A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JANUARY 20, 2009
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners
met in regular session on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board
of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room,
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, announced that, under the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, she would like to postpone Tab 4, a request for approval of a Proclamation declaring February 25, 2009 as the first Lake County Adopt-A-Lake Day, until a later date, to allow some volunteers that could not attend this meeting to attend a meeting that would be more convenient for them. Under Tab 6, a request from Procurement Services for approval to award the replacement of Ford automobile and truck parts to various Ford vendors throughout the Central Florida area, she corrected language dealing with the issue of primary and secondary awards to said vendors. Under Tab 12 of the County Manager’s Departmental Business, a request from Community Services for approval of the Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Agreement, she noted that, in the backup material, the time frame for the funding allocation for FY 08/09 needed to be changed from 16 months to 6 months. She stated that there was an Addendum No. 1 to the Agenda, which contained a request to appoint one representative each from Commission Districts 1, 3, and 5, to serve on the Zoning Board, and that she would like to add to the Agenda under her Reports, under Tab 21, a request for the prioritization of federal funding projects, a discussion regarding the prioritization of the Stimulus Package projects, as well, to be sent to the County’s lobbyists and anyone else that might be interested in it.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to add said item to the Agenda.
Commr. Renick stated that the Board had discussed at previous meetings the proposed round-a-bout in downtown Tavares and the possibility of not going forward with it and questioned whether the Board wanted to direct staff to take the matter back to the City of Tavares for further discussion.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he thought the City was going to give the Board an update on the downtown area.
The County Manager interjected that the City was going to make a presentation to the Board, but later decided to meet with the Commissioners individually instead, and that has not happened yet. She noted that sometime around March or April of this year, staff is planning to compile all the costs involved with the downtown project. At the present time, the Construction Manager (PPI) is bidding out all the different components of the project, of which the round-a-bout will be a part of, to be brought back to the Board, once all the bids have been received, and, at that time, the Board will be able to do anything they would like to do with the downtown project.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that the County would have to go back to the City and amend the Zoning Ordinance, which would probably involve a 90 day time frame.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place a discussion about the proposed round-a-bout on the Agenda, so that a decision could be made about whether or not to amend the Development Order involved with it.
Commr. Conner commented that the Board had received a memorandum from the Budget Director, Mr. Doug Krueger, dated January 9, 2009, pertaining to an Analysis of the FY 2007/08 Fund Balance, and that he would like to place it on the Agenda for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place said item on the Agenda.
Commr. Stewart stated that the Board had discussed at the last Board Meeting the issue of the Fairgrounds being used for open air tent car sales, but that no action was taken regarding the matter; therefore, she would like to have it placed on the Agenda again for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place the item on the Agenda.
The County Attorney noted that a Closed Session was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. this date.
Regarding the Minutes of December 16, 2008 (Regular Meeting), the following change was requested:
On Page 13, Line 28, change the wording from “they were aware” to “they were not aware”.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of December 16, 2008, as corrected.
CLERK OF COURT’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart 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.
Annexation Ordinance from City of Groveland
Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 2008-11-48, from the City of Groveland, amending Ordinance No. 2006-03-19, which annexed 28 acres of property in Lake County, by correcting the legal description to include real property inadvertently not included, thereby extending and increasing the corporate limits of the City of Groveland; annexing 2.47 aces of unincorporated land owned by Hunt Family III, LLC, which is contiguous to and not embraced within the present limits of the City.
Annexation Ordinances from City of Tavares
Request to acknowledge receipt of Annexation Ordinances from the City of Tavares, as follows:
Ordinance No. 2008-17, amending the boundaries of the City, by annexing approximately .53 acres of land generally located on the west side of County Road 561, approximately 3,000 feet north of the intersection of Lane Park Cut-Off, rezoning from County Urban Residential (R-6) to City Highway Commercial (C-2).
Ordinance No. 2008-42, amending the boundaries of the City, by annexing approximately50 acres located at the south side of U.S. 441, approximately 2,000 feet west of the intersection of U.S. 441 and the Dead River; rezoning the northerly 12.7 acres from County Residential (R-1) to City Highway Commercial (C-2).
Ordinance No. 2008-38, amending the boundaries of the City, by annexing approximately 50.11 acres of land generally located west of North Eichelberger Road, south of Lane Park Road and northwesterly of State Road 19.
Ordinance No. 2008-39, amending the boundaries of the City, by annexing approximately 35.7 acres of land generally located on the west side of David Walker Drive, ½ mile south of Dora Avenue.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, as follows:
Request for approval of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution, as follows:
Resolution No. 2009-11, to amend County Library System Fund, in order to receive unanticipated revenue for Fiscal Year 2008/09, in the amount of $500,000, deposited into Public Library Construction, and provide appropriations for disbursement for Contractual Services; Office Supplies; Books, Publications and Library Materials; and Aids to Governmental Agencies. On August 15, 2006, the Board of County Commissioners approved a grant agreement with the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services, for public library construction funding, in the amount of $500,000, for the Cooper Memorial Library Project. This project is part of the Joint Use Library Facility with Lake-Sumter Community College, located on the South Lake campus of Lake-Sumter Community College, in Clermont, Florida. This grant award is paid on a reimbursement basis and is expected to be received beginning in Fiscal Year 2008/09.
Request to award ITB 09-0800, OEM Ford Automobile and Truck Parks, to Prestige Ford, Key Scales Ford, Nick Nicholas Ford, Bill Currie Ford, Heintzelman Truck and Courtesy Ford; and to award ITB 09-0801, OEM Ford Heavy Duty Truck Parks, to Heintzelman Truck, estimated at $50,000.
Request that the Board approve use of various contracts for the purchase of playground equipment, parts, structures and services within budgeted funds.
Request for approval to utilize State of Florida Agreement with Bank of America, N.A. for Merchant Card Services.
Request for approval to execute Non-Exclusive Easement Deed, for construction of gravity wall and improvements at existing driveway for Hartwood Marsh Road Widening Project, in Section 9, Township 23 South, Range 25 East, in the Clermont area - Commission District 2.
Request for approval of Interlocal Agreement with Town of Howey-in-the-Hills, for preliminary engineering study for Lakeshore Boulevard (a town maintained roadway) and East Revels Road (a county maintained roadway) - Commission District 3.
Request for approval to execute purchase agreement with Lenda Traut; authorize Chairman to sign any and all documents necessary to improve safety at intersection of Grassy Lake Road and Washington Street; and transfer funds needed for the purchase - Commission District 2.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
ADDENDUM TO CONTRACT FOR FINANCIAL FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR
2030 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Commr. Conner informed the Board that he had asked that this request be pulled from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, for discussion, because he was concerned about whether the County had paid the consulting firm the $48,000 that they were asking for an in-depth financial feasibility analysis of the proposed 2030 Comprehensive Plan, which was to have been completed in July of 2008. He had reviewed the contract and was not clear as to why the County was being asked to pay an additional $5,750.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Director, Growth Management, addressed the Board stating that, when the contract was originally approved, it was under last year’s budget, and staff anticipated the Local Planning Agency (LPA) would be transmitting the Future Land Use Element within that fiscal year. He explained that, due to the complexity of the Future Land Use Element, it has taken more time than anticipated and there have been some drastic changes to the budget, such as Amendment 1 and a downturn in the economy, so, in order to provide the Board with a realistic picture of the costs associated with the Plan, the Budget and Growth Management Offices were recommending that current budget numbers be used to update the findings of the consultants. He noted that the County has spent approximately $40,000 of the $48,000 that was budgeted; the consultants are being paid per task, rather than hourly; and the task and expenditures are being monitored.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Growth Management for approval to execute an Addendum to the contract with Wilson-Miller, Inc., to perform a financial feasibility analysis of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, using 2008/2009 budget data.
MEDICAID NON-EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT
Mr. Ken Harley, Public Transportation Director, Community Services, addressed the Board stating that this request was for approval of the agreement with Medicaid, noting that, in the past, the County only entered into a contract for two or three months, but it would now be entering into a contract that would take it into 2011. He stated that the County currently receives approximately $80,000 per month, under the Medicaid program, and this request was for six months, which will bring the total amount received for the rest of the year to $483,000. He commented that the County expects to receive approximately $81,000 per month next year, as well as for the years 2010 and 2011, however, noted that things change from time to time, when it comes to federal funding, so those numbers might be adjusted later on.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Community Services for approval of the CTD/ACHA Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Agreement, from January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011, as presented.
DEVELOPMENT AND SUBMISSION OF HOUSING AND URBAN
DEVELOPMENT FAMILY UNIFICATION PROGRAM GRANT APPLICATION
Ms. Stacy Kleinfeld, Housing and Community Development Division, Community Services, presented this request, stating that staff was recently notified that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) opened availability for the Family Unification Program (FUP) grant, offering public housing agencies the opportunity to apply for housing vouchers. The County currently administers the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program, but HUD is adding additional eligibility criteria, specifically targeting families that have children that were taken out of the home through the courts, primarily due to the housing conditions that the children were living in, or to provide assistance for families where the children are at risk of being removed from the home due to the housing conditions. The County is also eligible to assist children between the ages of 16 and 21 that are coming out of the foster care system with rental assistance for up to 18 months on this program, which is federally funded. The minimum amount of additional vouchers that can be requested is 25, but, because they expect them to be filled right away, staff is requesting up to 50 vouchers. The application has to be submitted by next week and, hopefully, staff will know within a couple of months whether or not the application was approved.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved for Community Services to develop and submit the Housing and Urban Development Family Unification Program (FUP) grant application, and authorized the Chairman to sign and certify, for submission, the application and all required documents.
At this time, the Chairman introduced Ms. Terri Dykehouse, Engineer and District Manager with BCI Engineers & Scientists, Inc., in Clermont, noting that she was interning with the Board this date through Leadership Lake County.
SICK LEAVE BANK POLICY
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, gave the Board a brief background history of the Sick Leave Bank Policy, noting that it has been tweaked by the Employee Advisory Committee, a committee which consists of employees from every county department, who meet on a monthly basis and give recommendations or ideas for solutions to things that impact the employees.
Ms. Jeanine Nelson, Employee Services and Quality Improvement Department, representing the Employee Advisory Committee, addressed the Board stating that the Committee was recommending approval of the updated Sick Leave Bank Policy, which replaces the previous one from November of 2006. She noted that the Sick Leave Bank Program is a voluntary program where employees can donate some of their sick leave for use by other employees in the program whose sick leave has been exhausted, in the event of a catastrophic or life threatening illness, which she elaborated on.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Employee Services for approval of the updated Sick Leave Bank Policy, as presented.
TERM AND SUPPLY CONTRACT AWARD FOR CONSTRUCTION AND
Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Services Director, addressed the Board stating that this request was initiated to enable the Public Works Department to respond quickly to any needed projects or repair efforts in the County. He stated that there was a high level of competition associated with this request and staff was recommending approval.
Commr. Conner pointed out the fact that two of said firms are Lake County firms and that anytime that occurs he is going to mention it, for the record. He then questioned why Harvest Construction Company, a firm in Clermont, who had lower formulas, was excluded from the process and was informed that it was due to the fact that they did not have the appropriate license for the specific work being bid out. He noted that he wanted the reason they were excluded from the process on the record, as well.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Procurement Services that term and supply contracts be awarded to Estep Construction, Blankenship, Ruby Builders, and Wagner3 Ventures, for the purpose of providing the County with construction and renovation projects of highways, bridges, utilities, rails, marine projects, sanitary and storm sewer projects, and street and roadway construction of $100,000 or less.
CONTRACTS FOR MAINTENANCE OPERATING LEASES
Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Services Director, informed the Board that this request and the following request pertained to the Public Works Department and were very similar. He stated that, due to the dollar value, they would have been consent items, but staff chose to look at the full six year life cycle and, because of those costs, they were being addressed as departmental business. Staff feels, over a six year life cycle, the lease approach will save the County approximately $300,000, but it does not exclude potential resale costs, which will depend on their condition. Another advantage of the lease approach is that the maintenance cost risk is totally eliminated, in that they are operating leases. Over a six year life cycle, the County will end up getting new equipment, and, in this case, it will occur three years into the purchase.
Commr. Hill suggested that this request and the following request be addressed together, since they involved the same company and were similar in nature.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Procurement Services to award contracts for a full maintenance operating lease, for four (4) each wheel loaders, in accordance with RFP 08-0819; and for four (4) each motor graders, in accordance with RFP 08-0825, to Ring Power, Inc., Orlando, Florida, both requests being subject to County Attorney approval.
INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY AND CITY OF
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, addressed the Board stating that this request pertained to a Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study that the County is doing in the Mascotte area, in conjunction with the City of Mascotte, on CR 33, from SR 50 to Simon Brown Road, noting that the City has annexed a lot of property in that area and there are a lot of developments going on. He stated that paved shoulders were added to the road approximately 15 years ago, but there is a need for other improvements along the corridor, which will be managed by the City, but funded through impact fees.
Commr. Renick pointed out the fact that the contract needed some minor cleaning up, which she alluded to. She questioned whether the study’s findings would be considered current, in that she did not want the County to pay for a study and then not be able to do anything, because construction dollars are not available, but, when the County is ready to do something, she does not want the Board to be given outdated information.
Mr. Stivender interjected that most traffic projections are 20 years into the future. He stated that, in this particular case, staff knows the subdivisions in the area are already designed or approved.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Public Works for approval of the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the City of Mascotte, regarding the Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study for the C.R. 33 project (from S.R. 50 to Simon Brown Road) -Commission District 2.
INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY AND CITY OF
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, stated that this request pertained to the SR 19 Corridor Study, between Mills Street and East Collins Street, noting that the Department of Transportation came through the area approximately 10 years ago and did a study on extending the four lanes up to Altoona, but nothing has been done, to date. The City of Umatilla is asking the County to tweak the study and update the area, because there are four major intersections, but only one traffic signal, which creates a transportation challenge. He stated that, in order to get the study off the ground and address the issue, the County needs to move forward with this request.
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that the County received a letter from the City of Umatilla, regarding the Joint Planning Area, and that he planned to have a discussion with them regarding the matter, when he discusses the water issue with them, and will bring a report back to the Board at a later date.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Public Works for approval of the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the City of Umatilla, regarding the SR 19 Corridor Study (between Mills Street and East Collins Street) - Commission District 5/Benefit District 2, as presented.
LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR “ELLIS ACRES” PROPERTY
Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Manager, Public Works, addressed the Board and gave a power point presentation on the Land Management Plan that was approved by the Public Land Acquisition Advisory Council on November 12, 2008, for the “Ellis Acres” property, which was acquired on June 29, 2007, and is located in Paisley, on the east side of CR 42. He stated that two properties were lumped together, the first being the “Ellis Acres” property, in Phase I, and the Akron Meadows property, which is contiguous, in Phase II, totaling approximately 417 acres – 94 acres in Phase I and 323 acres in Phase II. The total cost for both properties is approximately $6.5 million. He discussed various species of wildlife that have been observed at the site, such as the Florida black bear, the Florida sandhill crane, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, Sherman’s fox squirrel, etc.; the fact that the property will gradually be restored to native sandhill, wetlands, and pine flatwoods communities, increasing protected areas of wildlife and possibly having a gopher tortoise relocation site; some invasive exotics that they are battling on the property; the fact that they would like to restore the shoreline of Lake Akron, which is approximately 1,000 feet long, with some native vegetation, to increase nurseries for small fish; the fact that they would like to restore a cattle watering hole on the property to an ephemeral pond, creating a breeding habitat for amphibians; and some options that may be used for a house that is located on the property, such as leasing it out and eventually utilizing it as a caretaker’s residence, or turning it into a Nature Center, with a butterfly garden in the backyard. Some land management activities will include some prescribed burning and timber thinning of hardwoods, to open up a canopy and allow the completion of restoration activities. A double looped nature trail is being planned in the more wooded areas, as well as two parking areas, picnic tables and a picnic pavilion, a canoe and kayak stabilized launch, a bat house and some birdhouses, and possibly an observation tower. The property is in an area identified on the statewide Ecological Greenways Network as a “very high” priority and is located adjacent to both the Ocala National Forest and the Seminole State Forest. It is also located adjacent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Strategic Habitat Conservation area.
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that he would like to bring forward a biography of Mr. Ellis and what he contributed to this Country and see if they might be interested in naming the entire parcel “Ellis Acres”.
Commr. Renick interjected that she wanted the public to know that this project has been a work in progress for many years and is not something that will be able to be done next year – that this is the overall land management plan, for however long it takes.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Land Management Plan for the “Ellis Acres” property, as presented.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
APPOINTMENTS TO ZONING BOARD
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed one representative each from Commission Districts 1, 3, and 5, to serve four year terms on the Lake County Zoning Board, beginning February 1, 2009, as follows:
PRIORITIZATION OF FEDERAL FUNDING PROJECTS
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that they had in their backup material a list of projects that the County will be submitting for federal earmarks in the Spring, which they approved at the November 25, 2008 Board Meeting, when Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, brought it before them. She stated that the list contained five (5) projects - three bridge replacement projects, a road project involving CR 470/CR48, and Phases 3 and 4 of the Minneola Trail. She noted that the lobbyists would like for the Board to prioritize the projects, so that, when they are presented to the legislators in Washington, they will know which projects are to be considered the highest priority.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out the fact that these projects would be separate from the projects contained in the Stimulus Package.
It was noted that the only project that would be duplicated on both lists would be the Picciola Bridge replacement project.
Mr. Stivender interjected that the projects that are listed are a part of the 2009-2015 Transportation Federal Program and what the Board would be approving would be the priorities of that six year plan.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Manager for the prioritization of federal funding projects, as presented, being:
Currently in design phase – would like to move to construction phase.
Amount requested: $3,200,000
Lakeshore Bridge (replacement of bridge)
Currently in design phase – would like to move to construction phase.
Amount requested: $2,800,000
Louis Drive Bridge (replacement of bridge)
Currently in design phase – would like to move to construction phase.
Amount requested: $2,000,000
CR470/CR 48 (add lanes from Royal Palm Drive to CR 33)
Currently in right of way acquisition phase – would like to move to construction phase.
Amount requested: $15,000,000
Transportation Enhancement Projects
Minneola Trail 3 and 4 (bike trail
from Clermont to Van Fleet Trail in
Currently in PD&E Phase – would like to move to right of way acquisition and construction phase.
Amount requested: $12,500,000
Ms. Hall informed the Board that she had given them a list of projects that were identified by staff as meeting the criteria for the Stimulus Package and that the County’s lobbyists would like to know as soon as possible what the Board’s priorities are, so that they can begin working on them. She commented that various types of projects were discussed and, without a doubt, she feels transportation will be targeted. She stated that a number of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects have been submitted, and it appears that public buildings are acceptable, so she would like to submit a handful of them, as well.
It was noted that the Board felt the Paisley Fire Station should definitely be on the list.
Commr. Conner interjected that he would like to add a magnet school to the list, noting that it was even mentioned by the lobbyist in his email to Ms. Hall.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, if the School Board wanted to have a magnet school added to the list, it would be their business and the Board would send them a letter of support, however, questioned whether they would be able to man such a school, if it was built. He stated that the Board did not know the particulars and there were too many unanswered questions for them to just say that it was a great idea and ask for funding for it.
Commr. Conner stated that he felt, if the school was built, the School Board would find the money to man it, noting that two years of effort has been put into that school and the only thing standing in its way is the money to build it. He informed the Chairman that, if he would tell him what criteria he would like for him to get from the School Board to qualify the magnet school being put on the list as part of the Stimulus Package, he would get it.
Commrs. Renick and Stewart suggested that Commr. Conner pursue the issue of the magnet school.
Discussion continued regarding the matter, at which time Commr. Conner stated that the Board is dealing with an unknown, noting that they do not know what Congress and the new President are going to do regarding the Stimulus Package, but that he would suggest the County get something to Washington as soon as possible. He stated that he felt there was a feeling that schools are going to be competing against roads, but he does not feel that will be the case. He feels the County should put the magnet school on the list and, if the School Board does not want the money or cannot make the school work, they do not have to take the money, but it will not cost the County roads. He noted that one of his goals and objectives of being on the Board is to have them look at things from a community perspective and what he likes about the magnet school is that it will be a partnership with South Lake Hospital, Lake-Sumter Community College, and the Lake County School Board. He was quite alarmed that there was such a debate over something that is so needed as the magnet school, noting that the long term gain and benefit of it is going to out live any of the short term infrastructure projects.
Commr. Hill stated that she feels the Judicial Center construction project and the ongoing employment that is going to take place is as viable and essential to this community as a magnet school would be. She stated that it is an essential government function and that is what the Board is responsible for, however, noted that, even though the Board has enough on its plate, it does not mean they cannot say they hope Washington will support the County’s schools. She noted that she feels the projects that are being sought for the Stimulus Package are those where state and local regulations are in place, as well as permits, and the project is ready to proceed within 160 days.
Commr. Conner interjected that he was not saying the Board should replace any of its projects with the magnet school; however, if the lobbyists are saying there is stimulus money if the County wants it, he would like for it to at least be on the list. He stated that he was fine with putting it on the list as the Board’s lowest priority, just as long as it is on the list, in the event the Stimulus Package targets schools.
Commr. Hill informed the Board that she would rather the School Board send its own Stimulus Package and they just be supportive of it.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, if a week would be long enough for someone to ask the School Board whether they would want the Board to add such a request to its Stimulus Package and, if so, what the particulars would be, he did not have a problem with the Board doing so. He stated that it was not that he was against the magnet school; he just does not know anything about it – whether or not the School Board still wants it and, if so, whether they can man it.
A motion was made by Commr. Hill that the Board send the lobbyists a request for funding for the Judicial Center construction project, the transportation projects, and the Paisley Fire Station.
The motion failed, for lack of a second.
Commr. Conner stated that he felt to list the Judicial Center project as the Board’s number one priority would be very unwise, noting that he feels there is going to be a big emphasis on roads and transportation – that it is going to be one of the primary objectives. He commented that he feels the list should be very long and very broad and whatever the lobbyists can get they get, but he did not want to send a signal to his constituents that his number one concern is the Judicial Center project, although he feels it would be appropriate to have it on the list.
Commr. Renick commented that she feels roads and bridges should be the Board’s number one priority.
Commr. Conner informed the Board that he would communicate with the Superintendent of Schools and the President of Lake-Sumter Community College and report back to them at the next Board Meeting, with regard to whether or not they would like to have a request for funding for a magnet school added to the Board’s Stimulus Package.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board prioritized projects that are ready to bid for the Stimulus Package, as follows:
Picciola Bridge Replacement Project
Lois Drive Bridge Replacement Project
Paisley Fire Station
CR 437/Wolf Branch Road Intersection Project, with turn lanes and sidewalks for new Elementary School and Regional Park set to open 2010.
Bates Avenue (Eustis ball fields to Eustis Middle School) pavement widening, with paved shoulders and sidewalks along school route.
CR 473/Treadway School Road Intersection Project, with sidewalks and school zone for kids walking to Treadway Elementary School.
Funding for the Judicial Center.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:30 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for 15 minutes, after which they would reconvene and then recess again for a Closed Session.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that, pursuant to Florida Statute 286.011, he requested that a Closed Session be held to discuss pending litigation. He stated that the discussions would be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions and that a Court Reporter would record the entire session, including when it begins and ends, and would include the names of all those in attendance who, in addition to him, would be the Board; Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager; Ms. Erin Hartigan, Assistant County Attorney; and Mr. Duke Woodson, outside counsel attorney. He stated that nothing can be off the record and no one can leave the room, once the proceedings are started, until the meeting is over. He noted that the Closed Session was advertised in the newspaper and that, once it is over, the Chairman will reconvene the Board Meeting. He anticipated that the Closed Session would take approximately thirty to forty minutes.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 11:45 a.m., the Chairman reconvened the meeting.
REPORTS – COUNTY MANAGER
REPORT ON COST OF FIRE PROTECTION
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that staff was directed at the last Board Meeting to come back with some information about the cost of fire protection, noting that it was found last year that having three brush trucks located throughout the County – one in the northern part of the County, one in the central part of the County, and one in the southern part of the County was the most efficient way for Fire Rescue to be able to respond immediately to any kind of brush fire. She stated that the cost for said trucks, which are only manned 12 hours per day, is approximately $2,600 per day, for a total of approximately $75-80,000 per month. She addressed the issue of overtime and the fact that some steps for curtailing same have been discussed, many of which will be required to come before the Board for action, and the fact that there would be some savings, by moving some of the Communications expenses out of Fire Rescue and into the General Fund, which would also require Board action. She discussed the issue of purchasing some needed equipment through a lease/purchase agreement, deferring said costs to future years, which would also need to come back to the Board for approval; moving some of the firefighters around in the stations for coverage, if a vacancy occurs in one of the stations; and personnel reclassifications, which should result in lower overtime. She stated that staff feels they can cover the regular overtime that would result in a normal year, by doing what she alluded to. She pointed out the fact that a mid-year budget adjustment will lower the Reserves, however, noted that staff feels there is likely five months of brush truck activity available in Reserves, should that come to pass.
Commr. Conner stated that, before he would support such a request, he would want the Board to look over the budget a little more and have an in-depth discussion about it, noting that $75,000 per month for five months is a lot of money. He commented that he would like to have some comprehensive information in front of him, rather than just receive a verbal report.
Commr. Hill stated that the County has a management plan with the Division of Forestry and questioned whether there was a way to be proactive and have these things budgeted throughout the year, knowing that there are going to be brush fires during the year.
Ms. Hall informed the Board that she wanted to bring the matter to their attention and, if they would like for staff to do something differently, or bring them back more information regarding the matter, they would be glad to do so.
Commr. Conner interjected that he wanted to see the financial impact of what staff is requesting be done and that he did not think that was unreasonable. He questioned whether the firefighters would be considered as being on overtime during the 12 hours that the County Manager alluded to.
Mr. James Dickerson, Fire Rescue, addressed the Board stating that the firefighters would be on overtime during those 12 hours – from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. He informed the Board that there have already been 12 fires in the County, from January 1, 2009 to the present, which have burned over 106 acres, so staff is very concerned about the matter.
The Chairman directed the County Manager to come back to the Board with a comprehensive look at how the County is going to pay for the things that she alluded to and what ramifications it is expected to have on the mid-year budget.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER RENICK – DISTRICT 2
ROUND-A-BOUT IN DOWNTOWN TAVARES
Commr. Renick stated that she thought there was a consensus on the Board to have staff talk to the City of Tavares about amending their approval of the round-a-bout that is proposed for downtown Tavares, due to a proposed increase in the cost, and that it was her understanding that they did not have time to wait until February or March for that discussion to take place. She questioned whether it was something the Board would like to readdress.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that the County Manager had set up a meeting with the City of Tavares and the outcome of that meeting was that everyone wanted to get a true cost for the round-a-bout, due to the fact that, if it is not done, a whole different set of intersection improvements will be required. He stated that the City felt the round-a-bout would be cheaper than doing the intersection improvements and wanted to discuss the matter with the Board and staff was holding off, waiting for that to happen.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that she felt PPI might have some information on what the costs for the round-a-bout would be, versus the cost of transportation improvements that would be needed, and that she could invite them to present to the Board information they might have regarding the matter.
Commr. Renick interjected that she did not feel it was just a money issue, but an issue of safety, and that she was not interested in going forward with it.
Mr. Minkoff suggested that, once the Board has said information, they meet with the Tavares City Council, noting that the City appears to be very committed to having the round-a-bout, and he feels it will take a significant effort to get them to change their minds about it.
Commr. Conner commented that he feels a round-a-bout has the potential to be problematic and that it was not just a budgetary issue with him, but a safety issue, as well.
Commr. Stewart stated that she had already raised that issue and was informed by Public Works that a round-a-bout is safer than an intersection.
Commr. Hill commented that, when the issue was first discussed, the City was pretty adamant that they wanted a round-a-bout, because they wanted a “mall” look in the center of the downtown campus that would be walkable, and she felt the amount that has been quoted was not just for the round-a-bout, but for a lot of other things, such as landscaping, brick laid walkways, etc. She stated that she asked PPI to give her a ballpark figure, as to the difference in cost between an intersection and a round-a-bout, and was informed that it would be approximately $1 million more for a round-a-bout. She stated that whatever the Board plans to do they need to do it fairly soon, because the fronts of all the buildings have been designed to accommodate the round-a-bout, and the placement of monuments have been predicated on the round-a-bout.
It was noted that, when the Board originally made their decision about the round-a-bout, the County was not faced with the economic situation that it is currently faced with and that point should be made known to the City.
The Chairman stated that he and the County Manager, Ms. Cindy Hall, would discuss the matter with the Mayor of the City of Tavares, Ms. Nancy Clutts, and bring a report back to the Board at a later date.
Commr. Renick stated that she would like for the Board to be given an update on the Noise Ordinance and that she feels there are other people that would like to have an update, as well.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORY SERVICES
Commr. Renick brought up for discussion a request from an earlier Board Meeting from Procurement Services to award the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Financial Advisory Services to First Southwest Company and what legal ramifications it might have on the County, as well as how the County will be seen as doing business, since one of the Commissioners was approached by a representative from First Southwest Company, prior to the RFP being awarded.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, responded that the contact was very brief and it was disclosed at the Board Meeting, when the interviews were conducted, so he did not feel it would rise to the level of disqualifying the company, or causing the action that the Board took to be invalidated. He commented that, if the other company had filed a protest, the issue would be looked at a lot more closely, to find out exactly what was said during the contact, but absent something to show that it really became prejudicial to the second runner, it probably was not enough to disqualify the firm that was picked.
Commr. Hill disclosed, for the record, that she was the Commissioner that was approached by the individual in question and the extent of the conversation was that he introduced himself and handed her a business card – there was no discussion about anything.
Commr. Conner interjected that he felt what happened was inadvertent, but the one firm was given an advantage that the other firm did not have – plain and simple, which he felt was unfair and wanted to make sure that it did not happen again, however, pointed out the fact that he felt the firm involved should have known not to approach any of the Commissioners.
The Chairman stated that he felt both sides were at fault.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CONNER – DISTRICT 3
RECEPTION FOR NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
Commr. Conner thanked the Board and the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Director, Ms. Dottie Keedy, for attending the reception that was held at the Mission Inn last week for Ms. Shelly Weidenhamer, the Economic Development Commission’s new Business Development Director for Lake County, and invited them to attend another reception that is scheduled to be held on Thursday, January 22, 2009, at 4:00 p.m., at Lake-Sumter Community College.
TOUR OF LAKE COUNTY JAIL AND PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
Commr. Conner stated that he toured the Lake County Jail and was very impressed with the professionalism of the Sheriff’s employees and how clean, well-managed, and well-behaved the inmates were, and that he met with the Chaplain and is going to try to support his ministry. He also toured the Public Works Department with Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, and met with his department heads and was extremely impressed with the caliber of people that Mr. Stivender has on his staff. He stated that he learned a lot from them.
REPORT ON ANALYSIS OF FY 2007/08 BUDGET FUND BALANCE
Commr. Conner informed the Board that he had asked Mr. Doug Krueger, Budget Director, to give them a brief update on the analysis of the FY 2007/08 Fund Balance, which was covered in a memorandum from Mr. Krueger to the Board dated January 9, 2009.
Mr. Krueger addressed the Board stating that staff was getting ready to start the FY 2009/10 budget process and that, anytime they are dealing with the budget process, they are dealing with three fiscal years – the past year, the current year, and the next fiscal year. He commented that, once the prior fiscal year is closed out, they like to look at what the actual fund balance turned out to be, versus what they budgeted. He indicated that staff is looking at the revenues and expenditures for FY 2008/09, which plays into the development of the FY 2009/10 budget, and the reason he put together the report addressed in the memorandum dated January 9, 2009, was because there were some preliminary numbers circulating around about the fund balance from the prior fiscal year, which was in the neighborhood of $52.8 million, and the fact that $34.9 million was actually budgeted, so one would be inclined to think that there was approximately $18 million floating around that could be used for other purposes. He stated that his office would normally true up the fund balance numbers at mid-year and bring them to the Board, but, because there was an inclination that approximately $18 million was floating around, he wanted to send out a memorandum explaining that was not the case. Of the approximately $18 million increase, $16.3 million has been appropriated by the Board for prior year carryover encumbrances and project rebudgets, leaving a balance of $1.6 million from last fiscal year that is currently not allocated towards anything, which he recommends be saved, to help fund next year’s budget. He commented that he feels, as staff does their analysis of the FY 2008/09 budget, they are going to find that some revenues are going to be lower than what they budgeted, or some expenditures may be higher than budgeted, and the money could be used for that. He stated that the bottom line is what is going to be available, if anything, in the fund balance, to be carried into FY 2009/10, and that is what the analysis is designed to do. He informed the Board that the budget will be balanced, one way or another, come September of this year.
Commr. Conner questioned Mr. Krueger about the report, at which time he noted that he has not seen a sense of urgency on the Board about the County’s financial situation that he feels personally, which he elaborated on. He questioned when Mr. Krueger would have all the Revenues and Expenditures in for the first quarter of the year and be able to have a report ready for the Board to review in a workshop and was informed by Mr. Krueger that staff is currently working on reviewing the entire budget with all the departments, and he plans to bring that report back to the Board at the workshop that is scheduled for March 10, 2009.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT 5
TEMPORARY POLICY RESTRICTING OPEN AIR TENT CAR SALES AT
LAKE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
Commr. Stewart asked that staff be directed to bring back to the Board a temporary policy restricting open air tent car sales at the Lake County Fairgrounds, in support of the car dealerships in the County, until this difficult economic time is over.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the County has a policy regarding rentals at the Fairgrounds, so language pertaining to the matter will be inserted into that policy, with a time certain, for repeal.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board directed staff to bring said policy back to the Board at a later date
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
No one present wished to address the Board.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:35 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
NEIL KELLY, CLERK