The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 20, 1998, 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: G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson; William "Bill" H. Good, and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Sue Whittle, County Manager; Ava K. Kronz, Director, Continuous Quality Improvement; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Cadwell gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that there was a published addendum to the agenda today, and she requested that Tab 15 be withdrawn from the agenda. She noted that item regarding R. N. Little Companies would be rescheduled.
Commr. Good stated that he had a couple of items that might require a vote. The first was a request to purchase the book Holding Our Ground for the Agricultural Advisory Committee. The second was a request to approve a proposed Resolution for "No Wake" zones around the edge of some of the more flooded lakes.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to add the two items to the agenda, as requested.
Commr. Good stated that he had one more item that he might bring forward under his business, if the individual who wanted him to speak was present at the time.
Commr. Cadwell questioned what the reason was for the withdrawal of Tab 15 regarding the execution of contract for sale and purchase of property in Lake County Central Park between Lake County and R. N. Little Companies.
Ms. Whittle explained that the contracts have not been prepared, and the individuals wanted to reschedule it for the next meeting.
Discussion occurred regarding the Minutes of December 16, 1997, with the following changes being made:
Page 14, Line 26 - to add language to clarify the issue of "the keeping of hobby pigeons in a non-commercial fashion."
Page 15, Line 7 - to add the following language: "be that uses such as this are deemed hobby and would not require a CUP."
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Good and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 16, 1997, as amended.
CLERK OF COURTS' CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts' Consent Agenda Items 1-5, as follows:
Bonds - Contractor
369-98 William B. Bass dba Bill Bass Roofing (Roofing)
5031-99 Aron Electric, Inc. (Electrical Contractor)
5143-98 Jay's Heating and Cooling, Inc. (Heating & Air Conditioning)
5519-98 Janecka Electric Co. (Electrical)
5592-98 TCB Framing Inc. (Carpentry)
863-98 Fiesta Pools of Ocala (Swimming Pool Contr.)
Request to acknowledge receipt of the unclaimed excess proceeds for tax deeds totaling $2,018.83.
Request to acknowledge receipt of City of Clermont Miscellaneous Ordinance No. 331-M, An Ordinance Under the Code of Ordinances of the City of Clermont, Lake County, Florida, Providing for the Annexation of a Certain Parcel of Land Contiguous to the Present City Boundaries, as described as Lots 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 27 of Summit Subdivision.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following: Before the Florida Public Service Commission, Notice of Commission Hearing to Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc., AT&T Communications of the Southern States, Inc., MCI Telecommunications, Inc., MCI Metro Access Transmission Services, Inc., Metropolitan Fiber Systems of Florida, Inc., and All Other Interested Persons:
Docket No. 960757-TP, Petition by Metropolitan Fiber Systems of Florida, Inc. For Arbitration with Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc. Concerning Interconnection Rates, Terms, and Conditions, Pursuant to the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Docket No. 960833-TP, Petition by AT&T Communications of the Southern States, Inc. For Arbitration of Certain Terms and Conditions of a Proposed Agreement with Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc. Concerning Interconnection and Resale Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Docket No. 960846-TP, Petition by MCI Telecommunications Corporation and MCI Metro Access Transmission Services, Inc. For Arbitration of Certain Terms and Conditions of a Proposed Agreement with Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc. Concerning Interconnection and Resale Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Docket No. 971140-TP, Petition by MCI Metro Access Transmission Services, Inc. To Set Non-Recurring Charges for Combination of Network Elements with Bellsouth Telecommunications, Inc.
Notice of Hearing and Prehearing:
Hearing - Monday, January 26, 1998, 9:30 a.m., Room 148 Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida; Tuesday, January 27, and Wednesday, January 28, 1998, have also been reserved.
Wednesday, January 14, 1998, 9:30 a.m., Room 152, Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida.
Request to approve Budget Adjustment for FY 97/98.
1. Fund: Landfill Enterprise Fund
Department: Solid Waste Management
From: Improvements Other Than Buildings $25,000
To: Professional Services $25,000
Transfer #: 98-076
Justification: Transfer to place funds in proper account code to pay for Landfill Gas Consulting Services.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Tabs 3 through 11, and Item I. A., on Addendum No. 1, for the following requests:
Request for approval and execution of Satisfaction of Mortgage Deed for Larry Dean McPeters and Tammy Lynn McPeters.
Request for approval of release of the Request for Proposal for the Human Services Grant in Aid Funds for Fiscal Year 1998-99.
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/State Agencies
Request for approval and execution of Amendment No. 1 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Contract No. GC514.
Bonds/Roads-County & State
Request for approval and execution of Mobile Home Bond for Edwin Oathout to place a travel trailer on property lying South of Dupree Road in the Pittman area, while constructing a conventional home.
Request for acceptance of Statutory Quit Claim Deeds and Statutory Warranty Deeds.
Road Vacation - Permission to Advertise
Request for approval to advertise Vacation Petition No. 859 by Dan and Monica Connolly to vacate Right-of-Way (Dora Street), Map of Astor, Sec. 37, Twp. 15, Rge. 28, Astor area - Commission District 4.
Road Vacation - Permission to Advertise
Request for approval to advertise Vacation Petition No. 860 by Eugene G. And Kay W. Hill to vacate easements, Sec. 24, Twp. 19, Rge. 27, Sorrento area - Commission District 4.
Request for acceptance of Quit Claim Deed for Blanche Kolinski for Road Special Assessment #776128.
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Municipalities/Solid Waste
Request for approval and execution of Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the Town of Howey-in-the-Hills regarding the payment and application of solid waste system fees and establish an effective date of February 1, 1998.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Economic Development
Request for approval and execution of letter to Robert A. Mantovani outlining modifications to the Agreement between Lake County and Robert A. Mantovani regarding Declaration of Restrictive Covenants for Christopher Ford Central Park.
PERSONAL APPEARANCES/PUBLIC HEARINGS
4TH QUARTER STORMWATER REPORT
Ms. Lora L. Bailey, Special Services Director, addressed the Board and explained that the presentation would be given today as it will be given for a public hearing on February 12, 1998, on the SR 19 Stormwater Feasibility Project. She introduced the consultants from Dyer, Riddle, Mills and Precourt (DRMP), who would be making the presentation and distributed information that would be reviewed by them .
Ms. Pat Mayhill, City of Eustis, explained that there has been joint funding by the County through the road impact fee program and through the Department of Transportation and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), to fund the project. They were able to establish the scope of the project and to review it as they went along, with all of the affected agencies being directly involved. The next step will involve the question of how the projects will be funded.
Ms. Michelle Stevens, DRMP, stated that she was the Project Manager for the SR 19 Stormwater Feasibility Study. She introduced to the Board Mr. Jim Hunt, Project Director, and Ms. Sherry Burrows, Water Quality Specialist. Ms. Stevens stated that the SR 19 Stormwater Feasibility Study was conducted as part of a project development and environmental process, in order to be eligible for Federal funding, and a public hearing will be held on February 12, 1998, at the American Legion Building. She noted that the project location is within the City of Eustis in the downtown area and included portions of SR 19, Grove Street and Bay Street, as well as SR 44 (Orange Avenue). Ms. Stevens discussed the following topics in great detail:
General Project Information
Stormwater Diversion (8 sub-basins)
Recommended Alternatives (short term/long-term solutions)
Maintenance and Repair (approximately $500,000)
Stormwater Diversion Alternatives (priority flow chart in handout material)
(Grand Total - approximately $9 million for all improvements throughout all of the basins)
Project Schedule (12 to 24 months)
Discussion occurred regarding whether the Eustis City Commission has discussed how much it can put aside for this project, as opposed to the other things the City is doing with its stormwater budget.
Ms. Mayhill noted that this presentation has not been made to the City Commission, but it will be made to the Commission following the public hearing. She stated that last year the City of Eustis estimated $280,000 collected in the Stormwater Utility Fee.
There were questions about the way the areas had been prioritized, and Ms. Stevens explained that the entire stormwater system going to Lake Eustis is all connected, and in order to address it logically, you have to take the system from the outside and work towards the center. Ms. Bailey noted that different agencies have been involved as part of the project team, and they have been receiving the documents leading up to the public hearing.
Commr. Swartz stated that, as soon as the presentation is made to the City of Eustis, he would like to see the County contact all of the other agencies for possible funding and establish a meeting, in order to find out how much money the County can expect that they would bring to these types of projects.
Commr. Swartz noted that, while the County has started looking at the problems that have occurred at the intersection of SR 19 and the Bay Street area, this proposal encompasses almost half of downtown Eustis, but all of the areas contribute to that area around SR 19 and Orange Avenue.
No action was taken by the Board on the presentation.
Astor/Astor Park Wastewater Treatment Facility Project
Ms. Bailey addressed the issue of the Astor/Astor Park Wastewater Treatment Facility and stated that she has been working with Mr. Bill Chandler and Hartman & Associates and has submitted a legislative position paper recently, and as a result of this action, she has received several inquiries from the different branches meeting at this particular time who are getting ready for the next fiscal year's budget. They have been able to take the project cost estimate developed to date and break it down over the next three or four years and submit it to Representative Robert Sindler's Office, and Senator Anna Cowin's Office. Ms. Bailey stated that she has been able to act as the liaison for the project, and yesterday Hartman & Associates sent a three page letter advising her of several other funding options that the County may want to consider.
Commr. Hanson stated that she had talked to Senator Cowin last week and she was working very hard with the Legislature, and Commr. Hanson wondered if it might be helpful for this Board to send a letter of support to the Governor, and to the Volusia County Board, either from the Chairman of the Board, or the entire County Commission, to back the project and funding sources from the State.
Commr. Swartz stated that a copy of the Board's legislative packet could be sent along with a cover letter to the Governor and Cabinet, as well as Volusia County.
CITIZEN QUESTIONS AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Gordon Peckum, Mount Dora, expressed how upset he was about the way the Fire Chief, Craig Haun, had been dismissed by the County and how he was concerned about the volunteers. Mr. Peckum presented the Board with some personal history about himself and his work in fire rescue, and as a volunteer with the fire department and rescue squad when he lived out of State and stated that, because of his personal experiences, he wanted to see the County keep the volunteers, because they were really needed.
Commr. Swartz stated that historically the Board has very much wanted to support volunteer effort in Lake County, because the Board has never believed that the County could provide as high a level of service strictly through paid firefighters as it could with volunteers. One issue he saw changing was that there was more and more areas of Lake County that wants a level of service that goes beyond what it can provide with volunteers, or with an extremely small number of paid firefighters and volunteers. He feels that the County will enhance its ability to provide fire and emergency medical services by having volunteers. He stated that the Board's commitment to that has never wavered.
Commr. Hanson stated that she mailed a letter to Senator Cowin after their last meeting, and she talked to her last week, and Senator Cowin agreed that the law is somewhat unclear on the issue on volunteers and nepotism. Senator Cowin suggested that the firefighters, or the Fire Chiefs' Association, get together and work to change the legislation and law, so that it is very clear that volunteer firemen do not come under the nepotism law. She stated that it was extremely important, because there are still many fire departments in this State and throughout the nation that are manned purely by volunteers. She further stated that the strict interpretation that Lake County is following will hurt it very much with its volunteers.
Mr. Don Walton addressed the Board and stated that he was made aware of a survey that was going to be done regarding fire services, and he wanted to know who was going to pay for it.
Commr. Gerber explained that she would be funding the survey, because it is a part of her research project in a class that she is taking at Stetson University. She stated that the class started in August, 1997, and she will be finding out what the people expect from their fire service and how much they are willing to pay for it, because there are social science theories that play in these factors. Commr. Gerber stated that Craig Haun has been very helpful by going through the survey with her. She noted that the Fire Advisory Board's recommendations have been incorporated into her project.
Commr. Swartz stated that the last major recommendation that came from the Fire Advisory Board dealt with the station closing plan that the Board of County Commissioners adopted. He stated that a workshop has been scheduled for February 10, 1998, when the Fire Advisory Board will be making a presentation to the Board on its most recent review of the fire level of service.
Mr. Walton discussed a copy of a proposal from the Fire Advisory Board that was presented to the Board in 1995, and stated that, in 1996, when it was to be presented again, Ms. Sue Whittle County Manager, told Chief Haun not to present the recommendations of the Advisory Board to the Board of County Commissioners.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board listened to the presentation made by the Fire Advisory Board, and it unanimously decided not to act on it. The County found itself in a lawsuit with Water Oak in the Lady Lake area challenging the County's special assessment, and the way in which the fire system was actually funded, and the ramifications of that action were possible changes eliminating the special assessment and possibly having to refund one to two years and possibly more of the special assessment. The court case went on for about two years, and it was resolved last year, at which time Commr. Swartz asked the Fire Advisory Board to proceed and review the various options, and to come forward with a recommendation of proposal and presentation for a workshop with the Board on February 10, 1998. Commr. Swartz noted that the County prevailed in the lawsuit, and the special assessment was upheld. He stated that there has been a legitimate progression from the Fire Advisory Board. He explained the process that will be used for the workshop and noted that the meeting will be held in the Board Meeting Room.
Mr. Walton addressed the firing of Craig Haun, and his son, Matt Haun, and questioned whether his son would be reinstated.
Commr. Swartz explained that this would be a decision made by the County staff. He stated that the Board unanimously passed an Ordinance in 1989 or 1990 that tracks Florida Statute 125 that provides that the County have a County Manager form of government, and in that Ordinance, it says very clearly that the County Manager, based on the action of the Board of County Commissioners, is the chief administrative officer responsible for managing all of the departments under the Board of County Commissioners, and the County Manager is responsible for hiring all employees, for disciplining all employees, and if necessary, for terminating employees. Commr. Swartz stated that the Board gives its advice through the County Manager and County Attorney, and it would give its advice based on the level of confidence it has in the County Manager. Commr. Swartz explained that volunteers receive a stipend, which was primarily instituted, at some opposition even from volunteers, to help reimburse volunteers for the cost of getting to the calls that they made. The only other monies paid to volunteers is to provide the equipment they use and the training they receive while becoming a firefighter. The volunteer firefighters come under the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, which is managed by the County Manager.
Mr. Walton explained that Matt Haun was a volunteer with the Pasco Volunteer Fire Association, which is a chartered association in the State of Florida. He asked that Matt Haun be reinstated tomorrow, at the latest, as a volunteer, because the letter Matt received indicated that he had gone out of bounds of following the chain of command.
Commr. Swartz stated that he, as well as the rest of the Board members, are in tune with the numbers of calls received, and in tune with the fact that there is one paid firefighter in five stations, and two paid firefighters in two other stations, and the request made by Mr. Walton had been noted, and the County Manager heard the request. As he has stated before, he realizes that changes need to be made in the fire system. He believed that there would be changes in the fire system and the level of service, and he believed it would be increased, but to what extent, he did not know.
Commr. Hanson agreed with the recommendation made by Mr. Walton, to immediately reinstate Matt Haun as a volunteer, because the reason for terminating him, his father being Fire Chief, has been eliminated, and now Matt Haun is qualified and trained, and the County has spent money on his training.
Mr. George Winters, Paisley, addressed the Board and stated that all of the outlying areas of the County are having trouble with fire protection, police protection, and emergency medical services, but coming from industry, if you hire a manager to do a job, you allow them to do it.
Ms. Linda Duty, volunteer firefighter, addressed the Board and encouraged the members of the Board to join the fire department, because of the great need for volunteers. Ms. Duty's concerns included the position now being held by Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, and particularly the position currently being held by Mr. Frank LaFleur, Acting Fire Chief, who she felt was in the same position that Craig Haun was in with his son, Matt, because Mr. LaFleur's son, Steve, is a Lake County Fire Rescue District Chief. She also wanted the Board to be aware of the fact that there is a chain of command in the volunteer system.
Commr. Swartz explained that putting Mr. Jackson as Interim Senior Director of Fire and Emergency Services was appropriate, as well as putting Mr. LaFleur as the Interim Fire Chief, and efforts continue to be made in the cases that are known to change the command structure so that the nepotism rule can be avoided. He further noted that Ms. Whittle has made every effort where she was aware of these things to try and deal with them.
Mr. Matt Haun, Umatilla, addressed the Board and explained that he never once reported to his father, Craig Haun, except in major instances where everybody reported to him. He further explained that he has followed the chain of command to try and be reinstated, and he has never received an answer to his request for reinstatement.
Commr. Swartz explained that, if there was a question that was still outstanding, he could assure him that he will receive an answer either through a phone call or a letter. He was confident that over the course of the next few months, by the time the Board can change the funding level, if the Board chooses to make changes which would be the beginning of next budget year, October 1, there will be a different system, and perhaps different funding in place.
Commr. Hanson felt that the Board had an opportunity here today to have a young person set an example for others, and she felt they had already made one mistake and she did not want to them make a second one.
Mr. Walton addressed the Board, once again, and questioned the procedures that the County uses when someone makes a request to be on the agenda.
Commr. Swartz explained that there is a policy that governs the ability for someone to get on the agenda, and Mr. Walton could get a copy of it.
Commr. Hanson noted that there would be a workshop on February 10, 1998, and although it might not be open to public comment at that time, she would suggest that there would probably be public hearings where the public will comment on the proposals that will be recommended.
Mr. Ed Watkins stated that he has been in Lake County for 27 years and he has been paying his fire dues. He just bought a building permit that cost him $1,200 to put up a double wide home, and he was very concerned that it takes ten minutes to get there from the Yalaha station. Mr. Watkins stated that most people in the County do not know where their fire station is located. He stated that the County is in the development business and is being impacted with new manufacturing businesses and pointed out the increased traffic on Highway 27. Mr. Watkins stated that he did not see the County having its priorities in place. He suggested that the Board take a good look at any new project that comes into the County and determine how it is going to be funded for fire protection.
Ms. Katie Wettengel, President of the Silver Lake Homeowners' Association, addressed the Board and stated that, in the last few weeks, she has attempted to gain information regarding fire protection in the Silver Lake Community. There are approximately 550 homes and the closest fire station is in Bassville Park, which is manned by one person. The next closest station is located at Mid-Florida Lakes, and it is a volunteer station. Ms. Wettengel stated that she understands that the volunteers do not have schedules, and if they are in the area, they respond quite rapidly; but if they are not in the area, they cannot respond within the ten minutes required to be effective. The next closest station with a water tanker is on SR 44B north of Mount Dora, which is a 20 to 25 minute drive. She questioned how any community can be protected by paying a $35 fire fee.
Mr. Richard Gander, Tavares, addressed the Board and stated that he served on the Fire Advisory Board, and he lives 16 miles from the nearest fire station. He was a volunteer for 32 years and a paid fireman in New York City for 27 years, and he felt it was disgraceful to think that a station would be 16 miles away.
Mr. Lee Windhorst addressed the Board and stated that he had been told by Commr. Hanson that, if the Board members ever had questions regarding an issue, they depended on the advisory boards to provide them with information. He has been on the Fire Advisory Board since 1993, and the Advisory Board has never once been asked to come before the Board to give their opinion. When the Fire Advisory Board came before the Board in 1995, it asked the Board to increase the fire department over a ten year period, which they thought was very reasonable, but this opinion was ignored.
Commr. Hanson explained that, because of the court case mentioned earlier, the Board could not take any action, and at a Board Retreat last summer, the Board discussed an option of going ahead and raising the fire tax, but there was not enough time to get it on the tax bills in the fall, and that was why the Board was having to wait until this next year.
Mr. Windhorst stated that, after the Fire Advisory Board's request was turned down in 1995, Chief Haun had indicated that it would be brought back to the Board in 1996, but Ms. Whittle indicated that it would not be brought back, and she wanted him to work out an incentive program for volunteers. The Advisory Board put together a package and it was approved, and it requested that the volunteer firefighters give the County two years as volunteers, after the County paid for their education. Mr. Windhorst discussed a Board meeting that was held at the Plantation and questioned why the Board members who attended that meeting did not address the questions that were asked about their fire house and why Chief Haun was not at the meeting.
It was clarified that the advertised public meeting had been scheduled, with only the Commissioners, at the request of the Plantation, and questions were answered at that time.
Mr. Warren Weekly, Volunteer Support Services, addressed the Board and questioned whether the Commissioners in the past, or for the future, have thought about privatizing the fire department.
Commr. Swartz stated that, as the Board looks at what it is going to do in the future, they would be looking at all options that might be possible in order to provide the very best emergency services, fire services, EMS, and ambulance services to the public in Lake County for the most cost effective and efficient way.
Mr. Weekly questioned whether there had been any type of negotiations or talk with other cities in Lake County about possibly annexing more property into the County for their current fire service.
Commr. Swartz explained that there is some mutual aid with the cities, but there has always been some willingness to talk to the cities and find out whether or not there is a better way to provide fire protection than each having fire services. He clarified that cities annex property, not the County, but they do not have the ability to annex properties that do not want to be annexed.
Ms. Wettengel had a question about the ISO ratings, and Commr. Swartz suggested that she talk with Interim Chief LaFleur for detailed information.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:48 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 11 a.m.
ED HAVILL, LAKE COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER
Mr. Ed Havill, Lake County Property Appraiser, addressed the Board to discuss the subject of the lack of constructive leadership and the lack of consideration of the public's feelings by the County Manager's Office on multiple issues. He reviewed specific issues briefly with the Board, as well as the comment made earlier that the Board of Commissioners do not interfere in personnel issues, and stated that he feels there has been gross mismanagement by Ms. Whittle's Office. He stated that Ms. Whittle should admit her mistake and immediately reinstate Mr. Craig Haun as the County Fire Chief.
Commr. Hanson stated that she felt that there had been a significant amount of influence by this Board on County Managers in the past, since she has been on the Board, on hiring and firing issues, and she was bothered by the fact that this Board felt they did not get involved with the personnel issues of the County.
Commr. Hanson made a motion for the Board to rehire Craig Haun as the Fire Chief for Lake County.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz questioned whether her motion meant for the County Commissioners to assume responsibility for hiring and firing and then to reinstate Craig Haun.
Commr. Hanson clarified that her motion was to make the recommendation, to Ms. Whittle, to rehire Craig Haun. She further clarified that the motion was similar to her recommendation that he not be fired in the first place.
Commr. Swartz explained that normally this would be something that the Board would put on the agenda, but since it is not on the agenda, and given the nature of the issue at hand, he felt that the best thing to do would be to take the motion, and therefore, without objection from the Board, he would accept the motion.
There being no second made to the motion, it was noted that the motion died for the lack of a second.
Commr. Good wanted to ask that, as a point of order, if the motion had received a second, in light of the County Ordinance, would it have been legal.
Commr. Swartz stated that the motion was made and it needed to be given the opportunity for a second, and he allowed this, and without objection from the Board, the motion was accepted.
Commr. Good stated that he would ask the County Attorney for a legal opinion at some future date.
Commr. Swartz clarified some of the issues that had been brought forward by Mr. Havill and noted that the budget today was unanimously approved by the Board, and all of the initiatives done by Ms. Whittle, with the exception of those that were strictly personnel, have been done with the unanimous support of this Board.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Ms. Pat Werner, Economic Development Council (EDC), addressed the Board to discuss the request for approval to submit the Florida Economic Development Transportation Fund application for the construction of 1,000 feet of divided four-lane road (Independence Boulevard) at Christopher C. Ford Central Park, on behalf of Maritec Industries.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, noted that the correct dollar amount was $188,000.
Ms. Werner stated that this was for a grant from the State, which would be through the State's Economic Development Transportation Fund.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request, as stated above, in the amount of $188,000.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Ms. Pat Werner, Economic Development Council (EDC), addressed the Board to discuss the request for approval and execution of contract for sale and purchase of property in Lake County Central Park between Lake County and Thurston Robert Ackerbloom, Jr. and Maralina Ackerbloom in the approximate amount of $200,000. Ms. Werner informed the Board that Maritec has requested a first right of refusal for two years on the ten acre balance of the site, as indicated on the map, and the amount of the contract is $20,000 per acre. The sale price and conditions of the contract were discussed by the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Lake County on November 13, 1997, and the project was discussed by the Board on December 16, 1997. There is no commission connected with the sale, and the sale is subject to a ten day Public Notice of Sale, as required by Florida Statutes.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that the proposed agreement would grant Maritec access through the County owned property, which had just been described as the retention area, in order to get to the lake to test their boats. Maritec has also requested the language, which he had passed out to the Board, which would provide that, should the County ever attempt to develop the retention pond into a water body, they would be involved in the discussions. He had been contacted by the operator of a ski school about looking at some other uses for some of this facility, so the County may see other proposals through the Tourist Development Council (TDC) side, as opposed to the IDA side.
Commr. Swartz noted that he had some letters from some of the residents that live in the area, and they thought that the Board was giving exclusive use of Church Lake. He responded to the letters he received and indicated that the County does not have the ability to grant any exclusive use to the lake, because the lake was not solely on County property, and any arrangement the County entered into did not provide for exclusive use of Church Lake. There was also a memorandum from Ms. Leslie Little, Senior Director of Economic Development, that outlined the type of testing and schedule they would be using. Commr. Swartz stated that the retention area meets the County's needs for Phase 1, but it does not provide stormwater for the other phases. He would like discussions to be started right away with other interested parties, because even if it was turned into a wet retention, it would look better than it looks today.
Commr. Gerber stated that she would be more comfortable with specific numbers and criteria including limited hours.
Commr. Swartz stated that the best place to have the opportunity to deal with the suggestions made by Commr. Gerber would be with the provision of the easement, because they could be conditions of the use of the easement.
Mr. Minkoff stated that most of the contracts are structured where there is a 60 or 90 day period after signing, in order for them to get the survey done, and to make sure the site is acceptable. If the County was unable to negotiate an easement that was satisfactory to both parties, then closing would not occur. He noted that enforcement would probably not be through Code Enforcement, but through some legal action, if there was a problem.
After discussion about additional language being included in the agreement, Mr. Minkoff offered the following additional language to Section H.: "with conditions approved by the Board of County Commissioners regarding use thereof."
Commr. Cadwell explained that it will be a public right-of-way, and the County will control it, but they will have access to it. If they violate the agreement that created public access, they will be stopped from using it, and the process will be quicker than Code Enforcement.
Commr. Gerber stated, for the record, that she would like to see conditions, in the agreement, so that they do not test boats on the weekends, and they do not test boats before 7 a.m., or after dark.
Mr. Minkoff stated that, if the property has been posted for " no trespassing", then no one can go across the property without permission. The fact that the County owns it does not mean the public can walk across it.
After further discussion, it was noted that the easement agreement, with the additional language that was offered, would be brought back to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the execution of the contract for sale and purchase of property in Lake County Central Park between Lake County and Thurston Robert Ackerbloom, Jr. and Maralina Ackerbloom in the approximate amount of $200,000, with the additional wording provided by the County Attorney's Office.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/GROWTH MANAGEMENT
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director of Growth Management, presented the request for approval and execution of a budget change request for $9,000 to be moved from Contingency to Contractual Services for title searches on property that the County has found to be unsafe or has condemned.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Good, to approve the request, as stated above.
Under discussion, Commr. Gerber questioned the amount of $9,000 and wanted to know the recording costs.
Ms. Farrell stated that the backup material noted 40 unsafe building cases, which were determined from September through December, and staff anticipates an increase in the number of cases. She stated that information had been received from the County Attorney's Office indicating another title group, which reflected the difference between $12,000 and $9,000.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director of Growth Management, stated that last month the Board had approved a day care facility and directed the petitioner to meet with staff to discuss a reduced impact fee. The request today involves the reduced fee for that particular day care facility.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the Board would be handling each case of this type in this manner, according to Ordinance 1997-86. He stated that staff anticipates a simple agreement by which the applicants would understand that, if they changed the use, the impact fees would be recalculated based on the new use.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request to charge fifty percent (50%) of Day Care Facility Transportation Impact Fee for day care developed in accordance with Ordinance 1997-86, and to use interest accumulated via other transportation impact fees collected by the County for payment of the other fifty percent (50%) required via the adopted Fee Schedule.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/MUNICIPALITIES
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director of Growth Management, noted that the request before the Board involves the seven vehicles based at the Clermont Office that are used for the inspections at the south end of the County.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request and execution of the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the City of Clermont for automobile maintenance, due to the cost savings involved.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works, addressed the Board to discuss the request for acceptance of a Maintenance Map for C-561A at Lake Minneola Bridge. Mr. Stivender stated that the property owners have been sent written notice by registered mail.
Commr. Swartz stated that, even though this was not a public hearing, he thought it was the intention of the Board to have the meetings to see if there was any input from adjacent property owners. At this time, he called for public comment from anyone present who might be affected by the request.
It was noted that Ms. Florence Poole and Mr. Robert Poole were present in the audience, and they reviewed the map before the Board and noted that they had no problems with the request.
On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request for acceptance of a Maintenance Map for C-561A at Lake Minneola Bridge.
Mr. Stivender informed the Board that a policy has been written outlining the procedures that were just taken by the Board and staff would be bringing it to the Board.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
The following vested rights determination has been issued. (A complete letter of determination may be reviewed as part of the original agenda packet.)
Vested Rights Determination for Lots 13 through 17 in Block M. Of Ocala Forest Campsites No. 4, a Subdivision in Section 5, Township 17 South, Range 27 East, Lake County, Florida 12/29/97
As of the date of this letter, Lake County determines certain vested rights associated with lots 16 and 17 of the plat for Ocala Forest Campsites No. 4, a subdivision in Section 5, Township 17 South, Range 27 East, Lake County, Florida. Lake County will not deny the property owner the right to develop lots 16 and 17 in accordance with the administrative variance granted on April 19, 1982, or the lot approval granted December 10, 1985.
Notwithstanding any vested rights associated with lots 16 and 17 of the plat for Ocala Forest Campsites No. 4, Lake County denies any vested rights associated with lots 13 through 17 in Block M of the plat for Ocala Forest Campsites No. 4, a subdivision in Section 5, Township 17 South, Range 27 East, Lake County, Florida.
Vested Rights Determination Regarding Property Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Being Part of Lot 30 in Francis J. Hinson's Plan of the Town of Altoona, as Recorded in Plat Book 1, Page 29 - 1/06/98
Lake County will not deny the owner(s) of said Parcel "A", acting in good faith, the opportunity to develop the property as a residential lot in accordance with the "R-1" (Rural Residential) Zoning District. For the purpose of this vested rights determination, acting in good faith shall mean that within six (6) months from the date of this vested rights determination:
1. The owner(s) dedicate right-of-way along Clark Road in accordance with the County right-of-way policy; and
2. A building permit is issued for a primary structure and said building permit does not expire.
Vested Rights Determination Relating to Property Being a Portion of Block 54 and Block 61, of the Unrecorded Plat of Higley, in Section 12 and 13, Township 18 South, Range 25 East (DVR File No. 98-1) - 1/08/98
Lake County will not deny the owner(s) of property being Parcel "1", as described on the Plat of Survey revised in August 1982, acting in good faith, the opportunity to develop said property as a residential lot in accordance with the "A" (Agriculture) Zoning District. For the purpose of this vested rights determination, acting in good faith shall mean that within six (6) months from the date of this vested rights determination:
1. Deed restrictions obligating the property owners, and releasing Lake County from any obligation, to maintain the easement described on the Plat of Survey revised in August 1982, are executed, and recorded with this vested rights determination, in the Public Records of Lake County, Florida; and
2. Right-of-way along Thomas Boat Landing Road is dedicated to Lake County in accordance with the County's established right-of-way policy.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/SUITS AFFECTING THE COUNTY
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, felt that the Board would be seeing a Settlement Agreement on this special master process (Durden) in the next couple of weeks.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Good and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Special Master Agreement between Lake County; Chester R. Durden and Doris H. Durden, Owner; and Robert Q. Williams, Special Master; to retain Robert Q. Williams to serve as the special Master in Case No. SM-8-97.
COUNTY MANAGER - REPORTS
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, presented to the Board the Lake County Tomorrow Progress Report, October 1997, and noted that the Board had received it back in October when the Leadership Summit was held in Eustis. She also presented a review report that she wanted entered into the record on some of the organizational things that have happened over the past two and a half years, based upon the investments in the employees that the Board has made.
Commr. Cadwell extended his appreciation to Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, for the professionalism she showed during Mr. Havill's comments and stated that he appreciated the job that she was doing for the County.
COUNTY MANAGER - REPORTS (CONTINUED)
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, noted that a Board Advance meeting has been scheduled for January 30, 1998, but because of some schedule conflicts on part of the Board members, the meeting was being canceled, and it would be rescheduled for a later date. She noted that the Fiscal Advance has been scheduled for February 13, 1998.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER GERBER - DISTRICT #1
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/COURTS-JUDGES
Commr. Gerber stated that the Interagency Agreement for the Lake County Teen Court Program has to accompany the grant application, and she was asking for approval and signature by the Chairman. She noted Page 2 of the Agreement, which spelled out how each person would be involved in the program and stated that it was patterned after Volusia and Citrus County.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the execution of the Lake County Teen Court Program Interagency Agreement.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER GOOD - DISTRICT #2
Commr. Good brought forward a proposed Resolution regarding the recent heavy rains that have occurred in Lake County. He stated that around some of the edges of the lakes, due to the high water, there are now navigational hazards, and because of the high waters, there is some property damage to properties abutting the lakes. The Resolution is asking that, within 100 feet of the property, or land edge surrounding the water body, there be established an idle speed of "no wake zone" to assist in the prevention of navigational accidents, and to prevent property damage. He would like to have a time certain attached, or specific water height, that would make it a temporary situation, or to have it be enacted when this Board takes action to establish a state of emergency due to flooding.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, if the Board limits the Resolution to a temporary basis, it would be affective, but he has also given the opinion that the Sheriff could probably enforce this now under the Declaration of Emergency status. If the Board wishes to make it permanent, or for a significantly long period of time, it should be done by Ordinance and placed in the Code. Mr. Minkoff explained that the Board has adopted, upon recommendation by the Water Authority, several idle "speed - no wake", or "low speed - minimum wake", and the Water Authority usually takes the initiative, after the Board passes a Resolution, to get the signs permitted and placed, and the Resolution could be limited in time. He explained that the normal chain of command is that the Water Authority makes a recommendation to the Board, so the Board may wish to put it in place for a temporary period and ask them to review it and make a recommendation to the Board, in which case the Board may wish to eliminate Section 3 and just place the signs at the ramps and other public access points.
Commr. Good made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell, to approve the Resolution with a limitation to 60 days, and if it is necessary for the issue to be addressed in the future, the Board will readdress it, and to eliminate the language in Section 3, with signs only being placed at the entrance locations for the boat ramps.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz stated that, if the Resolution is adopted, he suggested that it be sent to the Water Authority asking them to not only review the lakes noted in the Resolution, but also the other lakes that have high water.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Commr. Swartz requested that Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, discuss this issue with the Director of the Water Authority.
Commr. Good had a request for the purchase of a book called Holding Our Ground for the Agricultural Advisory Committee. He stated that the Board has not, in the past, had a precedent or a policy in place for the purchasing of multiple copies of books for the County's Boards or Committees. He stated that this particular book is about various activities that have occurred around the nation regarding the preservation and protection of agricultural properties and particularly those that are in the condition of producing food and fiber. He was requesting the purchase of 17 copies of the book, in the approximate amount of $475.32. He presented the Board with backup material for review. Commr. Good noted that this was not a budgeted item in the Legislative or the Administrative budgets of the Board Office, so he was requesting that it be approved from the Contingency Account.
Commr. Hanson stated that it was probably a very worthwhile book, but she would recommend purchasing five books, or some number less than 17, and sharing them.
Commr. Cadwell felt that the Board would be setting a precedent, and he would prefer to have some interested agricultural people buy them and donate them to the Committee.
Commr. Swartz asked that Commr. Good take the suggestions of the Board for providing the books in some fashion, and it can act on the request in another way, if necessary. He stated that the Board may want to order enough books to have one in each of the member libraries.
No action was taken on this issue.
Commr. Good informed the Board that he had received a phone call from Mr. Jim Modica who stated that he would not be able to be here for the meeting until 1 or 1:30 p.m., so he was going to miss the meeting today. He wanted to bring forward, for Board discussion, an item that was already discussed by the Board.
Commr. Swartz asked that, if the Board wanted to look at reconsidering an issue that the Board has already acted on, the appropriate way would be to have a motion for reconsideration from the prevailing side.
Commr. Good stated that, in seeking the motion to reconsider the funding of $62,000 for the Clermont Boat Ramp, he would ask if the Board members have received a copy of the Save Our Lakes Committee statement in opposition to the City of Clermont's application for Lake County Parks and Recreation 1997-98 Boating Improvement Program grant, because there was extremely important information, in regards to the motion he was seeking today. He pointed out that, on the application that was submitted to the grant committee, there was information that this document brings to question.
Commr. Swartz stated that, without getting into detail, since the Board members have a copy of the information, or they can get one, the Board can look at these things, because he has had discussions with Mr. Modica and asked him to provide, prior to taking that vote, any information if he thought it was relevant. He did not receive anything prior to taking that vote. Each member that was on the prevailing side can look at it and decide whether or not they would like to bring forward a motion for reconsideration.
Commr. Good asked that there be a motion for reconsideration of the motion, which the Board passed concerning the grant dollars.
Commr. Swartz explained that Commr. Good could not make the motion, because he was not on the prevailing side. He stated that the four Commissioners that were on the prevailing side have now been made aware of this and they can read it, and if there was a desire to reconsider, it could be placed on the agenda by a Commissioner on the prevailing side.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:10 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 12:25 p.m.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that Ms. Cindy Freeman was present in the audience, and she is the Lieutenant Governor for this district for the Kiwanis Club, and she also works at the Health Department. She stated that Ms. Freeman, as well as Mr. David Cleary, were here to make a few opening comments.
Mr. David Cleary, Tavares, addressed the Board and stated that he represents a local citizens' action group called Lake County Citizens' Committee for Alcohol Health Warnings. He stated that the Committee had its first Ordinance in the City of Leesburg in 1986; the first County Ordinance in 1989. He stated that the reason why health warning signs are needed locally at points of sale is because there are no health warnings of any kind in alcohol advertising, which is concentrated more on juveniles than any other population group. Alcohol advertising and television carry no warnings about addiction, no warnings about birth defects, no warnings about the potentially fatal danger of mixing alcohol with other drugs. Mr. Cleary stated that The Florida Department of Health, The Department of Education, and the Florida Highway Patrol want the sign, because this is the only public notice in the United States concerning alcohol addiction. Mr. Cleary stated that he had talked to Mr. Keith Mullins before the meeting and Mr. Mullins admitted that he has never seen this sign, he did not know what it said, he was not aware that alcohol advertising contains no health warnings of any kind, and he had the misconception that this sign was a prohibition effort to cut off the sale of all alcoholic beverages. He asked Ms. Cindy Freeman, Supervisor of Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, Lake County Health Department, to give the Board the latest information about the worst alcohol hazard, which was the current upsurge in fetal alcohol syndrome.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County has an Ordinance that requires posting of the sign and throughout the State it is voluntary, so the County is sending a Resolution to the State asking that it consider making it mandatory throughout the State.
Ms. Freeman addressed the Board and stated that she first got involved with this in the early 1970s when the syndrome was first discovered, and in the 1980s, the fetal alcohol syndrome statistics showed 1 per 1,000 live births, and now it shows 6 to 7 per 1,000 births.
Mr. Keith Mullins, Clermont, addressed the Board and stated that alcohol abuse is a problem, but there are many products in the grocery stores that, when abused, can cause health problems, but there are no warnings on these products. He stated that numerous health studies internationally have shown that up to two glasses of wine a day can be a benefit to the lowering of heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer. Due to regulations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the wine industry is forbidden from putting any of that information on their label, or in their advertising, but they are required to put on every package "Government Warning" etc. etc., but he learned from Mr. Cleary that 65% of the people do not read the package. Mr. Mullins stated that women with a substance abuse problem are not going to be deterred by a sign in the grocery store, because they have bigger problems in their lives. He felt that half the message was being put out, because if you say wine is bad for you, why not say a little wine is good for you, too, because to put out such information is biased toward the wine industry, even though it is not a bad sign. On a local note, the production and sale of wine products provide income to 37 families in south Lake County, and on behalf of those families, he asked that the Board not increase the already heavy burden of Federal, State, local laws, regulations, licenses, tax, and fees that everyone has to endure. He questioned the cost of the sign, as well as the enforcement of it, and stated that he wished that responsible alcohol consumption could be taught to children, and people could become more educated on the issue. Mr. Mullins stated that, if the public is to be educated, lets try and give them a complete education.
Commr. Swartz questioned what better way there would be to get the message to the targeted audience, and what would be the harm to try and educate people who might not fit the categories as indicated, but others that might not know that alcohol could be harmful to the developing child.
Mr. Mullins questioned the effectiveness of the sign and stated that he felt it was a good message, but it was being directed at the wrong people. He felt that directing this generic sign to the whole general population was a futile attempt in getting the message across.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether Mr. Mullins felt, in any way, the posting of the signs in Lake County have hurt the business efforts for his own business, and he questioned whether he would be supportive of a sign, if it added the other side of the story.
Mr. Mullins indicated that it would be a fantastic sign, if both sides of the issue could be presented.
Commr. Hanson stated that the enforcement of the issue may be a problem, but the Board still needs to look at the cost to the taxpayer for the babies that are born with the fetal alcohol syndrome.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell, to approve Resolution 1998-12 supporting the posting of "Health Warning Signs" informing the public of the dangers of alcohol.
Under discussion, Commr. Gerber questioned the effectiveness of sending letters to other counties, because the Board needs to realize that the sign is never going to get passed state wide, because of the strength of its lobby.
Commr. Swartz stated that, at the time Lake County passed it, it seemed that the County, as well as Mr. Cleary, sent some letters.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Commr. Hanson stated that a Resolution was handed out regarding invasive non-native plant species, and she would like to make a motion to place it on the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request to place the proposed Resolution on the agenda, as requested.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Resolution is asking the Water Authority to create an inventory of non-native invasive plants. She noted that, since Lake County has the GIS, this may need to be inserted in the language to replace the Water Authority. She stated that this was a time sensitive issue, because the Malaluca Task Force is meeting on January 23, 1998.
Commr. Swartz stated that, since the GIS has been transferred to the County, he would suggest that staff review this and bring it back to the Board, for whatever action that the County may need to take, and in asking the staff to review this and bring back some evaluation of the work product, the cost and the benefit, then the Board can act on it.
Commr. Good made a motion to have this brought forward at the next meeting with an analysis of the cost and hours it would take to develop the information on a mapping inventory.
It was noted that a motion was not needed to give staff direction.
Commr. Hanson had requested of Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, information on the position of the Chairman and authority of preventing another Commissioner from speaking. From the information she received, the Board does not really have a policy, and it tries to follow Roberts Rules of Order.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that he had distributed to the members a copy of the memorandum that he wrote to Commr. Hanson along with the attachments, for their review.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER SWARTZ - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #3
Commr. Swartz stated that, due to the rescheduling of the Legislative Delegation to Wednesday, January 28, 1998, he would not be able to attend the meeting, and therefore, he requested that Commr. Cadwell, Vice Chairman, attend the meeting, and if he was unable to attend, perhaps another Commissioner could attend. He did not know if they wanted a full and complete report as before, but the Commissioner could meet with the County Manager and the County Attorney and see if there were any other points that they might want to make in discussing this with them.
Commr. Swartz stated that, with regard to extending the Resolution the Board had acted on last week regarding the State of Emergency, Tuesday would be seven days.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, stated that she did not believe that the Board needed to continue the Resolution, because the County has been included in the Presidential Declaration of Disaster Area.
ADDENDUM NO 1
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER SWARTZ - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #3
Commr. Swartz noted that he had attached a copy of the letter from Dr. Jerry Smith, Superintendent of Lake County Schools, asking the Board for a response, at the earliest possible date, with regard to a request that the Board fund to the highest possible percentage a new elementary school in Astatula. He asked the Board how it would like him to respond to the request.
Commr. Cadwell explained that, with this particular request, he thought that the School Board was talking about a million dollars. He asked that the Board let the County Manager come back with a report that, if the Board did come forward with a million dollars for this new elementary school in Astatula, what the ramifications would be to the Board's own budget and their own responsibilities.
Commr. Good agreed with this position, and Commr. Hanson stated that there is a need for $3 million, but they are not necessarily dedicated needs. She stated that the Board could designate a million dollars for a year, but she did not think that the Board wanted to get into designating it for one particular school, but if the County had a million dollars that could be designated for infrastructure for schools, because of the growth in the County, she would be very willing to do this through the extent of the one cent sales tax, as it has currently been approved, for the next three or four years. She stated that the School Board is going to have dollars for infrastructure, but their real needs are going to be to repay the bonds, and she questioned whether the million dollars could be used to pay interest for infrastructure.
Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, stated that, currently on the bonds that the County has as outstanding, the sales tax can be used to pay the interest and principal, but she questioned using it for someone else's bonds that are outstanding.
Commr. Hanson stated that it can be used for interest and debt repayment for the infrastructure in the County for the County's capital improvements, and she would think that, if the Board designates the money to go for infrastructure for the schools, if they need to use it for interest repayment for their infrastructure needs, it would follow the use.
Commr. Swartz stated that, at one of the Fiscal Retreats, the Board spent most of its time looking at the infrastructure sales tax and the County's five year capital program, and the Board prioritized all of the items it knew it had to do, and it prioritized, at a lower level, those that may have been requests from staff, and on that basis, it was so many millions short of the money that was necessary to meet the County's own needs. He was confused about what money would be used for the one million dollars.
Commr. Hanson stated that it would be the capital infrastructure sales tax..
Commr. Swartz stated that, at the end of this fiscal year, there will not be that much money in that budget.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they have had ongoing meetings with the School Board, and he would like to make the request of the County Manager to provide the right information, so that he can make the right decision.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if his understanding was correct, and there will probably be some expenses to the infrastructure sales tax balance that are not in the budget, as they go forward with some of the projects, he recalls that there would only be $440,000 in there at the end of this fiscal year. The County would have to borrow money in order to actually provide that type of grant.
Commr. Hanson stated that she did not know if the County could do it this year, because it had not been budgeted this year, but the best way to look at it is to have the County Manager bring it back for the Board to look at it for mid-year and subsequent years.
Commr. Swartz stated that the proposal that the Board made to the School Board in October that originated out of Commr. Hanson's plan, was to approach the School Board in a cooperative mode and to say that, if they were interested in going forward with a referendum proposal, then the Board would look in the interim, assuming that the referendum was passed by the voters, at seeing whether or not there were funds that the Board might be able to allocate. The reports made it abundantly clear to him that there does not exist a majority of the School Board that are interested in the proposal that the Board made to them. He stated that the same report would come back to the Board from staff that shows the County does not have sufficient monies to do the projects it already knows it has to do, which does not include such things as the Fairgrounds that the Board took action on last Tuesday. The County has current obligations for debt service as it relates to the Industrial Park, as it relates to the bonds for the landfill, and the County is still paying the principal and interest on the original bonds that funded the jail and the judicial complex.
Commr. Good stated that he did not feel there was any confusion at all, and the School Board understands the position of the Board. He stated that the Board does not have the money to do those things that it is statutorily bound to do, and out of kindness and courtesy, he would support Commr. Cadwell's position to get a report, so that it can be sent back to the School Board, so that they can see the position that has already been communicated to them in the past.
Commr. Swartz stated that it was not necessary for this Board to continue to pursue something that the majority of the School Board does not want to pursue, because, even if the Board was able to go forward, it was clear that the voters of Lake County are not going to endorse any extension of sales tax when you have one of the taxing boards that is against it. Unless there is some change, he would be glad to go along with Commr. Cadwell's recommendation.
Commr. Hanson felt that at least the information could be brought back from Ms. Whittle, and she thinks that the Board should be looking at a million dollars for a full year, for the next four or five years, if it can be done. She explained that the Board has not sat down with the School Board, since that time, so she would like to get the information from the County Manager, in order to look at what the Board could reprioritize.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board, at the Board Fiscal Retreat, had a request from the School Board, and the Board went through the priorities and it deleted items.
Ms. Whittle stated that it would be appropriate for the Board to revisit this issue, and staff intends to revisit the capital projects program at the Fiscal Retreat scheduled for February 13, 1998.
Commr. Swartz noted that he would inform the School Board that the Board is unable to give an answer right now, because it will be discussed further at the Fiscal Retreat.
Commr. Swartz discussed the request to approve the 1998 Board liaison appointments, as presented. He stated that they were essentially the requests that each of the Commissioners had made, except where Commr. Gerber was assigned to Juvenile Justice.
Commr. Hanson understood why Juvenile Justice was assigned to Commr. Gerber, but she noted that it gives her six committees, and she was down to four committees. She stated that she has a very strong interest in Juvenile Justice.
Discussion occurred regarding the request from Father David Randolph for meetings with the Board members noting that an attempt had been made to coordinate them.
Commr. Cadwell made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Good, to approve the 1998 Board liaison appointments as presented.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz suggested that, given the nature of Juvenile Justice, Commr. Gerber had already requested them to schedule the meetings at a time so that a Commissioner could be present.
The Chairman called for a vote, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Commr. Swartz stated that he appreciated Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, sitting through some criticism that he felt should have been more properly directed at the Board, because virtually all of the initiatives that she has instituted, which he feels has made a dramatic improvement in the way County government functions, the Board has approved.
Commr. Good commended Ms. Whittle's spirit and efforts and extended his support.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:13 p.m.
G. RICHARD SWARTZ, JR., CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK