Infrastructure Work Clouds Budgetary Future At ITID

The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors went through its first round of budget discussions for Fiscal Year 2017-18 on Wednesday, with a focus on future long-term costs, mainly for infrastructure improvements.

Discussion also centered on whether to concentrate more on in-house operations or to contract out for some maintenance services.

Finance Manager Don Rinzel began by reviewing the status of the current budget.

“This is our budget for the current year,” Rinzel said. “Through the first six months of our current year, I broke these down by department.”

The budget for administration is about $1.9 million, and about half has been spent, with about $871,000 remaining.

The parks department has an overall budget of $1,335,000 and has spent close to $600,000, with about $700,000 remaining.

Rinzel pointed out that some of the budgets have carryover into the coming budget year.

“I know that in past years, we had canal maintenance and big capital projects that we hadn’t spent in order to lower assessments on our residents,” he said. “We will carry those over to next year for planned projects.”

The maintenance department budget is $5.8 million, and it has spent a little over $2 million, with about $3.5 million remaining for the fiscal year.

The M-1 Basin budget is $1.785 million, and $123,000 has been spent with an available budget of $1.6 million.

“This is what I was mentioning earlier about the carryover,” Rinzel said. “We have, I believe, $800,000 in canal capital projects to replace culverts, and we have a half a million in canal maintenance. We don’t think we’re going to spend all of that this year. We will carry some of that over. Although it looks like a lot of money, there are some projects coming up later in the year that will be using some of that.”

The budget for M1-S pumps for Bay Hill Estates is $63,500, and about $1,500 has been spent with about $62,000 remaining.

The budget for the M-2 pumps is $318,000, and $19,000 has been spent with a little under $300,000 remaining.

The aquatics department budget is $318,000, and it has spent $87,000, with encumbrances of about $15,000, leaving about $216,000.

The recreation and utility fund budget for the Acreage Community Park project has $1.946 million with $217,000 spent, with encumbrances of about $300,000, leaving about $1.436 million.

Rinzel said more than $3 million is in the utility fund, but only $1.9 million has been legally cleared for spending. He also pointed out that the utility fund does not come from assessments.

The total budget for the current year is $13,481,674.

“To date, we have spent a little over $4 million,” he said. “We have a little over $714,000 in encumbrances. That leaves our available operating budget at about $8.7 million still remaining for all departments.”

Rinzel asked supervisors if there were projects or changes they would like for 2017-18, noting that he and District Manager Jim Shallman had already talked with some supervisors, as well as the district engineer, about projects that the board needs to start looking at for the long term.

“We need to start thinking about ways to pay for that,” Rinzel said.

They include funding of about $400,000 for the Moss property pilot project to pump stormwater onto that federally owned land.

“You have grants available to cover most of that cost, but it’s still something that has to be budgeted,” he said.

Shallman added that said about $300,000 in grants is available.

A second inverted siphon still has to be built under the West Palm Beach Canal at a cost of about $1.8 million. “It’s a project our engineer recommends that we need to be doing, and it will be moving a lot more water through there,” Rinzel said.

ITID Engineer Jay Foy said the second inverted siphon will replace the first inverted siphon that was built by the district, where through an engineering error one end opens into a county easement.

“Our end of the inverted siphon is in the Palm Beach County right of way,” he explained. “They will eventually force the issue that we have to replace it.”

Foy said the district had planned to coordinate the inverted siphon project with the West Palm Beach canal widening project, but the city might be postponing that project. The county will probably do its easement project within the next five years.

Rinzel said a number of funding options are available, but the board needs to give them serious consideration.

“It’s a long-term thing, but it’s not that long-term now,” he said. “According to Jay, we really need to start thinking about how to address this.”

Rinzel said district staff would like to continue canal maintenance at about $1 million per year for about 20 years, which includes cleaning out all the canals, redoing the slopes and making sure they’re up to par to move water when they need to.

Culvert replacements are on a 20-year cycle at a cost of $500,000 to $800,000 per year.

“I believe we did three of them last year,” Rinzel said. “They’re averaging $150,000 to $175,000 per culvert replacement.”

Shallman said doing the culverts in-house with a special crew had been discussed as a money-saving option.

Other considerations include pavement for R-2 roads, which are approaching 20 years in use and will be in need of overlays.

“We’ve estimated about $750,000 per year for 10 years to put an overlay over our paved roads,” Shallman said. “Do we want to incur debt to undertake any of these projects? That’s something we need to address and think about.”

Retrofits of dirt roads are estimated at about $500,000 per year.

“We’ve been doing this for years, so our team of supervisors and zone managers identify a number of quarter-mile roads, and we grade them based on their need. We present them in the budget, and the costs associated with each unit,” he said.

An additional utility vehicle storage site was also suggested to augment its 140th Avenue site in order to reduce travel time and mileage to maintenance sites.

Shallman added that the expansion of Acreage Community Park would incur additional maintenance costs.

“That will definitely have to be part of the ongoing budget,” he said.

The cost to provide drainage infrastructure for land dedicated by developers will also need to be planned, Shallman added.