Special Meeting Minutes for January 11, 2023
Port of the Islands
Community Improvement District
A special meeting of the Port of the Islands Community Improvement District was held on Friday, January 11, 2023 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:
Steve McNamee – Chair
Dan Truckey – Vice Chair
Russell Kish – Assistant Secretary
Anna-lise Hansen – Assistant Secretary
Also present (or by web conference) were:
Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management (PDM)
Anthony Pires, Jr. – Attorney, Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A.
Gaby Novak – Project Specialist, PDM
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 Special Meeting was called to order and all Board members were present, except Kevin Baird. Also at the meeting were Tony Pires, the Attorney, and Gaby Novak of PDM.
Attorney Pires stated that the notice for the Special Meeting was posted on January 3, 2023.
Chair McNamee stated that he is in negotiations with Blue Stream Fiberoptics, who will install fiberoptics in the whole community.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Pledge of Allegiance
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda
Move 5A to 5B
Move 5B to 5A
On MOTION by Chair McNamee, seconded by Supervisor Kish, with all in favor, the Agenda was approved, as amended.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
Kathryn Kehlmeier commented on non-Agenda items. She stated that there are areas on Newport Drive that are overgrown with weeds and they need to be cleaned out. She also commented that there are numerous signs on Newport Drive from the Marina down on the center divide where the road or private driveways go through, stating that the road is only for authorized vehicles and unauthorized vehicles will be towed. She stated that there are so many signs that they cause confusion, do not allow for a place to park, and they are unsightly. She stated that she would like them removed. Chair McNamee stated that the Board will investigate and give their findings at the next Regular meeting. Attorney Pires suggested that information about no parking signs on Newport Drive could be an Agenda item for the next meeting. There was discussion about the authorization of the Board to have a towing policy, and how it was previously established, and Tony stated that he will bring a copy of the policy to the next meeting, which will assist the Board in their consideration of the issue.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS New Business
5B was moved to 5A
A. Presentation by Firm/Firms as to Providing District Management Services
Inframark Management Services gave a presentation:
Vice President Chris Tarase introduced himself and stated that he is based in Houston and that he spends 1/2 of his time in Houston and 1/2 in Florida. He stated that Inframark separated from Severn Trent and established their own company, and they operate in 29 states. He stated that they are responsible for the operation and maintenance of communities. He described the responsibilities and capabilities of the the four departments of the company and introduced Justin Faircloth, who is the local District Manager, and Jacob Whitlock, who is the Field Services Manager that they are affiliated with.
He stated that the wastewater department is treated as a separate company and has a separate contract with the Board. Chair McNamee stated that the Board is happy with Mitch Gilbert, but he would like to get a quote from the utility operations vendor that they use. The Board decided that they will contact Inframark if they would like to do this.
On MOTION by Vice Chair Truckey, seconded by Supervisor Hansen, with all in favor, the Board authorized the Chair to contact Inframark for information about the vendor they use for utility operations, and the services they provide.
Justin Faircloth stated that he has been with the company over 8 years and is a certified district manager. He stated that he has worked with District Manager Teague and helped with POI’s transition from Severn Trent to Premier District Management. He stated that he serves 8 different communities. He stated that he follows the will of the Board, and provides bid advice and counsel based on his experience. He stated that they are a transparent company and that the Board or whomever they would like can approve the invoices.
Chair McNamee asked if District Manager Teague was aware of Severn Trent’s activities when they were still with POI, and Justin stated that, to his knowledge, Cal oversaw what Hole Montes was doing and what they were purchasing, and he was signing off on invoices. He stated that he has noticed issues with the community’s plant. However, he believes that the vendor was purchasing the wrong granular material to put into filters at the plant. Hole Montes had specified the product that should be used, and he believes that the District Manager and the engineer should have known what that material should be. Justin stated that his policy as the District Manager is to know what is happening and that he consults with staff about vendors’ activities. Chair McNamee asked if the person running the plant should know what materials should be used, and Justin stated that they should.
Resident Charles Gordon asked if the company was accredited with the Better Business Bureau, because he had not seen that in his investigation. Justin stated that Inframark is not accredited, but he is a certified District Manager, and he updates his certification every two years. He encourages the community and the Board to attend an upcoming conference in June with the Association of Florida Special Districts, so they can be informed about the what is going on in the industry and can gain insight into what services are available and how the community can improve. Chair McNamee stated that he was not aware of required certification for district managers, and Justin stated that it is not a requirement, but he feels that it is important to be as informed as possible. He stated that his company provides an orientation for supervisors every year.
Resident Karen Reed asked, if Inframark is chosen for district management, would Mitch stay, and Justin stated that it is the Board’s decision. Chair McNamee quoted the cost of Mitch’s services and stated that the Board would like to see if Inframark’s vendor would provide a more inexpensive option.
Linda from Newport Drive expressed concern that they would select someone other than Mitch, because he has provided excellent service, and they have not had water interruptions. She wondered if Inframark will provide the same quality of service.
Supervisor Kish asked if the Board will be able to access all records, and Chair McNamee stated that PDM did not allow him to enter their office when he wanted to access some records. Justin stated that all of their records are digitalized and can be accessed in this manner.
Supervisor Kish asked how many communities Justin is responsible for, because PDM had 7 or 8, and POI would like Inframark to focus on POI. Justin stated that he is responsible for 8 communities, but he responds to calls and emails in a timely manner. He stated also that the Board can contact his back office staff at anytime, but he is the interface for all staff.
Justin stated that he is involved in obtaining bids and proposals. He works directly with the attorney and engineer and oversees the contracts. He stated that Jacob is learning to handle contracts, and that he also serves as field manager. It was stated that he is serving as the assistant district manager and is learning about contracts and proposals and administrative duties, so that Justin can handle business with the Board and other high level responsibilities. Supervisor Kish asked about who is handling audio visual, because PDM has problems most of the time, and Justin stated that Jacob is responsible for audio visual and is familiar with it, and they also they have an IT department.
A resident Melanie asked if the charges for Inframark’s services will be discussed, and Chair McNamee stated that they charge $114,000, whereas PDM charged $135,000, which was for district management services alone. He stated that Inframark charges are somewhat lower for some other services also.
Kathryn Kehlmeier wondered if Inframark will be responsible for water billing, which is currently billed every two months, and if the Board would consider billing every month. Justin stated that he will investigate the current system to see what will be the best. She also wondered how long the transition will be from PDM to Inframark, including billing, and Justin stated that it would be 30 days from the executed contract. Attorney Pires stated that he could prepare all the required documents to expedite the process. There was discussion on the timing of various procedures in the transition.
Karen Reed asked about the transition of the website, and Justin stated that they work with a third party vendor to handle this. She also wondered if the community will have input on what is placed on the website, and Justin stated that it is the decision of the Board. Chair McNamee suggested that the community could go on the other websites of the communities that Inframark manages to evaluate the content. There was discussion on the requirements of the ADA in relation to the website.
Lorraine Williams asked if the homeowners will have the option of digital payments for the water bills, and Chair McNemee stated that the current system will be used and that the residents could use auto-pay. She also asked about digitalized records, and Chair McNamee stated that many of the records are digitalized, and possibly those that are not as important are hard copies and could be stored at the water plant until they can be digitalized. There was discussion about the retention of records, and Attorney Pires stated that it is determined by Florida statutes.
Justin stated that they will furnish the Board with iPads which can used for access to information.
It was stated that a formal proposal will be presented at the January 20th meeting with all of the transition costs, and the Board asked Inframark to send documents to PDM, so that all of them can be included in the Agenda packet. Justin stated that they will do so.
5A was moved to 5B.
B. Consideration of Resolution Regarding Signatories on District Checking Accounts
There was discussion on the signatories for payments, and the method to access invoices. Chair McNamee stated that he believes the residents should have access to the invoices, so that they can see the activities in process in the community. The requirements for ADA compliance was also discussed.
On MOTION by Chair McNamee, seconded by Vice Chair Truckey, with all in favor, the Board approved the district manager to provide all payment requests from vendors to the chair for his approval, excluding the current automatic payments.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS District Manager Items
B. District Manager Items
There were no District Manager items.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
Kathryn Osswald commented on a missing cover on the water meter at 302 Newport Drive and another one that is beginning to crack, which is a safety issue. She also commented that she sees the need for the median to be maintained, and Supervisor Hansen stated that she attended the County Board of Commissioners meeting and discussed with them a possible cost sharing plan for the median’s maintenance.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Attorney Report
A. Discussion and Direction Regarding Termination of Contract Letter dated December 20, 2022 from Premier District Management, LLC.
Attorney Pires stated that the original date of termination was February 18, 2023.
B. Discussion and Direction Regarding Short Term Agreement for Management Services with Premier District Management, LLC.
Attorney Pires reviewed the specifics of the short term agreement that will be presented to PDM at the next meeting. There was discussion on the dates of the termination and the billing transfer, among other items.
Supervisor Kish stated that PDM had added a 3% yearly increase on all contract items which was not previously authorized.
On MOTION by Chair McNamee, seconded by Supervisor Kish, with all in favor, the Board approved that a short term agreement with Premier District Management, LLC be prepared by the attorney, adding 10 days to the original date of termination and billing.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests and/or Comments
Vice Chair Truckey stated that the Board had agreed to build a storage water tank, and Mitch had provided an estimate. He stated that this will need to be updated, because Mitch informed him that the project should be transferred to the new engineer, so that permits can be obtained. Supervisor Kish stated that he believes that this does not need to be done right away.
Vice Chair Truckey also stated that, according to District Manager Teague, all FEMA projects are to be reported to FEMA by the end of January. The Board asked Vice Chair Truckey to consult with District Manager Teague to ensure that the list of projects for FEMA reimbursement will be completed, and he agreed to do so. He stated that one of the projects is the new generator, which will be installed within the next 2 weeks. There was discussion on various projects that are on the list and those that could be added.
Justin from Inframark suggested that a specialist be used to process the requests for FEMA reimbursement. He stated that they had recently received $4.4 million from FEMA for one of their communities after Hurricane Irma, and the Fire Department is one specialist who can handle FEMA claims.
Collier County personnel were at the meeting, including County Engineer Jack McKenna, Jeff Letourneau from Code Enforcement, and Joe Engler from Law Enforcement.
Mr. McKenna stated that there are a number of violations throughout the community, because the original design plans approved by the County were not followed. He suggested that the CID could prepare a modification of the plans, or have the jurisdiction of roadway management and the stormwater management system transferred to the CID. He stated that they are not major issues, but they are code violations, and they could eventually become issues of major concern. Attorney Pires stated that other agencies will be involved, including South Florida Water Management District. Chair McNamee wondered if the Board could work with the County to correct the violations, and Attorney Pires stated that only one Board member could work with County staff outside of a public meeting.
Supervisor Kish asked how many violations there are, and Mr. Letourneau stated that one is a resident at 163 Sunset Cays Drive, who is in noncompliance for 3 issues, and the Board can resolve the issue internally without involving the County. Another issue is with resident Karen Reed. She was present and stated that she had questions about the plans of the CID and what she was asked to do. The requirements of the County in regard to this issue were discussed, as well as other issues in the community. Vice Chair Truckey stated that he believes that the requirements of the CID should be more restrictive than those of the County.
On MOTION by Supervisor Hansen, seconded by Supervisor Kish, with all in favor, the Board agreed that action on all County violations be tabled until the Board is better informed.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
Frank from Stella Maris stated that there are unfounded anonymous complaints sent to the County, and he wrote a letter to the County Commission, asking them to address those complaints. The County agreed that anonymous complaints will no longer be accepted.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
On MOTION by Chair McNamee, seconded by Vice Chair Truckey, with all in favor, the Board agreed to adjourn the meeting.
The Next Regular Meeting will be on January 20, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.