MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
ENGLEWOOD WATER DISTRICT BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
WEST COAST CHURCH 240 PINE STREET
MARCH 3, 2011 @ 8:30 A.M.

Board of Supervisors:
Steve Samuels, Chair
Taylor Meals, Vice-Chair
Sydney Crampton
Phyllis Wright
Paul Manke

Staff:
Michael J. Ray, Administrator
Robert H. Berntsson, District Counsel
Teresa L. Herzog, Administrative Assistant

1.      The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and a roll call to establish a quorum. Chair Samuels thanked the Church for accommodating the Board meeting.

2.      ANNOUNCEMENTS – None

3.      DISCUSSION ITEM – V9A Sewer Project – Mr. Ray introduced the item, the presentation was for discussion only and no vote was taken. The Board chose to revisit the project after the election. Staff reviewed public input from previous meetings and came up with the proposal. V9A would start construction January 2012 anticipating emergency hook-ups taking place June 2012. The project would be funded up front 100% by EWD. Customers would have until September 1, 2013 to pay in full or it would go to the tax roll November 2013. The cost per customer would be $8666.94. There is a minimum reserve balance that must be met; with this schedule it would maintain the required minimum. In a money saving effort, some capital projects were deferred over the last year. Staff proposed an assessment of 15 years at 5% interest with an annual payment of $834.99 or a monthly payment of $69.58. If customers participated in the sign up and save program, their annual payment would be $560.42 or a monthly payment of $46.70.

4.      PUBLIC INPUT –

         1)   Muriel Glaim, 1691 Thomas Street (475-4607) - None of these meeting would be necessary if you had continued the installation of our sewer lines when we were all ready to accept them and the $5800 price tag. You abandoned the project with only 140 connections left to be done, to go to the aid of a developer, most of those lots set idol. Then you came back last year after the economy tanked and wanted $8600, $3000 more for being abandoned mid-stream. Can you see why we are upset and angry? Fair minded people just don’t think that was fair.  We have to accept that sewers will be installed, some of us want it. It is smarter to do it now than to be incorporated with V9B at a higher rate. For our 140 families the price could be discussed rationally and fairly negotiated. The amount of $8600 (plus) is for new development, whose buyers accept these fees as part of the cost of their new homes, we are not part of them. We have paid for septic systems when we purchased our homes. Most of them are working just fine. This is really a do-over. According to reports bids are coming in lower this year than last year. Companies are begging for work. Now that you are funding this yourself, and bidding it out soon, at an expected lower amount how will this come back to impact our cost?  You call this an impact fee, from court cases I reviewed the price should not exceed cost of the improvement and fees collected must be earmarked in a special account for this purpose. How can you put a price on this if you don’t know the cost? Will the savings be passed on to us? A profit cannot be made at our expense if this is truly an impact fee.

         2) Richard Eaton, 1660 Thomas Street (460-0996) - I’m not against it totally, the high fees are what I object to. County fees for water and sewer are $4700, yours are almost double and you are only bringing sewer. It also looks like EWD is still trying to recover money that was spent on new construction that didn’t happen. It looks like you are trying to make up these fees on the backs of the V9 customers. This cost should be spread to all customers of EWD; we all have to share what someone did wrong.  A majority are Seniors, you are trying to take advantage of us, it is not right, we should contact  the Florida State Attorney General’s Office because there are laws against this sort of behavior. I have numbers for the County; maybe you could work with them and cut the cost.

         3) Pete Buchardt, 2190 Alamander Avenue (408-4491) - We do not need sewers. Is this environmental or economical?  Environmental polluters should be done first, if we are polluting, prove it. We have not seen plans; they have not been published, why? Connection prices are not known for house to sewer connections. We have to pay that also. Supervisors need to be telling the whole cost. People will lose their homes over this, they don’t have the money.
 
         4) Martha Eaton, 1660 Thomas Street (460-0996) - Until you go to bid, how can you know the true bid?  We have to pay more money because you were chasing new construction. Let us know the true cost. No guessing.

         5) Merle Liskey, 1609 Maria Street (313-319-3467) - We need to know usage fees. $8600 and hookup costs what? $4000 maybe? Is it an addition $30-$40 a month? Who replaces the pavement? The roads were just fixed? You have money you didn’t have before, has the money come from the customers? Why do we pay again?
 
         6) Joyce Mulligan, 1694 Thomas Street (473-1156) –I want the V9A area done, but thought it would go to bid to get a lower price. We would have paid less if you hadn’t stopped. I understand Legislature Bill 550 it is on hold, but if this bill goes forward in 2015, septic systems need to meet code, if they are not up to code, they will have to be fixed at a high cost. Those objecting need to know this is Florida State wide, not EWD. $8600 is a better price than fixing a failing septic system.

         7) James Allbrook, 1661Maria Street (475-1716) – Will this be a monthly payment agreement or a lien? When a lien is removed it still affects your credit rating. Is a lien posted? You stopped 1 house down from me and now the cost is $3000 more for a short distance. An adjustment should be made for those of us who are already close.

         8) Joyce Keefe, 2653 Alamander Avenue (475-6623) –I have been on septic for 50 years and never had a problem. Why is coming again? Is it pollution? If it is, look at the Beach, they need it worse there. Fear of a higher cost should not drive this, we can’t be threated and jeopardize our whole life. Sewer will triple the current bill. EWD has always provided good water. Thanks for listening to us.

         9) David Wagoner, 1722 Fessler Street (473-1416) - I am against this. We don’t need it. Environmentally speaking the Key should be done first. The price for all homeowners in both areas A&B should be the same. The costs were originally estimated to be lower.  You really should try to get the lowest price possible. We have no septic problems. There are a lot of part time residents not a lot of large families, the septic’s work excellent. The economy is not improving, at least not mine personally. That is the case with a lot of people in general, we have inflation; things are going up. The extra cost will be a burden, not only the $12,000 to install it, but right now we are paying $15.62 base fees plus $5 to $6 a month for water. It comes to about $250 a year. With sewer it will be about $38.00 plus the usage of the water it would be $575 a year plus the water it will be about $800 a year. This is after payment for installation. This should be put it away for a long time, until the economy improves and people have the money. I hope you listen to all facts it isn’t necessary.
10) Andrew Cannon, 2440 Lemon Avenue (460-9990) - I live in V9B, but want to add comments. We are a year on. The last meeting was a fiasco the way it was put to us, and the manner it was put to us. I would think EWD would take note of that. Last year we were arguing that the costs had come down drastically so why hadn’t you taken that into account? You had a year and you just sat on it and have done nothing. Look at the cost, it should be lower. These costs are based on old data, giving people huge figures that don’t really even fit. Another issue is the connection; people don’t really know what the costs will be. They have no information.  We could be talking $2000, $3000, $4000 on top of the $8600. We are talking about $10,000 or $13,000? You need to come back with a total cost package. This is not the total package, just a slightly better rate. People are still in the dark. The notification of this meeting is bad, this time of the morning is bad, a lot of people wanted to come but they are at work. That should have been addressed as well.
         11) John Novothy, 2630 Alamander Avenue (475-5794) – What is the tentative time table of V9B? Is there any consideration or is it postponed indefinitely? As for V9A, what will be the real costs? What kind of costs will we be facing in 2016 or 2017? Is that too far? Is Chapter 381 Florida statute 2008 still valid? I can’t find a clear simple statement that says you must replace a septic system with a new sewage system.

         12) Dave Lewis, 1720 Shell Drive (493-6801) - I represent myself and some neighbors. We are in a depression over there, we need the sewers. I am here to encourage you to go forward with V9A, and if you can’t because of objections, I truly hope you can do our street, we really need to sewer, when it rains in the summer, we can’t flush.

         13) George Eberley, 1760 Gale Street (941-681-2889) -Pass

         14) David Balliett, 1737 Fessler Street (no phone number given) - What is the strategy of dividing the community into 2 groups? Last year you were going to do all sewers, now you are separating A&B. It leaves people in my area wondering about what the future might be. People are opposed to something they perceive as not needed. Open the process, evening meetings and notices to answer our questions giving us the confidence you are treating this like a family decision. We want all of the questions answered and all of the facts before making a decision. If we knew the increase to the monthly bill, the connection fees, if we knew you negotiated  with a number of plumbers and they gave a price for the home owner and several contractors did the same thing, do the diligence and come to us with information so we know exactly what we are facing. Then we can feel good about the process, and can make a decision on if we agree with it. If it was free we might not object or we might object, but not knowing all the critical questions gives the feeling of a kind of disconnect.  We don’t have to worry about it right now, but are we going to really get hammered in V9B and have to pay even more? I thought in other communities when they run these kinds of improvements, when you choose to join up then you pay a fee. Is there a way to do that with your increased funds? Can’t you charge the other 800 or 10,000 customers a little more to pay for this? Wait for the individual need, we need the plans.

         15) Jim Brown, 1631 5th Street (284-8284) - I hope the questions are answered and not just ignored. Morality is an issue, if we had a need we would be asking, but we don’t need it. It is immoral to make people buy something they don’t need. You need effective communication with the public; communication could be improved.

         16) Roberta Medal, 2370 Lemon Avenue (no phone number given) - Will V9B be shaking in it’s boots from the cost?  Why haven’t we seen the whole picture?  Who is connected already? What will it cost when it’s finished? I am a nurse, I see the need, but we don’t need the sewers. I ask why the Key has not been considered?

         17) John Lecketon, 1771 7th Street (473-9146) –I have been on septic all my life, it works. The neighbors are working just fine. Once it is in, what happens if there is a terrible storm? There is no need for the sewer system. Have the option when we need it, don’t force it. Keep the septic as a back-up to switch over to it if there is a need.

Chair Samuels called for a recess so staff could review the questions and prepare responses.

9:30 a.m.

9:37 a.m. reconvened

Mr. Ray continued with responses,  

  1. Plumbing costs - $800 to $1500 depending on the run. Homeowners can install the plumbing from their home to the pipe themselves with a permit and inspection. EWD will meet with you and make the connection, it is allowed.

 

  1. Doing V9A and V9B separately - at the Public Hearing last year, it was going to be done with an assessment, charging everyone 2 years before it was available. Staff came back and looked at it, if EWD pays for it upfront, we can’t do both V9A & V9B at the same time; we don’t have that much money. We can do V9A in January 2012 and do V9B January 2014. As far as the $8600 for V9A that is the price today, as for V9B, it can’t be guaranteed or promised but I’m fairly confident the cost will not go up.
  1. Sewer backups - we have backup generators and crews. Since we began in 1996 we have had no major problems. If a major storm or hurricane comes it will be a problem for either system.

 

Mr. Linden continued,

  1. Cost – the cost of $8666.94 is broken down into two fees. The collection fees are $5817 and the plant and transmission fees are $2849.94. There is a wastewater treatment plant in Grove City that has been expanded. Every time we add a new customer they purchase a portion of that plant. There’s also the transmission system and the vacuum stations that were built for V7 and V9. Each time someone hooks up we have to pay for that vacuum station. There’s also the force main to the plant. These are infrastructure that have been added over the years by EWD, as we add customers, these customers pay for their portion of the plant and transmission, the $8666.94 covers more than the just the collection system in front of your house.

 

  5.        Portion of Englewood that has sewers - 84% of the customers in the District have sewer, 84% have paid for sewer and 84% pay the monthly base charges and usage charges for sewer. V9A is the next area and if the Board decides, V9B will follow. The remaining 16% will be done eventually. We move one section at a time. Most customers have paid or are paying on their taxes as we are proposing to do with the V9A area paying it over time.

  6.         Plans - if the Board decides to move forward with this project we will have an open house and workshops at various times of the day, various days of the week to look at the plans. The first thing we will do is send out letters to the 104 customers to get location of septic tanks. We will try to make it as easy as we can for you to hook-up. Plans will be at the office and workshops will be held. We will meet with all of you.

  7.         Pavement- preconstruction video of all streets, driveways, trees, sidewalks, pavement, etc. will be done. All will be restored to as good or better condition.

         8.         Senate Bill 550 – we are monitoring it. The Bill has very strict septic tank requirements and was passed last year by Governor Crist. Governor Scott and Legislature put it on hold.

         9.         Manasota Key- the Charlotte County portion of Manasota Key is sewered. Sarasota County will be sewered someday, just like V9A, V9B, V9C, and other areas of Englewood.
                    
       10.         Base bills – sewer charges are the same as water, there is a base fee and a   usage fee, the sewer base fee is $21.85 with usage fees of $3.00 per 1000 gallons. The average usage in Englewood is 6000 gallons so usage fees would be $18.00. Charges for sewer will be about $39.85 a month in addition to the water fees.

Attorney Berntsson responded to the question of liens,

         11.     Liens- there are liens on your property for tax purposes, this would be the
               same as a tax lien, I know of no bank that would preclude you from getting a
              mortgage based on having that assessment to be paid on your home.

Mr. Ray concluded,

12.   Responsibility for sewer back-ups – some homeowner insurances pay, some  
              do not. EWD also carries insurance.
        
Any questions not answered will be addressed at the next Board meeting.

5.      CONSENT SECTION – Chair Samuels asked for comments, objections and/or corrections to the consent section. Hearing none,

Mr. Manke moved “to accept the consent section as presented.” Seconded by Mr. Meals.

Unanimous                                                                                                  11-03-03 CS A

         a.         Minutes of the Regular Meeting February 3, 2011

6.      ACTION ITEM – Mr. Ray introduced the item, staff proposed changing the current rate of 5 years at 8% interest to 15 years at 5% interest for any and all new customers, as part of our rules to be our new fees. Approval is needed to schedule a public hearing to include these changes in the next regular board meeting.

Mr. Meals moved to schedule a public hearing for Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 240 Pine Street commencing at 8:30 a.m. or as soon thereafter as possible.” Seconded by Ms. Crampton

         a.         Financing Terms for Capital Capacity Charges

Unanimous                                                                                                  11-03-03 A

7.      ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT – Michael J. Ray
         a.         WATER OPERATIONS – Roger K. Quick
                     a. WTP is averaging 2.7 MGD, this is pretty normal for this time of the year.
                     b. Chlorine school- WTP staff was certified and the emergency response plan is being updated.
                     c. Tier two annual report – has been submitted.

         b.         JARL ‘JAY’ D. LINDEN, PE – TECHNICAL/OPERATIONS SUPPORT MANAGER – Mr. Linden reviewed his written report with updates.

                     1.   ASR Supplemental Reclaimed Water Source – the schedule for completion has been revised.
                     2.  2010 Annual Wellfield Report – the report was reviewed and submitted March 1.
                     3.  Annual Hydrobiological Monitoring Report - SWFWMD has requested a site inspection of wellfields 2, 3, and 5 and the Myakka State Forest wetlands. A tentative date of March 25 has been set, followed by an office meeting.                                                                 
                     4.  South Manasota Key Drainage Improvement – final walk through was completed. Everything passed inspection.
                     5.  Sarasota County Sidewalk Project – phase II is anticipated to begin Fall of 2011. A JPA with the Sarasota County and DMK will be necessary; a great deal of adjustment will be required in that area.
                     6.  Sarasota County Water Interconnect – attending a meeting March 10 for updates.
                     7.  SR 776 San Casa – FDOT Project - we have a 12” water main  to relocated, it will be done as an in- house project.
                     8.  Elsie Quirk Library Drainage Project – there was a conflict with our water main and the drainage pipe. Materials have been ordered and a night job will be
performed. 
                     9.  Manasota Beach Park - updated plans have been reviewed and approved. Sarasota County will put it out to bid soon.
                     10.  Oak Forest Reclaimed Water Request – unlimited water will be available for 3 weeks, the Association had to replace sod destroyed by chinch bugs.

         c.         SONIA ZOELLER, FINANCE DIRECTOR
                     1.  Income Statement as of February 2011- total revenues are under $104,503 and operating expenditures are under budget $ 663,673. To date we’ve paid out $90,000 in CIP projects.
                     2.  Reserve Balance as of Jan 31, 2011 - we have $12.6M in our investment account.

Mr. Ray concluded the Administrator’s report.

 

8.      ATTORNEY’S REPORT – Robert H. Berntsson - None

9.      OLD BUSINESS

10.    PUBLIC COMMENT – None

11.    NEW BUSINESS - None

12.    BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS - Ms. Crampton addressed the question of night meetings, asking Chair Samuels if resuming them should be considered? Chair Samuels responded that night meetings were discontinued because of poor public attendance.

13.    ADJOURN @ 10:13 am

 

__________________
Taylor Meals