Minutes of the October 13, 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), Kathy Boyd (Trustee)
Trustees Absent: John O’Neill (Trustee)
The meeting was called to order by Michael at 7:05 p.m.
Secretary's Report – The minutes of the September 2016 meeting were read by Trustees in advance. Barbara made a motion, seconded by Anne, to approve the minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0.
Cash in bank: $15,437
Available to spend: $10,947
Barbara commented that there is a significant amount of cash in bank that is not available to spend because of funds allocated for repairs to the Gunn Hwy. wall which have not yet been completed.
Major Repairs to Gunn Hwy. Wall – Barbara reported that she has not received any update from T-3 Construction regarding progress on the project. The last contact was in August when T-3 Construction requested the name and phone number of the County arborist and Aerial Arborist, the company approved by the Board to perform necessary root pruning. Barbara will send an e-mail to request an estimated timeframe for work to begin.
Replacement of Plants at Gunn Hwy. Entrance – Barbara reported that Jay’s Property Maintenance finally replaced the plants (the $268 expense was approved by the Board in December 2015).
Lights at Casey Rd. Entrance –Barbara reported that the new rope lights were installed by her. Penny expressed appreciation to Barbara for her efforts.
Beacon Meadows Website – Carol reported at the September Board meeting that the District must ensure the website is in compliance with any changes based on State requirements. Barbara and Penny agreed that the website currently appears to be in compliance. In particular, the Board meeting agenda was posted on the website at least two days in advance of the October meeting, as required. Because e-mail addresses of all Trustees must now be included on the website, Michael created generic e-mail addresses, which are redirected to Trustees’ personal e-mail addresses. The generic e-mail addresses for Michael, Dave, Barbara, and Penny have been verified. Kathy, Anne, and John have not yet finished the verification process, so Michael agreed to resend the verification requests to them.
Board Meeting Sign at Casey Rd. Entrance –Dave reported that he researched options for new signs, posts, and locations in an effort to prevent future damage to the sign at that entrance, as addressed at the September Board meeting. He has a sign frame that would work, but a lock cannot be used unless a hole is drilled in the sign. Because of his profession, he can get up to a 40% discount on signs, so a new sign may cost as little as $30. Discussion ensued about how it should be designed, anchored, and secured. In particular, because meeting information (day, time, place, etc.) can change, it was recommended that the sign be able to be updated (e.g., removable lettering) without a new one having to be purchased in order to save money for the District. Also, Barbara offered the option of using masonry anchors on the two bollards at that entrance so the sign can be hung between them. Trustees requested that Dave bring pictures and/or samples of signs to the November Board meeting for consideration, which he agreed to do. Since Dave no longer needs the sign for his future research, it can be returned to Sharman Hurd for posting next month. Although not confirmed, it appears that the sign may have been damaged in the past by the mowers, so Barbara recommended it not be posted until after mowing is done on Tuesday.
Audit of FY16 Financial Records – Barbara reported that she signed and returned a letter of engagement from King & Walker, CPA’s, and the audit will be conducted for $900. Barbara added that she has provided all the necessary documents for work on the audit to begin, and the completed audit report will be provided to the appropriate agencies and uploaded to the State website, as required.
Electric and Irrigation Issues at Gunn Hwy. Entrance – Barbara reported that when Jay’s Property Maintenance replaced the dead plants at that entrance, it was discovered there was no electricity to the sprinkler controller. Therefore, she contacted Jim’s Electrical Services, some of the wiring and the GFIC outlet for the sprinkler controller were replaced, and she paid the invoice of $150. Penny made a motion, seconded by Michael, that $150 be allocated for work completed by Jim’s Electrical Services. The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0. Barbara further explained that the latch for the box where the sprinkler controller and outlet are located had been broken, so they fall out of the box, and an attempt had been made for it to be repaired with tape. Also, it was discovered the timer needs to be replaced. Barbara requested that Jay’s Property Maintenance handle this. She was informed that a new timer will be installed, which, from her understanding, comes with a box. There was no indication of the cost of replacing the timer and box. However, it was agreed by Trustees that funding should be approved. Therefore, Anne made a motion, seconded by Kathy, that up to $200 be allocated for replacement of the sprinkler timer and box. The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0.
Rate Increase for Legal Advertisements – Barbara reported that Tampa Bay Times increased its rate for legal ads in Hillsborough County effective in August from .51 cents per line to $4.25 per line. Therefore, legal ads have increased about 600% from around $25 to over $150 for the District. Barbara paid this amount for the legal ad so the meeting schedule for the new fiscal year could be advertised in a timely manner. Penny reported that she sent an e-mail to Mary Mahoney, Director of County Management & Budget, to inquire about other options available besides Tampa Bay Times. Mary responded that, based on State requirements, the publication where the legal ad is printed must be a “newspaper of general circulation” in the area. Therefore, there are no other options. However, the advertisement can be a classified ad instead of a legal ad. Barbara checked into the price of a classified ad and found it would be $51.20, still more than double the cost of legal ads in the past. Also, the classified ad would need to be verified by the District with an actual photocopy of the printed ad in the newspaper; a certified copy would not be provided by Tampa Bay Times. Penny reported that she had spoken with Debbie Armstrong, President of the Pine Hollow District, about working with other smaller districts on pursuing changes to save money for the districts, either by requesting discounted rates from Tampa Bay Times or changes to the State requirements for smaller districts. Penny agreed to research the feasibility of requesting changes to the State requirements, with potential assistance from the County.
Referendum to Increase District Assessment – As a result of discussions regarding purchasing new meeting signs, the increase in the rate for publishing legal ads, additional repairs needed for the Gunn Hwy. wall, and increase in costs of goods and services in general, it was agreed by Trustees that now would be the time to start the process for a referendum to increase the assessment for the District to more than the current $100 per year per improved parcel. Discussion ensued regarding this subject. Michael volunteered to find out about the process for the November Board meeting. Penny recalled from past referendums that the process has several steps based on State requirements, but it is locally under the purview of the County Supervisor of Elections.
Postage for District Mailings – Penny presented a receipt for $2.45 for postage to mail the updated Special District Information Form to five recipients. Barbara recommended that Penny purchase a book of stamps for future use for District mailings and get the $2.45 reimburse in stamps instead of a check from her. Penny agreed to do this. Therefore, Anne made a motion, seconded by Kathy, that up to $10 be allocated for a book of stamps to be purchased by Penny. The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0.
There being no further business, Barbara 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 8:16 p.m.
Penny Phillips, Secretary ____________________________
Michael Fisher, President ____________________________