A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
April 6, 2010
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Elaine Renick, Vice Chairman; Jennifer Hill; Jimmy Conner; and Linda Stewart. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, Interim County Manager; Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Reverend Roger Seidner from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lake County gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Interim County Manager, stated that he would like to pull Tab 25 regarding Miracle Field at Lake Idamere Park until staff has had a chance to further research this matter.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of February 2, 2010 (Regular Meeting); February 23, 2010 (Regular Meeting); and March 4, 2010 (Special Meeting) as presented.
Ms. Susan Irby, Employee Services, presented the following employee awards, commenting briefly about each employee’s service to the County.
Sherry Bedford, Welcome Center Worker
Public Resources/Tourism & Business Relations
George Gatson, Professional Standards Manager
Public Safety/Fire Rescue/Administration
George Dore, Librarian II
Public Resources/Library Services/East Lake Library
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, presented the following employee award, commenting briefly about the employee’s service to the County.
Sharon Horton, Office Associate II
Public Works/Road Operations/Maintenance Area I (Leesburg)
Mr. John Jolliff, Deputy Fire Chief, presented the following employee award, commenting briefly about the employee’s service to the County.
Jonathan Iannone, Support Services Supervisor
Public Safety/Fire Rescue/Administration
Mr. Kristian Swenson, Interim Director of Facilities Development and Management, presented the following employee award, commenting briefly about the employee’s service to the County.
Robert McCullough, Maintenance Division Director
Facilities Development & Management
comprehensive annual financial report (Cafr)
Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, presented the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year 2009, and recognized staff for their efforts in preparing the CAFR.
Mr. Dan O’Keefe, Moore, Stephens and Lovelace, P.A., stated that the firm’s job is to render an opinion on the financial statements based on a series of audit procedures to determine if the statements were fairly presented according to generally accepted auditing standards, government auditing standards and the rules of the Auditor General. He noted that Moore, Stephens & Lovelace audits the Board of County Commissioners and the individual constitutional officers which are combined into one annual financial report. He commented that the unqualified opinion is located on Page 13, and explained that a qualified opinion would mean that there was something wrong with the report. He stated that following the unqualified opinion is the Management Discussion and Analysis which is prepared by management and summarizes the information in the CAFR. He reported that the Statement of Net Assets on Page 33 and the Statement of Activities on Page 34 present the total financial position of the County at the top level with a strong equity position. He noted that the County budget is managed based on funds, and commented that the most important one that will present the most challenges in the upcoming budget year is the General Fund. He explained that the special revenue funds will not be as bad because those revenues are isolated and must be spent for a specific purpose whereas the General Fund has to cover all of the general operations of the County. He reported that as of September 30, 2009 the unreserved fund balance was approximately $39 million and 27 percent when compared to total expenditures and outgoing transfers. He noted that the County is eroding the unreserved fund balance because it used $8.5 million of the unreserved fund balance in 2009 and will continue to do so in 2010 and 2011. He questioned how much of the fund balance could be depleted and still be fiscally sound, and opined that the County should not be lower than ten percent of the total expenditures and transfers. He expressed concerns about cash flow between the two month period when ad valorem taxes are levied and payment is collected, and commented that the Board must have at least $15 million in the General Fund to cover the operating costs during this period. He cautioned that Florida is prone to catastrophic events and that the County will need to secure short term loans if the funds are not available in the General Fund to cover such events. He reported that some school boards have issued tax anticipation notes instead of securing short term loans due to cash flow issues. He stated that the Board should be cautious with the Landfill Fund on Page 49 because it has an operating loss of $5.5 million and a decrease in net assets of $1.7 million.
Commr. Conner asked what assets are decreasing in the Landfill Fund.
Mr. O’Keefe explained that cash is being depleted in the Landfill Fund. He stated that Moore, Stephens and Lovelace must audit the internal controls, test compliance of the financial reporting, and render an opinion on the County’s compliance with major Federal and State programs. He commented that the firm also issues a management letter that addresses key compliance issues as required by Florida statutes and the rules of the Auditor General. He reported that County staff understands the importance of the controls and follows the County’s policies and procedures.
Commr. Conner confirmed with Mr. O’Keefe that the County used $8.5 million of the reserves to balance the budget which resulted in a balance of $36 million in the reserves. He asked what would be a reasonable amount to pull out of reserves each year and what should be the minimal percentage of the reserves.
Mr. O’Keefe commented that the ten percent is a minimum to continue operations without obtaining any short term loans. He stated that it is becoming common for entities to adopt policies to establish their fund balance reserve between 15 and 25 percent depending on the size of the entity. He explained that a smaller entity might require a larger reserve of 30 to 35 percent. He advised that the Board should be cautious not to go below 15 percent.
Commr. Conner asked what percentage similar sized counties were keeping in reserves and if the trend was to keep more in reserves.
Mr. O’Keefe reported that Osceola County has established a 16 percent policy and Seminole County is between 17 and 20 percent. He commented that Osceola, Seminole and Volusia County had 25 percent in reserves in 2007 and 2008.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board accepted the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2009.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 6, as follows:
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.
Founders Ridge Community Development District Proposed Fiscal Year 2011 Budget
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Founders Ridge Community Development District Proposed Fiscal Year 2011 Budget in accordance with Section 190.008 (2)(b) Florida Statutes.
City of Mount Dora Comprehensive Financial Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Mount Dora’s Comprehensive Financial Report for Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2009.
City of Tavares Annexation Ordinance
Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Tavares Annexation Ordinance 2010-04 annexing approximately 1,352 acres of land located on the south shoreline of Lake Dora.
Lake County Water Authority Annual Financial Audit
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Annual Financial Audit for the Lake County Water Authority.
City of Eustis 10 Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plan
Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Eustis 10-Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plan Update with accompanying CD.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Renick thanked Robert Ern and the staff at BESH, Inc., for saving the County $750,000 on Tab 10.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 14 as follows:
Request for approval and execution of an agreement with Martin-Mency, LLC for revenue sharing transit advertising.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the FY2009-2010 Agreement between the County and the Friends of Ferndale in an amount not to exceed $1,500.00, allocating Community Development Block Grant funds to purchase materials to construct and install three community entrance signs. The Board is also requested to direct the Community Services Department to execute the agreement and oversee completion of the project as covered in the Scope of Services.
Request for approval to fill Office Associate III, Animal Control Officer and Shelter Technician positions in the Animal Services Division of Public Safety.
Request for approval to fill the Fleet Management Director position in the Fiscal and Administrative Services Department.
Request for authorization to award the PEAR Park Entrance Road Project No. 2010-17, Bid No. 10-0028, to James E. Decker Construction Company in the amount of $208,411.68 and encumber and expend funds in the amount of $208,411.68 from the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects ($200,000) and Parks Services MSTU Infrastructure PEAR Park ($8,411.68).
Request for approval of the submitted fee schedule for the reservation of advertising in designated, active County Parks. This would include future parks which may be designated as active parks. Current active parks are: North Lake Community Park and P.E.A.R Park (Active Side) and approval of Resolution No. 2010-33 amending the Fee Schedules for FY2009-2010 to include these fees for services provided by Parks and Trails. These fees will remain in effect until replaced or superseded. Approval of all fees collected to be put back into the Parks and Trails budget for help with the cost of the maintenance and upkeep of County Parks.
Request for approval of Amendment to Public Road Crossing Agreement between the Florida Central Railroad and Lake County Board of County Commissioners for the Lois Drive Intersection improvement project.
Request for approval of change order for additional surveying work performed by BESH and for additional alignment design by Ty Lin through the Clermont Park and the trail crossing over the CR 561 Bridge on the Palatlakaha River.
Request for authorization to execute Resolution No. 2010-34 accepting West Sixth Avenue (County Road No. 7876A) from East CR-450 to East Fourth Street into the County Road Maintenance System. Commission District 5.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to execute satisfactions of lien of the attached three (3) road assessments. Commission District 4 and 5.
Request for approval and execution of an Amendment to the Purchase Agreement, dated December 7, 2009, between Diamondback Land Company and Lake County, to extend the contract to allow the County to obtain approval and permit from DEP/St. Johns to use land for mitigation of wetland impacts on the C470 Project. Commission District 3.
Request for approval and execution of a purchase agreement with Carcer Enterprises, Inc., and Hidden Lakes Estates, Inc., for the purchase of six (6) parcels of land, mostly abandoned railroad, in conjunction with the South Lake Trail – Phase 3 Project in the Groveland area and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing, for property in conjunction with the South Lake Trail – Phase 3 Project. Commission District 3.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Conner commended the County Attorney’s Office and Ms. Quinnette Durkin for their efforts in renegotiating leases in the middle of the term, and noted that the County is saving $23,000 per month on leases when compared to last year.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 15 through 20 as follows:
Request for approval to update on recent lease activity.
Request for approval of Amendment to Lease Agreement between Lake County and the East Lake County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. relating to East Lake County Library.
Request for approval to execute Authorization and Release Agreement between Lake County and the Lake County Water Authority allowing for the removal of nutrient-laden sediment from Lake Beauclair and certain canals leading to Lake Beauclair and the Apopka-Beauclair canal.
Request for approval of Settlement with Crisbo Holdings, L.L.C regarding the CR 466 Road Widening Project.
Request for approval of Amendment to Lease Agreement between Lake County and Strickland Warehouses, LLC for Supervisor of Elections Support Center.
Request for approval to advertise an ordinance to amend the County Logo and Seal Ordinance.
angel flight southeast
Commr. Stewart stated that the Board of County Commissioners would like to recognize Angel Flight Southeast, Inc., which is an organization that has helped thousands of people by providing free transportation for medical and humanitarian needs, and presented the organization with Resolution 2010-17.
Mr. Greg Church, Vice President of Angel Flight Southeast, Inc., thanked the Board for the resolution, and commented that Angel Flight operates with over 800 volunteers and by private donations. He noted that there are 650 volunteer pilots that donate their time, use of their aircraft and cover all other costs. He stated that he would be willing to give a presentation to anyone that is interested.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2010-17 honoring Angel Flight Southeast, Inc.
train safety awareness week
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, asked the Board to approve Resolution 2010-36 to observe Train Safety Awareness Week from April 18 through April 24, 2010. He stated that Florida is ranked second in the Country for train related fatalities and fourth in the number of pedestrian trespasses. He noted that most of the highway crashes occur when the train is traveling less than 30 miles per hour.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2010-36 recognizing the observance of Train Safety Awareness Week beginning April 18, 2010 through April 24, 2010.
motorcycle safety awareness
Mr. Stivender asked the Board to approve Resolution 2010-37 to recognize the month of May 2010 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Sergeant Tom McKane, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Traffic Unit, thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak about motorcycle safety. He reported that the month of May is nationally recognized as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and noted that it would be recognized locally with the Board’s approval of this resolution. He stated that there is increased enforcement and education to the public to raise awareness about motorcycles during the month of May. He mentioned that the Sheriff’s Office is hosting a motorcycle safety fair in Clermont in conjunction with the Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) and ABATE of Florida.
Mr. Nobel Olasimbo, Public Works, Chairman of Community Traffic Safety Team, reported that the CTST works with all of the communities to address safety issues and provide funding to promote motorcycle safety awareness.
Ms. Casey Staley, ABATE of Florida, commented that education is key to motorcycle safety awareness, and noted that ABATE stands for American Bikers Aimed Towards Education. She mentioned that Bikefest is coming up in the next few weeks, and hoped that there would not be any fatalities this year.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2010-37 recognizing observance of Motorcycle Safety Awareness for the month of May 2010.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
facilities development and management
Commr. Conner asked that the Board approve each of the three recommendations on Tab 24 separately.
Mr. Minkoff stated that he asked staff to provide the Board with a status update of the current projects, and noted that some of the projects will be discussed in detail at next week’s workshop.
Mr. Kristian Swenson, Interim Director of Facilities Development and Management, stated that staff would like to receive direction from the Board on three specific items and provide a status update on the remaining projects.
Horticultural Learning Center
Mr. Swenson stated that this project was completed prior to his involvement with the Facilities Department. He reported that the horticultural learning center is a 2,000 square foot building built by Pillar Homes with classrooms and restrooms for educational purposes at a cost of approximately $200,000. He commented that Ms. Wendy Breeden, Director of Public Resources, and her staff were planning an open house and that dates would be forthcoming.
Paisley Fire Station
Mr. Swenson stated that the Paisley Fire Station was built from the prototype design based on the Lake Jem Fire Station prototype. He reported that the façade is currently under construction and that all of the mechanical systems and drywall have been installed in the interior. He commented that the fire station is approximately sixty percent complete with an anticipated completion date in July 2010.
Mr. Swenson reported that the contractor is currently having plans drawn for the metal building for the BCC warehouse expansion, which are scheduled to be submitted to the Building Department within the next five days. He stated that staff is reviewing the schedule of values searching for any possible cost savings, and commented that the estimated cost of this project is $1 million.
Public Works Facility Addition
Mr. Swenson stated that the Public Works Department is planning to move to a 2,000 square foot addition at the landfill facility. He noted that the Public Works Department is currently located in a leased facility off of Old Highway 441 near Bay Road. He reported that the estimated cost for this addition is $150,000, and is anticipated to be sent out for bid in the upcoming months.
Mr. Swenson stated that the former Dodge dealership in Clermont was purchased in July 2008 for the Sheriff’s substation to include holding cells and administrative offices, and is estimated to be completed in June 2010. He reported that there have been some security concerns with the facility in light of the Osceola County issues that have used the contingency budget, and noted that there are remaining items needed totaling approximately $145,000. He stated that the FFE is still remaining on this project for a total of $220,000, and noted that the FFE was originally presented to the Board for $278,000 which included some items that have since been removed.
Mr. Minkoff commented that staff worked closely with the Sheriff’s office particularly regarding the security issues.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the requested additional funding for the Sheriff’s Substation project in the amount of $365,000.
Historical Courthouse Reconfiguration
Mr. Swenson reported that staff is working with the Sheriff’s Department on reprogramming space in the Historical Courthouse to move some of the Sheriff’s staff from their current facility, and commented that the programming is expected to be completed in May 2010. He thanked Major Wayne Longo with the Sheriff’s Department for his assistance in providing organizational charts, proposed layouts and other information.
Judicial Center Envelope Repair
Mr. Swenson stated that the judicial center envelope repair began in March 2010. He reported that there have not been any noise complaints and that the project is approximately 30 percent complete. He noted that the warranty will cost under $8,000 which will be taken out of the contingency budget as previously approved by the Board.
Judicial Center Expansion
Mr. Swenson stated that the plans for the judicial center expansion were completed last month, and the pre-bid meeting is scheduled for today with construction scheduled to begin in June 2010. He stated that this project will be presented in greater detail during the workshop next week.
Mr. Minkoff stated that staff is working with the City of Tavares to modify the rezoning ordinance to accommodate a smaller building, change the site plan and the EOC location. He mentioned that public hearings are scheduled for late April or early May.
Judicial Center Public Transportation
Mr. Swenson presented various routes from the parking garage to the new entrance of the judicial center. He stated that staff was concerned about the distance for some of the residents to travel during hot and inclement weather. He proposed a golf cart path for the public to use that would navigate through the construction zone with the site secured by construction fencing. He asked for the approval to purchase one multi-passenger golf cart for public transportation up to $12,500. He reported that staff found used carts in the $9,000 price range, and would like to issue a bid for new and used carts. He mentioned that staff researched lease options which are estimated at $400 per month for a two year lease, and noted that the purchase option appeared to be more beneficial for the County.
Mr. Minkoff suggested converting the former parking specialist position to a fixed time position to drive the cart, if approved. He commented that this is not intended to be for employees at the judicial center. He stated that the anticipated operation would be during regular business hours.
Commr. Conner agreed that this service would be needed for the elderly or families with small children. He asked if it would be more beneficial to purchase two smaller golf carts as opposed to one large cart in an effort to reduce the wait time for the shuttle service.
Commr. Hill commented that a second driver would be needed if two carts were purchased.
Commr. Renick opined that the wait time should not be an issue.
Mr. Swenson suggested having the Parks Department install benches at the judicial center and the parking garage if wait times were a concern. He stated that he obtained pricing for golf carts of all sizes, but did not have the information with him today.
Mr. Minkoff commented that the wait time should not be more than ten or fifteen minutes.
Commr. Hill stated that there were some parking spaces identified closer to the building for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Mr. Minkoff noted that staff considered using the Transportation Disadvantage buses, but thought it was more environmentally friendly to use the electric golf carts.
Commr. Stewart asked how long the carts will stay charged.
Mr. Swenson responded that the carts would stay charged for 12 hours.
Commr. Hill asked if the County had adequate insurance to cover this service.
Mr. Minkoff stated that staff will make sure that the County has adequate insurance.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the purchase of one multi-passenger golf cart up to the purchase price of $12,500 to provide public transportation from the parking garage to the judicial center during construction of the judicial center.
Judicial Center Monuments
Mr. Swenson reported that there are various monuments on the judicial center campus that staff is working with the Sheriff’s Office and the Lake County Bar Association to determine alternative locations which are scheduled to be presented to the Board during next week’s workshop.
Leesburg Health Clinic
Mr. Swenson stated that there is a County owned building in Leesburg that is currently vacant due to mold. He reported that staff is currently working on the programming of this space with the architect to have it reconfigured for the Health Department. He stated that he anticipated bringing this project back before the Board for direction in the next two months after the programming has been completed and all costs have been estimated.
Commr. Hill commented that the County had recently received an annual contract from the Health Department with stipulations for upgrades of furniture and equipment. She stated that they also wanted to redesign the building.
Mr. Swenson explained that the architect provided the Health Department with some schematic drawings, and noted that the redesign was relatively minor. He said the redesign makes it more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Commr. Hill asked that staff follow up on the request for furniture and equipment.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the Health Department is currently utilizing a leased facility by the Leesburg airport, and noted that the County would terminate this lease once the Health Department can be moved into the County owned facility. He commented that there may be some CDBG funds budgeted for this project. He stated that once the final numbers are available, this project would be brought back before the Board for direction.
Commr. Hill commented that she would rather have the funding come from the CDBG funds as opposed to the General Fund.
Emergency Operations Center
Mr. Swenson stated that Mr. Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Director, made a presentation to the Board last month on the Emergency Operations Center, and noted that the County is currently in negotiations with the architects. He commented that a rough fee has been agreed upon, but staff is reviewing it to verify that the scope is all inclusive. He stated that he anticipated finalizing the details and presenting the contract to the Board for approval in the near future.
Consolidated Fleet Facility
Mr. Swenson stated that a detailed presentation on the proposed consolidated fleet complex will be presented at next week’s workshop.
Additional Heery Fees
Mr. Minkoff stated that he is unhappy about the timing of the claim from Heery, and noted that he would have preferred to have dealt with this matter during the renegotiations of the design fee for the judicial center. He reported that Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, opined that additional or extra work is supposed to be in writing and approved by both parties; however, it is a factual issue and the County had paid for this type of work in the past. He opined that Heery is willing to accept the Board’s decision, and that the Board is not faced with possible litigation over this matter. He stated that the previous Facilities Management Director requested additional services that were not part of the contract, and noted that there was a tacit agreement that Heery would be paid for this work, and noted that some of the additional services were paid by the County. He opined that most of the work should have been approved by the Board because it exceeded the County Manager’s threshold. He explained that the work has been sorted into two categories, work that was done with the Board’s knowledge such as the preparation of the possible solar panels on the parking garage, and the reprogramming for the judicial center after the Board requested a smaller design, and work that was done for the County’s benefit that the Board was not really aware of, such as the storm water engineering or the estimating service used to review one of PPI’s early estimates. He reported that two-thirds of the costs were services provided by Heery employees and one-third of the costs were for outside vendors of Heery. He stated that he could only assume that the former Facilities Director thought they had the authority to approve this work because the total amount of work being performed was less than the original contract amount and less than the purchase order. He reported that once he became aware of the issue he asked Mr. Kristian Swenson to review the work and available documentation and provide a recommendation for payment. He commented that Mr. Swenson reported that the County received a benefit from the work and that the County would not have been able to make the progress it has without this work being done, so he recommended paying some of the costs. He stated that Mr. Swenson determined that some of the work was well documented and suggesting pay all of the costs associated with that work and recommended paying half of the costs for the work that has poor or lacking documentation for a total payment to Heery of $432,000.
Commr. Cadwell acknowledged that there were problems in the Facilities Management Department, and hoped this would be the last issue that the Board would have to address.
Mr. Minkoff stated that it was staff’s goal to present any and all remaining issues today.
Commr. Renick expressed appreciation to Mr. Swenson and Mr. Minkoff for their transparency and bringing these matters to the attention of the Board. She commented that she believes the architects relied on the information provided by staff and that the County owes this money.
Commr. Stewart agreed and commented that fortunately the money is available in the purchase order.
Commr. Hill stated that it was work that the County requested and that the County benefited from the work.
Commr. Conner commented that the Board has not scrutinized these charges item by item, and asked for details regarding the estimating service and the cost for that service.
Mr. Swenson stated that during the design development stage the architect was asked to hire estimators to provide an independent estimate and then compare it to the estimate submitted by the contractor. He explained that the estimating service was requested because the estimate submitted by the contractor was below the contract maximum. He reported that the estimating service totaled $184,000 which was paid by Heery to their vendor.
Commr. Conner asked if staff had any backup to support these fees. He expressed concern over the amount paid for this function. He asked if staff knew if this price was within the normal range for this type of function.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the County did not hire this firm, and noted that the County accepted the report which showed a $10 million decrease. He commented that PPI submitted the original estimate and the end result of lowering the cost decreased the architectural fees. He explained that Heery’s fee was decreased by every dollar the estimate was reduced.
Mr. Swenson explained that he would defer the question on fair pricing to PPI because they have expertise on the number of hours it takes to review and prepare the set of documents in question.
Commr. Conner asked Mr. Glenn Mullins, Vice President of PPI, if the $184,000 seems high for the services provided.
Mr. Glenn Mullins, Vice President of PPI, opined that the cost does seem high; however, he has not seen the detail or backup to determine the exact services provided. He stated that PPI would charge less for these services, but noted that they are in the construction business not the estimating business.
Commr. Conner asked how much less PPI would charge for these services.
Mr. Mullins explained that PPI’s agreement for pre-construction services included several estimates and a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for $350,000.
Commr. Conner noted that the $184,000 did not include the GMP and was only for double checking estimates before PPI prepared the GMP. He opined that $184,000 is a lot of money for this particular service. He commented that Heery has contractual obligations to the Board and does not deserve a pass on this matter. He asked Ms. Marsh what the legal obligations are in the contract with Heery.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, explained that there is a section in the contract that states that any extra work must be in writing from the County before they proceed with the work.
Commr. Conner commented that the appropriate time for Heery to have informed the County would have been during the renegotiations of the architect fees when the building was downsized and there was a face to face meeting with the County and Heery’s senior level management. He stated that Heery did not mention this work during that meeting, but waited three or four months to request payment of the $655,000. He noted that the Board would be rewarding Heery for not adhering to their contract which they have a legal obligation to follow. He stated that he never said anything negative about Heery’s performance, and thinks they are great architects, but explained that if the Board approves work after the fact it promotes that behavior in the future.
Commr. Renick commented that it was her understanding that the Board was contractually obligated to pay for the additional services provided. She asked Ms. Marsh to read the contract language again.
Ms. Marsh stated that any extra work must be in writing from the County prior to the work being performed. She commented that it was her understanding that change orders were not issued for any of the additional work.
Commr. Renick asked if Mr. Minkoff could explain this again because it was her initial understanding that the architects were relying on staff, and that the work was performed in accordance with the contract, and they were due payment for the services provided.
Mr. Minkoff stated that there was email correspondence between staff and Heery where the work was requested and Heery clarified that they would be paid for the work. He noted that historically Heery was asked to do additional work and they were paid. He commented that contractors were being discouraged and later prohibited by staff to submit change orders. He stated that Commr. Conner was correct in his comments, but Heery did perform the work which the County benefited from which is why staff is recommending that a portion of the work be paid. He agreed with Ms. Marsh’s legal interpretation, but opined that it was irrelevant because Heery is not going to sue the County.
Commr. Conner stated that this was not Commission approved work, and noted that staff does not speak for the Board unless they are specifically following Board direction. He opined that Heery had an obligation to request the additional work in writing or to deal directly with the Board. He commented that Heery did not follow their contract, the Board has no legal obligation to pay, and considers it a betrayal of the trust of the taxpayers if the Board rewards this behavior. He empathized that he was in a face to face meeting with Heery in December and considers it a betrayal that four months after the meeting he is blindsided with this request. He commented that the Board is making a lot of success with good people in key positions, but opined that this is a very important decision, and that a denial on this item would send a clear message that the culture is not changing but has already changed.
Commr. Stewart agreed with Commr. Conner that Heery signed a contract that required them to obtain written approval prior to performing the work.
Commr. Cadwell commented that Heery did have email correspondence with staff, and asked if there was correspondence for the charges that staff is recommending payment.
Mr. Swenson stated that there was a spreadsheet that staff kept which detailed all of the additional services that was sent to Heery with direction to reconcile the fee. He reported that Heery sent a letter in 2008 recapping a conversation they had with staff regarding additional items that were considered added services and requested confirmation for payment upon completion of the work. He mentioned that former staff maintained a spreadsheet for Phase I work of the parking garage and the 320 building that listed each additional service and then another for Phase II work which is being presented today.
Commr. Stewart asked if the contract required them to have it in writing or if it required Board approval.
Commr. Conner asked if the emails would fulfill the legal obligation to have it in writing.
Ms. Marsh stated that a judge would have to make the determination if the email correspondence satisfies the written notification requirement, and noted that it would depend on the procurement authority of the employee issuing the email. She mentioned that the reference to written communication typically refers to a contract amendment or a formal change order according to the procurement policies.
Commr. Stewart asked if the Commission needed to approve these changes.
Ms. Marsh stated that these charges required Board approval based on the dollar amount of the changes which exceeded the authority of the department director. She confirmed that the Board did not approve the additional work.
Commr. Conner asked Ms. Marsh if the emails satisfy the legal requirement of the contract.
Ms. Marsh opined that the emails do not satisfy the requirements of the contract.
Mr. Michael Wass, Area Manager for Heery International, stated that Heery had been paid for some of the additional services, and that Heery had been informed by former staff that because the total of all work was under the Commission approved cap of fees, which is still approximately $2.4 million under the cap, that Heery was not required to obtain a formal change order. He explained that it was not discussed during the renegotiation meeting because Heery had been assured that payment was going to be forthcoming.
Commr. Conner asked if Heery performed work outside of the scope of the contract.
Mr. Wass stated that Heery performed additional services that were documented with the County which were part of the already approved Commission fees as part of the not-to-exceed contract. He commented that staff was adamant when the contracts were negotiated that requests should not be presented to the Board for additional funds, and noted that the funds have been encumbered which would explain why Heery was paid for some of the additional services. He mentioned that Heery had no reason not to believe staff when they were told that they were not required to get Board approval because they were under the fee limit.
Commr. Conner asked when the work was completed for the oldest work which Heery is requesting payment.
Mr. Wass stated that the cost estimate would be the oldest work which was completed in 2008.
Commr. Conner asked why Heery did not find it necessary to mention the outstanding invoices from 2008 at the December 2009 meeting.
Mr. Wass explained that Heery had not been paid because the contract is structured so that their fee is reconciled at the end of construction depending on the final cost numbers presented by PPI. He stated that once the final numbers are calculated for the energy center, the parking garage, and the 320 office building a change order will be submitted. He noted that the majority of the additional work was performed to decrease the overall cost of the project which decreases the architect’s fees.
Commr. Conner commented that the Board of County Commissioners are the decision makers on behalf of the taxpayers of this county, and stated that he wanted the Board and its contractors to have good relations whereas the contractors take direction from the Board. He mentioned that he never said anything negative about Heery, and commented that he felt betrayed by Heery. He opined that Heery allowed a staff member to interfere with their relationship with the Board by not following the contract, and stated that Heery should understand that the Board is the ultimate authority, and that a contract amendment should have been completed for the work outside of the scope of the contract.
Mr. Wass clarified that there was no reason for Heery to think an amendment was required because they had been paid for some of the additional services.
Commr. Renick commented that she felt that Heery is being caught in the middle of the culture change and that they are being made the example. She stated that she needs more information, and asked the Board to postpone this matter.
Mr. Minkoff stated that Heery will be at the workshop next week to provide details on the judicial center project, and suggested adding this matter to next week’s Agenda. He commented that meetings could be arranged for the Board to meet with staff and Heery.
Commr. Cadwell asked that staff provide details on how staff determined that the additional services were a cost savings to the County.
Mr. Wass commented that some of the documentation is presentations that were made to the Commission.
Commr. Renick stated that she understands that Heery relied on former staff, but noted that she wanted to confirm that the amount being considered for payment is the correct amount.
Commr. Hill commented that Heery performed the work in good faith, and noted that the Board requested a lot of the additional work including the redesign.
Commr. Conner asked if the redesign was included in the additional work.
Mr. Wass stated that there was more than one redesign, and reported that the redesign that was recently negotiated is still under the $2.4 million fee cap. He explained that the redesign mentioned by Commr. Hill was done based on the cost estimate when the project was in the $130 million range and was decreased by $20 million.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to postpone the request for approval of the additional fees for Heery International until next week’s meeting on April 13, 2010.
recess and reassembly
At 10:35 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a ten minute recess.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Mr. Minkoff stated that Tab 26 is an update on a successful joint project with the School Board for the East Lake Park and Elementary School J.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, stated that the Board signed an agreement with the School Board in July 2008 for the joint project. He reported that there were a lot of people involved with this project to ensure its success including design concepts, cost savings associated with easements for water supply and road improvements. He commented that the School Board has written a check for $794,898.87 of the initial $1 million invested for the park project. He presented pictures of the progress at the school and park location as well as the associated road improvements. He reported that the project is on scheduled and expected to be completed by this summer.
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Director of Public Resources, stated that Bellomo-Herbert & Company was selected to complete the design and site plan work for this park. She explained that staff is planning on developing the park from the school and move backwards into the property, starting with the multipurpose soccer and football fields. She commented that Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Parks and Trails Division Director, is working to obtain grants for this park, and will be using the funds from the School Board as leverage for some available grant funding.
Commr. Stewart asked if there is still a plan to build a library at this location in the future.
Ms. Breeden stated that this is only a conceptual plan, and that the library would probably be located where the tennis courts are represented on the conceptual plan.
Commr. Conner commented that the only reason the school was built was because the Board was gracious in providing the site as there were not any other available locations for that community.
ordinance establishing advertising regulations for parks
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, stated that Tab 27 would be Ordinance No. 2010-18. She then placed the proposed Ordinance on the floor by title only, as follows:
an ordinance of the board of county commissioners of lake County, florida, creating section 16-12 of the lake county code to designate certain areas of county parks as limited public forums, to regulate advertising in county parks and to prohibit certain types of advertising material; amending section 16-10 of the lake county code, entitled fees, to allow for fees to be charged for advertising; providing for inclusion in the code; providing for an effective date; providing for severability; and providing for filing with the department of state.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one present who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing and reserved comment for the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance 2010-18 establishing advertising regulations for parks.
fiscal year 2009/10 amended budget
Mr. Doug Krueger, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, stated that one of the main functions of the mid-year budget amendment is to adjust all of the fund balances to bring them into alignment with the actual fund balances recorded in the CAFR, and to ensure that the revenues and expenditures related to grants which are often multi-year allocations are reconciled. He reported that the mid-year budget amendment totals $18.9 million of which $4.6 million is in the General Fund, and noted that the majority of the adjustments related to the General Fund were previously presented to the Board at the December 8, 2009 workshop. He mentioned that after the mid-year was completed it was determined that another transfer would need to be made, if approved by the Board, to the Sheriff’s office for $58,311 for unspent capital for vehicles, and noted that this amount would be transferred out of reserves and into the Sheriff’s budget.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the sheriff would like to retain these funds which were allocated to him last year and he did not have the opportunity to spend.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one present who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing and reserved comment for the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Amended Budget for FY 2009-10 to include mid-year budget amendment and approval of Resolution 2010-38 adopting a supplemental budget for FY 2009-10 including the transfer to the Sheriff’s Office for unused capital outlay funding from the FY 2008-09 budget in the amount of $58,311.
Commr. Hill asked for an explanation of the $700,000 transfer from the Christopher C. Ford Park Fund into the General Fund.
Mr. Krueger explained that staff is planning on closing the Christopher C. Ford Park Fund in FY 2010-11, and stated that the funds are being moved into the General Fund reserves in an effort to bolster the reserves.
Mr. Minkoff commented that it is a General Fund activity, so staff did not see the need for a separate fund.
Commr. Hill questioned if there would be enough funds to complete the requirements of the DRI for that park.
Mr. Krueger stated that there is approximately $85,000 remaining in the fund for utilities, maintenance, and mowing, which would be transferred to the General Fund in 2010/11 upon Board approval.
Mr. Minkoff explained that next year any necessary expenditures would be in the General Fund.
lake-sumter mpo bicycle & pedestrian advisory committee
Commr. Cadwell stated that Tab 29 was for the appointment of individuals to the vacant positions on the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). He nominated Mike Stephens to be reappointed for District 5.
Commr. Conner nominated Deborah DeVoe to be reappointed for District 3.
Commr. Hill nominated Pam Humble to be reappointed for District 1.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board reappointed Pam Humble for District 1; Deborah DeVoe for District 3; and Mike Stephens for District 5 to the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC).
solid waste alternatives task force
Commr. Conner commented that he anticipates receiving additional applications for the Solid Waste Alternatives Task Force, and asked the Board to postpone these appointments for another meeting.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the appointments for the Solid Waste Alternatives Task Force will be rescheduled for the April 20, 2010 meeting.
There was a consensus of the Board to postpone the appointments to the Solid Waste Alternatives Task Force until the April 20, 2010 meeting.
REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY
Clermont Sprayfield Property
Ms. Melanie Marsh asked the Board to amend the agreement or terminate the agreement with the City of Clermont for the sprayfield property.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the contract before the Board includes a reduction to the purchase price from $4 million to $2 million with the same payment terms, requires the City of Clermont to put $1 million of the purchase price toward city or county park system capital improvements, and an agreement that the County would match between 2012 and 2016 the City’s contributions towards the city and county park system by a maximum of $1 million. He noted that the contract requirement for the County to spend $2.5 million to improve the property within the next 18 months is still included. He commented that the City of Clermont had asked that any money spent prior to 2012 on the city and county park system be qualified for the County match.
Commr. Renick stated that the $2 million has been budgeted for the past two years.
Mr. Minkoff commented that the money for the capital improvements is budgeted in this year’s budget; however, the payments that begin in 2012 are not yet budgeted.
Commr. Stewart asked if the Board needed $3 million to complete the project.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the maximum cost that the County would have to pay is an additional $3 million.
Commr. Cadwell opined that the current agreement is better than the original one, and that it accomplishes the County’s goal for the south Lake County area. He commented that he does not agree with the request from the City of Clermont to receive matching for money spent earlier than 2012.
Commr. Conner asked why the contract does not require the City of Clermont to designate the $1 million to the development for this property. He commented that the real expenditures for parks are not for the purchase of the land but for the development of the park. He asked for the details of the payment arrangement.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the first payment of $394,000 is due on November 1, 2012 and would be part of the 2013 budget. He stated that the funds for this payment would come from the Local Infrastructure Sales Tax or the Parks MSTU.
Commr. Conner asked if these payments would cause other projects to be sacrificed.
Mr. Minkoff stated that no one could answer that because the 2013 budget has not been prepared.
Commr. Renick commented that she is not aware of the other projects, but stated that there has been a need for this regional park for a long time. She mentioned that she is aware of the County’s situation, and noted that she is only asking for money that has already been budgeted by the Board. She opined that the City of Clermont has bent over backwards to make this project happen even though it is not a Clermont project as the property is actually located in Groveland.
Commr. Conner asked how much money can be expected to spent for this project beyond the $5.5 million that is already budgeted.
Mr. Minkoff reported that $2.5 million of the $5.5 million is budgeted to develop the park so there is a maximum of $3 million to be expended for the purchase of the land and another million for the matching contribution to park improvement. He stated that he could not provide an estimate to develop the entire 100 acres, but noted that it is similar in size to the North Lake Park.
Mr. Jim Stivender reported that North Lake Park cost approximately $8.5 million.
Commr. Renick commented that she does not have any expectations that this park will be developed like North Lake Park in the near future, and noted that she is focused on the reductions in the cost of land.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the County should be able to complete the basic infrastructure and some ball fields with the $2.5 million.
Commr. Conner suggested asking the City of Clermont to allocate the $1 million to develop this specific park because the public is going to expect that this park be developed immediately regardless that the Board is projecting it for another two to three years.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the perception in south Lake County is that the Board is not going to do anything.
Commr. Conner opined that it is wise planning to buy the land in a depressed market, but questioned if the current deal was advantageous to the Board. He stated that he wished the City of Clermont would donate the land because parks and recreation are a shared responsibility. He commented that he would rather see this as a joint project with the City of Clermont.
Mr. Wayne Saunders, City of Clermont Manager, commented that he did not think the City of Clermont would support donating the land or allocating the million dollars to this park. He stated that although he understood the shared responsibility of parks and recreation, the Clermont City Council and its residents feel that the City has built, maintained and operated parks for county residents. He mentioned that the City has agreed to allocate the $1 million to the parks system, and asked for the flexibility to allocate those funds to the park with the greatest need.
Commr. Renick explained that this park would serve as a regional park for the cities of Groveland, Mascotte, and Montverde. She commented that there is a misconception that this is benefiting Clermont because they happen to own the land. She noted that the Board would not ask a private citizen to donate the land, and stated that asking the City of Clermont to do so is not fair to their taxpayers.
Commr. Cadwell commented that when he was approached by the City of Clermont he suggested making this a parks project instead of a land purchase transaction which is why Clermont agreed to take a million dollars they are going to receive and put it back in the parks system.
Commr. Renick opined that Clermont has one of the best parks systems in the County, and explained the only reason for the need for this park is because Clermont is overflowing from accommodating County residents. She stated that Clermont could restrict use of their parks to Clermont residents which they have been trying to avoid.
Commr. Hill commented that she thought the original $2 million was to build ball fields immediately to fulfill the need for not only unincorporated County residents but also children from nearby counties. She stated that it was her understanding that Clermont would provide the land through an Interlocal Agreement and the County would build ball fields with the $2 million that has been budgeted. She opined that she is uncomfortable with incurring more debt, and questioned if the Groveland location was the best location for a regional park. She suggested another joint venture with the School Board where the County could develop the park with the $2 million similar to the East Lake County Park at Elementary School J.
Commr. Stewart stated that she does not want to incur more debt, but realized the need for a regional park for the county residents in the south Lake County area.
Commr. Conner agreed that there is a need for the regional park in south Lake County. He asked if Commr. Hill had a specific School Board property in mind when she was thinking of the joint venture with the School Board. He commented that there is some merit to being able to take the land costs and use that to develop the park.
Commr. Hill stated that she did not have plans for a specific School Board property.
Commr. Conner stated that he was not sure if the School Board had property that is located within the area that was geographically identified for the needed park site.
Commr. Hill expressed concerns about the cost of the infrastructure and roads associated with the Clermont property.
Commr. Conner asked how much money would be required to build the roads and infrastructure which would have to be done before the park could be developed. He opined that he would support purchasing the land without making contractual obligations. He agreed with Commr. Hill about being hesitant to incur more debt. He commented that he thinks there is going to be an expectation from the public that once the land is purchased that the park is going to be developed similar to North Lake Park in the next 24 months.
Commr. Hill noted that there are environmental concerns associated with the property because it is a sprayfield. She asked staff to inform the Board about the costs to establish the roads and infrastructure for the North Lake Park.
Mr. Stivender reported that staff performed a site visit at the Clermont owned location a few years back, and stated that there is an existing tree lined two-lane road which would require improvement as the size of the park increased. He noted that the initial $2 million was to build four to five ball fields while using the existing road without any improvements. He explained that when Phase II development began there would be a need for road improvements because the existing road would not be able to handle the volume of park traffic. He reported that the utilities would be provided from the City of Groveland.
Commr. Conner asked if a package plant would have to be installed if the Board purchased the City of Clermont property.
Mr. Minkoff replied that the package plant would not be necessary if City of Groveland utilities were available, however, the restrooms would have to be on a septic tank until the property was hooked up to central utilities.
Commr. Conner asked if a well would be required for water.
Mr. Minkoff stated that this property is close to the city limits of Groveland which would most likely be serviced by city water.
Commr. Conner stated that he wanted to look at the whole picture, and asked how much the road improvements would cost once Phase II development was started.
Mr. Stivender responded that he had that information back in his office.
Commr. Renick commented that there may never be a Phase II.
Commr. Cadwell stated that if the Board has the funding to proceed with Phase II development then there should be enough funding for the road improvements.
Mr. Stivender stated that staff has a set of construction plans for the road development which places two lanes on each side of the tree lined median.
Commr. Conner asked if the Board could purchase the property without the contractual commitments.
Commr. Cadwell opined that the commitments help the County.
Commr. Conner stated that he was trying to find a way to prevent the County from incurring more debt.
Commr. Cadwell explained that the payments were structured that way to allow the County to have the money to build the fields now.
Commr. Conner asked what interest rate the County would be paying to Clermont.
Mr. Saunders replied that the County would start paying four percent interest once they started making payments in three years.
Commr. Conner asked if Clermont would eliminate the interest.
Mr. Saunders stated that he could not agree to that, and noted that the Clermont City Council has already bent over backwards to make this deal happen.
Commr. Renick expressed frustration because Clermont has been agreeable in this deal, and opined that the County is getting a good deal. She commented that this is really an issue of whether or not parks are a priority for the Board, and noted that there is not a greater need for the children of this area. She asked where the five to eight million dollar figure originated.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the maximum cost based on the contract would be $5.5 million, and noted that $2.5 million has already been budgeted this year so the worst case scenario would be an additional $3 million between 2012 and 2016.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that all of the funds would be paid from the half penny sales tax and the Parks MSTU.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that the sales tax expires before 2016, but the park impact fees and Parks MSTU funding would continue to be sources of revenue. He stated that there is no way to project the exact revenues this far in advance.
Mr. Saunders noted that the original appraisal on this property was for $5.1 million at the onset of the negotiations with the County, and mentioned that the price has been reduced to $2 million with a potential million of one on one match for the parks system. He commented that the purpose of this agreement was to build ball fields so kids would not have to be turned away. He reported that the South Lake Regional Park was listed as the second project in the Parks master plan. He stated that Clermont would like to be able to spend the matching funds in the park of their choice, and would like to start receiving credit for the matching funds now. He commented that Clermont would not submit any requests for the matching funds until 2012.
Commr. Conner confirmed that there is a $1 million cap on the County’s contribution to the matching funds. He asked if the County had the funds to execute the contract and make the debt payments.
Mr. Minkoff stated that there is currently $2.5 million in the budget which would fulfill the obligation for the park improvements, which would not likely be spent until next fiscal year because the closing is scheduled for late September. He mentioned that the debt payments for 2012 through 2016 have not been budgeted.
Commr. Conner asked why the Board does not buy the land from Clermont for $2 million cash instead of making payments in three years.
Commr. Cadwell explained that Clermont agreed to the payment plan in an effort to get the park developed now to solve the immediate need.
Commr. Conner opined that the Board should purchase the land first and then develop the park as funds were available without any contractual obligations.
Commr. Hill commented that purchasing the land and not building the ball fields does not solve the immediate need for that area. She noted that the County still pays the fee for the unincorporated children to be able to use the Clermont parks system. She stated that she would like to partner with the School Board to develop a park at one of the school sites without the County incurring more debt for land.
Commr. Cadwell stated that Clermont is not going to sell the land for $2 million because they dropped their price and agreed to payments in an effort to get the park developed.
Commr. Conner expressed concern over the debt service in the contract. He opined that parks enhance the quality of life, but noted that the quality of life would be decreased if the Board had to raise taxes to pay the debt service. He reiterated that he would prefer to purchase the land for cash and budget $300,000 to $400,000 each year for park improvements.
Commr. Stewart asked how much Clermont would sell the land for without the additional obligations.
Commr. Cadwell stated that Mr. Saunders could not answer that without first presenting the question to the Clermont City Council.
Commr. Conner opined that the Board should not move forward on this contract because it is problematic, and suggested keeping negotiations open with Clermont.
Ms. Marsh reminded the Board that the due diligence on this contract will expire on April 9, 2010, and noted that if the Board opted not to approve it then staff would need an extension of the due diligence from Clermont in order to renegotiate. She stated that if Clermont did not agree to the extension then the Board could make it a contingency upon the extension or the contract would be terminated.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he thought this was a parks project and a good opportunity to fulfill the promises to the community for a regional park.
Commr. Renick stated that this park has been needed for a long time in that area, and commented that meeting chambers would be overflowing if all of the parents and children were in attendance to request the park.
There was a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Cadwell to approve the Option Agreement between Lake County and the City of Clermont relating to the Clermont Sprayfield property, which failed by a vote of 2-3.
Commr. Hill, Commr. Conner and Commr. Stewart voted “no.”
Commr. Stewart stated that there is no doubt that there is a need for the park in South Lake, but commented that the needs of the entire county needed to be considered during these unprecedented times.
Commr. Conner asked if there was support to send staff back to the City of Clermont to structure a contract for purchasing the land for cash without any contractual obligations.
Commr. Stewart opined that Clermont needed to know that the Board supported them.
Mr. Saunders noted that if the County was concerned about future debt but still wanted to make a good faith effort, the Board could remove the obligation that requires the $2.5 million to be spent in the next 18 months.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board terminated the existing contract and authorized staff to negotiate with the City of Clermont for the land purchase without any contractual obligations beyond the purchase price of the property.
Commr. Hill voted “no.”
Eminent Domain Process
Ms. Marsh stated that staff is requesting approval of a resolution to authorize eminent domain for a parcel of property at the intersection of SR 19 and CR 42.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2010-39 instituting the eminent domain process for acquisition of the property located at the intersection of SR 19 and CR 42, and the approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiation offers.
Disposal of Surplus Property
Ms. Marsh stated that staff is requesting the declaration of some properties that the County has acquired through code enforcement as surplus, and noted that these properties are not needed for county purposes. She commented that staff would like to donate some of the properties to Homes in Partnership, Inc., Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, Florida, Inc., and sell the remaining parcels to adjacent property owners or offer them for sale through bid.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the declaration of County owned properties as surplus for the purpose of disposal, and approval of Resolution No. 2010-40 authorizing the donation of property to Homes in Partnership, Inc., and Resolution No. 2010-41 authorizing the donation of property to Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, Florida, Inc.
REPORTS – COUNTY MANAGER
Mr. Minkoff reminded the Board that he would be out of the office the rest of this week, but mentioned that he would be available by phone. He stated that Mr. Jim Stivender will be in charge during his absence.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – DISTRICT 1
Public Safety Coordinating Council
Commr. Hill stated that the Public Safety Coordinating Council received information including the GIS monitoring system that she would like to have presented to the Board. She noted that the next quarterly meeting is scheduled for April 20, 2010 at which time the committee might have a recommendation for the Board.
Mr. Minkoff suggested that the Board wait for the committee to have their meeting, and then their recommendation could be added to the Agenda to be presented to the Board.
School Board Impact Fees
Commr. Hill stated that she received a letter from the School Board that they are recommending a deferral of impact fees until the issuance of the certificate of occupancy. She asked what the appropriate procedure was for this recommendation.
Mr. Minkoff stated that it would require a change to the County code when the fees are due which would have to be presented to the Impact Fee Committee, and noted that the County would have to change their system for fee collection which currently takes place when the building permit is issued. He commented that the process would be very different for residential and suggested having staff look into the specifics and then have it presented at the next Impact Fee Committee meeting. He stated that the County would also have to coordinate with the cities to ensure the fee collection is consistent countywide.
Portrait of Former Constitutional Officer
Commr. Hill reported that she received a portrait of a former constitutional officer from years ago and was asked to keep it in safe keeping. She stated that she wanted to make sure the portrait was kept for the family, but commented that it also needed to be on the wall in the judicial center at some point. She asked that this matter be presented to the Historical Society, and asked if there was a special ceremony for the hanging of such portraits in the judicial center.
Mr. Minkoff commented that he recalled attending a ceremony for adding a portrait to the wall. He stated that staff could look into this matter.
Commr. Hill mentioned that she did not know if there were any family members alive that could attend a ceremony. She stated that a portrait of a former judge also needs to be hung in the judicial center, and reported that the family of the judge would be available for a ceremony. She commented that she wanted these public servants honored and not forgotten.
reports – commissioner renick – vice chairman and district 2
Beta Sigma Phi Founder’s Day
Commr. Renick asked the Board to approve April 24, 2010 as the Beta Sigma Phi Founder’s Day. She congratulated them on their 79th anniversary, and noted that they perform a lot of charitable work.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2010-42 proclaiming April 24, 2010 as Beta Sigma Phi Founder’s Day.
reports – commissioner conner – district 3
Judge Boylston Retirement Ceremony
Commr. Conner stated that he attended the retirement ceremony for Judge Boylston with Commr. Hill. He thanked the County Manager and County Attorney for attending, and commented that it was a very nice ceremony.
Judge Neal and Sheriff Borders
Commr. Conner reported that he met with Judge Neal and Sheriff Borders and commended their efforts to save money by not incarcerating people that should not be incarcerated while keeping the public safe.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Vance Jochim stated that he writes a blog on fiscal issues called “FiscalRangers.com”. He commented that there appears to be a trend of budget requests for more funding, and noted that the County does not have a controller or contract administrator. He opined that the controller or contract administrator would be able to prevent some of the budget requests. He suggested analyzing each departments request for more funding on an annual basis, and adding that amount to the department’s reserve the following year so the department has to reduce its normal operations. He commented that the contract with Heery was poorly written and that Heery was operating under the direction of a rogue manager.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
welton g. cadwell, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK