A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
BOARD RETREAT - MONTVERDE
AUGUST 9, 2005
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 9, 2005, at 9:00 a.m., in the Town Council’s Meeting Room, City Hall, Montverde, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Jennifer Hill, Chairman; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; and Robert A. Pool. Commr. Debbie Stivender was not present, due to illness. 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 Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Request for approval and authorization of additional funds of $2,500.00 each ($5,000.00 total), to be incorporated into the Sheriff’s Office SRO II and Technology Improvement Program I for Byrne JAG grant allocations; and authorization for the Chairman to sign the revised letters of support, to be re-submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Request for approval of an Agreement with Sullivan and Bosworth, to assist staff in obtaining Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding for capital and operational costs, for transportation services in the urban areas of the County, at a cost not to exceed $5,000.00.
Request for approval to declare items, as listed, surplus to County needs; authorize the removal of said items from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records; and authorize the Interim Procurement Services Director to sign the vehicle titles.
Request for approval of the recommended Capital Improvement Grant Projects, by the Parks and Recreation Citizen’s Advisory Board, for Fiscal Year 2005/2006, to be funded from Infrastructure Sales Tax dollars; and approval for the Chairman to execute each Agreement, as it is submitted. Approval is based on the budget adoption for Fiscal Year 2005/2006.
Request for approval of the Regional Park Development Grant Projects recommended by the Parks and Recreation Citizen’s Advisory Board for Fiscal Year 2005/2006, to be funded from the Infrastructure Sales Tax dollars; and approval for the Chairman to execute each Agreement, when it is submitted. Approval is based on the budget adoption, as submitted, for Fiscal Year 2005/2006.
Request for approval of the Agreement between Lake County and The Cove at Lady Lake Partners, Ltd., regarding Edwards Road, to facilitate the needed road improvements.
PRESENTATION: BLUEWAYS UPDATE
Ms. Blanche Hardy, Environmental Services Director, presented an update on the County’s Blueways Program, at which time she reviewed a handout that had been distributed to the Board, prior to the meeting, stating that the County has submitted the Florida Uniform Waterway Marker Permit Applications, requesting to install 40 markers at specified GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) locations. She stated that there are four applications, covering approximately 130 miles of waterways (staff actually evaluated in excess of 200 miles of waterways), with eight (8) specified Blueway Runs. She stated that the County submitted an application to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Office of Boating Safety and Waterway Management, on May 24, 2005, which is currently under review by the FWC, the U. S. Coast Guard, and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. She stated that staff is proposing three different types of Blueways Zones: (1) Waterfronts Lake – Short trails in popular areas, with developed waterfronts suitable for casual or novice users; (2) Shorelines Lake – Transitional “day trip” trails in mixed density areas, offering amenities such as refreshments and restrooms; and Wilderness Lake – Remote, undeveloped, and challenging, offering paddle and hike or paddle and remote camping opportunities.
Ms. Hardy stated that the Waterways and Trails are as follows, at which time she displayed aerial maps showing where the various trails begin and end and reviewed a handout containing the names of various federal and state agencies, as well as municipal-local support groups and national support groups, that she noted have been contacted for support and input:
§ St. Johns River Trails
Blue Creek Run, Stagger Mud Lake Run, and St. Francis Dead River Run
§ Golden Triangle Trail
Golden Triangle Run
§ Oklawaha Basin Trails
Lake Griffin Run, Helena’s Run, and Lake Harris Run
§ Palatlakaha Basin Trail
Ms. Hardy stated that a lot of what the County will do, with regard to said agencies and groups, will start after the permit is actually approved. She stated that a vast majority of the people have been contacted, at least informally. She stated that the next steps are to fabricate and install markers, confirm the markers, submit a permit update amending the marker locations (County can add marker locations at that time, should there be an expansion proposed), and continue to develop and complete the Blueways Maps and Brochures.
Commr. Pool questioned whether the markers will identify the name of the lake that one is in, as well as directions to the next lake and what that lake might be.
Ms. Hardy stated that the markers will be very specific. She stated that the County is very limited in the information that they can put on the markers, however, noted that a change is being proposed, so the County may be able to update them and provide more information in the future, but, at the present time, the markers are uniform to the entire State of Florida.
Mr. Greg Mihalic, Economic Development and Tourism Director, addressed the Board stating that he is pleased with where the County is at this point in time, noting that the County has made great strides in identifying its waterway assets and the blueways is part of those waterway assets. He thanked Ms. Hardy and Environmental Services for putting it all together, getting it moving along, and getting the permit approved, as well as all the other partners that are involved in it. He stated that the County has to understand what it has, in order to promote it and have other people come here, as well as have the County’s own residents enjoy it, and the Blueways Program is part of that, to let people know what the County has, so that they can enjoy it. He stated that the County’s Information Outreach Department put together a prototype brochure (distributed to the Board, for their perusal) of the type of run map that will be available, which he noted can be downloaded and printed out. He stated that it will be part of a larger waterways brochure, identifying the waterway assets in the County, to help people enjoy them – letting them know where they can rent a boat, get a tour guide, etc. He stated that the Lake County Water Authority is part of it, at which time he noted that, on August 18, 2005, they are going to conduct a tour of some of the County’s blueways and waterways, which he feels is a tremendous asset, to expose people in a way where they can go out on a tour and feel safe, before they venture out on their own, which is the kind of exposure that the County needs for people to evaluate and enjoy what the County has. He stated that the County really needs for the public to get involved, after the permit is issued, to help evaluate the runs and tell staff what is out there, as far as wildlife, and whether the runs were easy or hard, how long they could go, what they saw, etc. He stated that, once the permit is issued, it will probably be three to six months before the County has printed material to promote the Blueways Program and he noted that the maps will have to be updated on a regular basis, because things change. He stated that he feels it is a very positive program and that the County is moving in the right direction.
Commr. Hanson questioned how Mr. Mihalic is coordinating other events, such as the fishing tournaments, noting that the County spends a lot of money promoting them.
Mr. Mihalic stated that the County hosts over a dozen fishing tournaments throughout the year, but he does not anticipate any conflicts between multiple users in the water, so the County will continue to promote both the fishing tournaments and the Blueways Program.
Commr. Cadwell stated that it was mentioned in both the brochure and the presentation that the Lake County Water Authority is a partner with the County in the Blueways Program, however, noted that their attorney made a public records request, at which time he questioned how that came about, if they are partners with the County.
Mr. Mihalic stated that he could not answer that question, noting that it is not a competitive situation, it is a partnership, and whatever questions are being raised, or whatever issues come up, the County needs to work through them with its partners.
Commr. Hanson stated that, whatever conflicts there may be, the Blueways Program is a very positive thing for the County, so the issues need to be worked out.
Commr. Hill recognized the following individuals, who were present in the audience: Mr. Larry Everly, Sr., Chairman, and Mr. Sean Parks, members of the Lake County Water Authority, as well as its Executive Director, Mr. Mike Perry; Mr. Skip Goerner, Vice Chairman, Harris Chain of Lakes; and Ms. Dottie Keedy, City Administrator, City of Tavares.
Mr. Everly, Chairman, Lake County Water Authority (LCWA), addressed the Board stating that it troubles him to see the LCWA’s name associated with the Blueways Program and to see the program as far along as it is, when they do not know anything about it. He stated that staff was going to discuss the program with the LCWA, but, to date, they have not done so.
Commr. Hill questioned whether it would be acceptable for the County to make a presentation to the LCWA and was informed that it would be.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the County cannot undo what has been done, but he wants to make sure that everybody is on board from this point on, noting that it is too good of a project for everybody not to all be moving together.
Mr. Goerner, Vice Chairman of the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council and Vice President of the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Board stating that neither the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, nor the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council, knew anything about the Blueways Program. He stated that some discussion occurred at the last Council meeting about the fact that there are currently some problems existing with the Blueways application in Alachua County, noting that it seems to be pretty controversial. He stated that the County’s greatest asset is its waterways, at which time he noted that the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council works very hard in obtaining money from the State for the County’s waterways, noting that they were able to obtain $1.3 million this year to put into the waterways. He stated that the LCWA has matched those funds and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) has given the County $1 million, as well. He stated that they all work in partnership, in trying to bring money to Lake County to promote its waterways and economic development, and for them not to be involved in the County’s Blueways Program is a tremendous disappointment to them. He stated that the Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce does not know about the Blueways Program either, noting that one of the biggest questions asked has been what are blueways and what do they mean to the County. He stated that all of these agencies have been left in the dark, with regard to said program.
Commr. Hanson stated that she feels what happened is that the program was such a good idea that it probably moved along a little too fast, but that it was in an effort to get it accomplished. She stated that she did not feel there was ever any intent to leave anybody out, because the County talked about having partners from the beginning. She stated that, maybe the County was looking at getting partners after the permit was obtained. She stated that, to make it work, it is going to require all the partners that the County can get and, hopefully, everybody can move forward from this date. She stated that there has been some very good publicity in the local newspapers, so she is surprised that somebody did not come forward from the different staff levels, saying that they wanted to be a partner and how could they do that. She suggested that everybody move forward from this date and that there be more outreach and education about the program.
Mr. Mihalic stated that there has not been enough information available for them to bring the matter to the Board before now and there was no decision to be made, however, noted that the Blueways Program was discussed with all the Executive Directors of all the Chambers in the County at several meetings.
Ms. Dottie Keedy, City Administrator, City of Tavares, addressed the Board and thanked staff for including the City of Tavares in the planning of the Blueways Program. She stated that she is a kayaker and kayaks all over the State of Florida and the map that is included in the brochure that Mr. Mihalic referred to and distributed to the Board is one of the nicest maps that she has seen. She stated that there are already conflicts, whether the County designates a blueways trail or not, and, as growth occurs, there are going to be more conflicts. She stated that she thinks it is a great project and that the County will see an economic benefit from it.
Mr. Parks, Lake County Water Authority, addressed the Board and thanked them for the Blueways Program presentation this date, noting that the more he learns about the program the more he likes it and looks forward to hearing more about it in the future.
Commr. Hill noted that staff will be making presentations about the program to the various partnerships.
PRESENTATION: STORMWATER UPDATE
Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Program Manager, presented the Board with an update on the Lake County Stormwater Program, at which time he gave a brief history of the program, noting that, in 1997, staff prioritized 252 watersheds in the County, based on the following criteria: Drainage problems, flooding potential, pollution potential, receiving water body, natural wildlife, and population. He stated that, in 1999, the Board approved a Stormwater Assessment MSTU (Municipal Services Taxing Unit) and, in 2001, the County started its first Basin Drainage Inventory and Evaluation, with Lake Griffin being given top priority, in that it was the first to be evaluated. He stated that, to date, the County has completed basin evaluations for Lake Griffin, Lake Apopka, Johns Lake (in cooperation with Orange County and the LCWA), and Lakes Louisa, Minnehaha, and Minneola (Upper Palatlakaha Chain). He stated that they currently have underway Lake Eustis and Silver Lake, Lake Harris and Little Lake Harris, and are getting ready to negotiate a contract for Lakes Dora, Beauclair, and Carlton. He stated that, with the exception of Lake Yale, the County will have completed the Upper Oklawaha Chain. He stated that the reason the County is doing what it is doing is to improve water quality and the way they do it is by hiring contractors and have them locate all outfall and conveyance structures in a basin, take digital photographs, note the attributes of the structures, such as type, size, condition, material(s), etc. He stated that, with regard to contributing basin delineation, they look at current land use, DCIA, areal extent, etc., which is then translated to a GIS (Geographical Information Survey) format. He stated that, from that, they do pollutant load modeling and their target constituent is, primarily, phosphorus. He stated that the modeling results are then reviewed by a multi-agency group, consisting of the SJRWMD, the LCWA, Environmental Services, and Public Works. He stated that they prioritize outfalls for a retrofit conceptual design, where they generally target the greatest phosphorus loads overall, or the per unit area, and start to think about whether to construct and permit and, if they decide that they can, they proceed to a conceptual design, based on a consensus. He stated that, when they get to the conceptual design phase, they look at the following criteria: Potential pollutant load reduction, overall cost, cost per quantity of pollutant removed (e.g. $/lb.), educational opportunities, aesthetics of finished project, future maintenance, and whether the County can permit it, or get an exemption letter, noting that, if the County can get it exempt, it saves quite a bit of money.
Mr. Hansen stated that they have to look at land availability, noting that the program really is a retrofit program. He stated that they go into areas that are high density residential, so they try to approach the property owners, the homeowners association, or whatever kind of Board they have, and try to obtain easements, rather than purchase property. He stated that, unfortunately, land availability could be a limiting factor, in both the design and the ability to construct a project, however, noted that the County has built up such a pool of projects that, if someone says they are not going to give the County an easement, they go on to the next project. He stated that they review projects at 30%, 60%, and 90% design completion, record easements, apply for permits, or get exemption letters, the projects go out for bid, a contractor is selected, and, finally, they get to the construction phase. He stated that some of the projects that have been completed, to date, or are underway, are Haines Creek Park (retention pond and re-contoured ditches, with ditch blocks), Brittany Estates (increased capacity of existing detention pond and installed exfiltration systems), Griffwood (installed exfiltration systems), and Lazy Oaks (installed exfiltration systems). He noted that nine (9) exfiltration systems are being installed at Mid-Florida Lakes, which is probably the biggest project to date. He stated that there are also some projects under design, being Picciola Road (re-contour road side ditches and install ditch blocks), Harbor Oaks (install exfiltration systems), and Lakeside Village (install baffle boxes, install trench drains, re-contour road side ditches, and install underdrain system). He stated that another project is Lake Minneola Shores, formerly known as CR 561A (removed paved ditch bottom and re-contoured ditch, installed ditch blocks and ditch bottom structures for retention and percolation), and the County just had a pre-construction meeting for some projects that are scheduled for the Lake Minnehaha area, being Lakeshore Drive, south of Amber Lane (construct trench drain, install exfiltration system, and construct swale); Lakeshore Drive, at Anderson Hill (construct curb and flume and install exfiltration system); and Lakeshore Drive, at Sunset Drive (construct series of swales and create ditch blocks for retention and percolation). He stated that they have also visited Lake Apopka and Johns Lake and are looking at potential retrofit projects from basin evaluations, which are in the conceptual design stage. He stated that a couple of additional projects are in the Lake Dora area, being Lakeshore Drive (upgraded stormwater management system and constructed wet detention pond) and Lake Dora Avenue (replaced failed corrugated metal pipes through a yard with a single reinforced concrete pipe and installed three CDS (continuous deflector separation) units, for water quality improvement).
Mr. Hansen stated that, in the Lake Mack area, they are doing an evaluation to determine ways to mitigate episodes of periodic, localized flooding. He stated that the County has acquired one of the flood-prone properties and is in the process of obtaining finished floor evaluations of 83 residences that are considered the most vulnerable. He stated that Lake Mack has presented a unique situation, in that a lot of the area is not considered to be in the flood plain, but there are small depressions that are holding water. He noted that the County is very active in the Lake Mack area. He stated that the Wolf Branch Sink area, which is a very sensitive area, was evaluated, to identify drainage issues that may ultimately impact the sink, which is a direct conduit to the Floridan aquifer, noting that staff is looking at ways to mitigate any potential effects of, not only stormwater, but a traffic incident that may occur, causing a spillage. He stated that the County has replaced large culverts, essentially bridge crossings, because of age and degraded conditions, on Lake Nellie Road, Dwights Road, Maggie Jones Road, and Green Swamp Road. He stated that they are working with thirteen other stake holders, to satisfy the Wekiva Study Area Stormwater Management Master Plan legislation, noting that the St. Johns River Water Management District has taken the lead on it, facilitating the meetings. He stated that a consultant has been gathering information for the better part of six to eight months, so they should be able to meet the January deadline for the master plan.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether it included research on nitrogen levels for Wekiva Springs and the Wekiva River Basin.
Mr. Hansen stated that it did not, noting that the County is concentrating on stormwater. He stated that the regional approach is for what is occurring now in the Wekiva Basin and what is planned to occur in the Wekiva Basin, noting that it is a data gathering sort of thing.
Commr. Hanson stated that her concern is the septic tanks in the area, noting that the Wekiva Commission has said that it is going to reduce the levels of nitrogen. She stated that others have done research on the matter, but she is not sure if it was specifically for Lake County, and, if the County does not have that information, she feels the Wekiva Commission will continue to place regulations on it that may or may not work, or may or may not be needed.
Mr. Hansen stated that the County is also working on TMDL (total maximum daily load), noting that staff was appointed by the Board to represent the County on the Basin Working Group. He stated that they are at the point now where they are looking at future levels and how to calculate them, noting that the whole idea is to develop a Basin Management Action Plan, to satisfy TMDL requirements, which should be done by January of 2006. He stated that the County is a partner in financially sponsoring the Watershed Action Volunteer Program (WAV) with the Lake County Water Authority and the cities of Eustis and Lady Lake, which participates in stormwater issues, in support of the County’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) MS4 permit that it obtained last year. He stated that staff is very excited about its new Floodplain GIS Project, which is an “automated” floodplain delineations and determinations application, which, hopefully, the County will have the ability to take “on-line” in the future.
Commr. Hanson stated that the work that has been done is pretty impressive, but she feels staff needs to do a better job of letting the public know that the County is not just talking about stormwater, but is doing something about it. She suggested that they work with Information Outreach, in getting the word out.
Commr. Pool questioned whether the LCWA was going to help the County financially, for what it is accomplishing, noting that many of the projects benefit cities that the LCWA taxes.
Mr. Mike Perry, Executive Director, Lake County Water Authority, addressed the Board stating that the LCWA is pleased to be able to partner with the local governments, noting that they set money aside each year in their budget to try to do that cooperative effort, but have not been able to distribute those funds. He stated that, for whatever reason, there have not been enough projects for them to be able to provide that assistance.
Commr. Pool questioned whether the County could make application for said dollars and was informed that staff had already done so.
Commr. Hanson stated that the LCWA might be a more appropriate agency to undergo an intense study of the Wekiva River Basin for nitrogen levels, rather than stormwater.
Mr. Everly readdressed the Board stating that they needed to keep in mind the fact that the County collects more money for stormwater than the LCWA does, noting that the LCWA has lowered its taxes for the past three and a half to four years and are now at .31 mills, where the County is at .5 mills. He stated that they keep lowering their taxes, but doing more. He stated that the County collects approximately $4 million from the taxpayers for stormwater and he does not feel they need to spend that much money to study septic tanks.
Commr. Hanson interjected that it is not necessarily to study septic tanks, but the water quality at the spring level and at the river level, because that is really what the County is looking at trying to protect. She stated that they need to have the right answers, before moving forward.
Mr. Hansen informed the Board that they had been provided with a handout, “Lake County Department of Public Works Estimated Stormwater Expenditures for Fiscal Years 2006-2008”, for their perusal, which contains information pertaining to the costs involved for evaluating, designing, and constructing stormwater projects.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a ten minute recess.
PRESENTATION: PUBLIC SAFETY UPDATE
Mr. Gary Kaiser, Public Safety Director, gave the Board an update on the Department of Public Safety’s Fire Rescue Division, at which time he reviewed a handout that had been distributed to the Board prior to the meeting. He gave a brief background review of what has occurred, to date, noting that the Board adopted the Fire Rescue strategy and established the level of service public policy in September of 2004, with a five minute average response time in the urban areas and a ten minute average response time in the rural areas of the County. He stated that, in June of 2005, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) informed the Board of the County’s class 6/9 rating for public fire protection. He stated that, in July of 2005, the Board approved the SAFER Grant application for an additional 18 firefighters, and the Joint Agency Interoperability Radio Communication Evaluation has been done and the County has applied for additional funds from the COPS grant. He reviewed the Fire Rescue Division’s current situation, as follows:
§ 21 stations covering 1,200 square miles
§ 14 stations staffed by career firefighters
§ 7 stations staffed by volunteer firefighters
§ 1 new station – Lake Jem (staffed)
§ 1 relocation station – Minneola
§ 2 deficient response areas: Paisley and U.S. 27/CR 19
§ Mt. Dora and Bassville stations beyond “useful life”
§ Daily station staffing – two personnel, with three assigned at two special OPS stations
§ Water tankers not staffed (6 units), requiring reduction of fire engine staffing to one person
§ Unit staffing is below most neighboring cities and counties
§ Emergency radio communications comprised and intermittent
§ Signal penetration and reliable on-scene communications experiencing problems – tower sites, antenna heights, and overlap coverage gaps
Mr. Kaiser stated that some corrective actions that his department is taking are as follows:
§ Two additional stations to meet LOS standard in Paisley and U.S. 27/CR 19 response areas
§ Replace Mt. Dora and Bassville fire stations over two year period
Staffing (Boots on the Ground)
§ Employ 18 additional career firefighters through SAFER Grant funding
§ Staff water tankers (six each) at strategically assigned stations
§ Above additional firefighters increases the daily average staffing, as recommended by ISO
§ Promote and seek out public/private partnerships for co-locating radio tower and antennas
§ Support and promote collaborative efforts with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake-Sumter EMS
§ Apply for COPS grant funding to make the following system improvements:
1. Full Four-Corners site
2. Astor upgrade to four channels
3. Convert Astor site to a full site
Mr. Kaiser reviewed the Impact Statement for the Fire Rescue Division, as follows:
§ 13,900+ calls for service (CFS) answered by Fire Rescue last year
§ 6% historical annual CFS growth
§ CFS every 37 minutes of Fire Rescue’s 24/7 operation (on average)
§ Population growth rate at 29% since the Year 2000
§ 4.9% annual population growth rate, according to Growth Management Department
Fire Insurance Premiums
§ Direct relationship ISO classification
§ Fire Protection – ONLY government service where improved capacity can result in savings to taxpayers – reduced property insurance premiums
§ Significantly improved response times within LOS standard – Paisley and US27/CR 19
§ Complies with ISO recommendations and provides additional credit for station distribution
§ Positive move towards compliance with NFPA 1710 over time
§ Fire Rescue labor intensive and inherently high risk occupation
§ Industry studies have attributed higher efficiency and effectiveness with fewer injuries, less severe injuries, and reduced loss work time, when unit staffing is increased
§ Water tanker deployment without delay or adversely impacting fire engine staffing
§ Effective/reliable radio communications is FUNDAMENTAL to command and control
§ Improved emergency scene safety for responding personnel
§ Liability exposure
Mr. Kaiser reviewed Project Costs and Timing, with regard to Fire Stations, as follows:
NEW Paisley and US 27/CR 19 Sites
§ $2,800,000 funded by Impact Fees
§ Timeline: 2005-06
REPLACEMENT – Mt. Dora and Bassville
§ $2,800,000 funded by Impact Fees
§ Timeline: 2005-07 (spread over 2 years)
Staffing – SAFER Grant
§ 18 Firefighters over a 5-year Cost Share Project
§ Total project costs: $4.4 million
§ SAFER $1.8 million and Fire Rescue $2.6 million
§ Timeline: 2005-10
Communications – COPS Grant
Four-Corners Full Site, Four Channel Astor Upgrade, and Full Site at Astor
§ Total Project Costs: $781,044
§ COPS Share - $585,783
§ County Share - $195,261 (Agency Funds)
§ Timeline: 2005-06 Cumulative Savings: $2,385,000
At this time, Mr. Kaiser reviewed Staffing, Fire Station, Fleet, and Communication Enhancements, as follows:
§ Changed ration of Chief Officers to Firefighters from 1 to 10, in 2003, to 1 to 19, in 2005
§ Created two Fire Captain positions, by elimination of three District Chief positions
§ Created Fire Marshal/Fire Investigator position and Administrative Assistant, by elimination of the Planning and Development Executive Coordinator position
§ Created Accounting Technician position, by elimination of the Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor position
§ Created Lieutenant/Fire Inspector position, by elimination of a Fire Captain position
§ Created regular/part-time Professional Standards Manager position
§ Hired ten Firefighters in 2004/05 (1 additional Firefighter, to even out personnel on one shift)
§ Career staffed Fire Station No. 72 (Grand Island) with six Firefighters
§ Added Advanced Life Support (ALS) to Fire Stations No. 72 (Grand Island) and 82 (Leesburg)
Fire Station Enhancements
§ Replaced flooring at Fire Stations No. 14, 15, and 39
§ Remodeled facility (Leesburg), to provide administrative space for Battalion Chiefs and Fire Marshal/Investigator
§ Remodeled Fire Station No. 21 (Sorrento/Lake Norris)
§ Generator-ready facilities: Fire Stations No. 14 (Altoona), 15 (Pine Lakes), 19 (Umatilla), 21 (Sorrento/Lake Norris), 52 (Lady Lake), 53 (Fruitland Park), 82 (Leesburg), 90 (Minneola), 110 (Clermont), 111 (Bay Lake), Battalion Chiefs (Leesburg), and Supply (Dona Vista)
§ Installing lift stations at Fire Stations No. 52 (Lady Lake) and 82 (Leesburg)
§ Replaced kitchen cabinets in Fire Stations No. 21 (Sorrento/Lake Norris), 52 (Lady Lake), 72 (Grand Island), and 109 (Clermont)
§ Minor remodeling at Fire Stations No. 27 (Mount Dora) and 112 (Four Corners), to accommodate Lake-Sumter EMS
§ Re-roofed Fire Station No. 109 (Clermont)
§ Repainted exterior of Fire Station No. 110 (Clermont)
§ Disposed of four (4) 1997 full size Chevrolet (SUV’s)
§ Disposed of one (1) 2-1/2 ton military surplus cargo truck
§ Disposed of one (1) 5 ton military surplus cargo truck
§ Disposed of two (2) 2-1/2 ton 6 x 6 military surplus trucks
§ Disposed of one (1) 5 ton military surplus tow truck
§ Disposed of two (2) military surplus woods trucks
§ Donated one (1) tanker/pumper to Bahamas
§ Refurbished two (2) pumpers
§ Placed into service one (1) new pumper
§ Placed into service five (5) new tanker/pumpers
§ Two (2) additional tankers to be delivered August, 2005
§ Two (2) quint ladders approved for trade-in for one (1) 100’ aerial platform
§ Placed into service four (4) field command trucks (F-250 pickups)
§ Created within existing budgeted funds $900,000 (level loaded) annual recurring fire apparatus replacement fund
§ Replaced seventy (70) substandard field unit radios
§ Replaced fourteen (14) substandard station base units
§ Replaced twenty-five (25) substandard mobile unit radios
§ Placed into service three (3) Stat Alert Modems (Firefighter down alarms)
Received $781,044 COPS grant, for improvements to the ‘Astor’ and ‘Four Corners’ radio coverage areas – requires 25% match of $195,261
Mr. Kaiser reviewed Automatic Aid/First Response Agreements for the Fire Rescue Division, as follows:
§ City of Leesburg – Modified 1st Response
§ City of Clermont – Modified 1st Response
§ City of Mount Dora – Modified 1st Response
§ City of Minneola – Modified 1st Response
§ Orange County – Full 1st Response
§ Marion County – Full 1st Response
§ Sumter County – Modified 1st Response
Mr. Kaiser then reviewed Management Improvements and Collaborative Initiatives, as well as where additional personnel provided by funding from the SAFER grant would be placed, as follows:
§ Chief Officers encouraged to invest a minimum of 40% of their time in the field to observe operations and improve communication
§ Bi-weekly updates are issued by the Assistant Chief of Operations, to keep the troops informed
§ Established Operations Group, to function jointly with cities, to address operational problems and opportunities at the field level
§ Established position of Interagency Resource Coordinator, to facilitate closer working relationships with the Sheriff’s Office and other Public Safety agencies, with the goal of conducting actual field exercises that test/improve cooperation/coordination on a continuing basis
§ Aggressively pursuing joint fire apparatus and Public Works maintenance facility, to be co-located and expandable, to accommodate Lake-Sumter EMS, if desired
§ Dramatically increased participation in the Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF) and now field a Type IV Emergency Response team
FS No. Location Staffing SAFER Grant
10* Astor 2 Personnel 1 Personnel
14 Altoona 2 Personnel
15* Eustis 2 Personnel 1 Personnel
27 Eustis 2 Personnel
39 Sorrento 2 Personnel
52 Lady Lake 2 Personnel 1 Personnel
53 Fruitland Park 2 Personnel
71 Leesburg 2 Personnel 1 Personnel
72* Leesburg 2 Personnel
76 ¹ Yalaha 3 Personnel
82* Leesburg 2 Personnel 1 Personnel
90 Minneola 2 Personnel
109 Clermont 2 Personnel 1 Personnel
112* Clermont 3 Personnel
Minimum Staffing: 2 Personnel
Overhire Staffing: 6 Personnel per shift
* Advanced Life Support (ALS) Station
¹ Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) Station
Mr. Kaiser reviewed maps contained in the handout showing the location of the various fire stations in the County and which ones are staffed, which ones are run by volunteers, which ones are being proposed, and which ones are being proposed to be relocated, as well as their fire response times, traveling at 55 mph.
Commr. Pool questioned the moral of the firefighters, at which time Mr. John Jolliff, Deputy Chief, Fire Rescue Division, Public Safety, addressed the Board stating that the moral is very high among the firefighters. He stated that a couple of years ago his department had trouble filling six positions, however, noted that they just did a recruitment, in getting ready for October, and received over 90 applications from people wanting to be firefighters in Lake County, and some want to leave other counties to do so.
Commr. Hanson stated that it is enough of a success story that the County needs to let the public know more about it.
SALARY SURVEY FOR THE COUNTY MANAGER AND COUNTY ATTORNEY
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that he included all the positions in his office in the survey that they requested and the reason he did so was due to the fact that Attorneys 1, 2, and 3 in his office are being paid very well, when compared to the other counties in the survey, but, with regard to the Deputy County Attorney’s position, she is the lowest paid, by far, in her group, of the counties that were surveyed. He stated that, if the Board is looking at doing something about the County Attorney’s salary, he would like to include her in that action, as well. He stated that longevity is important and she has been with the County Attorney’s Office for seven years.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he could not emphasize enough the fact that, if one were to look at the market and what other counties are paying and whether the Board values longevity or not, especially with regard to the County Attorney’s Office, it is so important to have somebody that knows the history of the County. He stated that he feels the Board needs to make sure that they have a working environment to where the County Attorney wants to stay, noting that it really matters in the long run, because of decisions that are consistent. He stated that, when the Board has to make a decision and may have to go to court, the County Attorney can look at the history of the County and inform the Board that something was consistently done this way or that. He suggested that Mr. Minkoff bring a recommendation back to the Board, with regard to the salaries of his attorneys, and the Board can discuss his salary and the salary of the County Manager separately.
Commr. Hill stated that she did not want the salary increases to go strictly by population, noting that she feels longevity and service to the County is very important and she wanted that to be factored in, as well.
Commr. Hanson stated that she felt the working relationship between the County Attorney and the County Manager should also be taken into consideration, noting that she feels the County has a good team at the present time and that makes a big difference, too.
It was the consensus of the Board to wait until the Board Meeting scheduled for August 16, 2005, to continue the discussion and make a decision about the amount of increase in their salaries.
REZONING OF SCHOOL SITE
Commr. Hill stated that there were some preliminary discussions at the last Zoning Meeting, with regard to a school site that the School Board is asking to be rezoned, however, noted that she has only had one member of the School Board contact her and request that said case be pulled from the Zoning Agenda and heard separately and that the venue for hearing the case be changed. She stated that the Board has not received any official request from the School Board to do so. She stated that she feels the Board would be setting a new precedent for all zoning cases in the future, if they do it for this one case. She discussed problems associated with the logistics of taping the meeting at another facility, as well.
Commr. Hanson stated that she would be in support of hearing the zoning case in question at a separate venue, however, noted that she would be in favor of starting the meeting at 4:00 p.m., because she predicts it will go on for several hours.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, interjected that, if the Board was planning to move the location of the public hearing for said case, the County would be required to change the date of the hearing, because the scheduled hearing date is only two weeks away. He stated that, if that is what the Board was planning to do, he would like to ask the School Board whether they would object to a different hearing date. He stated that, if they objected to it, the Board would have to go forward with the regular hearing date.
Commr. Pool stated that, to make it more conducive for some people to be there, it might help matters by holding the meeting in the south Lake County area, but, he feels that those people who are interested and concerned will be present at the meeting, regardless of the location. He stated that he felt the meeting should be held in the Board Chambers, in the Administration Building, where all the other Zoning cases are heard. He stated that it has served the Board well and he did not know why they would want to make the case in question any different than any other zoning case.
Commr. Cadwell noted that it was not the School Board that wanted to have the case moved to another venue, it was Commr. Stivender. He stated that, although she was not present at this meeting, the majority of the Board was present and, if they wanted to hear the case in the Board Chambers, they could do so.
It was noted that, at the present time, the zoning case in question is scheduled to be heard two weeks from this date (August 23, 2005), at 9:00 a.m., in the Board Chambers, along with all the other zoning cases.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER (SRO) SITUATION
Commr. Hill informed the Board that she had read an article recently in one of the local newspapers that the School Board is requesting the municipalities and the Sheriff to meet with them, regarding the issue of School Resource Officers, however, noted that she did not see the Board of County Commissioners included in that list. She stated that she would hope and request that the Board be at the table and included in that discussion. She stated that she would be attending a League of Cities’ Luncheon this Friday, August 12, 2005, and would inform them that the Board would like to be included in that discussion. She stated that, financially, the Board has always made a commitment to be involved with children’s safety and they are not going to change that. She stated that she spoke with Ms. Regina Frazier, Budget Director, about the issue and she feels that a request for funding may be brought before the Board during budget time, which is going to involve a financial decision that the Board needs to know about, in order to budget for it. She stated that a program may have to be eliminated, or some funds may have to be shifted around, and, unless the Board is asked to sit at the table and be included in that discussion, they will not know how much to budget.
It was the consensus of the Board for the Chairman to represent them at the table.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER POOL – DISTRICT 2
REMODELING OF AG CENTER GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY
Commr. Pool informed the Board that the groundbreaking ceremony for the remodeling of the Ag Center was held on Monday, August 8, 2005, which he was happy about.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER POOL – DISTRICT 2
SOUTH LAKE TRAIL GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY
Commr. Pool asked the Board to mark their calendars and encouraged them to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the South Lake Trail, scheduled to be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2005, at 9:00 a.m., in an open field located on Old Highway 50, east of the City of Clermont.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HANSON – DISTRICT 4
MOBILE HEALTH CLINIC
Commr. Hanson questioned the status of the mobile health clinic, noting that the County needs to plan some sort of a kick-off ceremony for it.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that the unit is being painted. She stated that she did not know what date it would be finished, but would find out and let the Board know at a later date.
Commr. Hill stated that approval of the new Health Department Director is on the Agenda for the Board Meeting scheduled for August 16, 2005, and suggested that the County wait and have a ceremony for the mobile clinic when said Director is in place, so that the Director could be included in the ceremony.
It was the consensus of the Board to do so.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HANSON – DISTRICT 4
SEPTIC TANKS AND NITROGEN LEVELS IN WEKIVA RIVER BASIN
Commr. Hanson asked the Board to direct staff to develop a position paper, with regard to the issue of septic tanks and nitrogen levels in the Wekiva River, based on the knowledge that the County has today regarding the matter, noting that she feels it will be helpful to the Board. She stated that, if a septic tank fails and needs to be repaired, or a drain field needs to be replaced, the proposed legislation regarding septic tanks will have a major, major financial impact on the citizens of Lake County. She stated that it will not be all at once, because it does not kick in until their system fails, or until they add on to their residences. She stated that she feels, when their septic tanks fail, they are not going to report it, but will replace the drain fields themselves, rather than bring a professional in to do it. She stated that she feels there are other alternatives – things that can be looked at that will work and, perhaps, not cost as much and the County needs to look at what those alternatives are. She stated that she asked the County Attorney to check into the matter, with regard to Tallahassee and their recommendations regarding it, noting that it is her understanding that it will go to a Rule making, but she is not sure just when that is going to come about. She asked that the matter be placed on the Agenda, for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved to place said item on the Agenda.
A motion was made by Commr. Hanson and seconded by Commr. Cadwell to direct staff to prepare a position paper regarding the issue of septic tanks and what the bench marks are in Lake County and whether it will be effective - what the down side is and what the positives are, so that the Board will have some information on the matter and a better understanding of what is being proposed.
Under discussion, Commr. Hill questioned whether that was something that could be done in-house and was informed by staff that they would look into the matter and let the Board know at a later date.
Commr. Cadwell clarified the fact that, in the Rule making process, there is an opportunity for public input.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that Tallahassee may do something different, with regard to said Rule, because of the area involved, however, noted that he would present something to the Board on August 16, 2005, after he has had a chance to check into the matter.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board needs to make sure that they agree with what the Rule says, before going to Tallahassee saying that they want “x” amount of dollars, so that the County can comply with the Rule. He stated that the Board does not want to go to Tallahassee asking for something that does not really need to be done. He stated that he does not want to be opposed to it, if it is the right thing, he just wants somebody to tell him that it is the right thing, and, if it is, then the Board will have to go to work to try to get some funding to help get it done.
Commr. Hanson stated that she would like to know if what is being recommended will significantly reduce the nitrogen levels in the Wekiva River, to the point where the Wekiva Commission says it needs to be.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CADWELL – DISTRICT 5
LAKE COUNTY BLUEWAYS PROGRAM
Commr. Cadwell stated that he appreciated the Lake County Water Authority explaining their frustration with the County’s Blueways Program and making sure that everybody is on the same page; however, he asked them not to take it as any hesitance on the Board’s part to not endorse where the County is going with that project, noting that the Board is very supportive of it and wants the County to move forward with it, but wants everybody to move forward with the County.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CADWELL – DISTRICT 5
DEATH OF FORMER COUNTY COMMISSIONER
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that former Lake County Commissioner Glenn Burhans, who served on the Board of County Commissioners for 18 years, passed away on Monday, August 8, 2005. He noted that a graveside service will be held for the former Commissioner at 11:00 a.m., on Thursday, August 11, 2005, at the Umatilla Cemetery Annex.
REPORTS – COMMISSONER CADWELL – DISTRICT 5
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
Commr. Cadwell stated that there will be a legislative update from the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) on Thursday, August 11, 2005, at 1:30 p.m., in Alachua County, should any of the Commissioners wish to attend.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.
JENNIFER HILL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK