LGWCD Approves Map, Maintenance Agreements

The Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District on Monday approved a South B Road maintenance map necessary to provide a quit-claim deed to its 60-foot easement on B Road so that the town and area developers, including Palm Beach State College, could proceed with road work there.

The developers — Palm Beach State College, Loxahatchee Equestrian Partners, Solar Sportsystems and Atlantic Land Investments — have agreed to pave B Road as a condition of their development, and the Town of Loxahatchee Groves asked the LGWCD to grant a quit claim to its easement in order for the road improvement to proceed.

LGWCD Administrator Steve Yohe recommended approval of the map, prepared by A&B Engineering, which will be recorded in the Palm Beach County records.

Supervisor John Ryan made a motion to approve the map.

“That appears to be the next step in preparation for the quit claim,” Ryan said.

Supervisor Laura Danowski said that she would like to see letters or some type of notifications to go to residents explaining what the red flags along the road mean.

“I think it would go a long way to goodwill and community relations that just a short letter be mailed to the residents saying what’s happening,” Danowski said, explaining that some residents may think a portion of their land is planned for condemnation.

LGWCD Attorney Mary Viator said that there would be no condemnation in relation to the maintenance maps.

“Even if we’re going to notify the landowners, there was a procedure set forth in the local bill that sets forth the continuous maintenance, operation and construction of these particular areas to identify those areas that we’ve been actually utilizing,” Viator said, explaining that the local bill will provide the easement to that particular area. “There’s not going to be a condemnation or any other steps taken to that extent.”

Ryan said that the surveys and maintenance map don’t really affect the ownership of the property, and the completion of the map, including surveys of canal easements for use as equestrian trails, would relieve the property owners of any associated liability.

LGWCD Chairman Dave DeMarois asked whether the canal itself was safe, and Yohe said it was.

Supervisor Frank Schiola asked if the approval process would delay any future surveys. “We want to get this surveying done as quickly as possible,” he said.

Yohe said the field work had been completed.

In other business:

• The board approved a Collecting Canal maintenance map for the berm from South B Road to Folsom Road prepared by the engineering firm Erdman Anthony.

Ryan said the approval of the map would open the way for the Town of Loxahatchee Groves to make improvements along the road, including the construction of culverts in the area.

“This finals up what we did at the last meeting with regard to A Road to B Road, so this completes Collecting Canal,” Ryan said. “This opens it up to whatever bridge culvert construction or other work is anticipated by the town with respect to trails.”

Viator added that improvements by the town would be subject to permitting by the district.

• The board also approved an amendment submitted by the town to the 2015-16 fiscal year agreement with the town for the district’s construction and maintenance of town roads to reimburse the district in an amount not to exceed $93,738.

It also approved an agreement with the town for additional road maintenance of town roads. The district agreed to provide watering services for town roads similar to district lettered roads, as district manpower and operating equipment is available.

LGWCD staff determined that hedging services exceed the manpower and equipment it has available to perform the work as requested, but individual roads can be evaluated by staff on a case-by-case basis as to the condition of the area requested to be hedged. The district also agreed to replace signs when staff is available.

“These comments are provided in the spirit of goodwill to assist the town whenever possible, and tempered with the responsibility and priority of the district to provide its basic services,” the staff report continued.

• The board also re-elected DeMarois as chairman, and elected Schiola as vice chair, Ryan as secretary/treasurer and Supervisor Don Widing as deputy secretary/treasurer. Danowski, who is serving her first term as a supervisor, turned down a nomination as deputy secretary/treasurer, saying that she would like to get more experience first.