Services Provided to the Community
The Heritage Palms Community Development District (CDD) is responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the community’s public infrastructure. These items include all storm water management systems, roads, sidewalks, conservation areas, perimeter fencing, and walls. A monthly inspection is performed on all CDD assets, including those listed below, to ensure they are being well maintained in a safe manner that protects the value of these assets throughout the life of the community. Specifically, the CDD is responsible and provides services for the following community assets.
Roads and Road Assets
The CDD has ownership of approximately six miles of roads and is responsible for its upkeep to ensure safe and well-maintained roadways are enjoyed by the community. Alongside the roadways, the pedestrian sidewalks are maintained to provide a safe walking route for residents within the community. The main guardhouse is a CDD asset but, through terms of an agreement with the Heritage Palms Community Association, the Association provides security and maintains the structure. Other CDD assets used and maintained by the Association include the gates at Penzance Boulevard, the Winkler Road gatehouse and gates, and the irrigation pump house and its contents. The CDD inspects road surfaces and sidewalks on a monthly basis so that the Board can ensure they are being maintained as expected, to provide safe pedestrian and automobile travel routes within the community.
Storm Water Management System
The 45 lakes and two canals within the CDD are storm water retention basins which hold storm water during rain events, preventing flooding of residential homes and community assets. Also included in the storm water management system are 462 structures which include catch basins along the streets and water control structures that help to route excessive stormwater outside of the community. Additionally, another asset assisting in minimizing the effects of storm events is the preserve: 166 acres of native wetland, containing designated swales to assist in ensuring storm water is retained at maximum levels before it runs out of the community. This is as designed and approved by the South Florida Water Management District and the Corp of Engineers. These facilities are inspected visually on a monthly basis, with a professional inspection service examining all pipes and structures to identify cleaning needs every three years.
Lakes and Conservation Areas
The CDD owns and maintains all 45 lakes, 2 canals, and 166 acres of wetlands or conservation areas within the community. The goal is to make these areas aesthetically pleasing as well as to ensure they are functioning to their intended purposes.
The District inspects monthly all lakes which are treated monthly by a professional lake maintenance firm. The District makes certain the lakes maintenance contractor is performing within the expectations of the contract: to keep algae at a minimum, to remove exotic plants, and to keep water quality sufficient to maintain an environmentally safe habitat for birds and aquatic life.
The lake banks are monitored to identify erosion, washouts, and other issues of concern. An example of a recent event of concern is the invasion of Plecostomus: armored catfish which are destructive to shorelines by burrowing into the lake banks, causing loss of lake bank and potentially promoting erosion and washouts.
The District has installed and maintains underwater aeration devices. These aerators diffuse air into the water increasing the dissolved oxygen levels for the aquatic life. This keeps the lakes heathy and an asset to the community, as they are greatly valued as a part of the quality of life in Heritage Palms.
The few fountains that have been installed were also provided by the CDD which are a visual benefit to the community. These devices are maintained by the CDD.
The District also uses a preserve maintenance firm that inspects and treats for any exotic vegetation, such as Brazilian Pepper, which exceeds the permitted maximum of 5% of the conservation area. A monthly visual inspection is also performed to ensure the contract for preserve maintenance is being followed.
Access points via roads, gates, and gatehouses are maintained by the Heritage Palms Community Association but all fencing is maintained by the CDD. The fencing is included in the monthly inspection to identify any areas needing to be addressed. In addition, clearing of vegetation along the exterior of the fence line is conducted on a semi-annual basis.