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 and is mailed out several times per year.

 

Updated Culvert Replacement Information

As of October 1, 2019, the costs for the Driveway Culvert Replacement Program to replace culverts that have collapsed, been damaged or are undersized have increased. The cost of a single basic 20 ft culvert installation is $350.00 and $700.00 for a 21-40 ft culvert installation on a District roadway and $725.00 for a basic 24 in. diameter mitered end pipe installation on a county roadway (landowners are responsible for poured surface and concrete headwalls on county road driveway culverts).

At the July 16, 2020 Zoom Video Conference, the South Indian River Water Control District Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to add a fee of $100 to the cost of the Driveway Culvert Replacement Program if the District must remove existing concrete that had been previously placed over the culvert. The fee is to cover the extra expense to demolish the concrete.

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.


 

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.

Modification to Policy and Procedure Manual Appendix 12-C Section 4

At a Zoom Board of Supervisors meeting held on June 11, the Board approved modification to Appendix 12-C, Section 4 of the South Indian River Water Control District (SIRWCD) Policy and Procedure Manual to provide clarification on drainage and irrigation connections to the works of the District and to add requirements specifically to pump connections. The District strongly discourages the use of a pump to discharge into its system. Certain hardships and conditions must be demonstrated by an applicant in order to be granted a temporary permit to discharge by pump into the District’s system. A hardship shall include but is not limited to:

• Pumping to protect against imminent flood damage to permitted structures
• Protection against damage caused to livestock (equine or other) from prolonged standing water, if there are no areas available for the livestock to be moved to on the landowner’s site or the landowner can provide a veterinary statement certifying that the standing water is creating harm to the livestock.
• Relief from excessive and prolonged standing water in excess of the seasonal high ground water table or pond control elevation of the property for twelve (12) days or more after a storm event.

In addition, the policy gives guidance on the permit application process. A link to the policy is provided below.

Appendix 12-C, Section 4 Modification



 

Supervisors John Jones (left and Michael Howard (right)

Michael Howard and John Jones Elected Supervisors in 2019 Election

Two Supervisors were elected for terms of three (3) years each. At least one of the two Supervisors elected must reside in the District east of the C-18 Canal. The other can reside on the east or west side or be a non-resident. Candidates must own land in the District and must be residents of Palm Beach County.

Michael Howard of Jupiter Farms and John Jones of Palm Beach Country Estates ran for re-election and Thom Frederick, a resident of Palm Beach Country Estates, had filed to run. Official ballots were sent out in mid-August and ballots had to be received at the District office no later than 4:30 pm on September 19, 2019 or cast in person at the start of the Annual Landowners Meeting that evening at 7:00 pm in the Jupiter High School Auditorium.

Certification of the 2019 Election was received by the Supervisor of Elections, Wendy Satory Link on September 30, 2019.

Total of Votes Cast for Election of Supervisors were as follows:
M. Howard - (Westside Resident) 1,678
J. Jones - (Eastside Resident) 1,474
T. Frederick - (Eastside Resident) 888

All candidates have signed the Oath of Candidate, which states that they will resign from office within 30 days if their residency changes and causes the District's Board of Supervisors to no longer be in compliance with Chapter 2001-313, Laws of Florida.

The Board accepted the certified results from the Supervisor of Elections office and Michael Howard and John Jones were sworn in at the monthly meeting of the South Indian River Water Control District Board of Supervisors, which was rescheduled for October 23, 2019. Stephen Hinkle was named president for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, Tom Powell, as vice president and Jane Woodward as Secretary. John Meyer and Michael Howard were named as chairs for the Policies and Procedures Committee, John Jones and Tom Powell as Budget Committee chairs, and John Jones as Parks Committee Chair.


 

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 WENT 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.


 

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.