Staff recommends approval of acceptance of ownership and maintenance of the central sewer system located in Highland Lakes subdivision. This includes nine sanitary lift stations, force mains, gravity lines, and manholes.
The original documents (dating from March, 1990) that provided for connection by Highland Lakes subdivision to the City’s sanitary collection and treatment system also required Highland Lakes Home Owners Association to operate and maintain all lift stations except the master lift station in front of Highland Lakes. In addition, a separate agreement required payment of certain presumed operating costs on a monthly basis. The intent was that the developer would bear the cost of operation and maintenance, as well as offset some operating costs of a system that was single-purpose – i.e., provided service only to Highland Lakes subdivision
The HOA approached the City some time ago with a request to consider taking over ownership and operations and maintenance of the central sewer system in the subdivision. Staff inspected the lift stations and they will require some minor repairs as a condition of acceptance. The estimated cost of the repairs is $6,700. The Highland Lakes HOA will budget for the work and complete it in a timely fashion. The contractor they will use for the work is one which has also performed work for the City in a satisfactory and professional manner.
Under present-day utility standards, the City no longer allows privately owned subdivision systems to connect to the City’s central sewer system. The reason for this is that such private systems are often poorly maintained and badly operated because of the expense to the residents. In addition, the purpose of the original agreement is no longer valid because the connection is no longer a single-purpose connection because others have connected in the intervening twenty years or so. Lastly, the City’s wastewater rates are based upon a presumption that the City owns and operates a central sewer system, including lift stations, therefore, requiring the HOA to operate and maintain the lift stations effectively causes them to incur excess costs over and above their normal wastewater bills. Arguably, this is unfair to our customers in Highland Lakes.
The City’s liability is the additional cost of operation (primarily electric costs estimated to be
$458 per month) and the future cost of periodic repair and replacement to the lift stations as they go through their normal life cycle. The latter typically calls for pump and motor replacement at approximately fifteen years, with a complete rehab of a lift station at approximately thirty years.
The Highland Lakes HOA has acted responsibly and capably with regard to their ownership and maintenance responsibilities. They have rehabbed and repaired the lift stations to bring them to an acceptable condition; as a result, the stations are in relatively new condition. Therefore, the stations can be incorporated into the City’s routine maintenance system with relatively little cost; the costs that are incurred are offset by utility rate design.
The time is appropriate for the Highland Lakes HOA to transfer ownership of the central sewer system to the City. The HOA will prepare legal descriptions for the lift station parcels which will be reviewed by the City Attorney, including appropriate title work. After recording, these will be formally presented to Commission for acceptance as usual. As is our practice, a formal Warranty Deed and Bill of Sale will also be presented to Commission to formally convey the central sewer system assets to the City. The purpose of this request is to authorize staff to proceed with these actions to formally convey the central sewer system including all of its parts to the City.
1. Authorize staff to accept ownership and operation of the central sewer system located in Highland Lakes subdivision, or;
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate
In the short term, the City will incur additional costs of electric service for the lift stations. This cost will be absorbed by the wastewater fund in its normal operating budget which is offset by wastewater revenue collections from the Highland Lakes customers. Over the longer term, the City will incur repair and replacement costs for the lift stations as they proceed through their normal life cycle. These costs will be funded from Repair and Replacement funds as appropriate.
Department: Environmental Services
Prepared by: Tracey Dean
Attachments: Yes____ No __X__
Advertised: ____Not Required __X__
Attorney Review : Yes___ No _X_
Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. _____JB___________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _________________
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO ACCEPT OWNERSHIP AND MAINTENANCE OF THE CENTRAL SEWER SYSTEM LOCATED AT HIGHLAND LAKES SUBDIVISION. THIS INCLUDES NINE LIFT STATIONS, FORCED MAINS, GRAVITY LINES AND MANHOLES.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT City staff is hereby authorized to accept ownership, operation and maintenance responsibility for the central sewer system located in Highland Lakes subdivision.
THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the _13th____ day of __December_______ 2010.