A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 9, 2003
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 9, 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; Debbie Stivender, Vice Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson; Jennifer Hill and Robert A. Pool. 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 announced that there is an Addendum No. 1.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, requested that the Board pull Tab 5 from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda. The item will be rescheduled for the September 23, 2003, meeting.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, requested that, under the County Attorney’s reports, the Board schedule Closed Sessions on September 23, 2003, and October 7, 2003, in the event it becomes necessary to talk to the Board regarding the Covanta incinerator case.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 14, pulling Tab 5, and Addendum No. 1, I. A. 1. and I. B.1., as follows:
Budget and Administrative Services - Budget
Request for approval of Budget transfer – Law Enforcement Trust Fund, Constitutional Officers/Sheriff, in the amount of $26,000.00 is requested. Transfer $26,000.00 from Machinery & Equipment to Other Current Charges & Obligations ($25,000.00) and Aids to Private Organizations ($1,000.00). Funds needed in Other Current Charges & Obligations and Aids to Private Organizations to cover expenditures. Funds available in Machinery & Equipment.
Budget and Administrative Services - Procurement Services
Request for approval and authorization to award RFP #03-112 Environmental Services Continuing Contract; encumber funds and authorize a contract subject to the County Attorney approval to Shaw Environmental, Inc., LPG Environmental & Permitting Services, Inc., and Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT).
Request for approval to declare the items on the attached Disposals List as “surplus” and authorize disposal; authorize cannibalization of the mower; accept the attached missing item investigation reports and authorize the removal of the items from the County’s Fixed Asset system; and authorize the Procurement Services Director to sign the vehicle title for the automobile that will be disposed of.
Request for approval of the sale of the two motor graders to Highland Tractor Company, Inc. (Property numbers 17807 – District 2 and 17808 – District 3) at the guaranteed buy back price of $136,000.00 ($68,000.00 each).
Request for approval of Resolution 2003-149 agreeing to adhere to the requirements of the Federal Transit Administration in order to participate in their grant programs.
Request for approval and signature of Fiscal Year 2003/2004 LSTA Grant Agreement – Born to Read Family Literacy Project, Year III; signature of Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form, if applicable; and Certification regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion, Lower Tier Covered Transactions.
Request for approval of request to change hours of operation for Cooper Memorial Library and Citrus Ridge County Library.
Request for approval and execution of Satisfaction and Release of Fine for property owned by David Burrell (Case Number CEB 2001-03-0196).
Request for approval and execution of a Developer’s Agreement with Silverwood Land Development, L.L.C. to pull six building permits prior to the acceptance of the final plat.
Request for approval to advertise Ordinance amending Section 6.02.02, Lake County Code, Appendix E, Land Development Regulations, entitled Development Standards for Shorelines, allowing for a 25-foot setback from the ordinary high water line, mean high water line, or jurisdictional wetland line when storm water run-off provisions are met.
Request for approval of an addendum to the current interlocal agreement between Lake County and Lake Sumter EMS related to reimbursement for dispatch costs to include $10.00 per dispatched incident, not to exceed $13,000.00 per month.
Request for approval to award a contract for a 60-month operating lease for three Wheel Loader Tractors to Highland Tractor Company, subject to County Attorney approval, in accordance with RFP 03-099, and authorize the lease of another unit after October 1, 2003.
Request for approval and signature on an extension to a Purchase Agreement between Lake County and South Lake Hospital, Inc. for the South Lake Annex property, extending all dates for 60 days to allow time for survey and zoning amendment.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA (CONTINUED)
Budget and Administrative Services - Budget
Request for approval to include the Villages of Lady Lake Elementary School parcel within the Lake County Fire Protection MSTU and recognize the revised legal description of the Villages Fire District to exclude that parcel.
Request for approval to authorize staff to submit the required information in order to be considered for participation in the Florida Boundless Playgrounds Initiative and execute Resolution 2003-150 for inclusion in that information to describe Lake County’s commitment to the philosophy of a Boundless Playground project and interest in participating in the Florida Boundless Playgrounds Initiative.
Commr. Stivender explained that this Parks and Recreation issue, brought to the Board’s attention last week by Commr. Hill, was on today’s agenda because the grant application must be submitted by September 25, 2003. The location for the Boundless Playground will be at the existing Lake Idamere Park and no County money is being requested.
FINAL FIRE AND RESCUE ASSESSMENT RESOLUTION
Commr. Cadwell explained that the Board has had presentations by staff regarding the resolution to impose Fire and Rescue Assessments against assessed property located in Lake County for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2003. He opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Mr. Robert Bower of Royal Trails in Eustis stated that he feels Lake County’s residential homeowners are being discriminated against under the proposed fire and rescue assessment. He remarked that, in Charlotte County, Florida, vacant lot owners pay an ad valorem tax whereas, in Lake County, vacant lot owners do not. He stated that every piece of property in Lake County should have an ad valorem tax because a vacant lot or field can burn just as easily as a house.
Commr. Hanson stated that her concern and that of the Board is that vacant land owners do not pay for fire protection through the assessment process. By going just with ad valorem taxes, others would not pay because of the homestead exemption. She commented that she feels there should be a combination, part ad valorem and part special assessment, and that Mr. Gary Kaiser, Interim Director of Public Safety, has also made that recommendation.
Dr. Chris Ward, Senior Pastor, Logos Christian Fellowship, stated that, while his property is tax exempt, it is subject to non ad valorem assessments. He expressed his concern that there has been an increase of more than 225% in the last three years, from $346.75 to $703.00. He explained that his ministry serves the public, taking care of the homeless, providing for better jails and prisons, providing a food bank and clothing bank, and feeding the homeless in the Ocala Forest. He stated that he does not know how his ministry can pay $703 in taxes this year. He pleaded with the Board to consider his ministry for additional exemptions.
Mr. Roy Hunter, representing the Northeast Lake County Chamber of Commerce, stated that, while there are five Commission Districts, there are six taxing districts in Lake County. He pointed out that District 6, in the northeast section of the County, pays more in taxes than Districts 3, 4 and 5, but has the least fire service in the County. He stated that the Paisley station has one volunteer firefighter, stations in Shockley Heights and Lake Mack have been closed for many years, and the closest open station is ten miles away in Altoona. He stated that paid union firemen should work daytime shifts only and that volunteer firemen should work night shifts. He stated that deep wells, fire hydrants and dry wells throughout rural Lake County would change the ISO rating from nine to seven, thereby reducing a homeowner’s insurance premiums and offsetting some of the higher taxes. He suggested that Lake County’s Fire Department should pattern itself after Lake-Sumter Emergency Medical Services. Mr. Hunter expressed his appreciation to the Board for the new meal sites and food banks in Altoona and Umatilla. He stated that those sites are needed because the average, poor person is running out of money and that citizens should get value for their money.
Mr. Richard Gander of Squirrel Point in Tavares stated that the closest fire station with paid firefighters to his area, which includes Lake Jem, Shirley Shores and Deer Island, is 18-20 miles away. He requested that the Board approve the fee increase in order to provide fire protection to his area.
Mr. Jack Lloyd of Clermont stated that he moved to Lake County in July 2002. He stated that a fire truck from the station on Lakeshore Drive is being driven every day all over the city. He stated that trucks should not be utilized in that manner because it adds unnecessary wear and tear to the equipment.
Mr. Richard Braun of Leesburg stated that he would like to see a map that shows the location of all the fire stations in the County and the response times to the areas they serve. He expressed his opposition to the proposed fee increase. He requested a copy of the County’s financial statement and budget. He remarked that, because today is the final meeting, he will not have much time to review the financial statement and budget. He commented that he has never seen a meeting notice in the newspaper.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the information Mr. Braun wants will be made available after the meeting.
Commr. Pool explained that all the information Mr. Braun has requested is public information and is available at any time. He stated that Lake County’s fees are much lower than neighboring Seminole and Orange Counties and, if enhancements and improvements are possible with the proposed fee increase, an ISO rating review might result in a lower rating and a lower insurance premium. He added that the Department cannot grow and expand and improve with less money. Commr. Pool stated that the County is working diligently toward reducing the ISO rating from nine to seven which will result in a substantial reduction in insurance premiums that will more than offset the proposed increase.
Mr. Braun asked how he can be kept aware of a reduction in the ISO rating.
Commr. Cadwell stated that staff will send him that information if he will furnish his name and address.
Commr. Stivender stated that there have been neighborhood meetings in Lake Jem and those residents are aware of the goal to lower the ISO ratings. Those residents favor the increased fees because of that goal and because of the work toward getting a fire station back in that area.
There being no further public comment, Commr. Cadwell closed the public hearing portion of the meeting and reserved comment to the Board.
Under discussion, Commr. Hanson expressed her concern regarding the impact the proposed increase will have on businesses in the community because some of those assessments will be more than doubled. She stated that, because of the analysis that was done, she believes the increase is fair. She mentioned that the public must realize that the level of service that is demanded in the very rural parts of the county is much more expensive. She explained that the Board made a commitment about six years ago to raise the fire/rescue assessment in order to reach the level of service that citizens demand in the rural part of the County. She stated that the increase in 1998 was not enough for that increased level of service. With recommendations by Mr. Kaiser and staff and in working with the cities, dollars can be leveraged more and more and a cost-effective level of service can be attained.
Commr. Cadwell agreed and added that the level of service will be improved as well as maintaining a safe work environment for the firemen.
Commr. Pool commented that the goal is to become better partners and work hand in hand with the cities and that joint plan will require the County to bring something to the table.
Commr. Hill stated that she has carefully reviewed the proposed increases in the fire taxes. She has made suggestions to Mr. Kaiser for cutting, trimming and streamlining without eliminating the hiring of firefighters and without closing stations. She suggested staggering the hiring of firefighters. She opined that the proposed increase is too much too quick, without fully taking the opportunity to identify the current level of service in the County and coordinating that with the cities. She added that the impact fee increase and other revenues should be taken into account and the process should be slowed down and the cities should be brought in to explore all the opportunities. She stated that she probably will not support an increase.
Commr. Stivender stated that, with Mr. Kaiser’s explanations, she better understands the needs of the firefighters and the Department. She remarked that service will be far greater and the County’s service needs to be the same quality as the cities in order to work with them. She stated that cutting fees is the right thing to do if dollar savings are achieved.
Commr. Cadwell explained that, while there are areas where working with the cities makes sense, those areas might be a lot smaller than is currently thought. The County cannot, however, make its system inferior for the sake of those pockets that are close to an urban area. The County must keep some of those customers to be able to finance the system. He remarked that a slower response time in a rural area must be weighed against the ability to live in the country and away from an urban area. He expressed his excitement with the involvement with the cities, but cautioned that involvement will not abandon the need for service by the County.
Commr. Hanson commented that annexation of many of the urban pockets in the unincorporated areas will continue and a better relationship with the cities will be a benefit to the County as a whole, including the cities.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried by a vote of 4 to 1, the Board authorized the execution of Resolution 2003-151 to impose Fire and Rescue Assessments against assessed property located in Lake County, Florida, for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2003; approved the rate of assessment; approved the assessment roll; and provided an effective date.
Commr. Hill voted “no.”
(Deputy Clerk’s Note: Per Page 5 of Resolution 2003-151 the assessment rate per residential dwelling unit is $137; the assessment rate for the Villages Fire District per residential dwelling unit is $56; the assessment rate per non-residential property, RV Parks - Spaces and Hotel and Motel Rooms, is $33 per space or room; and the assessment rate for non-residential property use categories, Commercial, Industrial/Warehouse and Institutional, varies from $0 to $17,893 per category and per square foot range.)
FINAL SOLID WASTE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL ASSESSMENT
Commr. Cadwell explained that the Board has had presentations by staff regarding the proposed Solid Waste Materials Assessments for Fiscal Year 2003-2004 and each fiscal year thereafter until discontinued for a year. He opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.
Ms. Peggy Elrod of Fruitland Park asked several questions regarding the contract with the collectors, optional clauses for increases, percentage of increases, specific times for garbage pick up, and fees paid by part-time residents.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, in responding to Ms. Elrod’s questions explained that contracts with the haulers were extended for six years last year. There is a provision in the contract for a cost-of-living type of index called the Refuse Rate Index which is based on their audited statements and increase in certain costs, so there is an annual adjustment in that contract. The increase is based on a formula, common in the industry, in the contract and the contract was negotiated by the County. He explained that each franchise hauler has a schedule and that the hours for collection might be between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for residential service.
Regarding the extra money paid by citizens who live in Lake County six months per year but who pay year-round fees, Commr. Cadwell explained that, due to a long-term contract entered into several years ago with the owners of the incinerator, the County probably has the highest tipping fee in the State of Florida. The tipping fee is the fee paid to the incinerator and the County is currently in the process of trying to break that contract through a lawsuit. He stated that most of the increases in the Solid Waste fees go directly back to the contract with the incinerator and year-round residents benefit because the part-time residents pay for the full year. He added that the incinerator contract issue will go to trial in early November 2003.
In response to a request for a copy of the contract with the garbage collectors, Commr. Cadwell assured Ms. Elrod that a copy would be provided to her.
Mr. Jack Lloyd of Clermont stated that the garbage assessment fee is excessive for a single person household like his. He remarked that he does not create enough garbage for twice weekly pickups.
Commr. Hanson stated that there are inequities in the system, which were weighed during discussions for the proposed assessment, but that it cannot be tailored for each individual household because of the cost.
Mr. Robert Bower of Royal Trails in Eustis stated that he only has one bag of garbage per week.
In response to an inquiry by Mr. Bower regarding who paid for the incinerator, Commr. Cadwell replied that the contract was negotiated several years ago, before any of the current commissioners were in office. Lake County does not own the incinerator but must pay to keep it up and keep it modern. He added that the current Commission is doing everything it can to get out of the contract and keep the costs down.
Commr. Pool stated that, while payments are being made, at the end of the contract the County still will not own the incinerator and that is part of the disagreement.
Commr. Stivender stated that there is a hardship assistance program through the Lake County Community Services Department for persons who qualify as not being able to pay certain fees.
There being no further public comment, Commr. Cadwell closed the public hearing portion of the meeting and reserved comment to the Board.
Commr. Hill stated that there was a sizable increase last year in ad valorem and an assessment with a formula that, she opined, was not fully implemented. She remarked that it is premature to increase the solid waste fees with a promise to not raise fees next year before the Covanta lawsuit is settled.
Commr. Hanson pointed out that part of these dollars will go into the reserves which are fairly low.
Commr. Cadwell confirmed that this does involve a combination of ad valorem and assessment as Commr. Hanson has wanted all along.
Commr. Pool commented that County residents should recognize that, by placing this on ad valorem, everyone in the County shares the burden. He explained that had an ad valorem assessment not been done, the County residents would have paid far greater, possibly as much as $450.00, because the cities are continuing to opt out since they are not part of the incinerator contract. Everyone is paying a portion of the debt service on the incinerator.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Hanson regarding what portion of the formula that was approved was not fully implemented, Mr. Neron replied that perhaps Commr. Hill was referring to achieving full capacity at the plant. Full capacity was not possible and full capacity is not being guaranteed in the budget for the next fiscal year because of all the uncertainties, including non-participation by some of the cities. He added that, until the Covanta incinerator lawsuit is settled and some improvements are made, the issue with the cities cannot be resolved.
Commr. Hanson remarked that an incentive should be given to the cities who have a full-time contract versus the cities who only use the incinerator on a spotty basis.
Commr. Hill reiterated that the formula fell short because, although promised that the cities would be on board, they were not. She remarked that commitments from the cities should be in place and a promise cannot be made to not raise taxes next year since the incinerator lawsuit has not been settled.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried by a vote of 3 to 2, the Board approved Final Assessment Resolution 2003-152 for Solid Waste Materials Assessment for fiscal year 2003-2004, beginning October 1, 2003, and each fiscal year thereafter until discontinued for a year.
Commissioners Hill and Stivender voted “no.”
(Deputy Clerk’s Note: Per Resolution 2003-152, Exhibit “A,” Waste Materials Non-Ad Valorem Assessment Rate Schedule, Maximum Annual Assessment Per Equivalent Residential Unit 2003-2004 Fiscal Year and each fiscal year thereafter: Residential Units: $180.50.)
RECESS AND RECONVENE
At 10:05 a.m., Commr. Cadwell announced that the Board would take a 15 minute recess.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. John Keating, an Orlando resident and owner of approximately 400 acres off County Road 44 in north Lake County, stated that he has been involved in the Wekiva springshed activity since last spring with the two Wekiva study committees (Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee and Wekiva Basin Area Task Force). He stated that groups of property owners, agricultural business interests, Realtors and home builders in Lake County have tried to coalesce to let their voices be heard in front of the new Coordinating Committee and carry their concerns and interests into whatever recommendations the Coordinating Committee makes and whatever action is taken next spring. He stated that certain other groups, including some environmental groups, have attempted to leverage the parkway construction in locations in the Wekiva into rules and regulations that will, in effect, shut down or severely restrict development and future property appreciation in an area larger than the original Wekiva Area, almost 60,000 acres or more. He stated that his group, and certain scientists, believes that the springshed can be protected well short of the restrictions that are attempted to be imposed by the environmental groups, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). He opined that Lake County paid several years ago with the original Wekiva River Protection Act and now an additional slice of Lake County is being attempted to be taken out of the economic development for Lake County. He expressed concern that the SJRWMD and DCA are attempting to impose state mandated controls on development in Lake County and the areas of the Wekiva springshed, and are trying to substitute their judgment for the Lake County Commission’s judgment and the judgment of the municipalities. He stated that, under Chapter 163 (Florida Statutes), a very extensive, very detailed, well managed growth management plan has been approved by the State on a local level. He stated that his group believes the study area is beyond the boundaries where it should be and is outside what his group believes contributes to the springshed and the Wekiva River. He stated that his group’s belief is that the ultimate game plan is to restrict and stop development in this area for all time so that environmental groups and the State can come in, if they choose, and buy land cheap for their management areas and take it out of the development pool.
Mr. Nicholas Andreyev, of Andreyev Engineering, Inc. representing several landowners, stated that he did a preliminary study of the geology of the proposed study area for the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force. He stated that he defined areas that are not high recharge areas, specifically in the areas of Lake Joanna and Loch Leven. He stated that the SJRWMD looked at the flow of the Floridan Aquifer to the spring and defined it as a springshed area rather than differentiating the real contribution to the spring versus the perceived contribution. He stated that water flowing under land into the Floridan Aquifer does not mean that the land is adding to the recharge. He remarked that there are areas within that zone that do not contribute to the flow and should be excluded. He added that the spring is already protected by a special regulation of the SJRWMD which includes stormwater retention and a no-changes net recharge within that zone. He opined that, if existing regulations were implemented, no new regulation would be necessary. The fear, in creating a new restriction, is that the DCA, at the Comprehensive Plan Amendment level, will start doing detailed studies, then the SJRWMD will require the same thing again as is currently the process. He stated that his group is trying to have the areas excluded which definitely do not contribute to the spring, while protecting the areas that do contribute. He stated that the DCA hired the University of Central Florida (UCF) to look into the water recharge balance, post development, that he has proposed for previous projects. UCF came up with the same basic conclusion that a property can be developed if a balance of water is maintained. His group plans a presentation in November with specific data, after drilling some holes, to provide scientific proof to the Coordinating Committee in an effort to limit restriction to the surface drainage area as the extended protection area.
Commr. Pool expressed his appreciation to Mr. Andreyev in trying to bring science and pertinent information, rather than emotions and hysteria, to the table.
Mr. Ottmar Olsen, Olsen Properties, Inc., an Oviedo resident and Lake County property owner, stated that his group did provide science to the Coordinating Committee at their last meeting. He stated that, during the last ten minutes of that meeting, State Senator Lee Constantine, Chairman of the Coordinating Committee, conversed with other members, did away with the science and was able to get a certain area approved. Mr. Olsen stated that, while his group is working from a science aspect, the issue is very political. He opined that Orange and Seminole Counties are pointing fingers toward Lake County regarding water usage. Mr. Olsen clarified that he and Mr. Keating co-own acreage for development in Lake County. He stated that their development will leave the natural aspects, including wetlands, because people actually will pay more for a natural area. He added that he hopes DCA and SJRWMD will use his project as a model on how to effectively work and maintain nature.
Mr. Rich Dunkel of Mount Dora stated that he will address the political part of the issue. While in Polk County last week, he spoke with an engineering firm which had just been given a contract to develop a water use plan for Polk, Hardee, DeSoto and Highlands Counties, half of which will be paid for by Swiftmud (SWFWMD, Southwest Florida Water Management District). He stated that the coastal counties are pointing at these four inland counties to restrict their development so that coastal counties will have enough water. He remarked that sounds suspiciously like what is happening in the Wekiva. The Council of 100 (a group of business leaders that has advised Florida governors since 1961) recommends forming a State water commission consisting of seven members. A news release dated August 19, 2003, which Mr. Dunkel presented to the Deputy Clerk for inclusion in the backup material, mentions Suwanee County as having no water to give away. He expressed his suspicion that a number of water-rich counties will suffer at the hands of those counties who do not have enough water. He suggested that, from a political standpoint, the Board should start a coalition of counties who do have water. He opined that, because Lake County is not a politically powerful county on a state level, such as Polk County, allies will be needed and perhaps the new State water commission can be stopped. If not stopped, such a commission could have a lot of influence over how Lake County develops. Mr. Dunkel presented a proposed resolution and an e-mail message dated September 8, 2003, regarding the “Heartland Water Alliance” to the Deputy Clerk for inclusion in the backup material.
Commr. Hanson commented that more and more water might be pulled from the Lake County area to more urban areas, whether by pipe or underground.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he will have an update for the Board at the end of the month regarding the Florida Association of Counties’ involvements with the water issue.
Commr. Hanson requested a Board workshop on the science of the springs and the springshed as soon as possible. She opined that a lot of science-based issues were ignored at the last Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee meeting. She commented that this is a water rights issue dealing with areas that are water rich versus those areas that are water poor and there is another agenda that has not been discussed.
Commr. Pool stated that the issue is not only water rights but when there is water under the land, groups are trying to stop development opportunities. He stated that water resources are being protected for someone else while the property owner’s land values come down.
Commr. Hanson related that the question was asked, “if no more permits were issued in Lake County, how would that affect the springshed.” The answer was that it would continue to decrease, absolutely.
Commr. Hill commented that she and Commr. Hanson attended a very informative scientific presentation by USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) about a year and a half ago.
At the request of Commr. Hanson, the Board scheduled a workshop on October 14, 2003, on the science of the Wekiva springs and the springshed, possibly with a presentation of facts from the USGS.
Mr. Neron reported that staff, headed by Ms. Blanche Girardin, Director of Environmental Services, has been working about six weeks on a white paper on water resource issues, the draft of which might be available today or tomorrow. That white paper should be available for presentation at the workshop.
Commr. Hanson requested that staff provide a fact paper on Lake County’s per capita water consumption that she can present at the next meeting of the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee because of numbers that were reported at the last meeting by a member of the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners.
Ms. Girardin stated that, population-wise, Lake County is 40% smaller than Seminole County.
Ms. Peggy Elrod of Fruitland Park remarked that there are water restrictions in place and that a resident can be given a ticket for using water on the wrong day. Because there are restrictions, she opined that new development should not be approved.
Commr. Cadwell responded that the water supply does not stop at the County line. Whereas Lake County might have a plentiful supply, some of the coastal counties do not. He expects that might be a problem in the next couple of years since the State says it is State water.
Commr. Hanson stated that it is imperative that each and every one of us recognizes our responsibility to conserve water, whether or not restrictions are in place.
There being no additional citizens who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the Citizen Question and Comment portion of the meeting.
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
LAKE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT FEE SCHEDULE
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, requested approval of a resolution adopting the fee schedule for the Lake County Health Department for Fiscal Year 2003-2004.
Commr. Hill stated that she met with Rodger Amon, Administrative Director, Lake County Health Department, who addressed her concerns regarding the possible deletion of some basic, preventive services. Those services will not be deleted but will be implemented on a sliding scale.
Mr. Minkoff explained that a second resolution was prepared only for the Health Department fees and the other fee schedules have already been adopted and signed. In response to a request by Commr. Hill, Mr. Minkoff confirmed that the Health Department fee schedule can be presented separately in the future.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution 2003-153 adopting the fee schedule for the Lake County Health Department for Fiscal Year 2003-2004.
REQUEST FOR CLOSED SESSIONS
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s request to place Closed Sessions for an update on the Covanta Energy Corporation case on today’s agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s request to schedule Closed Sessions on September 23, 2003, and October 7, 2003, for the purpose of updating the Board on the Covanta Energy Corporation’s case should it be necessary.
It was noted that a time was not specified.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HILL - DISTRICT #1
Commr. Hill reported that, at the request of some of Lake County’s judges, she is coordinating the framing and matting of approximately 75 historic photographs of past elected officials that had once hung in what is now the Historic Courthouse. The Historical Society has already raised money for the frames but funding for the cost of matting and framing will be sought. Plans are being made to display the photographs in the lobby area on the first floor of the existing Lake County Judicial Center. She suggested that a committee might be reinstituted to assist in adding photographs to the list.
In response to an inquiry by Commr. Stivender, the Board’s liaison to the Historical Society, regarding the lack of money in the Historical Society’s budget for funding for the project, Commr. Hill stated that, while the cost is being calculated for mats and labor for framing, she estimates the cost to be small and expects that there may be some participation by the Lake County Bar Association and the community.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
WATER LEVELS IN SOUTH LAKE COUNTY
Commr. Pool expressed his appreciation to Mr. Jim Stivender, Director, and the Public Works employees for their efforts in dealing with high water in South Lake County. He remarked that private property was protected and it was a job well done.
Mr. Stivender commented that pumping of isolated lakes will be discontinued this week if the dry weather continues.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
SENIOR MEAL SITES AND SENIOR SERVICES
Commr. Hanson expressed her pleasure that two senior meal sites have opened in Umatilla and Paisley and commented that a lot of behind-the-scenes actions helped make those sites possible. She explained that a few years ago she and others realized that Lake County was not getting its fair share of senior services’ dollars. She stated that discussion occurred regarding the County becoming the lead agency and contracting directly with the Mid Florida Area Agency on Aging rather than going through Mid Florida Community Services (MFCS). After meetings at that time with MFCS regarding the lack of funds for Lake County, MFCS made commitments to evaluate and assess the needs of Lake County, especially the northeast area. She added that Mr. George Popovich of MFCS feels there is a need for a meal site in Sorrento and she remarked that more State and Federal funds should be sought by the County.
WEKIVA RIVER BASIN COORDINATING COMMITTEE
Commr. Hanson requested that a letter or resolution be drawn up regarding the takings issue for presentation to the newly formed Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee at their next meeting. She referenced a similar communication that was presented to the Wekiva Basin Area Task Force.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the previous communication expressed Lake County’s opposition to any requirement that the County impose rules that would result in either a takings claim or a Burt Harris Act claim unless the State provided the monies to pay those claims.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the previous communication was an effort by the County to try to protect itself from lawsuits that might occur as a result of State action and he is comfortable with a letter or resolution.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, said item was placed on the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved that a letter will be written for presentation to the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee to discuss the Burt Harris Act and how it may affect Lake County and that Lake County does not intend to bear the expense of any takings issues that are created by the State of Florida.
PILOT SITES FOR WATER WITHDRAWAL
Commr. Hanson stated that there are two sites along the St. Johns River that are pilot sites for water to be pulled from and used in Volusia and Seminole Counties. She expressed concern that those coastal counties should be using ocean waters for desalination as opposed to taking water that probably would be better used by interior counties. She commented that the Board should be aware of this issue and make an effort to be included in the process.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT #5
SALES TAX OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE PRESENTATION
By consensus, the Board agreed to hold a Joint Public Meeting on Tuesday, October 21, 2003, at Lake Sumter Community College in Leesburg, possibly at 4:00 p.m., so that the Sales Tax Oversight Committee can present a semiannual report, as specified in Ordinance 2001-130, on the expenditures of the sales tax revenue. The County Manager will send notification letters so that the meeting can be advertised. The meeting will include the Lake County School Board, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and all the municipalities in Lake County. The second report is tentatively scheduled for presentation on Monday, April 26, 2004.
BOARD CALENDAR - NOVEMBER & DECEMBER 2003
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the Board’s zoning meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 25, 2003, the week of Thanksgiving, and he suggested that the meeting be rescheduled for Tuesday, November 18, 2003.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place the November and December 2003 Board calendar on the agenda.
Commr. Cadwell noted that Christmas and New Year’s Day are on Thursday this year. He commented that it might not be logical to close for those two holidays, only to reopen for the next day, Friday. Because there typically has been another floating holiday to be taken during either Christmas or New Year’s week, he recommended that Lake County employees be given Friday, December 26, 2003, and Friday, January 2, 2004, as holidays.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Lake County’s Christmas and New Year’s holidays to include two additional days, Friday, December 26, 2003, and Friday, January 2, 2004.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that these two days will be in addition to December 25, 2003, and January 1, 2004, and will be in lieu of the one traditional floating holiday. The Constitutional Officers will be informed of the Board’s intent.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to reschedule the November 2003 zoning meeting for Tuesday, November 18, 2003, and the December 2003 zoning meeting for Tuesday, December 16, 2003.
The Board directed that there will not be a Board meeting on November 25, 2003, or December 23, 2003.
COUNTY MANAGER AND COUNTY ATTORNEY EVALUATIONS
Commr. Cadwell stated that the County Manager and County Attorney evaluations were made available to him this morning. Copies of the overall rating tabulations were presented to the Deputy Clerk for inclusion in the backup material. Commr. Cadwell will review those evaluations with Mr. Neron and Mr. Minkoff and will make recommendations on the evaluations at the Board’s meeting on September 23, 2003.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK