February 13, 2007

Panel Members in Attendance: Dave Jensen (chair), Ron Gibson, Gordon Hullar, Mike Kelly, Rene Miville , Mike Mullins, Nathalie Pyle

Audience: 35

1. The meeting convened at 9:05 a.m.

2. Roger Blind, Rich Calabrese and Rusty Isler, representatives from Island Water Association, were on hand for make a presentation on the planned replacement of the water main on the island.

During his PowerPoint presentation, Blind noted that usage spikes at 5:10 a.m. and drops off throughout the day. Irrigation demand on both islands getting higher every day. The issue is capacity: How much water we can produce, how much can we pump?

On Nov. 20, there was a break at 16250 Captiva Drive which undermined the road and revealed the extent of the problem. After repairing the break we picked spots to test the remaining main. Inspections on Jan. 10-11, 2007, revealed mild to moderate corrosion at all sites; severe on the bottom of the pipe. Iron corrodes away and leaves graphite behind -- looks good but the metal is gone.

According to Blind, IWA's options are:

  • Do nothing and make repairs as needed. Leaks will increase over time.
  • Add corrosion protection to existing pipe; which costs 50 percent as much as a new pipe.
  • Install a new PVC main.

The IWA board decided to replace the main from Blind Pass to South Seas Resort, a $3.3 million project to be paid from reserve funds. Blind noted there had been no rate increase since 1992. They planned to install a 16" main to first S-curve, 12" from there to SSR. Construction was planned to start in late spring or early summer, finish by early 2008.

IWA was working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the county Department of Transportation and the Department of Health on permits. They planned to install the new main primarily on the bay side of the road, just under or off the proposed safety shoulder. Some may need to be installed in the roadway if no ROW exists. They wanted to be on the bay side to ease recovery post-hurricane. They were working with LCEC on design to coordinate with the potential undergrounding project. During this construction, at least one lane of Captiva Drive will remain open. Will work quickly through driveways and will hire a company to repair and replace pavers. Expect minimal water interruption, and landscaping will be restored as best as possible. Blind said IWA will contribute toward your cost if you choose not to use our landscapers.

Blind said more breaks were likely, and time is of the essence. Not a fun project for Captiva or IWA. Blind introduced Rusty Isler (who will be the new GM), Rich Calabrese (engineer) and Joe Scofield (distribution manager). He noted that IWA will put sign up at Blind Pass to notify people about what is happening. The PowerPoint they presented today was on the IWA Web site, and letters sent to every property owner.

$500,000 to fill old pipe, options for other uses--sewer?
Bind said they could put sleeve in it to use as a force main, and that would save cutting the road. LCEC cannot use for their conduits--won't fit and hard to repair.

Mullins: Useful life?
Blind: Could be tomorrow.

John Madden: Why not use PVC in 1981?
Blind: Couple of reasons, advice was that ductile iron would last--advice was wrong.

Hal Miller: Why under road?
Blind: Needed to increase pressure for SSR condos. We'll be working one or two sections 80-100 feet at a time, may work from both ends of the island. Use a small bucket--30-inch?--to dig trench.

Miville: What is minimum distance needed between water and electrical conduit?
Blind: No legal standard.
Calabrese: The width of a backhoe for maintenance. Agreed to about 5 feet of spacing. Put IWA nearer to road, LCEC closer to edge of ROW.

Miville: Can old main be troubleshooted for use as a sewer main?
Blind: Old 6-inch main will be destroyed during construction of this project.

???: Timing for powerlines?
Miville: Almost ready to go to MSTU.
Blind: No benefit to doing them together. Will be each other's way.

???: Looking for the fewer numbers of interruptions. What is variation in existing ROW?
Blind: All over the place. May have option of Public Utility Easement outside the ROW. Going to be tight. Probably under proposed walkway. Same process as SSR installation. Same contractor, we really like these guys.

???: if you need six feet between water and sewer lines, can we use the current main? Do them simultaneously?
Blind: You need a six-foot wide hole to work in down the middle of the road.

Pyle: Shows need for water conservation.
Blind: IWA has ongoing program--limit size of meters to residential, ID high users and contact them to help conserve, offer free rain sensors.

Miville: Can we put something in for future use--power lines, sewer lines?
Randy Cerchie: If you mean imbeds as in a bridge bed, 4-5 miles of road is a big proposition. DOT would not be maintaining that line. Premise is correct, but who would maintain it? Sanibel?
Blind: Not cutting road now. Until you know design, can't really make installation. Need design first.
Calabrese: Can't put sewer on same side of the road as water and power.

???: You're starting at the beginning to hurricane season?
Blind: Will be working only during the day, at night you'll have the whole road.

Mullins: Don't like idea of leaving the old main full of concrete occupying limited space in the ROW. What about bursting old main and installing new main?
Blind: Would need a parallel main or service would be down too long. Could run a 6- or 8-inch force main through current 12-inch main if sewer is planned.

Mullins: I found mention of a 10-foot PUE on one of my surveys, IWA looking into it?
Blind: Drawings in 3-4 weeks, looking into PUE, some properties have it.

Tom Loomis: Has IWA looked into getting involved in ownership position in septic organization, to maintain and upgrade existing systems?

Hullar: The message to property owners is: Don't spend any more money putting things in the ROW. Lots of work to be done soon.
Cerchie: County won't be as generous as IWA with replacement of materials in the ROW.

3. Safety shoulder: Jensen said the committee will hold an informational public meeting on Feb. 27, 10 a.m., at Community Center, Kelly to moderate.

4. Utilities: Miville said the project is at the 11th hour. Information is ready to go to the county. This kind of project is new for the MSTU staff, we're having to work through some conservative financial figures. There was a discussion of issues we're working through with county, what our attorney has found out and brought to the county. Hope there won't be any easement costs. Going to make a presentation to Libby Walker and David Owen on rationale behind lower costs. Once that is agreed to, we can develop language and send out notices to allow property owners to vote on proposal. Hullar: What percentage of property owners will need to approve? Miville: Legally, it's 50 percent plus 1, really it's what the commissioners need to feel comfortable with this decision. Hullar: Shouldn't we know that before we send out the survey? Miville: We can get that firmed up with the county. Hullar: Communications will be very important if "no response" is a "no." Must know the rules and the process beforehand.

Paul Garvey: When will you send out the MSTU info?
Miville: When numbers are settled, about two months?
Garvey: Where can we find information on the project.
Miville: CPOA Web site.
Mullins: Sound like we're at the 11th hour of a 24-hour clock. We should demand LCEC attend these meetings. Libby Walker should attend so we can discuss their issues.
Miville: We had to get an attorney to get utilities and county to work for us. We have professionals working for us to make the deal.
Mullins: Need a presentation to make things clear. That's what it takes to get this project done. LCEC needs to get committed to doing this project.

Discussion of situation and easements questions.

Bill Fenniman: Is there any evidence that a majority of Captivans want this project?
Miville: Some positive response.
Ken Gooderham: Payment of LCEC estimate is seen as a sign of support. Stella Farwell: I've never seen anything on this. Hullar: Hard to work with a utility that doesn't want to do this. We can't ask the question until we have the facts.
Pyle: MSTU will have the facts, will have it in 1-2 months, let's not spend time talking about what might happen, there's a mechanism in place to pursue this and talk about this when we have solid information.

Gibson: All these projects are not done deals--power, sewer, shoulder.
Jensen: We should list status of projects, distribute to the community.
Mullins: It's the process of a feasibility study. Explanation of the facts. Need a feasibility study for the power lines, safety shoulder, just saw something like that from IWA.
Miville: Perhaps we should bring in someone from Johnson Engineering to look over the various projects.

5. Financials: Miville: Do this next month. Held two fund-raisers, captured $43,000 from luau ($33M) and Key Lime Bistro ($10M)--have $40,673 in bank account, $5,000 in expenses. We're filing for a 501c3 determination.
Mullins: Will have a thorough report in March.
Kelly: Need to be transparent with what we doing with funds. Need a financial report on a regular basis.
Jensen: Will make it happen for the next meeting.

6. Hurricane preparation: Joe Poppolardo: Committee met a couple of times, is meeting tomorrow. Working to get recognition from National Weather Service to recognize communities as storm-ready. County Emergency Operations Committee wants communities to be ready for all emergencies.
Ann Bradley: Hurricane seminar planned for April 11 at 2 p.m. in Community Center.

Cerchie?: Night-time OK for golf carts? BoCC has to pass ordinance, language in the works.

7. Tree subsidies: Gooderham: Explanation of applications. We're working to do a mailing this month.
Gibson: Can we change procedure to allow application and then have Gooderham or Jenny Evans report back to us? Gibson made a motion to that effect (Kelly second.) Allow property owners to go directly to SCCF with applications under $1,000 total (owners' expense) and have a monthly report back the panel. Vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

8. Approve minutes from Jan. 13, 2007, meeting:
Mullins moved (Gibson second), unanimous approval.

Status of water quality request?
Gooderham: In appropriation request, Legislature will convene in March, budget is tight so not a sure thing.

Next meeting on March 13; items will include financials, bylaws, CPOA, feasibility. Meeting adjourned at 11 a.m.

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