MINUTES OF MEETING
CORAL SPRINGS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
A regular 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
Dennis Lyles District Counsel
Jane Early District Engineer
Dan Daly Director of Operations
Kay Woodward District Accountant
Ed Stover Water Department
David Macintosh Wastewater Department
Cory Johnson CH2M Hill
Walt Schwarz CH2M Hill
Brenda van Ravenswaay CH2M Hill
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Cassel called the meeting to order and called the roll.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the May 17, 2010 Meeting
Mr. Fennell stated each
Board member received a copy of the minutes of the
Mr. Hanks stated on page 20, about midway down the page, I want to double check where I said, “Ms. Woodward can address each section as it comes along.” I am assuming that was in reference to the financial aspects of it rather than having Ms. Woodward out there.
Mr. Cassel asked is that the third paragraph?
Ms. Zich responded it is right in the middle.
Mr. Hanks stated I would like clarification and for you to listen to that portion of the recording.
reviewing the recording the statement was made as transcribed in the minutes of
Mr. Cassel stated on page 11, “amo gate” should be “amil gate”.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisors’ Requests and Audience Comments
· Mr. Jose Rivero – 382 NW 112 Avenue
Mr. Fennell asked is there a Mr. Rivero here?
Mr. Cassel responded Mr. Rivero called today. He was going to try to be at today’s meeting or he might be at the August meeting. It may be August or September because he has some conflicts with his dates. He will show up to one of those meetings.
Mr. Fennell stated this is with regard to an issue in here.
Mr. Cassel stated the issue is regarding my letter to Mr. Rivero. We have been going back and forth with him on a dock, which was brought to our attention by the code enforcement of the city. He has constructed a dock on our right-of-way into the canal area.
Mr. Fennell stated previously we have not allowed that. The only docks I know of that are there are those which are not on our water.
Mr. Cassel stated he has been informed of this as you can see in my letter, but also in a letter Mr. Daly had written him earlier stating the Board’s position. He still wants to come and address the Board.
Mr. Hanks asked do you have dates as to when it was installed?
Mr. Cassel responded we are trying to narrow it down. We do not have an exact date of when it was installed.
Mr. Daly stated I think Mr. Hanks said it was somewhere between January of 2009 and January of 2010.
Mr. Hanks stated from the aerials.
Mr. Cassel stated that is as close of a date as we have now.
Mr. Daly stated I asked Mr. Frankenhauser who is taking over for Mr. Frederick while he is on vacation to do a survey. I want to know everything that is out in our canal now. He will report to me at tomorrow’s staff meeting and I will write letters. Whether or not they are to the degree that Mr. Rivero’s is I do not know yet, but we will get pictures.
Mr. Hanks asked did he get a permit from the city?
Mr. Cassel responded there is no permit from the city that we can establish. He said he had it engineered, but it is in our right-of-way and CSID’s land.
Mr. Fennell asked so they built something that is not on their own property?
Mr. Cassel responded that is correct. As a follow up; do you remember the individual with the tree that we had to relocate that large bush?
Mr. Hanks responded yes.
Mr. Cassel stated we checked with that and he did relocate it off of our property.
Mr. Fennell stated we will just table this for now.
Mr. Lyles stated the longer that sits there the more people will see it and decide they are going to build one. This Board and previous Boards made up of other individuals have addressed this issue over decades and said no. I do not know that it is helpful to tell people they can always go to the Board to ask for a permit when the policy has clearly been no exceptions. Maybe what staff needs is more direction from you on whether you want to hear these applications for exceptions for just personal use docks that are built on property you own and is dedicated to a public use. I do not think you are required to wait for some period of months for someone to come forward. It is up to the Board’s discretion.
Ms. Zich stated I do not think we should make an exception. If we make an exception, look at how many houses we have.
Mr. Fennell stated plus it is the public’s land and not the individual’s.
Mr. Cassel stated we have constantly told him it is not the policy, but he says he wants to talk to the Board. I told him he is free to talk to the Board, but the policy is what it is and I doubt it will be changed.
Mr. Lyles asked do you want to direct staff to seek the removal of this installation that was done without a permit from the city, without a permit from the District and on District property now or do you want to leave it there until he can make it to a meeting? That, again, is within your discretion.
Mr. Daly stated he would have been here at July’s meeting; unfortunately, our meeting coincides with the day he is taking his family including the mother-in-law to take the last picture she will take on a cruise. He cannot cancel the tickets so he asked if he could be here in August.
Mr. Fennell asked who should pay to remove that?
Ms. Zich responded he would.
Mr. Daly stated we can also wait until next month to find out the gravity of the situation because Mr. Frankenhauser has about a dozen to look at.
Mr. Hanks stated I do not think it is going to change anything. Whichever lands you find, pursue the immediate removal. Should they choose to present some kind of hardship we will still hear them, but it would have to be a darn good hardship for us to make an exception.
Mr. Daly asked would you rather have them all at one meeting?
Mr. Hanks responded no.
Ms. Zich stated all three of us are absolutely firm on this.
Mr. Fennell asked is there anything else?
Ms. Zich stated I will not be able to attend next month’s meeting for personal reasons. I would like to change it to the following Monday if that works for everyone.
Mr. Fennell stated that would be
Mr. Cassel stated July’s meeting
will now be held on
Ms. Zich stated thank you.
Mr. Cassel stated we will send out the necessary notices.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Public Hearing to Consider the Adoption of the General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2011 (Resolution 2010-7) and Levy of Non Ad Valorem Assessments (Resolution 2010-8)
Mr. Fennell stated I hereby open the public hearing up for comments and questions on the general fund budget. Are there any comments from anyone? Were the corrections made?
Mr. Cassel responded I believe they were made.
Ms. Woodward stated the correction was to open up the second line on the revenue. The top line reads Assessment Revenues (Net)...budgeted and in the original draft you saw last time it inadvertently dropped the second line, which currently reads Assessment Revenues...excess collected for $211,753. It has been corrected to reflect that total.
Mr. Fennell stated so the budget amounts should be essentially the same, but we do not actually budget in the excess.
Ms. Woodward stated no we do not. We budget under the assumption that everyone pays early and therefore, takes a full 4% discount. You need to be able to budget assuming everyone takes the maximum discount. This simply allows you to see with the 4% discount the revenue last time was $2,030,187 and to the extent that people paid later you made an additional $211,753 for discounts not taken.
Mr. Fennell stated I saw somewhere in the notes following that we are still doing fairly well in the proposed project to interconnect with a couple of our canals.
Ms. Early stated yes. They actually asked us for some additional information which we uploaded last week. It is up to the next level for funding. We requested $2.1 Million.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any other questions or comments on this?
There not being any, Mr. Fennell closed the public hearing.
Mr. Fennell stated I entertain a motion to adopt resolution 2010-7.
Mr. Fennell stated we have not increased the assessments.
Mr. Fennell stated I think one of the interesting things is that by having water, sewer and canals all together we can actually tie together these things fairly well and there are good reasons to do that.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Change Order No. 1 & Final for Monitor Well #3 Project for a Net Decrease of $130,312.44
Mr. Cassel stated if you recall at the last meeting we were to bring back the net change order for Layne Christensen on the monitoring well. At the same time at the last meeting, out of this savings is where you actually authorized to increase payment of the engineering services that were caused by Layne Christensen’s delay. The net project is a net set overall from the projected cost of the project. We are under budget by approximately $30,000. I do not remember the exact figure, but it is around $30,000 under budget. This is the final balancing change order for Layne Christensen. Once this is approved we can do their final pay application and that project will be totally closed out.
Mr. Fennell asked do we need to do anything?
Mr. Cassel responded you need to make a motion to approve the change order.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Change Order No. 1 for Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements for a deduction of $782,340.86
Mr. Fennell asked did we not have a bunch of welding problems?
Mr. Cassel responded this change order primarily deals with issues on the nanofiltration plant. The reduction is for odor control equipment, HDPE line, some concentrate line, some changes in vapor barriers, the hose bibb relocation and some issues like that. We initially did the pilot project to get a feel for the actual water we are going to be doing to see if we could get rid of the odor scrubbers and some other issues. It was determined after the pilot project that we were able to do that so we have been after the contractor, from that point until now, to get this deduct change order in place and completed before we got too far into the project. It is clearly documented what we are getting back for that equipment.
Mr. Fennell stated I am looking at the summary. Was the delete odor control equipment for the raw water coming out?
Mr. Stover responded it was the water that we would be treating had we had to augment the Biscayne Floridan water; it has a significantly higher sulfide level. The sulfide is highly corrosive and could be noxious to people living nearby.
Mr. Fennell stated this is a big issue;
not just for us, but for I believe
Mr. Johnson stated I do not know if
Mr. Stover stated it is
Mr. Fennell stated yes. It was somewhere down in that area.
Mr. Stover stated they are putting in a whole new system.
Mr. Fennell stated that means they are spending an extra $2 Million or more.
Mr. Johnson stated the deduction on the HDPE pipe is because we are not using the Florida Aquifer the concentrate will not be as brackish. Instead of having to route it to the injection wells we will actually be able to send it right into the first head works.
Mr. Hanks stated but then we would have to treat that water.
Mr. Johnson stated that is correct. It eats up hydraulic capacity, but there is no significant amount of BOD. It is simply hydraulic capacity. In fact, my understanding of it, I am not a wastewater expert, but my understanding is the concentrate actually improves the wastewater treatment process.
Mr. Fennell stated so there are some additions and subtractions as we essentially…
Mr. Hanks asked and you figured in here the need to separate out and provide the source protection on the membrane. We are not going to have any cross contamination back from the force main.
Mr. Fennell stated I thought you were adding some type of pre-scrubbing for the water.
Mr. Cassel stated the sand filters.
Mr. Johnson stated we treat the raw water with a sand strainer, which is like a 200 micron very fine sand. It goes from that point to cartridge filters to remove, which are five micron. They are similar to what you might have under your sink, but 40 inches long. It is the same technology. It is to remove sediment.
Mr. Fennell stated but that was the real issue I think you found in the prototype; the sand issue. Is that in here for the cost of the sand or is that just the sand filtration?
Mr. Johnson responded the sand filters are already part of the project.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consideration of Work Authorization #57 for Water Treatment Plant Programming Services
Mr. Fennell asked this is a program that does what exactly?
Mr. Johnson responded this is the programming which controls the entire plant. You have a lime softening system, which is pretty simple to control. It is relatively straightforward and simple. In this case we have multiple layers of treatment. We have a lot of dynamics which are involved with controlling this system. We well field of 11 different wells. Each one of them is going to add flow and pressure at different rates so the system has to balance itself. You have the sand strainers, which have automatic backwashing and automatically start depending on the flow rate coming into the plant. The sand strains and the membranes are a complicated system to run. They require a lot of controls.
There are a lot of automated valves and a lot of automations as far as monitoring of the water quality. You come out of there dealing with the transfer pumps, which carry the water over into your ground storage tanks. There are a lot of controls over that. On top of all of that we are going to be bringing the software on your existing plant, which will still be needed to maintain the high service pump. We are going to be upgrading that software with a newer generation of software. It is not a simple slam dunk thing. All 11 wells need to be brought up to current standards as well.
Mr. Fennell asked are you talking about software?
Ms. van Ravenswaay responded definitely writing the code to tell this pump to kick on when this level is hit.
Mr. Johnson stated you have a PLC. You need to tell that PLC what to do.
Mr. Fennell stated control systems tend to use PLC, which I call firmware. Think of it as your thumb drive. People like to use control systems like that better than software because you can just go over and hit a switch or re-plug something back in. It is actually a spin-off of the old hardware controls. My question is; how do you simulate this thing since we are already halfway through it? You are going to be picking up, I hope, some firmware that is already pretty well used to these pieces of equipment.
Mr. Johnson responded let me equate it to a programming C++ where you have the base package and then you build around it. You use it to build the program you need.
Mr. Fennell asked so who has the base equipment?
Ms. van Ravenswaay responded the equipment is supplied under your construction contract.
Mr. Fennell asked who is doing that? It is usually a company or two that are into this stuff.
Mr. Johnson responded I believe they have CC Control as the contractor. They are commonly used throughout the area.
Mr. Fennell asked and the equipment?
Mr. Johnson responded I am trying to remember if it was Omron or Allen-Bradley. I cannot remember which, but I know we settled on one or the other. I honestly do not remember right now.
Ms. van Ravenswaay stated once this code is written there is a systematic approach to the testing that will happen before it is actually loaded up and run. You will actually test individual units to make sure and your operators are standing there watching this happen. Then the system is tested together and then the plant is tested together. Then it will simulate for a while before it is turned over and found acceptable.
Mr. Johnson stated this is very labor intensive; especially the test and start up of it. You obviously have the programming, but then you have several layers of testing. If you read through the scope, we have the factory demonstration testing, functional testing and then we have start up testing and then obviously start up. It is very labor intensive. The start up process can take a month to a month and a half. There are multiple layers of testing which go on before we actually fire this thing up. With all the chemicals involved in membranes we clearly want this thing working right before we jump off that bridge.
Mr. Fennell asked who exactly is doing it? Am I looking at the people who are going to be doing this?
Mr. Johnson responded it will be us and Hillers who has years of background knowledge on the electrical and I&C side of things. It will be a team between CH2M Hill and Hillers to do this.
Mr. Fennell asked what about training of our staff?
Mr. Johnson responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked who is doing that?
Mr. Johnson responded we are.
Mr. Cassel stated it is part of the process.
Mr. Fennell asked have you guys looked at this and seen what training you want?
Mr. Stover responded not the actual specifications, but we have seen some of the programs from other plants.
Mr. Fennell asked are we going to send these guys to school for a couple of weeks?
Mr. Johnson responded there are a couple of layers of training which need to happen. One of them is obviously the inner working, just operating. The other, and this is what we have been talking with Mr. Cassel about, is how you guys want this to function after the plants been turned over to all of you; whether or not you are going to hire out somebody to provide your controls, your programming and changes to it, and maintenance of the control system, or if you are going to train somebody internally. This is something we will need to work out as we get closer to that time.
Mr. Fennell asked so we are going to have this custom piece of software, it is going to get written, and two years from now who is going to know how to change it?
Mr. Johnson responded this is something that is really important to us, which is to make sure in your programming codes you can have comments or tags off to the side. What we want to make sure we do is once this is turned over to the District, whether or not they want to sub this out to a controls engineer or do it internally, there will be enough documentation that follows this thing.
Mr. Fennell asked are we buying the source code?
Mr. Johnson responded you own it after it is done.
Mr. Fennell asked will we get the source code?
Mr. Cassel responded yes sir.
Mr. Fennell asked not just something we cannot understand?
Mr. Johnson responded it will be programmed into….
Mr. Fennell asked do you know what I mean by source code?
Mr. Johnson asked do you mean the program itself? You own the license of the program.
Mr. Fennell stated there are two aspects to a program. The source code is what the original program actually writes it in. The code is when you knock off all the comments and none of that stuff goes through to the actual program that runs.
Mr. Johnson stated it is a difference between having everything with the comments in them, what you would probably call runtime.
Mr. Fennell stated it is more than that. Any custom programming that you do not have the source code in it, you do not stand a chance.
Mr. Johnson stated it is what we call a runtime version.
Mr. Hanks asked do we need to get somebody else to take a look at the different key points to make sure we are getting the product that is needed and that it is in an understandable format for future users?
Mr. Fennell responded I think you do. I do not know if anyone in your staff can do it or not.
Mr. Hanks stated often when we do engineering you will get so involved on the design you will know intimately how that is supposed to work and somebody else comes in blind or new to the project and may be an excellent civil engineer as well as an excellent programming engineer and will take a look at it and say, “what is going on.”
Mr. Johnson stated if you look at the work authorization we have in there discussion about standards and documentation. You will have opportunities on whether you want to have somebody else come in and look at those standards and documentation.
Mr. Fennell stated you are talking $300,000 here. Is that right?
Mr. Johnson responded yes sir.
Mr. Fennell stated the big deal will be a year or two from now when we want to add something. Who will do that? There is a continuity issue here that is really a significant one.
Mr. Cassel stated that is one of the concerns I expressed to CH2M Hill. I want to have the continuity files so I can turn around and hand the files over to programming company A, B, C or X, Y, Z, beyond the person who originally did it and that they can walk in without having to reinvent the wheel. They can pick up the documentation, follow the entire logic and be able to add subtract or modify the coding system as needed.
Mr. Johnson stated that is honestly something that is very important to us; whether we are the ones who maintain it after the fact or somebody else because the person who programs it may or may not be here in three years, in which case we are going to need somebody here to do the things you hired somebody else to do and will know what is going with that programming. It is very important to us.
Mr. Fennell stated even though we have people here trained to do these things manually if they cannot go in and put inputs on how we need to tweak this thing, then essentially their hands are going to be tied forever on how the process works. We need that ability. I am not sure who it is or what it is, but that is really important. We are probably going to have to pay $20,000 or $30,000 a year fee just for some consultant to be on call.
Mr. Johnson stated you actually have instrumentation control people who do that now for you. I believe that Mr. Jim Foy handles the PLCs for you. Then you have Alex who will come in from time to time and do any code changes as necessary. You have that now with the plant you have. We are going to be at a magnitude of greater complexity with the next plant, but you have that now.
Ms. van Ravenswaay stated but I think, going back to your concern, the documentation capacity gives about a two to three page subscription of the back up documentation and they annotated logic descriptions.
Mr. Fennell asked is there a simulator that can be used?
Mr. Johnson responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked will we have it here? What I want to be able to do is not actually experiment with this place, but I really want a simulator here where our own people, or whoever will be our consultant, can look at the software and make changes to it, understand what is happening or put in additional conditions which were not foreseen and then see what happens. I am pretty sure there is a programmable simulator; I am sure Allen-Bradley has this kind of thing. What we are requiring is not just that there are programs here to be run.
Mr. Johnson stated there is something we have for our people internally to fine tune it. We have not really addressed it as a training tool for the District.
Mr. Hanks asked so are you going to be running a lot of different scenarios, which are outside of the normal operating parameter, trying specifically to make this thing mess up? Have you tested resiliency?
Mr. Johnson responded we can do something as simple as applying dyno curve. We want to take a look at what you guys pump out in a day. We have your ground storage tanks and we know those raise and lower based on the dyno curve so we can back check the transfer pumping lodging to make sure we are not going to be pulling that wet well dry because we need to turn on an extra membrane train, which means we need to turn on the wells. We vet the software that way, but it is not really as a training tool. We can do that.
Mr. Fennell asked but if two years from now we need to look at something like that because we are adding something or something happened; how do we get it done? We are committing to a fully automated system and the overhead it contains, which is substantial. A lot of the knowledge base is just going to be where there are well trained people. They are going to be stuck in that machine and they may not have access to it. That is my concern. That is a big step; not just writing the software, but we need to change how we do things.
Ms. van Ravenswaay stated Mr. Cassel had brought up and we talked about in our meeting last week that there is a variety of options which will be brought to the Board while this programming is being developed to make decisions on; whether it is something you want to build up internally or look at other firms.
Mr. Fennell stated we have to own the software. We have to own the simulator and something has to be here. If you guys get bought out again or who knows what happens, I want everything to be here for whoever we need to call in. I think we have to look at our own staffing and perhaps making changes there.
Mr. Cassel stated that is one of the considerations we are looking at.
Mr. Fennell stated things are going to happen. There will be lightning bolts which will blow something out and suddenly things will be snapping and people did not expect it. We are going to have to go through an entirely different level of training in our own group.
Mr. Cassel stated we began to discuss those issues. Mr. Daly and I have talked about it some. We have talked about it at the staff level. We talked about it with CH2M Hill as well as to how do we fulfill what we need in the most effective and efficient manner. I do not want to put a lot of overhead on that I do not need everyday. At the same time I do not want to be caught short and dependent upon one person who knows how to do it. This is why I am making sure the documentation is such that if for example Alex wins the lottery and moves away, company B can walk in, pick up the documentation and do what we need to do immediately.
Mr. Hanks asked what other options do we have available to us?
Ms. van Ravenswaay responded you have some level of manual operation in your plan.
Mr. Stover stated I honestly do not think you would want to put a membrane plant manually. In a pinch, if it was an emergency, you could do that, but there are a lot of automated valves. I strongly recommend against that approach.
Mr. Hanks asked Mr. Cassel, does this address the concerns you have in terms of the scope? Does this meet the scope needs that you see?
Mr. Cassel responded as far as I can tell it does. It meets the scope needs and I believe it meets the documentation we are looking for to be able to have continuity in order for someone else to come in. We will double check it and verify.
Mr. Hanks stated there are all different kinds of costs involved on things. From the approximate $300,000 we have presented, do you feel it is an appropriate professional fee for the work involved?
Mr. Cassel responded for the complexity of the programming, knowing what I have seen other programming go for; it is probably in the right ballpark.
Mr. Hanks stated okay.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have any issues from a legal standpoint as far as if this is a fair amount of money?
Mr. Lyles responded since you have a continuous service contract with your District engineering firm this would not be subject to the requirement that it be publicly noticed and competitively bid or go through the CCNA process. It is another task order under the overall continuing services agreement, if this is how you want to proceed.
Mr. Hanks asked where is it being funded from? Is it the bond funds?
Ms. Woodward responded bond.
Mr. Cassel stated yes.
Mr. Hanks asked do we have the money in this project for this and is this an essential part of the project?
Mr. Cassel responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked did we budget at the beginning some numbers similar to this for programming?
Mr. Cassel responded we had taken of the $18 Million which came in and we know there was going to be some number out there for programming; depending on what we found for programming as I stated in my memorandum. You could not put a number on it in the front end for programming. We just knew it was out there and we knew we had room within the bonds because we had originally predicted this at $22 Million to $25 Million. We came in at approximately $18 Million so we knew there was some room, even trying to keep it as low as we can. I think we are in the right ballpark for what we need to do.
Mr. Hanks asked Ms. Woodward, are we okay?
Ms. Woodward responded yes.
Mr. Hanks stated seeing how we ran into trouble with concerns or challenges with apparent low bidders I am glad CH2M Hill will be on top of things on this.
Mr. Fennell asked before we second it, when will the software be ready?
Mr. Johnson responded it will be an ongoing process here. It will be contingent upon the contractor. We are going to begin our preliminary work right now.
Mr. Fennell stated there needs to be a due date or something.
Mr. Johnson stated yes. It has to coincide with the contractor’s instructions.
Mr. Cassel stated I believe you put that in there somewhere.
Mr. Johnson stated yes. It is under schedule.
Mr. Cassel stated under Time of Performance, which is number four.
Mr. Fennell stated generally speaking, programming is the last thing which gets done.
Mr. Johnson stated it will be done with activities. I have to find out where they are with purchasing the PLC, but we have preliminary programming which is going to be putting things down on paper, meeting with staff and loading up the programs as well as going to factory testing.
Mr. Fennell stated my experience running projects is the software is always late. You cannot see it easily. It is hard to monitor software projects. You really cannot see what is going on. You would be surprised with the shenanigans that go on with software. I would like to see an understanding of what we want to do for continuing support of this software. We really do need a definite plan. We need to either do it ourselves, which could be one of our leveraged services, or we need to make sure we have someone who can really be there for us. We need this continually going forward for automation. You are going to be committed to this one group and they have you. They have you not only for the money, but they have you for the competence. We are really going to be highly dependent of these people. Am I trying to make it sound scary? Yes.
Mr. Cassel stated this is why I am enforcing the fact that I want the source code for the District so I can pull it from one contractor to the next contractor or internally without having a long lead time learning issue.
Mr. Fennell stated you may want to check and see whether Allen-Bradley or the other one actually have some kind of consulting services to use for the long term.
Mr. Johnson stated to add what I typically see; generally the larger utilities will have somebody who does electrical who can do the programming to handle internally. Smaller utilities generally do not hire out. What I have seen in a lot of smaller utilities is that they usually sub this out. You have a 7.5 MGD plant. You are probably on the bubble because you have the wastewater plant here too.
Ms. van Ravenswaay stated there are several utilities we provide that on call type of service for also.
Mr. Johnson stated we do that for FKA.
Mr. Fennell stated so your engineering firm does it. Does Severn Trent Services have anything like that?
Mr. Cassel responded I will check to see if our operations side does.
Mr. Fennell stated I would think that would be the kind of service that would be appreciated. Please report back next time how we are going to have the long term support for the software and how we will update it. The other problem with software like that is software can often be extremely personal. I know that sounds strange, but it is the person who writes it.
Mr. Hanks stated it is their logic.
Mr. Fennell stated it is their logic and their thinking. It is often very difficult for someone else to come in and do it; unless it is maintained in a standardized form. The big change in software writing these days is not writing the code. It is writing standardized codes. There will be this master software person who will then set all the functions on how the other software people can write the functions. It is sort of a super structure for software writers. The reason they have to do this is because the code becomes so personal that someone who comes in five years later cannot understand, sometimes even from the source code, what the person did. It is like creating your own language.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
· Consideration of Engagement Letter with Keefe, McCullough & Co., LLP to Perform Financial Audit for Fiscal Year 2010
Mr. Fennell asked do we want to go with the same auditor or not?
Ms. Zich responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked is it for the same amount of money?
Mr. Cassel responded I believe there was just a couple $100 change.
· Award of Contract for Disaster Debris Removal Services
Mr. Cassel stated we realized the District did not have a contractor in waiting for hurricane debris removal. The standard amongst cities and other governmental entities is to have a standby contract with a vendor so that when the event happens you can call them. The contract is already done and they can roll in to take care of your debris removal. We just got the information in on Friday. I put in front of you a spreadsheet that I worked up from Friday to today with some basic comparisons.
four responders were AshBritt, Inc., DRC Emergency Services,
shows a few I know they would be using such as wheel loader, trailer dump,
hydraulic excavator and knuckleboom loaders.
I took a quick comparison of the hourly rates that would be there and
also read through their experiences. I
looked at how many years they had been in business based upon the information
presented before you. My initial feeling
is that either we be authorized to discuss and negotiate with
Hanks asked are all of the respondents licensed with the appropriate licenses
to conduct business in the State of
Mr. Cassel responded from the information I have in the books; yes they are.
Mr. Hanks stated okay because there were some issues on an audit between the Broward County School Board and Ashbritt, Inc.
Fennell asked what does
Mr. Cassel responded I cannot remember the name.
Mr. Daly stated they have a monitoring company as well as a debris removal company. FEMA requires having one of each.
Mr. Fennell asked what does the monitoring company do?
Mr. Daly responded the same thing CH2M Hill does.
The recorder picked up several voices speaking simultaneously making it difficult to transcribe.
Mr. Fennell asked what does it cost us to set this up?
Mr. Cassel responded our cost to have them on board is nothing. It is a contract in waiting. Basically what it says is when they come in the rates they have proposed or end up being negotiated will be the rates they charge us per hour or that they would come up with some lump sum number for the project that we would spend then go back and get reimbursements from FEMA.
Ms. Zich asked do you have the list of what other cities use these or something like that so we have something to go on? This does not seem like enough information.
Mr. Fennell stated I think this is a good idea.
Mr. Daly stated I think it is a must.
Ms. Zich stated I think it is a good idea too, but it would be nice to know how experienced these people are.
Mr. Daly stated the hard part would be having another disaster like we had with Hurricane Wilma, having to go out to bid and then you have all the people who are in the field already pre-assigned everywhere else. You would not get any respondents or they can name their price.
Ms. Zich asked what did we do with Hurricane Wilma? Who did it?
Mr. Daly responded with Hurricane Wilma we actually let it go six months before we put it out to bid.
Ms. Zich asked is this for all the canal work?
Mr. Daly responded this is for all the canal work.
Mr. Hanks asked did we not receive comparatively low bids by waiting?
Mr. Fennell responded there is a reason we waited, which was we were not sure we could get paid. That was our real issue. We were not going to get paid from FEMA unless we had legitimate bids which met their criteria. Somehow that was delayed a month or two for some reason. I forget why it kept getting delayed, but yet we did okay.
Mr. Daly stated we did fine. In fact, CH2M Hill did all of our reporting and everything came through real clean for that.
Mr. Hanks asked Counsel, do you have any concerns about the way things are going? Is this compatible with our bidding requirements?
Mr. Lyles responded I believe what you are hearing is the lowest responsible bidder is the one the District manager ranked as number one. Just looking at the columns across the top; the ones who do not charge a mobilization or one time fee, clearly bring their price down. Then when you look at the hourly rates and you weigh it towards what the usage would really be between the different types of equipment, he is telling you that he ranks the lowest responsible bidder as the number one proposal. Although it is a little bit of an unusual fact pattern that we are trying to adapt this 30 something year old piece of legislation to fit, we are broadly within the constraints of your special act.
Mr. Fennell asked if we do this, what guarantee do we have that they will show up?
Mr. Hanks responded it would be in the final contract we would negotiate.
Ms. Zich asked which one is the one you are recommending?
Mr. Fennell asked but not DRC Emergency Services?
Mr. Cassel responded DRC Emergency Services would be what I consider the second lowest bidder and then AshBritt, Inc.
Mr. Fennell asked who is local? Where is the equipment?
Mr. Daly asked where is the equipment coming from?
Mr. Fennell responded yes.
Mr. Daly stated the way I understood it if a hurricane were to hit Broward County and the south, they would just start bringing everything in the day of or the day before when they actually pinpoint that the storm is not going to turn.
Ms. Zich stated the one he is recommending is in Fort Meyers and Collier County.
Mr. Daly stated when I talked to a couple of the different companies I asked them how they could have all of the manpower and all the equipment needed. They said they wear each other’s shirts; so the one who wins the award hires the other as a sub. This happens. There is not enough equipment in one area to cover the entire state. They hire the other people as subs because they know what they are doing.
An unidentified person stated one thing you might do with the selected contractor is take a look at the rest of the numbers and make sure there are no unbalanced items.
Mr. Daly stated the good part about our situation is it is not the streets or the plants we are worried about because it is a lot thinner than it was during Hurricane Wilma. It is the canals. We could probably go for some length of time so it is not a life or death kind of situation like it would be for the City of Coral Springs.
Mr. Fennell asked do any of these do normal cut down of trees and things like that?
Mr. Daly responded I do not know because we did not talk to them with regard to that. This was a bid in the paper so it was only based on our criteria.
Mr. Fennell stated it has been five years. Things have grown up along the banks again. We could certainly remove some of that stuff. I say we go after what we can get. Go out and mark the trees which should be removed. Tell them to do it. If they do not and it is on our property, we just go do it. We are better off getting 80% or 90% of this stuff done. What is the action needed from us?
Mr. Cassel responded I am seeking the authority to start with the top ranked company to negotiate a standby debris removal contract; if we cannot negotiate a proper contract with them, then move to the second choice and then to the third choice if necessary.
Mr. Fennell stated so we have not approved a contract. We have approved the authority to get a contract.
Mr. Cassel stated that is correct.
· Treatment Capacity of Wastewater Treatment Plant Update
Mr. Cassel stated last month you asked about our capacities and some issues. I had Mr. Macintosh put together an explanation as to what our capacities are, what our future look is on the wastewater treatment plant and that is what is in your package at this time. If you have any questions, Mr. Macintosh will be happy to answer them.
Mr. Fennell stated give us at least a two minute verbal overview.
Mr. Macintosh stated there were some concerns or questions asked about the treatment capacity bearing in mind that there were some issues with Plant F so I looked through the records and made up this sheet. All capacity defined by DEP is 5.72 MGD of average annual flow. For the past ten years we did below that average. We have two capacities by DEP; Annual Average Daily Flow and Three Month Average Daily Flow.
Mr. Fennell stated that is them following us. Do we have what we need to handle that?
Mr. Macintosh responded we do have what we need to handle that. While we are waiting for Plant F we will not exceed our permitted capacities.
Mr. Fennell stated I am not as worried about us exceeding as I am worried about it flowing in.
Mr. Macintosh stated what comes in is what we treat so whatever we have been receiving before is below the capacity.
Mr. Hanks stated so in the last ten years we have not exceeded what we have available to treat right now.
Mr. Macintosh responded exactly.
Mr. Cassel stated even with the potential issues with the I&I we are still within our allotted capacities.
Mr. Macintosh stated unless we have a breakdown of one of the plants we should be able to treat what we receive until we get Plant F started up.
Mr. Fennell asked so this brings up, last, but not least, what is happening with the plant?
Mr. Cassel responded you will see the latest letter I sent to Lanzo which I emailed him a courtesy copy. We are still pushing the contractor to get back with the District as to how they propose to correct the issues that have been raised. To date we have not received anything other than the first round of information. We met with them a little over a month ago; with their engineer, Mr. Sunberg from CH2M Hill, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Bisogno, Mr. Brown, Mr. Daly and I. There were about 10 or 12 of us in this meeting room going through the issues and telling them they needed to come up with a solution as to how they were going to meet the criteria the plant was supposed to be designed by and how they are going to correct the issues they have. Immediately following the meeting was when we did the x-ray of the welds and came up with the issue that a lot of the welds they said were okay did not meet the criteria. They were not full penetration welds.
Mr. Fennell stated so the project is unacceptable. Do they have to re-weld the whole thing? How big of a project is this?
Mr. Cassel responded I cannot make a judgment call on that. It becomes an issue with the contractor’s engineer that designed it on how he intends on repairing the defective wells.
Mr. Fennell asked is it repairable?
Mr. Cassel responded it may or may not be. There are some concerns. I have heard they can torch out the areas and then re-weld them, but then there are issues raised about whether that reheats and what it does to the tensile strength of the steel. There are a number of issues raised within the entire process that as of this date we have not received anything back from the contractor or his design engineer as to how they are going to do the repairs or make it so that it does meet the criteria it was supposed to meet in the beginning.
Mr. Fennell asked from an engineering standpoint; is it repairable?
Mr. Johnson responded I am not a structural engineer. Everything I have seen, it looks like they at least have to take down the outer shell and re-weld, replace, at least something. I think a conversation could be had about the inner shell.
Ms. Zich asked do you have somebody in your staff that really knows?
Mr. Johnson responded that is Mr. Sunberg.
Mr. Hanks stated it is not our engineer’s job. We can review what they are proposing, but it is not our engineer’s job to figure out the means and methods towards addressing the inefficiencies which have been identified.
Ms. Ravenswaay stated it is a waiting game because it is my understanding the response has not come from the contractor’s engineer on his recommendation.
Mr. Cassel stated that is correct. They came back with the first response. I believe we sent them back some more questions and some issues and we will be sharing with them the report from CH2M Hill on the entire issues. The purpose of my letter was to say they know there is a problem and they need to come up with a solution for us to look at and see if we will accept it or agree with it.
Mr. Fennell asked how will we expect to know?
Mr. Cassel responded when they bring the information back.
Mr. Hanks stated I imagine there are several different options on the table. You could go ahead and build a concrete tank on the outside of it. There are all sorts of different ways you can go about solving this thing. It is not up to our engineers to figure it out. There are a lot of feasible options out there; it is just how much do you want to spend to do it.
Mr. Johnson stated our job will be to make sure they meet the requirements of the contract between you and the contractor. That would be making sure it is designed to X, Y and Z standards.
Mr. Fennell stated so this sounds like it is going to be a long time. How much did this thing cost us to begin with?
Mr. Cassel responded this is $4 Million out of the $18 Million; a little over $4 Million.
Mr. Fennell stated the way you are talking; I bet we are talking about another $1 Million. Where is that money going to come from?
Mr. Cassel responded that is not us. That is the contractor. He has a paid performance bond and he has a surety company on the project.
Mr. Fennell stated you are not talking about a few extra welds. You guys are talking serious money here. One; does he even have the money to do it? If not, who does and where is it going to come from? So I think there is a problem beyond engineering here. That is probably the real problem; the money.
Ms. Zich asked how did we get so far along the line before we know this? We are talking about the whole thing, which is just about done. It seems like we should have known this some place further back.
Mr. Johnson responded there was an issue raised later on in the project around February with their performance of stitch weld rather than continuous seam weld. That alone is a relatively minor item compared to what we are speaking of right now. We started looking at it from a corrosion standpoint because the stitch welds enhance the ability for corrosions to go into the tank. Their engineer specified stitch welds and so they stitch welded a lot of the tank, regardless of what the contract documents and standards say they are supposed to do. Once we started looking at it from a corrosion standpoint, what we wanted to look at was if there is going to be a corrosion problem, how much safety factor do we have in this tank so that we are okay with it. Once we started peeling the layers of the onion back we started finding more and more problems with wall thickness because that goes to corrosion. You put in what is called a corrosion allowance. You maybe make the walls thicker to allow for that corrosion allowance. If there is enough wall thickness, then we are okay, but then all of a sudden you start getting into the walls are not thick enough to begin with. This is kind of where the snowball comes.
Mr. Fennell stated that is your thinking. I think their engineer thought the walls were thick enough. So we have design flaw issues here. It is getting to a point where we are not just talking about a couple of things. It sounds to me like neither the engineer nor the manufacturers are convinced they actually have a problem.
Mr. Cassel stated they have not been able to prove thus far that they do not have a problem.
Mr. Hanks asked do the contract documents require demonstration of certain quality? Do they require a certain testing?
Mr. Cassel responded it calls for specific testing of the wells. It calls for non destructive testing. It calls for the fact they are supposed to have a certified welding inspector before, during and after looking at the wells.
Mr. Hanks asked have they provided any documentation demonstrating compliance with the terms of the contract with the specifications?
Mr. Cassel responded they demonstrated some, but not all of them that were required. Their quality control was lacking.
Mr. Fennell stated but it is not just that. There is a question for one thing that the basic concept is wrong. That is a much bigger thing than redoing some welds. How do we determine that one?
Mr. Cassel responded that is one of those things that if you put four attorneys in, you are going to get six options, if you put four engineers in; you are going to get twelve options. You are going to have different philosophies of design and different philosophies of calculations. Those issues are something that as we get down to it they can either prove on paper that their calculations do in fact meet the criteria or they do not. As of now their criteria when we met with them, Mr. Lyles was here as well, it came down to it looks like the strength of the steel they supplied was within the structural strengths required for that size tank; however, if your welds are not as strong as your steel, there is no way the tank is going to stay together because your weakest point becomes your welds. That is what we concentrated on checking; the welds with radio tomography to verify whether the welds were good or not. The welds did not meet the welding criteria of full penetration. That raised the largest red flag. You have a real serious problem because even if you can convince all the players that the steel met the structural criteria, the welds do not. It does not matter how good your steel is. Your welds are your weakest point.
Mr. Hanks stated they can use a half inch of steel and still have done the same thing with poor welds and still have a problem where they could conceivably have to rip out 90% of it in order to construct it properly. So right now our engineers are focusing on working with, or reviewing, the product the contractor has put forward as far as potentially acceptable solutions.
Mr. Cassel stated that is correct. We have not seen anything from them at this time.
Mr. Hanks stated once that is done it is back to quality control review for the remedial measures.
Mr. Cassel stated that is correct.
Mr. Hanks stated I guess after that discussion is had we can then have a skull session on how to do better as a team and work together to catch these items earlier.
Mr. Cassel stated on something like that; instead of putting it out as a third party design I would have us do the design, whether it is through CH2M Hill or whoever, that we choose the engineer that does the design and then that engineer is to be responsible for the actual construction.
Mr. Hanks stated I think we need to look at the overall issues of how we are structuring our construction contracts and our whole construction procurement process. Look at some different alternatives. I think DOT may have some options out there as far as how they are doing their new construction. The way they are teaming. How they are bringing financing to the table to that. There may be other options out there than what we are doing right now. They may be better or they may be worse. Let us get through this option first and then we will come back and address that.
Mr. Fennell stated there are two strong issues here. Does the manufacturer understand he has a problem and if he does, can he even afford to do anything about it? We keep saying there is money somewhere, but is he going to get access to that? Does he actually have the funds to go and do the kind of corrections we think should be done? What has to happen? Let us say it is $1 Million; where does he get that?
Mr. Hanks asked counsel; do you think we are at risk to be on the hook for the repairs?
Mr. Lyles responded no.
Mr. Fennell asked who is?
Mr. Lyles responded we notified the contractor and through the contractor, his design professional that was brought in to do this design. We have also notified CH2M hill that the District is going to look to all of those entities and their respective insurers. We have a payment performance bond as the manager said. We have made it clear at every step of the way, any meetings I have attended which have been several, communications which Mr. Cassel has had, which have been several more, that this is not going to be at the District’s expense. We get a lot of discussion and give and take as well as esoteric observations about to what extent certain recognized specifications do and do not apply to this project. The design professional for the contractor essentially says “I had total flexibility to come up with the design that works. I did that. Some of these I analogized to rather than follow to the letter because the contract does not require that I follow them to the letter.” His position is the 10 or 12 similarly designed plants that have been built around the southeast are up and running with no failures. There is a lot going into this. It is not a simple contract dispute that has a textbook kind of answer. In terms of where the money is going to come from, we do not believe it is going to come from the District’s scarce public funds.
Mr. Fennell asked that is good, but is the insurance company or anybody ready to pony up any money yet? What forces their hand?
Ms. Zich responded that is why they have insurance companies.
Mr. Fennell stated I know, but the insurance company will not pay out unless…how do you get to the pay out?
Mr. Lyles responded I am not talking about a casualty loss. I am talking about bonds which are posted to make sure the project gets completed. At some point you may see them de facto, not willing to complete the project in a manner that our engineers believe regulations require. We will treat that as constructive abandonment of the job and we have already notified their surety there is a problem here and we are going to be looking to them potentially to complete the job at some point. I think we are doing the things that need to be done to protect the District’s position in all of this. At this point I do not think there is unanimity of expert opinion on whether or not what has been done is designed correctly, and constructed correctly, and whether or not something different needs to be done. The contractor has not, other than the problem of having to deal with this, has not agreed that there is a problem with the plant.
Mr. Fennell asked how do we beat that issue?
Mr. Lyles responded they cannot complete the job and get paid if they do not get certification from our engineer that it is acceptable to make the final payment.
Mr. Fennell stated but we have paid them as they went along. How much money do we still owe them?
Mr. Cassel responded I think we already have over $400,000 in retainer.
Mr. Johnson stated I actually think we have more than that. I am trying to remember. It may be closer to $700,000 or $800,000 right now because I think we are up to maybe $6 Million or $7 Million in the…
Mr. Cassel stated in the total project, but against the wastewater plant I think we are in the area of $400,000. We have not paid them for any more work. If I remember correctly, we have only paid them for some minor things which are not related to the welds on the wastewater treatment plant. It was for some pumps which were installed and some piping. Things like that. Anything related to the actual Tank F welding, plates, steel, air duct welding and things like that have not been allowed on the pay applications.
Mr. Fennell asked is it $7 Million?
Mr. Johnson responded for the entire job.
Mr. Fennell asked so are they 10% short of the $7 Million?
Mr. Cassel responded that is correct.
Mr. Fennell asked and maybe he has to go and spend another $1 Million? Financially I know where his head is coming from.
Mr. Lyles stated well you are assuming he will make a straight dollar and sense calculation with regard to walking away from job for a public entity that provides an essential public service, which is the only business he is in. I do not see evidence that is the analysis they are going to bring to bare on this problem. Who is going to hire him next year if he walks off our job because of quality issues? As long as we can support the observations and what we are now hearing, this is going to continue to be a difficult, but manageable problem. If we cannot support our concerns and the contract documents do not ultimately bare that out, and I am not saying for a minute they do not, but there is a potential, as in every dispute, you get in front of a court and their design professional and his track record is seen as one that makes him believable.
We are speculating about something that may or may not happen ten years down the road, which is not a standard the court is going to allow us to use if we get into litigation. If speculation is all we have, I am not going to recommend we get into that posture with them. Right now it is more than just speculation, but there is a big wide gap in difference of opinion over what all of this means, which I think we are going to have to continue to work on and report to you. At some point I may find it necessary to tell you as we get closer to a dispute which will end up in litigation that we do not want to have a status report on the plan and the issues in a forum such as this one. We will meet with you either individually or ultimately the possibility of a closed door session might present itself. For now you have heard the status of where we are and what the concerns are. I do not think there is anything privileged about what you are hearing today, but at some point we may get to that point.
· Monthly Water & Sewer Charts
Mr. Fennell asked was I not going to see something here where we had some more data on the I&I?
Mr. Cassel responded the engineer will address it as part of their update.
Mr. Fennell stated okay. Let us keep going here.
· Utility Billing Work Orders
There being no questions or comments, the next item followed.
Mr. Lyles stated I do not have anything specific to report on other than to remind you, if you have not already done so, you have about 10 days left to file your Form 1, financial disclosure form, with the Broward County Supervisor of Elections. Violations and fines are to follow if you do not so please do.
· Project Status Report
Ms. Zich stated let us talk about the nanofiltration plant. Are we doing better?
Mr. Johnson responded I think the progress out in the field would suggest we are doing better. We are clearly behind schedule, but we are at least making progress in the right direction. We have our transfer pump station well inside of that. It has been coated. It looks really nice inside of there. I was really happy with the performance of the coating manufacturer. The backwash pump station for the sand strainer is in good shape. We are making good progress over there. We are clearly not as far along as we would like to be, but progress is being made.
Mr. Hanks asked how are the repairs on the sand filters coming along? We authorized that last month?
Mr. Johnson asked do you mean the clarifier?
Mr. Hanks responded the old one.
Mr. Cassel stated we got the contract back. We sent it to the vendor and we are waiting for the insurance for them to start.
Mr. Hanks stated okay.
Mr. Cassel stated on the other project with Layne Christianson they have already removed the top. They are in the process of fabrication on top of tank three. We are removing the top deck, railings and walkway on treatment plant three and having it all remanufactured. That has been removed. It is at their facility. They are in the process of manufacturing a new one. That is on schedule.
Mr. Hanks stated okay so now the nanofiltration plant is moving along, not as fast as we would like, but it is moving.
Ms. Zich asked how about our subcontractors getting paid? Is that situation okay?
Mr. Johnson responded I have not gotten any recent notices. The last one to contact me was Edwards Electric. My understanding is that they and Intrastate sat down for a meeting last week or the week before. I was not privy to that meeting so I do not know what came about from it. We have not gotten any recent notices of non payment from any of the suppliers or subcontractors. Edwards Electric was the most recent and I think they worked it all out together because I have not heard anything else.
Mr. Fennell asked what is new with the I&I situation?
Mr. Cassel responded I will let Ms. Early and Mr. Schwarz address this. We had a meeting last week and tried to come up with the update and have them present it to you at this time.
Mr. Schwarz stated basically what that memorandum says is that there is not enough information at this point to take it any further than we have taken it right now. I received a little bit of data from Mr. Daly late last week.
Mr. Daly asked were you finally able to open them.
Mr. Schwarz responded I can open the Excel spreadsheets and I can open the Word pad documents, but the Word pad documents are just strings of numbers. It looks like flow data.
Mr. Daly asked do you have anyone in your department who can put it to Excel?
Mr. Schwarz responded yes. I just got it Thursday and I was out Friday. I looked at it quickly. It looks like we have ten day spurts of flow meter data for lift station one and lift station four. I should be able to get a baseline number for where that station runs. It is clear that lift station four runs almost constantly. It hardly ever shuts off; at least during those periods. One station has a pump that does not seem to be running all of the time. The other station runs pretty much 24 hours a day; especially after rainfall events. There are issues with those two stations. At least with those two weeks of data I can get some baseline flow data and compare it to what we would expect to see out of basin lines one and four.
Mr. Daly stated I am going to work with Mr. Crowell to see how he is lifting that stuff up because it should not be rocket science to get those numbers out. I will work with him really closely on that. He had instructions and was talking to the manufacturer, but one day it seems to work and the next day it does not seem to work. We will get there.
Mr. Hanks asked Mr. Schwarz, do you have the information you need to establish a baseline for a perfectly operating scenario?
Mr. Schwarz responded all of the pipes would be completely tight.
Mr. Hanks asked are we able to bookend it? Do we know how many feet of pipe or how many miles of pipe we have?
Mr. Schwarz responded you may not have the records, but we may have some of those old records for those particular basins showing me how they were built, what size pipes they were and how long it is. Ms. Early is digging it up now.
Mr. Hanks stated so we will be able to get some kind of…
Mr. Schwarz stated hopefully it will correspond with the data we have.
Mr. Hanks stated hopefully it will not.
Mr. Schwarz stated hopefully I will have basins one and four.
Mr. Hanks stated oh, from that part.
Mr. Schwarz stated and then jumping from what information we have and making some assumptions I think it is probably safe to consider that basins one through six and all the ones installed around the same period of time with the same materials are behaving the same way.
Mr. Hanks asked with the wet season flows coming out of basins and with the length of pipe we have available will you be able to go ahead and come up with what this is costing us right now if we do nothing and if we go ahead and fix it, what is the cost of the fix and how much are we going to save?
Mr. Schwarz responded let me caution you. I do not have wet weather flows. I have December flows.
Mr. Hanks asked we do not have anything from one of those April…
Mr. Schwarz responded not in the files I saw.
Mr. Daly stated I think some of the ones that were there you were not able to open. I will give them to you. Mr. Crowell is going to go out and start taking it down tomorrow. You can never have too much data.
Mr. Hanks stated as long as you have some wet season flow.
Mr. Fennell asked have we figured out how to measure the flow?
Mr. Schwarz responded that is what we are getting. We are getting actual flow meter data.
Mr. Hanks stated we will get a sense of whether it makes sense for us to proceed further with any kind of repairs. We will be able to get a sense from one lift station.
Mr. Schwarz stated we would like to be able to rank the basins and then decide what is important to you; producing the flows, getting the system restored to semi original condition or whatever is important to you.
Mr. Fennell asked to rank them would you have to take the data at the same time?
Mr. Schwarz responded it would be easier to take the data at the same time. Mr. Hanks and I were talking about using the data just to get a baseline of where we think the pumps are operating. Hopefully we will get some rain storms to cover those periods; what is the worst case and what is the baseline case if the system was brand new. That will be able to establish the difference.
Mr. Fennell stated it is just that with only one meter, with one rain storm, I do not know how you can get…
Mr. Hanks stated each rain storm is going to be different. We are going to catch a one inch storm and we are going to catch a half inch storm.
Mr. Fennell asked how expensive are these meters?
Mr. Daly responded $1,200 to $1,500.
Mr. Fennell asked a piece?
Mr. Daly responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked can you put them out without them getting stolen?
Mr. Daly responded yes. You just strap them on.
Mr. Schwarz stated they are just touchy.
Mr. Fennell asked can we have a meter for each one?
Mr. Schwarz responded I think I can come up with a better way if you want to spend money on being able to flow measure that would be less of a hassle and less expensive in the long run.
Mr. Fennell stated it seems to me that data is important. We do not just need it momentarily. If we start actually spending money to fix this thing, we are going to want to prove to ourselves that the flow decreased. It seems to me that if for $6,000 we can be sure of what the flows are. We may end up spending Millions. I think it is a cheap amount of money to get the right data.
Mr. Hanks stated unfortunately, I think that exceeds our purchase allotment. What is the magic number these days?
Ms. Woodward responded $4,000.
Mr. Fennell stated get the data right. We have already spent $50,000 on reports, but we still do not have the right data. If we can spend $5,000 to $6,000 to actually get data, then I believe we should do that.
Mr. Daly stated it will still be double or triple what we have.
Mr. Fennell stated get the data right; otherwise, you are going to be sending reports back and forth saying you have poor data. There were five inches of rain on that day and that one had ten inches.
Mr. Hanks stated it is not going to make a huge difference.
Mr. Fennell stated I say you do not just need data for one day.
Mr. Schwarz stated what we see in Florida is that it is not the same in each one. It is so isolated.
Ms. Zich stated it poured in Plantation today and it did not even rain here. It depends under what cloud you are under so I am not sure it makes much of a difference.
Mr. Schwarz stated you would get all of those peaks out of there if you had a meter at each station for a year.
Mr. Fennell stated we spend a whole lot of time trying to count how long the pump was on, the pump pressure and all of those kinds of things. It is all fine, but it never told us any information. Get the right data.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of April Financials and Check Registers
Ms. Zich stated Ms. Woodward has it down to a science now. I just have one thing on the financials. We now have gotten so that we have our CDs. I am concerned with the money sitting in US Bank. That is our construction account. We thought when we were doing this that we would get interest on that money. We do not get any, you know that.
Mr. Fennell stated I thought we could not move it.
Ms. Zich asked Ms. Woodward, would you please advise us?
Ms. Woodward responded there are a couple of things you can consider. US Bank offers several different vehicles by which you can invest money and earn some interest; not a lot because the market is such that a lot of interest cannot be earned. In addition to that there are some very conservative things you can do by moving money out of that account and purchasing elsewhere; whether it is treasury, CDs, etcetera. The issue is complicated by the fact that while we currently have approximately $21 Million sitting in our construction account, at what point in time will those funds be needed for actual payment of construction costs. That depends on the timing of what is going on with the nanofiltration plant and Plant F. At a minimum it seems to me that over the next six to nine months you might be able to find a legitimate way to invest a lot of those funds so that we earn something, even if you are an ultra conservative. Anything is better than nothing.
Ms. Zich stated when I talked with Ms. Woodward she was telling me this money has been sitting there since July of 2009. We have $5 Million there we said we were not going to be using for construction. If we had invested that in 1%, we would have gotten $50,000 in the past year. Because we did nothing, we got zero.
Mr. Hanks asked what does this do for the terms of our bond?
Mr. Fennell responded I thought we could not do anything with it.
Ms. Woodward stated it is not that you cannot do anything. You are limited.
Mr. Lyles stated severely limited.
Ms. Zich stated we are severely limited.
Mr. Fennell asked what is the limitation?
Mr. Lyles responded it is all burdened by an indenture, a binding instrument between you and the trustee that administers it. It can only be used to complete the project and within the framework of what the trustee can do, like a guaranteed investment contract or other things like that. They can do something with the principal amount which is not currently needed. You always have the ability to do some early redemption and pay down some bonds if you are able to identify money you are not going to need. There is a bigger interest rate than anything you could get in the market.
Ms. Zich stated paying them down would be bigger.
Mr. Lyles stated paying something down is the maximum bang for the buck if you really know what you are going to need and we do not trigger a penalty. That would all have to be calculated for you. I do not know about this other potential you described.
Ms. Woodward stated basically what has happened at US Bank is over the past few months they have sent out a couple of notices indicating that if we would like to discuss with them an option as to earning some interest on it, they do have limited things which can be offered that are well within the constraints they are allowed to do. I think it is something that sat on the backburner while we were attempting to get the $5 Million into higher paying money market accounts and also establishing the CDs. Now we have that. We really need to address it because even if all it is doing is giving $25,000 or $30,000 a year, it is useful in that it would be available to pay down debt.
Mr. Lyles stated US Bank is probably getting to be the biggest, if it is not already, trustee for public improvement districts like this one around the State of Florida. They recognize that when they are talking about upping the earnings, it is within the context of an entity which needs to spend the money to complete a project. It is not a liquid. I think finding out what they have to say is certainly worthwhile.
Ms. Zich stated Mr. Cassel, you and Mr. Bloom are the people who need to do that.
Mr. Cassel stated the last time when Mr. Bloom was here the discussion was to set that aside until we got the others done. Now that is done I will have to talk to Mr. Bloom.
Ms. Zich stated we have a lot of money sitting there and anything would be better than nothing.
Mr. Fennell stated it easy enough just to look at the schedule.
Ms. Zich stated Ms. Woodward has this nice little schedule for us.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we should do that. For our bonds stuff we did, we just went to somebody and they fanned out the money to everybody. Is that what they did?
Mr. Daly asked fanned out?
Mr. Fennell responded for the CDs we went into. We went to somebody and they put it in this bank and that bank…
Ms. Woodward stated we discussed it, but we did not do it.
Mr. Cassel stated we did not go into CDARS.
Ms. Zich stated we did regular CDs.
Mr. Fennell stated even so, US Bank must have some kind of deal like that.
Ms. Zich stated we just need to get working on it.
Mr. Hanks stated with US Bank being the holder of our bond funds, my understanding is that is a separate entity and US Bank could go belly up, but those funds would still be available to us.
Ms. Woodward stated that is correct.
Mr. Hanks stated if we start moving those things to different instruments or different vehicles, is the principal still…
Ms. Woodward stated what we are talking about here is checking with US Bank to determine what vehicles they have available for us to take advantage of by keeping our funds with US Bank within the instruments they are making available for government entities.
Mr. Hanks stated while still preserving the capital.
Ms. Woodward stated yes. It is going to be limited. The problem is right now we could not possibly be any more limited than we are.
Ms. Zich stated I remember when we first went out for these bonds we talked about all the interest we were going to have to pay out versus the interest we could get with these instruments. Now that I know we are getting zero with the instruments; that against what we are paying out means everything we are paying out is expense. It would be nice if we got some money. We need to really look into it. Mr. Cassel and Mr. Bloom are the ones who have to do it because they are the signers.
Mr. Fennell stated go talk to them. Also ask them if the money has to stay with them.
Mr. Lyles stated I can answer that question. As the governing body of this entity you, under the trust indenture, have the power to change the trustee. I should tell you what is actually happening out there is other trustees are pulling out. US Bank is becoming more and more prevalent as the trustee of choice for a lot of different reasons around Florida. They are where all the money is going right now.
Mr. Fennell stated if they are smart bankers they figured out places to also lend it out. They should be making some money on it.
Mr. Lyles stated they do not have any flexibility to speak of with these particular species of funds. The severe limitation we are talking about is why you cannot, in the current climate, earn even a half percent.
Mr. Fennell asked so is money just physically sitting?
Mr. Lyles responded pretty much. It is held in trust for a specific project.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any questions on the check register?
Ms. Zich responded no.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert D. Fennell