The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, February 26, 1991, 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: Donald B. Bailey, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Richard Swartz; Catherine Hanson; and Michael J. Bakich. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/MUNICIPALITIES
RIGHT-OF-WAYS, ROADS & EASEMENTS
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, explained this request.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved a request to enter into a license agreement between the Board of County Commissioners and the City of Tavares for use of the Maxwell Avenue ROW property, which is necessary for completion of the Courts site retention pond.
WORKSHOP - WASTE HAULERS
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, informed the Board that they had before them a draft franchise agreement that had been prepared by the County Attorney's Office, which he noted was a culmination of several months' worth of work that had been ongoing between staff and the waste collectors, in support of the Board's direction to begin the process of implementing the mandatory solid waste collection program, as well as a memorandum from him providing rate information that his staff had solicited from the waste collectors, through the negotiation process of the franchise agreement. He stated a matrix, which lists the existing collection fees, as well as the proposed collection fees, for each of the haulers, as of their last meeting, was also included.
Mr. Findell stated there was also a letter from each of the haulers, in response to the Board's request that they review the franchise agreement and see what areas could be modified, or eliminated, that would result in a reduction in the rates which had been proposed, up to this point. He noted there was also a letter from Mr. Thelen, County Manager, which indicates the necessity for determining whether the County is going to proceed with its intent to utilize special assessments, for the collection of solid waste, or whether the County will proceed on some alternative path.
Mr. Findell stated there were two specific issues that needed to be dealt with at this meeting, being (1) the rates (as they are proposed at this point in time) and (2) an issue that deals with the intent of the Board, as they go forward, in determining how they are going to pay for the implementation of the mandatory collection program. He stated the recommendation that was made by the consultants, originally, and confirmed by staff, was that they would use special assessments for funding both the collection and disposal of waste - funding them both through the solid waste management system. He stated one of the reasons for doing so was that, as far as collection was concerned, the consultants had indicated that substantial savings could be achieved by going to mandatory collection; by having exclusive franchise areas; and by protecting the market share of the existing waste collectors, noting that the substantial savings which would be achieved, would offset the inconvenience to the citizens of the County by going through the special assessment process.
Mr. Findell stated the point that had been reached, at present, is that they really had not achieved the substantial savings which they felt, perhaps, could be gained, noting that there is some question on the part of the Board as to whether they would continue to proceed with the utilization of special assessments, for collection purposes. He requested the Board to ask the waste collectors why the fees, which they have proposed at this point in time, are such, and whether they could be reduced to such an extent that the utilization of collection purposes is warranted or not. He stated he could not say it was warranted, based on what he had seen.
Commr. Swartz questioned the haulers regarding the fees they charge, and the densities of the areas they serve, in comparing the various fees.
Mr. Jeff Abernathy, AAA Refuse, informed the Board that the difference in rates is going to be exchanged for running more trucks to pick up garbage, more trips to the landfill, etc., noting that this is where the deficiency is going to be.
Commr. Swartz stated he assumed all the haulers had reviewed the Camp, Dresser & McKee (CDM) study that was done, noting that it made him wonder where, in their analysis of collection costs, they erred, if they did, as they show a substantially lower collection costs than what the haulers indicate. He stated that, in their study, they made a couple of points which he felt were very good ones. He stated they indicated that, what the County was proposing, in going to a full collection system, was a shift from what the County has today, and, in order to accomplish it in some manner that would be acceptable to the public, one of the key factors was going to be that the County would have a rate situation that was acceptable. He stated the Board could look the people of Lake County, particularly in the unincorporated areas, in the eye and say they were able to put together a program which includes the collection, recycling, and disposal of solid waste and were able to get them a better deal than they presently have. He stated this seems to be a point that the County has not reached, and stated if the haulers can help the Board determine why their figures are not close to the figures the consultants gave the Board, then this would help him.
Mr. Basil Hart, South Lake Refuse Service, stated he felt one of the reasons for the added costs was due to the fact that they are providing a lot more service than what was indicated in the report - in fact, a lot more service than what is currently provided.
Discussion occurred regarding the rates and the terms of the contract, at which time Mr. Hart stated the current draft calls for a five year contract; however, if they could have a ten year contract, they could reduce the $11.67 rate by sixty cents, per household, per month. He stated there is also a provision in the agreement for an annual review of the rates, noting that this has been discussed, at length, with staff and the haulers. He stated what the haulers would prefer to see is some type of index, perhaps a CPI Index, in that they know any increase in costs is somehow going to be covered on an annual basis. He stated they would not object to coming in every two, three, four, or five years and justify the index to the Board, but, to put them through an annual review is, at times, going to be political. He stated that, during an election year, it is going to be tough to get an increase. He stated if an index is not going to be included in the draft, they would like to see at least a 5% increase in the rates.
Mr. Hart stated another way rates could be reduced was in the area of insurance, noting that they have no problem with liability, or commercial automobile insurance limits; however, they do have a problem with the workers' compensation requirements. He stated the current draft of the agreement calls for a $1 million projection, with a policy limit of $5 million, noting this is well above the State mandated limits. He stated if these limits were rolled back to the State mandated limits, then it would amount to a 13 cents savings, per household, per month. He stated that, without a State mandate, parties who do not have an ownership interest in the company, cannot be named as an additional insured, under the workers' compensation policy; therefore, this provision provides no protection to the County. He stated the Risk Manager for the County, Mr. Gerry Jacobs, suggested an alternative of including this under the general liability policy, where it would rightly belong. He stated it would cost the haulers $100.00 per year to ask the County to additionally insure them under the liability policy, which would have no effect on the rates. He stated, under that policy, the County would be provided with some protection, and the only time the liability would kick in, under the workers' compensation policy, would be if the haulers were shown to be grossly negligent in their operations. He stated the workers' compensation requirement does not provide the County any protection, however, it does save 13 cents, per annum, per household.
Mr. Hart stated another way of saving involves an annual CPA audit, which the current draft calls for. He stated no other contract they work under requires this type of audit, noting that it is a very expensive audit (which they estimate to cost approximately $25,000 per year). He stated if one was to add up all the things he discussed, they would come up with a total of $3.70 per living unit, per month, off the hauler's $11.67, which brings the price down to $7.97. He stated this is still providing the same level of service that the County is asking for, except that they will be going from a twice a week service to a once a week service.
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Findell as to why, based on his analysis, there were variances in the basic fees which were submitted to the Board, to which Mr. Findell replied that what the Board would see, if they looked through the individual analysis that each hauler submitted, was that not every waste collector was
impacted in the same manner, by the individual provisions in the franchise agreements. He stated each waste collector has a different perspective on how the franchise agreement affects him, therefore, it is difficult for him to come up with a uniform rate.
Commr. Bakich then questioned whether any thought had been given to a drop box, for recycling in the rural areas, as perhaps a pilot program, to which Mr. Findell stated that there had, noting that a pilot program had been started in Astor. He stated one of the keys on recycling is that, if one looks at the matrix, the price indicated for the provision of recycling services by an individual hauler is greater than the price they receive at present for countywide service. He stated one of the things that had been discussed among the committee was whether it was in the County's best interest to continue to provide recycling service, with one collector, rather than splitting it up among four collectors. He stated from what he had seen, he feels it is cheaper to go with one collector, rather than four.
The CDM report was brought up for further discussion by Mr. Jeff Abernathy, AAA Refuse, who stated the numbers in the report do not add up, because they do not include the actual costs that are incurred for supervisors that are following the trucks, in making sure that the job gets done, nor a girl in the office answering the telephone, nor the cost of the telephone, etc. - in other words, Camp, Dresser & McKee came up with just the bare bones cost to pick up waste.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, reminded the Board that when Camp, Dresser & McKee recommended the rates they gave as being reasonable rates, they made it on the assumption that the service would be bid and that there would be three franchise areas which would be equally established, so that each hauler would have somewhat of a reasonable mix between densely populated areas and more rural areas. He stated when one talks about the rates that Camp, Dresser & McKee (CDM) came up with, and what the haulers came up with, one is comparing apples and oranges, as it gets back to the basic question of negotiated rates, or bid rates, with different franchise areas than what is currently proposed.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Attorney, representing AAA Refuse, informed the Board that they were told there would be one set of rates - that it may be broken down to an urban rate and a rural rate - but that those rates would apply countywide.
Commr. Swartz stated he had understood it to be that if the County had four franchise areas, they would probably have different costs coming out of those franchise areas, based on the density and what the makeup of those area were, and he would expect there would be four different costs. He stated if Town & Country was the densest one of all, then they should be able to offer the lowest rate, and the one who has the most rural area would probably be at the highest end of the scale, so that, ultimately, the County would be merging those rates, in terms of what was charged to the customer, but that the hauler would be reimbursed, based on their costs.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, interjected that the two alternatives Commr. Swartz alluded to were, in fact, the two alternatives that were discussed. He stated Mr. Minkoff was correct in that there would be one rate for all the haulers. He stated he had said all along that there were two basic alternatives, being (1) to provide the haulers individual rates and (2) to provide rates that would be equal across the County.
Commr. Bailey stated there had been some discussion about going to a bid process, which he noted he had some reservations about, but, it was still his intention to go to a negotiation process, at some point.
Mr. Abernathy, AAA Refuse, stated he was under the impression that the County was going to charge the consumers on the tax bill the same price across the board, and that the haulers would operate individually in their areas, at which time Mr. Findell stated that this was correct, noting that was the other alternative.
Mr. Abernathy stated he felt the haulers were presently competitive on the streets, noting that if they charge more, they will start losing customers to their competitors, and if they charge less, they obviously lose money. He stated the free enterprise system has established lower rates, noting that if they put it out to bid, they are going to get lower rates, as there will be individuals bidding it to get the business.
Mr. Jim Waters, Waste Management (the parent company for Town & Country) stated that, at one point, there had been discussion about a customer common rate, but that there might be a variation in the actual charges that the haulers receive. He also commented on the consultants' projection of costs, stating that the significant cost factor that was left out of the analysis was interest - there was no interest for capital, which he noted has a significant impact on their service rates.
Commr. Swartz interjected that the analysis does include, in Table 4-1, on Page 4-5, under Equipment Costs, annualized costs, which is based on eight years, at 8%, with no salvage.
Commr. Swartz stated he had done some figuring concerning the different items the haulers indicated they could reduce their costs on, and found that there was a broad range of what they felt the financial auditing aspect was going to impact them.
Discussion occurred regarding a one day a week pickup versus a two day a week, at which time Mr. Abernathy, AAA Refuse, was questioned as to what his costs would be if they were one day a week, throughout the franchise area, if the other day of the week was for recycling, to which Mr. Abernathy replied that there would be a minimum of savings, due to the fact that they would have one truck picking up the same volume of garbage.
Upon being questioned by Commr. Swartz regarding the same issue, Mr. Minkoff noted that there would be some savings if his client went to a one day a week pickup rather than two days a week.
Mr. Abernathy noted that, if recycling was cost effective, he did not feel the State would have to mandate it into law.
Commr. Gregg noted that the County is far from countywide recycling, as far as going to a one day a week pickup.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated they had asked the waste collectors to provide that information for the Board's discussion, so that they would be able to see what the impact would be if they went to a once a week collection, with recycling, versus continuing to have a twice a week collection.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, responded to a question by Commr. Swartz concerning whether the current insurance, or performance bond, requirements that the County has with the franchise holders is greater than, or equal to, what the State may require at present, stating that they currently do not have a performance bond requirement.
Concerning insurance requirements, Mr. Gerry Jacobs, Risk Manager, stated he could not comment on what the present contracts are, but his contention in setting insurance requirements was to make an equivalent to what the County has for itself - a $1 million level of liability, and a general automobile insurance liability. He stated the only contention was over the workers compensation liability insurance, and, in response to that, he came back with a second proposal, which included a special indemnification clause, and put it under general liability, noting that he felt this was a much better way of doing it. He stated the employer's liability is second best, and more expensive; however, it does, indirectly, protect the County, should they have to sue the contractor to collect.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, responded to a question by Commr. Swartz as to whether the reason the County was requiring more was due to the fact that it was a State requirement for solid waste haulers, stating that it was due to the nature of the operation - the fact that there is a possibility that hazardous waste might be handled by employees, and it is a source of protection for those employees.
Mr. Jacobs, Risk Manager, stated, as long as the general liability insurance will allow the County to expand the indemnification agreement to cover it, he has no problem with what they are asking for workers compensation, as he feels this would be the preferable way of handling it.
Commr. Gregg stated he would like to see some mechanism for handling an increase in fuel costs, as he felt it put the haulers in a predicament every two years.
Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, stated the haulers are not opposed to supplying information to the County, as far as what their operating costs are - what they oppose is the certified CPA audit.
Commr. Gregg stated he felt it was not any of the County's business as to how much money the haulers make, as long the Board obtains a competitive rate for the taxpayers.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, addressed the issue of an annual increase, stating that, it would be a policy decision of the Board as to whether they wanted to permit an annual increase, based on the garbage index (which she noted was the most representative index), or whether the Board wanted an annual review.
Commr. Gregg questioned whether the garbage index took into account disposal costs, or strictly hauling costs, to which Ms. Lustgarten stated she did not know, however, staff could look at what factors make up that index, noting that the cost of collection would be tied, at some point, to the special assessment costs. She also stated that, as far as the annual audit, it is a requirement of many communities, noting that the Board could provide an alternative, as long as staff is given the information they need.
Concerning the matter of an audit, after a brief discussion regarding same, the Board noted they had no problem in using language similar to that used in the cable franchise agreement.
Regarding the annual rate - some sort of CPI index - and as to whether or not it is done annually, Commr. Swartz stated he would propose every other year - odd years - noting that South Lake and AAA did not indicate any price variation, based on that, to which Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, interjected that they had suggested a 5% increase, minimum.
Mr. Abernathy, AAA Refuse, stated the haulers made the assumption that they would be able to justify the increased costs professionally, and in such a manner that the Board would agree with them, noting that he felt the decision should not be a political one.
As far as sticking with one source, for recycling, Commr. Gregg stated he felt it would be in the best interest, due to the fact that they are providing the same equipment - just using it in a smaller area - so the capital costs would be less, to which Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, responded, stating that the haulers prefer to service their own areas, altogether.
Mr. Abernathy, AAA Refuse, stated the biggest problem with recycling today is the handling of materials and the fact that there is no local company willing to do it and make the kind of outlay that is required and necessary to do it. He stated his firm is currently providing the handling of materials, at no cost to the County, noting that the bid of $1.89, per household, is for countywide service, based on having the entire recycling stream. Due to this fact, he stated his firm can afford to go out, build the facility, and put in the scales, bailers, etc., necessary to handle said material in a productive manner. He stated if they had to provide a facility for just the area they service, the cost would be much greater.
Commr. Bakich questioned the fact that if the County had one hauler handling recycling, regardless of who it might be, due to the fact that they are going to be protected by their franchise areas, if the County can show a substantial savings countywide, as opposed to individually going out and doing it, why wouldn't they, to which Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, responded that it involves the issue of customer complaints, noting that it would be much easier for County staff to supervise complaints, if a hauler is responsible for his area.
For informational purposes, Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, informed the Board that the current contract provides for countywide service, which he noted is at the discretion of the Board of County Commissioners. He stated one of the important things about the contract is the fact that the initial rate, which was set at $1.89, is reduced to some extent by the number of households they actually serve, so that when they go to 22,500 households, the contract requires a reduction of 10 cents, and when they go to 44,500 households, then the contract requires a renegotiation of that rate, again, in a downward sense. He stated the contract is one that is currently advantageous to the County and its residents, noting that he had not seen, in the ones that had been given to the County, at this point in time, anything concerning recycling. He stated what he did see was a substantial increase in the costs, with no increase in the level of service, and a substantial increase in administrative costs to County staff.
Mr. Findell stated, if the rates that were offered by the individual haulers were consistent with the rates that had been established by contract, then he did not feel it created such a great problem to where it could not be accomplished. He stated the basic question was the rates charged for the service.
Commr. Swartz stated he did not feel it was going to be efficient for any of the haulers to provide the type of facility to sort, bale, stack, separate, etc.; therefore, the County is going to, ultimately, have to have a long-term commitment to a recycling collection program.
Mr. Abernathy, AAA Refuse, stated the County is not addressing the problem, which is whether the costs and efficiencies are in collection. He stated the thing they have not addressed, in recycling, is material handling, noting that the local recyclers cannot provide that service, due to the fact that the initial capital outlay for a facility is somewhere in the $600-700,000 range. He stated the local haulers are not going to be able to build such a facility, and are going to be forced to take the material to Orlando, or Orange County, to get rid of it.
Concerning the contract for recycling which AAA Refuse has with the County, it was noted that it will be up in April, however, it has a one year extension.
Commr. Bakich noted that, being where recycling is at this point in time with the County, he felt it would be better to go with one vendor, as opposed to breaking it down four times and multiplying that cost four times.
Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, stated if it was the County's intent to go with one hauler, then he would suggest going back to the bid process and giving the other haulers a chance, noting that when they bid the first time, it was not under the assumption that it would be countywide.
It was noted that the provisions of the current contract is that it is renewable at the same rate.
Discussion occurred regarding the number of years involving the contract, at which time it was noted that the County would prefer to go with five years. Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, noted that, in doing some preliminary investigations, he found the industry standard was five years, with one or two being more or less than five years. He stated that, according to information staff had received from other counties, a five year contract is the maximum the County would want to go with, initially. He stated this County's recommendation was made on that basis.
Discussion continued regarding the contract, at which time the County Attorney stated the way the contract is presently drafted is that there would be an automatic review, and renewal, two years into the contract. She stated it has been redrafted to where the Board will have to determine whether or not to renew an additional five years, as soon as the two years are over. She stated this would also occur if the County chose to renew for another five year option, in the second year of the renewal period. She stated that, effectively, it would be an eight year contract.
Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, noted he would prefer a seven or eight year contract, with a two year renewal, due to the fact that most of their equipment is purchased through a lease agreement, over a five year period. He stated if they commit themselves to a five year lease, then they want to have at least a minimum of five years left, so they know they can pay for the equipment, under its present contract.
During a discussion regarding the latest draft of the contract, and the way it is written, Commrs. Bakich and Gregg noted they felt the language should be changed back to the way it was, at which time Mr. Minkoff, Attorney, indicated changes he would like to see made in the contract.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether the County would handle the performance bond, at which time the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, stated the intent of a performance bond is in the event the County ever has to go into that business, the funds will be in place.
After further discussion regarding the number of years for the contract, it was the consensus of the Board to go with a seven year contract, with a two year renewal.
Concerning the performance bond, it was noted by the County Attorney that it could be in the form of a letter of credit, an escrow account, etc., as long as it was in the form of some sort of security.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, interjected that if the County does not use special assessments, for collection purposes, and the haulers continue to operate as they have and go out of business, to where another hauler has to step in and provide service, the hauler that no longer is providing service has already collected the money, and someone else will be expected to provide service, at their own expense, which he felt was not going to work.
Commr. Gregg stated he felt the odds of a default, and the County having to pick up the tab, are slim enough to where it is worth the savings by eliminating the bond requirement.
After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to look at some alternate language regarding the performance bond, at which time Mr. Findell stated that, from a practical standpoint, the performance bond was put in to assist haulers that would be serving non-performance areas, as much as to make sure that money was available to assist the County, should they have to go in and provide service.
Ms. Nikki Clayton, Attorney, stated the haulers have all the performance criteria that the County is going to be measuring them by, on a regular basis, so the County will have control of whether they are performing, on that basis, not really with the public, on renewal, so if the County is going to have performance criteria, then the renewal ought to be recognizing the capital aspect that was discussed.
Considerable more discussion occurred regarding the level of service being once a week versus twice a week, at which time Commr. Swartz stated he had spoken with a couple of the haulers about the matter, and they had indicated it would make some difference. He requested AAA and Berry's Refuse to review a one time pickup versus a two time, based on their entire district - not the urban rural situation - and come back to the Board with some information regarding it, noting that the biggest individual savings that has been given to the Board by both South Lake and Town & Country is the level of service - one time versus two time - therefore, requested them to look at the matter very carefully, in terms of what they might be able to come back to the Board with.
Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, brought up the issue of fines being charged, stating he felt the fines were unprofessional and unnecessary. He stated they had not included anything in their rates to cover fines, due to the fact that they do not anticipate being fined.
Discussion occurred regarding the matter of fines being charged, at which time Mr. Minkoff stated that he, too, did not feel the haulers should have to pay a fine.
Commr. Gregg stated it was not arbitrary on the part of staff to just levy fines, noting that the haulers will have a hearing process, before any fines are levied. He stated he did not think it was a problem, nor did he see it as unprofessional.
Upon being questioned by Commr. Swartz as to what the haulers' solid waste costs are, Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated staff is trying to give the Board as great a comfort level as they possibly can, for when the franchise agreement is ultimately executed, therefore, they are taking the basic terms of the franchise agreement and preparing a matrix that compares how items and provisions are handled in other jurisdictions throughout the State, so, basically, the Board will have a frame of reference for almost any item of discussion, by the time they go to a public hearing. He stated he would have a first cut of the matrix available for the Board by March 15, 1991, noting that a lot of it will depend on how quickly the other franchise agreements come in.
Commr. Swartz questioned Mr. Findell as to what time frames have to be met, at present, to which Mr. Findell stated, if the County does not use special assessments, for collection purposes, they will have a longer period of time available to work through the franchise agreement - if the County does use special assessments for same, then they are on a very tight time schedule, noting they are almost a month behind, at which time Commr. Gregg stated he felt it would be wise for the County to handle disposal costs, as a special assessment, and let the haulers continue to bill, for at least a year, so the County will have that time, and it will be a more phased in approach.
Commr. Swartz stated he felt that, from a collection cost, it would be worthwhile to consider the collection and disposal costs, through special assessments, noting that he realized it was going to cause a big uproar with the public. He stated he would like to see the haulers go back and look at the options which have been discussed, look at other considerations, and come back to the Board with what would be their best price.
Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, stated he felt, without a special assessment, the County would not have a mandatory pickup.
Commr. Swartz requested staff to provide the Board with a breakdown of how many households and customers the proposed haulers (4) expect to have in their franchise areas.
Discussion occurred regarding what staff is proposing, concerning the issue of collection and disposal costs, through special assessments, and whether it is consistent with what the Board is aware of, at which time Commr. Swartz stated, as he understood it, from the way the contract is presently proposed, anyone that is a true commercial business is excluded from this particular part of the contract; but, in addition to that, multi-family residential, or any mobile home or single family residence that is in a family that has a single billing, is considered commercial and those are all excluded, as of January 1, 1991. He stated, apparently, there are fairly significant blocks that are being proposed to not be a part of the mandatory exclusive franchise contract that is before the Board this date; and, if the Board was to say the County is going to use special assessments, either for just disposal, or for collection and disposal, how they are going to handle the disposal part for those that are, otherwise, not included in the contract - whether they are going to be billed, through special assessments, for disposal purposes only or not at all.
Mr. Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated there were two alternatives, one being that the households would pay tipping fees, and the other that they would be billed on a property unit basis, for disposal purposes, noting that the County is going to have to look at the financial impact of doing it either way, because there is going to be a financial impact, as far as the management of a solid waste system is concerned.
Commr. Swartz questioned Mr. Findell as to how the County will deal with the recycling portion of it, in those areas that may be excluded otherwise, partially or totally, to which Mr. Findell replied that the County would have to do it by individual units, or by individual commercial establishments.
Commr. Swartz then questioned how many of the haulers provide an interruption in their service for customers who are snow birds, or are going on vacation, to which all the haulers stated they presently provide said service and it does not present a problem.
Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated if the County does choose to go to special assessments, there is no way to allow for those individuals that are not in the County the entire year, unless a system of credit, or something of that nature, is created.
Discussion occurred regarding the haulers putting together a proposal, for the Board's perusal, at which time Commr. Swartz suggested they use the garbage cost of living, figuring it for every two years, due to the fact that the Board will be looking at franchise renewals, every two years.
It was noted the Board would meet again on Monday, March 18, 1991, at 9:00 a.m., to further discuss the issue of solid waste.
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/STATE AGENCIES
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, brought to the attention of the Board a request for approval of the construction plans for Wekiva Park Estates, stating the Pollution Control Division's staff had indicated to him that the representatives of Wekiva Park Estates were close to meeting all the requirements of their construction plans, and that, with the exception of one particular problem area that is presently being worked out (which relates to the recording of conservation easements on said property), they are ready to go with construction, so he expects it will be forthcoming in the next two to three weeks. He stated staff has had ongoing discussions with the developer's representative, Mr. Kalb, noting that once the construction plans are approved, they will be ready to begin development of infrastructure on said property. He stated, to do so, they anticipate removing approximately 16,000 trees, which he feels will have an adverse impact on the wildlife and vegetative communities.
Mr. Findell stated the County acknowledges the fact that the Governor and the Cabinet have approved this area for condemnation purposes, and that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has initiated, in this proceeding, what is called a "slow take" process. He stated he understands they can speed up that process, and go to a "quick take", if there is an urgency to do so, noting that he wanted to bring to the Board's attention the fact that there may be some urgency to do so, and, if there is, he would ask that the County notify DNR of the fact that construction plans are going to be approved, and that they should speed up that process, if, in fact, they are serious about buying that piece of property.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the request, at which time Commr. Gregg stated he felt the County needed to keep the urgency on the State to act, noting that he did not have a problem in sending them a letter, urging them to move a little quicker, because the process is about to take place, and the County is going to be put in a position to where they are going to be forced to issue a development permit, if the State does not act soon.
Mr. Bill Kalb, consultant to Wekiva Park Estates, as well as one who has an interest in the project, appeared before the Board stating he was speaking in his own behalf, only, as he and his partners are in disagreement as to what should happen on this project. He stated he did not think, at this point, that the property should be developed; however, he could sympathize with the majority of the partners, because they have been taken through the ringer with the State. He stated they are committed and intent on developing the property, to a point where they have obtained construction bids, and letters of intent, for at least one-third of the lots to be purchased. He stated they are not doing this because they want to develop the property, they are doing it because they are frustrated and angry at what the State has put them through. He stated that two and one-half months ago, they obtained their St. Johns River Water Management District permit, and, at that time, the State decided on a "slow take" of the project, saying they would immediately do a survey of the property, as well as a new appraisal, and would be in contact with the owners. He stated they have done neither a survey, nor an appraisal, and have not, in two and one-half months, made one phone call to the owners.
Mr. Russell Moncrief, a resident of Seminole County, appeared before the Board representing the Friends of the Wekiva. He urged the Board to send as strong a communication as possible to the State encouraging them to proceed with the process on the "quick take" of this property, due to the fact that it appears, legally, the developers can go in and start developing the property. He stated if the State is going to end up buying the property, either through a "slow take" or a "quick take", it is ridiculous for the developers to knock down 16,000 trees on the property, if it is scheduled to be purchased for conservation. He stated the Board's encouragement to the State to act on the matter would be greatly appreciated by the Friends of the Wekiva.
Commr. Bakich stated the taking of property is never a comforting thought; however, everyone understands the importance of this particular tract of land. He stated he would support sending a letter to the State, but, the County has no ability to acquire the property - the State is going to have to do it, in a timely fashion. If the State is not going to make a commitment to purchase it, the County is going to have to allow the developers to proceed forward, at some point in time, and this concerns him.
Commr. Gregg concurred with what Commr. Bakich stated, noting that if the County purposely tries to delay this project, they are going to see a similar situation when, and if, Seminole Woods comes up for development. He stated he felt the Board should send a letter to the State, as this is one of the rare times that one will see the development community and the environmental community agreeing that a piece of property should not be developed. He stated he feels this is a vital piece of property along the river, along with Seminole Woods, and feels that the monkey is on the State's back to do what they have been talking about doing and get it done.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried, the Board approved to send a letter to the State urging them to move quickly on the matter of Wekiva Park Estates.
Commr. Hanson was not present for the discussion or vote.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 12:00 noon.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK