked when in the meeting was it?
Ms. Zich responded it was near the end when we were talking about CDs.
There being no changes to the minutes as presented,
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor’s Requests and Audience Comments
Mr. Daly stated I would like to introduce Ms. Epstein. She is a resident at 1760 126th Drive and would like to discuss the canal banks behind her home.
Ms. Epstein stated thank you for allowing me to speak before you. I wanted to say for the past five years I have been in touch with different members of CSID. I first spoke with Mr. Moore five years ago. I have spoken with Mr. Frederick and I have spoken with Mr. Daly most recently about the severe erosion problem behind my home. It is my understanding that several sets of photographs have been forwarded to the Board, over the past five years and more recently three or four sets over the past month, in order to demonstrate the severe erosion problem and to show it has gotten progressively worse; even over the past few months.
My concern at this point is it has become a safety hazard. I observed the neighborhood children walk by with fishing rods to fish in the canal. They are hanging on to my fence, which has started to tip over. Our dog, which is 13 years old, has fallen into the canal. As you can see there is more property falling in. Day by day when the gardeners come to take care of the lawn they are hanging onto the fence, they are hanging onto the tree, they are trying not to fall into the canal. The property which was behind the canal was once many feet. It is now down to a small area beyond the tree. It is this tree and its roots, which are holding on to the entire property and pulling the property to where it is now leaning. You can see the fence is now leaning into the canal.
My concerns are; number one, I feel it is a safety hazard and number two, we have lost a significant amount of property. I understand it is not my property to lose, but it is a significant amount of property causing a substantial problem. My husband and I are very concerned at this point. We are concerned about the safety of the people walking behind there and we want to know something is going to happen before there is a terrible accident. I am asking the District please give me some response tonight to my concerns. Thank you.
Mr. Fennell stated thank you very much. Where exactly is the property line there?
Mr. Hanks asked if I can back up Ms. Epstein, what development are you in?
Ms. Epstein responded The Fairways of Eagle Trace.
Mr. Fennell stated I have a couple of questions. Where is the property line? This looks like a dead end canal so what is eroding it? It is not like there is a lot of water flowing through there, is there?
Ms. Epstein responded there actually is water flowing through because two houses to the left of me is the end of the canal and the current does wash towards the side as it makes its way towards the end. There is water movement. It is not dead water. There is a wire I do not know what cable it is, but it is now exposed. It was once about five feet in from the end of the property. All of those pipes were covered. Those roots were not there.
Mr. Hanks asked do you know where the property line it is?
Mr. Frederick responded the property line is approximately where the fence is.
Mr. Hanks asked has anybody been out there to get any ideas what the problem is?
Mr. Frederick responded I have been out there many times. I do not know what is causing it. Like she said, this has been going on for a long time. It keeps getting worse and worse. You can see big cracks and more chunks getting ready to break off now.
Mr. Fennell asked how big is this canal?
Mr. Frederick responded I do not know.
Mr. Fennell stated there may be some water flowing through to this end, but it cannot be a lot.
Mr. Frederick stated any action they are getting there is probably action from the southeast winds we get. We do get quite a few southeast winds during the year. They are pretty musty winds sometimes.
Mr. Fennell stated we need to figure out why this is breaking down the way it is. It is not obvious to me what the cause is. I do not think there is much water going through. The only other thing I can think of is the canals are dug too deep.
Mr. Hanks asked are there other locations where we are faced with this situation as well? Was there an effort right after Hurricane Wilma?
Mr. Daly responded yes there was. There was four in Eagle Trace. This is not the same property.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we should have someone go out there and find out the cause of this because it is not obvious. Theoretically, the object of the whole canal system is drainage for stormwater.
Mr. Hanks asked Ms. Epstein, which is your property that we were looking at before?
Ms. Epstein responded this picture.
Mr. Frederick stated hers is the one on the left.
Mr. Cassel stated with the tree and the white fence.
Mr. Frederick stated if you look to the very left, all of a sudden it cuts back. All the way to the end, the whole section is eroding out.
Mr. Fennell asked can you do a scan showing us what the depth of the canals are and what is going on there?
Ms. Early responded we might have something. Let me take a look. We did it probably ten years ago. I may have what was there. We have a map showing the elevation.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we need to take a look and see what the canal is supposed to be.
Mr. Hanks stated it is hard to tell from these pictures how deep it is. The second picture in with a blow up of an irrigation pipe looks like there is soil at the bottom. I am puzzled. There may be something else going on. Is there perhaps irrigation?
Ms. Epstein responded the first pipe is beyond my property.
Mr. Hanks asked does yours start at the tree and heads back?
Ms. Epstein responded it is in between the two pipes.
Mr. Frederick stated there is the indention of where it starts.
Ms. Epstein stated the roots you see are from the tree. This is the tree, which is now leaning towards the canal and pulling down the entire fence with it.
Mr. Frederick stated the roots were probably underground at one time.
Ms. Epstein stated they were absolutely underground.
Mr. Fennell asked is this our tree?
Ms. Epstein responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked do you mind if we cut it down?
Ms. Epstein responded if you cut the tree down, the entire thing will fall in. The root system is the only thing holding up the property.
Mr. Fennell stated one of the things we found out with trees along the banks like this where the roots extend into the water is the roots die. Only the roots on the other side are strong and when a strong wind comes the tree is going to fall onto your house.
Ms. Epstein stated it was not my tree to take down. It was not my issue to worry about the tree. I just had to maintain the lawn around it.
Mr. Hanks stated if a fix is possible in this area, and we need to find out more, it will probably involve taking down the tree. Are there other areas in the immediate vicinity having a similar problem or is it isolated to yours and your neighbors?
Ms. Epstein responded I could not tell you. I can tell you what it is doing on my side of the canal. The other side looks completely different.
Mr. Hanks stated it does not look like the other side has this problem.
Ms. Epstein stated I think the water comes towards my house.
Mr. Fennell asked was the original canal actually back further and they maybe put dirt over the edge of the canal?
Mr. Hanks asked are you thinking it is not compacted and they pushed it back?
Mr. Fennell responded they just made it look nice. It could have been bigger than they actually thought and someone pushed a little of dirt over the top of it and it eventually washed away or the canal was deep there.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like to go ahead with a representative from our engineer’s office to see what is really going on if it is alright with you.
Ms. Epstein stated it is fine with me. My concern is if you do take down the tree, someone may have to do something else to hold up the property.
Mr. Hanks stated we are going to take a look at it and figure out where our approach needs to be on this issue. Has it been determined that this is District property rather than the Eagle Trace HOA?
Mr. Frederick responded it is our property.
Mr. Fennell stated we are going to send someone out there to take a look and try to understand from an engineering standpoint what is going on and why this is happening.
Ms. Epstein asked will I get feedback from this.
Mr. Hanks responded yes. Does Mr. Hyche have your contact information?
Mr. Daly responded I do. We have been in touch.
Mr. Fennell asked how did you get this picture?
Mr. Frederick responded I got it off of the computer.
Ms. Epstein stated these are your pictures, not mine.
Mr. Daly stated it is on bcpa.net, the Broward County Property Appraiser.
Mr. Fennell asked is it recent?
Mr. Frederick responded it is from 2008.
Mr. Fennell stated we will see what we can do.
Ms. Epstein stated thank you very much.
Mr. Daly stated thank you Ms. Epstein.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any Supervisors’ requests? I have one. It turns out the US Government is looking for construction ready projects so it can vest into and get people going. There is kind of a drawback there. Nothing really gets construction ready unless you have already spent a lot of money. Nevertheless, we should take a look because we have many projects going on here. Let us get a list of projects. Let us find out what we can do. There are some projects we put off because we could not get the money for them. There may be something we can bring forward. We do have things which are state ready right now. I do not know if we can get any money for it or not, but let us give it a try. Mr. Cassel, I am going to direct you to work with the engineering group and look into this. I do not know how to get the money or where it is coming from. Let us actively look into this. The City of Coral Springs said they are going to do something about a water treatment plant.
Mr. Hanks stated I received something this morning from SFWMD asking if there are any projects which are construction ready.
Mr. Fennell stated we did have some projects. We were going to work on our canals and it was going to cost $1 Million. We actually got to a point where we did a considerable amount of homework on it.
Ms. Early stated that was one of the ones I tried to get a grant on.
Mr. Fennell stated yes, so let us go through with engineering and look at these different projects to see what we can pay for.
Mr. Hanks stated even though the grant is available next year, it may be something which will allow us…because one of the issues involves the timing and quality of the release of freshwater to the canals. We can incorporate an interconnect between our two basins. That may be a way and also provide some relief for the east basin by taking advantage of some of the extra storage we have in the west basin.
Mr. Fennell stated I had a meeting earlier with some of our engineers and we were talking about possible hydraulic projects going forward. One of the big deals was how do we recharge our own aquifer. Even though our canals were designed, basically, for draining out, we are in the unique position where we actually have the capability of maintaining a certain water height. The hydrologist told me what they are actually maintaining is the water table level, which has pros and cons to it. The pros are it recharges the water level and some of the cons are it causes water infiltration through our own piping system. We have plus and minuses to it.
Mr. Hanks stated it is also harder to address the larger storm events when you already have your sight up at our stage; starting off with less storage available for those future rainfall events. It is a trade off.
Mr. Fennell stated there are trade offs, but nevertheless we need to probably start looking at the hydraulics, not only in our area, but Corals Springs and North Springs as a way for us to actively recharge our own aquatic systems. We can still take advantage of the great surface water we now have. I think we will not only help ourselves, but we are probably helping the areas around us too. I know we have been talking about somehow having a meeting one of these days, but I think this is something we need to look at. Certainly, the ability to transfer water from one District to another will be helpful.
Ms. Early stated we submitted a memorandum of understanding to SFWMD to permit us to pump from NSID south to CSID from pump station number one. They still have not finalized that. It is getting closer.
Mr. Fennell asked will there ever be any advantages to us back pumping from the C-13 Canal to the C-14 Canal?
Mr. Hanks responded you need to have a consumptive water use permit.
Mr. Fennell stated I know. I am just thinking about the dry season.
Ms. Early stated we can do that. It is just a matter of getting SFWMD to permit us.
Mr. Fennell stated anyway, we are still looking for this kind of water policy and direction. How does this all fit in? There are long term benefits to us managing our water better in many different ways. If we can put together policies of things which will do that, it will help. Not only that, but there may be some construction projects we can fund here. With the upcoming times it would be a benefit. I think there are some plausible reasons to do this, at least from what I heard earlier this week. I think we can do some smart things; plus, I am out for CSID to help take a lead in our own water management. Not just to drain us, but to obviously make sure we have water. We were about to spend a large amount of money for water processing for the next 30 years. We have to make sure there is some water there, we are getting the best water we can and we are being good citizens by maintaining the water environment we need to. I think we are going to have to expand our philosophy on what we want to do going forward. At the same time, we do not want to waste a lot of money either.
Mr. Skehan stated there was a discussion Mr. Cassel and I attended last week with the City of Coral Springs and the SFWMD related to their 10 year plan. That particular item with the interconnection of the canals and recharge back into Coral Springs and different places was one of the items we specifically discussed as well as how the water use permits tie into this and the potential of some funding in different locations; either from the SFWMD or others. Some of those same items we discussed last week were also brought to the table. The City of Parkland was there also. They had a representative there and the SFWMD people. We will be following up on this.
Mr. Fennell stated I think it is an important thing to do. If I actually look at where we can really make a big effect as far as water management goes, it is not really with water, sewer and replenishing. Those are small amounts of water compared to what we already have in the canals. We sometimes, unfortunately, have to dump out. If we can transfer this stuff back, I know one time there was 1 Billion gallons we would have liked to ship to The Everglades.
Ms. Early stated 2 Billion.
Mr. Fennell stated there was 2 Billion gallons of water, which could have been shipped to the Everglades and they did not really want it, but there might have been other Districts which could have used half a Billion or so to replenish their systems. I think we need to start thinking in those kinds of terms. I am going to encourage you to do this. One of the projects to go forward with is how we can tie together, in a comprehensive method, a water policy. Maybe I am wrong, but from what you guys are telling me from the hydrologist that is where most of our water is, in the canals; not only having the water in the canals, but also the water table. We are actually talking about maintaining the water table as opposed to the trivial amount we use for our own needs. It sounds like the smart thing to do. You guys have to get your input and let me know.
We also have other issues when we do this such as, maybe we need some funding for making our pipes more sealed for getting water back. As we increase our water table we have a negative thing for water intrusion that we are funding from an environmental agency, which would make it so we could stop that and yet somehow do better with the water table. Anyway, this is my input. I know we are looking into some of these things.
Mr. Hanks stated we need to be careful in our approach, or prudent. Just because we are able to store more water it does not necessarily mean we will receive an increase in our allocation for groundwater withdrawal from the Biscayne Aquifer.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we have to make it part of the deal. If we are going to be good environmentalist, we have to make sure it pays off well all around. I think it is a tool. It is a legitimate tradeoff. If we do a good job managing this, there ought to be a fair tradeoff where we are getting the best water we can. We are actually recharging our own water. Are there any other Supervisors’ requests?
Ms. Zich responded I had a couple of things, but it has to do with the accounting part at the end.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
Mr. Fennell stated counselor, you mentioned you might have a meeting later on. Are there any issues you would like to bring up now?
Mr. Lyles responded the only thing is a quick note to the Board. We received a Notice of Claim from our hurricane debris removal contractor, Arbor Tree. They are taking the position they performed a quantity of extra work which they were never paid for. They submitted a written request. The engineer’s office has reviewed it and determined, at least preliminarily, there does not seem to be a basis for the payment. They responded to them that we do not find the basis for it. We are not in suit, but we did receive a claim which could potentially become a litigation matter. So I will just tell you it has been submitted and received by the staff on your behalf. It is being investigated and responded to.
Ms. Zich asked how much is this claim for?
Mr. Lyles responded approximately $100,000.
Ms. Zich stated this is amazing. We are just hearing about this.
Mr. Lyles stated they just submitted it.
Ms. Early stated they submitted it on their original pay estimate a year and a half ago. We denied it.
Mr. Lyles stated it was not part of the job and it was not authorized by engineering staff. We paid. That was that. Now they have come back and submitted a separate freestanding claim for the increment which was disapproved and not part of the original contract scope; at least in the opinion of the engineer’s office at that time.
Ms. Early stated the back up they submitted, because there was no back up with the original letter and I requested back up, they had a couple of things typed and then they had a bunch of handwritten pages saying they repaired irrigation at such and such address. That is all it was. I responded saying the contract documents clearly state everything has to be done with a change order. It has to come before the Board for any changes. I asked them to please provide me with that documentation and they said they did not have anything like that. I have not heard from them. I do not know if you received anything else.
Mr. Lyles stated no. Nothing else.
Ms. Early stated after my last email to them we have not received anything.
Mr. Lyles stated so the ball is back in their court, but I did want to let you know since your last meeting it has been received. There may be more to it. They do have an attorney. They did bring a claim against NSID more than a year ago, which turned out to have some merit and it was compromised. It was a far smaller amount of money. They may have just been encouraged by that and decided to take a shot with CSID, but the facts are the documentation is substantially different. The fact NSID did pay them another $25,000 is not going to be precedent for how it is handled in the case of CSID.
Ms. Zich asked did we pay for what we agreed to pay?
Mr. Lyles responded yes.
Ms. Zich stated this is over and above.
Ms. Early stated that is correct. There was an allowance item on there. They are trying to come back and claim some allowances, but it clearly states it has to be pre-approved just like all of our other projects. It has to be pre-approved. It has to have a change order. It has to be in writing and they cannot produce anything showing they were given any direction in writing or an approved change order.
Mr. Fennell asked have you guys gone over this at all?
Mr. Daly responded yes we have. I spoke to Mr. Frederick about it. It all started here and all went up to Mr. Lyles’ office by way of Mr. Cassel. I spoke to Mr. Frederick and he told me absolutely not. I know for a fact Mr. Frederick was on his knee fixing the sprinkler systems himself; he and his crew. They did not ask Arbor Tree to fix it for them. I also would concur with Mr. Lyles in that they may have been encouraged by the fact NSID paid.
Mr. Fennell asked do you see any basis at all for it?
Mr. Daly responded not at all.
Mr. Lyles stated there may be more and there may not be. I wanted to let you know we received a Notice of Claim.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Interlocal Agreement with Stoneybrook Community Development District for Utility Billing Services
Mr. Fennell asked do you have any input on this Mr. Lyles?
Mr. Lyles responded no. It is a pretty standard form of agreement we reviewed. This is a continuation of what I think is direction from the Board indicating that to the extent that staff of the District has the ability to provide services pursuant to an Interlocal Agreement for which a bill is going to be sent and money will actually be coming into the District as opposed to going out. Staff has looked at this. I have looked at this and I think everybody is prepared to recommend it to the Board for approval.
Mr. Fennell asked is there anything else Mr. Cassel?
Mr. Cassel responded I do not have anything to add to it. We all looked at it.
Mr. Fennell stated I see we are doing this more and more. Keep doing it. We are a service provider and we want to keep encouraging that.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Work Authorization No. 50 – Water and Wastewater Capital Improvement Program, Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant, Construction Management and Services during Construction
Mr. Cassel stated the Board will remember this was before the Board last month and it was set off. Several of the things we did was take out the $100,000 allowance issue we discussed. CH2M Hill has put in the breakdown of man hours required for the project for you to review.
Mr. Fennell asked are there anymore questions on this? We discussed this a lot the last time.
Ms. Zich responded no. It was the allowance I was not in favor of in the case we went over. It is gone and they broke down the hours so it is easier to look at.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any more questions?
Mr. Hanks responded it looks like an awful lot of time, but you are talking almost two full years.
Mr. Fennell stated that is the thing. When you look at this and you break it down, if you have two people here almost fulltime for two years, it is a big chunk of salary.
Ms. Zich stated it is a lot of hours.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Bid Award for Construction of Monitor Well MW-3 and Related Projects
A. Work Authorization No. 51 – Monitor Well MW-3 Construction and Related Services
Mr. Fennell stated I think during the week we were individually contacted by engineering, sat down with them on an individual basis and were explained some of the pros and cons for this. I know I spend about three hours looking at some of this stuff. I learned a lot about hydrology during the time. I was impressed that we are sitting on 3,000 feet of coral.
Ms. Zich asked what about the water being right under us?
Mr. Cassel responded it is in the rock.
Mr. Hanks stated we have no idea how porous this rock is.
Mr. Fennell stated 3,000 feet of coral; we are sitting on an old reef.
Ms. Zich stated I knew this. I went to a museum in Fort Lauderdale and it showed maps of the State of Florida. It hardly existed a long time ago. This has all just evolved. I was very impressed with this.
Mr. Hanks stated at some point it will not exist.
Ms. Zich stated that is a scary thing too.
Mr. Fennell stated the water level only has to go up about 30 feet and most of Florida is gone. On the other hand, 3,000 feet of coral did not just occur overnight. I think you guys were telling me this is at least a half Billion years old. It is amazing.
Ms. Zich stated let us just not have any major hurricanes.
Mr. Hanks stated it has lasted for three and a half years so do not worry.
Ms. Zich stated I know.
Mr. Fennell stated okay we are on item number five which is well MW-3. We had some bids out there. It includes, not just the monitoring well, but a bunch of other things we are going to clean up around the monitoring well.
Mr. Hanks stated our engineering estimate was off.
Mr. Skehan stated it was. From the beginning, when this project came to inception, there have been several changes to what we are doing. Initially, the cost estimate was around constructing a single zone monitor well. Where we are right now is a dual zone monitor well. A dual zone monitor well will give you at least 25 to 30 years of service. There was some uncertainty about doing it with a single zone monitor well and then try to plug in a zone. This is one item and then as Mr. Cassel mentioned there are several other items we captured in this. This is a new instrumentation. We are recapturing a piece of the swale area on the north side of the property. We are going to move the fence line over.
Mr. Hanks asked if you take out those additional things, are we in line with what the estimate was?
Mr. Skehan responded yes.
Mr. Hanks stated okay.
Mr. Fennell stated it is one of those things we have to do. It would be nice, long term, if there were actually some way rather than injecting all of this water down 3,000 feet. The ideal thing is we should treat it a little bit more, have it go through a section off the part of the Everglades where we can actually clean out the water and then have it flow back in. That would be the ideal thing in the long term. I think it should be done.
Mr. Hanks stated you still need a place to put stuff during the wet weather when nobody is using the reclaimed water.
Mr. Skehan stated there needs to be a secondary back up to a reuse system that you are looking wetlands reuse and/or spray irrigation. There are times when the wetlands will be popped off and/or reused such as in golf courses. There are times when the reuse is not being used because there is plenty of rainwater. Those are the biggest limitations you have to reuse aside from the cost of implementing reuse, which is fairly significant; also on the price per gallon and the levels of which you decide to treat it for. The lower level treatment levels would be in the spray irrigation. Trying to discharge it directly into the canal system is very difficult to meet the applicable standards here in Broward County.
Mr. Hanks asked is that just a county regulation or is it a state regulation?
Mr. Skehan responded Broward County is more restrictive than the state.
Mr. Hanks asked is this brought about by county commissioners?
Mr. Skehan responded ultimately.
Mr. Hanks asked or is it people over at DEP?
Mr. Skehan responded they were part of it. They were the ones who set the phosphorus and nitrogen levels. In order to reach those standards you have to pay a lot more money to accommodate that. The cost estimate could be anywhere between $8 and $12 a gallon for construction. It is expensive to do it.
Mr. Fennell stated at that point one would be a backup for the other, which is double costs.
Mr. Skehan stated the easiest avenue is low level treatment so you can apply it to a golf course and wherever irrigation is appropriate; where pipeline costs are not going to be extensive and there is easy access.
Mr. Hanks stated unless you are able to find another user. Dania Beach was replacing FPL’s raw water consumption. The same thing like in Palm Beach County; they are pumping out to the plants out there. They are making use of their allocation.
Mr. Skehan stated Hollywood has the same thing. They have a lot of reuse they have been able to tie into from some of the other smaller communities such as Davie, Coral Springs, Dania and Cooper City. It depends on the interconnects you have and the ability to get it into those systems.
Mr. Hanks stated and the cost.
Mr. Fennell stated okay, moving ahead here.
Ms. Zich stated we are spending a lot today.
Mr. Cassel stated when you figure it is over the next 25 to 30 years of operational needs of the District it is a good thing.
Mr. Fennell stated plus we are helping out the economy.
Mr. Cassel stated we are stimulating the local economy.
Ms. Zich stated good.
Mr. Cassel stated we have Work Authorization No. 51 to go along with this. This is the engineering work authorization of CH2M Hill regarding the engineering work required during the construction of the monitor well, all the reports required as well as the operation and maintenance manual. This is a lump sum with CH2M Hill. On the last page you will see a breakdown of the personnel requirements for this project.
Mr. Fennell stated it is for $405,051. We are sending a lot of money your way this year. Are there any questions on this?
Mr. Hanks asked how long is the duration on this project?
Mr. Skehan responded about one year.
Mr. Cassel stated this is 240 days.
Mr. Skehan stated when you include all of the components it is approximately one year.
Mr. Fennell asked what happens if it runs over?
Ms. Zich responded it is not going to run over because they are really good. We are going to make sure it does not run over.
Mr. Hanks asked does this gets us through the reporting and all the other paperwork through the various agencies?
Mr. Skehan responded yes.
Mr. Hanks stated so at the end we are not going to get another bill. Is this the bill for finalizing all the permits?
Mr. Skehan stated it is all included.
Mr. Fennell stated I know we were rethinking the water improvement projects and have gone to the city with that. I do not know if we have to do much with the city on this, but it looks to me if there is anyway we can do pre-reviews, it looks like smart engineering and smart project management to try to find the delays beforehand. I know we think we know, but usually we do not know exactly. The thing we have going on with the city is a great model, but from what you guys are telling me it is going pretty well. If we can do this with other agencies, I think it will be good. If there are any other ways we can do this, we may end up saving ourselves an immense amount of time.
Mr. Hanks stated certainly before we put the pen to the paper.
Mr. Skehan stated the DEP permit which is required for the construction of the well itself is already in place. We have signed copies in our hands. The incidental permits which will be required for this related to the concrete pad and the fence move over on the swale will be the contractor’s responsibility, but those are much later in the project as the project is coming to a close.
Mr. Fennell stated I’m saying be proactive even if it is the contractor’s responsibility.
Mr. Cassel stated in the discussions with the city they are aware we have a well drilling project coming up and we will be doing that. We have work with them requiring in conjunction with hours of construction, potential times where we may have to be drilling 24 hours on certain sections. We are working with them already on the whole process. They are fully aware we will have three construction projects going on simultaneously onsite.
Mr. Fennell stated let us keep doing that. I know you think there is not much the city needs to do with this, but they could get cryptic and get in our way. We are much better off letting them know what we are doing, how we are doing it and having them on our side; understanding this is really good for the city. Even if you do not think there is that much, I would do everything you can to work with them.
Mr. Cassel stated we are and we will. Their staff has been receptive to working out the issues early in advance.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Permits
A. Surface Water Management Permit for Coral Springs Improvement District Water Treatment Plant
Mr. Cassel stated you will remember this came to the Board several months ago and the suggestion was made for it to go to a third party to review it. It has been completed with Eckler Engineering. It is recommended it be approved as a permit on our site.
Mr. Hanks asked were there any material changes?
Ms. Early responded they were not clear on exactly what the area was we were dealing with on the site. We updated the site plan and outlined the exact area instead of the entire plant. They want us to do some additional elevations on the swale. We sent the final plans to them and we have a set of plans coming to Ms. Schurz as well so she has some for her records.
Mr. Hanks asked was this recommended for approval even though we do not have the final letter from them?
Mr. Cassel responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked are there any questions before I make a motion?
Mr. Fennell responded just for the record give us a brief overview of what we are doing and who is doing it.
Mr. Cassel stated we have to give ourselves a water permit because we control the water permits on the site. We had done it in-house and it was suggested we have a third party engineer to avoid the appearance of any conflict by issuing our own permit and reviewing it with our own engineer. We had Eckler Engineering do the review and they concurred after some minor changes of clarification that the permit meets the District’s criteria.
B. Surface Water Management Permit from Sun Tech Engineering for Walgreens located at University Drive and Atlantic Boulevard
Ms. Zich asked is this the old Shell gas station?
Mr. Hanks responded no. It is the Borders. We are getting rid of the Borders.
Mr. Fennell stated so we will have CVS in the other corner and Walgreens across.
Ms. Early stated we are recommending approval subject to some special conditions. We want them to submit their calculations. We want them to have the existing drainage system cleaned and we would like a report on it.
Mr. Hanks asked is the building existing? It looked like they were tearing it down.
Ms. Early responded they are decreasing impervious and they are adding a small retention area.
Mr. Hanks asked is it for a completely new building?
Ms. Early responded I do not think so. They are just converting it to a Walgreens.
Mr. Fennell asked what am I looking at? What is the question?
Ms. Early responded it is a surface water management permit. We are saying it is approved subject to quite a few conditions.
Mr. Hanks stated we have not changed our drainage criteria. How was this approved and how does it meet our storage criteria?
Ms. Early responded that is one of the conditions. They need to submit the calculations to us.
Mr. Hanks stated on the face of it the permit criteria of the 100 year flood in this area is 11.6. In the elevation they are required to provide .81 acre feet per acre of open space. Now their lowest catch basin level is 11.6.
Ms. Early stated they added some retention area. They decreased the impervious and this is why we want the calculations.
Mr. Hanks stated at this point there is not enough information for me to say we can approve this in good faith that we are protecting the residents of this District. Ms. Schurz is not going to approve anything until she checks with us to make sure we have everything in hand. If you want to hold it to the next meeting, it is fine. We are just saying you can approve it subject to them providing this information.
Ms. Zich stated I think we should hold it.
Mr. Hanks stated I am going to hold action. I am not interested in holding people up from purchasing property and making improvements, but by the same token I am not going to go ahead and authorize a permit when we do not have the calculations and we do not have the back up demonstrating they are meeting the storage requirements at the 100 year and at the 10 year elevation.
Ms. Early stated Sun-Tech Engineering has submitted to you before so they know what the requirements are.
Mr. Hanks stated we had made an effort six months, a year or two ago, I forget how long, to try to update our permit criteria manual and it got stalled.
Ms. Early stated we are kind of stonewalled on what to charge.
Mr. Hanks stated it is not so much the charge but also at what level do we enforce a full compliance with the permit criteria manual and under what conditions do we recognize they are making incremental improvements and that they are improving the situation. If they were just taking the shell of the building and punching a couple of holes in the building, at that point I would say you are just making some incremental improvements and you do not need to go through the whole process. If you are demolishing the building, we have to hold them to the standards in the permit criteria manual. I guess this is a question for Mr. Lyles. If a permit was previously issued where they did not fully address the storage requirement and they have gone ahead and demolish the building to come up with a whole new structure, are we under any obligation to honor the previous permit or is this an opportunity for the District to say they better comply with the criteria manual?
Mr. Lyles asked are you, in your hypothetical questions, presuming the demolished and new replacement building have different impacts on the system or identical?
Mr. Hanks responded since they are demolishing the building it does not matter.
Mr. Lyles asked should I assume it is the same impact?
Mr. Hanks responded same, different, it does not matter.
Mr. Lyles stated I think you also mentioned it was issued earlier and it did not meet the permit criteria, but they got a permit anyhow. There is a concept in the law called permit issue and error, which can be rescinded if it is the case. By the same token if it was issued in the first place and now due to a more modern and scientific approach to evaluating permit requests, we are doing nothing more than holding them to what they should be held to. I think we are not necessarily just stuck because someone issued a permit 28 years ago which may or may not have been thoroughly looked at during that time. I think the general proposition is over time government tries to insure, as long as it is done in an evenhanded and fair basis, all construction as well as all impacts on our drainage system are measured accurately and accounted for through a permit criteria system.
Ms. Early the animal hospital is a prime example. They did not meet the criteria.
Ms. Zich stated I did not think they were going to do anything there and the whole building changed.
Ms. Early stated we denied them and this is why they came to the meeting. They could not meet the criteria. He was getting irate and we told him to come to the meeting to speak to the Board.
Mr. Hanks stated this is why I want to be clear on our permit criteria manual. When we released the permit for the animal hospital it was explained to us they were not affecting the footprint of the building. They were adding some handicap parking and they were making some improvements.
Ms. Zich stated that was what I thought and when I saw what they were finished doing I was amazed. That was not what I thought was going to happen.
Ms. Early stated they went on the basis of pre versus post. They were improving it slightly, but it still did not meet the District’s criteria.
Mr. Hanks stated the three of us will need to work together on developing this really clear language for our permit criteria manual.
Mr. Lyles stated just for the record; not to revise the criteria themselves, but merely to make it very clear, what should be the case anyhow, that construction activities whether it is a renovation, new construction or reconstruction, it all has to meet the criteria which applies to the improvement.
Mr. Hanks stated I still think we need to have the ability because there are a number of older structures out here. They may have to come forward and provide some handicap accessibility changes to it. We have to be able to accommodate those types of changes.
Mr. Lyles stated it is something to do at a workshop or at a staff level. I understand your concern and I think there is a way to get from here to there.
Mr. Hanks stated it is much like you have in cities, non-conforming structures or non-conforming sites and there are certain conditions and thresholds at which you have to change the compliance with the current codes.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we have gone through all of the basic agenda items.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports (Continued)
I. Energy Audit
Mr. Cassel stated the first item is the energy audit. We finally got FPL in here. There is a copy of the letter they sent to us. Most of it are items we already understood and knew.
Mr. Daly stated these were not necessarily recommendations for us specifically. They are generalized recommendations. A lot of this stuff we do with regard to automatic thermostats on the air conditioners in all the buildings, some timers on lights and things like that. We have not gone as far as wrapping the hot water tanks in the buildings yet, but there are a lot of things on there.
Mr. Fennell stated what I did not see on there was my favorite topic. Ms. Early found somebody who can come in and do it.
Mr. Cassel stated a number of our systems are already soft starts. Motors are doing things which are three phase versus single phase. We are already, by design and operation on the electronic side, aimed at the most effective efficient operation and long term survivability of the motors in operation already. Some of the other issues may be at the point of diminishing returns to try to figure out how to squeeze more out.
Mr. Fennell asked Ms. Early, do you remember you thought you might be able to bring in someone to look at the phase issues for the machines?
Ms. Early asked the company I emailed you about?
Mr. Fennell responded yes.
Ms. Early stated Mr. Skehan spoke with them.
Mr. Skehan stated part of it was their cost tied to this and whether it was cost effective to bring them in.
Ms. Early stated they want to be paid up front for some things.
Mr. Skehan stated there are several different ways to approach it. We looked at doing it internally ourselves and then looked outside because of the cost. It never moved from there.
Mr. Fennell stated there are larger companies which do power switches and things like that.
Mr. Hyche stated we brought in ABB. They worked on our transfer. They phase monitored our transfers, which is for the generators. All our high service pumps run on variable drives which work with programming on pressures, which are very efficient.
Mr. Fennell stated yes, but this is an entirely different thing. It is not what you think. You have a magnetic energy. There are two types of energy, electric and magnetism. When you use magnetic forces you actually do not dissipate the energy until you move something real. When you create that force, it is a magnetic field. The opposite of that is something called capacity flow. They have different phases. It turns out the energy is wasted in the magnetic field unless you can compensate somehow its capacity flow. You are just kind of throwing it away. It was never used and you have to pay for it anyway. The electrical company charges you volts and amps. If your volts and currents are not lined up, they still charge you for it. There is a good theoretical foundation to this. It is not magic or anything like it. It has to do with having pressure lined up. It will require an engineer to come in.
Mr. Skehan stated we will talk with Mr. Cassel and resurrect what we talked about before and go from there.
Mr. Daly stated actually when you look at it, and I will add the water and sewer side up quickly, there is $930,000 budgeted this year for electric expenses and $750,000 for the water plant. It is not a bad idea to spend a couple of dollars to look into this.
Mr. Fennell stated we should be able to knock 10% off.
Mr. Hanks stated when you ask for an electrical engineer it is like asking for a civil engineer. You have so many disciplines in there.
Mr. Fennell stated it has to be an electrical power engineer. You need an old fashioned electrical power engineer. It cannot be a new electronics guy. He will not understand this. It has to be an old fashioned power engineer who does generators and motors. They will understand this part.
Mr. Cassel stated you are thinking more of a power plant and transmission type of situation.
Mr. Fennell stated the guy you brought out to do the audit is basically a technician who was taught a number of tricks. They are not really looking at it from a theoretical standpoint. We have 20 tricks on how to save electricity. It is a good list, but they are not going to look at this one. It should be someone from big power parts who makes generators or motors. It can be someone from GE.
Mr. Cassel stated Burns & McDonnell does a lot of power plants and transmission. There are several other large firms which do that.
Mr. Fennell stated we should be able to knock off 10% if we just balance out the magnetic fields.
Mr. Daly asked Mr. Skehan, what was the increase we were thinking as far as electricity for the extra motors in the nanoplant? Was it 20%?
Mr. Skehan responded the work we have done as far as selecting the motors are on variable speed drives also. That is the most cost effective approach.
Mr. Daly stated but we will still be budgeting for an increase. I want to say the number was 20%.
Mr. Skehan stated I am not sure of the increase.
Mr. Daly stated I am looking at almost $1 Million here plus another 20%. Naturally when we take down one of the lime stopping plants, it will ease up a bit there. We really have to do something.
II. Monthly Water Charts
Mr. Cassel stated the next item which came under as supplemental is your monthly water charts and your utility work order bills.
Mr. Fennell stated you are trying to correlate looking for cause and effect between rain and how hard we have to run the wastewater facilities. I am looking for another correlation, which is basically groundwater level per canal. There is a belief, which from what you guys are telling me it is basically in the old Ramblewood section.
Mr. Frederick stated that is correct.
Mr. Fennell stated there is a connection to the main line and we suspect there is a break there. I suggest we do a couple of things; one, try to correlate it to the graph level waters to see whether or not we actually get those pipes below the ground level water. That is where it is all coming in. If that correlates and it is true, then I would like to have us go out and prove it. Sample the areas you know as being high drainage. Go out with the probe you have to get down there and see if we really have this kind of problem. I am trying to understand where these problems are actually occurring.
Mr. Hyche stated you can actually look at the number of lift stations. Those lift stations in the Ramblewood area, the hours run are tripled.
Mr. Hanks asked have you televised those lines?
Mr. Hyche stated they were televised back when Mr. Moore was here.
Mr. Hanks asked do you recall what the results were?
Mr. Hyche responded no I do not. I was not involved at that time.
Mr. Fennell stated we are trying to understand. We know there is a problem here. We cannot do all the lines, but we need to understand where we think 80% of the problem is occurring. If you know where the problem is actually occurring or whether it is high level or low level and someone is even saying we have this occurring problem where we want high levels in our canals, but when we get low levels we save ourselves money.
Mr. Frederick stated it is our neighbor who does that.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have the same problem and is this the cause? We are looking for what the cause of the problem is and what the extent of the problem is. Is this something we are going to have to fix on everyone’s house or can we go through and inspect these houses and determine that really only one out of every ten is a problem? This way we can get an idea of what the cost of a solution will be.
Mr. Hanks stated the benefit to that is only going to be from the operational expenses we incur operating the lift stations, treating it and pumping it. We are not going to get any benefit from an additional allocation from SFWMD for solving the problem.
Mr. Fennell asked is it because they are being hard headed or because it is not a smart thing to get fixed?
Mr. Hanks responded I do not know.
Mr. Fennell asked is there a rational thing there or are you just saying it is how they think?
Mr. Hanks responded I forget which city it was. It was either Pompano Beach or Sunrise. One of the cities went ahead and did a relining of it. They approached SFWMD for an increased allocation of water withdrawals and they were denied. The rationale SFWMD gave them was they did not have it as an additional withdrawal. They were correcting an illegal consumption or something along those lines. It was an unauthorized consumption.
Mr. Skehan stated unauthorized withdrawal from the system. Because you are collecting it and it is leaking into your system. It should be your responsibility to repair it also. They consider it, in some respects, dewatering.
Mr. Fennell stated it just sounds like that did not contribute anything. It is something which is hard to answer. Frankly, that is an answer which does not contribute to the overall solution.
Mr. Hanks stated agreed.
Mr. Morales stated if you take a look at the cost of an I&I program and what it will cost to increase, for example, your wastewater treatment plant capacity, the amount of money you spend in lining to prevent leaks and getting the inflow into your plant, that is by far from a dollar comparison the cheapest way to increase plant capacity. To give you an idea of comparison instead of looking from a water supply sample, looking from a wastewater supply sample. You are reducing the amount of water going into your plant; therefore, you will have more capacity of the true wastewater flow rather than treating the groundwater flow.
Mr. Fennell stated that is good if we have the right sequence of events.
Mr. Morales stated well you have to take a look at it. You are not going to fix it from one day to the next.
Mr. Fennell stated well they should be encouraging people to do this rather than saying they have your hands in the cookie jar. Nevertheless, we still need to try to find out what the real cause of the problem is, how extensive the problem is and then we can make a rational decision. Is it smart to in fact fix that? What is the lowest cost to do it? We may find out everyone has this problem. There still may be another issue there. It would be nice to find out how bad those pipes are and where they are going bad.
Mr. Skehan stated once you do a preliminary survey, which would be a cross section of some of the laterals coming off of the collection system, you can go back through and extrapolate from what you learned and do a cost benefit analysis to be able to see how the two tie together. It may make sense and it may not make sense. That is the first stage of it.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have any idea as to the actual quantity of infiltration we are faced with and the miles of pipe?
Mr. Hyche responded if you take the usual 80% return you are supposed to get from your wastewater and your distributed water, you can correlate it that way.
Mr. Hanks stated well we have not had anybody go out there and do a flow measurement at 2:00 a.m.
Mr. Hyche asked a flow measurement where? At the plant?
Mr. Hanks responded at the lift station, going into a lift station or a selective location.
Mr. Hyche stated no.
Mr. Hanks stated that is another way you can track where the problems are.
Mr. Skehan stated you can look at your total flow coming into the plant.
Mr. Hanks stated we can talk some strategy. We do not need to bore these guys.
Mr. Fennell stated it is a neat problem solving thing.
Mr. Hyche stated the simplest way is a smoke test to see where your leaks are at.
Mr. Hanks asked that will work when your problem is above, but if you have a problem below the water table, are you going to blow it out through the water?
Mr. Hyche responded no.
Mr. Hanks stated you may want to establish your baseline flow and look at where your highest infiltration rate is. It may just be that we have extra miles of pipe out there and this is why you have an apparent increase problem. When you can start to break it down in terms of infiltration per mile of pipe, you may not have a problem.
Mr. Fennell stated anyway, we are looking for more data and more correlation. If we can look at the data for ground level water, there should be some correlation in that because of rainfall too. There may be something which proves it easily. You might have some exceptions in there where there was a lot of rain and somehow you had to drain out the canals. You can look to see what happens when the canals drop two feet.
Mr. Hanks stated what will really start to tell the story is if you have an inverse relationship to your canal elevations. Then you will know it is surface runoff, which means rain guards, which means smoke tests, identify the laterals and go through a lateral correction.
Mr. Fennell stated maybe that is one of those big rated projects.
Mr. Skehan stated not quite. You would have to do some preliminary work to be able to get there.
Mr. Fennell stated but this is not one where you have to construct a big plant. This is one where you can get people working in neighborhoods. You can actually put people to work and doing something.
Mr. Hanks asked where do we stand with the water modeling?
Mr. Skehan responded the water modeling is very close. We have the calibration runs ramped up. Now we are getting into some runs where we are going to be able to make some comparisons as to what is taking place; actual and projected. Under the various assumptions that we have to use for the 20 year permit. We are very close to that. It is a significant component of the ten year plan we had discussions about the other day. The people at the meeting the other day were very interested in knowing where we were and within the next two to three weeks we will probably have something to be able to send to SFWMD. We figure before the end of February we will have this close to being wrapped up.
III. Utility Billing Work Orders
Mr. Fennell asked are there any issues there Mr. Lyles?
Mr. Lyles responded not at all.
Ms. Zich stated it does not look like it.
Mr. Cassel stated I have one more item. It is the item I discussed with each of you individually regarding the errors several years ago with billings to another CDD, which was not caught and we need to catch up. I just want to make sure all of you are fine with us going ahead and taking care of it.
Mr. Fennell stated yes. State the amount again.
Mr. Cassel stated originally it was $4,510. We could not find enough proof for that. We found enough proof for $3,351.64.
Mr. Fennell stated okay. I guess we owe this money to someone.
Ms. Woodward stated yes. We have seen the documentation on it.
I. Project Status Report
There was no additional discussion. A copy of the project status report is attached hereto and made a part of the public record.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Financials and Check Registers
Ms. Zich stated Ms. Woodward knows how I am feeling about this one. Her favorite subject, the SBA. I asked Ms. Woodward how we got all of this money and she told me we did not get the money. We had to write it off.
Mr. Fennell asked what?
Ms. Zich responded write off $36,000.
Ms. Woodward stated what we are talking about as far as writing it off is it does not mean you are not in a position to collect the monies which are in Tallahassee. It means that for accounting purposes, when you see your financials at next month’s meeting they will reflect an unrealized loss of roughly $36,000. You still have the same number of shares or units up there. All it says is if you were to liquidate what you held at that point in time, you would in fact have realized that loss. It is a paper loss at this point.
Mr. Fennell asked if we tried to get all of our money out today, are you saying we would have to take a $36,000 dip?
Ms. Woodward responded no. If you tried to take it out today, you would have to take an additional $19,000 loss because it has decreased another $19,000 since September 30, 2008 through December 31, 2008. The reason the $19,000 loss is not included in this particular financial is the fact we had completed it before that quarterly statement came in from SBA. They were running a little bit late.
Ms. Zich stated no wonder they are running late. We are probably little potatoes compared to some of these. Some of these had Millions in them. When I saw the financial statement I said, “We are doing really well with the SBA, “ and she said, “Not really.”
Mr. Fennell stated they had our money. It has been reduced in value. You cannot get a hold of it. What are our remedies for recovering it other than their rules? Can we go to court?
Ms. Zich responded this is incredible.
Mr. Fennell stated if this were a private bank, we could try to get their assets. I can make a strong case here for mismanagement of funds. Our Governor was actually in charge of the whole thing. He and a couple of other guys were in charge of the board.
Mr. Lyles stated you are looking my way.
Mr. Fennell stated I am.
Mr. Lyles stated I am telling you there are issues of sovereign immunity here. The state as a sovereign is not immutable to suit for many things, possibly including this. Number two, I cannot tell you I can answer the question because I have not reviewed the terms and conditions under which the money was placed with the SBA, but I would be willing to speculate a little bit that there are conditions in those documents indicating your investment may go up or down. They would be unwise to say they could only go up. I would be surprised if there is a guarantee it would never go down. After all it is a type of investment. This is just speculation on my part. So while it might seem at first that prudent behavior would have stopped this from happening in the first place, whether it rolls over into something which would be actionable, especially one government entity versus another, we can look into it for you.
Mr. Fennell I would really like to know that. I get in my mail every couple of weeks some kind of litigation against anybody you could name.
Mr. Lyles stated they are not a private entity. They are not in interstate commerce. They are not regulated by the FCC. They are not charging you a fee for service in the same way that an investment advisor is. They are doing it as a public service. You may certainly run into a huge stumbling block called sovereign immunity. You are asking a question you are uncertain about. You want to know from your staff. Your staff will look into this issue and give you a report at your next meeting.
Ms. Zich stated this is a $56,000 loss as of the end of last year.
Mr. Hanks asked how much more do we have to lose?
Ms. Zich responded we have $142,000 left to lose. I am glad we have $142,000 to lose instead of $3 Million to lose.
Mr. Fennell stated this has been a case of mismanagement. Sovereign immunity goes so far, but there comes a point where they have to live up to their responsibilities and they have been negligent. If someone falls on Coral Springs property and hurts themselves, they can turn around and sue the city for various amounts of money.
Mr. Lyles stated but it is capped. Actually they cannot sue the city, but for the state’s partial waiver of sovereign immunity for claims up to $100,000. If someone falls on the City of Coral Springs’ sidewalk, they are totally paralyzed and their injuries are in the Millions, the city is immune from suit except to the extent of the waiver the state has adopted by passing legislation in the amount of $100,000. Sovereign immunity does go on. It is an absolute bar to bringing many different types of claims against a government entity, even by another government entity. I just want you to be aware of it.
Mr. Fennell stated on the other hand, I hate to have them think they can just use it as means for not fulfilling their obligations. Is the law different? We have been sued.
Mr. Lyles responded the law is different between one government entity and another because you actually have to go through a formal notice and mediation process before you can even begin the lawsuit. It is harder to sue another government entity if you are a government as opposed to easier. It is easier for a private citizen to sue.
Mr. Fennell stated we have had various different government groups come after us for environmental issues and other kinds of things like it.
Mr. Lyles stated that is regulatory. There was not any money damages involved in that one. It was regulatory. There was a fine at stake, but not money damages for negligence. It was a fine for operating a plant without meeting criteria, which is something we touched on today.
Mr. Fennell asked they did not have any insurance, or did they?
Mr. Lyles responded I do not believe they had insurance, especially to cover the extent of this loss.
Mr. Fennell stated we were under some kind of law where we were supposed to place our money in some kind of regulatory institution with insurance on it.
Ms. Zich asked how did we get in the SBA?
Ms. Woodward responded it was before me.
Mr. Daly stated pretty much every governmental entity was in it.
Mr. Fennell stated they have all of the Florida retirement in the same account. It is the same people. We had $6 Billion total. There is $60 Billion for the Florida retirement fund, which they are also managing; the same people.
Mr. Hanks asked where do you park all this money? When you park it in an individual bank you run the risk of them going belly up and you get $100,000 out of it.
Mr. Fennell responded we could have bought something which was at least insured or at least somebody who can issue their own money such as the Federal Government.
Mr. Hanks stated but you are not protecting against the risk of inflation either.
Mr. Fennell stated even if I went to a bank I would have at least $100,000 or $250,000 covered. I was surprised to find out they did not have any coverage themselves and we somehow believed the State of Florida would make good of this. It looks like they will not. What were they backed up by?
Mr. Lyles responded they did not pledge the full faith of the state to any extent.
Ms. Zich asked why would we have put money in there?
Mr. Lyles responded Florida Law, which was enacted after the problems in California with some of their state investments, passed a law which applies to all governmental entities in the State of Florida, cities, counties and special districts of every type, which require you take operating revenue which is unneeded for current operations, excess or surplus for the period of time, and maintain it in one of four specified very conservative state approved types of investment vehicles or you had the option of applying to the state and submitting an alternate plan for them to review and approve. I am not aware of anyone who submitted an alternate plan. I represent over 100 special districts in this state and not a single one of them proposed their own investment plan for their revenues. They are all, essentially, using SBA for safe vehicles.
Ms. Zich stated so everyone is faced with the same thing.
Mr. Lyles stated everyone is faced with some version of it. We are not unique at all.
Mr. Hanks asked and if everyone in the state were to win against the state, would it not come out of our other pocket?
Mr. Lyles responded yes. I think what is triggering this discussion, while it will not impact the research we will do and report back to you on, is so far you have not lost any money. You are going through an accounting exercise which is requiring you to mark this particular investment down to what it would be worth were you to cash it in today. You do not need the money and you do not intend to do that. You have protected yourselves by moving money out and being in other things now. The first offense you might hear from the state is if people were able to sue and I am not convinced at all they can. You have not lost anything yet. You may one day lose some money or you may not lose a penny.
Mr. Hanks stated if this were a mutual fund, or something like it, we would have the opportunity of buying shares at $25 instead of $50 with the hope it would go back up. We have the option at this point to buy in at $.50 on the $1 with the hope it would go up and look at this as an investment opportunity for better returns. There are no returns out there right now.
Ms. Woodward stated you can invest additional monies now. If you invest additional monies, it will not go into what we are talking here, Fund B, which has the toxic assets; The ones which are dropping in value. You would not be investing in that half of it. I have not gone through and analyzed exactly how they are investing Fund A.
Mr. Daly stated the criteria always said it has to be a modest and conservative investment that would be protective. Unless they have written some laws over night, I do not know we are protected with SBA.
Mr. Hanks stated if we can turn this into an opportunity, I am not saying we should put all of our funds in.
Ms. Woodward stated putting new money in is not going to change the numbers we are discussing here as to the mark to market. Right now we are locked into Fund B. We cannot move these assets into a new Fund A. They are were they are and hopefully what they are doing is working to cash these in or until they get to maturity, which ever will produce either the greater gain or the lesser loss.
Mr. Fennell stated anyway, I think there is a legitimate concern here. They should have managed it better or at least backed it up with the full faith credit of Florida. They did not do anything. What else do we have?
Ms. Zich responded since the last meeting, remember we talked about the CDs, they have opened five CDs at five different banks with different interests rates and different maturity rates. So that has been done. It is safe.
Ms. Woodward stated yes.
Mr. Fennell stated the only other thing I will point out is there is an additional page we got from Ms. Woodward which talks about, if you look at the cash flows…
Ms. Woodward stated Mr. Hanks does not have it.
Mr. Hanks stated thank you.
Mr. Fennell stated the question which always comes up is how our sales are doing; water, delivery and all that kind of stuff. It always looks like we are not meeting our expectations. The problem is, from an accounting standpoint, for some reason the auditors want us to not book the amount of money we get in for a particular month and it has to go back to the previous month. When we actually change calendars, we automatically have $274,000 which gets moved back to the previous month’s sales. Anyway, she is going to amend, go ahead.
Ms. Woodward stated the prorated budget column, which basically up until this point we have been indicating on your water and sewer revenue that your anticipating, according to the way we have been reporting it, that you would receive one twelfth each month. In reality what happens is in the first month of your fiscal year there are monies which get deposited in October which are supposed to be the collection of revenues earned in the month of September. The auditors have re-classed those revenues to the tune, in the case of water, $274,000, re-classed it back to revenue of the prior year. For this entire fiscal year we will be technically behind by that collection amount until the end of this fiscal year when we will pick up additional revenues from the succeeding year and bring them to the tail end of this year. It is an accounting anomaly, but it will remove the problematic presentation.
Ms. Zich stated we actually could do that on a monthly basis if we wanted to, but it is too confusing. If we wanted to have an audited statement every month, we could do that every month. For simplicity, we do not do it like that. We do it at the end of the year. It is just accruing. The money we take in the first part of October, you know it was actually earned in September. That is what they are trying to do, push it back.
Mr. Fennell stated I see that. All I want to be able to do is read a statement and know how well we did.
Ms. Woodward stated you will be able to do it the next month.
Mr. Cassel stated we are solvent and we are in good shape.
Mr. Fennell stated that first line goes negative for several months because it takes us several months to pick it up. I am never really sure if we are doing okay.
Ms. Zich stated technically you could do it every month, but it is a big pain. It takes quite a bit to do it.
Mr. Fennell stated I understand, but from a business standpoint we need to know how we are doing.
Mr. Cassel stated it is the same on your insurance. Your insurance premium comes due in one section; although, you spread your allocated over 12 months, you get a shot in one month for one quarter until it evens it out at the end of the year. You show negatives until you catch up because of their high expenditures. It is the same kind of situation.
Mr. Daly stated Ms. Woodward had already taken care of this on the general fund side with regard to how the money comes in.
Mr. Fennell stated that is all tax based. We actually see how it comes in, but on a business base you really want to know, we have two products here, what we are selling and what we are processing. You want to know how this is going each month.
Ms. Woodward stated we will take care of it.
Mr. Fennell asked is there anything else we need to look at here?
Mr. Cassel asked is there a motion for the financials?
Mr. Fennell asked is there a motion to approve the financials?
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert D. Fennell