Meeting Minutes for August 14, 2023
Renaissance Community Development District
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Renaissance Community Development District was held on Monday, August 14, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. at the Club at Renaissance on 12801 Renaissance Way in Fort Myers, Florida and via web conference.
Present and constituting a quorum were:
Doug Dickey – Chair
Sam Martin – Vice Chair
Linda Stuart – Assistant Secretary
George Pattee – Assistant Secretary
Chris Bezaire – Assistant Secretary
Also present (or attending via web conference) were:
Cal Teague – District Manager from Premier District Management (PDM)
Tom Hart – Attorney, Knott, Ebelini, Hart
Julia Jennison – Attorney, Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A.
Mark McCleary – Engineer, Community Engineering Services
Chris Pepin – Field Manager, Community Field Services
Rick Rainville – Concert Golf
Lauren Gentry – Attorney, Kilinski Van Wyk
Jennifer Kilinski – Attorney, Kilinski Van Wyk
Jane Peterson – Court Reporter
Christopher Dudak – Client Services Manager, PDM
Melissa Gindling – Assistant District Manager, PDM
The following is a summary of the actions taken at the Renaissance Community Development District (CDD) Board of Supervisors meeting.
FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS Call to Order and Roll Call
The Renaissance Community Development District regular meeting was called to order, and District Manager Cal Teague called the roll. All Board members were present. Also attending were Tom Hart, the Attorney, Mark McCleary, the Engineer, Rick Rainville from Concert Golf, Lauren Gentry, Attorney, representing Concert Golf, Jane Peterson, Court Reporter, Melissa Gindling from PDM, and Several Residents. Chris Pepin, the Field Manager, Julia Jennison, Attorney, Jennifer Kilinski, Attorney, representing Concert Golf, and Christopher Dudak from PDM attended via web conference.
SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS Approval of the Agenda
Add 7B Consideration of Resignation of Supervisor Jim Mercer
Add 7C Consideration as to Filling Vacant Position and the Appointment to Fill Vacant Seat #1
Add 7D Request for Additional One Time Preserve Maintenance
On MOTION by Chair Dickey, seconded by Supervisor Pattee, with all in favor, the Board approved the Agenda, as amended.
THIRD ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments on Agenda Items
There were no Audience comments on Agenda items.
FOURTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Fiscal Year 2024 Budget and O&M Special Assessment Public Hearings
A. Consideration of Final Budget
District Manager Teague stated that there is a proposed change in O & M assessments for the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget based on the assessment methodology that was submitted. This results in an increase from the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, but the impact on residential properties will remain the same. The increase is the result of the inclusion of the Golf Course into the O & M assessments, and the amount was determined by the economist performing the assessment methodology, and the Golf Course has not been subject to assessments in the past. He anticipates an increase in the District’s legal fees, but there are enough funds for addressing erosion concerns on the lake banks.
On MOTION by Chair Dickey, seconded by Supervisor Stuart, with all in favor, the Budget Public Hearing was opened at 9:04 a.m.
Attorney Lauren Gentry, representing Concert Golf, presented comments on behalf of her client opposing the assessment rates, stating that the Golf Course will not receive benefits to the amount of the proposed assessments. She noted that the Golf Course is not necessarily objecting to contribution to the District’s annual budget through an agreement or assessment, but is objecting to what they felt was an arbitrary and capricious assessment that does not meet the requirements of law. She requests that the Board defer this action until 2025, which would allow time for negotiation, or revise the assessments today so they are consistent with the benefit actually received.
There was discussion on the calculations and factors used to arrive at the assessment rate as it affects the water usage permit, including comments from Engineer McCleary, and Rick Rainville from Concert Golf. Attorney Hart stated that he believes that there are misunderstandings, but those cannot be addressed nor can they be negotiated today, since there is a short timeline until the tax roll needs to be submitted.
Attorney Hart stated that the Board has two options regarding the assessment rates. Either they can rely on the methodology report that has been created, and maintain the proposed assessment increase, or they can maintain the rates that were in the Budget last year. If they follow the recommendations of the methodology for an increase, he stated that it could be adjusted next year. He did not recommend picking another amount or assessment rate at this meeting, since the Board did not have an assessment methodology to support any other rates.
Vice Chair Martin and Supervisor Pattee asked questions of the attorneys for the Golf Course and commented in support of a new methodology report. Vice Chair Martin noted that the Board has never had a balanced budget, and he believes that some foundation should be agreed upon today to meet the Board’s fiscal responsibility for lake maintenance. There was discussion on the appropriate percentage that would be assigned to the Golf Course if there is an increase.
Attorney Jennifer Kalinski suggested that there could be a separate public meeting where the CDD and the Golf Course could enter into an agreement for this fiscal year, which would lead to a negotiation for the next fiscal year.
Resident comments included:
A resident commented that the Board should take into consideration that the Golf Course would likely confer the increased assessment cost to the Golf Course members.
Robert “Buddy” Markenson asked if the Golf Course had completed their due diligence regarding research on CDD assessments before they purchased the Golf Course, and if they were surprised that no assessments had previously been assigned to them.
Rick Rainville of Concert Golf noted that he had not seen the recent methodology until a few weeks ago, and he did not expect such a huge increase. He requested that the Board delay the increase until next year.
On MOTION by Supervisor Stuart, seconded by Supervisor Pattee, with all in favor, the Budget Public Hearing was closed at 10:18 a.m.
B. Consideration of Assessment Rates
C. Resolution 2023-05: Approval of FY 2024 Budget
District Manager Teague stated that the Budget increase is primarily for lake bank restoration, which is a permit requirement. District Manager Teague noted that the negotiation process is already in place because it coincides with the water use permit renewal.
District Manager Teague stated that the proposed Budget is based on the individual assessments that are identified in the assessment methodology.
On MOTION by Supervisor Pattee, seconded by Supervisor Stuart, with all in favor, the Board approved Resolution 2023-05 adopting the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget.
D. Resolution 2023-06: Approval of FY 2024 Assessment Levy
District Manager Teague stated that the assessment levy is based on the assessment methodology.
On MOTION by Supervisor Pattee, seconded by Supervisor Stuart, with all in favor, the Board approved Resolution 2023-06 adopting the Fiscal Year 2024 Assessment Levy.
FIFTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Consent Agenda
A. Items to Be Pulled for Discussion
There were no items pulled.
B. Motion to Approve Consent Items
On MOTION by Chair Dickey, seconded by Supervisor Stuart, with all in favor, the Board approved all items on the Consent Agenda, as presented.
C. Consideration of Items Pulled for Discussion
D. Consent Items
i. Draft Meeting Minutes from June 12, 2023
ii. Financial Reports for June 2023
iii. Financial Reports for July 2023
iv. Construction Fund Spending Overview
v. Project Tracking Log
vi. FEMA Reimbursement Update
SIXTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Old Business
A. Golf Course Easement Request/Water Use Permit
Attorney Hart stated that there is no change from the previous meeting.
B. I-75 Wall Repair Update
District Manager Teague stated that the repairs are not complete, and that the contractor has 4 posts left to install. The contractor stated that the heat and rain have prevented a quicker installation. Chair Dickey noted that he saw the contractor working on site last Thursday. District Manager Teague stated that the District’s insurance company had sent $69, 675 for the repair. Staff will continue to follow up with the contractor.
i. Vegetation Options for Sound Barrier
Field Manager Pepin stated that the eucalyptus trees will only grow 20′ high and will require ongoing maintenance. Vice Chair Martin had suggested ficus to him, but it requires expensive cleanup in a storm event. Field Manager Pepin had investigated clusia, but he noted that it also requires a large cleanup cost, so he recommends firebush. He had previously received a quote for 1,566 3 gallon firebush plants for around $30,000, and 7 gallon plants went up to around $90,000. The Board decided to have Supervisor Pattee research another nursery for a lower quote, and report back.
ii. Berm Mowing Options and Alternatives
The Board considered not mowing the berm in front of the wall after the repairs are completed, since it might help with erosion prevention, and they prefer the appearance. However, Field Manager Pepin noted that, if the area is not mowed, it will be difficult to inspect the fence, and it might also become a violation with the County. The Board decided to wait to decide how to proceed until the fence project is complete.
iii. Additional Repairs
District Manager Teague stated that there have not been any additional requests from the contractor, but staff will follow up.
C. New Wall Planning
The Board decided to delay discussion until February, which will be in the new fiscal year.
D. Lake 6 Shoreline Stabilization Update
District Manager Teague stated that they are waiting on the LDO from the County. Engineer McCleary stated that the County is requesting crushed shell instead of stone on top of the lake bank repairs.
E. Aeration Upgrade Follow-up
Field Manager Pepin stated that there are a few items that Solitude needs to address before he feels comfortable releasing the final payment. He believes that a mainline break on Lake 13 recently reported to them should be repaired under their warranty, and a resident also reported that a compressor in Lake 7 was not functioning, which is also a warranty repair. Field Manager Pepin stated that when these repairs are complete, they will no longer need Solitude’s services.
F. Lake 8 & Lake 10 N Fountain Installations
Field Manager Pepin stated that FPL has still not come onsite to install the meter and electrical connections, but they informed him that this should be completed this coming week, and Solitude can then begin the fountain installations.
Supervisor Pattee stated that residents have approached him about installing a fountain in Lake 17.
G. Construction Issues at 9551 Via Lago Way
District Manager Teague stated that staff had sent the homeowner a letter, informing them that they must repair the shoreline after the construction is complete.
SEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS New Business
A. Financial Audit Selection Committee Recommendation
Proposals from 2 firms were received for District auditor services, which are Berger, Toombs, Elam, Gaines & Frank and Grau & Associates. The Board approved the audit selection committee’s recommendation for auditor.
On MOTION by Supervisor Stuart, seconded by Vice Chair Martin, with all in favor, the Board approved Berger Toombs Elam Gaines & Frank as the District’s auditor.
B. Consideration of Resignation of Supervisor Jim Mercer
District Manager Teague stated that they had received a letter of resignation from Supervisor Jim Mercer.
On MOTION by Supervisor Pattee, seconded by Supervisor Stuart, with all in favor, the Board accepted the resignation of Supervisor Jim Mercer.
C. Consideration as to Filling Vacant Position and the Appointment to Fill Vacant Seat #1
District Manager Teague stated that they had advertised the vacant position, and Resident Chris Bezaire sent an e-mail expressing his interest in joining the Board. He was appointed to fill Seat #1, and was administered the Oath of Office.
On MOTION by Vice Chair Martin, seconded by Supervisor Stuart, with all in favor, the Board appointed Chris Bezaire as Supervisor for Seat #1.
Supervisor Chris Bezaire joined the meeting.
D. Request for Additional One Time Preserve Maintenance
Field Manager Pepin stated that Pristine Lakes had discovered a lot of exotics around the Reflection Lakes, and he recommended that they be removed before the next semi-annual maintenance event. He had submitted a proposal, requesting a few days to remove them. The Board accepted the proposal, so that the preserves will remain compliant.
On MOTION by Chair Dickey, seconded by Supervisor Pattee, with all in favor, the Board approved Pristine Lakes to remove exotics from the preserves, not to exceed $8,500.
EIGHTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Field Manager
A. Field Manager’s Report
Field Manager Pepin reviewed his report and the following was discussed:
He stated that the previous lake maintenance company had failed to address issues in some lakes, and Pristine Lakes has begun to catch up on the needed maintenance.
He noted that there are a lot of weeds that need treatment, and algae is beginning to appear on Lake 9, and he has emphazied to Pristine Lakes that this needs to be treated as soon as possible.
In addition to the aerator issues Solitude needs to finish, Field Manager Pepin has noted that there is a broken air station on Lake 18, as well as, other aerator issues, which Pristine Lakes will address.
He also recommended that the vines on the wall should remain for now, to see if they might help with noise reduction.
He noted that one tree stump remained by the wall, but he couldn’t find a contractor that would be able to remove it.
Field Manager Pepin still sees the need to repair a washout behind the home at 12590 Vittoria Way, and the homeowner has been contacted twice. He stated that the CDD may need to address the washouts on Lakes 5, 6, 7 & 9 this fall. He also has seen more sand along the berm on Palomino Road, and he recommended that the Board address the issue with sod.
On MOTION by Supervisor Pattee, seconded by Chair Dickey, with all in favor, the Board approved placing 30 to 40 pallets of sod in the sandy areas on Palomino Road, not to exceed $120 per pallet.
B. Follow-Up Items
i. Storm Drain Cleaning Update
District Manager Teague asked about the cleaning of the stormwater system, and Field Manager Pepin stated that it is complete.
NINTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Attorney
Attorney Hart had nothing further to report.
TENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Engineer
Engineer McCleary had nothing further to report.
ELEVENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS District Manager
A. Resolution 2023-07: FY 2024 Meeting Schedule
District Manager Teague stated that the Club has not confirmed their meeting room availability. The Board decided to accept the meeting dates, and if the Club would not respond, the backup location would be John Huether’s conference room or the PDM office. Staff will research these options.
On MOTION by Supervisor Stuart, seconded by Chair Dickey, with all in favor, the Board approved Resolution 2023-07 Fiscal Year 2024 Meeting Schedule, with the meetings to be held on Monday every other month at 9:00 a.m.
TWELFH ORDER OF BUSINESS Supervisor Requests/Comments
There were no Supervisor Requests or Comments.
THIRTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Audience Comments
There were no Audience Comments.
FOURTEENTH ORDER OF BUSINESS Adjournment
On MOTION by Chair Dickey, seconded by Vice Chair Martin, with all in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
The Next Regular Meeting is scheduled for October 9, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.