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2015-02-17 Regular Board Meeting Minutes

Feb 27, 2015 | Meetings

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The Board of Commissioners of the South Walton County Mosquito Control District held its Regular Board Meeting at the Walton County Courthouse Annex, 31 Coastal Centre Boulevard in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida at 9:30 a.m.

The Commissioners attending the meeting were Ronald Faulk, Timothy Norris and John J. Magee. Also attending the meeting were Director Ben Brewer, Office Manager Geraldine Via, Attorney Rene Youell, Pat Magee and Ian Spangler.

The meeting opened with a Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

A motion was made by Commissioner Norris, seconded by Commissioner Faulk to approve the minutes of the January 20, 2015 Regular Board Meeting.

Director Brewer presented the Financial Reports for January 2015.

Commissioner Magee asked for approval of the monthly expenditures list for the month of January 2015. A motion was made by Commissioner Norris seconded by Commissioner Faulk to approve the monthly expenditures. Motion passed unanimously. 

Director Brewer presented the Cell Phone, Computers, Telephone, Voicemail System, Email, Text Messaging, Fax/Copy Machine and Other Communication Device Use Policy for Board approval. A motion was made by Commissioner Norris, for discussion, seconded by Commissioner Faulk to approve the Policy as presented. After discussion, the motion passed with Commissioner Norris and Commissioner Faulk voting yes. Commissioner Magee voted no. Commissioner Magee stated the Policy is too vague.

Director Brewer asked to table the Procurement Policy.

Director Brewer stated that we are looking into a trust for Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB). We spoke with Judy Avril, Office Manager, at Indian River Mosquito Control District concerning their trust. They used a trust attorney to put together their trust. The trust can be underfunded and more monies can be added later. Commissioner Magee stated he would like the Board to review the plan from Indian River Mosquito Control District.

Attorney Youell stated she has edited the contract for the website, presented by Creative Web Solutions. She recommended the Florida Department of Economics’ website requirements as an addendum to the contract. Commissioner Magee asked for a time frame for implementing the new website. Director Brewer stated it will not take long once the contract is signed.

Attorney Youell has re-written the Diamond Cut Builders contract to include the requirements needed by the District as a government agency. Attorney Youell stated the schedule she used was common for a government building contract which is 20% at the time of signing Director Brewer stated Diamond Cut Builders has concerns with the pay schedule that Attorney Youell is proposing. Originally they asked for 40% at the time of signing, 30% upon completion of demolition and 20% at completion of sheet rock, painting, tile, and installing cabinets with final payment due upon completion. The Board discussed different amounts of payments. Commissioner Magee recommended 20% at the time signing, reimburse invoices as submitted, 35% when half way complete and the balance less 10% when completed. Commissioner Magee directed Attorney Youell to change contract to these percentages. No overruns at all.

Attorney Youell stated she has been in contact with Eric Rosnick with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) about the three ditches, MC 32, MC 35and MC 36, that DOT will be maintaining from now on and no formal paper work is needed for them to take over maintenance. The email correspondence between SWCMCD and the DOT stated they will maintain the ditches and allow the District access to monitor for and control mosquitoes.

Attorney Youell stated she had a meeting with Walton County Attorney Mark Davis and discussed the overflow from ditch construction on adjacent properties and also from new development. They discussed the Chat Holley construction where it flushed water into the mosquito control ditches causing flooding onto private property. They also discussed the issue of the civil warrants to enter private property for safety purposes. She will be discussing how to approach these with the sheriff’s department and Judge Wells. SWCMCD may have to provide an ordinance to get this done. We may be able to tap into the County code enforcement ordinance rather than have one of our own.

Nothing has changed with the Liles litigation. She met with Mr. Liles’ attorney after the Board Meeting last month. Mr. Liles’ case is still not filed.

Attorney Youell presented her monthly statement for January 2015 in the amount of $1,939.60. A motion was made by Commissioner Norris seconded by Commissioner Faulk to approve payment of Attorney Youell’s monthly statement $1,939.60. Motion passed unanimously. 

Commissioner Magee recognized Mr. Ian Spangler who lives at 99 Plantation Way, Palmetto Plantation, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Mr. Spangler recently purchased this property. There is a ditch adjacent to his property that had major issues when the previous owner owned the property. As the new owner he is asking for any assistance possible from the District for this ditch repair. He stated there are two issues, one is repairs to the ditch and the other is future maintenance of the ditch. Attorney Youell stated the Homeowners Association (HOA) owns the easement and the previous property owner invaded that easement by putting a fence on it. She has written a letter stating the HOA needs to repair the ditch. Once repaired and the District is given an easement then the District can maintain it. She stated the person that purchased the property from the bank, that being Mr. Spangler, probably purchased it as is and in doing so he took on that obligation. Attorney Youell suggested since this ditch is on joint property with the District and Mr. Spangler, it may be something that can be done if there is an agreement for Mr. Spangler to purchase materials. A motion was made by Commissioner Norris, seconded by Commissioner Faulk to assist Mr. Spangler on the repair of the ditch to bring up to standards with the materials provided by Mr. Spangler. Motion passed unanimously. Director Brewer stated this is a large job and there would be a lot of work involved and also an official survey would need to be done. Attorney Youell stated the HOA would be responsible for providing a survey.

Director Brewer presented the Activity Report for the month of January 2015. There was one chicken positive for Highlands J virus and four chickens positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. North Walton Mosquito Control had zero positive chickens in January. The storm drains are finished and most of them have been mapped.

Director Brewer stated the excavator is in need of maintenance to the under carriage which will cost close to $3,000. New tracks will cost approximately $7,000, bringing the total cost to approximately $10,000. Director Brewer stated a new excavator costs around $180,000 and present trade in value is approximately $20,000. A motion was made by Commissioner Norris for discussion, seconded by Commissioner Faulk to allocate $10,000 for maintenance and repairs on the excavator. Commissioner Magee suggested starting a line item on the budget to save for purchasing a new excavator. After discussion, motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Magee suggested designating a parking area for the construction crew and suggested putting up some type of temporary barrier to prevent people from entering the chemical storage and construction areas.

Commissioner Magee reminded the Board about the Tallahassee Legislative Days in Tallahassee, Florida March 16 & 17, 2015

Director Brewer restated the action items. He is to continue to work on the contracts, talk to the employees tomorrow about the phone policy, work on the procurement policy, talk to someone or find out about hurricane preparedness funds for ditches, work on the ditch at Plantation Way and make a plan for the construction area parking and material delivery area.

Attorney Youell stated her to do list is to complete website contract, contract for Diamond Cut Builders, her understanding is 20% at signing, all invoices paid by the District through Diamond Cut Builders with a release of lien on those invoices, half way through 35% of balance and retain 10% until completion. Commissioner Norris stated the contractor will give a letter for a one year warranty. Attorney Youell stated she will get a copy of the easement from Palmetto Plantation HOA. She will finish the Procurement Policy after receiving comments from the Board and finish the civil warrant as soon as possible.

Director Brewer stated Office Manager Geraldine Via has been researching different options for the Supplemental Insurance Reimbursement Program. Office Manager Via stated she had first called a Blue Cross Blue Shield representative and their rates were outrageous. He referred her to E-flex, whose representative stated it costs $400 for set up and $75 for the administration fee per month to use their debit card system. The Supplemental Insurance Reimbursement Program may be affected by the Affordable Care Act. She stated that she and Director Brewer have discussed another option where the person turning in receipts and explanation of benefits (EOB) for reimbursement would redact all personal information that is not needed to do the reimbursement. Office Manager Via stated the reason this is being done is for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security. It was agreed, at this time, to have the employees redact the unnecessary information from their receipts and EOB and continue with the reimbursements being paid from SWCMCD. Attorney Youell suggested that the Board direct Office Manager Via not to accept any documents that are not properly redacted. Office Manager Via stated that the employees should only turn them in to her and no one else She asked if Attorney Youell could check into the effect the Affordable Care Act has on this. This can be brought up again at budget time if needed.

Attorney Youell stated it is legal for the employees to have different benefits, for example the new employees hired after November 2013 having less benefits than the employees that had been employed before that date.

Commissioner Magee asked for a 10 minute break at 11:33 a.m. The meeting reconvened at 11:42 a.m.

Attorney Youell was asked for an opinion on the legality of the changes made to the benefit plans. Her opinion is that it is legal from a stand point of human resources and non discrimination for benefits purposes. She stated she had listened to the tape of the August 20, 2013 Regular Board Meeting to clarify what had been voted on then. The commissioners are included in the August 20, 2013 motion by the use of the word “personnel”. The lower benefit package was to exclude any new employee/personnel from the Supplemental Insurance Reimbursement Program and the District would no longer pay any amount on dependent insurance.

A motion made at the November 18, 2014 Regular Board Meeting was made to clarify that commissioners were not afforded benefits other than what is allowed under Florida Statutes. This motion was based on memory of the August 20, 2014 Regular Board Meeting since the tape was missing.

Since only Commissioners Magee and Norris are eligible to vote, due to being the commissioners in office at the November 18, 2014 Regular Board Meeting, the gavel was passed to Commissioner Faulk.

A motion was made by Commissioner Norris, for discussion, seconded by Commissioner Magee to review the November 18, 2014 motion referencing the health insurance for commissioners.

Director Brewer handed out copies of the November 18, 2014 Regular Board Meeting Minutes.

Commissioner Faulk stated he had listened to the tapes from August 20, 2013 Regular Board Meeting and also remembering when Commissioner Hudson made the motion in November to further this. He sees it two different ways, one as a commissioner elect and the other as a taxpayer. As commissioners there should be a stipend. He believes that a commissioner should have those rights. Commissioner Magee asked, “Your opinion on this, is that, correct me if I’m wrong, that this is a justifiable benefit provided to a commissioner. Is that what you are saying?” Commissioner Faulk answered, “I believe that it’s justifiable. Even though, anybody that knew how I ran, basically, I ran against it.” During the November 18, 2014 Regular Board Meeting it appeared to Commissioner Elect Faulk that after Commissioner Hudson had lost the election that the motion was made out of spite.

Commissioner Norris stated that Commissioner Faulk campaigned against commissioner benefits. Citizens had voiced their concerns to him on this issue. The Board was just trying to tie up loose ends and wrap this issue up by clarifying it.

Commissioner Magee asked Commissioner Faulk for his opinion of why the motion from the November 18, 2014 Regular Board Meeting should be rescinded. Commissioner Faulk answered, “I can’t give a right answer, you know, I’m just going to put it like this. Right is right and wrong is wrong. You draw your own conclusion.” Commissioner Faulk followed up by saying, “I just say leave it on the table, you know, I don’t care”.

Commissioner Magee stated the salary for commissioners is dictated by Florida Statute 388. Other mosquito control commissions have come up with stipend programs to make the position of commissioner more appealing to attract quality, potential candidates.

After discussion, motion passed unanimously with only Commissioners Norris and Magee voting.

A motion was made by Commissioner Magee, seconded by Commissioner Norris to rescind the motion referencing the benefits of commissioners made at the November 18, 2014 Regular Board Meeting and reinstating the motion made at the August 2013 Regular Board Meeting concerning the benefits of employees/personnel. Motion passed unanimously with Commissioners Magee and Norris voting.

The gavel was returned to Chairman Magee.

A motion was made by Commissioner Norris, seconded by Commissioner Faulk to adjourn. Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 12:21 p.m.


Tim Norris, Secretary


John Magee, Chairman

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