A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
august 17, 2010
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 17, 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
Pastor Brooks Braswell from the First Baptist Church of Umatilla gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, related that she wanted to add a request for a closed session to the Agenda under her business.
Commr. Conner requested to add a discussion about the proposed landfill at the City of Mascotte to the Agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to add the discussion regarding the proposed landfill at Mascotte to the Agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of July 6, 2010 (Regular Meeting) and July 20, 2010 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Tony Ehrlich, Chairman of the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway, read a statement and presented a certificate to Commr. Stewart recognizing her efforts to establish the byway. He commented that Lake County was a beautiful county with its lakes, scenic hills, and forests. His statement noted that Commr. Stewart has volunteered her time to the grassroots effort to establish the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway and that this designation provides an environmental and economic benefit to Lake County as well as a way to preserve and protect the natural and cultural environment. He related that Commr. Stewart plays a vital role in their organization and was formerly County liaison and now serves as a member at large of their executive body, is Chairman of their membership commission, and helps in many other ways. He concluded that additional information regarding the byway could be found on their website, which was www. floridablackbearscenicbyway.org.
Commr. Stewart added that the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway was a national as well as Florida scenic byway.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 5, 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.
Resolution of FY 2010/11 Meeting Schedule for Cascades of Groveland CDD
Resolution 2010-06 identifying the Fiscal Year 2010/2011 Meeting Schedule for the Cascades at Groveland Community Development District.
Tourist Development Resort Tax Chart and Notice of Meeting
Tourist Development Resort Tax Chart and notice of meeting to be held September 15, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. in BCC Chambers.
Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Tentative Budget Submission
Copy of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Standard Format Tentative Budget Submission for fiscal year 2010-2011, including an introductory letter to Governor Crist.
Proof of Publication of Unclaimed Moneys
Proof of publication of unclaimed moneys and payment to the Board for those non-court related moneys advertised less claims and publication costs.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Renick stated that she wanted to pull Tab 11 for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 17, pulling Tab 11 as follows:
Request for approval to fill Office Associate II position in Public Works/Road Operations Division (Fiscal impact is $31,935.00).
Request for authorization to fill one (1) Senior GIS Programmer Analyst position in Information Technology/ Programming and Application Support Services Division. (Fiscal impact is $69,778.00).
Request for authorization to fill one Office Associate III position in the Housing Services Division. The total fiscal impact of filling the position is $36,497.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Internet Applications Developer position in the Information Technology Department/Information Outreach Division. The total fiscal impact of filling the vacant Internet Applications Developer is $69,918 ($34,959 out of the Resort Tax Fund/Tourism Fund and $34,959 out of the General Fund), which is the base salary including benefits.
Economic Development and Community Services
Request for approval for the Lake County Health and Human Services Division to seek and apply for grants, in-kind donations and/or incentives up to and including $10,000 to support programming and events and to allow the County Manager to sign documents associated with those requirements. Fiscal impact dependent upon receipt of grants and donations.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the FY 2009-10 CDBG Partnership Agreement between the Yalaha Community Club, Inc. (YCC) and the County in an amount not to exceed $100,000 granting the YCC CDBG funds to design and construct a community center on YCC property, and to direct the Economic Development and Community Services Department to execute the agreement and oversee completion of the project covered in the Scope of Services. Fiscal Impact is $436,940.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request to adjust the transfers to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in two areas, the Law Enforcement Services Agreement with the City of Minneola (decrease $50,001) and the salary transfer for the Lake County Sheriff as stipulated by the Florida Legislative Council on Intergovernmental Relations (increase $899) and Resolution No. 2010-93. Net fiscal impact is a reduction of $49,102.
Request to (1) declare the items on the attached list(s) surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached lists from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Services Director or designee to sign vehicle titles. No fiscal impact.
Request for approval to realign EECBG fund budget in accordance with U.S. Department of Energy approval. Approve budget change request. (No fiscal impact).
Request approval of the attached State of Florida Contract Modification to the Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grant Program. No Fiscal impact.
Request for approval of the attached agreement with the School Board of Lake County to install a generator and related infrastructure at Spring Creek Elementary School, Paisley and to allow the County Manager to sign any minor modifications to the contract in the future, as needed. This project will allow for the facility to have electrical redundancy and make it a primary shelter during times of emergency.
Request for approval and Chairman's signature on the attached interlocal agreement between the Town of Howey-in-the Hills and Lake County to utilize Lake County's contracted debris-hauling company(s) and monitoring consultant to collect and dispose of eligible disaster debris from the public streets and rights-of-way of the Municipality. The fiscal impact will be determined at the time of a disaster.
Request to approve and accept the attached list of public right of way deeds that have been secured in conjunction with roadway and / or stormwater projects. There is no fiscal impact. (Commission Districts (1, 2, 3, 5).
Request for approval of and signature on Resolution No. 2010-94 to advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition 1156. There is no fiscal impact.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
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 18 through 20 as follows:
Request to authorize the County Attorney to retain the firm of Graves & Spivey, P.A. to represent Heath McArdle on a civil traffic citation. Fiscal impact not to exceed $750.00.
Request for approval of extension of lease agreement with St. Clairsville Medical Group for County Health Department space located at 9836 US Highway 441, Leesburg. Fiscal Impact is $23,152.50.
Request for approval of Lease Agreement between Lake County and James and Leila Hobbs, and Dallas Hobbs. There is no Fiscal Impact.
2011-2015 road impact fee transportation construction program
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, commented that they have made a critical point of trying to address roads over the last couple of years, and he reported that between the two stimulus packages, their countywide resurfacing that was currently going on, and the microsurfacing they have completed, they have done 89 miles of roads in the last year and have been working on the roads that have been the greatest concern to them. He noted that he made a goal last year of 21 projects, including the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) projects, and they were able to get 20 projects completed. He commented that next year’s goal of 15 projects was not as aggressive, with six of those being ARRA, and he stated that they were concentrating on intersection improvements and smaller projects. He reported that the revenue from gas taxes was stable, and all indications are that they would be able to maintain roads as they have in the past with the funds they have available without any major deterrents from that. He went through the road program, noting that some areas have changed in the last 30 days. He first went over projects from the federal and state grant money that they received, some of which had a local match and some did not, including turn lanes for the 44 Intersection east of the fairgrounds, widening and resurfacing of 450 going west out of Umatilla to the county line, and Citrus Tower Boulevard intersection projects. He noted that the problem they are running into with the South Lake Trail project was acquiring right of way and that the County was working with the state to buy property from CSX at a discounted price. He mentioned that many contractors schedule all their work around bidding Lake County projects, and he was trying to get as many projects done as they could. He also mentioned their goal of spending all of the impact fee funds by September 30, 2012, and he pointed out that they did not project any future revenue from impact fees, which would stay the same as it is currently.
Mr. Stivender specified that some of the road impact fee projects in the plan were the alignment of the intersection of 42 with SR 19, the Alfred Street project with Tavares, the intersection of Old 441 with C-46, Britt Road in the area where the curves are and the right of way is very narrow, SR-44 from US 441 to C-44, the addition to 466A (Miller Street) from Sumter County to US 27/441, 470 from Sumter County to C-33/C-48, and improvements to Radio Road. He also stated that they were working very hard to close out Hooks Street, which is a missing link from the high school on Hancock Road to 27, and they allotted $1.2 million of sales tax money to complete this project, although they hoped the bids came out favorably enough so that they did not have to use that sales tax money. He related that Bible Camp Road was Groveland’s number one project, which was funded by both the State and the County’s impact fees with Groveland taking over maintenance of the road when it was completed, and they would give a presentation to the Board next week regarding this project. He reported that Mascotte was the lead agency for the Sunset Avenue project, which was its top project, and they would utilize the impact fees collected in the town of Mascotte for that.
