A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
FEBRUARY 13, 1990
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular; session on Tuesday, February 13, 1990, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; Thomas J. Windram; Richard Swartz; and Don Bailey. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
James C. Watkins, Clerk, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Windram.
The Board postponed action regarding the Minutes of January 16, 1990 and January 23, 1990 until the Board Meeting of February 20, 1990.
CLERK'S OTHER BUSINESS
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board approved a request for: the Orlando Sentinel (done on a rotating basis) to advertise Delinquent Tax Certificates, for 1990, from the office of T. Keith Hall, Tax Collector.
CLERK OF COURT'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following:
A request for payment of Warrant NO. 117053 theough Warrant No. 117369 for the following accounts:
County Transpottation Trust
Bassville Fire District
Animal Shelter Trust Fund
South Lake Fire District
Mt. Plymouth Fire District
Emergency 911 Fund
Pasco Fire District
Countywide Fire District
Northwest Fire District
Fine & Forteiture
Private Industry Council
Law Enforcement Trust Fund
Northwest Ambulance Assessments/Subdivisions
A request to approve Satisfaction of Assessment Liens for the following subdivisions:
Lakeview Heights (1)
Astor Forest Campsites (3)
Haines Creek Heights (1)
Springs Bath & Yacht Club (1)
Ocala Forest Campsites (1)
Florida Fruitland Park Tropical Homesites (1)
Hilltop Subdivision (1)
A request to acknowledge receipt of the Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, for the month ending
January 31, 1990, in the amount of $146,315.09.
Accounts Allowed/Tax Collector
A request to acknowledge receipt of unclaimed redemption monies, in the amount of $389.61, from the office of T. Keith
Hall, Lake County Tax Collector.
A request to acknowledge receipt of a Resolution from the City of Mascotte, requesting revocation of Conditional Use
Permit #87/8/4-2, issued to Troy S. Bronson, as "permittee", by the Board of County Commissioners.
A request to acknowledge receipt of a Resolution from the City of Tavares, Cable Television Committee, regarding a
request by same for all government agencies who hold a franchise agreement with Lake County Cablevision, to unify their
efforts into one united front, in their testimony before the Federal Communications Commission, at a Public Hearing to be
held on March 2, 1990, in Orlando, Florida.
CLERK'S OTHER BUSINESS (CONT'D.)
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/COUNTY PROPERTY
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a request to delete items from Fixed Assets, for the month of Febouary, 1990, in the amount of $2,530.27.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Swartz questioned whether there was any kind of revised timetable, with regard to the Impact Fee Study being done by Reynolds, Smith & Hills, referred to in Tab 12.
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, responded, stating that Hunter; Services, Inc. has been bought out by Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Inc., and are presently in the process of going through a formality of assigning all the Hunter contracts to Reynolds, Smith & Hills, however, it should not affect the time frame in which the impact studies were due back to the Board.
Commr. Swartz stated that it is taking much longer than the Board had anticipated and questioned whether the Board could be assured that Reynolds, Smith & Hills is going to be able to get the Impact Fee Study to the Board in a timely fashion.
Mr. Swanson stated that the only assurances the Board has are the specifications outlined in the contract, and noted that staff will have to press their people in making sure that said study is back to the Board in a timely fashion.
Upon being questioned as to whether the Transportation Impact Fee Study was completed, Mr. Swanson stated that it was, and was scheduled to be brought before the Board at the February 20, 1990, Board Meeting.
Commr. Windram questioned what entities are being considered in the Impact Fee Study, to which Mr. Swanson stated that the areas under study, at present, are Transportation, School Board, Library System, Parks & Recreation, and Public Safety & Service.
Commr. Bakich requested Mr. Swanson to make sure that Reynolds, Smith & Hills was working in a timely fashion, as per the contract agreement, and report back to the Board at a later date.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, stated that the Board had asked Reynolds, Smith & Hills to do an amendment to the contract, as it relates to roads, being to do a special study regarding mobile homes in Lake County, and questioned whether said amendment is in process, to which Mr. Swanson replied that he believed said amendment has been sent to the Board. He stated that a proposal had been received from Reynolds, Smith & Hills to do the special study and that there was an additional cost attached, in the amount of approximately $5,000.00.
In reference to Tab 12, regarding Consent to Assignment of Contracts, Commr. Swartz requested that, prior to assignment of the contract, staff review it and make sure that with said assignment, Reynolds, Smith & Hills is going to comply with the original terms of the contract and get those things to the Board in a timely fashion.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following:
Accounts Allowed/Environmental Services
A request to rent a Caterpillar 623 tractor, for one month, at a cost of $11,300.00.
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Planning & Development
A request to approve consent to the assignment of Contracts, for Impact Fee Study, from Hunter Services, Inc., to
Reynolds, Smith & Hills, and authorized proper signatures.
Roads-County & State/Signs
A request to correct a road name from Vistas Boulevard to Vista Del Lago Boulevard (3-0850), in the First Addition to Vistas.
Accounts Allowed/Roads-County & State
A request to release an Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit, in the amount of $94,143.50, for performance, in Summit
Landings; accept an Irrevocable Letter of Credit, in the amount of $11,808.50, for maintenance: and accept the following
roads into the County maintenance system: Extension of Summit Square Drive (1-5234B), Dolores Drive (l-5235), and
Cook Lake Court (l-5235A).
A request to release a Maintenance Bond, in the amount of $9,546.00, from Southeastern Casualty and Indemnity
Insurance Company, and replace it with a Maintenance Bond, in the amount of $9,546.00, from Preferred National
Insurance Company, for Gatwick Subdivision.
Bonds - Mobile Home - New
A request to accept a new Mobile Home Bond, for Michael Nowogrocki, Sorrento area, District #4.
Bonds - Mobile Home - Cancellation
A request to cancel Mobile Home Bond, for W. Gordon McCall, Dona Vista area, District #5.
Accounts Allowed/Public Works
A request to purchase one (1) land roller mulch cutter-seeder, from Mid-Florida Tractor, at a cost of $11,185.00.
Accounts Allowed/Public Works
A request to purchase one (1) boom mower, from Volusia Ford Tractor Company, at a cost of $12,298.00.
Deeds/Roads-County & State
A request to release the following Murphy Act Deed Reservations:
Robert Terry Long and Tammy English Long, No. 2587, East Umatilla Subdivision.
Jack Roberts and Sarah W. Roberts, No. 2778, Mt. Plymouth Section "A".
Deeds/Riqht-of-ways, Roads & Easements
A request to accept the following Right-of-Way Deeds:
For Road Projects
Kenneth E. and Esther; A. Boettcher, Florida Boys Ranch Road (2-0729)
For Lot Approvals
William M. Anderson, Landfill Road (l-6903)
Patricia A. Harden, Lake Ella Road (l-6604)
Philip and Lorraine Abecsasis, Lake Ella Road (l-6604)
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/BUDGETS/BUDGET TRANSFERS/FIRE PROTECTION
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT/RESOLUTIONS/INSURANCE
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Director of Administrative Services/Budgets, for the County, appeared before the Board to explain this request and to answer any questions there might be regarding same.
Commr. Windram questioned whether this request was closing out the old budget or whether it was for the new budget, to which Ms. Anderson replied that it was interdepartmental transfers within the new budget.
A motion was made by Commr. Windram and seconded by Commr. Swartz to approve Items 1 through 5, of Tab 22, however, after discussion occurred regarding the request, at which time the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, informed the Board that staff was requesting a separate motion on each item, Commr. Windram withdrew his motion and Commr. Swartz withdrew his second to the motion.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved a Resolution to amend and increase the Fire Protection Budget by $1,504.00, and authorized proper signatures on same.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved a budget transfer of $63,521.00, for Planning and Development; a budget transfer of $13,180.00, for Planning and Development; and an insurance payment of $162,997.96, for Risk Management.
Discussion occurred regarding the need for Commr. Windram to rescind a motion he had made, at a prior Board Meeting, regarding approval to transfer Federal Revenue Sharing funds, for work being done on the Old Courthouse.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved to rescind a motion which was made by Commr. Windram, at a prior Board Meeting, regarding the transfer of Federal Revenue Sharing funds, in the amount of $11,740.00, from the Jail Construction Account to the Old Courthouse Renovation Account.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a budget transfer of $11,740.00, from Fine & Forfeiture-Contingency, to the Old Courthouse Renovation Account, to cover the unpaid portion of Barton Malow's contract for facade removal of the Old Courthouse.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, appeared before the Board and explained this request.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved a request to set public hearing dates, for the Plantation at Leesburg Development of Regional Impact (DRI).
COUNTY ATTORNEY'S MATTERS
SUITS AFFECTING THE COUNTY
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, brought the Board up-to-date on the case involving the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Lake County, and Guy Garrett Publishing Company, stating that the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority has filed an appeal, of the order issued by the Circuit Court, to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, and has asked for a motion for rehearing, therefore, it is now on-going litigation.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board approved a Proclamation proclaiming February 13 through February 20, 1990, as "Viola Days", on behalf of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved a request for reappointment of Mary Eisnor, Fredrick Brady and John Kofoed to the Advisory Board for Mount Plymouth Fire District (District 3).
Commr. Bailey brought to the attention of the Board the fact that he had recently brought up the issue of the Governor's proposal supporting the issuance of bonds, for the purpose of purchasing environmentally sensitive lands and the fact of using State funds for same, stating that he would like to have a resolution drawn up indicating such. He stated that when he had first brought the matter to the attention of the Board, it was the consensus of the Board to adopt a resolution, in support of it, and requested the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, to have same drawn up for the Board's approval.
The County Manager, Mr. Al Thelen, informed the Board that yesterday his office received three proposals on the privatization of jails, being Pricor, Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). He stated that it is going to take some time to review each one, however, he hopes to have a report to the Board at the meeting scheduled for February 20, 1990 - at least a preliminary report on the analysis of them.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 9:30 a.m. the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 10:30 a.m., at which time a discussion regarding the privatization of the Jail will be continued from the Board Meeting of January 23, 1990.
Commr. Bakich stated that the Board would pick up where they left off at the Board Meeting of January 23, 1990, on question No. 16, regarding the issue of privatization of the Jail.
Mr. Thomas Pilacek, Attorney, representing the Jail staff, appeared before the Board to discuss the issue and to answer any questions there might be from the Board. He stated that he had drawn up a list of the employees' present benefits, for the Board's perusal, at which time he distributed same.
Discussion occurred regarding questions No. 16 through 20, which address the issues of whether employees would retain their sick leave; be given time off for funerals and illness: would be replaced with part-time employees; would retain the same shift schedule; would retain their present positions: and whether present employees would be placed on probation again.
It was noted that employees would eetain their sick leave; would be given time off for funerals and illness: the private firm would retain full-time employees, however, it does not mean that the private firm cannot hire part-time employees: it has not been decided yet as to whether the same shift schedule would be retained; employees would retain their present position or be offered a position equal to it, however, the question of seniority, or tenure, would have to be looked at; and present employees, if they have served their probation period, will not be placed on probation again.
Discussion then occurred regarding question No. 21, which states that the taxpayers are liable for anything in excess of $100,000.00, in claims against a private jail company, of which most suits involving inmates are multi-million dollar suits.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that this was a misstatement of facts, stating that Chapter 951 of the Florida Statutes requires that any private entity that the County may enter into a contract with, has to have sufficient insurance coverage to cover all claims, and the County would require that as part of the contract, as well as indemnification of the County. She stated that Chapter 768, of the Florida Statutes, limits the liability of counties in court actions to $100,000.00, per person, and $200,000.00, per incident.
A brief discussion then occurred regarding the insurance requirement on the RFP, self-insurance, and the Federal Civil Rights Statute, concerning the matter of lawsuits being filed against the County by inmates, and what protection the County has against same.
Discussion occurred regarding question No. 22, in that, if the County contracts with a private company and then decides that the company has not lived up to the contract and breaks it, what will happen to the employees.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, responded, stating that each company that submitted an RFP was asked to submit a plan regarding said matter, however, he would assume that the County would have a policy, if that happened, whereby, they would require the company that comes in and takes the place of the company that defaulted, to retain the present employees.
The County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, stated that this would clearly be part of any contract that the County would enter into - that said issue would have to be addressed directly, as to what the County would do, if this should happen.
Discussion occurred regarding question No. 23, which pertains to Florida Statute 112.532, Law Enforcement Officers' and Correctional Officers' Bill of Rights. The question states that law enforcement officers and correctional officers have a great deal of protection and guarantees under said Statute, and questions whether they would be guaranteed said rights under a private company.
MS. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the County would clearly want to negotiate said matter, as a condition of the contract, noting that it would be one of their benefits. She stated that those rights address a hearing procedure and disciplinary actions, as well as give them the right to sue, under certain circumstances, which they would have, regardless of whether they had said Bill of Rights, or not.
Discussion occurred regarding question No. 24, which states that the County would be liable for unemployment insurance regarding any layoffs that a private company has.
It was noted that the employer would be liable, not the County, and that it would be written into the contract as such.
Discussion occurred regarding question No. 25, which questions whether employees would be allowed to review and dispute any contract that the County accepts from a private company.
Commr. Bakich stated that employees would have every opportunity to offer their opinions, o r suggestions, however, the ultimate decision, as to whether or not the County goes with a private company, and, if so, with what company, will be left up to the Board.
Discussion occurred regarding question No. 26, which states that employees of the Jail have been worried about their jobs and futures for several months and would like to know what the intentions of the Board are, now, not two months from now, so that they can plan for their futune, as they feel that their livelihoods and careers are at stake.
Commr . Bakich stated that the Board is very understanding of the employees' position and are trying to come to a conclusion, as to whether they are going to go with a private company, or not. He stated that the RFPs have just come in, and staff needs time to review them, before a decision can be made.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, stated that his office will have a preliminary report to the Board next week, however, noted that it would take several more weeks to analyze the purposals, in detail. He stated that they have set a date, in March, to try and make a decision as to how the Jail will be operated, as they realize that a decision needs to be made, as soon as possible, not only for the sake of the employees, but, also to allow some gearing up for the Prelude Project, which comes on line in October, 1990.
Mr. Pilacek, Attorney, questioned whether it would be possible for him, and other representatives of the Jail staff, to examine the summary report which will be issued to the Board, to which Mr. Thelen, County Manager, stated that it would be made available to Mr. Gary Borders, Jail Administrator, and would probably be discussed with him at the same time that it is made available to the Board (probably Friday, February 16). He stated that continuing reports will also be made available, for their perusal, as they are completed. He stated that the RFPs are presently available in the Purchasing Department, and can be reviewed by anyone.
Further discussion occurred regarding the County contracting with a private company and, if so, whether they would ever enter into a multi-year contract, as well as how salary increases would be handled, at which time Commr. Bakich and Mr. Thelen, County Manager, responded.
At this time, Commr. Swartz stated that the whole process, which is presently occurring, has been designed to look at alternatives to the present Jail operation, being: (1) privatization; (2) to have the County operate the Jail, and (3) for the Sheriff's Department to continue operating the facility. He stated that, in his opinion, the issue has gotten off on the wrong foot, and it has been assumed that privatization is what the whole thing is all about. He stated that, in his opinion, it is to find an alternative to the present Jail operations, not just the matter of privatization. He stated that one of the things that concerns him is that the Board has not been made aware of what it will cost to operate the Jail, come October 1, 1990. He stated that the Sheriff has not given the Board said figures and feels that the Sheriff owes it to the Board, the public, and his own employees to say to the Board that, as they look at alternatives to the Jail operation, that one of them be for the Sheeiff to continue to operate it, because they can do so in an effective, efficient manner, and furnish the Board with figures for doing so. He stated that he does not expect the Sheriff to present a proposal, based on the RFP, but, would expect some estimate of what he expects the cost to be, even if it is preliminariy, based on the new facility. He stated that, without said figures, the Board is going to end up making a decision, based on looking at privatization, or perhaps the County taking over the facility, but, having nothing to say, with regard to the current operation. He stated that he felt it would be unfortunate if the Board is forced to make a decision in that manner, therefore, requested Mr. Borders, Jail Administrator, to ask the Sheriff to furnish the Board with said information, as soon as possible.
Commr. Bakich stated that the Board had submitted a request to the Sheriff, asking him for; input, and the Sheriff had responded that he would stand on the figures which he presently has, and go with the normal increases for next year. Commr. Swartz stated, however, that that would not be adequate, as it would not give the Board the ability to judge the situation properly. He stated that he would like to see an analysis, based on the facility, just as the private companies are looking at it, and just as the Board is going to be looking at it, in terms of operating it themselves. He stated that, come October 1, 1990 (the new budget year), he wants to know what figures the Sheriff will be submitting for the operation of the facility.
Comma. Bakich interjected that he, too, would like to see the Sheriff become more involved in the process of deciding how the Jail will be operated in the future.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, informed the Board that he had received a response from the Sheriff, to a letter which Commr. Bakich, Chairman, had sent him. He stated that the Sheriff visited with him last week, regarding a number of issues, and indicated that they were going to respond, because they were preparing their budget. He stated that the Sheriff had indicated he needed a deadline date of June 1, 1990, rather than the suggested May 1, 1990 date.
Commr. Swartz stated that this puts the Board in a bad situation, because on one hand, they have the Jail employees requesting the Board to make a decision, and to make it now, however, if they are to do that, they apparently will have to do it absent of some type of comparative cost analysis, for the Sheriff to continue to operate the facility. He stated that unless the Sheriff pushes his timetable forward, and provides the Board with the needed figures, just as the private companies and staff is doing, the Board will have to make a decision without said information, and will have removed one option, of the three alluded to above.
Mr. Borders, Jail Administrator, responded to the Board's concern, stating that it was the Sheriff's decision not to submit a proposal, however, noted that they were currently working on their budget for the 1990-91 fiscal year, as if they were going to continue the operation of the Jail. He stated that he felt the Sheriff decided not to submit a proposal, due to the fact that they are looking for the officers to become unionized; they do not know what kind of increase the Sheriff is asking for, for his deputies: they do not know what the union will be asking for, as far as salaries; and, stated that, where a private company can take a loss for a year, the Sheriff's Department cannot take that kind of loss. He also stated that it was felt, if the Sheriff submitted a proposal, the Board (justifiably so) would make him live up to that proposal.
Commr. Bakich and Commr. Swartz reiterated, again, the importance of the Sheriff contributing to the process, by furnishing the Board with needed figures regarding the projected cost of operating the Jail.
Discussion occurred regarding the fact that the companies submitting RFPs have been asked to submit figures, based on the three facilities which the County currently has, at which time Mr. Thelen, County Manager, stated that for the next budget year the companies submitting proposals have been asked to use the Prelude Project, the Temporary Jail, and what is now referred to as the Permanent Jail in their estimates. He stated that, beyond that, they have been asked to submit a proposal based on the New Jail and the Prelude Project.
Commr. Bakich informed those present that there is an assumption that the Board is trying to take the Jail away from the Sheriff, when, in fact, the Board has gone through every division and department in the County (that he is aware of), trying to find ways in which to become more efficient or effective, and this is just another area that they are looking at. He stated that if the Board finds out, through the RFPs, that they cannot be that much more efficient or effective, then they will not need to make a change, however, if they can, then they need to seriously take a look at it.
Further discussion occurred regarding the issue, at which time Mr. Pilacek, Attorney, questioned whether the Board could postpone the issue, o r whether there might be another alternative to consider, until a track record has been established, as far as a cost benefit ratio analysis is concerned.
Commr. Swartz interjected that the Board realizes, with a new, much larger facility, the cost of corrections in Lake County is going to be going up, and the Board realizes that they have got to make sure, as best they can, that those costs are controlled and that-it be done in the most efficient, effective manner of corrections that they can, which is what brought on the whole concept of looking at how the Jail presently operates, and other possible alternatives. He stated that he is afraid to look at the numbers that the County is going to have for corrections in the near future, regardless of who runs it, and just wants to make sure that the County does it as efficiently as they can, that they try to save the taxpayers money, and that they maintain a safe, well run facility.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, stated that the Jail is costing $5 million to operate, at present, and when the Prelude Project is opened to capacity, it is going to go up an additional $1.5 million. When the New Jail is opened, the figure will go up from $5 million to approximately $8-8.5 million. He stated that the County is looking at hiring probably a minimum of 100 to 150 correction officers during that time, and the County has elected to go to direct supervision, therefore, whoever is going to be running the show is going to be running it out of a different approach. He feels, therefore, that this is the time to look and see how the County is going to cast that die, rather than wait until they get into it. He stated that, some of the reasons which Mr. Pilacek suggested the County wait, aee the very reasons that the Board decided now is the time to take a look at the issue.
At this time, Commr. Bakich requested Mr. Thelen to review the RFPs, and submit a summary of same to the Board, as soon as possible, as well as make it available to Mr. Pilacek and other representatives of the Sheriff's Department, as necessary.
No action was needed at this time.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:25 a.m., the Chairman, Commr. Bakich, stated that the Board would recess for lunch and would reconvene at 2:00 p.m., for a presentation by the Orange County Jail Administrator, Mr. Tom Allison.
Commr. Bakich opened this segment of the meeting by stating that he had the oppoetunity of visiting the Orange County Jail facility and speaking, at length, with Mr. Tom Allison, the Orange County Jail Administrator. He stated that, on a request by the Board, Mr. Allison agreed to give a presentation to the Board regarding the pros and cons of the County possibly running the Jail, and answer any questions there might be from the Board.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, informed the Board that he had asked Mr. Allison, based on the Chairman's instructions, to give the Board a brief background history of himself, and talk a little bit about his philosophy in running the Orange County Jail.
Mr. Allison started his presentation by giving a brief history of his background, as requested, noting that he has been in the field for approximately 18 years. He stated that 10 years ago he went to work with Alachua County, and in 1988 became Director of the Orange County Corrections Division. He stated that the Orange County Corrections Division pulled out from under the Sheriff of Orange County in June of 1987. He stated that that transition had been under way for approximately six months, when he came on board.
Mr. Allison stated that the Orange County system is, basically, the second largest system in the State of Florida, and is also the most crowded system in the State of Florida. He stated that he has found, over the years, that having a Jail Administrator report to the County Administrator has enabled them to respond to the needs of a crowded jail system that changes from day to day.
Mr. Allison then informed the Board of the philosophy he uses in running his Jail, as requested by Commr. Bakich. He stated that the Orange County Commission was specifically looking for someone who wanted to do something about the condition of inmates that were being returned to society in Orange County.
Mr. Allison discussed the matter of direct supervision versus indirect supervision, noting that the Orange County Commission had wanted to move more toward direct supervision, thus, the Genesis Project.
Mr. Allison was questioned about his relationship with Sheriff Lawson Lamar, after it was decided that the County would run the Jail, to which Mr. Allison stated that, due to a political hot potato the Sheriff found himself in at the time of the transition, it was done very easily.
Mr. Allison was then questioned as to how the employees reacted to the takeover, to which Mr. Allison stated that it was a very difficult time for the employees, due to the fact that it was an overnight thing, and they found themselves involved in an identity struggle. He stated that the County was not prepared to accept the responsibility of operating the Jail.
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Allison about the working conditions and employee benefits, once he took over the operation, to which Mr. Allison replied that one of the things that he immediately did was adjust the pay for, the correctional officers, making their pay equivalent to the street deputies. He stated that he feels one gets what they pay for.
Commr. Swartz questioned how Mr. Allison handled shift schedules, etc., to which Mr. Allison replied that he has always treated correctional officers as professionals. He stated that they have always had the capability and desire to look at different shift arrangements, enhancing training, and spending money on those officers that are working in the line staff to build them up stronger, so they have made a major commitment to training, as well as adjusting to their needs.
Upon being questioned further regarding the shift schedule, Mr. Allison replied that, when he originally went to Orange County, they had three eight hour shifts, however, they now have two eight hour shifts and one ten hour shift, giving them at least 30 minutes per day in which to train, with a 40 minute overlap, per shift. He noted that he has never been able to work out a suitable situation for the employees regarding twelve hour shifts. He also stated that twelve hour shifts cause a high degree of burnout, as well as allows the tendency for people to get too far away from the job, as they have too many days off in between. He stated one of the things that is important for the officers to have is knowledge of the inmates in their system.
A brief discussion occurred regarding direct and indirect supervision, and how twelve hour shifts lends itself to indirect supervision, because there is not a constant demand for contact.
Discussion occurred regarding the Genesis Project and the cost of running it, at which time Mr. Allison stated that if a particular County's jail is opened up to it's vocational school and gives them classroom space, for inmates which are put into the classes, the school receives credit for it, therefore, they end up giving money through the State. He stated that, in Orange County, they have gone from a less than $200,000.00 involvement to over a million dollar involvement, making the operation of the Jail cost approximately $36.80 per: day, which includes everything except the wear and tear on the buildings.
Further discussion occurred regarding the Genesis Project, at which time Commr. Bailey stated that he noticed a different attitude at the Genesis Project, when he toured it recently, between the inmates and officers, than at other institutions he had toured in the past, at which time Mr. Allison stated that, when inmates come into the system, they are told that the officers will react to their behavior. He stated that they have a stairstep approach, in that the inmates come into their system in the middle, and they can go either up or down, but either way, it is predicated by the inmate's behavior.
Upon being questioned about the transition of the County taking the operation of the Jail away from the Sheriff's Department, and what he does that is different from what the Sheriff was doing, Mr. Allison stated that, when a Sheriff is elected, he is elected for law and order - that is his mandate, what he exists for, and what he is out there trying to do - however, he has found that law and order does not blend well with corrections. He stated that corrections is a lesser priority, physically, and that is not what the Sheriff got elected for. He stated, however, that what is starting to happen in corrections, is that corrections is becoming more professional and thought out - that they are realizing how they return inmates back into their communities affects how many times they have to arrest them, therefore, it is really law and order based, it just doesn't look like it.
Upon being questioned whether he felt the County could operate the Jail cheaper than the private sector, Mr. Allison replied that he has not been shown otherwise, as of yet.
Mr. Allison was then questioned how much time he felt would be needed for a transition period, of going from the Sheriff's Department operating the Jail to the County operating it, to which he replied that it would take approximately three to six months.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the Home Confinement Program (ankle bracelet), at which time Mr. Allison stated that it cost approximately $800.00 for one bracelet, however, the County charges $10.00 per day, per; person, therefore, it is a positive flow rather than a negative flow.
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Allison as to what the advantage would be of the County taking over the operation of the Jail, as opposed to a private company, to which Mr. Allison replied that there are a couple of reasons, being: (1) the political process which is involved; and (2) changes can be made without having to redefine a contract or renegotiate salaries. He stated that a serious look needs to be taken at who runs the Jail, and noted that it is critical to support whoever runs it.
Commr. Bakich then questioned Mr. Allison as to what method he would suggest the Board use, if they take over the operation of the Jail, to which Mr. Allison replied that, first, the Board would need to get someone internal to settle the issues. He then stated that, to get someone to be committed to come to Lake County, the Board is going to have to deal with the issue of privatization - the Board is going to have to make a decision of whether or not to go with it. Secondly, he feels the Board is going to have to be as open as it can with the staff of the Jail, to let them know the decisions, as the Board makes them, as well as the process they are going through.
Discussion continued regarding the Jail and the operation of it, at which time Commr. Swartz questioned whether it would be a good idea to hire someone only for the transition period, and as to how long it would take to change the Jail from indirect to direct supervision, to which Mr. Allison stated that hiring someone for the transition period may not be a bad idea and noted that it would take approximately two years to go from indirect to direct supervision.
Upon being questioned as to how much time would be needed for training of going from indirect to direct supervision, Mr. Allison stated that it would not be an easy transition and would probably take approximately 40 hours of training. He stated that, no matter how bad the present system is, if the Board does not manage the transition, they are going to have some very serious problems. He also stated he felt it was critical that the Board understands the commitment the current employees have to the present Jail operation, and that the Board handle it very tenuously, because if it is not handled as such, there will be some problems.
Further discussion occurred regarding the possible changeover of the operation of the Jail, at which time Mr. Allison was questioned as to whether there would be someone that the Board could call on for help in the transition. He stated that there is a large network across the country that can help in the transition, if the County chooses to operate the Jail, however, stated that it is very critical, if the Board wants individuals to seriously look at Lake County, that the Board be serious in talking to them about Lake County and the commitment that the Board has in the process.
At this time, several Commissioners stated that they were impressed with the Genesis Project, and the way it is handled and thanked Mr. Allison for taking the time to come to Lake County and
answer their questions regarding the issue.
No action was needed at this time.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 3:05 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 3:30 p.m., at which time a workshop had been scheduled to discuss solid waste guarantees for the incinerator.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, opened this segment of the meeting by informing those present what has transpired, up to this point, regarding the waste-to-energy facility. He stated that, first of all, two items will be discussed that staff has been working on for at least the last two to three months, which is geared to the County's contract and obligation to let Ogden Martin know by Match 10, 1990, how much garbage the County is going to guarantee to deliver to the incinerator. He stated that the County now has 12 months of waste that has been hauled to Astatula, which will be combined with some estimated waste from Leesburg, in order to come up with some projected figures. He stated that on March 6, 1990, the Board will have to make the guarantee alluded to earlier. He stated that it is going to be recommended that the County guarantee 130,000 tons of waste.
A second question that has come up in the past several months is if Ogden Martin (which they have the right to do under the contract) is going to go out of the County and acquire another 33,000 tons, or up to 163,000 tons total, as they will be penalized $800,000.00 per year, if they do not accomplish the needed tonnage. He stated that staff has discussed with Ogden Martin the fact that if they do go outside the County for additional tonnage, the County would like to work with them, as the Board has indicated they would like to have the same quality of refuse that is generated in Lake County, if refuse is brought in. He stated that a second part of the presentation will be regarding what the cost would be if the County does o r does not go outside the County for additional refuse.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board and reviewed data (Charts A theough D) (distributed to the Board prior to the meeting), which provides a cost comparison of accepting or excluding waste generated outside Lake County in excess of 130,000 tons which has been obligated to the waste-to-energy facility, with the assumptions used in the analysis being identified. It was noted (in a memo to the Board) that in 1992, the first full year of operation, the increased cost of excluding outside waste (assuming a $15.00 per ton tipping fee for outside waste) would be $.98 per month, per household; $8.51 per ton; or $1,531,000.00 for the year. The difference decreases each year as more solid waste is generated within Lake County, and by the year 2009, the costs will be the same because all of the solid waste will be generated within Lake County. The charts reflect the differential from 1991 through 1994, and three additional base years.
Discussion occurred regarding the charts alluded to above, at which time Mr. Findell answered questions presented by the Board, regarding same.
A gentleman from the audience questioned the difference between processible and non-processible waste, and what happens to non-processible waste, which Mr. Findell answered, stating that processible waste is basically any waste that can go to the waste-to-energy facility for combustion, and non-processible waste would be that portion of the waste stream, such as construction and demolition debris, that would not be able to be combusted in the waste-to-energy facility, therefore, would have to be landfilled.
After further discussion regarding the issue, Mr. Thelen, County Manager, questioned whether the studies, which were done in coming up with the figures contained in the charts being discussed, were taken from Lake County's landfill, or whether they were taken from State or National figures, to which Ms. Omar Smith, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, replied that the figures were taken from Lake County's landfill.
Commr. Windram questioned whether the figures contained in said charts included mandatory pickup, to which Mr. Findell replied that they did not, that the charts include the estimated amount of waste that has come into the County; the exact amount of waste that has gone to the County's landfill; and the estimated waste that has gone to the Leesburg Landfill (due to the fact that the Leesburg Landfill does not have scales, therefore, measure by cubic yards).
Commr. Windram then questioned how many cities are presently composting, to which Mr. Findell replied that the only city that is actually composting, at present, is the City of Tavares, and he understands that the Cities of Clermont, Groveland and Mascotte are working together to do so.
Discussion then occurred regarding three sets of tables prepared in response to the Board's request regarding projected solid waste generation rates for calendar year 1991, being: Table 1 - Summary of Tonnages of Total and Processible Solid Waste Delivered to Landfills February 1989 - January 1990 - Scenario A ; Table 2 - Summary of Tonnages of Total and Processible Solid Waste Delivered to Landfills February 1989 - January 1990 (Conservative Sensitivity Analysis) - Scenario B; and Table 3 - Available Tonnage to Waste-to-Energy Facility - 1991.
Table 1, or Scenario A, provides information regarding the actual weights of waste delivered to the County's landfills, as well as Leesburg's reported waste tonnages delivered to their landfill for the past year. It also includes monthly estimated processible tonnages of the County's and Leesburg's waste stream.
Table 2, or Scenario B, provides a more conservative estimate of the County's processible waste, as well as a more conservative estimate of Leesburg's total and processible waste tonnages.
Table 3 provides information relating to the amount of tonnages that would be available to the waste-to-energy facility in 1991, under a variety of waste projection scenarios. Table 3 indicates that projected processible waste tonnages in 1991 may range between 139,220 tons and 103,999 tons, without mandatory collection, and 151,715 tons and 116,967 tons, with mandatory collection.
Discussion occurred regarding Scenarios C and D, which project processible waste tonnages on the basis of a combination of the County's currently adopted recycling program and municipal yard waste composting, at which time Mr. Findell stated that, based upon his evaluation of available information and trends, they are the most realistic conservative waste projection scenarios. Under these scenarios, processible waste tonnages may range between 128,963 tons and 118,856 tons, without mandatory collection, and 140,537 tons and 133,677 tons, with mandatory collection. He stated, in a memo to the Board, that accepting said figures as being realistic, he believes that the County can continue to maintain its obligation to the waste-to-energy facility at 130,000 tons, although it should be realized that deliverable tonnages to the waste-to-energy facility, under Scenario D, without mandatory collection, could be as low as 118,856 tons. Should available tonnages only reach 118,856 tons, the County would need to import 11,144 tons to meet the 130,000 ton obligation. Based upon an evaluation of surrounding counties' waste streams, it should not be difficult to achieve such an importation tonnage.
Mr. Findell was questioned as to what year has been projected for implementing composting, to which he replied that, under the currently adopted plan, 1997.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, reminded the Board that they need to pick a figure, from the ones that were presented to the Board this date, on March 6, 1990. He stated that if the Board needs additional information between now and then, to let staff know, or, if it is felt that these are not enough options, to let staff know this also, and they will work up some other figures, based on assumptions which the Board might have.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, then stated that staff has recommended 130,000 tons, and, on that basis, questioned whether there would be some way in which the County would take in waste from outside the County. He stated that Ogden Martin has that option, under the current contract, due to the fact that if they do not meet the required tonnage, they will have to pay a penalty of $800,000.00, therefore, has indicated to staff that if they are held whole, an agreement could be reached on it.
Mr. David Livingstone, Smith Barney, appeared before the Board and discussed the cost impact of excluding out-of-county waste, as indicated on Charts A through D, with out-of-county waste accepted, and with out-of-county waste excluded, which he reviewed with the Board.
Discussion occurred regarding said charts, at which time Mr. Livingstone stated that, basically, the way the contract works is that the County is obligated to pay Ogden Martin the whole O&M fee, and, in a case where the County delivers less waste to the plant, they rebate the portion of debt service, the portion of O&M fees, and lost energy revenues, for the amount of waste that the County does not bring in, and they have to, therefore, they make the County whole through that shortfall payment. He stated that if the County accepts out-of-county waste, the bottom line cost will be exactly the same if the County accepts out-of-county waste, o r completely fills the plant up - the County ends up paying the same amount of money, due to the fact that Ogden Martin has made the County whole on any shortfall.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, interjected that it is a very complicated formula, and one would almost have to walk through it, step by step, and calculate it. He stated, however, that the bottom line is that it generates revenue for the County and the expenses remain the same, when the County is receiving outside waste.
Mr. Livingstone added that he feels this is one of the favorable aspects of Lake County's contract, in that he is not aware of any other community that has a contract where the contractor is, basically, making the County whole, so that the County can grow into the plant.
Mr. Thelen, County Manager, stated that the issue was raised as to what would happen if the County did not operate the incinerator, therefore, staff put together a scenario that would look at said costs, under certain assumptions. He stated that, while Ogden Martin was willing to work with the County in not accepting outside waste, they were not willing to work with the County in giving an option, if the County did not operate the facility. He stated they indicated there would be costs involved if the County did not operate it, due to revenues which they would lose. He stated that neither staff nor Ogden Martin were able to compute what those costs would be, therefore, the County put in an assumption which said that the $5 million, which they contributed up front to the construction, would be paid back over a ten year period. He stated they indicated clearly to staff that this is not acceptable to them, however, staff felt it needed to be put in, in order to generate figures which could be discussed. He pointed out to the Board that Ogden Martin has not agreed to it. He further stated that what staff tried to do, of the things that could be measured, was to look at the option of what the costs would be, under the County's assumption, not theirs or other parties to the contract, so that staff would have a base.
Mr. Livingstone reappeared before the Board and stated that in the impact of abandoning the Resource Recovery Project, his firm drew up two case scenarios (which he discussed), being:
Case 2 - Same as Case 1, except:
Mr. Livingstone then discussed what the impact would be to the County if they terminated the contract with Ogden Martin. He stated that the contract has no "convenience" termination mechanism, therefore, if the County breaches on the contract, Ogden Martin has the ability or right to sue for specific performance, which means it forces the County to act under the contract the way they are supposed to. He stated that the only mechanism that can be used to terminate the contract is if Ogden Martin defaults or does not perform. He stated that the other; assumptions which have to be made is that the existing bonds - the $79 million in bonds which were issued one and a half years ago to finance the project - are going to be excelerated, which means that the County will have to come up with said amount and pay the bondholders off. The reason for this is due to a stipulation which was put in the documents that were put together as part of selling the bonds that, for the County to terminate any of the contract would require a 100% bondholder consent, and he doubts whether the County would be able to obtain a 100% bondholder consent to allow the termination of the contract. Secondly, if the County was able to obtain a 100% bondholder consent, the bonds are now supported by a Letter of Credit, issued by the National Westminster Bank in Britain (which is one of the strongest banks in the world). He stated that the bank needs to approve of the termination of the contract, and seriously doubts that they would do so. Thirdly, even if the County gets through those two hurdles, Florida law does not allow bonds to be issued for a facility in which there is a lien, and the existing bonds are secured by a lien on the facility, which means that, if, for some reason, there is a default under the bonds, bondholders can take over the facility. He stated that, putting all these things together, it can be concluded that the bonds would have to be excelerated, and the County would have to come up with $79 million. The question is, how do they come up with said amount. He stated that the assumption would have to be made that the County would issue general obligation bonds (which are bonds backed by the County's ad valorem taxing power), and the debt service to the general obligation bonds would equal the existing bonds' debt service. To issue general obligation bonds, there would have to be a referendum, and the voters would have to vote whether they wanted to allow the County to terminate the contract.
Commr. Windram questioned what would happen if the County defaults on the contract, as far as what sort of problem the County would run into on another offer, to which Mr. Livingstone stated that he would doubt whether the County could ever issue bonds again, as the County has contractual obligations under the contract, and if it defaults on those, the County's credit rating would seriously be harmed.
Discussion continued regarding the issue, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that Ogden Martin repeatedly stated, over the past two years, that they were good corporate citizens and wanted to do what was best for Lake County, at which time they gave instances where they had other contracts that were not working out satisfactorily for the local governing body, and told the Board how they sat down and renegotiated those contracts, and came out with a deal that they felt everybody involved could live with. He stated that he had spoken with Mr. David Sokol, President and CEO, and Mr. Joe Treshler, General Manager, of Ogden Martin, over a year ago, regarding the matter of Ogden Martin renegotiating their contract with the County and they stated that they would. He noted that he also had a letter from Mr. Sokol stating that they would be willing to renegotiate the contract, if need be, however, now they are saying "No".
Mr. Treshler appeared before the Board and stated that they have never refused to sit down with the County and discuss or renegotiate the contract. He stated that they have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks trying to help support the issues. He stated that, to tell the Board at this time what would make them whole, to close the contract, is a question that they cannot even answer, because it does third party damages that they cannot determine at this point in time. He stated, however, that they would be willing to discuss what options the County would like to discuss, however, wanted to remind the Board that said options would have cost impacts to Ogden Martin, as well as to the County. He stated that, as yet, they have not been asked to renegotiate anything.
Commr. Swartz stated he was aware that the Board has not asked Ogden Martin to renegotiate, as yet, as the Board has not had three members who wanted to try and do something with them, regardless of what options would be considered. He stated, also, that he is aware of the fact that there will be costs associated with it, but, until the Board discusses the matter with Ogden Martin, they will not be able to tell the Board what those costs are, nor will they be able to verify them and make sure they are reasonable. He stated that, at present, the Board is dealing with peripheral options, however, the problem with the contract is that as it is currently set up, the County cannot aggressively recycle, or compost its solid waste - not only to protect the environment, but to hold some of the costs in line, and these are some of the things that, at a minimum, need to be renegotiated. He stated that this Board needs to be looking out for the benefit of the citizens of Lake County and ask Ogden Martin to sit down, formally, and try to find a better solution than what the County presently has.
At this time, Commr. Bailey commented on the matter, stating that all the freshmen Commissioners campaigned on the issue of the incinerator and felt that, at some point, the three freshmen Commissioners need to make a decision regarding it. He stated that, originally, he supported the incinerator, as he felt it was a good thing, however, provisions have been slowly taken out to where he no longer feels that it is a good thing, therefore, can no longer support it.
Senator Richard Langley stated (from the audience) that contracts can be set aside for fraud or misrepresentation, and questioned what would happen to Lake County's bonding capacity, or to the bonds that are out, if the contract is set aside for fraud, to which Mr. Livingstone stated that the lawyers would have to look at the issue, however, noted that there were a lot of lawyers who reviewed the bond issue and deligently reviewed all the background material, and they did not come to the conclusion that there was any fraud, when the bonds were issued. He stated that, up to this point, he has not seen any evidence that there was any fraud.
Upon being questioned further regarding the fraud issue, he stated that, if there was, he was not sure what would happen to the bonds, that he would have to go back and look at the service agreement to see if there was a termination clause covering same. He stated, however, that there were some major legal and financial hurtles that would need to be addressed, before they could say that the contract could be terminated, in one way or another.
Considerable discussion continued regarding what impact or damages there would be to the County if the County terminated the project, at which time Mr. Livingstone gave further input. He stated that it would cost the County over $11 million, if the County abandons the project.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the Clean Air Act, and how the incinerator will be affected by it. At this time, Mr. Treshler gave input regarding the matter, stating that the regulations set for facilities under construction, which Lake County falls under, are expected to try and achieve a 25% source reduction in recyclable materials by 1994, therefore, the County is well within that program.
Discussion continued regarding the incinerator, and where the waste will come from, at which time Mr. Treshler noted that Ogden Martin wants active participation in the outside waste, and, if the County chooses to have that option continue, Ogden Martin wants the County to have a direct say as to where said waste comes from. He noted that they do not want unclean waste in the facility anymore than the County does.
Mr. Livingstone stated that if the waste-to-energy facility is abandoned, over a period of 23 years, it has been estimated that it will cost the County a little over $39 million. He noted that said figure only covers identifiable costs - it does not cover consequential damages, changes in environmental laws, third party damages, etc.
Mr. Livingstone then reviewed Charts F through H, Impact of Abandoning Resource Recovery, Cases 1 and 2, with the Board, which provide a comparison of the cost impacts of the following two alternatives:
Case 1 reflects costs associated with implementation of the solid waste management program, with the waste-to-energy facility, and Case 2 reflects costs associated with implementation of the solid waste management program, without operation of the waste-to-energy facility.
A comparison of these two cases indicates that in 1992, the cost of abandoning the waste-to-energy facility would add $.24 per month, per household; $2.14 per ton; and $225,829.00 per year, to the cost of solid waste management in Lake County. The costs increase annually, so that in the year 2009, the additional costs would be $1.16 per household, per month; $11.95 a ton; and $1,776,804.00 per year. Abandonment of the waste-to-energy facility would result in the landfill being full (550 acres) in 37 years. Continued utilization of the waste-to-energy facility would reduce landfill space requirements by 363 acres during the same 37 years.
Commr. Windram questioned what the cost would be, per acre, to close the facility, to which Mr. David Dean, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, appeared before the Board and stated that, at present, it is running approximately $60,000.00 per acre, noting that this includes a cap, a cover, and a drainage system.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, reappeared before the Board and answered a question Commr. Swartz had regarding composting.
At this time, Mr. Thelen, County Manager, stated that if there is direction for staff to secure additional information, they need to do so before March 6, 1990, as a time certain has been scheduled for the Board to agree on a figure, which will be submitted to Ogden Martin on what the County will guarantee for the first year, beginning in March of 1991, at 11:30 a.m. on said date.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK