The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 21, 1999, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Rhonda H. Gerber; and Robert A. Pool. Commissioners not present: G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance. He noted that Commr. Swartz was not present for today's meeting, but he would be attending the final budget hearing this evening.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, noted that there were no changes to the original agenda, but the Board did have before them an addendum to the agenda.
Discussion occurred regarding the Minutes of August 17, 1999, Regular Meeting, with the following changes being made:
Page 15, Line 27: Change "clay" to "dirt"
Page 18, Line 28: Change "impact tax" to "impact fee"
Page 19, Line 12-13: Clarify the language as follows - "It was noted that the amount of money needed to fund the Sheriff's Department is equal to the amount of revenue received by the County in ad valorem taxes."
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Comr Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of August 17, 1999, Regular Meeting, as corrected.
CLERK OF COURTS' CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Items 1 through 8 under the Clerk of Courts' Consent agenda, as follows:
List of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136 of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Bonds - Contractor
Contractor Bonds, as follows:
5249-2000 William Kinder (Electrical)
5350-2000 James Walton Ward (Roofing)
5442-2000 Dennis Paul Solomon, Individual (Residential Class C)
5724-2000 Knud-Erik T. Adserballe/Pool Control, Inc. (Swimming Pool/Spa Servicing)
1758-99 West Volusia Plumbing, Inc.
5432-99 Mark Douglas Pierson (General Contractor)
5517-99 Steven Ray Harvard dba Sunrise Electric of Central FL Inc. (Elec. Cont.)
Received the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Fiscal Year 2000 Board Meeting Calendar and a map depicting the District's boundaries, in accordance with Chapter 189.417, Florida Statutes, for purposes of disclosure and information only.
Budgets/ Water Authority
Received the Oklawaha Basin Recreation and Water Conservation and Control Authority's (Lake County Water Authority's) Draft Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 1999-2000.
Received the Southwest Florida Water Management District's 1999 Public Input Meetings Schedule to receive input on the five-year update of the District Water Management Plan.
Received the Greater Orlando Area Legal Services, Inc. Audited Financial Statements and Supplemental Information dated December 31, 1998, in accordance with Government Auditing Standards.
Received an Addendum to the Standard Format Tentative Budget Submission for the Southwest Florida Water Management District for Fiscal Year 1999-2000, originally submitted as mandated by Section 373.536(5)(a), Florida Statutes.
Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, Month Ending August 31, 1999
Disbursements made to Board: $ 95,218.78
Same period last year $145,777.01
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Tabs 3 through 22 under the County Manager's Consent Agenda for the following:
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/School Board
Request for approval to execute Agreement between Lake County and the Lake County School Board for Funding Assistance for the Services of Lt. Col. David Grossman, one of the world's foremost experts in the field of juvenile aggression and the violent effects of the media on youth and permission to encumber funds in the amount of $1,500.00.
Request for approval and signature of State Aid to Libraries 2000 Grant Application and Agreement in the estimated amount of $215,000.00 for Fiscal Year 99/00.
Request for approval of revised Long Range Plan of Service for the Lake County Library System.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/State Agencies/Health Department
Request for approval and authorization for the Board Chairman to sign a Contract between Lake County and the State of Florida Department of Health for operation of Lake County Health Department during contract term October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000, in the amount of $406,483.00.
Request for approval of Memorandums of Understanding for Special Needs Evacuation Facilities with Lady Lake Specialty Care and Clare Bridge Cottage.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Grants
Request for approval and execution of Fiscal Year 99/00 Hazardous Material Grant Agreement for a fixed amount of $31,289.00, which are used to support county hazardous materials emergency planning.
Accounts Allowed/Emergency Services/Resolutions
Request for approval and signature on the EMS Grant Application and Resolution 1999-159 for 1999-2000 in the amount of $51,432.49.
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/School Board
Request for approval and signature on the Agreement Between Lake County and the Lake County School Board for Emergency Services Training Partnership.
Accounts Allowed/Budget Transfers
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/State Agencies/Landfills
Request for authorization to award RFP #99-115, encumber funds in the estimated amount of $23,032.00 and authorize a contract subject to County Attorney approval to PBS&J Analytical Services, to provide analytical laboratory services to the County for compliance with all Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) landfill permit specifications, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other monitoring requirements. Funding will be from the General Fund, Growth Management, Water Quality Services.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Audits/Insurance
Request for authorization to encumber funds in the amount of $8,500.00 and authorize a one year contract renewal (October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000) subject to County Attorney approval to Ernst and Young, LLP, to provide an audit of the County's self-insurance program in the areas of general liability, automobile liability, property (including automobile physical damage), and workers' compensation. Funding will be from the Property and Casualty, Insurance and Liability Fund, Accounting and Auditing Fees.
Request for approval of Proclamation 1999-161 recognizing the 25th Anniversary of the Mount Dora Bicycle Festival which will be held October 15, 16 and 17, 1999.
Accounts Allowed/State Agencies
Request for approval and signature on the Department of Environmental Protection Contract for Fiscal Year 1999/2000 for the Cooperative Aquatic Plant Control Program to manage major exotic aquatic plants located within the County boundaries and on sovereign waterbodies in the amount of $91,870.00.
Request for approval to advertise Vacation Petition No. 911 by Doris Baker to vacate road, Rod 'N Reel Club, Sec. 25, Twp. 19S, Rge. 25E, Tavares Area - Commissioner District 3, Resolution 1999-162.
Request for approval of the Local Mitigation Strategy Plan.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to execute Satisfaction of Assessment Liens for six road assessments, as follows:
677063 Clarene E. Chavis
677080 Ellinor D. Allen
679049 Leemon & Carol Elmore
682018 David & Susan Narrow
685070 Bankers Trust of California
686003 Soja Lishen
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Solid Waste
Request for approval and signature on the Agreement between Sunrise ARC of Lake County, Inc. and Lake County to provide personnel to provide sorting services in the Recycling/IMPACT Center in the amount of $56,860.00.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Municipalities/Solid Waste
Request for approval and signature on the Interlocal Agreement between the City of Leesburg and Lake County relating to Recycling Revenue Sharing for the term beginning Fiscal Year 1999/2000 in the amount of $16,018.36.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/State Agencies/Solid Waste
Request for approval and signature on the 1999/2000 Agreement between Lake County and Keep Lake County Beautiful, Inc. (KLCB) as amended to reflect the reduction in grant funds received from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the amount of $17,500.00.
Accounts Allowed/Solid Waste
Request for approval of the School Recycler of the Year Program in the amount of $300.00.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS
Commr. Cadwell noted that he had asked staff to pull the item regarding the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the Lake-Sumter Community College (LSCC) from the agenda last week, so that representatives from the college could be here today to answer any questions or concerns of the Board.
Dr. Robert Westrick, President of LSCC, addressed the Board and extended his appreciation to the Board for the support it has given to the college in so many ways. He stated that, with regard to the athletic facilities, the partnership has been in the works for development since December, 1997, and they feel it is a win-win situation for both the County and the college. He stated that Mr. Mike Matulia, Athletic Director, was present with a chart of the complex, and he would be explaining the project to the Board.
Commr. Gerber stated that there was no question that this was going to be a first rate park, but the County is calling it a regional park, and she was questioning how the County was going to be able to use it.
Mr. Mike Matulia addressed the Board and explained that, when the college is in operation and participating in athletics, it will utilize the fields during the school day, with the season running from September to November, and from November through the beginning of January, there will be youth camps, which will be open to the community. Mr. Matulia explained that there have already been requests made to use the facilities, even though they are not completed. In the summer time, they are not in operation, because they are finished with their intercollegiate sports. The fields will be used all summer long by the community teams. He noted the location of the walking trail and stated that it will be open at all times. He stated that the tennis courts and racquetball courts are in the second phase of the project. Mr. Matulia explained that it will be utilized like any other park in the County. Since there are no lights, the gates will be locked for liability reasons at night. He stated that the trail is one-half mile, but the plan is to connect it to the existing nature trail, which needs to be upgraded.
Dr. Westrick explained that the college has gym facilities that have been refurbished through renovation grants.
Mr. Matulia stated that the gymnasium is not completed, but because the interior is completed, he is already scheduling local community events in it. He informed the Board of the events that have already been scheduled in the facility, as well as the names of some of the communities and organizations that have already asked to use it in the future.
Dr. Westrick stated that he noticed another item on the agenda, which involves the planning of the library system, and he wanted the Board to know that the door is still open, if the County would like to participate with the college in the future for a library system. He stated that the college would like to work with the Board on a partnership, but not only for this area, but also the south Lake area.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request for the Chairman to execute an Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the Lake-Sumter Community College, recipient of the regional grant for FY 98/99 and 99/00 in the amount of $75,000.00 for each fiscal year.
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/COMMITTEES/CONTRACT, LEASES & AGREEMENTS
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that Ms. Jerri Blair, who had previously been counsel for the Code Enforcement Board, has indicated that she was no longer interested in providing that service for the County, so staff went out to bid and was recommending approval of J. J. Dahl.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Agreement between Lake County and J. J. Dahl for Outside Legal Services to the Code Enforcement Board, in the amount of $60.00 per hour, for a one-year term beginning October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000.
PERSONAL APPEARANCES/PUBLIC HEARINGS
PRESENTATION - KICK OFF THE DEVELOPMENT OF LAKE COUNTY'S FIRST CULTURAL PLAN
Ms. Connie Patrowicz, Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Council, addressed the Board to announce the kick off of the implementation of the planning process for the Cultural Plan of Lake County. Ms. Patrowicz noted that there were members of the Cultural Task Force present today, as well as members of the Lake County Cultural Affairs Council. She stated that, since May 5, 1999, a Cultural Plan Task Force composed of business, government, health, arts and education leaders from around the County, has been working diligently on the best ways and means of securing vital information about the state of the arts in the County. A list of the distinguished members of the Task Force was provided in the Board's packet. It was decided that a survey would be the best tool for gathering data. A sub-committee was formed to produce a survey, which will do the following: 1) identify current arts resources; 2) identify arts needs for the future; 3) demonstrate any unmet needs that currently exist; and 4) measure community support for the arts. The survey will be distributed in three main ways, as follows: 1) Mr. Jim Perry, Publisher of the Daily Commercial, has generously agreed to print the survey for its readers to submit; 2) town meetings in The Villages, Golden Triangle, Leesburg and South Lake have been scheduled and will be promoted through newspaper articles; and 3) 4,100 fliers will be distributed in the various chamber newsletters. Letters containing the survey will be sent to major employers in Lake County for distribution to their employees. Ms. Patrowicz stated that the Lake County Cultural Affairs Council, and the Cultural Plan Task Force, would like the endorsement of the Board of County Commissioners for the development of the first Cultural Plan for Lake County. She stated that hopefully the document they produce will be taken into consideration for inclusion in the next Comprehensive Plan as the Cultural Element.
Commr. Gerber stated that, if the Cultural Affairs Council and Cultural Plan Task Force were looking for a cross-section of Lake Countians to complete the survey, they were probably not going to get a true representation through the newspaper distribution or a group setting distribution. She felt they needed to do a mail out, and she suggested that they needed at least 1,500 responses to get a real good data output. Commr. Gerber stated that she talked to Ms. Robbie Hollenbeck, Special Projects Coordinator, about getting the voter registration rolls and doing a random sampling of those, and there may be other data bases that can be used. She felt that putting them in the paper would give them a biased sample.
The Board members felt that the survey had excellent questions, and they extended their appreciation to the Council for all of its hard work.
PRESENTATION - CHANGES TO THE WATER SHED ACTION VOLUNTEERS (WAVE) PROGRAM BY THE ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
Mr. Bill Watkins, St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), and the Watershed Action Volunteer Program, addressed the Board to present an overview of the program. Mr. Watkins stated that Ms. Barbara Newman was accompanying him today, and she has been coordinating and organizing the program in Lake County. He stated that the program was started about five years ago, with an EPA grant, in five counties in northeast Florida. It quickly grew from the lower St. Johns River Basin to the coastal areas, and now a program has been established in Lake County. Mr. Watkins explained that the program is growing, and they are trying to make equal contributions of the budget to each county. He noted that the Lake County has been receiving $20,000 over the last few years to support the coordination effort in the County. Most of the other counties have provided some in-kind services, and about one half of them are contributing to the program. He stated that they were asking for a 50/50 match from the counties, because it is a partnership program with a water resource focus. He noted that there are about 700 people on the roster in about eight counties. Mr. Watkins stated that Ms. Newman has been focusing primarily on Lake County, but she is being charged and funded as if she is a two counties person, Lake and Marion Counties. They would like to have her focus full time on her work in Lake County, and then have someone else support the Marion County effort. He would like to present the Board with the idea of a $10,000, 50/50 match that would keep the program funded at the same level. He suggested that the Board look at other areas that need to be focused on in Lake County, in terms of Lake County's environmental needs, and think about trying to accomplish these things with volunteers.
Commr. Cadwell explained that tonight would be the final budget hearing, and he did not know if the Board would even address a change in this area of the budget today.
Mr. Watkins stated that, if the Board did have some discretionary funds, or if there were funds that become available through some other source over the next few months, they could make the change to their agreement at that time with a cooperative agreement, or contract. He stated that they would have liked to have brought this to the Board earlier, and he did understand that, because of the late time in the cycle, it may not be possible to pursue a change this year, unless some additional funds were to come in from some outside source. He stated that the program can be funded this year, although it would need to be a Lake-Marion combination for the remainder of the year, and they would certainly want to be ready to go into a partnership scenario next year. Mr. Watkins noted that they are being told that they may have to pull the program out of some of the counties next year where they are not getting a match.
Commr. Hanson stated that philosophically she has a problem with the continued increase in mandates that are coming down to the County at the local level from the State level where the County is having to be responsible for such things as the spraying of the canals. She stated that she has a problem with SJRWMD coming to the County for matching grants when they have their own taxing district, and the County has its own responsibilities. The County is now going to create its own bureaucracy that is going to deal with stormwater runoff and flooding. She further stated that, in her opinion, it should be either the SJRWMD's or the Water Authority's responsibility, or a combination of both, because that is why they were created, but now the County is going to create a whole new bureaucracy, and it is going to be the County's responsibility, and the whole picture is getting very convoluted with the different agencies that will now be responsible for stormwater. Commr. Hanson stated that she is not supportive of a matching grant at this time, but she is strongly in support of the WAVE Program and the volunteers.
Commr. Gerber suggested that Mr. Watkins and Ms. Newman make their presentation to the Environmental Protection Advisory Board, or to the Water Authority. She felt that there is a lot of education to do on the WAVE program itself, before the Board starts looking at ways of funding it.
Ms. Newman addressed the Board and stated that she agrees with many of the comments made by the Board members, because as a former Commissioner, she understands the timing of the request, and she understands what they are saying about the additional requests being made of the local government, but as a coordinator, she is looking at ways to fund her program. She stated that, whether it is funded or not, the program is safely underway in Lake County, and whether it is a partnership with Lake County government, it is going to continue. Ms. Newman stated that she would gladly welcome the opportunity to make a presentation to the Environmental Protection Advisory Board. She stated that they partner with many local agencies including the Lake County Water Authority and Florida Game and Fish. At this time, she noted some of the cleanups that have taken place and some of their successful projects and extended her appreciation to County staff members for all of their help. She noted that there are 292 registered volunteers in Lake and Marion Counties.
Mr. Watkins presented the Board with updated information regarding the Program's scope of work and noted that there are other activities, in terms of stormwater management, monitoring of stormwater, monitoring in other areas, etc, that they could augment, supplement, and work with in partnership with Lake Watch, as well as all of the other agencies noted by Ms. Newman. Mr. Watkins hoped that the Board would give some consideration to the funding, and he was looking forward to the Board's continued involvement and cooperation with the WAVE Program. He stated that he would be glad to give a presentation about the Program to anybody in the County.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the following proposed Ordinance on the floor, by title only, and noted that it would be Ordinance 1999-92, if approved by the Board:
An Ordinance of the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, Amending Chapter XIII, Section 13.03.02(B), Lake County Code, Land Development Regulations, to Increase Planning and Zoning Commission Membership Terms to Four Years to Run in Accord with County Commissioner Terms; Providing for Transition; Providing for Inclusion in the Lake County Code; Providing for Severability; and Providing for an Effective Date.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance 1999-92, as read by title only.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the following proposed Ordinance on the floor, by title only, and noted that it would be Ordinance 1999-93, if approved by the Board:
An Ordinance of the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, Amending Chapter XIII, Section 13.03.02(A), Lake County Code, Land Development Regulations, to Increase the Membership of the Board of Adjustment to Seven Members, to Increase Membership Terms to Four Years, and to Stagger Such Terms; Amending Chapter XIII, Section 13.03.02(E), Lake County Code, Land Development Regulations, to Amend the Board of Adjustment Quorum Provision; Providing for Transition; Providing for Inclusion in the Lake County Code; Providing for Severability; and Providing for an Effective Date.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance 1999-93, as read by title only.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the following proposed Ordinance on the floor, by title only, and noted that it would be Ordinance 1999-94, if approved by the Board:
An Ordinance of the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, Creating Section 14-4, Chapter 14, Lake County Code Entitled Laser Beam Devices; Prohibiting Certain Uses of Laser Beam Devices; Providing for Penalties; Providing for Severability; Providing for Inclusion in the Lake County Code; and Providing an Effective Date.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance 1999-94, as read by title only.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
It was noted that no one present wished to address the Board with questions, comments or concerns.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, addressed the request involving Galaxy Cablevision and explained that they are transferring some of the stock, and the agreement they have with Lake County requires the Board's permission to do so. He was recommending approval of the request.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the sale of equity interest in Galaxy Cablevision from existing outside investors to Aldelphia Communications Corporation for holdings in Lake County under the existing Galaxy/Lake County Cable Television Franchise.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/GRANTS/FACILITIES AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Improvements, explained that, at the Board's last Retreat, the Board supported the County developing Twin Lakes Park, which involves 14 acres, and staff is requesting approval to move forward with the grant application.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request and signature on the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) Grant application in the amount of $100,000.00 for potential funding to construct Twin Lakes Park.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/PUBLIC WORKS
Mr. Fred Schneider, Director of Engineering, was present to discuss the request to add work to the 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan, with regard to some impact fee calculations on banks and residential type communities.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that, since the rates have increased, the County has received several challenges from banks and from senior housing who claim that their rates are different than what is in the chart currently in the County ordinance.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request and execution of Purchase Order Number P-925 to Lake County 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan, in the amount of $9,925.00 for Drive-In Bank Trips Characteristic Study and $9,800.00 for Residential Trips Characteristic Study.
Mr. Don Post, Senior Director of Solid Waste, addressed the Board and stated that, as part of the celebration of the Pollution Prevention Week within the State of Florida, there is a mercury exchange of thermometers. To help emphasize that there are alternate thermometers, staff has brought today some of the thermometers being used in the mercury swap. He stated that yesterday they had their first exchange, and they swapped out 127 thermometers. Mr. Post noted that the following staff members were present, and they would be presenting the Board with a Geratherm mercury free thermometer: Mr. Gary Debo, Mr. Deryl Boyd, and Ms. Sally Statler. Mr. Post stated that the County currently has a contract with MTI Corporation for taking the mercury, and last year they recycled three million flourescent lamps, which represents 225 pounds that was recycled by this company.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request and signature on a Resolution 1999-163 proclaiming the week of September 20 through 26, 1999 as Lake County Pollution Prevention Week in conjunction with National Pollution Prevention Week and encourage all residents to join in this observance.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following appointments to the Cultural Affairs Council to fill terms of office from October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2003:
Theresa J. Bitting Virginia Barker
Alexander Nixon Rosalie G. Bandy
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/COURTS-JUDGES
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Approval and execution of a Special Master Agreement between Lake County, Jon Jones, owner and Robert Q. Williams as Special Master in Case No. SM-7-99.
Approval and execution of a Special Master Agreement between Lake County, Southern Palms Properties, owner and C. Welborn Daniel as Special Master in Case No. SM-10-99.
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, addressed the request for approval of the contract for purchase of property located at 312 West Main Street, Tavares, Florida. Mr. Minkoff explained that there is a second addendum, which is not in the Board's packet, which only affects the way the different owners are dividing the proceeds, and it does not affect the County. The County is in the process of surveying the property, and inspections have been conducted, and it is looking at the environmental issues, which will be resolved prior to closing. He stated that approval of the contract will give the County permission to close the property at the end of the month. He noted that the contract price is the amount of the appraisal price, which was done by the MAI firm in Mount Dora.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the contract for purchase of property located at 312 West Main Street, Tavares, Florida, in the amount of $450,000.00.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/GRANTS/COURTS-JUDGES
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Grant-in-Aid Agreements for Court Reporting Services and Article V to the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Lake County.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER GERBER - DISTRICT #1
Commr. Gerber informed the Board that she has received a call from a person who has a dog running loose in their neighborhood, and Animal Control has asked them to tie the dog up, because they cannot go on private property to pick up the dog. She explained that the people are bedridden that own the property.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, in this case, he would think that Animal Control would contact the people and get permission to pick up the dog. He explained that, unless it is an emergency situation, the County does not have the Animal Control staff go on private property without permission, to avoid any possible liability, unless it is an emergency situation, and an animal needed to be quarantined.
Commr. Gerber noted that she was told by Animal Control that a trap would not be available for three weeks, and she feels that Animal Control does not have enough traps.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, asked that Commr. Gerber give her the information, so that staff can address the problem.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
Commr. Pool wanted to express his appreciation to Representative Randy Johnson, CSX, and the County for developing an agreement that will allow the Rails to Trails Program to continue, and he hoped it would continue throughout the County.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, noted that staff would be bringing a Resolution back to the Board, once they have the final legal description, which will probably be in October, to initiate the process.
It was noted that a letter, on behalf of the entire Board, would go to CSX and Representative Johnson for their efforts.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote the Board approved the request and execution of Florida 4-H Youth Development Resolution 1999-156.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER SWARTZ - DISTRICT #3
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request and execution of Resolution 1999-157 honoring Lake Community Action Agency on its 33rd Anniversary.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request and execution of a Proclamation 1999-158 designating October as United Way Month in Lake County.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #5
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that he had received a request from Coach Paul Cowen and the Lake County Predators Baseball Club trying to seek funds for their organization. Commr. Cadwell told him that, by practice, the County does not make contributions to individual teams, but a lot of times the Board members will do so themselves. He distributed the letter to the Board members and asked them individually to help the young men that will be traveling around the State representing Lake County.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that staff would be giving them a report on the last couple of storms at the next meeting. He extended his appreciation to the agencies that helped with the emergency situations including the Sheriff's Office, Red Cross, the utility companies, the cities, and the School Board.
PRESENTATION - COUNTY 470/TURNPIKE INTERCHANGE PD&E STUDY BY THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Mr. Bruce Barrett, District Planning Manager for the Florida Turnpike, addressed the Board to discuss the County Road 470/Turnpike Interchange Project, Development & Environmental (PD&E) Study by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Mr. Barrett stated that Mr. Jack Freeman, who is the consultant and will be doing the study for the CR 470 interchange, was present today, as well as Ms. Debbie Malonski, Project Manager for the Turnpike, and Mr. Don Griffey.
Mr. Freeman stated that CR 470 is an existing crossing of Florida's Turnpike in western Lake County and is very close to the Sumter County line. It is used by a lot of truck drivers as a connection into I-75, and it is also a principal access into the Coleman Correctional Facility. Mr. Freeman referred to an aerial and noted that the areas surrounding the interchange are not very developed. In the northeast quadrant there is an existing lake, the City of Leesburg, and a maintenance facility, and in the southwest quadrant there is an existing one single family residence. Other than that, the area surrounding the interchange is principally vacant and there are a number of wetlands that present them with a few challenges. Also presenting them a few challenges, from a design perspective, is the angle where CR 470 and the turnpike cross. There is also a major Florida Power and light transmission line that runs on the east side of the turnpike that will present them with a few challenges, with regards to location of particular ramps. Mr. Freeman noted that they have an 18 month schedule and stated that, because there is Federal funding involved with this project, they are required to follow the Federal National Environmental Protection Act guidelines and regulations, and therefore, the Federal Highway Administration is going to be the lead Federal agency, and they will serve as the approving authority for the studies that they conduct. He stated that there are three principal components for the study, which are public involvement; an engineering analysis; and the overall preparation of the environmental document. Mr. Freeman elaborated on these components and noted that, because of the long term use of the interchange, they are planning and showing recommendations that it be planned for a four-lane facility sometime in the future. He stated that, in regards to the overall schedule for implementation of the interchange, they will complete their activities by the end of the year 2000. It will be a two year design process (2001-2002) and right-of-way acquisition is scheduled to commence in 2003-2004, with construction thereafter. The interchange should be open to traffic in 2007 at the latest, and perhaps even earlier.
Commr. Gerber questioned whether this particular project was requiring a lot of County staff time.
Mr. Fred Schneider, Engineering Director, stated that they would be working with the consultants for DOT on the CR 470 four-lane, and as far as time itself, they will be doing the work, and the County will be doing some reviews, and he did not feel it would involve a significant amount of time.
PUBLIC WORKS/ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Commr. Pool informed the Board that he had received a question from a constituent in Lake County, and he needed some assistance by the Board. The people own a lake with several other people that surround the body of water, and they found hydrilla in a very large way. They have allowed public access to the lake, and they are concerned that this hydrilla will be transferred to other lakes that are in the County system. He stated that the people have agreed to pay for all of the chemicals required, about $4,000.00, and even reimburse any expenses that the County may incur to help eradicate. They would like to have a level of expertise go on this body of water, but in talking to staff, it was determined that this was something that the Board would have to take action on to allow use of the boat and their expertise. Staff has agreed to supervise the work at the County's expense, but the petitioner asked that the County to consider allowing them to do it, paying for all of the chemicals, and reimbursing the County for any labor that may be involved.
Commr. Cadwell directed Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, to put together a recommendation regarding this issue and to bring it back to the Board.
Ms. Sue Whittle informed the Board that they would be meeting a 6 p.m. for the final hearing on the budget.
At 10:24 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 6 p.m.
FINAL PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BIENNIAL BUDGET
At 6 p.m., the Chairman reconvened the meeting and noted that all Commissioners were in attendance.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, stated that the final public hearing is for the purpose of amending and adopting the final budget, recomputing the final millage rate, if necessary, publicly announcing the percent by which the recomputed final millage exceeds the rolled-back rate, and discussion of the specific purposes for which ad valorem tax revenues are being increased. Ms. Whittle stated that a tentative budget for Fiscal Year 1999/2000 of $206,659,141 was approved September 7, 1999. The adjustments, in the amount of $643,830 are detailed on Attachment A in the books that were presented to the Board. The proposed operating expenditures are 9.3% more than the total operating expenditures of the 1998/99 amended budget. The millage rates that were tentatively approved on September 7, 1999 are General Fund 4.733; Lake County Ambulance District .316; Stormwater Management MSTU .100; and Aggregate Millage 5.023. The Aggregate Roll-back Rate is 4.724 mills, and the Aggregate Tentative Rate is 5.023 mills, which results in a tentative increase over the Aggregate Roll-back Rate of 6.329%. The County Budget is in balance and the total is $207,302.971. The Tentative Adopted and/or Final Budgets are on file in the Office of the Clerk of Courts, County Finance Department, as a public record. She expressed her sincere appreciation to the Board of County Commissioners, Constitutional Officers, Department and Office Directors, and the staff of the Budget Department for their tireless and professional efforts in assisting her in the completion of this budget.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Jason Yarborough, City Manager, addressed the Board and stated that, on behalf of the Mayor and City Council of Groveland, he wanted to share and express their desire and support for a Groveland branch of the County library system. Mr. Yarborough stated that there are several new community schools that serve multiple cities and unincorporated areas that would be able to tap into this great intellectual resource, and he wanted to express their need and encourage the Board to support this issue.
Ms. Hope Sowards, Spokesperson for the Friends of the Library and the Groveland-Mascotte Women's Club, stated that they are concerned for the Marion Baysinger Memorial Library, which has been run by the Women's Club for the past 50 years. They would like to see it grow and be of more use to the community of Groveland-Mascotte. Their biggest problem is lack of space and lack of visibility, and since they are not professional librarians, they lack the technical know how to provide a satisfactory library for a growing community. Since there are many children in the combined communities, they have tried to center their efforts around programs for children. Ms. Sowards stated that they are looking forward to the day they can be part of the Lake County Library System.
Mr. Cal Schuster addressed the Board and stated that he owns property in two other states, and he is surprised that the taxes are already as high as they are in this district. Mr. Schuster stated that he has property in the Detroit, Michigan area and taxes there are 40% less than they are right now in this County. He also owns property in the Memphis, Tennessee area and the taxes here are 300% more than comparable property. He suggested that the County must be doing something wrong, and it should go some place else and see what they are doing. Mr. Schuster noted that Tennessee does not have a State income tax, but Michigan does have one, and the intangible tax in Tennessee is less than here. He has been in Lake County for a little more than a year.
Commr. Swartz responded to Mr. Schuster's comments by explaining that Lake County has one of the lowest property tax rates in the entire State.
Commr. Hanson noted that Michigan has a great deal more of industry than Florida, particularly Lake County, and industry traditionally bears a greater burden of the taxes than residential, and that is one of the struggles that Lake County deals with today.
Mr. Schuster stated that he feels that Memphis, Tennessee is more comparable to Lake County, and they do not have that much industry, but he feels that Lake County should take a look at what these other places are doing, because 300% is a big difference. He noted that the sales tax may be a little higher in these states.
Ms. Carol Lang stated that she and her husband moved here from Iowa about four years ago, and they have found that the taxes are much less. They lived in a small town of 2,300 people and their property taxes were twice as high as what they are here. Ms. Lang stated that she was here in support of the stormwater tax.
Mr. Roy Hunter stated that this was the first time that the Board has discussed non-maintained roads, and he encouraged the Board to continue to address the problem. He stated that the people in northeast Lake County want just compensation for the taxes they pay. They want County maintained roads. Mr. Hunter stated that the storm drain proposal in the budget represents another example of northeast Lake County doing for the rest of Lake County when there is not a need for this in northeast Lake County. They have helped all of Lake County for too many years, and it is now time for the rest of Lake County to help northeast Lake County.
Ms. Nancy Fullerton, Clermont, stated that she was speaking as a property owner and as President of Save Our Lakes Committee in Clermont. Ms. Fullerton thanked the Board for seriously addressing the stormwater issue these past months and stated that she hopes that the action taken by the Board will be the first step in protecting the lakes and wetlands from stormwater pollution. Ms. Fullerton asked that the Board approve the tax increase today, because she feels that, with combined efforts from other agencies, Lake County will now have funds to start stopping the polluting parts of stormwater.
Mr. Charles Moore, Chairman of Four Corners Council, stated that last Saturday they had a Board meeting and one of the items discussed was the proposal to fund a public library in the Four Corners section of Lake County, and everyone on the Board was thrilled about this possibility.
Ms. Ruth Gray, President of the Lake County Conservation Council, stated that they have been wanting a stormwater project for some time, and they think it is great that the Board has taken this step, and they endorse the proposed tax. She stated that, as an individual, she feels that what the Board is doing about the libraries is great. She feels that a good library system is a basic foundation for education supporting a school system.
Ms. Micky Hodges stated that she is a volunteer at the Groveland Library, and the County does not provide any facilities in the Groveland-Mascotte area to encourage education and language skills, but a library can do this. The local Women's Club and the City cannot finance a library, and they need County assistance.
Ms. Brandy Lilly, resident of the Four Corners area, stated that she is thinking about future families and children in this area and how they would benefit from the library. Ms. Lilly stated that, not only would it benefit the schools, but also the churches to help educate the children, and the County should take this opportunity to embrace education in this sense.
Ms. Melanie Griffey, President of the Mount Plymouth Landowner's League, stated that they were fortunate to have Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Services Manager, at their last general meeting, and she wanted the Board to know that the Mount Plymouth residents would be very thrilled to have a library system, or a branch of the library, in this part of the County.
Ms. Mary Ellen Babb, Altoona, informed the Board that Lila Gustason from Astor called her Friday to tell her that there are many people in Astor that were very happy about the library system's proposal to have a branch library in this area. She was unable to attend the meeting today, but she asked that she express her thanks for the Board's interest in the library system in this area. Ms. Babb noted that Gene and Nita Angel were present from Paisley and they are very happy with the idea of having a small library in Paisley. She stated that Mr. Alex Nixon has a conflict in meetings tonight, and he wanted her to express his thanks to the Board for the money that is going to be given to the libraries that are under construction this year.
Mr. Bob Willets, Umatilla, stated that he has enjoyed the lovely little library in Umatilla, and he would not like the idea of having to drive to Lake Sumter Community College to get a book. He enjoys the small towns of Lake County. Mr. Willets stated that he was not going to complain about the taxes, because they were not that bad, but the first time he came to Lake County, it had a tipping fee of $15 a ton, but now it has the highest one in the country. He was also told that the County would not have any mercury problems, or it would need a landfill. He addressed the stormwater issue and stated that he lives on a lake, and he has watched it deteriorate for 16 years. Mr. Willets stated that about three weeks ago, a lawn service sprayed up to about 15 feet from the edge of the lake, and then 45 minutes later, it rained about two inches. He has noticed berms removed from lake shores, as well as shoreline vegetation, and no one has done anything about it. He drives on Highway 441 across SR19 and he sees 100 foot strips of pure white sand, which he finds obscene.
Mr. Howard Berry, Clermont, addressed the Board and questioned the comment made by Ms. Whittle that the budget is in balance, and whether this means that there are not going to be any tax increases.
Commr. Cadwell explained that the rate that has been advertised, and the rate the Board is going to approve tonight, will be the same rate that the residents paid last year, unless their appraisal increased, and except for the stormwater and the ambulance. The ad valorem taxes will be the same.
Mr. Berry stated that he has been a resident in Lake County for 15 years, and he has been waiting for the returns on the County's successful growth program. He would like to see the results, which is supposed to produce improvements in every area of activity and life experience for all of the residents. Instead he is seeing advertisements where the County and the cities are raising the taxes, as well as the public school districts. Mr. Berry stated that he did not feel that the County's tax rate is excessively high, and he did not feel that it should be compared to other counties, because we do not know what they do for their residents. He stated that all of the qualities of life are going down and the only thing going up is the tax rate. He stated that the stormwater will never be corrected, because of the pollution densities that the County's land use programs permit, and nothing will change unless the County changes its zoning laws. He came here for the quality of life, but it has been going down. Mr. Berry stated that what bothers him most is what is called commercial and corporate welfare, which is exemplified by the industrial park program. There are no jobs being produced for the residents of this County that are worth having today. He stressed that the Board needs to do something about reducing the population densities of this County, and until then, everything is going to keep deteriorating.
Ms. June Noblett stated that she is representing the people in her neighborhood, she is on the Four Corners Council, and she is also representing herself. Ms. Noblett stated that she had a second grade teacher turn her onto reading, and she has had a library card since then. She worked in the library as a volunteer in high school, and she loves to read. She stated that a library card is free, and it is available to everyone. Ms. Noblett submitted three letters for the record, from Lori A. Glazebrook, Candido and Denise Ferreira, and Samantha Lee DeVita and noted that she invited Miss DeVita, one of her younger neighbors, to come to the meeting and address the Board.
Miss Samantha Lee DeVita stated that she was here to talk to the Board about the library. Miss DeVita stated that they really need a library in her area, because the library they have now is too far away, and most of the parents cannot take them to it.
Mr. Charles Deckman, Pine Lakes area, stated that he was not opposing the items before the Board today, but he questioned where the County was going to get the money for the library.
Commr. Swartz explained that, if the Board approves the items before them today, a portion of the funds will come from the existing Reserve Fund that will be used for the operating costs for the library this year, and the construction costs will come from the infrastructure sales tax. In future years, the Board will have to create some type of dedicated funding for the library, if it is going to continue to expand with the program that has been proposed.
Mr. Deckman stated that the County's fire department was not up to standards, and the County is spending $1,600,000 just for payroll. He feels this is too high for what the residents are getting in service. Mr. Deckman stated that there is a fire station within one mile that is not being used in his area, which used to be under the volunteer system. He further stated that the roads in his area are atrocious, and that is one of the reasons he is against everything else that the County is starting including stormwater and libraries, because nothing has been brought up to specifications in his area. Mr. Deckman stated that the residents need a whole lot more before the County starts anything new. He noted that the County needs to check into the average 16 minute response time. He would like the Board's serious consideration on getting things done particularly in the Lake Mack and Lake Katherine areas.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, in response to the fire issue, a resident pays about $1.60 a week for fire service, and he does not feel the residents are prepared to pay a lot more than that right now. For the dollars that are being collected for fire service, the residents are getting their dollars worth. Commr. Cadwell stated that he is proud of the department, and the way it has grown, and he is proud of those employees for the job they are doing. Commr. Cadwell stressed that the Board understands where its shortfalls are and the County is doing what it can with the resources that it has today. He noted that he would pass on the information that was provided by Mr. Deckman about the response time to the Sheriff.
The Chairman called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
RESOLUTIONS - AMBULANCE DISTRICT
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the first Resolution to be approved by the Board would be the final millage rate of 0.316 mills to be levied on all property within the Lake County Ambulance District, with a budget of $2,765,688 to be used for the Lake County Ambulance District budget for Fiscal Year 1999-2000.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution 1999-164 adopting a final millage Rate for the Lake County Ambulance District for Fiscal Year 1999-2000, as stated above.
RESOLUTIONS - STORMWATER MANAGEMENT MSTU
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the second Resolution to be approved by the Board would be the final millage rate of 0.100 mills to be levied on all property within the unincorporated area of Lake County, with a budget in the amount of $403,821 to be used for the Stormwater Management Municipal Services Tax Unit, for Fiscal Year 1999-2000.
Commr. Swartz made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gerber, to approve Resolution 1999-165 adopting a final millage rate for the Stormwater Management Municipal Services Taxing Unit for the unincorporated area of Lake County, as stated above.
Under discussion, Commr. Pool stressed that he is 100% behind stormwater, but he absolutely cannot support creating a different and new bureaucracy when there is the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and the Lake County Water Authority to deal with stormwater. He stated that he would like the Board members to try and understand his concerns for trying to co-mingle funds in the future, because there should not be any partnerships when the residents will be paying twice for this very service, and therefore, he will vote against the motion.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County spent about $400,000 last year on stormwater, which was eliminated in this year's budget, so the County has been spending money on stormwater. She stated that this would replace those dollars and will be used mostly for staff and bureaucracy, and it will not be put to work in protecting the water at that level, because the amount of money is so small. She strongly believes that, if not the SJRWMD, then the Lake County Water Authority should be the entity that provides for stormwater management in Lake County. She explained that the dollars would be spent much more wisely and much more efficiently, if they are spent by an entity whose only responsibility is water quality. Commr. Hanson stated that she will not be supporting the resolution.
Commr. Swartz explained that the resolution, for stormwater management, would be raising taxes ten cents per $1,000 of assessed value, but it is intended to increase to .5 mills, or one-half a mill, over five years, and over that period of time, it will raise in excess of $2.5 million by the fifth year. He stated that, if this passes, he feels certain that the majority of this Board will not support setting up a wasteful bureaucracy to spend stormwater dollars. There is no intent to do this and, in fact, the intent would be to ensure that this does not happen. Commr. Swartz stated that the $400,000 that was spent last year was spent primarily to do the studies that were necessary to allow the County to actually retrofit these systems, and there was really no dedicated staff for that, and it was done within the Public Works Department, and it was done over and above their existing jobs. He felt that, between the Water Authority and Lake County and any other agencies that help provide funds, they will find the most cost efficient way to deal with stormwater. He stated that there is an argument that suggests that the County resident is now going to pay twice. All of the large cities in Lake County and principally those that are on the lakes, already levy a stormwater fee of their citizens in those cities. What is being prosed is saying that, for the unincorporated citizen, the County is going to try to levy a similar fee. It will be substantially less until the fifth year, at which time is will only become about equal to the lowest fee being levied in the cities. The Water Authority currently taxes and is proposing to continue to tax both in the unincorporated area, and in the cities. Commr. Swartz stated that the Board does a disservice to themselves and to the citizens when they say things that are not accurate. He stated that they can be for or against this fee, but it would not be for the reasons given.
Commr. Hanson stated that, in response to the comments made by Commr. Swartz, what she stated was accurate, and it was her opinion.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 3-2 vote, with Commr. Hanson and Commr. Pool voting "no".
RESOLUTIONS - FINAL MILLAGE RATE
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the third resolution would be the final millage rate of 4.733 mills levied on all property within Lake County to be used for the Lake County budget for Fiscal Year 1999-2000. This results in an aggregate rate of 5.023 mills per $1,000 valuation.
Commr. Pool made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Swartz, to approve Resolution 1999-166 adopting a Final Millage Rate for Lake County for Fiscal Year 1999-2000, as stated above.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz stated that, for those who came tonight in support of the libraries, the funding for the libraries that was approved at the last meeting is included in this budget that is now up for consideration.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
RESOLUTIONS - FINAL BUDGET
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the fourth resolution would be to adopt a Final Budget in the amount of $207,302,971 for the Fiscal Year 1999-2000.
Commr. Gerber made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Swartz, to approve Resolution 1999-167 adopting the Final Budget for Lake County for Fiscal Year 1999-2000, as stated above.
Under discussion, Commr. Hanson stated that, regarding the issue of libraries, she strongly supports the libraries, and the areas were wisely selected, Four Corners, Mount Plymouth and Groveland. Her concerns have been for the funding of these libraries next year, which would be close to $1 million. She stated that the Board will then have to find the money to run those libraries, in addition to the dollars already being spent. The proposal also recommended libraries for Paisley, Bassville Park and Astor. She felt that the Board needed to have priorities, and she would not be able to support the resolution for the final budget, because it also includes the stormwater, and even though she supports the library part of it, her vote would be against it.
Commr. Pool wanted the Board to know that he was supportive of everything including the libraries and stormwater, but not the methodology, so he would be voting against the motion to approve the resolution.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 3-2 vote, with Commr. Hanson and Commr. Pool voting "no".
Commr. Swartz thanked the Library Study Committee, which was a team of County staff members who met and tried to come up with something that Lake County could go forward with in the future, to improve libraries within the incorporated areas that have been a partner in the County system, and to also create County operated libraries in those other areas. He stated that the County staff, as well as the Clerk's employees, have been very helpful with the budget. He stated that, to those who are here tonight in support of the libraries, they have one year to find a dedicated funding source for the libraries. He noted to Mr. Schuster that he would be glad to meet with him anytime and go over the budget in detail, and if he would get some budgets from other areas, whether it be Michigan or Tennessee, he would be glad to look at them. He noted to Mr. Berry that growth has not caused the County to have lower taxes and a better quality of life, in fact, it has caused it to have higher taxes and a lower quality of life, and he hopes that Mr. Berry is here every year to remind the Board of this issue.
Commr. Hanson explained that next year stormwater will go to two-tenths of a mill, and to get the money that is going to be needed next year, $1 million, it is going to take about .25 of a mill, which will be about one-half a mill that the County will be putting on the taxpayers for libraries and stormwater, not that it is not needed.
Commr. Pool stated that the infrastructure sales tax is an ongoing tax, and it sunsets in the year 2002. It could be a source of revenue in the future that the libraries could look at as a continuation of this tax. It is important that the schools, cities, and the County get this support from the communities, so that libraries, the schools, stormwater, and fire service can benefit from the continuation of this particular tax.
There being no further issue to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK