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CITY OF DEERFIELD BEACH

CITY COMMISSION WORKSHOP MINUTES

Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 7:15 PM

 

 

 

PRESENT:                Commissioner Steve Gonot

                                    Commissioner Sylvia Poitier

                                    Commissioner Martin Popelsky

                                    Vice Mayor Pam Militello

                                    Mayor Capellini - absent

 

ALSO PRESENT:     Ada Graham-Johnson, Interim City Manager

                                    Samantha Gillyard, Acting City Clerk

 

 

                        ITEM 1                                               TAPE 1, COUNT 002

 

DISCUSSION REGARDING THE WATER TREATMENT PROJECT

 

Carl Peter, Director of Public Works and Environmental Services, stated that there have been several recent changes in the Federal Law impacting water quality.  The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is also changing their requirements and limitations. This change includes the Governor’s decision to lower Lake Okeechobee, due to the dike conditions effect to the water supply in South Florida.  He stated that  Wayne Miller, Chief Water Operator, and members of Camp Dresser and McKee, were in attendance to address these regulations, and what steps the City would take to provide water in the future.

 

Mr. Miller stated that due to the continued expansion and construction at the treatment plants, the City has not competed against other systems; if under construction, competing is not allowed.  He stated that the City’s water quality is the best around and stood out during the last hurricane.  While others suffered, the PWES team worked hard to maintain water service.

 

Mr. Miller referenced the PowerPoint presentation created by the PWES department.  He stated that under the Clean Water Act, the Federal Government continues to enforce strict regulations relating to the City’s source water.  Adhering to these regulations has made it very difficult to treat the water; therefore, continually advancing technology is required.

 

Secondly, due to the growing population and the SFMWD’s restoration of the Everglades, water is becoming scarce.  He stated that cheap water would no longer be available.  Thirdly, the original plant was built in 1960 and the equipment needs to be completely overhauled, which is not cost effective; thus, another avenue needs to be explored.

 

Mr. Miller stated that other options include installing a new well field, building an additional plant, and remodeling the east plant, as it is no longer effective as a treatment facility; these factors are driving the costs.

 

Continuing, Mr. Miller stated the SFWMD controls the water used by the City.  In 2004, the City renewed the water permit.  Since the City is growing, the SFWMD allocated an increase over the previous permit.  Also, the Everglades Restoration Act was passed and new parameters were implemented, realizing that only a certain amount of water would be limited to each municipality from the regional system; Deerfield Beach was the first City this was applied to SFWMD supplied additional water however, there was a caveat involved.  Within three (3) years, an alternative source had to be found for the additional water, because the SFWMD would take back the additional allocation. 

 

In response to Vice Mayor Militello’s question, Mr. Miller replied that the SFWMD would take the water back in September 2007. 

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if the additional source meant drilling additional wells.

 

Mr. Miller stated that drilling wells would be feasible, as existing treatment could still be utilized.  Unfortunately, the City cannot pull additional water from the Biscayne Aquifer; for the entire district, it is referred to as the Surficical Aquifer, which is between 20 - 150 feet below.  Additionally, he stated that the Floridan Aquifer is at a further depth and is brackish water, which requires different treatment.  He stated that this water might be utilized to offset the allocation, along with any needed for the future.

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if Mr. Miller has a system that he can treat the brackish water for use.

 

Mr. Miller replied that that is another issue.  When the changes are made, there will be three (3) different types of treatment processes at the West Water Treatment Plant.  Each process will undergo various treatments, pressures and chemicals, and will go into a common blending well.  This blending well is also where the operatives treat the water for public consumption.

 

In response to Commissioner Poitier’s question, Mr. Miller replied that there are two (2) existing well fields, one (1) is the original well field, which was installed over a period of time throughout the 60's and 70's, which is along 2nd Avenue, one (1) block east of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. 

 

Continuing, Mr. Miller stated that because Deerfield Beach is a coastal city, and there is a concern for salt water intrusion.  The City is limited to how much water can be pulled from the well field, as hydrostatic pressure must be maintained.  Further, if too much water is drained, there must be something to fill the vacuum, which can be achieved through natural recharge, freshwater, or brackish water entering.  He stated that reports are sent to the District to assure proper maintenance.

 

Mr. Miller stated that the second well field was built in the late 70's, early 80's, and runs along railway corridor between Goolsby up to SW 10th Street.  The proposed new well field will be located along SW 10th Street, on the west side.  He stated that the location is being coordinated with Vince Kendrick, Director of Parks and Recreation, as both have an interest in the location. 

 

Additionally, Mr. Miller stated that he is involved in the Regional Regulatory departments, such as SFWMD, as they control the water.  He stated if not involved, the City is vulnerable to their decisions.

 

Commissioner Poitier asked if water could be used from canals.

 

Mr. Miller replied no.  However, the District states that it is important to take advantage of wastewater by product, by returning it to the canal system.  The County is trying to establish a policy in South Florida where there is no longer a one-time use of water.  Either the water has to be recovered through reuse on wastewater or other alternatives.  The project that is being developed at the RO (reverse osmosis) plant, will utilize reject water from the nano, up to a 50% blend and recycle through the RO and blend it with Floridan water.  Then, the City can receive credit for re-cleaning, due to re-cleaning a certain percentage of waste.  Every city in Miami-Dade and Broward County is facing the same battle; an innovative approach is necessary to reuse the water.  Wastewater plants need to be polished, if placement is in the secondary canal system, it must also be polished.  Also, if being utilized for irrigation, the regulations are not as stringent.

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked what population the projections are based on.

 

Mr. Miller replied that Planning and Growth Management supplied the figures however, there are two (2) figures that the City must focus on.  There is a comprehensive plan that deals with the total population.  For water, Public Works only deals with people physically connected to the City; thus, a population figure of 52,000 is fairly stable. 

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if the County is still servicing the individuals in the annexed area.

 

Mr. Miller replied yes. 

 

Commissioner Gonot stated that those residents would probably remain with the County for a while.

 

 

Commissioner Popelsky stated that since the City is considering additional wells, there must be consideration for growth. 

 

Mr. Miller stated that everything that is being set up is based on 20 to 25 years from now.

 

Commissioner Poitier stated that she has never seen a City annex an area and the area be serviced by the County.

 

Mr. Miller stated that the only way to service the annexed residents would be to acquire system 2, on 48th Street.

 

In response to Vice Mayor Militello’s question, Mr. Miller stated that he is unsure whether the City would have to take over the service of annexed residents.

 

Mr. Miller stated that there has been discussion of the County overtaking the smaller cities; however, he does think that will be possible, since the County receives revenue from providing raw water. 

 

Commissioner Poitier stated that the water from Stanley Terrace smells like untreated well water.

 

Mr. Miller stated that there could be several reasons for this.  He stated that the volume of water being utilized is less than what was anticipated.  If enough water does not run through the lines, there could be settling of calcium carbonate or lime softening in the old systems.  Lime softening is a thin crust, brownish in color that forms around the pipes.  When the lines are flushed, everything is agitated and the water might be brown or have an odor.  He also provided other reasons for the water to be in this condition.

 

In response to Commissioner Poitier’s question, Mr. Miller stated that he would have personnel go to Stanley Terrace and test the water going to the building.  If the water to the building is fine, then it is an internal problem.  If the water to the building has a problem, then that is a distribution issue which the City must address.

 

Continuing, Mr. Miller referred to the PowerPoint presentation.  He stated that most of the requirements being proposed is tied to limiting the water the City has available for recharge.  If the City experienced a drought, when pulling water out of the ground, the wells recharge slower and the amount of volume becomes less, which could lead to damaging the well.  The SFWMD will release more water to fill up secondary canals and other canals, which helps recharge the well fields.  Unfortunately, that will not be available; thus, an alternative water supply is needed.  The additional aquifer that the City is seeking would not be impacted by those conditions.

Vice Mayor Militello asked what time frame would be needed to complete this.

 

Mr. Miller replied that the City is approximately 99% complete on the design and have hopes of beginning the bid on the RO process next month.  The well fields will be complete maybe January 2007.

 

Commissioner Poitier asked if this plant was a budgeted item.

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if the funds that are allocated in the budget are based on the upcoming years.

 

Mr. Peter stated that it is shown in the capital improvement plan each year, but then allocated as required. 

 

Additionally, Mr. Peter stated that in the capital improvement plan, it shows that the City is expected to receive funding through a State Revolving Fund or Enterprise Fund.

 

Mr. Miller stated that these projects have been in the Capital Improvement Plan for a while and some were shown last year.  It illustrates that by a certain year, the City will have to find funding for the project.

 

Commissioner Popelsky made reference to various sources that could fund the plant and wells.  He stated that the plant might cost $10 million.

 

Mr. Miller replied that the plant is priced at $9 million.  The well field is approximately $2 million.  He stated that this is a $12 million bond issue that will have to be funded.

 

Referring to the PowerPoint presentation

 

Mr. Miller stated that the City is running close to its permitted uses, in terms of demand versus production.  Even if none of the issues surfaced, the City would have to find additional water.  Since the only place the water can be obtained is the Floridan aquifer, a plant must be built to treat that type of water, as it is very brackish. 

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if Mr. Miller had any location for the plant.

 

Mr. Miller replied that it would be located south of the current membrane building, where there is a retention area that would have to be moved.  He stated that although it is a tight fit, it would be sufficient.  Right now, the City is allotted 12.6 to pull from the ground and currently averages 12.1.  By 2007, the District will reduce the City to 12.2; nonetheless, the City’s projections do not increase much, but because of the reduction, we are exceeding what is allowed to pull from the ground.

 

Continuing, Mr. Miller stated that the City of Deerfield Beach has been very proactive above other cities in Broward County.  He further stated that he has a very good working relationship with the District, and if they are aware that the plant is under construction, they will allow the City to have water until the plant is complete.  Then a time frame would be provided for completion of the plant.

 

Vice Mayor Militello stated that there should be conservation efforts in place, with. regard to sprinkling

 

Mr. Miller stated that there has been a 5% reduction in City sprinkling.

 

Vice Mayor Militello stated that the City should be proactive in helping the environment and conserve water.

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if homeowner associations and golf courses use lake water.

 

Mr. Peter stated that they draw from canals now.

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if there are any codes that address water conservation when something new is being built.

 

Gerald Ferguson, Director of Planning and Growth Management, replied that he is not aware of anything that addresses water conservation.

 

Discussion pursued regarding water conservation for homeowner associations and golf courses.

 

Vice Mayor Militello stated that a water conservation method should be implemented now and people will not find it a burden to water their lawn after 7 PM.

 

Mr. Peter stated that there is an Ordinance in place for drought conditions, but should be revised so that it is year round.

 

Referring to the PowerPoint presentation

 

Mr. Miller referenced the slide named Historical Biscayne Well Demand, which illustrates the average withdrawal based on current permit and the average withdrawal based on the new permit.  He stated that at least six (6) months out of the year, the City is close to or exceeding what is allowed.

 

Regional Water Supply Issues – Mr. Miller stated that the SFWMD would lower the level that the lakes are kept at, which means there is less water to be sent out during a drought condition.

 

Continuing, he stated that the governing board adapted policies last month to control the water, and urged cities to drought protect themselves.

 

City Water Facilities Planned Improvements – Mr. Miller stated that the planned improvements will take place at the West site.  The deep well was approved at the last Commission Meeting; the RO Plant will be addressed around August.

 

Proposed Well Field Improvements – Mr. Miller stated that the new well field will come later and it is a mixed well field.  There will be two (2) Biscayne wells being utilized because the four (4) existing wells have been used for over 30 years and are almost obsolete.  Additionally, much money is spent in maintaining them.  He stated that by installing two (2) additional wells, the wells can be rehabilitated and regain the capacity that they originally had.

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if there is a return on selling bottled water.

 

Mr. Peter stated that it does not add up and is mostly for public relations.

 

Mr. Miller stated that Publix’s bottled water comes from the City.  He stated that they polish it to their specifications and they moved to Deerfield Beach because of the quality of water. 

 

Construction Cost Escalation – Mr. Miller stated that the cost of construction has increased over the past years.

 

Larry Adams, Camper Dresser & McKee, stated that the predicted costs are premised on construction costs escalating.

 

Forecasted Five-Year Capital Expenditures – Mr. Adams stated that essentially, these are the estimates of the projects that have been identified, to include, but not limited to: Membrane Concentrate Pump Station; Deep Injection Well; West WTP Expansion, etc.

 

Additionally, he stated that the State Revolving Loan Program would finance the Membrane Concentrate Pump Station and the Deep Injection Well.

 

Further, he stated that an anticipated revenue bond would take care of the West WTP Expansion, the well field, the well water main, the Floridan Well, the re-pump, and the wastewater sewer improvements.  He stated that a revenue bond and connection fees would handle essentially 80% of the projects.

 

Continuing, Mr. Adams stated that there are miscellaneous capital projects that will be funded from the net revenues of the water and sewer rates. 

 

Projected Rate Increases Needed through 2010 – Mr. Adams stated that there is a need for a water and sewer rate increase of 7% beginning in Fiscal Year 2007.  He stated that a single-family homeowner who uses 7,000 gallons per month would increase from $45.12 to $48.28 per month.  An additional rate increase is forecasted for 2008, which is identified as a 7% overall increase to water and sewer rates.  By the end of 2008, it will be a charge of $51.66 for 7,000 gallons.

 

Comparison of Water & Sewer Rates – Mr. Adams referenced the table, provided by Broward County, and stated that Deerfield Beach is at the top of the bottom third for water and sewer rates.  The increases that have been identified will place the City between Tamarac and Dania Beach.  He stated that every city in Broward County will have to take action and predicts that all the rates will be increasing in the near future.

 

Commissioner Gonot asked what would the impact of increasing rates at 3% incrementally be.

 

Mr. Adams stated that they have a rate model and can experiment with the figures.  Further, he stated that there would be a 15% rate increase overall, but there are options as to how it is achieved.

 

Continuing, Mr. Adams stated that the City has a rate stabilization fund that is in force and the projections show the fund being depleted in 2008, but can review the model and see where the shortfalls may be. 

 

Additionally, Mr. Adams stated that Century Village was increased because of the acquisition of the sewer system in 2004, but the last rate increase was 3.5 years ago.  He stated that the City is doing a good job of funding the improvements.

 

Mr. Miller stated that now is the time to address the situation, with respect to a varying rate plan. 

 

In response to Commissioner Poitier’s question, Mr. Adams replied that the rate is based on volume charges (inverted block rate).  After 6,000 gallons, the charge increases.

 

Dennis Girisgen, City Engineer, stated that the charges go from $1.70 to $1.90, then $2.21 after 12,000 gallons.

 

Commissioner Popelsky asked if the charges would be kept similar to the industry.

 

Mr. Adams replied that if the 7% increase is placed in volume charges, then the volume charges would increase approximately 12% and the base facility charge would remain the same.  Additionally, he stated that the current rate structure incurs during conservation, because the larger users pay more per 1,000 gallons.

 

In response to Commissioner Popelsky’s question, Mr. Adams replied that the rate volume for condominiums are similar to single family homes, but the base rate is lower, as the average demand is lower than a single family residential.

 

Mr. Adams stated that the City would needs to move forward with the bond issue.  Since these projects have not been out for bid, the City needs to find a way to protect itself in this environment, due to the increased construction costs.

 

Vice Mayor Militello stated that the infrastructure needs to be taken care of and asked Mr. Adams exactly what is needed, without shaving the cost now and then requesting additional funds later on.  She said that this would hurt the City in the long run.

 

Mr. Adams stated that there could be a possibility of grant money being available for part of the project from the SFWMD, which will be pursued.  If this works out, it will reduce the cost for the City.

 

Commissioner Gonot stated that he does not mind smoothing the increases along over five (5) years and paying on the high side, and hopefully, all the increases are not needed.  Additionally, he stated that if the cost of service were running under the rate of inflation, people would be better able to accept the increase versus a 7% increase. 

 

Commissioner Popelsky suggested estimating the building costs during the years that the projects will be constructed, so that true value is established.

 

In response to Commissioner Poitier’s question, Mr. Miller stated that the City has grant writers, but he has been working with the District.  When it is time to write the grant, he will use the assistance of the Grant Writer.  Further, he stated that this is the first time the District has offered grants, as they realize their policies cause cities to face a financial impact.

 

Mr. Adams stated that CDM would assist the City in pursuing a grant.

 

Commissioner Poitier stated that once this avenue is encroached upon, the City would know how much is needed for a revenue bond.

 

Vice Mayor Militello asked how much the City could possibly receive through the grant.

 

Mr. Miller replied that the grant would give 40% of the project, up to $1 million.

 

Mr. Adams stated that the City can ask the legislature for special consideration, which CDM will assist with as well.

 

Vice Mayor Militello asked if there are grants for cities trying to implement conservation laws.

 

Mr. Adams stated that a grant was provided in the amount of $25,000, which was related to recycling the nanofiltration concentrate.

 

Commissioner Poitier asked what actions will be taken between now and September 30, 2006.

 

Mr. Wayne stated that he would finish the design with the consulting engineers on the plant, and then place for bid.  Once the figures are received, the Commission will be informed. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

 

 

 

                                                                        ___________________________________

                                                                        ALBERT R. CAPELLINI, P.E., MAYOR

 

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

______________________________________       

SAMANTHA GILLYARD, ACTING CITY CLERK