A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
FEBRUARY 4, 2003
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 4, 2003, 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; Jennifer Hill; and Robert A. Pool. Commissioner Debbie Stivender, Vice Chairman, was not present due to illness. Others present were: William A. “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Judy Whaley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that there is an Addendum No. 1, Items I and II.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, informed the Board that he would like to pull Tab 5 under the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, regarding the lease of property for the Cooper Memorial Library, for one or two weeks. The presentation by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission will be postponed due to a scheduling conflict by the presenter.
Regarding the Minutes of December 17, 2002 (Regular Meeting), Commr. Hanson requested the following clarification:
Page 1, Line 15 - Change to “It was noted that Commr. Hanson was meeting with the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force and would not be present for the Board meeting today.”
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 17, 2002 (Regular Meeting) as corrected.
Regarding the Minutes of January 7, 2003 (Regular Meeting), Commr. Hanson requested the following corrections:
Page 15, Line 11 - Change “1 to 4" to “1 to 40"
Page 15, Line 13 - After “ ...amendments,” add “to the Wekiva Protection amendment...”
Page 16, Line 24 - Change “SR 437 and SR 439" to “CR 437 and CR 439"
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 7, 2003 (Regular Meeting), as corrected.
Regarding the Minutes of January 14, 2003 (Regular Meeting), Commr. Hanson requested the following correction:
Page 6, Line 11 - After “...and Lake County” add “in the proposed Springshed Protection Area...”
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 14, 2003 (Regular Meeting), as corrected.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Tab 2, Items 1 through 9, for the following requests:
Bonds - Contractor
Request for approval of Contractor Bonds as follows:
4761-03 Randy L. Qualls (Electrical)
5371-03 Peter E. Hetherman d.b.a. Peter E. Hetherman General Contractor
5499-03 Walter Sheme d.b.a. All Central Electric
5619-03 Charles Gabriel d.b.a. Gabriel Plumbing
5993-03 New Florida Lawn Maintenance, Inc.
6046-03 Charles McNutt d.b.a. CIC Electric
6047-03 Thomas T. Harter d.b.a. Irrigation One, Inc.
6048-03 Mark S. MacDonald d.b.a. Water Systems Irrigation Specialists of Florida, Inc.
6049-03 David C. Kohler d.b.a. Proscape, Inc.
6050-03 Elbert H. Foster (Electrical)
4607-03 Frederick S. Troesch
5993-03 New Florida Lawn Maintenance, Inc.
6001-03 James Blake d.b.a. James Blake Lawn Service (Bond period is amended to: Beginning on the 28th day of June, 2002, and ending on the 1st day of October, 2003)
5985-02 Alan K & Sandra K Brower (Landscaping)
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of a 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.
Unclaimed Excess Proceeds for Tax Deeds
Unclaimed excess proceeds for tax deeds totaling $6,156.72.
Monthly Distribution of Revenue, Traffic/Criminal Cases
Monthly Distribution of Revenue, Traffic/Criminal Cases, Month Ending 31 December 2002. Disbursements due to Board: $142,571.60. Same period, last year: $120,158.18.
Notice of Proposed Annexation Ordinance - City of Leesburg
Certified copy of the advertisement for the annexation of property owned by Jack N. Purdum Revocable Family Trust, in Section 16, Township 19 South, Range 25 East, Lake County, Florida, as per 2002 Florida Statues 171.044(6).
Ordinance 2002-23 - City of Tavares
Ordinance No. 2002-23, from the City of Tavares, amending the boundaries of the City of Tavares by annexing approximately 3.57 acres located on the western side of David Walker Drive, approximately one (1) block north of Dora Avenue. Passed and ordained the 2nd day of October, 2002, by the City Council of the City of Tavares, Florida.
Public Official Bond - Paul M. Buchanan
Public Official Bond for Paul M. Buchanan, who was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees, North Lake County Hospital District Board, as required by Chapter 95-508, Laws of Florida. His term will begin November 2, 2002 and end November 2, 2006.
Florida Public Service Commission - Consummating Order
Before the Florida Public Service Commission, In Re: Request for approval to increase meter installation fees to conform to current cost in Lake County by Sun Communities Finance, LLC d/b/a Water Oak Utility, Docket No. 020388-WS, Order No. PSC-03-0096-CO-WS, Issued January 14, 2003, Consummating Order.
Ordinance 03-01 - City of Leesburg
City of Leesburg Ordinance 03-01, an ordinance annexing certain property owned by Jack N. Purdum Revocable Family Trust, said property consisting of approximately 9.9 acres and being generally located north of U.S. Highway 441, south of County Road 44, east of Blueberry Hill Apartments, and west of North Silver Lake Drive, lying in Section 16, Township 19 South, Range 25 East, Lake County, Florida which is contiguous to the city limits of the City of Leesburg, Florida; providing that said property so annexed shall be liable for its proportionate share of the existing and future indebtedness of said city; providing that such annexed property shall be subject to all laws and ordinances of said city as if all such territory had been a part of the City of Leesburg at the time of passage and approval of said laws and ordinances; providing that such annexed territory shall be rezoned from County R-1 (Rural Residential) with CUP, to City R-3 (Moderate Density Residential); and providing for an effective date (Jack and Rosemary Purdum). Passed and adopted at the regular meeting of the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, held on the 13th day of January, 2003.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Under the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Commr. Cadwell stated that he had a request to pull Tab 7, regarding a Special Masters Settlement Agreement for Big Pine Island, for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 17, pulling Tab 5 for one week, and pulling Tab 7 for discussion, as follows:
Budget and Administrative Services - Budget
Request from Budget and Administrative Services - Budget transfer for approval of Resort/Development Tax Fund, Department of Economic Development & tourism, in the amount of $40,000.00 is requested. Transfer $40,000.00 from Special Reserve to Promotional Activities. On February 29, 2002, the Board of County Commissioners approved an agreement between Lake County, City of Eustis, Leesburg Chamber and BASS, LLC, relating to promoting and conducting a bass tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The contract approved requires the County to pay BASS, LLC $40,000.00. Funds for this agreement were not budgeted. Funds are available in Resort Tax Reserve.
Request from Budget and Administrative Services - Budget for approval of Check Request (Direct Pay) from the Clerk’s Office for payment of Criminal Court costs for December 2002. The request exceeds the County Manager’s approval limit of $25,000.00. Total payment is for $33,866.00.
Request from Budget and Administrative Services - Risk Management for approval of Workers’ Compensation Settlement and authorize the Chairman to execute the appropriate document(s), subject to the County Attorney’s review and approval.
Request from Economic Development/Tourism for approval to accept VSA Arts of Florida Grant in the amount of $1,600.00 for the Cultural Affairs Council’s “Start with the Arts” Program for the 2002-2003 year program.
Request from Growth Management for approval and execution of Resolution 2003-15 releasing Resolution 2002-172 imposing a special assessment for nuisance abatement costs.
Request from Growth Management for approval of Interlocal Agreement between Lake County, Florida and the St. Johns River Water Management District to Accept Funding for the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council, SJRWMD Contract #SG103XA.
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to advertise for bids for CR-452 (Lakeshore Drive) Widening & Resurfacing Phase II Project No. 2003-06 at an estimated cost of $990,990.00 from the Sales Tax Fund - Commissioner District 3.
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to advertise for bids for CR-48 (Lakeshore Drive) Phase I Drainage Improvements Project No. 2003-08 at an estimated cost of $80,000.00 from the Gas Tax Fund - Commissioner District 3.
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to advertise for bids for part of #2119 Lake Emma Road Widening & Resurfacing Phase II Project No. 2003-05 at an estimated cost of $480,000.00 from the Impact Fee Fund - Commissioner District - Benefit District 6.
Request from Public Works for approval/signature on Resolution 2003-16 authorizing the posting of a “STOP” sign on Lakeview Lane (4063A) at its intersection with Harbour Drive (4063) in the Mount Dora area.
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to accept the final plat for Mission Park, Phase 1 - Partial Replat and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Mission Park - Phase 1 - Partial Replat plat. Subdivision consists of 0 lots - Commission District 2.
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to accept the final plat for Plantation at Leesburg, Sable Ridge Village (Pod EE South) and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Plantation at Leesburg, Sable Ridge Village (Pod EE South) plat. Subdivision consists of 47 lots - Commission District 3.
Request from Public Works for approval and acceptance of an Amendment to Provision 12 (F) of the Purchase Agreement between Lake County and C. A. Deems, II and Norman C. Cummins, Trustees, to waive time provision for the execution of agreement in conjunction with the Thomas Avenue Extension.
Request from Public Works for approval and signature on a Change Order to Professional Dirt, Inc. in the amount of $5,280.00; approval and signature to execute a Change Order to Affordable Structures, Inc. not to exceed the amount of $61,463.34; and approval to increase the overall project budget and the transfer of funds in the amount of $142,459.00 to complete this project - all relating to Community Centers.
The Chairman presented the following Employee Awards:
Awards to Employees with Five Years of Service
Ms. Wendy L. Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Administrative Support
Mr. Gary B. Gant, Construction Inspector, Public Works/Capital Projects/Road Construction
Awards to Employees with Fifteen Years of Service
Mr. Randolph C. “Randy” Jones, District Fire Chief, Public Safety/Fire and Rescue
Mr. Thomas R. “Tom” Osebold, Veterans Services Director, Community Services/Veterans Services
Ms. Susan K. Dugan, Contracting Officer, Budget & Administrative Services/Procurement Services
Award to Employee with Thirty Years of Service
Mr. Thomas J. “Tom” Ivey, Chief Mechanic, Public Works/Special Services/Fleet Maintenance
Award to Retiring Employee
Ms. Marcella “Marcie” Donaldson, Community Service Officer, Community Services/Probation
Award to Supervisor of the Quarter - Fourth Quarter
Mr. Allan B. Hewitt, Water Resource Director, Growth Management/Water Resource Management
Award to Employee of the Quarter - Fourth Quarter
Ms. Heather K. Rennie, Office Associate III, Public Safety/Fire and Rescue
Presentation of Workgroup Recognition Award for the Public Safety Fire Rescue
Maintenance Section’s Completion of a Self-Help Project that Increased Maintenance
Mr. Doug Harrison, Vehicle Maintenance Officer
Mr. Bruce Talbott, Firefighter/Mechanic
Mr. Neal Vriesema, Mechanic
Mr. James Green, Mechanic
Mr. Michael Marschner, Volunteer Firefighter
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA (CONTINUED)
SPECIAL MASTERS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, CASE NO. SM-4-02
Regarding the approval of the Special Masters Settlement Agreement for Big Pine Island and Ronald Hopwood (Case No. SM-4-02), Commr. Cadwell stated that concerns of Attorney Kent Compton are probably of a civil nature.
Mr. Kent Compton, Attorney, Lockett & Blair, representing Charles and Catherine Pekor in a civil action in response to Big Pine Island Homeowners Association vs. Charles Pekor and Catherine Pekor, stated that the Pekor’s action is set for trial on February 19, 2003, and will concern whether or not the Association has the authority to build on the common property. He suggested that development approval by the Board would be premature because of ongoing litigation.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, pointed out that this party was represented at the Special Masters Settlement Agreement meeting and, if they prevail in their lawsuit and development cannot go forward, this Settlement Agreement would have no effect.
Mr. Bruce Duncan, Attorney, Potter, Clement, Lowry & Duncan, representing Ronald Hopwood and the Big Pine Island Homeowners Association, stated that the Homeowners Association documents require 67% percent consent from the homeowners in order to move forward on items that affect the Homeowners Association property. He stated that more than 90% of the homeowners support this particular move to transfer some of these densities. He commented that the Homeowners Association expects this Agreement will be upheld and is a separate and distinct matter between the civil matter and the issues with the County.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the Special Masters Settlement Agreement is between Mr. Duncan’s client and the County.
In response to questions by Commr. Hanson, Mr. Duncan verified that the 40 units on the mainland will be part of the Homeowners Association that exists on the island and construction will be limited to conventional homes, which is different from the original proposal. He stated that the Homeowners Association rules and regulations do not contain language that would restrict the development to any particular type of residential structure.
Commr. Hanson inquired whether or not there is an interest, or possibility, in restricting the Settlement Agreement to conventional homes rather than allowing mobile homes, and commented that the restriction will have to be done at the Homeowners Association level.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that the language in the Settlement Agreement was requested by the applicant, and was not a County requirement. He stated that restricting development to conventional homes could not be done in this Settlement Agreement.
Commr. Hanson suggested that this language may be something that the owner would like included in the Agreement. She reiterated that the Homeowners Association will have to include language that restricts mobile homes.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Special Masters Settlement Agreement (Case Number SM-4-02) for Big Pine Island and Ronald Hopwood.
UPDATE ON HARRIS CHAIN OF LAKES BY THE ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER
Mr. Gene Caputo, St. Johns River Water Management District (District), presented a fact sheet on the Harris Chain of Lakes and a compact disk on the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council 2002 Report to the Florida Legislature. He stated that the Harris Chain includes lakes that run north from Lake Apopka up to and through Lake Griffin. (The chain consists of Lake Apopka, the headwater lake, Lake Beauclair, Lake Dora, Lake Eustis, Lake Harris, Little Lake Harris, and Lake Griffin.) He stated that some of the water quality improvements are anticipated to be long-term, tangible improvements in both water quality and clarity. For years, these lakes have been regarded as a primary attraction for both visitors and anglers. Degradation, over the years, of the water quality in these lakes resulted from agricultural runoff, excessive phosphorus and reduced water levels and this caused a major decline in the appeal of these areas, both environmentally and economically, dealing with both tourism and fishing. Mr. Caputo remarked that, because of continuing efforts and accomplishments, field test and survey information points to a significant turnaround in the condition of these lakes, which can be both scientifically encouraging and economically intriguing. Mr. Caputo noted the following improvements that are listed on the fact sheet:
• Removing phosphorus runoff from farms, which decreases algal blooms and allows more light to reach the lake bottom
• Planting healthy vegetation in appropriate areas
• Fluctuating the lake levels, which helps hold down the sediments and improve water clarity
• Construction of marsh flow-ways to filter (remove) suspended sediment and phosphorus
• Harvesting the rough fish, (gizzard shad) which reduces phosphorus recycling from the sediment
Mr. Caputo stated that these lakes represent a regionally significant water resource in Central Florida and the concern for, and importance of, these lakes was further demonstrated by the action of the Florida Legislature to create the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council, which is now in its second year. He extended gratitude to the Board for being a contributing member and a funding partner to the efforts of the Council. He noted the Board’s tremendous amount of in-kind assistance provided to the Council, the Lake County Water Authority and the District. He cited the Council’s restoration priorities which are listed in the 2002 Report, but noted they are not in any priority order.
• in-lake dredging;
• lake level fluctuation;
• habitat, fisheries, and vegetation;
• additional issues related to water quality; and
• restoration of natural systems.
Mr. Caputo urged the Board to become familiar with the 2002 Report to the Legislature and see what is being done in the lakes, by the Lakes Restoration Council, the Lake County Water Authority, the District, and other agencies. He remarked that the improvements may be permanent or they may be temporary, but changes are taking place.
Mr. Dave Walker, the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Project Manager for the Oklawaha River Basin, presented a bar graph showing the various lakes in the Harris Chain and Lake Yale, which flows into Lake Griffin. The blue bars on the graph show the ten-year average phosphorus levels, and there is a decline in phosphorus levels as the water leaves Lake Apopka and goes through the system. He stated that the decline generally is a result of a dilution effect as the water flows into the larger water bodies and into Lake Eustis. In Lake Griffin the long-term average levels are higher than lakes Dora and Eustis because of the former farms along the shore of Lake Griffin. He noted that Lake Eustis has always been one of the cleaner lakes in the Harris Chain. He stated that lakes Harris and Yale have been fairly clean lakes in terms of long-term averages. The red bars on the graph show the averages for the last year and show declines for lakes Beauclair, Dora, Eustis and Griffin and slight increases for Harris and Yale. The declines for Beauclair, Dora and Eustis are attributed largely to the fact that no significant amount of water has been flowing out of Lake Apopka. He commented that a lot of other factors are working at Lake Griffin, including the reduction of nutrient loading from the former farms and the harvesting last year of a million pounds of gizzard shad. The difference between lakes Dora and Griffin is fairly minor in terms of phosphorus levels, but in looking at the clarity of the water, Lake Dora’s water is still green, and Lake Griffin started to clear up the last half of 2002. Mr. Walker stated that there is still a lot of debate concerning how much the shad harvest has actually affected Lake Griffin, but the results concur with results predicted by our scientists in terms of doing a shad harvest on Lake Griffin. Lakes Harris and Yale have decreased slightly in quality and the cause is not certain, and the long-term trends are unknown.
Mr. Skip Goerner, Chairman, Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council (Council), thanked the Board and the District for being funding partners, and noted that the Lake County Water Authority has agreed to fund the Council for the next year in the amount of $40,000, which takes some of the pressure off the Board. He also expressed appreciation to the Board for in-kind donations. He noted that the cooperation between the District and the Council and the Water Authority has increased tremendously and good things are in the future. He stated that the reason is unknown for the better water quality on Lake Griffin and the little worse water quality on some other lakes. Some good natural things have occurred. The drought, although it was not good economically, did help environmentally. The recent rainfall has been a tremendous benefit. The effect of the shad harvest is hard to measure, the scientific data is sparse, but there is some improvement in Lake Griffin. It has been improving over the past 1-1/2 years and the phosphorus content and the algae blooms have decreased. He commented that alligator deaths have decreased dramatically. He thanked the Board for the funding support for the very successful B.A.S.S. Masters fishing tournament last month and noted that the Lake County Water Authority has pledged $15,000 for another bass tournament in the near future. He concluded that the Harris Chain is coming back because of the cooperative effort of all parties.
In response to Commr. Hanson, Mr. Goerner reiterated that rainfall was probably the biggest improvement to the clarity of the water, but other factors were involved. The drought exposed more shoreline area and encouraged plant growth, and he added that the District, the Board, the Council and the Water Authority all agreed that lake fluctuations are needed and are planned.
Commr. Hanson noted that the spirit of cooperation is evident in the photo of Emeralda Marsh, which is adjacent to Lake Griffin, and shows why that is such a great place for birding activities. She thanked the District, the Audubon Society and Lake County’s Tourist Development Council for making that area accessible.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Roy Hunter, speaking on behalf of the American Legion Post in Umatilla, announced a ceremony for “The Four Chaplains” to be held at the Lake Square Presbyterian Church, Leesburg, Florida, Sunday, February 9, 2003, at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony is in memory of two Protestant pastors, a Catholic priest and a Jewish rabbi who gave up their own life jackets and were last seen standing on the hull of the USAT Dorchester, arm and arm, praying as the ship sank into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. The ship was sunk by a German submarine on February 3, 1943. He invited the Board of Commissioners and the public to attend.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
COMMUNITY SERVICES- HUMAN SERVICES GRANTS
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of the Department of Community Services, requested approval of the recommendations by the Human Services Grant Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) for funding of nine (9) agencies through the Human Services Grant Program. These are $5,000 mini grants and this year there were thirteen applicants. The Advisory Committee members represent a variety of County advisory boards, including the Citizens’ Commission for Children, the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board, the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, the Comprehensive Health Care Committee and the Library Advisory Board. He noted the following Advisory Committee recommendations for grants:
• Deaf Service Center $2,938
• Golden Triangle YMCA $2,062
• 1st Baptist Church, Leesburg $5,000
• Community Health Center $5,000
• Sunrise ARC $5,000
• Lake Community Action Agency $5,000
• Faithful and True Ministries $5,000
• Family Crisis Center $5,000
• Community Care Health Services $5,000
In response to a question by Commr. Cadwell, Mr. Smith remarked that this is the first time the YMCA has applied. This program had previously been funded by the Citizens’ Commission for Children but they reached their three-year cap on funding for their program. Because Deaf Services did not request the full amount of $5,000, the Advisory Committee recommended the YMCA’s Youth Achievers Program be funded with the balance of the dollars left over.
In response to questions by Commr. Hanson, Mr. Smith explained that the Haven of Lake & Sumter Counties has been funded in the past, but the Advisory Committee did not recommend funding this year for the Haven, the Clermont Neighborhood Center, CITE (Center for Independence, Technology and Education), and Christian Social Services in Leesburg. He paraphrased the reasons for not funding those four agencies. He confirmed that all the applications and requests were good, but the Advisory Committee only has $40,000 for grants.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Cadwell, Mr. Smith confirmed that the Advisory Committee takes into consideration other resources that are available to the applicants.
Commr. Pool stated that he serves on the Christian Social Services Board and pointed out that the Clermont Neighborhood Center assists persons on the verge of eviction and is the only organization in South Lake County that assists Clermont, Mascotte, Stuckey and Minneola. He suggested that the grants could be limited to $3,500 or $4,000 each and be equitably distributed to all these agencies. He stated that the YMCA does not benefit people who can truly use help and who face eviction or having their power cut off.
Commr. Hanson commented that the budget is tight, only $40,000 per year has been available for approximately eight years and the population and needs are growing. She stated that, with the current economy, $40,000 is way too low and is very conservative on what the County gives to these organizations. She stated that she is not recommending the Board increase the grant money at this time, but an increase may be a possible future alternative.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that, if the needs are so great, the Board might have a discussion regarding increasing those dollars, rather than cutting grants to the agencies who have gone through the process in good faith and who have requested the full amount.
Commr. Hill stated that there are other agencies serving South Lake County and Lake Action Agency is in the process of building a facility.
Mr. Smith noted that Faithful and True Ministries, a homeless shelter in Mascotte, is being recommended for funding of $5,000.
Commr. Hill added that the Citizens’ Commission for Children made a consideration to spread their dollars as much as they could.
Commr. Pool pointed out that some agencies receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from federal or state programs while some agencies have no funding other than Christian giving and/or private individuals. He reiterated that everyone in South Lake County knows that you go to the Clermont Neighborhood Center for help. He commented that some of these agencies do not have the ability or personnel to write the best grant request.
Commr. Cadwell stated that budgeting more money, during the budget process, could resolve the problem of not granting some of the applications. He pointed out that these nonprofit agencies are providing services that the County would have to provide otherwise.
A motion was made by Commr. Hill and seconded by Commr. Hanson to approve the recommendation by the Human Services Grant Advisory Committee to fund the nine agencies listed above.
Under discussion, Commr. Hanson recommended approval of the nine agencies and, at midyear, consider additional funding through the grant application process.
Commr. Pool stated that he will support the motion and wants the citizens to understand that he is not opposing the dollars to these nine agencies but would like the opportunity for a more equitable distribution of funds.
Chairman Cadwell called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, for Board approval of the nine agencies and, at midyear, consider funding additional programs as submitted to the Human Services Grant Advisory Committee through the grant application process.
GROWTH MANAGEMENT - SPECIAL MASTERS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Special Masters Settlement Agreement for Harry E. Innis and Herschel R. Innis (SM-6-02).
REPORTS - COUNTY MANAGER
THE VILLAGES/LADY LAKE FIRE PROTECTION SERVICE PROPOSAL
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, presented a report of four options in response to a proposal presented in early December 2002 that would provide for the Villages portion of the Town of Lady Lake to form their own fire protection/rescue Municipal Services Benefit Unit (MSBU) under the auspices of the Town of Lady Lake. He asked for direction from the Board and noted that, depending upon the chosen option, there will be fiscal and operational impacts to the Lake County Fire Rescue district.
Mr. Mike Francis, Mayor of Lady Lake, stated that the Town Commission voted 3-2 to proceed with the proposal, and asked that the Board allow the Villages portion of the Town to stand on its own for fire service.
Commr. Cadwell explained that the Town has requested that the Villages handle a portion of their fire service and that the County handle the other portion. The Town of Lady Lake is a customer of the County, as relates to fire service, however the County does not want a customer who does not want to do business with the County. He pointed out that there should be a clear understanding that Station 61 will stay where it is to cover the rest of the area, pending an interlocal agreement with the Villages for mutual aid, but that Advanced Life Support (ALS) would be transferred to another station, as noted in Option 3.
Mayor Francis stated that the Town would hope the County would definitely leave Station 61 as well as continue the ALS service at that station.
Mr. Neron clarified that, per discussions, the Villages fire department would serve the enclaves within the Villages. An arrangement in the interlocal agreement would be worked out to approve the funding aspect on an annual basis.
Mr. Pete Wahl, District Administrator, Village Center Community Development District, clarified that there is one piece of property on the absolute north end of the Villages that is not within the Town of Lady Lake and, in discussions with the Town, the Villages would be more than willing to provide service there as well. He stated that those boundaries are within the Villages proposal.
Commr. Hanson inquired whether or not there is any interest in annexing those areas to deal with all of the services because that would be some savings to the County.
Mayor Francis stated that there has been some resistance from residents in the past but the Town would look at annexation of those areas.
Commr. Hanson continued by stating that, while there may be resistance, this might be the time to look at annexation and she encouraged the Town to aggressively look at it.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that under the current statute the Town has the authority to annex property.
Commr. Pool inquired whether or not the overall plan for the County’s fire department would be hurt or if any firefighters’ jobs would be lost.
Mr. Neron confirmed that it is not anticipated that any current firefighter would lose his/her job no matter which action the Board takes, although it may affect the number of new firefighters that may be added in specific locations.
Commr. Pool disclosed that he had met with Mr. Wahl and that he has talked with various people who are concerned with both sides of the issue.
Commr. Cadwell inquired of Mayor Francis whether or not any residents outside the Villages had a concern about the Town providing one level of service to part of the residents and another level of service to the other residents.
Mayor Francis stated that some residents are concerned but some residents said they could see a benefit because the County would have fewer runs to make and the demand on the County’s services will go down because of the services provided by the Villages and, therefore, the County’s services would be more available. Also, there would be additional firefighters under the mutual aid.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Cadwell, Mayor Francis confirmed that the majority of the Lady Lake Commissioners supported the proposal.
Commr. Cadwell stated that if a motion were entertained it would be for Option 3 whereby the Villages would initiate their fire rescue proposal, Station 61 would remain open and ALS coverage would be dropped, pending the agreements needed for the enclaves for mutual aid.
Mr. Neron stated that it is not anticipated that this service would be implemented until October 1, 2003. Today’s action would give a clear policy direction by the County Commission to proceed with the other steps necessary to form the MSBU and get all the other agreements in place for timely consideration by the Town of Lady Lake, the Villages and the County Commission.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Hanson, Mr. Neron explained that the anticipated financial impact will be felt next fiscal year and moving the ALS could delay adding ALS in other areas and those resources can be utilized. He noted that a study is underway with the Government Services Group on the special assessment levels and will probably be reported on as part of the budget process.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he has been working with the Town’s attorney and an attorney for the Community Development District laying out the basics of the agreement, depending upon which option the Board approves.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Town of Lady Lake had contracted with the County to handle fire services but now wants someone else to handle a portion of it. He added that the County will not turn its back on the unincorporated area residents who do not live in the Villages. He stated that the County will be there to service those residents for the Town.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Option 3 which would approve the Villages/Lady Lake proposal, leaving Station 61 in place but dropping the Advanced Life Support (ALS), contingent on agreements with the enclaves for mutual aid.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
90-DAY POSTPONEMENT - REZONING APPLICATION CLARIFICATION
Commr. Cadwell stated that people can continue to submit applications for rezoning. He stressed that the Board did not approve a moratorium but did approve a 90-day postponement, on January 28, 2003, on hearing rezoning applications that could have an adverse impact on schools. He stated that the process can continue to work, the Planning & Zoning Commission can continue to hear rezoning cases and can make recommendations, but the Board of County Commissioners will not hear cases for 90 days, or until an agreement is worked out with the Lake County Schools.
Commr. Hanson concurred that her interpretation would be the same and she thanked staff for the press release that clarified the issue.
In response to an inquiry from Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Director of Growth Management, Commr. Cadwell confirmed that the following action from the Agenda Item Cover Sheet would apply: Item A. Continue hearing applicable rezoning applications at P&Z then postpone action at BCC level.
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, reported to the Board that his office, with Code Enforcement, is conducting community meetings regarding the noise issue. He expects to bring a report on citizen input to the Board in April 2003.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he appreciates the work by Mr. Minkoff, his staff and Code Enforcement.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HILL - DISTRICT #1
Commr. Hill reminded the Board that Mardi Gras in Leesburg will be held this weekend. The Mardi Gras Ball will be Friday night, February 7, and the parade will be Saturday, February 8, 2003.
JOINT MEETING WITH SCHOOL BOARD
Commr. Hill stated that the Planning & Zoning Commission asked, in their minutes, that they be included in the joint meeting between the County Commissioners, the Lake County School Board and the League of Cities on February 13, 2003.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the meeting notice indicated that all County board members could attend the meeting.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Chairman of the School Board and the Superintendent will coordinate the layout of the meeting but including that many people at the table might be counterproductive. He added that there will be a time for audience participation.
Commr. Hill gave accolades to Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, and Ms. Melanie Marsh, Assistant County Attorney II, for coauthoring an article which was published in the Florida Bar Journal.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
Commr. Pool inquired whether or not a clean up day could be organized, through Code Enforcement or the Scouts, to pick up litter along the highways.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that he would bring a report back to the Board.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - DISTRICT #3
VIOLA DAYS PROCLAMATION
In the absence of Commr. Stivender, Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, for Board approval and execution of Proclamation 2003-17 proclaiming the month of February 2003 as “Viola Days” so that living veterans may honor those who died or were wounded during combat.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #5
HOUSING AND SUPPORTIVE SERVICES, INC.
A motion was made by Commr. Hanson and seconded by Commr. Pool for approval for the Chairman’s signature on a letter in support of the Housing and Supportive Services, Inc. to apply for Capital Advance Funding from HUD to build 63 apartments for the elderly in the Tavares area.
Under discussion, Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services, informed the Board that he has contacted Housing and Supportive Services, Inc. in North Carolina regarding their endeavor to locate property for the 63-unit elder housing facility, which would be similar to the Franklin House in Eustis. He explained that Housing and Supportive Services builds the units and leases them to management services.
Chairman Cadwell called for a vote on the motion which was carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote.
TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (TEA-21)
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved placing an item on the agenda for support for the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
Commr. Cadwell explained that the TEA-21 has already been endorsed by the Florida Association of Counties and the Florida Department of Transportation has requested support from the Lake County Board of County Commissioners. This piece of legislation will ensure that Florida receives its maximum return of funding from the gas tax.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved a letter of support for reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
PENDING LITIGATION - IMPETT, MORAN, DAILY, YOUNG & WILLIAMS V.
Commr. Cadwell announced, for the record, that the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, will hold a closed session, commencing at this time, 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he requested this closed session, which was advertised as required by law, to discuss the case of Impett, Moran, Daily, Young & Williams V. Lake County and that only settlement negotiations and strategy sessions will be discussed. He stated that the meeting will be recorded by a court reporter and the notes of the meeting will be transcribed and will become part of the public record once the case is resolved. He stated that the session will commence at an open meeting at this time and the estimated length of the meeting is twenty (20) minutes. Those present for the meeting will be Welton Cadwell, Catherine Hanson, Jennifer Hill and Robert Pool, as members of the Board of County Commissioners; Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager; Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney; and a court reporter.
RECONVENE AND ADJOURNMENT
At 10:35 a.m., the Chairman reconvened the meeting.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK