Meeting Minutes for August 13, 2021
Port of the Islands
Community Improvement District
The meeting of the Port of the Islands Community Improvement District was held on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at the Orchid Cove Community Center on 25005 Peacock Lane, Naples, Florida 34114 and also via web conference.
Present (or by web conference) and constituting a quorum were:
Russell Kish – Chair
Teri O’Connell – Vice Chair
Ray Jensen – Assistant Secretary
Michele Holloway – Assistant Secretary
Sam Leishear – Assistant Secretary
Also present (or by web conference) were:
Anthony Pires, Jr. – Attorney
David Schmitt – Engineer
Alana Faircloth – FL Utility Solutions
Christopher Dudak – Assistant to the District Manager
Nancy Dudak – Premier District Management
County Commissioner Rick LoCastro
Fire Division Chief Caleb Morris
The following is a summary of the discussion and actions taken at the Port of the Islands Community Improvement District (CID) Board of Supervisors meeting.
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Call to Order and Roll Call
The Port of the Islands Community Improvement District meeting was called to order by Chair Kish and all Board members were present with Vice Chair O’Connell participating via web conference. Also in attendance were David Schmitt – Hole Montes Engineering, Alana from Florida Utilities Solutions and Tony Pires – Attorney. Additionally, Nancy Dudak and Christopher Dudak from PDM participated via web conference.
On MOTION, by Supervisor Leishear, second by Supervisor Jensen with all in favor, to acknowledge Vice Chair O’Connell participating via web conference.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Pledge of Allegiance
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda
Chair Kish addressed the residents of the community by stating that from now on the meetings will only have one speaker at a time as called upon by the Chair. Only agenda items will be discussed at the meetings and all residents will need to keep their comments under a 3-minute cap.
The Board reviewed the amended agenda that included item 12G, utility billing discussion, and
On MOTION by Chair Kish, seconded by Supervisor Holloway, with all in favor, the Board approved the amended agenda as presented.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
There being none, the next Order of Business followed.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS County Commissioner Rick LoCastro
Guest speaker County Commissioner Rick LoCastro thanked the Board for the invitation to the meeting. He introduced Deputy County Manager Amy Callahan. He also greeted the residents and gave a brief recap of items that have impacted the Port of the Islands community in the past few years. He then opened the floor to a question and answer session.
The upcoming proposed changes that would eliminate full time EMS staff in the area was discussed. The Commissioner stated he would take the community concerns back to the Board of Commissioners. Fire Division Chief Caleb Morris explained staffing levels at the fire department and that there would always be some EMS staff available full-time.
Chair Kish asked about why POI fire service millage rates were among the highest in the county. It was explained that the millage is an ad valorem tax and therefore the amounts paid by homeowners versus boat slip owners or RV owners would be substantially different, as property values for each are different. There was additional conversation about the desire or need to change the tax laws.
Discussion was had on development of the former hotel site. Commissioner LoCastro stated that currently there are no immediate plans for development of that location and that it was his desire that no development happen there versus the wrong development. He also stated that the POICID would have first “right of refusal” commentary on any development. He addressed community residents asking them to send in their thoughts on what they would like to see developed in the area.
Commissioner LoCastro encouraged residents to continue to share their thoughts, comments, and concerns on a regular basis and thanked the Board again for the invitation to the meeting. He stated that the POI community is a very important area.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Division Chief Caleb Morris
There being no additional comments the Next Order of Business followed.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of Meeting Minutes
A. Draft Meeting Minutes from July 9, 2021
Vice Chair O’Connell asked all guest speakers and or residents with comments to move closer to the microphones so their comments could be heard online.
The Board reviewed the draft minutes from the July 9, 2021 meeting. Supervisor Holloway added on line #95 she thanked the Mosquito Board for attending and added she thanks resident Bob Garbo for suggesting to have the Mosquito Board in attendance.
Line#11 – correct a typo on the word methodology.
Line #103 – amend to read that the sealed transcript will be submitted to the District Manager and not to the court.
Line #105 – amend to read that the Attorney recommended that the Board not accept the current offer on the table and to continue settlement discussions. This same change needs to be reflected in the motion as well.
On MOTION by Supervisor Leishear, seconded by Supervisor Holloway, with all in favor, the corrected minutes of the July 9, 2021 meeting were approved.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS FY 2022 Budget Public Hearing
On MOTION by Chair Kish and second by Supervisor Leishear, with all in favor the public hearing was opened by the District Manager at 10:28 a.m.
With no public comments to record and
On MOTION by Supervisor Holloway, seconded by Supervisor Jensen, with all in favor, the District Manager closed the public hearing at 10:29 a.m.
A. Resolution 2021-04 Adoption of FY 2022 Budget
Vice Chair O’Connell asked for the definition for reserves of water/sewer fund. The District Manager explained it was not defined at this point. The fund balance could be considered reserves but not being assigned to any particular project at this time.
The District Manager stated the budget reflects the reduction of the non-ad valorem assessments for the utility fund, which are approximately $300 per full ERC, and overall it reflects an 18% reduction to all properties. It was asked if there is money in the budget under engineering to address the House Bill 53 requirements. The District Manager responded “yes”, but not specifically for this purpose.
On MOTION by Supervisor Leishear, seconded by Chair Kish, with all in favor, Resolution 2021-04 Adoption of FY 2022 Budget was approved as amended.
B. Resolution 2021-05 Approval of FY 2022 Assessment Levy
On MOTION, by Supervisor Jensen, with second by Supervisor Holloway with all in favor, Resolution 2021-05 FY 2022 Assessment Levy was approved.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Landscape Maintenance
A. Landscaper Notes
Supervisor Holloway gave an update on behalf of Robert Soto. The center median landscape work will begin on Wednesday. The clean up on Well Field Road will begin within two weeks. An agave plant was repotted on Newport Drive. Mowing of the Wellfield Road has been delayed due to the rains.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Utility Operations
A. Utility Report
Alana Faircloth from Florida Utility Solutions reported on behalf of Mitch Gilbert. She reviewed the monthly report and presented a proposal for additional security cameras on the building. Chair Kish asked if a webcam could be installed and the response was “no” due to security concerns. Additionally, a conversation about lighting needs for the cameras ensued. Attorney Pires suggested that neither cameras or maps should be made public due to security reasons and the proposals given to the Board should be collected back after the meeting. It was agreed that a lighting proposal was needed and the Board asked for Mitch to present one at the next meeting.
On MOTION, by Supervisor Jensen with second by Supervisor Holloway, with all in favor, the proposal for new cameras was accepted to include the additional cameras as discussed.
B. Water Meter Changeout Program Update
The District Manager stated that there are 80 residents that have now received a full billing cycle. The readings are not available yet but when they are they will be presented to the Board for a year over year review as requested by Vice Chair O’Connell. There are approximately 80 more meters that need to be installed after this current billing cycle.
The District Manager requested that Florida Utility Solutions provide in its reports a section that includes how much water is pumped and consumed.
C. Sinking Sewer Cleanout Repairs
This project is scheduled for the end of the month.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Engineer Report
A. CIP Review
David Schmitt presented the CIP report at the previous meeting. The Board reviewed to ensure their priority items were included. After discussion and
On MOTION by Supervisor Holloway with second by Supervisor Jensen, with all in favor the CIP plan was accepted as submitted.
An electronic version of the CIP report will be sent to the Board and posted on the District website.
B. New Home Construction/Drainage/Sidewalk Damage Issues
Mr. Schmitt continues to monitor new home construction. He stated that some of the damaged sidewalks have been repaired but he needs to inspect them to ensure all are repaired and any drainage issues have been addressed. Vice Chair O’Connell stated that the silt issue in the gutter pans still needs to be addressed. She also asked if contractors are held accountable to repair sidewalks and in neighboring lots. The Engineer responded this is on a case by case basis and it depends on if there is proof or evidence that they are responsible.
C. Stella Maris Drive Asphalt Repair Proposals
The bids received came in higher than expected. Chair Kish suggested holding on moving forward with this project until general construction costs come down as the work is not critical at this time. After discussion and
On MOTION by Chair Kish, with second by Supervisor Holloway, with all in favor, the Board rejects all bids and will solicit new bids at a future date.
A resident commented to the Board that he would ask the Board to include recommendations and comments from the community and the sub association’s lawyer for suggestions regarding the project when they do begin the work. The sub association understands that they have drainage work that must be completed at the same time and they would like to ensure they approach the project working collectively to have the best results. The Board asked Supervisor Leishear to be a liaison and work with the District Manager, the Engineer, the Attorney, and the Stella Maris HOA representatives to coordinate the project.
D. Maximum Height above Crown of the Roadway Memo
Chair Kish had previously asked about height restrictions on building a home at this location as it appeared a home was being built on stilts. The Engineer reported that building code typically references minimum heights versus maximum heights but 35′ was typically the maximum used. A resident spoke up and stated that, at the location being discussed, it appeared the contractor was doing soil surcharging to force the soil to settle sooner. The stakes were being used for approximately 30 days to help the soil settle before building.
TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS District Manager Report
A. Monthly Financial Report
Vice Chair O’Connell had a follow up on a question regarding the financials that had been previously addressed by Jennifer Miller, the controller. One of the entries dealing with utility general fund had been reversed. Vice Chair O’Connell stated the same issue appeared on the June statement and needs to be corrected.
Supervisor Leishear questioned on page 7 of the utility report that year to date the Board had spent $52k on a budget of $72k. Would the Board be over budget by year-end? Also on the general fund the Board has spent $20k to date with a budget of $19k and they will be overspent by year-end.
On MOTION, by Vice Chair O’Connell, second by Supervisor Holloway, with all in favor, to accept the June and July 2022 financial statements as presented.
B. FY 2022 Meeting Schedule Resolution 2021-06
The District Manager presented a proposed meeting schedule for the 2022 fiscal year. After discussion to keep it on the second Friday or to change to the third Friday of the month and
On MOTION, by Supervisor Leishear, with second by Supervisor Jensen, with all in favor, to approve Resolution 2021-06 to set the meeting schedule with meetings on the 3rd Friday of the month, was approved as submitted.
C. ERC Discussions
The District Manager stated that rule 4.35 defines or gives guidance on the utility ERCs. The attorney clarified two topics: ERC allocation versus ERC use. Chair Kish stated he wants the Board to consider changing the assessments of ERCs allocated to parcel 13. The District Manager stated there are currently no ERCs assigned to parcel 13, however Chair Kish stated that developers are walking away from a purchase agreement due to the cost of ERCs associated with the property. Detailed discussion followed which included the Engineer’s statements on how the developer had initially established assignments.
D. Newsletter on Meter Testing Fees and Easement Restrictions Update
The District Manager presented the proposed newsletter that will be sent in the next utility billing for the Board to approve. The District Manager proposed listing himself as the point of contact, adding notification on robocalls for boil water notices, and a statement on residents’ ability to enroll in autopay. The letter was approved by the Board.
E. Mowing at the Model Airplane Club
The mowing was completed the first weekend of August.
F. Record Retention Policy
The District Manager and the Attorney presented the general rules and guidelines on record retention policy and requests for public records. The formal process on how to request public records was also reviewed. The District Manager stated he would not accept requests via text messaging. All requests had to be in writing or via phone call to the office.
The Attorney clarified that the request needed to state what records the person was looking for. There could be charges for time, copies, etc., and a deposit for those charges could be requested. The Attorney also explained that the District Manager has a responsibility of protecting the integrity of the public records and therefore could not just “open” all records and allow someone to look through them without first redacting the records for private and proprietary information such as social security numbers, etc.
Resident Steve McNamee stated his requests are being “stone walled” and his legal team has advised him that his rights are being violated and the way he is being treated and the denial of access to the records he wants is illegal.
The District Manager clarified that Mr. McNamee has not stated what records he is looking for specifically, just that he wants access to all the records. It was also stated that Mr. McNamee’s attorney could contact the office and state what records they would like to have access to. Once that is received, the District’s Attorney would review the records and release access once they have been vetted. It was stated that a charge could be assessed for time involved by the staff to produce the records.
Mr. McNamee’s written request for records was read to the Board and in the request there were no specific records requested by name. Just a request for general access to “records”.
After additional discussion the District Manager addressed the Board and stated that he wanted the Board to be assured that he was handling the public record requests legally and protecting the integrity of the records.
G. Utility Billing Discussion
The District Manager stated he would like to resume charging for utility fees, as the rule is written and in place, for utility fees including late fees, as well as turning on and off utilities. He explained that many residents are turning the meters on and off on their own when leaving for an extended period of time and then questioning the water utility billing usage while out of town. It was explained that the District could not be responsible for water usage if they have not officially had the water turned off by FUS and the meter secured with a lock.
Chair Kish stated while he agreed in general with the fees, there may be extenuating circumstances due to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Supervisor Leishear asked that a reminder of the fees be added to the utility newsletter/billing statement. He also suggested including a statement of auto-pay options in each utility bill, as this may alleviate late fees.
THIRTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Field Manager Report
A. Field Report
Due to time constraints, the Board will submit any questions to the District Manger on the Field Report.
B. Other Follow-up Items
i. Cays Drive Landscape Lights Repair Update – New Proposal
It was reported that Excel Electric has not been able to locate a matching light fixture, so they provided an estimate to replace all of the older LED light fixtures on the entrance side of Cays Drive with new X34 3,500 lumen 3000k fixtures. The proposal included replacing 10 light fixtures at $1,800.
On MOTION by Supervisor Holloway, seconded by Supervisor Leishear, with all in favor, the Board approved the proposal from Excel Electric.
ii. Monument Painting Proposal
The Field Manager is having a difficult time finding a company that is willing to travel out to Port of the Islands and that participates with the E-Verify program.
FOURTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Attorney Report
A. Prepmac Lawsuit Status
The Attorney gave a quick update. He is working on setting up a meeting with Prepmac legal counsel and the District Manager.
B. Legislation Updates
The Attorney had no additional updates other than what was included in the packet.
FIFTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Old Business
A. Parcel 13
The Appraisal has been received and was sent to the Board prior to the meeting. The property was appraised at $1,850,000.00.
ii. Commercial Real Estate Broker Proposals
Additional proposals were presented and a total of 5 proposals were submitted. The decision on selection was tabled until after the decision on acceptance or denial of the Brian Jones offer on Parcel 13.
ii. Brian Jones Offer
Mike Carr, realtor, and Mr. Brian Jones were present and submitted a Letter of Intent with a revised offer from $2,100,000.00 to $1,850,000.00 (the assessed value presented by the appraisal).
Mr. Jones stated they want to develop a high-end RV park and gave general details of the development concept. Mr. Jones stated they are prepared to fund the cost of re-zoning the portion of the property from conservation to tourist.
Supervisor Jensen state he would like to see a commercial real estate agent hired and see what the property can sell for at market pricing.
Vice Chair O’Connell stated she doesn’t think the Board should wait since they have a legitimate offer with a LOI.
Supervisor Leishear stated he is interested in accepting the LOI.
After additional discussion, and
On MOTION by Supervisor Jensen, with second by Supervisor Holloway, to reject acceptance of the Brian Jones LOI and hire a commercial real estate agent to go out to market on the sale of the property; the motion failed 2 to 3 with Chair Kish, Vice Chair O’Connell and Supervisor Leishear dissenting,
On MOTION by Supervisor Leishear, second by Supervisor Holloway, to further consider the second offer presented by Brian Jones for $1,850,000.00 for Parcel 13 and directing the District Attorney to prepare a purchase and sale agreement to be presented to Mr. Jones; the motion passed 4 to 1 with Supervisor Jensen dissenting.
iv. RFP process
The District Manager will ensure any future purchase offers for land sales include a description of the proposed development.
B. Rules Change Discussion
The District Manager, Engineer, and Attorney met to discuss the changes they recommend making to the rules and are presenting to the Board. One of the rule changes would allow for an easier process to change the rates of fees in the future without having to advertise a rule change. The current process is cumbersome and costly when it doesn’t legally need be this way.
The District Manager also sated that there are several changes in billing that he would suggest that would require further discussion. The Attorney suggested a workshop to consider all proposed changes.
The Board agreed that a workshop to discuss the rule changes was in order and
On MOTION by Supervisor Leishear, seconded by Chair Kish, with all in favor, to have a workshop to discuss rule changes on Friday, September 17, 2022 at 9:30 am at the Orchid Cove Clubhouse was accepted.
C. Mosquito Control Discussion
The District Manger stated the County approved the extension of he coverage of the Mosquito Control Board to include POI. Now the vote goes to the Legislature. If it passes the CID has no choice of acceptance or denial. It would be a millage tax for mosquito control services provided by Naples. The POI community could supplement at their own expense additional mosquito control services.
SIXTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS New Business
A. Dormitory Vandalism and Trespassing Issues
Chair Kish stated he called the police on the vandalism and trespass issues he witnessed at the site. Vice Chair O’Connell asked for the building to be secured by a fence for liability reasons. Staff will contact the county regarding a fence. The Board agreed that no trespassing signage should be posted.
B. Area Lights at Plant and Security Issues
This topic was discussed earlier with the camera discussion with the utility report. Mitch Gilbert will present a lighting proposal at the next meeting.
SEVENTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and/or Comments
There being no additional items the Next Order of Business followed.
EIGHTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
Deb Janson asked if the Letter of Intent and the property appraisal would be posted on the website. She stated that she was surprised the Board accepted the letter of intent at appraised value, versus going out to market, as most properties are sold at higher price than appraised value. She will be making a public statement on her disappointment of the decision. The District Manager stated that the items would not be posted on the website but she could complete a public records request.
There being no additional comments the Next Order of Business followed.
NINETEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment of the Meeting
On MOTION by Supervisor Holloway, seconded by Supervisor Leishear, with all in favor the meeting was adjourned at 1:50 pm.
The Next Regular Meeting: Friday, September 10, at 9:30 a.m.