Skip to main content

Draft Meeting Minutes for June 24, 2024

Heritage Palms Community Development District

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Heritage Palms Community Development District was held on Monday, June 24, 2024 at 8 a.m. at the Heritage Palms Golf and Country Club at 10435 Washingtonia Palm Way, Fort Myers, Florida and via web conference.

Present and constituting a quorum were:

Mike Whitten – Chair
Stan Switzer – Vice Chair
Bob Breisch – Assistant Secretary

Attending remotely was:

Brian Anderson – Assistant Secretary

Also attending were:

Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management (PDM)
Mandie Rainwater – Assistant District Manager, PDM
Sam Marshall – Engineer, Banks Engineering
George Smothers – Resident

Also Attending remotely were:

Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Dave Slovak – HPGCC HOA Board
Christopher Dudak – Client Services Manager, PDM

The following is a summary of the discussion and actions taken at the Heritage Palms Community Development District (CDD) Board of Supervisors Meeting.

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Call to Order and Roll Call

The meeting was called to order at 8:12 a.m., and District Manager Teague called the roll. Three Board members were present, and Supervisor Anderson attended remotely. Also in attendance were Cal Teague, the District Manager, Mandie Rainwater, Assistant District Manager, Sam Marshall, the Engineer, and George Smothers, Resident. Attending remotely were Chris Pepin, the Field Manager, Dave Slovak from the HPGCC HOA Board, and Christopher Dudak, the Client Services Manager.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved Supervisor Anderson’s attendance remotely.

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda

An amended agenda was presented to add 8B Aerator Maintenance New Proposals

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Chair Whitten, with all in favor, the Board approved the Amended Agenda, as presented.

THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items

There were no Audience comments on Agenda items.


A. Items to be Pulled from Consent Section for Discussion by the Board

District Manager Teague pulled the Financial Reports and FEMA Appeals

B. Motion to Approve Consent Items

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved all items on the Consent Agenda.

C. Consent Items

i. Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for May 20, 2024

ii. Financial Reports for May 2024

District Manager Teague commented that the paving project should be entirely fundable from the current allocation of reserve, instead of from future contributions to the reserve fund. He also noted that FEMA reimbursements are not included as a Budget item. He stated that the roadway repairs were funded. District Assessments are 99% collected. Some homeowners will be sent to tax collection due to unpaid assessments. The Board accepted the Financials as presented.

On MOTION by Chair Whitten, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, Board accepted the Financials for May 2024, as presented.

iii. FEMA Appeals

District Manager Teague reported that the appeals have been submitted to FEMA and FDEM.  FDEM now has 60 days to make a recommendation to FEMA.  The amount spent to date on appeals is $971.75, which the District Manager Teague stated will be split 50/50 with Premier District Management and will be capped at $1500 to the District.

D. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion

Items discussed above.


A. Halperin Fence Repair Legal Pursuit

As stated in a handout, District Manager Teague reported that a private investigator, who was retained to serve a summons to the Halperins, had reported that there were attempts to serve, and they were successfully served on June 21, 2024. The Halperins are now required to reply by July 10, 2024. Chair Whitten added that he had driven by several times and saw their gate open. He also sent pictures of the Halperins to aid the private investigator in identification. He forwarded this information to Attorney Urbancic’s office.


A. Paving Needs on Wine Palm Materials Samples

Engineer Marshall handed out examples of various patterns of stamped concrete with an admixture with color in them. The admixture permeates the material so that chips to the surface would not appear white or a different color. He recommended that it be 6 inches deep with 6 inches of compacted material below it to handle the weight of contractor trucks turning around.

Engineer Marshall answered several Board questions about the materials:

  • There are some permeable types of concrete, but this concrete is impervious.
  • The scoring and stamping surface complies with ADA requirements, but there would be some risk of cracking. 
  • Cleaning will not be complicated. Pressure washing could be completed at the same time as sidewalk cleaning.
  • Scoring and stamping is no more or less durable than a smooth finish.
  • If etching is completed after the concrete is dry, he does not know if there would be a cost difference.
  • This product could also be considered for the cul-de-sacs.
  • It should be no more slippery than a sidewalk in the rain.
  • The wire mesh used is 1/4 inch thick.
  • It will have a longer lifetime than asphalt and will be cheaper than pavers. 

The recommended plan is still to wait until the Lodge work is completed, but Engineer Marshall will plan quantities for obtaining bids in the future. A decision should be made as to whether this will be applied on Seminole Palm, as well as, on Wine Palm. Chair Whitten noted that, at one time, quantities were listed on all of the streets. Staff will search District records for this document and forward it to Engineer Marshall.

B. Stormwater Management

Chair Whitten had provided some pictures from a resident indicating stormwater pooling during the heavy rains last week. He noted that the pictures illustrate stormwater collecting in the overflow swale, and that water was over the top of the water structure. It was noted that the swale could not be dug any deeper, because it would backfill from heavy water in the canal, if there was too much rain.

Although Chair Whitten noted that there was 7.5 inches of rain in 3 hours, no one present at the meeting knew how long it took for the water to clear. The Board compared the levels to those during Hurricane Irma, and it was noted that pooling was much worse then. Supervisor Anderson asked if any structural changes were made in response to Hurricane Irma, and Chair Whitten noted that the District installed an emergency overflow on the west end of the lake, and at 17 Sabal tee box, a pump and a natural overflow were installed. He also noted that the District previously had an extensive pipe cleanout in the Heritage Palms Estates Enclave and surrounding areas.

Engineer Marshall will inspect it again, or send someone out to take photos and videos after a heavy rainfall and observe how it drains. He added that the swale bottoms can fill in over time due to clippings, debris, and other items, and the depth should be inspected every 5 years or so. 

Although the water in the streets was high, it was noted that levels were still 1 to 2 feet below garages at resident homes. It was asked if installing concrete rather than rocks would be more effective, and Engineer Marshall stated that it would, but it would cost more to install, and the rocks are functioning effectively. The Board would prefer not to take out rock from the overflow basins and install concrete, unless flooding is in a sufficient amount to indicate it was not working. It was noted that the diameter of the drainage pipes range on average from 24-36 inches, although some are larger, and this particular drainage does not go through a pipe.

The Board noted that there is a map of stormwater piping in the whole community, and staff will provide an electronic copy to Supervisor Anderson, if he does not already have it.

Engineer Marshall added that the NPDES Audit tour went well. They were impressed with Field Manager Pepin’s field reports, noting that they are excellent, and he reports routinely on the information that the District would like tracked.  Engineer Marshall has requested copies of the pesticide application licenses from Field Manager Pepin, so that he can forward them to the NPDES auditors.


A. Cane Toad Preventive Program Update

i. CFS Tadpole Removal Program Proposal

Community Field Services (CFS) provided a tadpole removal proposal with services provided as needed for $50 per man hour with a 4 hour minimum. If CFS is not available, Pristine Lakes can provide the same service for the same cost. No action was taken on the proposal at this time.

District Manager Teague summarized Supervisor Breisch’s position that the HOA should be responsible for adult Cane Toads, and the CDD should be responsible for eliminating tadpoles, to which he agreed. Field Manager Pepin has heard reports of tadpoles in the community, and he has seen small toads, but he has not seen tadpoles. Chair Whitten has observed thousands of black tadpoles by 15 Sabal tee box and noted that they seem to prefer shallow areas and group together in the morning when it is cool. District Manager Teague noted that black swarming tadpoles are known to be Cane Toad tadpoles.

Dave Slovak from the HOA Board stated that he will mention the issue at an HOA meeting again, if the CDD Board can determine how to most effectively present it to the HOA Board. He believes the most effective way of obtaining HOA participation is by stating clearly what the impact will be. The Board noted that no one knows the extent of the problem, but it will most likely grow to be a major concern in the future.

Field Manager Pepin noted that his removal program with other communities has approximately a 95% removal rate. Some communities pay lake management companies to take ownership of the issue. Supervisor Anderson asked if there are statewide protocols or committee recommendations.  Field Manager Pepin notes that this is mainly a south Florida issue. He added that his trapping method is successful in this area, and in Australia, but they have a chemical product to kill tadpoles that is not allowed in the U.S.

Chair Whitten has been attempting to obtain information from the Extension Service, and Supervisor Anderson volunteered to spearhead research on this issue.

Supervisor Breisch thinks it is important that the HOA give the CDD permission to trap anywhere, including on the golf course, and Chair Whitten believes that they need to educate the marshals on the issue.  Dave Slovak asked if tadpoles are in every lake, and Chair Whitten stated that it has not been verified, but there are two locations, so obviously will likely be present in several more, especially where there are shallow areas.

Supervisor Breisch will ask Ernesto from Pond Watch about the extent of the issue elsewhere.  Supervisor Anderson will reach out to colleges and government agencies.

Chair Whitten thanked Field Manager Pepin for his effort on the Cane Toad issue.

B. Lake 2 Shoreline Repairs along Rip Rap New Proposal from Pristine Lakes and Wetlands

A Pristine Lakes’ proposal quoted $24,950 to complete the shoreline repairs. Chair Whitten noted that it is $4,000 less than the proposal from Copeland, which was $28,375. Field Manager Pepin recommends that it be completed, because the erosion will continue to worsen. It was explained that the proposal is to remove some of the rip rap, bring in fill dirt, reestablish a 4:1 slope, and then reinstall the rip rap. It was presumed that the washouts partially result from the Verandas rain runoff, and the Verandas had hired Copeland to install drains from under the roof runoff to under the rip rap and into the lake, all of which has now been completed. The Board approved this proposal.

On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Supervisor Anderson, with all in favor, the Board approved Pristine Lakes to complete shoreline repair on Lake 2, not to exceed $24,950.

C. Sod Repairs Proposal Lake 8, L-4, L-17

Pristine Lakes’ proposal quoted a total of $22,498 to install the needed dirt and sod for all 3 shorelines, with $7,766 quoted for Lake 8, $6,966 for Lake L-4, and $7,766 for Lake L-17. The Board tabled this proposal, desiring to update the quote and add Lake L-3, and at the same time, obtain a second proposal from another contractor for comparison. The work should either be completed after the rainy season, or allow the contractor to decide the best conditions for completing the repairs.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Anderson, it was moved that Pristine Lakes repair the shorelines, with $7,766 quoted for Lake 8, $6,966 for Lake L-4, and $7,766 for Lake L-17. After discussion, Vice Chair Switzer withdrew his motion, and the issue was tabled.

D. Lake 8 Clubhouse Fountain Pump and Motor

i. Replacement Proposal from Prior Meeting

This proposal quotes $5,350 to replace the 15hp pump and motor. Chair Whitten is meeting with an electrical engineer after the meeting today to discuss surge and phase loss protection, so this replacement is tabled for now. Staff will follow up with Kevin Ammon on the status of its FPL claim for damages to their pool pump and motor, which was also damaged from FPL’s Phase 3 loss, and to which claim the District’s fountain had been added as the effected electrical panel is owned by the Golf Club.

ii. Surge and Phase Loss Recommendations

The Phase 3 surge protection proposal was quoted at $1,300. This is for the fountains on Lake 8 and 22. Chair Whitten and an electrical engineer will be discussing other options after today’s meeting.

The Board approved the proposal, contingent on Chair Whitten’s approval after he meets with an electrical engineer.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved the proposal to install Phase 3 surge protection, contingent on the Chair’s discussion with an electrical engineer, not to exceed $1,300.


A. 7942 Tiger Palm and 7418 Heritage Palms Estates Tree Trimming Proposals

The proposal quoted $1,150 to trim these trees, along with others behind 7364 Heritage Palms Estates Drive and 7990 Tiger Palm Way. This was approved by Board.

On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with all in favor, the Board approved the trimming and removal of trees at 7942 Tiger Palm and 7418 Heritage Palms Estates, and behind Heritage Palms Estates Drive and 7990 Tiger Palm Way, not to exceed $1,150.

B. Aerator Maintenance New Proposals

After Alex Kurth’s regular semiannual inspection, he informed Field Manager Pepin that there is an electrical issue for the system that supplies Lakes L-13, 14 & 15, so he will have the electrician investigate. He further reported that:

  • On Lake 9 the air station has a weak boil and needs adjusting. The valve box is underwater, and they will return to adjust it. It is covered under the maintenance agreement. One head is blown, and a quote was provided to replace two diffuser disks.
  • On Lake 21 the compressor is down and needs to be inspected, and the breaker was tripped. They reset the breaker, and the system is back online.
  • On Lake 26 the compressor is down and needs to be inspected. The compressor is no longer functioning and needs replacement. A quote is provided.
  • On Lake 29 the east air station is not functioning and needs adjusting. This system needs to be adjusted, but the valves are no longer functioning. They found one head blown. A quote was provided to replace 3 valves and two diffuser disks.
  • Field Manager Pepin noted that compressors age, and electrical issues develop.

The Board approved these repairs at the cost of $2007.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved repairs to aerators on Lakes 9, 21, 26, and 29, not to exceed $2007.


A. Current Field Management Report

Field Manager Pepin summarized his report and the following was discussed:

Field Manager Pepin noted that conditions in the lakes will be very different than the conditions before the heavy rains. The rain will kill some algae and weeds.

Field Manager Pepin stated that there is a burned out GFI on Lakes 13, 14, and 15, and he will ask West Coast Electrical to investigate.

He presented an update on the trespassing issue at Lake L-6, and he noted that the cell camera replaces the trail camera. The camera indicated numerous individuals fishing at the lake. The wind, water movement, and lizards have triggered the cell notifications. Field Manager Pepin will trim some branches to see if that will reduce this occurrence.

Chair Whitten stated that he has called police twice already in response to cell notifications. Fort Myers Police sent a community relations agent, who had no arrest authority, so Chair Whitten has been asking for police to call him back rather than sending community relations. He noted that the blond young man, who the LCSO had talked to at his home some months back, was back and had kayaked there, and the Fort Myers Police would not arrest him, but would give him a warning.  Chair Whitten thought that the officer did not believe the warning signage was sufficient, despite the fact that he informed the officer that many signs were removed by trespassers. Chair Whitten will procure a trespass signage packet from Fort Myers Police, and Field Manager Pepin will install another sign, if he has some available. It was noted that the wing gates are leaning over on the right side, and Field Manager Pepin Pepin will determine if he can fix them the next time he is there.

District Manager Teague left the meeting at 10:41 a.m.

Field Manager Pepin advised the Board that letters were sent to residents concerning foliage that is growing through a fence and into the District’s preserve area.  The Board requested staff to send a second letter with a deadline of August 1st to correct the issue, or they will be billed the cost for us to remove the foliage, with a minimum penalty of $500.  Also, the letter should ask them to notify the District Manager’s office when they have corrected the issue.

A resident representing all of the residents from 11263, 11265 & 11269 Wine Palm Way had called District Manager Teague and stated that, since plants are not touching the fence, he will not remove plantings.  They will receive a second letter, stating that if anything encroaches in the future, they might be charged for removal.

The 11212 Wine Palm Road fence will be added to the fence repairs list.

B. Follow Up Items

i. Preserve Edge Grate Replacement by Cart Path

Field Manager Pepin noted that the area had just begun to dry out when there were heavy rains, and this area filled up again. They will not have the capability to replace this grate until possibly after the rainy season. This will be removed from the Agenda for a few months.

ii. Roadway Reflector Replacements

Field Manager Pepin noted that the installation has been completed.

Supervisor Breisch asked for a review of the requirement to replace these reflectors. The Board was reminded of the Engineer’s update last month reporting that the blue reflectors indicate the location of fire hydrants, and they are mandatory by code. The Board decided to replace only the blue reflectors going forward.

On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with all in favor, the Board approved replacing blue reflectors only going forward.

Resident George Smothers asked about the Lake 8 floating mass and was informed that it was algae, which emanates from the bottom of the lake. It usually breaks up in the rains. Noting that it is still present, Field Manager Pepin will investigate and determine if he should remove it manually.

Vice Chair Switzer asked if the aerator work is only being reported by the Field Report or emails from Field Manager Pepin, or if the vendor is inspecting and finding issues on their own. Field Manager Pepin noted that Alex Kurth is only onsite twice a year, or per request, so it is normal that they will respond to his requests frequently. The Board is concerned about the responsiveness of Premier Lakes on their own.  Field Manager Pepin stated that he is pleased with their responsiveness.


A. Goals, Objectives, and Measures Annual Reporting Draft Template

In the Additional Materials, staff forwarded a generic template of the goals, objectives, and measures report, noting that it is simply a starting point. Assistant District Manager Rainwater stated that the new legislation requiring reporting is not specific, so staff is preparing several options, from the most simple, in-house reporting, to quotes from other providers for more elaborate project tracking and reporting. There was discussion on the specifics of the requirement and the manner in which projects will be included. This will be on the Agenda next month and going forward until a plan is adopted and posted on the District website.


Dave Slovak presented some general updates on the HOA Board’s recent actions. Supervisor Breisch thanked him, and he advised Mr. Slovak that, generally, the CDD Board is only looking for reports or issues that directly impact the Board.

TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Reports, Requests, and Comments

Supervisor Breisch requested staff to resend the summary sheet to the entire Board, listing where they can complete the required ethics training course.


There were no Audience comments.


On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Chair Whitten, with all in favor, the Board agreed to adjourn at 11:27 a.m.

The Next Regular Meeting is scheduled for July 22, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.

Secretary/Assistant Secretary
Chair/Vice Chair