REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – CITY HALL
1000 CITY CENTER CIRCLE
October 16, 2012
THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING of the City of Port Orange was called to order by Mayor Allen Green at 6:59 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call: Present: Councilman Bob Ford
Councilman Donald Burnette
Councilman Dennis Kennedy
Vice Mayor Bob Pohlmann
Mayor Allen Green
Also Present: Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager
Margaret T. Roberts, City Attorney
Laura Tennant, City Clerk’s office
SPECIAL REPORTS, AWARDS, RECOGNITION, PROCLAMATIONS
4. Citizen Advisory Committee for TPO
Bobby Ball discussed an amendment regarding the Herbert Street sidewalk construction project that will come before the board as soon as possible.
Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if they are financing the whole construction project. Mr. Ball said $192,000. Councilman Burnette asked about the construction schedule. Ken Parker, City Manager, said it will be in the summer of 2013.
Mayor Green invited the boy scouts in attendance to come forward. Troop number 448 of South Daytona is attending to work on the Citizenship in the Community merit badge. The scouts all introduced themselves to Council.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION (Non-Agenda – 15 Minutes)
Dr. Margaret Smith discussed the school board one mill referendum. She discussed the losses that have occurred. She said it is hurting them in having to reduce programs. She expressed concerns for the quality of the education. She is asking voters to educate themselves about the one mill referendum. She left informational cards for Council and the public. She expressed concerns for the future of education for young people.
Brian Spies, citizen, discussed the mistakes with water billing. He said the fire department has a less than $20 million unfunded pension fund. There is about $830,000 in mistakes the City has made. He feels the money could go toward a portion of unfunded items. He hopes the City will recuperate the money and does not like that the employees were suspended with pay. He said the upcoming election signals there needs to be changes.
John Junco thanked Council and said everything is in place for the upcoming camporee. He presented Council with camporee patches. It is an open door invitation for everyone to come see the festivities. He discussed the events of the camporee and said the Boy Scout function runs Friday the 19th until Sunday the 21st, with festivities on Saturday. Mayor Green thanked him for his efforts in putting this together.
Newton White, citizen, said that in 2004 his home was flooded and he was assured it was a 150 year event and that improvements would aid his problem. He said he had water in his home again in May and discussed fears for rain and hurricanes. He said it has been eight years since improvements were first talked about. He discussed an exchange with Mr. Parker and that he was told it is not in the capital plan or budget. He asked for a map of the 55 acres that was calculated by Roger Smith and for information on the improvements to address developments in the area that would harm him and others. None of his requests have been answered for years. He wondered if drainage plans need a clearance from Homeland Security to be discussed truthfully. He said he has been told conflicting stories. He discussed a letter from City Staff. He feels improvements need to be made. He asked Mayor and Council if this is what to expect of City Staff and if it is being done with the consent of elected City officials.
5. Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve Consent Agenda items 5-8 and 11-13 made by Vice Mayor Pohlmann, and Seconded by Councilman Kennedy. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
Councilman Ford asked that Item #9 be pulled for further discussion.
Councilman Ford said Sparks Concrete is not being a good neighbor. Mr. Parker said the site plan has been approved. Councilman Ford said he cannot support a concrete plant in that area.
Motion to approve Consent Agenda item 9 made by Councilman Kennedy, and Seconded by Vice Mayor Pohlmann. Motion denied unanimously by roll call vote after no further comments.
Mr. Parker said he will draw specifications and rebid. Mayor Green said Sparks is doing repairs and concrete has not come out of the plant. He voted in the majority so that he can ask for reconsideration.
Councilman Burnette asked that Item #10 be pulled for further discussion.
Councilman Burnette asked about the sending unit. Mr. Parker said it is an antennae and sending unit, not meters. Councilman Burnette asked if the products are made in America. Mr. Parker said he would have to check. Tony Marino, IT Director, said the antenna is a re-use, the tower is U.S. made. He does not know what the unit is made of, and said it was probably made in China. Most electronics are not made here. He said he can investigate. Mr. Parker suggested the item be pulled to get answers. Councilman Ford said he is very unhappy with Sensus Meters and the company. He is unhappy with the mess and said it has been going on too long. He wanted to know if the City is getting into a further commitment with a company that is not good to work with. Mr. Marino said they can use a different meter.
FINANCE (John Shelley)
14. Resolution No. 12-68 – Appropriating funds for two Joint Participation Agreements (JPA) with FDOT for median landscape improvements on US 1/SR 5/Ridgewood Avenue and SR 421/Dunlawton Avenue in the Port Orange Town Center CRA
Mayor Green read Resolution No. 12-68.
RESOLUTION NO. 12-68
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PORT ORANGE, VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA; APPROPRIATING OPERATING FUNDS FOR VARIOUS CITY OPERATIONS; SETTING FORTH REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Motion to approve Resolution No. 12-68 made by Vice Mayor Pohlmann, and Seconded by Councilman Kennedy.
Councilman Kennedy and Vice Mayor Pohlmann had no comments. Councilman Burnette said he is glad to see money is being set aside for this. Councilman Ford said the landscaping is good.
Mayor Green asked if there were any public comments; there were none.
Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.
Mayor Green read the details of the protest. Mr. Parker said this is straight forward in the bid documents. The item was required and it is a standard form that was not present, therefore Quentin L. Hampton and Associates (QLH) would not be allowed to proceed to the interview process because they were not in compliance. That is not disputed; however, the missing document was provided at the protest hearing. A letter has been provided from QLH and one from Mr. Parker as it relates to the protest hearing that was conducted on September 17, 2012, that goes through detailed requirements included in the proposal. He discussed specifics and said failure to comply may deem a proposal non-responsive. The form was to be completed and submitted by the proposers. There was discussion on what is required and what has to be done. All exhibits have been included including letters from competitors saying they have no objections to QLH being allowed to submit; it is not all proposers. It was found that QLH failed to submit the required anti-collision form as required in the RFSQ 12-36. Specifications clearly stated that failure to execute the required forms will deem a proposal non-compliant with specifications. Based upon this information and the testimony at hearing, it was determined QLH’s proposal is non-compliant and therefore should not be allowed to proceed to the next phase. He said they have provided the best service to the City of Port Orange, and this service (inspection services) for over 15 years.
Councilman Ford asked how much money the City has spent in inspection services in the past year. Stella Gurnee said about $50,000-ballpark. Mr. Parker said it is a correctible issue. Councilman Ford asked if it was an oversight. Mr. Parker said yes, and that it is clearly stated in their letter to the City that it was an oversight on behalf of the individual that did the preparation and not including it. It was not included in printed material. In the testimony, they said they did not catch it in the review to see that it was omitted. He said that is his understanding during the testimony period. One, it was an oversight from printing and two, when reviewing it they did not catch it.
Councilman Burnette mentioned it does not have to do with actual engineering and asked Mr. Parker for his opinion on past work. Mr. Parker said they are extremely good. Councilman Burnette said this is a local firm and asked if the other bidders were local. Mr. Parker said three of the firms are local in addition to QLH and there are two outside of the area.
Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if Mr. Parker’s decision was based strictly on the outline of the bid. Mr. Parker said yes, he does not have the authority to wave bidding procedures.
Councilman Kennedy said there has been a historically good relationship with QLH and is disappointed they would miss this. He said the second option in the recommendation is to overturn the decision and waive the exclusion of the anti-collision statement. He mentioned the statements from other bidders to accept the bid. Mr. Parker said this is a proposal and that the bidders will be interviewed, QLH is asking to move to the next stage.
Mayor Green said this is clear it is inspection not engineering.
Brad Blais, President of QLH, apologized for missing the document. He submitted a copy to Council. He said it arrived at their office at noon and had to be submitted by 2. He said it is not an excuse but what happened. He discussed Purchasing Ordinance, Section 2-265, and said it is there to handle waiving of bidder irregularities. He pointed out Council has the authority to waive in the best interest of the City. There are often irregularities and pointed out there are a lot of irregularities that have been waived and approved. The form is non-substantial. He said this is not bid rigging or price fixing; they are being ranked on qualifications, not on price. He said the form that was not included is in his opinion irrelevant. Mr. Blais discussed recent projects that were on a letter. There is recent history of waiving irregularities. He presented to Council copies of the Wellfield solar program. The reason this is done is that it is necessary in the regular course of business. In the days of Bobbi Palmer, she would call and tell them it was missing and then include that information in the DF for Council to see what happened and how. It is a problem and it is being addressed in the purchasing ordinance. Mr. Blais said they have been providing service for 15 years and that this also affects sub-consultants. He discussed the other proposers that submitted and said the other firms that had the inspection section are the out of town firms. He is asking to move forward to the next step and requested consideration.
Councilman Kennedy said this only establishes qualifications to move ahead. There will be needs from various companies. He thinks the City should allow them to proceed. Vice Mayor Pohlmann feels they should be allowed to move forward. Councilman Burnette agrees it is non-substantial and mentioned the quality of past work. More bidders mean taxpayers win. He thinks they should be allowed to continue. Councilman Ford said they have had this discussion many times, and they go back and forth. He feels paperwork errors should not be excluded. He would like a policy developed for the things they can/will waive. He discussed the number of contracts the City has and wants to know if Council wants contracts or employees. He does not want to pick on QLH, he just wants to be consistent with this and vote that it is non-substantial and get the best for taxpayers. He is not happy the State legislature will not allow them to not take in to account price in determining a bidder. Mr. Parker said there are different groupings, not every RFP or RFSQ falls under it. There are very specific items that are covered.
Motion to declare non-substantial and permit QLH to move to the next level made by Councilman Ford, and Seconded by Councilman Burnette.
Ted Noftall asked how many hours have been put into this so far. Mr. Parker said from the standpoint of preparation for the protest hearing and the period after to write his opinion, conservatively 4-5 hours. In terms of man hours probably about 8 or 9 Staff hours involved. Mr. Noftall added the amount of QLH time. He said this is why government fails; all this time has been wasted that should have been handled administratively, and there are other issues, such as internal control failures. He feels this is why government fails because it cannot prioritize.
Bobby Ball, with Zev Cohen, said they did not go after this project because they were convinced they could not provide what QLH provides at the price the City is getting. He feels it is worth it. Mayor Green discussed internalizing, not outsourcing. He said it is a very complex business.
Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.
Mayor Green said logic should have been used. He wanted to know why they would not have done split face block. He mentioned this being a civil issue. When the proposer came to the City with it this close to the property line they were warned. He has been involved for a long time. The neighbor does not want them on their property; they cut down oak trees and he feels that is wrong. Mr. Parker said the problem is that it was brought before the Code Enforcement Board. The Code Board heard the case and determined there is no violation of the code. The code is very clear what it requires. He called attention to the Code Board Order. Mr. Parker said it was around the ability to go on and do the work. The code case heard by the Board resulted in that they could not physically go in and comply. There is still the requirement to meet the code.
Tom Clapsaddle, General Manager of Country Inn and Suites, said they made every effort to work with the neighbor, Mr. Root. They showed up to all the meetings and the neighbor was not there. He said they did cut down shrubs and vegetation but not oak trees. Mayor Green said they did. Mr. Clapsaddle said they do not mind finishing the wall but they cannot get there. But if they cannot, they are requesting their money back.
Phillip Klema, citizen, raised questions about trespassing and easements. He said that usually when there is a zero lot line an easement is obtained. He wanted to know why the City allowed them to place it on the property line with no ability to maintain it. He said if this is a violation of trespass it is a serious issue. He feels if it cannot be built to code, it should be removed and replaced in a position it should. He said property damage is a felony offense.
Mr. Parker gave a brief history of the property. The current owner is not the original developer nor is he the one who came through originally. Community Development did not recommend the wall at this location when it was before Council. There were discussions involving depth of parking spaces for motor homes, and how to park tractor trailer. Council allowed the wall to be moved back to the property line at that time. The current owner was taking up a program under construction and finishing it. They were in compliance of the wall location for the site plan.
Mayor Green mentioned Jim Morris said the back side was worked out. He does not know what happened from then to now. They could have taken split face block and stucco to the inside. He is not sympathetic. They derived the benefit of redoing the parking lot.
Councilman Kennedy said this goes far enough back that he was on Planning Commission when they heard the original site plan and he remembers George McMasters and himself having a lengthy discussion about the ability to maintain the backside of the wall and the ongoing maintenance. He said that is why the wall was originally set forward. The options are to get the neighbor and the hotel to concede that it has to be taken care of and make it happen or take the wall down and move it forward enough to maintain it. They have to find a way to get them together to work it out. He feels the wall is in the wrong spot. He does not know what can be done to get the neighbors to concede but it has to be done, even if the hotel has to buy three feet of the neighbors land.
Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked about getting a third party intermediary. Margaret Roberts, City Attorney, said if the parties are willing. Vice Mayor Pohlmann said he is not in favor of a refund until they get a resolution.
Councilman Burnette said he is not sure it has been flushed out completely. Even if it was made with the consent of the property owners at that time, owners change hands or change their minds; it is within their rights because it is their property. It makes for an ugly situation but it is what it is. He would hope the parties would agree to mediation. It is not just the property owners that are affected, it affects all who drive by and see the wall. He said they need to get there before thinking about a refund.
Councilman Ford said they need to understand that any solution imposed on them, they have liability because Council approved it. They are limited since Council approved it that way. He does not know what to do if the two parties do not agree. There are no answers. He recommended sending a memo to Community Development to watch the walls in the future. He urged Mr. Parker and the Community Development Staff to take a stab at mediation.
Mayor Green said when they moved the wall; it was moved for utilization for parking lot. He said they could have put a split face in that would never have to be maintained. He said it is poor design. He said he has talked to the neighbor and he is not going to budge.
Mr. Clapsaddle pointed out that no one can see the back side of the wall, including the neighbor. He does not have a problem finishing it.
Councilman Ford wants a resolution. He does not mind returning the money if they do a stipulation that they will finish the wall as soon as it is legally possible.
Mr. Klema mentioned the wall is on the line and the footings extend out. Easements do not give the right to cross over and build a sound wall. They do not have the right to trespass. He sees the City’s problem because by approving the wall they have accepted some liability in the issue. Attorney Roberts said the City does not condone trespassing. Attorney Roberts said there is 14-18 inches on the other side of the wall before the property line. Mayor Green mentioned they probably cannot stucco in that space. Attorney Roberts said the survey that was provided showed the structure is completely on the hotel property. Mr. Klema suggested with Altamira that they consider setbacks. Attorney Roberts said they have.
Motion to return funds upon the receipt of an agreement by the property owner of the hotel that they will finish the wall when legally accessible made by Councilman Ford, and Seconded by Vice Mayor Pohlmann. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote after no further comments.
Mr. Parker said he will provide a written statement to both property owners.
Mr. Parker brought Mayor Green and Council up to date on items that have occurred since the last meeting. An additional Shores master meter has been found. They have been notified that energy charges will be seen. Ms. Gurnee sent a memo that the Shores item was an account classification problem rather than a specific in the table. He said he would put his notes in written form. Tomorrow night there will be a huge diagram that will carry them through all the elements that are there. The City is out of meters, the ones in stock have now been placed in the system. Some have been held back for new building permits or new service being established. They have ordered 300 Neptune meters, which hits the purchasing threshold. They will need to come before Council for additional authorization for meters because those are due to arrive on November 1st. 300 meters in the replacement phase is a little over one week. Neptune has offered the City replacement meters at $75.80. The cost for a Sensus meter is $78.50 if you buy a large volume.
Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if Neptunes are American made. Mr. Parker said yes, the meter has a U.S. manufacturing label. He does not know if all of the parts are fully American, they will need that certification. A letter has been mailed to Sensus, to Mr. Lutz, requesting them to give specific information on the warranty in writing talking about how they are going to meet warranty requirements. He said he got an email today from Mr. Lutz saying he would be sending an answer by the end of the week. He said Ms. Gurnee suggested bringing in an HTE business analyst. Mr. Parker discussed how they could be better used in the meter reading division. He wants to review the business process and carry that through to other sections to be sure the software is being used to its fullest extent. Staff is compiling documents, there are more than 500 pages so far, which will be given to the auditors and any professionals involved in the investigation. The documents were not transmitted this afternoon because the number of units may exceed the email so they want to be sure not to crash the computer when posting. Mr. Parker said he has a meeting set with Daytona Beach Shores on Thursday per Council’s instructions related to recapturing money. He is also attempting to schedule a meeting with Volusia County relating to the Fly-In meter issue. Tomorrow night he will have some items ready for them. He said they need to understand what elements will be tested and how they will flow through. Staff met yesterday about the RFP, he and Attorney Roberts still need to do drafting related it. He has a meeting tomorrow relating to the civil service process. Technical issues need discussed. The auditor, Alex Kish, has provided some insight to some question needing to be asked but surely not all that will need to be asked. There are 191 Neptune meters in the ground with no reported failures. He will get information on the tower issue. He said the contract issue for installation is on the agenda for next week. It will be a private contractor. He discussed when looking to install a number of meters in a small amount of time. He said they need to price out internal Staff versus using a contractor.
Mayor Green said Mr. Lutz is non-responsive and Sensus is non-responsive. He is concerned about touching a product under warranty. There is no reason Mr. Lutz should not come and replace the meters right away. He said they cannot prolong it for a month. He wants to know what the warranty says.
Councilman Ford said his understanding is that the City has returned over 3,000 to them. He is confused why they do not understand the warranty yet. Over 3,000 have been returned to Senses. An unnamed meter reader told him they return it but costs and the warranty is not very effective. He wants to know if the City has copy of the warranty. He would like to build an in-house capacity he can trust and is experienced with meters. He asked if they can get a consultant who knows about meters to assist on this and for a copy of the warranty.
Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if most of the meters were installed by Staff. Mr. Parker said all meters are installed by the City. Replacements are installed by meter readers with assistance and new meters are installed by a distribution crew. He said the City does have experienced people who know how to install meters. Councilman Ford asked about the turnover rate. Mr. Parker said that is with Customer Service, meter reading is very stable. Councilman Ford asked why it was transferred to Customer Service. Mr. Parker said it has always been a part of the Finance Department, not Public Utilities. One of the discussions Council will have is to separate meter readers from Customer Service. Councilman Ford asked about the number of failed meters sent back to Sensus over the years. Mr. Parker said he will get it.
Mayor Green said he wants a calendar and they need to have an answer. Sensus should be here, they need to replace them.
Councilman Burnette wants to know if they need to threaten to drag them to court to get their attention. Attorney Roberts said she would invite them tomorrow night. Mayor Green said he is located in Flagler Beach. Mr. Parker said he would make sure he is invited. Councilman Burnette said they need data on failure rates on Sensus versus other meters. Mr. Parker said there have been no failures with Neptune. The City is down to very few other types and he will provide a failure rate of what is known. Councilman Burnette discussed item 10 and said he has trouble authorizing writing a check to them for anything at this time.
Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked about having someone from meter reading present tomorrow night. Mr. Parker said he will invite Nancy Zuber. Vice Mayor Pohlmann discussed the need to replace meters and wants to know if it has affected warranties in the past. Mr. Parker said not that he is aware of. The meters are taken out and sent back. Vice Mayor Pohlmann not voiding any warranties. The email he received said they generally wear out in 5-7 years. Mr. Parker said there are very few Sensus meters left, but they do have to install service. Vice Mayor Pohlmann mentioned having to purchase some meters anyway and asked if it is in the budget. Mr. Parker said yes. Mayor Green agreed he would like a meter brought to the meeting.
Councilman Kennedy asked about a large part of the problem being assembly. Mr. Parker said that was discussed last week and that a meter is the whole unit, or it is the component of the meter and any one of those can be a failure. Councilman Kennedy asked about the ability to not use the same manufacturer as the sending unit. Mr. Parker said that is correct, it may be proprietary. It will send and will be read by the Flexnet software. The software is the open system. Port Orange originally standardized on Rockwell meters in the 70s, Sensus is the successor of Rockwell and that is the standard meter in Port Orange. Councilman Kennedy asked how many are in the ground. Mr. Parker said about the mid 30’s, including water meters and reclaimed meters. He can get the exact amount and will get the number that was sent back as well. Councilman Kennedy said he agrees with Councilman Ford, if ten percent were sent back and they do not understand the warranty they have serious issues to address. Mr. Parker said he will get the data. Councilman Kennedy said he also agrees with Councilman Burnette in that he does not want to give Sensus a dime until this is resolved.
Mayor Green asked where the meter readers work. Mr. Parker said at the warehouse/Public Works facility. Mayor Green said that is where they should be meeting.
Councilman Ford said the meters readers are deeply distressed and that this is not a problem with them. He said to the employees there, that Council is not holding them responsible, this is a managerial problem. Mr. Parker stated for the record, as he recalls, there was a comment on a blog using City computers. Not in a note to anyone, just a blog. The concern was liability. Not that there was anything wrong but it could be traced back to the City ISP. So when talking about liability they need to discuss it with employees, not that they did something wrong, but they would be concerned about the liability. Councilman Ford said they took it a different way and asked how employees can be in one state of mind and them in another. He asked if they talk to employees. Mr. Parker said yes. Councilman Ford said he is very serious about this. While he may not agree with him he does want to hear Mr. Parker. Mayor Green said they have to be aggressive in resolving the issues. Mr. Parker said they met with employees, through three budget cycles, and never once did meter issues come up. Councilman Ford said he wanted to be clear that his remarks are not directed to Mr. Parker because he has had employees tell him they felt Mr. Parker was significantly lied to. Councilman Burnette mentioned people being intimidated to not talk and that it is hard to know the accuracy of Staff reports. He thinks having them here would be helpful.
Mark Schaefer, citizen, said he knows it is a big issue but that maybe it is not as insurmountable as originally thought. The numbers are discouraging. More investigation is needed. He is in favor of an internal audit. He said he has a Sensus meter and it is reading fine, whereas some may not be. He would like to see many people brought in from different departments to help make good decisions. He is trying to offer help. It is a big number of money missing. It is going to be a big cost to fix. Mayor Green said he prefers it is what it is and be open about it. Mr. Schaefer mentioned assigning blame and that it is still too early in process. He discussed the number of meters needing resolved. Mr. Parker said they can do 200 in a week. Mayor Green discussed bringing in outside help. Mr. Schaefer discussed the issue of overcharging and asked if there is a good asset listing. Mr. Parker said they have an asset listing. It was found that there are two serial numbers, the base and the register. Over time the registers and bases have become disconnected. He said the meter readers were told that when they are installing to be sure to record the base number as well as register number. They need to be changed out at different rates. Mr. Parker said in current meter installation, a longitude and latitude reading is taken. It was suggested by both Finance and IT to capture that data. Mr. Schaefer asked if they are confident all the meters have been found. Mr. Parker said they think so but they are constantly checking. Master meters were discussed.
Ted Noftall, citizen, asked Ms. Gurnee about the 3” binders she prepared the previous year on adjusting entries. Ms. Gurnee said she can get the number; she does not like to guess. Mr. Noftall mentioned it was a good move to move Roger Smith to Public Works but thinks he should be moved back and Shannon Lewis should be moved to Public Works. He feels Mr. Smith should be brought back for his expertise. He asked where the process was in bringing in a hard hitting CFO. Mayor Green said they have to identify the problem and then advertise, which they have not done. Ms. Gurnee has asked for help and is overburdened as it is. Mr. Noftall said he would like to see a weekly diary from department heads of what all they do. He said the adjusting entries is a huge problem. He mentioned that the auditor brought up in 2009 the extensive amount of adjusting. He wants to know why he is paying double at his business than he is at home. Mayor Green said it is already being addressed, and is on the table to be resolved. Mr. Parker said they are already in discussion with the rate person to make the tables less cumbersome. Mayor Green said something to look at is why get a 3" meter.
Stan Hetrick, citizen, expressed concerns over the meter issue, cost, and expense in solving. He suggested putting something on the website for updates, like a diary, an update on progress and status and a timeline for a resolution. Mayor Green asked if there is an agenda for Staff meetings and suggested that might be a way to document it. Mr. Parker said there is an agenda.
Newton White, citizen, mentioned a new meter costs $75 from Neptune and the number of Sensus meters returned. He asked if postage is being paid for sending meters back. Mr. Parker said when returned on warranty, no, but he will look into it. Mr. White asked how much it costs to have someone go through the return process and wanted to know if it was worth sending them back when they have such a failure rate. Mayor Green said Rockwell was not cheap.
Drew Bastian, City Council candidate, asked if Sensus has communicated. Mr. Parker said they have asked for data and discussed the warranty. He said they are figuring out what the warranty is. Mr. Bastian asked if they wanted another meter made in Mexico with a high failure rate. Mr. Parker said the ones that they could identify as not operational were changed. There are Neptune meters on order but will not arrive until November 1st. Mr. Bastian thinks they should be all sent out on one truck to avoid shipping.
Mayor Green said he hopes everyone is prepared to get a plan tomorrow night. Councilman Burnette asked about the methodology for testing meters. He would like to know how to check/test the meters. Mayor Green discussed his meter and backflow preventer.
Councilman Kennedy said he is interested in seeing the information. He apologized for being on vacation last week and missing some of the information. He is interested in seeing where they get tomorrow. It is a huge problem to deal with. He wants to continue to talk residential meters and would like to see information on master meters on verifying corrections made and to discuss getting money back. Mr. Parker said he understood from Council last week to get the money back. He has a meeting on his calendar for this week.
Councilman Ford asked about hiring a consultant to do read tables. Mr. Parker said it is the rate study. Councilman Ford asked if when a rate is set if a study is done. Mr. Parker said a consultant goes in and looks at rates and brings a recommendation. It is not something he is comfortable with Ms. Gurnee doing and said she would agree. Councilman Ford discussed the future and the tremendously complex system. He asked if they need to make personnel investments for expertise. He said he saw some of Roger Smiths early memos, and that Mr. Smith has a holistic view. He said one of the problems of coming of age is that it is going to demand a different level of expertise and training. He wants a holistic view.
Mayor Green said they want as much information as possible tomorrow night. It is not going to be resolved but will get started.
18. Comments/Concerns from Council Members
Councilman Ford did not have any comments.
Councilman Burnette wants to know what is going on with the mowing contract and Riverwalk. Mr. Parker will clarify. Councilman Burnette discussed correspondence and that he talked to Newton White. It is not just his property; he has concerns of what can be done. He wants to set aside something in the budget to help homeowners in that area.
Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if Mr. Parker would be making recommendations on additional help tomorrow. Mr. Parker said he plans to, yes.
Councilman Kennedy discussed the Spruce Creek Road drainage ditch. He said a gentleman came to him and said there is a lot of standing water. He would like someone to look at it and does not think it is draining properly. The whole area is continuing to be an issue.
Mr. Parker said Council agreed to meet with a Ridgewood business grouping at the Chamber location in a couple weeks on the 30th. He said he met with Debbie and Brendan today and they have a good agenda for that date. He asked Council if that meets their requirements. Mayor Green said as long as they are informed up and down Ridgewood.
Mr. Parker said Council requested a meeting with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. He discussed upcoming meeting dates and asked when Council wanted to meet with the Board. He said this is part of carryover discussions with the capital budget that will need more than a few hours. Mayor Green wants to get it all brought forward to see what was implemented. He wants data to review to compress the time. Mr. Parker said they are trying to put the calendars together and it is quickly becoming the holiday season. Vice Mayor Pohlmann asked if they need to have an agreement for the property exchange prior to the meeting. Mr. Parker said the original property discussed is not what is being talked about. It was moved off of Tomoka Farms Road and have moved back into the uplands. He said they are going to have to give up more property because of there are more wetlands on theirs and uplands. Councilman Ford mentioned the purpose being to make it closer to Port Orange. Mr. Parker said they already own property, just short of 400 acres in the triangle piece. Council asked for 300 acres. On 100 acres you can put soccer and ball fields with adequate parking. The layout in place is based on a Disney layout. Mayor Green asked when the Parks and Rec Board meets. Mr. Parker said quarterly on Tuesdays but they can call a special meeting. Mayor Green said to pick some dates and see what they can get.
ADJOURNMENT: 9:21 p.m.
Mayor Allen Green
Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager