Draft Meeting Minutes for November 27, 2023
Community Development District
The regular meeting of Board of Supervisors of the Heritage Palms Community Development District was held on Monday, November 27, 2023 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
Dennis Kane – Assistant Secretary
Al O’Brien – Assistant Secretary
Also attending were:
Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management (PDM)
Chuck Rawson – Resident
George Smothers – Resident
Sam Marshall – Engineer, Banks Engineering
Jim Wesoloski – HOA Liaison
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 8:02 a.m., and District Manager Teague called the roll. All Board members were present, with Vice Chair Switzer arriving at 8:03 a.m. Also in attendance were Cal Teague, the District Manager, and Residents George Smothers and Chuck Rawson. Attending remotely were Sam Marshall, the Engineer, Jim Wesoloski, HOA Liaison and Christopher Dudak, Client Services Manager from PDM.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda
On MOTION by Supervisor Kane, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Agenda was approved, as presented.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
There were no Audience comments on Agenda items.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consent Agenda
A. Items to be Pulled from Consent Section for Discussion by the Board
There were no items pulled.
B. Motion to Approve Consent Items
On MOTION by Supervisor Kane, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with all in favor, the Board approved all items on the Consent Agenda.
C. Consent Items
i. Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for October 23, 2023
ii. Financial Report for October 2023
iii. FEMA Reimbursement Update
D. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Attorney
A. Halperin Fence Repair Final Demand Letter
The final invoice from Carter Fence, which indicated completion, was sent to Attorney Urbancic for its inclusion in a final demand letter to Mr. Halperin, which was previously authorized by the Board. Attorney Urbancic mailed the final demand letter for Mr. Halperin’s fence damages and legal and engineering fees on November 27, 2023, and it was presented as a handout to the Board. No response from Mr. Halperin has been received.
On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved filing a lawsuit against Mr. Halperin for failure to repair the fence, and for legal and engineering expenses, if he does not respond within 14 days.
On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Kane, with all in favor, the Board approved the installation of “No Trespassing” signs along the repaired Bromley Lane fence.
B. Gate Access / Post Orders Proposed Revisions
The Board was presented a draft copy of the revised post orders, which Attorney Urbancic had not reviewed by meeting time, but which staff had modified based on language provided by the attorney that he proposed for use in his other communities with public roads.
On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board recommends forwarding the suggested changes to the post orders to the HOA and the Club.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Engineer
A. Roadway Milling and Paving Project Final Inspection
Engineer Marshall reported that the tire marks on the cart path have been cleaned, and the City’s final inspection was completed. Chair Whitten stated that he is happy with Russ Berner Construction’s cleanup work on the pavers, even though there are tire tracks also remaining on the old pavement by the Club. He has heard no negative comments in the community. Engineer Marshall also commented that Russ Berner Construction is a good contractor to utilize in the future, because they are responsive and produce quality work. The project is now complete, and final payment will be forwarded to them.
B. Slow Drainage on Heritage Palm Estates Drive
Engineer Marshall does not recommend more televised scoping of stormwater pipes, and he had previously advised jetting out those areas with 40% or more blockage, which were indicated in the report presented in the September meeting. He further recommended that they be completed later in the dry season. He stated that he and Field Manager Pepin could look upstream along Six Mile Cypress Parkway and walk the berm to investigate any potential issues. Chair Whitten mentioned the addition of a swale, and Sam suggested its placement at a low area between the Lakes L-13 and L-15 as a high water overflow. That would add additional capacity, but pipe cleaning would be the way to speed the street drainage during a rain event. He is hopeful that the pipe cleaning will be enough. The Board requested that the recommended 40% pipe blockages from the MRI report are cleaned out, but Field Manager Pepin has received no proposal for that yet. There was discussion on the location of the blockages with the aid of maps, and Engineer Marshall believes that it would be prudent to clean the two pipes from Sierra Palm Drive and Heritage Palms Estates Drive where it runs under the street, in addition to the interconnects that showed 40% blockage. Chair Whitten suggested waiting until the end of the dry season.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Old Business
A. Cane Toad Preventive Program Update
Supervisor Breisch reported that he had emailed Traci Bichalski of the HOA and communicated to her that Cane Toads are only a CDD issue when they are in the lakes, but since they are also present on residents’ and HOA properties, it is a community-wide issue. He forwarded a report to her from Bonita Bay, which stated that they have caught more than 10,000 Cane Toads and millions of tadpoles, and she seemed willing to meet with him to discuss participation in a community-wide Cane Toad removal program. They are planning to meet, and after the meeting, he will contact District Manager Teague.
B. Lakes Maintenance Concerns
Chair Whitten stated that he observed some improvement from FloridAquatics treatments and extra attention, but there are still issues which need to be addressed. Field Manager Pepin had stated that he does not think they can sustain this additional level of work, and they will need continual reminders. Chair Whitten had previously been given authorization to pursue other contractors, and the Board agreed.
The Golf Course had also reported that there is dark water in Lake 25, which is impacting the waterfall feature by the entrance. George Smothers stated that the lights are getting dull from the dirty water, even after the waterfall feature was pressure washed. Kevin Ammon stated that he spoke with Aquagenix, and stated that he was told that chemical treatments would cause a significant fish kill but would possibly work. District Manager Teague suggested that the water could be brackish and could cause the dark water. Chair Whitten suggested that they ask the contractors who are submitting proposals for annual lakes maintenance contracts to provide treatment options for Lake 25.
On MOTION by Chair Whitten, seconded by Supervisor Kane, with all in favor, the Board approved requesting new proposals for annual lakes maintenance, with the addition of options for treating lake 25.
C. Lake 8 Fountain Power Repair Proposal(s)
District Manager Teague stated that they are waiting for a repair proposal from West Coast Electrical. This contractor reported that they have found several concerning items within the control panel, including undersized and underpowered wiring. It was noted that the 208V wire and the electrical panel have worked all this time, and the Board is suspicious about the advice to upgrade them. They approved obtaining a second opinion from another electrician. The Board also approved Premier Lakes to put the new motor back in and turn it on, and in the meantime find another electrician to review the need to upgrade the wire and the panel, Chair Whitten plans to meet that electrical contractor when they come. Chair Whitten has informed Traci Bichalski of the HOA, who had reached out about the downed fountain, about the power issues and stated that the time to repair them will be extensive.
On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with four in favor and Supervisor Kane opposed, the Board approved the installation of new wire from the cart barn to the junction box, and upgrades to the electrical panel, or a new FPL power meter and line, while also getting a different electrician’s opinion on the need for the upgrades previously recommended by West Coast Electrical, with authorization for approval from the Chair, not to exceed $30,000.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS New Business
There was no New Business.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Field Manager
A. Current Field Management Report
Supervisor Breisch’s comments are detailed in Supervisor Requests and Comments.
B. Follow Up Items
i. Fence Repairs Update
Staff is waiting for Carter Fence to send out their manager to inspect all of the remaining areas. They will follow up with them later this week.
ii. Trimming Littorals on Lake 7 for Pond Watch Access Update
Supervisor Breisch reported that there is currently one good opening for collecting samples and that another location approximately 20 feet closer to the roadway has just been sprayed. He stated that there is an adequate area now for collection. District Manager Teague stated that the muck can be removed in the future, if needed, so that it is deeper.
iii. Community Sidewalk Pressure Washing Update
District Manager Teague stated that the contractor could not begin in November, but he will be starting sometime in early December and expects the project to be completed before Christmas.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS District Manager
A. Supervisor Annual Ethics Training
A memo was included in the packet with many options, including some that are free, for Supervisor self-training. Staff will investigate an in-house program as well. Going forward, Supervisors must take the training and report it on their Form 1 each year. The first report will be due on the July 2025 Form 1 submittal, so Supervisors have all of 2024 to take the required four hours of ethics training.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS H.O.A. Report
Jim Wesoloski reported that the HOA has proposed a 6.54% increase in the 2024 Budget, and it will be discussed at their meeting tonight. Mr. Wallace is expected to resign tonight, and they will likely appoint Bob Reader.
George Smothers asked about a split rail fence at the end of Curry Palm on the right side, and it was clarified that it does not belong to the CDD but to the HOA. He also asked if drainage on Butterfly Palm has been inspected, and Chair Whitten stated that it had possibly been completed in 2019, but it had not been cleaned.
TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Reports, Requests, and Comments
Supervisor Breisch asked if PVC boxes were available as an alternative to the metal electrical boxes, as a way to prevent box corrosion, and Field Manager Pepin had previously reported that this is not available for electrical boxes.
Supervisor Bresich also mentioned that the trail cameras have captured more trespassers. Chair Whitten had also seen trespassers, and Dan Davis of Heritage Palms security has been notified. Security’s only recommendation is for witnesses to call the police. There are signs that say “no trespassing” in that area, and the Board wondered if the security personnel on rovers could call the police. Chair Whitten will research the idea of painting the fences purple, as he had heard that it may be an aid in any liability lawsuit in the future.
THIRTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
There were no Audience comments.
FOURTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
On MOTION by Supervisor Kane, seconded by Chair Whitten, with all in favor, the Board agreed to adjourn at 10:43 a.m.
The Next Regular Meeting is December 18, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. on the third Monday of the month.