Please note that Seacoast Utility Authority will be upgrading our payment processing system over the next several months. There may be a time frame when the system will NOT ALLOW FOR CREDIT AND DEBIT CARD PAYMENTS. You will still be able to make payments on-line with a checking account, in our customer service walk-in lobby, telephone, drop box or by mail. The upgraded system will provide a more convenient way to make payments and offer additional bill pay options. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience while upgrades are being made to our bill pay system.

SEACOAST UTILITY AUTHORITY
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2009 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2010

INTRODUCTION

Seacoast Utility Authority’s enabling documents require its Executive Director to prepare an annual summary of issues, activities and achievement.  Following is the FY 2009/2010 report, which, read as a narrative supplement to the Engineers Report on the Condition of the System and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), fulfills that requirement. 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

Operating Revenue

Responding to an October 1, 2009 general rate increase, Seacoast’s FY 2009/2010 revenue increased by 10.22% over the previous year.  The table below compares budgeted revenue and actual results for the current and previous fiscal years.

 Water, Sewer and Reclaimed Water Sales
         
   Actual 2010  Budget 2010  Actual 2009  Budget 2009
         
 Water  $23,965,429  $22,559,164  $22,165,051  $20,772,573
 Sewer  $14,907,192  $13,116,177  $12,970,466  $12,957,236
         
 Water/Sewer  $38,872,621  $35,668,341  $35,135,517  $33,729,809
 Reclaimed  $882,976  $917,895  $933,087  $896,025
 Total  $39,755,597  $36,068,604  $36,068,604  $34,625,834
         
 % Variance 2010 over 2009
         
 Water 8.12% 8.59%    
 Sewer 14.93% 1.23%    
         
 Water/Sewer 10.64% 5.76%    
 Reclaimed -5.37% 2.44%    
 Total 10.22% 5.67%    
         
 

 
Operating Expense
  
Excluding depreciation and interest expense, normal operating costs were $21,109,722, 2.93% more than the previous year. While the costs of chemical and residual (lime sludge) removal continued to rise, other recurring costs were generally stable.  A substantial one-time FPL credit served to mitigate overall FY 2009/2010 operating expense.

Debt Service

The Authority issued approximately $78 million in new revenue bonds in FY 2009/2010 to fund construction of a new membrane water treatment plant. At the close of fiscal 2010, Seacoast’s outstanding bond principal indebtedness, net of unamortized discounts and premiums, was $137,054,269.  Seacoast paid $4,652,963 principal debt and $7,443,185 in interest during FY 2009/2010. 

System Growth
 
Beginning with the 1999 sale of remaining developable MacArthur Foundation properties, Seacoast’s service area experienced a burst of growth that peaked in 2004 and 2005.  Consistently declining since that time, new meter installations fell to a historical low in 2010.  The following table reflects new meter installations since the year 2000:

 2000 392 
 2001 781
 2002 707
 2003 1,083
 2004 1,226
 2005 1,441
 2006 816
 2007 266
 2008 128
 2009 169
2010 116

Seacoast served 34,778 metered accounts as of September 30, 2010.

System capacity for 1,721 future ERCs had been reserved as of September 30, 2010. Assuming a reasonable pace of economic recovery, most of the reserved ERCs will be connected within the next 8 years, though the Scripps project is likely to build out over the next 15 years.  For the first time in the Authority’s 21 year history, no new developer agreements were approved by Seacoast’s Board for the entire year. 

Utility Fixed Assets

   2008  2009  2010  % Increase (2009)
 Water        
 Water Main (miles)  471.2  471.2  477.6  1.4%
 Fire Hydrants  3,420  3,432  3,467  1.0%
 Gate Valves  6,734  6,734  6,745  0.2%
         
 Sewer        
 Gravity Sewer (miles)  280.4  280.7  280.8  0.0%
 Force Main (miles)  86.3  87.7  88.4  0.8%
 Lift Stations  150  150  150  0.0%
 Manholes  7,563  7,567  7,574  0.1%
 Reclaimed Water Main (miles)  24.3  24.3  24.3  0.0%
         

STAFF PERFORMANCE

Since its days as a privately owned system in 1986, Seacoast’s work force has been reduced from 144 employees to 128, 2 of whom are part-time. During that same period, the customer base has grown by more than 65%, as have the fixed assets that those employees manage and maintain. Staff believes that Seacoast’s combination of competitive pay, attractive benefits, positive work environment, attention to renewal and replacement of aging equipment, and prudent application of technology have created a remarkably productive work force.

ACTIVITIES SUMMARY

Legal Issues

In addition to providing routine assistance for a wide range of policy and contractual matters, Seacoast legal counsel worked extensively on South Florida Water Management District (“SFWMD”) regulatory issues during the year.  Seacoast General Counsel Nathan Nason assisted in negotiating and drafting permit language with SFWMD as well as settlement agreement language with the Bent Tree Property Owners Association, contractor bonding companies, and numerous other parties.

Water and Sewer Rate Adjustment

Ordinance no. 2-2009 increasing monthly water, sewer and reclaimed water rates and providing for annual rate indexing became effective October 1, 2009.  In July 2010, Seacoast staff reported that the first annual indexed increase, scheduled for October 1, 2010, would be in the 8% range.  Believing this increase to be more than Seacoast required, the Board amended the 2000 ordinance to allow Board review and adjustment of the annual index prior to enactment, then opted for a 6% increase and deferred its effective date to December 1, 2010.

  • Special Programs and Safety Initiatives
  • Following is a summary of 2010 special programs and workplace safety initiatives:
  • provided influenza vaccinations for employees;
  • coordinated self contained breathing apparatus fit testing and training for 23 plant operators provided by Porche Fire Equipment, Inc;
  • completed employee safety and health committee inspections of Seacoast facilities;
  • completed predictive maintenance infrared imaging of electric panels at each treatment plant, water repump station, and critical wastewater lift stations;
  • provided TopHealth monthly newsletter to employees;
  • continued the “Safety Pays” safety incentive program making cash awards available within work groups maintaining outstanding safety records;
  • hired an instructor to certify 32 employees for first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator (“AED”) operation;
  • arranged for 6 Field Division employees to attend classes to maintain/obtain DOT Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic certification. A total of 22 SUA field technicians are now certified;
  • organized Forklift Operator Safety Training for 19 employees presented by Brian Bent, General Maintenance Foreman;
  • hosted two tours and an emergency response training event at the Hood Road WTP for the Palm Beach County Special Operations Team;
  • hired Farmer & Irwin, Inc. to expand Administration Building fire sprinkler system to include the electrical room;
  • provided hepatitis B vaccinations for certain Seacoast workgroups;
  • continued random drug and alcohol testing of A, B and C level commercial drivers licensees to comply with federal DOT regulations;
  • hired the Safety Council of Palm Beach County to present an on-site basic driver improvement course for 105 SUA employees;
  • coordinated collection and disposal of regulated hazardous waste;
  • completed an effectiveness evaluation for the Seacoast Safety and Health Training Program;
  • continued Safety and Health Committee program for Administration, Field and Plant divisions. Suggestions submitted by the three (3) safety and health committees include:
    • install AEDs in the Administration Building, Operations Building and at each treatment plant. An AED was installed at each location suggested plus the Fleet Maintenance Building;
    • make repairs to the central air conditioning duct system in the Administration Building so space heaters are not needed in the Finance Department;
    • amend the Emergency Operations Plan to include a pre-hurricane season inspection of window and door openings for recent alterations that would complicate shutter installation. The Plan was revised in May 2010.

OPERATIONS DIVISION

Water Department

Seacoast filed for renewal of its South Florida Water Management District (“SFWMD”) water use permit in April 2005.  Though Seacoast seeks only modest allocation increases from its Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach and Burma Road well fields and no increase at all for the more controversial Hood Road well field, SFWMD’s review process has been excruciatingly slow.  SFWMD staff has hypothesized that Hood Road well field operations have and/or will harm area wetlands and the Bent Tree community’s storm water management lake banks. Seacoast believes that it has demonstrated that this is not and will not be the case.  SFWMD is presently reviewing supporting technical evaluations provided by Seacoast’s professional consultants.
 
Among many significant FY 2009/2010 Water Department projects were the following:

Richard Road Water Treatment Plant

  • Hood Road well HR1 and Richard Road well RR4 replacement project was awarded to Southeast Drilling.  As of September 30, 2010, the wells were drilled and well heads had been installed but substantial completion had not been achieved;
  • obtained Board approval of engineering services agreement with Holtz Consulting Engineers and JLA Geosciences for Richard Road well RR 23 re-drilling– bids to be received in early 2011;
  • initiated mechanical and well rehabilitation on Burma Road wells RR9, 21, 22, 24, and 25;
  • completed wellhead re-piping of Burma Road well RR22;
  • cut in three (3) 8-inch isolation valves for Burma Road wells RR21, 22 and 24;
  • installed replacement lime slaker;
  • replaced motor control center MCC-2 room air conditioning unit;
  • purchased replacement variable frequency drive for Hood Road WTP high service pump No. 6;
  • replaced conductor wire from emergency generator to plant motor control center, repaired generator emergency breaker and purchased a spare breaker;
  • completed predictive maintenance infrared imaging of electric panels scheduled for 2010;
  • replaced continuous chlorine analyzer;
  • procured one 100 horsepower spare motor for use on either number 5 or 6 high service pump;
  • procured a spare lift station pump;
  • purchased critical spare parts necessary to keep the filters operating until the membrane plant is activated;
  • renewed contract for trucking lime sludge to Okeechobee landfill and reuse sites.

Hood Road Water Treatment Plant

  • completed construction of a 2.0 million gallon Hood Road WTP ground storage tank;
  • Board approved Agreement for Professional Services with Holtz Consulting Engineers and JLA Geosciences for the replacement Lilac Street (Palm Beach Gardens) wells PBG 10, 13 and 14 – bids to be received in early 2011;
  • hosted pre-construction conference and Notice to Proceed for the “1400kW Generator Replacement at Hood Road Water Treatment Plant” with completion due in 2011;
  • coating and painting of the interior of the chemical building, chlorine and ammonia rooms project was completed. Portions of the exterior walls to the chemical building were sealed to stop interior leaks into the building. The two chemical building roofs were replaced;
  • completed construction of 1.0 million gallon Lilac Street ground storage tank;
  • re-piped Hood Road well field west header wellheads to minimize raw water oxygenation – essential for membrane system feed waters. Began installing new vent and support pedestals for each well;
  • completed east header wellhead minor re-piping;
  • mechanical and well rehabilitation plan initiated for Hood Road wells HR5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 17;
  • well rehabilitation completed on Hood Road wells HR6 and PBG11 - began HR5;
  • installed ton chlorine container electronic dual scales with monitoring equipment and replaced monorail lift system, including new hoist;
  • replaced Accelator drive, and gear reducers were retrofitted to be used on both Accelators in the event of failure;
  • both Accelators were cleaned and decalcified;
  • replaced two outdated floor model chlorinators with two new wall mounted units and re-piped chorine lines for improved solution feed;
  • replaced continuous chlorine analyzer;
  • completed high service pump and ground storage programmable logic controller (PLC) and human/machine interface (HMI) program modifications, and installed the latest iFix software version plus SCADA Globalcare software;
  • completed predictive maintenance infrared imaging of electric panels;
  • replaced emergency breaker on 1400kW generator switchgear;
  • completed preventive maintenance on main circuit breaker to the 840kW generator;
  • purchased a backup electric valve exerciser;
  • completed major repair on filter backwash equipment;
  • renewed contract for trucking lime sludge to Okeechobee landfill and reuse sites.

Membrane Conversion Project

Responding to a June 2005 staff memorandum, Seacoast’s Board authorized the firm LBFH, Inc. (AECOM Engineering) to evaluate the feasibility of replacing Seacoast’s existing lime softening water treatment process with membrane (nanofiltration, reverse osmosis) processes.  Staff had expressed concern that increasingly stringent water quality standards and limited lime sludge disposal options will soon render lime softening obsolete.  The engineer’s report was presented to the board in December 2005.

In January 2006, Seacoast’s Board adopted an $88 million capital improvements plan that included the following elements:

  • construct a single 30.5 million gallon per day (MGD) combination nanofiltration/reverse osmosis water treatment plant at the Hood Road Water Plant (WTP) site;
  • construct a series of Floridan aquifer water supply wells on or near the Hood Road WTP property;
  • construct deep injection well brine waste disposal facilities at the Hood Road WTP site;
  • construct such raw and finished water pumping and transmission pipeline facilities as are required to allow decommissioning of the Richard Road WTP and delivery of that facility’s raw water supply to the proposed Hood Road WTP membrane plant.

A request for engineering services proposals was published in June 2006, and the Board selected engineers for project components in September 2006.  Following is the status of each project component as of the end of FY 2009/2010: 

Hood Road Membrane Water Treatment Plant

  • Contractor – Reynolds, Inc.
  • Cost – $49.5 million
  • Original Estimate - $70 million
  • Status – 20% complete, began construction in January 2010
  • Projected Final Completion – June 2013

Three Floridan Aquifer Wells

  • Contractor – AllWebb
  • Cost - $2.2 million
  • Original Estimate - $3 million
  • Status – complete

Hood Road Membrane Concentrate Disposal Well

  • Contractor – Youngquist Brothers
  • Cost - $4.8 million
  • Original Estimate - $7.2 million
  • Status – complete

Hood Road to Richard Road 20-inch Finished Water Main

  • Contractor – Centerline Utilities
  • Cost – $2.2 million
  • Original Estimate - $6 million 
  • Status – 90% complete
  • Projected Final Completion – November 2010

Hood Road to Richard Road 20-inch Raw Water Main

  • Contractor – Pipeline Utilities
  • Cost – $2.7 million
  • Original Estimate - $7 million 
  • Status – 80% complete
  • Projected Final Completion – November 2010

Hood Road, Lilac Street Richard Road Pump Stations

  • Contractor – Reynolds, Inc.
  • Cost – $13.2 million
  • Original Estimate - $9.8 million
  • Status – Contractor mobilized – 1% complete
  • Projected Final Completion – February 2013

Water Distribution

FY 2009/2010 activities included:

  • continued routine “above grade” pipeline coating program for meters, backflows, fire lines, canal crossings, and other exposed piping;
  • replaced large below grade meters with above grade installations to allow better access;
  • replaced meters reaching certain aggregate flow or “years in service” criteria to assure meter accuracy;
  • continued installation and operation of automated meter reading system. Newly installed meters transmit readings via radio signals to Seacoast’s Hood Road administrative site where this information is used for customer service and billing purposes;
  • purchased portable lighting system and trailer and assembled for use on night projects.

Wastewater Department

Significant Wastewater Department activities during FY 2009/2010 include:

PGA Wastewater Treatment Plant (PGA WWTP)

  • installed two new Huber bar screens in the existing preliminary treatment unit;
  • installed hardware and wiring for the PGA telemetry/SCADA upgrade, began work on related software development;
  • purchased and installed new sampling and monitoring equipment;
  • awarded contract for Pond 1 Liner and Pump Station project;
  • awarded contract for Digester 5 diffused Air System Upgrade;
  • completed mechanical integrity testing and received new Florida Department of Environmental Protection (“ FDEP”) operating permit for the PGA deep injection well.  Seacoast’s permit application had been pending since 2006;
  • completed deep injection well rerate testing, submitted results to FDEP.  If approved, FDEP will increase the well’s rated disposal capacity without further plant, pump station or well improvements;
  • completed painting and concrete coating of various plant structures;
  • purchased replacement for south clarifier drive unit following catastrophic failure of the original drive;
  • completed aeration basin cleaning and diffuser membrane replacement.  This project was far more challenging than anticipated due to excessive buildup of sand and debris requiring manual excavation and removal;
  • completed piping modifications to the PGA WWTP reuse pumping station and replacement of 1600’ of 36” effluent disposal to on site ponds at PGA. These modifications allow full utilization of current storage capacity and minimize the need for future allocation curtailments;
  • purchased a replacement front end loader.

Reclaimed Water System

Seacoast’s reclaimed water system continues to operate at full capacity and in compliance with all regulatory requirements.  During fiscal 2009/2010, Seacoast delivered an average of 7.26 million gallons per day (MGD) to reclaimed water customers.  Assisted by Seacoast’s SFWMD supplemental reclaimed water allocation, this represents an 87% recycling rate. 

Seacoast is presently contracted to provide up to 10.773 MGD of reclaimed irrigation water to a total of 30 separate sites.  This total includes .168 MGD of class “B”, non-guaranteed agreements. 

Wastewater Collection System

Following is a summary of significant FY 2009/2010 wastewater collection and pumping system projects, activities and acquisitions:

  • SAK slip lined approximately 12,000 linear feet of gravity sewer line located in various locations throughout the service area. Major lines included the 18 and 24-inch lines along PGA Boulevard and under I-95;
  • Advanced Underground Imaging (AUI) cleaned and TV inspected approximately 200,000 linear feet of gravity sewer mains;
  • Chaz Equipment completed restoration of 9 sewage manholes along with the rehabilitation of lift stations no. 39 and 68;
  • Deevan Inc. replaced a total of 2,157 linear feet of gravity sewer line during the year. Among the more significant projects was a 16 ft. deep point repair in the Eastpointe community, later slip lined due to pipeline depth;
  • lift station control panels no longer considered reliable were replaced at stations no.13, 73 and 80;
  • there were no major backups or overflow incidents during the year.

Utility Services Department

This department provides building, grounds, and fleet support services. 

Following are examples of this year’s activities and special projects:

  • maintained entire Seacoast fleet including all vehicles and maintenance equipment;
  • replaced Seacoast vehicles that had reached the end of their useful lives;
  • provided routine testing, maintenance and repair services for all treatment plant and pumping station standby generators;
  • transported and load tested 1 megawatt portable generator at all treatment plant locations;
  • provided operational training for 4,000 gallon diesel fuel transport;
  • assumed responsibility for lime sludge removal at both Hood Road and Richard Road WTPs, including clearing and grading sludge storage areas;
  • installed lighting upgrades at Lilac Street pump station generator room;
  • installed 200 watt light bulbs for interior ladder, beacon light atop Hood Road elevated water storage tank;
  • assisted in cleaning of Hood Road repump station potassium permanganate storage silo;
  • provided grading and sloping work at PGA WWTP ponds;
  • installed anchors and wood railings to enhance safe storage and handling of chlorine and ammonia at Hood Road WTP;
  • repaired and maintained landscape and irrigation systems at several Seacoast locations, including Hood Road WTP lime sludge dust control system;
  • received and evaluated bids, administered contracts for fuel, uniform services, landscape maintenance, pest control and alarm systems utility-wide;
  • provided extensive contract maintenance services for First Park South Florida water and wastewater systems;
  • administered annual surplus equipment sale.

Construction Department

Seacoast’s Construction Department is responsible for subdivision plan review, developer agreements, inspections, line locations, coordinating new meter sets, web site and central files.  All new water distribution, wastewater collection and reclaimed water main projects discussed elsewhere in this report were coordinated, start to finish, by the Construction Department.

To assist with an increasingly varied workload, departmental personnel have been cross-trained to handle multiple tasks including line locations, routine inspection work, plan review, and project tracking and management responsibilities. With declining land development activity, Construction Department personnel have offered considerable interdepartmental assistance in such areas as customer service, computer support, hydrant flushing, and other critically important Seacoast functions.  One Construction Department staff member has been assigned full-time to the Hood Road Membrane Water Treatment Plant project, and four others have been assigned part-time to various membrane conversion component projects.     

Other FY 2009/2010 Construction Department activities included:

  • plan review, construction management and observation for several land development projects including:
    • Congress Avenue Retail
    • BallenIsles Sports Complex
    • Harbour Place
    • Waterpond Adult Congregate Living Facility
    • Palm Beach County North County Library Expansion
    • RCA Center Building II
    • Frenchman’s Crossing
  • plan review, construction management and observation for several Seacoast projects including:
    • Little Lake Worth Bridge Water and Force Main Relocations
    • 20-inch Finished Water Main, Hood Road to Richard Road
    • 20-inch Raw Water Main, Hood Road to Richard Road
    • Rhone Drive/Rhone Court (Frenchman’s Creek) Water Main Replacement
    • Relocation of Northlake Boulevard Hydrants and Backflows (for future Northlake Boulevard rehabilitation work)
  • continued integration and updating Seacoast’s system maintenance software with its customer billing database, thus allowing a customer service representative to view maintenance records for a particular account. This allows a phone representative to immediately determine whether a backflow device exists and when it was last tested, whether a grease trap has been properly maintained, etc.;
  • continued implementation of a water supply program that permits water treatment plant staff to view current and past production flows of any particular well. Within the next two years, radio read meters will be installed for all Seacoast water supply wells, thus eliminating the need for daily site visits to read wellhead meters. This will also allow management personnel real time access to wellfield operation data;
  • continued Seacoast’s program to GPS all water meter locations.

ADMINISTRATION DIVISION

Finance Department

Seacoast’s Finance Department is responsible for the Accounting/Payroll, Information Systems (“IS”) and Warehouse/Purchasing functions.

In September 2010, the Finance Department was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Report for the FY2008/2009 annual report.  This certificate is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.  Seacoast has received this award for fiscal years 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Seacoast’s fiscal 2009 audit report included no management letter comments and a “clean opinion” on its financial statements.

The Warehouse continues to remain a model of efficiency with an annual year-end inventory adjustment of less than 1%.

Other significant Administration and Finance activities included:

  • finalized Pension Plan amendments, securing IRS approval for changes saving the Authority $10,000 in employment taxes;
  • converted 75% of the manual budget reporting system over to an electronic program with enhanced reporting capabilities;
  • began implementation of GODocs, an electronic forms program which will enable Seacoast to e-mail or fax certain documents directly from its accounting software;
  • began publishing requests for proposals and invitations to bid through Onvia/Demandstar, an online bid publication agency;
  • began revamping the documentation process relating to the Authority’s bond compliance requirements.  Engaged a third party dissemination agent to store and transmit required compliance reports;
  • continued debt compliance monitoring including Build America Bond rebate requests;
  • engaged an independent arbitrage consultant for calculations required by the Series 2009A & B Bonds and the newly cash funded debt service reserve fund.

Information Systems Department

  • upgraded Seacoast’s two major software systems, MUNIS (accounting) and CIS (billing);
  • upgraded internet connection to Palm Beach County’s LambdaRail system resulting in a noticeable increase in internet connectivity speed;
  • upgraded connectivity (from 100 megabits to 1 gigabit) between the buildings in the administrative complex, including the Hood Road water treatment plant.

Customer Relations/Billing Department

The twelfth annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) was distributed to all Seacoast customers in April 2010. A copy of the CCR is posted on Seacoast’s web site, www.sua.com.

Additional FY 2009/2010 Customer Relations and Billing Department activities include:

  • implemented rate increase effective October 1, 2009;
  • mailed letters to customers regarding proposed indexed rate adjustment of 6% effective 12/1/10;
  • implemented Town of Juno Beach 8% Utility Tax on water charges effective 4/1/10;
  • sent approximately 2,528 ebills per month - enrolled customers receive monthly bills via email;
  • began accepting credit card and epayments in August 2009. An average of 1,980 credit card payments totaling $146,051.20 and 1,997 epayments totaling $174,778.23 were received per month;
  • approximately 1/3 of all customers billed now utilize Seacoast’s various electronic bill payment options as opposed to US mail or lobby remittances;
  • Seacoast’s Board authorized FY 2009 bad debt write off of $79,133.89,  0.217% of billed revenue.  A large portion of the write off is attributed to bankruptcies and foreclosures;
  • Seacoast’s automated meter reading (AMR) program consists of a total of 5,040 meters to date;
  • staff provided records to law enforcement agencies investigating a report of ID Theft;
  • several community service agencies and constituent governments utilized the Seacoast Bill Message/Insert program;
  • responding to an increasing property foreclosure rate and a corresponding increase in bad debt, Seacoast began recording liens against properties with unpaid account balances in April 2010.  Through the end of the fiscal year, 180 liens had been filed for a total of $160,625.40.  Of this amount, $56,351.50 has been paid in full.

Web site (www.sua.com)

Seacoast customers continue to access important drinking water quality information by viewing Seacoast’s annual Consumer Confidence Report posted on the website.

Seacoast’s website provides a link to SFWMD’s Water Use Restrictions web page.  This connection allows customers to quickly access information on watering days and times.

A feature entitled “Hurricanes and You” has been added to Seacoast’s website.  This feature addresses frequently asked questions and provides a link to www.floridadisaster.org.  During hurricane season, Seacoast’s website also provides weather and tracking resources for its customers.

Finally, Seacoast offers its customers the option of completing service and electronic funds transfer applications on line via website link or by fax. Seacoast customers can also pay online using a checking or savings account or credit card. Also, if customers register their account online, they are able to access past usage and transaction history.   

Professional/Community Activities

Seacoast personnel continued their support for numerous professional and public service organizations.  Among the agencies benefiting from employee volunteerism during FY 2009/2010 were:

  • Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Assoc
  • United Way
  • American Water Works Association
  • PBG Police & Fire Dept Joy Drive
  • NPB Workers on Watch (WOW) Program
  • American Heart Association
  • POA/HOA Community Meetings
  • Operation Hope
  • Florida Water Environment Association
  • Florida’s Blood Centers
  • PBG Workers on Watch (WOW) Program
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Girl Scouts
  • Various Palm Beach Gardens Events
  • Seagull Industries
  • PB County School Science Fair
  • Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Food Drive Event
  • American Cancer Society
  • City of PB Gardens Holiday Food & Toy Drive 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Among the more notable FY 2009/2010 activities and developments:

  • human resources related policies were revised to include Work Related Disability and Non-Work Related Disability;
  • hosted Seacoast’s 10th Annual Benefits & Health Fair and open enrollment;
  • converted work force to Cigna Healthcare for group health insurance coverage and Public Risk Management (PRM) for Worker’s Compensation insurance;
  • increased Flexible Spending Account Employer Funded Health Reimbursement Program from $504 to $750 annually for each eligible employee;
  • extended continued health care insurance coverage to eligible overage dependent children up to age 30 in response to new state and federal health care reform regulations and laws;
  • trained supervisors, managers, and directors on changes in Employee Handbook, Administrative Policies and Procedures, amendments to the Family Medical leave Act, Workers Compensation, SUA Employment Process, Munis record keeping, and I-Employee (Time Sheet) reviews;
  • hosted personal finance seminars for Seacoast employees, “How to Make a Million” and “Understanding Debt” presented free of charge by Wachovia/Wells Fargo;
  • provided monthly employment data to Current Employment Statistics (CES), an official United States government, Department of Labor reporting system; and
  • updated 2010 post employment Human Resources data to the Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEC), a financial organization designed to address expenses incurred and post employment benefits to which an employee is entitled at the start of his or her retirement.  This information is collected every 3 years.

HR Statistical Summary

Full-time Employees
126 on 9/30/2010
127 on 9/30/2009
127 on 9/30/2008
130 on 9/30/2007
121 on 9/30/2006
116 on 9/30/2005
115 on 9/30/2004
115 on 9/30/2003
114 on 9/30/2002
114 on 9/30/2001
115 on 9/30/2000
116 on 9/30/1999
 
New Employees
3 (2009-2010)
4 (2008-2009)
9 (2007-2008)
15 (2006-2007)
6 (2005-2006)
8 (2004-2005)
4 (2003-2004)
8 (2002-2003)
11 (2001-2002)
12 (2000-2001)
10 (1999-2000)
10 (1998-1999)
 
Promotions
2 (2009-2010)
0 (2008-2009)
0 (2007-2008)
4 (2006-2007)
6 (2005-2006)
4 (2004-2005)
2 (2003-2004)
1 (2002-2003)
1 (2001-2002)
1 (2000-2001)
0 (1999-2000)
5 (1998-1999)
 
Reclassifications  
0 (2009-2010)
1 (2008-2009)
2 (2007-2008)
6 (2006-2007)
3 (2005-2006)
0 (2004-2005)
3 (2003-2004)
3 (2002-2003)
2 (2001-2002)
4 (2000-2001)
14 (1999-2000)
0 (1998-1999)
 
New Certifications/Licenses  
1 (2009-2010)
1 (2008-2009)
0 (2007-2008)
5 (2006-2007)
2 (2005-2006)
2 (2004-2005)
1 (2003-2004)
1 (2002-2003)
1 (2001-2002)
10 (2000-2001)
3 (1999-2000)
4 (1998-1999)
  
Career Part Time Employees  
2 (2009-2010)
2 (2008-2009)
3 (2007-2008)
3 (2006-2007)
3 (2005-2006)
3 (2004-2005)
3 (2003-2004)
4 (2002-2003)
6 (2001-2002)
6 (2000-2001)
2 (1999-2000)
2 (1998-1999)
  
Retired/Terminated/Resigned  
6 (2009-2010)
1 (2008-2009)
12 (2007-2008)
10 (2006-2007)
10 (2005-2006)
10 (2004-2005)
4 (2003-2004)
10 (2002-2003)
5 (2001-2002)
13 (2000-2001)
11 (1999-2000)
11 (1998-1999)
  
 Workers Compensation Claims
2 (2009-2010)
9 (2008-2009)
5 (2007-2008)
4 (2006-2007)
8 (2005-2006)
7 (2004-2005)
2 (2003-2004)
1 (2002-2003)
1 (2001-2002)
7 (2000-2001)
2 (1999-2000)
2 (1998-1999)
  
Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
18 (2009-2010)
8 (2008-2009)
4 (2007-2008)
5 (2006-2007)
6 (2005-2006)
11 (2004-2005)
12 (2003-2004)
4 (2002-2003)
2 (2001-2002)
17 (2000-2001)
19 (1999-2000)
15 (1998-1999)

SUMMARY

While this report confirms that FY 2009/2010 was a very busy year, two specific developments stand out for their long term consequences. 

First, construction of Seacoast’s $75 million membrane conversion project commenced in FY2009/2010.  Five years in planning, design, and permitting, this project will result in improved finished water quality; an end to lime sludge storage, handling and disposal problems; enhanced water recycling capabilities; and more efficient, effective, and durable water supply and treatment infrastructure.  The project is scheduled for completion by June 2013 and will cost approximately 20% less than originally anticipated.

The second development of long-term consequence was the implementation of rate indexing.  Seacoast’s current rate ordinance authorizes the annual adjustment of rates up to the federal government’s published water and sewer Consumer Price Index.  Such smaller adjustments will help offset inflation’s economically corrosive effects and thus defer the need for larger rate increases.

Seacoast’s well synchronized capital improvement, operating and fiscal plans have positioned the utility quite well to deal with future economic, regulatory and weather related uncertainties.  Perhaps ironically, Seacoast’s greatest challenge in the coming years will spring from its greatest asset – its mature, highly experienced work force.  As the economy improves and retirements accelerate, maintaining a lean, yet numerically sufficient and well-experienced work force will be the next decade’s principal administrative objective.