The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, July 29, 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; William "Bill" H. Good; Rhonda H. Gerber; and Catherine C. Hanson. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Sandy A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Assistant, Board of County Commissioners Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; Sarah LaMarche, Director of Budget; Tracy L. Zeller, Senior Budget Analyst; Julia A. Wilson, Budget Analyst; Linda Lorentz, Information Services Clerk; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
It was noted that the Lake County Board of County Commissioners Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 1998/99, dated July 14, 1998, had been distributed to the Board prior to the workshop this date.
OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF
Those present from the Office of the Sheriff were as follows: George E. Knupp, Jr, Sheriff; Linda Carter, Comptroller; Major Gary Borders, Corrections; Major Jimmy Horner, Support Services; Major Claude Gnann, Operations; Lieutenant Tom Mysinger, Technical Services; Lieutenant John Burrow, Criminal Investigations Bureau; Captain Christopher Daniels, Support Services; and Carol Morrison, Communications Supervisor.
Sheriff George E. Knupp, Jr. appeared before the Board to present a brief update on the housing of juveniles in the Lake County Jail and explained that a staff study has been complete, and they were waiting on the Lake County School Board to hire the teacher to instruct the juveniles that will be placed in the jail. He stated that they would begin receiving juveniles in the jail facility on August 10, 1998 and noted that the staff study and an implementation policy would be presented to the Board in the near future.
Sheriff Knupp presented an updated copy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office Staff Study Manpower Projection and explained that it would be necessary to hire five (5) deputies each year through the year 2005 to stay abreast with the present manpower for the Office of the Sheriff. Sheriff Knupp distributed a copy of the Office of the Sheriff Budget Fiscal Year 1998/99 booklet and read a letter addressed to Commissioner G. Richard Swartz, Jr., Chairman, dated July 29, 1998, presenting the revised Sheriff's Office budget for Fiscal Year 1998/99 in the amount of $26,707,288. He stated that this year's budget includes a 7.21% increase in Personal Services covering the areas of full funding of previously approved positions, new positions, and salary increases for current employees.
Sheriff Knupp provided an overview of the tentative budget for Law Enforcement, in the amount of $14,177,974, for Fiscal Year 1998/99 and reviewed the Explanation of Increases/Decreases By Line Item for Law Enforcement.
Commr. Swartz requested that the Sheriff's Office provide the actual expenditures for the line items in the Sheriff's budget year-to-date.
. Sheriff Knupp provided an overview of the tentative budget for Corrections, in the amount of $11,548,123, for Fiscal Year 1998/99 and reviewed the Explanation of Increases/Decreases By Line Item for Corrections.
Lieutenant Mysinger appeared before the Board and stated that the purchase of an automated fingerprint identification system enhancement would drastically improve the productivity and efficiency of the fingerprint section of the Sheriff's Office in the area of registration and would positively identify any arrestee within six (6) minutes. At this time, he discussed the fingerprint identification system and addressed questions concerning same.
. Sheriff Knupp provided an overview of the tentative budget for Bailiffs, in the amount of $881,461, for Fiscal Year 1998/99 and reviewed the Explanation of Increases/Decreases By Line Item for Bailiffs.
Extensive discussion occurred regarding the issue of annual pay increases for the Sheriff's Office; at which time, Sheriff Knupp explained that, in the past, the Sheriff's Office has distributed the cost of living adjustment and the merit increase across the board on October 1. Captain Christopher Daniels, Support Services, appeared before the Board to further discuss the method of distributing salary increases in the Sheriff's Office.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would like to see a salary comparison chart of titles with other counties the size of Lake County. Captain Daniels interjected that Lake County competes with surrounding counties on our boundaries and not necessarily with counties of comparable size.
Sheriff Knupp provided an overview of the tentative budget for School Guards/DUI Fund, in the amount of $32,605, for Fiscal Year 1998/99.
Sheriff Knupp briefly discussed the Salary Comparison Chart and the Comparison of Board's and Sheriff's Employees Earning Over $40,000 Per Year Graph. He stated that the Sheriff's Office would be returning funds from the Jail, in the amount of $1,821,017, in Fiscal Year 1998/99, as follows:
Federal inmate funds - $1,260,240
Phone Fees - $195,767
Civil Fees for Serving Process - $162,000
Interest and Investments - $127,300
Inmate meals - $31,300
Clinic Fees - $22,250
Weekend Work Program - $11,255
Miscellaneous Revenue - $10,936
Major Gary Borders, Corrections, appeared before the Board and explained that an increase in the gardening program was primarily due to the landscaping for County road projects now being grown at the garden. He noted that the food budget for the jail had not increased since 1993 due to the productivity of the garden.
Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements, appeared before the Board and provided a status report on completion of the Prelude renovation project and stated that, due to the extensive amount of control work, the project would take approximately four (4) months.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, directed attention to the Proposed Capital Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 1999 - 2003 for the Office of the Sheriff; at which time, it was noted that the Capital Improvement Program list for the Sheriff was not an accurate list and should be reviewed and updated.
Commr. Swartz requested that the Sheriff provide a breakdown of the Jail population between County and Federal prisoners for the last nine months; provide year-to-date financial information on each line item; and schedule a time for the Sheriff's staff and County staff to discuss salary issues.
Ms. Carol Morrison, Communications Supervisor, distributed a copy of the Dispatchers Budget Request booklet for Fiscal Year 1998/99. Sheriff Knupp discussed a Communications Center request to increase each shift from five (5) dispatchers to eight (8) dispatchers assigned to each shift to handle all emergency and non-emergency service calls.
Captain Daniels stated that the Communications Center provides radio dispatch, teletype, and 911 services for the Fruitland Park Police Department, Howey-in-the-Hills Police Department, Astatula Police Department, and Minneola (Contract Coverage). In response to a question presented by Commr. Swartz, Captain Daniels stated that they would provide the volume of calls for service from the above noted Police Departments; however, could not provide the volume of radio traffic or auxiliary services that the County provides that are not documented.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess and reconvene at 11:00 a.m.
CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT
Those present from the Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court were as follows: Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk; Mr. Neil Kelly, Senior Chief Deputy Clerk; Brent Holladay, Chief Deputy Clerk, Courts Management; and Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance. Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for the Clerk of Circuit Court, in the amount of $6,204,862, for Fiscal Year 1998/99. Mr. Watkins directed the Board's attention to a letter addressed to the Honorable Board of County Commissioners, dated July 29, 1998, and explained that the attached budget was an amendment to the Clerk's budget submitted on June 1, 1998 and reflects the transfer of the budget function from the Clerk's Office to the Board of County Commissioners. At this time, Mr. Watkins expressed his appreciation to the Budget Office for an outstanding job and noted that the Budget Office has received the Distinguished Budget Award for Fiscal Year 1997/98. He stated that the transfer from the County's General Fund would now increase $136,183 or 3.6% over the prior year, instead of the $388,408 or 10.3% that was originally reported. He explained that this increase consists of capital outlay included in the County's Capital Improvement Plan; two (2) new positions, one in Information Resources, and one in Property Records; Teen Court; and salary increases for the Clerk's employees consistent with those given by the Board of County Commissioners to their staff.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, expressed her appreciation to the Clerk for his continued cooperation during the last three (3) years and noted that she has enjoyed a marvelous working relationship with the Budget Office staff and with Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance. At this time, a brief discussion occurred regarding the transfer of the Budget Office to the Board of County Commissioners.
In response to a question presented by Commr. Gerber, Mr. Brent Holladay, Chief Deputy Clerk, explained that the Jury Management System Capital Outlay request for bar coding would improve productivity in the check-in process and excusal process because jurors would be identified by bar code on an identification badge in lieu of by name.
In response to a question presented by Commr. Swartz, Mr. Watkins stated that employees, who have been employed with the Clerk's Office for a full year, receive salary increases on October 1. He explained that the Clerk's Office was in the fifth year of a three year plan to bring the Clerk's employees' salaries comparable with those of the Board of County Commissioner's employees. He stated that, from his perspective, on an annualized basis, the percentages that are set aside each year for salary increases for the Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court are the same percentages as those set aside for the Board of County Commissioners. At this time, discussion occurred regarding the issue of salary increases.
Commr. Swartz stated that there was a clear difference of opinion as to the way that the Board of County Commissioners distribute salary increases and the way that the Sheriff views the impact of the way the Board distributes salary increases and asked if the Clerk's Office would share their perspective with the Sheriff's staff and the Board in a staff meeting.
In response to a question presented by Commr. Gerber, Mr. Watkins stated that he would be amenable to performing a joint Pay Classification Study with the Board and noted that the Clerk's staff performs a Pay Classification Study in-house every year and that a study was performed every five (5) years by an outside consultant.
Commr. Swartz expressed his appreciation to the Clerk's Office for the last three (3) years of budget preparation and presentation and for the level of trust that has existed between the Clerk's Office staff and the Board of County Commissioner's staff.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 11:40 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess at 11:40 a.m. for lunch and reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
Mr. Casey Fitzgerald, Assistant Director, Water Resources, St. Johns River Water Management District, appeared before the Board and noted that Dr. David Stites, Project Manager, Lake Apopka Restoration, was also present to present a priority opportunity on the Soil Amendment Treatment process to help solve the problems of Lake Apopka. At this time, Mr. Fitzgerald presented an overhead presentation on the Flow-Way Phase I construction project, and the status of the Farm Land Acquisition Restoration Efforts for the Lake Apopka program. He discussed ways in which to stop phosphorus from draining into Lake Apopka, removing the phosphorus already in Lake Apopka through the flow-way, stabilizing the system which would include the lake level fluctuation initiative, and monitoring and modifying management. He briefly noted that the Flow-Way Phase I project final cost was estimated at $4,200,000, and was seventy-five (75%) percent complete, and discussed the budgetary implications. He stated that the St. Johns River Water Management District was requesting that Lake County match the District's current commitment of $750,000, which represents the same commitment that Lake County made to the Flow-Way Phase I program.
Mr. David Stites, Project Manager, Lake Apopka Restoration, appeared before the Board to discuss the Soil Amendment and the benefits that Lake County would be deriving from said amendment. Mr. Stites presented an overhead presentation on the North Side Restoration and stated that the initial restoration cost was estimated at $4,500,000 and on-going operation during the low water period (Years 3 - 7) may cost as much as $400,000 per year or approximately $8,000,000. He explained that the Soil Amendment was the stopping of phosphorus in the soil from draining into Lake Apopka which was the primary purpose of the muck farm purchases. At this time, Mr. Stites addressed questions presented by the Board.
Mr. Jim Thomas, Friends of Lake Apopka (FOLA), appeared before the Board and distributed a newsletter, dated Summer 1998, which discussed a FOLA field trip to Zellwood Muck Farms, on August 15, 1998. He expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the Friends of Lake Apopka, for the Board's past support and urged the Board to continue to do what they could to keep the Lake Apopka Restoration project moving and to continue to support said project. He stated that the Friends of Lake Apopka appreciate the dilemma that the St. Johns River Water Management District has with the mandate from the Legislature and from the public in general to restore Lake Apopka without committed funds and without adequate resources in terms of personnel. He noted that one of the concerns of Friends of Lake Apopka was that attention be paid to the habitat as well as restoration and stated that they were starting an education program. At this time, he invited the Board to join them on the field trip to Zellwood Muck Farms on August 15, 1998 to look at the shore birds. He requested that the Board urge the Board of Governors to provide funding and personnel needed to complete the water quality goals.
Mr. Stites stated that he would provide the Board with a description of the disbursement of funds from the sale of equipment from the Muck Farms Acquisition Project and the percentage of funds that Lake County would receive from the sale.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board cannot provide funding at this time given Lake County's budget situation for Fiscal Year 1998/99. He stated that he could understand Orange County's position on not providing funding on the flow-way project and their argument of the negative impacts of the farm buyouts; however, he stated that Orange County has benefited for many years from the economic benefit of the nine thousand (9,000) acres of farm lands. He stated that the Board could possibly fund a small amount to continue to be a player in the Lake Apopka Restoration project if the St. Johns River Water Management District, through its taxing authority, provides a significant amount of the needed funding and Orange County became involved in the funding of the project.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM
Ms. Jolene Cazzola, Program Director, Guardian Ad Litem Program, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for the Guardian Ad Litem program, in the amount of $31,333, for Fiscal Year 1998/99. She stated that a request to upgrade one part-time secretary position to a full-time position has been placed in the Enhanced Budget and that she was requesting that the Board consider said request. At this time, Ms. Cazzola distributed a letter addressed to Mr. Mike Anderson, dated May 6, 1998, which addresses the need for additional office space. She stated that she would like to request that the Board provide the funding for the additional space and explained that the office adjacent to their current location at 418 W. Alfred Street was vacant and available for renting. She stated that their present location was 700 square feet at $11.00 per square foot, and they would like to add Suite #2 to their present location which would result in 1,600 square feet at $9.00 per square foot or $1,200 per month. She noted that the landlord has indicated that he would negotiate the rent with Lake County for consideration of a two (2) or three (3) year lease.
Commr. Hanson suggested that Ms. Cazzola contact a realtor to determine if there was less expensive rental property available for the Guardian Ad Litem office.
Ms. MaryEllen Babb, Library Director, City of Umatilla, appeared before the Board and stated that Mr. Alex Nixon was unable to attend the meeting this date. At this time, she distributed a copy of Mr. Nixon's prepared speech. She stated that the Umatilla Library has been awarded a state matching grant of $395,601 to be spent on a new addition to the Umatilla Library, and they were requesting, at this time, that the Board of County Commissioners contribute $20,000 toward the expansion which could be paid over the next two (2) budget years. She stated that 80% of the library users were residents of unincorporated Lake County, and that Umatilla was trying to rectify the shortfall of space by soliciting grants and contributions to more than double their space and to acquire additional surrounding land for continued growth.
Commr. Cadwell expressed concern that to contribute funding toward the Umatilla Library expansion would be a change in the County library policy and that it would be difficult to look at the request from the City of Umatilla by itself without further ramifications. He stated that the Lake County Library Board could look at the policy in regard to this issue at the time that they discuss the direction of the Library System and where the library facilities are going to be located.
MCTUREOUS HOMESTEAD & MUSEUM
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, noted that a request has been received from Greater Altoona Society, Inc. requesting that the Board approved the expenditure of $2,800 for central air conditioning and heating of the McTureous Homestead & Museum.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:05 p.m.
__________________________________ G. RICHARD SWARTZ, JR.,CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK