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,
December 20, 2010 at 3:05 p.m. at the District Office, 10300 NW 11th
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
Cory Johnson CH2M Hill
Michael Bone Lanzo Construction
Chris Merkle National Roofing
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Cassel called the meeting to order and called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the November 15, 2010 Meeting
Mr. Fennell I have one on page 19. It is in the second paragraph from the bottom. Where it says, “ad the ability” it should say “aid the ability.”
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisors’ Requests and Audience Comments
Mr. Fennell stated we have a guest speaker here today.
Mr. Cassel stated this is Mr. Bone with Lanzo Construction.
Mr. Bone stated I know I made a presentation a few weeks ago on Plant F. There are four items there we are waiting for Mr. Cassel’s response on them so we can act. There are other remaining portions of the project. We seem to be struggling with the roof and controlled instrumentation. Without those two we would not have any problems. I was hoping a representative from the roofing contractor would be here.
We sent them a notice of demand on Friday to give us the remaining items within 72 hours. Our problems stem from all of the submittals which have been on Roofing USA products; one of the two that was specified. Rather than starting at the beginning we are now interviewing other subcontractors outside of this area so we will have a plan of attack if we have to throw them off the job by the end of the week.
Mr. Hanks asked what was the issue on that?
Mr. Bone responded there is a multitude of issues. First of all they have used as a defense the fact they have done 17 CH2M Hill jobs before and never had to face the amount of submittals and approvals. It does not matter how many meetings, phone conversations, letters and promises; it all comes back to the same thing. They just do not follow through. We released the metal, the decking, for fabrication last week. We called the decking manufacturer. They do have an order. Supposedly, although a portion of their plant shuts down for the holidays, they are going to have this metal for us. I do not have a date for delivery. As late as 15 minutes ago, they did not produce a firm date. Our schedule is based on having the roof completed by the end of February.
The critical path of the schedule is currently driven by the controls and the programming. We have allotted 150 days per contract for the programming which pushes the completion date out to August.
Mr. Fennell asked can you only do the controls once you have the roofing?
Mr. Bone responded yes, but it is the programming that is pushing it right now. There are a lot of things which have to go on when that roof gets dried in; electrical controls, walls and doors. Hillers, who is under contract with you through CH2M Hill, has indicated they can do this programming in less than 150 days. Let us say 50 days. If that happens, the substantial completion date will come back in to sometime late in April. We notified Hillers last week that the material, the panels, are ready to be programmed. Once we get confirmation, we will get a feel for the end date from the programming standpoint. I apologize, but once you start that road with their submittals, we would be losing months to start over again. We are working on it. We are getting things in the building. I know we are taking a big liability on them ourselves, but I know we have to try to get the work done.
Mr. Fennell asked is it a question of method, materials not being here or both?
Mr. Bone asked as far as the roof?
Mr. Fennell responded yes.
Mr. Bone stated they have to get the
decking design approved. One of the
problems was a difference in span of five feet and eight feet. Mr. Johnson can elaborate a little better
than I can. The
Ms. Zich stated I am looking at the pictures from last month to this month. I thought we were ready to put that on top and everything was almost ready to go. What happened? We had part of the trusses up. I have a picture here from October 25, 2010 and part of the trusses are up in the front part of the building. To get that finished, it seems like it would not take very long.
Mr. Bone stated you have to understand they do not want it to blow off. What is holding it up is what sits on top of those trusses; the metal deck. It has to be cut and rolled.
Ms. Zich asked do you generally put trusses up before you are ready to put the top on?
Mr. Bone responded they have to go up first.
Ms. Zich stated I know they have to go up first, but it is usually all done in conjunction. You are looking at a picture from October 25, 2010 and it is December 20, 2010. That is two months later.
Mr. Bone stated they are not the same manufacturer. The trusses are manufactured by Baseline. The roof decking is made by National Roofing. Our letters said 30 days. Mr. Cassel calculated them as being there 45 days. That is how late these roofing people are. I have no choice, but demand they perform by giving them that notice and see if they perform. If not, at least we have everything virtually approved to step to another Bemo contractor.
Mr. Fennell asked when will you get the approval or something in writing?
Mr. Bone responded we are sure it is done, but they are supposed to have it by contract on Wednesday.
Mr. Fennell stated that is an obvious “I got you”. Are there any questions about how the roof needs to be attached or anything like that?
Mr. Bone responded another one of the items is the welding procedure. The welding procedure has a little flow time. It has a week or so of flow time because it does not have to be approved and it does not have to be utilized until the deck gets here. As far as the number of welds on the exterior, they differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. I think that needs to be signed and sealed by National Roofing’s engineer. We should have that. We are supposed to have that. We were told we will have that on Wednesday. If they do not have those four outstanding items, than we will have a decision to make. I have talked to their owner. I have talked to their superintendent a number of times. Each time I am assured we will have them the next day. Well that first conversation took place a week before Thanksgiving and we are still waiting.
Mr. Hanks asked Mr. Johnson or Mr. Cassel; will there be any other action we should look to Mr. Bone to pursue at this time?
Mr. Cassel responded the only option he has at this time is to throw that installer subcontractor off and put somebody else on; if he can get somebody who is qualified to install Bemo roofing that is going to stand behind the warranty of the installation.
Mr. Bone stated we have had no success
contacting the national manufacturer, Bemo
Mr. Cassel stated I sent Bemo an email earlier this afternoon.
The record will reflect Mr. Merkle joined the meeting.
Mr. Merkle stated the issue we have right now is our engineer was instructed by CH2M Hill to Hillers engineer to go above and beyond what the specifications were. I told our engineer we were not going to do that unless they were going to pay for it. He has to redo the engineering once again. The submittal book has become a nightmare because they did not check that the decking specified would span eight feet. That has been the biggest problem. No one did their homework on the design of the whole thing. In the specifications they had a three inch dovetail deck and there is no such thing as a three inch dovetail deck. They had a detail of a three inch dovetail deck. In the specification they had a two inch dovetail deck. We have been going around and around about this. The detail shows a three inch dovetail deck. I do not care what the details show. The specifications supersede the detail. We bid per the plans in the specifications and we were going around and around to try to make it work. It is taking months going back and forth. The other issue is with the submittal book. Half of the items they said were not in the book were in the book. They just could not find it in the book. We had a meeting two weeks ago. Everybody in the meeting found it fairly easily except for Monrad and Beth who could not find it. That is where we are at. Do you have any other questions for me?
Mr. Fennell asked how often are you guys talking to each other?
Mr. Bone responded we talk to Mr. Merkle on a daily basis.
Mr. Fennell asked is engineering getting with you guys and meeting on a daily basis to discuss problems and resolving them?
Mr. Merkle responded our engineer and their engineer are talking to each other, Monrad. I went so far as to get another engineer to review our engineer’s things because the feedback we are getting back from CH2M Hill is ludicrous. I actually had another engineer look at it and he said he did not know what they cannot understand. This guy does all Bemo work. He would have done this engineering originally, but he was on vacation at the time we first started the submittals. He reviewed it all and he understands it.
Mr. Bone asked are we getting the metal back now?
Mr. Merkle responded yes. I should have receipt today of a delivery date.
Mr. Merkle responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked is that the portion over the actual plant side?
Mr. Merkle responded it goes over the whole area.
Mr. Fennell stated there was an issue about five feet versus eight feet. You guys have now settled on eight feet. Supposedly there is a national engineer who now subscribes to this and says it can now cover the span. Do you agree?
Mr. Merkle responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated now it is a question of there being a hiccup.
Mr. Merkle stated the guy who is making the decking has to go through every mill certification on every coil. Typically, for this particular deck type, they order 40 ksi steel because the angle of the bend is a pretty steep angle of the dovetail. If they order 50 ksi steel it will snap. It will make it brittle. They probably might roll it, but they recommend no rolling anything above 50 ksi. They order a 40 ksi deck for what has to be a 45 ksi or greater decking. They have to go through every coil and look at the mill. They cannot just grab the coil and roll whatever. They have to go through every decking and we need to have those mills delivered and put in with every piece of that. One thing after the next just snowballed into a bigger hassle.
Mr. Fennell asked are there questions the engineers will have to answer for you or do you guys now know what direction you have to go?
Mr. Merkle responded I am fine with the way I am going. I told my engineer today.
Mr. Fennell asked who is the engineer?
Mr. Merkle responded Monrad is for CH2M Hill.
Mr. Fennell stated you should not have two engineers pulling in different directions.
Mr. Hanks stated let me interject something and please correct me if I am wrong. On many engineering projects you will have the engineer of record who does the overall design. Then there are some separate components of that, which are designed and certified by a specialist in that field. For example; if you have trusses on your house, the engineer or architect who did the drawing would specify this is the loading for that roof and here is the span. You as the roofing contractor would take that to A1 Truss. A1 Truss’ engineer would stamp it and say this is what you need.
Mr. Merkle stated we have done the submittal book. We did the same submittal book that M Engineering and a Florida City project. We did another one up at the waste transfer station; the same submittal book and it went through the first time. That was a different engineer for CH2M Hill. That was Mr. Adam Demchak. This is the first time we have had so many issues. It was a little different. We did not have eight foot spans. We had six foot spans, which was easier to get what they wanted. It is not like this is the first time we have been through this type of submittal with CH2M Hill. This is the first time we have had so many problems.
Mr. Bones stated we still need a few things. We still need the weld.
Mr. Merkle stated yes. The weld procedure. From what I understand the weld procedure will take two days to review and process. It will be done by the time the decking comes.
Mr. Hanks asked is this plan unusual in any of the particulars of the design?
Mr. Merkle responded the only difference has been the eight foot on top. The eight foot centers have been the biggest problem.
Mr. Hanks stated eight foot as opposed to six foot or five foot.
Mr. Merkle stated that is correct. The only thing is they keep coming back with the NOA says five foot spans.
Mr. Hanks asked what is NOA?
Mr. Merkle responded the notice of acceptance, Dade County Product Approval. Everybody’s NOA is based on five feet. They want a letter from us stating how we are correlating the NOA with the eight foot centers. I did not design it. I am trying to make it work.
Mr. Hanks stated the importance of a certificate from Dade County is that it would have been tested to provide the resistance if they are impacted.
Mr. Merkle stated the other thing is Bemo is picking up the warranty for 20 years. They are giving a wind warranty up to 150 mph on the whole system.
Mr. Hanks asked is Bemo the supplier?
Mr. Merkle responded the manufacturer. They allow you to use two different deck assemblies. As long as you use those deck assemblies they will warrant it.
Mr. Fennell asked have you been able to get a hold of them?
Mr. Merkle responded I talk to them everyday.
Mr. Fennell asked when do you expect to get the roofing material?
Mr. Merkle responded the roofing material is not an issue. It is the decking.
Mr. Fennell asked when do you expect to see that?
Mr. Merkle responded I already ordered it. I am supposed to get confirmation on when it will be delivered. They gave me a two week lead time.
Mr. Cassel asked if the two week lead time is about right, then the first week of January?
Mr. Merkle responded we should have decking onsite.
Mr. Cassel asked when are you going to submit the weld procedures?
Mr. Merkle responded I was going to give it all in one shot. I think we just got it in our office today; the weld procedure. That is another thing we had to do which was not in the specification, but we went ahead and did it. What they did with the specifications was list every book, which every architect does, that might have something to do with steel decks. I could have taken every one of those books apart. I already started looking. They are cherry picking what they want out of every book.
Mr. Fennell asked so are we going to weld it?
Mr. Merkle responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked weld it down the metal trusses?
Mr. Merkle responded yes.
Mr. Cassel stated I have another question on your scheduling. You are saying the materials can potentially be here the first week of January. What is your schedule for installation if it shows up on January 5, 2011 or January 6, 2011?
Mr. Merkle responded we will start immediately. It will probably take about two weeks to actually install it as long as we do not have any problems or run into any steel issues. As long as everything is true and right and lay properly.
Mr. Cassel stated with the holidays coming up next week and the following week it will be prudent to have your welding procedures in now so if it does show up on January 5, 2011, they are done.
Mr. Merkle stated yes. I think they came into our office today.
Mr. Cassel asked will you submit those to Mr. Bone?
Mr. Merkle responded yes.
Mr. Fennell stated let me change the topic back to Plant F. Do we owe you something?
Mr. Cassel responded the District owes the contractor a response to their remediation plan they submitted on December 3, 2010. I have been working through their proposals. I am discussing it with the engineer. I have been discussing it with Mr. Hanks. I am doing additional research so that the District has an appropriate response that not only gets the District the product we thought we were contracting for, but does not leave the District unprotected as well.
Mr. Bone asked when can I expect to see that? Do you have a timeframe?
Mr. Cassel responded I should have one probably after we meet within 10 days.
Mr. Fennell asked are there any other issues? Thank you all for coming. This is very important to us. Thank you for your time. I think what we heard was a three-way conversation going on between the general contractor, the roofer and engineering; and then a separate group of engineering. I think the real hang up is you went to eight foot beams instead of the traditional five foot and it is throwing everybody for a loop.
Ms. Zich asked why did we go to eight foot?
Mr. Johnson responded I do not have a good answer for you on that.
Mr. Cassel asked can you find out?
Mr. Johnson responded I could probably give you an answer.
Ms. Zich stated if I put a standard, we did not really care that much about whether it was five or eight.
Mr. Johnson stated there would probably be some inherent savings for the District making them eight foot instead of five foot. I honestly do not know if that is the actual answer, but it seems reasonable to me.
Mr. Cassel asked can you find out for us?
Mr. Johnson responded sure.
The recorder picked up several voices speaking at the same time.
Mr. Johnson stated the few dealings I have had with this gentleman have been somewhat combative to say the least. He comes into the room looking to fight instead of to solve the issues.
Mr. Hanks stated he threw out a couple of things about the design. Do those have any merit?
Mr. Johnson responded I would be speaking out of turn if I told you. There are certain items I can obviously refute from what he was saying with respect to welding procedures. If you do not have welding procedures, how do you verify the welding equipment? As far as them doing it this way or that way for CH2M Hill; it does not really matter to me. So many problems have presented themselves based on the idea of that is how we have always done it or that is the way we did it the last time. Quite honestly that is something I do not think will ever fly with me after this experience.
Ms. Zich stated this is a whole other place. It has nothing to do with the other places.
Mr. Johnson stated that is exactly what we told him. This is CSID and what happened everywhere else is completely irrelevant.
Ms. Zich stated I agree. I would just like to see our construction finished.
Mr. Johnson stated you and me both.
Mr. Hanks asked Mr. Cassel, do you have anything to put in on this?
Mr. Cassel responded no. We will finish the research you and I have been doing. My discussion is next week with the District’s attorney. We will be responding to the contractor appropriately.
Mr. Fennell stated I was wondering about this because it is sort of important that the Board at least respond somewhat and how we respond.
Mr. Cassel stated I am going to contact each one of you individually, present my recommendations along with Mr. Lyles’ and where we think we are going. From that feedback we will base our response back to them.
Mr. Fennell stated the problem is this is the only forum we have to talk to each other.
Ms. Zich stated I would like to be in on what you guys have to say about it before we get into a whole other month and another meeting.
Mr. Fennell stated go over the four points the contractor explained.
Mr. Cassel stated I sent each one of you an electronic version of the contractor’s remediation plan. Based on that remediation plan, I have been doing research. The first issue he talks about is the clarifier topping. They contend they can figure out a way to make the clarifier topping stay. I do not know at this point if they can or cannot.
Ms. Zich asked what is a clarifier topping?
Mr. Cassel responded the inner tank has a mechanism that spins inside of it. The bottom of it is sloped down so that the sludge ends up getting right to the bottom so it can be pulled out by pumps. It has a rake on it which is about a half inch above the topping. They raise the floor and slope it. There are different methods. One method, which A and B, and I believe E is probably built with, is to put dirt in some kind of fill material. Then you pour a concrete slab that is inclined. Then they bond a two inch topping material to that. In forming an inclined slab it is hard to get it really smooth so you put the slab in and then you put the topping on. You use the mechanism to make sure it is smooth all the way around. They actually turn the mechanism on and use it as a gauge to make sure the topping is smooth.
The issue is the designer, and CH2M Hill did question this, said it is my design, use fill. Because you have to flood it to cure the concrete water has gotten in around the seam on the edges into the concrete so that the fill material potentially can settle or has weight, which creates hydrostatic pressure, and the water gets under there so that with any crack in the slab the hydrostatic pressure comes up. It gets between the topping and the concrete and breaks the bond. When you go through one of the tests you drag a chain over the topping to make sure it is solid. When you do that you come across hollow spots, which mean the topping did not bond properly.
They have made several to repair it. They still have some issues. They still have hydrostatic pressure coming up and our engineer’s perspective on this is they should have used a concrete as filler. Then they would not have this issue with moisture in the dirt underneath. Their engineer says it still works this way and it is the way the top coat is bonded. They are proposing to come up with a solution to get the topping to bond. I think from the District’s perspective, however they manage to get it to bond is not our call. They just need to make it bond. They need to give us a product that has the sloped floor in it. I cannot tell them how to do it. It is not our call to tell them which is acceptable. They just need to figure out how to do it and do it.
Mr. Lyles stated I would like to interject on that point. That is in the area of what is called means and methods. If we tell a contractor that we want them to do it this way and not that way, we are overstepping our boundaries and we open ourselves up to being responsible for problems in the future; as opposed to the contractor and the warranties which are there. All complex construction contracts have this means and methods kind of limitation on the owner. We have to let them come up with the solutions. As long as it passes the testing and as long as the engineers are okay with it, we are not really allowed to tell them how to go about rectifying the situation. We are required to conduct ourselves in this fashion.
Mr. Cassel stated thank you for the clarification Mr. Lyles. I believe the second item in his remediation plan referenced the air distribution piping. In his statements I believe he said that the original specification was number five thickness steel. They are using number 10 stainless on thickness. Are the welds as good as they should be? We had some test showing they are not perfect, they are not full penetration, but it does not really call for full penetration in parts of the specifications. It calls for different things. There are some difference of opinions and difference of perspective. Is that piping out there any worse or any better than the other piping that Intrastate has constructed, or what we have in the facility? I do not know. It is probably no better or no worse.
Mr. Fennell asked is it an air pipe.
Mr. Cassel responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked is it the air we pump into the bottom?
Mr. Cassel responded it is the air we use to…
Mr. Fennell stated so we are not talking 10,000 psi.
Mr. Cassel stated no. Is it 9 psi Mr. Johnson?
Mr. Johnson responded somewhere around there.
Mr. Cassel stated around 9 to 10 psi. Is that a deal killer? I do not know. I do not think so. Their issue is the diffuser piping that is lying out there due to the delays, being exposed to UV rays. We received a letter last week from the contractor, from the supplier, stating they would give us full warranty as if it was not exposed to UV rays.
Mr. Johnson stated I do not know that I saw the letter saying anything about the longevity of the piping affected.
Mr. Cassel stated off the top of my head I cannot remember exactly how it was worded, but I think it was a full warranty for expected life or something like that. Basically they will warranty it as if it were original and not exposed. That is the synopsis of how it read.
Mr. Hanks asked is that the pressure pipe or C900?
Mr. Cassel responded it is the white PVC.
Mr. Hanks asked is it C900?
Mr. Cassel responded I do not know if it is C900. Whatever it is, it is by Sanitary.
Ms. Woodward asked how hard is it to replace once it has been installed?
Mr. Johnson responded they have actually removed it.
Mr. Cassel stated we had them remove it and place it in storage to protect it from the UV rays. The last one is the thickness of the steel and the welds on the steel. I ended up purchasing for the District API 650 and the steep code to make sure as people were throwing different sections of the code around, that we had the chapters before and after to make sure that there was not some piece someone was ignoring for their own convenience. In the remediation they claim the thickness of the steel meets ASD. I have been able to get the designer to put in writing that he is allowing the stress design. I expect that in probably a few days. The welds they contend they can bring in an outfit that rehabilitates steel storage tanks all over the country and that they can cut the welds and re-weld them to meet API 650 and API 653 welding standards for a tank. It really comes down to whether he designed to the entire code he said he designed to or whether he tried to cherry pick different sections of codes. Until I get his information I cannot tell you either way which way he did it.
Mr. Hanks stated you and I have had this discussion, but for the remaining Board’s information; did the specifications that were put out there, for whoever bid on them, specify they had to design to this code or did they give a laundry list of different codes or methodologies they could follow?
Mr. Cassel responded as I remember we did not specify any specific code that it had to be designed by. There were listings of welding codes. There were listings of steel codes. There were listings of paint codes. There were all kinds of code books that were listed that the designer could utilize for their design.
Mr. Hanks stated but all in all they still had to comply with Florida Building Code.
Mr. Cassel stated they still had to comply with Florida Building Code.
Mr. Hanks stated so that gives the designer some flexibility as to what they choose.
Mr. Cassel stated that is correct.
Mr. Fennell asked given the specification as put out as opposed to what you guys would like to see, did the design meet the specifications?
Mr. Johnson responded I think our contention would be no. They did not.
Mr. Fennell stated you have points that show that definitely. I looked through this myself. I saw that we specified ¼ inch steel.
Mr. Johnson stated we did not specify ¼ steel; a minimum of ¼.
The recorder picked up several voices speaking at the same time.
Mr. Johnson stated an engineer that would blindly go in and build a tank with ¼ inch thick shell…
Mr. Lyles stated Mr. President. I know the Board is anxious to get full and complete information. I know there are some limitations on your ability to do that due to the Sunshine Law. We just entered into an area that may be an ultimate issue of fact and law for a court to determine in a future proceeding. I do not think I am comfortable that the Board is in a position to make its judgment regarding all of these issues. The manager and I are not even through with all of the review we need to do. I hesitate to let this discussion get too far along. I do not think you should be in the position of being required to take a firm stance on what is or is not the specification and what was or was not in compliance until we have a real fleshed out position on this. I think we have one of the potential parties we will be in litigation with now entering into an exchange with the Board directly on this issue. These proceedings are all being recorded and minutes will be taken. There will be a record of our position on these things and I just do not think we are in a position as a District or you are in a position as a Board to take a firm stance on these issues or to accept a stance advanced by CH2M Hill, the contractor, the contractor’s engineer or anybody else. This is something we need to stay away from in terms of a meeting at this point in the evolution of these positions. At the same time I believe there is not a thing in the world wrong with you asking a question to the consulting engineers about this. I just prefer it not be on the record in a meeting until we are able to know when to correct a statement or misstatement, or when to tell you stop. We just do not know right now. I apologize if this is a little vague.
Mr. Fennell stated you have been straightforward. The Sunshine Law is an issue and I have expertise on this Board which I can utilize or talk to.
Mr. Lyles stated the time will come. If this goes to litigation where we have a lawsuit pending, you will be able to do that in confidence and out of the Sunshine Law. We are not at that point yet and I am reluctant to let this discussion go on. I am not, comfortable that we have all of the raw information yet to put in front of you. Not having the information to put in front of you that would support a conclusion one way or the other; the discussion could be taken out of context by some clever advocate a year and a half from now.
Mr. Hanks asked are you talking hypothetically?
Mr. Lyles responded I am talking hypothetically, but I think, not without some reliance on experience.
Mr. Fennell stated I feel I have been more than patient as the President of CSID for the last six months. I want to see some real conclusions and decisions made one way or the other. I do not want to see this just sit.
Ms. Zich stated I think the whole Board wants to have the construction done and done correctly.
Mr. Cassel stated that is my perspective and Mr. Daly’s as well. We are trying to figure out and make sure what we have is what we contracted for and what we do, not only gets us what we think we should have received in our contract documents, but complies with our contract documents and at the same time protects the District.
Mr. Hanks stated if we ask for something to be fixed and there is not a problem, the contractor “fixes” it where there was no problem, where it was not what was asked for, it is coming out of our pockets. This is why I am taking care to proceed through it very carefully as far as trying to figure out exactly what was asked, what they are complying with and are they really complying with what they say they are complying with. The thing I do not want to do is have my name associated with a recommendation to go ahead and tear something down when it may have been perfectly good. I do not know that right now.
Mr. Lyles stated or it may have been within the four corners of the specifications that were put out and upon which the bids were submitted. We are not ready on that issue as well. We have some unknowns here. I think we are closing in. We are very close to the end of this process. I think the record of your meetings and your inquiries clearly supports the position that you have been more than patient. I do not think anyone can accuse you of that. At the same time you have been asking for results.
Ms. Zich stated we would like the use of the buildings we are building.
Mr. Lyles stated I want to say that I do not think this caution about the discussion of what goes into the record of the meeting, where you all have a matter out there which may become a lawsuit; that is in no way slowing down getting the building built. We are not letting the possibility of a lawsuit stop us from getting the end result. It is frustrating to you; I can see it in your faces, that you cannot fully explore the issues and get what you consider to be concrete responses in some cases.
Mr. Cassel stated we have been pushing the contractor in the contract. As we come up to this last thing he has asked for…
Mr. Hanks asked are we talking about Plant F?
Mr. Cassel responded Plant F. The contractor, when we push for issues with differences and cannot come to an agreement, the contractor said he wants management decision. That is where he submitted the proposed remediation as a management decision to the District on December 3, 2010 saying how he can fix it. He is saying how he can make it right even though the District engineer does not agree. We are being asked as the Board and as the District to say whether we accept what the contractor says he can do to fix it to give us the product he said, and is it right, versus the position of saying no. We concur 100% with our consulting engineer and tell them they have to do x, y and z. That is the position we are in at this point in time. Before I come back to you as a Board, with Mr. Lyles, to say which option we need, I want to make sure what they are suggesting and what they are doing either meets criteria or does not. Right now I am still working through some of those issues.
Mr. Hanks asked to help address Mr. Fennell’s concerns, when would be a realistic timeframe to have some feedback back to the other members of the Board?
Mr. Cassel responded I would expect after I meet with Mr. Lyles next week. We should be able to have some feedback.
Mr. Lyles stated with some other expertise which is being brought in.
Mr. Cassel stated I expect I will be able to come back to the Board by then with the research we are doing and tell them what I see as options. Then it becomes a Board decision as to which option you prefer to take.
Mr. Hanks asked do you think you will be able to have communications with the Board the first week of January?
Mr. Cassel responded yes. Then we will be able to respond to the contractor.
Mr. Hanks stated in all fairness; he has had this proposal back in.
Mr. Cassel stated he has had it in as of December 3, 2010 for remediation.
Mr. Hanks asked Ch2M Hill; do you have your position prepared on the remediation?
Mr. Johnson responded he did not propose anything new. He proposed to replace the vertical welds for the tank. Our position is firm on that. It does not cut it. There are so many issues involved. Our position on the topping is if they can get a bond between the slab and grout that stays bonded, we will certainly accept that. Our feeling is the media between the six inch slab and floor, which is the gravel, is going to be difficult to get that floor from flexing and coming loose from the grout topping all of the time. We have a difficult time believing there is a fix that is going to cause that bond to stick permanently. With respect to the air piping, our concern is with the crevice corrosion. They did not achieve a full penetration where the welds occur. There is an area for water to accumulate there.
Mr. Hanks asked so that you can help us understand what the core issues are, would you be able to distribute through our manager, on each one of those items, how much of a risk? You have this one plant where there are some issues out there which are huge and would be very difficult to resolve if they went wrong and other that if they do go wrong, there is something that can occur. The last thing we want to have is a spillage with sewage a foot deep around the parking lot. A different magnitude of risk is if that air piping springs a leak. There are other issues out there with the grout topping and…
Mr. Johnson stated the walls and the sanitary piping. Our concern with that is it has been exposed to UV radiation.
Mr. Hanks stated you have made your position clear as to what the company’s position is on what is required under the contract specification design drawings, etcetera. Just so we have some other means of working with it because it is not something we deal with on a daily basis. It is just like driving a car with bald tires. You know what the risk of it is, but is it something you are going to risk driving to Publix to buy a gallon of milk versus driving to New Mexico.
Mr. Johnson stated before the Board asked why we used eight foot instead of five foot spans. The answer from my engineer is that we feel it is a more cost efficient way of building this because you have fewer trusses. We contacted both of the main roofing suppliers to verify this was acceptable. Both of them agreed this was an acceptable approach and would require a little bit of engineering, which is what we have been contending with right now. I think under normal circumstances it should not have been as big of an issue as it is right now.
Mr. Hanks stated thank you for following up on that.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Installation and Service Agreement with Fire & Security Solutions, Inc.
Mr. Cassel stated this is more of a maintenance agreement/ service agreement. They were the installers of the fire alarm system in the chemical building which was built under the last contract. We have to periodically have, I believe, quarterly reports sent in that it has been inspected. We have to test it annually to make sure all of the alarms function properly. In addition if we need to contact someone to come out and repair it, this is the agreement between the District and them to do it.
Mr. Fennell asked how much is this costing us?
Mr. Daly responded $900 yearly.
Mr. Hanks asked is this a local alarm contract?
Mr. Cassel responded yes.
Mr. Hanks asked counsel, have you reviewed this?
Mr. Lyles responded I have. The agreement is very one-sided. You see it is a printed form they use with all of their customers. Mr. Cassel and I spoke about this on the phone last week. If it were another type of order of magnitude financially or if we did not already have a working relationship with them which has been satisfactory, I would probably be jumping up and down. One thing you know is that we will always be able to terminate an agreement on 30 days notice. We cannot do that under this agreement.
Mr. Hanks asked what is the termination?
Mr. Lyles responded we cannot. We basically have to have the building demolished or destroyed so it is not useable anymore and therefore, not warranted to have an alarm system. So we would have a year’s exposure.
Mr. Daly stated all it is, is locking in a price.
Mr. Lyles stated for the amount of money involved and given the track record with this contractor, I did not see any reason to get too technical with this little agreement.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have any other security systems?
Mr. Daly responded yes.
Mr. Fennell asked did we not get some around the fence?
Mr. Daly responded no. Those have not been up.
Ms. Zich asked is this the same as the one we signed in the past?
Mr. Daly responded we never had one that was signed in the past as far as being under contract. We actually used their services, but they would like us to put it on a contract. We are not getting charged more than we did last year. With regard to what is going on with the fences in the perimeter that has not worked since it was installed.
Mr. Fennell stated I would like to see a working security system again.
Mr. Cassel stated we have cameras and security systems on the gate.
Mr. Daly stated and we are redoing some of the cameras inside the building.
Mr. Zich stated I bring up the one in Hollywood where someone did break in. Could that happen here?
Mr. Cassel responded it can happen anywhere regardless of your level of security.
Mr. Hanks stated just remember there was somebody who was found in Medford, Massachusetts. He came out of a wheel well of an airplane; a stowaway.
Mr. Fennell stated I know it has been five years since Hurricane Wilma and I do not know how many years since 9/11 and all of our panicking at that point. We still used to have a fairly severe problem with kids sneaking onto the place and other kinds of issues. There is still a security issue.
Mr. Cassel stated I believe those issues have been well taken care of and have gone away. We beefed up the fences. We beefed up the extensions. We also double checked pipe crossings. We inspect those on a regular basis.
Mr. Daly stated I have someone who is looking at the camera system right now. We had a battery stolen from one of our tractors. We talked about the contractors and sub-contractors who are here on weekends. They are pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Now we have cameras coming in to be able to look back and see who was where, when. It is not in yet, but it is part of this master plan for the nano plant.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
· Agreement with FEMA for Grant
Mr. Cassel stated this is our sub-grant agreement between the District and FEMA regarding the interconnect pipe that we applied for a grant. The grant is for a little over $2 Million. That is how much they will come up with. It is basically 75% of the projected total cost of the project. In going through this there were a number of questions I had issues with and Mr. Lyles had issues with. We have gone through them extensively. None of them are insurmountable, but it will require that internally we tighten up the paperwork and that when we do the contracts we add a few extra clauses of things for the contractors to provide us with as far as documentation. By receiving documentation, keeping it and tracking it we should be alright.
Mr. Hanks stated so basically you have some concerns with it, but nothing that is going to change the Federal Government’s approach on this so we have to change internally to comply.
Mr. Cassel stated we just need to read the extra chapters that are referenced here and figure out how to comply with them.
Mr. Lyles stated I think I told you when the document came up as an introduction at the last meeting there were a lot of assurances we have to make as a District in writing and back up to the Federal Government. We developed a chart with all of the things we have to do. Some of these things apply to us anyhow. They are reiterating in the contract that we have to comply and we have to assure we will comply. Some of them are things they require we put into the agreements for any contractors we use to build the project that the grant is going to be used for. We think, while we have to do a little extra staff work, it is not like we have to hire an extra person. The Board has already determined this is a necessary and helpful stormwater infrastructure improvement and we think it is worth the effort the staff will have to expend to get the money from the Federal Government.
Mr. Hanks asked are there any specific restrictions or conditions as to timing?
Mr. Cassel responded I believe we have 18 months.
Ms. Zich asked what are the chances we can get it done in time?
Mr. Cassel responded it will be different contractors.
Mr. Fennell stated I think we can do it. We just have to get going on it. The clock from their standpoint is already running from the day they essentially gave us this.
Mr. Hanks asked what action do we need to take?
Mr. Fennell responded this agreement expires October 31, 2012. They have a schedule of work. We need to get going on this. The second thing is we need to look from an accounting standpoint what kind of resources we need. There is a five year provision in here that all the records must be held for at least five years. There is an audit which needs to occur every 90 days. They can come in and audit us anytime. There is a whole bunch of stuff so I anticipate at least a ¼ person is needed additionally to track these things and make sure everything is in line.
Mr. Lyles stated they are public records. We have to maintain them anyhow, already, so that is not an additional burden on the staff.
Mr. Fennell stated maintaining the detail of events is more of a burden.
Mr. Lyles stated detailed or not, we maintain every record until we can destroy it based on a records retention scheduled approved by the Division of Archives in Tallahassee, which is longer than five years. Again, that is not going to be an additional staff undertaking. Identifying what is there is almost as hard as complying with it in the long run because that will not require any additional compliance.
Mr. Fennell asked what do we need to do?
Mr. Cassel responded we need a motion to accept the agreement and we will execute it.
· Monthly Water & Sewer Chart
Mr. Hanks stated I am going to repeat my request.
Mr. Cassel stated to add a running average.
Mr. Hanks stated yes. Thank you.
· Utility Billing Work Orders
This item is for informational purposes only.
Mr. Lyles stated at last month’s meeting we approved a resolution that authorized the implementation of a red flag identity theft program. After some lengthy discussion the President inquired about whether or not there were specific penalties if we did not adopt such a program and follow it. The enforcement of that act is implemented by, in the case of a violation or failure to adopt it, a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department which will seek civil penalties of $3,500 for each separate violation of the requirement. Typically it would first be something like injunctive relief, which then you would get in a court’s jurisdiction and you would have to file additional reports. I think the penalties are severe enough that it makes sense for us to stick with what we did last month. I know there was some consideration being given to bringing it back up and maybe rescinding the program, but we would be subject to suit and civil penalties.
Mr. Fennell asked what law would we be violating?
Mr. Lyles responded failure to have in place protections for identity theft potential for the customers of our utility system.
Mr. Fennell stated that part I understood, but it seemed more onerous than that. It seems like we were not only doing that. It seems like we were going out to investigate people and try to figure out who they were, whether or not they were really citizens, where they were born, it seemed like we were intruding in other people’s lives and they were using us as an investigative arm. That is the impression I got, which is different than protecting people’s information.
Mr. Daly stated I think you might have gotten that because I said exactly what we do now. When someone says they own a property, we investigate to find out that they actually do and it is not someone who broke in and wants to turn the water on and live there free of charge.
Mr. Fennell stated that part I understand from our business standpoint, but it almost looks like we have become a wing of the FBI or the CIS or somebody trying to investigate everybody who lives in our area. Then I became concerned with us getting sued for going against someone else’s right to privacy. There is a fine line here. Are we covered for those kinds of things now that we have complied with this or are we now subject to a suit from a private individual? Are they protecting us from private individuals suing us for messing around with their lives?
Mr. Lyles responded we have insurance coverage for someone who brings suit for tortious behavior. That is number one. Number two, and more importantly, we have sovereign immunity. If we are carrying out a governmental function like this, we are immune from suit. If we are in good faith attempting to comply with a federally mandated program, that is pretty much an absolute defense. I am comfortable that we are not exposing the District to claims or financial consequences by doing this. I think virtually every utility provider is in the same position we are in. NSID has adopted the program and they are going ahead with it.
Mr. Daly stated we adopted a program that we have designed.
Mr. Cassel stated what we already have been doing is good business practices; the fact we are making sure that whoever is saying they own a property, we are allowing them to buy water on a time, we are making sure none of the other residents are going to be hurt by them doing that. This is basically extending it. If we find someone who is violating, we turn it over to the appropriate authorities to go investigate. We do it now.
Mr. Fennell asked do we have authorities coming to us saying they need to look at all of our records for all of these people?
Mr. Daly responded not all. We do have authorities who come to us to ask who is living at a certain address. I believe it had something to do with the $25,000 homestead exemption.
Mr. Fennell asked are you the investigative arm?
Mr. Cassel responded no. If we identify there is a potential issue, we turn the information over to the appropriate authority.
Mr. Lyles stated I think it is better to think of us as record custodians. We are not investigators. We do not draw conclusions, but we do maintain the records.
Mr. Fennell stated thank you for the information. What else do we have?
Mr. Lyles responded that is all I have.
· Monthly Aerial Photographs
· Project Status Report
Mr. Cassel stated I talked to Mr. Bulman and we received our water use permit. We are good until 2030. We only have to do a report in ten years. We did get the full allocation we were requesting of the increase from the Biscayne Aquifer.
Mr. Fennell stated good job.
Mr. Cassel stated in some ways it was kind of touch and go right to the last guy. They were asking back about some information and Mr. Bulman did an excellent job of pushback and SFWMD told us they would not require us to do more analysis.
Mr. Fennell stated so we are good for 20 years. That is good news. It says we received a request of information in November from Broward County in reference to the final Re-use Feasibility Study. Did we send something back to them?
Mr. Cassel responded yes. We sent it back to them.
Mr. Fennell asked were we not supposed to get some money from them?
Mr. Cassel responded they asked for this additional information in order to finish clearing up the money. They asked questions as to why we did not do re-use instead of asking for the additional water. I was a little worried that it was going to interfere with our water permit. They push re-use for everybody regardless of the economic feasibility and return on the investment. We managed to stake our position that it is not economically feasible for the District to look at re-use at this point in time. There is no customer base, the expense and the return would be a burden on the population. The engineering numbers clearly show it is not a good deal. We managed to continue to hold that position. Until such time this is a good deal, the District is not going to entertain that notion.
Ms. Zich stated I agree with that. It sounds good to have re-use, but you need someone to re-use the water.
Mr. Cassel stated exactly.
Mr. Fennell stated meanwhile we are putting out billions of gallons each year out into the ocean and not using it, which is a total waste. If we really wanted to do something, we would push taking back the water that is in our canals and putting them in storage areas.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of November Financials and Check Registers
Ms. Zich stated I has several questions, but I already went through them with Ms. Woodward and she answered all of my questions.
Mr. Fennell stated I have a question on the check roster. I assume these are all refunds. All of these different names in there.
Mr. Daly asked are they all kind of under $100?
Mr. Fennell responded yes.
Ms. Woodward stated that is it.
Mr. Fennell stated it looks like we are still doing well. We had some increases. Are they are showing up as expected or are people choosing to conserve and not use the water?
Mr. Daly responded all of them are a little bit higher each month. I think we are right on target with our projection, as far as revenue goes. We were looking at that the other day. Unfortunately, the delinquencies seem to still be up. The expense for non-sufficient checks is up. There is a fee associated with that. Estoppel fees are down because not a lot are selling.
Mr. Hanks asked are there any concerns or red flags out there?
Ms. Woodward responded no. One of the things we mentioned at the last meeting is if you start looking at the last page of your financial statements, the blocked out information called the summary of operations and debt service coverage, is really what you aim for at the end of the year for your bondholders for the water and sewer. We are required to have a 1.1 debt service coverage. This gives you a running tab to see how we are doing as we go from month to month. The expectation is that there will be some months where it gets close to 1.1, but by the end of the year we should be back up, well above 1.1. This lets you know in advance rather than once a year when I formally have to fill out that report for the shareholders.
Ms. Zich stated I think this is excellent. I love seeing this all in one place. You know exactly where we stand when you see that.
Mr. Fennell stated despite the fact we have taken on enormous projects, we are still in sound financial shape during a rough time in the economy. That is an amazing thing. I think we will unfortunately see going forward in Florida and other states that they are not. Not everybody is managing this well.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
There being no further business,
Glen Hanks Robert D. Fennell