Minutes of the November 10, 2016 Meeting
Board of Trustees of the Beacon Meadows Special Dependent Tax District
Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Rd., Tampa, Florida


Trustees Present:          Michael Fisher (President), Dave duCille (Vice President), Barbara Appel (Treasurer), Penny Phillips (Secretary), Anne Blevins (Trustee), John O’Neill (Trustee)

Trustees Absent:           Kathy Boyd (Trustee)

Public Present:              Joyce O’Neill


The meeting was called to order by Michael at 7:07 p.m.


Secretary's Report – The minutes of the October 2016 meeting were read by Trustees in advance.  Penny reported that Barbara corrected her statistic about the increase in the cost of legal ads being 80%; it is actually 600%. Barbara made a motion, seconded by Anne, to approve the minutes, as corrected.  The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0. 


Treasurer’s Report (October 2016)

Revenues:  $147.40


            Utilities - $72

            Landscape maintenance - $775

            Surety bond - $100

            Office of Economic Opportunity annual fee - $175

Cash in bank:  $14,462

Available to spend:  $623

Barbara commented that the $30,000 allocated for repairs to the Gunn Hwy. is not included in the figures.


Old Business


Major Repairs to Gunn Hwy. Wall – Barbara reported that T-3 Construction recommended total replacement of Section #12 of the wall where the problem tree roots are located.  The cost of replacement would be $21,700.  This would leave enough funds for only one 40-foot section and one 4-foot section.  T-3 Construction recommended either Section #6 or #7 (40 feet), which lean about 6 inches off center, and Section #57 (4 feet), which leans about 7 inches off center. This would equal the $30,000 allocated for the project.  Dave commented that $21,700 seemed high for replacing Section #12 and recommended that other estimates be obtained.  He volunteered to contact contractors for estimates.  It was agreed by Trustees that Section #12 should not be approved for replacement and that another 40-foot section should be repaired instead.  Penny made a motion, seconded by Anne, that Section #12 be removed from the sections to be repaired and replaced with another 40-foot section that needs repair, in consultation with T-3 Construction, in order that the $30,000 already allocated can be used during the current fiscal year.  The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0.  Barbara also reported that T-3 Construction’s drawings from the previous wall repair project are too old and will not be accepted by the County, so they will have to be replaced and approved by the County before work can begin.


Beacon Meadows Website – Michael reported that John has not yet finished the verification process for creation of his generic e-mail address.  John agreed to respond to Michael’s e-mail in order for this process to be completed. Michael will resend the e-mail to John, if necessary. 


Board Meeting Signs –Dave presented some ideas for new Board meeting signs.  He recommended using “riders” for the top and bottom of the signs that would contain information which might change over time, whereas the body of the signs would contain information which would remain the same.  A cable and lock could be attached to the bottom of the frames.  Dave would be able to donate the frames, so the double-sided signs would cost about $30 to $40 each from BuildASign.com.  Also, reflective material could be used for the signs.  Trustees were pleased with the ideas.  Dave agreed to bring sign “proofs” to the December Board meeting for additional consideration.


Electric and Irrigation Issues at Gunn Hwy. Entrance – Barbara reported that the irrigation system is now working.  Jay’s Property Maintenance provided a repair estimate of $120 but billed for $130 ($150 had been allocated).  Barbara will inquire about the difference.  The sprinkler timer was replaced at a cost of $90 ($200 had been allocated).  However, even though Barbara had requested that the old box be removed and the current receptacle be installed in a weather-proof box, it was not done correctly.  Barbara will attempt to resolve the problem.  Finally, Barbara reported that the sign lights are not working again and new extension cords may be needed.


Referendum to Increase District Assessment – Michael presented instructions from the County Supervisor of Elections Office for pursuing a referendum.  The District is responsible for drafting the ballot language. It must be in the form of a question, 75 words or less, and followed by “Yes” for approval and “No” for rejection.  There must be a title of not more than 15 words. A majority of the vote (50%+1) is required for the referendum to pass.  The deadline for getting the referendum on a 2017 primary ballot is June 24, 2017.  An increased assessment approved in 2017 would be available in October 2018.  Penny reported that she found the language for the 1992 referendum which increased the assessment in order to build the Gunn Hwy. wall and will e-mail it to Michael. She was quite sure another referendum had been approved subsequent to 1992 to increase the regular assessment to a maximum of $100 per year, but she was not able to find a file with that information.  Discussion ensued regarding what increase in assessment should be requested; $200 and $250 were recommended.  This subject was tabled until a future Board meeting.  Penny agreed to contact Debbie Armstrong, President of Pine Hollow Special District, to request additional information about the process followed for the referendum recently approved for her district.

Rate Increase for Legal Advertisements – Penny reported that advertisement of the annual Board meeting schedule and other official announcements is governed by at least two Florida Statutes:  Chapter 50 (Legal and Official Advertisements) and Chapter 189 (Uniform Special District Accountability Act).  Therefore, it was her opinion that it would be fruitless to request changes for a situation that may affect only a small number of special districts statewide, especially since the rate increase affects only special districts using the Tampa Bay Times.  Penny confirmed that, according to Chapter 189, the newspaper in which an ad (either legal or classified) is published must be of general or paid circulation in the county or counties in which the special district is located; a community newspaper of general interest and readership, as opposed to limited subject matter; and published at least five days a week, unless the only newspaper in the county is published fewer than five days a week.  Therefore, it has been the decision of the County Attorney’s Office that the Tampa Bay Times is the only newspaper that meets these criteria.  However, since it is allowable for special districts to request approval of alternative wording for the ads from the County Attorney’s Office, Penny volunteered to prepare a draft with as many abbreviations as possible; in particular, ADA for Americans with Disabilities Act.

New Business


Holiday Decorations – Anne reported that she has the holiday wreaths and lights at her house and will refurbish the wreaths, as necessary.  Anne, Barbara, and Penny agreed to meet at 9:00 a.m. on November 26, 2016 to decorate the Beacon Meadows entrances, starting at the Casey Rd. entrance.


There being no further business, Penny made a motion, seconded by Anne, that the meeting be adjourned, which was approved by a vote of 6-0.  Michael adjourned the meeting at 8:28 p.m.


Penny Phillips, Secretary                       ____________________________


Michael Fisher, President                      ____________________________