Mr. Stivender explained that this year they looked in detail at all of their projects that were tied to safety rather than to volume and projects that were not necessarily requested by developers or a city, and they found several projects that they thought were key components to make the County’s road system better based on criteria such as turning movements and traffic volumes. Some projects that he mentioned were 450 from Marion County to Lake Yale Road, which was the County’s match to finish the project; improvements to the intersection of 450 (Collins Street) with SR 19; turn lanes on Griffin Avenue, which was an alternate way into the Villages and the commercial centers; widening of Griffin View Drive; turn lanes at Hancock and Hartwood Marsh Road; and road improvements and sidewalk on Johns Lake Road east of Walmart. He stated that they were planning on spending $3.2 million in 2011 for the countywide resurfacing program, which included the 15 percent match for the ARRA resurfacing projects. He related that they would come back to the Board in the fall with a report about the condition of the County roads, and they were working on a chart that would illustrate that to the Board. If that shows a substantial improvement and reduction in the total average age of the roads, they might lower their resurfacing dollars and put it more into road improvements, but it would be a year before he could make that recommendation. He reported that they had to rebid one of their sidewalk programs, and they have had to relocate or redesign old sidewalks that were ten years or older around trees that have encroached on the location of the sidewalk. He related that their program and all of their funding sources for transportation start changing in 2014, so he wanted to have a workshop next spring to go through their funding and other issues such as the renewal of the 30-year gas tax and sales tax in 2017.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. George Fetrow, a resident of Lady Lake, stated that he did not believe that 4,000 cars traveled on Griffin View Drive, and he noted that the survey they did showed a traffic count of 1,000 cars, 213 of which were from his section east of Harbor Hills. He was concerned about the money being spent for road work in that area, and he wanted to know why the County was doing work on the entrances and exits to a gated private community.
Commr. Cadwell responded that that was where the majority of traffic was going, and the County was doing their portion up front where the traffic was.
Commr. Renick commented that although it looks like the County was doing this road work specifically for Harbor Hills, this was a compromise since the County could be held responsible for what the County was obligated to do according to the original development approval, which would be much more extensive than what they were currently considering.
Mr. Fetrow pointed out that the only entrance and exit to their home was east of Grays Airport Road, and there were 35 homes on the east side of Harbor Hills. He commented that he did not see how they got their traffic numbers and that he had not seen that many cars in the 11 years of living in the area; he also commented that there have been no accidents in that location. He opined that the County would be creating a problem where no problem currently exists.
Mr. Ira Flagg stated that he observed several intersections with four-way stop signs to determine whether motorists actually stop at those intersections, and he found that everyone did stop. He opined that a three-way stop sign at that intersection would be a lot more efficient than spending more money on the improvements that have been discussed.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), commented on the County’s five-year program and how it interrelates to the MPO’s five-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). He noted that the MPO adopted their five-year program in June, and they will come back in September to amend the TIP to include the County’s road program. He related that because of the quick work of County staff, they have the five ARRA projects, including the Lakeshore Drive Bridge and four resurfacing projects. He opined that Public Works has been very expedient on getting the stimulus contracts bid and that all 14 original resurfacing requests were funded, as well as all three bridges. He commented that the program was much smaller and more constrained than they have seen over the past three years, but the federal stimulus funds have been a huge benefit. He stated that there are several projects in the road program that the MPO is working with DOT and the County to make happen, including the Umatilla corridor study that is resulting in some improvements. He noted that the MPO was very pleased that there were a couple of regionally significant projects that the County was successfully moving forward with, such as 466A, which was the top regionally significant project of the MPO.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the 2011-2015 Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program, approval of the 2011-2015 Federal/State Grants Transportation Construction Program, and approval of the 2011-2015 Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects - Road Transportation Construction Program. Fiscal impact for FY 2011 is $19,731,000.
easter seals camp challenge
Ms. Roz Prescott MA, BCBA, Senior Vice President of Programs, Easter Seals Florida, Inc. related that the Easter Seals Camp Challenge was located on SR 46 in Sorrento, and they have been in operation for over 50 years for children and adults with developmental disabilities. She commented that they were able to give the campers an opportunity to experience a residential summer camp experience for either 6 or 12 days on their beautiful 64-acre facility, including a petting farm. She stated that they have just finished their summer season where they were able to serve about 200 individuals from all around the state, primarily from this area, and they worked closely with Kid Central this year and were able to get a grant from them for 50 children in the child welfare system to attend camp. She explained that almost the entire camp is fully accessible for individuals in wheelchairs with mobility difficulties, with fully accessible bathrooms, a beautiful dining hall facility, and a high/low roads course which enabled campers to be hoisted out of their wheelchairs. She then played a brief video of their summer camp. She stated that the economy has made their ability to fundraise to provide scholarships for many of the campers harder every year, and they have had to shorten their summer camp sessions from eight weeks to four weeks to keep their summer camp prices down. She related that the Milestones Charter School used to lease some of the property on their campus, which brought them a good foundation during the year in order to keep their camp prices down, but Milestones has built their own school and were no longer with them, and they only use their facilities 20 to 30 percent of the year. They were looking for opportunities to open their facility up for large events, including use of their RV hookups and cabins, and she asked for support from the County to find a way to use their camp for the other 70 to 80 percent of the time to have the revenue coming in so that they could continue to provide all the services that they currently do.
Commr. Stewart encouraged everyone to visit Camp Challenge while camp was in session to see the joy of the campers and their families, because they could do things they could never normally do for a short while. She stated that they were working with the equestrian world and the School Board, United Way, and some private partners; and she commented that it was a worthy thing to be involved in.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that their Tourist Development Department be given that information so that they could promote that.
Ms. Prescott stated that they could host retreats and just about any type of event out there.
Commr. Cadwell directed Ms. Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office, to keep that facility in mind when she schedules the next off-campus Board retreat.
camp boggy creek
Ms. Jackie Boykin, Event Coordinator, Camp Boggy Creek, commented that Lake County should be proud of the community of people that it was serving between Camp Challenge and Camp Boggy Creek, which served children with life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, hemophilia, and epilepsy. She stated that they were located near Camp Challenge on Highway 44 and that the camp was 15 years old. She explained that the campers came during the summertime for one week, where they could feel normal, and they do family retreat weekends during the rest of the year for the family of the campers who come. She specified that their cost was about $4 million annually. She invited everyone to come out and to volunteer, and she wanted to spread awareness of the organization. She then played a brief video of their camp programming narrated by General Norman Schwarzkopf, who comments about the importance of the camp to the campers and their families. The video points out that the children who attend the camp would not be able to have that experience at a regular camp because of their illnesses and the many medications they were on, some of them in wheelchairs and on crutches, and that this positive experience was a break from the ordeal with which they have been coping. Ms. Boykin commented that the video showed children when they were gathered together with the commonality of illnesses or physical disabilities.
Commr. Stewart asked everyone to visit Camp Boggy Creek and Camp Challenge, and she commented that they were wonderful organizations located within their county. She noted that both organizations needed volunteers and financial support.
notice of public hearing for seminole state forest management plan
Mr. Joe Bishop, Forestry Supervisor II, Seminole State Forest, representing the State of Florida Division of Forestry, related that Seminole State Forest consists of 27,000 acres located adjacent to both Camp Challenge and Camp Boggy Creek. He explained that the forest has a current management plan that is about to expire, and the new ten-year management plan, which is currently in draft form, addresses the generalities of management of the state forest. He reported that this management plan would be open for public review starting August 31, and a management plan advisory group has been seated to oversee the hearing and make comments, with Commr. Stewart representing the County on that group. He also related that the public hearing would be held August 31 at Camp Boggy Creek at 6:30 p.m., and the second meeting would be September 1 at 9:30 a.m. at the same location. He stated that the plan would be available for review by the public.
Commr. Stewart stated that she would be attending the August 31 meeting, and she thanked Commr. Hill for agreeing to represent her on September 1, since she had a prior meeting scheduled and could not attend that meeting.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:12 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
fiscal and administrative services
award of contract for development of fire rescue fees
Commr. Renick stated that she had a question concerning Tab 11 regarding the award of the contract to Tindale-Oliver for consultant support in the development of Fire Rescue assessment fees about whether they were slightly premature in this economic climate to do the study when it is scheduled or if they should do it later so the information would be more current.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this study was not to determine the amount of the fee, but only to determine the balance between the ad valorem taxes and the special assessment to make sure the County was not using special assessment to pay for the advanced life support, and this would give them a percentage and not a level of service.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 11, the request from Fiscal and Administrative Services to award Contract 10-0214 to Tindale-Oliver for consultant support in the development of Fire Rescue assessment fees for FY 2011/2012 and subsequent updating effort for a five year period. The fiscal impact for the initial study is $46,870 with optional updates available at a cost of $9,895 at any designated time during the full contract term.
economic development and community services
high value job creation program award to beacon college
Mr. Cary Pierce, Economic Development and Community Services, stated that this item is a request to grant a High Value Job Creation Program and Business Assistance Program award to Beacon College which has previously been brought before the Board, and they had done more research on it pursuant to Board direction and were bringing it back again for the Board’s recommendation. He explained that Beacon College is an accredited 501(c)(3) institution of higher education located in Leesburg and is a private college funded through tuitions and not a state or federally funded school. He reported that the college is currently involved in a multi-phase project to increase enrollment from 135 to approximately 250 students over the next few years, and currently about 50 percent of their students are from out of the region. He also noted that the College is finalizing plans to build a new administration/student assembly building and academic building and is pursuing land acquisition options near campus to increase their student housing. He explained that the business assistance program would apply to all of those at once. He also pointed out that the increase in their student facilities and enrollment would also require an increase in staff for the College, and an analysis done by Fishkind & Associates indicated that they would have to hire ten new professors and 20 new education specialists and administrators to accommodate that increase. He commented that the economic impact of the initial jobs alone was over $700,000 annually, and the economic impact of all the jobs that would eventually be created would be $4.6 million. He pointed out that there would also be economic impact created by the construction jobs and the students that would reside in the County. He specified that there would be a $5 million annual direct economic impact, $8.2 million annual total impact, and $10 million in capital improvement projects through 2013, which was a large-scale economic project within the County. He stated that staff recommends consideration of this award to the Board of the HCJCP of $12,000 and the Business Assistance Program of $25,000.
Commr. Cadwell commented that one of the main concerns was tying the award to the jobs themselves, and he clarified that they took care of that in this agreement.
Ms. Deborah Brodbeck, President of Beacon College, stated that the college was offering students identified as having learning disabilities an opportunity to attend college, and they project that over the next 12 months they would be adding a minimum of ten positions and three part-time positions. She mentioned that they have worked very closely with the Workforce of Central Florida Experience Works Program to employ displaced workers. She noted that they are providing a special service under a category of health services, since their students were identified as having a learning disability, and the IRS recognizes that the tuition, room and board is a medical deduction for populations with special needs. She reported that they anticipate approximately $13 million of construction in the next three to four years, and they would be breaking ground on a $2 million project in October followed by a $4 to $5 million project for the new education building, as well as new housing. She pointed out that currently their housing was full, so the students have also rented out apartment buildings in the Leesburg area. She added that the school has spent close to $75,000 in events at local venues in Lake County for their parents’ weekend, graduation, and fundraising activities and was a real economic force in Lake County. She explained that they were requesting assistance with the new construction project and also for their hiring efforts in Leesburg.
Commr. Cadwell opined that he thought this project was a good thing for the community, and he supported it as long as they could tie it directly to the jobs.
Mr. Pierce responded that within this application they were applying for five jobs, which was the qualifying number that would be over 150 percent of the average annual wage.
Commr. Renick commented that she believed they needed to address a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the concept of targeted industries, and even though they had given staff direction to try to seek those particular industries they thought were a particularly good fit, it was not meant to prohibit other opportunities for high value jobs that were not specifically mentioned at the time of the preparation of their economic plan.
Commr. Stewart added that she hoped they would not just limit themselves to those targeted industries.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, explained that the Code does delegate authority to staff to do those agreements, but if it is outside what the Board directed them to look at, then the Code allows them to bring it to the Board for approval. She added that they could clarify it, however, if the Board desires.
Commr. Renick stated that she did think it needed clarification to make clear that they were not only interested in those particular targeted industries.
Ms. Marsh assured the Board that she would do that and bring it back to them.
Commr. Stewart commented that the economic impact of this and the contribution to an educated work force were certainly two important goals that the County has.
Commr. Conner opined that Beacon College has brought a tremendous economic benefit in Lake County, particularly with the number of relocations of their employees. He commented, however, that he believed the Ordinance and the language in their policy should be changed before they gave this award to Beacon College, because the targeted industries referred to in the Ordinance were the ones in their strategic plan; but he pointed out that he did not oppose the award.
Commr. Renick pointed out that Beacon College noted that they could fall under the health and wellness category, and she commented that she was not uncomfortable with going forward with this and changing the ordinance later.
Ms. Marsh explained that the Board could make that determination if there is a tax exemption for Beacon College for medical. Also, she reiterated that if the staff could not award based on the parameters the Board has set, they could come to the Board for approval, which is noted in Ordinance No. 2009-26, Section 7-3(C)(2).
Commr. Conner asked to give staff direction to broaden the definition of what qualified industries are within the ordinance, and he also expressed concern about the authority given to the County Manager under this Ordinance that he believed should come under the authority of the Board.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they would discuss the ordinance on one of their workshop days.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the award of a High Value Job Creation Program (HVJCP) award in the amount of $12,000.00 for the creation of five (5) qualifying positions and approval for the County Manager to sign the HVJCP Agreement with Beacon College; approval of a Business Assistance Program (BAP) award up to $25,000.00 to Beacon College; approval for the County Manager to sign the BAP Agreement with Beacon College; and approval of the associated Budget Change Request. Fiscal impact is $37,000.00. The Board also directed staff to broaden the definition of target industries in the ordinance.
appointments to women’s hall of fame selection committee
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the following appointments to the Women’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee to serve one year terms expiring July of 2011: Debbie Stivender (District 1), Rick Reed (District 2 – reappointment), Bernice Odums (District 3), Carman Cullen (District 4 – reappointment), and Priscilla Getchell (District 5 – reappointment).
REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY
request for closed session
Ms. Marsh requested a closed session for the first meeting in September, which is September 7, at 10:00 a.m.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously, the Board moved to place that item on the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, the Board approved holding a closed session on September 7 at 10:00 a.m.
reports – commissioner conner – district 3
constitution week proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2010-95 proclaiming September 17 through September 23, 2010 as Constitution Week.
proposed landfill in mascotte
Commr. Conner discussed the proposed landfill in Mascotte and expressed concern that the County was not notified of the City’s intention to consider this project. He noted that he had gotten a lot of calls from citizens regarding this issue, and he related that it was reported on the local news that the application had been withdrawn. He wanted some official communication from the County to the City of Mascotte that the County would like to be included in any discussions that they have with regard to their plans to discuss solid waste and to remind them that they were trying to look at this issue from a county-wide comprehensive plan.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he thought Waste Management, who was the applicant for this project, would have let the County know what their plans were, and he directed Mr. Minkoff to write to Waste Management to let them know that the County expects them to notify them of these types of issues, as well as write a letter to the City of Mascotte.
Commr. Renick stated that she was at the meeting where the City heard this issue as an individual citizen, where she expressed some of her concerns regarding the landfill, including that she thought that they were all in agreement in terms of having less landfills throughout the County as well as concern for the wetlands. She related that the City indicated that they had been offered a number of financial incentives for this project, but many citizens expressed their opposition to it. She reported that the City voted 4-1 that it was inconsistent with their Comp Plan, although they still had to go through due process for the applicant of holding the public hearing before the application was finally withdrawn.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT 4
letter to family of lake county soldier killed in afghanistan
Commr. Stewart mentioned that another Lake County soldier was killed in Afghanistan, and she verified with the Board that they were still sending letters of condolences and appreciation to the families for the soldiers serving their country.
discussion regarding sheriff’s budget
Commr. Cadwell related that they were looking at the budget for the next three years, and the Board was looking to see if the Sheriff could make reductions to help them through this budget process.
Sheriff Gary Borders stated that the budget that he turned into the County earlier this year was the same as his current budget, with the Sheriff’s Office absorbing their cost of high-risk retirement increases of about $800,000 for the upcoming year. He related that they have also changed the insurance plan of their employees by raising the deductible from $300 to $750 and have almost doubled the contribution for employees that wanted to maintain their current coverage, almost mirroring what the County charges their employees for family coverage. He reported that they were looking at $2 million in increases in their own budget for next year, and he is absorbing that cost while maintaining their current level of service. He explained that they had three categories in their budget, which were law enforcement operations, corrections, and security at the courthouse. He stated that they were mandated to have certain positions in the jail and had a limited amount for operational costs. He related they put their pharmacy contract for the jail out for bid this past year, and they expect a savings of about $200,000 by going to a bulk pharmacy warehouse for drugs delivered to the jail prescribed for inmates. He reported that they froze 18 positions in their current budget agency-wide, and they would have to freeze another 18 positions in their budget for 2010-11 to make up the increases in their budget. He commented that their numbers were up in a lot of areas, and they feel that they have to maintain a certain level of service to the citizens in this County.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they had to lower their level of service in every branch of government, and he asked if he had any discussion internally as a staff about how and where they would do that.
Sheriff Borders responded that he believed that he has lowered the level of service, and he reiterated that they will have 36 positions less overall going into the next budget year in October, some of which were on patrol or in the jail, as well as a reduction of detectives. He pointed out that they had 58 meth labs in the County last year, and they have been dealing with the increase in offenses with the employees that they had.
Commr. Renick inquired whether they still have extra income coming in by taking prisoners from other facilities that were overcrowded.
Sheriff Borders answered that they were no longer able to do that because of their own jail population, but they have been in negotiation with the U.S. Marshall Service to increase the per diem cost from $58 to $79 to start accepting more federal prisoners from them while looking at ways to set up portable housing somewhere on their current jail facilities and the cost of doing that to see if that would be advantageous for them.
Commr. Cadwell inquired what the percentage was of their non-sentenced prisoners.
Sheriff Borders answered that about 75 percent of their 1,000 prisoners were still waiting to go through the court process. He also related that they were strict about which sentenced inmates were allowed to work out in the communities, but he noted that they use inmate labor to cut and maintain about 150 acres of the County’s grass on a weekly basis.
Commr. Conner pointed out that the County has cut 46 positions, and they still had to pull $11 million out of reserves to balance the budget, which he did not think was sustainable over a period of time. He was concerned about the magnitude of the reserves they were using, and he asked to put together a three-year plan which shows how they would ultimately balance the budget without taking money from reserves. He commended the Commission and the County Manager for the downsizing and streamlining that has been done, but he did not want to use more than $5 million in reserves. He stated that he believed that the Sheriff would cut $3 million from his portion of the budget, which would lessen the amount of reserves they needed to use.
Commr. Renick stated that the reason the County built up huge reserves was because they saw this coming, and they were using those reserves to get through a rough time. She commented that there were going to be very tough decisions to be made in the future if things continue to get worse, but she thought that although they have made some very serious cuts already, she did not want them to be in a situation of trying to put things back in place after losing too many good employees.
Commr. Stewart commented that she agreed with that, and she realized that they could not keep drawing reserves down and that they were going to have to make some difficult choices. She also stated that they should not compromise public safety, and she supported what they were doing this year.
Commr. Renick opined that if the Sheriff’s Department has managed to absorb the costs mentioned and still come in at the same budget amount, in a way the Sheriff has cut the budget.
Commr. Conner stated that he agreed with that, and he opined that they fortunately had a Sheriff that worked well with the County and that the Sheriff and his department were doing an outstanding job.
Sheriff Borders commented that he appreciated the positive relationship the Sheriff’s Office has always had with the Board, and he believed they were turning in a conservative budget.
Commr. Renick noted that in response to Commr. Conner’s suggestion, the Board had increased the reserve amount to 15 percent. She also stated that they typically thought that reserves were used for natural disasters, but she thought that it could be used for these types of situations as well, and she asked whether that was the case.
Mr. Doug Krueger, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, explained that the policy for the economic stabilization reserve was for emergencies like hurricanes, but it could also be used during downturns in the economy to try to keep their level of service steady so they were not laying off a large number of employees resulting in a large number of people having to be hired and trained when the economy picks back up and the additional expense to do that.
Commr. Stewart commented that if they do have to start cutting services in the future, when their citizens realize that the County did everything they could to keep from getting to that point, they would be much more ready to accept those hard choices they would have to make.
Commr. Conner stated that according to a presentation made at a Florida Association of Counties session he recently attended, an economic recovery would be slow and incremental, and he opined that they were not necessarily at the end of this economic downturn.
Commr. Renick asked Commr. Conner where he wanted to cut the budget further.
Commr. Conner stated that he had sent a memo to the County Manager a while back, which stated that they should look at their organization, including position and expenses, and rate them from 1 to 10 to determine which were vital and which were not vital.
Commr. Renick pointed out that the County has already done a reorganization which cut many of the top-paid positions and pared down the departments. She also mentioned that she was not interested in asking the Sheriff to change his budget, since he has already reduced it by 36 positions.
Commr. Cadwell concluded that apparently the majority of the Board did not wish to ask the Sheriff to cut any more out of his budget than he has perceived he already has and that the Board seems satisfied with him keeping the current level of service and positions.
Commr. Hill commented that she did not know how they would do a three-year plan if they could not get a grasp on the ad valorem and values and at what level they are going to drop, and she thought the Property Appraiser could help them in analyzing that by looking at the trends, since they base their budget on that ad valorem.
Commr. Stewart commented that it could give them an idea, but their economy is so volatile right now that it could change, which would greatly affect that three-year plan.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.
welton g. cadwell, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK