A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
april 7, 2009
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, at 8:30 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Elaine Renick; Linda Stewart; and Jimmy Conner. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
SALES SURTAX OVERSIGHT ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT
Mr. Keith Mullins, Chairman, Sales Surtax Oversight Advisory Committee, addressed the Board and reported that things are working as was intended by the County Commission seven and a half years ago by the population who voted on the tax at that time. He stated that, in 2001, the one cent sales tax was extended for another 15 years and one of the conditions of it being extended was that an oversight committee be established to look at the budget, prior to the money being spent, as well as during the time that the money is being spent. He indicated that a meeting was held on March 2, 2009, to review the money that was spent during the period of October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008, at which time the expenditures for the County, the Cities’, and the School Board were reviewed. He commented that the Committee had several questions, with regard to the Cities’ expenditures, as detailed under Tab 2 of the report, which was submitted, for the record. He stated that the system seems to be working pretty good and everybody is on board with the intent of it, noting that the money is going where the voters said it should go.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 8:35 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 9:00 a.m.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Reverend Mary Blocher, Unity Leesburg Church, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, pulled Tab 5, a request from Procurement for the award of a contract for a wheel loader, from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda and moved it to Departmental Business, for discussion; and she postponed Tab 18, a presentation by Ms. Pam Steinke, Administrator, Lake County Health Department, in recognition of National Health Week, until the Board Meeting of April 21, 2009. She noted that there was an Addendum No. 1 to the Agenda, as well, containing a request for approval of a Resolution urging the Florida Legislature not to pass SB2570 and similar legislation that would consolidate Early Learning Coalitions.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, pulled Tab 27, a request for approval of a Resolution instituting the eminent domain process for the acquisition of property located at the intersection of CR 44 and Harbor Shores Road, and approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiations offers, due to the fact that the County has entered into a contract to purchase said property; therefore, there is no need to use the eminent domain process. He asked to have two items added to the Agenda, both requiring action by the Board, being (1) an issue involving a stimulus project, with regard to the Lois Drive Bridge Project in the Lake Gem area, in that it involves the design/build process and a Commissioner needs to be appointed to the Design/Build Committee; and (2) he would like to get approval for the Chairman to sign a Power of Attorney for the IRS to do a routine audit of the Senniger Irrigation Industrial Development Bond.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place said items on the Agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place on the Agenda a request for approval to have value engineering done on the Paisley Fire Station.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he had two items to be added to the Agenda, which would require action, being (1) a COPS Grant that the Sheriff has brought forward for approval, replacing the original COPS Grant, which required a match, noting that this one will not require a match; and (2) a discussion regarding a Senate and House Bill that will affect the local Health Department’s ability to provide services.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place said items on the Agenda.
COPS 2008 UNIVERSAL HIRING PROGRAM GRANT
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Sheriff has an opportunity, under the stimulus package, to apply for a COPS Grant that would replace the one that the Board has already approved.
Sheriff Gary Borders addressed the Board stating that his office was applying for the COPS 2008 Universal Hiring Program (UHP) Grant, in the hopes of hiring 10 additional Deputy Sheriffs. It is a three year grant and, if they get it, they will be asked to be released from the other grant, which requires a match. He stated that it is an online submission and the only thing they needed was the Board’s approval to go forward with it.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the Sheriff for approval to go forward with the COPS 2008 Universal Hiring Program (UHP) Grant, which will enable him to hire 10 additional Deputy Sheriffs.
Regarding the Minutes of March 3, 2009, Commr. Hill requested the following change:
On Page 17, Line 22, change the name “Holden” to “Goldin”.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of February 24, 2009 (Regular Meeting) and March 3, 2009 (Regular Meeting), 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.
Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases
Request to acknowledge receipt of Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, for the month ending February 28, 2009, in the amount of $235,120.09. Same period, last year: $234,212.33.
Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission – In re: No. PSC-09-0119-PCO-EI; Issued: March 2, 2009. Petition to modify Tariff Sheet Nos. 4.113 and 4.122, regarding conversion of and construction of underground residential facilities, by Progress Energy Florida, Inc. Docket No. 080719-EI; Order No. PSC-09-0119-PCO-EI; Issued March 2, 2009.
Letter from City of Eustis Regarding Joint Planning Area
Request to acknowledge receipt of letter from the City of Eustis giving notification of action within the Joint Planning Area, as follows:
Annexation and Comprehensive Plan Amendment
Location: 16515 McKinley Road
Alternate Key: 3473191
Proposed Action: Annexation of approximately 4.38 acres; Comprehensive Plan Amendment to change the land use from Urban Expansion, in Lake County, to Agriculture, in the City of Eustis.
Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission – Notice of Commission Hearing and Prehearing to Progress Energy Florida, Inc., PCS Phosphate – White Springs, and All Other Interested Persons; Docket No. 080501-EI; Issued March 3, 2009.
PETITION FOR WAIVER OF RULE 25-17.250(1) AND (2)(A), F.A.C., WHICH REQUIRES PROGRESS ENERGY FLORIDA TO HAVE A STANDARD OFFER CONTRACT OPEN UNTIL A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL IS ISSUED FOR SAME AVOIDED UNIT IN STANDARD OFFER CONTRACT, AND FOR APPROVAL OF STANDARD OFFER CONTRACT.
Notice is hereby given that a hearing will be held before the Florida Public Service Commission regarding the petition of Progress Energy Florida, Inc. for approval of a standard offer contract and associated tariffs, at the following time and place: Thursday, April 16, 2009, 9:30 a.m., Florida Public Service Commission, 4075 Esplanade Way, Betty Easley Conference Center, Room 148, Tallahassee, Florida.
Annexation Ordinance from City of Groveland
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Annexation Ordinance No. 2009-02-07, from the City of Groveland, extending and increasing the corporate limits of the City of Groveland, pursuant to the provisions of Florida Statute 171.044, annexing approximately 25.57 acres of Lake County land contiguous to the present limits of the City of Groveland.
Public Meeting Notice for CR 470 (C-470) Project Development and Environment Study
Request to acknowledge receipt of Public Meeting Notice for CR 470 (C-470) Project Development and Environment Study from Interstate 75 to Lake County Line, Sumter County, Florida, on Thursday, March 26, 2009, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Lake Panasoffkee Recreation Park, 1582 CR 459, Lake Panasoffkee.
Copy of Lake-Sumter Community College Operational Audit
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Report No. 2009-145, Lake-Sumter Community College Operational Audit, for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2008.
Customer Notification of Rate Increase from Comcast
Request to acknowledge receipt of Customer Notification of Rate Increase from Comcast.
Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission – In re: Application for increase in water and wastewater in Lake County, by Lake Utility Services, Inc.
City of Mount Dora Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of City of Mount Dora Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2008.
Annual Financial Audit for the Lake County Water Authority
Request to acknowledge receipt of Annual Financial Audit for the Lake County Water Authority.
Annexation Ordinance from City of Mount Dora
Request to acknowledge receipt of Annexation Ordinance No. 2009-06, from the City of Mount Dora, annexing the intersection of US 441 and Eudora Road, from the northern ROW line of US 441 to the western ROW line of Eudora Road.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick 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, as follows:
Budget Transfer – General Fund, Department of Facilities Development and Management. Transfer $93,029 from Facilities Maintenance, Jail and Sheriff's Facilities Maintenance, and Facilities Services to Energy Management. Utility costs for County facilities were budgeted to accommodate a planned increase by Progress Energy in the second quarter of the fiscal year. The rate increase was higher than anticipated. Progress Energy is expected to request a reduction to their rate increase; however, the net increase to the County for the fiscal year will be greater than the amount originally budgeted. The resulting budget shortage is projected as $93,029, including operation of the new Central Energy Plant, Parking Garage, and Property Appraiser/Tax Collector Offices. Funds are available in the designated accounts, due to operational savings, savings on planned items, and reductions in planned activities for the balance of the fiscal year.
Request for approval of the Self-Funded Medical Plan Amendments policy.
Request for approval to receive the donation of a 2000 Freightliner Columbia Truck for the Fire Rescue Division.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2009-39, to accept funds from the State of Florida E911 Grant Program, in the amount of $1,148,083.00. These funds are to establish a network with Embarq, utilizing tariffed rates.
Request for approval and execution of Resolution No. 2009-40, authorizing the receipt of funding from the Lake County Department of Health to the Lake County General Fund, to conduct a Mass Prophylaxis Seminar with Tabletop Exercise and Tactical Communications Drill.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2009-41, recognizing the observance of 'Train Safety Awareness Week' from April 19-25, 2009.
Request for authorization to accept a maintenance bond, in the amount of $22,900.58, and execute a Developer's Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements between Lake County and Sorrento Hills Properties, LLC. The project is located in Section 7, Township 19 South, Range 28 East - Commission District 4.
Request for authorization to execute Resolution No. 2009-42 and Release Agreement, and execute any required settlement documents with the bonding agent, due to the developer’s failure to complete the infrastructure within Colina Bay subdivision. Colina Bay consists of 73 lots and is located in Section 23, Township 22 South, Range 25 East - Commission District 3.
Request for approval and acceptance of submitted list of public rights of way deeds that have been secured, in conjunction with roadway and/or stormwater projects - Commission Districts 2, 4, and 5.
Request for approval to lease house that is located on Ellis Acres property to tenant in law enforcement profession - Commission District 5.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:
Request for approval of Settlement Agreement between Showcase Homes, Inc. and Lake County - Commission District 4.
Request for approval of Termination of Lease Agreement with Wilson Investments of Lake County, for office space for Conservation and Compliance Department - Commission District 3.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, introduced to those present Mr. David Donofrio, noting that he was shadowing her this date for Leadership Lake County.
The Chairman presented the following employee awards, with Ms. Kasie McAdams, Employee Services Manager, commenting briefly about each employee’s service to the County:
Presentation of Award to Employees with Five Years of Service
John Jolliff, Deputy Fire Chief
Public Safety/ Fire Rescue
Don Murray, Equipment Operator IV
Environmental Utilities/Solid Waste Operations/Landfill Operations
Erikk Ross, Software Engineer
Information Technology/Programming and Applications Support
Dorothy Ruck, Office Associate III
Conservation and Compliance/Code Enforcement Services
Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Director
Public Safety/Emergency Management
James Willis, Equipment Operator III
Public Works/Road Operations/Maintenance Area III (Umatilla)
Presentation of Award to Employees with Ten Years of Service
Kirk Biccum, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (Not Present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Judith Buckland, Library Services Program Coordinator
Community Services/Library Services
Terrie Diesbourg, Zoning Director
James Fletcher, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Robert Ford, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Michael Kopilash, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Brook Miller, Park Ranger
Public Works/Parks and Trails
Dustin Minton, Firefighter/EMT (Not Present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Presentation of Award to Employees with Fifteen Years of Service
Teresa Harrison, Accounting Technician (Not Present)
Procurement Services/Fleet Management
Presentation of Award to Employees with Twenty Years of Service
Michael Bass, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Kevin Chamberlain, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
NATIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WEEK PROCLAMATION
The Chairman presented Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, with the National Community Development Week Proclamation that was approved at the March 3, 2009 Board Meeting, at which time Mr. Bill Gearing, Community Enhancement Coordinator, Community Services Department, addressed the Board stating that staff believes very much in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, noting that, over the last several years that the County has had it, they have been able to reach out to the rural communities in the County more and let them know that the County does care about their infrastructure and quality of life and that the County does want to see it improved. He stated that it takes a lot of hard work and gets a little contentious sometimes, but, overall, the residents feel more and more that the County does care about them.
VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION MONTH IN LAKE COUNTY RESOLUTION
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, addressed the Board and recognized Ms. Helena Osborne-Ponsi, Volunteer Coordinator for Lake County, as well as Mr. John Walton, Mr. Don Shriner, Ms. Gwynn Manning, and Ms. Donna Grant, who work with the County’s Volunteer Program, noting that they all do a great job.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2009-43, recognizing the accomplishments of Lake County's volunteers and declaring the month of April, 2009, as Volunteer Appreciation Month in Lake County, Florida, which was read into the record and presented to Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director.
It was noted that the Resolution will be displayed in the Rotunda area of the Administration Building for the remainder of the month of April.
PRESENTATION BY U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Manager, Public Works Department, addressed the Board stating that staff was asking for some direction, as far as pursuing the countywide Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), which is something that was bantered about a number of years ago about doing it for scrub jays and now the County is looking at possibly doing it for multiple species, which he elaborated on. He noted that a presentation was given to the Green Team and the consensus was for it to be brought to the Board, for direction.
Ms. Paula Sisson, Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, addressed the Board stating that she appreciated the opportunity to speak to them about the HCP process and possibly doing a countywide HCP. She stated that she works out of the Jacksonville field office and helps issue “incidental take permits” for the Fish and Wildlife Service and the main species that she works with are the Florida Scrub Jays, the Sand Skink, and the Eastern Indigo Snake, mostly in Brevard, Volusia, and Lake Counties. She indicated that she is working with some other counties in doing countywide HCPs, at which time she gave a power point presentation about the HCP process and how it might benefit Lake County. She works under the authority of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which allows the protection of all listed species – threatened and endangered, and it protects the habitat of those species. The ESA gives joint authority to the Fish and Wildlife Services and to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries. She briefly reviewed some definitions under the ESA and noted that one of the benefits of having a countywide HCP is that the County could keep the funds and resources for mitigation, whether it is through funding, or through green spaces, etc. – to have some areas where endangered and threatened species could thrive. She indicated that Polk County is going to buy credits and suggested that, if Lake County had something like it, as well, such as a preserve or conservation area, applicants could buy credits off of it and the funding would stay in the County, as well as the green space.
Ms. Sisson discussed ways of looking at the overall aspect of conservation and keeping those resources in the County; who could participate in the HCP process (private land owners, corporations, tribal governments, state and local governments and other non-federal land owners); and how long it takes (depends on complexity involved, including the number of species), noting that a HCP has to become certified by the regional office and there are a number of things that it has to go through, before a permit is issued, which she reviewed. She stated that it will take approximately three years for the County to complete the whole process and get issued an incidental take permit, noting that staff will probably have to do some surveys, to find out where the scrub jays, the sand skinks, etc. are located, as complete surveys have not been done for a few years. Long term effects of development, conservation lands, etc., are things that would go into the countywide HCP and then, once the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Service receives said information, they would start their process.
Ms. Sisson talked about how the County could develop a countywide HCP, noting that federal funding is available to do countywide grants and everyone in Florida who has applied for said grants has received funding, and it has been a pretty fair amount of money. She commented that it requires coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, because it is another part (Section 6) of the ESA that involves funding. She discussed how endangered species benefit from an HCP, noting that the impacts to species are minimized and mitigated; habitat fragmentation and degradation is reduced; important habitats can be preserved, restored, and enhanced; and advanced planning can provide for comprehensive long term conservation, which she feels are so beneficial, not only to the species, but to the counties and the people that live in them. She commented that it provides more towards the quality of life to have such things in place – for the species and the conservation lands that would only enhance their well being. She then answered questions from the Board regarding an HCP.
A motion was made by Commr. Renick and seconded by Commr. Stewart that the Board approve a request from county staff and the County’s Green Team to pursue a countywide Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Lake County.
Under discussion, Commr. Conner stated that he feels comfortable supporting the motion, but would not feel comfortable implementing anything until he has a dollar figure, at which time he questioned what one gets in exchange for buying a credit.
Ms. Sisson stated that, usually, a credit would be an acre and, if someone is impacting two acres of land of occupied habitat, they would have to buy four acres of occupied habitat to compensate for it – they would get an opportunity to move the impacted or endangered species and develop their land, but they would not get anything else in return. With regard to scrub jays, the property owner would not move the scrub jays, but just purchase land somewhere else, which would be used for conservation purposes.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
SITE PLAN FOR PROPOSED HONDA DEALERSHIP IN CLERMONT
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Director of Planning and Community Design, Growth Management Department, addressed the Board stating that, on November 25, 2008, they approved Ordinance No. 2008-79, granting an amendment to the Headquarter Orlando LLC Planned Unit Development’s (PUD) zoning for the new Honda dealership being proposed in the City of Clermont. He indicated that a requirement was placed in the Ordinance at that meeting that the site plan be brought before them for approval, thus, the reason it is before them this date. He commented that staff reviewed the site plan and found it to be consistent with the Ordinance and direction from the Board and they are ready to proceed. Upon being questioned about the LEED aspect of the plan and as to whether there were any residents that were finding fault with the amendment to the PUD, he noted that the applicant applied for LEED certification and that staff sent notices to adjoining property owners and posted the property, as well as emailed all the interested parties about the amendment and the meeting this date, and was not aware of anyone being against it.
Commr. Renick thanked Ms. Geraci, Attorney, representing Headquarter Orlando LLC, for her participation in this process, noting that it was handled as good as it possibly could have been handled.
A motion was made by Commr. Renick and seconded by Commr. Conner that the Board approve a request from Growth Management for approval of the site plan for the Headquarter Orlando LLC Honda dealership, to allow the applicant to pursue building permits for building and certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program as a Green Building.
Under discussion, Commr. Conner commented that staff stated the applicants were model applicants and have gone above and beyond what a normal business would be expected to and have made a good impression on staff, before they have even broken ground.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.
CONTRACT FOR OPERATING LEASE FOR WHEEL LOADER
Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Services Director, addressed the Board stating that this request was for approval of a lease for a wheel loader to be used to support the recycling operation at Environmental Utilities, noting that the current machine is owned by the County. He stated that it is approximately five (5) years old and is approaching the end of its useful life. The acquisition of a replacement machine is based on accessing a statewide contract, whose general use was authorized by the Board in November of 2008. The price is considered to be fair and reasonable, based on the competitive award of a statewide contract, and in comparison to pricing that staff obtained under a competitive bid that was awarded in January of this year. He stated that, under the State Sheriff’s contract, the purchase price for the specific wheel loader the County is acquiring is $138,176, which includes a number of options specific to the landfill operation; said pricing went into effect October 1, 2008; the total expenditure for a three year lease is $113,616, which includes all equipment costs, all operating costs, and all maintenance costs, excluding fuel, lubricants, and any damage that may be caused to the equipment during the operation of it. The County’s Fleet Maintenance Department estimates that approximately 10% of that price reflects the operation of the maintenance costs, to be borne by the vendor, during the lease period. He informed the Board that a quick survey conducted by staff indicated that Pinellas County, Orange County, and the Town of Casselberry have recently acquired similar equipment from the Sheriff’s contract and staff could not identify any local counties that have done their own procurement open market for said item. He stated that Environmental Utilities indicated they could live with the current equipment for the period associated with conducting a formal bid, if the Board directs staff to do so.
Commr. Conner discussed a concern he had about (1) whether the price that was quoted for the piece of equipment was an old price and, if so, whether it was a good price, and (2) if the County does not bid it locally, how would they know whether the price that was quoted was a good price. He questioned whether the County would be better off buying a piece of equipment for $138,000, rather than leasing it for three years for $113,000. He stated that, if the Board decided to approve leasing it, the only way that he could support the motion would be if staff had an up-to-date price, just so they could substantiate the $138,000 price being a good one.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, addressed the Board stating that the landfill ages equipment fast, so the County would not want to own equipment that is going to be located at the landfill, if at all possible.
Discussion occurred regarding whether this was a time sensitive matter; the fact that, due to the quantities involved with the State Sheriff’s contract, whether the price that was quoted can be beat, and, if staff does rebid the piece of equipment, what would happen if they got a higher price.
Commr. Cadwell interjected that he did not feel what was being suggested was a good business practice, noting that, if the County decides to go with the bid process, they need to go along with whatever comes out of it.
Mr. Schwartzman stated that the only reason he mentioned his concerns about the matter was that, if he were to obtain bids and then not receive an award of a contract, based on a reasonable assumption, he would not get much competition the next time the County went out to bid.
Commr. Hill informed the Board that she agreed with Commr. Cadwell’s comments, noting that, if the County was dealing with a closed bid, the circumstances would be a little different.
Mr. Schwartzman was questioned as to how long it would take his department to get the item back on the street for bid, to which he responded that the entire process would take two to three months.
A motion was made by Commr. Conner and seconded by Commr. Renick that, with regard to a request from Procurement for approval to award a contract for a thirty six (36) month operating lease for one (1) wheel loader to Ring Power Corporation, in accordance with Florida Sheriff's Association Bid No. 08-16-0908, the Board direct staff to rebid the wheel loader, under the terms that were presented to them this date, with the exact piece of equipment and the exact terms of the lease, and for the County to bid two different options, being (1) a purchase price and (2) a lease price.
Under discussion, Commr. Stewart questioned whether the County would have the money to purchase the piece of equipment and was informed by Mr. Schwartzman that, to the best of his knowledge, it was not programmed to be purchased at this point in time.
It was noted that the County would at least have both prices to consider.
Commr. Conner interjected that he felt, if the County has the money to lease it, they have the money to purchase it – they could find a way to do it.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the difference between the two is that the County would have the money to lease it, because it is only paying a third or a quarter of the cost involved per year.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that they needed to clarify exactly what piece of equipment the County would be bidding.
Mr. Schwartzman stated that the piece of equipment in question is a Caterpillar.
Commr. Conner stated that, when he said exact, he just meant for the terms of the lease to be exact, so that the County would be comparing apples to apples, when comparing dollars. He commented that he did not mean for the County to sole source bid a Caterpillar, noting that his objective was to expand the opportunity for bids, not narrow it.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote.
ENGINEERING DESIGN FOR NORTH HANCOCK ROAD SEGMENT A
Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Services Director, informed the Board that this was a request for approval to award the engineering design contract for the North Hancock Road, Segment A project, using Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA) procedures, as dictated by State Statutes. He commented that the County received seventeen responses, which was short listed to three, and staff determined that the recommended vendor was the best qualified to perform the work. The negotiated price was considered to be fair and reasonable, as it reflects a slightly lower value than the initial county estimate for the work to be performed.
Commr. Conner stated that the firm of Farner Barley, which is based in Wildwood, has thirteen families that live in Lake County and questioned why they were not short listed, since it is a project that is well within their ability.
Mr. Schwartzman replied that, during the course of review of their proposal by the selection committee, they agreed unanimously that there was a lack of detail in it, which indicated that there was a misunderstanding of the project on their part.
Commr. Conner stated that he would not be voting in favor of the recommendation for approval of this request, because, rather than the Board award the contract to a local firm that it is well within their ability to do the project, they were awarding it to an international firm, even though the local firm has thirteen families that live in the County, own property in the County, and pay taxes in the County. He stated that it is not a project that would be above their ability – it would be a routine project for them. He noted that he does not feel the County has a commitment at the staff level to do business locally. He feels the Board is committed to doing business locally, but he does not see it being implemented.
Commr. Renick interjected that, at one time, she felt the way Commr. Conner feels about the Board getting local companies to do work that needs to be done, but she now feels they have got to think about the Central Florida region and not just Lake County, or they will be missing the big picture, in terms of the taxpayers’ dollars.
Discussion occurred regarding the matter, at which time Commr. Cadwell stated that he feels the County has a fair process, but that, if some of the other Commissioners feel there is a problem with it, then they need to change it, however, pointed out the fact that changing it can sometimes bastardize it, which concerns him.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried, by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved a request from Procurement Services for approval to award RSQ 09-0016, Engineering Design for North Hancock Road, Segment A, to TY Lin International, in the amount of $600,000 - Commission District 2.
Commr. Conner voted “No”.
VISTA DEL LAGO BOULEVARD IN THE VISTAS subdivision
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, addressed the Board stating that the last time this issue was before them, they approved to move forward with the permitting and closing of Vista Del Lago Boulevard, in The Vistas subdivision, by installing an earthen berm. He stated that Commr. Renick then asked the Board to rescind the permit and discuss this item further, due to the technology associated with Public Safety’s access to the site. Various meetings were held with the property owners, at which time there was a lot of discussion about costs involved with closing the road, so he had his staff put together a cost estimate and what would be involved with closing the road, which he reviewed with the Board. He stated that, rather than installing an earthen berm, they came up with a minimum price of approximately $16,000 to have a solar powered emergency access gate and fence installed, at which time he displayed a sketch of same, noting that emergency vehicles would be able to operate the gate via their radios. He commented that the project was not bid out - staff just obtained some quotes for the homeowners, to give them an idea of what it would cost them to do what they wanted to do.
Discussion occurred regarding the cost of replacing batteries in the gate; how often such gates malfunction; if it does malfunction, whether there would be a way to close the gate, so that it cannot be used, while it is not working; and who would pay the $16,000.
It was noted that the Homeowners Association wants to have an earthen berm installed, rather than a fence and gate.
Commr. Renick stated that she did not understand the homeowners’ opposition to a fence and gate, noting that it would prevent people from entering their neighborhood, but would allow emergency vehicles to access it, and it would be cheaper than installing an earthen berm.
Commr. Cadwell interjected that he felt it was because the closing of the road has gone back and forth over the years and perhaps the Homeowners Association feels there would be a better level of trust if the road was closed – that it would put finality to it. He thinks they feel the issue is always going to be there, if a fence and gate are installed.
Commr. Stewart questioned whether there was a first response with the City of Clermont’s Fire Department and was informed by Lake County Public Safety Operations Chief Jim Dickerson that the County has never had a first response agreement with the City of Clermont. He stated that the County has a long standing mutual aid agreement with the City, as it does with all the other cities in the County, with the exception of Leesburg and Minneola, however, noted that there is a delay involved, in that it takes them two to three minutes to even get on the road, when they are called and asked to assist the County.
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Madden, residents of The Vistas who are opposed to a berm, rather than a fence and gate, addressed the Board and discussed the reasons for their opposition to a berm, noting that they have fought for the safety of their community for five years and have lost the battle for keeping the road open, but they refuse to accept the fact that their safety is going to be in peril. They stated that the homeowners have been misled about a number of things, such as the fact that the City of Clermont is their first responder; that it would cost in excess of $100,000 for the fence and gate to be installed; that it would have to be done through a special assessment; that every irresponsible fire, police, and public official would use the road; and that none of their children or pets would be safe. They feel it is outrageous that the Homeowners Association can trash the residents’ public safety for their own personal gains. They indicated that the matter was never brought back to the residents for reconsideration, other than saying that they wanted the road to continue to be closed, while the connector road was being constructed. They pointed out the fact that a statement was made that most of the residents want the berm; however, the last time it was put to a survey of the homeowners, 81% of them wanted the fence and gate. They stated that, when they purchased their home, they expected to have a certain level of service, but that will now be cut off by Vista Del Lago Boulevard being permanently closed.
Ms. Mary Goldin, a member of the Board of Directors of The Vistas Homeowners Association, addressed the Board and rebutted the comments made by Mr. and Mrs. Madden. She noted that all the homeowners that were present at this meeting were residents of the subdivision who were in favor of the berm, rather than the fence and gate. She commented that, when the Homeowners Association first started looking into the matter, former County Commissioner Bob Pool and Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, met with the homeowners and stated that they wanted to put in a barrier. The Board of Directors immediately started looking into it and took a survey in the community asking the residents what they wanted. At the time, a lot of people signed on for a gate, where the County would vacate the property and it would be turned over to the Homeowners Association. They got very involved in it and started looking at what it would cost for a gate, a wall, etc., and started getting bids to see what it would cost to do that – to close the road temporarily, in order to make improvements on Hwy. 27 and Lake Louisa Road. She stated that it has been their goal, since 1990, to have Vista Del Lago Boulevard closed, so the Board of Directors of the Homeowners Association authorized her to speak to Mr. Stivender about having it done. She stated that they talked about gates and walls, but Mr. Stivender informed them that they could not do that – they could not vacate the property and suggested an earthen berm. She indicated that the Homeowners Association had never even thought about an earthen berm, but they were told that another community had been closed with one, which solved everyone’s problem and it was very inexpensive to do. Maintenance on it would be very inexpensive, yet it would keep up the aesthetics of the community. They feel a lot of problems come with gates, which she elaborated on, so they were thrilled when Mr. Stivender presented them with the option of an earthen berm. That option was brought back to the Board of Directors and they were thrilled with it, as well.
Ms. Goldin stated that they went back through the community in 2006, going door to door, and 97.5% of the homeowners wanted the road closed with an earthen berm, rather than a fence and gate. She stated that said information was given to the County, noting that they have done everything the County asked them to do and all they want is for the road to be closed with an earthen berm and they want to be over and done with it. She commented that a lot more of the homeowners would be present at this meeting, if they had received their notices about it sooner than they did, because they want the Board to know what they want and that they are depending on the Board to do what they want. She stated that they are not concerned about their safety – that it has not been an issue for their community, because Lake County uses South Lake Connector and are at the community in four minutes and the City of Clermont’s Fire Department is across the street and responds, as well. She indicated that the homeowners are aware that the City of Clermont’s Fire Department does not have a first response agreement with them, however, noted that there is an unwritten rule amongst all the fire departments in Lake County that they work together for the people of the County and the homeowners are happy with that. She stated that emergency vehicles enter the subdivision through the front entrance anyway, rather than the back.
Commr. Stewart clarified the fact that the homeowners have been made aware of all issues involved with the closing of Vista Del Lago Boulevard and they still want it closed with an earthen berm, so she did not know what else the Board could do but close it.
Commr. Renick was applauded for bringing the matter back before the Board, in an effort to do what she felt was the right thing to do for the community.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried, by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved to permanently close Vista Del Lago Boulevard, in The Vistas subdivision, via an earthen berm, with the cost for said berm to be paid by the homeowners, and to reinstate the right of way utilization permit - Commission District 2.
Commr. Renick voted “No”.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:50 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a 10 minute recess.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed Ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading, by title only, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING FOR LOCAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WATER CONSERVATION RULE FOR LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION OF THE ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION SCHEDULES; PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS TO THE LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION SCHEDULES; PROVIDING FOR VARIANCES FROM THE SPECIFIC DAY OF THE WEEK LIMITATIONS; PROVIDING FOR APPLICABILITY OF THE ORDINANCE; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE ORDINANCE; PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF THE ORDINANCE; PROVIDING FOR CODIFICATION; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL OF ALL CONFLICTING ORDINANCES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Minkoff noted that staff was recommending one change involving penalties, contained on Page 6, Lines 2, 3 and 4 of the Ordinance, which the Board was provided a copy of. The change that staff is recommending is to delete the language, “The Director of Lake County Conservation and Compliance recommends the following penalties for violating the provisions of this article.” and replacing it with the language, “Violation of any provision of this Article shall be subject to the following recommended penalties:”
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Conservation and Compliance Director, addressed the Board stating that, in February of this year, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) sent a letter to the Board, as well as to all the jurisdictions within the District, asking that they adopt a model Ordinance and what the Board has before them is a copy of said Ordinance, which he tweaked, adding a few things and making it more specific to Lake County. He stated that the SJRWMD has reviewed it and indicated that it complies with their model and recommends approval.
Commr. Stewart questioned whether the Board would be able to make some further modifications to the Ordinance, indicating that she was concerned about the language contained in Paragraph 7, on Page 4 of the Ordinance, pertaining to the use of reclaimed water and the fact that the Ordinance allows the use of water from a reclaimed water system anytime, which may or may not be supplemented from another source during peak demand periods, noting that reclaimed water is getting more scarce, as well, and, if the Ordinance is going to allow it to be used anytime and it can be supplemented from the aquifer, it defeats the purpose of the Ordinance.
Mr. Welstead stated that his attempts to modify the Ordinance in the past have been unsuccessful, noting that the attorneys for the SJRWMD have stated repeatedly that he is not allowed to do anything more severe than what they suggested, which he elaborated on, noting that there was an extensive discussion on this very topic through their rule making process from last June/July until the Rule was adopted. He commented that the providers of reclaimed water have issues with it, too, in that they are required to get rid of the water and some days there is a lot of it available and some days there is not. He noted that, in order to accommodate them, the SJRWMD initially agreed to this provision, but they intend to review it later and possibly come up with some additional language, and that is where it stands at this point in time.
Commr. Renick questioned whether the Ordinance could be adopted, minus Paragraph 7, having to do with reclaimed water, or whether they could leave out the last clause and then have it go to the SJRWMD for approval or denial.
Mr. Minkoff responded that the County does not technically need the SJRWMD’s approval to adopt the Ordinance, however, noted that their position is that regulation regarding the use of water is solely theirs and local governments do not have the ability to regulate it at all. They believe the County would be preempted from citing someone for using reclaimed water, when they have given them permission to use it.
Commr. Renick stated that, at a minimum, she would like to take out the language, “which may or may not be supplemented from another source during peak demand periods.” in Paragraph 7, noting that she would recommend that the Board omit said language and adopt the Ordinance and, if the SJRWMD wants to make an issue of it, then so be it.
Commr. Stewart concurred.
Commr. Cadwell questioned how the County was going to know, from a Code Enforcement aspect, if somebody was using regular water or reclaimed water, if they have a reclaimed water system. He stated that he feels the County needs to leave the wording in the Ordinance as it is, with the understanding that it may not be perfect, but it is a good step forward and that he hopes, if the Board approves the Ordinance, they are not approving it, because they feel it is the thing to do, but that they intend for staff to enforce it.
Commr. Hill informed the Board that she could not support the Ordinance, because it is not the County’s Ordinance and it is not the way that the Board feels – it is the SJRWMD’s Ordinance. She stated that another concern she has about it is the cost of enforcing it, noting that it is going to cost the County $250,000 per year, plus a Special Master process, so, if that alone is not reason enough to not approve it, just philosophically, it is their Ordinance. She commented that they issue the CUPs and they are a taxing authority, so it should be up to them to implement it and, if they do not have the personnel to implement it that is their problem. They should create their own commission and appoint them to be the water police. She does not feel the County should have to do their job, when there is no money coming into the County to do it.
Commr. Stewart stated that she agreed with Commr. Hill’s comments, however, noted that the SJRWMD is not going to do it and water is too critical of an issue to not do something about it. She stated that the County has got to educate the general public that conservation is a must.
Commr. Hill interjected that this may be the time to send a message back to the SJRWMD that, if they had been more proactive in guarding the number of CUPs they dealt out, they would not be in the position that they are in and the County and State would not be having the water problems that they are having. She stated that she is not saying that she is not in favor of conservation, but she does not like for the County to have to do somebody else’s work and this is going to be a very difficult thing to implement, plus the cost involved.
Mr. Welstead informed the Board that, with regard to the cost involved, which Commr. Hill alluded to, he put together a 10 year budget, based on minimum staff required to enforce the Ordinance, aware of the fact that he would not be getting additional staff to enforce it. He stated that the Board is not committed to come up with three additional members of staff, or vehicles, etc., it is just that, if his department was going to do it right, that is what they would need to do it.
Commr. Hill concurred, noting that, if his department is going to do it, they need to do it right and, if they utilized just one Code Enforcement Officer this year to enforce the Ordinance, it is an $80,000 additional cost and it is not just for one year, it is an ongoing cost.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board has asked every department to take on a bigger load and that is what is going to have to happen with this department.
Commr. Renick interjected that she did not want people thinking that the County is adding any additional staff, or that they are doing anything other than enforcing any other Code that the Board might approve.
Commr. Hill stated that the Board would be kidding itself, if they did not think it was going to take at least one additional staff member to enforce the Ordinance, noting that it is going to be a big job and, in order to do it right, the County is going to have to have one additional person. She stated that the SJRWMD has created an Ordinance that they want the Board to implement and the Board is not even agreeable with the language that it contains.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Keith Schue, a resident of the Sorrento/Mt. Plymouth area, addressed the Board stating that, if they adopted the Ordinance before them from the SJRWMD, it is one thing and may be the right thing to do; however, he would urge them to push the envelope, with respect to speaking to the SJRWMD, and find ways to work with them, so that they will allow the Board to be more stringent. He stated that other water management districts handle it a little differently, which should be pointed out to the SJRWMD, and the Board should find out why that is and try to change it. He feels it is something that everybody is going to have to work on together and that the County must think about the cost of continuing its current processes, noting that its current behaviors will result in the most costly investments required to sustain the types of water usage that is present today. He stated that ideas are being contemplated to create massive infrastructures of pipes and pumps across the State, in order to sustain a level of water use that simply is not sustainable. He encouraged the Board to work with the SJRWMD to bring about change that is going to make a difference.
Dr. Christine Harris, a resident of Mt. Dora, addressed the Board stating that the SJRWMD is a conglomeration of authorities from the municipalities and individuals which are considered stakeholders and it is that group that flaunts the SJRWMD council, so the municipalities are not being left out without authority, as it is their authority which is co-joined in the SJRWMD, so that it looks at the entire State. The tribal authority also lies in that SJRWMD and she feels it is the primary authority, so, if the Board approves the Ordinance before them, she requested that they make sure that it is clear that it does not lie solely with them, but that they have the power of review and regulation.
Mr. John Potts, a resident of the County, addressed the Board stating that he has heard the arguments on both sides and they have a difficult decision to make. He encouraged them to think in terms of the bigger picture, noting that he feels the best way to enforce conservation is to get people to police themselves, but, unfortunately, water is free. He stated that people do not pay their water bills for the water they use, but for the processing and transporting of the water to their homes, and, as long as water is free, people will use it like they do anything else that is free. He feels what the County needs to do to solve the water issue is to figure out a way to charge people for the water they use, noting that when there is an impact on their wallet, people will police themselves.
There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Conner discussed a concern he has about those people who water manually, rather than use a sprinkler system, being cited, due to possibly being out of town and not watering their lawn and there has been a lack of rain for some time, so they get cited. He stated that he wished the SJRWMD had done a better job of addressing water consumption, rather than what days to water and the times of day to water, noting that it appears they are more concerned about effort, than outcome. He commented that he would go along with the Ordinance and approve it, but that he does not feel it addresses the actual consumption and usage of water the way that it should.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved Irrigation Ordinance No. 2009-17, with the language change regarding penalties, contained on Page 6, Lines 2, 3 and 4, as noted by the County Attorney.
Commr. Hill voted “No”.
CHILDREN’S SERVICES COUNCIL
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request to move Ms. Lorrie Ann Simmons from her currently held District 1 seat on the Children's Services Council to the District 5 seat vacated by Ms. Lalenya Robertson. Ms. Simmons' District 1 seat expires May 14, 2009. The District 5 seat expires May 14, 2010.
REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY
ADVERTISING OF NOISE ORDINANCE
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, informed the Board that the proposed Ordinance is not so much a Noise Ordinance, as it is a Development Ordinance, noting that what it does is require new development, either for site plans or subdivisions, to look at the uses around them, as well as the noise that they are going to generate, indicating that they will have to protect the neighbors from the noise they are going to generate and, at the same time, come up with a way to protect their use from the noise that already exists around them. He stated that it may require, in some cases, that a noise study be conducted by a professional and their ultimate design may have to include the recommendations from that study.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Attorney for approval to advertise the Noise Ordinance.
RESOLUTION INSTITUTING EMINENT DOMAIN PROCESS
The County Attorney stated that this request was for approval to begin eminent domain on three small parcels of property, located on Picciola Road, in Leesburg, pertaining to the construction of the new Picciola Bridge Project. He noted that the parcels in question were the last three parcels that would be necessary to construct the new bridge and are the ones that kept the project from being on the stimulus package list, because it was not “shovel ready”, due to said parcels not being cleared for use. He indicated that staff would like to go forward with said Resolutions, so that, if the County is able to obtain funding for said project, the County will be in a position to construct it.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Attorney for approval of Resolution No. 2009-44 (Kenneth A. Bragg, Trustee); Resolution No. 2009-45 (Diamondback Land Company, a Florida Corporation); and Resolution No. 2009-46 (Jessie J. Edwards and Pauline R. Edwards, husband and wife), instituting the eminent domain process for the acquisition of property located in the Picciola Bridge Project area; and approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiation offers - Commission District 1.
LOIS DRIVE BRIDGE PROJECT
The County Attorney informed the Board that a project that is funded with stimulus money is the replacement of the Lois Drive Bridge, in the Lake Gem area of the County, noting that the Department of Transportation has mandated to the Public Works Department that the County use the design/build process. He stated that the County has a set of designs that were done by the FDOT, but staff feels the FDOT believes they are outdated, so the County will need to get an engineer to certify that the current design still meets Code. He commented that, under Lake County’s Code, in order to utilize the design/build process, the County has to have a solicitation committee to review the applications and is required to have a Commissioner on said committee.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved for Commr. Conner to serve on said solicitation committee.
SENNIGER IRRIGATION INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BOND AUDIT BY IRS
The County Attorney stated that the County issues Industrial Revenue Bonds, which, in this case, involves Senniger Irrigation. He stated that the bonds are issued by Lake County and the bond buyers buy them from the County and, even though Lake County has no liability on the bonds, the sole way they can receive payment is to look to Senniger Irrigation. He noted that, on occasion, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) picks municipal bonds to do random audits and has chosen the Senniger Irrigation bond for a random audit, and, due to the fact that the County is the one that the IRS deals with, they will not talk to anyone from Senniger Irrigation. He informed the Board that the IRS will call the Clerk’s Office requesting information about Senniger Irrigation, but, since the Clerk’s Office does not have that information, they will call Senniger Irrigation requesting it, and, since Senniger Irrigation does not know what they want, but cannot call the IRS to find out what they want, because the IRS will not talk to them, since they are not the taxpayer - the County is, Senniger Irrigation has requested that the County give them Power of Attorney, which will only allow them to talk to the IRS about the issue. He stated that it will not allow them to enter into any type of settlements, or take any action, but it will allow them to talk to the IRS, so that the Clerk’s Office will not be caught in the middle, and the audit can be done. It was noted that staff had the County’s bond counsel look into the matter and it was recommended that the County go forward with it.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s recommendation to give Senniger Irrigation Power of Attorney, allowing them to talk to the Internal Revenue Service about the bond issue, so that the audit of Senniger Irrigation can go forward.
REPORTS – COUNTY MANAGER
COUNTY’S FLEET FACILITY IN LEESBURG
It was the consensus of the Board that action regarding stimulus funds availability for the County’s Fleet Facility, located in the City of Leesburg, and the needs of the current facility, be postponed until the Board Meeting of April 21, 2009.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the County look at the feasibility of utilizing the new facility that was constructed for the Public Works Department at the Landfill, as a long range solution to the problem, as opposed to purchasing a used facility.
USE OF INMATE LABOR FOR SHERIFF’S SOUTH LAKE DISTRICT OFFICE
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that the Sheriff indicated at the March 17th Board Meeting that he could supply inmate labor for some of the work related to the Sheriff’s South Lake District Office and that she met with the Sheriff, as well as personnel from the Building Department, the County Attorney’s Office, Procurement Services, and Facilities Development and Maintenance, to see what projects the inmates could do, at which time she referred to a memorandum she had sent to the Board, contained in their backup material, dated March 27, 2009, which lists the things that it is felt could be handled by the inmates, which she reviewed, being:
· Bid out the construction/renovation of the Sheriff’s Office for all work that requires permitting
· Eliminate from the bid, and instead transfer responsibility to the Sheriff for:
o Installing fencing
o Landscaping, without irrigation
o Hanging interior window treatments, such as blinds or drapes
o Build and install any counters or cabinets not requiring electricity, plumbing, or mechanical devices
o Interior painting
o Tile installation
o Carpet installation
Ms. Hall stated that the Sheriff has concurred with said list, with the exception of the fencing and the cabinets, noting that the fencing would be strictly outside fencing and would not be part of the construction of the interior of the building, and, with regard to the building and installation of counters and cabinets, the Sheriff does not feel that cabinets would be something the inmates could do, but he feels they could install the counters. She stated that their suggestion would be that the items listed not be included in the bid package, noting that they are not items that would require permitting or that it be done under the supervision of a licensed contractor – that is where they drew the line as to what would and would not work. She indicated that they are proposing to bid out the package, minus the items listed, with the slight changes she alluded to, and, once the contractor is finished with the bid they were awarded, the County will issue a Certificate of Occupancy and the Sheriff will be able to use his inmates to complete the work that has been identified.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether the Building Department was comfortable with using inmate labor to do said work and was informed by the County Manager that they were.
Commr. Hill stated that she appreciated the Sheriff’s willingness to help the County and work with the Board on said project, however, questioned the process that will be used, noting that she understands it involves some labor saving costs, but wanted to know if the inmates would be classified as release status, where they do not have to be supervised. She stated that she feels the Board needs to evaluate the matter and get a full cost analysis, before implementing it. She commented that it is one thing to utilize inmates at the Sheriff’s Office, where they do not have to be transported and they are already being supervised and everything is in-house, but this job is at least 30 miles away. She questioned whether the cost of supervision, transportation, additional tools or equipment that might be needed, etc., were factored in and whether using the inmates would create a time delay in the project, noting that the Sheriff was very concerned about getting it done, as he needs to move into the facility as soon as possible.
Ms. Hall responded that the timing is not something that would be advanced, by using the inmate labor, which the Sheriff is aware of, but, with regard to the costs involved, noted that she did not ask the Sheriff for a breakdown of what the costs would be for transporting and supervising the inmates, so she could not answer that question at this time.
Commr. Hill stated that it all sounds great, but she is not sure it is the best thing to do, cost wise, noting that she does not want the County to use inmate labor thinking it will save money, when it may end up costing the County more.
Commr. Renick questioned who initiated the matter, noting that she was under the impression that it was something the Sheriff initiated.
Commr. Conner responded that it was the Sheriff’s idea and that he was just supporting it, however, noted that the Sheriff indicated he would be using trustees and that they would be supervised.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the whole idea behind the request was to speed up the process for the project. He stated that the County needs to get the project out to bid, so he felt the Board should approve the request, but suggested that staff bid one with everything included and one with the items alluded to by the County Manager taken out and then the Board can see what the cost savings are and whether it will work or not, but it will not slow the project down.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from the County Manager regarding the feasibility of using inmate labor to reduce costs involved with the Sheriff’s South Lake District Office; and authorized her to bid the project out, eliminating the items that she referenced, as well as to bid it out including the items that were referenced.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – VICE CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 1
LAKE COUNTY FAIR AND 4-H JUDGING
Commr. Hill reported that she spent last Friday at the Lake County Fair judging the 4-H projects and commended all the students who participated, noting that every entry was great. She recommended that anyone attending the Fair this year go by and look at said exhibits.
PROPOSED DISCLOSURE POLICY AS PART OF COUNTY’S LOBBYIST POLICY
Commr. Hill stated that she has talked with the County Attorney about looking at the legal aspects of a disclosure policy, as the County approaches the next construction phase of the Downtown Tavares Projects, noting that she would like to have the Board look at considering an extension to the County’s Lobbyist Policy, or include a provision in it, or create a separate policy regarding it, which would ban the Commissioners from any activity involving contractors, seeking contributions from contractors, or other construction people that are involved with said project, as well as co-workers, etc., and possibly include a requirement disclosing any contact or contributions that are given to the Commissioners by a contractor, including the last election cycle, so that they are covered when the County enters into the next construction phase of said projects.
The County Attorney noted that Orange County was looking at something similar to what Commr. Hill was recommending and suggested that staff conduct a survey around the State, to see what Ordinances exist, and bring a report back to the Board at a later date, as opposed to staff drafting something at this point in time.
It was the consensus of the Board for staff to conduct said survey.
IMPACT FEE COMMITTEE MEETING
Commr. Hill informed the Board that the Impact Fee Committee Meeting is scheduled for mid-April and one of the items on the Agenda is a discussion regarding the County’s Impact Fee Ordinance and any changes there might be to it. She stated that it has been brought to her attention that, due to the severe economic challenge the business community is faced with, perhaps the Board could consider helping local businesses, by offering a transportation impact fee payment plan, with regard to the County’s commercial and industrial business projects. She commented that it could be similar to the special assessment procedure that is currently in place, which would be placed on their property tax bill, allowing them to pay on it for however long the County gives them to pay it off and not require them to pay it in one lump sum. She noted that she hated to have a discussion with the Committee, until she had brought it to the Board’s attention and obtained a consensus of whether or not they would like for her to discuss the matter with the Committee and see what they have to say about it.
It was the consensus of the Board for Commr. Hill to discuss the matter with the Impact Fee Committee, on their behalf.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER RENICK – DISTRICT 2
ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT SPECIAL MEETING
Commr. Renick stated that she would be attending a Special Meeting scheduled for April 13, 2009, where the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) is considering the Yankee Lake issue involving Seminole County and questioned whether she would be allowed to speak at said meeting, on behalf of the Board.
It was noted that the Board approved a Resolution dealing with said project and that, as long as her comments were in tune with said Resolution, it was the consensus of the Board for her to speak at said meeting on their behalf.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE
Commr. Renick brought up for discussion a recent newspaper article about a dog mauling and shared with the Board an incident that happened to her younger sister years ago involving a very serious and devastating dog mauling, at which time she questioned whether there was something the County could do, other than requiring the owner of the dog to pay a fine, when there is an incident involving a dog that is known to be dangerous.
The County Attorney stated that, when a known dangerous dog bites someone, it is a serious criminal offense and is not something that the County would handle, noting that it is when it involves a first bite - before a dog is declared dangerous, that the County is typically involved, other than seizing the animal; however, he informed the Board that the County is working to transition Animal Control from using the Courts System to using the Code Enforcement Special Master, because staff feels it will give the County better enforcement powers and the ability to have higher fines than it currently has. He stated that staff is working on updating the County’s Animal Control Ordinance and will take Commr. Renick’s concerns into account.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CONNER – DISTRICT 3
value engineering of paisley fire station
Commr. Conner informed the Board that there is good news, with regard to the Paisley Fire Station, noting that the prices are coming in a lot better than they were before. He stated that he feels Mr. Jim Bannon, Director of Capital Construction, Facilities Development and Management, and the architect have done a good job on that project, but he would ask that the Board approve to value engineer the project, which is where the owner (the County), the contractor, and the architect get together and determine if there are areas where the costs involved can be lowered. He commented that it is a standard way of doing business and, in terms of timing, the Board would need to act on it this date.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, interjected that, as a matter of routine, staff looks at ways to economize projects, but would be glad to look at this project, to see if some additional cuts can be made.
Mr. Joe Rinaldi, the architect for the project, addressed the Board and pointed out the timeframe involved with the project, noting that there is a 10 day window where the contractor has to submit his prices and a list of subcontractors, and, once his firm has that information, they can start the negotiation process, prior to entering into a contract. It was noted that the value engineering will be part of that negotiation process.
The Board authorized staff to initiate steps to value engineer the Paisley Fire Station.
FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES’ MEETING IN TALLAHASSEE
Commr. Conner stated that he recently attended the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Meeting in Tallahassee, at which time he met with Senator Carey Baker and some of the County’s lobbyists, and they feel the Septic Tank Bill is not going to pass in the House. He noted that he appreciated Commr. Cadwell assimilating him into the FAC. He commented that he went to Washington, D.C., as well, and met with Representative Cliff Stearns and Mr. Pete Meachum, Representative Ginny Brown-Waite’s Chief of Staff, and discussed the Howey Bridge, which qualifies for federal funds. He noted that he was pleased with what he saw and feels that he and Commr. Cadwell were able to get some good results.
Commr. Cadwell interjected that he felt they got the best reception they have ever received and commended staff on the packet they put together, noting that it was easy to understand. He noted that the County’s lobbyists in Washington had done a great job of educating the Senators on the issues. He encouraged the other Board members to take such trips, noting that it is very important for them to have those relationships in Tallahassee and Washington.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT 4
ADDENDUM NO. 1
RESOLUTION OPPOSING SB2570 AND SIMILAR LEGISLATION
Commr. Stewart informed the Board that this request concerned legislation that is being considered by the Florida Legislature to take local control of the County’s Early Learning Coalitions away from them and placing it in Tallahassee. She stated that it would significantly reduce local involvement and flexibility in the County’s Early Learning services, which have done so many positive things in the County and have contributed so much, not only to the children in the County, but to the County’s local economy. She noted that she feels the County would be hurt, if said Bill is passed; therefore, she was proposing a Resolution opposing said Bill and similar legislation.
Commr. Cadwell interjected that he would support the Resolution, but wanted to find out a little more about the matter. He noted that Senator Wise is one of the biggest advocates of education in Tallahassee; therefore, he was surprised that SB2570 came out of his office.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2009-47, opposing SB2570 and similar legislation that would consolidate Early Learning Coalitions and urging the Florida Legislature not to pass such legislation.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CADWELL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
NORTH AMERICAN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK; OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH PROFESSIONAL DAY; AND SAFETY ON THE JOB KIDS POSTER CONTEST
Commr. Cadwell stated that, with regard to this Proclamation, staff came up with a great idea that there be a poster contest for the children and grandchildren of county employees, which he elaborated on.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2009-48, proclaiming May 3-9, 2009, to be North American Occupational Safety and Health Week; and May 6, 2009, to be Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day, as well as approved that a 2009 “Safety-on-the-Job” Kids Poster Contest to be held involving the children or grandchildren of county employees, celebrating North American Occupational Safety and Health Week and Occupational Safety and Health Professional Day, noting that it would involve no cost to the County. It was noted that the Board will present the winners with certificates and display their posters in the Rotunda area of the Administration Building.
SENATE HEALTH CONFORMING BILL
Commr. Cadwell informed the Board that this request pertained to some additional legislation from the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), which involves an issue of money.
Ms. Donna Gregory, Assistant Administrator for the Lake County Health Department, addressed the Board and discussed a provision in Senate Health Conforming Bill No.1662, which is before the Legislature, stating that said Bill repeals County Health Departments’ exemption from rate control, noting that the Legislature wants to shift the Counties into rate positions, which means that they will tell the Counties how many positions they can have in their Health Departments. She stated that they are doing it to save money, but only about 30% of the positions in the Health Departments are funded with general revenues – a lot of those positions are funded through grants or federal programs. She stated that another issue involved with it is that the way it is currently set up, she could negotiate a salary based on her knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience, but, if she were to leave, her position would go back to a base level salary, which is very low. The only way the Health Department would be able to negotiate the salary for her position would be if there were vacancies that money could be taken from and utilized for her position, but then that would end the vacancy, because some of its base salary would have been used for her position. She further elaborated on the matter and asked that the Board oppose said Bill.
Commr. Cadwell asked that the Board approve having a letter written opposing said Bill.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved for a letter to be written to the State Legislature opposing Senate Health Conforming Bill No. 1662.
Commr. Cadwell congratulated the County Manager, Ms. Cindy Hall, on the birth of her new granddaughter.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Keith Schue, a resident of the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento area, addressed the Board and asked that they support The Springs Protection Bill No. 274, sponsored by Senator Lee Constantine, which relates to septic tanks, stormwater, and fertilizer use, that is currently before the Senate.
Dr. Christine Harris, a resident of Mt. Dora, addressed the Board regarding an issue having to do with the Social Services Needs GAP Analysis, which is a report that was completed during the 2007/2008 budget year. It addresses issues having to do with Children and Family Services, Human Services, Housing and Social Services, Elder Affairs Services, and Health Services, which the Early Learning Coalition is a part of. In prioritizing their information, the group came to a consensus on four areas that they felt were much needed that they had previously brought before the Board for consideration, but were denied funding and assistance, which she reviewed, elaborating on each, being:
Improved Access to Affordable Health Care - Including affordable health insurance for the elderly, especially, in that their policies were being challenged by Social Security.
Affordable Housing and Transitional Housing - Looking at repair more so than constructing new housing, since there are quite a bit of homes that have damage and they want to make sure that the repair issues will be addressed for the low, very low, and disadvantaged population, which may not be able to afford a newly constructed home, but a very nice rehabilitated home. For those retirees who are still in their homes, condominiums, or assisted living facilities, that they have their health care services be able to work with those small groups. They wanted a more one to one service and home visitation.
Increased Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling – They felt that a response system, rather than clinical residential, would be more apropos, in that they have gone through a stringent stint of having people placed into residential programs for long terms and then having them there longer than their insurance allows, causing them a detriment financially, as well as physically.
Dr. Harris stated that the report addressed these recommendations from the group, however, noted that the census portion of it is skewed on several pages. She commented that, as one looks through the report, it talks about an increase in population, but it does not agree with the State Demographic Report. She stated that, if one were to judge the County just by population, one would say that it will not get any money for being low income, Black, Indian, or anything else, and those ethnic groups make up approximately 50-51% of the population, although it looks like they are less than 10% of the population in the report, so it needs to be checked. She noted that it also talks about the need for a coordinator, who would have to represent all the agencies, based on providing services to the families who have an acute need.
No action was taken regarding the matter.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
NEIL KELLY, CLERK