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Meeting Minutes for February 26, 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, February 26, 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:

Dennis Kane – Assistant Secretary

Also attending were:

Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management (PDM)
Sam Marshall – Engineer, Banks Engineering
Jim Wesoloski – HOA Liaison
George Smothers – Resident

Attending remotely:

Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Gonzalo Ayers – Pristine Lakes and Wetlands, LLC
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 8:01 a.m., and District Manager Teague called the roll. Three members were present, with Supervisor Kane attending remotely. Also in attendance were Cal Teague, the District Manager, Sam Marshall, the Engineer, Jim Wesoloski, HOA Liaison, and George Smothers, Resident. Attending remotely were Chris Pepin, the Field Manager, Gonzalo Ayers of Pristine Lakes and Wetlands, and Christopher Dudak, Client Services Manager from PDM.

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

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda

An amended Agenda was presented, adding 10C Discussion on Future Quorums

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

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

C. Consent Items

i. Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for December 18, 2023

ii. Financial Report for December 2023

iii. Financial Report for January 2024

iii. FEMA Reimbursement Update

Staff continues to monitor the FEMA grants portal, but FEMA has not uploaded an eligibility memo as of yet. An updated hurricane invoice tracking sheet was also included in the packet.

D. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion

There were no items pulled for discussion.


A. Halperin Fence Repair Final Legal Pursuit

District Manager Teague reported that Attorney Urbancic had prepared the legal complaint and mailed the letter to Mr. Halperin, giving him one last opportunity to reply, and the letter was included in the packet. If no response is received by Friday, March 1st, Attorney Urbancic will file the complaint with the court. Vice Chair Switzer asked what expenses the District is pursuing, and District Manager Teague stated that we are suing for recovery of engineering fees and actual fence replacement costs. District Manager Teague reiterated that it may cost more in District legal fees than could be recovered in judgement. The Board restated its conviction concerning the long-term value of fully pursuing someone who ignores the property rights of the District.


A. Debris against Property Line along Canal by Halperin Property

Engineer Marshall stated that his team had surveyed and photographed the property line along the canal, and it does not appear that Mr. Halperin is encroaching on District property, so no code violation complaint will be filed. It was stated that it appears that he is mulching material in that area. Engineer Marshall observed no potential erosion hazards, and even though Mr. Halperin had not installed a mesh fence, there is no debris present. Engineer Marshall stated that placement of a mesh fence should be standard practice for debris clearance and mulching.

Chair Whitten noted that he thought there was a pump on Mr. Halperin’s property, and he wondered if he was pumping water out of the canal to irrigate his raised beds.  The Board will monitor the area for any indication that he is pumping out canal water. District Manager Teague noted that Mr. Halperin would be required to have a water use permit to utilize water for any purpose.

Chair Whitten reported a bulkhead issue by 10549 Wine Palm and #6 Sabal Green.  A realtor or broker told Mr. Fischer, who is interested in purchasing that property, that maintenance of the bulkhead does not fall to the homeowner, although, as a lot defining bulkhead, it does. Chair Whitten suggested to Mr. Fischer that he consider obtaining an inspection on its condition before purchasing the property. It was noted that there had been discussions in the past on the bulkheads, and if the lot defining bulkheads are part of the CDD owned stormwater system, or if they are a homeowner’s responsibility.  Chair Whitten referred to a March, 2014 agreement between the Heritage Palms CDD and the Heritage Palms Country Club which refers to bulkheads, and it stated that the agreement assigns the CDD responsibility for maintenance of all bulkheads, except for lot defining bulkheads. There was discussion concerning the bulkheads on a homeowner’s property, and if the CDD should inform them when it is their responsibility, but it was stated that the homeowner should be aware of that when they purchase the property. The Board decided that no action will be taken at this time.

Supervisor Switzer believes a section of bulkhead on Curry Palm at tee area 5 Royal, which is the Golf Course’s responsibility, needs attention. The Board asked Field Manager Pepin to investigate, and approach Greg Kreisch to recommend repairs, if warranted.

The discussion then moved to Item 8A.


A. Cane Toad Preventive Program Update

Supervisor Breisch stated that he has spoken with the Bonita Bay Cane Toad control group, who reported that they utilize over 100 volunteers and pay a contractor approximately $77,000 per year.  They stated that the first priority is tadpole collection, and they have programs for this and for adult toad collection. He believes this would be an extensive program for Heritage Palms.

Supervisor Breisch has had difficulty enlisting the HOA for joint responsibility of the program, because they believe that it is a CDD issue only.  Jim Wesoloski stated that he will take the conversation regarding community-wide participation to Carol Jablonski, president of the HOA, and ask if there are budgetary or other concerns for HOA co-ownership of this problem.

Vice Chair Switzer suggested that we contact professionals, but District Manager Teague stated that Field Manager Pepin has experience with Cane Toads, and he has performed Cane Toad trapping in other communities. Field Manager Pepin believes that Heritage Palms has a very minimal Cane Toad problem now, and he has not seen tadpoles recently, but he expects more to appear, because it will soon be their mating season. Chair Whitten stated that he also has not seen them, but Supervisor Breisch has seen them in the waterways. District Manager Teague suggested that Field Manager Pepin develop a proposal for collecting tadpoles once a week.

Supervisor Breisch stated that he will bring projected costs to the next Board meeting. District Manager Teague stated that he will put a placeholder in the CDD Fiscal Year 2025 Draft Budget for Cane Toad Removal.

B. Lake 6 Area Trespassing Discussion

Field Manager Pepin stated that the trail camera has captured a few people fishing in this last month. One person has been cutting branches to allow for better access to the lake for fishing. A Lee County Sherriff’s Office (LCSO) deputy visited the family of the young man in the photographs that were included in the packet.  He and his father admitted culpability, they apologized, and stated that they will not go there again. Police need to witness active trespass themselves, so they advised us to call Fort Myers Police or LCSO when there is someone actively trespassing.

C. Gate Access Post Orders Revisions

Included in the packet was a map that indicates which roads are public and private, and is to be given to Heritage Palms security staff to distribute to the general public when it is appropriate, as per the instructions in the Post Orders.  Also in the packet was an email from Dan Davis, director of the Heritage Palms security, which stated that he is instructing his officers in the new protocols; it appears that the post orders revisions/clarifications have been accepted and implemented.

D. MRI Cleaning Proposal for Remainder of Enclave

Included in the packet was a quote from MRI, which provided an hourly rate of $350 to clean out the remaining pipes and basins within the Enclave, and which Engineer Marshall had previously recommended. Because some had not been scoped when the other HPE enclave pipes had been televised, MRI was unable to quote a solid price, and instead provided the hourly rate.

Supervisor Kane left the meeting at 10:10 a.m.

The Board approved the proposal up to $10,000, and Field Manager Pepin will inform the vendor that they are approved up to $5,000, but will need to obtain further approval, if the hours worked exceed $5,000.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved MRI to clean additional pipes and basins in the Heritage Palms Estates enclave, not to exceed $10,000, with the stipulation that, if the hours worked will exceed $5,000, they must receive prior approval.

E. Community Sidewalk Pressure Washing Proposal

The Board previously had expressed their disapproval concerning the cleaning that Triple Crown Pro Wash had completed, and Field Manager Pepin obtained an estimate from Premier Pressure Cleaning for a 3 year agreement. Chair Whitten had been told by Triple Crown Pro that further cleaning cannot be done, because of the condition of the roadways in Heritage Palms, but the Board had observed better results when the contractor first started. Field Manager Pepin stated that he noted a decreased amount of activity in the recent cleanings. Before taking any action, the Board agreed that Chair Whitten will converse with Triple Crown and express the Board’s dissatisfaction.

F. Annual Lakes Maintenance Proposals

The comparison sheet between the 3 lakes maintenance companies was included in the packet.

Premier Lakes had previously given a presentation, and Gonzolo Ayers of Pristine Lakes and Wetlands was available remotely if the Board had any questions. Supervisor Switzer asked him how much growth he expected in his company over the next few years, and if he would have trouble finding workers. Mr. Ayres stated that he would not like to expand too quickly, but if he needs more staff, it would not be an issue. He stated that he had 45 employees when he worked at Lake and Wetland Management, and he currently has 5 employees, including a technician.  He stated that, when he had worked at Heritage Palms in the past, he only needed a crew of 4 or 5, and his workers could now come onsite more frequently, because the technician will accompany them. He also ensured that they will respond quickly, if there is an issue.

After further discussion and consideration, and upon the recommendation of Field Manager Pepin, the Board approved Pristine Lakes and Wetlands as the new lakes maintenance contractor, beginning March 1st.  Chair Whitten will thank Tim Farrell of FloridAquatic, noting that it was a hard decision between the three companies, and the Board expresses their regret for such short notice.

On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with all in favor, the Board approved Pristine Lakes and Wetlands LLC for lake maintenance, beginning March 1, 2024.


A. Proposal for Asphalt Repairs on Queen Palm Lane and Roadway Reflector Replacements

This was covered during the discussion on Item 6A.

D&G provided a proposal to remove and replace 18,918 square feet of micro-surfacing at 22 different locations throughout the community, which was included in the packet. D&G also quoted $850 to replace 34 missing roadway reflectors. The Board voted to approve the section of the D&G proposal to install roadway reflectors for $850.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved D u0026amp; G to replace 34 missing roadway reflectors, not to exceed $850.

The Board requested Engineer Marshall to provide an assessment of the roadway repair needs in the community, and draw up specifications, with the focus to be on the Wine Palm residential area, where road surfaces are in extensive need of repair from heavy trucks turning around. Engineer Marshall stated that it may be time to mill and repave the area, and it was decided that the work should be delayed until the Tiki Bar construction is completed, because of the heavy truck traffic during construction. 

In his assessment Engineer Marshall will determine the other areas that are severely in need of repair, and proposals will be obtained. He recommends that Field Manager Pepin install temporary patches on potholes in the meanwhile, and the Board agreed.

Chair Whitten asked about the FPL easement request to perform electrical work through District property near Lake 6 during the construction at the Tiki Bar. District Manager Teague stated that Heritage Palms will get a temporary construction easement, before any work can be authorized on CDD property. He stated that here should be no issues, if the easements are in order.  The primary concern was that, if changes are made to District property, such as taking down its fence, that it will be restored by FPL when electrical work is complete.

B. Meeting Date Conflict: May 27, 2024

Staff had noticed that the May 27, 2024 meeting is on Memorial Day, so it was proposed to change it to May 20, 2024, one week earlier. The Board approved the change, and it was confirmed with Joney Kelly that the room is available. The meeting change will be advertised and updated on the District’s website.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board approved changing the May meeting from May 27, 2024 to May 20, 2024.


A. Current Field Management Report

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

Field Manager Pepin stated that the lakes are in fair to good condition, and he noted that torpedo grass, spatterdock, water lettuce, and algae are beginning to appear.

He has observed a fair amount of trash, some of which is a result of construction.

He stated that Premier Lakes is addressing some aerator issues.

Chair Whitten also wondered if there are no trespassing signs by the debris pile on 10851 Deer Run Farms Road. Field Manager Pepin stated that there are not.  Staff was asked to send them a desist letter, because they are throwing debris over the fence and into the preserve.

Field Manager Pepin stated that a resident informed him that there are broken panels in the sidewalk, and he believes this should be repaired when there is damage in other areas also.

He stated that the fountain timers should be on from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., with the lights coming on at 6 p.m., and that lights and fountains should shut off at 10 p.m. Chair Whitten noted that some lights are coming on or are still on at 2 a.m.  Field Manager Pepin will have Premier Lakes correct the timers, when they are next onsite for aerator maintenance.

Field Manager Pepin reported that the “no dumping” markers are missing at the roadway inlets, and he will have these replaced.

Supervisor Breisch stated that a resident is parking with one wheel on the sidewalk, and Field Manager Pepin stated that parking violations are the responsibility of the HOA. Chair Whitten asked about the damage to a sidewalk on Wine Palm, and Field Manager Pepin stated that he has not observed anything that needs to be addressed. If the resident continues to complain, Field Manager Pepin recommends that the resident produce a photo.

B. Follow Up Items

i. Fence Repairs Update

This project is complete.

ii. HPE Enclave Stormwater System Cleanings Update

Field Manager Pepin stated that the project is complete, and the crew noted that the pipe had been 100% clogged underneath the golf course. 

iii. Preserve Edge Grate Replacement by Cart Path

Field Manager Pepin reported that the grate is still submerged, and work cannot be attempted at this time.


A. Supervisor Ethics Training and Form 1 Updates

A list of links for various ethics training courses was included in the packet. District Manager Teague stated that 2024 is the first year that Supervisors will be required to complete training, but it will be reported on the 2025 Form 1.

He also stated that Form 1 must be filed electronically this year, and these instructions were also included in the packet. The email with the link for filing Form 1 will probably be sent in April, and it will come directly from the State. Supervisors can file the Form 1 now, if they so desire. District Manager Teague also clarified that Supervisors are only required to file Form 1 and not Form 6.

B. FY 2025 Budget Schedule

District Manager Teague stated that there is no need to increase assessments this year.  He also stated that the Fiscal Year 2025 Draft Budget will be presented at the April meeting.

Vice Chair Switzer wanted to ensure that there are enough funds available in the 2025 Budget to cover future projects, and District Manager Teague stated that monies can be drawn from the reserves and from other projects.

C. Discussion on Future Quorums

The Board expressed concern that two of the five supervisors have had issues with physically attending the meetings, making it difficult at times to have a quorum.

The Board discussed the search for new candidates, noting that they prefer year-round residents, but also noting that being a part-year resident should not bar a candidate, provided a quorum can be ensured, and legal residency in Florida of the candidates has been established. District Manager Teague noted that PDM serves other Boards who manage well with some Board members residing only part of the year in Florida.

After discussion, it was decided that Vice Chair Switzer will ask Supervisor O’Brien to resign his seat now, even though his seat is not up for election until November, 2024.  This would allow the Board the opportunity to appoint a new Supervisor and allow that person time to acclimate to the position before the upcoming election.

On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with no vote, the Board wishes to establish a requirement for Board members not to miss more than 3 meetings in a row or 4 meetings in a fiscal year. MOTION FAILED.

On MOTION by Supervisor Breisch, seconded by Vice Chair Switzer, with all in favor, the Board approved that Supervisor Al O’Brien will be asked to resign before the end of his term due to the lack of attendance, which has resulted in the absence a quorum.


There was no HOA report.

TWELFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Reports, Requests, and Comments

Supervisor Breisch invited the Board to the 11:00 a.m. March 11, 2024 annual Pond Watch meeting, where lunch will be served.


There were no Audience comments.


On MOTION by Vice Chair Switzer, seconded by Supervisor Breisch, with all in favor, the Board agreed to adjourn at 11:59 a.m.

The Next Regular Meeting is scheduled for March 25, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.

Secretary/Assistant Secretary
Chair/Vice Chair