July 29, 2020

KEY LARGO — Commissioners on the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment Board District have approved spending $2,160,135 for the installation of solar power panels on district-owned assets as buildout of “Solar Phase 2 and 3.”

The project includes installing solar arrays on district-owned vacuum stations and along the retention field at the main power plant at mile marker 103. The cost to the district above the Stewardship funding awarded last year would be $324,053.

The design fees are $135,000, of which $90,000 is allotted to structural engineering costs, according to Tony Burke, co-founder of Burke Energy Solutions, a company based in Doral and the winning bidder.

The five sewer board commissioners approved the project unanimously.

In other news:

• One main plant sewer district employee who commutes from Homestead has tested positive for COVID-19. The five other plant employees were tested and the results were not available before press time.

• The district will refund $18,380 to the Port Largo Club Condominium Association for an overcharge of 31 equivalent dwelling units since the association only claims 16 units.

The association overpaid $21,340 in base charge fees for the EDUs while being undercharged $2,959 in usage fees.

Commission Andy Tobin said that the district is only liable for the last four years under Florida statute of limitations.

“I don’t have a problem with doing this. I just don’t want it to become a policy,” he said.

District counsel Nick Mulick responded, “This is an extremely unique case.”

• Clean-out caps being removed at about 12 different properties along Shaw Drive in the Twin Lakes neighborhood and the Stillwright Point neighborhood after rain events may have caused a spike in electrical fees, according to staff.

It is a violation to tamper with sewer district infrastructure. Staff recommended spending $250 on stickers to by applied to clean-out caps to deter ratepayers from tampering with sewer infrastructure.

Chairman David Asdourian also asked that a letter be sent to residents reminding them to not tamper with sewer assets.

Other options staff looked into were spending $600 for stainless steel locking caps on the clean-outs and locking lids on the clean-out boxes.

The next district meeting is at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4. For more information, visit klwtd.com.

tjava@keysnews.com