A SPECIAL JOINT MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE LAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
AUGUST 11, 2004
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a special joint meeting with the Lake County School Board on Wednesday, August 11, 2004, at 2:00 p.m., at the Ken Bragg Public Safety Complex, Lane Park Cutoff, Tavares, Florida. Lake County Commissioners present at the meeting were: Debbie Stivender, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and Robert A. Pool. Present from Lake County Schools were: Pam Saylor, Esq., Superintendent; Board Members: Kyleen Fischer, Chairman; Scott Strong, Vice Chairman; Jimmy Conner; Becky Elswick; and Dennis Reid. Others present from Lake County Schools were: Steve Johnson, Attorney; Jim Polk, Assistant Superintendent for Business & Support; Dr. Kathleen Farner Thomas, Director of Planning, Program Evaluation & Accountability and Janice Gehring, Clerk to the Board. Others present from Lake County were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; William “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; and Judy Whaley, Deputy Clerk.
HURRICANE/TROPICAL STORM UPDATE
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that projections for Tropical Storm Charley at 11:00 a.m. today show the storm will parallel Florida’s Gulf Coast and come ashore at hurricane strength near Tampa and possibly follow a path across Polk and Lake counties. Because the storm may pass over Lake County mid to late day Friday, Lake County is activating its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) this afternoon at standby level. He stated that he will be leaving this joint meeting early in order to attend the EOC meeting at 3:00 p.m. today.
OPENING REMARKS AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commr. Stivender welcomed those present and stated that the School Board has prepared an extensive amount of information for today’s meeting per questions asked at the last joint meeting.
Ms. Kyleen Fischer, School Board Chairman, asked for a moment of silence and then led the Pledge of Allegiance.
School Superintendent Saylor distributed a chart and a graph depicting the first day of school with student enrollment trends and comparisons from 1998 through August 5, 2004. (A copy of the chart and graph is included in the backup material.) She pointed out that this year’s first day of school enrollment of 32,708 is up 6%, by 1,945 students, over last year. This increase represents one high school, which has 2,000 students, or more than one middle school or several elementary schools. She stated that the 1,945 number is depressed because a significant number of preschool students and those requiring immunizations, possibly 550 students, were not enrolled on the first day. She gave a short slide presentation, “It’s About the Students” which included information on co-teaching, classes being held in cafeterias and in hallways, construction additions at brand-new schools, portable cities on school campuses, traffic problems and the penny sales surtax.
STATUS OF LAKE COUNTY SCHOOLS AND ANCILLARY FACILITIES;
SCHOOL FUNDING AND JOINT PLANNING ALTERNATIVES;
GROWTH ISSUES AND CURRENT STATUS
Dr. Kathleen Farner Thomas, Director of Planning, Program Evaluation & Accountability, reviewed the agenda packet which includes printed slide presentations, information pertinent to questions which have been asked by the County Commissioners and the following:
• Enrollment studies
• Capital Outlay Projects Five Year Summary - Student station cost factors, portable classroom costs versus conventional construction
• Minimum Usable Acreage for a School Site - State requirements.
• Full-Time Equivalent Capital Outlay Funds - Historical Information and Draft Forecast
• Revenues/Expenditures Historical Summary
• Introductory Comments for Joint Meeting on July 27, 2004
• Impact Fees for Educational Facilities - Henderson Young & Company, July 16, 2004
• Summary - How is the 2004 School Impact Fee different from 2003?
• Copy of presentation by Jim Drake, CPA, Director of Finance, made on July 27, 2004
Mr. Jim Polk, Assistant Superintendent for Business & Support, stated that the School Board is striving to make sure all of the elected officials have all of the information they need to make good decisions and the exhaustive agenda packet is an effort to do that.
Mr. Polk and Dr. Thomas then gave slide presentations on the Status of Lake County Schools and Ancillary Facilities, School Funding and Joint Planning Alternatives and Growth Issues and Current Status. (Copies of the presentations are included in the backup material.) The information on the portables is based on the facilities documentation of the portables that were on campus as of June 14, 2004, and notes have been made for any portables that have been added to accommodate the students for this year. Sixty-seven portables have been added to Lake County campuses this summer. The permanent capacity is based on the Department of Education numbers as of September 4, 2003, and those figures include Florida’s Constitutional Class Size Reduction Amendment requirements. The current and planned construction information is per the Lake County Capital Outlay Projects Five Year Summary. The enrollment data was based on the last day of school last year, May 25, 2004, per pupil accounting.
The District Office currently has 21 portables on site with 19 portables at other ancillary sites. The construction of a new office complex has been postponed because classrooms should come first. The ancillary sites use the oldest of the old portables. Some of the aerial photographs used in the presentation are a little over a year old.
Mr. Polk reviewed the cost of portables versus permanent classroom costs. The initial cost of a portable is $97.11 per square foot and the initial cost of a permanent station is $141.94 per square foot. Portables are designed for a 20-year life span and cost $4.87 per square foot per year when amortized over 20 years. Permanent construction is $2.84 per square foot amortized over 50 years. He stated that Lake County Schools have many, many portables that are more than twenty years old.
Dr. Thomas and Mr. Polk continued by showing slides of each school in Lake County’s system. The slides included an aerial photograph of the campus, the number of permanent student stations as of September 4, 2003, the enrollment as of May 24, 2004, the number of portables for student capacity and number of other portables, the enrollment on the first day of school this year, the enrollment three days later (August 10, 2004) and renovation plans or current construction. The presentation began with South Lake High School, Cecil E. Gray Middle, Mascotte Elementary, Groveland Elementary, and East Ridge High.
South Lake Schools
Dr. Thomas explained that co-teaching became an important factor in meeting the Class Size Reduction Amendment. If there are more students in a classroom than meet the Class Size Reduction Amendment, those students can be moved to another classroom or, if there is no capacity, two teachers can be placed in a classroom.
Constitutional Class Size Reduction Amendment Requirement
Mr. Polk explained that the numbers allowed under the Class Size Reduction Amendment are 18 students in Prekindergarten through Grade 3, 22 students in Grades 4 through 8 and 25 students in Grades 9 through 12. For example, if a kindergarten classroom is large enough to accommodate up to 25 or 26 students, two teachers would be assigned to the classroom. He stressed that school districts have been forced to do this but it is not an ideal way to be in compliance with the law.
Dr. Thomas remarked that, basically, every school showing a co-teaching situation has no more classroom capacity to add a teacher in a separate classroom.
In response to questions about East Ridge High School (1,840 permanent student stations and an enrollment of 2,593 on August 10, 2004), Mr. Polk stated that there have been very few zoning waivers that have been accepted. He described the East Ridge zoning boundaries as 12th Street through the middle of the lakes and on south of the lake toward the west side of the Clermont area. The northern boundary runs along Washington Street in Minneola. There has been a lot of vehement opposition to redistricting and splitting the City of Clermont.
Mr. Polk further explained that, while there is a current land search effort, it takes three years to build a high school from conception. The School Board tries to get 60 acres for a high school.
Commr. Pool asked for information on which sites have room for expansion.
Ninth Grade Centers
Ms. Fischer commented that the School Board is in the process of considering a ninth grade center with the understanding that it could be built in a much more expedient time than a full high school.
Mr. Polk stated that there will be a workshop for the School Board within the next two weeks on that issue.
Ms. Fischer stated that the ninth grade center definitely would relieve the overflow at East Ridge. The School Board is encouraging the public to make a choice and is putting in programs and promoting South Lake High School. Many of the parents would like their children to spend their whole high school term in one school. She encouraged all of the Commissioners to take the opportunity to use the auditoriums of both of these high schools to have on-site meetings in south Lake to get the feel of the public.
Mr. Polk, in explaining that the School Board has struggled with a philosophical decision, posed the question, “How large do you want a high school to be?” If the School Board builds a ninth grade center, it is saying that a 3,000-student high school is acceptable to the citizens of Lake County. Up to this point, high schools have been in the neighborhood of 1,250 to 1,500 as an acceptable number.
Commr. Cadwell asked if there is a statistic that indicates that grades begin to drop once a certain point in enrollment is reached.
Mr. Polk responded that he does not have any research on that point of view but how large a school can be managed is a critical issue. Increasing the student population at a school impacts every extracurricular activity. Lake County is currently faced with a decision on a big change.
Ms. Fischer remarked that the teachers are succeeding with the students, but wondered at what level can all of the programs be offered.
Mr. Conner stated that the academic research he has seen points to smaller schools with smaller classrooms producing higher academics.
Commr. Cadwell asked if there is a School Board policy that would not allow a 2,000 student school.
Ms. Fischer confirmed that the School Board has not reached that point.
Mr. Polk stated that, while talking about East Ridge High School today, every high school in Lake County within the next ten years will be faced with the same dilemma if growth continues as it has.
Ms. Fischer stated that the School Board is having to build for the students it has, not building for projected growth.
Ms. Elswick stated that the basis for the financial figures in the plant survey reflects almost a 2,000 student station high school. She stated that she has been very supportive of ninth grade centers but remarked that the School Board has to be very careful because there are restrictions on a student’s opportunities for education, such as high achieving students trying to access AP and honors classes, when they are in a ninth grade center. She stated that the freshman class at East Ridge High School was already at 801 students on August 3, 2004.
Ms. Fischer stated that the schools are in a redistricting process. She opined that the Eustis ninth grade center has been very good. The administration there embraces it and says it works and their score indicates that it works.
Commr. Pool opined that the schools are doomed for failure no matter who is elected as Superintendent or as School Board member because if they cannot build a school expecting or projecting capacities, and the mentality in Tallahassee says no, the School Board will fail. If you can only build a school to capacity to what it now has, in three to five years, it will be beyond that and students will be in portables.
Ms. Fischer agreed that fast growing counties need to be addressed.
South Lake Schools (continued)
Mr. Polk and Dr. Thomas continued the slide presentation on the status of Lake County schools and ancillary facilities. They presented information on Windy Hill Middle, Minneola Elementary (Charter Conversion School), Lost Lake Elementary, Clermont Middle, Cypress Ridge Elementary (Magnet School), Clermont Elementary, Pine Ridge Elementary, Umatilla High, Umatilla 9th Grade Center, Umatilla Middle, Umatilla Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary (Charter Conversion School), Leesburg High, Lee Center, Carver Middle, Beverly Shores Elementary, Fruitland Park Elementary, Villages Elementary, Oak Park Middle, Leesburg Elementary, Tavares High, Tavares Middle, Tavares Elementary, Treadway Elementary, Astatula Elementary School for the Arts, Mount Dora High, Roseborough Campus, Mount Dora Middle, Triangle Elementary, Round Lake Elementary (Conversion Charter School), Eustis High, Curtright Center (9th Grade Annex), Eustis Middle, Eustis Elementary, Eustis Heights Elementary and Seminole Springs Elementary.
Lost Lake Elementary
Regarding Lost Lake Elementary (693 permanent student stations on September 4, 2003; 1,290 student enrollment as of August 10, 2004), Mr. Polk stated that this school is a good example of what the Class Size Reduction Amendment has done. Before the Amendment, Lost Lake’s permanent capacity was about 956 students so many permanent stations were lost with the stroke of a pen with the Amendment. Another problem at this school is that it is a traffic nightmare for parents, some of whom actually come an hour before school ends and wait to pick up their children.
Cypress Ridge and Pine Ridge Elementary
Mr. Polk remarked that virtually all of the classrooms at Cypress Ridge are in portables. Regarding Pine Ridge Elementary, which opened last year, he stated that it was designed as 956 permanent student stations, but the Class Size Reduction Amendment lowered the capacity to 664. He emphasized that the Class Size Reduction Amendment was a constitutional amendment and the legislature had a difficult time dealing with this issue.
Mr. Conner stated that Lake County voters did not vote for that amendment. He stated, for the record, this School Board, to his knowledge, was the only School Board in the State of Florida that took a public stand against the Class Size Reduction Amendment in its legislative platform prior to the vote.
High School Renovations
Mr. Polk explained that the renovations to the high schools include very few additional student stations. The one-third cent sales surtax was advertised for renovation of old high schools. In most instances, most of these schools are nearly 50 years old and there was not sufficient money in the sales tax to add a great deal of student capacity. Had it not have been for the sales surtax, the renovations on the older schools would not have been possible.
Mr. Polk stated that the charter schools in Lake County have helped with capacity. There are several charter schools in the area and the School Board is responsible only for the conversion charter schools (Spring Creek Elementary, Minneola Elementary, Round Lake Elementary and the Lake Tech Center).
Mr. Polk stated that two very inefficient Leesburg schools, Rimes and Dabney, were closed this year. Rimes is being utilized as a pre-K center. Skeen Elementary was also closed and will be incorporated into the Leesburg High School’s campus with the closure of a street. The new Leesburg Elementary School opened a few days ago and combined the three closed schools. He stated that this was a big reorganization in the Leesburg area that has been going on over a two or three-year period.
Mr. Polk pointed out that Skeen Elementary School is a good example of how the School Board has been utilizing facilities throughout the years. Built in 1917, it is still being used as an educational facility. While wanting to get into new buildings, the taxpayers of Lake County have gotten their money out of this and other older buildings.
Dr. Thomas commented that Carver Middle School is under a total renovation, a $29 million project, and Mr. Polk added that a new school will be built on the same property and the old school will be demolished, thereby utilizing the current location.
Dr. Thomas stated that Beverly Shores is in a major $7.5 million renovation process and Mr. Polk added that this school is part of the Leesburg project to close inefficient schools. A large number of the portables will be moved to other school campuses when construction is completed.
Mr. Polk remarked that the same prototype elementary school has been built several times in Lake County, including Villages Elementary, Round Lake and Lost Lake, in an attempt to be frugal. This allows the use of the same architect and design fees.
Mr. Conner asked the Commissioners to remember that the School Board was under a lot of criticism three years ago because they built schools where there were available student stations. He opined that they will be criticized one way or the other.
Regarding the prototype design of the new Leesburg Elementary School, Mr. Polk stated that this one was built for $9.2 million which is considerably cheaper than the last time the very same school was built. This school was in the design stages prior to the Class Size Reduction Amendment so capacity modification was not possible.
Dr. Thomas added that the No Child Left Behind Act affected Leesburg Elementary School. It was one of the options for parents of children who attended schools that failed to make adequate yearly progress two years in a row. Student capacity cannot be used as a reason to refuse students who choose a school. As a result, Leesburg Elementary had approximately 50 to 60 students who were not redistricted to attend that school.
Dr. Thomas gave information on the five Tavares Schools which included permanent student stations, the enrollment at the end of last year, first day of school enrollment this year and enrollment on August 10, 2004. She also noted portables, co-teaching classes and renovation projects.
Mount Dora and Eustis Schools
The slide presentation by Dr. Thomas and Mr. Polk continued with information on the five Mount Dora schools and the six Eustis schools. Dr. Thomas pointed out that Eustis Elementary is a perfect example of not having any space to expand. Despite that fact, it is an “A” school in a 1920s building.
Mr. Polk explained that the Seminole Springs and Round Lake areas are the growth potential areas for the northeastern part of the County and will be one of the big hot spots in the next couple of years.
Dr. Thomas showed a list of other schools, and enrollments as of May 24, 2004, which included Lake Hills, Lifestream-Leesburg K-12, Lifestream-Altoona, ESE, Alee Academy, ACER Night @ Alee Academy, Milestone Charter, National Deaf Academy, 2nd Chance @Lee Opportunity and ACER Jail School. Lake Hills School, a special needs school, is scheduled for a $6.5 million renovation. The $2.4 million remodel/renovation at Rimes Pre-K Center was completed this summer with great community involvement. Projects that are included in the 2005-2006 plant survey are two new elementary schools ($13,828,307 each), one new middle school ($22,462,988) and one new high school ($54,878,000). Another elementary school is planned for both the 2006-2007 and the 2007-2008 school years.
Summary of Slide Presentation
Dr. Thomas summarized the slide presentation by stating that the first day of school had an enrollment of 32,708 and by the third day, yesterday, enrollment was 34,058. That is an increase in three days of 1,350.
Mr. Polk remarked that the preponderance of those 1,350 students is in the south end of the County and it would make their job easier if those students were spread out equally over Lake County.
Mr. Conner suggested that a countywide bus tour be set up to see the facilities firsthand. He suggested that the full School Board, the full County Commission and each municipality join that tour.
Commr. Cadwell opined that everyone knows the problems.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 3:26 p.m., Ms. Fischer announced a ten minute break.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he will ride on a bus and look at any school but he thought that this group was to the point of how to cure the problems.
SCHOOL FUNDING AND JOINT PLANNING ALTERNATIVES
Ms. Fischer referred to Tabs 2 and 3 of the agenda packet which address School Funding and Joint Planning Alternatives and Growth Issues. She announced that, in order to have time for questions, those presentations will not be made orally today.
Ms. Fischer asked for suggestions and questions. She stated that there are some ways to meet this problem and that it can be done jointly.
Commr. Hanson stated this is a classic example of growth being artificially held back from a high growth area such as Central Florida. The citrus industry was a good barrier toward growth for many years and Lake County was not facing growth problems 20 years ago. She remarked that she would like to see information on the percentage of growth of surrounding counties, particularly Seminole, Volusia, Orange and Osceola, going back 30 years. She added that she had double sessions in Seminole County while attending elementary and junior high school. She made the point that Lake County is not alone in this issue. She stated that Lake County has had problems with school overcrowding for ten years.
Ms. Fischer opined that the way to deal with Lake County’s growth will come from this School Board and County Commission. She added that she had heard that the School Board might be asked to participate in the County’s legislative platform. She stated that, if that is true, the School Board would like to join hands with the County. She remarked that many of the problems stem from Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.
Commr. Hanson stated that it is also important that we not forget what happened to the lottery dollars and where those dollars were supposed to go. They are not helping at the classroom level which is probably where the dollars are most needed. She asked that Mr. Polk compare the cost of the overpass at Clermont Elementary School with the price of land. She stated that there is land there but the overpass might cost less than the land.
Commr. Hanson stated that the real question is, “what if not another permit was issued in Lake County?” She posed the following additional questions: What if there were no permits issued in the cities? Because the County only handles half of the growth, what would be the impact of, first, not issuing another single permit in the County, and, second, are we then creating a barrier to growth that might slow us down?
Ms. Fischer stated that the question of the growth rate has been asked before by Commr. Cadwell. She stated that we have heard about a 6% growth rate today and we certainly are not able to keep up with that. She stated that the County Commission is faced with putting in roads that the school buses have to traverse. We could have more sites if we had more roads.
Commr. Hanson remarked that there are many issues that have contributed to this situation, such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Class Size Reduction Amendment. The goal is the elimination of portables. Those are all part of the problem. Legally, the Board would have to look at what happens if it put a moratorium on all permits. The other issue is, what happens if the Board does not approve another residentially zoned building site?
Ms. Fischer stated that the School Board has given so much information and it wants to work with the County Commission and wants to participate in the legislative platform packet. She stated that the School Board has tried to be as transparent as it possibly could be in presenting the figures. The School Board has encouraged Mr. Randy Young of Henderson Young & Company to present his report quickly. The bottom line is, Commr. Cadwell was correct when he asked “What is that growth rate?”
Mr. Conner opined that probably the two biggest reasons for today’s situation are new subdivisions and growth has not paid for itself. Those are more important issues to address than the impact of No Child Left Behind or some of the other issues. He stated that, if this County Commission thinks that double sessions are the solution, it needs to come forward and say that. The School Board has taken a stand that double sessions, which are changing the culture of education in Lake County, are not in the best interest of the students. He stated that he hopes it is not a solution that the County Commission wants buts he keeps hearing that. He also hears that portables are okay. He stated that he does not think everyone understands the problem because the School Board is informed at every meeting that another development has been approved. If city officials were to tour the schools and see the problems firsthand perhaps they would be more empathetic. A developer in Mount Dora told Dr. Thomas, as she reported to the School Board on August 9, 2004, that he would be willing to pay the new impact fee, up to $10,700 or whatever it is. He opined that is major progress. It is contingent, according to what Dr. Thomas told the School Board, on the County Commission approving that fee.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the impact fee will not cure the problem alone but he would vote to approve it if the School Board can say it will cure the problem.
Ms. Fischer reported that Mr. Polk brought an idea to the School Board last year and she has asked him to investigate it again this year, making sure that it would not impact academics. As a School Board member, she is charged to educate and make sure that academics are worthwhile. The County Commissioners have another mission and have helped with resource officers, libraries and after school programs. The School Board has also made a concerted effort with charter schools, charter conversions, and entering into the development of the Four Corners school. The School Board has pursued innovative things.
Commr. Cadwell agreed that the School Board has been working toward solving the problems and he supports the School Board. He asked that everyone get down to how to solve the problems.
Ms. Fischer stated that she does not want the County Commission to think the School Board just comes to them for money.
Mr. Polk discussed the staggered start that Pasco County has in one of its high schools. Basically, they are on a four-by-four plan. The 10th, 11th and 12th grade students come to school at 7:35 a.m. At 10:20 a.m., fourth period, the 9th grade students come in and the 10th grade students go to lunch with the 9th grade students occupying the classrooms the 10th grade students just left. Then the 11th grade students go to lunch the next period and the 9th grade students occupy the classrooms the 11th grade students just left. Then the 12th grade students go to lunch and the 9th grade students take those classrooms. Then everyone else goes home and they take the whole school. It gives a quarter more capacity but doubles the transportation costs because of running dual routes. This option is working in Pasco County even though they may not be happy with it.
Ms. Fischer stated that option has not impacted Pasco County negatively to her knowledge.
Commr. Hanson stated that she was not recommending double sessions when she mentioned them earlier. She stated that her point was that there have been overcrowding situations in Central Florida for many years.
Mr. Reid stated that both Minneola and Tavares have utilized year round schools. He stated that we have to come up with beneficial districts or something but developers will be the key. The County may have land that is zoned for one house per acre but may be rezoned for five houses per acre if annexed into a city. A funding source from the developers to help build schools is necessary. He stated that perimeters have to be set up for developers when they come before the School Board or the Zoning Board. Double sessions may be a necessity but definitive answers have to come.
Ms. Fischer stated that cluster housing, an idea by Commr. Hanson, has worked beautifully.
Mr. Conner stated that, in answer to Commr. Cadwell’s request for a solution, the School Board has sent unanimous resolutions to the County Commission on (1) growth, (2) a Martinez plan for growth and (3) the impact fee. He stated that the resolution on growth was acted upon for 90 days. He stated that the School Board has recommended action to the County Commission. He stated that the School Board can provide student stations by utilizing the impact fee and slowing the rate of growth.
Commr. Cadwell again asked what is the rate of growth.
Ms. Fischer stated that the County Commission and the School Board are dealing with that.
Commr. Cadwell stated that if the rate of growth is known, and can be brought down, the County Commission can see how that affects the things for which it is responsible.
Commr. Stivender stated that she has asked staff to work on the rate of growth as a result of Commr. Cadwell’s question at the last joint meeting.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would like the County Attorney to make a presentation on concurrency at the next joint meeting. He stated that the County Commission could be proactive on concurrency and that would help the School Board. It is more restrictive, in some instances, and less restrictive than the Martinez Plan. It does not tie the School Board’s hands. It has worked with transportation. He opined that it is one of the nuts and bolts’ things that need to be discussed.
Commr. Pool remarked that the developers do not pay impact fees but rather the first-time home buyers pay the impact fees. He asked at what point are we responsible for ensuring that we can have affordable homes here in Lake County. He asked at what point do we stop those first-time home buyers from qualifying because of some of these fees. He stated that he absolutely supports impact fees but reiterated that the developer will not be actually paying that. He noted that 67 portables were added this year. He asked if there is an average annual number of portables.
Mr. Polk stated that the number of portables has been increasing every year and that approximately 25 were added last year.
Commr. Pool stated that Orange County will add 600 portables this year. The state says you cannot count those. If portables cannot be counted as student stations, Lake County may want, at some point, to say it does not want another portable. He asked how can we get Tallahassee to understand the projected growth and build for that projected growth, not build for capacity only, but project out 20% and 30% for three to five years.
Ms. Fischer stated that, in working with Commr. Stivender, she has asked the School Board members to present the questions they would like presented to the legislature.
Commr. Pool remarked that while Lake County’s rate of growth is the third fastest in the State of Florida, in raw, real numbers of adding people, the County was 20th or 25th. Orange County added 80,000 while Lake County added 30,000. He asked if the two Lake County “portable city” schools are performing as F or A schools.
Ms. Fischer stated that Lake County does not have a F school.
Commr. Pool stated that we should not be ashamed of portables if we need them. He reiterated his point that if the State will not count them, what can be done.
Mr. Conner reiterated that, if the County Commission’s solution is to build schools as portables, they need to say that.
Commr. Pool asked if those schools are being impacted by portables. He opined that, if they cannot be counted, they should not be acquired.
Mr. Conner pointed out that demonstrates how well the teachers are doing under such adverse conditions.
Ms. Fischer stated that question needs to be presented to the legislature.
Commr. Pool stated that, in looking at the six-year average that represents growth, the County is at 4.5%. He stated that the County and the Schools need to come up with the percentage with which they can work.
Commr. Stivender remarked that the School Board staff and the County staff have worked diligently on information and questions that were brought up at the last joint meeting. She asked for suggestions for the next meeting’s agenda.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he wants a discussion on concurrency and to talk about if there is no capacity in the schools, we don’t approve buildings. He also asked for a discussion on the impact fee and the amount of the fee. He stated that we need to talk about who else needs to be at the table.
Further discussion was held regarding the Impact Fee Committee’s September 16, 2004, meeting which will be attended by Mr. Randy Young of Henderson Young & Company, the date of the next joint meeting, when to ask for involvement by the cities, obtaining opinions from the Homebuilder’s Association and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, alternative options from other counties, particularly Pasco County, the pros and cons of alternatives to raise capacity and whether or not double sessions are an option.
Commr. Stivender stated that another joint meeting will be held some time after the Impact Fee Committee meets on September 16.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:13 p.m.
DEBBIE STIVENDER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK