The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a joint session with the Lake County School Board on Tuesday, April 23, 1991, at 2:00 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; Michael J. Bakich; Richard Swartz; and Catherine Hanson. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; and Toni M. Austin, Deputy Clerk.
EDUCATION/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT/ORDINANCES
Mr. Jerry Smith, Chairman of the Lake County School Board, called the meeting to order. Mr. Smith, District 4, introduced the following School Board members and staff: Dr. Tom Sanders, Superintendent of the Lake County School Board; Ms. Phyllis Patton, District 1; Mr. Tim Sullivan, District 2; Ms. Pat Hart, District 3; Ms. Sandra Green, District 5; Ms. Betty June Cofield, Secretary; and Mr. Walter McLin, Attorney representing the School Board.
Commr. Bailey introduced the following County staff: Mr. John Swanson, Executive Director of Planning and Development; Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director of Current Planning; Mr. Larry Kirch, Director of Planning; and Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works.
Also present was Mr. Gene Molnar, on behalf of the School Board, and Mr. Howard Babb, Public Defender.
Educational Element - Lake County Comprehensive Plan
The first item for discussion was the addition of an educational element to the Lake County Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Swanson referred to his memorandum dated February 21, 1991, which stated that the tentative costs for the preparation of such a plan would be approximately $6,000.00. This would include two planners at 37.5 hours for two weeks, one clerical assistant for 38 hours
and one technician for 37 hours for printing and binding. Mr.Swanson stated that the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) is recommending that the Educational Element be mandatory in future Comprehensive Plans. He further stated that he feels it would be very beneficial for the School Board and County to participate in a joint effort to prepare an Educational Element that will assist in the growth and development for the County. Mr. Swanson stated that Osceola County and Orange County have an Educational Element within their Comprehensive Plans.
Discussion occurred regarding whether or not the School Board needed to form a Committee to obtain the data information, with Mr. Swanson stating that the statistical information would be needed, in order that the necessary future expansion be determined.
Mr. Swanson stated that he felt the County could participate with Dr. Sander's staff in collecting and analyzing the data, with most of it being in the form of statistical information.
Dr. Sanders stated that his staff could start the process of developing the element today, because the needed information is in place and includes projections for the present, as well as for the next five years. Dr. Sanders stated that all he needed was the format in which to place the data.
Commr. Swartz stated that an option has been presented, which would use some of the County's staff working in conjunction with the School Board staff, to try and put together a basic, or a minimum Educational Element for the Comprehensive Plan. He stated concerns involving the earliest adoption of the Element being somewhere between July and December, 1992, and that he does not feel that we need a "minimum" element. He suggested discussing the issue of not involving the County's staff, which is currently working on the County's Comprehensive Plan, and consider having the School Board hire a consultant to write the Element, with the County staff working with that consultant. He stated that he feels this would expedite the issue, and would eliminate the higher costs, in order to have an outstanding element.
Discussion occurred regarding grant monies available for such an issue, with Commr. Bailey stating that he is concerned with the costs involved with a consultant.
Commr. Bakich stated that an element can be developed, once the School Board determines how comprehensive it wants to be with the element, and how soon the School Board wants the element. He stated that the County's staff is going to be limited, because of their position in the development of the County's Comprehensive Plan, and the time frame for its completion. He stated that, if the School Board chooses the option of a consultant, there will be additional costs involved, but the element may be completed sooner.
Ms. Patton stated that the School Board could learn from the other counties who have the Educational Element, and could obtain the framework needed, in order to access the information the School Board currently has available. She stated that the School Board will determine the quality and level of service it wants for the County.
Commr. Swartz stated that there are no State Statutes that set minimum criteria for a school. He stated that the County staff is going to be burdened with the completing of the Comprehensive Plan, and Land Development Regulations (LDR's), and that the Board should seriously consider having the School Board seek a consultant.
Mr. Swanson stated that the earliest possible time that the County staff could prepare a plan would be from July through December, 1992.
Mr. Sullivan discussed the recommendation made by Commr. Swartz for the School Board to hire a consultant, and whether or not the County would have time to review the proposed element any earlier than the time indicated by Mr. Swanson.
Commr. Swartz stated that the reviewing process would be easier for staff than preparing the element itself, because the School Board has the necessary information and expertise for the level of service that needs to be developed.
Dr. Sanders suggested that the School Board proceed to develop the element as quickly as possible, and that the School Board think in terms of developing the best possible Educational Element.
Commr. Swartz stated that the County staff could assist with the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the consultant.
Mr. Swanson stated that grant funds that were available for the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan have been received and expended.
Commr. Bakich requested that Mr. Swanson investigate any possibility for grant funds, that could possibly be made available to the School Board.
Growth and Development
Mr. Gene Molnar appeared before the two Boards to discuss the growth and development in Lake County. He reviewed the population of Lake County in ten (10) year increments, in relation to the school population, with information being provided in five (5) year increments, and one (1) year increments. Mr. Molnar stated that the one (1) year increase in number of students is equivalent to one elementary school, with the statistics showing that, over the past five years, the County has increased in the number of students to indicate the need for five (5) additional elementary schools.
Mr. Molnar discussed the determination made by the Legislature that the State needed additional capital outlay, with the School Board being able to levy more millage. Due to the decisions made in the past regarding increases in millage, the School Board is now short 7.251 mills, which amounts to approximately 13.8 million dollars, which could have been used to provide the necessary schools.
Mr. Molnar discussed the south end of Lake County, and the future development being planned for this area. He stated that, if the developments being proposed are approved, there will be an increase in student population between 50-80%, in a 15-20 year building period. He stated that he has available the necessary data that will indicate the growth in Lake County, in order to make
the right decisions for the future. Mr. Molnar stated that the intent of providing the information was to show the impact on schools.
Commr. Bakich stated that the reason for the Technical Review Committee (TRC) meeting is for input to be provided, in order to determine what deficiencies may be created, due to development coming into Lake County.
Commr. Swartz suggested that the form that is completed by the developer for every project that comes through the Planning and Development Department, be included in the information provided to the Board for the Planning and Zoning hearings, in order that the Board members see the impact the development will cause to the area.
Commr. Swartz stated it is important that the Education Element tie into the County's Land Use Plan, in order that the availability of services will be considered before a decision is made by the Board.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, reviewed the information supplied in her memorandum dated January 4, 1991, in relation to redistricting.
The information from the Florida Constitution, Article VIII, Local Government, Section 1(e), states that, after each decennial census, the Board shall divide the County into districts of contiguous territory as nearly equal in population as practicable.
Chapter 124, Florida Statutes (1989), Commissioners' Districts, Section 124.01(3), states that the Board shall fix the boundaries of the districts so as to keep them as nearly equal in proportion to population as possible, with the changes being made in the odd-numbered years, and Section 124.02, indicates that the Notice of change of boundaries of district will be published four consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in said County. Also Section 124.03 indicates that the description of district boundaries be furnished to the Department of State.
Ms. Lustgarten stated that the new district boundaries must be adopted by the last Board of County Commissioners meeting in November, 1991, in order to meet the publication requirements.
Mr. McLin informed the Boards that there is no law that would require the districts for the School Board to be the same as the districts for the Commissioners.
Mr. Swanson directed the Board's attention to the maps, which indicated the areas of difference between the boundaries of the School Board districts and the Commissioners' districts.
Mr. McLin stated that there is a provision that requires the districts by odd and even numbers to run in odd and even years, which may impact the numerical numbering of the districts.
Mr. McLin stated that the predicted population will be 154,600. He stated that Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections, is trying to create precincts that meet her needs, and precincts that are not split between the districts that are important to her. He stated that there are currently 74,000 qualified electors in Lake County, and he discussed the possible population by precinct. He further stated that, in order to comply with the law to make districts by population, you have to have some way to know where the current census population lives.
Mr. McLin stated that three elements should go into the development of the districts, and they include where the people live, determined by a census count; secondly, is there a way to accommodate precincts to where you do not have split precincts within a district; and thirdly, is there a way to accommodate school population.
Commr. Swartz stated that criteria, or priorities, need to be determined for the development of the districts, and one would be to maintain an identifiable community; and two, maintain some semblance of schools. Commr. Swartz suggested that equal population be maintained; maintain the communities and schools to the extent that this works; try and create a south Lake district; and that the School Board and the BCC districts correspond. Once
all of these suggestions have been met, gerrymandering should be avoided.
It was noted that the consensus of the School Board members, and the Board members, is that a south Lake district is favored.
Discussion occurred regarding the different districts of concern, with Mr. McLin stating that no one can be drawn out of office (in reference to possible changes to the boundary lines.) It was also noted that the members of the School Board and the BCC want to avoid the splitting of precincts.
Issues or Facilities to Share
Commr. Swartz suggested that the staff at the County level and the School Board work cooperatively with one another to look at areas where shared facilities make sense (libraries, ball parks, etc.), and to look at ways to share the facilities, and to create ways to actually accomplish making this possible.
Mr. Smith stated that Dr. Sanders is aware of statutory authorities, or district boards, that may enter into agreements with non-educational governmental agencies.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if the School Board has someone on staff who writes its grants, and is aware of areas that this can be done, it could be brought to the attention of the Commissioners.
Commr. Hanson commended the School Board for working with the County on the grant application for the drug coalition, in the amount of $250,000.00 a year, and with the grant requiring no matching funds. She stated the County is at the point where it is going to need a lot more partnerships with the community. She asked the School Board if it would write the grant, or be the implementing agency, for the D.A.R.E. grant. She stated that, because of lack of coordination, the grant could not be implemented last year, but a reapplication will be made.
Dr. Sanders stated that the schools already have a drug education program, with Commr. Bakich stating that one of the problems with the grant was the duplication of the existing program.
Ms. Patton stated that implementing this grant would be duplicating the program that already exists within the schools, and suggested focusing the monies in a different direction, which may be through treatment, counseling, etc.
Dr. Sanders suggested that the County work with the School Board staff to utilize all the available resources to the maximum, and avoid any duplication.
Commr. Bailey informed the Board that the following public hearing dates have been scheduled for the School Impact Fee:
May 7, 1991 at 5:05 p.m.
May 21, 1991 at 7:30 p.m.
Commr. Bakich stated that, based on the motion previously made by the Board, regarding the School Board Impact Fee, the Board unanimously agreed to revisit this issue, when a decision had been made by the School Board, and that he hopes there will be support on this issue at the subsequent meeting.
Ms. Patton stated that the impact fee being requested, approximately $450,000, will not bring the level of service to the needs of the County.
Mr. Smith questioned whether or not the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) provides any mechanism for the schools, with Commr. Swartz stating that the funds from the MSTU can only be used for the benefit to proceed within that area. Ms. Lustgarten explained that the schools are not considered to be municipal services, and explained the reason for the creation of MSTU's.
Mr. Molnar referred to the wording "essential services", as indicated by Ms. Lustgarten, and as contained within a MSTU. At this time, Mr. Molnar referred to Florida Statutes, Chapter 235.193, Coordination of Planning with Local Governing Bodies; Chapter 163, Inter-Governmental Programs, Section 163.3161, and 163.02. Mr. Molnar stated that the concept of giving governmental units the opportunity and the means for flexible financing is indicated, with the School Board looking at one of these funding
mechanisms. Mr. Molnar also discussed the Community Development District, Chapter 190.012.
Commr. Bakich discussed the procedures involved to approve a new development, with input being supplied by the School Board. He stated that staff has the ability, at the TRC meetings, to make recommendations to the Board. He further stated that the majority of the developers have no problem working with the County and School Board, if they know up front what is needed, and can equate the costs into the development.
Commr. Swartz encouraged the School Board to be direct with the County in voicing its needs and desires for certain developments within the County, in order that the necessary provisions be made for education.
Commr. Bakich suggested that a workshop session be held, because it could be beneficial to the School Board members, in order for them to become more knowledgeable about financing mechanisms, including MSTU's, and the procedures used by the Board to approve developments.
Mr. Smith stated that he, along with the other members, will continue to work with Mr. Swanson and staff, as in the past.
Ms. Green stated that she does not believe that the impact fees are going to eliminate the problem the School Board is facing now and in the future, and that additional creative funding needs to be investigated. She stated that all of them together need to support the impact fees, education, and the young people in the County.
Dr. Sanders discussed the problem involved with the Board approving developments, after the School Board has impressed upon them that the schooling cannot be financed.
Mr. McLin discussed the ad valorem taxes and stated that the growth is needed for the tax base, but that the School Board does not have the power to tax.
Mr. Molnar stated that, when the impact fees are collected in an area, they are spent in that area, which means that, in south
Lake County, if there is no development, there are no impact fees collected.
Commr. Swartz stated that there is an alternative when the developer is required to provide the necessary facilities, and that they have to be in place concurrent with development, just as the developer is required to provide fire and police stations, and water and wastewater plants.
Ms. Lustgarten stated that a MSTU area covers only the unincorporated area of the County, and provides essential municipal services. A city can become part of a MSTU, if it adopts an ordinance, which would have to be approved by referendum. A MSTU is funded through either ad valorem taxation imposed by the County, or a special assessment imposed by the County. There are legislative constraints and constitutional constraints as to how a MSTU can be used. She further discussed making possible amendments to the existing interlocal agreements with the cities, which pertain to the impact fees, and stated that she is reviewing the ordinance being interpreted by the Supreme Court.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the two Boards, the meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced that the Board of County Commissioners would reconvene at 4:45 p.m. for the request being made by the Planning and Development Department.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Greg Stubbs, Director of Current Planning, addressed the Board on the request for approval of a special agreement between Lake County and the developer of Harbor Hills for the issuance of twelve (12) building permits. Mr. Stubbs stated that the request is for an amendment to the PUD to change a phase line, and does not affect any land uses. He stated that the request needs to go before TRC for a minor amendment. Through the process, it will delay the plat being recorded, and certificates of occupancy will not be issued until the plat is recorded.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, indicated that the agreement is the standard agreement used by the County, which she will review before the original is executed.
On a motion by Commr. Bakich, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved the above request, as presented by Mr. Stubbs.
It was noted that Commr. Gregg was not present for the meeting.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:48 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK
TMA\BOARDMIN\BCC SPECIAL MINUTES - SCHOOL B