The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 15, 2000, 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; G. Richard Swartz, Jr.; Rhonda H. Gerber; and Robert A. Pool. Others present were: Sue Whittle, County Manager; Sanford A. (Sandy) Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Chairman introduced Mr. Herb Winemiller, Director of Institutional Advancement at Lake-Sumter Community College and Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Community College Foundation, noting that he was doing an internship for Leadership Lake County.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that there was an advertised Addendum No. 1 to the Agenda.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he would like to add to the Agenda two items, being (1) a request for approval of a proposed lease for the new Tax Collector's facility, to replace the Eustis and Tavares Tag Offices; and (2) a request from Mr. Bruce Duncan, the former Economic Development Director for Lake County, for approval to represent a private client that he once worked with while serving as the Economic Development Director, that is developing a commercial/industrial site on SR 50, which is something that he is required to do, per the Florida Bar Association.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place said items on the Agenda, under the County Attorney's business.
The Chairman informed the Board that he had had a discussion with Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, regarding space needs, that he would be adding to the Agenda, under his Commissioner's Business.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 11, 2000 (Regular Meeting), as presented.
Regarding the Minutes of January 18, 2000, the following was requested:
On Page 13, Line 26, change carried unanimously to carried.
Clarification was made regarding a correction in a motion that was made in the December 14, 1999 Minutes and noted on Page 1, Line 31 of the January 18, 2000 Minutes and the correction stands as noted.
On Page 9 change Wiggum to Whigham, where needed.
On Page 8, Line 24, change bottoms to bottom.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 18, 2000 (Regular Meeting), as corrected.
Regarding the Minutes of January 25, 2000, the following was requested:
On Page 17, Line 13, indicate that Commr. Swartz voted in opposition.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 25, 2000 (Regular Meeting), as corrected.
CLERK OF COURTS' CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Request for approval of Satisfactions of Judgment, as follows:
Satisfaction of Judgment for Maria Isbell Martinez, Case No. 92-853 CFB, in the amount of $250.00, dated September 14, 1992, and recorded in Official Records Book 1194, Page 1773, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signatures on same.
Satisfaction of Judgment for Alfredo Martinez, Case No.92-853 CFC, in the amount of $250.00, dated September 14, 1992, and recorded in Official Records Book 1194, Page 1772, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signatures on same.
Satisfaction of Judgment for Carol Sellers, Case No. 99-2859MMA01LC, in the amount of $700.00, dated October 1, 1999, and recorded in Official Records Book 1766, Page 1507, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signatures on same.
Request for approval of Satisfactions and Release of Fine, as follows:
Reduction of Order of Fine for Equity One Mortgage, Inc., in the amount of $5,000.00, dated December 17, 1999, and recorded in Official Records Book 1778, Pages 993 and 994, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signatures on same.
Reduction of Order of Fine for Brian K. and Erin J. McCoy, in the amount of $500.00, dated December 17, 1999, and recorded in Official Records Book 1778, Pages 2138 and 2139, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signatures on same.
Request for approval of Release of Fines, as follows:
Order of Fine for AAA Improvement Company, in the amount of $365.00, dated December 9, 1987, and recorded in Official Records Book 945, Pages 901and 902, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signatures on same.
Reduction of Order of Fine for Geraldine Milton, in the amount of zero ($0.00) dollars, dated December 14, 1999, and recorded in Official Records Book 1778, Pages 998 and 999, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signatures on same.
Reduction of Order of Fine for Galer L. and Janet L. Ledford, in the amount of zero ($0.00) dollars, dated December 14, 1999, and recorded in Official Records Book 1778, Pages 995 through 997, of the Public Records of Lake County; and authorized proper signature on same.
Request for approval of Contractor Bond - New, as follows:
5747-2000 Alltype Marine Construction
Request to acknowledge receipt of 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.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 99-17, from the City of Tavares, amending the boundaries of the City of Tavares, by including within the city limits approximately 11.3 acres of property generally located on the east side of C.R. 561, approximately 1/4 mile north of C.R. 448, in Lake County, Florida; Rezoning the property from County HM to City Industrial. Passed and ordained November 17, 1999, by the City Council of the City of Tavares.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that, with regard to Tab 10, Item
No. 3, the funds that were requested by the Sheriff are to be used for 17 mobile data terminals
that have been ordered and installed in marked patrol cars.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by
a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Accounts Allowed/Community Services/Contracts, Leases and Agreements
Request from Community Services for approval of an Amendment to the Children's Home Society Agreement for Annual Funding and permission to encumber funds, in the amount of $33,000.00.
Community Services/Contracts, Leases and Agreements
Request from Community Services for approval and execution of an Agreement between Lake County and the Lake County School Readiness Coalition.
Accounts Allowed/Community Services/Contracts, Leases and Agreements/Grants
Request from Community Services for acceptance of the 1999-2000 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant award, in the amount of $111,773.00, and the Special Conditions; and authorization for the Chairman to sign related documents, including subsequent interlocal agreements for expenditure of funds (contingent on County Attorney review). Cash match of $12,419.00 to be provided by local recipient of funds.
County Property/Emergency Services
Request from Emergency Services for approval of transfer of titles to 1996 Ford Ambulances (Property Numbers 16979 and 16969).
Accounts Allowed/Facilities and Capital Improvements/Outdoor Recreation
Request from Facilities and Capital Improvements for approval of the Boating Improvement Project recommended by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, for funding, in FY 99/00, for the Lake Griffin State Recreation Area, for Uniform Waterway Markers, in the amount of $400.00.
Contracts, Leases and Agreements/Facilities and Capital Improvements/State Agencies
Request from Facilities and Capital Improvements for approval for the Chairman to execute Amendment Two to the Agreement between the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection, and Lake Idamere Park, to extend the project completion date to September 30, 2001.
Accounts Allowed/Facilities and Capital Improvements/Public Defender
Request from Facilities and Capital Improvements for approval and signature on First Amendment to Storage Space Lease for the Office of the Public Defender, changing the units and adding an additional unit, from a monthly rent of $213.00 to $262.50 per month. The rent increase has a fiscal impact of $445.50 for the remainder of FY 1999/2000.
Accounts Allowed/Budgets/Community Services/Communications Systems/E911
Fiscal and Administrative Services/Resolutions/Sheriff's Department
Request from Fiscal and Administrative Services - Budget, for approval of the following:
Budget transfer from the General Fund - Contingency to Community Services - Inmate Medical, in the amount of $180,000.00, due to the established budget amount of $570,000.00 being insufficient to pay anticipated inmate medical costs, due to increasing costs and the severity of inmate illnesses. Based on projections, costs could exceed $1,000,000.00. Inmates with HIV, kidney disease, and heart disease contribute to rising costs. Cost saving measures are currently being considered by jail medical staff.
Budget transfer from the Emergency 911 Fund - Contingency E911, in the amount of $52,270.00, to Communications Systems - Communications and Freight, in the amount of $20,000.00, and Machinery and Equipment, in the amount of $32,270.00. Communications and Freight needs $20,000.00 by Spring, due to a 15% increase in costs from network services, for the E911 voice trunks. The $32,270.00 for Machinery and Equipment would replace 10 personal computers that have been in continual use since 1994, the E911 server (in use since 1994), the 911 demonstration laptop, and the high-speed printer (purchased in 1988 and no longer repairable, due to lack of parts).
Budget transfer from the General Fund - In-House Support, Machinery and Equipment, to Constitutional Offices/Sheriff - Law Enforcement Capital Outlay, in the amount of $78,000.00. The Sheriff is making this request, pursuant to F.S. 30.49. Funds are to be used for 17 mobile data terminals that have been ordered and installed in marked patrol cars.
Resolution No. 2000-18, to amend the General Fund, in order to receive unanticipated revenue for FY 1999/2000, in the amount of $50,000.00, from the Florida School Readiness Partnership Initiation Grant, and provide appropriations for the disbursement of these funds to the School Readiness Coalition.
Contracts, Leases and Agreements/Fiscal and Administrative Services
Procurement Services/Solid Waste
Request from Fiscal and Administrative Services - Procurement Services, for approval of transfer of Contract Agreement for Solid Waste Engineering and Professional Services from Glace & Radcliffe, Inc. to WCG, Inc., due to a merger of Glace & Radcliffe, Inc. and Barker, Osha & Anderson, Inc.
Bonds - Mobile Home/Growth Management
Request from Growth Management for approval of Mobile Home Bond (MHB No. 00-01-4) for Carl Stevens and Robin L. Brown, 22606 Indianwood Way, Eustis, Florida 32736. Commission District 4.
Accounts Allowed/Bonds/Contracts, Leases and Agreements/Public Works/Subdivisions
Request from Public Works for authorization to accept the final plat for Pennbrooke Phase M Subdivision; execute a Developer's Agreement between Lake County and Leisure Communities, Ltd., for Construction of Improvements; and accept a Performance Bond, in the amount of $45,873.85. Subdivision consists of 92 lots - Commission District 1.
Public Works/Resolutions/Roads-County and State/Signs
Request from Public Works for approval of Resolution No. 2000-19, authorizing the posting of a stop sign on Lucerne Drive (3-4267), in the Mt. Dora area.
Public Works/Resolutions/Roads-County and State/Signs
Request from Public Works for approval of Resolution No. 2000-20, authorizing the posting of speed limit signs on the following roads, in the Clermont area:
Via De Robina Court 2-0739B
Regal Drive 2-0839
Jardim De Largo Street 2-0739D
Spring Moss Avenue 2-0738A
Via Mari-Cae Court 2-0739E
Highland Point Drive 2-1035
Alameda Alma 2-0838F
Parkway Drive 2-1035A
Alameda Sandra 2-0838E
Point Overlook Drive 2-1036B
Avenida Augusta 2-0838D
Lake Clair Circle 2-1036C
Belo Horizonte Avenue 2-0838B
Ollie Court 2-0935H
Via De Renee Place 2-0838A
Mira Lago Lane 2-0935G
Jardim Orlando Court 2-0838C
Clair Place 2-0934
UTILIZING GRANT FUNDS FOR PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT TO OUTFIT AND IMPLEMENT TRAINED BOMB SQUAD FOR SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
ACCOUNTS ALLOWED/COMMITTEES/GRANTS/SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Major Claude Gnann, Lake County Sheriff's Department, addressed the Board stating that, if they approved this request, Captain Don Gregory, Lake County Sheriff's Department, would be the Bomb Commander. He noted that two deputies have been assigned to the Bomb Squad and are waiting to attend schooling regarding same.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one present who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a recommendation by the Local Law Enforcement Advisory Board to utilize the 1999 through 2001 grant funds of $111,773.00, plus matching funds of $12,419.00, for the purchase of equipment to outfit and implement a trained Bomb Squad for the Sheriff's Department.
COUNTY EMPLOYEES/PUBLIC WORKS/RESOLUTIONS
The Chairman presented Proclamation No. 2000-17, officially declaring the week of February 21-25, 2000 as National Engineers Week in Lake County, to the County's engineers.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Public Works, informed the Board that the Lake County engineers will be giving a presentation to all the eighth graders in the County about the engineering profession, to see if it is something that they would be interested in pursuing.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
No one present wished to address the Board.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, informed the Board that Tab 18, a request from Communications Systems for consideration of a transfer of all Comcast franchised holdings in Lake County to Time Warner Communications, would be pulled and rescheduled for the March 7, 2000 Board Meeting.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board set Student Government Days for April 4, 2000 and April 18, 2000.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed individuals to vacant positions on the Environmental Protection Advisory Board, as follows:
Member of the Engineering Profession
Mr. Chester McGee
Member Representing the Development Community
Mr. F. J. (Bob) Fegers
CONTRACTS, LEASES AND AGREEMENTS/COURTS-JUDGES
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that this request involved a Code Enforcement case where the County was getting ready to do a foreclosure. He stated that a $6,500.00 lien was placed against the property in question; however, the property has been brought into compliance and the property owner has requested a waiver for a portion of the lien ($3,250.00). He stated that Code Enforcement, as well as his office, was recommending approval of the request. He stated that it will probably take 90 days to six months to go through the process, however, feels that the County will probably recover its costs, during that process, and noted that there should not be any additional costs to the County.
It was noted that this case had been ongoing since 1997, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that he was not comfortable with the County collecting only half of the fine for a case that took two to three years to resolve.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether the County Attorney felt the County had recovered its costs.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he did, noting that he felt the reason this request was being recommended for approval was because the County had recovered all its costs. A motion was made by Commr. Hanson and seconded by Commr. Pool to approve a request from the County Attorney for approval of a Settlement Agreement and a Satisfaction and Release of Lien for Lake County vs. Arlene and Anthony DeLucia, Civil Court Case No.
99-1909CC (CEB No. 100-97).
Under discussion, Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that staff had talked with Code Enforcement about trying to come up with a matrix, so that people are treated consistently the same on forgiveness of fines and that he felt they were working towards coming up with some type of system, based on time, cooperation, etc., in order to help them make these kinds of decisions, rather than on a case-by-case basis.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried, by a 4-1 vote.
Commr. Swartz voted "No".
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that Commr. Gerber had asked that this Ordinance be brought back before the Board, for further discussion and/or action. He stated that the public hearing will be held in March of this year, making the Ordinance effective countywide, rather than just in the unincorporated areas of the County. He stated that the cities can opt out of enforcing the Ordinance, should they choose to do so, and create their own regulations, which would rule over the County's regulations, in this instance.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Attorney for approval to advertise an Ordinance amending Article XI of Chapter 13, Lake County Code, entitled Merchandising of Tobacco Products.
CONTRACTS, LEASES AND AGREEMENTS/TAX COLLECTOR
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that the Lake County Tax Collector, Mr. Bob McKee, was requesting approval to enter into a lease with Mr. John Prickett, Jr., for the construction and lease of a building behind Sonny's Restaurant, off Dora Avenue, in Eustis. He stated that the County will be able to use the building as the Tax Collector's Office, or for any other governmental purpose, with the approval of the landlord. He stated that the lease is a little unusual, in that it will not have a cancellation clause, however, noted that the building will be constructed specifically for the Tax Collector, at the cost of the landlord. He stated that the rent will not escalate during the term of the lease, however, the ad valorem taxes on the building will get passed through to the Tax Collector each year, as part of the rent.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Attorney, on behalf of the Lake County Tax Collector, Mr. Bob McKee, for approval of a proposed 15 year lease agreement between Lake County and Mr. John R. Prickett, Jr., for the construction and lease of a 7,800 square foot building behind Sonny's Restaurant, off Dora Avenue, in Eustis, at $12.00 per square foot, to be utilized as the new Tax Collector's Tag Office.
COUNTY EMPLOYEES/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, requested approval, on behalf of Mr. Bruce Duncan, the former Economic Development Director for Lake County, to represent a company that is developing a commercial/industrial site on SR 50 - said company being one that he worked with while working in the Economic Development Office. He stated that Mr. Duncan is now employed by a private law firm that has been retained to represent said company and the Florida Bar Association requires that, when an attorney works for government and leaves, he obtain approval to represent private clients before doing so. He stated that Mr. Duncan wanted to make sure that the Board did not object to his representing said company. He stated that his office was recommending that the Board approve said request.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Attorney, on behalf of Mr. Bruce Duncan, former Economic Development Director for Lake County, who is now employed by a private law firm that has been retained to represent a company that is developing a commercial/industrial site on SR 50 - said company being one that he worked with while working in the Economic Development Office, for Mr. Duncan to represent said company.
CONTRACTS, LEASES AND AGREEMENTS/MEDICAL EXAMINER
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, updated the Board regarding the Medical Examiner's situation. She stated that the Selection Committee completed its work and recommended that Dr. Valerie Rao, from Dade County, become the District Medical Examiner. She stated that it appears, since Lake County is the host county, that the Medical Examiner and her employees will be added to this County's payroll. She stated that they will operate an enterprise fund and all funds will go into it and all disbursements will be made from it. She stated that, in the past, the Medical Examiner was independent and contracted services with the counties within the district. She stated that it was identified that there were probably 12 to 14 separate contracts with the five counties and they have all agreed that they would like to have one major contract that is approved by all five Boards of County Commissioners, which she noted should simplify things a great deal. She stated that Dr. Rao has requested a letter from the Board outlining the fact that it is their intention to bring about the structure she alluded to, pending approval by the other Boards of County Commissioners in District 5 and confirmation of her appointment by the Governor. She requested approval of said letter.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Manager, Ms. Sue Whittle, for approval of a letter outlining the fact that it is the Board's intention to bring about the new structure she alluded to, pending approval by the other Boards of County Commissioners in District 5 and confirmation of Ms. Valerie Rao's appointment as the District Medical Examiner by Governor Bush.
COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT 2
Commr. Pool informed the Board that he would like to congratulate Ms. Kristen Ludecke for representing Lake County and the State of Florida in the recent Miss America Pageant. He stated that he appreciated her hard work and felt that she should be commended and recognized for representing Lake County and the State of Florida.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
COMMISSIONER GERBER - DISTRICT 1
Commr. Gerber informed the Board that she had been approached by a constituent from District 1 who was concerned about an annexation that had taken place in Fruitland Park. She stated that, according to the Florida Statutes, he cannot file a challenge to the annexation himself, it has to be done through the County. She stated that she had spoken to the County Attorney about what he felt the Board should do in this case, due to the fact that the County knows very little about some of the details.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, to contest properties that the cities have annexed, a Petition for Certiorari has to be filed within 30 days after adoption of the Ordinance annexing said properties and he believed the Ordinance pertaining to this issue had been adopted and was now within that 30 day period. He stated that the constituent, Mr. Don Barfield, indicated that the annexation caused his property to become an enclave, totally surrounded by city property, however, noted that he had not verified said claim and would have to do so. He stated that, if that is the case, it would appear that the annexation was improperly done. He stated that the only person who can challenge an annexation is the person whose property is being annexed, another resident of the City who has a special financial interest in the property, or another governing body who has authority over the property (the County). He stated that residents who live in the County who are not being annexed do not have standing to challenge annexations. He stated that Mr. Barfield was asking the County to challenge the annexation, on his behalf.
Commr. Cadwell stated that it was his understanding that the annexation was done to get around a Code Enforcement case that the County had initiated on the property.
Mr. Minkoff stated that he had not personally verified whether that was the case, however, noted that it did involve a Code Enforcement set-back violation and that the case was cleared when the annexation occurred.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the annexation occurred January 27, 2000, therefore, questioned whether there would be enough time to verify the information, before the Board meets again, and challenge the annexation, if it is decided that that is what the Board wants to do.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that, assuming the January 27th date is correct, if the Board discussed the matter at the next Board Meeting, there would be time to proceed with the challenge. He stated that last year the Legislature passed a Bill that requires a government, before suing another government, to try to mediate and one of the provisions of that Bill is that governments can agree to extend the jurisdictional requirements. He stated that the City of Fruitland Park may agree to extend the 30 day requirement, while the matter is being discussed.
Commr. Gerber stated that her preference would be to ask the City of Fruitland Park for a 30 day extension, to allow the County to meet with them and discuss the matter.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board directed the County Attorney's Office to meet with the City of Fruitland Park, with regard to the recent annexation that was done by the City, which created an enclave that is not consistent with the Statute of Annexation; and to request a 30 day extension of said action.
It was noted that, if the City of Fruitland Park will not agree to the extension, the Board will be ready to make a motion at the next Board Meeting to challenge the annexation.
COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT 4
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2000-21, proclaiming March 2000 as National Women's History Month, to recognize and celebrate the many contributions of America's women.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT 4
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2000-22, declaring February 13-19, 2000 as National Career and Education Week in Lake County.
COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that he had received a letter from Mr. Joe Hill, a member of the Lake County Water Authority, asking that the County participate in a Stormwater Task Force; however, he feels that, if the County is going to do anything, it should wait until after the Legislative Session meets, because it is not known whether the Water Authority will even continue to exist.
Commr. Pool stated that he respected Mr. Hill and the Water Authority for wanting to have a task force, however, pointed out the fact that the County has already had task forces, committees, consultants, and seminars regarding the issue. He stated that, in his opinion, the Board needed to make a motion for approval of a Request for Proposal (RFP), to hire an engineer and start building a retrofit stormwater system.
Commr. Gerber stated that the Environmental Protection Advisory Board discussed the matter at their January meeting and she feels there is a fear among the group that the ball will be dropped - that they will have done all their work and nothing will happen. She stated that she feels they see the task force as an engine to get things going.
Commr. Swartz stated that a countywide stormwater study is on the books, at the present time, that the County spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on, and the County has already committed, by a vote of the Board, stormwater money from this year toward the stormwater retrofit of Lake Griffin. He stated that he felt the County needed to have county staff and the Water Authority, as well as a representative from the League of Cities, discuss how to best deal with approaching the issue of stormwater, given the fact they have staff working on it, as well as the County. He stated that he felt one agency or the other needed to take the lead.
Commr. Hanson stated that she has felt all along only one agency needed to be responsible for stormwater and that it should be either the Water Authority or the County, however, noted that the Water Authority has the taxing authority, at the present time. She stated that she did not have a problem with a task force, noting that nothing can be lost by having one and she feels it will keep things on target.
Commr. Pool stated that a task force will not get the County where it wants to be. He stated that the County needs to get off dead center and move forward and the only way to do that is with an engineering firm selected to build a stormwater retrofit system.
Commr. Cadwell suggested having staff come before the Board, within the next two to three weeks, and update them on where the County is and what it has been doing, with regard to the matter.
Commr. Swartz suggested asking the Water Authority to be a part of the presentation, as well.
Commr. Pool stated that he heard the Water Authority state they do not have the expertise or the engineers to do the project and were, in fact, looking at the County to get it done. He stated that the County and the Water Authority cannot continue to look at each other to get it done. He stated that he feels the County needs to move forward with it.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Public Works, informed the Board that his staff has been meeting with the Lake County Water Authority and the St. Johns River Water Management District for the past six months and coordinating a way to work out a plan. He stated that, at the same time, there have been other issues going on that staff wanted to continue working on. He stated that they will present something to the Board at the appropriate time, noting that they plan to come before the Board with the SJRWMD, the Water Authority, and county staff united and discuss a plan, which should be very soon.
COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that he had met with Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, last week, after the Board conducted a space tour of the various county buildings, and that there was some discussion about the old Post Office Building and the fact that the Board felt the cost of renovating it was probably not something that they would want to do, if they were looking at providing some additional space at the Lake County Judicial Center. He stated that the Clerk asked whether the Board would consider letting him utilize the old Planning Building (currently housing the Health Department) and that he had informed him that, at some point, he might want to talk to the Board about it, once they get an idea on the new building and how much space the County is going to need and how much space he is going to need. He stated that it might be something the Board would want to talk about at the Board Retreat.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, stated that staff would be bringing preliminaries to the Board Retreat, for discussion.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:00 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 10:30 a.m.
AMBULANCE SERVICE PROPOSALS
CONTRACTS, LEASES AND AGREEMENTS/EMERGENCY SERVICES
The Chairman informed those present that he invited the following individuals, representing the League of Cities and Lake and Sumter counties, to participate in this discussion, because he feels it will benefit both Lake and Sumter counties to be partners in whatever is decided, regarding this issue:
Mr. Robert Moore, City Councilman, City of Tavares and Chairman of the League of Cities Ambulance Committee
Ms. Hope Lamb, City Councilperson, City of Clermont and member of the Ambulance Committee
Ms. Bernice Brinson, City Manager, City of Mt. Dora and member of the Ambulance Committee
Mr. Bernard Dew, County Administrator, Sumter County
Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, Lake County
The Chairman noted that the two hospitals in the County were invited to participate in this presentation, as well, and that they had representatives present in the audience. He stated that the Board would welcome their comments and participation, should they decide to do so.
American Medical Response
Mr. Bob Siler, Vice President, Florida Operations, American Medical Response (AMR), addressed the Board and gave a slide presentation about his firm and what it had to offer the County. He stated that his firm is presently in partnership with Florida Hospital/Waterman, to provide the highest quality medical services to Lake County residents. He stated that, even though he had only been in involved with Emergency Medical Services for approximately three months, AMR has been in the County since 1997. He stated that, in 1997, the Balanced Budget Act was enacted, which severely impacted the nation's health care providers. He stated that Medicare reimbursements for providers had been cut by billions of dollars and Florida Hospital/Waterman can no longer continue to operate the EMS System, given the drastic changes in Medicare reimbursements for ambulance services. He stated that, in 1999, Florida Hospital announced its plan to discontinue the contract with the County for ambulance service, therefore, after September 2000, they will no longer be providing EMS for Lake County. He stated that, given these facts, Lake County faces major challenges, being (1) how to design an EMS System that incorporates the ability to provide the same high quality service that is provided today; (2) optimize the patient care delivered; (3) provide the adequate level of County tax support; and (4) provide that support at a price that Lake County residents can afford.
Mr. Siler stated that, against this backdrop, AMR set out to propose a custom design system that will accomplish the best results for Lake County residents. He stated that AMR does not have an off-the-shelf system that they propose to the various requests for bids. He stated that they feel each system is different; therefore, they designed their proposal to assure extra-ordinary service to all areas of Lake County. He stated that it was designed to give many different options for the County to review and choose from. He stated that it retains ambulance stations in strategic locations throughout the County and they offer to continue to use the same high quality vehicles that the system has become accustomed to. He stated that they also want to take care of the outstanding EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) and paramedics that work in Lake County; therefore, they propose to retain employees at their current rate of pay and provide outstanding benefits that include a 401(k)plan, with employer matching contributions. He stated that they included in their proposal the following four options, for consideration:
Bid Response Option
Designed to mimic the existing system, while meeting the requirements set forth by the RFP. AMR proposes to staff ten (10) ALS ambulances and four (4) Quick Response Vehicles (QRVs) throughout Lake County and deploy them at mutually agreed upon stations. 24-hour supervision acting as frontline management will function out of the QRVs. This system will have one ambulance that will flex, based on time of day and system demand. Nine (9) 24-hour units, along with one (1) 10-hour unit, will operate in this system.
Option 1 - Current Subsidy
AMR felt it necessary to display a system that could function under the current subsidy and detail exactly what that subsidy level would offer. In this option, AMR will staff six (6) ALS ambulances and one (1) QRV throughout Lake County and deploy them at mutually agreed upon stations. 24-hour supervision acting as frontline management will function out of the QRV. This proposed system would focus deployment along the populated corridors in Lake County - Hwys. 441 and 50.
Option 2 - Flex System
AMR will staff ten (10) ALS ambulances and three (3) QRVs throughout Lake County and deploy them at mutually agreed upon stations. 24-hour supervision acting as frontline management will function out of the QRVs. This system will flex the daily deployment of unit hours, based on system demand and time of day. Six (6) 24-hour units, along with three (3) 12-hour units and one (1) 8-hour unit, will operate in this system.
Option 3 - Enhanced System
System will increase the daily unit hours above the current operation. This will be achieved by converting the Astor and East Lake County 24-hour QRVs into 24-hour ambulances for those respective areas. The Astor 24-hour QRV will be redeployed to the Hwy. 42 corridor in the area of Fullerville. Two new 24-hour ambulances will be added in the communities of Astatula and Plantation.
Mr. Siler stated that AMR is an experienced national company that employs approximately 21,000 team members, of which 80% have direct patient contact, on a daily basis. He stated that they operate a fleet of over 4,000 vehicles and provide over 4 million medical transports per year in 36 states throughout the United States. He stated that they are the largest private provider of medical transportation in the United States and have a history of long-term contracts with municipalities. He stated that the Board can assure the residents of Lake County will continue to receive the same high-quality EMS care that is available today, by awarding the EMS contract to American Medical Response.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:45 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for five minutes.
Mr. Matt Zavadsky, Regional Manager, Rural/Metro Corporation, addressed the Board and gave a slide presentation about his firm and what it has to offer the County. He stated that they are the largest American-based private sector ambulance service provider, with 12,000 employees serving 450 communities throughout North and South America, responding to more than one million responses for emergency assistance per year. He stated that the Balanced Budget Act was passed in 1997, which created three "R"challenges, being Reimbursement, Regulation, and Red Tape that is affecting every health care provider. He stated that it has forced health care providers to take a look at how they are supposed to be providing services in this new environment. He stated that Rural/Metro employs 215 people in Central Florida. He stated that they operate in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties and provide 9-1-1 services in Orange and Santa Rosa counties and in Pensacola. He stated that they are the only accredited ambulance service in the State of Florida, by the Commission for the Accreditation of Ambulance Services.
Mr. Zavadsky stated that his firm's proposal met the basic stipulations of the Request for Proposal (RFP), by providing ten (10) ambulances around the clock; four (4) QRVs; their insurance is ten times the County's requirements; they provided the option of adding three (3) additional ambulances, during peak times; they offered to purchase the County's equipment for $456,500.00, but made a strong recommendation, from a security standpoint, that the County keep the equipment. He stated that his firm's proposal also included the following:
Mr. Zavadsky discussed his firm's Fiscal Proposal, being $670,000.00 for the first year; with an escalator in the second year to $682,897.50. He stated that they recommend that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) be used - a blended CIP of medical and transportation, which he noted would probably be the best way to look at rate adjustments in the future, from a user and a subsidy standpoint. He stated that his firm's goal for Lake County is to have the best possible EMS system for its citizens, based on a partnership, which needs to be for the long haul. He stated that they believe in full disclosure and that the decision about what services should be provided and how they should be provided should be based on the community's needs and assessments. He stated that they propose two advisory boards, the Rural/Metro Lake County Community Advisory Board, designed to continually enhance their services to the community and improve health and quality of life for Lake County citizens; and the Lake County EMS Advisory Board, designed to monitor and enhance the entire EMS system.
Mr. Zavadsky stated that his firm's perspective of the private sector advantage for Lake County is high quality, cost effective ambulance service; flexible contracting for a county-wide system that exceeds local expectations; and full accountability for performance. He stated that the Rural/Metro advantage for Lake County is demonstrated community commitment; an open book partnership with the Community Advisory Board and the Lake County EMS Advisory Board; the opportunity for the existing staff to join the Rural/Metro family; and being the only accredited ambulance service in Florida to provide services for Lake County citizens. He stated that his firm believes the Rural/Metro opportunity is an opportunity for a partnership in every sense of the word that will work for the community and all the members of the community.
Mr. Robert Moore, City Councilman, City of Tavares, and Chairman of the League of Cities Ambulance Committee, addressed the Board stating that said committee has been meeting and looking at the various proposals and that he hoped he would be representing a unified position on the part of the cities and what is in the best interest of everybody in Lake County, whether they are in the cities or not. He stated that he spent a lot of years in the emergency medical field, noting that he was Director of Emergency Medical Services at Leesburg Regional Medical Center and that he handled the transfer of the ambulance service from Northwest Lake County and from the City of Leesburg to LRMC. He stated that he was the Coordinator of Emergency Medical Services for Lake County Vo-Tech and trained a lot of EMTs and paramedics who still work in Central Florida. He stated that he has donated a lot of years of his life to EMS in Lake County, noting that he first got involved with it in 1974. He stated that the County has never had a fully coordinated system, where everybody's efforts were going into a common objective. He stated that it has always been a hodge-podge, in that the County has had a not-for-profit city run service, a not-for-profit hospital run service, and a for-profit company.
Mr. Moore discussed the Request for Proposal (RFP) that the County put out, noting that the Ambulance Committee feels it was inadequate. He stated that they feel the level of service should be higher and they are concerned about the amount of time that it took to go through the process; however, they feel that it has provided the County with some options and places to start from. He stated that, if one of the two companies making presentations this date were going to be selected, the Committee feels that some additional due diligence is necessary. He stated that the County has their perspective on what Lake County needs and what they can offer, as far as the way their company is run, their management philosophy, and the resources that they can bring to Lake County; however, he did not see an area that is close to his heart, which is the quality of the medical care that they provide. He stated that he feels the due diligence that would need to take place, on the County's part, would be to look in detail at their quality assurance program and talk to emergency medical departments that receive their patients, to see what condition they are in and whether they have followed their protocol, etc. He discussed the historical perspective of where the County is today and what funding mechanisms are currently in place. He stated that the public needs to have confidence in what the County is doing and needs to see where their tax dollars are going. He stated that the cities need to see where their tax dollars are going, as well. He stated that they want the best possible outcome and the best possible system for the people in Lake County.
Mr. Moore stated that there are some common agreements, on the part of the cities, being (1) they are not satisfied with the current level of service that the County is receiving; (2) they want tax equity, with regard to the funding mechanisms; (3) they feel there needs to be a cooperative partnership between the cities, the County, and the hospitals and other interested parties, in how the system is worked out and what they ultimately achieve; and (4) they feel the County needs an adequate oversight of the EMS provider, preferably by an independent group of those same entities - the cities, the County, and the hospitals.
Mr. Moore discussed the fact that many of the EMTs and paramedics that currently work in the system consider themselves health care providers, not firefighters. He stated that, if the model of a county fire department running the system includes the fact that all the personnel have to receive fire standards and be certified firefighters in the State of Florida, the County is going to close the door on a lot of highly qualified EMTs and paramedics who do not want to be firefighters, they want to provide quality pre-hospital health care. He stated that that does not mean that a fire department cannot play a role, noting that there are enough models that would allow for both groups of people to be employed and for both groups of people to be productive and contribute to the total solution. He stated that the cities appreciate being invited to this meeting and want to be at the table, being partners, along with the hospitals. He stated that every citizen in Lake County has a stake in what the Board does this date and where it goes from here; therefore, he did not feel the Board should make a decision, at this time, on who provides ambulance service in Lake County, noting that he feels it is the beginning of a process.
Mr. Moore stated that what he feels the cities would like to see come out of this meeting is a process where everyone comes together, rolls up their sleeves, looks at the resources and sees what they can come up with. He stated that one of the things he would have liked to see the County start with is a needs assessment and then, from a needs assessment, the development of a level of service that would have gone out in the RFP. He stated that he feels the whole process should be geared toward public confidence - confidence that the process is open and all the parties are involved; confidence that the tax dollars are spent appropriately, transparently, with appropriate accountability; and confidence that, when the public calls for emergency medical services, they are going to get a highly trained individual to provide that care and that that person has the support of the medical community.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he battled with this issue from a couple of aspects, one being the cities desire, in some cases, to go into business for themselves and the problems that that may cause, with regard to what is going to be best for everybody in Lake County; and from the aspect of human resources that exist. He stated that he wanted to come up with something that would be the best of both worlds, therefore, was prepared to ask the Board to let a group of people get together and discuss another possible alternative, different from what is currently on the table. He stated that it would include both Lake and Sumter counties, because Sumter County is serviced by Lake County's hospitals and is going to be in dire need of an ambulance service.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he felt a group needed to meet with county staff, or with one of the Commissioners, and look at the possibility of setting up a non-profit corporation that would oversee the ambulance service - not an advisory board, but a group that would actually oversee that service. He stated that the group would be appointed by the Board, but would be comprised of a Commissioner from both Sumter and Lake counties, a representative from the hospitals, a representative from the League of Cities, and a citizen advocate. He stated that they would run the service, however, noted that either county would have the option, at any time, to dissolve the group and go back out for bid, or do something else. He stated that the individuals he alluded to included everybody that he felt would have a vested interest in the ambulance service. He stated that he would also like to have the group operate under the Sunshine Law, so that everything would be in the public eye and every group that he feels would have a vested interest would be involved and would have a vote at the table - the cities, the citizens, the hospitals, and the two counties that are footing the bill.
Commr. Hanson stated that she felt Commr. Cadwell's suggestion was worthy of discussion. She stated that she felt the County was moving into a better level of service and, if the group could take the time to flush out a few more issues, she feels it would be helpful, if it is done quickly.
Commr. Swartz stated that the existing contract expires September 30, 2000, therefore, noted that the County needs to have something in place, with enough lead time to have a smooth transition. He stated that he would not be opposed to bringing some of the parties together, to see if they can put together a proposal, because this would be the time to look at one, if the County is going to do it. He stated that, if the Board was going to look at creating some type of non-profit organization to operate the system, it would also have to provide assurances that it would not be open-ended on the back side.
Mr. Tad Stone, Senior Director, Emergency Services, addressed the Board stating that, if a separate vendor is chosen over an existing one, or a coalition can be developed between all the other groups that have been talked about, or if the County were to look at a third service system, or whatever the case might be, there are extensive lead times that would have to be in place. He stated that he has done conversions in 90 days, in the past, but noted that it is tough on the management staff and on everybody else that is involved with it. He stated that, from his standpoint, if there is going to be extensive county involvement, he feels the County needs as much lead time as it can possibly get. He stated that the more lead time everybody has the more comfortable they will be.
Ms. Hope Lamb, City Councilperson, City of Clermont, addressed the Board stating that she feels it is so critical that the County implement a needs assessment as quickly as it can. She suggested that the Board hold a series of public hearings from south Lake County to north Lake County, so that the public can be involved, as well as the hospitals and the League of Cities. She stated that the Board can obtain input and will know that the public has had full opportunity to talk about what they feel is their appropriate level of service. She stated that the City of Clermont has been screaming for the past two years, noting that the burden on them has been great. She stated that they implemented a full time fire department last year, to take up the slack, which has become their first responder, because there is a big problem in south Lake County, with regard to emergency services.
Mr. Hal Turville, Mayor, City of Clermont, addressed the Board and discussed the current level of service in south Lake County, noting that an ambulance response can be as much as 28 minutes in that part of the County. He encouraged the Board to get the public involved and discussed how he felt they should go about doing it. He stated that he did not feel the Board was going to get a grip on whether there is satisfaction with the level of service, until they are up front with what the County's deficiencies are, as it relates to the exceptions.
Mr. Siler and Mr. Zavadsky addressed the Board and answered a question Commr. Swartz had, regarding the issue of Medicare reimbursement and whether they had included a factor in their proposals, based upon the assumption that Medicare reimbursements might be less in the future.
Commr. Pool questioned the time frame for the proposed contract.
Mr. Zavadsky, with Rural/Metro Corporation, stated that his firm based the contract on a time frame of three years, however, noted that the floor was wide open for discussion..
Mr. Siler, with American Medical Response, stated that the time frame was something that could be negotiated between his firm and the County.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether Mr. Zavadsky stated, during his presentation, that his firm would provide a new and improved communications system, over what the County currently has.
Mr. Zavadsky stated that he had indicated that, however, noted that it would be from a computerization, automation basis. He stated that he would not be touching the radios.
Commr. Swartz complimented staff on getting the RFP on the street. He stated that he was not satisfied with the County's current level of service, but was not sure what it may end up being. He stated that some cities may choose to have a higher level of service and the County may have to find a way to pay for what would be a level of service higher than the standard. He stated that, whatever system the County chooses to go with, he feels it is clear that the County is going to have more equipment and more personnel able to respond to south Lake County and not in just a move up position. He stated that the cities have the lowest response times, at the present time, because that is where the equipment is, however, he feels the only times there are high response times is when there are multiple calls. He stated that he feels, whatever the number is for the level of service, the County is going to have to have more equipment and personnel than what it has had in the past, because of the growth in Lake County and how it has spread out in the County. He stated that everyone needs to realize that in a county that is as long and as wide and developmentally spread out as Lake County, there are going to be higher response times in the more rural areas, under the best scheme that the County can come up with.
Commr. Swartz stated that he felt the Board would be doing an injustice to AMR, if they continued to ask them to be at the table, with the proposal they had before them. He stated that he felt they were non-responsive on a number of issues that the RFP required and that he feels they are, price-wise, far above what he feels the County can consider, with a subsidy. He stated that he feels there is only one company that responded to the RFP completely, which he feels the Board should concentrate on, with regard to the issues that they feel are important - some that he mentioned and some that the cities and other commissioners mentioned. He stated that they can ask some of the people in the private sector to look at the other issues.
A motion was made by Commr. Swartz and seconded by Commr. Gerber to have the Chairman, along with county staff, work with some of the entities, being the hospitals, the cities, etc., and bring a proposal back to the Board along the lines that he suggested, with the types of assurances that he feels are necessary, and to ask staff to continue to work toward resolving some of the outstanding issues from the RFP; to eliminate AMR from further consideration; to work on moving toward a contract with Rural/Metro Corporation; to bring the issues to the table that the cities have recognized - which would include Lake and Sumter County (who is serviced by Lake County hospitals); and to look at the possibility of setting up a non-profit corporation that would oversee the ambulance service, appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and comprised of a commissioner from Lake and Sumter counties, a representative from the hospitals, an elected official from the League of Cities, and a citizen advocate, who would run the service, with the type of assurances that are necessary; that staff be asked to continue to work toward resolving some of the outstanding issues with the RFP; to move toward a contract with Rural/Metro Ambulance; and to bring the issues to the table that the Cities have recognized this date.
Under discussion, Commr. Pool questioned whether the League of Cities and Mr. Stone, Senior Director, Emergency Services, supported the motion.
Mr. Moore and Mr. Stone stated they did.
Commr. Swartz thanked Florida Regional EMS, Florida Hospital/Waterman, and the many employees who work in that system, day-to-day, providing what most would agree is a high level of service. He stated that, when they fall down on the response time, it is because the County has not provided the equipment and personnel to ensure that the County does not have those spikes, when there is more demand than there is equipment. He asked them to bear up, as best they can, during what is a difficult time, moving toward September 30, 2000.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.
__________________________________ WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK