Meeting Minutes for October 17, 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, October 17, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Present (or attending via web conference) 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 (or attending via web conference):
Cal Teague – District Manager, Premier District Management, (PDM)
Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Greg Urbancic – Attorney, Coleman Yovanovich Koester, PA
Charlie Krebs – Engineer, Hole Montes, Inc.
Melissa Gindling – Assistant District Manager, 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, Melissa Gindling from PDM, and Several Residents. Participating via web conference were Greg Urbancic, the Attorney, and Charlie Krebs, the Engineer.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Pledge of Allegiance
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda
Add 6Ciie: Cleaning Proposal for Blockage in Stormwater System.
On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Supervisor Gibson, with all in favor, the Agenda was approved, as amended.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
Reas Graber asked for clarification regarding the special powers request to the City. District Manager Teague and Attorney Urbancic explained that the developer had originally defined basic areas of responsibility for the CDD but had not included special powers, which is part of Chapter 190 in the Sunshine Laws. One of the special powers is security, and this is just a housekeeping procedure to ensure that the community is authorized to conduct security measures under the law.
Dave Martin had questions about the special powers request, and he was concerned about the powers which will be granted to the CDD. Attorney Urbancic explained that the CDD owns the roads and the guardhouse and has granted security responsibilities to the HOA. He stated that this request will not change the current agreement.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consent Agenda
A. Items to Be Pulled for Discussion
Chair Roth pulled Di Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for September 19, 2023 and Dii Financial Report for September 2023.
B. Motion to Approve Consent Items
C. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion
D. Consent Items
i. Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for September 19, 2023
Line 69 Change the address from “210290” to “21019”
Line 89 Change “Collier County” to “Collier Paving”
Line 124 Change “send him articles” to “send staff articles”
On MOTION by Supervisor Licht, seconded by Supervisor Meek, with all in favor, the Board approved the Draft Regular Meeting Minutes for September 19, 2023, as amended.
ii. Financial Report for September 2023
District Manager Teague gave an overview of the fiscal year-end financials and noted that the CDD was under budget and had a great year financially. He stated that the CDD had $1.8 million in cash assets at the end of the year. He also stated that some Fiscal Year 2023 line items will need to be adjusted through a budget amendment at the next meeting, including electricity, hurricane expenses, legal fees, and lake bank erosion repairs.
On MOTION by Supervisor Meek, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with all in favor, the Board accepted the Financial Report for September 2023, as presented.
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Staff Reports
A. Irrigation Contractor
i. Irrigation Line Treatments Follow-up
District Manager Teague stated that staff expects a proposal for the additional flush out valves in the near future. This was the largest expense for the project, which was previously approved. The verbal quote for flush out valves came in at $27,000, which is lower than the amount the Board had approved.
B. District Manager
i. FEMA Reimbursement Update
District Manager Teague stated that there are no changes to the FEMA invoice log this month, and no response from FEMA regarding the eligibility decision. There was discussion on the issue concerning FEMA’s access to the community.
C. Field Manager
i. Current Field Report
Field Manager Pepin reviewed the report and commented on the following issues:
He stated that he has observed improvements in lake maintenance, and there is a minimal presence of weeds.
He stated that someone had built a wooden box over the compressor cabinet on Lake 4, and he is concerned that it may cause the compressor to overheat. Staff sent letters to the two nearby homeowners, asking them to remove it. Chris also noted that a hose that leads to the lake was damaged, and he has asked the contractor to investigate.
Field Manager Pepin stated that the compressor itself on Lake 4 is beginning to rust, and it needs replacement.
He reported that Estate has pruned an oak tree on Lake 6.
Chris stated that the silt barrier around a pool construction site had failed, and the pool company has been notified.
Field Manager Pepin stated that some ornamental plants from the preserves have encroached on a resident’s property, and they will be cut back by preserve maintenance staff.
Chris reported that he and Supervisor Licht are compiling a log of the plants in each cul-de-sac, and he expects the log to be completed by next month.
He reported that the emergency gate has been fixed again, and he asked the company for a proposal for semi-annual maintenance of the gate. The addition of rebar to protect the sensor was also discussed.
Vice Chair Reno asked why the emergency exit site had not been cleaned up and covered while they wait for the Right Of Way (ROW) permit, because it is unsightly. Engineer Krebs stated that he had asked Collier Paving to do so, but they have not followed through. Vice Chair Reno asked that this inventory and cleanup take a high priority.
Chris stated that the times on the clock tower will be corrected by the contractor at the end of the month, as well as, the system for the exterior lights.
Chair Roth asked about the status of mainline breaks, and Chris stated that there have been minimal reports this month, and he also explained the process for repairing them.
The resident at 20988 Torre del Lago confirmed that the filters in her valve box were replaced, as was requested at the last meeting.
Field Manager Pepin stated that there is still standing water behind 21019 Torre del Lago, and staff will continue to follow up with the resident.
There was discussion regarding the responsibility for the general maintenance of the irrigation system, as well as, flushing for snails, and what areas are HOA responsibility, and which are the responsibility of the CDD. The transition from Irrigation Specialists to the new contractor was also discussed and what gaps there may be in service.
ii. Project Updates
a. Lake Bank Repair
Field Manager Pepin reported that the contractor is expected to return in November to complete the warranty repairs.
b. Alligator Signage
Chris stated that he expects to receive the sign this week.
c. Sidewalk Repairs
Chris stated that he had reached out to a foam company to see if they can raise sunken sections of sidewalk slabs, but they are only able to raise up the sunken slabs that are not caused by tree roots. He stated that the sidewalk panels at Habitat have shifted due to tree roots underneath them, and they will need to be replaced. Chris presented an estimate to replace them and to repair two catch basins for $3,950. The Board asked that the contractor ensure that the new cement matches the color of the cement in the surrounding area.
On MOTION by Vice Chair Reno, seconded by Supervisor Licht, with all in favor, the Board approved the replacement of sidewalk panels in the community and the repair of two catch basins, not to exceed $4,000.
d. Guardhouse Repairs
Field Manager Pepin outlined the scheduled times for the repairs, including the new door installation, asphalt repairs and power washing, and he stated that the project will begin on October 23, 2023. An e-blast has been scheduled, notifying the community of the traffic diversion. Supervisor Licht reported that Stan Goodman declined the work station desk project, and Vice Chair Reno volunteered for the project. There was discussion on the communication allowed when completing the project.
e. Cleaning Proposal for Blockage in Stormwater System
Chris reported that MRI had conducted a visual inspection of the stormwater system, and they found a complete blockage in the pipe off of Corkscrew Road. MRI submitted a proposal, which the Board approved, and they asked for photos of the material that is removed from that area, upon the request of Engineer Krebs.
On MOTION by Supervisor Meek, seconded by Supervisor Gibson, with all in favor, the Board approved MRI to remove the blockage from the pipe near Corkscrew Road, not to exceed $3,900.
i. Trip and Fall Lawsuit Update
Attorney Urbancic reported that staff had received a summary from the insurance company’s council, and it appears that they understand the issues and are handling the lawsuit appropriately.
ii. Special Powers Request Update
Attorney Urbancic noted that the Estero Village Council approved the special powers request on the first reading, and the Village public hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. He recommended that one representative from the Board and one staff representative attend the public hearing. He also reported that these powers are necessary so that the District and the HOA comply legally in the management of the roads within Bella Terra.
i. Emergency Exit
Engineer Krebs noted that he has been working with Collier Paving and will remind them again about cleaning up the pavers. He stated that they are still waiting for the Right of Way permit. Chair Roth asked how long the project will take, and Charlie estimates that the construction will take approximately 30 days to complete, once the permit is approved.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Discussion/Action Items
A. Cul-de-Sac Maintenance Contract Termination Update
District Manager Teague reported that the contracts with Townhomes I and Villas II were terminated on September 30, 2023, and Estate has begun maintaining the cul-de-sacs for the CDD. He stated that the remaining three contracts will terminate on December 31, 2023 and Estate will start maintaining those also.
B. Gatehouse Post Orders
District Manager Teague stated that the Board had previously requested Attorney Urbancic to review the post orders to ensure that the rules for public roads are being followed. The Board also asked that staff give a copy of the gatehouse items checklist to Priscilla and K.J. Moses.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS H.O.A. Report
K.J. reported on the following items:
He stated that the area for the cell phone installation is being resurveyed and will be moved to a different location, but it will still be on HOA property.
He stated that the HOA will possibly replace their Dwelling Live access control system for the gatehouse.
He stated that the Master is in favor of pursuing the special powers request, because it will finally determine who is responsible for security.
K.J. stated that the HOA would like to assist the Board as they seek to resolve the issue with snails.
He requested that the Board inform the HOA when the gatehouse inspections are scheduled, so they can coordinate a convenient time for the guards.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests
Supervisor Licht suggested placing trail cameras at the wildlife crossings under the roads, so the residents will know where animals cross. She also commented that the vegetation in the preserves is encroaching into homeowners’ properties, and District Manager Teague stated that this is an HOA landscaping responsibility. She commented that a streetlight that the FPL is responsible for is still out. She also commented that some vegetation and trees in the cul-de-sacs need replacement.
Supervisor Gibson complimented staff for removing dead trees in the preserve quickly.
Vice Chair Reno commented that a plaque had been made for former Supervisor Napolitano, and he will ensure that Joe can attend the next meeting, so the plaque can be presented to him.
A. Time Limits for Agenda Item Discussions
Chair Roth commented that complaints have been received concerning the length of time that is spent discussing Agenda items, and it is causing lengthy meetings. District Manager Teague suggested that staff could draft guidelines for conducting meetings, but the Board decided to be aware of the length of time they are speaking and limit their comments. Chair Roth also mentioned that he cannot attend next month’s meeting.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
Dave Martin thanked the Board and Attorney Urbancic for the explanation of the special powers request, but he was still concerned about the amount of control that was being given to the CDD. The Board and Attorney Urbancic noted that this is a statutory requirement, and it is not legal for the CDD or HOA to handle security without this special powers authority. There was also discussion concerning the maintenance contract negotiations, and how the division of responsibility will help clarify the special powers given the CDD.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
Chair Roth adjourned the meeting at 5:29 p.m.
The Next Regular Meeting is November 21, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.