District News

This page will feature news releases by the District relating to meetings, petition and road referendum updates, elections, and more. This page will be regularly updated. If landowners have any questions about a news story, you may contact the District at 561-747-0550 or via e-mail at sirwcd@sirwcd.org.

 

The District's Notes and News newsletter also provides information of interest to landowners. Please click here for PDFs of all the District newsletters.

Landownr Mike Clark presents award to Manager of operations Michael Dillon

Landowner Mike Clark Presents Award to Manager of Operations Mike Dillon

Read after the Jan. 17 Board Meeting. Due to the length of the letter, it has been edited to fit space allowed.

Members of the board, distinguished guests and residents. My name is Mike Clark and I bought a home in the western farms about a year ago. I’ve waited my whole life to buy this house and it was totally worth it.

I have a pond, a pool and a canal behind my house and beyond is 5,000 bucolic acres of pine glades preserve. Being a new home-owner I had questions about removing trees on my property and the canal, so last February I attended a SIRWCD meeting. Now don't judge me, but early on I kind of fell in with a bad element. Nevertheless, they directed me to Mike Dillon.

I met Mike after the meeting and he told me to give him a call the following week. I explained that being a new homeowner, I didn't want to get crazy with my chainsaw and have someone fine me $5,000 down the road. He laughed and said he'd come out and tell me what invasives I could cut, what to leave and how high to leave stumps.

True to his word, he made the time and pointed out all the Brazilian pepper and Australian pines I could remove. In an effort to make his life simple, and mighty proud of my newly owned 1.6 acres, I showed him my property survey. He just grinned. I was immediately unsure how to take it for many reasons. Try to envision the visage of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It was then he uttered the words that haunt my dreams: "You have an easement!" He struck off from the canal bank at a breakneck pace. He looked around at the overgrown mess that looked to me like thick amazon jungle and began to nod silently to himself. When he recovered from his reverie, he handed back my survey and bade me adieu, left with a feeling hovering somewhere betwixt curiosity and dread.

He called in March and said he'd like to come out and talk about the easement on my land. I was a soldier and a police officer so I’m generally a ‘rules’ kinda guy. But I do have a healthy respect for the general incompetence of government agencies, so I looked at the meeting with great conster-nation. It was then that I began to form a tremendous respect for our beloved Manager of Operations. Mike explained to me what an easement was, its purpose, and the right(s) of local government to utilize for the greater good. I learned the unique juncture of 169th Court and 134th Terrace was prone to flooding during heavy or prolonged rain events. At every juncture he conducted himself with dignity, tirelessly addressing my concerns and silly questions, explaining in patient detail each step of the process and providing a highly accurate timeline. Mike is so adept at what he does, by the time the project was done...he'd all but convinced me it was my idea in the first place!!!

Over the course of 2018 he worked with me every step of the way through property line surveys, plats, elevation studies, land clearing, grading and excavation. The end result of which is a new drainage ditch and outfall which will "relieve" the flooding concerns of 6 homes to the east and 7 homes to the south of said curve. Never in my life have I had such a positive experience with a government agency or public works department. I can't count the number of times I’ve said thank you to Mike over the phone, but it always felt like it wasn't enough. It is for these reasons, and too many more to list, that I present Mike this plaque.


 

Award certificate to Bill Dean

Jupiter Farms Resident William Dean Deeds Drainage Easement to South Indian River Water Control District

South Indian River Water Control District Manager of Operations Michael Dillon and Board President Stephen Hinkle presented William Dean with a certificate of appreciation on May 1, 2018, to acknowledge his deeding of a drainage easement on his property on Sandy Run in Jupiter Farms to the District. Mr. Dean, who established William Dean Homes in 1986, is a longtime resident of Jupiter Farms and has seen the increase in home and business construction in the area over the years. “With ongoing development and reduction in water storage areas, I felt that providing the District with an easement for maintenance, storage, and enhanced drainage was extremely important for our community,” Dean said.

“The deeding of this drainage easement to South Indian River Water Control District will provide immediate benefits to the surrounding area,” said Hinkle. “The Board of Supervisors is very grateful to Mr. Dean for his cooperation and contribution to improving drainage and stormwater management for the well-being of his neighbors in Jupiter Farms.”

Mr. Dean is continuing to work with Mr. Dillon on other properties to determine if deeded easements would provide additional benefits when it comes to stormwater runoff and retention.

If any property owners in Jupiter Farms or Palm Beach Country Estates are interested in deeding a drainage easement to the District to help improve drainage and water storage in their area, please contact Michael Dillon at the District Office at 561-747-0550.


 

2017 Insurance Check Reimbursement

District Receives Insurance Reimbursement

The South Indian River Water Control District has been awarded reimbursement checks for $2,786.26 and $1,098.65 by Christopher Kittleson of Public Risk Underwriters of Florida, representing the District’s insurer, Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust, for training and safety initiatives undertaken this fiscal year. The total the District received in reimbursement for the 2016-2017 fiscal year is $5,000, which is the policy year limit.

The Preferred Training Incentive Program for Safety provides an economic benefit to its members and assists them in protecting personnel and property with financial incentives for safety training and safety equipment procurement. The program provides matching incentives of up to $5000.00 per year for safety-related signage, driver training, continuing education classes, and more.

The initiatives undertaken included warning and no trespassing signage for District maintained canal easements and lakes and Safety Council of Palm Beach County OSHA seminar on injuries and fall protection, Stings, Bites and Zika Risks, and the new Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard. A safety assessment conducted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit recommended the use of security cameras to deter crime at the District Work Center. Three cameras were installed that cover the parking area, entrance to property and the fuel pumps. In addition, OSHA-required protective equipment and first aid supplies were acquired.



19th Plan of Improvement Update

Pursuant to Board direction after petitioners met the minimum requirements, staff prepared a referendum for the landowner proposed project that was mailed October 17, 2016 with the request that the landowners submit their response to the District by December 9, 2016. On December 14, 2016 and on April 14, 2017, staff received the certification from the Supervisor of Elections on the results of the referendum. The majority of the landowners on the following roadways were “in favor” of the proposed project for asphalt in Palm Beach Country Estates (approximately 2.4 miles):

• 76th Trail N between 160th Lane N and 162nd Court N
• 76th Trail N between 163rd Court N and 165th Street N
• 78th Drive N between 165th Street N and 167th Court N
• 154th Court N. between 75th Avenue N and 81st Terrace N
• 159th Court N between 78th Drive N and 84th Avenue N*
• 160th Street N between 72nd Drive N and 75th Avenue N and 72nd Drive N from 160th Street N to 160th Lane N
• 175th Road N between Jupiter Farms Road and West End

At the February 2017 Board Meeting, staff received approval to prepare the 19th Plan of Improvements. A public hearing for the filing of the resolution to consider approval of an amendment to its current water control plan to include this project was held on May 18, 2017. At this meeting, the board approved staff to prepare the Engineer’s Report and draft Plan of Improvement. The Engineer’s Report was filed on May 26, 2017.

A final hearing to consider approval of the report and proposed water control plan amendment was held June 29, 2017. During the public hearing, the Board heard landowner comments and discussed the project. *After further discussion during the regularly-scheduled Board meeting, the Supervisors voted three to one to approve the District Engineer's Report with an amendent to the plan to remove the section from 83rd Way N to 84th Avenue N and authorized the District Engineer to submit the proposed water control plan amendment to South Florida Water Control District.

The District Engineer announced at the Annual Landowner Meeting on September 21 that the District has received the approval for the water control plan amendment from the South Florida Water Management District.

In preparation for the project, District staff has regraded the existing swales, checked existing pipes, and replace pipes. All surveying and engineering has been completed and the project went out to bid on April 15, 2018, with bids submitted by potential contractors on May 15, 2018.

The total estimated project costs are approximately $1,081,000, including preparation, design and construction. Seven bids were received, ranging from $858,000 to $1.17 million. The low bidder was Rosso Site Development, Inc., at $858,054.45, which is under the construction cost estimate of $901,000.

At the May 17, 2018 monthly meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved accepting the low bid and authorized the District Engineer to proceed. It is expected that the contract will be executed in June and a Notice to Proceed in June or July.

The May 17, 2018 Board Meeting was recessed and was reconvened on May 31, 2018 at the District Work Center at 6:00 pm. The District Treasurer presented a loan agreement for the 19th Plan of Improvements, and the District Attorney presented the resolution authorizing the District to enter into the loan agreement and execute the necessary documents for Board approval.

A pre-construction meeting was held on June 21, 2018. Construction is set to begin Monday, July 29, 2018 on the roadways in Palm Beach Country Estates. It is estimated construction of the roadway in Jupiter Farms will be late September or early October. Due to the culvert replacement on 175th, the project has been delayed. The culvert at 175th has been installed and staff is preparing a change order for additional time.

Please see our Referendum page as updated information becomes available.


 

Family Day

Matt Wood and Carol Wise Celebrate Five Year Anniversaries with the District

Superintendent Matt Wood and Carol Wise, office assistant, were awarded certificates of appreciation by Michael Dillon, Manager of Operations and John Meyer, Supervisor on April 25, 2017 for five years of service to South Indian River Water Control District.. Matt was originally hired as a Level 2 Operator in May of 2012. He was the District’s full-time Backhoe and Motor Grader Operator until he was promoted to Superintendent in December of 2016.

Carol had previously worked part time for the District for 7 1/2 years from July 2003 thru December 2010. She returned as the office assistant in 2012, providing valuable assistance and expertise when Holly Rigsby took over the office administrator position from Greta Raymand after she retired. As a long-time resident of Jupiter Farms, Carol provides insight into the workings of the District.

President Stephen Hinkle presents Office Administrator Holly Rigsby with award for 10 years of service

President Stephen Hinkle presents Level 3 Operator Arie Raz an award for 20 years of service.

Board President Stephen Hinkle Presents Service Awards to Holly Rigsby and Arie Raz

South Indian River Water Control Board of Supervisors president Stephen Hinkle presented Holly Rigsby with a 10-year Service Award and Arie Raz with a 20-year Service Award.

Holly Rigsby began working in the District office part time in 2008, and in 2011 began working full time, taking over the office administrator position in May of 2012. Manager of Operations Michael Dillon notes that Mrs. Rigsby has been a joy to work with and she receives numerous compliments from landowners on her professionalism and great job she has done as Office Administrator.

Mr. Raz has been one of the most consistent operators over the last 20 years. He is a level 3 boom operator with a CDL license to drive our dump trucks. In addition, he assists the head mechanic in the shop when needed. Mr. Raz also receives a lot of compliments related to his mowing and in fact, landowners call requesting Mr. Raz to come and mow the drainage ditches in front of their properties. “We are extremely fortunate as a Special District to have such dedicated, knowledgeable, and professional staff as Mrs. Rigsby and Mr. Raz,” said Mr. Hinkle.


Changes to Solid Waste Authority Pick Up to Affect District Landowners

South Indian River Water Control District is not responsible for trash pickup, however, landowners following the rules from the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) help the District perform its maintenance and operational duties.

FROM THE SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY

NEW RESIDENTIAL GARBAGE CURBSIDE COLLECTION GUIDELINES WILL GO INTO EFFECT OCTOBER 1, 2019. Palm Beach County is going Automated. Every residential curbside customer will receive a new 95 gallon Cart that will be serviced by new specialized trucks. The cart will be delivered to your home by the hauler prior to the new contract start date, most likely in the month of September. • All garbage must be placed inside the Cart and will be collected two (2) days per week. • If a second Cart is needed, it may be purchased at a one-time cost of $65. The resident will not incur any additional collection or disposal charges and the hauler will be fully responsible for the repair and/or replacement of the Cart. • Please do not use your new Cart until October 1, 2019. • Bulk Service will be provided one day per week and limited to no more than three (3) items. Bulk items include appliances, furniture and any other large household items that do not fit in your Cart. Some residents may have more than three (3) items. Contact SWA Customer Service at (561) 697-2700 for an estimate to have the additional items removed. • Bulk Service will be provided on one (1) of your regular collection days. Debris from minor home repairs (Construction and Demolition Debris ("C&D")) will be limited to two (2) cubic yards per week. • C&D will be collected on your scheduled Bulk Service day and must be containerized (in cans or plastic bags) weighing less than fifty (50) pounds. • Containerized C&D material exceeding two (2) cubic yards will be tagged and not removed.

NEW RESIDENTIAL YARD WASTE CURBSIDE COLLECTION GUIDELINES WILL GO INTO EFFECT OCTOBER 1, 2019. Debris other than palm fronds and tree branches, such as leaves, tree and hedge trimmings, pine needles, etc. should be containerized, preferably in a garbage can, paper lawn and refuse bags, or plastic bags. Tree branches and palm fronds should be neatly stacked in a pile that does not exceed six (6) cubic yards. The Yard Waste collection limit continues to be six (6) cubic yards per week (18' Long x 3' Wide x 3' High), but under the new collection contract the hauler will no longer be servicing piles that exceed this limit. Residents are encouraged to place no more than six (6) cubic yards per week at the curb. Tree branches placed at the curb must be cut into pieces that are no more than six (6) feet in length, six (6) inches in diameter and weigh no more than fifty (50) pounds each to facilitate manual loading. Palm fronds can be any length. Piles that exceed this size will be tagged and photographed and the information forwarded to the SWA Customer Service Department. It will be the customer’s responsibility to arrange for the removal of the pile by either contacting the SWA Customer Service Department or making other arrangements to have the pile removed. If you know you are going to have more, you can call SWA Customer Service at (561) 697-2700 to request an estimate to have the pile removed. We have included in our contract an established rate of $8.00 per cubic yard for the service. Upon payment, the material will be removed within 72 hours. Alternatively, you can contract with anyone you want to remove the material, or if you have hired a commercial landscaper, make sure they include removal in their quote. Why is this change being made? Your SWA yard waste assessment and collection service is intended for routine landscape maintenance, not debris generated by land clearing and tree removal activities. Piles that contain these materials, or that are excessively large, cannot be efficiently collected manually or mechanically and impede the ability of the waste hauler to provide quality, affordable service to the hundreds of other residential customers on the route. In short, this is being done to ensure that every residential customer receives a base level of service that meets the needs of the overwhelming majority of residents at the lowest possible cost. For additional information visit us on the web (www.swa.org) or Contact Customer Service at (561) 697-2700.


 

Stephen Hinkle and John Meyer (right) elected to 2018 Board of Supervisors

Stephen Hinkle and John Meyer Win Re-Election to Board of Supervisors

The Supervisor of Elections for Palm Beach County, hereby certifies that the following record of the votes cast in the South Indian River Water Control District, Annual Election of District Supervisors ending on September 20, 2018 is correct according to records on file in the Supervisor of Elections Office:

Candidate Name and votes cast:

Stephen Hinkle - 2,182
John Meyer - 2,172
Bob Berman - 814

The Board accepted the certifiied results at the rescheduled monthly meeting on December 6 and Stephen Hinkle and John Meyer were sworn in by Mr. Capko. Mr. Hinkle was elected President, Tom Powell as Vice-President, and Jand Woodward as Secretary. In addition, the following appointments were made to the committees: Tom Powell and John Jones - Budgeting; John Meyer - Communications; John Jones - Parks, Recreation and Water; and John Meyer and Michael Howard - Policies and Procedures.


 

Training Incentiv Program Rebate Check

District Receives Insurance Reimbursement

Holly Rigsby and Michael Howard accepted a check for $1,450.84 from Preferred Gov't Insurance Trust's Matching Training Incentive Program on behalf of the District.. The District received a 50% rebate for the purchase of ADT security monitoring, first aid supplies, security camera quarterly monitoring fees, underground storage tank employee training, Safety Council OSHA seminar and annual fees, spill kit for fuel island, and safety products such as gloves, glasses, ear plugs and muffs, face shields and a new eyewash station.



Updated Culvert Replacement Information

The District has instituted a Driveway Culvert Replacement Program to replace culverts that have collapsed, been damaged or are undersized. The cost of a single basic culvert is $300.00 on a District roadway and $650.00 on a county roadway (landowners are responsible for headwalls on county road driveway culverts).

Landowners are responsible for the maintenance of their driveway culverts and must notify the District when their culvert is no longer functioning properly. This is essential to ensure proper stormwater management.

However, please note that while performing road and swale maintenance or during routine inspection of the water control system, District personnel may find driveway culverts that are inoperable or undersized that have not been reported. In order to maintain proper drainage, the culvert or culverts must be replaced. In these cases, the landowner will be notified of the situation by a door-hanger and a certified letter instructing them to contact the District office to schedule a replacement installation.

Under Florida Statutes 298.66, a person may not willfully, or otherwise, obstruct any public canal, drain, ditch or water-course or damage or destroy any public drainage works con-structed in or maintained by any district.

Under the statute, the Board of Supervisors has the authority to assess double the actual cost for culvert installation for landowners who fail to pay for the culvert replacements under these situations.

For more information on the District’s Driveway Culvert Replacement Program please call the District office or visit our Culverts page.



Kubota Tractor

District Adds New Kubota Tractor

South Indian River Water Control District has added a new Kubota M6S Tractor to their fleet of vehicles. This is the second Kubota mini-excavator for the District. This equipment allows access to confined areas and has allowed for significant improvements for drainage. The new Kubota replaced a 2008 John Deere 6430 Tractor.



Board of Supervisors Approves New Roadway Enhanced Stabilization/Paving Policy

The Board of Supervisors, by a vote of four to one, approved a new Roadway Enhanced Stabilization/Paving Policy at their April 20, 2017 board meeting. The new policy had been conceptually approved at the Board's February meeting and discussed in detail at a workshop held on March 9 at the District's offices.

The purpose of the policy is to create a systematic procedure for South Indian River Water Control District's landowners to apply for road surface upgrades on roads maintained by the District.

The South Indian River Water Control District Board of Supervisors hereby establishes the following:

1. No roadway will be considered for enhanced stabilization unless the easement width, drainage swales, and road base are considered suitable by the District Manager of Operations and the District Engineer.

2. Enhanced stabilization shall be in accordance with the design and specifications approved by the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer.

3. Should a roadway need enhancements to be considered suitable for the project as determined by the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer, the landowners shall pay the costs of these improvements.

4. Enhanced stabilization projects require a petition by landowners having signatures from more than 50% of the lots abutting the road segment or lots within the benefitted area, as determined by the District Engineer. Petitions shall be submitted to the District Office requesting the project, along with a petition review fee (as recommended by the District Engineer and approved by the Board of Supervisors). Petitions shall be on a District-approved form which provides a range of preliminary estimated paving costs provided by the District Engineer and such petitions shall state whether the project will be financed by the District. The Board of Supervisors may approve or deny the Petition after the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer review, verify, and make recommendations.

5. After submission of a qualified petition, Board approval, and review by the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer, a referendum ballot will be sent to all landowners on the road segment or all landowners in the benefited area reflecting the estimated assessments. A successful referendum under this policy requires an affirmative vote by at least 90% of benefited landowners for passage.

6. There are two options for funding a project. The choice between Landowner financing or District financing must be part of the initial petition request and the choice must be clearly noted on the petition:
a. District financing: benefited landowners will be assessed for their portion of the actual cost of the project over the term of the financing secured by the District. Landowners who wish to pay their portion of the project without financing charges must submit their portion of the estimated project cost to SIRWCD prior to District financing of the project. Payment due dates will be announced to affected landowners.
b. Landowner financing: Projects not financed by the District must have all estimated costs paid in full prior to the project being added to a Plan of Improvement.

7. Petitions for landowner-initiated enhanced stabilization projects will be available from the SIRWCD office on the first business day in February of each year and must be returned to SIRWCD by the last business day in April of the same year. Petitions meeting the requirements of the District Manager of Operations and District Engineer will be presented for approval by the Board no later than August 31 of the same year. Once approved, referendum ballots will be mailed via certified mail to benefitted landowners. Landowners will have at least 30 days to return a completed referendum ballot with the date due for return clearly noted on the envelope and/or referendum ballot.

In addition, the Board of Supervisors incorporated "No Pave Petitions" language into the new policy. Landowners interested in placing a “no enhanced stabilization” or “no pave” restriction on the roadway adjacent to their property for a period of five (5) years may submit their request in writing on a District-approved form and must be signed by more than 50% of affected landowners. The Board also determined that the policy applies to no-pave petitions currently on file with the District.

Additional considerations do apply. (See our Petitions or Referendum pages for more information.)