The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Friday, July 12, 1996, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; G. Richard Swartz, Jr.; Catherine C. Hanson; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Commr. William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman, was not present due to illness. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Sanford (Sandy) A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Ava Kronz, Office Manager, Board of County Commissioners; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy, County Finance; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT
Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, brought to the Board's attention the fact that, for the second time, the Clerk's Office had received the Distinguished Budget Award for Lake County, for the FY 1996-97 budget. He stated that he was very proud of having received said award and felt that the Board would be, as well. He thanked those members of his staff that work on the budget, being Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Budget Director; Mr. Kevin McDonald, Senior Budget Analyst; Ms. Tracy Zeller, Senior Budget Analyst; and Ms. Julia Wilson, Budget Assistant, who were present in the audience, for a job well done and noted that he was grateful for all they do.
Mr. Watkins stated that there are no capital expenditures on the transfer side of the Clerk's budget and that the cost is basically in personnel. He stated that there is also a pay for performance, which is in conformance with what the County is doing, so his budget is fairly straightforward this year.
It was noted in the Board's backup material that the Clerk's budget for FY 1996-97 is $3,522,483.00, a 4.92% increase over the 1996 amended budget, and that excess fees are estimated at $12,000.00.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board set a goal for itself, during their retreats, and that the Clerk helped make it happen and he appreciated it.
Mr. Watkins noted that there has been a good working relationship between the County Manager's Office and the Clerk's Office.
Commr. Hanson stated that Mr. Watkins' staff seems to get better every year. She commended him for working so well with the Board, noting that it could be a less than cooperative relationship.
Mr. Watkins informed the Board that there are no new programs in his budget, that it is a baseline budget. He stated that there are two staff positions in the Courts area, one out of Transfer and one out of Fees, one working with the County Court and one working with the Circuit Court. He noted that both are in place, due to the demands of the Courts and court law.
The Board thanked Mr. Watkins for his presentation.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that she would present the County Attorney's budget, due to the fact that he was in a meeting and unable to present it himself. She stated that his recommended budget this year is $364,019.00, which is a decrease of 10.6% from 1995 actual expenses and 3% less than the 1996 amended budget. She stated that the only increases are in books, publications, and dues, which is the result of a professional training and development program that has been set up for the people in his office.
Ms. Quinnette Durkin, Legal Office Administrator, County Attorney's Office, appeared before the Board and answered questions regarding the County Attorney's budget.
A brief discussion occurred regarding the issue of the increase in books, publications, and dues and the possibility of the one part-time position becoming full-time next year.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the quality and timeliness of the work from the County Attorney's Office has never been what it is today and that he appreciated it.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 9:25 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for five minutes.
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS
Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections, appeared before the Board and presented her budget. She stated that the only change in her budget was an increase in Professional Services, in the amount of $4,800.00, for consultant fees. She stated that she had a decrease in Office Supplies, in the amount of $5,000.00, due to the fact that the State will be printing the County's registration forms. She stated that her budget was $424,211.00, a 1% increase over the 1996 amended budget. She stated that she had a decrease in Personal Services, for the Elections account, however, had an increase in the Repair and Maintenance account, due to the fact that she purchased two additional scanners and the maintenance agreements on them. She stated that her budget, overall, is $635,899.00.
The Board thanked Ms. Stegall for her presentation.
COUNTY ATTORNEY (CONT'D.)
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that next month will be one year that he has been employed by the County, as County Attorney, and that the agreement he has with the County requires that he be evaluated after one year. He stated that he felt it would be appropriate for the Board to do a formal evaluation of his office, as well, and that he felt they might want to schedule it for August of this year.
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Community Services, appeared before the Board and presented his budget, at which time he reviewed the Budget Highlights for his department, as follows:
. All activities related to the operation of the county-wide library system are recorded in an expendable trust fund, the County-Wide Library Trust Fund. Total expenditures for the fund for 1997 are budgeted at $1,161,808.00. The General Fund is the primary funding source, with $293,363.00 in grant funds anticipated in 1997.
. Operating expenses includes $376,810.00 in contractual services for participating libraries.
. Overall operating expenses have increased $46,798,00, or 10%, due primarily to increases in contractual services of $27,872.00 and repairs and maintenance of $9,850.00.
. Expenditures also include $80,065.00 in debt service for the purchase of computer hardware in 1994.
. The enhanced budget includes $23,208.00 in personal services for two part-time positions for a Technical Services Assistant and Computer Technician, and $98,043.00 in operating expenses for increased aid to participating libraries of $73,268.00 and an increase in communications of $13,614.00.
Development Grant II
. This request is for a grant of $55,000.00 for the purchase of frame relay equipment of $16,314.00 and personal services of $38,686.00 for a limited term position of Program Coordinator for Library Services.
CD Rom Network
. This is a new cost center for the CD ROM Network grant. The recommended budget for 1997 is $108,363.00, which consists entirely of capital outlay for a CD ROM Network and a Frame Relay network.
State Aid to Libraries
. This is a state grant for a library automation system, books, publications, and library materials and disks for the CD ROM network.
. The 1997 recommended budget of $246,500.00 includes operating expenses of $29,510.00 and capital outlay of $217,000.00 for the Frame Relay and CD ROM networks.
. The 1997 recommended budget is $122,087.00, a 24% decrease from the 1996 amended budget. These decreases are in contractual services of $43,700.00 for 1995 expenses rebudgeted in 1996.
. Operating expenses include $45,000.00 for microfilming.
. The enhanced budget includes $11,500.00 in capital outlay for a remote workstation and $6,245.00 in operating expenses.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:15 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would
recess for 10 minutes.
COMMUNITY SERVICES (CONT.D)
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director, Community Services, continued to
review the Budget Highlights for his department, as follows:
Cultural Affairs Council
. This is a new cost center to record revenue for the Florida Arts License Plate fees and the subsequent grant to the Cultural Affairs Council. The 1997 recommended budget is $3,100.00.
Human Services Administration
. The 1997 recommended budget is $151,013.00, a 1% increase over the 1996 amended budget.
. The enhanced budget includes $5,600.00 in operating expenses and $500.00 in capital outlay.
. The 1997 recommended budget is $72,006.00 consisting of operating expenses of $33,006.00 and grants and aids of $39,000.00, a decrease of $21,973.00 or 23% from the 1996 amended budget.
. Grants and aids includes payments of $15,000.00 to Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties; $7,500.00 to Lake Community Action Agency; $7,500.00 for Senior Services; $5,000.00 to Sunrise Workshop and $4,000.00 to Christian Social Services.
. Operating expenses includes $28,000.00 for pauper burials.
. The enhanced budget includes $25,000.00 in grants and aids.
Lifestream Behavioral Center
. This budget consists of a $164,659.00 contract with LifeStream Behavioral Center, a mandated program pursuant to Florida Statutes. This amount represents a 7% increase over the 1996 amended budget of $153,326.00. This increase is the result of additional transportation costs for Baker Act clients.
County Public Health Unit
. This program consists of the County Public Health Unit, a mandated program, pursuant to Florida Statutes, with a recommended budget of $448,321.00 for 1997, the same level as the 1996 amended budget.
. The enhanced budget includes $44,648.00 for operating expenses.
. The recommended budget for medical examiner services is $311,246.00 for 1997, a 2.7% increase over the 1996 amended budget. Revenues from morgue fees are budgeted at $126,500.00, the same level as 1996.
. The enhanced budget includes $2,250.00 in operating expenses and $10,000.00 in capital outlay for autopsy equipment.
. This budget consists of the payments required by Florida Statutes for Medicaid hospital and nursing home expenses. Total funding for these costs for 1997 is projected at $1,433,668.00, a $200,449.00 or 16.25% increase over the 1996 amended budget. This increase results from additional mandated costs of $200,000.00 for Medicaid hospital expenses.
. Other expenses include $50,000.00 for We Care and $8,650.00 for the North Florida Health Planning Council.
. The enhanced budget includes $110,000.00 for additional Medicaid hospital services.
. Activities related to the affordable housing program are recorded in a special revenue fund. The affordable housing grant for 1997 is $983,363.00.
. Recommended expenses for 1997 include grants to individuals of $900,000.00, personal services of $76,610.00 and $17,500.00 for Affordable Housing by Lake and the Lake Community Action Agency.
Section 8 Housing
. Section 8 expenses are recorded in a special revenue fund which tracks all revenues and expenditures related to the County's housing assistance program funded from federal sources.
. Federal revenues are budgeted at $935,977.00 for 1997, a 10% decrease from the 1996 amended budget. Grants to eligible individuals are budgeted at $796,740.00.
. Other funding sources includes beginning fund balance of $193,327.00 and interest earnings of $12,000.00.
Community Services Administration
. The recommended budget is $174,083.00, an increase of 2% over the 1996 amended budget.
. The enhanced budget includes $6,150.00 in operating expenses for promotional activities and books, publications and dues.
. The recommended budget for 1997 is $14,473.00 for the part-time services of the volunteer coordinator and operating supplies, the same as 1996.
. The enhanced budget includes operating expenses of $3,000.00 and $2,500.00 for a computer.
. This program is funded by revenues received from the Americorps Federal grant.
. The recommended budget is $242,541.00, a 9% decrease from the 1996 amended budget.
. The recommended budget for 1997 is $55,476.00, which is the local match. The match last year was $56,673.00.
. The recommended budget for 1997 is $155,308.00, an increase of 4.8% over the 1996 amended budget.
. Probation is funded by supervision fees collected from individuals serving probation, these fees are expected to be $420,000.00 in 1997, an increase of $68,000.00 over the 1996 amended budget.
. The Probation budget for 1997 is $357,335.00, a 1.6% increase over the 1996 amended budget. Based on the 1997 recommended budget, this program will return $64,165.00 to the General Fund.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 11:40 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
COMMUNITY SERVICES (CONT'D.)
Citizen's Commission for Children
. The recommended budget for 1997 is $217,275.00, an increase of 1.6% over the 1996 amended budget.
. The budget includes personal services of $51,267.00, $11,008.00 for operating expenses, and $155,000.00 for childhood development services.
Mr. Smith, Senior Director, Community Services, stated that there are a number of grants that Library Services is in line for and expect to be approved, pending the budget outcome this date.
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Manager, Community Services, appeared before the Board and answered questions, with regard to the grants and the equipment and personnel that said grants will fund. She requested two part-time positions, being (1) a Technical Services Assistant, and (2) a Computer Technician. She stated that she needs them both equally, but, if they do not get the part-time Computer Technician, she will have to recommend that the County not accept the $108,363.00 grant from the State, for a CD ROM Network and a Frame Relay network, at which time she explained the reason for said statement. She stated that, if the County does not accept the grant, she feels it might affect the County's ability to accept future grants. She stated that the CD ROM grant is fully funded, because the State wants it to succeed and they will not be happy if the County turns it down.
Commr. Cadwell interjected that he wanted the County to be cautious, in what it is doing, with regard to the library system.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that she was strongly recommending against the enhancements in the Records Management budget, because she does not feel the County is quite to the point that is has the understanding of where it needs to be going, with the Records Management operation.
Ms. Allison Thall, Human Services Manager, Community Services, appeared before the Board and discussed the increase in costs for indigent burials; problems that the County is having, with regard to the transporting of Baker Act clients to the Lifestream Behavioral Center; how the County deals with the Medical Examiner's Office, with regard to medical examiner services and autopsy equipment that said office is requesting; and health services that the County provides to its citizens, by mandate from the State, and costs involved with same. She stated that the Florida Association of Counties is actively working with the Tallahassee Medicaid Office, with regard to the payments required by the Florida Statutes for Medicaid hospital and nursing home expenses, and there are a lot of counties that have been very aggressively meeting, compromising, and negotiating, regarding the matter, and have made great strides, thus far.
Mr. Smith, Senior Director, Community Services, informed the Board that his department would like to change the way they handle the Rent/Utilities Program, for the coming year. He stated that they would like to fund Christian Social Services in Leesburg $4,000.00, so that when someone requests assistance with their rent and/or utilities, they can be referred to them and/or to the Lake Community Action Agency, in Eustis, who also has such a program. He stated that they had allocated $9,000.00 for rent utilities in the baseline budget and would like to reallocate $2,000.00 of that to the Prescription/Medication Program, which he noted would extend his department's ability to help clients in that area and would result in a savings of $3,000.00 to the General Fund.
Mr. Smith, Senior Director, Community Services, informed the Board that he; Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements; and Ms. Allison Thall, Human Services Manager, Community Services, had met with the Assistant County Administrator in Marion County, regarding the issue of either renovating the current Morgue, in Leesburg, or constructing a new Morgue, for the whole district, and that they hoped to meet with the other County Administrators in the third district, within the next two to three weeks, regarding the matter.
Ms. Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that the $200,000.00 allocated for Medicaid hospital expenses, under the Health Services budget, may not be enough, because it is an unknown, however, noted that there is $80,000.00 in the enhanced budget that could be used, if needed.
Ms. Whittle, County Manager, stated that Probation requested additional personnel, however, she did not recommend it, because she feels they are doing too much by hand, at the present time, and can do better by automating the operation.
Ms. Hillary Knepper, Coordinator, Citizen's Commission for Children, appeared before the Board and discussed, at length, various programs that the Citizen's Commission for Children offer, at which time she answered questions regarding same.
Ms. Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that one of the major focus areas for the County this year is to strengthen communities and that she feels the Board needs to take special note of the expenditures and programs that the County has in Community Services, because she feels that it is a major player in strengthening communities. She noted that the County's commitment to same, for FY 1994-95, was almost $6 million and the General Fund funding for same was almost $3 million. She stated that the recommended budget for FY 1996-97 totals almost $8.5 million and the General Fund funding is almost $4 million, so the County is following through on its commitment to fund areas that will strengthen communities, along the way.
It was noted that the Board would be looking at some of the items contained in the enhanced budget for the Community Services Department, before approving it.
The Board thanked Mr. Smith and his staff for a job well done.
It was noted that the first and second final budget hearings would be set for Thursday, September 5, 1996, at 6:00 p.m., and Tuesday, September 17, 1996, at 6:00 p.m.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that she had received some requests for additional funding, since completing the budget, and would schedule them to come before the Board at some point in the near future. She stated that it was requested that presentations be made regarding said projects.
It was suggested that a time be set aside on Tuesday, July 23, 1996, for said matters to be brought before the Board.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:20 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK