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Meeting Minutes for April 16, 2024

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, April 16, 2024 at 4 p.m.

Present and constituting a quorum were:

Larry Roth – Chair
Norman Reno – Vice Chair
Jenny Licht – Assistant Secretary
Linda Lea Gibson – Assistant Secretary
James Meek – Assistant Secretary

Also present:

Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management (PDM)
Charlie Krebs – Engineer, Hole Montes, Inc.
Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Melissa Gindling – Assistant District Manager, PDM

Attending remotely:

Greg Urbancic – Attorney, Coleman, Yovanovich & Koester, P.A.

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, Charlie Krebs, the Engineer, Chris Pepin, the Field Manager, Melissa Gindling, the Assistant District Manager, and Several Residents. Attending remotely was Greg Urbancic, the Attorney.


THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda

Add 6Biii: CDD Board of Supervisors Election Qualifying Information
Add 6Biv: Update on Irrigation Line Movement
Add 6Bv: Emergency Gate Opening

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

FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items

There were no Audience comments on Agenda items.


A. Items to Be Pulled for Discussion

There were no items pulled.

B. Motion to Approve Consent Items

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with all in favor, the Board approved all Consent Items, as presented.

C. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion

D. Consent Items

i. Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for March 19, 2024

ii. Financial Report for March 2023

District Manager Teague noted that the Financials are included in today’s packet, and the Board may forward any questions to him.

iii. Project Tracking Logs

iv. Notes on Monthly Affairs at Bella Terra from Supervisor Gibson


A. Irrigation Contractor

i. Irrigation Line Treatments Follow-up

Field Manager Pepin reported that 4 to 5 flush out points have been dredged, and No Limit has compiled an inventory to ascertain what is needed to add these flush out points. Once they have all the parts, the system will be shut down, and the crew will install them in one day. The system will be restored, and the crew will dredge the next 4 to 5 locations, repeating the process until all of the locations have been completed. Once completed, the contractors will begin the flush out and line treatment process.

Supervisor Licht stated that Don had reported that there are numerous snails present in the irrigation lines. Field Manager Pepin stated that No Limit will be completing the flush outs every other week rather than once a month, and Insight Irrigation’s ongoing line treatments will also address this issue. There was discussion on the extent of this issue in other communities and how it compares to Bella Terra.

B. District Manager

i. FEMA Reimbursement Update

District Manager Teague reported that FEMA had submitted a denial memo. He stated that although the gate was not an issue, FEMA is now enforcing rules, such as obtaining multiple bids for work, documenting debris removal, and stricter regulations on what constitutes an emergency. District Manager Teague also reported that Client Services Manager Dudak had spoken with an attorney specializing in FEMA claims, and the attorney stated that all CDD’s in the state are having all claims denied in this cycle. District Manager Teague noted that staff can submit an appeal, but they cannot guarantee that the CDD will receive any reimbursement. The Board asked staff to submit an appeal.

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Supervisor Meek, with all in favor, the Board approved Premier District Management to appeal the FEMA denial.

ii. Draft of Proposed Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

A draft of the proposed Budget was presented, and District Manager Teague reported that the proposed Budget must be approved at the May meeting, and a public hearing must be scheduled. He stated that this draft does not include an increase in assessment rates. District Manager Teague asked Supervisors to contact staff before the next meeting, if they have questions or suggestions concerning the Budget. The Board also asked a few questions about the reserve accounts.

iii. CDD Board of Supervisors Election Qualifying Information

This information was only included as a reminder to the Board to file their intent to run, if they are up for election.

iv. Update on Irrigation Line Movement

District Manager Teague reported that a contractor observed an irrigation line within a homeowner’s property while they were excavating for the installation of a pool. Since the irrigation line should be within the CDD’s easement, staff asked the CDD irrigation contractor to move the entire section into the CDD’s easement. They expect this work to be completed today, and the Board agreed with this course of action. There was discussion on whether the HOA or the CDD has responsibility for addressing this issue.

On MOTION by Supervisor Gibson, seconded by Vice Chair Reno, with all in favor, the Board approved the CDD contractor to move an irrigation line on a homeowner’s property to the CDD easement.

v. Emergency Gate Opening

District Manager Teague stated that an email had been received, which reported that a traffic accident caused an extensive traffic backup at the entrance to the community. Since the newly installed emergency gate project has not been 100% completed, there was no procedure in place for opening the emergency gate in this situation. Several options concerning who should have keys to the gate were discussed. The Board decided to delay this policy decision until next month, so options can be investigated. Temporarily, Chair Roth and Supervisor Gibson were given the responsibility for opening the gate, if needed.

C. Field Manager

i. Current Field Report

Field Manager Pepin reviewed the field report and the following was discussed:

He reported that the lakes look fair to good this month.

He reported that he had found an insulated box placed over the aerator between 2 homes on Lake 1, which had caused the compressor to overheat and shut down. Since this is an older model, he presented a proposal to upgrade the system. The Board approved this proposal, as entered in item 7G.

Field Manager Pepin stated that this is the same location where there was a previous issue with the circuit breaker. Staff had previously contacted the homeowners about this issue, but no one claimed responsibility. The Board asked staff to send a letter to the homeowners near the compressor, reminding them that aerators are essential to the health of the lake, and that a new aerator system will be installed that is hopefully quieter. The letter will also remind the residents not to damage CDD property, and if there is damage again, appropriate action will be taken. If the compressor is damaged again, the Board discussed removing some shrubbery, so the area is more visible for inspection.

Supervisor Licht mentioned that someone left an electrical panel open, and Field Manager Pepin will install a combination lock.

ii. Project Updates

a. Muhly Grass Planting

Field Manager Pepin reported that installation is pending until it is closer to the rainy season. He stated that the anticipated planting timeframe is between late May and early June.

b. Hardwood Pruning

He stated that the hardwood pruning is starting this week.

c. Guardhouse Repairs

Field Manager Pepin reported that pressure cleaning the walls and the application of wet and forget has not been completed as of yet. As soon as Premier Pressure Cleaning has time between jobs, they will complete this task.

d. Clock Tower

Field Manager Pepin reported that a crack was found in one of the sumps within the first tier of pools, which was causing the system to quickly loose water. VIP Pools repaired the crack, refilled the pools, and turned on the system.

D. Attorney

i. Levine vs. Habitat CDD Trip and Fall Case Update

Attorney Urbancic stated that the non-binding arbitration is scheduled for May 8th.  Based on reports received from the District’s insurance attorney, it appears that the claimant is alleging he tripped on a catch basin.

Attorney Urbancic also reported that the Governor has not signed House Bill 7013 as of yet. If signed, beginning in October of 2024, it will require the CDD to set goals, objectives and performance measures for any program or activity undertaken by the District. At the end of the fiscal year, the CDD will be required to complete an annual report based on those goals, objectives and performance measures.

E. Engineer

i. Emergency Exit Update

Engineer Krebs reported that the project is almost complete, although some signage and some animal barriers on the east side need to be installed before the project can be certified. He stated that this work will be completed in the near future.

Chair Roth asked if the newly installed sod at the emergency gate will be damaged if there is extensive traffic. Engineer Krebs stated that it will diminish, but it will grow back with a combination of grass and weeds, as is most of the sod along the roadway. He mentioned that the County is responsible for maintaining it.

ii. Drainage Concern at 21019 Torre Del Lago

Engineer Krebs stated that he hopes to have an update on this concern next month.


A. HOA/CDD Maintenance Contract Negotiations Update

Bob Vaa reported that he met with KJ from the HOA on April 5th.  Several concerns were discussed, including the CDD charging the HOA for use of the guardhouse. He stated that the HOA still has responsibility for the irrigation lines, because they were never legally transferred to the CDD, and he believes that it can be transferred in the future. Mr. Vaa stated that he is hoping to meet with some of the new HOA master board members individually to explain the old agreement and how it compares with the newer agreement, and he will communicate that the goal is to return to the old agreement. Mr. Vaa also asked staff to provide some dollar amounts from previous years regarding costs tied to the irrigation mainline maintenance costs. Vice Chair Reno stated that he has assessed the value of items that the CDD has granted to the HOA, and Mr. Vaa stated that he will take this into consideration as he discusses them with KJ. It was stated that it would be valuable to obtain feedback from the community about the items in the agreement.

B. Roadway Repairs

Staff had no update, because they are still compiling this list.

C. Asphalt Rejuvenator Follow-up

The Board and staff discussed the presentation that was given during the workshop meeting. Chair Roth stated that he had spoken to other companies, and he would like to invite them to give a presentation, and Engineer Krebs stated that he would also like to invite an additional company that he is familiar with. The Board asked staff to schedule two more workshop meetings for May and June.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Reno, seconded by Chair Roth, with all in favor, the Board approved staff to schedule workshop meetings in May and June.

Engineer Krebs also stated that they will need to continually monitor the roadways, even if the rejuvenation treatment is applied, to ascertain when there is a need for milling and repaving.

D. Cul-de-sac Ride Around Update and Proposals

A revised proposal for the Verde Cal G treatment was included in the packet with more detail about the product, and it included a quote of $256.64. The Board approved this proposal.

On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Supervisor Meek, with all in favor, the Board approved the installation of the Verde Cal G treatment on the cul-de-sacs, not to exceed $256.64.

E. Missing Trees Replacement Proposal

Estate sent staff an estimate to replace 4 missing hardwoods along Bella Terra Boulevard at the cost of $2,370.77. Field Manager Pepin stated that these are trees that have died over the years, and some may have been lost due to the hurricane. The Board approved this proposal.

On MOTION by Supervisor Meek, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with all in favor, the Board approved the replacement of four hardwoods on Bella Terra Boulevard, not to exceed $2,370.77.

F. Crosswalk Request for North of the Guardhouse

Staff received this request from a homeowner. Chair Roth had received input from the Building and Tangible Committee, and they strongly disapproved. The Board discussed it and decided it was not a safe location for a crosswalk. This item was dropped from the Agenda.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Reno, seconded by Supervisor Meek, with 4 in favor, and Supervisor Licht opposed, the Board denied the request to install a crosswalk north of the guardhouse, and approved removing it from the Agenda, reaffirming the previous denial.

G. Lake 1 West Aerator Compressor Upgrade Proposal

The Board approved the proposal to upgrade the aerator compressor on Lake 1, as was previously discussed.

On MOTION by Vice Chair Reno, seconded by Supervisor Meek, with all in favor, the Board approved Premier Lakes to upgrade of the aerator compressor on Lake 1, not to exceed $4,360.


There was no report from the HOA.


Vice Chair Reno commented that he was pleased with the shortened length of the meeting.


There were no Audience comments.


Chair Roth adjourned the meeting at 5:55 p.m.

The Next Regular Meeting is May 21, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.

Secretary / Assistant Secretary
Chair / Vice Chair