A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
NOVEMBER 9, 2004
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a Board Retreat on Tuesday, November 9, 2004, at 9:00 a.m., in Room 207 of the Ken Bragg Center, Astatula, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Debbie Stivender, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; Catherine C. Hanson; and Robert A. Pool. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; William “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Bob McKee, Tax Collector; Fred Cobb, Sheriff; Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director; Cindy Hall, Assistant County Manager; Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director; Sharon Wall, Employee Services Director; Wendy Breeden, Library Services Director; Regina Frazier, Budget Director, Budget Office; Julia Wilson, Senior Budget Analyst and Assessments Manager, Budget Office; Mary Gillis, Budget Analyst, Budget Office; Gary Kaiser, Public Safety Director; Larry Chester, Supervising Deputy Clerk, Clerk’s Office; Steve Earls, Information Technology Director; Ken Hayslette, Procurement Services Director; Bob Stevens, Parks and Recreation Director; Judy Evans, Development and Operations Director, Expo Center; Deborah Boulware, County Extension Director; Susan Guch, Past President, Friends of the Horticultural Learning Center; Charles Fedunak, Extension Agent III, Horticultural Learning Center; Michael Woods, Alternative Transportation Planner, Public Works; Jeff Cooper, Support Services Director, Program Analysis and Contract Management; Blanche Hardy, Environmental Services Director; Dottie Keedy, Administrator, City of Tavares; Jon Cherry, President/CEO, Lifestream Behavioral Center; Travis Whigham, President, Forest Hills Association; Monica Scott, Orlando Sentinel; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
INTRODUCTIONS AND WELCOME
The Chairman welcomed those present and asked that everyone introduce themselves.
OVERVIEW OF CURRENT FACILITIES
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, informed those present that the County has picked up over 530,000 cubic yards of debris from Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, thus far. He stated that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is changing their rules again regarding the pickup of stumps and grub in all 67 counties in the State, which may or may not affect the County’s contract with them. He stated that the County is up to approximately 40% of repairs on facilities, especially roofs. He referred to a binder (containing information for the Retreat) that had been prepared by staff for the Board and various individuals that were present and asked that they hold on to them, noting that staff would be distributing additional information to them, to be inserted in said binder, for future retreats that are scheduled to be held.
UPDATE ON PROJECTS
Mr. Stivender reviewed various maps contained in the binder pertaining to county buildings, facilities, offices, the Downtown Tavares Campus, Conserv II, the constitutional offices, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Community Services (Health Departments, Libraries, Community Centers), Environmental Services, Growth Management, Economic Development, Public Safety (Fire Stations), and Public Works (Facilities and Parks), elaborating on each, at which time he noted that, with regard to the expansion of the Judicial Center, due to the fact that it will have a huge affect on parking and there is already a parking challenge in the downtown Tavares area, staff has proposed a five story 900 space parking garage, to be located on Main Street. He stated that it will be more like a private/public partnership, where at least half of the first floor will be commercial, probably along Main Street, from corner to corner. He stated that there will be a second floor walkway from the parking garage over Main Street to the Administration Building and over Sinclair Avenue to the Judicial Center. He discussed the expansion of some of the employee parking areas and the fact that there is the possibility of modifying Prelude, as an EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and other functions that will serve full time for public safety. He stated that the only challenge is that Prelude is currently being occupied, so there would be a demand for building space associated with it. He stated that increasing the size of the current facilities will demand an increased size in the Central Energy Plant, which will then be able to handle the challenge of all the downtown facilities.
Mr. Stivender stated that those facilities that do not fit into downtown Tavares will be moved to the property located next to the County’s Landfill, south of Tavares. He stated that five acres associated with a $7 million request from the State for the Health Department will be located along that corridor, accessing CR 448, and noted that Lake Idamere Park is located to the north of the proposed property. He stated that a Public Works Administration Complex is proposed for the site, as well, which will also access CR 448.
It was noted that said property would not be viable for expansion of the landfill.
Mr. Stivender discussed the Conserv II site being proposed for the South Lake Annex, stating that staff has not yet been given authorization to obtain an appraisal on the property, however, noted that the site is 230 acres in size and is located just south of Hartwood Marsh Road approximately six to eight miles from the Four Corners area of the County. He stated that a regional park and elementary school are being proposed for the site and pointed out the fact that the wetlands located on the site is something that not just Lake County wants to protect, but the City of Orlando and Orange County, as well.
Commr. Cadwell questioned the need for a facility the size of the one that is being proposed, noting that, other than for the Property Appraiser, the Tax Collector, and people obtaining building permits, he did not know how often said offices would be used in a given day.
Commr. Pool interjected that the County recognized years ago that it was important to have a South Lake Annex/Building Department and he feels that having the opportunity to have a regional park, an elementary school, and an annex, where all the county services will be in one location, within the next five to ten years, will be very beneficial to the County. He stated that the County could start out on a small scale and, in time, as it is needed, expand the facility.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, interjected that there is a need for another Health Department site in south Lake County, because the current site is totally inadequate. He stated that, since land is so expensive in that area of the County, staff was following what they understood was the direction of the Board and trying to purchase sufficient acreage at today’s prices, even though the County may not use it all within the next two to five years, and bank it so that the County will have it for future development.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he was not convinced that the County needs said property.
Commr. Stivender stated that the County is spending approximately $890,000 per year on leased space and she feels that, over a five year period, the County could build some of the buildings and own them, rather than spending close to $1 million per year leasing them.
Mr. Stivender informed the Board that the County has picked up more commercial and residential impact fees from District 2, over the last five to six years, than the entire County combined. He stated that, when one talks about growth, the numbers are truly staggering.
Commr. Pool stated that he felt the County should look ahead five to 20 years, when the need may be there, and acquire the property. He stated that, even though the County may not want to construct a building today, he feels it would be prudent on the County’s part to acquire the property, create the regional park, and construct the road, as needed, whether it be for the Health Department or some other department.
Mr. Bob McKee, Tax Collector, stated that, in terms of the cost benefit of a lease, noted that there is a 15 year lease on his Eustis Office, which is 8,000 square feet. He stated that he pays $10.00 per square foot and the landlord handles all major maintenance. He stated that the County could not construct a building and make it cost effective at $10.00 per square foot, over a 15 year period, with no maintenance consideration and with parking requirements. He stated that, with regard to staff talking about the centralization of services towards the Four Corners area, he wanted to go on record as saying that he did not want anybody to think that his office would necessarily participate in that, as the proposed site may not be demographically nor geographically centralized enough for what his office does.
Commr. Hanson stated that that was her concern from the beginning about the proposed location.
Commr. Pool stated that he felt the purchase of the property would be a win/win situation all the way around, because it would provide a regional park and an elementary school site, with the ability to add an annex at some point in time in the south part of the County. He stated that it is a large site at an ideal location, with a major road network involving Hartwood Marsh Road and Hancock Road.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that Conserve II, which is owned by the City of Orlando and Orange County, wants the ability to repurchase the property, should the County ever choose to sell it, at a then fair market value.
A motion was made by Commr. Pool to direct staff to proceed with having the proposed site appraised, for future purchase opportunities for a regional park, elementary school, and the possibility of having county services at said location.
Commr. Hanson stated that she would second the motion, if that part of it stating that the property will be used for a regional park, an elementary school, and some county services in the future was deleted.
Commr. Pool agreed to said change.
It was noted that the motion was for approval to have the property appraised.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.
Mr. Stivender displayed a map that staff had prepared, for the Board’s perusal, which he noted was a composite of all the maps contained in their book. He pointed out the fact that the Umatilla Health Department facility will be expanded and discussed the need for a facility in the south Clermont area, to adequately handle the people that live in that part of the County. He stated that staff is proposing a 12,000 square foot facility at each location, noting that the current facility in Umatilla is only 4,000 square feet. He stated that the facility in Clermont will be the only central location for health services, which will include the leased space that the County currently has for administration, the leased space that the County is getting ready to occupy for maternity, and the leased space that will be moved from the Tavares facility. He stated that all three offices will be located at the Clermont site in a single facility.
Commr. Cadwell questioned the space study associated with said facilities and was informed by Mr. Neron, County Manager, that staff hopes to have at least one or two workshops with the Board, to bring them some options regarding staff’s findings and some options regarding how to proceed, so that staff can keep the Board involved in every step of the process.
Mr. Stivender discussed Sales Tax Capital Projects (Fund 301), noting that there is currently approximately $8 million in the fund, with approximately $6.5 million of it coming from Revenue and another approximately $1.4 million of it coming from an interest free loan to Fund 114 (Ford Commerce Park) that is being paid back, which was used to purchase land for the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park. He reviewed the various projects that said funds will be used for and noted that there is no possibility of having a surplus of monies in said fund.
It was noted that these projects will close out the old one cent sales tax fund.
Mr. Stivender reviewed the General Fund for Operations Appropriation Summary (indicating total of $476,687 spent from said fund), noting that staff highlighted those issues that were not anticipated or planned and the cost of each. He stated that, with regard to the Infrastructure Sales Tax (Fund 303) Projects, based on The Game of Lake, from June 16, 2003, the total estimate amounted to $131,544,413, based on a 15 year projection of Revenue. He reviewed the various projects that were cut, being the Pod E Jail Expansion, the Criminal Investigations Bureau, the Clerk’s Records Center Parking Lot (moved to Fund 301),the Administration and Central Receiving Library, Community Centers for Citrus Ridge, Yalaha, and Pine Lakes, the South Lake Health Department, the Emergency Operations Center and Public Safety Facility, the Consolidated Health Clinic (land only), and the Mail Receiving Center Secondary Back-up Facility. He then discussed some of the things that staff felt were important to identify through the Finance and Budget Office, with regard to Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects (Fund 303), such as the Sheriff’s vehicles and equipment, recreation grants, capital projects staff funding, voting machines for the Supervisor of Elections’ Office, the Citrus Ridge Library, and Green Space.
Commr. Stivender questioned whether the money needed to be placed in another fund, due to the fact that the referendum dealing with green space was passed, and noted that she felt another workshop should be held to discuss the distribution of said funds.
Mr. Neron, County Manager, stated that staff was working on some options for analyzing the Ordinance and the funding and hoped to get said information to the Board within the next 60 days.
In discussing the Judicial Center expansion, Commr. Hanson questioned whether the Chairman had discussed any creative ways for rescheduling court days with the judges.
The Chairman stated that she had not had any such discussions, to date.
Mr. Neron, County Manager, interjected that staff has met with the Sheriff and the Chief Judge, in response to another request that Commr. Hanson had made regarding Mental Health and the Jail. He stated that he is currently trying to set up a meeting with the newly elected Sheriff, Chris Daniels, to discuss the matter with him, noting that he wanted to talk to two or three of the key players, to make sure they buy into it, and then bring a recommendation to the Board at a later date.
Sheriff Cobb interjected that, from past experience, when one starts looking at the judges’ schedules and trying to deal with space issues, it is extremely complicated and usually does not work out, because people fail to recognize all the people that are associated with the judge that is sitting on the bench, such as the Clerk’s office staff, the Sheriff’s personnel, etc. He stated that rescheduling is very difficult, however, noted that there are a number of programs that could be extremely successful, in helping to facilitate some of the case loads.
Mr. Neron pointed out the fact that, whatever the Board decides to do, $1 million in new local option sales tax funds will be available for them to use and, if they need more than that, there are some other options that will be available.
Mr. Stivender stated that the $8.3 million figure shown as Total Funds Available for FY 2005, in the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects Fund, are funds that have been accumulating over the last two years. He stated that, if the County completed every project listed under said fund, it would total $15,481,551. He stated that the line of credit proposed for buildings could be tied up in one way or another by the end of this year, if everything listed were to occur.
It was noted that, under Renewal Sales Tax Line of Credit Capital Projects (Fund 304), the line of credit is for both buildings and roads and that, during FY 2005, cash flow shortfalls will be compensated by utilizing the $7.5 million line of credit for buildings.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:10 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for 10 minutes.
Mr. Neron, County Manager, informed the Board that approximately one and a half years ago they authorized an architectural review study of the Fairgrounds. He stated that said study was conducted and the County has three (3) options, being: (1) to stay at the current site and improve it, at an estimated cost of $6 million; (2) move to another site of at least 50 acres; or (3) do nothing and keep the Fairgrounds as it currently is.
Mr. Stivender reviewed an aerial of the Fairgrounds site and the intersection of CR 452 and CR 44(contained in the Board’s backup material), showing the proposed modification and relocation of CR 44 into the Fairgrounds property. He stated that a new Expo Center, consisting of 19,000 square feet, is being proposed, compared to the current 16,000 square foot facility. He stated that it will contain more restrooms, storage facilities, and administrative offices and will be set up to where it can be utilized for three events simultaneously. He noted that the parking area will be expanded and modified, as well, increasing from 1,200 spaces to 1,400 spaces. He stated that the plan is to construct the new Expo Hall at a more central location on the site, with parking on three sides of the facility, however, noted that, during the time that the Fair is open, the parking lot on the north side of the facility will be used for Fair events, rather than parking by visitors to the Fair.
Commr. Stivender noted a concern she has about the property, in that the County is proposing to put a lot of money into the site, with no way to expand the facility in the future.
Mr. Neron stated that the current Expo Hall is probably not the best building for Fair events, due to the fact that it is not air conditioned. He stated that staff feels the County would have a much better facility for not only the Fair, but one that could be rented out for a lot more community uses, if it was air conditioned and had better restrooms. He stated that this Board, as well as previous Boards, has wrestled with whether to keep the Fairgrounds at its current site, or whether to move it to a better site, with more land, and, if so, where that site would be. He stated that staff is looking for some direction from the Board, as to whether they are comfortable with the current site, or whether they want staff to do further research and come up with some alternative sites and, if so, how many acres they should consider.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he has wrestled with the issue of the Fairgrounds for some time, however, noted that he feels the County should keep the current site and move forward with it. He stated that, if the County makes the proposed renovations, he feels they will be adequate to take care of the Fair for years to come. He stated that he feels the current site is a good marketable site and the County can do other things with it, as well, noting that the Fair is a one-time thing.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether the current site would still lend itself to a Farmer’s Market and was informed that it would. She agreed with Commr. Cadwell that the Board needs to move forward with the matter, noting that she feels there is a need for the size of building that is being proposed and that it will increase the attendance a great deal and will be more marketable.
Mr. Neron stated that, whether or not the Board makes a decision as to how much they want the County to actually do, staff would like to receive authorization to begin the selection process for an architect and an engineering firm to draw up the plans.
Commr. Cadwell stated that there are some serious stormwater issues at the current site that need to be addressed and he does not want the County to do a halfway job in addressing them.
Commr. Pool questioned why the Fair and the events involving the animals have to be held during the same week, noting that he feels they should be held at separate times, which would probably draw in more people.
Commr. Hill questioned, for the record, why the County did not consider the PEAR Park property, the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park property, or property near the landfill as a new site for the Fairgrounds and was informed by Mr. Neron, County Manager, that the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park property was not considered, because it was felt that said property was more valuable to the County if sold for commercial use, and the PEAR Park property was not considered, because the land and the lease with the State was not in concert with the overall master plan for the Fairgrounds. He stated that the property in the area of the landfill was not considered, because it was felt that it was not adequate enough for the Fairgrounds to be located there and would require the purchase of additional property, however, noted that, if that was the direction the Board would like for staff to go, they would be prepared to do so.
Commr. Hill stated that she just wanted it to be on record why the Board did not pursue said properties, because she has received inquiries as to why they were not considered.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved for staff to move forward with the proposed site plan for the Fairgrounds, to include the intersection realignment at CR 452 and CR 44.
Mr. Neron, County Manager, informed the Board that staff has attempted to look at funding sources that the County could use for capital projects, other than the local option sales tax. He stated that they are estimating that the County will collect approximately $3.5 million in Library Impact Fees over the next five years, which is a restricted source of revenue that can be used for library related projects, with regard to new growth. He stated that library impact fees are collected on an unincorporated area wide basis and can be spent for improvements to libraries related to new growth anywhere in the unincorporated area. He stated that Park Impact Fees are collected by three separate districts - Central, North, and South, with the amount to be collected estimated to be $3.2 million and the majority of it to be collected in the South District area. The funds must be used for park projects and spent in the district in which they were collected. He stated that the Pari-Mutuel Fund, which contains funds that the Board borrowed for park related projects, had a balance of $3.8 million, however, noted that the land purchases for the PEAR Park and the NE Park amounted to $1.7 million, leaving a balance of $2.1 million in said fund. He stated that, between the impact fees and the Pari-Mutuel Fund, the County has available for park related projects over the next five years an estimated $5.3 million. He stated that the tourist tax funds, which the County used to purchase the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park property, in the amount of $660,858, will be repaid, however, noted that said funds have to be spent to promote or advertise tourism, or for tourism related projects, such as acquire/build/maintain convention centers, stadiums, museums, etc. He stated that sales tax, in the amount of approximately $1.3 million, which the Public Works Director, Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., used to balance Fund 301, has been paid back. He stated that, with regard to Non-Restricted Use Funds, the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park has a balance of approximately $1.7 million; estimated revenue from additional lot sales is approximately $6.7 million; and $500,000 has been held back from that fund for other projects or improvements that may be needed, giving the County an additional $7.9 million that can be used for whatever projects the Board desires. He stated that there is currently approximately $18.9 million in various funds, some restricted and some non-restricted, that can be used to carry forward projects at the Board’s direction and discretion.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved for the $660,858 borrowed from the Tourist Development Council to purchase the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park property to be paid back.
It was noted that said funds were borrowed approximately 15 years ago, however, were being paid back to the Tourist Development Council interest free.
Commr. Hanson questioned how many acres were left at the Commerce Park that have not been sold and was informed that there were approximately 175, some under contract and some not. She then questioned whether there would be an interest in looking at any of said acreage for an annex, due to the fact that said property is pretty centrally located, as opposed to purchasing property somewhere else in the County for the annex.
Mr. Neron stated that, if the County were to purchase the property at $50,000 per acre, which is the current asking price, just for a 35 acre site, it would amount to approximately $1.8 million.
Commr. Pool interjected that 100 acres of said property was originally set aside for the Fairgrounds; however, he felt it was a good move on the part of the County to turn the property into a commerce park, rather than use it for the Fairgrounds.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the County has talked about having a park in the northeast part of the County, as well as doing something in the Mt. Plymouth area, and the way that the pari-mutuel money is divided up, there are still some funds left for the purchase of land. He stated that he felt the non-restricted funds alluded to earlier might be a revenue source for getting those parks constructed. He stated that the County could probably use some of it for the shortfall in funds for the Fairgrounds, as well.
Mr. Neron interjected that he felt the $660,858 being paid back to the Tourist Development Council could be used for future improvements to the Fairgrounds, because of its economic development and tourism benefit.
Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that his office has been asked to get more involved with property acquisition for the County; therefore, he and his Legal Office Administrator, Ms. Quinnette Durkin, have compiled a list of all county owned properties, in cooperation with GIS, and will now add leased properties to that list, as well. He stated that, with the Board’s approval, he would like to upgrade Ms. Durkin’s position and put her in charge of property acquisition and make his half-time administrative position into a full-time administrative position, to replace Ms. Durkin’s position. He stated that the estimated cost to make said change would be less than $20,000 per year.
Mr. Neron stated that staff wholeheartedly supports that effort, noting that it will be a great benefit to the County.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County needs to focus on property acquisition and she appreciated having someone on staff dedicated to doing it.
A motion was made by Commr. Cadwell that the Board direct staff to move forward with the development of the Northeast Lake County Park, to be paid for out of the non-restricted funds alluded to earlier, and come back to the Board with a park plan and estimated cost for said park, identifying that source as the revenue source for the park.
Commr. Hanson asked that Commr. Cadwell amend his motion to set aside part of said funds for projects to be identified at a later date for District 4.
Commr. Cadwell agreed to said amendment.
Commr. Hanson then seconded the motion.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.
Commr. Stivender noted, for the record, that she has been fighting for the last four years to get the County to repay the $660,858 that they borrowed from the Tourist Development Council to purchase the property at the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park and it has finally been done, so she was going to pat herself on the back.
TRANSPORTATION DISADVANTAGED REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
Mr. Neron, County Manager, informed the Board that this issue is one that the Board has been working on with staff for as long as he has been on board. He stated that, in working with the County Attorney’s Office and a host of other people, staff has prepared a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Transportation Disadvantaged Program provider, to give staff some options that they will bring back to the Board after the first of the year. He stated that it is a turn key type of project, where the provider will be expected to do maintenance, administration, and actual provision of the services. He thanked staff for all the hard work they put into this project.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board authorized the County Manager to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Transportation Operator for the Lake County Transportation Disadvantaged Program, for the purpose of seeking vendors to provide transportation services, on behalf of Lake County, as the Community Transportation Coordinator to the County’s transportation disadvantaged population.
PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION ON MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING
Mr. Neron, County Manager, stated that, at the Final Budget public hearing, the Board asked staff to put together some comparative information on the cost, per capita, for mental health services in surrounding counties. He stated that Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, working with the Budget Office, and Mr. Jon Cherry, President/CEO, LifeStream Behavioral Center, and his staff put together a chart (contained in the Board’s backup material) containing said information, which he noted reflects the additional $300,000 that the Board approved at the Final Budget public hearing.
Mr. Cherry referred to a handout that his office had prepared, for the Board’s perusal, containing information and statistics about mental health, which he reviewed, as follows:
• More than 54 million Americans, or 20% of the population, have a mental disorder in any given year, although fewer than 8 million seek treatment.
• Approximately 15% of all adults who have a mental illness in any given year also experience co-occurring substance abuse disorder, which complicates treatment.
• One in five children have a diagnosable mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder and up to one in ten may suffer from a serious emotional disturbance. 70% of children, however, do not receive mental health services.
• 20% of youths in juvenile justice facilities have a serious emotional disturbance and most have a diagnosable mental disorder. Up to an additional 30% of youth in these facilities have substance abuse disorders, or co-occurring substance abuse disorders.
• Late life depression affects about 6 million adults, but only 10% ever receive treatment.
• Among adults age 55 and older, 11.4% meet the criteria for having an anxiety disorder.
• Older Americans are more likely to commit suicide than any other age group. Although they constitute only 13% of the U.S. population, individuals age 65 and older account for 20% of all suicides.
• Nearly one-third of the nation’s estimated 600,000 homeless individuals are believed to be adults with severe mental illness.
• More than 1 in 14 jail inmates has a mental illness.
Mr. Cherry stated that, according to the World Health Organization, the number one disease is heart disease, but right behind it is mental illness. He stated that, in 1997, the United States spent more than $1 trillion on health care, including $71 billion on treating mental illnesses, so, even though the burden of disease, due to mental illness, is over 15%, the spending of health care dollars on mental illness is only 7%. He stated that the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, titled Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America, is a 100 page report. He stated that there were several goals that came out of that Commission, which the President has indicated he wants to see achieved during his second term in office. He stated that there are many public policy issues that come out of that report, concerning service delivery, workforce, and alignment of funding and services.
Mr. Cherry informed the Board that LifeStream Behavioral Services is a private non-profit organization, governed by a community Board of Directors, and that he had provided the Board with a list of the members of said Board, as well as a list of the programs that LifeStream provides, noting that they provide almost $36 million in services, with the core of their work being inpatient services. He stated that they also provide residential services, day treatment for adults and children, outpatient care programs, case management, an assertive community treatment team, and prevention/intervention.
LifeStream implemented the following new services over the past three years:
• Crisis Stabilization Unit for Children and Adults (16 beds)
• Adult Substance Abuse Residential Facility (12 beds)
• Adolescent Substance Abuse Residential Facility (12 beds)
• Foster Care Residential Home at Turning Point Ranch (12 beds)
• Assertive Community Treatment Team (13 FTE)
• Child Welfare Case Management Services (50 FTE)
• School Readiness/Daycare Services for Children (15 FTE)
• Onsite Counseling Services for Children (16 FTE)
New services that were implemented for Fiscal Year 2005 are as follows:
• Therapeutic Foster Homes (2 six bed homes)
• Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) for Children (12 beds)
• Crisis Response Team (for child welfare families)
Major issues for the future are as follows:
• Mentally Ill in the Corrections System
• Medicaid/Medicare Dual Eligible Pharmaceuticals
• Elimination of Long-Term State Psychiatric Hospitals
• Increasing Geriatric Population
• Ability to Attract and Retain Quality Staff
• Capitation of Medicaid Behavioral Health Benefits
• Disjointed System of Funding
Commr. Stivender questioned how the County could help LifeStream get issues straightened out to where they could receive needed funding and was informed by Mr. Cherry that he felt the County and LifeStream just needed to continue working together. He stated that they appreciate tremendously what the County has done, thus far, in bringing the funding into line to where they believe it should be. He stated that, in his opinion, LifeStream is equitably funded by the County, however, noted that the Board could help them with the State and Federal governments, in addressing the fact that the mentally ill in the corrections system is actually a local issue. He briefly touched on the need for a task force, substance abuse and mental health courts, and the issue of pharmaceuticals and whether people will be able to afford to get their prescriptions filled and stay on the medications they need to be able to function in the community. He stated that it is a huge issue that they are trying to address at the Federal level, noting that, if it does not get addressed, it is going to come back to all the local communities and is going to be a huge issue for the County.
Mr. Cherry discussed the capitation of Medicaid behavioral health benefits, noting that everything is going to the capitation of managed care. He stated that the State has gotten serious about it and is going to capitate all of the services that LifeStream provides. He stated that the proposal goes out February 1, 2005 from the State and they will be bidding on it, at which time he discussed how it will affect LifeStream’s services. He stated that it will be implemented July 1, 2005, and they are looking at a $600,000 to $800,000 reduction in monies that they have been receiving. He stated that they are going to have to look at their system and do whatever they can to adjust to it. He stated that it is a major issue for them, noting that they only receive 5% of the taxing district’s revenue.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board directed the County Manager to move forward with putting together a task force to deal with mental health issues in the County and to bring the details of it back to them at a later date.
FUND RAISING REQUEST FROM FRIENDS OF THE HORTICULTURAL
Ms. Susan Guch, representing the Friends of the Horticultural Learning Center (HLC), addressed the Board and presented a request for approval to proceed with fund raising for the construction and maintenance of an Environmental Education Center in the Discovery Gardens, at which time she distributed two handouts pertaining to the Horticultural Learning Center and the Discovery Gardens. She informed the Board that, in 1988, the Discovery Gardens were approved by the Board and the land was dedicated to the HLC, and the budget and plan for the Discovery Gardens were approved on September 20, 1995. She stated that they have slowly moved forward and built the gardens and infrastructure and now have over 20 demonstration gardens. She noted that their program has received a tremendous number of awards. She stated that the building that was included in the 1995 plan is the final thing that they need to have approved, to complete the gardens, which they are estimating will cost approximately $350,000, rather than the $250,000 that was originally estimated. She stated that it is critical to them, because they have anywhere from 500 to 1,000 children go through their program on an annual basis and they do not have the facilities in the Discovery Gardens to accommodate them. She stated that they would like to expand the children’s programs, however, noted that they also have a number of other groups that go through the gardens. She stated that, because they are a demonstration garden, she feels they have gone a long way towards educating Lake County’s citizens in the proper management of their land.
Ms. Guch stated that they have a kickoff event (Blooming BBQ)scheduled for November 20, 2004, at the Discovery Gardens, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., in an effort to try to raise public awareness of the gardens. She noted that there are a lot of people in the County that do not know what they are that they want to reach.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to give the Horticultural Learning Center the same amount of funding that was given to Trout Lake ($60,000), as seed money, and see how the fund raising efforts go.
It was noted that said funds will come out of the non-restricted funds alluded to earlier and that the matter can be brought back to the Board at a later date, if the fund raising efforts are not successful.
Mr. Neron informed the Board that this request involved time sensitive applications for which there were matching funds available. He stated that staff was recommending approval of the request.
FLORIDA RECREATION DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM GRANT
APPLICATIONS FOR TWIN LAKES PARK AND PINE FOREST PARK
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Mr. Bob Stevens, Parks and Recreation, for approval to submit a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) Grant application for a grant request of $150,000, for final development of Twin Lakes Park, in the Bassville Park area; approval to commit $150,000, as matching funds, to support the grant application and approval to provide $300,000 up front project money, for which $150,000 would be reimbursed upon completion, if the grant is awarded to Lake County; approval to add Twin Lakes Park Phase II development to the Five Year Capital Improvement Program, for action within two years; and approval to submit a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) Grant application for a grant of $200,000 for Phase II development of Pine Forest Park, in Pine Lakes; approval to commit $200,000 as matching funds to support this grant and approval to provide $400,000 up front project money, for which $200,000 would be reimbursed, upon completion, if the grant is awarded to Lake County; approval to add Pine Forest Park Phase II development to the Five Year Capital Improvement Program, for action within two years; and approval for the County Manager to forward a letter to the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks, certifying that the Five Year CIP schedule is officially adopted and a funding source indicated.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he feels the Board needs to set aside a couple of hours to talk about recreation and what direction they feel the County needs to be going in, with regard to the Parks and Recreation Program.
Commr. Hill questioned the status of the Final Master Plan for Parks and was informed by Mr. Neron, County Manager, that it is scheduled to go before the Local Planning Agency for final approval and will then be brought before the Board, for approval.
FERNDALE PRESERVE FLORIDA COMMUNITIES TRUST (FCT) GRANT
AGREEMENT MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS
Ms. Cindy Hall, Assistant County Manager, distributed a handout pertaining to the Ferndale Preserve on Lake Apopka Grant Application, noting that staff was requesting approval for the Chairman to sign the Florida Communities Trust Grant contract, for the purchase of the Ferndale Preserve, based on the original price, with staff to come back to the Board at a later date with more specific dollars. She stated that the contract is based on the original estimated purchase price of $2.6 million, with a fiscal impact to the County of $240,500, which is what staff is asking for this date, however, noted that it is likely that the price will be higher. She stated that the County is in the process of obtaining appraisals, but it is expected that the price will be approximately $4.1 million. She stated that, once staff has the actual appraisal price and knows for certain what Florida Communities Trust is willing to support, they will come back to the Board with a request for an additional match in funds, and the Board will have an opportunity at that time to make a decision about what to do. She stated that match money has been set aside and is available in the pari-mutuel fund, but, if the match increases, the County will look to use the $500,000 that has been set aside from the one cent sales tax. She stated that a number of items are included in this contract requiring conditions that would be a part of the park and, although there are potential funding partners for those items, staff does not know what the figures are at this time, therefore, will have to come back to the Board at a later date with said figures. She noted that another item is the environmental lands bond issue and, perhaps, doing some funding for it.
Commr. Pool declared a conflict of interest involving his brother-in-law and abstained from the discussion and vote.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board authorized the Chairman to sign the Florida Communities Trust Grant Contract for the Ferndale Preserve on Lake Apopka, upon review and approval by the County Attorney.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Travis Whigham, President of the Forest Hills Association, addressed the Board regarding the issues of mental health, suggesting that the County might want to look into having a group home for said individuals, like the one in Volusia County, where they work at various jobs around the County and the businesses that hire them receive tax credits and some of the money that is made goes to the group homes; the need to have flood waters removed from the Lake Mack area, enabling the residents to receive help from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and their insurance companies, who will not do anything until the flood waters are removed; and the need for public transportation in some of the rural areas of the County, such as Paisley, Lake Kathryn, Lake Mack, and Pine Lakes, to enable those residents to get back and forth from town and jobs.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
DEBBIE STIVENDER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK