A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OCTOBER 11, 2005
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 11, 2005, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, 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.
The Chairman recognized Mr. Jim Myers, City Clerk, City of Eustis, who was present in the audience.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that there was an Addendum No. 1 to the Agenda, containing a request from Employee Services for approval of a property damage settlement.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Request for approval to accept the Drug Free Communities grant, in the amount of $45,000.00, awarded by The Governor's Office of Drug Control to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, to hire a full-time, limited term position; and approval of related budget Resolution No. 2005-163, for a Teen Drug Court.
Request for approval of an offer to settle George Barlow’s claim for property damage, subject to the County Attorney’s review and approval.
Request for approval to advertise changes to the positions designated by Lake County, for inclusion in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) Senior Management Service Class.
Request for approval to advertise proposed Ordinance amending Section 14.11.00, Minor Lot Splits, Family Density Exception, and Agricultural Lot Splits.
Request for approval to award and execute the contract with Robuck, Davis, Kirste & Sahab, P.A., for on-call title search and closing agent services.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA (CONT’D.)
Request for approval of an offer to settle Dan Tuttle’s claim for property damage, subject to the County Attorney’s review and approval.
EDUCATIONAL LABORATORY SAFETY OUTREACH PROGRAM
Ms. Blanche Hardy, Environmental Services Director, addressed the Board and introduced Ms. Debbie Fore, Special Programs, Environmental Services, stating that the County has a very active Educational Laboratory Safety Outreach Program, as well as a radio program that is aired twice per month. She stated that many, many hours are spent with the students around the County, with regard to the Outreach Program, to help the educators and students maintain safe laboratory practices for their regulated materials.
Ms. Fore addressed the Board stating that this program was actually developed in King County, Washington, noting that their laboratories had not been inspected in 12 years, so a lot of problems existed. She stated that the program, known as the L.E.O. Program, is a compliance assistance only program, noting that the County does not dispose of anything for the schools - the School Board already has contractors on board who do that. She stated that the County will only help the school laboratories, by giving them assistance, noting that, when one gets so used to doing things, after a while, they sometimes overlook things. She stated that the County is going to partner with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and back them up, noting that their main goal is safety. She stated that Lake County is participating in a pilot program with DEP - one out of only four counties in the State that is doing so. She stated that there are nine (9) middle schools and seven (7) high schools that are participating in this program, along with both campuses of one college, and the County’s vocational technical center. She stated that they will eventually go into the private schools, but are working with the public schools first. She then gave a slide presentation about the program and answered questions from the Board regarding same.
Ms. Hardy informed the Board that Ms. Fore conducted the laboratory safety check at no cost to the County, other than what was budgeted last fiscal year. She stated that Ms. Fore has done a terrific job with the Educational Laboratory Safety Outreach Program and she was pleased to have her present it to the Board, to show them the type of work that is being done by the County.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
REVISED BCC POLICY REGARDING USE OF BOARD CHAMBERS AND
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that this request pertains to the revised policy regarding use of the Board Chambers and the Training Room (Room 233), in the Administration Building, noting that it sets up a reservation process that combines use of the Training Room and the Chambers into one policy, rather than having two policies. She stated that staff has set the fees for use of said rooms for after hours use through the Fees Resolution, which comes out on an annual basis, so they will not need to do it through the actual policy. She stated that the only other change in the policy is that the County’s Facilities Management and Development Department is requesting a 48 hour notification for anyone who needs assistance with the equipment in either of the two rooms.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved revised BCC Policy LCC-31, regarding use of the Board Chambers and the Training Room (Room 233), in the Administration Building.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether the agreement that the County has with the School Board, regarding use of the Board Chambers, was separate from this policy.
It was noted that staff would check into the matter.
REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY
DONATION OF BLAND PROPERTY FOR FIRE STATION
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the Board had before them a request to accept a donation of property from Mr. William Bland, Jr., Blandford Groves, which is located on CR 448. He stated that the County had started an eminent domain process for property located at the intersection of Shirley Shores and CR 448; however, Mr. Bland owned some property located approximately one mile to the east of said property, which he offered to the County, in place of the original parcel, not wanting to have part of his ranch taken. He stated that the County had the property that was being offered by Mr. Bland evaluated by the Fire Department and the Facilities Management and Development Department, as to its adequacy for a fire station site, and had surveys and environmental work done as well, and it appears to be acceptable as a site for a fire station. He stated that Mr. Bland is willing to donate the property to the County, with the County paying costs that he has accumulated, being attorney fees, in the amount of $8,010.00, and appraisal fees, in the amount of approximately $5,000.00, for a total of approximately $13,000.00, and that the County send him a letter stating that, for the most part, it does not plan to take any additional property from him in the near future. He stated that it is a very generous donation by Mr. Bland and staff was recommending approval of the request.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Attorney for approval to accept a donation of property on CR 448, for a fire station; approval to pay attorney fees; approval to pay appraisal fees; approval of a letter to Mr. William T. Bland, Jr., stating that the County does not plan to take any additional property from him in the near future; and approval to execute all closing documents.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CADWELL – DISTRICT 5
GROWTH MANAGEMENT POLICY GROUP FOR FLORIDA ASSOCIATION
Commr. Cadwell thanked Commr. Hanson for serving as Vice Chairman of the Florida Association of Counties’ (FAC) Growth, Environmental Planning, and Agriculture Policy Committee. He stated that they held their meeting this week and started the process, which they will finalize the end of November or first of December in Martin County. He noted that Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Growth Management Director, and Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Services Director, attended the meeting, as well, which he appreciated. He noted that it was a very productive meeting.
Commr. Hanson concurred, noting that she learned about some things that she knew a little bit about, but now knows a lot more about. She stated that Commr. Cadwell has done an outstanding job and continues to do an outstanding job as President of the Florida Association of Counties. She stated that Lake County is part of the process more than it has probably ever been.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER POOL – DISTRICT 2
BOND ISSUE REGARDING COUNTY ACQUIRING GREEN SPACE
Commr. Pool commented about the bond issue that the County has discussed for acquiring green space, noting that land values are going up throughout Lake County and interest rates are creeping up, as well. He stated that there are different ways to look at this issue and he feels the Board needs to have a worksession, or an opportunity to discuss whether the County wants to try to do it all at one time, or do it on a piece meal approach. He stated that it has been discussed by many people on both sides of the issue, at which time he stated that he feels the more land the County can acquire the sooner, the better it will be, which might mean bonding the entire issue and seeing if there are people in the County that are willing to sell their land, noting that it has to be agreeable on both fronts. He stated that he feels the Board needs to bring the matter forward and try to act on it sooner than later.
Commr. Hanson stated that she appreciated Commr. Pool bringing this issue up, noting that, obviously, the price of land is going to go up and, in some cases, is already up. She stated that she feels it is also important that the County have a strategy in place, before it starts just buying parcels of land. She stated that she feels it is important to look at connectivity of all the lands that the County purchases, whether it is through trails, wildlife corridors, etc. – they all need to fit into a bigger plan for the County. She stated that there could be opportunities for the County to buy all the abandoned rails in the County and then buy properties that somehow fit in with them, which is kind of where the County is currently going.
Commr. Pool stated that he was suggesting that the County hold a workshop and spend time looking at the County and reviewing the options and then go forward.
Commr. Cadwell interjected that, if Commr. Pool was suggesting that a financial workshop be held, it would be alright, but the County has set up a system for the land purchases and has told the citizens that the County is going to have an independent group look at it and bring it forward to the Board. He stated that he does not feel the Board needs to step into their realm.
Commr. Pool stated that he was asking whether the County should prepare and plan for purchasing the land all at one time, or do it incrementally over a three to five year period.
Commr. Cadwell stated that his only concern is that the Board can figure out, financially, what is best to do, but, what the County is doing bond wise now is not going to hold up one piece of property for one day.
Commr. Pool stated that the key is to try to get to the bottom of whether the County is going to try to bond the entire amount at one time and make the acquisitions as many and as large as possible, or whether the County is going to do it incrementally. He stated that he was trying to find out what might be the best idea and how the County should structure it, as it goes forward.
Commr. Hill stated that she felt the Public Lands Acquisition Advisory Council (PLAAC) was going to make that determination.
Commr. Pool stated that the general public needs to know that PLAAC is meeting and that it is a process, noting that people have questioned him about why the County is not going forward. He stated that he was trying to bring to the forefront how it is going and how the County plans to tackle the problem.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that staff has been in close contact with the County’s financial advisor and bond counsel and will be meeting with them soon, within the next couple of weeks. She stated that they will be holding a pre-organizational meeting, to get everyone together at the table who will be participating in not only this bond issue, but an upcoming bond issue for the County’s facilities, noting that the County will probably be issuing those bonds in the Summer of 2006. She stated that the structure of how the bond issue will take place is largely dependent upon what the Board’s desire is for purchasing land. She stated that, if the Board desires to purchase land rapidly, in fairly large quantities, then it would be prudent to issue all the bonds at one time, but, if more of a sequential purchase of land is going to take place over a longer period of time, it might be prudent to divvy up the bond issues in two or three segments. She stated that these are all things that staff will be discussing with the County’s advisors and they will be glad to bring any information back to the Board that the Board desires.
Commr. Hanson stated that, at that time, the Board might want Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Program Manager, to make a presentation to the Board as to where the Public Lands Acquisition Advisory Council, which he chairs, currently is and where they are going. She stated that they have been working very diligently to get that plan together, but it is important not to buy land, without a plan.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he feels Mr. Hansen has a clear understanding of the Board’s wishes for the connectivity that Commr. Hanson alluded to, noting that an acre here and an acre there does not do anything for the County and he feels that PLAAC understands that too.
Commr. Hanson stated that she did feel it was time for staff to bring a report back to the Board regarding the matter.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HANSON – DISTRICT 4
SEPTIC TANK STUDY FOR WEKIVA AREA
Commr. Hanson stated that she would like to place on the Agenda the issue of a septic tank study for the Wekiva area. She stated that Ms. Blanche Hardy, Environmental Services Director, had sent the Board a memorandum about the matter, noting that she had prepared a summary regarding it, for the Board’s perusal. She stated that the request was to ask the Florida Department of Health to do an evaluation analysis and study in Lake County, in the Wekiva area. She stated that the goal is to improve the quality of water at Wekiva Springs and in the Wekiva River and what the County is recommending will do that. She stated that the County needs the benchmark and needs to be able to tell whether whatever is required to be done will actually be effective. She then made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Pool, to place said item on the Agenda.
Under discussion, Commr. Cadwell asked Commr. Hanson to explain to him where they are in the rule making process and whether or not it was going to slow any of it down.
Commr. Hanson stated that she did not feel it was going to slow the process down, but feels that it will give the County a lot better handle on why the Florida Department of Health is recommending what they are to the County. She stated that it is not at all intended to slow the process down, but to give them the facts to work with, which they have always said they wanted. She stated that it will be scientifically based, however, noted that it cannot be scientifically based, if the only data they have is from Manatee or Monroe counties. She stated that they need data from Lake County, as well, noting that there is very, very low density in the Wekiva area. She stated that, if the County is going to ask its residents to pay up to $15,000.00 plus to remove their septic tanks and put in alternative septic tanks, plus maintenance costs, the County needs to make sure that it is warranted and is going to make a difference, noting that she has no problem doing it, if it is going to make a difference.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether an inventory has been done as to how many septic tanks are actually in the Wekiva area, at which time it was noted that there are approximately 19,000 septic tanks in Lake County, approximately 50,000 in Orange County, and approximately 13,000 in Seminole County.
Commr. Hanson interjected that most of the septic tanks on the Lake County side are in Eustis, Mt. Dora, Mt. Plymouth and Sorrento.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion to put this item on the Agenda, which was carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote.
A motion was then made by Commr. Hanson and seconded by Commr. Pool to authorize the Chairman, Commr. Hill, to write a letter to the Florida Department of Health, requesting that a study be conducted in the Lake County Wekiva Study Area, with regard to septic tanks.
Under discussion, Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Chairman mention in the letter the fact that the County does not in any way want to slow the process down, noting that that is what the perception is. He stated that, anymore, anytime anybody questions anything about the Wekiva, they are trying to slow the process down.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County is not looking at slowing it down, but at having all the facts, which she feels they need, before they can truly make a decision.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 1
PRESENTATION FROM DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
REGARDING ISSUE OF CONCURRENCY
Commr. Hill stated that she appreciated everyone attending the meeting that was held on Monday, October 10, 2005, at Lake Receptions, regarding concurrency, noting that she felt it was a very informative meeting, but that it was a lot to digest. She suggested that everyone come to the next workshop ready to work, because that is what it is going to be – a workshop. She stated that the next meeting is scheduled to be held on Friday, October 28, 2005, at 1:00 p.m., however, noted that the location for said meeting has not yet been decided.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 1
SCHEDULING OF FUTURE BOARD MEETINGS
Commr. Hanson suggested that the County Manager, Ms. Cindy Hall, not schedule meetings for the second Tuesday of each month in the future, due to the cost of setting up the meetings and staff’s involvement, unless there is something really heavy that needs to be addressed by the Board.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:35 a.m.
JENNIFER HILL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK