The official notice of the meeting, along with a proxy for those who cannot attend, was mailed out this week.
As most of you already know, GIWA must relocate their water and sewer lines on the Boca Grande Causeway when the new bridges are constructed. At their February 2011 annual meeting members approved a $12 per unit monthly assessment for a period of five years to fund this work.
The assessment went into effect in May, 2011 and is designed to generate a total of $1.5 million dollars, which is the amount estimated to complete our work on all three bridges.
The initial bid for just the south and center bridges for GIWA was $2,050,000. We have been able to lower our cost to approximately $1,500,000 for this portion of the project by rebidding locally, making design changes, purchasing materials direct to save sales tax and completing a joint bore with FP&L.
Why were our estimates so far off? These new bridges are the first in Florida to be constructed under new coastal construction rules and the final design for the bridges simply requires us to do more work.
Using the actual construction costs for the south and middle bridges, we are now estimating that it will cost between $900,000 and $1 million to relocate utilities at the swing bridge. With assessment funds already collected and a line of credit, GIWA can complete the work at the south and middle bridges. However, we need to generate an additional $1 million to complete the final phase of the work at the swing bridge.
The board of directors set a goal in the beginning to fund this project with an assessment because it is the least costly alternative for the membership. If the existing $12 assessment was simply extended for a longer period of time, it would add an estimated $185,000 in borrowing costs to the total project, which equates to $90 per unit. The board has carefully evaluated all the options to generate the additional $1 million. At this special meeting we will recommend that the membership approve raising the current $12 assessment to $20 per unit, effective June, 2012 for the remaining 47 months of the existing term.
This will increase the total paid per unit from $720 to $1,096. Increasing the assessment will provide more up-front cash to finance the project, which then significantly reduces our interest costs.
For most members, the assessment will expire after the April 2016 billing cycle. Members that connected to the water and sewer system after May, 2011 will continue to pay the monthly assessment beyond the April, 2016 billing cycle until they have paid the full 60 months.
If you would like more details, please visit mygiwa.com. GIWA’s board of directors hopes you agree that an assessment is the least costly long-run alternative and the most fiscally conservative option to fund these projects.
If you have any questions or would like to provide comments, you can contact Bonnie Pringle at 964-2423, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonnie Pringle is the Executive Director of the Gasparilla Island Water Assocation.
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