The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 2, 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; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Toni M. Austin, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Bakich gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Hanson.
Discussion occurred regarding the Minutes of January 8, 1991 (LPA - Special Meeting), with changes being made to correct the spellings of proper names.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Minutes of January 8, 1991, (LPA - Special Meeting), as amended.
Discussion occurred regarding the Minutes of March 5, 1991, with a correction being made to the spelling of one proper name.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Minutes of March 5, 1991, as amended.
PRESENTATION OF AWARDS, PLAQUES AND RESOLUTIONS
At this time, Commr. Bailey presented the following with awards and plaques:
Award Employee of the Month Plaque and Savings Bond to:
Terri Davis - Insurance Specialist - Risk Management
Presentation of Plaques to Employees with Five Years of Service to:
Curtis Reese - Tire Repair Specialist - Maintenance Shop
(Mr. Reese was not present. Mr. Jim Stivender accepted the award and plaque in his behalf.)
Kenton J. Tombow - Mapping/Graphics Technical - Current Planning
CLERK OF COURT'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following requests:
Payment of Warrant #133092 through Warrant #133559 for the following accounts:
Section 8 General Revenue
County Transportation Trust Pasco Fire District
Landfills Northwest Fire District
Resort & Development Fund Tax Private Industry Council
Countywide Fire District Miscellaneous/Gas Fund
Mosquito Control Aquatic Weed
Capital Outlay Northeast Ambulance
Northwest Ambulance Bassville Fire District
Commissary Trust Fund South Lake Fire District
Mt. Plymouth Fire District Countywide Library
Criminal Justice Trust Fund Emergency 911 Fund
Paisley Fire District Northeast Hospital
Revenue Sharing Road Impact
Satisfaction of Judgment, Case No. 89-1489-CF-A-01-H2, Cecil Mike Hays, in the amount of $250.00.
Satisfaction of Judgment, Case No. 89-1307-CF-A-01-H1, Ralph Leroy Smith, in the amount of $250.00.
Municipalities/Ordinances/Roads-County & State
Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Leesburg Ordinance No. 91-08, annexing certain property owned by Delmar Light and located west of Sleepy Hollow Road, which is contiguous to the City Limits of the City of Leesburg.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Leesburg Ordinance No. 91-09, annexing certain property owned by the City of Leesburg, which is contiguous to the City Limits of the City of Leesburg.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the First Annual Inspection Report of the Lake County Main Jail and the Lake County Annex, held on February 26, 1991.
Water Resources/State Agencies
Request to acknowledge receipt of the letter from the Southwest Florida Water Management District informing the County that they are imposing additional water restrictions to those restrictions already in force (since March 8, 1991), requesting the County's assistance in implementing and enforcing the further water restraints.
State Agencies/Water Resources/Reports
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Audited Financial Report for FY 1990.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Hanson stated that, at a previous meeting, it was mentioned that $3,000.00 could be saved at each meeting, and she suggested that this be done by carefully considering each request coming before the Board.
Commr. Swartz discussed the request being made by Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, for four (4) ice machines to be located at four individual barn locations.
Mr. Stivender appeared before the Board to discuss the request and stated that the purchase will consist of a ten year life expectancy on each ice machine.
Commr. Gregg stated that he had a concern with the utility rate on the machines, and questioned whether or not the machines would be worthwhile.
Mr. Stivender stated that it would depend on the size of the machine, and that the fifteen year old machine was insufficient.
Discussion occurred regarding the purchasing of copiers, with Commr. Bakich suggesting Mr. Thelen to consider dealing straight with the factory, instead of using the bid process.
Commr. Gregg discussed the request for purchase of the Catapillar D7 H DS WDA, from Ringhaver Equipment Company, in the amount of $244,097.00.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that this piece of equipment was scheduled for replacement three months ago.
Discussion occurred regarding whether or not such items needed to be replaced just because they are budgeted.
Commr. Bailey questioned the schedule of the budget workshops, and stated that he would like to start the process earlier this year, if possible, in order to set priorities.
Mr. Thelen stated that the hearings would begin the latter part of June and the first part of July, with the mid-year reductions, which the Board has already taken action on, will be coming to the Board in April.
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Executive Director of Administrative Services/Budget, appeared before the Board and stated that the budget adjustments will be coming to the Board in April, with revenue projections. Ms. Anderson stated that the tentative budget will go to Mr. Thelen on June 4, 1991, with the budgets due from the departments April 15, 1991.
Commr. Gregg stated that he would like to pull (4), Page 2, Environmental Services - Solid Waste request for the Catapillar, in the amount of $244,097.00, until he can discuss the item with Mr. Findell.
Commr. Swartz discussed the issue of charging prisoners in the jails, with Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stating that this issue is being reviewed, along with the law of the State of Florida.
Mr. Thelen stated that, under the consent agenda, Tab #5, the amount of the grant has changed from $98,871.00, to $68,175.00, with the communications equipment being left out, with a matching grant being requested for the emergency equipment that would be used in a public safety department.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the County Manager's Consent Agenda, Tabs 1-18, with the exception of Tab 1 and Tab 6, for the following requests:
Request for approval and signature on the Certificates to employees for one and three years of service.
Bids/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Communications
Request to extend the contract of Masters Communications for one month to allow time for bid reviews.
Health & General Services
Request acknowledgement of receipt of the 1990 Annual Report from Lake Sumter Mental Health Center and Hospital.
Accounts Allowed/Grants/Ambulance-Hospital Districts
Request signatures on three EMS Matching Grant applications with the State of Florida HRS for a total of $68,175.00, as amended.
Accounts Allowed/Ambulance-Hospital Districts
Request for authorization of payment for the monthly Medicaid Nursing Home bill, in the amount of $31,948.52, and the Medicaid Hospital bill, in the amount of $11,711.51. (Medicaid bills for the month of January.)
Request authorization of payment for the monthly Medicaid Nursing Home bill, in the amount of $29,830.28, and the Medicaid Hospital bill, in the amount of $67,161.88. (Medicaid bills for the month of February.)
Accounts Allowed/Ambulance-Hospital Districts
Request to encumber and expend funds, in the amount of $2,005.45, to reimburse Waterman Medical Center for the purchase of five mast suits.
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Fire Protection
Request for signatures on agreements with the Volunteer Fire Departments to furnish fire protection to areas of the County located in the Countywide Fire MSTU, and encumber and expend funds.
Planning & Development
Bonds - Mobile Home
Request to accept the following new mobile home bonds:
Raymond Flynn - District 3 - South Clermont Area
William Miller - District 1 - Fruitland Park Area
Donald Morrison - District 5 - E. Lake Kathryn Area
Request to release an Irrevocable Letter of Credit, in the amount of $7,595.00, for maintenance of Rose Hill Subdivision (17 lots in District 3).
Request to release a performance bond, in the amount of $5,064.00, for Lake Marquis Estates (5 lots in District 3).
Right-of-Ways, Roads & Easements/Subdivisions
Request to accept an environmental easement from Paul W. Bryan, II on Eagles Landing Subdivision (14 lots in District 5).
Request for preliminary plat approval of Lake Glona Shores, First Addition (35 lots in District 3).
Roads-County & State/Resolutions
Request to accept an extension of #3-4455 Merry Road into the County Road Maintenance System.
Roads-County & State/Signs/Resolutions
Request to post 30 mph signs on #1-6313 Lake Unity Nursery Road.
Right-of-Ways, Roads & Easements/Subdivisions
Request to accept the following Drainage Easements:
Summit Landings, a Fla. General Partnership - Summit Landings Subdivision
Catherine Ann Truly - Summit Landings Subdivision
Deeds/Right-of-Ways, Roads & Easements
Request to accept the following right-of-way deeds:
For Lot Approval:
Ronald and Elaine S. Zimmer - Lakeview Dr. #1-7307
Jimmy H. and Billie J. Sloan and William C. and Etta J. Johnson - Dwights Rd. #3-0539
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request for specifications, quotes, encumbering funds previously authorized, payments to be made and other services that do not require bids or quotes, as amended above, and as follows:
|The current purchasing policy requires that all specifications be approved by the Board of County Commissioners prior to bidding.|
DESCRIPTION OF ITEM
|(1) BCC - Tourist Development||Bid Specification for
Advertising and Related
Bid # 057-972-091.
|(2) BCC - Tourist Development||Bid Specification for
Bid # 058-972-091.
|(3) BCC - Tourist Development||RFP Specification for
RFP # 019-091.
|(2) Award Bid and Encumber Funds:|
|(1) BCC - Administrative||Delta Business Systems.
NP6650 Canon Copier.
Bid # 043-600-091.
|Delta Business Systems.
NP6650 Canon Copier.
Bid # 043-600-091.
|(3) Public Works||Area Title Services of
Title Search for Tangerine Clay Pit.
RFP # 016-091.
Svcs - Solid
|Ringhaver Equipment Co.
Catapillar D7 H DS WDA.
Bid # 030-070-091.
|All goods or services from $1,000 to $5,999 require written quotes (Department Heads authorized up to $1,000 for approval in accordance with current procedures adopted by the Board and authorized by County Manager).|
|VENDOR/DESCRIPTION OF ITEM||
|(1) BCC - Tourist
|Delta Business Systems.
Canon Copier NP2020.
|(2) Health and
General Svcs -
27 cubic foot freezer/refrigerator, side by side, frost free.
Svcs - Aquatic
Aquatic weed chemicals.
|(4) Public Works -
Engine for Property #8678 paint stripper compressor.
|(5) Public Works
2000# grass seed.
|(4) Encumber Funds Previously Authorized:|
|VENDOR/DESCRIPTION OF ITEM||
|(1) BCC - Tourist
|Dave Lowe Realty.
6 month rental of office space at 119 North Joanna Avenue, Tavares. Lease approved March 5, 1991.
|(2) Public Works -
|Pride of Florida.
Traffic paint and thinner.
Bid # 009-630-091.
|(3) Public Works -
Railroad crossing maintenance agreement.
|(4) BCC - Special
|Ed Havill Property
Upgrade of property appraiser's data processing system.
|(5) Approve Other Payments and Encumber Funds:|
|VENDOR/DESCRIPTION OF ITEM||
|(1) Public Works||Brown's Refrigerator
Four (4) ice machines to be located at 4 individual barn locations.
State Contract # 740-650-91-1.
|ea. $ 1,374.94
ttl $ 5,499.76
|(6) Approve Services That Do Not Require Bid or
Quotes and Encumber Funds:
|(1) BCC - County
|Muller, Mintz et. al.
Fees for labor attorney for January, February and March 1991.
|(2) BCC - Tourist
|National Tour Assoc.,
Initiation fees and annual dues.
|(3) BCC- Tourist
Booth registration at Jacksonville.
|(4) BCC - Tourist
Booth registration at Ponte Vedra.
|(5) BCC - Tourist
Booth registration at Raleigh, NC.
|(6) Public Works||Art Walker Paving.
Change order request to increase Purchase Order #65236 by $9,525.04.
| $ 78,567.64
Svcs - Landfill
|Ringhaver Equipment Co.
Repair parts for Property #12165 D7H dozer.
|(8) BCC - Corrections||Waterman Medical
Inmate medical care.
The Requisitions for the Corrections Division have been processed in the same manner as they were done prior to Lake County Board of County Commissioners assuming responsibility. At present, the Jail Administrator is in the process of bringing these procedures in compliance with County purchasing policy and procedures. Request permission to waive the bid and quote process at this time.
|(5) Approve Other Payments:|
|VENDOR/DESCRIPTION OF ITEM||
|(1) BCC - Corrections
|Mike Cook Distributors.
Blanket Purchase Order for April and May 1991. Food items for resale to inmates.
|(2) BCC - Corrections
|Crawford Keefe Co.
Blanket Purchase Order for April and May 1991 for personal hygiene resale to inmates.
|(3) BCC - Corrections
Blanket Purchase Order for April and May 1991. Tobacco products for resale to inmates.
|(4) BCC - Corrections
Blanket Purchase Order for over-the-counter drugs.
|(5) BCC - Corrections
Blanket Purchase Order for April and May 1991 for medication and medical supplies for inmates.
|(6) BCC - Corrections
|Doctors and Physicians
Blanket Purchase Order for April and May 1991 for lab services and supplies for inmates.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/BIDS/GRANTS/FIRE PROTECTION
Commr. Hanson requested a clarification of the grant funds on Tab 6, for the request to award County Bid #035-070-091 One or more One Ton 4x4 Diesel Cab & Chassis to Gator Ford Truck Sales, Inc. (low bidder) for the purchase of two trucks from EMS Trust Fund County Grant for the use of County Fire/Rescue, in the amount of $18,827.00 per truck ($37,654.00 total), and to encumber and expend funds.
Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health & General Services, appeared before the Board and stated that there are no matching funds required for this grant.
Discussion occurred regarding the specs received in the bids, with Mr. Strickland stating that Cecil Clark Chevrolet could not provide the necessary equipment, as required in the specs. At this time, Mr. Strickland discussed the use of the equipment. He stated that the cost of the necessary tank is approximately $14,000.00, which could not be purchased with the grant monies.
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Executive Director of Administrative Services/Budget, appeared before the Board and clarified that there is a pool of money for EMS, per Florida Statutes, and if the County does not apply for the funds, the County will lose the opportunity of having them.
Commr. Bailey called for public comment.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request to award County Bid #035-070-091 to Gator Ford Truck Sales, Inc., low bidder, as indicated above.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Ms. LeEster D. Koranteng, Personnel Assistant, appeared before the Board to discuss the request for approval on the implementation of a Payroll Deduction Program for U.S. Savings Bonds.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request, as stated above.
Mr. Mike Anderson, Director of Capital Expenditures, appeared before the Board to discuss the request to authorize the expenditure of $100,000.00 from Contingency (increased sales tax recovery) to be used for the add alternates regarding "shelling" for the seventh and eighth courtroom facilities.
Mr. Anderson discussed the summary submitted to the Board, which noted that the request before the Board will allow for the shelling of the seventh and eighth courtrooms, including exterior finish, and finished public lobby outside the courtrooms. The cost for this work, $250,000.00, would come from $100,000.00 of contingency and an additional $150,000.00 worth of value engineering from the Courts Building. In sixty to ninety days, after the buy-out for the Courts Building is complete, the balance of $325,000.00 required for completion of the add alternatives, may be committed from the balance of the contingency.
Discussion occurred regarding the proposed drive through traffic window, with Mr. Bob McKee stating that this would assist in eliminating the need for additional parking, with the possibility of extending the services at the window to include child support payments and the filing of legal documents.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request for the expenditure of $100,000.00 from Contingency to be used for the add alternates regarding "shelling" for the seventh and eighth courtroom facilities.
PUBLIC HEARINGS/TIMES CERTAIN
ROAD CLOSINGS - Pet. #630 - Charles & Shannon Schell
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, appeared before the Board and stated that this request has been postponed twice,
and that an agreement has been worked out, and the necessary easements have been received by staff.
Mr. Larry Taylor, Attorney representing the applicant, appeared before the Board and stated that there are four easements and one deed, at which time he explained the location of each one. He stated that Mr. Boston will own the additional fifteen feet.
Mr. Archie Lowery, Attorney, stated that his clients are in agreement to the settlement, if the easement is free from trees and obstacles, so that it represents an ingress and egress.
Mr. Taylor stated that the applicant has acknowledged this aspect of the agreement, and will give clear access.
No one appeared in opposition to the request.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved Petition No. 630 by Charles and Shannon Schell, Fruitland Park area, as advertised.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board to discuss the request for authorization to negotiate a contract with Mercury Refining Co., Inc., to receive household batteries collected by the Lake County Household Battery Collection program for recycling and proper disposal. Mr. Findell stated that nine companies responded with proposals, with an analysis being prepared and staff recommending Mercury Refining Co., Inc.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved to negotiate a contract with Mercury Refining Co., Inc., as stated above, and as presented by Mr. Don Findell.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/LANDFILLS
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board to discuss the request for authorization to negotiate Landfill Sampling/Analytical Services contract with Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan Environmental (PBS&J). Mr. Findell informed the Board that ten proposals were received, with staff
conducting an extensive evaluation of the laboratories, personnel, equipment, pricing structures, and references of the three firms who submitted the lowest cost for the performance of the required services.
Discussion occurred regarding the difference between the lowest bidder and the bidder being recommended, with Mr. Findell stating that the difference was in the references, and the quality of work to be provided.
Mr. Tom French, PBS&J, appeared before the Board and stated that the evaluation of the staff was very comprehensive, and at this time, discussed the proposed fees.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request for authorization to negotiate Landfill Sampling/Analytical Services contract with PBS&J Environmental, as presented by Mr. Don Findell.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced that the Board would recess for five minutes.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board and stated that, at the last workshop concerning solid waste haulers, March 18, 1991, the Board had requested the following information:
1. Cost proposals from the waste collectors including how much their previously proposed rates would have to be increased if special assessment were not enacted and the waste collectors were responsible for collecting waste collection fees.
2. Cost information relating to the construction of a transfer station in the eastern/northeastern area of the County.
3. Cost information from AAA/IWS indicating how much their previously proposed rate could be decreased if a transfer station was constructed in the eastern/northeastern area of the County.
4. Information relating to Martin County's quarterly billing for solid waste collection.
5. Information from T. Keith Hall regarding his ability and interest in billing quarterly.
Mr. Findell stated that the Board has been supplied with a summary of the information provided by the waste collectors or secured by staff.
Mr. T. Keith Hall, Tax Collector, appeared before the Board and presented the following Martin County Garbage Collection Survey:
1. Created a department of (4) people in the Tax Collector's Office.
A. Maintain the files for the garbage collection.
B. Send out about 28,000 statements (4) times a year.
1. Current year ERU $127.20
2. Total garbage billings approximately $3,600,000
3. Commission paid to Tax Collector about $110,000.
(don't know if this includes postage - $27,800)
C. Receipt for payments and disburse funds to Commission.
D. Delinquency rate 8 to 12% always. Some 400+ accounts
have never paid (since 1986).
E. Enforcement by lien foreclosure, and that has occurred
Mr. Hall stated that Lake County now has in place the non ad valorem tax system, which already has a quarterly billing, which is optional with the customer. He stated that the only problem with quarterly billing with this issue would be in the first year. Quarterly billing is based on the prior year's taxes, and Mr. Hall discussed the procedure used to estimate the taxes, and the selling of the County held tax certificates. Mr. Hall stated that, if the ad valorem taxes were not paid for the proposed services, just as property taxes, an individual could lose their home.
The following individuals were present representing the solid waste haulers in Lake County:
Roland Schmidt - Town and Country
Jim Waters - Town and Country
Basil Hart - South Lake Refuse
Louis Stone, Attorney for IWS/AAA
John Jennings - IWS/AAA
Sandy Minkoff, Attorney for Berry's Refuse
Fred Jackson - Berry's Refuse
John Berry - Berry's Refuse
Jeff Abernathy - IWS/AAA
Pat McQuire - South Lake Refuse
Darryl Dultz - South Lake Refuse
Discussion occurred regarding the variation in cost figures submitted by the haulers.
Mr. Hart, South Lake Refuse, stated that his company provided information regarding quarterly billings in advance, and that he assumed that this would be for a fixed period of time and not long term, eventually with the County developing a special assessment program.
Mr. Stone, Attorney representing IWS/AAA, discussed the information provided by IWS/AAA, which indicated a quarterly billing in advance, and that, if an individual does not want service, it will not be a voluntary program.
Mr. John Jennings, Senior Vice President, IWS/AAA, discussed the information supplied by IWS/AAA regarding geographics of IWS franchise area; collection and rate analysis; and collection rate alternatives (with Mr. Jennings indicating that #4 was the most applicable - Combination Manual Collection and Green Box/Shuttle System). Included in the information was the development of rates for other areas.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether or not the other solid waste haulers provided the same information regarding rates to service other areas within the County, with it noted that no other company made such an analysis.
Mr. Hart stated that he can provide service to the other areas for one dollar ($1.00) cheaper than IWS/AAA.
Commr. Gregg stated that he would like to see each of the four vendors take a look at each individual area of the County, if the vendor is interested in doing so, (the area serviced by IWS/AAA, or Town & Country, or etc.), and see what the cost would be to provide service in any of these other areas alone, and also give a combined rate to service their present area, along with another area that they would like to service.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Attorney representing Berry's Refuse, stated that, if you analyze the proposals made by the other three haulers, add to the proposals the disposal cost at the rate of
$80.00 (assuming it will double in October), add $2.00 a month recycling fee, you will end up with rates less than $20.00 per month for collection, disposal, and recycling. Mr. Minkoff stated that he has reservations about bidding against one another, just because there is a problem with one hauler's rates.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would like to limit the review to one other area, with Commr. Gregg stating that he does not want to see the County write an ordinance that will put anyone out of business, and hopefully the Board can get equitable rates out of all of the haulers.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, discussed the summary given by Mr. Minkoff, and stated that one element that he did not use was the County's cost for billing. He stated that, if the County does the billing, it will not cost $6.00 a month.
Mr. Stone stated that IWS/AAA is trying to demonstrate, as the consultants said, that this area is different, because the territory is more difficult to service and covers a larger area of miles, and as a result the rates are higher.
Commr. Swartz questioned the Combination Manual Collection and Green Box service, with Mr. Jennings explaining the process used.
Commr. Gregg stated that, if the green box system is used, there will be the issue of maintenance of the surrounding area, and a differential billing system would be needed.
Ms. Norma Ryder, Yalaha, appeared before the Board and questioned bidding the collection for twice a week service, when the recycling system is being used.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, stated that this would be a policy decision to be made by the Board, for once or twice a week service, and that once a week and recycling would be an economic choice.
Commr. Swartz stated that one of the objectives of the County is collecting the cost of disposal, and that he feels the non ad valorem assessment would be fair and would accomplish this requirement and reduce the dumping problem. He stated that another
objective would be to reduce illegal dumping, and to provide overall efficiency and effectiveness, at the lowest cost to the citizens. Commr. Swartz stated that he feels mandatory collection would be the most efficient, with the exception of perhaps the most rural and remote areas.
Discussion continued, with Mr. Hart stating that the amount of $6.97 did not include green boxes. At this time, the Board felt that the actual numbers were needed, in order to determine the necessary level of service, with or without green boxes.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the Board needed to give the haulers a system, along with a perimeter, in order to develop a comparison of figures, with Commr. Gregg suggesting leaving the green boxes out completely.
Commr. Swartz suggested that the haulers put together numbers, excluding green boxes, and then they can show areas with green boxes, as an alternative.
For informational purposes only, the Board directed each hauler to provide an estimate to service their own area, and a combined estimate of their service along with any of the other areas they might be interested in providing service, and as an alternative, provide estimates with green boxes.
It was the consensus of the Board that, unless the County provides a different level of service, one rate will be provided, and it was the consensus of the Board to use special assessments for collection and disposal, with quarterly billing.
It was noted that the Board will meet again on April 18, 1991, at 3 p.m., with the solid waste haulers, with their information being provided to Mr. Findell one week before the meeting, with Mr. Findell stated that he will send a memorandum to this effect.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board to report on the temporary utility service provision for the South Lake area, and to request future direction.
Mr. Findell discussed the information supplied in his memorandum, which indicated that several developments in south Lake County are approved to construct on-site water and wastewater treatment facilities, or secure temporary service from an off-site utility until such time as a County designated facility is provided to serve them. Because Lake County has yet to take a fully pro-active approach to providing permanent utility service to the area, there was considerable interest in having temporary service provided by either the City of Kissimmee or Polk County. Through discussions, it has been indicated that both the City of Kissimmee and Polk County have the potential to provide limited temporary service, perhaps 300,000 gallons per day without system expansion or modification.
Mr. Findell indicated that staff from Lake County, Kissimmee and Polk County have completed the exploratory discussions, and both Kissimmee and Polk County staff have indicated that additional engineering and administrative staff time will be required to develop various options and costs for service provision and system improvements, as well as to carry out any negotiations or prepare interlocal agreements necessary for service provision. Prior to initiating any further efforts, staff from both local governments have stated that they would like a letter from Lake County indicating Lake County's desire to continue to explore service provision options, so that they may discuss these issues at length with their elected officials.
Lake County staff recommends that the Board authorize staff to pursue exploration of service options with Kissimmee and Polk County and prepare a report outlining the service options, costs, service conditions, timeframes and other such related information that may be useful to implementing a temporary service provision program for the south Lake County area.
Commr. Hanson stated that most of the research should be by the private landowners, rather than using County staff time.
Commr. Bailey stated that he would like to have feedback on this issue from the property owners.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney representing some of the developers in south Lake County, appeared before the Board and suggested that the Board review the proposals closely, with the Board giving staff the direction not to get into a bureaucracy that they did not intend.
Mr. Findell stated that it would be inappropriate for the Board to take action at this time on this issue, and the Board needs to review all options available, with staff proceeding to pursue those options, and requested that the Board not take any action at this time.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board authorized staff to pursue exploration of service options with Kissimmee and Polk County, and prepare a report outlining the service options, costs, service conditions, timeframes, and other related information necessary for the possible use of temporary services.
ROADS & EASEMENTS
Mr. Tony Otte, City Manager, was present to discuss the request for approval of an easement (at the Ag Center property), for the City of Tavares to construct a wastewater lift station.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request, as stated above.
HEALTH & GENERAL SERVICES
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request for signature on the "Recommendations for Reappointment" form to reappoint William H. Shutze, M.D., as District V Medical Examiner.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/HEALTH & GENERAL SERVICES
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request of supplemental pay and other benefits, as identified, for Military Reservists called to active duty as a result of the Persian Gulf Crisis, at a projected supplemental pay of $8,854.00 (other benefits undetermined).
COMMITTEES/COUNTY PROPERTY/GRANTS/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, appeared before the Board to present an update of County property at US 27/SR 19/Turnpike.
Mr. Swanson requested authorization to proceed with the Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant application, and to proceed with platting and engineering of the site, including performance testing of on-site wells, and to proceed with the variance for temporary on-site wastewater treatment for the Vo-Tech School and industrial clients, if necessary. He stated that the proposal is to use the remaining $13,500.00 in the budget, with the understanding that the remaining portion is to be funded through the Tourist Development Council (TDC), and pro-rated over the sale of the property, and given back to the TDC.
Commr. Gregg stated that Novelty Crystal (across the street from the property) has a well, which was installed to potable water standards, and is not being used. He further stated that he thinks that they would be agreeable to give the well and all to the County, if the County took it and put the tank in. Commr. Gregg stated that he would like this possibility investigated, in order to determine whether or not this would be feasible to the County.
Mr. Swanson stated that he would like to put together a program, proposal, and outline of scheduling and bring back to the Board next week.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved for staff to proceed with the EDA grant application, and to proceed with platting and
engineering of the site, including performance testing of on-site wells, and to proceed with the variance for temporary on-site wastewater treatment for the Vo-Tech School and industrial clients, if necessary.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/ASSESSMENTS/ROAD PROJECTS
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request to advertise for bids for SA-71, Lakeview Avenue in the Clermont area, at an estimated cost of $20,925.00.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/ROAD PROJECTS
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request to authorize and award Project #5-91, Suanee Ave./Grant Ave./Coolidge St., to Professional Dirt Service, Inc., and to encumber and expend funds, in the amount of $62,012.50.
ROADS-COUNTY & STATE/RESOLUTIONS/PUBLIC WORKS
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried, the Board approved to adopt a resolution requesting consideration from the Turnpike Authority for placement of an interchange at Grassy Lake Road, and the Turnpike within their twenty year master plan.
Commr. Swartz voted "no".
ROADS-COUNTY & STATE/RESOLUTIONS/PUBLIC WORKS
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved to adopt a resolution requesting consideration from the Turnpike Authority for placement of an interchange at C-470, and the Turnpike within their twenty year master plan.
COUNTY ATTORNEY'S BUSINESS
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, advised the Board that the interviews have started with the bond counsel proposers, which will be ongoing for the next three weeks. Ms. Lustgarten stated that there are fourteen firms to be interviewed,
with a recommendation coming from her office, once the interviews have been completed. She stated that she will provide the Board members with a list of the firms to be interviewed.
Commr. Gregg requested that three firms be recommended to the Board for consideration, with the Board making the final decision.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved the ratification of the Board on financial items which needed to be paid prior to the Board meeting.
WATER RESOURCES/OUTDOOR RECREATION
Commr. Bailey informed the Board that he had written a letter, as a member of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, urging the Governor and Cabinet to support the "Good Cause Item" for an emergency rule creating boat speed zones for manatee protection in the middle of the St. Johns River, and urged the Board to participate in this issue.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved to participate in the planning of a permanent rule creating boat speed zones for manatee protection in the middle of the St. Johns River.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the request for a resolution making the appointments and reappointments to the Tourist Development Council, as follows:
Stephen Parrish, Lake Minneola Inn
to replace E. Ketchum with a term to expire 12/1/94
William Wing, Southern Palms RV Resort
to fill the unexpired term of Con Muncy with a term to
Elected Municipal Officers
C. J. Knowles, City of Leesburg
Term to expire 12/1/94
Buddy Buie, City of Eustis
Term to expire 12/1/94
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved the resolution recognizing April 22, 1991, as Earth Day in Lake County.
GAME & FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved to schedule a slide presentation program by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, in their effort aimed at promoting wise conservation of Florida's native communities.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the resolution for preservation and restoration of Howey Academy buildings and surrounding grounds, due to the vision Mr. Howey played in the development of the citrus industry, and its impact on the Florida land boom of the 1920's.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Bakich and carried unanimously, the Board approved the appointment of Dr. Robert H. Miller to the Lake County Library Board.
Commr. Hanson discussed a volunteer fireman, Mr. Jim Smith, who recently passed away, and requested a resolution declaring him "Fireman of the Year".
Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health and General Services, appeared before the Board to discuss the request, and stated that a plaque will be exhibited somewhere around the grounds of the courthouse.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the resolution for Mr. Jim Smith declaring him "Fireman of the Year".
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that there will be another Children's Services Council Study meeting, Thursday, April 4, 1991, at 7 p.m., in the Old Courthouse.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Vivian Jones to the Lake County Library Board.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:20 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 2:00 p.m. for the workshops that are scheduled.
SIGN ORDINANCE WORKSHOP
COMMITTEES/SIGNS/ORDINANCES/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, brought the Board up-to-date as to what had transpired, up to this point, regarding the Sign Ordinance.
Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director of Current Planning, stated the Sign Ordinance Committee had only met about six times, as it was difficult, at times, to get a quorum, noting that the committee met for the last time in August of 1990. He stated the major portion of the ordinance was written by Mr. John Baker, of the Current Planning staff, who came to Lake County from Ormond Beach, where he worked on similar ordinances.
Commr. Swartz stated that, due to the problem of getting the members of the committee together, to meet, felt that what was before the Board did not really reflect the committee's position.
Mr. Swanson stated the committee members had received copies of the ordinance, and that everything they recommended was contained in the draft before the Board this date.
Mr. Stubbs stated that staff wanted to receive input today from the Board, and do a redraft of the areas that the Board is concerned about. He stated the ordinance presently before the Board is a typical sign ordinance that is used in most of the surrounding counties.
Commr. Swartz stated he did not wish to give staff a lot of direction today, but felt they could make their presentation and brief the Board as to where they presently are, and then the Board could send the ordinance back to the Sign Ordinance Committee (noting he felt the Board might want to add several more individuals to the committee, to better enable them to have a functioning committee, should one or two of them be absent), for their review.
At this time, Mr. Baker gave a slide presentation showing various signs which he considered to be good ones and bad ones. He explained how this ordinance was comprised, noting that it was pretty much the product of choosing significant sections of several existing sign ordinances. He stated the ordinance is proposed to limit the amount and types of signage, and to promote the aesthetics of long term economic vitality of health and safety in Lake County.
Mr. Baker stated that staff feels what they have proposed is a middle of the road approach, noting that some places, such as Las Vegas, seem to emphasize large, colorful, loud, and even garish signage, where places like Hawaii are very restrictive of signage. He stated the proposal before the Board this date is significant, because it is relatively comprehensive; will protect the right to effectively communicate; will limit the growth of large and unnecessary signage; will gradually eliminate non-conforming signs; and it provides decorative subdivision entrance signs which will aid in the efficient provision of emergency services.
Mr. Baker stated things which this proposal does not address are colors or color schemes, however, unlike some ordinances, does not prohibit neon signs. He stated staff tried to incorporate input from the County Attorney's Office, from the Building Official, and from Code Enforcement. He stated they also tried to create a more easily understood ordinance, noting that the present ordinance, which was written in the 1970s, was pretty much open to interpretation.
Commr. Hanson stated she had a problem with the imprisonment factor of the penalty clause, on Page 39 of the ordinance, at which time Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated it is provided for in the Florida Statutes, noting that any violation of a county code is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, and that the $500.00 fine and/or imprisonment, referred to in the ordinance, are the maximum penalties.
Commr. Hanson stated she also had a concern about the language pertaining to temporary signs, as stated on Page 42, but, more particularly, had a problem with the removal of political signs, noting that she felt 10 days was too short a time to do so. She recommended a time limit of 30 days. She stated another concern she had was with the size of real estate signs, noting that she felt 12 x 18 was too small, as the standard sign is 18 x 22.
Commr. Gregg commented regarding how he felt about temporary signs, stating that there is a certain amount of "snob" appeal in a sign ordinance that staff has to be careful of, or they will put people out of business. He stated the reason billboards and other signs are going up is because people read them and they serve their purpose. He stated the County has to weigh this into account and cannot say there will be no billboards or temporary signs in Lake County. He stated the County could possibly restrict them to 30 days on and 30 days off, but should not prohibit them altogether.
Commr. Swartz suggested coming back to the Board with additional names of individuals to serve on the Sign Ordinance Committee, increasing the number of members from five to nine, and bring said names to the Board Meeting of April 16, 1991, for approval.
Further discussion occurred, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that, while there needs to be some flexibility, this Board, on behalf of the citizens of Lake County, is going to have to determine whether or not the County wants to have a cluttered landscape, with ugly signs that impede the safety of the passing motorists, or whether they want to have a reasonable, consistent
sign ordinance that allows businesses to indicate where they are, what type of business they are in, and how one can find them, in an orderly and attractive way, or a mishmash of signs all the way through Lake County.
The Board directed Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director of Current Planning, to draft a letter to the present members of the Sign Ordinance Committee, questioning whether or not they wish to continue to serve on the committee, and then to let the Board know how many additional members they need to appoint (at the April 16, 1991, Board Meeting), in order to comprise a total of nine members in all.
Commr. Bakich requested staff to have the Sign Ordinance Committee come before to the Board with what they feel it is going to cost to implement the Sign Ordinance - things such as staff, additional members, enforcement, inspections, impact on the communities, etc.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 2:45 p.m. the Chairman announced the Board would recess and would reconvene at 3:00 p.m.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR ACQUISITION OF SENSITIVE LANDS WORKSHOP
COMMITTEES/ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/OUTDOOR RECREATION
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, reviewed what the Board had directed staff to do, regarding this matter, at a meeting which was held approximately two months ago. He stated he included in the Commissioners' packets some of the policies which relate to parks and recreation, however, had meant to provide them with the policy relating to conservation, which indicates that the Board will place a referendum before the people, concerning this issue, by 1993. Mr. Thelen stated he felt it was important for the Board to identify just what they want the committee to do, before they try to find people to set on it.
Commr. Bailey stated he understood the intent of the Board was to put the issue on the ballot for 1992, at which time Commr. Swartz stated this was true, however, a group needed to be put
together that could make the determination of what is the best way to put it on the ballot, and under what circumstances.
Discussion occurred regarding how many members needed to be on the committee, at which time it was the consensus of the Board to have a seven member committee, comprised of individuals from the environmental, retirement, development, business, and agricultural communities, as well as someone from the Water Authority.
Upon being questioned as to who he would suggest for the committee, Mr. Will Davis, Water Authority, stated he would recommend someone from the League of Cities.
It was noted that the names needed to be submitted to Ms. Ava Kronz, Administrative Assistant to the County Manager, by April 30, 1991, to be submitted to the Board, for approval, at the May 7, 1991, Board Meeting.
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/LAWS & LEGISLATION/RESOLUTIONS
Commr. Swartz brought to the attention of the Board the fact that the Nature Conservency had requested the Board send a resolution to the Florida Legislature requesting them to fund the "Preservation 2000" program. The Board directed staff to bring said resolution back to the Board at the April 9, 1991, Board Meeting, for approval.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, April 2, 1991, at 5:05 p.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; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
E-911/EDUCATION/FIRE PROTECTION/SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, reviewed amendments, scrivener's errors, and some other proposed changes (which clarified some information and added language) which were requested to be made to the impact fee ordinances at the last meeting which was held regarding them. In addition, she distributed to the Board some proposed changes which the School Board had requested, as well as an amendment to each ordinance, adding another exemption, reflecting what the Board had directed at a prior meeting regarding moving a residence from one lot to another in the same district if they have already paid impact fees, or, if there was an illegally existing building on the prior site. She stated one of the ordinances before the Board was an amendment to the existing Road Impact Fee Ordinance, noting it was not really in the same category with the other four ordinances, which are creating impact fees, therefore, it should be acted on separately from the others.
Mr. Leonard Phillips, a local resident and businessman, appeared before the Board representing himself and his wife, in relation to the Green Thumb Garden Center Corporation, a family corporation. He stated he had 30 years experience in dealing with
tax deed certificates and wanted to point out to the Board how bad present conditions are for a great number of people in Lake County, and getting vastly worse. He said more and more people in the County cannot pay their taxes because they do not have money to pay them with, at which time he noted the length of time it used to take (approximately two hours) to sell the tax deeds on the books versus the time it presently takes (several days). He stated the property in Lake County is being assessed for more than it is worth and being sold every day for less than its assessed value, therefore, wanted to make people aware of the fact that things are not real rosy in Lake County at the present time.
Mr. Patrick Daly, a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board stating that he moved to Lake County from Orange County approximately two years ago, noting that he was recently married and he and his wife are trying to save money in order to purchase a home. He stated that, judging from what is being proposed, it seems like he and his wife are going to have to come up with more money in order to pay their taxes. He requested the Board to look at what the impact fees are going to do to the younger sector of the population in Lake County who are trying very hard to purchase homes of their own and get away from renting.
Mr. H. H. Hartman, a resident of Mt. Dora, appeared before the Board stating that the Tax Collector's Office presently has approximately 90,000 delinquent parcels (unpaid revenue) on their files, noting that someone is going to have to pay the bill if the Board keeps raising taxes.
Mr. Dale Ladd, Ladd Construction Company, appeared before the Board stating he was representing his firm and a client, Ms. Jill Crane, who is in the process of trying to qualify for a loan, in order for him to build her a home. He stated the Board needed to identify the fact that "impact fee" is a sugarcoating for a new tax, noting that what it is is an impact tax, and should be recognized for what it really is. He stated it is easy to sell, because the Board is stating they are going to tax developers, and
developers are "bad guys". He stated he has built 300 houses in the past six years in Lake County, most of which are FHA houses (beginner houses) and has never paid an impact fee. He stated impact fees are really paid by the consumer, as developers pass it on to them, so, in reality, the County is not taxing developers - they are taxing home owners. He discussed higher costs involved now with building homes, and stated he is tired of reading in the newspaper that the Board is going to force developers to build affordable housing. He also stated he is tired of hearing that development does not pay for itself, because it does.
Mr. Mark Edwards, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that speculators have always had their eyes on the public purse to help them subsidize their projects. He stated that Orange County's impact fees are higher than this County's and he did not want Lake County to become a carbon copy of Orange County, noting that, in order to lessen their taxes, people might be willing to have fewer services. He stated that, if impact fees are not paid in full by those individuals moving into the County, questioned who was going to pay them - the resident taxpayer, noting that they always done it and he would like to see it stopped.
Ms. Janice Booth, a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board stating that she and her husband moved to Lake County from New Jersey, hoping to buy or build, as they like Lake County very much, however, are concerned that they may not be able to, as they have to have two incomes in order to pay their bills, and at this point, any amount of money beyond the impact fees already in place, can make a difference in whether or not they can obtain a mortgage. She stated they are facing a squeeze from all ends. She stated there needs to be better management in how the County's money is spent and the way it is spent, as the County cannot keep expecting someone else to pick up its financial burden.
Mr. L. W. Conner, a resident of Bassville Park, appeared before the Board stating that he understood the Board wants to raise an impact fee of $108.00 per year for the garbage incinerator
and is going to almost double the rates for fire protection, in Bassville Park, as well as add a $4.20 per month additional charge for utilities to be provided to the unincorporated areas of the County. He stated if the Board keeps raising taxes in Lake County they are going to price the County out of business and drive the people out.
Mr. Lawson Wolfe, the owner of CBS Industries, appeared before the Board in opposition to all the impact fee ordinances before the Board this date, as he is concerned about the effect they will have on the County, if they are adopted. He mentioned the fact that other counties and municipalities have had to down size their government, and questioned how many cuts the County has had recently in staff, and in salary, noting that maybe it is time to start looking at some of those things. He then discussed the cost involved in the construction of the new Jail and Criminal Justice Facility, at which time he compared a concrete block (costing 50 cents each), which is used in most construction projects, with a block that is being used in the construction of the new Jail and Criminal Justice Facility (costing $4.50 each), noting that it is nine times as expensive. He stated the architects that designed the new facilities are probably going to win all kinds of awards in trade publications for the wonderful job they did; however, the taxpayers are going to pick up the tab. He requested the Board to table the ordinances before them, cut spending and salaries, and look at the fiscal impact on everything the County does - do what is adequate, noting that the County does not need the finest of everything, just what is adequate. He stated by having responsible leadership and planning, the County will ensure the residents', and their grandchildren's, future.
Mr. Keith Shamrock, Shamrock Development Corporation, appeared before the Board and briefly discussed the unemployment rate in Lake County (presently at 8% and on the rise), noting that the Board has got to realize the effect that County government has on the economy. He stated the County has got to be careful not to
destroy the real estate industry, as it is presently the industry that carries this County, since the citrus industry is gone. He stated the action the Board takes this date will definitely affect first time home buyers, due to the fact that, if interest rates go up even one-half percent, it means that 200,000 to 300,000 people will not be able to buy homes. He stated the same effect occurs if one increases the base on which those interest rates are applied.
Mr. Shamrock then discussed the Tree Ordinance, stating that builders have to guarantee trees they plant for one year, noting that, if the trees die, the builder has to replace them, and this is an extra cost they have to add into the next home they build, which is another form of an impact fee that is passed on to the home buyer. He stated the thing that concerns him is the timing of these impact fees, as the County is being hit from all directions. He stated he has no problem with the school impact fee, as he feels it is needed, however, feels it should be phased in, but wants someone to prove to him that impact fees are needed in the other areas. He stated the County needs to slow the train down and allow the economic community to get in gear. He stated the Board needs to stop, look, and review everything they are doing.
Ms. Rosemary Bennett, a member of the Lake County Association of Realtors and the Florida Association of Realtors, appeared before the Board stating that, in 1986, she was a member of the committee studying the Growth Management Act, and how it could be improved and implemented as a positive approach. She stated she was also on the committee for environmental study two years ago. She stated the Homebuilders Association has presented to some legislators (25 so far) a Bill which will, in effect, govern how the impact fees are collected, how long the County can hold them, and what happens if they do not use them. She stated they are not to be used until the need is there. She then discussed the issue of double documentary stamps and the fact that, should it be passed, it will be another form of impact fees, so, the Board is
not only talking about the fee ordinances being presented to them this date, but also all the other little things that are tacked on the purchase of a new home or property. She urged the Board to do another study, before adopting the ordinances before them.
Mr. Ward Churchman, Churchman Metal Products, appeared before the Board stating that he is against taxation without representation, which he stated is what these ordinances represent. He stated he hoped this whole issue did not deteriorate to a point where the people in this county get so bitter that they take some pretty hard lines against it.
Mr. Dan Eastwood, a resident of Tavares, appeared before the Board stating that the decisions which are coming from Washington to Tallahassee, to county governments, are going to have to have the brakes put on them. He stated there is no question that an impact fee is a tax, and if there are no impact fees, it seems to him that the developer is going to have to carry the load, instead of the home buyer having to pick up the costs, as a finished building is easier to finance than raw land.
Mr. Rick Moss, a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board to discuss what effect he felt the impact fees are going to have on the local job market. He stated there are so many companies in the County that are on such tight budgets, as it is, that, if the ordinances are passed, they are going to take away from the contractors, and a lot of jobs in that particular field.
Mr. Claude Smoak, former Commissioner, and a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board stating that he is a large land owner, as well as developer, in Lake County. He stated that what the Board was hearing this date was a common theme that is running throughout government, and throughout Lake County. He stated the Board has hired a consulting firm, from Mississippi, to come to Lake County and tell them the common sense things they already have the answers to. He stated the biggest growth industry presently in Lake County is Lake County government itself, noting that there are more new employees, staff, and departments, that the County had to
develop its own staff to bill and collect monies, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He stated the bottom line is jobs, noting that the County does not have any economy driving it right now, yet what the County is presently doing sends a message all over the country, to the business community, that the County does not welcome them and that they must prove why they can come into the County. He stated, historically, the older generation helped the younger generation and feels that we ought to continue to do so, as they have a tougher time, economically, today than what the older generation did when they were growing up, and he does not want the young people to say they cannot live in Lake County due to the fact that they are going to have to pay upfront. He stated the answer is leadership, and urged the Board to slow down the speed with which staff is moving them, urging them not to let staff bury them in paperwork that cannot be read before the next meeting. He urged them to regain control of the agendas which they will be reviewing, and to set priorities on the Board for actions which will be taken.
Mr. Carl Ludecke, a local builder and member of the Impact Fee Committee, appeared before the Board stating that there are three impact fees before the Board this date which the committee did not approve, being (1) education, (2) parks and recreation, and (3) public libraries. He stated the committee felt these were areas which needed to be looked at again, before acting on them. He stated the Board needs to look at the issue of affordable housing in Lake County, and they also need to consider the 1% gas tax and the 1% sales tax increase that the County recently passed, noting that this County has a higher sales tax than most of the surrounding areas.
Mr. John West, a resident of Umatilla, appeared before the Board and referred to a letter he had mailed them, prior to this meeting, regarding Hillsborough County's impact fees and how they affected that county, noting that it backfired on them. He stated this County is going to charge an impact fee for fire protection,
even though it already has developers donating land for fire stations, and even agreeing to build the fire stations. He stated fire stations are not the problem, it is manpower, noting that what has happened in the past, in this County, has discouraged the volunteers. Instead of encouraging them and lending them support, the Board has taken that away, which he feels is going to cost the County dearly. He stated he would like to see the County get back to basics and back to the volunteer philosophy that this country was built on, noting that this county is not ready for a fully paid fire department. He stated he felt the Board could still generate some volunteer fire fighters, if they just encourage and support them.
Ms. Phyllis Cross, a local realtor, appeared before the Board stating that, if the Board is going to approve the impact fees, to put some sort of scale on them, so that people that are building inexpensive homes, or are putting mobile homes on inexpensive lots would not have to pay as much as someone who is building a $150,000.00 to $200,000.00 home.
Mr. Steve Copeland, a resident of Clermont, appeared before the Board requesting them to take into consideration those individuals that are hoping to build their own homes, when they consider the ordinances before them.
Mr. Bert McDonald, a local resident, appeared before the Board stating that, at the last meeting which was held regarding impact fees, he obtained a copy of the impact fee study and found that, in the last draft, it states that the proposed impact fees were created with extensive citizen participation; however, in researching this fact, found it was not true. He stated if the Board can give the taxpayers a plan that states where the dollars are going to be spent, on what, and how much, the taxpayers might endorse the plan.
Ms. Jean Kaminski, Executive Director of the Homebuilders Association, appeared before the Board stating that, when one looks at the mathematical equation, the lower the cost of the housing
involved, the higher the percentage of the impact fee. She stated impact fees directly, and indirectly, increase rents, creating a cycle that precludes home ownership for some of those people who are renting. She stated that, as rents escalate, it becomes more and more difficult to save the money needed to get into a home. She stated that, an impact fee, at whatever amount it is adopted, ultimately doubles and triples when it is spread over the cost of a mortgage, noting that maybe the Board should be looking at some new ways to collect monies, to help establish some of the needed services, rather than handle it the way it is presently being handled. She requested the Board to look at, and revisit, the section of the ordinances before them pertaining to an automatic escalation each year, noting that she felt the matter should come back to the Board, yearly, at which time they can decide whether or not the increase is really needed.
Mr. Roger Connor, a local resident and businessman, appeared before the Board stating that a balancing act has to be done, as he does not want to pay any more taxes than he has to pay, but, by the same token, those individuals moving into the County have to share in the new tax, which puts the County into the middle of a dilemma. He stated the Board needs to take a look at what is happening and slow down, at which time he requested the Board to take a second look at the issue of impact fees, before approving them.
Mr. Kevin Burkholder, a local builder and developer, as well as the owner of some rental property in Lake County, appeared before the Board stating that the owners of rental property have to pay impact fees the same as someone who is building a new home, therefore, they have to charge more rent to the individuals renting from them, which forces those individuals to put less money aside to build the new home they are dreaming of.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, a local attorney who represents primarily development interests in Lake County, appeared before the Board stating that she was not representing any particular one at this meeting, just development in general. She distributed a handout
indicating the opinion of the Fifth District Court of Appeals, regarding the issue of school impact fees in St. Johns County. She stated she is concerned about the fact that this Board has not done anything, up till now, about adopting an illegal fee. She stated that the laws of the State of Florida, at this point in time, in the jurisdiction in which this County resides, which is governed by the Fifth District Court of Appeals, has said that impact fees are unconstitutional. She then read into the record what the opinion of the Fifth District Court of Appeals stated.
Ms. Bonifay stated if the Board adopts the school impact fee it is a cost that will be borne by the taxpayers; however, she questioned what is going to happen when a group of taxpayers sues this County, and the County has to repay those fees, with interest, as well as attorneys' fees. She stated she felt it was not a prudent decision on this Board's part to try to rush ahead, noting that she did not know how long the Supreme Court will take in making their decision; however, to totally disregard this issue, in thinking that there was some unique thing about the St. Johns County ordinance to make the fee be struck down, is untrue. She stated this is not what the opinion said and not what it holds, therefore, if the Board approves the school impact fee, it will be adopting a fee that is illegal, at this point in time.
Ms. Bonifay stated she had some concerns as to the actual text of the school impact fee ordinance, as it is written, in terms of some of the provisions, as well as in terms of the costs and expense to developers, therefore, cautioned the Board to use more prudence in this particular area, and to wait and obtain a court determination on the matter. She also questioned whether or not the Board was going to put in an across-the-board increase, tied to some index, noting that, legally, she felt there may be a problem with that. She then discussed the issue of refunds, stating how she felt about the matter, as well as the issue of capital improvements, stating that she did not know why the County would keep the public's money for six years, refund it with interest, yet
retain a 3% administration fee just for handling it. She stated what the Board is hearing from the public is that there has to be more equity in the system, and that the County has to look at ways in which to finance improvements and have them be fair and equally apportioned. She stated it is not a simple issue, and the County is going to have to use some new and different approaches, as opposed to the standard of slapping an impact fee on people, because the formula says they ought to pay it.
Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, appeared before the Board and discussed what kind of impact development has on the County, in reference to growth not paying for itself. He stated he is concerned about the unemployment rate in Lake County, noting that the County leads the region in unemployment, at the present time, and questioned what impact the Board's actions this date will have on the County - economically and financially. He also discussed the fact that school impact fees are illegal, whether the School Board indemnifies the Board and holds them harmless, or not, and wondered how the Board could enact something that is absolutely illegal, and then suggest to the public that they want them to abide by all the other laws the County keeps enacting. He requested the Board not to rush into something that is going to do more harm to the County, at this point in time, than good.
Mr. Tim Sullivan, Vice Chairman of the Lake County School Board, appeared before the Board stating that he is a constitutional officer in the State of Florida and will not violate the law, noting that if the Fifth District Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court, upholds the decision that school impact fees are illegal, the School Board will not move forward on it, due to the fact that they do not want to put the Board of County Commissioners in a position of violating the law, nor do they want to put themselves in that position. He stated, however, that there is a crisis in the Lake County School System, noting that there are 600 new students coming into the school system every year, which equates to one new elementary school every year. He stated there
was also a concern brought up about low income housing, noting that low income housing is addressed in the school impact fee ordinance. He requested, on behalf of the Lake County School Board, that the Board move forward on the school impact fee ordinance, due to the fact that if the Board puts it off now, and the Supreme Court does approve it, the process will have to be started all over again, which means that the Lake County School System will not receive approximately $400,000.00 that they, otherwise, would. He stated that, due to this fact, the school system will probably not lose teachers, but will probably lose a lot of teachers' aides positions (who help teachers be teachers and not paper pushers).
It was noted that the School Board had voted to hold the Board of County Commissioners harmless regarding this matter.
Discussion continued regarding the school impact fee ordinance, at which time the County Attorney, Ms. Lustgarten, stated that the ordinance in St. Johns County is the ordinance that was found to be unconstitutional, noting that it is substantially different than the one that is before the Board this date, because of certain details in it which are not contained in this ordinance. She also stated that it did not apply countywide - only those people that had children in school were required to pay that impact fee, which she noted is distinctly different than this ordinance, which pertains to all residences in Lake County.
It was noted that the Supreme Court will hear the case regarding the school impact fees at the end of July, at which time the County Attorney stated that it is the option of the Board as to whether or not they wait until July, to see what the decision of the Supreme Court will be, before approving said ordinance.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, requested that the Board move the effective date to July, if they act on it, due to some problems involved with setting up the processes to collect and account for these fees.
Further discussion occurred regarding this matter, at which time Commr. Bailey suggested that the Board table the school impact
fee ordinance, until they receive the decision of the Supreme Court.
Commr. Swartz stated the consequence of not going forward with the impact fees, at this time, means the continued overcrowding of children in portables, if the portables are even available, and the continued congestion of the County's highway system, which means that the very businesses that many of the residents want to attract to Lake County will not come, due to the lousy school system and the fact that they cannot drive anywhere. He stated the County will not have proper protection provided from law enforcement, fire protection or EMS, nor will the County attract the very tax base, in the commercial/industrial sector, that the County needs to have, due to the fact that they could not collect the fee that would cover the cost. He stated he will support the impact fee ordinances because he feels they are necessary, and the only solution to the problems the County is presently faced with, which is a degradation of the County's very quality of life. He stated the only alternative he sees would be for the County to raise taxes to pay for the new schools, roads, fire, EMS, and law enforcement, and do away with the impact fees.
Mr. Smoak interjected, from the audience, that the Board is not talking about a few dollars, they are talking about a system of government and a direction in how the people in this County live. He stated if the Board would support these impact fees and reduce, on the other side of the ledger, ad valorem taxes, everybody in the room would applaud them, but this does not happen. He stated every county in this State that has impact fees also has an escalating rise in property taxes.
Commr. Bailey stated he felt the people in Lake County are trying to tell the Board that they have had enough of government, would rather have less services, and that the County needs to get its own house in order. He stated the silent majority is about to become the vocal majority, and felt it was time for the Board to listen.
Commr. Bakich stated that he felt the County has entirely too many issues that they are addressing, at the present time, and, unfortunately, they are ones that will require the people of the County to dig into their pockets. He recommended the Board table a number of issues which the County is presently in the process of addressing, until such time as they have the opportunity to sit down and prioritize what they feel is important to this County, and what they feel the people of the County can afford. He stated the Board needs to have staff tell them, with each and every issue, what the costs involved with each issue will be, to have them implemented, at which time the Board needs to weigh the effects said issues will have on the County and judge the benefits from them. He also stated he would like for staff to look at why some of the counties that have been charging impact fees have not been affected like St. Johns County.
Commr. Hanson stated she appreciated the input the Board received this date from the business community, noting that the Board does not often hear from the business community the way they should, and feels that no one can put dollars and cents on a matter like the business community can. She also stated the Board needs to do an evaluation of the County's needs versus its wants and what the people are willing to pay for. She stated the County needs to use its tax dollars better, and needs less government, rather than more. She stated she feels impact fees are a quick fix and that the County will pay for them later in subsidies and affordable housing. She feels not only does the Board need to put the brakes on, but needs to turn the train around.
Commr. Gregg reminded all those present that the residents living in Lake County have been getting by on what they have been paying in ad valorem taxes, so feels that there is some fallacy in the attitude that the County suddenly has to have $1,000.00 a house in impact fees, to catch up, which would mean that the rest of the people in Lake County had a free ride. He stated he did not feel the County was short $200 million, which is what this would equate
out to, based on the number of houses in Lake County, at the present time. He stated he is for impact fees, to a certain extent, and feels that they can be done fairly, however, feels they ought to be phased in over a period of time. He stated he supports the school impact fees, but, would consider tabling it until the Board hears from the Supreme Court, and what it rules; however, feels the residents can live without the other fees, as he feels they are not totally necessary. He also feels that government is going to have to take a long hard look at the service they offer. He stated, however, that the Board needs to decide, if they table the school impact fee ordinance, when they will bring it back before this Board, for a decision. He stated Lake County has a negative image concerning new industry coming into the County and feels that the County needs to change that, at which time he alluded to the fact that there is a 7.9% unemployment rate in Lake County. He recommended phasing in the fees and tabling all the ordinances, at the present time; however, in the case of the school impact fee ordinance, felt that at the time the County receives the decision of the Supreme Court, to bring that ordinance back before this Board for a decision. He stated the County is being faced with more and more costs from the State and Federal Government, with no help in funding; therefore, what the people need to decide is whether or not they are willing to do with less services than what they presently have. He stated the County needs to cut services, and get more efficient, or it needs to increase taxes.
Commr. Bakich requested the Board to adopt some sort of time frame, or to have the Impact Fee Committee come back to the Board, concerning the remainder of the impact fee ordinances, so that the Board can prioritize them and determine whether or not they want them, as well.
A motion was made by Commr. Bakich and seconded by Commr. Gregg to table the school impact fee ordinance, until such time as the Board receives a ruling from the Florida Supreme Court, and that the remaining impact fee ordinances be tabled, as well.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz questioned how the Board proposed to fund the Capital Improvements Element that includes the improvements in fire protection, emergency, and law enforcement, which is part of the Comprehensive Plan that has been submitted, to which Commr. Bakich stated the Board has two options, being (1) that this Board work with the Impact Fee Committee, and decide at which time they want to bring the issue back, and give the people a clear indication of what they are going to do with the dollars they are going to take, or (2) that the County reduce its services.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
At this time, Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, noted an additional amendment which needed to be made to the Road Impact Fee Ordinance (which she distributed to the Board), on Page 6, Line 23, adding an exemption for the relocation of a residence from one site to another within the same Road Impact Fee District, provided the applicant shall provide documentation as to the prior site and that an impact fee was paid, or that the residence legally existed prior to the effective date of this ordinance.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved an amendment to the Road Impact Fee Ordinance, as alluded to above, by the County Attorney.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved and adopted the Road Impact Fee Ordinance, as amended.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK