SEACOAST UTILITY AUTHORITY
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FISCAL YEAR OCTOBER 1, 2007 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2008

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 2007/2008 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

Seacoast water sales declined sharply in response to South Florida Water Management District (“SFWMD”) water use restrictions first implemented in March 2007.  To offset this $250,000 monthly decline in revenue and recover historical losses, Seacoast enacted a fixed monthly Revenue Restoration Surcharge in May 2008.  As the Surcharge was effective for only the last five months of fiscal 2008, year over year comparative revenue statistics can be a bit misleading.  However, placing fiscal 2007 sales figures side by side with fiscal 2008 budget and Rate Study projections for 2008 yields a more comprehensive perspective.

 Water, Sewer and Reclaimed Water Sales
         
   Actual 2007  Budget 2008  Rate Study 2008  Actual 2008
         
 Water  $18,775,228  $20,244,637  $19,305,000  $19,259,254*
 Sewer  $12,775,839  $13,179,203  $12,147,000  $12,983,744
         
 Water/Sewer  $31,551,067  $33,423,840  $31,722,000  $32,242,998
 Reclaimed  $783,136  $686,890  $863,000  $846,267
 Total  $32,334,203  $34,110,730  $32,585,000  $33,089,265
         
 % Variance with Actual 2008 Revenue
         
 Water  2.58%  -4.87%  -0.24%  
 Sewer  1.63%  -1.48%  4.56%  
         
 Water/Sewer  2.19%  -3.53%  1.64%  
 Reclaimed  8.06%  23.2%  1.94%  
 Total  2.34%  -2.99%  1.55%  
         
 *Includes five months ($1,523,102) Revenue Restoration Surcharge
 
Irrigation restrictions imposed by SFWMD have clearly impacted system revenue.  These restrictions, coupled with a steep decline in new connections, resulted in 2008 sales that were 4.87% below budget projections.  However, the more conservative aggregate revenue target for fiscal 2008 appearing in the 2005 Rate Study pro forma was substantially achieved. 

SFWMD is presently planning to establish permanent, year round water use restrictions during fiscal 2009.  If SFWMD is successful, this will likely perpetuate the prevailing trend of flat or declining water revenue.  Coupled with escalating operating, capital project, and interest costs, these forces will exert significant upward pressure on rates.

Operating Expense
  
Excluding depreciation and interest expense, normal operating costs were $19,080,195, 10.35% more than the previous year.   While this increase is attributable primarily to sharply rising material and fuel costs, approximately $400,000 of this increase represents a change in accounting practice as opposed to increased annual cost.  

Debt Service

Debt service payments follow a fixed schedule established when bonds are issued.  At the close of fiscal 2008, Seacoast’s outstanding bond principal indebtedness was $68,743,754.  Seacoast paid $4,200,186 in principal debt and $3,503,415 in interest during fiscal 2008. 

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.  New meter installations fell to a historical low in 2008.  The following table reflects new meter installations for each of the past nine fiscal years:

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

Seacoast served 34,687 metered accounts as of September 30, 2008

Eight new developer agreements reserving capacity for 279 equivalent residential connections (ERC) were executed in fiscal 2008, compared to 257 ERCs reserved the previous fiscal year.  As of September 30, 2008, Seacoast had executed developer agreements that will add 1,601 new ERCs to the system. This represents a 40.1% decline in reserved capacity from the previous year, reflecting a continuing downturn in housing sales.  Most of the reserved ERCs will be connected within the next 5 years. 

Utility Fixed Assets

   2006  2007  2008  % Increase (2008)
 Water        
 Water Main (miles)  458.0  463.6  471.2  1.6%
 Fire Hydrants  3,265  3,360  3,420  1.8%
 Gate Valves  6,563  6,646  6,734  1.3%
         
 Sewer        
 Gravity Sewer (miles)  274.1  277  280.4  1.2%
 Force Main (miles)  83.5  85.7  86.3  0.7%
 Lift Stations  148  149  150  0.7%
 Manholes  7,313  7,444  7,563  1.6%
 Reclaimed Water Main (miles)  23.8  24.2  24.3  0.4%
         

STAFF PERFORMANCE

Since its days as a privately owned system in 1986, Seacoast’s work force has been reduced from 144 employees to 130, 4 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, and the Productivity Incentive discussed elsewhere in this report have created a remarkably productive work force.

ACTIVITIES SUMMARY

Legal Issues

In addition to providing routine assistance with a wide range of policy and contractual matters, Seacoast legal counsel worked extensively on SFWMD regulatory issues during the year.  Seacoast General Counsel Nathan Nason persuaded the SFWMD Board to amend its draft Regional Water Availability rule and draft Year Round Irrigation rule to better serve Seacoast customer interests.   

Special Programs and Safety Initiatives

Following is a summary of 2008 special programs and workplace safety initiatives:

  • Received SFWMD grant for the installation of Floridan aquifer wells and equipment;
  • Worked with FEMA and Florida Public Assistance agents on the following:
    • close-out of Hurricane Jeanne large project (repairs to PGA WWTP and lift station #54 buildings),
    • close-out of Hurricane Frances small projects,
    • final inspection of two (2) Hurricane Wilma large projects (labor and equipment cost within 72 hour period and outside of 72 hour period).
  • provided influenza vaccinations for employees;
  • attended training on influenza pandemic;
  • hosted an AWWA course titled Chlorine Safety for SUA employees;
  • began use of computer based safety training videos delivered by email from vendor;
  • completed employee safety and health committee inspections of Seacoast facilities;
  • purchased additional lockout/tagout supplies for SUA electrician and plant operators;
  • 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 and Safety 21 semi-monthly to supervisors;
  • continued the “Safety Pays” safety incentive program making cash awards available within work groups maintaining outstanding safety records;
  • hired an instructor to present training to certify 8 employees for first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation;
  • 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;
  • completed Process Hazard Analysis of chlorination systems for 5 SUA locations;
  • completed EPA mandated audits of five (5) Risk Management Programs for chlorine;
  • coordinated collection and disposal of regulated hazardous waste;
  • completed an effectiveness evaluation for the Seacoast Safety and Health Training Program;
  • suggestions submitted by the three (3) safety and health committees include:
    • Hire municipal law enforcement to control speeders at 4200 Hood Rd. In lieu of hiring a police officer additional signage is posted to remind drivers to slow down and to inform drivers of the 15MPH speed limit. A 10MPH speed limit is now in effect at the Warehouse/Fleet Maintenance/Operations Bldg area.
    • Increase emphasis on ergonomic injury prevention through stretching exercises and improvement to work station design. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier for SUA provided a representative to speak at the administrative division safety meeting and to review and make recommendations for ergonomic improvements to work stations which were implemented this year; added four (4) new workstations as a result of carrier assessment of ergonomic improvements suggested.
    • Add traffic mirrors to blind corners around the Fleet Maintenance/Warehouse/Vehicle Storage Garage buildings. Three (3) mirrors are now in place.

New Board Members

The Town of Juno Beach replaced retired Town Manager Gail Nelson with Town Manager Jeffrey Naftal as its Seacoast Board representative in July 2008, and then replaced Mr. Naftal with new Town Manager Joseph Lo Bello in September 2008. 

OPERATIONS DIVISION

Water Department

Seacoast filed for renewal of its 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 the case.  SFWMD is presently reviewing supporting technical evaluations provided by Seacoast’s professional consultants.
 
Among many significant fiscal 2008 Water Department projects were the following:

Richard Road Water Treatment Plant

  • completed construction of Burma Road well no. 26;
  • replaced damaged filter underdrain system for filter cells no. 1 and 3.

Hood Road Water Treatment Plant

  • awarded $2.025 million construction contract for a 2.0 million gallon Hood Road Water Plant ground storage tank;
  • completed construction of replacement Palm Beach Gardens Wellfield wells no. 7 and 11;
  • completed rehabilitation of Lilac Street wells no. 8 and 10, nearly doubling the previous yield of each well;
  • completed $4.8 million contract for landscape, surge protection, ground storage and storm water improvements for Hood Road Water Plant site;
  • awarded $44,256 contract for replacement of high service pump no. 5;
  • completed $77,557 replacement of high service pump no. 11 variable frequency drive unit;
  • awarded $36,000 contract for rehabilitation of the south Accelator (lime softening) treatment unit;
  • completed $80,500 replacement of electrical conductors for Hood Road well no. 13;
  • installed storm shutters for all Hood Road Water Treatment plant buildings;
  • awarded $82,600 engineering services contract for design of 1.0 million gallon Lilac Street ground storage tank;
  • completed second of three Floridan aquifer test production wells, awarded $700,000 contract for construction of third;
  • awarded $723,450 contract for installation of Floridan aquifer well no. 2 piping, metering and controls, $36,853 contract for pump that will allow temporary use of this well to supplement Seacoast’s reclaimed water supply.

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 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.  By the close of fiscal 2008, Seacoast’s engineers, planners, surveyors, and technical staff had secured a Palm Beach County Health Department permit and submitted a site plan for City of Palm Beach Gardens approval.  Two of three proposed Hood Road Floridan aquifer wells had been completed; engineering design for interconnecting raw and finished water pipelines between the Richard Road and Hood Road Water Treatment Plants was 90% complete; and an FDEP permit application to construct the Hood Road membrane concentrate deep injection disposal well had been filed.

Water Distribution

  • 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;
  • began installing testing, and debugging an automated meter reading system.  New meters transmit meter readings via radio signals to Seacoast’s Hood Road administrative site where this information is used for customer service and billing purposes.  After some initial communications difficulty, a second antenna was provided at the vendor’s expense and the system began functioning quite well.

Wastewater Department

At the direction of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Seacoast has exhaustively tested, analyzed, and evaluated its PGA Wastewater Treatment Plant Class I deep injection well. As the agency responsible for enforcing federal injection well regulations in Florida, FDEP was concerned that injected effluent may have migrated upward from the boulder zone (3,000 feet below land surface) to a depth of 1,800 feet.  Since the Class I injection well regulations in effect when the well was permitted required injected fluid to be contained within a strictly defined strata (below 3,000 feet in this case), effluent at the higher elevation would represent a technical violation. 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently revised its regulations to authorize continued operation of wells for which confinement had not been demonstrated, provided that injected effluent is treated to reclaimed water quality standards, and has allowed affected utilities 5 years to comply.  Seacoast’s recently completed PGA Wastewater Plant reclaimed water system improvements were designed with this potential regulatory development in mind.  Having completed this project in fiscal 2007, Seacoast presently treats its full plant capacity to reclaimed water standards and is thus in full compliance with applicable regulations.  It is therefore anticipated that FDEP will respond to Seacoast’s 2004 request by issuing a full operating permit for the injection well in 2009. 

Significant Wastewater Department activities during 2008 include:

PGA Wastewater Treatment Plant (PGA WWTP)

PGA WWTP Project Summary

  • awarded a $235,200 construction contract to refurbish the interior of the PGA WWTP operations building;
  • completed $1.127 million installation of manual transfer switch gear at all Seacoast treatment plant and major pump station sites that will allow Seacoast’s 1 megawatt portable generator to be connected at each location if the fixed station generator fails;
  • awarded a $311,000 contract for replacement of anoxic tank mixers.

Reclaimed Water

Seacoast’s reclaimed water system continues to operate at full capacity and in compliance with all regulatory requirements.  During fiscal 2008, Seacoast delivered an average of 7.1 million gallons per day (MGD) of its 7.9 MGD daily influent flow to reclaimed water customers.  This represents a 90% recycling rate, made possible by Seacoast’s SFWMD supplemental reclaimed water allocation. 

As of December 31, 2008, Seacoast is contracted to provide up to 10.943 MGD of reclaimed irrigation water to a total of 33 separate sites.  This total includes .199 MGD of class “B”, non-guaranteed agreements.  While staff anticipates a modest increase in average daily flow in the near term, there will not be sufficient wastewater flow available to meet the full contracted 10.943 MGD commitment for several years.  Accordingly, Seacoast has developed an interim “supplemental” reclaimed water source program, drawing water from wells and surface water sources to fill the gap.  This program, described below, has received accolades, financial support and permitting approval from South Florida Water Management District.

Seacoast’s Supplemental Reclaimed Water Program

Seacoast’s Board approved a variation of Seacoast’s standard reclaimed water agreement for the projects known as Frenchman’s Reserve (2001), the Isles (2002), PGA Boulevard Streetscape, the MacArthur Regional Center (2003) and Paloma (2005).  Combined, these developers required 2.04 MGD of irrigation water, but having committed 100% of its available flow to other customers, Seacoast could not guarantee uninterrupted reclaimed water delivery.  Rather than allow the developers and several who came later to secure irrigation water well or surface water withdrawal permits and perhaps avoid using reclaimed water even when it becomes available, Seacoast agreed to pay for and operate supplemental irrigation wells and surface water pump stations, using these sources only when reclaimed water is not available.  As dwelling units are connected and wastewater flow increases, reclaimed water will become the primary irrigation source and the supplemental sources a backup. 

Seacoast expanded its supplemental reclaimed water concept in 2004, adding a surface water pump station that withdraws water from the C-17 basin.  This pump station delivers surface water into Seacoast’s sanitary sewage system when sewer system flow declines, thus allowing Seacoast to comfortably add more irrigation customers to its reclaimed water system.  Coupling this project with a separate “force main to reclaimed main” pipeline conversion, the PGA WWTP Filter Expansion project mentioned earlier, and three Floridan aquifer water supply well grants, SFWMD has approved a total of $1.2 million in “Alternative Water Supply” grant support to Seacoast.  All these grant funded projects are scheduled for completion by the end of calendar 2008.

SFWMD issued Seacoast an amended supplemental reclaimed water permit in August 2007, authorizing withdrawal of 2.11 million gallons per day from combined surface water, surficial and Floridan aquifer resources.

The following reclaimed water agreements were approved in fiscal 2008:

Village of North Palm Beach
Royale Harbour Condominium (conversion from class “B” to class “A” Supplemental)
Mirasol (increase in allocation)
Central Park
The Isles (increase in allocation)
Old Palm (increase in allocation)
Southampton

Wastewater Collection System

Following is a summary of significant 2008 wastewater collection and pumping system projects, activities and acquisitions:

  • continued GIS mapping of all system valves and manholes, making significant progress in establishing an electronic database identifying every pipeline segment and collection system structure and electronically logging the date and type of maintenance done for each component;
  • completed replacement of lift stations no. 29 (Yacht Club Drive, North Palm Beach) and 91 (Bud’s Chicken, Northlake Boulevard);
  • completed replacement of fixed base emergency power generators for lift stations no. 2 (I-95 and PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens), 81 (master lift station, PGA National), and new installation at lift station no. 9 (Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center);
  • emergency crews contained, reported, made repairs, and provided remedial cleanup for the January 20, 2008 sewage overflows/spill resulting from a 12-inch force main break at northwest corner of Ellison Wilson Road and PGA Boulevard.  A partially full pipeline (force mains should always be 100% full) resulted in interior pipe erosion and ultimately in failure.  Air release valves were installed to help maintain a full pipeline;
  • continued scheduled maintenance on lift stations and components, air release valves, gate and plug valves, generators and quarterly grease trap inspections;
  • cleaned and TV inspected approximately 200,000 feet of gravity sewer pipeline, slip lined 1,331 feet, down from the customary 20,000 to 30,000 feet completed in previous years.  Over half of the gravity sewer system in service when the utility was acquired in 1988 has since been repaired, replaced or slip lined;
  • approximately 1,041 feet of deteriorated gravity sewer main was replaced in Lake Park.  Progress was slow; attributable primarily to the condition of the rear easements in which most of the work was done.  Removal of vegetation, relocation of fences and structures, and essential coordination activities added substantial time and complexity;
  • completed $43,500 rehabilitation of four lift stations;
  • five replacement lift station control panels were installed by Seacoast crews.

Utility Services Department

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

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

  • purchased a $27,342 rotor lift used to maintain fleet vehicles;
  • replaced seven vehicles that had reached the end of their useful lives;
  • transported and load tested 1 megawatt portable generator at all treatment plant locations;
  • purchased $35,082 aluminum dump trailer to be used in transporting PGA WWTP residuals for disposal;
  • set up fixed station diesel powered emergency generator to provide backup power to Hood Road administrative site;
  • provided operational training for 4,000 gallon diesel fuel transport;
  • installed second automated meter reading system tower at Richard Road Water Plant;
  • hauled and placed fill material to stabilize access to Burma Road well;
  • staff electrician assisted with permitting, installation, and inspection of lift station electrical upgrades;
  • repaired and maintained landscape and irrigation systems at several Seacoast locations;
  • administered annual surplus equipment sale.
  • Assisted with the preparation and installation of employee workstations.

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.  Seacoast entered the seventh year of its contract with Consultant Construction Services, Inc., an outside firm providing supplemental construction observation services. 

Other year 2008 Construction Department activities included:

  • plan review, construction management and observation for several projects including:
    • Palm Beach Gardens Elementary School
    • Allamanda Elementary School
    • Gardens Hilton
    • North Palm Beach Country Club Reclaimed Water Metering Station
    • Lift Stations no. 29 and 91 Replacement
    • Paloma Reclaimed Water Metering Station
    • Old Port Cove Marina North and South Sewer System
    • I-95, PGA Boulevard to Donald Ross Road Water Main Replacement
  • revised Seacoast website to facilitate engineer/contractor access to record drawings;
  • created internal website for employee benefits programs;
  • assisted with the development and maintenance of Seacoast’s web based bill payment system. This system is currently used by approximately 2,500 Seacoast customers each month, over double the previous year’s utilization.

ADMINISTRATION DIVISION

Finance Department

Seacoast’s Finance Department is responsible for the Accounting/Payroll, MIS and Warehouse/Purchasing functions.

In September 2008, the Finance Department was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Report for the FY 2006/07 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 and 2007.

Seacoast’s fiscal 2007 audit report included no management letter comments and a “clean opinion” on the Authority’s 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:

  • responding to Moody’s downgrading of FGIC, Seacoast’s debt service surety, Seacoast’s Board authorized staff to enter into a $4.3 million letter of credit agreement with JP Morgan Chase in July, 2008.  Staff later determined that cash funding the debt service reserve account was a better alternative and did not execute the letter of credit;
  • extended Seacoast’s existing audit engagement with the firm Nowlen, Holt and Miner for two fiscal years;
  • renewed Seacoast’s banking services agreement with Wachovia;
  • engaged the firm PDI Resources, Inc. as agent for the 457 deferred compensation program, revamped the investment options, negotiated reduced fees and expenses for both Seacoast and plan participants;
  • amended Seacoast policy to require that employees must reach a given age AND years of service before they can be considered “retired”;
  • engaged the firm Gabriel, Roeder, and Smith to perform a required actuarial analysis of Seacoast’s financial exposure for “Other Post Employment Benefits”;
  • executed investment “safekeeping” services agreement with TD Bank;
  • implemented security enhancements to Seacoast’s computer network to protect against cyber attack and to restrict access to questionable sites;
  • created a monthly Revenue Restoration Surcharge tracking report for Board review;
  • successfully implemented I-Employee, a computerized time and attendance system to streamline payroll operations.

Customer Relations/Billing Department

The eighth annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) was distributed to all Seacoast customers in July 2008. A copy of the CCR is posted on Seacoast’s web site, http://www.sua.com/.

Additional fiscal 2008 highlights include:

  • Implemented the Revenue Restoration Surcharge in April 2008 and continued responding to customer inquiries as to its nature and purpose throughout the fiscal year;
  • Seacoast’s automated electronic funds transfer (AEFT) program allows customers to have their individual checking or savings accounts debited for payment of monthly bills. Customers may also make electronic internet payments through Seacoast’s web site or by simply calling Seacoast and authorizing an electronic payment.  The number of accounts paying monthly through one of these alternative remittance systems now stands at approximately 1/3 of all customers billed;
  • Implemented web based billing, allowing the enrolled customers the option to receive monthly bills via email;
  • Provided participating customers access to their billing and payment history via http://www.sua.com/;
  • Seacoast’s Board authorized FY 2007 bad debt write off of $73,916, up from $31,303 the previous year but still less than 1% of billed revenue.  Approximately $30,000 of the FY 2007 write off was related to bad debt carried forward from previous fiscal years;
  • in December 2007, Seacoast hosted its eighth annual employee benefits fair, offering information and enrollment opportunities for Seacoast’s many benefits programs;
  • began implementation of Seacoast’s automated meter reading (AMR) program, installing 780 test meters, radio telemetry and software components;
  • several community service agencies benefited from the Seacoast Bill Message/Insert program. Constituent governments, particularly the City of Palm Beach Gardens and the Village of North Palm Beach, are regular users of Seacoast’s bill message program.

Web site (www.sua.com)

Following the September 2004 hurricanes, a “Boil Water” link was added to Seacoast’s website.  This link specifically identifies which, if any Seacoast areas are affected by boil water orders and provides customers detailed instructions. 

Seacoast customers can 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” was added to Seacoast’s website.  This feature addresses frequently asked questions and provides a link to http://www.floridadisaster.org/.  During hurricane season, Seacoast’s website also provided weather and tracking resources for its customers.

Finally, Seacoast now offers its customers the option of completing service and electronic funds transfer applications on line via website link or by fax.  

Professional/Community Activities

Authority personnel continued their support for numerous professional and public service organizations.  Among the agencies benefiting from employee volunteerism during fiscal 2008 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 
Various Palm Beach Gardens Events
Girl Scouts
Hurricane Awareness “Weather the Storm”
Seagull Industries
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Food Drive Event
PB County School Science Fair
City of Palm Beach Gardens Holiday Food and Toy Drive
American Cancer Society

PERSONNEL

Statistical Summary

Full-time Employees:
127 on 9/30/08
130 on 9/30/07
121 on 9/30/06
116 on 9/30/05
115 on 9/30/04
115 on 9/30/03
114 on 9/30/02
114 on 9/30/01
115 on 9/30/00
116 on 9/30/99 

New Employees:
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:
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:
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:
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)

Permanent Part Time Employees:
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:
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:
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):
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)

Productivity Incentive

Seacoast’s Board adopted this innovative “bonus” program late in fiscal 1999.  Its purpose is to reward personnel for absorbing workload associated with a growing customer base.  For each new equivalent residential connection, Seacoast sets aside $20 in a bonus pool.  At the end of the fiscal year, the cost of any net new positions created is subtracted from this pool, and the balance is divided equally among personnel having completed at least one year of employment and having achieved a satisfactory or higher performance rating.  Supporting documentation projects that this program could save Seacoast’s customers over one million dollars in wages and benefits in the next decade, simultaneously rewarding existing Seacoast personnel for accepting additional workload.  Because Seacoast created and filled a number of new positions during fiscal 2006, employees received no Productivity Incentive payment for FY 2006, 2007 or 2008. 

SUMMARY

While Seacoast remains fiscally strong, economic and regulatory forces well beyond local control will shape many Seacoast decisions in the coming year.  Having refurbished most of its gravity sewer, pumping, treatment, disposal and reuse facilities, Seacoast now turns its attention to renewing and replacing aging water supply and treatment infrastructure.  Economic turbulence consisting primarily of widely fluctuating fuel costs and uncertain interest rates will affect the degree and timing of such improvements, most notably, implementation of the proposed Membrane Conversion Project.