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CEPD approves APTIM contract, discusses one for HWA

By Staff | Oct 15, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Captiva Erosion Prevention District Chairman Mike Mullins, second from right, discusses the recent termination of a consultant's service contract with the commission during the Oct. 7 meeting.

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District approved a contract with an engineering firm for supplemental services and discussed next steps following the recent termination of one consultant’s service contract.

At the Oct. 7 meeting, the commissioners voted 3-0 in support of a new agreement with APTIM Coastal Planning & Engineering for time and materials not to exceed $24,911. It will allow the CEPD administration to use APTIM as needed for assistance not covered in existing specific contracts.

Treasurer Bob Walter had an excused absence from the meeting.

Administrator Carolyn Weaver explained that her predecessor, before he vacated his position, had requested from APTIM a breakdown of its hourly services for miscellaneous tasks, such as technical support, program planning and document review, not covered in current CEPD work assignments.

She reported that staff recently had received the information to present to the commission.

According to the proposed agreement, any supplemental work would not be performed without authorization from the CEPD administration. Chairman Mike Mullins asked that it also require prior approval from commissioners. After some discussion, they approved the contract unanimously.

HWA CONTRACT

Also during the meeting, the commission addressed consulting firm Hans Wilson & Associates tendering its resignation to terminate its contract with the CEPD effective at the end of November.

HWA has been a consultant for the district for seven years, handling the staffing of the CEPD’s administrative positions, advising on subjects related to its industry and speciality as marine engineers and environmental consultants, and serving as a resource to tap for prior commissions’ actions.

In his communication to the CEPD, President Hans Wilson reported that HWA is amendable to assigning its existing contact – which includes the sub-consultant contracts for Weaver and district Deputy Administrator Joe Wagenti – to Wagenti Consulting to provide a “seamless transition.”

HWA’s contract expires on Sept. 1, with an optional one-year term.

Vice Chair Michael Lanigan outlined the commission’s options in terms of next steps: bring in Wagenti’s company to oversee the two staff contracts as offered by HWA, contract individually and directly with Weaver and Wagenti as consultants, or bring both on board as district employees.

“Or a combination of the above,” Mullins added.

Lanigan reported that he found working through a third party with staff to involve a “little extra bureaucracy,” however not having that buffer will place a greater burden on the commission.

He requested more information from staff, such as their individual scopes of work.

Mullins reported that the CEPD had employees in the past, but the structure was changed and the positions transitioned into contract positions for a variety of reasons. He continued that he would like to sit down with Weaver and Wagenti to discuss the options and see if they can come up with a plan.

“I’m happy to sit down,” Mullins said. “We need to resolve this.”

He noted that he would like more details on covering benefits if they are hired as employees.

“We have some homework to do,” Mullins said.

Secretary Harry Kaiser voiced opposition to bringing in a third party again.

“We want to do what’s best for you two,” he told the staff.

Weaver and Wagenti agreed with sitting down with Mullins to discuss the options.

“We’re both committed and dedicated to staying with the CEPD,” Weaver said.

“We just want to know which direction the board wants to go,” Wagenti added.

CAPITAL BUDGET

Also at the meeting, the commission was presented with a resolution to approve the CEPD’s capital projects budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. Mullins voiced his support for the draft as presented.

“I’m for approving the budget as is,” he said.

Lanigan questioned what appeared to be a deficit in the numbers.

“I guess I just need more time on this,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable.”

Lanigan requested additional information from staff.

Wagenti offered to prepare a report and present it to the commissioners, which was welcomed.

IN OTHER NEWS

– Weaver reported that the CEPD’s portion of the Federal Emergency Management Agency funds related to Hurricane Irma increased from 75 percent to 90 percent. She explained that the district was initially approved to receive about $889,753, but now it is approved to receive about $1,067,704.

“So we’re getting more money for the renourishment from the hurricane,” Weaver said.

– The CEPD administration has been on the search for a new bookkeeping service. At the meeting, commissioners were presented with a list of potential companies, with their related quotes for service. After some discussion, staff explained that they want to have the treasurer present to provide input.

The subject was tabled until Walter is in attendance.

– Wagenti reported that the CEPD’s new Web site is ready to launch.

It was scheduled to go live on Oct. 15.

– The commission continued its discussion on a new proposed Standard Operating Procedure for appointing a commissioner to a vacant seat. Additional information was requested from staff.

No vote was taken and the subject was continued to a future meeting.