MINUTES OF MEETING
PINE TREE WATER CONTROL DISTRICT
regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Pine Tree Water Control District
was held on
Present and constituting a quorum were:
David Rosenof President
Margaret Bertolami Vice President
Paul Brewer Secretary
Donna Benckenstein Assistant Secretary
Mark Weissman Supervisor
Also present were:
Ed Goscicki Interim Manager,
D.J. Doody Attorney
Warren Craven Engineer
Randy Frederick Field Superintendent
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Roll Call
Mr. Rosenof called the meeting to order and Mr. Goscicki called the roll.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
There not being any, the next item followed.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Minutes of the August 2, 2007 Meeting
Rosenof stated each Board member received a copy of the minutes of the
Mr. Craven stated on page five, the word “models” should be “levels”.
Mr. Rosenof stated on page nine, “Karyn” should be “Caryn”.
There being no further corrections, additions or deletions,
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Manager’s Report – Acceptance of Financial Audit for Fiscal Year 2006
Mr. Goscicki stated a copy of the audit prepared by Grau & Associates was provided to the Board. The audit reports are getting more substantial every year as you are seeing additional comparative information. This is due to a requirement of the new GASB rules. This is also the reason why your audit fees increased over the last couple of years as they are required to do more work. The only issue of substance, which they noted in their audit, was in the fiscal year ending September of 2006, our expenditures exceeded the budgeted appropriations and we went into deficit spending. To remedy this situation, the District should have done a budget amendment within 90 days of the close of the fiscal year. Since this was not done, the Auditor made a comment. We assured them we put the procedures in place to make sure this happens. One such procedure, which we discussed with the Board, was taking the accounting in-house to Severn Trent Services, utilizing our own staff. This is the only real issue to note in terms of procedures and policies. Otherwise, the audit is similar to last year’s. The Board should accept the audit by motion and not approve it.
Mr. Rosenof stated I tried to call Grau & Associates to go over some items but I did not know who our contact person was and ended up leaving many voicemail messages. I finally reached someone who went over the audit with me. From now on, I want to know the name of the person who prepared the audit. Is this required?
Mr. Doody responded no. Generally, the opinion letter is signed by a member of the firm.
Mr. Rosenof asked do they have to classify their CPA license when preparing an audit?
Mr. Doody responded they issue the audit under the auspices of the firm. This is how they sign it.
Mr. Rosenof stated an engineer has to sign and seal any report they create.
Mr. Goscicki stated in the future, if you want to contact the Auditor, let us know and we will track them down. We deal with them and know who the senior partner is.
Mr. Rosenof asked what is the status of the drainage issue in south Pine Tree? The resident was supposed to speak to Ms. Caryn Gardner-Young.
Mr. Goscicki responded I did not bring it up at the last NSID meeting. This was because 80 to 90 residents showed up at their public hearing and it was not the most conducive meeting to bring this matter up. I do not think the NSID Board will have a problem if we get to the point of where the community is ready to take action and invest some of their resources to come up with an on-site system. If they are willing, I do not see where NSID is opposed to doing a shift in service areas for the pump station.
Rosenof stated I do not know if this is related but some residents in Country
Acres were talking about connecting to south Pine Tree on
Mr. Rosenof asked is there a way to get to the back of south Pine Tree with an easement?
Mr. Craven responded no.
Mr. Rosenof stated I do not know if there is an easement between the wall and Whispering Woods.
Mr. Craven stated no.
Mr. Rosenof stated so there is nothing.
Mr. Weissman stated Whispering Woods has a road running in back of it.
Mr. Craven stated this is a service road.
Mr. Weissman stated it is one of their road’s.
Rosenof stated it is
Mr. Weissman stated it runs so close there is no room.
Mr. Rosenof stated I tried to ride back there on my bicycle and could not get back there. I did not know if there was any sawgrass property left between the south wall and their wall.
Mr. Craven stated when the Sawgrass Expressway was built; they actually took four or five lots.
Mr. Goscicki stated the problem is the water is not getting to our culverts.
Mr. Weissman asked have we determined how many homes in the south Pine Tree area are getting billed both by NSID and Pine Tree?
Mr. Goscicki responded no. The resident never gave us a copy of his tax bill.
Mr. Rosenof asked should we ask for it?
Ms. Bertolami responded you already did. The minutes reflect you did.
Mr. Goscicki stated we asked him at the meeting to send us a copy of his tax bill with crossed out personal information.
Mr. Weissman asked can we look up some of those properties through the Tax Collector’s office?
Mr. Goscicki responded the tax bills are sent to the legal address; however the property owner may not be at the local address of the property. We had this situation come up with property owners in this area where they called us and said they received two tax bills, one from CSID and another one from NSID. It turned out the property owner owned two parcels of property and the bills were sent to the property with the legal address because the other was a rental property. This could have been the situation in this case. We do not know, unless we see the tax bill but in order to do the research, you have to look at folio numbers. We do not receive electronic registers. We receive a hard copy. If we can get an excel file, we can do sorts and matches. We are confident we are not double billing anyone.
Mr. Rosenof stated but we may be double servicing someone. One of my concerns is someone is going to remember asking us to do this.
Mr. Goscicki stated one of the issues we are working on is to look at all of the parcels within the District and identify the ones not currently being assessed. We are going through the folio numbers to determine what those parcels are and whether or not the District owns those parcels or if they belong to other governmental entities.
Mr. Rosenof asked are you actively going through this process?
Mr. Goscicki responded yes.
Mr. Rosenof asked what is the progress?
Mr. Goscicki responded it has not been on our high priority list because we are doing the assessment rolls for all of these districts. We will move this up our priority list for the next meeting.
The canal on NW 60th Terrace where we had the illegal canal crossing put in, is not even owned by the District. We prepared a letter with my signature to be sent to the City Manager in regards to this matter. The letter says we have done the research and we do not think this is our property. Before we send this letter out, I want to meet with Mr. Craven to make sure we have the proper description of this canal and it is not on District property. We are working on getting this information, which we will attach to the letter.
Mr. Rosenof stated the minutes from the last meeting reflected a procedure we are going to put into place as far as us being notified of any changes to the original plat. Has this been done?
Mr. Goscicki stated we spoke with the city in regards to all three districts, advising them of this matter.
Mr. Rosenof stated it is probably best to put something in writing.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Attorney’s Report
Mr. Doody stated I reviewed the minutes from the last meeting and our office is working on the matter involving the taxation. We are also trying to ascertain what the District owns and does not own.
Mr. Rosenof stated not only owns but assesses.
Mr. Doody stated the minutes reflect approximately 762 acres are not being taxed.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Engineer’s Report
Mr. Craven stated Mr. Frederick and I looked into Mr. Volpe’s erosion problem.
Mr. Rosenof asked is this in Coral Creek?
Mr. Craven responded on NW 56th Drive.
Mr. Goscicki stated this is where there was the bend in the canal.
Mr. Craven stated there is no doubt Mr. Volpe and two lots to the north lost some canal bank due to erosion. Apparently, this was precipitated by Hurricane Wilma when the winds came out of the southwest. We never addressed, to the best of my knowledge, any erosion problems on canals.
Mr. Rosenof asked is this our canal or the HOA’s?
Mr. Craven responded it is our canal. It was dedicated to us by plat. It has not been the policy of the Board to address problems like this because it only affects the private property.
Mr. Rosenof stated yes, but you could make the argument it affects everybody.
Mr. Craven stated there is erosion but it is not substantial and nothing is in jeopardy. Mr. Volpe’s house is not in jeopardy. There is a decorative fence adjacent to the property.
Mr. Rosenof stated our concern is whether there is silt flowing up the canal causing the bank to erode further.
Mr. Craven stated not even remotely. It is a large canal and certainly is not impinging the flow of water.
Mr. Goscicki asked is the property line to the top of bank?
Mr. Craven responded I did not review the construction plans so I do not know.
Mr. Rosenof asked who maintains the canal?
Mr. Craven responded we do, for whatever maintenance there is. All maintenance is performed by boat.
Mr. Rosenof asked is there a way to not make it any worse?
Mr. Craven responded it is the same as making it get better.
Mr. Rosenof stated I did not know if we could add some vegetation. The Board can agree or disagree with me but as long as it is not impeding the flow of water, our mission is to maintain the waterways. Beyond that, it is an aesthetic issue.
Mr. Craven stated I assure you, Mr. Volpe assumes the bank will be back up to his patio because this has been a two year process to get to where we are today.
Mr. Rosenof asked what are the solutions?
Mr. Craven responded building a seawall. There is also a process where they pump the silt into a synthetic nylon, which has been used satisfactorily. There has been talk about adding rubble; however, this is hard to put in due to the location and getting access to it.
Mr. Goscicki stated we used tubes in CSID, which has been successful.
Mr. Frederick stated so far.
Mr. Goscicki stated this process was expensive from what I heard.
Mr. Frederick stated not really. It cost us $22 per foot.
Mr. Rosenof stated not bad at all. Let’s do a foot for now.
Mr. Goscicki asked a square foot or linear foot?
Mr. Frederick responded linear foot. They anchor the tube to the bank and pump the silt from the bottom of the canal into the tube and let the water run out. When this process is done, the sand is hard as concrete. Then they stack another bag on top and pump the silt into it. They use the silt to blend into the existing bank and sod.
Mr. Rosenof stated this sounds like a decent solution. The question is whether there is an urgency to do this now or wait a couple of years to see if the erosion gets worse.
Mr. Frederick stated the issue with doing it now versus later is the possibility of getting some funds from NRCS.
Mr. Craven stated Mr. Frederick met with NRCS and discussed a number of issues. They have the funds available and indicated to Mr. Frederick we may be able to get funding for last year’s culvert cleaning. There is also the possibility of getting a portion of the funds for this erosion issue. There are some spotty trees remaining, which we can get funding for their removal.
Mr. Rosenof stated we are not touching the trees.
Mr. Doody stated historically, the District does not engage in this type of activity. From a legal standpoint, you have to establish the property lines. Are you preventing further erosion or undertaking restoration?
Mr. Rosenof responded my position is to maintain the water flow.
Mr. Doody stated this is the purpose of the WCD.
Mr. Rosenof stated anything else is not within our charter.
Mr. Doody stated you have to define what you are going to do. We are going to have to define the property line. I am not familiar with the process of how you support it and where it goes.
Mr. Rosenof stated if our engineer says to us these five properties are in danger of providing enough silt in the waterway to impede the flow, those are the properties we should address. I do not think we are going to listen to the owner who complains the most.
Mr. Craven stated the canal adjacent to the property in question is oversized. There is no way we can put enough fill in there from the current source to fill up the canal.
Mr. Goscicki stated it sounds like the other issue is if the canal eroded to the point where it impacted private property, I assume the property owner has some recourse.
Mr. Doody stated I do not think we have an obligation if it is a natural cause to restore their backyard.
Mr. Goscicki stated you make an excellent point. This is an issue the other districts have. CSID resolved this without discussing it as a policy issue. It can set a precedent for you and can be an expensive precedent.
Mr. Rosenof stated if the engineer is saying it does not impede the waterway, I may offer them a solution.
Mr. Craven stated we will give them the permit to do anything within reason.
Mr. Rosenof stated we may even give them some advice.
Mr. Craven stated only legal advice.
Ms. Benckenstein stated depending on where the property is.
Mr. Doody asked do we have a right-of-way?
Mr. Craven responded yes. How much does it cost to establish the property line?
Mr. Frederick responded a few hundred dollars.
Mr. Brewer stated we should offer Mr. Volpe the opportunity to find out where his property line goes and let him reimburse us.
Mr. Rosenof stated fine with me.
Mr. Brewer stated either that or tell him to supply us with a survey of the property.
Mr. Rosenof stated he should have the survey.
Mr. Craven stated he can show us where the property line is.
Mr. Brewer stated I do not know if we want him to show us where it is and then do something. I think we need to be upfront with him.
Mr. Craven stated I agree wholeheartedly.
Mr. Brewer stated we should send him a letter requesting he show us where his property line is and then tell him where he can get the necessary permit.
Ms. Bertolami stated we can just ask him for a copy of the survey.
Mr. Brewer stated if someone asks for something and we do not tell them upfront, there is going to be an assumption we are doing something. We need to let them know upfront we are not doing anything to rebuild his property.
Mr. Rosenof stated unless our engineer believes it is impeding the water flow, which he says it is not doing. I am referring to future cases.
Mr. Goscicki stated it sounds like the message is if you believe the erosion is on your property, you certainly have the right to fill in the erosion on your property so long as you show us the boundaries of your property. If it is your property, you certainly have the right to fill it but we have the right to make sure it is not impeding on what we do.
Mr. Brewer asked who is going to write the letter?
Mr. Rosenof responded I hope our manager does.
Mr. Brewer stated I hope it comes from an attorney. Maybe Mr. Doody will volunteer. If not, he is probably going to want to look at it anyway before it goes out.
Mr. Doody stated I will write the letter. Is it going to Mr. Robert Volpe?
Mr. Craven responded yes.
Mr. Doody stated I will request a copy of his survey.
Mr. Brewer stated if he has one. If he does not have a copy, request he show us where his property line is so we can assist him with obtaining the necessary permits to remedy this situation.
Mr. Goscicki stated we will provide a copy of the minutes to the attorney since the Board just dictated the letter for him.
Mr. Craven stated the only other issue is whether or not the Board wants to proceed to reclaim any funds from NRCS for the culvert cleaning.
Mr. Rosenof stated of course.
Mr. Brewer stated I want to get reimbursed for anything we spent money on.
Ms. Benckenstein asked is there a timetable on when they have to get the money in?
Mr. Frederick responded yes, but the representative was not sure what the timetable was.
Ms. Benckenstein stated we can get the bills together.
Mr. Frederick stated they definitely want to get rid of these funds.
Mr. Goscicki stated in the Sunshine WCD they literally increased the percent of the reimbursement because there was less amount of work reimbursable. Rather than change the amount of money they were going to give the district, they increased the percentage to match the amount of money they committed to. I never saw anything like this. I think they are looking at similar situations here and at other work they are now saying is reimbursable.
Mr. Frederick stated we will try to recover what we can from the culvert cleaning. What about the remaining trees?
Mr. Rosenof stated I do not want to touch another tree.
Mr. Brewer stated I agree, not if we are going to be paying a percentage of it.
Mr. Goscicki stated you are spending more money of which you will only get half back.
Mr. Rosenof stated I do not have much faith in CH2M-Hill.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor’s Report
There not being any, the next item followed.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of August Financials and Invoices
Mr. Goscicki stated you will see on the financials where we are getting into the same situation as last year where we were taking money from the reserves. This is programmed into next year’s budget. It is not unanticipated as a result of $300,000 in renewal and replacement work on the canal system, which was not in the budget. You will see negative numbers but we know about them and planned for it going into next fiscal year.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
Mr. Goscicki stated if you recall, we changed our meeting schedule. For next fiscal year, you only have five meetings scheduled. Our next meeting is scheduled for November 1, 2007. After the November meeting, the Board will not be meeting until February. We will send out reminders.
There being no further business,
Paul Brewer David Rosenof
NOTES for 9/6/07 Pine Tree Meeting
· Send a letter to Mr. Robert Volpe requesting he show the engineer where his property line is or provide a survey and direct him to where he can obtain the necessary permit.