The Indian Trail improvement District Board of Supervisors heard an update Wednesday, Jan. 22 on the status of Acreage Community Park and the change of contractors required to finish the project.
The meeting was held at Royal Palm Beach Village Hall due to flooding from a leaky water heater at the ITID office.
ITID Executive Director Burgess Hanson pointed out that the board terminated its contract with Rosso Site Development in December after several delays in finishing the largely completed park expansion.
“Right now, we are working with a new potential contractor,” Hanson said. “Unfortunately, we could not have the agreement prepared for tonight’s meeting because they were still working on some of the cost estimates. Also, not only our legal, but also our special legal counsel relating to the construction aspect of it has not had a chance to review everything.”
Hanson said the current goal is to have the contract on the agenda at the Wednesday, Feb. 12 meeting, which will include all the costs for completing the project and also fixing any problems caused by the previous contractor.
Hanson said a meeting was scheduled with Craig A. Smith & Associates, the construction manager, as well as the new potential contractor, Jock Trucking. ITID staff will also be at the meeting, he said, adding that ITID Operations & Maintenance Director Rob Robinson will have a bigger role to make sure the project stays on schedule.
“We’re anticipating that it won’t take more than 90 days, and it could be less than 90 days, for them to complete the project once the contract is executed and they receive notification to proceed,” Hanson said.
ITID President Betty Argue pointed out that the contract coming back to the board will not include all repair estimates for damage done to completed work.
“The contractor can’t look into the crystal ball and know that until they get in and start working,” Argue said. “They have already let us know that. There are some things that we anticipate. We’re going to try to have those things, at least have a unit price, and address it from that perspective… Other items that need to be repaired or redone will be a claim against the bond. We’ve verified that with the bond counsel.”
Hanson said there are visible damages to the project that will be included.
“They should be included, but any damage that’s not seen, the unintended or unseen aspect, we will not have that and have to come back at some point,” he said, adding that he felt the meeting with the bond counsel had been productive and that he had taken them to see damage at the site.
In other business, the board approved a request by Florida Power & Light to convey a 40-foot easement to the Sabal Palm Solar Energy Center for a 230-kilowatt transmission line, which will run west from the M Canal for about 1.5 miles. The transmission line will connect FPL’s Hibiscus Solar Energy Center, which is being constructed on a 400-acre parcel to the southeast across the M Canal in the City of Westlake, to FPL’s Sabal Palm Solar Energy Center, which is being constructed on a 640-acre site that is the old Iota Carol property. The ITID property is conveniently located between the two solar energy facilities and is ideally configured to accommodate an electric transmission line without directly impacting nearby residences or development sites, according to the staff report.
Supervisor Tim Sayre said he was concerned that if ITID should want to build a road there, which probably was the original intent of the easement when it was created, that the district would have to ask permission from FPL.
“I asked if we could put a clause in the contract that said we did not have to ask for permission as long as we did not impact their poles or structures in any way,” he said. “Was that added to the contract?”
ITID Attorney Frank Palin said language was added that clarified the role of the district in relation to the easement holder.
“We established some standards,” Palin said. “There is some review process because FPL, obviously, for safety reasons and structural reasons, they would need to know what we are going to be doing. So, we would notify them, but any kind of approval would not be unreasonably withheld if we determined some standards for what we’re going to be doing.”
Sayre added that at the meeting with FPL, he asked if the property goes unused or they stop using the transmission lines, if it could revert to the district and if they would clear the easement of old equipment. Palin said FPL has experience in cleaning up those types of abandoned utility easements.
Hanson said the issue at hand was only for conveying the property and pointed out that FPL would still have to go through the permitting process, where provisions are usually included for removing unused equipment.
“What that permitting process is more focused on isn’t necessarily about removing them,” Hanson said. “What that was trying to fix or solve was actually when they put in new poles… what’s happening is the older poles are not being removed. The justification is that AT&T or Comcast or other telecom providers have antennas or wiring on there, so they cannot remove it right away. However, if you go into a municipality, they remove them, not right away, but they do remove them over time. That’s what this special permit is focused on.”
Sayre also objected to FPL offering a one-time payment of $5,000 to ITID for maintenance.
“The problem is we’re talking 30 years down the road that the grass will be growing,” Sayre said, pointing out that he had asked for a yearly maintenance agreement.
Hanson said that FPL felt that the $5,000 was satisfactory, pointing out that the property is not currently maintained.
The board approved conveying the property on a motion by Supervisor Joni Martin, which carried 4-1 with Sayre objecting.