The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Friday, February 13, 1998, at 9:00 a.m., at the Camp Ocala 4-H Center Lodge, Altoona, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; William "Bill" H. Good; Catherine C. Hanson; and Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Sandy A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Sue B. Whittle, County Manager; Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager; Ava Kronz, Director of Continuance Quality Improvement; Sharon Farrell, Senior Director, Department of Growth Management; Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities & Capital Improvements; Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Department of Public Works; Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Department of Community Services; Donald Post, Senior Director, Solid Waste Management Services; Sarah LaMarche, Budget Director, Office of Budget; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, Office of Finance; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
It was noted that an agenda and a packet of information had been distributed prior to the start of the meeting.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, stated that during the annual Fiscal Advance this date the Board and staff would be looking at the proposed Capital Improvement Program, and the operating needs of Lake County through Year 2003. She stated that the proposed Capital Improvement Program also includes the capital needs and additional personnel that will be required during the next five years for the Constitutional Officers and the Judges. She briefly discussed Thirty Years of City and County Tax Structures in Florida prior to 1968 through the 1990's and provided historical data on Municipal Revenue Sharing, Electric Utility Tax, State unfunded mandates, Federal Revenue Sharing, Homestead Exemption, TRIM law, federal and state mandates increase, single-member districts, 6 Cent Sales Tax, 1985 Growth Management Act, approval of 1 Cent Local Option Sales Tax, Telephone Utility Tax, Police and Fire Pension mandates, Unfunded Mandates Amendment, reform of the revenue sharing, uniform court cost reporting for counties, Local Option Gas Tax, Save Our Homes in '92, and Occupational License Tax Reform. She stated that, over the next few years, Lake County will have to look at different scenarios and possibilities on ways to pay for the services that the County will have to provide.
PROJECTIONS OF DEPARTMENTS TO FISCAL YEAR 2002
At this time, the following Senior Directors provided a board overview of the challenges facing their departments and briefly discussed the five year projections through Year 2002: Mr. Fletcher Smith, Department of Community Services; Ms. Sharon Farrell, Department of Growth Management; Mr. Don Post, Solid Waste Management Services; Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Department of Public Works; Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, Office of Finance and Board Support; Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Budget Director, Office of Budget; Sandy A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Ava Kronz, Director of Continuance Quality Improvement; Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager; and Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities & Capital Improvements.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:50 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Advance would recess for lunch and reconvene at 1:00 p.m.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PLAN
Ms. Whittle directed the Board's attention to the Proposed Capital Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 1999 - 2003, which outlines the Five-Year Capital Improvement Program, and identifies the department, capital project, capital amount, fiscal year, and funding source for each project.
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Department of Community Services, presented the capital projects for the Department of Community Services and briefly discussed the Central Library System, in the amount of $4,550,000, for Fiscal Year 2001/2002; and the Astor Branch Library System, in the amount of $750,000, for Fiscal Year 2000/2001.
Commr. Swartz noted that the Central Library System and the Astor Branch Library System has not been approved by the Board and suggested that an asterisk be placed by the capital projects listed that have not been approved indicating that they were subject to Board approval. It was the consensus of the Board to identify by an asterisk capital projects that have not received Board approval.
Facilities & Capital Improvements - Parks and Recreation Division
Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements, presented the capital projects for the Parks and Recreation Division and explained that the annual grants for recreation development grandfathers out and becomes a new program in Fiscal Year 1998/1999 through Fiscal Year 2002/2003. Discussion occurred regarding the Twin Lakes Park, Pine Lakes Park, and South Lake Park projects; at which time, the Board requested that staff provide clarification on said projects. It was the consensus of the Board to continue funding annual grants for recreation development, in the amount of $200,000 per year, through Fiscal Year 2002/2003.
Commr. Good questioned the method in which advisory committees function as grant selection committees and expressed concern with the structure of having advisory committees advising the Board and also functioning as grant selection committees for allocation of funds for projects such as the Recreation Grants and the Boating Improvement Grants. It was noted that the functions of advisory committees would be placed on the agenda for discussion at a future Board workshop.
Discussion occurred regarding the Regional Grants capital project; at which time, Commr. Gerber stated that she would not support multiple parks but would support one regional park. It was the consensus of the Board to fund Regional Grants for a regional type project, in the amount of $150,000 per year, through Fiscal Year 2002/2003.
Discussion occurred regarding the Boating Improvements capital project; at which time, Commr. Good stated, for the record, that he does support receiving money from the state to be expended later as determined by the Board; however his support was with reservations.
It was noted that Twin Lakes Park, Pine Lakes Park and South Lake Park would be identified by an asterisk as capital projects that have not received Board approval.
Facilities and Capital Improvement - General Fund
Mr. Anderson presented the capital projects for the General Fund and explained that the Reseal and Caulk capital projects, as listed under Jail Maintenance and Building Maintenance, were projects that would be required every five (5) years and that the annual funding would be put into a reserve fund until such time as the funds were needed.
Facilities and Capital Improvements - Capital Outlay Fund
Mr. Anderson presented the capital projects for Capital Outlay Fund and explained that the Fairgrounds project, in the amount of $4,000,000, for Fiscal Year 1998/1999 and Fiscal Year 1999/2000, was a conceptual estimate and would be modified. It was the direction of the Board to change Fairgrounds to Conference Center/Fairgrounds and to keep said project on the list of capital projects. Mr. Anderson explained that Fairgrounds-Engineering, in the amount of $30,000, for Fiscal Year 1998/1999 was for either the conceptual study or costs associated with the DRI (Development of Regional Impact) process.
Commr. Swartz requested that staff provide options and/or recommendations on how to proceed with the Conference Center/Fairgrounds.
Mr. Anderson briefly discussed the annual capital outlay for ADA Compliance Renovation, in the amount of $50,000 per year, through Fiscal Year 2002/2003 and explained that the South Lake Annex, BCC Complex, and South Lake Annex/Sheriff capital projects were for the consolidation of County services in the South Lake area. He stated that the South Lake Annex would include work space for the Building Division of Growth Management, the Property Appraiser, Environmental Health, and a substation for the Sheriff and would be comprised of approximately 11,250 square feet of building space. It was the direction of the Board that the three (3) above noted capital projects would remain on the list of capital projects.
Commr. Swartz noted that a lot of the County's presence in the South Lake area was due to the County performing permitting services for the Cities of Clermont, Minneola, and Groveland. He stated that a cost benefit analysis was performed a few years ago and requested that staff review said analysis prior to determining the size of the BCC Complex and bring this issue back to the Board for discussion.
Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, discussed the County Radio System capital project, in the amount of $3,000,000, and explained that engineering, in the amount of $500,000, would occur in Fiscal Year 1998/1999 and that the cost of $2,500,000 in FY 1999/2000 would include replacing all of the radios in the system. Commr. Swartz interjected that all information pertaining to the County Radio System should be passed on to the municipalities for their consideration. It was noted that infrastructure sales tax could be used as a funding source. It was the direction of the Board to research the feasibility of imposing extra fees to pay for the radios in Fiscal Year 1999/2000, and to keep the County Radio System capital project on the list with possible funding sources listed as infrastructure tax dollars, fees, or grants.
Mr. Anderson briefly discussed the Parking Garage capital project and explained that a consultant was in the process of preparing recommendations to address County parking issues and that said recommendations would include some form of structured parking and/or surface parking for 350 vehicle.
Commr. Swartz requested that the Board discuss, in more detail in the near future, using court facility fees as a possible funding source for the parking garage. Mr. Anderson noted that other counties that have structured parking as well as surface parking have considered parking meters as a funding source.
Commr. Good stated, for the record, that he would prefer to see the money go to parks rather than parking garages unless it was a dedicated funding revenue. It was the decision of the Board to keep the Parking Garage capital project on the list.
Mr. Anderson explained that the Land/Facilities Purchases capital project, in the amount of $250,000, for Fiscal Year 1999/2000 was set aside funds in the event that the County should acquire the property owned by Ms. Emogene Stegall and Stinson Electric. Commr. Hanson suggested that purchase options, such as a Life Estate, be discussed with Ms. Stegall.
Agricultural Education Services
Mr. Anderson explained that the Exterior Elevation/Expansion capital project, in the amount of $475,000, for Fiscal Year 1998/1999 was the estimate for changing the front entrance of the Agricultural Center and extension of the building.
Commr. Hanson discussed consolidating all of the agricultural activities into one plan.
Commr. Good requested that the signage at the existing Agricultural Center be made more visible from County Road 19.
Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, briefly discussed the E 9-1-1 Call Handling Equipment capital project, in the amount of $100,000 per year, through Fiscal Year 2001/2002; and the Direct Connect to Comcast capital project, in the amount of $150,000, for Fiscal Year 1998/1999. Commr. Good interjected that allocated funds for direct connection to cablevision should be allocated county-wide.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, noted that there were no changes in the capital projects, in the amount of $855,000, for Computer Services, and explained that said projects were for the completion of the implementation of the computer services program, and the GIS program and that the majority of the funding would be from General Fund or from infrastructure sales tax dollars.
Fire and Emergency Services
Solid Waste Management
At this time, no discussion occurred regarding the capital projects for Fire and Emergency Services, Department of Public Works, or Solid Waste Management Services.
Christopher C. Ford Central Park
Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements, explained that the Expansion of Central Park capital project, in the amount of $3,500,000, was for the infrastructure that would be required for Phase II to satisfy the requirements of the Development of Regional Impact (DRI), or to meet expansion requirements for projects such as Meritec and Circuit City.
Commr. Hanson brought up for discussion a Letter of Intent to purchase lot one (1) in Christopher C. Ford Central Park for construction of an Auto Museum and requested that this issue be placed on the February 17, 1998 agenda for discussion on the price structure of said property.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) had discussed the Letter of Intent and determined that lot one (1) was not a suitable location for the Auto Museum due to the lack of jobs generated by the museum; therefore, it was the recommendation of the IDA not to make a counter offer on the purchase price for lot one (1). Commr. Cadwell stated that he would bring the IDA's recommendation, and the project to the Board on February 17, 1998.
Clerk of Courts
Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Budget Director, Office of Budget, explained that the BCC Finance Software capital project, in the amount of $250,000, for Fiscal Year 1999/2000 was for the update of software alluded to by Ms. Barbara Lehman earlier in the meeting this date.
Supervisor of Elections
Ms. LaMarche explained that the Supervisor of Elections was requesting five (5) voting machines, in the amount of $184,00, for Fiscal Year 1998/1999, to be funded at mid-year. It was the consensus of the Board to bring forward for consideration the request for five (5) voting machines to be funded at mid-year.
No discussion occurred regarding the High Speed Processor, in the amount of $155,000, for Fiscal Year 1999/2000, for the Tax Collector.
Fifth Circuit Court - Judicial
State Attorney and Public Defender
Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements, discussed a request from Judge Briggs to move forward with the development of Courtroom 8, in the amount of $300,000, for Fiscal Year 1998/1999. Mr. Anderson stated that the Judges were amicable to rotating courtrooms as long as only two (2) Judges were required to share a courtroom.
Discussion occurred regarding space needs for the next five (5) years; at which time, Ms. Whittle informed the Board that Clerk of Courts operations and the mediation program were in dire need of additional space. She directed the Board's attention to the Space Needs for the Next Five Years outline and explained that the State Attorney and Public Defender would need an additional 32,194 square feet of office space in Fiscal Year 2000/2001. She stated that Judge Briggs was requesting space for a child support hearing office in the Spring of 1998, and at least one circuit judge and one county judge plus support personnel within the next five (5) years. She explained that Courtroom 8 could house the child support hearing officer, visiting judges, and mediators immediately. She stated that it was anticipated that the Clerk of Courts would need space for an additional 52 people within the next five (5) years.
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Department of Community Services, discussed the status of relocating the Public Health Department and explained that consideration has been given to the old Winn-Dixie Shopping Center on the north side of the City of Eustis, which was approximately 57,000 square feet and would accommodate the relocation of Environmental Health and Administration, and the consolidation of the Tavares Health Clinic and the Umatilla Health Clinic under one facility which would allow elimination of duplicate positions.
Extensive discussion occurred regarding suitable office space for the mediation program; at which time, Ms. Whittle noted that consideration has been given to rental space for said program. Mr. Minkoff suggested that a short term solution for office space for the mediation program would be to move Environmental Health out of the old Public Works facility. It was the decision of the Board to direct staff to find suitable office space for Environmental Health, which would provide office space for the mediation program in the old Public Works facility; and to move the Public Health Department, which would provide additional office space for the Clerk of Courts.
Ms. LaMarche addressed questions regarding the Sheriff's capital projects and explained that the highlighted projects, which include Pod E, 10 acre parcel of land, and the Sub Station in the Lady Lake area, were not funded out of the Sheriff's General Fund.
SUMMARY OF COSTS - FUNDING TO BE DETERMINED
Ms. LaMarche stated that the Summary of Costs was a list of all capital projects that need a funding source. She stated that the expansion of Christopher C. Ford Central Park, in the amount of $3,500,000, had not been included in the Summary of Costs; therefore, the adjusted total of capital projects to be funded was $33,911,500.
PENNY TAX FOR SCHOOLS
Commr. Swartz brought up for discussion a letter that had been received from the Lake County School Board requesting that the Board of County Commissioners specifically fund a school in Astatula and provide additional funds for school projects if possible. Discussion occurred regarding the use of infrastructure sales tax to fund schools.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board's initial talks with the Lake County School Board were to find a temporary solution and, in a concerted effort, extend the sales tax and share the tax between the cities, the School Board and the County. He expressed concern that the School Board has not supported the County's effort and any other action by the Board of County Commissioners would be neglecting our responsibility.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Lake County School Board has voted to put the one-half cent sales tax on the referendum; therefore, the School Board should following through with said referendum.
Commr. Swartz expressed concern that the County was faced with far more need than funding for those needs. He suggested that the County consider a County buildings impact fee because the capital projects that were being funded were coming from Courts Management and the Clerk of Courts as a response to the growth and population. He suggested that the County start putting money into reserve every year for funding capital projects that will need to be built. He stated that the Board has to set their own priorities, and expressed concern that the Board was meeting the needs of the constitutional officers before meeting the Board's own needs.
Discussion continued regarding the request for funding from the Lake County School Board. Commr. Swartz stated that the letter in response to the School Board's request would convey the Board's desire and interest in helping the Lake County school system and the kids of Lake County and would include a list of current funded programs, such as the School Impact Trust Fund, DARE Program, and After School Program; budgetary information on the County's capital improvement projects through Fiscal Year 2002/2003; the $17,500,000 Solid Waste Line of Credit, which may have to be repaid through the Infrastructure Sales Tax if the Solid Waste revenues do not materialized as estimated; and indicate that the Board will continue to support the School Board's efforts to obtain additional state funding through the Legislative Delegation to retrieve additional lottery dollars for schools.
Commr. Gerber expressed concern that the School Board and the Board of County Commissioners could not reach an agreement regarding funding for school projects and indicated that she did not support the above noted letter in response to the School Board request to fund a School in Astatula and provide additional funds for school projects.
FISCAL GOALS FOR FY 98/99
Fire Assessment Changes Calendar
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, briefly discussed the schedule for changing the fire assessment format and/or the assessment amount for fire service in Lake County for Fiscal Year 1998/1999. He explained that a fire study would be necessary and that there was a requirement for a first class notice and a public hearing between June 1, 1998 and September 15, 1998. Ms. Whittle interjected that the fire study would be completed within ninety (90) days.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Department of Public Works, distributed a copy of Resolution No. 5351, and the 6 Cent Local Option Gas Tax - Current & Proposed Distributions and Effect of Formulas on 5 Cent Local Option Gas Tax chart. He stated that Resolution No. 5351 was for the purpose of communicating to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners the position of the Lake County municipalities regarding distribution of the 6 Cent Local Option Gas Tax. He noted that five (5) municipalities have passed Resolution No. 5351 maintaining a formula of 57.8848% for the municipalities.
Mr. Stivender discussed the Effect of Formulas on the 5 Cent Local Option Gas Tax and explained that the majority of the road projects could be funded through the 5 Cent Local Option Gas Tax. He stated that the current 66.3767% formula would generate $2,576,670 annually for the County, and $1,305,220 for the municipalities.
Mr. Minkoff explained that, if no agreement could be reached on the existing pennies that were available, the funds would continue to be distributed as set forth in the interlocal agreements with the municipalities; however, if the Board adopts the additional cents, no agreement would be necessary, and it would be distributed based on the last five years transportation expenditures as outlined in Florida Statutes. He stated that there does not have to be a linkage between the additional tax and interlocal agreements with the municipalities.
Mr. Stivender noted that the Board would have to take action on the additional Local Option Gas Tax by June 1, 1998 for the additional gas tax to go into effect January 1999. Staff was directed to bring the additional Local Option Gas Tax back to the Board for action and to notify the municipalities of said meeting.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.
G. RICHARD SWARTZ, JR., CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK