A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

MARCH 20, 2007

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 20, 2007, 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: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Debbie Stivender; Jennifer Hill; Elaine Renick; and Linda Stewart.  Others present were: Sanford A. (Sandy) Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE

Pastor Bob Beaver, Minneola Alliance Church, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

AGENDA UPDATE

Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that she would like to move Tabs 9 and 11 from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda to Departmental Business, for a brief presentation by the Public Works Department.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he had two items that he would like to add to the Agenda, both of which would require a vote – the first being a Proposed Settlement Agreement between Lake County and Frederick Belton and Amerirus, Inc., and the second being an Emergency Ordinance regarding prepayment of impact fees.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place said items on the Agenda.

EMERGENCY ORDINANCE ENTITLED “PREPAYMENT OF IMPACT FEES”

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed Emergency Ordinance on the floor, for its first and final reading, by title only, as follows:

AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; REPEALING SECTION 22-11, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED “PREPAYMENT OF IMPACT FEES”; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE;

PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

Mr. Minkoff informed the Board that the County Manager’s staff recommended to the Impact Fee Committee last week, because of the large increases in impact fees that they were recommending to the Board, that the Board attempt to modify and/or repeal the prepayment of impact fees section of the Code, to avoid a bunch of prepayments coming into the County and subverting the process.  He stated that the proposed Ordinance repeals the section that allows prepayments and directs the County Attorney’s Office to bring back to the Board an Ordinance, for their consideration, re-establishing them with a time limitation.  He stated that the time limitation that was discussed with staff was that, if an individual bought a prepayment certificate today, the individual would have to use it within a year; however, the concern is that, if it is allowed to go for five or six months, the County would end up not collecting the correct amount of impact fees on a bunch of prepayments.  He noted that the Education Impact Fee Report will be coming to them sometime within the next few weeks and the Transportation Impact Fee Report will be given to them at an upcoming MPO Meeting, or an upcoming Board Meeting.  He stated that it will likely be six months before the County will actually increase the fees, including the 90 day statutory requirement before they can go into effect, so anyone who is planning to build within the next six months will be comfortable knowing that they will use the old fee schedule.

Ms. Regina Frazier, Budget Director, addressed the Board stating that, since March 16, 2007, the County has issued nearly $1.9 million in impact fee prepayments, primarily for schools and roads.

Mr. Minkoff interjected that, timing wise, because it is an Emergency Ordinance, it can become effective as soon as staff delivers it to the Post Office, it is just that the new fees will not be implemented for at least six months.

Commr. Stewart questioned why the County even has prepayment of impact fees, noting that impact fees are supposed to help growth pay for itself and, with the way that everything is going up, the prepayments just put the cost right back on the citizens.

Mr. Minkoff stated that it was originally designed so that, if one contracted to purchase a home and it was going to take six to eight months to work through the plans and the permitting process, if there was a fee increase during that time, the contract would not be effective, because one would know that they could use the old fee increase.  Unfortunately, what has occurred is that it has not helped the individuals as much as it has the large developers, thus, the recommendation, which would allow one to lock in their price for a short period of time, but prohibit large developers from banking them for a long period of time.

Commr. Renick noted that she was going to question why the County has prepayment of impact fees, as well, and that she feels the proposed Ordinance is a good idea.  She stated that Mr. Minkoff indicated he would like to bring a new Ordinance with time limitations back to the Board at a later date and questioned whether the Board even wanted to consider prepayments, since they seem to not have worked the way the County envisioned they would work.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Jean Kaminski, Executive Director, Home Builders Association of Lake County, addressed the Board stating that prepayment of impact fees has helped not so much developers, but individual property owners.  She stated that she felt that portion of the Ordinance, which states, “WHEREAS, on March 15, 2007, the Impact Fee Committee recommended…” was not correct, noting that she did not recall the Impact Fee Committee taking any official action on it and asked that it be verified.

Ms. Wendy Wickwire, Lake County Impact Fee Coordinator, address the Board stating that there was a motion by the Impact Fee Committee to recommend to the Board that they eliminate the prepayment of impact fees, which passed by a 6-4 vote.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

A motion was made by Commr. Hill and seconded by Commr. Stewart to approve Emergency Ordinance No. 2007-12, repealing Section 22-11 of the Lake County Code, entitled “Prepayment of Impact Fees”.

Under discussion, the Chairman stated that he felt staff should still bring an Ordinance back for the Board to look at, without opening the door back up, noting that they may vote it down, but that he felt they should at least have an opportunity to look at it.  He then called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.

Staff was directed to process the Emergency Ordinance immediately.

MINUTE APPROVAL

            Regarding the Minutes of February 27, 2007, Commr. Renick requested the following changes:

            On Page 16, Lines 25 and 26, change Big Palatlakaha Park to Palatlakaha Park and on Line 26, change Whole Road to Hull Road.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of February 27, 2007 (Regular Meeting), as corrected.

            CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:

List of Warrants

Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.

Notice of Change of Office for President of Senninger Irrigation, Inc.

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice for the Change of Office of President of Senninger Irrigation, Inc., in compliance with the Indenture of Trust, or other documents relating to the $5,500,000 Industrial Development Revenue Bonds, Lake County Industrial Development Authority, Senninger Irrigation Project Series 2003 bond issue.

            The new president and associated information is as follows:

            James Burks, President

            Senninger Irrigation, Inc.

            16220 E. Highway 50

            Clermont, FL 34711

            Telephone:  (407) 877-5655

            Fax:  (407) 905-8249

            E-mail:  jburks@senninger.com

            St. Johns River Water Management District 2007 Consolidated Report

            Request to acknowledge receipt of St. Johns River Water Management District 2007 Consolidated Report:  Executive Summary and CD, pursuant to s.373.036, Florida Statutes, including District Water Management Plan Annual Report, Approved Minimum Flows and Levels Priority List, Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan, Five-Year Water Resource Development Work Plan and Alternative Water Supply Annual Report, Florida Forever Work Plan Annual Report, and Wetland Mitigation Cash Donation Report.

            Southwest Florida Water Management District 2007 Consolidated Annual Report

            Request to acknowledge receipt of 2007 Consolidated Annual Report, from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

            Annexation Ordinances from City of Groveland

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Public Hearing for Ordinances, Re: Annexation, Small Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment, and Rezoning from the City of Groveland – The proposed Ordinances will be considered at the following public meetings of the Groveland City Council, at the Puryear Building, 243 S. Lake Avenue, Groveland, Florida:

            March 19, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. (as the Local Planning Agency)

            March 19, 2007 (immediately following LPA meeting)

            April 2, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.

            Ordinance No. 2007-04-14, amending Ordinance No. 92-02-01, known as the Ordinance adopting the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Groveland, Florida, under the authority of Florida Statute 163.3187(1)(c), to change the Land Use Plan from Lake County Suburban to City of Groveland Recreation (0.25 acres), for the herein described property on S.R. 19, owned by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, directing the City Manager to amend the Comprehensive Plan, as herein provided, after the passage of this Ordinance.

            Ordinance No. 2007-04-15, reclassifying the zoning from R-3 and Ag Lake County to Recreation City of Groveland, for the hereafter described lands within the City of Groveland, Florida (0.25 acres), owned by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners.

            Notice of Meeting of Arlington Ridge Community Development District

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Meeting of the Arlington Ridge Community Development District – A meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Arlington Ridge Community Development District is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.  The meeting will be held at the Arlington Ridge Administration Building, 4463 Arlington Ridge Blvd., Leesburg, Florida, 34748, and is open to the public.  The meeting will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Florida Law for Community Development Districts.

COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA

Commr. Cadwell noted that the County Manager had asked that Tabs 9 and 11 be pulled from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, for discussion.

Commr. Hill asked that Tab 8 be pulled, for discussion, as well.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:

Budget

Request for approval of Budget Change Request and Unanticipated Revenue Resolutions, as follows:

Resolution No. 2007-35, to amend the General Fund, in order to receive unanticipated revenue for Fiscal Year 2006/2007, in the amount of $16,207, deposited into Contributions from Other Agencies, and provide appropriations for the disbursement to Professional Services, for the School Concurrency Program.

Resolution No. 2007-36, to amend the General Fund, in order to receive unanticipated revenue for Fiscal Year 2006/2007, in the amount of $1,961,748, deposited into Federal Disaster Relief ($1,681,498) and State Disaster Relief ($280,250), and provide appropriations for the disbursement to Operating Supplies ($1,361,748) and Machinery and Equipment ($600,000).  The County will receive funds for Groundhog Day Tornado assistance.  The County's obligation of 12.5% of the anticipated expenses will be funded using General Fund Reserves.

Request for approval for the Chairman to sign the Disaster Relief Funding Agreement with the State of Florida, for the Groundhog Day Tornados of 2007.

Community Services

Request for approval and signature authorization on  Resolution No. 2007-37, approving amendments to the Lake County FY 2006-09 Local Housing Assistance Plan, and to direct the Department of Community Services to transmit the amended Plan to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

Growth Management

Request for approval and execution of a Release of Fine, Property Owner: Rosetta Jeanne Kimbler, Case No. 2000010250 - Commission District 5.

Public Safety

Request for approval for continued participation in the Region 5 Florida Domestic Homeland Security Task Force Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) matching grant program, for the final round of funding communications interoperability equipment.  COPS grant funding afforded to Lake County through this final round is available, in the amount of $105,348, which requires a commitment by the County to fund a 25% match of $26,337.  Actual funds expenditures are through the previously approved execution of an interlocal agreement between all nine participating counties in the region.

Public Works

Request for approval and execution of a purchase agreement with Rosemary C. Mackey and John M. Evans, for right of way; and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing, in conjunction with the Edwards Road (CR No.7009) Project, located in the Lady Lake area, in Section 28, Township 18 South, Range 24 East - Commission District 5.

Request for approval and signature authorization on Resolution No. 2007-38, to advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1104, to vacate a portion of an unnamed right of way in the Clermont area - Commission District 2.

Request for approval and signature authorization on Revised Resolution No. 2007-4(A), accepting Green Park Way (CR No. 4424), Sloewood Drive (CR No. 4424A), Greenwalk Way (CR No. 4424B), Broadwater Avenue (CR No. 4424C), and Parkdale Drive “Part” (CR No. 4532B) into the Lake County Road  Maintenance System and providing for the maintenance of said roads.  Park Hill, Phase II, consists of 108 lots and is located in Section 28, Township 19 South, Range 25 East – Commission District 1.

Request for approval and signature authorization on Resolution No. 2007-39, to advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1111, to vacate a portion of platted roads and tracts in the Clermont area - Commission District 2.

Tourism

Request for approval of Amendment to Job Growth Investment Trust Agreement with West Orange Truss Manufacturing, Inc., to extend the one-year draw requirement.

Request for approval of Amendment to Job Growth Investment Trust Agreement with West Orange Lumber Co., Inc., to extend the one-year draw requirement.

            PUBLIC WORKS

            WEST ORANGE SOUTH LAKE TRANSPORTATION TASK FORCE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES

            Commr. Hill stated that she asked that this request be pulled, until the Board receives more details, as to the services that the West Orange South Lake Transportation Task Force plans to perform for the dues paid and how it compliments the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO).

            Commr. Renick stated that she was glad to see that the dues had been reduced and that, having just become a Commissioner, she does not know what the County gets for the dues paid either and feels it would be good for the Board to be given the information being requested by Commr. Hill.

            It was the consensus of the Board that a request from Public Works for approval and payment of annual membership dues of $2,000 to the West Orange South Lake Transportation Task Force be pulled until a later date, at which time the Board will be provided with an itemized list of exactly what the County gets for the $2,000 membership dues.

            AGREEMENT WITH BFG LAKESHORE, LTD. REGARDING IMPROVEMENTS TO HARTLE ROAD

            Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, addressed the Board and explained a proposed agreement that the County has with BFG Lakeshore, Ltd., regarding improvements to Hartle Road, realigning its northern terminus with CR 455 at SR 50, at which time he reviewed a sketch contained in the Board’s backup material, noting that the proposed alignment will bring Hartle Road into the signalized intersection.  The project will probably not be completed until October of 2007, as there are two factors involved, being: (1) the payment of fees, and (2) credits.  If the project is completed before October, the developers will take the remaining costs in credits and, if it is completed after October, they will be looking for some additional funds.  The project is scheduled to be started in June of this year.  The developers are currently going through site plan work with the City of Clermont, with curb cuts, but the agreement is sound and staff is ready to move forward with it.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Public Works for approval of an agreement with BFG Lakeshore, Ltd., regarding improvements to Hartle Road - Commission District 2, as presented.

            FOREST HILLS/LAKE MACK FLOOD BUY OUT PROGRAM

            Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, stated that there was flooding every year in the Lake Mack area between 2002 and 2005 on some property that was probably once pasture land, which was platted as a subdivision.  He reviewed a map of the property, noting that water stands on it, rather than flows into the lake.  Over the years, the County pumped the water that was left standing on the property into Lake Mack and then into another lake, which drained into the Ocala National Forest and then into the St. Johns River.  Rather than building a lot of infrastructure, to make it work, the County looked at a buy out plan and all the property owners that were willing to voluntarily sell their land to the County was allowed to do so, utilizing MSTU (Municipal Services Taxing Unit) stormwater funds and, to date, the County has acquired all the properties shown in red on the map, which are located in the 100 year flood plain.  It was noted that the County is currently in the process of removing the homes that exist on the property, returning it back to pasture land.

            Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that, when the County purchases such properties, it attempts to get any structures on the property demolished as quickly as possible, to avoid people using them for purposes other than what they were intended for, and, in doing so, the County has to go through the building permit process and get a form signed to demolish them.  He asked that the motion include having those members of his staff that deal with the contracts involving county properties be authorized to sign the demolition permit applications.

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Public Works for approval and execution of a purchase agreement with Lois M. Fonseca and Pamela S. Lindemann; authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing, for property within the Forest Hills/Lake Mack Flood Buy Out Program; and authorization for those members of the County Attorney’s staff that deal with the contracts involving county properties to sign the demolition permit applications - Commission District 5.

            COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:

Agreement for On Call Attorney for Closings

Request for approval of Agreement between Lake County and Bowen Radson Schroth, PA for On Call Attorney for Closings.

Aviation Fuel Tank Agreement with Lake County Sheriff’s Department

Request for approval of Aviation Fuel Tank Agreement with the Lake County Sheriff's Department.

Progress Energy Distribution Easement for Citrus Ridge Library

Request for approval of Progress Energy Distribution Easement for the Citrus Ridge Library - Commission District 2.

Amendment to Lease Agreement Between Lake County and Triangle Industrial Park

Request for approval of Amendment to Lease Agreement between Lake County and Triangle Industrial Park for Public Works Office Space - Commission District 3.

Special Master Agreement for Conflict Cases

Request for approval of Agreement with Christopher J. Shipley as Special Master for conflict cases.

COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS

ISSUANCE OF WATER USE PERMIT TO THE VILLAGES BY SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT (SWFWMD)

Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager, addressed the Board stating that he had prepared for them the facts surrounding the issuance of a Water Use Permit (WUP) to The Villages by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and some of the discussions that have taken place.  He stated that staff had Water Resource Associates take a look at the permit and the County has been presented with a draft of that report, which they discussed, via a conference call, with representatives from The Villages, Water Resource Associates, etc., and it was obvious to all parties that there were questions as to what the report actually meant – whether some of the information that The Villages provided to the SWFWMD and vice versa was accurately portrayed in the report.  He stated that The Villages has since provided the County with a commentary on the report and, as the report was being discussed last Friday, it became obvious to the people involved that debating whether something was correct or not was not going to prove to be successful and would only prolong the process, so it was decided instead that they would focus on a resolution to the issue.

It was noted that the Board had before them a Settlement Agreement that was drafted by The Villages, in cooperation with Attorney Doug Manson, with the law firm of Carey, O’Malley, Whitaker & Manson, in Tampa, which focuses on two issues that were part of the report and part of the permit, the first being what is called Special Condition 5 in the permit, which relates to an alternative water supply and the provision of it.  Unlike a number of permits, The Villages permit requires them to actually work towards an alternative water supply after the issuance of the permit.  A discussion that occurred at the last Lake County Water Alliance Board Meeting indicated that the northern portion of the SWFWMD is not necessarily as far along in that discussion as the St. Johns River Water Management District is.  The Villages has agreed to participate in that alternative water supply program with Lake County and anyone else that chooses to participate, in an amount up to $250,000.

Mr. Welstead informed the Board that a presentation will be made to them at the workshop scheduled for Friday, March 30, 2007, which will address some alternative water supply initiatives, and the $250,000 is not out of line with what their pro-rata share contribution to this effort would be.  He stated that the Water Alliance and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) have already received the presentation and the County has a commitment from The Villages to participate in that alternative water supply effort, which, hopefully, will be forthcoming.  He stated that the second item of special concern is a hydration and impact plan, associated with wetlands and storm water capacity and impacts on the environment.  He stated that the permit that was proposed to be issued eliminated any input from external sources, so it would be just The Villages and the SWFWMD participating in the discussion and they would not be making any changes to the permit, but would be monitoring it, between the two of them.  He stated that The Villages has agreed, in the second part of the Settlement Agreement, to allow the County and the communities to participate in that discussion; the County will be provided with their input to the SWFWMD; and the County is free to comment to the SWFWMD, as long as they provide comments to The Villages.

It was further noted that the Water Alliance called an emergency meeting, which was held on Monday, March 19, 2007, where they discussed the Settlement Agreement and the process and, by a 7-1 vote, recommended approval of the Agreement.

Commr. Cadwell stated that, when the Board holds its workshop on March 30th , it needs to look at the Agreement and make sure that it is structured enough to protect the County, in case the Water Alliance takes some type of action where the County gets sued.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the County has been acting as the surrogate for the municipalities in this case and, if the County were to go forward and implement the Agreement and conduct studies for an alternative water supply and ask The Villages to make a contribution, it would only be making a proportionate share contribution, so funds would have to come from the County or the municipalities, and, in order to do it, there would have to be further contracts and agreements outlining specifically who was providing the monies and what their responsibilities were.  He stated that it is likely that the agreements would be specifically with the municipalities and the County, individually.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that the County is not in the utility business, so everybody needs to understand that, if it participates, the monies are going to have to come out of the General Fund, because the County does not have a fund for water and sewer to draw those monies from.  He stated that the County needs to think about that, before going through any more such processes.  He stated that the timing of the issue and how it has all happened concerns him and it needs to be fixed, so that it does not happen again.

            Mr. Welstead stated that not monitoring the permitting process within the water management districts is what caused the County to get into this situation and knowing ahead of time where they were and that is something the County needs to correct, to ensure that there are no surprises in the future.

            Commr. Stivender informed the Board that she had the same concerns, therefore, asked staff to put on the Agenda for the upcoming workshop a discussion about what the Liaison Commissioners do for the various committees and what the committees are supposed to be doing, so that each Commissioner has an idea about what they are supposed to be doing.

            Commr. Stewart stated that she has some grave concerns about not only this issue, but the County’s whole water issue, and that she feels they need to discuss at the upcoming workshop the fact that the County, as well as the State, cannot continue doing business as usual.  She stated that the water situation is not a myth, but a fact, which cannot be ignored and the County cannot delay in dealing with it.  She stated that she keeps hearing about alternative water supplies, but that is not a permanent answer either, because they are also depletable.  She stated that The Villages is just one development and questioned how many other developments are also eyeing the very same water sources.  She stated that some drastic measures are going to be required to deal with the issue and hopes the Board can discuss some for the County to take, because it is a huge concern for the County.

            Mr. Welstead interjected that one of the things that is scheduled to be addressed at the SJRWMD meeting to be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2007, is a workshop for all elected officials within the County, to give them a primmer on the current water situation – how the County got into this position and alternatives for future means to accommodate what the County has to do, in order to make sure that there is sufficient water available for everyone.

            Commr. Renick stated that she has a number of concerns about the matter as well, which she elaborated on, noting that all the Water Alliance was asking for at the Emergency Meeting that was called by them was an extension of time, so that they could examine the Settlement Agreement, which is what Water Resource Associates did for them.  She noted that a number of concerns came up in their review, which are not all addressed in the Settlement Agreement, specifically a number of the things in Special Condition 5.  She discussed why she voted against the Agreement (7-1 vote alluded to earlier by Mr. Welstead), noting that, by the County approving the Agreement, it is stating that it will stay out of it and she has a problem with that.  She stated that, after issuance of the permit, there is a timetable for a lot of things that she would call after the fact and there is no opportunity for a public hearing.  She stated that the Water Alliance is hoping, in the spirit of a cooperative effort, that The Villages will take their considerations to heart.  The other option is that, if the County does not agree to the Settlement Agreement, the County can still file for an administrative hearing, if it is concerned about what Water Resource Associates revealed to them in their study.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that there needs to be a system in place, where it is not up to one Commissioner to try to keep up with it – that the County needs to know what is going on and needs to have some monitoring type system for all the permits, to make the Water Alliance something that can function.  He stated that the Board needs to find out what the Water Alliance is going to be from this point forward and, if it is going to stay together, then the County needs to make sure that there is a framework for it to work in a business and government world.  He stated that, with regard to the Settlement Agreement, the cities that were present feel it is a step in the right direction and he would hope that the Board moves forward with it, with the understanding that the County needs to do business a little better next time.

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried, by a 3-2 vote, the Board approved the issuance of a Water Use Permit (WUP) to The Villages by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and approved the Settlement Agreement, as recommended by the Lake County Water Alliance.

            Commrs. Renick and Stewart voted “No”.

            FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT

PRESENTATION - DESIGN OPTIONS FOR ROUND-ABOUT FOR DOWNTOWN TAVARES GOVERNMENT CAMPUS

            Mr. Jim Bannon, Facilities Development and Management Director, addressed the Board stating that the overall design for the expansion of the downtown Tavares government campus buildings (Judicial Center and Parking Garage) has been approved, as well as moving the buildings to construction documents.  He stated that the Parking Garage is at 80% construction documents and the Judicial Center expansion is at the design/development stage.  He stated that a key part of the overall downtown design is the space between the buildings and the junction of Sinclair Avenue and Main Street as the center of the downtown campus.  It was noted that the County has looked at creating a space at said junction, in the form of a round-about.

            RECESS AND REASSEMBLY

            At this time, the Chairman announced that the Board would recess briefly, to allow the architects to set up for their presentation.

PRESENTATION - DESIGN OPTIONS FOR ROUND-ABOUT FOR DOWNTOWN TAVARES GOVERNMENT CAMPUS (CONT’D.)

            Mr. Bannon continued his presentation, emphasizing the importance of the space between the buildings downtown, noting that the key element is the junction of Sinclair Avenue and Main Street.  He stated that the architects (HLM) for the downtown government campus expansion project would be presenting some options for the proposed round-about and that the Board needs to decide how they want it to function.  He noted that his staff sprayed each of the options to be considered for the round-about with colored paint, so that, if the Board had a concern about the overall size of them, they could physically look at it.

            Mr. Joe Woodall, Landscape Architect with HLM, addressed the Board and presented a power point presentation of the three options to be considered for the round-about, at which time it was noted that the first option, consisting of a 60 foot diameter minimal roundabout, with plant material in the middle of the island, would cost approximately $1.3 million; the second option, consisting of a 100 foot diameter roundabout, with plant material and a fountain in the middle, would cost approximately $2.4 million; and the third option, consisting of a 140 foot diameter roundabout, with plant material and a larger space in the middle, which provides for more amenities, more shade and benches, and a different type of fountain, or other opportunities, would cost approximately $2.75 million.  He reminded the Board that, in the original cost estimate for the round-about, $3 million was set aside for its construction, so all three options will cost less than what was set aside for it.

            Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, interjected that, as the round-about gets smaller, it allows for more park facilities on the corners and, as it gets bigger, the park facilities will be located in the center of the round-about.  She stated that there are park facilities for each of the three options, but they are located at different spots in the round-about.

            At this time, a three dimensional fly-through was presented to the Board by the architects, to better show them what the round-about will look like and how it will function.

            Ms. Nancy Clutts, City Council, City of Tavares, was questioned as to whether the City of Tavares had a preference regarding the options, to which she responded that she would not be able to speak for the City, because their Council has not yet seen the options, but that, as a design professional, she sees it as multi-faceted, in that the proposed round-about will exist long after everybody is gone, and, while it is unfortunate that one cannot make a comparison in contrast of the scale of the buildings that will exist around it, once they are built, she feels if Option 1 is chosen, the round-about will be somewhat out of scale in character for this round of facilities.  She stated that she sees the round-about as an opportunity for Lake County to enhance its image, since the City of Tavares is the County seat, and being the County is named Lake County, a water feature is appropriate.  She feels that Option 1 is a minimalist type of scenario – a little smaller and one that she is not sure the County would be as proud of, by saving a million dollars today; Option 2 is more of a compromise between Options 1 and 3; and Option 3 is a little bit grandiose.  She stated that, taking all things into consideration, she feels Option 2 would be the better choice, especially aesthetically.  She feels some partnerships could be formed on a number of levels – donation type contributions and a partnership with downtown merchants, as well as some interested individuals, noting that the City has had some substantial donations towards the fountain that is located at the intersection of Old Hwy. 441 and 19.  She stated that, as far as maintenance of the proposed fountain is concerned, she would assume there could be some joint partnerships evolving out of this project, but feels that it should be brought back to each board, at which time Commr. Cadwell interjected that the Judicial Center is going to have a water feature in front of it that is going to have to be maintained, so he does not see a problem with the proposed fountain being maintained.

            It was noted that the Mayor and the City Administrator for the City of Tavares were present in the audience, and that, while they had not seen the three options presented this date, the City has been involved in the process, on a staff level.

            A motion was made by Commr. Stivender that Option 2 be approved for the proposed round-about.

            There being no second to the motion, the Chairman passed the gavel to the Vice Chairman and seconded it.

            Under discussion, Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board has talked all along about the campus look that it wants for the government complex expansion and, if the very center of it is going to be minimized, that concerns him.

            The Vice Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried, by a 3-2 vote.

            Commrs. Renick and Stewart voted “No”.

            OTHER BUSINESS

            REAPPOINTMENTS TO SOLID WASTE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

            On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board reappointed the following individuals to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, for four-year terms, beginning May 25, 2007:

District 4

Barbara Newman

Lake County League of Cities

Lori Houghton

REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY

PUBLIC RECORDS AND SUNSHINE LAW SEMINAR

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that he would be leaving after the meeting to go to Stark, Florida, to present a Public Records and Sunshine Law Seminar to city and county clerks, in response to a request from Ms. Pat Gleason, in the Governor’s Office.

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY AND FREDERICK C. BELTON

Ms. Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney, addressed the Board regarding a Settlement Agreement between Lake County and Frederick C. Belton, individually, and as President of Amerirus, Inc., for property located at the intersection of Main Street and Sinclair Avenue, in Tavares, that the County needs for the proposed Parking Garage, which is part of the downtown government campus expansion project.  The Agreement is going to require that the County swap the three lots that Mr. Belton owns for the old Health Department building that the County owns.  Part of the Agreement is that Mr. Belton will be responsible for cleaning up any environmental contamination on his existing property and he is going to put $120,000 in escrow, to ensure that the cleanup is done, and will have six months in which to accomplish it.  If the County believes that he is not going to be able to accomplish it within the six months, it will have the option to remove the $120,000 from the Escrow Agreement after three months, in which Mr. Belton would be relieved of all liability and responsibility for that cleanup and the County would assume all the cost for it.  The Agreement will also allow the County the right to approve the facade of the old Health Department, whether Mr. Belton renovates it, or demolishes it and rebuilds, so that it will fit in with the new downtown government campus.  Mr. Belton will have one year after the expiration date of any appeal period for the rezoning of that property to either renovate or rebuild and, as part of that, the County is going to include that property in the rezoning and/or Comprehensive Plan Amendments that it needs for the whole campus.  The Agreement contains a mutual cooperation provision, in that both Mr. Belton and the County will agree to co-sign permit applications, etc. – whatever is needed to accomplish it.  If for some reason the City does not rezone those parcels, Mr. Belton will convey back to the County the old Health Department building and the County will move into the valuation phase of the condemnation and keep the property that he has deeded to the County, because, at that point in time, the County will probably be close to construction, if not actually into the construction phase.

Ms. Marsh stated that, in addition, the County will give Mr. Belton $500,000 and it will cover not only his current attorney’s fees and costs, as required by law, but his prior attorney’s fees, as well, which amounts to $64,350.  Costs, in the amount of $8,828.75, incurred by Mr. Belton from environmentals, appraisals, etc., will also be covered for him.  The County will be responsible for reconstructing the parking area at the old Health Department building; it will cover the cost of the title insurance, for both the swapped property and the property that Mr. Belton is giving to the County; all the closing fees that the County is permitted to cover, under law, excluding documentary stamps, etc., which the County cannot cover – it will be his responsibility, unless there is an exemption that applies to him, then he will not have to cover it; he will be permitted to remain in his existing building (restaurant/bondsman business) until August 30, 2007, at which time he will vacate it, giving him an opportunity to either renovate or start construction on a new building, if he chooses, but he will continue to keep his liability insurance.  The other properties, known as Parcels 4 and 5, will be immediately vacated upon closing, which will be 30 days after the Board approves the Agreement.  Because of the way that the property is situated, with the sally port for the Sheriff’s Office, the County is going to do mutual access easements, which is going to give Mr. Belton parking and give the County and the Sheriff’s Office access to the sally port.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a Settlement Agreement between Lake County and Frederick C. Belton, individually, and as President of Amerirus, Inc., for property located at the intersection of Main Street and Sinclair Avenue, in Tavares, to be utilized for the County’s government campus expansion project.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER. HILL – DISTRICT 1

FESTIVAL OF READING OPENING EVENT

Commr. Hill stated that the Lake County Library System held its Festival of Reading Opening Event on Saturday, March 17, 2007.  She stated that there was food and entertainment and the libraries were well attended.  She commended them for a job well done.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER RENICK – DISTRICT 2

DESIGNATION OF SR 40 AS FLORIDA BLACK BEAR SCENIC BYWAY

Commr. Renick stated that the Central Florida Regional Planning Council would be meeting on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, and one of the things that they will be considering is designating SR 40 as the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway and that she wanted to get the Board’s input on the matter, noting that she would like to be able to tell them that the County supports said designation.

Commr. Stivender questioned whether staff had looked into the matter, at which time Ms. Carol Stricklin, Growth Management Director, addressed the Board stating that the County received a request to place the Resolution supporting the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway designation on the Agenda for an upcoming Board Meeting and that staff has been working with the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization to bring it forward, for Board approval, however, noted that they are looking at modifying the Resolution, recognizing the fact that it is an emerging facility and that it provides regional mobility.

Commr. Cadwell stated that this request has been an issue ever since he has been on the Board and the FDOT has put together task forces at different times, only to abolish them and start over again, if they did not get the answer they wanted.  He stated that the biggest concerns of the County are: (1) that there is an understanding that SR 40 is one of the few cross state routes there is and there are a lot of positives that would make it a great route, but one cannot take away the fact that it runs through the Ocala National Forest; and (2) how limiting the use of the road would affect Astor.  He stated that he felt the residents and business people in Astor would want the road four laned, but that is not the case, so the concerns he had in the past that made him a little hesitant to support something like this are gone and he did not have a problem with putting it on the Agenda and listing the Board’s support, however, wanted staff to make sure that the LSMPO knows that the Board has not had a presentation yet, but that, in concept, it supports what they are trying to do with that corridor.

Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, informed the Board that there is an active PD&E study going on, which shows that four laning through the Ocala National Forest is not warranted; however, he pointed out the fact that the County still needs to address some measures to protect the black bear, as it crosses the roadway.

LOCAL PLANNING AGENCY MEETING

Commr. Renick stated that she was at the Local Planning Agency Meeting, when they were discussing the problem that has come up, with regard to the school elements, noting that, as a pilot community, the County wanted to get school concurrency in place early and worked very hard to do that, but, with the County’s Comprehensive Plan not yet having been sent to the Department of Community Affairs, asked whether the Board would be interested in directing staff to find out if there is any way that it could be given to DCA early, realizing that DCA’s deadline is 2008, so they may not be interested in looking at it, but she felt that the County could ask.

It was noted that staff did ask DCA about it and had even asked the County’s legislative delegation to intervene, but the response at that time was a negative one, however, with there now being a new Secretary, staff might be interested in once again making that request.

The Chairman suggested that, since there is a new Secretary, staff do so.

The County Attorney, Mr. Sandy Minkoff, interjected that the County has implemented concurrency, in a backhanded way, through the County’s Land Development Regulations, in that it is not approving plats that came into the County after September of 2006, without the individual getting a concurrency certificate from the School Board, it is just that it has not been done through the Comprehensive Plan process.

DESIGNATION OF SR 40 AS FLORIDA BLACK BEAR SCENIC BYWAY (CONT’D.)

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place the issue about the Black Bear Scenic Byway designation on the Agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to support the concept of designating SR 40 as the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway.

It was noted that the Board will be given a presentation on the PD&E study that was conducted on SR 40 at a later date.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STIVENDER – DISTRICT 3

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH PROCLAMATION

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2007-40, designating April, 2007, as Child Abuse Prevention Month, to recognize that child abuse is a community problem and finding solutions depends on involvement among people throughout the community.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSING WEEK PROCLAMATION

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2007-41, designating April 16-20, 2007, as Occupational Health Nursing Week, to increase understanding of the benefits of investing in occupational health and wellness programs.

FIFTH ANNUAL TAVARES STATION CENTRAL FLORIDA DRAGON BOAT RACES

Commr. Stivender reminded those present to mark their calendars, regarding the Fifth Annual Tavares Station Central Florida Dragon Boat Races to be held at Wooten Park, on March 30-31, 2007.  She stated that it is a wonderful event and invited everyone to attend.

REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT 4

Commr. Stewart informed the Board that, on March 13, 2007, a highly respected resident of Mt. Plymouth, Mr. Tommy Hight, passed away.  She stated that the entire communities of Mt. Plymouth and Sorrento had a great deal of respect and admiration for him and that Mr. G. Curtis Duffield, President, Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento Planning Advisory Committee, had sent her a letter, which she read into the record, respectfully requesting that a newly purchased park, located on CR 437 North, be named in honor of Mr. Hight, to recognize his commitment to east Lake County and its citizens.

It was noted that the County has a process for handling such matters, at which time Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, was presented with the letter from Mr. Duffield and directed to start the process.

CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD

Ms. Nancy Fullerton, representing the Alliance to Protect Water Resources, and as a member of the Lake County Water Authority, but not speaking on their behalf, addressed the Board and discussed some issues she had with the Board approving the issuance of a Water Use Permit (WUP) to The Villages by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) this date, regarding an alternative water supply, noting that it was her understanding that, if there are no impacts within a certain length of time, The Villages will not have to do an alternative water supply.  She stated that there are so many unknowns about this request, which she elaborated on, and that she wished the Board had not approved it, until everyone had been informed about it.  She then questioned various aspects of the Water Use Permit.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the status of the matter is that the SWFWMD has issued intent to issue the permit and the only way to stop it at this point is to file a lawsuit in the administrative process against the SWFWMD and The Villages, in an attempt to stop it, and the last day to do so would be Friday, March 23, 2007.  He stated that the County could have petitioned to challenge it and begin the litigation, but the upshot of the settlement is that the County will not litigate, but will work cooperatively with them to try to develop an alternative water supply.

Commr. Renick stated that the Agreement states the County and The Villages will work together and that it will be a cooperative agreement and The Villages will give up to $250,000 for the study, unless the County or any of the cities challenge the Water Use Permit and then all deals are off.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board took its action regarding this matter on behalf of the Water Alliance, which is what they have got to get cleared up – that the County is acting on behalf of the Water Alliance and the vote that they took – that the cities asked the Board to form the Water Alliance, to give them a voice in the process, and they all voted in support of the request.  He stated that he understood Ms. Fullerton’s concerns, but that they were just going to have to disagree on this issue.

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Mr. Roy Hunter, representing the Northeast Lake Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Board regarding the following:  (1)  Free photographs will be taken with the Easter Bunny at the Paisley Community Center, sponsored by both the Northeast Lake Chamber of Commerce and Walgreens, located at SR 19 and CR 44A; (2) Sheriff Gary Borders and Mr. Jim Judge, Director, Lake-Sumter Emergency Management Services (EMS), will be attending the next Northeast Lake Chamber of Commerce Meeting, to be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2007, to answer any questions there might be from the residents in that area; (3) a request that postage stamps from all mail coming into the County be saved and given to Mr. Hunter, for the purpose of raising funds for orphaned children; and (4) that used cell phones be given to the Paisley Library, located on CR 42, or to the Walgreens, located at SR 19 and CR 44A, to be given to needy people, for 911 use only.

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Ms. Pat Congdon, a resident of Leesburg, addressed the Board regarding a number of issues pertaining to the victims of the Groundhog Day tornados that hit the County, among other things, at which time she submitted, for the record, a petition containing signatures of individuals requesting action by government officials regarding a recent tornado debris removal deadline extension and a waiver of impact and permit fees.

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Mr. Lloyd Barth, a resident of Bear Lake Heights, addressed the Board regarding the amount of debris that exists on Bear Lake Boulevard, noting that the area is accumulating more and more debris all the time and he has some concerns about it becoming a fire hazard.  He stated that a lot of damage has been done to the area by heavy equipment going through it, which is taking its toll on Lake Mack Drive, as well as the whole area.  He thanked everyone that has been participating in the cleanup efforts thus far, noting that it has all been positive, but they have a long way to go.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN

 

ATTEST:

 

 

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JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK