Pool Replacement

G.B. Collins updated the conceptial designs for a replacement pool based on CDD residential and board feedback. Supervisor Tingley updated the board at the February 2023 meeting. Design changes were discussed, and additional minor changes were requested at the meeting to include the following:

  1. Eliminating the fountain bubblers and replacing them with more durable water curtains
  2. Eliminating some steps, but still allowing for entry/exit via steps and zero entry (or ADA compliant chair
  3. Adding sun shelves
  4. Deeper Depth in lap area to allow for lap swimming
  5. Adding shade structures
  6. Expaning lap area to include three longer lanes

The changes were designed to make the pool more durable and less expensive to maintain, provide areas for each residential demographic, and provide for more efficient use of space. Conscious of the time it will take to build, the board voted to give Supervisor Tingley authority to approve the final changes and send out for public bidding (so we do not have to wait until the next meeting to approve the final version). The most recent design can be viewed by clicking the link here.

Pool Updates:

  • Pool Update as of 3/23/22:

    • The CDD has called a pause to the resurfacing project as recommended by aquatic engineering consultant, Ken Martin.  The appearance of extensive cracks and rust stains raised questions about the condition of the underlying pool structure.  The CDD is following Mr. Marin's recommendation for several types of testing of the pool structure.  Arranging such test is complex and the number of qualified testing companies is limited.  It will take time and funds.  Rushing to complete the pool resurfacing without knowing the condition of its underlying structure runs the unacceptable risk of bigger problems in the future.  The CDD is as disappointed in the project delay as are owners and residents, but is wary of making a cosmetic repair that will not last.  

  • Pool Update as of 4/5/22:

    • Personnel from the structural engineering firm, ECS Florida, performed the recommended testing of the structural condition of the pool this morning. Their report is expected next week. The CDD supervisors meet Thursday, April 14.

  • Pool Update as of 4/14/22:

    • The CDD supervisors received the testing results for the pool structural integrity from ECS Florida. The technical data in the report will be reviewed and interpreted by the aquatic engineer, Ken Martin, who prescribed the testing after his visit to the pool site last month. The CDD supervisors meeting tonight was recessed until Wednesday, April 27, at 6:00 PM. The CDD hopes to have our engineer’s interpretation of the testing data and recommendations about how to proceed with the pool resurfacing project at that meeting.

  • Pool Update as of 4/27/2022:

    • The CDD Supervisors regret to inform the community that the pool will be closed for the summer season this year. Aquatic engineer Ken Martin’s assessment on the pool structure is that cracks along the bottom of the pool walls makes the chances of  a successful repair very low. Mr. Martin will work with legal counsel to determine what, if any, actions by the resurfacing contractor may have contributed to the structural damage. Legal counsel will also be examining the CDD’s property insurance coverage for any unexplainable structural failures. Recent testing of the pool structure did not reveal any major defects in the original pool  plan and construction. The CDD Supervisors will be soon be looking for options for rebuilding the pool and looks forward to community input on that subject.

  • Pool Update as of 6/9/22:

    • CDD legal counsel Scott Steady reported to the Board of Supervisors and led discussion with the Board on the issues of the community pool.  He asked the CDD Board to authorize legal action against the pool resurfacing contractor for partial responsibility for damage to the pool and also to file a claim with our insurance carrier for damages to the pool. The Board passed a resolution to do both.

    • Mr, Steady asked a respected pool contractor who builds pools for communities like ours for a “ballpark” estimate (not an official bid) for replacing our pool. The estimate was $924,000.

    • Mr. Steady asked for direction from the Board regarding the offer from Ken Martin, our consulting expert on pool structures, to design a new pool and supervise a contractor to build it. Mr. Martin’s fee would add an additional $170,000 to the replacement project. The Board was comfortable with passing on this option as an unnecessary expense for our size project.

    • The Board instructed Scott Steady to solicit bids from contractors for designing, building and warranting a replacement pool. Supervisors gave him their preliminary ideas about the size, styles and depth of a replacement pool with an eye to building a pool at a reasonable cost that would best serve the community.

    • Mr. Steady emphasized that obtaining money for replacing our pool from legal action against the pool contractor and a claim from our own insurance carrier was by no means a certainty. In any case, it will take time. He is exploring ways to obtain funds for a new pool that could help the community avoid the high fees from brokers and bond counsel associated with issuing new bonds.

  • Pool Update as of 7/14/22:

    • CDD legal counsel Scott Steady reported to the Board of Supervisors and led discussion with the Board on the issues of the community pool.  

    • A lawsuit seeking money for damage to the pool was filed in state court. AuMiller Pools LLC was named as defendant. AuMiller Pools was contracted in Nov., 2021, to drain and resurface the River Bend pool.

    • A second professional assessment of the condition of the pool was submitted by G. B. Collins Co. The primary finding of the engineer in charge was that the pool was now a total loss. The G. B. Collins report did offer the possibility of a repair but advised that such repair would only delay replacement by a year or two and was not likely to be warranted by any contractor for any length of time.

    • The CDD Supervisors choose to move ahead to replace the pool as the most responsible step at this time.

    • Counselor Steady presented two scenarios to build a new pool. 

    • Path A would be to hire a company Scott Steady had worked with on successful pool/amenities projects to design and build a new pool on a negotiated costs plus percentage fee basis. The upside of Path A would be that one company would be responsible for all aspects of the pool project from start to finish and it would be the quickest way to get a new pool built. The downside of Path A would be lack of transparency and an open bidding process.

    • Path B would be to hire a pool engineering firm to design a new pool and use that design to advertise for bids for construction. The upside of Plan B is that we have some assurance that we get the best deal for construction by the competitive bid process and the project has the usual transparency of open bidding. The downside of Plan B is that the bidding process consumes time and that the pool construction process has to be monitored by someone to assure that the construction contractor follows the design specification.

    • The CDD Supervisors unanimously decided that Plan B was more suitable for River Bend.

    • The CDD Supervisors authorized Scott Steady, CDD Manager Jordan Lansford and the Chair of the CDD Board to work with G. B. Collins Co. to design a pool for River Bend. The Collins Company designed the original pool. The original pool design and construction were found to be sound in our first pool assessment report (4/27/22 above).

  • Pool Update as of 8/11/22:

    • CDD legal counsel Scott Steady reported on the progress he has made following CDD supervisors’ instructions last month to contact G. B. Collins Company about designing a replacement pool for River Bend.

    • The project manager for G. B. Collins informed us that the County Health Department requires a pool of at least 3,222 square feet to serve a community of 750 residential lots. The original year 2005 pool design for River Bend with 752 residential lots was listed as 3,477 square feet. The company quoted us the price of $24,168 for a new pool design with the minimum square footage and $26,078 for a design equal to the square foot size of our original pool; a difference of $1,910. G.B. Collins also submitted a proposal for providing construction services: shop drawings and pool equipment submission reviews, RFI details, and a limited number (5) of strategic inspections. The package cost was $7,500. The company also left open the option of purchasing such services one at a time for $1,000 each.

    • Mr. Steady also worked with the Bank of Tampa to gauge the cost per residential lot in River Bend from the sale of new municipal bonds to raise funds for a new pool. For informational purposes only, the figure of $1 million was used as the amount to be borrowed. If the community were to pay off such bonds over five years, each lot owner would be assessed $312 per year. If the community were to pay off the bond debt over ten years, each lot owner would be assessed $156 per year. We will not know the actual amount of money the CDD would need to borrow until pool construction bids are submitted and a construction contractor is chosen. Further discussion among staff and supervisors also established that bonds could be sold for terms as long as 20 or 30 years to lessen the increase in annual assessments. Bonds can also be issued with no prepayment penalty should the CDD receive funds from the claim on its own insurance company for pool damages or funds funds from the pool resurfacing contractor through litigation.

    • The CDD supervisors decided that no decisions will be made concerning replacement of the pool until we have held a public meeting to discuss all aspects of such a project. A representative from G.B, Collins will be attending to provide expertise in assessing the feasibility and estimated costs associated with ideas presented about pool design and pool amenities. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 2022, at 6:30 PM in the Amenity Center meeting room.

  • Pool Update as of 9/8/22:

    • The Board of Supervisors reviewed a proposal from GB Collins Engineering for pool design concepts, detailed construction designs including bid documents and construction phase supervision of contractors. The cost for their services was set at $37,500. Further consideration of the proposal was delayed until the next meeting, on October 13.

    • Meanwhile the District Manager was instructed to set up a conference call with the GB Collins group that includes district management, legal counsel, and the chair of the board of supervisors. The conference call participants are expected to convey the Board’s concern that the pool design engineer at the community hearing last week did not give the residents and Board members any estimates for the cost of adding updated features to a basic pool of 3,500 square feet (the approximate size of the original pool) nor a cost estimate for such a basic pool itself. The expectation is that since GB Collins prepares bid proposals for construction of many different pool designs and the sees the cost of the construction bids, it should have people on its staff that can deal with various costs of pool design features.  

  • Pool Update as of 10/13/22:

    • G.B Collins provided a conceptual design for a replacement pool based on replicating the original design with updates for modern code requirements and eliminating the “handicap” ramp (replaced with hydraulic lift chair). The design was distributed to three area commercial pool contractors soliciting their estimated cost of construction: National Pools, Executive Pools, and Preferred Pools.

    • Only the estimated cost of construction from National Pools was available at the time of the meeting; we expect the estimates from the other two contractors before the next CDD meeting. The submission from National Pools can be viewed starting on page 89 of the meeting agenda package:  https://www.riverbendcdd.com/com/114/documents/08931C93-4201-0A8E-00027BE76194DCB4.pdf

    • National Pools’ estimate of $673,835 is comprehensive but does not include initial engineering work and construction oversight cost of $37,750.

    • The CDD Board voted to requests two more conceptual pool designs from G.B. Collins. One new design will be for a modern community pool reflecting the latest pool design trends. The CDD Board appointed Supervisor Andrew Pouget to work with G.B. Collins, District Counsel and Management to help develop the two additional designs.

  • Pool Update as of 2/12/24

    • The design has been completed, and the contract has been approved pending financing. In order to fund the project with municipal bonds, the board needs to send out notice to the community and have a meeting for advice and comment. The meeting will be April 11, 2024 at the Amenity Center at 6:00pm. You will receive a mailed notice shortly (has to be at least 30 days before the meeting). If approved, the bonds can close at the following meeting (May 8, 2024). Here are some really important takeaways from the letter you are about to receive.

    • The language in the letter can be confusing. Unfortunately, we cannot change the language, as it is dictated by statute. In order to provide a more understandable message, district counsel will be preparing a one-page letter which we will post here that is simply easier to understand. 

    • The methodology for funding the bonds is the same as it has always been: by lot frontage. In order to determine your frontage, you can go to the property appraiser using the link below. Search by name and select your property, then scroll ALL the way to the bottom until you see "Land Lines." Then reference the "Front" section. Please refer to the image for clarity. This will tell you whether you have a lot that ha 50, 60, 70-, 80-, 90-, or 100-foot lots. That will determine the amount of the municipal assessment. https://gis.hcpafl.org/propertysearch/#/nav/Basic%20Search

    • The amount of the municipal bond is not necessarily the amount on the notice. The amount on the notice is the high-water mark. It cannot go up, but it can go down. For this reason, the board was very conservative with this numbers. The cost of concrete is going up. The loan rates are in flux. We just need to make sure we are not shorting the amounts. If the amount needed is less, the bonds will be less. The bonds cover the pool, a security system to protect the pool, and finally fixing the docks so we can use them safely for a long time to come. This will be discussed further in the April 11, 2024 meeting. 

    • We are still in litigation with the company that abandoned our pool and left it empty. We are in the process of scheduling the deposition of our expert. Once that is completed, we anticipate having productive settlement discussions. Any money we receive from the settlement will go to the pool project/repaying municipal bonds. The board will not simply dump those funds into general funds and increase spending. Pool money goes to paying back the pool loans. This will reduce the amount each lot has to pay for the pool. We want to prioritize paying off this debt so you don't have to. If you have any questions, you can ask any CDD board member or attend the April 11 meeting.   Andrew Pouget