October 10, 2018

KEY LARGO — The Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District commissioners may consider a former general manager, who was ousted by the board, as a contender to replace or further develop the sewer district’s database software and provide ongoing support for it.

Paul Christian, on behalf of his company, Geex.Online, an IT firm providing virtual marketing services, responded to the district’s request for proposals to update or replace its custom database, which Christian built while employed as the district’s top administrator.

Christian designed and implemented SewerCare as a user-friendly database to be used by staff in daily operations and by wastewater ratepayers wishing to check their assessments online.

Among the three companies that responded to the RFP, Christian’s ranked as the most affordable option and netted the highest ranking among a five-member review committee comprised of district staff.

The lowest estimated cost to replace base modules for the database was $62,650, with an annual maintenance fee of $28,090.

Commissioner Sue Heim said she’s concerned that neither she nor any of her colleagues on the board is qualified to evaluate and decide IT matters. She did lean toward proceeding with Christian, but suggested on an as-needed basis.

“Just because this is in front of us doesn’t mean this is the way to go. If Paul [Christian] is coming back to fix some issues [to SewerCare], and it isn’t exorbitant, so far, that might be something that we should stick with,” Heim said.

General Manager Peter Rosasco recommended the board take the approval process step by step. He recommended staff to bring an IT presentation highlighting the components that need to be addressed within the current software to the next meeting.

The software, whether custom-built, purchased or repaired, will not generate customer billing, he noted.

The district bills are generated by the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority and issued on that agency’s water bill, which can be faulty at times, according to Rosasco.

The new database will be required to closely monitor customer rates, as that’s now being done manually, according to Rosasco.

In other news:

As a preventative maintenance practice, the wastewater board unanimously approved modifying a request for proposals to include repairs to the disinfection chlorine basin and the shallow injection wells at the main plant for $375,150, which may be reimbursable through grant funding according to staff.

The board voted 4-1 to retain the legal services of attorney Nicholas Mulick for $78,000 annually, which includes up to 40 hours of work per month. The district’s contract with Mulick increased by $15,600 from last year. Commissioner Andy Tobin, the sole dissenter, called for the contract to have more specific details.

The next Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 103355 Overseas Highway. A copy of the agenda can be found at klwtd.org.