Skip to main content

Draft Meeting Minutes for October 23, 2023

Heritage Palms
Community Development District

The regular meeting of Board of Supervisors of the Heritage Palms Community Development District was held on Monday, October 23, 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 (or attending remotely) were:

Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management (PDM)
Christopher Dudak – Client Services Manager, PDM (remote)
Chuck Rawson – Resident

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 8:03 a.m., and District Manager Teague called the roll. All Board members were present. Also in attendance were Cal Teague, the District Manager, and Resident Chuck Rawson. Attending remotely was Christopher Dudak, Client Services Manager from PDM.

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda

An Amended Agenda was presented to:

Add 10A Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Amendment

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Kane, with all in favor, the Agenda was approved, as amended.

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

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 September 25, 2023

ii. Financial Report for September 2023

iii. FEMA Reimbursement Update

D. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion


A. Halperin Bromley Lane Fence Repair Legal Pursuit Update

There was discussion about sending a second letter to Mr. Halperin, reminding him that the CDD will be completing the repairs and will bill him for the work that is done, because the repairs could take 3 months or more. The Board decided to have Attorney Urbancic wait to send a letter outlining the final costs, after the repairs are completed and the final costs are known. It has been reported that the fence repairs are in Carter Fence’s queue for scheduling.


A. Roadway Milling and Paving Project Update

Engineer Marshall had reported that the project has been completed, and the Board has received favorable feedback. The Board is pleased with the roadway’s appearance, the good communication with the contractor during the project, the absence of loud noise, and the minimal traffic disruption. Chair Whitten noted that some of the storm inlets silt barriers were still present, and there are tire marks on the crossovers. District Manager Teague will ask Engineer Marshall to examine the crossovers and to conduct a final inspection.

B. Slow Drainage and Scoping Results on Heritage Palm Estates Drive

Staff received a written report from Engineer Marshall, which gave the following information:

Engineer Marshall reported that he had submitted the NPDES report to the County on October 20th.

He stated that the roadway project was complete and that he will be performing a final inspection, which was discussed above.

Engineer Marshall does not recommend further televisual scoping of the storm drains community-wide, because the initial videos were not clear enough to be useful, and Field Manager Pepin agrees. Engineer Marshall does recommend jetting-out the areas with 40% blockages and the pond interconnects for the pipes at the Enclave where there was flooding. He stated that, if the Board is interested, he can do a study on adding an additional swale along the pond interconnect route. Chair Whitten stated that this is something to keep in mind for the future, but the Board is not interested at this time.


A. 2 Proposals to ROV the Remaining Stormwater Lines in the Heritage Palms

Staff had received a proposal to televise the remaining south system and another proposal to televise the entire north system. However, the Board expressed no interest, based on the recommendations from Field Manager Pepin and Engineer Marshall on the lack of value, which was discussed above.

B. Cane Toad Preventive Program Options

Supervisor Breisch clarified that he does not want the pond watch and cane toad programs combined and asked staff to amend the minutes to reflect this. He also asked that any reference to his comments about jacket purchases are removed from the minutes, because this could promote the idea that there is money set aside for the jackets. There were no objections.

The Board stated that they would like the HOA involved in promoting the Cane Toad issues as a community problem, and not simply a CDD responsibility. District Manager Teague suggested that both the HOA and the CDD contribute $5,000 each for the program.  Chair Whitten stated that he is open to the CDD providing funding and this was discussed. Supervisor Breisch stated that it is too early to discuss funding, and he would just like to solicit HOA involvement and ask the HOA Manager, Traci, to help solicit volunteers, and the Board agreed.

C. Lakes Maintenance Concerns

District Manager Teague stated that Field Manager Pepin reported that his biggest concern is the growth of water lettuce, which is continuing to spread from Canal C-15, Lake L-12, and Lake L-6 to Lake L-9, and .that it is the worst he has ever seen in the community lakes. It was noted that algae control is the best that it’s been in years, but the invasive plant growth, such as water lettuce, spatterdock and bacopa, is not managed as well.  Chair Whitten stated that he and Field manager Pepin had met with Tim Farrell, the owner of FloridAquatic, and they felt that he is responsive but may not have sufficient staff to address the needs of the community. One technician has been working, and Chair Whitten stated that they have now sent two men, but he did not know if this is routine. There was then discussion about finding a different lake maintenance company. The Board discussed giving Chair Whitten the authority to terminate the contract and pick another contractor, with the advice of Field Manager Pepin, so that another month does not pass before action is taken. The Board agreed, and District Manager Teague suggested Pristine Lakes, the new firm that Gonzalo Ayres has started, and Premier Lakes as the best options. District Manager Teague suggested that, when Chair Whitten and Field Manager Pepin decide whether to retain the current vendor or terminate their contract, staff will send an email to the Board with this decision. If anyone desires to discuss this decision, it will be on the next Agenda. Supervisor Breisch suggested giving FloridAquatic 30 days to improve their services, but Chair Whitten stated that 30 days may not be enough time to notice a change, because Field Manager Pepin is only in the community once a month.

On MOTION by Supervisor Kane, seconded by Supervisor O’Brien, with all in favor, the Board authorized the Chair, with advice from the Field Manager, to retain FloridAquatic for lake maintenance or terminate the contract and select another vendor at his discretion.

D. Discussion on Lakes 8 and 22 Fountains Issues

Field Manager Pepin reported that the fountain is running in Lake 22, but there is an issue with the underground electrical line that runs from the cart barn to the shoreline for the fountain at Lake 8. He stated that Premier Lakes is trying to remove the line, but they cannot free it from the conduit, which is an indicator that it might be damaged underground. He stated that the motor is also dead and needs replacement, but it is under warranty. He stated that they may need to put in new conduit, because it is possible that it has been crushed. So far, the wire cannot be removed, and a winch may need to be used.

Chair Whitten stated that the HOA is considering the addition of more fountains to the community, which would run with solar power, and the Board would like to see an option for the Lake 8 fountain to be converted to solar power. It was decided that staff will obtain a proposal to repair the fountain traditionally, with a solar option, if a 15hp motor can run on solar and battery power. Chair Whitten also explained that there is a manual reset at the fountains, and the fountains need to be flipped and reset by boat, which is difficult. He believes that the motor is under warranty, and the Board directed staff to take all necessary action to fix the power to the Lake 8 fountain, and resolve the reset issue at the fountain, if possible.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor O’Brien, with 4 in favor and Supervisor Kane opposed, the Board approved the repair and restoration of the power on the Lake 8 fountain, ensuring that it is up to code, and resolving the reset issue, if possible, with the Chair’s approval, not to exceed $10,000.


A. Gate Access Post Orders

The gatehouse post orders and the agreement between the CDD and the HOA were included in the packet, and they describe the security services and the rules for public access to the community. The agreement states that Security will abide by all laws for public roads, and that the CDD has final approval of post orders. District Manager Teague explained that the CDD owns the gate and the roads, but they have granted the authority to the HOA to provide security. The current post orders do not state that the roads are public, and that no one can be prevented entry.

District Manager Teague suggested that Attorney Urbancic review the post orders and clarify that the public is allowed entry. The revision will be forwarded to the FEMA grants portal, noting that the proper rules were in place, but Security will be provided clarified and corrected post orders. The Board authorized Attorney Urbancic to review and revise the post orders.

On MOTION by Chair Whitten, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with all in favor, the Board authorized the Attorney to review and revise the post orders, ensuring that they follow all State and Federal laws, and clarifying that the public is allowed access to the community.


A. Current Field Management Report

Field Manager Pepin’s report was reviewed, and the following items were discussed:

Chair Whitten is concerned about how long it is taking to complete the fence repairs.

Chair Whitten also requested that the company who power washes the roads is reminded to refrain from soliciting in the community.

Supervisor Breisch wonders what the next step could be, since the trail camera has captured people climbing over the fence at Lake 6. The Board requested staff to send the pictures to Dan Davis, Director of Heritage Palms Security, so he can determine if he recognizes anyone and to request if he has suggestions on enforcement.

It was commented that the Board is happy overall with the work on the sidewalks, curbs and gutters, but there is a need for some cleanup.

B. Follow Up Items

i. Fence Repairs Update

Field Manager Pepin stated that he had been informed that Carter Fence has returned and has continued fence repairs, and they expect completion in November. He plans to inspect the repairs this week to ensure that they are completed. He reported that the Bromley Lane fence repairs have been put in the scheduling queue at Carter Fence.

ii. Sidewalk, Curb, and Gutter Concrete Repair

Field Manager Pepin reported that the task is complete.

iii. Trimming Littorals on Lake 7 for Pond Watch Access

Field Manager Pepin had been informed that the trimming is complete. Supervisor Breisch stated this has not been completed satisfactorily, because there are still too many weeds for successful access when taking water samples. Chair Whitten asked if longer poles would help, and Supervisor Breisch stated that the containers at the end of the pole hold a quart or two of water and lifting them would be difficult. Field Manager Pepin is requested to address this further.

iv. 2A, 2B, 23, 24, 26, L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L12 Aeration Repairs Update

This project is complete.

v. Feasibility of Stockpiling Aerator and Fountain Parts

Field Manager Pepin wondered where the parts would be stored, and no action was taken.


A. Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Amendment

District Manager Teague stated that adjustments to the Budget are needed each year, and there was discussion on some line items that need to be changed.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Kane, with all in favor, the Board approved Resolution 2024-01 accepting the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Amendment.


The HOA had nothing to report.

TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Reports, Requests, and Comments

Vice Chair Switzer would like it verified that the sidewalk repairs have been completed in November.

Chair Whitten asked if the Board had received complaints about snails in the irrigation system, and it was discussed.


There were no Audience comments.


On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Kane, with all in favor, the Board agreed to adjourn at 10:06 a.m.

The Next Regular Meeting is November 27, 2023 at 8:00 a.m.

Secretary/Assistant Secretary
Chair/Vice Chair