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Amended Meeting Minutes for May 16, 2023

Community Development District

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Habitat Community Development District was held in the Bella Terra Clubhouse at 20070 Bella Terra Boulevard in Estero, Florida and also via web conference on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 4 p.m.

Present (or attending via web conference) and constituting a quorum were:

Larry Roth – Chair
Norman Reno – Vice Chair
Linda Lea Gibson – Assistant Secretary
Jenny Licht – Assistant Secretary
Joe Napolitano – Assistant Secretary

Also present (or attending via web conference):

Cal Teague – District Manager, PDM
Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Charlie Krebs – Engineer, Hole Montes, Inc.
Greg Urbancic – Attorney, Coleman Yovanovich Koester, PA
Joe Martinez – TerraNova
K. J. Moses – President, Master, Bella Terra Community Association
Michaele Till-Cazares – Bella Terra Community Association
Melissa Gindling – Project Specialist, PDM

The following is a summary of the actions taken at the Habitat Community Development District Board of Supervisors Meeting.

FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Call to Order and Roll Call

The meeting was called to order and all Board members were present. Also in attendance were Cal Teague, the District Manager, Chris Pepin, the Field Manager, Charlie Krebs, the Engineer, Joe Martinez from TerraNova, K. J. Moses, Master, and Michaele Till-Cazares of the Bella Terra Community Association, Melissa Gindling from PDM and some Residents. Participating via web conference was Greg Urbancic, the Attorney.


THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda

Add 9H: Guardhouse Report
Add 8Di: Roadway Responsibility

On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Supervisor Napolitano, with all in favor, the Agenda was approved, as amended.

FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items

K.J. Moses commented that he believes that the diversion of traffic for guardhouse improvements is the responsibility of the CDD and not the HOA. District Manager Teague stated that security is the responsibility of the HOA.

Diane Meek thanked staff for resolving the sprinkler issue.

Bob Vaa commented that he believes the community needs to work together as a whole regarding landscape maintenance, because the funds designated to the HOA and those designated to the CDD are all coming from the residents. He also commented that it might be a good idea to get more quotes for lifting hardwood trees.

FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion with Terra Nova Regarding Cul-de-Sac Maintenance

Joe Martinez from TerraNova was present to answer questions from the Board about the proposal TerraNova had submitted.

The Board had several questions, and Mr. Martinez stated that his staff of 4 is onsite every week, and they will use push or riding mowers when needed. He also stated that they can provide tree trimming up to 10 feet, and they will clean and replace irrigation valves. He stated that any additional work outside of the contract will have an estimate, and they will complete it once it is approved. Vice Chair Reno asked if an extension of the contract will be needed, and he stated that he would like TerraNova to provide a markup or labor cost for any additional work. Mr. Martinez stated that this will be available at a later date, if the Board proceeds.

The Board discussed whether to retain the current vendor or have a contract drawn up with TerraNova. District Manager Teague stated that he is happy with their work in other communities, and Field Manager Pepin will continually inspect the quality of their work. Supervisor Licht stated that Estate is onsite frequently and, for environmental reasons, she wonders if the community needs another company onsite.

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Vice Chair Roth, with no vote, the Board moved to request Attorney Urbancic to draft a contract with TerraNova. After discussion, the motion was pulled.

Supervisor Napolitano stated that he is in favor of retaining Estate, because he is happy with their work over the years, and the advantages and disadvantages for retaining them were discussed. Vice Chair Reno stated that Estate is only maintaining 14 cul-de-sacs, and it was stated that the other cul-de-sacs are maintained by others. The Board decided to obtain additional quotes from Estate and other vendors.

SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion with Simply Soft Water Regarding Softener System

Vice Chair Reno had included a brochure from Simply Soft in the packet, and he explained that their system could lessen the calcium build up at the clocktower fountain. The company was not present, but there was discussion on their services. Supervisor Licht recommended placing a lighter color of tile under the bowls, so that the calcification is less visible. It was decided that Field Manager Pepin will measure the square footage of the area to be retiled, and Chair Roth will locate tile and request a proposal.


A. Items to Be Pulled for Discussion

Pull Diii.

B. Motion to Approve Consent Items

On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Supervisor Napolitano, with all in favor, the Board approved all items on the Consent Agenda, as presented.

C. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion

D. Consent Items

i. Draft Workshop Meeting Minutes for April 18, 2023

ii. Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for April 18, 2023

Supervisor Licht had submitted a change, which staff had completed before the meeting.

iii. Financial Report for April 2023

Supervisor Licht had several questions about the financial statements and invoices, including the doubling of the electricity cost on one account, the amount noted on one of Irrigation Specialists’ invoices, and a reconciliation/adjustment. District Manager Teague clarified that the adjustment was for a debt payment. There was discussion, with input from Attorney Urbancic. Since the invoices were not readily available, District Manager Teague stated that he will follow up with Supervisor Licht, if she contacts him, and he can answer her questions.

iv. Projects and Work Order Tracking Logs

v. FEMA Reimbursement Update

Chair Roth asked how much Bella Terra will be receiving from FEMA, and District Manager Teague stated that it could be as much as $165,000, if the District spends that amount on hurricane-related items.

Michaele Till-Cazares commented that the sod had not been replaced in several areas, and Field Manager Pepin will investigate.


A. Irrigation Contractor

i. Irrigation Maintenance Contract Update

Field Manager Pepin has been searching for irrigation maintenance vendors. A proposal from Ed Napier was in the packet, which noted that he charges $1,800 per quarter. No Limit, who is performing irrigation maintenance temporarily, submitted a proposal before the meeting. Chris is asking both contractors to provide more detail about their scope of work, and when the revised proposals have been received, the Board has authorized Attorney Urbancic to draft contracts for the Chair to sign.

On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Vice Chair Reno, with all in favor, the Board authorized the Attorney to draft a contract for irrigation services with No Limit Irrigation, LLC and Napier Sprinkler, Inc., contingent on legal review, and with the Chair authorized to sign.

B. District Manager

i. FY 2024 Draft Budget

The draft Budget was included in the packet, and District Manager Teague stated that the previously requested $75 increase was reflected, which will generate $141,825. He stated that, if this is adopted, every resident will be sent a letter with notice of the public hearing for the $75 increase.

District Manager Teague reviewed the draft Budget, and the Board discussed it.

a. Resolution 2023-03: Approving Proposed Budget and Setting Public Hearing

The Board decided not to increase assessments, and District Manager Teague stated that the proposed budget will have two line item changes to remove the assessment increase. 

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Supervisor Napolitano, with all in favor, the Board of Supervisors of the Habitat Community Development District adopted Resolution 2023-03, approving the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget, setting a public hearing thereon, pursuant to Florida Law, and addressing transmittal, posting and publication requirements.

C. Field Manager

i. Current Field Report

Field Manager Pepin reported on the following issues:

He stated that there is a washout on Lake 10, and it has been reported to Alliant.

He stated that the buttonwood trees will be installed by the end of the month.

Chris reported that a solar light is out, and it will be replaced.

The light behind the arm at the clock tower needs to have the ballast tubes replaced, and Supervisor Licht also noted that the clock tower faces are not lit at night. She commented that the charge for electricity is $12,000 per year, and Chris explained the reason for that charge.

On Lake 5 someone has been moving the lid off of a structure in the stormwater system, and Chris replaced it. He will monitor it to see if there are any more similar issues.

Chris reported that the ADA mats are currently being replaced.

Due to a pool construction, Chris reported that a drainage swale had been partially blocked. A letter had been sent to the resident asking them to correct the issue.

On pump 3, the no. 1 pump is back up and running, and the pressure has greatly improved, and Ed Napier is troubleshooting the 2nd pump. Chair Roth asked if the pumps would have a longer life if they were moved. Ed advised not to move the submersible pumps to a new location, to avoid alligators, because they are very loud and may bother residents.

Chair Roth had attended the B&T meeting and noted that there was a request for more fence screening around a pump, as well as additional lighting on the crosswalk by the clubhouse. Chris will look into this and get quotes if necessary.

There is progress on the lake bank erosion project on Lakes 3, 7 and 9, including the restoration of the lake bank to a 4:1 slope, the planting of littorals, and sod will be installed later this week. District Manager Teague stated that additional drains are needed in some areas of the lake banks, so the bank can hold the runoff.

There was also discussion concerning the scheduled asphalt repair by the gatehouse. Chair Roth suggested power washing rather than repair.

District Manager Teague stated that Cardno was bought out, and the new owner no longer wants small contracts for compliance monitoring of the pumps, so he has asked Steve Kohlmeier to submit a proposal.

District Manager Teague stated that he and Attorney Urbancic have reviewed Habitat’s contract with Storm Solutions, and he noted there was an issue with the statement in the contract requiring a notice for proceeding for the guardhouse door replacement, and they are trying to resolve the issue before it is signed.

ii. Project Updates

a. Lake Bank Repair

Chris reported that the lake bank project is going well, but additional drains may need installation. He stated that the project is almost complete.

b. Asphalt Repair Near Clocktower

Chris stated that they have received no updates from the County.

c. Clock Hands

Chris stated that the clocktower hands have been installed.

D. Attorney

District Manager Teague stated that he had asked Attorney Urbancic to review a letter from the HOA attorney regarding the CDD’s authority to have responsibility for the speedbumps and traffic control devices in the community, and the HOA attorney believes that the HOA should have responsibility, and that special powers from the County would be needed for the CDD to have control. Greg stated that there has been some misunderstanding about ownership, and that the CDD owns the roads, but they are under the County’s jurisdiction. District Manager Teague had reviewed an Engineer’s report which shows that the CDD financed, owned and maintains the roads, and so the CDD should have the authority. Greg thought it would be a good idea to amend the CDD’s ordinance to formally show that the CDD has traffic control powers.

On MOTION by Supervisor Napolitano, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with all in favor, the Board authorized the Attorney to research the process of amending the CDD’s ordinance to formally show that the CDD has traffic control powers.

Greg stated that the Florida legislature had passed the ethics legislation, which requires the District Supervisors to complete a 4 hour course, and it will take effect on January 1st, 2024.

He stated that a bill had also been passed modifying the E-Verify requirements, and he will be researching it further and report back.

District Manager Teague stated that the definition of CDD’s has recently been changed, and Attorney Urbancic will research the implications of this change.

E. Engineer

i. Emergency Exit

Engineer Krebs stated that he had spoken with Collier Paving, and they had requested an additional $12,000-$13,000 for the project, and he is expecting paperwork from them for this request. He is hoping that they will schedule the project in June. Charlie stated that an asphalt apron up to the driveway will need to be installed by the CDD, and a 10 foot wide asphalt multi-use path will also be installed. Supervisor Roth asked about access to the gate, and Field Manager Pepin stated that he can open the gate, and he will also provide information to the Board, so they can open and close the gate if he is unavailable. It was stated that emergency services also has access to the gate.

NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion/Action Items

A. Cul-de-Sac Maintenance Agreements Between the CDD and HOAs

This was discussed earlier in the meeting.

B. Clock Tower Conditions Update

This was discussed earlier in the meeting.

C. Necessity of Continuing to have H.O.A. as an Agenda Item

After discussion, the Board decided to leave the HOA report on the Agenda.

It was also stated that no workshop is needed next month.

D. Process for Approving Plantings

Chair Roth suggested that one Board member be allotted the responsibility for decisions on plantings, and it was decided that Supervisor Licht will have the responsibility of making landscaping decisions, and Supervisor Napolitano will assume responsibility when she is not available.

E. Location of Bench on Bosco Court

This was approved at the last meeting, but Supervisor Licht disagreed with the proposed location of its placement. After discussion, the Board decided that it should be installed at the back of the cul-de-sac, instead of the front. They stated that the installation will not be approved, unless the resident places it where Supervisor Licht suggests, and Melissa will email a letter to the resident advising them of this requirement. The Board also requests that the resident submit a petition for approval from the other residents on the cul-de-sac.

F. Light Pole Installation Proposal

Field Manager Pepin stated that West Coast Electrical had submitted a quote of $18,050 to install the 2 new light posts and fixtures near the emergency exit area. The Board decided to table this until the next meeting, so Board members have the opportunity to inspect the area at night.

G. Water Softener System for Fountain

This was discussed earlier in the meeting.

H. Guardhouse Report

The report was included in the packet, and Supervisor Licht reviewed her recommendations for the needed improvements. After discussion between the Board and the HOA, the Board decided that the completion of a number of repair and cleaning items, including asphalt repair, will be scheduled at the same time, so that traffic only needs to be re-routed a day or two. In addition, Supervisor Licht will obtain a proposal for installing a new desk and stand.


K. J. Moses expressed his appreciation for the clarification from Attorney Urbancic’s report, and he is also happy that the HOA report will remain on the Agenda.

Concerning the traffic accident May 2nd on Larino Loop, he noted that they are waiting until the process of completing the police report has concluded, so they can get a copy.

K.J. requested that the HOA be informed when there are vendor changes or updates.

He asked Field Manager Pepin to confirm that the asphalt repair will be postponed, and Chris stated that it will be.


Supervisor Licht commented that 2 tree stumps on Belvedere had not been removed. She also noted that a new gumbo limbo tree will be installed on Lazzaro, and some new grasses will be installed in non-residential areas.

Supervisor Roth reported that, while attending the B&T meeting, he learned that the new cell tower being installed in the community will be 149’ tall and will be adjacent to the Hotwire structure. It will be powered by natural gas, and they are waiting for Estero to approve the plans. He also noted that the HOA plans to increase their fees in order to pay for the Hotwire project.


Susan Prock is concerned that oil from the oil patch near the guardhouse will seep into the drains, and she believes it should not be power washed. She also asked if they can get a number of quotes for the tree trimming, and she commented that the landscaping in Bella Terra is very attractive to those driving through. In addition, she requested flashing lights at the crosswalks.


Chair Roth adjourned the meeting at 6:35 p.m.

The Next Regular Meeting is June 20, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.

Secretary / Assistant Secretary
Chair / Vice Chair