The June 4 CDD meeting began with Attorney Erin McCormick discussing updates made to the district’s cell tower bidding document since the May 7 meeting.
Westchase Community Development District (CDD) supervisors had received the updated document, called an RFP, in email and were supposed to have reviewed them prior to the meeting for input. Based on recommendations by their cell tower consultant, Ken Schmidt, who joined the meeting via conference call, McCormick explained that she had added a second tower location to the bid documents. One will be located on the southern part of Glencliff Park and a second will be placed on district owned land behind the Maureen Gauzza Regional Library. McCormick explained that each location in the RFP could be bid on separately or jointly and supervisors could award each tower to different companies if they wanted.
Supervisor Brian Ross said that he wanted to be sure that if the carrier that is chosen defaults or goes out of business the district would get access to any security features, passcodes and locks and have right of access. He also asked Schmidt how the district could guarantee that all residents get coverage. Schmidt explained that the farther you are away from a tower, the worse the coverage is and that the signal outdoors is better than indoor signals because of the impact of trees and a home’s walls. He said that the proposed facilities should improve outdoor and indoor coverage and increase capacity such that the tower could handle all the data sessions being requested.
Supervisor Jim Mills asked about mini towers and 5G technology. “How does what we are talking about complement or preclude that?”
Schmidt replied that there will be 5G equipment on the tower, which should allow people to use their phone more robustly, but added that, using the current proposed towers, the community wouldn’t be getting to a point where the provider acts like a cable company or a wireless company. Schmidt recommended that we allow placement of the tower now, then, over the next five years, add additional, smaller cells.
Supervisor Forrest Baumhover asked, “Fast forward 20 years where we are well beyond 5G, 6G, 7G. We have small towers everywhere and we don’t need these big towers anymore. What are our options and what do we do with the big towers?”
McCormick answered that the provider must take them down when the lease is over. Closing the discussion, McCormick asked supervisors to rank bid evaluation criteria.
Moving on to the district’s proposed street tree plan, McCormick said she had spoken to Hillsborough County representatives and they had offered that they could provide a global permit for street tree removal and replacement within a community. The county stated it would work with the Westchase Community Association (WCA) and/or the CDD instead of the homeowner regarding trees between the sidewalks and roads. McCormick added that since the county didn’t have experience working with a community on the scale of Westchase, they recommended we do one neighborhood at a time. Supervisors agreed that the community permit would be optimal and voted unanimously to approve the street tree plan as prepared by Davey Tree. To view the CDD’s Street Tree Plan, click here.
McCormick then updated the group on the proposed plan to have a community garden on the CDD owned parcel between Stonebridge and The Vineyards. McCormick reported that she spoke with Hillsborough County Land Development, which said the district should request a written zoning interpretation to ensure proper zoning for the garden. Supervisor Brian Ross said that what is grown there would not be for resale or commercial purposes. He also suggested beginning to clear the land, erect a fence and ensure vehicular access. (One option previously discussed was accessing the land through the privately owned Promise Lane off Sheldon Road.)
Supervisors then moved to discussion about the purchase of new nanobubble generators to enhance lake maintenance. Tyler Dodd from Moleaer, Inc. explained that the nanobubbler systems are portable and just need 20-amp two bank services at the locations where they will be used. He said they can be deployed and then moved from pond to pond. He explained that typical Westchase lakes don’t have enough oxygen in the water so nitrates and ammonias begin leaching out and are immediately picked up by algae. He added nanobubblers deliver oxygen in places where it hasn’t been able to go, assisting the breakdown of organic materials. He said using the devices can save money by eliminating the use of chemical treatments. Supervisor Ross asked, “So the costs for our regular aquatics guy will go down?”
Dodd replied, “Absolutely, it will cut your chemical costs.”
After some additional discussion about leasing versus buying, Supervisor Baumhover made a motion to authorize staff to pursue electrical outlets then purchase the nanobubble generator with a three-year warranty with a cost not to exceed $25,000.
During his manager’s report, District Manager Andrew Mendenhall said that the fiscal year budget for 2019/2020 (https://www.westchasecdd.com/meetings-financials/adopted-budget/) would be discussed at the Aug. 6 public hearing (4 p.m. at the WCA office), where it could be revised further. He said that thus far, the budget was flat and contained no assessment changes.
Closing the meeting, CDD Office Manager Sonny Whyte reported that the Great West Chase road races would be held on Saturday, Oct. 26. She said she is also working on updating Westchase’s entrance signs. She had some initial pictures which she distributed to supervisors, but she stated she preferred full granite signs, which would require the adjustment of portions of adjacent irrigation systems.
Supervisors adjourned at 6:37 pm.
By Brenda Bennett