A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
FEBRUARY 17, 2009
The Lake County Board of County
Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 17, 2009, at 9:00
a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room,
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Reverend Sidney Brock, Heritage Community Church, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, announced that Tab 9, a request from the Office of Information Technology for approval to purchase the replacement core for the Board of County Commissioner’s computer network components from CDW, in the amount of $145,841, was being pulled from the Agenda for reconsideration; and Tab 11, a request from Public Works for approval of the Proportionate Fair Share Agreement with Headquarter Orlando Real Estate, LLC, for a new Honda Dealership in the Clermont area, was being pulled until a later date. She added to the Agenda, under her Reports, a request for approval to change the hours of operation for the Building Department.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that he would like to discuss the NCAA Basketball Program, under his Reports.
Commr. Stewart added to the Agenda, under her Reports, a request for approval of a Resolution concerning the Wekiva River being designated as a wild and scenic river.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of January 20, 2009, as presented.
CLERK OF COURT’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill 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.
North Lake County Hospital District’s Annual Financial Report and Auditor General
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of North Lake County Hospital District’s September 30, 2008 Annual Financial Report and Auditor General Management Letter.
Lake County District School Board Financial and Federal Single Audit for Fiscal Year
Ended June 30, 2008
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Report No. 2009-092, Lake County District School Board Financial and Federal Single Audit for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2008.
Notice from Florida Public Service Commission
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice from Florida Public Service Commission – Commission Conference Agenda for Tuesday, February 10, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., at the Betty Easley Conference Center, Joseph P. Cresse Hearing Room 148.
Clerk of Courts’ Semi Annual Investment Report for FY 08/09
Request to acknowledge receipt of Clerk of Courts’ Semi Annual Investment Report for FY 08/09, dated December 31, 2008.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Renick, 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 Budget Change Request and Capital Substitution, as follows:
Budget Transfer – County Fire Rescue Fund, Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division. Transfer $84,211 from Buildings to Repair and Maintenance. The funds for the remodeling of Station 54, Harbor Hills, were placed in the Buildings account. The remodeling costs should be in the Repair and Maintenance account.
Capital Substitution – Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects Fund, Department of Public Works, Road Operations Division, Road Operations Section. Transfer $45,000 in Machinery and Equipment (Project 00001) from Water Truck to Water Tank Conversion. Public Works Road Operations had budgeted $128,134 for a water truck. A water tank conversion, which would consist of purchasing two (2) 2,500 gallon water tanks and mounting them in place of two (2) existing pot hole patch units on existing chassis, would cost $45,000, resulting in savings of $83,134.
Request for approval of Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged Standard Coordinator Contract with several coordination contractors.
Request for approval and execution of authorizing Resolution No. 2009-16, to ratify issuance of homeowner revenue bonds and homeowner subordinate revenue bonds by Orange County Housing Finance Authority, on behalf of Lake County.
Request for approval of amendment to County's Section 125 Flexible Spending Account (Cafeteria Plan).
Request for approval of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy and Addendums to Policies and Practices Employee Manual, updating the sections on Sick and Annual Leave.
Request for approval of period October 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008 unemployment compensation invoice. Invoice exceeds County Manager's $25,000 approval threshold. Also, request blanket authorization for County Manager to approve payment of unemployment invoices in the future.
Request for authorization to release letter of credit, for performance, in the amount of $165,620.00, posted for road improvements on Rolling Acres Road, in conjunction with site plan for Home Depot. Project is located in Commission District 5.
Request for authorization to release maintenance bond, in the amount of $13,365.58, posted for Spring Valley Phase VIII. Spring Valley Phase VIII consists of 50 lots and is located in Section 5, Township 23 South, Range 26 East - Commission District 2.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2009-17, to advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1134, KMH, LLC, to vacate right of way and cease maintenance on South Steve's Road and portion of Steve's Road, in the Clermont area - Commission District 2.
Request for authorization to release performance and payment bond, in the amount of $419,259.30, posted for Developer’s Agreement between Lake County and Tuscany Village Venture, LLC - Commission District 2.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2009-18, to advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1150, John's Lake LLC, to vacate tracts and rights of way in two Plats of Lake Highlands Co., in the Clermont area - Commission District 2.
Request for approval of Agreement between Lake County Board of County Commissioners and Florida Department of Environmental Protection to provide financial assistance for Hollondel Road Stormwater Retrofit Project - Commission District 3.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following request:
Request for approval of Lease Agreement with Ali H. Jawad, for Tax Collector office space, located at 194 N. Highway 27, in Clermont - Commission District 2.
LAKE COUNTY ADOPT-A-LAKE DAY PROCLAMATION
Ms. Cathie McGwier, Laboratory Supervisor, Environmental Utilities Department, and Adopt-a-Lake Program Coordinator, addressed the Board stating that Adopt-a-Lake Program volunteers were present celebrating the program’s one year anniversary and that they had just attended the first annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. She recognized those team members that helped put the Lake County Adopt-a-Lake Program together, being Ms. Maryann Utegg, Volunteer Coordinator, St. Johns River Water Management District’s Watershed Action Volunteers (WAV) Program; Ms. Sharon Tatum, Public Education Specialist, Environmental Utilities Department; Mr. Scott Catasus, Environmental Specialist, Conservation and Compliance Department; and Mr. Scott Griffin, Mosquito/Aquatic Plant Management, as well as the many volunteers who were present in the audience.
At this time, Mr. Ed Walsh, Hawthorne Book Club; Ms. Rachel Clark, a 10 year old student volunteer; and Ms. Helena Dagner, a volunteer from Mt. Dora, gave brief presentations in show of their support for the first annual “Adopt-A-Lake Day” in Lake County, at which time they discussed specifically what they do, in volunteering for the County. It was noted that the volunteers in the program have adopted 137 miles of shoreline and have picked up almost 2,000 pounds of trash. The volunteers have also been trained in spotting and cleaning out invasive aquatic vegetation. They have held 47 events at the Lake County Fair, the Hawthorne Community Fair, Homeowners Association Meetings, Lake Louisa Field Day, Water Quality Day at the University of Florida IFIS, and have been on the WLBE Radio Show educating people about the County’s Stormwater Best Management Practices, aquatic plant information and identification, water quality information, pollution prevention, and monofilament fishing line recycling and, by holding said educational events, have reached over 1,250 people and spent 76 hours educating them. They have lab volunteers, as well, who perform basic duties, with those volunteers volunteering a total of 884 hours this year. The oldest volunteer is 79 and the youngest is 10 (Rachel Clark); the longest distance traveled by a volunteer is 70 miles; and there are only three Lake County natives in the program, with the remaining volunteers being transplants from other states.
Ms. McGwier readdressed the Board stating that the volunteers with the Adopt-a-Lake Program have volunteered a total of 1,984 hours in educational events, pollution prevention cleanup, and lab time. She stated that, in terms of dollars and cents, based on the number that Volunteer Lake uses to calculate their dollar estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at $19.51 cents per hour, the volunteers have contributed $38,708.00 worth of their time to the Adopt-a-Lake Program for Lake County, one of the largest counties in Florida, containing more lakes than any other county in the State – over 1,700 in all.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2009-19, declaring February 25, 2009 as the first annual “Adopt-A-Lake Day” in Lake County.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM RESOLUTION
Mr. Bill Gearing, Community Enhancement Coordinator, Community Services Department, addressed the Board stating that they had before them a request for approval of a Resolution authorizing the County to receive revenue for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), noting that, on January 19, 2009, the County received information from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that its NSP plan was approved and the next step in receiving said funds is approval of the Resolution.
Commr. Renick discussed a concern she has about said funding and how it will be used, at which time it was noted that staff will be given direction regarding how said funds are to be utilized.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Community Services for approval of Resolution No. 2009-20, to receive unanticipated revenue from HUD, in an eighteen month allocation of $3,136,967 from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP); and to provide appropriations for the disbursement of funds for acquisition, rehabilitation and re-sale, or demolition of foreclosed and abandoned properties, and administrative costs, as well as authorization for the Chairman to sign any future documents from HUD to accept said funding.
DEVELOPMENT ORDER EXTENSION POLICY
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Director, Growth Management Department, addressed the Board stating that this item was on the Agenda, because staff wanted to bring to the Board an idea that some of the other counties are doing, as well as the State. He stated that, due to the County’s current economic condition, it is faced with a serious situation, in that there are a large number of already approved developments that cannot proceed, due to financing and other economic conditions, and staff feels that, by extending the expiration date of already approved development orders, it might help the situation. He noted that the State did something similar in 2007 and at least two counties have recently adopted similar ordinances. He commented that, if directed by the Board, staff could draft such an ordinance for their consideration.
Commr. Cadwell urged the Board to consider approval of said request, stating that it would show the development community that the County is trying to give them time to deal with their situations and it would not give them anything that they did not already have.
Discussion occurred regarding the matter and the fact that the request is for a three year extension, at which time Commrs. Renick and Stewart suggested that the extension period be two years, rather than three.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, interjected that the extension period was something that could easily be changed and that he felt two years would work just as well as three. He noted that the Ordinance will have to go before the Local Planning Agency before it comes before the Board for approval, so it will get a good review before it gets to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Growth Management for staff to bring back to them for approval an Ordinance creating a policy extending the expiration date of approved Development Orders two years, due to current economic conditions.
MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR LAKE MAY RESERVE PROPERTY
Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Manager, Public Works Department, addressed the Board and presented a power point presentation overview of the Lake May Reserve property, acquired on May 16, 2008, at a cost of $6.2 million, which is 136 acres in size and is located on the north side of CR 44A, between East Eldorado Lake Drive and North CR 44A; and the Public Land Acquisition Advisory Council’s (PLAAC) approved Management Plan for the Reserve. Land uses/types include forested uplands, active and inactive groves, an open water body (Lake May), and associated herbaceous wetlands. The lake is approximately 20 acres in size and is wholly contained within the property boundaries. The Management Plan specifies and outlines restoration and management activities, as well as infrastructure improvements for passive recreation opportunities. The cost estimates include infrastructure and ecosystem restoration and management costs, such as prescribed burns, and would be accrued over several years.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Public Works for approval of the Management Plan for the Lake May Reserve property, as presented by staff and approved by the Public Land Acquisition Advisory Council (PLAAC) – Commission District 4.
FIRST AMENDMENT TO DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE
COUNTY AND THE VILLAGES OF LAKE-SUMTER, INC. AND CR 466A
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place a Resolution expressing their intent to utilize any monies previously planned to be spent on the four laning of CR 466, in the Lady Lake area, on the four laning and improvement of CR 466A and that the current Lake County Five Year Road Program shall be adopted to show such sums as being available for right of way purposes for CR 466A on the Agenda, for discussion.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, addressed the Board stating that The Villages is moving forward with Segment A of the CR 466 road project, at which time he noted that he has a meeting scheduled with the Town of Lady Lake on Monday, February 23, 2009, to update them on the matter, and they have agreed to move forward with Segment B, which the Agreement before the Board spells out, identifying what funds will be used for that segment. He commented that they are moving quickly on the project and hope to have it underway in the next few months.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that an email that was received from the Florida Department of Transportation, confirming the fact that Lake County has been awarded up to $5 million of Transportation Regional Incentive Program (TRIP) funding for The Villages’ portion of the construction costs for the CR 466 project, was added to the document before them, for their perusal.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Scott Gerken, City Attorney, City of Fruitland Park, addressed the Board stating that he expressed concerns the City of Fruitland Park had about the proposed Agreement at the February 3rd Board Meeting, which is that they do not object to the Agreement, but they are concerned about what it does not say, however, noted that he understood the proposed Resolution will be covering those concerns, although the City has not yet seen the Resolution. He stated that the issue for Fruitland Park is that the Agreement releases The Villages from any responsibility for CR 466A and they wanted to make sure that those funds are shifted down, which would include the TRIP monies, the impact fee monies, and any monies left over from the proposed CR 466 project. He noted that he would look over the Resolution and asked that the Board approve the Agreement, contingent upon the City not having any objections to the Resolution.
Mr. Ralph Bowers, City Manager, City of Fruitland Park, addressed the Board and thanked the individual Commissioners for their expressions of support to the City of Fruitland Park, at which time he noted that he agreed with the comments made by the City Attorney, Mr. Gerken.
There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the First Amendment to the Development Agreement between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and The Villages of Lake-Sumter, Inc. - Commission District 5, as presented.
Mr. Stivender, Public Works Director, readdressed the Board and summarized the Resolution before them for approval, noting that the County has set aside $2 million for the CR 466A project and has identified two additional funding sources, as well, being (1) any money the County receives back from the State will go towards said project and (2) any money the County has left over from the CR 466 project will go towards said project.
Mr. Gerken readdressed the Board, commenting that the proposed Resolution references the funds being available for right of way purposes, under the Revised 2009-2013 Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program, indicating that any funds received from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) “may” be put towards said project and that he presumed “may” was just a matter of whether or not the County receives said funds, but it was his understanding that, assuming the County gets those funds, which staff has no reason to believe that they will not get them, the funds will be used on the CR 466A project.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2009-21, expressing their intent to utilize any monies previously planned to be spent on the four laning of CR 466, in the Lady Lake area, on the four laning and improvement of CR 466A, and that the current Lake County Five Year Road Program shall be adopted to show such sums as being available for right of way purposes for CR 466A.
REVISED 2009-2013 ROAD IMPACT FEE TRANSPORTATION CONSTRUCTION
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, addressed the Board and explained this request, indicating that, due to a significant decline in revenue received in the Road Impact Fee Fund for FY 2010, the Public Works Department presented the Board with a revised 2009-2013 Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program on January 13, 2009. Projects on the revised Road Impact Fee Program have been re-prioritized according to recent revenue received and re-projected amounts. Actual revenue received and actual project costs shall determine which projects move forward. He stated that the County needs to take advantage of the situation, noting that 60 vendors picked up packages for a $2 million proposed stormwater project that the County has, which is twice the number that the County has ever had before. He reviewed the Revised Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program in detail, at which time he noted that staff is taking measures to reduce the dollar amounts, as they go through the process.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director, Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO), addressed the Board stating that he wanted to address the County’s work program, from the perspective of the LSMPO. He stated that the County has several projects in the program that are more localized and probably would not make the LSMPO’s list, such as Bates Avenue, in Eustis; the intersection of SR 46 and Old Hwy. 441, in Mt. Dora; and Old Hwy. 441, in Tavares, however, pointed out the fact that one of the County’s worst performing roads, CR 466, in The Villages, is going to move forward with construction, so concurrency issues are being addressed and it will be a much better performing road. He commented that they will be working with the Town of Lady Lake regarding Rolling Acres Road, but the next project in line will be Hartwood Marsh Road, in Clermont, noting that, of all the projects that Mr. Stivender addressed, that is the one that will be discussed not only at the Board Meetings, but at the LSMPO Meetings, as well, in that it is a regionally significant road and there is a $3 million grant that has been tied up for four years, because the County has not been able to come up with matching funds. He applauded county staff and the Board for their cooperation and the cities, as well, noting that it is unprecedented for the cities to take the lead on projects. He stated that, when it involves the LSMPO, they are talking about letting the priorities define what the solutions are, rather than how much money is in the impact fee coffer, at which time he noted that Hartwood Marsh Road is a perfect example of there needing to be a solution that falls outside of how much money is in the District 5 impact fee money account. He urged the Board to take the matter seriously and give it special attention, noting that he does not know how much longer the State will hold the $3 million grant, being that they have already held it for four years.
Mr. Scott Gerken, City Attorney, City of Fruitland Park, addressed the Board stating that the issue of the CR 466A project and the desire of the City to work with the County was discussed at length at the last City Commission Meeting and one of the things that was discussed, but he has not had a chance to speak with county staff about yet, is the City getting actively involved with the project, similar to what they did with the PD&E Study, where they entered into a local agreement with the County. He commented that city staff has been instructed to work with county staff, to see if they can assist in any way. He indicated that he feels their thought is that Fruitland Park is a small town and CR 466A runs through the heart of it and they are hopeful that their local knowledge and working with people that they have known for years can help move the project along, particularly, when money is tight, as it currently is. He stated that another thing they discussed was the Stimulus Package and what money is available, noting that they are hoping, by helping the County and getting involved with the project, they can go after some of that money a little more actively and will be speaking with the County Attorney and Mr. Stivender regarding the matter.
Mr. Richard Jackson, a resident of Eustis, addressed the Board and discussed some concerns he has about several roads in the Eustis area that are scheduled to be four-laned, which he feels is unnecessary and a waste of money, noting that he feels there are other areas and roads that need to be attended to, which he elaborated on. He commented about drivers speeding and running red lights and the fact that he feels four-laning the roads will only encourage them to do it more.
There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Renick concurred with Mr. Fish’s comments about Hartwood Marsh Road and the issue of the $3 million grant that is being held by the State, noting that she does not have an answer for it, but would like for the County to be creative somehow, so that it does not lose that money.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Revised 2009-2013 Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program, as presented.
Mr. Stivender thanked his staff, in particular Ms. Lori Conway and Mr. Fred Schneider, Engineering Director, for all their hard work in putting this report together.
LAKE COUNTY LIBRARY ADVISORY BOARD APPOINTMENTS
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board affirmed the appointment of Ms. Paula Bean to serve as the Howey-in-the-Hills Member Representative and Ms. Nicole Montrone as its Alternate Member Representative on the Lake County Library Advisory Board, to serve four-year terms ending February 28, 2012; and the appointment of Mr. Keith Crowe, to serve as Minneola’s Member Representative on the Lake County Library Advisory Board, to serve a term ending February 28, 2010.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed individuals to upcoming vacant positions on the Library Advisory Board, to serve four-year terms, beginning March 1, 2009, as follows:
REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY
The County Attorney informed the Board that, for the last few years, his office has adopted a charitable organization in the County to help and, up until last year, it was Sunrise ARC, which his office provided with birthday lunches. However, this year they adopted Tavares Elementary School and collected funds within the office, which they provided to the school. He stated that, in past years, his office ran the NCAA Tournament, to raise funds for the March of Dimes, usually raising a few hundred dollars, and they would like to do it again this year, but have the proceeds go to Tavares Elementary School instead.
It was the consensus of the Board for the County Attorney’s Office to raise funds this year for Tavares Elementary School, by holding a NCAA Tournament and having the proceeds go to the school, as indicated by the County Attorney.
REPORTS – COUNTY MANAGER
RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO SR 44
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director, Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO), addressed the Board stating that, with regard to the Resolution before them for approval pertaining to SR 44, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) proceeded from a study that was done 15 years ago on CR 44B, which is now SR 44 (road next to Lowe’s in Mt. Dora that goes north to Orange Avenue in Eustis) and has been for approximately three years. He stated that the issue arose when FDOT held a couple of public hearings regarding the proposed design and concerns were raised about the widening of the road and whether it really needed to be done. He commented that, before the LSMPO acts on the matter at their next meeting, they are asking for the three local governments affected to take a formal position on it. He questioned whether the Board was comfortable with the proposed design and with the road being four-laned, noting that the LSMPO has asked that the FDOT look at a multipurpose trail on the western side, due to the fact that they have some geometrical limitations with the right of way, in that it is 100 feet. He stated that they are not offering to buy more right of way and are trying to fit what they have inside that corridor, so the LSMPO is asking, if it means shifting around the sidewalks, the bike lanes, the median, etc., whether they would like to get something a little more multi-modal done, noting that the City of Eustis and the City of Mt. Dora both have a desire to connect the two cities utilizing said corridor, as far as the trail system is concerned. He commented that it is a concurrency issue and the LSMPO is going to have to address it, but they want to do it in a way that incorporates the public’s interest, in terms of whether it really has to be widened (it does from a level of service standpoint) and whether they can get a multi-purpose trail put in (if the County wants it, FDOT will have to deal with it).
Commr. Stewart questioned why the County and the cities were getting involved with a Resolution for a state road, if FDOT has their minds made up.
Mr. Fish discussed the reason for their being MPOs, noting that, if the engineers for the FDOT or the Federal Government got to make all the decisions, communities would probably not be as attractive and livable as they are. He stated that this is a case where the County and the two cities need to say what they want, because FDOT is clearly saying there is too much traffic for SR 44 to remain a two-lane regional road, so, if they are going to widen it, the Board needs to determine whether there is anything they would like to ask FDOT to do to make it a better situation. He commented that he would wait for the City of Eustis to take formal action regarding the matter at their next meeting, however, noted that they have questioned why roads have to keep being widened.
Commr. Stewart stated that she was going to have to recuse herself from the vote on this matter, because she lives in the area and feels it will affect her quality of life and may affect the economic value of her home. She commented that the people who live along SR 44 and who live in her neighborhood feel the way that Mr. Jackson does - that they have never had any problems involving SR 44 and do not feel it needs to be four-laned.
Commr. Renick questioned whether this was the road where the City of Eustis and the City of Mt. Dora are at odds with each other, in that Mt. Dora wants the road to be four-laned, but the City of Eustis does not, and was informed that that was correct. She suggested that the issue be postponed until a later date, to see if some of the problems involved with it can be resolved.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board postponed a request from the County Manager for approval of a Resolution pertaining to the widening of SR 44 (formerly known as CR 44), until a later date.
Commr. Stewart did not vote, as she had recused herself from the vote.
REDUCTION IN HOURS FOR BUILDING DEPARTMENT
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that she had sent them a memorandum, prior to the meeting, dealing with a number of things, one being that of changing the hours in the Building Department, noting that it is self funded from permit fees and they are not coming in at a rate that will continue to allow a full time operation of that department. She stated that Mr. Dale Greiner, Building Services Director, Growth Management Department, spoke to his staff about the matter and they feel the best way to handle a change in scheduling would be to keep the department open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., a 32 hour work week, which would entail closing the Building Department on Fridays, and requested Board approval to do so.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Manager that the Building Department’s hours be changed from a 40 hour week, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to a 32 hour week, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, due to the fact that said department is self funded from permit fees and permits have not been coming in at a rate that will allow that department to continue to operate full time.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – DISTRICT 1
HISTORY OF TAVARES MASTER CONSTRUCTION PLANS
Commr. Hill stated that she was not sure the Board had a clear understanding of how the County arrived at where it is today regarding all of the downtown Tavares Master Construction Plans and now that the County is at 100% documentation and has gone out to bid, suggested that the County Manager provide the Board with a background history of how the County got to where it is today, because a lot of people were not on board when the County started this whole exercise. She stated that it would give them an up-to-date educational look at how the County arrived at where it is today and she feels it would be very educational and helpful to the new Board members to have said history and might alleviate any questions and misunderstandings about the matter.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER RENICK – DISTRICT 2
PROPOSED MARINA ON LAKE MINNEOLA
Commr. Renick informed the Board that the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) has on the Agenda for their March meeting a request for approval of a 48 slip marina to be constructed on Lake Minneola, on the Clermont Chain of Lakes, and both Clermont and Minneola feel the proposed marina is inappropriate for an Outstanding Florida Waterway, due to the additional impact that it will have on the Chain of Lakes. She stated that, even though it was specifically spelled out in the developer’s Development Order that such a marina would be prohibited, he is trying to get the SJRWMD to approve the marina anyway. She noted that Clermont and Minneola have written letters to the SJRWMD opposing said marina and questioned whether the Board would be interested in authorizing staff to write a letter of support to them, as well, reflecting their concerns, to be included in the packets for their next meeting.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place said item on the Agenda.
A motion was made by Commr. Renick and seconded by Commr. Stewart that said letter of support be written, informing the SJRWMD of the Board’s concerns, reflecting basically the same concerns that the Cities of Minneola and Clermont stated in their letters about the proposed marina.
Under discussion, Commr. Conner questioned what the major objection was to a marina being constructed on Lake Minneola and was informed that it would be an extra impact on an Outstanding Florida Waterway, being the Clermont Chain of Lakes.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would support the motion, however, noted that he was concerned that it might be an issue of the people who live on the lake not wanting other people to have access to it and, anytime the Board restricts somebody’s access, it concerns him. He pointed out the fact that, with regard to this case, it does not involve a public boat ramp, but is a proposed marina that would be a commercial operation tied to a development that was approved with a specific understanding that a marina would not be allowed.
Commr. Stewart interjected that support of the motion would not prohibit access to the lake, noting that there are many places where one can put their boat in the lake.
Discussion occurred regarding the Board possibly feeling a little uncomfortable about sending a letter of support, at which time Commr. Stewart stated that the Board is in a situation where they all might feel a little uncomfortable about things that they are going to have to do, but she feels the Board needs to be taking some pretty hard stands on water issues, because they have some huge ones facing them and, if they do not make the right decisions and take the right stands now, down the road Lake County, as well as the entire State of Florida, is going to be negatively affected.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not think anybody disagreed with Commr. Stewart, it was just that he wanted to know more about the situation and that, if Commr. Renick was saying positively that it was stated in the Development Order for the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) that a marina was prohibited, he would support the letter being written.
Commr. Renick stated that she would have staff provide the Board members with a copy of the letter from Clermont spelling out the fact that a marina was prohibited in the CUP.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved for staff to write a letter supporting the position of the Cities of Clermont and Minneola, regarding the matter of a marina being proposed to be constructed on Lake Minneola.
Commr. Renick brought up for discussion the issue of the Water Alliance and a proposed pipeline connecting all the projects on the St. Johns River. She noted that she has to take back to the Water Alliance the Board’s position on the matter, so she feels it is an issue that might need to be discussed at their next meeting. Lake Soil & Water drafted a Resolution regarding the matter and she asked that it be inserted in their Agenda packets, for discussion, to see if they might want to do something similar.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CONNER – DISTRICT 3
LEAGUE OF CITIES’ LUNCHEON
Commr. Conner informed the Board that he attended a recent League of Cities’ luncheon, as the Board’s representative, and received a warm reception, especially from the City of Fruitland Park.
YALAHA COMMUNITY MEETING
Commr. Conner stated that he also attended a Yalaha community meeting recently and learned about their plans for a community building. He noted that he was impressed with the presence that the County’s staff has at the grass roots level.
JUDICIAL CENTER EXPANSION PROJECT
Commr. Conner commented that he has two items on the Agenda for the next Board Meeting pertaining to the Judicial Center Expansion Project, being (1) to move forward with some financing plans for Phase II, in increments, so that the Board will know what the County’s financial situation is, when the bids get here; and (2) in the event the Board decides to borrow more money than the $47 million that is allocated for said project, he will be asking for a public hearing to be held, so that the Board can obtain public input about the matter.
LAKE COUNTY DAYS IN TALLAHASSEE
Commr. Conner announced that he would be going to Tallahassee directly after the meeting for Lake County Days.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT 4
WATER ALLIANCE (CONT’D.)
Commr. Stewart thanked Commr. Renick for her involvement in the Water Alliance Meeting that was held last week, commenting that she feels the stand Commr. Renick took is a common sense stand, at which time she noted that the Commissioners, as a Board, have the responsibility of taking a stand on the County’s water issues.
WEKIVA RIVER’S DESIGNATION AS WILD AND SCENIC RIVER
Commr. Stewart brought up the issue of the Wekiva River and the fact that it was designated a Wild and Scenic River by Congress in 2000 and, when that happened, it became part of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Partnership, which currently protects nationally significant rivers that flow through privately-owned or state-owned lands within the United States, managed through long-term partnerships between the National Park Service and local, regional, and state stake holders; however, the County needs some congressional support and federal funding, to keep the management system going and protect the rivers. She asked that the Board send a letter to the County’s representatives in Congress, requesting their support of this effort, so the Wekiva River can get its fair share of federal funds.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to have said letter sent to the County’s representatives in Congress requesting their support.
CHILD CARE AWARENESS MONTH IN LAKE COUNTY AND PARENTS AND
CHILDREN’S DAY IN LAKE COUNTY PROCLAMATION
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2009-23, proclaiming March 2009 as Child Care Awareness Month in Lake County and April 5, 2009 as Parents’ and Children's Day in Lake County.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Roy Hunter, Northeast Lake Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Board and displayed photographs showing a sign in the Paisley area indicating there was traffic congestion at the intersection of Maggie Jones Road and CR 42, which was unheard of for that area, due to a Boy Scouts of America function, which he noted was very successful, as well as photographs of some black bears in the Paisley area. He then displayed a newspaper article about his 12 year old grandson, Dylan Kovar, and the fact that he was one of three students from Roosevelt Middle School who traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Presidential Youth Inauguration Conference, which he was very proud of.
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of the County who was a corporate internal auditor for approximately 20 years, as well as an auditor with the Federal Government, among other things, and writes a blog on fiscal management for local government agencies, addressed the Board stating that the Clerk’s Internal Auditor requested an audit of the County’s SHIP Program and it took five months for the County Manager’s Office to respond to said request and he found that to be unacceptable and unprofessional. He stated that it should only take 30 days for such a response and no longer. He informed the Board that he has attended the Lake County School Board Meetings for the past two years and has tried to educate them about fiscal and business procedures that they need to implement and that he intended to do the same for the County. He suggested that the Board implement an audit committee like the School District has, indicating that he feels fiscal control and a business management process needs to be implemented. He discussed various other issues involving the County and how things were handled, versus how he felt they should have been handled, at which time he submitted, for the record, an article about an audit that was conducted on the Essex County EDC, which painted a portrait of an ineffective EDC and recommended that funding to said entity be discontinued.
Mr. Jeff Ableman, representing a company in Clermont, addressed the Board and requested a refund of their building permit fees, noting that the company pulled a building permit a little over two years ago, at a cost of approximately $38,000, but the developer was not able to sell any of the units and has since shut the project down. He stated that, according to the Impact Fee Ordinance, the County will refund 50% of the fees, which will allow them to get a portion of their money back, at which time he asked the Board to waive the one year requirement, considering the state of the economy.
The Chairman stated that the Board was not in a position to make a decision about the matter, because they needed to know more about it and look at it globally, as to how many other people are in the same boat, at which time staff was directed to put together a report, for the Board to address the matter sometime in March.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:45 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board was going to take a ten minute recess. The meeting was reconvened, at which time the Board went into a Closed Session.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he had requested at the last meeting that a Closed Session be held, pursuant to Florida Statute 286.011, to discuss settlement negotiations and strategy sessions relating to litigation. He stated that a Court Reporter was present and would record when the session begins and ends and that, other than the Board of County Commissioners and himself, the only other people who would be present would be Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager; Ms. Erin Hartigan, Assistant County Attorney; and Attorney Duke Woodson, the County’s outside legal counsel. He noted that no portion of the meeting would be off the record and that he expected the session to last approximately 30 minutes.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 11:35 a.m., the Chairman reconvened the meeting.
CLOSED SESSION (CONT’D.)
The County Attorney requested approval to hold a subsequent Closed Session at the February 24th or March 3rd Board Meeting.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place said item on the Agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Attorney to hold a subsequent Closed Session to further discuss settlement negotiations and strategy sessions relating to litigation at either the February 24th Board Meeting, or the March 3rd Board Meeting.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
NEIL KELLY, CLERK