A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JULY 25, 2005
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, July 25, 2005, at 9:00 a.m., in Room 233, Training Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Jennifer Hill, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Debbie Stivender; Welton G. Cadwell; and Robert A. Pool. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioners’ Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Hill called the meeting to order and stated that the Board will have comments from Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, on the proposed budgeted.
COMMENTS ON FY 2006 PROPOSED BUDGET
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that the FY 2006 proposed budget focuses on public safety, transportation, economic development, and community services. The budget is accomplished by a strong growth in revenues; a 20.7% increase in assessments but is tempered by a lag in reimbursements of about $14 million from FEMA. The proposed FY2006 budget is slightly over $359 million but has not yet been revised to reflect carried forward projects. At the direction of the Board, staff decreased the countywide millage earmarked for solid waste by .05 mills; that reduction is partially offset by an additional .03 mills dedicated to the management of the voter approved environmentally sensitive lands program. The total countywide millage is still reduced by .02 mills. Staff has included .1000 mill to cover anticipated debt service for the voter approved environmentally sensitive lands bond issue, which they envision in the April timeframe. The proposed budget includes a number of new positions all responding to the growth of the County, and the citizens needs for County services. Of the 41 new positions, 24 are proposed for Public Safety. She noted that the requested enhancements that were unfunded are large in number and in dollar value. Ms. Hall stated that Ms. Regina Frazier, Director of Budget, is going to give a brief overview of the entire budget and, following that presentation, staff has a number of topics, some are informational in nature, and some of them they are asking for direction. At this time, she turned the presentation over to Ms. Frazier.
TAB 2 – BUDGET OVERVIEW AND DISCUSSION
Ms. Frazier reviewed Tab 2 noting the millage rates, as pointed out by Ms. Hall, a .02 net reduction countywide; stormwater (.5000) and ambulance (EMS) (.5289) millage rates, which remain the same as last year; and .1000 for debt service for the environmentally sensitive lands.
Ms. Frazier presented detailed information on the following during the power point presentation and responded to questions of the Board:
Under discussion of the new positions, Ms. Frazier noted that staff has not fully defined the job description for the Procurement Coordinator.
Ms. Hall explained that staff has not been successful at hiring a Procurement Director, and staff is approaching a second round of interviews in a week or two. The consensus of the Procurement Office is that it really is understaffed and, even though the position is not well defined, they did not want a new director to come on line and be short staffed. Staff has included the position so that, when a Procurement Director is hired, he or she can use that position and round out the staff in that department to the best of their ability. She noted that it is simply a position count but it will be left up to the discretion of the new director.
Mr. Gary Kaiser, Director of Public Safety, addressed questions of the Board and explained that the Animal Control building has the capacity to add more cages and more fencing areas, but they will have to address the ability to house more livestock, because they have run out of space with the latest rabies issue. In regards to leased space, Mr. Kaiser stated that it is an option as long as it can be secured but staff is looking into other options. He noted that there is no contiguous property to Animal Services at the landfill, because of certain restrictions pertaining to the liner.
Ms. Blanche Hardy, Director of Environmental Services, informed the Board that, as of Friday, they found five acres of contiguous property for Animal Services, which will be fenced.
Unfunded Enhancements by Fund
Ms. Frazier noted that detailed information on unfunded enhancements is shown on Pages 24-28 in the big budget book, which reflect about $5.6 million of additional requests that are not currently included in the budget. The information reflects an additional $350,000 for the LifeStream facility; this is a three year plan and staff has included $150,000 in the budget this year, with the $350,000 to be included over the next two years.
Ms. Hall noted that she has talked with LifeStream, and they feel that a three year program for that facility will be fine for them. She also noted that Sheriff Chris Daniels will be coming to speak to the Board on August 2, 2005 about his budget, and he would like to change from having merit increases on October 1, to having them on the anniversary date, and there is an initial cost to do that, about $600,000. He will probably be discussing how to implement this earlier than the following year. When she and the Chairman spoke to him, they had talked about whether it could be delayed a year. It was noted that Sheriff Daniels may want to discuss other issues as well including new positions, and the cost sharing for School Resource Officers (SRO).
Ms. Frazier explained that the Library System Fund includes a Literacy Coordinator, which has been grant funded for the past few years; staff has received word that they will not be getting that grant for next year. The budget reflects that position being eliminated.
Between now and when the Board meets again, the Board directed Ms. Wendy Breeden, Director of Library Services, to present the number of people that went through the Lake County Library System’s literacy programs and information on the success rate of that program.
Projected Growth Comparisons/Revenue
Ms. Frazier referred to a chart in the small budget book that shows Lake County is projecting a 40% increase in growth, in terms of population.
Commr. Hanson addressed the issue of Save Our Homes and, after some discussion, it was noted that staff would get Commr. Hanson revenue information regarding new construction versus re-evaluations, in relation to the Save Our Homes legislation, and staff will determine how much of the $1,613,977,443 (Revaluation of Existing Properties Values) would have been sales, how much of that is actually the reselling of current property versus homes that would be restricted by Save Our Homes, and how that truly impacts the ability for growth to pay for itself.
Unrestricted Reserves – General Fund
Ms. Frazier explained that their minimum goal, per policy, is 10% and, for 2006, staff has included 11.5% which equates to $15.3 million. She noted that, in terms of FEMA, she has actually lowered what she believes the carried forward for the General Fund balance will be. It was noted that staff is going under the presumption that they will get the majority of the $14 million back from FEMA. Ms. Frazier presented additional information on the following noting that the County is meeting its obligations:
Expenses 25.1 M
Reimbursements to date 6.3 M
Pending FEMA approval 14.8 M
Appeals for denied claims Up to 3.2 M
Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that staff has some assurances that FEMA is going to pay the $14 million; the Board made a decision to pick up some of the $3.2 million knowing that they may not get it back because of some of the private communities.
In looking at the $650,000 Reserve for Operations, staff noted that the County has today about $3,900 to last until the end of September.
Ms. Frazier extended her thanks to staff for all of their hard work on the budget book.
Projected Growth Comparisons/Revenue (Continued)
In response to Commr. Hanson’s comments about Save Our Homes, Ms. Hall explained that staff is well aware that the 20% increase they received this year is not something that is going to be happening every year and that this has to be factored in to future plans for the County.
TAB 3 – LIBRARY PRESENTATIONS
A. PARNERSHIP WITH LAKE-SUMTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services, stated that, at two previous Board meetings, they talked about having a joint facility at the Lake-Sumter Community College (LSCC) Library. At that time, LSCC was anticipating building a 35,000 square foot library and, with the County as a partner, it could be between a 70,000 and 80,000 square foot library. At that time, they anticipated the County’s cost to be around $7 million, which would be put in an escrow account with LSCC in January or February this coming year, because LSCC needs to have those funds in hand when they approach the legislature. Since then, staff has talked with LSCC about reducing the size of the County portion of the library to around 25,000 square feet. A meeting with LSCC and UCF and the County has been postponed until some decision is made by the Board as to which direction they want to go.
Ms. Frazier pointed out Tab 3 in the small budget book that showed the possible funding levels, $5 million or $7 million, and the ways the County would fund that level. It was noted that the $5 million is based on the reduction of the square footage.
Ms. Hall stated that last week she and others toured the old Cooper Library facility in Clermont, and it is a facility in great need of renovation and, even if it was renovated, it does not appear that the design of it is amenable to library operations, as they function today. Mr. Darren Gray, Assistant City Manager, City of Clermont, agreed with this assessment of the facility. Mr. Gray did indicate that the City would like to have presence in the downtown area, yet it would be the Board’s decision as to where to locate a library. Mr. Gray did ask that the Board and staff speak to their City Council and talk to them about the County’s library plans in the area. Staff did discuss an option with Mr. Gray, to partner with LSCC and have a small library presence downtown.
Commr. Pool stated that he had asked staff to make sure that the building was not functional or whether it could be refurbished and rejuvenated and, after having it assessed, it seems that the building needs to be demolished. He stated that, even though the existing facility is small, it is providing for most of the downtown presence, and he thinks that a library downtown is important and he supports that concept. He believes that, if they invest in a facility at LSCC, it will be the focal point for South Lake County, but the annex that he envisions is on the same site and, by acquiring the land beside the library for additional parking, for what they consider a “Walgreens” storefront, a 14,000 square foot facility with a nice façade, it could be built for $1.1 to$1.3 million including site improvements. Even though it may not be exactly what the City wants, it would double the presence that is there now; it is a 7,000 square foot facility today. He stated that, with Clermont’s partnership in this investment, in the next three to five years, it might be ideal for a satellite facility, with LSCC as a partner.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, in looking at the whole library system, having two libraries within a mile and a half to two miles from each other does not seem fair to the system. If they commit with LSCC today, there is no understanding that they are doing anything other than what they are doing right now in downtown.
Commr. Pool stated that he recognizes that LSCC is the focal point of what he thinks would be a premier library for South Lake County, and these annexes are important and Cooper Library is important but today he thinks that the LSCC partnership is something they will all be able to look back upon and say that it was a good decision. He certainly supports the $5 million to $7 million funding level. His focal point would be partnering with LSCC for the main facility and, in the next three to five years, they can work on something with the City of Clermont.
Dr. Chuck Mojock, President of LSCC, stated that the discussions they have had show the $5 million would be more than ample; LSCC has about $4.5 million in the project for their capital priority and it is their number one priority when going to the State this year. Because of the County’s interest, they have been able to move that up on their list. In looking at the combined resources, $9 million to $10 million, he thinks they could go to a first class facility and has a lot of ancillary space including meeting space, food service, and a bookstore that would serve them well into the future.
Commr. Hanson noted that several years ago the Board and staff looked at different options of partnering with LSCC; they were not thinking so much Clermont but they were thinking Leesburg, and the thinking then was that, with the technology and ability to tap into the new technology, if they were to partner with LSCC, their choice then was to do the branches out in the community but, as they see over time, the need is still here to have a close partnership with LSCC. Her point is that the need for branch libraries will be less, or at least the sizes will not be as large, so they probably will not need any more branch libraries, but the Board has accomplished what they had intended to do in terms of the library system.
Commr. Cadwell felt that this will be just a branch library that will happen to cohabitate with LSCC, but Commr. Hanson felt that it was going to wind up being a very central library, even though they will have branch libraries.
Commr. Pool explained that Cooper Library has a great close following in the downtown residents, and the City Council at least supports continuing to be there and, even though this is not what he foresees in the next 20 years, he does see some other satellite facility to be built on city property with some partnering at a very reasonable rate. Today he believes that the main focus should be on the big picture, the library partnership with LSCC, and what will benefit the entire area noting the increase in the population base in this area of the County.
After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to commit $5 million for a partnership with LSCC.
Dr. Mojock stated that he really appreciates the Board’s interest in this noting that it will be a great partnership, one they will all be very proud of. He stated that LSCC is looking forward to working with them and that it has been great working with County staff on the preliminary planning. Dr. Mojock presented detailed information about the location of the proposed library and possible access points and noted that, if they have the dollars, and they go to the legislature this session for matching funds and the funds are approved, they will get those funds in July, 2006 and, by starting some of the preliminary planning this year, they will probably be looking at a timeframe of 2008.
Commr. Cadwell wanted to make sure that this item is placed in the Board’s legislative requests.
Dr. Mojock explained that he foresees LSCC being the lead agency, with their committee and the County being involved in the review of proposals.
Ms. Frazier reviewed the financing options for the LSCC library partnership noting that the $5.2 million for Citrus Ridge is funded in the old sales tax dollars. They could move that project into new sales tax pushing out some other projects, with the hopes of good timing, and they could fund this with the old sales tax and, if their projects start to accelerate and move quicker now that they have the new Facilities Director, they may need to revert to the line of credit. If Public Works goes forward with their road projects and pays back the $2.4 million that they borrowed from the facility side, they would have $3.4 million currently in reserves in the new sales tax money that they could use as the preliminary source for Citrus Ridge.
Ms. Hall explained that a couple of years ago, the Board approved a line of credit for $7.5 million for facilities, and $7.5 million for roads. About a month ago, staff came to the Board to use some of the facility money to get the road projects through to the end of this fiscal year, with the understanding that they are moving so rapidly that they may need to come back to the Board in early October and request a line of credit and, if they do that, it would put their reserves back up in the facilities side to a healthy number; however, the facilities are moving rapidly also and they need to make sure they have sufficient funding for them. Staff is not at all planning to slow down any of the projects, but to perhaps advise the Board that they may be looking at using the line of credit to fund one of these projects, so they can accommodate the cash payment that is due to LSCC, and to move forward with the line of credit probably in early October for roads to pay back the facilities. Ms. Hall stated that today they do not necessarily need to determine what dollars need to come from what areas, as long as the Board is aware that the line of credit may be needed to fund the projects that are coming on line; they would have the option of deciding what projects are moving more rapidly and those could be the ones that would be funded by the line of credit; and they could also make use of some of the reserves.
Commr. Stivender asked whether staff would be able to have this information in the next month for the Board, and Ms. Hall indicated that staff would have this available.
It was clarified that the Board was indicating today that they want to give Dr. Mojock $5 million for a library partnership and they will determine a funding source, and it will probably be a combination of the sources, as discussed by Ms. Hall and, as noted in the backup (Tab 3 of the small budget book), and staff will come back with detailed information about the funding of other projects.
TAB 3 - LIBRARY PRESENTATIONS (CONTINUED)
B. DESIGN OPTIONS AND COSTS FOR CITRUS RIDGE LIBRARY
Ms. Hall stated that there had been some discussion about the Board would like to look at a different architectural design for the Citrus Ridge Library. The architects they had hired did this for the Board’s consideration and there are some cost implications. Ms. Hall noted that Mr. Jim Bannon, Facilities Development and Management Director, and Mr. Richard Leblanc, Architect, Facilities Development and Management, are going to discuss the handout provided to the Board.
Commr. Stivender noted that the traditional scheme, as shown in the handout, goes with the development, and she wanted to know the reason why they did not go with that to begin with.
Mr. Leblanc explained that, when they originally started out, the project sort of had a name, Cagan Crossing Library and, at that point, it was decided that it was actually the Lake County Citrus Ridge Library, so they wanted a library that was going to stand out and be an icon for the County in that area.
Commr. Stivender stated that, even though it is not Cagans, it should go with the architectural design within that development and, even though it is not part of the development, it should go with the design.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he was of the assumption that the only changes that the Board wanted to make were the ones that were going to save money; he did not know they wanted a whole new design. He stated that they approved the design, but people started changing their mind when they saw the cost; they never said not to go forward with the design.
Several of the Board members noted that they had indicated at a previous meeting they were not happy with design, and Commr. Hanson pointed out today that she likes the traditional scheme better for that particular setting.
Mr. Leblanc directed the Board’s attention to Page 7 of the handout and pointed out a pink building that sort of terminates at the end of that area and explained that the County library would look similar to that building, because a lot of features from the surrounding buildings were incorporated into that traditional design; it would essentially blend into the environment and not stand out and be the icon that it was intended to be.
Mr. Bannon explained that the goal is to create a civic building that would sit out a little bit more than the rest of the surroundings.
Commr. Stivender felt that they could also do that by the signage on Highway 27 for the County library, and with signage on the front of the building, and in front of the building.
Mr. Leblanc referred to Page 12 of their handout noting the redesign cost impact of $302,000 that includes the redesign fee, additional construction cost, and 2-3 months delay cost.
Mr. Bannon noted that they are almost at 100% with the original design construction documents.
Commr. Stivender stated that she had a concern with the original cost in conjunction with the cost of small items, and just the fact that the design of it was overkill.
Mr. Leblanc stated that, as they move forward and go into bid, they will look at the costs and do some value engineering, if necessary.
Commr. Pool asked, since the documents are where they are today, that they go ahead and bid the project as it now exists and look at any value engineering ideas that may bring this building more into line with the money they want to spend on it.
Mr. Bannon directed the Board’s attention to Page 25 of the handout that reflected Virtual Libraries Size and Cost and noted the typical dollars per square foot, a range of $150 to $180 that is only construction cost as opposed to overall project cost.
Ms. Hall reviewed Page 13 of the handout reflecting the project costs as of 05-20-05 and 07-25-05 and noted that the blue lines are the total costs of the project; some of that has been paid; some of it is not construction like the furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E). As noted, the construction cost was $5.7 million or $4.7 (estimator) as of 05-20-05; if the Board chooses to go with a different design than is currently under way, or the one presented in this package, the figures reflect a Sub-Total construction cost of $5.9 million or $5 million (estimator). The question staff is asking today is whether the Board wants them to continue with the current design or does the Board want them to modify it and, if they modify it, there is about a $300,000 cost implication and 2-3 months time implication.
Commr. Pool stated that he did not think that anybody here wants to see the library be more expensive; that was not the focus and, even though they may not like what they see, they did not want it to be more expensive than what it is today.
In response to Commr. Stivender’s question about the figures being shown for construction and whether this includes everything “to walk in”, Ms. Hall explained that some of the blue line amount has already paid and they are not looking for that amount of money anymore; they are looking for the amount of money called construction. Currently staff has budgeted $5.2 million plus another $500,000 grant, for a total of $5.7 million.
Mr. Bannon noted that staff was asked to look at potentially using the library for an emergency management sub-station, so there would be a dollar amount attached to that, an estimated $100,000.
Commr. Stivender stated that the Board does not want to spend more money. She agrees with Commr. Pool and she has been up front about that to begin with and thinks they need to move forward but she would like to see all of the numbers including furniture, fixtures and all other costs, because she wants to see why it is costing this much to build this library, and she wants staff to include what they have already expended and for what items.
Discussion occurred regarding the library impact fee, which is $192, and Commr. Pool requested that staff find out what other counties are charging as a fee.
Mr. Minkoff noted that it would not cost much to update the entire impact fee study, which can be done by staff. It was noted that the only way to change the fee is by changing the level of service which, by building these libraries, they may be doing that and if they redid the study, it might show an increase.
Ms. Sandy Cagan, Cagan Management Group, Cagan Crossing, asked to address the Board at this time. Ms. Cagan stated that she was here on behalf of herself and her husband Jeff. She stated that this is an important building to their traditional neighborhood development, which they have spent many years designing, and, personally, they prefer the new traditional design, but they do understand the County’s concern about the extra cost. Ms. Cagan stated that they had some informal discussions with both Commr. Hanson and Commr. Stivender, who were both unhappy with the design, and they would be willing to kick in the extra money for the traditional design, and they would respectfully request the County Commissioners to perhaps consider changing the name of the library, even though it would be a County library, to incorporate their name, and their development’s name as well. She stated that the library is a very important component to their town center, and to their entire development.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they went through this design process with their regional partners, and now they are stepping to the plate and are going to help them with the operations, and he questioned whether this would be something that they would need to go back and address with them. He did feel that they need to incorporate “regional” with whatever name they put on the building.
Ms. Hall informed the Board that she talked to the Osceola County Manager this morning who confirmed that they are willing partners in the operational side of the library, and that she and Ms. Breeden are going to meet with representatives in Polk County next week, and they have indicated that they are interested in participating.
After further discussion, Mr. Minkoff noted that staff would have to bring back an agreement from the Cagans about the contribution. They would want to at least get the design money committed now, until they can see the bid price, because they do not know what the bid price is going to be and, if it came in at $10 million, they would probably have to re-evaluate the entire project and change their contract, and then get a contract with the Cagans and quickly bring that back to the Board. At this point, Mr. Minkoff clarified that staff will have to get a change order to the architect’s contract to change the design specs for the Citrus Ridge Library and provide for this additional compensation, and then it will have to come back to the Board and, at the same time, staff will do the agreement with the Cagan’s.
In terms of green building, Mr. Leblanc noted that the certification is not in place, and they are not able to meet that minimum requirement; however, there are many features that do meet those requirements.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., Commr. Hill announced that the Board will take a 15 minute recess.
TAB 3 - LIBRARY PRESENTATIONS (CONTINUED)
B. DESIGN OPTIONS AND COSTS FOR CITRUS RIDGE LIBRARY
Commr. Cadwell stated that, between now and when those agreements come back up for the Citrus Ridge Library, he hopes that the Board will think through the naming of the building, because he does not know if that is good policy, and there are some other things they can do to recognize individuals in that area and, because it is such an important library to the region, he would not be in favor of making it a subdivision library.
Mr. Minkoff noted that he will pull the information he has about what they have done in the past and update it and see if there are others who may have a policy that addresses contributions.
TAB 4 – E-WASTE PROGRAM PROPOSAL
Ms. Blanche Hardy, Director of Environmental Services, explained that the department asked the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for a clarification on their regulations. Due to work by the University of Florida, most electronic waste is a hazardous waste when it is discarded; it fails TCLP, which is the hazardous waste test. There are some exemptions for households similar to the household hazardous waste program exemptions. She noted the following information in her handout material and noted that the two slides in the backup were provided by the FDEP for their information:
· Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) in TVs and Computer Monitors can contain up to 5 pounds of lead.
· More than 40% of the Lead discarded in Florida’s MSW in 2000 is estimated to come from CRTs.
· Not a hazardous waste (solid waste) when reused or recycled.
Ms. Hardy explained that, before staff made a proposal to the Board for this program, they checked with their neighboring counties, and the information shows data about other County Residential Electronics Programs. As shown, for the most part, the programs are free; they are all citizen delivery except for Orange County, which has a bulk pickup on their second trash day every month; both Volusia and Citrus charge; and it all pertains to residential, not commercial. The exemptions that staff is using for their proposal does not exist for commercial industry; they immediately get governed under the hazardous waste regulations, so they cannot use those exemptions for commercial. Ms. Hardy proceeded to discuss the following as presented:
· Electronics are accepted at residential drop-offs and the landfill.
(The Board approved a fee schedule for those materials, about $2 to $13. The haulers are exempted under their contracts from collecting material that would be hazardous. The County has not accepted it for six years.)
· Fees for disposal are charged according to the type electronic device delivered.
· Curb-side collection discontinued because mixing electronic “products” and garbage creates “e-waste”.
The handout material reflects the Lake County Program Cost for the past four years, and Ms. Hardy explained that the projected cost for 2004-2005 is $141,000. The department would like to propose the following program: to continue to accept electronics at the residential drop offs and the landfill; discontinue charging for disposal; haulers will collect TVs and Monitors curb-side as bulk pick up items; small electronics (DVDs, VCRs, Cell Phones, CPUs, etc.) need to be delivered to the residential drop-offs or the landfill. The preliminary cost estimate is projected to be $200,000 for 2005-2006. If the Board approves, staff can stop charging upon approval and work with the County Attorney’s Office to prepare a Resolution. Staff proposes to start the bulk pickup on September 1, 2005; they are asking for a delay, in order to get the information out to the public, and to allow the haulers to prepare to separate those materials, about a months planning time. It was noted that the costs would be coming out of Solid Waste.
Mr. Minkoff explained that, in terms of the whole system, there is an assessment to the unincorporated areas that covers the cost of collection. If the hauler charged the County for picking up these TVs, then it would be included in your assessment cost, as part of your collection service, whereas the city bills by the month, and the city could include it in their collection, or they could charge for it separately but, if there is a cost to it, it is going to be on your assessment. After further discussion, he noted that the County charges an ad valorem tax in the cities as well, part of which goes into the solid waste fund that is used for some of these programs.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Stivender, to approve
Resolution 2005-115 amending the fee schedule for FY 2004-05 relating to the E-Waste Program, to continue to accept electronics at the residential drop offs and the landfill; discontinue charging for disposal; haulers will collect TVs and Monitors curb-side as bulk pick up items; small electronics (DVDs, VCRs, Cell Phones, CPUs, etc.) need to be delivered to the residential drop-offs or the landfill.
Under discussion, Mr. Minkoff noted that the motion will include a revised Resolution that has not been written yet, but staff will write it this afternoon taking that out of the solid waste fee schedule. It was further noted that the charge will be stopped immediately.
Commr. Hill called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Mr. Steve Earls, Director of Office of Information Technology, stated that, being one of the County’s largest employers and users of technology, he knows it is vitally important to them what they do with the computer surplus. For the most part, the County is under a five year technology refresh plan. The County has over 1,200 computers, and they will be replacing approximately 200 to 250 computers each year. Mr. Earls stated that it is important that they dispose of those properly. They have two options, as noted:
Approximately 54 computers are being made available for donation to non-profit educational groups next month. Those which cannot be given away will be sent to e-waste. (The last time they made computers available for donation; they only gave away about 14 computers. The balance of those computers goes back into recycling.)
Approximately 148 computers have been sent to e-waste this year. These computers were not operational, cannibalized, or passed over for reuse.
The Plan –
Space will be made available in the building which is now the Furniture Country Warehouse. Computers that are being retired from County use will be taken to this location and prepared for the donation and e-waste programs. Computers destined for e-waste will be placed on pallets and arrangements will be made for pickup and delivery to the recycling center.
Mr. Earls explained that the staff will determine whether the computer will be available for reuse or recycling. Because recycling legislation is changing and the laws are under constant revision, they are going to be real flexible and will be working with their vendors or computer manufacturers, because they may eventually charge them a price from the time they purchase a computer to disposal.
In response to Commr. Stivender’s question about advertising for a computer giveaway, Mr. Earls explained that the Procurement Office makes those arrangements.
Ms. Frazier explained that the Procurement Office sends out a letter to all of the non-profit educational organizations, and their responses are verified through this department.
It was noted other companies also send out the same type of letter to non-profits.
TAB 5 – CONSERV II DISCUSSION
Commr Hill introduced the following guests, Bob Cadle, Wastewater Division Manager, Public Works Department, City of Orlando, and Gabor (Gabe) Delneky, Projects Manager, Utilities Engineering Division, Orange County.
Mr. Minkoff stated that, at the Board’s request, staff had two appraisals made of the entire Conserv II site, and those were furnished to the Board members a couple of weeks ago. They were very close, in the $10 million to $10.5 million range for the entire piece. To recap, this is about a 265 acre site; 184 acres are usable; and it puts the usable price at a $55,000 to $58,000 per acre. These appraisals are gross and do not take into account the restrictions that Orange County and the City of Orlando would put on them, if they purchase this property. In talking to them, they had indicated that they wanted some restrictions including flowage easements on the wetlands because, as they dispose of effluent, it causes the water level in the wetlands to rise and fall from time to time; they also wanted some restrictions on their sale of the site that, if they ever sold it, they would offer it back to them first, not at a lower price; and they want to be able to control the uses that are placed on the site. Those things would affect the value of it and, if the County got into further discussions with them, they would be asking for a reduction in price from the appraised amount because of those restrictions. They did not give those to the appraisers, because it would be difficult for them to value it, and they wanted to see what the property was worth as a fee simple site total in use. He pointed out that the prices were probably shocking to some of them; they are not shocking to staff because, as they have been trying to find other sites for some of these regional parks, they are seeing this type of pricing throughout the County; in the Mount Plymouth/Sorrento area, the price may even be higher for some parcels and noted that this is a countywide problem. Staff is looking for direction from the Board today. Originally when Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, put this together, it was intended to be used for a park, two or three schools sites, with the possibility of some governmental buildings on a portion of it. In terms of relocation, the road is going to come from the north, and he wants to relocate Hancock Road extension south to Highway 27 at Lake Louisa Road. Staff needs some direction as to whether the Board wants them to talk with Orange County and the City of Orlando.
Commr. Pool stated that he was somewhat shocked at the amounts because he was under the impression that the property would be appraised as it now exists; not at its highest and best use as it may be some day. He does think that Orange County and the City of Orlando would be willing to take a good look at what their use would be for the public park, school sites, and road transportation infrastructure improvements, and he would ask that they would at least allow those two entities to get together and come back with what they believe might be the best of terms, options, opportunities and, as they go forward, to at least give them a dollar figure. He would like to see them having multiple partners between road networking, storm water issues, green space dollars, and the School Board, he is asking for an opportunity to explore these options and come back with some very good terms.
Commr. Stivender stated that she agrees with Commr. Pool and that, since they have already expended the money for the appraisals, they need to at least find out what kind of an agreement they can come up with and what the actual price would be.
Commr. Cadwell stated that there is some value for Orange County to have some control over what happens there, because of some of the operations they still have there, so there is some value to them that needs to come off of that price, and they should at least have those conversations.
Mr. Minkoff pointed out the site on the map and presented detailed information noting that it would work out very well for a park site, and a school site, and Mr. Stivender noted that there are about 90 acres of wetlands, as shown.
Commr. Stivender noted that, in talking with the City of Orlando and Orange County, she would like staff to talk with the School Board, because this has been all along one of their sites for consideration, and she noted that the land is only going to increase in price.
In regards to the actual purchase price, Mr. Delanski noted that Orange County originally purchased the property for $8,000 to $9,000 per acre.
Ms. Hall explained that currently, staff does not have anything actually designated in terms of funding for this item. Staff can look at funding sources such as impact fees, road money, or storm water money, and come back to the Board with a plan, and perhaps they can work with the sellers to have installment payments.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the plan called for three regional parks, and they have the Umatilla site, but he can foresee spending $5 million to $6 million dollars, if they find property for $50,000 to $60,000 an acre.
Commr. Hill explained that the original thought was a government complex or extension, but that does not look like it is justified so they are looking at schools or park at this point and, even though she does not want to get into public industry, she wanted to know if they could perhaps make it an office park and/or commerce area.
In their discussion, Mr. Minkoff noted that they might be amenable to some of those uses but they would be very concerned about people living near the disposal site, because they do not want to get in a situation where people start complaining about what they are doing on the property.
In response to Commr. Stivender’s comments about using this are in 10 to 15 years for a South Lake Annex, Commr. Pool stated that the property needs to be purchased for the park and the school as the goal along with the transportation infrastructure and improvements for that connection to Hancock and Lake Louisa Road. In the future, if there is a spot that can fit an annex, that would be great but, if it is not the right location, then he is not here today pushing for an annex site; he is here today pushing for a park.
Mr. Minkoff summarized the direction by noting that staff is to go forward and have some discussion with Orange County and the City of Orlando about the Conserv II property, and if they get political people involved, to at least be able to involve the Chairman in those discussions and, at the same time, they will talk with the School about their interest and discuss options for funding and partnerships.
BUDGET REQUEST/COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
Mr. Minkoff explained that, at the time the budgets were submitted, staff talked about expanding the administrative portion of the County Attorney’s Office, and they are actually implementing an idea and redoing the front of their office. Now that he has the space, he is asking for three additional staff. The work load, particularly in the last six months, has really increased and Mr. Minkoff noted that he has provided them with some statistics for review, which shows that Lake County is much lower attorney wise when compared to other counties by population or number of attorneys. Mr. Minkoff stated that he has a really good staff and they are doing a great job, so things are going well.
Commr. Stivender referred to the information relating to the goal to use outside counsel as an additional resource, and to handle as much of the litigation in house as possible to keep costs low, and Mr. Minkoff explained that they do try to handle all of the litigation in house except that in Risk Management. They had three eminent domain cases this year, for the first time, and they have handled those themselves but, as the eminent domain cases get bigger, there is no way they can handle 50 or 100 parcels in the office, and the risks are there, like the Winn-Dixie shopping centers and Publix shopping centers that are going to be eminent domain cases, and the dollar values are so high that they really need experts to be involved. They are actually in the process of reviewing proposals from outside eminent domain lawyers to use as a resource for them, and for large cases.
Commr. Pool made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell, to approve to include in the budget the request from the County Attorney for an additional attorney and administrative staff position.
Under discussion, Commr. Hill stated that Mr. Minkoff has done an excellent job and, as noted the office has operated with three attorneys since 1990.
Commr. Hill called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
MUNICIPAL PARKS GRANTS PROGRAM
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, noted that he had presented the Board with material regarding the Parks and Recreation Grant Programs, in response to a letter that came from Jim Myers, Chairman, Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board asking for some additional funds for the recreation program. He pointed out that the first two pages shows every funding source for every program by municipality/organization from October 1993 through June 2005 totaling almost $5 million. The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is the one in question today, and the next page identifies every project since 1993, with the program now totaling $2.5 million out of approved sales tax. The next page is the Lake County Regional Grant Program Summary and is associated with the General Fund and has been ongoing since 1998 (Page 2A); Pages 3 and 4 show Grants Carried Forward/Extensions and Capital Improvement Grant Recommendations FY 2005/2006; Page 4A shows Regional Grant Recommendation FY 2005/2006 and $150,000 being recommended for the City of Mt. Dora.
Mr. Stivender explained that he has discussed the program with Mr. Minkoff, County Attorney, noting that they have been doing the same thing for 12 years, and they have had a request to expand it. The Board is now in the process of getting into its own regional park program, which they adopted and there have been questions about where they want to go with this program. Staff is close to hiring a division director for the parks program, and staff will be working on a five year program to develop their own system and how it is going to marriage with the other entities. Today staff is looking for some direction noting that the Board is ready to continue the program this year but need to know do they use this fund someplace else and do they keep the balance going.
Ms. Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that staff is in the middle of evaluating the grant requests that have come in from the different cities, and those recommendations are going to be coming to the Board very soon. Their thought is that, perhaps this next year, when the new director is on board for Parks and Recreation, staff can spend some time looking at this whole program, perhaps working with the cities and getting input from the Board as to how they would like to handle this in a future year. She stated that the current year grant program has been advertised and changing it for this current year might be problematic for the cities but looking at this next year with a parks and recreation professional on board could be a good way to go.
Commr. Stivender addressed the concerns that had been expressed by the League of Cities, which Ms. Hall explained was part operational when the County gives these grants; they do have restrictions as to any kind of differential pay that is charged between the unincorporated residents and city residents, with Commr. Cadwell and Commr. Stivender expressing that this was good policy.
Commr. Pool stated that he would like to get a breakdown of what percentage, city by city, of County residents that are utilizing the facilities. He explained that it is not equitable that the County gives each community the same dollars when a higher percentage of County residents are impacting the recreation program. He wants to make sure they try in some way to ensure that they generate more dollars for those cities that are providing the largest number of children and opportunities.
Commr. Stivender noted that she served on the Parks and Recreation Board for many years as a Board member, not a Commissioner, and it is up to the municipalities to keep good records if they want money back.
Commr. Hill explained that there was a caveat in the youth recreational funding that, if you took money from the County, you could not charge anybody else; the City of Leesburg chose not to take this funding but to charge unincorporated children to use the facility.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board had originally set up the funding source to try and get support from the majority of the Board, and they agreed to fund it by districts, but it may be time to look at the format. He understands what staff is saying that, if the County is going to get in the recreation business, they need the money to do it, but they are still far away from where they need to be recreation wise and the cities are still the ones providing it.
Commr. Hanson noted that the Board still needs to consider the rural areas.
Commr. Hill clarified the direction of the Board noting that, when they have a director on board, this item will be brought back with some suggestions.
Mr. Stivender stated that the Board will be approving the items for 2005-2006 and, sometime during the budget process this coming year, staff can make some recommendations to the Board based on the data they collect and then they can make decisions for next year.
Commr. Cadwell agreed with Commr. Hanson that they need to protect those rural areas, which is another reason they did it by district, but there are times when there are better projects in another district that would have been better if they had just looked at the list as a whole, so they may need to look at that policy, if they continue it.
It was noted that Ms. Hall will relay today’s discussion to Mr. Myers.
TAB 7 – BOND ISSUANCE PROCESS
INFORMATION ON SELECTION OF UNDERWRITERS
Ms. Hall stated that it is quite likely, within the next budget year, the County will be looking at two different bond issues. One would have to do with the environmentally sensitive land issue that was voted by the citizens. It would be supported by the ad valorem tax, and staff has built into the budget .1000 mill to collect money for the debt service for that bond issue. As they move forward with the facilities, and the approaching construction of some of the facilities, they had also discussed using the half cent sales tax to support a separate bond issue for the construction of those facilities. There are two different types of bond issues, a competitive bid, and a negotiated sale, which Ms. Hall explained at this time. Ms. Hall stated that their financial advisor, Mitchell Owens, RBC Dain Rauscher, has recommended that they use a negotiated sale for both of the bond issues, because they are not a well known name in the bond market. In order to proceed and have the underwriters on board, staff will have to move forward with a RFQ to select underwriters. Ms. Hall stated that it would be prudent for them to proceed with the selection of an underwriting team now, so they will be ready when they move forward with the bond issues. Mr. Owens is prepared to give them a draft of a RFQ for Board. Staff is asking for authorization to proceed with that process now, so they would have their team of underwriters on board.
Commr. Cadwell found that the concept referred to by Ms. Hall is what other counties said worked best for them; to have a RFQ and then a senior manager and co-managers.
Commr. Cadwell made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Pool, to approve for the County Manager to move forward with the selection of an underwriting team.
Under discussion, Ms. Hall explained that staff will work with the financial adviser to come up with the appropriate RFQ to send out for response from interested firms and, if the Board would like to see that, staff can present it to them.
Commr. Cadwell felt that, in the selection process, the Board needs to have some discussion in regards to how they are going to go about that process, and if they want to see all of those firms, or if they want to have a recommendation brought forward. If they want a recommendation brought forward, he felt that they would need a broad scope of folks that will make that recommendation, such as the Clerk’s Office, maybe another constitutional officer, or maybe one of the Board members, but they need to have that discussion, but he clarified that this will not keep staff from moving forward with the RFQ. If the market is such that there will only be four or five, then maybe the Board can make the decision themselves without review by a committee.
Ms. Hall noted that they can make that decision when they get the proposals.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the request for proposals is almost always written so that they do not put the process in it, and it gives them latitude to choose that process.
Ms. Hall noted that staff would come back to the Board for the selection of underwriters for each particular bond issue.
It was noted that Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy, County Finance, would be involved in the process.
Mr. Minkoff noted that they have bond counsel, Nabors Giblin & Nickerson, and also disclosure counsel, Bryant, Miller & Olive, which they obtained last year in preparation of this because these are the other two players, along with the financial adviser and underwriters, in this process.
Commr. Hill called for a vote on a motion, which was carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
TAB 8-A. – FUNDING AVAILABILITY
PARKS IMPACT FEE FUND AND PARI-MUTUEL CAPITAL FUND
Mr. Frazier noted that, under Tab 8, Item A, for information purposes, staff has put together the projections for the Parks Impact Fee Projections for FY 2005-2007. They included $250,000 for the NE Umatilla Park, and $150,000 for Twin Lakes Park (grant match). Staff also provided the breakdown of the Pari-Mutuel Revenue Projections for FY 2005-2007.
Ms. Hall noted that both of these items have been awarded.
TAB 8-B. – OTHER UNFUNDED REQUESTS
MATCH FUNDS FOR PARKS GRANTS
Ms. Hall noted that staff had a request from myregion.org for a three year commitment of $35,000 per year, and staff is asking for direction from the Board as to whether they would like staff to include this in the budget.
Commr. Cadwell explained that he had served on the myregion.org board, and then he asked Commr. Hanson to take his place, and they are really starting to create some work products. He felt it would be prudent to stay involved with them, now that the smart growth alliance and other things are being worked through myregion.org and that they should continue to be a part of it, with Commr. Hanson being in agreement.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to commit $35,000 per year for three years for myregion.org.
Ms. Hall informed the Board that the agenda for August 2, 2005 includes accepting two FRDAP grants, for Twin Lakes and Pine Forest. For Twin Lakes, staff feels they can take impact fees; for Pine Forest there are a couple of options, general fund or pari-mutuel money.
TAB 8-C. – REQUEST FROM SCHOOL BOARD
SCHOOL EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN
Ms. Hall informed the Board that staff has received a request from the School Board for the Board’s support of a grant application to improve and strengthen the School Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plans, which they need to submit today. The County’s support is through their Public Safety Department, to participate on a committee. The other participants on the committee are the School Board, the Health Department, the Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and Mental Health; there is no financial commitment on their part.
Commr. Stivender noted that last year, the County Manager, Bill Neron, signed it without bringing it forth to the Board, and Ms. Hall felt it needed to be brought to them.
On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the request from the School Board for signature of the County Manager on the Partner Certification for Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plans.
OTHER BUSINESS -
REQUEST FROM CITY COUNCIL, CITY OF CLERMONT
As an information item, Ms. Hall noted that staff had a request from a City Council member in Clermont, Rick Goodgame, to set aside funding for some preliminary planning for a field house and national training center.
Commr. Hanson noted that most of the Board members have probably met with Dr. Dot Richardson, and she had mentioned to her the possibility of doing something in conjunction with the administration needs; the County needs offices down there in a 99 year lease or something like that and she was receptive to looking into it.
Commr. Pool believes that Dr. Richardson’s request now is for a large scale field house, and the Council member asked for $50,000 to go to some fund for planning. They are requesting $5 million to $6 million for a facility overall and he suggested that they try to look at some individual in the area that may want to help out because the County really did not have the dollars, and the County has many other needs that are unfunded and he could not see this Board setting aside $50,000 for architectural ideas when they do not have the dollars for the facility.
Ms. Hall informed the Board that staff is continuing discussions with two of the constitutional officers. Staff did not include in the budget two vehicles for the Sheriff’s Department, so they are working on some timing issues. Also James C. Watkins, Clerk, had requested two internal audit positions, and she has talked to him about that request. As noted, staff may be coming back with some additional requests from the constitutional officers.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
Commr. Hill noted that the Economic Development Council (EDC) meets this evening at Mission Inn, at 5:30 p.m.
SEXUAL PREDATOR ORDINANCE
Mr. Minkoff noted that a week ago Friday, staff met with city attorneys and a police chief and discussed the sexual predator issue. There are really three types of ordinances that are going out: one that prohibits predators at shelters; one restricting where predators can live; and one that not only directs where they can live but also where they can be. All of the ordinances being considered or passed by the cities are slightly different from each other, which means different enforcement type issues. The city attorneys believe that the cities would like to have the County take the lead and have a countywide ordinance that would apply to not only the unincorporated area, but within the cities themselves. In following the Board’s direction, he met with the city attorneys and brought back what they would like and, if the Board would like to go forward to the next step, it would be for him to sit down with the Sheriff, since he would have to enforce it.
Commr. Pool stated that he believes that they all want the most stringent requirements possible, but again it is the enforcement of whatever rules are established that is the key, and they need to be very proactive to come up with this type of ordinance, so they need to get the most blended ideas and find the most stringent requirements and then adopt it.
Commr. Cadwell felt that the Board members need to educate themselves about the issue, because there are other ramifications to it. If the cities start passing their own ordinances, and it looks like some of them are going to, then they better look at something that will at least be uniform countywide, otherwise, those islands that they talked about are going to be in the unincorporated area. He wants them to go slow with this and slow the cities down and make sure they are thinking through the entire issue.
Mr. Minkoff explained that some of the ordinance applies to sexual offenders, which is a much bigger class; some of them refer to predators; some of them say only in Florida; some are now including outside of Florida. Because it is a criminal ordinance, if they do end up writing one, they will have to be extremely specific. If the Board wants staff to explore it further, it might be a good idea to get with Sheriff Chris Daniels and perhaps bring something back to the Board.
Commr. Hill stated that the other caveat to the issue is that, if they take the leadership role as a County, and they have a countywide ordinance that affects the cities, they want them to be on board when it is written because but the County will also be the lead agency as far as defense of this ordinance.
Mr. Minkoff explained that, under Article V, when people are charged with violations of County ordinances, they pay a filing fee and, then if the ordinance involves jail time, they have to provide them with a public defender, and they also have to pay the state attorney to prosecute them, or do it them themselves. If the ordinance was challenged, then they would bear that cost as well.
Commr. Hill suggested that they make sure that the legal aspects are addressed and that they are very careful to make sure the Sheriff can enforce the ordinance.
Mr. Minkoff noted that, if it is the direction, then he and the Chairman will meet with Sheriff Chris Daniels and bring this back to them at another meeting.
Commr. Hill wanted people to understand that the Sheriff is doing a very good job enforcing the rules that are currently on the books, and his department monitors this situation very closely, and they are very proactive with their web site and other means.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
JENNIFER HILL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK