A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JULY 9, 1997
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Wednesday, July 9, 1997, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: William "Bill" H. Good, Chairman; G. Richard Swartz, Vice Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson; Welton G. Cadwell; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Sandy A. Minkoff, County Attorney (arrived at 10:25 a.m.); Sue B. Whittle, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Director of Continuous Quality Improvement; Sarah LaMarche, Director of Budget; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; Tracy L. Zeller, Senior Budget Analyst; Kevin M. McDonald, Senior Budget Analyst; Julia A. Wilson, Budget Analyst; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
It was noted that a budget book containing the tentative Fiscal Year 1997/98 Budget had been distributed prior to the start of the meeting.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, presented Lake County’s tentative Fiscal Year 1997/98 operating budget and stated that the operating budget has been developed embracing the following tenets: Provides that General Fund current revenues are sufficient to support current expenditures; maintains the County’s strong General Fund reserves; provides sufficient maintenance and replacement dollars to ensure capital facilities and equipment are properly maintained; maintains a competitive compensation and benefits package for our work force; presents certain enhancements which would provide adequate service levels in several areas to the citizens of Lake County; and recommends a Countywide millage rate of $4.851 per $1,000 assessed valuation, which is 1.2% less than the current millage rate. She stated that the Fiscal Year 1997/98 total County budget was $151,155,426 at the baseline level and represents a $3.7 million, or 2.4%, decrease from the previous year’s amended budget of $154.9 million. She stated that the current year revenues for all funds total $93.2 million, an increase of $3.9 million over the previous year, and that the beginning fund balances of all funds of $42.2 million, and the interfund and intergovernmental transfers of $15.8 million complete the revenue side of the budget. She explained that the proposed current year expenditures total $112.9 million, excluding $14.9 million in interfund transfers, leaving $23.4 million in contingencies and reserves. She noted that the General Fund reserves represent 12% of the total General Fund budget.
At this time, Ms. Whittle stated that the budget has been developed considering the following major policy issues: Long-Range Financial Capacity; Debt Management Plan; and Strategic Issues. She noted that the budget provides the departmental action steps, performance measures, benchmarking, and a recommended dollar level of spending to meet the goals of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners’ focus areas for Fiscal Year 1997/98.
Ms. Whittle presented Budget Highlights for the Clerk of Circuit Court, Property Appraiser, Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector, Board of County Commissioners, Personnel Capital Outlay, and Federal Grant Programs. She stated that the fiscal impact of the Fiscal Year 1998 Capital budget has been projected at $24,106,704, which was 12% lower than the prior year’s budget of $27.3 million, and explained that the major outlay in the current request was for road improvements, construction, and various projects using Infrastructure Sales Tax dollars.
Ms. Whittle stated that three key assumptions have driven the detailed development of the recommended budget, at which time she discussed Future Funding/Cost Containment, Prioritization of Capital/Service Needs, and Streamlining/Efficiency Measures. Ms. Whittle concluded her opening remarks by stating that the Fiscal Year 1997/98 Annual Budget was responsive to the needs of the citizens of Lake County, and that staff has worked diligently to balance the needs while reducing the property tax rate from the prior year. She expressed appreciation to the Constitutional Officers for their cooperation, to the department directors for their hard work, and to the Budget staff, comprised of Ms. Barbara Lehman, Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Ms. Tracy Zeller, Mr. Kevin McDonald, Ms. Julia Wilson, and Ms. Linda Lorentz.
Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Director of Budget, presented an overview of the format of the budget book and noted that each department’s budget has been summarized on one page under the headings of Budget Highlights, Program Highlights, Enhancement Requests, and Benchmarking. She explained that the Board’s focus areas have been tied to certain key objectives and noted that, in the Enhanced Budget Requests for Fiscal Year 1997/98, the arrows indicate the recommendation of the County Manager at this time. She further noted that the General Fund Summary for Fiscal Year 1997/98 indicates a millage rate of 4.851, and a rolled-back rate of 4.733.
Discussion occurred regarding the Baseline Budget Pie Chart, and the General Fund Percentages of the Total Budget; at which time Ms. LaMarche indicated, at the request of Commr. Hanson, that an additional pie chart would be prepared to match the General Fund percentages of the total budget.
DEPARTMENT OF GROWTH MANAGEMENT
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for the Department of Growth Management, in the amount of $3,762,324, for Fiscal Year 1997/98, which was comprised of East Central Florida Planning Council, Director’s Office, Current Planning, Long Range Planning, Storage Tank Contract, Water Quality Services, Code Enforcement Services, Building Services-Main, and Building Services-South Lake.
Ms. Whittle stated that the requests for a Building Inspector I and a Clerical/Data Entry Operator (50%) for the South Lake Annex was due to increased building permit activity, and the standards that the County was striving to reach as far as the number of inspections to be done on a daily basis by each of the inspectors. She stated that the previously discussed request for a Planner III has been removed from the budget because it has been determined that the completion of the Evaluation Appraisal Report (EAR) could be accomplished with the existing positions.
Ms. Farrell briefly discussed and addressed questions pertaining to the following:
1. Computerized Integrated Data Management System
2. Complete the Evaluation and Appraisal Report
3. Upgrade Water Quality Technical Apparatus and Program
4. Educational Outreach Programs
Jeep Replacement - $23,800
Operating Expenses - $7,129
Long Range Planning:
Planner III - $53,552
½ Clerical Position - $10,865
Building, South Lake:
½ Clerical; Building Inspector, truck - $68,340
Ms. Farrell noted that, under Current Planning, Capital Outlay includes the replacement of three (3) computers and monitors, in the amount of $7,600; and the replacement of a 4WD-4-Door Jeep, in the amount of $23,800, under the Enhanced Budget.
Ms. Whittle noted that, under Long Range Planning, the decrease in Contractual Services, in the amount of $58,000, was due to the transfer to the GIS System Cost Center.
Ms. Farrell discussed Water Quality Services and stated that the Upgrade Water Quality Technical Apparatus Program was a Program Highlight that includes a request in Capital Outlay for a new Block Analyzer and Lab Auto Analyzer, in the amount of $16,459 (partial payment towards total price of $44,910 - balance in Fund 150) out of the Pollution Recovery Fund to replace obsolete equipment. At this time, she distributed a photograph of the old equipment that would be replaced.
Ms. Farrell discussed the Inspections/Reinspection program, under Code Enforcement; at which time Commr. Hanson stated that there were areas in Lake County, particularly communities in District 4, that should be inspected on a routine basis and not only on a call in basis. Ms. Farrell responded that to have a pro-active Code Enforcement program, additional inspectors would be required. She explained that Code Enforcement Officers do issue drive by violations when a violation is sited and that Mr. Tommy Leathers, Chief Code Compliance Officer, works with communities over neighborhood disputes. She noted that, when the Lake County Sign Ordinance is approved by the Board and enacted, a sign officer would be needed to enforce said ordinance.
Ms. Farrell explained that Building Services’ benchmarking has been based on a grand jury session that took place after Hurricane Andrew which outlined inspection criteria. She directed the Board’s attention to a memorandum, dated June 17, 1997, which illustrated the inspection criteria of 18 inspections per day per inspector. She stated that Building Services could use three (3) new building inspectors; however, were requesting one (1) clerical position, one (1) building inspector; and one (1) truck.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess and reconvene at 10:45 a.m.
OFFICE OF HUMAN RESOURCES
Ms. Lourdes Ramos, Personnel Manager, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for Personnel, in the amount of $347,558, and Labor & Employee Relations, in the amount of $139,351, for Fiscal Year 1997/98. She briefly discussed and addressed questions pertaining to the following:
1. Criminal background checks into recruiting/selection process.
2. Variety of professional development training for employees.
1. Operating Expenses - $6,452
Ms. Ramos stated that the Training Coordinator would be expanding training initiatives throughout the County and some of the areas of identified need have been identified by the employee survey. She further stated that criminal background checks in the recruiting/selection process would take place, and briefly discussed the Drug Free Workplace - New Hire Testing program. In response to a question presented by Commr. Good, Ms. Ramos stated that a cost benefit analysis could be prepared to determine the cost savings due to physicals, drug testing, alcohol screens, and background checks as listed under Professional Services in the amount of $21,375.
Mr. Wayne Hamilton, Risk Management, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for Risk Management, in the amount of $199,876, for Fiscal Year 1997/98, which was comprised of Risk Management, Property and Casualty Fund, and Employee Group Benefits. He briefly discussed and addressed questions pertaining to the following:
1. Risk Management: Countywide Wellness Program.
2. Risk Management: Expansion of Safety Action Team to include all departments.
3. Property & Casualty: Continue to implement loss control procedures.
4. Employee Group Benefits: Joint effort with Florida Healthcare Purchasing Cooperative, Inc. to increase participating providers and improve benefits.
Mr. Hamilton stated that they were continuing to implement various techniques and lost control procedures that comply with OSHA Standards required by the State Department of Safety. At this time, he addressed questions pertaining to worker’s compensation, and employee health benefits.
Commr. Swartz questioned if there was an appropriate way to share with the Constitutional Officers information on the County’s insurance programs, and the costs associated with said programs to provide the Constitutional Officers the opportunity to compare their insurance programs against the County’s insurance programs.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, presented a brief overview of the tentative budget for the Office of the County Attorney, in the amount of $373,535, for Fiscal Year 1997/98. Ms. Quinnette Durkin, Legal Office Administrator, was present to provide statistical information and answer questions during the Budget Workshop. Mr. Minkoff stated that the County Attorney’s office would continue training for employees in the areas of Ethics, Public Records, and Sunshine Law and that they would be conducting seminars on notary public and understanding easements and legal descriptions. He stated that he would be requesting that the current part time position be upgraded to a full time position in the Fiscal Year 1998/99 budget.
Commr. Hanson suggested that the County Attorney’s office utilize the volunteer program for clerical assistance.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:40 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
DEPARTMENT OF FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Chief Craig Haun, Senior Director, Fire and Emergency Services, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for Fire and Emergency Services, in the amount of $7,292,362, for Fiscal Year 1997/98, and stated that the Enhanced 1998 Budget, in the amount of $7,442,349, includes seven (7) new positions, one of which was a General Fund position in Animal Control, and six (6) positions funded out of Fire Rescue and a combination of Fire Rescue and North Lake Ambulance. He noted that the Enhanced Budget requests were two percent (2%) above the recommended budget.
Chief Haun briefly discussed and addressed questions pertaining to the following:
1. The reorganization of department cost centers for more efficient tracking of financial data.
2. Staffing the Communications Center with County Emergency Dispatch Personnel.
3. 24 - Hour County Public Response through Communications Center.
4. Additional firefighter to complete full shift.
5. Medical training Program to be provided for all fire departments in North Lake County.
6. Free EMT refresher training to cities through Medical Training Program.
7. Additional Animal Control Attendant for Shelter Operations to assist with euthanasia services.
General Fund - 001
Stock extra rescue supplies - $3,595
Expand Station 42 to house SERT units - $75,200
Radio Communications System - $6,000
Gas Monitor - $2,548
Air Shoring - $4,379
6.5K Generator - $1,500
Miscellaneous - $5,295
Mobile Communications Tower - $26,375
Attendant I and associated supplies - $25,095
Ms. Whittle stated that she was recommending that the request for the expansion of Station 42 to house SERT units be funded through Infrastructure Sales Tax and that she was not recommending funding for a Mobile Communications Tower. She stated that she was recommending funding for the remainder of the above noted enhancement requests.
Chief Haun explained that Miscellaneous, in the amount of $5,295, has been outlined in the Program Detail, under Special Emergency Response Team, as Other Changes, in the amount of $894; Scot SAR’s, in the amount of $2,600; Lid Loc, in the amount of $800; and Electric Ventilation Blower, in the amount of $995.
Ambulance Fund 122
Dispatch Supervisor and 4 Dispatchers at 20% - $31,007
EMS Training to Fire Personnel responding to calls - $40,000
Fire/Rescue Fund 168
Firefighter/EMT and related supplies - $41,632
Dispatch Supervisor and 4 Dispatchers at 80% - $124,013
Operating Expenses - $8,305
Computer and CAD System - $27,500
Fire Impact Fees 169
Fire Impact Fees:
Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) - $25,000
Commr. Hanson brought up for discussion the possibility of establishing a program that would place a County employee in the outlining unincorporated communities to act as a community facilitator for problems in the communities and making the community feel a part of the County. She discussed the possibility of making this position the responsibility of an official paid firefighter.
Ms. Whittle stated that the above noted program has been started and that the Board has included in their strategic plan that the firefighters should interact more with the community. She stated that staff would further review this issue.
Chief Haun directed the Board’s attention to Performance Measures for County Ambulance Services and noted that the proposed millage rate for the Fiscal Year 1997/98 budget was .139, which was lower than the rolled-back rate of .154 for North Lake Ambulance.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board would need to look at the millage rate for the Fiscal Year 1997/98 budget during later discussions in the budget process and noted that there were issues that were involved with the provision of ambulance service as it currently is or might be under future contract. Ms. LaMarche interjected that she would provide the actual dollar difference between the proposed millage rate of .139 and the rolled-back rate of .154.
In response to a question presented by Commr. Good, Ms. Whittle stated that she was recommending all of the above noted items listed under Program Highlights for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 2:30 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess and reconvene at 2:50 p.m.
George E. Knupp, Jr., Sheriff, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for the Office of the Sheriff, in the amount of $24,591,659. It was noted that a revised budget titled Lake County Sheriff’s Office FY 1997/98 Budget, a report titled Lake County Sheriff’s Office Staff Study Manpower Projection, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office 1996 Annual Report had been distributed to the Board prior to the start of the presentation. Ms. Linda Carter, Finance Director, was present to provide statistical information and to answer questions during the Budget Workshop. Sheriff Knupp stated that the increase in the budget for Fiscal Year 1997/98 was due to an increase in salaries and sixteen (16) new deputy sheriff positions in order to create four (4) new zones in the high incident areas, which would decrease the size and coverage area of each existing zone due to growth in Lake County.
Lt. Tom Mysinger and Lt. John Burrows, Sheriff’s Office, appeared before the Board to discuss the creation of four new zones, at which time zone maps were displayed illustrating the present zones that require three supervisors and one deputy per zone per shift; and the proposed zones that include four additional zones per shift. Lt. Mysinger discussed the boundaries of the zone map illustrating the proposed zones, the response time for the present zone map versus the proposed zone map, and the need for the additional sixteen (16) deputies. He noted that the estimated response time for the proposed zone map would result in a fifty percent (50%) reduction in response time.
Sheriff Knupp directed the Board’s attention to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Fiscal Year 1997/98 Budget booklet and discussed the allocation of the sixteen (16) new positions. He explained that the allocation was based on hiring four (4) positions for the months of October, December, February, and April. He stated that the original budget for Fiscal Year 1997/98 included a five percent (5%) increase for health insurance; however, he has recently been advised that the increase would be revised to two percent (2%) and that the budget has been revised accordingly.
Sheriff Knupp directed the Board’s attention to the Breakdown of Estimated Excess Fees and Other Revenue Generated by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and noted that the total excess plus revenue generated for Fiscal Year 1997/98 would be in the amount of $2,612,255.
Discussion occurred in regard to a sub-station in Astor, at which time Sheriff Knupp stated that the Sheriff’s Office would open a sub-station as soon as the Board could provide the funding. Ms. Whittle interjected that sub-station rental in Astor, in the amount of $525 per month, has been listed under Additional Budget Requests for Fiscal Year 1997/98.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.
WILLIAM "BILL" H. GOOD, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK