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Regular Meeting Minutes for May 19, 2023

The regular meeting of the Port of the Islands Community Improvement District Board of Supervisors was held on Friday, May 19, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. at the Orchid Cove Clubhouse, 25005 Peacock Lane, Naples, Florida. 

SUPERVISORS PRESENT 

Steve McNamee, Chairman 

Dan Truckey, Vice Chairman 

Russell Kish, Supervisor 

Kevin Baird, Supervisor 

Anna-Lise Hansen, Supervisor 

ALSO PRESENT 

Neil Dorrill, Manager, Dorrill Management Group 

Kevin Carter, Manager, Dorrill Management Group 

Tony Pires, District Counsel 

David Schmidt, District Engineer 

Mitch Gilbert, Florida Utility Solutions 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

The pledge of allegiance was recited in unison. 

ROLL CALL/APPROVAL OF AGENDA 

All the board members were present. The meeting was convened at 9:30 a.m. The notice and affidavit are on file with the district office at 5672 Strand Court, Naples, FL 34110. 

On a MOTION by Mr. McNamee and a second by Mr. Truckey the Agenda was approved. 

PUBLIC COMMENTS 

Linda from Newport spoke saying she wanted to thank the board on behalf of the residents of Port of the Islands for their consideration in having the meetings videotaped. She received 125 signatures from residents that expressed interest in keeping the meetings videotaped. She thanks the board for doing this for them. 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES 

Pg 3, line 10/11 clarify doing a complete methodology assessment of Port of the Islands property, not just the Gun Club. 

Pg 2, line 33 add ‘concrete’ before ‘asbestos’. 

Pg 3, line 5 change ‘Southwest Florida Management’ to ‘South Florida Management’. 

Pg 3, line 15 replace ‘Deborah Jan’ with ‘Deborah Jansen’. 

Pg 3, line 16 replace ‘collars’ with ‘counters’. 

Pg 7, line 17 replace ‘Kays’ with ‘Cays’. 

On a MOTION by Mr. Truckey and a second by Ms. Hansen the minutes were approved as amended. 

MANAGER’S REPORT 

A. FY24 Budget Review/Approval 

Mr. Dorrill previously distributed the tentative budget to the board. It Includes history for prior year actuals, current year adopted, current year year-to-date, current year 12-month year end forecast and then a proposed budget for the layout used. Mr. Dorrill feels this keeps it the most transparent and provides history for some comparative purposes. Mr. Dorrill educated the board on how the budget process works. The combined budget for next year is $1,885,688. There is a general fund and a utility fund. He is forecasting a significant increase in interest earnings for next year. The year-to-date actuals are almost $72,000 above the original adopted budget. He is projecting the interest earnings will be $147,000 by year end. As a result, the forecast for next year has crept up to about $164,000. Throughout various cost centers on the expense side, administrative cost center has decreased next year in part to a slight reduction in management fees as part of his new management agreement. On the operation side, there were some unbudgeted hurricane cleanup expenses that were incurred in the past year that are reflected in the budget. The district’s single largest cost center is landscape. The storm water management, lakes and ponds contract for spring has no increases. Roads and sidewalks have a slight decrease. Mosquito control is separate and currently has no projected increase in cost. A new tank was authorized at the last meeting, will ask for a budget amendment when a better idea of its cost is obtained. Moving onto the water and wastewater fund, this is the larger of the two, this one is about $1.4m. On the operating side, he did forecast a slight cost of living increase in the utility operations contract, which Mr. Dorrill thinks is appropriate given what the district knows year-to-date. Under general liability the insurance premium cost is $11,100. The total cost centers on the entire utility side are $1,392,548.  

On a MOTION by Mr. Kish and a second by Mr. McNamee the tentative budget is approved, and the final adoption hearing is set for July 21, 2023. 

B. Voter Counts 

Received in accordance with chapter 190 of the Florida Statutes from the supervisor of elections, the current number of active registered voters in this community is 692. 

C. FEMA Update 

Several grants have been approved for planning purposes as part of the large regional hurricane mitigation strategy involved. There has been no new action since that time. The claim for costs incurred for debris removal, emergency repairs to the generator and well field road, and associated initial have been verified and the claim for that money has been certified. 

D. Video Update 

Update on the desires for reimposing the video archive and zoom capabilities that we’re doing today so think that speaks for itself. 

E. Utility Billing Update 

There is a status conference with Muni Billing this afternoon at 3 p.m. Still on schedule to produce two bills as early as end of next month, if not early in the following month for both the cycle that was skipped due to the switchover and the next regular billing cycle. They will produce two bills to avoid confusion. 

FINANCIALS 

These are the mid-year financials through the end of March. The district is in a strong cash position. There is $4,538,000 in cash between the operating account and utility account. About $10,000 in prepaid items, those are typically insurance premiums. Total current assets of the district are $4,545,000. $63,000 in payables that are shown on the liability portion. No long-term debt. No cost centers that are troubling. $5,600 received in general fund and $16,569 in non-ad valorem assessments just prior to them becoming delinquent on 1st of April. We’ll see a final slug of money for people that paid on last days of March that didn’t get recorded by the tax collector until the first week of April. Not sure what the history is with delinquent taxes that go to the tax certificate sale. Received about 94% of total anticipated revenues for the year. For the utility fund, year to date expenses for plant repairs on the water plant are $79,000, original budget was $38,000. The current year to date costs for operating chemicals on the water side are $24,000. Total anticipated cost for the year was budgeted at $27,000. 

The financials were accepted on a MOTION by Mr. McNamee and a second by Ms. Hansen. 

UTILITY OPERATIONS 

Last month we met all of our wastewater requirements and met all water requirements. The free burn on the water treatment plant and the distribution system was completed. Switched back from free chlorine to total chlorine yesterday. It will be about a week process for it to switch all the way over. Once get back to 100% chloramines, will start reducing chlorine levels and bring them down. The chlorine levels have never been above legal limits. The reuse pump station at the plant is working as designed. The station at the canal is currently working on two pumps and no longer communicates with the plant but it does work independently so is still there if we need it. Wastewater treatment shows 2.65 million gallons were treated but shows we only treated 2.24 million gallons of water. Think there is an issue with the meter. All pump stations have been checked, no issues to report. Suggests upgrading the Newport Drive drainage swale. 

On a MOTION by Ms. Hansen and a second the Newport Drive swale upgrade is approved.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT 

A. Requisite public records from Prior manager 

Will be working with Mr. Dorrill to clarify all the requisite public records have been obtained from the prior manager. If it is discovered they have not been, will be drafting a lawsuit. 

ENGINEER’S REPORT 

A. Wastewater Plant Permit Update 

There has been a site visit made to the plant. Another visit is scheduled for this Wednesday to look at a couple of specific things, one of which is to look at the filters. Second thing, the current authorized signature is still listed with Premier Districts, need to get it switched over to Mr. Dorrill and Mr. Carter. A letter has been prepared to address the switchover for the board’s signature. 

B. Chlorine Booster Station Update 

Looked at putting in a booster station, spoke with some vendors concerning that. Response got back from the vendor is the system doesn’t really lend itself to putting a chlorine booster station in place due to its size. Would be very difficult and costly. The district would need to situate the booster station on the North side of US 41. Only 0.8 miles from the treatment facility so any boosting that is done would not have much of an impact. Recommends the district look at adding flushing hydrants as well as look into looping the systems in the Sunset Villa area. Would have a lesser cost and minimize some of the flushing. The cost to do the looping would be less than $50,000. The board would like to start by implementing the auto flushers and go from there. 

OLD BUSINESS 

A. FEMA Mitigation Grant 

A work authorization has been put together for $3,000 to identify any FEMA related items on the normal billings. Mr. Dorrill suggested they leave the billings the way they are. He explained that the bills are already sufficiently itemized so if they need to pull out costs associated with FEMA related projects, they will have the ability to pull them out as needed. 

 

NEW BUSINESS 

Hole Montes has merged with the Bowman Group. This will allow more specialized resources in water, wastewater and transportation. Mr. Dorrill suggested authorizing the staff to draft a request for proposals for civil engineering services and be prepared to move forward if necessary. On a MOTION and a second the drafting of a request for proposals for civil engineering services has been approved. 

SUPERVISORS’ REQUESTS 

A. Meeting with ACOE/SFWMD 

Met with ACOE and SFWMD. They listened very well and attentively. They laid out what is expected as a community and what they legally have the obligation to take care of. Have since spoken with SFWM and they have a meeting scheduled for the 23rd or 24th to discuss Port of the Islands. They will reach out to us after the meeting to inform us of the outcome. 

B. Swales 

Ms. Hansen met with the County concerning swales. Established what the CID is responsible for and what they are not responsible for. Need to return the swales to what they were in the past. Going to look to people for information on swales that aren’t working properly so can investigate improvements and repairs. Spoke to Jack McKenna regarding the drainage at the end of Sunset Cay. Once the inlet is back to 19 DOT specs the permit will be satisfied. 

C. Ponds 

Who is contracted to handle maintenance of the ponds? They are never working on the ponds, suggests cancelling their services. Would like to find someone that will work either full time or part time to maintain the ponds. Mr. Dorrill advised against having an employee on staff to handle that because would require a lot of overhead. He might be able to identify a service to come in behind the landscaper and respond to isolated pond maintenance. 

D. Landscaping 

Both tree service proposals have been completed, began weekly mowing in May. Fertilization application was supposed to be done in the first week of May. Also addressed a work order to trim some hedges that were causing a blind spot on Newport Drive. Both retention areas were mowed at the water plant. Irrigation sprinklers will be adjusted as we get closer to Summer. No adjustments have been made yet. Received 1 an email from someone about irrigation on the West side of 314 Newport. Mr. Soto has been alerted about that and has it in his plans. At the last meeting the two monuments on Cays Drive were brought up concerning the district not owning the wall or shrubs around them and the fact that Mr. Soto has been maintaining the shrubs and the walls have been cleaned and painted by the district. Would like to comment that a lot of things don’t belong to CID including the meridian out front, which we’re spending $28,600 a year to maintain. Both walls cost $4,200 annually to maintain and paying $1,200 on a four-foot strip on Union Road to maintain. If going to investigate the wall and shrubs need to look into everything. Mr. Dorrill would be happy to work with their liaison to see if there are any services they are not entitled to handle and then terminate those services. Permission to remove the walls and shrubs has been given by the property owner. On a MOTION and a second authorized to obtain an estimate for the cost to remove the walls and shrubs. 

E. Union Road 

We take care of Union Road, and it is starting to get a little rough. Mr. Dorrill stated there is $10,000 allocated for those costs. This can take care of some of the potholes, probably can’t do a complete regrading. 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Lisa Sieger, 166 Sunset Cay, stated that if the issue concerning the wall and shrubs wasn’t brought up a year ago, why is it being brought up now? Seems like everyone is nitpicking everyone. We live in a great community, and everyone needs to work together, instead everyone is working against each other. Everyone should be neighbors and be kind. 

Gary, 162 Sunset Cay, brought up a couple of issues. About three weeks ago there was a bad lightning storm. As a result, one of the large royal palm trees was hit and needs to be taken out. That tree sits within the back boundary of the water drainage system, not mistaken the county is going to make them replace the tree. Had the same issue with another tree. Didn’t specify where to put it, put it outside the easement. Are they allowed to put another royal palm tree where the tree was, in the easement? Second, under expenses on page one, expenses for professional engineering, management consulting, and legal services, is that all the money there is for engineering and legal services? Are there other engineering fees, legal fees, or consulting fees under some of the other line items? Mr. Dorrill responds that the short answer is yes. There is a general fund and a utility fund and need to add the two together to see what the combined fees would be. Third question is, when are water and sewer meters read? Haven’t received a bill in months and months. That is due to the switchover to the new utility billing company, expected to get an interim bill as early as next month and a regular bill the following month. 

Katherine, Sunset Cay, asked if she can get a copy of the proposal related to the Sunset Cay Villas presentation. Part of the information is probably protected underneath the fact that it shows utility mapping, can probably send her the verbiage but not the maps. Typically ask that public information be asked for through Mr. Dorrill. The next thing concerns the discussion surrounding the monuments and who owns what. The exit side of Newport Drive is not owned by the CID, it is owned by the hotel. She requests they stop taking care of that as well. The property the County owns was brought up many months ago. Even though not charged for ERCs think would be wise for the CID to allocate some to them because as development comes will need some of those ERCs so don’t overextend how many ERCs we have. 

Comment received stating that when the residents were billed for utilities the last time, they only received four days to pay due to the changeover. Her bank sends out a bank check after 7 days which means she’s overdue. She does not like being overdue. When these bills come out will we have more than a four-day turnaround? They need to get the bills out, so people have sufficient time to pay for them. Second question, is Mr. Soto not coming out to the meetings anymore? Not unless he is asked to by the board. Statement regarding landscaping on US 41, 21 years ago went with her friend to board of commissioners, would like research to be done because when we asked the board to landscape that, the CID said they would maintain it. Before the landscaping was put in place there was dirt and sand runoff onto US 41 which made it very dangerous for driving conditions. 

ADJOURNMENT 

The meeting will be continued to June 2, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. On a MOTION and a second, the meeting was continued at 11:48 a.m. 

CONTINUATION 

The regular meeting of the Port of the Islands Community Improvement District Board of Supervisors reconvened on Friday, June 2, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. at the Orchid Cove Clubhouse, 25005 Peacock Lane, Naples, Florida. 

SUPERVISORS PRESENT 

Steve McNamee, Chairman 

Dan Truckey, Vice Chairman 

Russell Kish, Supervisor 

Kevin Baird, Supervisor 

Anna-Lise Hansen, Supervisor 

ALSO PRESENT 

Neil Dorrill, Manager, Dorrill Management Group 

Kevin Carter, Manager, Dorrill Management Group 

Zachary Lombardo, District Counsel 

ROLL CALL 

All the board members were present with Mr. Truckey appearing via zoom. The meeting was reconvened at 9:30 a.m. Mr. Dorrill informed those present that this is a continuance of the May 19, 2023, meeting to allow further discussion pertaining to the methodology of non-ad valorem assessments that was last reviewed by the former board in January 2022. 

All the Supervisors were present with Mr. Truckey appearing via zoom. 

On a MOTION and a second by Ms. Hansen, Mr. Truckey’s appearance via zoom was approved. 

The continuance was to allow further discussion pertaining to the methodology of non-ad valorem assessments that was last reviewed by the former board in January 2022. 

MANAGEMENT REPORT 

A. Methodology Assessments 

Today’s discussion pertains to ERU’s which are equivalent residential units for purposes of the general fund operating and maintenance assessment that you levied. There were a couple of issues brought to attention based on a conversation Mr. Dorrill had with Port of the Islands consultant, Russ Weir. 

The Community is unique because it is mixed use from a zoning perspective and has a marina and other commercial activities and deeded boat slips. The assessment isn’t complicated, but it is tedious. Purpose of the meeting today is to have Mr. Weir evaluate the recommendations he has made for further consideration as amendments to the methodology assessments as a fairness and what amounts to a rational nexus of benefits received based on the intensity of the use. Some issues or omissions include a development track sold by the district to a developer, known as parcel 13. Within 51 acres the developer has filed a site development plan that is under consideration by the Board of County Commissioners for 109 residential units. 

One of the recommendations for the evaluation is to consider imposing those units on this parcel that were previously 0. Discussion concerning 3 additional lots, one owned by the CID, the other two owned by the Board of County Commissioners. While eligible to impose assessment on an institutional owner it is not typically done. The marina store concession is also owned by the Board of County Commissioners but differs from the previous example because they have a concessionaire there who operates a commercial enterprise to which the County benefits from. Historically they have not paid any assessments on the commercial utilization of that site. Deriving benefits and should be assessed. 

The Gun Club was discussed and is currently paying two ERUs. It exists as a social semi-private commercial enterprise for recreational purposes. Given the intensity of its use, an annual analysis will be evaluated to determine what if any adjustments should be put in place. A couple of other areas, two residential lots at end of Cay Drive need to be evaluated because they are not part of the current assessment methodology put in place there. 

The next one is a commercial use that entails the cell phone tower parcel. It is not residential use but clearly an enterprise in commercial activity that derives a benefit from the district through roadway access and a drainage and water management system that is not currently paying any non-ad valorem assessments.

The final one entails the issue part of the evaluation last year. These are companion lots, which are adjacent vacant lots to existing homes with the same owner. Current methodology would suggest they pay 1.5 ERUs for maintenance on that combination property. The issue there being the existence of a separate process called a lot line adjustment which would take the larger adjacent parcel and eliminate the bisecting line and create one lot out of two. In most cases here that has not been done. The owner of a vacant lot adjacent to their home can still sell the lot to a third party or construct a guest residence on the vacant lot so there is still residential potential. 

If there are any questions pertaining to the assessment methodology the board is going to run a special legal notice that at the June meeting will receive a report and recommendation of any changes. Previously indicated will do formal budget adoption at a public hearing in July. Mr. Dorrill has minimum advertising requirements and will need to push back to August to make sure the required legal notices are conducted. Will need to authorize Russ Weir to bring up the ERUs in the next three weeks. 

PUBLIC COMMENTS 

George Powell is here on behalf of CRGC enterprises which is the tenant that operates the shotgun ranges. He is representing the tenant because the lease provides that any increase in real property ad valorem taxes or real property non-ad valorem taxes that occur after the date that the lease started are the lessee’s responsibility for the entire property. Mr. Powell has been through the property several times and shares that in his practice all he does is eminent domain and real property tax work. These are his concerns. As far as fairness and equitable and fairness and reasonable for relating the use of general and special benefits received by the property, this property receives no special benefits. It does receive some general benefits. The one that it doesn’t get is sanitary sewer service which is handled on site by a private septic system at the Gun Club headquarters that is maintained by the lessee. It does have a road which is paved from US 41 to the T intersection where the hotel used to be. As you turn to the right and continue down the road it is paved in fair condition. As you continue past an area where a former employee’s home was torn down the pavement stops. It is crushed limestone all the way down to the wastewater treatment plant which is the road that turns Northeast and goes to the Gun Club. The lessee maintains the road himself, filling in holes and re-grading the road. The Gun Club also receives no stormwater assistance. The Gun Club and the lessee do not dispute their lack of the full general benefits they are entitled to but urge the district to consider said lack when making their assessments.

Deborah Jansen, Sunrise Cay, states she is concerned with boat slips not being included in the list for assessment purposes. She lives in a condo and her proposed FY23 assessment is going to be $400 whereas a large boat slip is $100. She is paying 4 times the amount that a live aboard at the marina is going to pay. She encourages including boat slips in the evaluation. 

Jason Sanchez, Cay’s Drive, is somewhat surprised by the info he’s received here. So many commercial monetized properties are paying minimally to fund their operations. Truly believes a lot of the decisions made in the past have been arbitrary. Owns 289 Cay’s drive, it is a commercially zoned piece of property with no operations and no use of sewer or electricity, and he just paid $34,000 in ERCs and ERUs, ERCs mostly. The County tax was $3000 meaning he received a bill from the CID for $31,000 for a property that is not currently being used and is not monetized. He has plans to develop the property eventually. Thinks it is a disservice to a resident of Port of the Isles who is willing to invest millions of dollars to bring value and jobs to its district and paid $34,000 on assessments on a piece of land that is not monetized. Assessments went up from $19,000 the previous year to $31,000. He looks to the new board to make that right. He encourages the board to have Mr. Weir make his assessments and has renderings of what he plans to put in place. On a MOTION and a second the board authorizes the assessment scope for the methodology report. 

Deborah Jansen, Sunrise Cay, spoke concerning a problem that has potentially come up with irrigation. Some of the landscape plants are dying. She was informed by Tom from Big Cypress Landscaping that due to no more reclaimed water being available they were pulling water out of the canal to irrigate the landscaping. That is incorrect information, water hasn’t been pulled from the canal to water the landscape for years, the public does not need to be hearing that. Mr. Dorrill stated that this community has suffered due to the passing of misinformation. It does a disservice to the community. Mr. Truckey commented that the district runs short of reclaimed water all the time in the winter months, this is nothing new. The landscaping is supplemented with raw water from the wells in these instances. 

Lisa Seger, Sunset Cay, says this board is a breath of fresh air. She appreciates the board’s ability to listen, be to the point and get things done. 

ADJOURNMENT 

The next meeting will be June 16, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. On a MOTION and a second, the meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.