Intergovernmental Committee Discusses Lox Road Transfers

The Loxahatchee Groves Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee recommended approval May 12 for the Town of Loxahatchee Groves and the Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District to share the necessary surveying costs for quit claim deeds to transfer control of D Road South and Collecting Canal Road from the district to the town.

LGWCD Administrator Steve Yohe noted that the district’s board of supervisors approved the transfer on May 8, contingent on the town sharing costs for engineering firm Erdman Anthony to conduct the field survey work necessary to write a legal description for each road for the quit claim deeds.

“Erdman Anthony’s proposal is $5,700 to do this work,” Yohe said. “The town’s share would then be $2,850.”

Yohe said that Town Manager Bill Underwood had indicated in an e-mail that the survey should be legally sufficient to qualify for the transfer, and the district should give the town $2,850 to complete the survey.

He added that the item had been brought to the intergovernmental committee for discussion, and the town council’s next meeting is not until June 6.

“I just wanted to get a feel for how you want us to proceed,” Yohe said. “One of the things that was additionally conveyed at our board meeting was that the board really wants to do this on an expedited basis.”

He explained that the district at its last budget workshop called a special board meeting on Thursday, May 25 so that it could approve the quit claim deed, but that is contingent on having the legal description.

“I don’t know that you guys can move that quickly, and what I would do at that meeting is go ahead and get approval and proceed, and see how that falls out with the board directing staff to either proceed or wait,” Yohe said. “The whole idea is so that we can focus in on our budget because, as you know, we’re all running short on our budget time.”

LGWCD Supervisor Laura Danowski, a member of the intergovernmental committee, said the board had discussed getting final approval at its regular meeting on July 10.

“I think it’s prudent and in the best interest and service of the residents to call these special meetings that need to be done, get the described roads turned over to the town and just be done with it,” Danowski said.

Underwood said he had looked at the surveys and there is an issue in that a piece identified in the surveys was a part that the district took from property owners.

“I think because we had to work through legalese with surveys on the town roads that we’ve done, I’m going to talk to our company and see what they would charge,” he said. “Hopefully, it wouldn’t exceed this. It may be a little less since they’ve already got that piece, and maybe they can get with Erdman and see that the survey can accomplish both.”

He added that there was a lot of wrangling between the town’s attorney and the surveyor regarding language necessary to implement the deeds so they would be in compliance with state statutes.

“It may be more restrictive than your survey to identify the road,” Underwood said. “I’ll check with our engineer, and I’ll let you know what they see, and then we can move forward. I think we can expedite it pretty fast.”

Mayor Dave Browning, also a member of the intergovernmental committee, agreed with Danowski that the matter should be settled quickly.

“I think we need to get this put to bed,” Browning said. “We’ve been going back and forth with this for a long time. I think our council will be more than willing to share that cost of whatever survey we have to do.”

In other business, the committee discussed a quit claim deed for the transfer of North and South F Road.

Yohe said the quit claim was recorded on May 5 after a long series of transactions going back to April 2016 due to an error in the initial right of way description from Collecting Canal to Southern Blvd.

Erdman Anthony updated the legal description for the quit claim, which involved an area smaller than a house pad of 0.065 acres, he said, adding that he plans to have the finished quit claim deed on the board’s June 12 agenda.

The committee also discussed progress of an annual tire collection program, which was approved by the LGWCD board on May 8.

The program was established several years ago to discourage people from throwing old tires into canals or allowing them to accumulate on property and become mosquito breeding habitats.

“Staff still needs to research the cost and schedule a time and notify the district board at the June or July meeting of the proposed time and cost,” Yohe said. “At that point, when the board signs off, we will notify the town manager, who will notify town council. We’ll get it coordinated with the people of the Loxahatchee Groves Landowners’ Association and get the word out.”