A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
september 7, 2010
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 7, 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; Jennifer Hill; and Jimmy Conner. Commissioners Elaine Renick, Vice Chairman, and Linda Stewart were not present. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, Interim County Manager; Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Courtney Vincent, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Paul Guthrie from North Point Fellowship gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Cadwell wanted to add a letter of support from Central Florida Health Alliance to his business.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board moved to add that item to the Agenda.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Mr. Roy Hunter, a resident of Paisley, thanked the Board for the fire station, the generator for the school, and other things the Board has done. He gave the Board credit for helping the North Lake Chamber achieve almost all of the goals set out in their mission statement when it started about 12 years ago, such as improvements to fire safety, health, and transportation. He also thanked EMS and others who saved his wife’s life. He noted that the only goal in the mission statement that was not accomplished was to get 100 percent voter registration and participation, and he commented that they all needed to encourage others to register to vote and about how easy it was now to vote.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 3-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3, 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.
Cascades at Groveland Community Development District Financial Report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009 pursuant to Sections 11.45 and 189.418, Florida Statutes, along with cover letter transmitting same.
Notice that the Lake County Water Authority Board Budget Hearings are scheduled as follows: Tentative Budget Hearing on September 8, 2010 at 5:05 p.m. and Final Budget Hearing on September 22, 2010, both in BCC Chambers, 315 W. Main Street, Tavares.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 19 as follows:
Conservation and Compliance
Request for approval of Satisfaction & Release of Lien, Owners Name: Robert Lee Thompson Jr, Willie Thompson & Callie Mae Thompson (Fiscal impact is $2,777.62).
Request for approval of Satisfaction & Release of Fine, Property Owners: Gary P. & Karen Pause Case# CEB 74-00 (Fiscal impact is $100.00).
Economic Development and Community Services
Request for approval to award Contract 10-0218 to C&S Technical Services for provision and installation of solar lighting at the Umatilla Community Center. The fiscal impact is $30,350.
Request for approval of the draft updated Furlough Policy to replace the current LCC-91, approved December 1, 2009. (No Fiscal Impact).
Request for approval of the attached updates to the Employee Benefit Fund. There is no fiscal impact.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval for BCC Chairman to sign the FY 2010 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Award documents. Funds are appropriated in the FY 2010-11 budget in the amount of $83,584.
Request for approval of and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolutions No. 2010-97, 2010-98, 2010-99, 2010-100, 2010-101, and 2010-102, providing for certification of the assessment roll for the Greater Groves Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Greater Hills Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Greater Pines Subdivision, Picciola Island Subdivision, Valencia Terrace Subdivision and Village Green Subdivision providing for certified copies; providing for adoption of resolutions; and providing for an effective date.
Request for approval of the interlocal agreement with Lake Technical Center, Inc. related to expenditure of EECBG funds for adult education and training courses. (Fiscal impact $93,367).
Request for approval of interlocal agreement with Lake-Sumter Community College related to expenditure of EECBG funds for adult education and training courses. (Fiscal impact $93,360).
Request for approval of award to Emergency Management Telecommunications, Inc. (EMTEL) to retain services of a competent and qualified contractor to provide an emergency notification system to the County. Fiscal impact is $129,995.00.
Request for approval of agreement between Lake County and The Villages for Shared Public Service Radio Communications tower and use. No Fiscal impact.
Request for approval of and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolution No. 103, providing for certification of the assessment roll for the Special Assessment for the paving, grading, curbing, and drainage of Diane Drive and Lisa Drive in Lake County. There is no fiscal impact.
Request to advertise for bids for CR-42 and SR-19 Intersection Improvement at an estimated cost of $1,845,000.00 from Road Impact Fees Benefit District 1 Fund. Commission District 5. Fiscal Impact is estimated $1,845,000.00.
Request for approval of Arthropod Control FY10/11 Certified Budget (Fiscal Impact is $35,000.00.
Request for approval of a change order to the Cured in Place Pipe Lining ITB 10-0032. (Fiscal impact is $97,200.00).
Request for approval and Chairman's signature on the interlocal agreement between the City of Umatilla 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. Fiscal impact is uncertain at this time as it depends on the severity of the disaster; however, only debris eligible for reimbursement from Federal and State agencies will be collected. The Municipality will be responsible for their proportionate cost share which is anticipated to result in no eventual fiscal impact to the County.
Request for approval of FDOT LAP Agreement for the design phase of CR 450. Design phase to include 4-foot paved shoulders (from Marion County Line to Lake Yale Rd.), a total of 3.67 miles. The project will include milling and resurfacing, adding paved shoulders, guardrails, extension of drainage culverts, additional signage, and placement of audible pavement markings. Design phase to be completed by January 31, 2012. Commission District 5; Tracking # SPJ10022. Approval of Resolution. Fiscal Impact - $200,000 (provided by Federal/State Grants).
Request for approval to recommend award for the Full Depth Reclamation of Pavement at Royal Trails Road to D.A.B. Constructors, Inc., the lowest priced, responsive and responsible vendor. (Fiscal Impact is $462,949.01).
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 20 through 22 as follows:
Request for approval for Chairman to endorse check from Universal Risk Advisors, Inc. for $6,414.20 on behalf of Lake County. There is no Fiscal Impact.
Request for approval of agreement between Lake County and Susan’s Landing Homeowners Association, Inc. for traffic law enforcement on private roads. No fiscal impact.
Request for approval to make tax deed applications on 78 parcels for year 2007 County held tax certificates. The Fiscal Impact is $14,650.
Ms. Susan Irby, Employee Services Director, presented the following employee awards, commenting briefly about each employee’s service to the County:
Emilio Bruna, Solid Waste Programs Director
Public Works/Solid Waste
Amanda Hull, Right-of-Way Agent I
Miriam Naas, Financial Specialist (Not Present)
Travis Newman, Equipment Operator, III (Not Present)
Public Works/Road Operations/Maintenance Area II (Minneola)
Michelle Sherrod, Budget Analyst
Fiscal & Administrative Services/Budget Division
Jonathan Teeter, Animal Shelter Technician (Not Present)
Conservation & Compliance/Animal Services
Scott Amey, Senior Library Assistant
Public Resources/Library Services/East Lake Library
Daniel Baldree, Trades Crew Leader
Facilities Development & Management/Maintenance Division
Robin Bridges, Library Assistant
Public Resources/Library Services/Marion Baysinger Memorial Library
George Dehart, Mechanic (Not Present)
Fiscal & Administrative Services/Fleet Management
Thomas Eicher, Parks and Trails Manager
Public Resources/Parks & Trails
Larry Higgins, Mechanic (Not Present)
Fiscal & Administrative Services/Fleet Management
James Brown, Survey Party Chief
Public Works/Engineering/Survey & Design
Sanford Minkoff, Interim County Manager
Robert Baker, Contracts Coordinator
Public Works/Road Operations
William Nicodem, Fleet Maintenance Manager (Not Present)
Fiscal & Administrative Services/Fleet Management
Yvonne Heitzner, Laboratory Analyst (Not Present)
Public Works/Engineering/Water Quality Services
Jonathan Iannone, Support Services Supervisor
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
board and committee presentations
Arts and Cultural Alliance
John Griffin for service from 2009-2010 (not present)
Board of Building Examiners
Jerry F. Miller for service from 2009-2010 (not present)
Historical Museum Advisory Committee
Debbie Stivender for service from 2009-2010 (not present)
recognition of state speech contest winner
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, stated that she was pleased and honored to have Amanda Sunseri with them, who received first place at the State Speech Contest awards for the Association of Florida Conservation Districts.
Ms. Nadine Foley, Chairman of the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, related that each year they sponsor the speech and poster contest, and she emphasized that they were pleased that this year Amanda has gone on to win the state title as well as winning the local contest. She commented that although Amanda was just an eighth grader when she had first given the speech, she had competed against other students for that honor who were as old as seniors in high school at the state level, and she mentioned that Amanda was now a freshman at South Lake High School.
Ms. Sunseri gave the speech entitled “How Can Conservation Habits Equal Healthy Habits – The Florida We Love” that she had given which had won the highest honor at the state competition sponsored by the Association of Florida Conservation Districts in July. The speech talked about habitat preservation and creation, water conservation, erosion prevention, environmental-friendly farming, alternative irrigation methods, and use of native landscaping.
trout lake nature center 2009-2010 annual report
Mr. Hugh Kent, President of the Trout Lake Nature Center, presented the Trout Lake Nature Center’s 2009-2010 Annual Report, and he pointed out on the back cover of the report a photograph depicting the view of their boardwalk showing a new dock on the right hand side of the boardwalk. He pointed out that the inside cover of the report contained various Lake County partners that they continue to work with, and he noted that the report demonstrated increases in virtually all of their activities, including the number of student visitors, quality of the curriculum they offered, programs for adults and families, and eco-tourism. He pointed out that on the inside back cover is the same bar graph that they presented to the Board last year, and one of the things it showed was that the value of their volunteer hours was greater than the limits of the graph, reflecting that it went from 6500 volunteer hours last year to close to 10,000 this year. He opined that the nature center was continuing to flourish and recognized the County’s role in their success and being an indispensible partner in their effective public-private partnership.
Commr. Cadwell stated that Trout Lake has been working with some of the landowners to get some connectivity from Trout Lake to Lake May, and he hoped they would be seeing that before long.
Mr. Kent explained that the connecting land was a combination of privately owned, owned by the City of Eustis under a conservation easement that they managed, County-owned property around Lake May, and 800 acres of property owned by St. Johns River Water Management District, who has indicated strong support for that. He commented that if they could connect those two facilities with a trail, they were not only expanding the usefulness of each of them, but they would have about a seven-mile trail which they thought would be an excellent draw. He added that it would also connect very well with other seemingly truncated trails that were already part of the County-approved trail system.
Commr. Conner commented that their record keeping and the business model with the volunteers was very impressive, which is a business model that they should be taking to other areas of County government in the future. He was impressed with the number of people who are very dedicated and with the statistics they presented for the volunteer hours and the value of that. He noted that this was not a program that was all government funded and that the volunteer contribution exceeds what the county contributes fourfold. He added that this program is a great benefit for the students.
transit development plan
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Director of Economic Development and Community Services, explained that this item was the annual update of the County’s Transit Development Plan, and that FDOT requires the County to update that plan annually. She related that the update was presented to the LSMPO (Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization) at their August meeting, and they recommended approval of transmittal to the Board. She noted that the update would be presented by Ms. Abra Horne, who was with their consultant, Wilbur Smith and Associates.
Ms. Horne stated that she wanted to summarize some of the accomplishments that they have documented in the Transit Development Plan, including that ridership is up 18 percent on all routes, and ridership on Route 4 has increased almost 80 percent. She pointed out that the LakeXpress route was paid for with all non-local funds by federal dollars which would not be available for any other purpose other than to provide transit. She related that LakeXpress has realized a cost savings of $177,000 by providing in-house vehicle maintenance this year and by serving paratransit passengers under the fixed route system. She reported that on-time performance for services is 96 percent, which was especially important for people using the service to get to work or school.
Ms. Horne explained why they did a Transit Development Plan (TDP) and why it was required, stating that any transit entity who applies for state transit grant funds under Section 341 of the Florida Statutes and Rule 14-73 of the Florida Administrative Code is required to prepare a transit development plan. She added that it is updated every five years with annual progress reports in interim years and that it is approved by the Board as well as the MPO before it is submitted to FDOT – District 5. She gave a ridership summary that specified the increases in ridership for each of the routes as well as the links that connected to the LYNX fixed-route service in other areas such as Orlando, giving the riders another choice of how to get to work. She noted that the Clermont Park and Ride improvements had been made, which she commented was full by 9:00 a.m., and they were moving forward with the Minneola Park and Ride. In addition, they have identified the Orange Blossom Express, which is a commuter rail project that would extend into Lake County from downtown Orlando, with tracks that were owned by CSX and operated and leased by the Florida Central Railroad. An alternatives analysis would need to be conducted to move this project forward, and FDOT has submitted an application to get funding to begin the alternative analysis study. She pointed out that there was a revised list of projects at the end of the TDP that summarized the changes. She stated that they would continue with the fixed route and paratransit services and coordination with LYNX, as well as develop new services as funding becomes identified and available such as connections to Disney as a possible future connection, commuter rail, Route 1 service improvements such as extending the hours of operation and reducing the headways, circulator service improvements, and coordinating their regional transportation with partners in neighboring counties.
Commr. Conner commented that saving money by moving 2700 paratransit riders to fixed route service is commendable, but since the whole purpose was to save costs, he would encourage whoever is responsible for quantifying that savings to present those statistics to the Board.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the MPO, explained that paratransit services cost about $18 per trip, whereas the regular route costs $7 per trip, so the more riders they get on LakeXpress, the lower the cost would be.
Mr. Minkoff stated that he was not sure there has been a significant decrease in the number of paratransit trips, but he could get the Board those numbers.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board approved the annual update to the Transit Development Plan as prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates.
ordinance adopting interlocal service boundary agreement
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading by title only as follows:
an ordinance of the board of county commissioners of lake county, florida, adopting an interlocal service boundary agreement between lake county, the town of montverde, the city of clermont, the city of minneola, and the pine island community development district; providing for severability; providing for an effective date; and providing for filing with the department of state.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2010-46 adopting the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) between the Town of Montverde, City of Clermont, City of Minneola, Pine Island CDD and Lake County.
appointments to library advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board approved the appointments of Mr. Rick Roderick to serve as a member and Ms. Stephanie Gardner to serve as alternate member representing the City of Minneola for the remainder of the term ending 2/28/2014.
REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY
approval for county manager to sign two-year extensions on developer agreements
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, explained that Tab 29 was a request to give the County Manager approval to sign extensions to developer agreements pursuant to Senate Bill 1752.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board approved the request to give the County Manager authority to sign the two-year extensions on the developer agreements if so requested by the developer.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER CADWELL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
letter of support for central florida health alliance
Commr. Cadwell explained that he had added to the Agenda the approval of a letter of support for the Central Florida Health Alliance’s expansion of the Villages Health System at Leesburg Regional Medical Center.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 3-0, the Board moved to send that letter.
recess and reassembly
At 9:52 the Chairman announced that there would be a ten-minute recess.
Ms. Marsh stated that she had previously asked for the closed session authorized by Florida Statute 286.011 to discuss pending litigation in front of a court or administrative agency, and once the closed session starts, it would be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to litigation and litigation expenditures. She noted that a court reporter would record the entire session, as well as when they begin, when they end, and all discussions in the proceedings, including the names of all persons present at any time and whoever speaks. She explained that the court reporter’s notes will be transcribed and would be made public at the time the litigation is concluded, and at the beginning of the session the Chair or the entity is required to give notice of who would be at the meeting, which was the Board, Mr. Minkoff, and herself. She added that she had a copy of the required advertisement of the meeting, and she estimated that the session would last about one hour.
recess and reassembly
At 10:30 a.m. the Chairman announced that they would recess until the public hearing at 5:05 p.m.
adoption of tentative millage rates
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners reconvened in regular session on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 5:05 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill; Jimmy Conner and Linda Stewart. Commr. Elaine Renick was not present due to illness in her family. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, Interim County Manager; Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this was the first of two public hearings on the 2011 budget that are required by Florida Statute, and the purpose of tonight’s meeting was to present to the public the tentative budget for 2011, including the proposed millage rates and any change from the rollback rates. He defined the rollback millage rate as the rate when applied to next year’s tax base, excluding new construction and cost of living adjustments, would generate the same revenue as was raised in the previous year, and he commented that typically these rates would be lower than the current millage rates, but next year’s rollback rates are actually higher than the current millage rates because the tax base was reduced again this year. He noted that at the conclusion of the public participation, the Board will adopt tentative tax rates in the tentative budget, including any adjustments and will set the date and time for the final budget hearing in approximately two weeks. He mentioned that this meeting was one of a series of Board budget meetings that started back in December of 2009. He pointed out that this year the ad valorem tax revenues were being reduced by almost 11 percent, and the budget has no increases to solid waste or fire special assessments. He added that funding to the Sheriff and other core services to the public such as to the Health Department, mental health programs, and children’s programs have been kept at the same funding level as last year. He reported that the fund balance of the general fund is estimated to be $29.2 million or 23 percent of the total general fund expenditures at the end of the 2011 fiscal year, which is the highest it has been since at least 2003 by a significant amount, and that the tentative budget eliminates a net of 41 full-time and three part-time positions, continues the current hiring freeze, and includes 12 mandated unpaid furlough days for all employees, other than those that are in fire service on shift duty. However, he opined that it provides adequate maintenance of their facilities, equipment, and infrastructure and funds all of the current approved projects in the capital program such as the downtown Tavares governmental center expansion.
Mr. Doug Krueger, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, stated that he would be outlining the millage rates that were going to be proposed to be adopted tonight pursuant to Florida Statute, Chapter 129.200, and discussing some adjustments to the budget that were presented to the Board on July 15. He reported that the proposed general fund millage rate is going to be 4.7309 mills per 1,000 taxable value, which is a 10.5 percent reduction from the rollback rate of 5.2592 mills; and they also had a countywide Ambulance MSTU millage which is proposed at .3853, which is a .0798 millage reduction from the current rate and a 26.74 percent reduction from the rollback tax rate. He noted that the proposed Public Lands Voted Debt Service millage remains the same as in the current year, which is .1101 mills, and the proposed Stormwater, Road and Parks MSTU millage is .4984 mills, which is equal to the current rate but was an 11.8 percent reduction from the rollback rate. He related that the Fire Rescue MSTU millage was the same as the current year at .3222 mills, but that was also a reduction of 11.2 percent from the rollback rate. He commented that all of the rollback rates were higher than the current rates because of the tax base reduction that they have had.
Mr. Krueger reported that there have been some changes to the budget since they had presented it to the Board on July 15 that he wanted to highlight that they would be asking the Board to approve which would total about $3.9 million to align the budget to reflect the changes to the road program that the Board approved on August 17 at their Board meeting. He noted that they were also adjusting the fund balance as related to purchase order carryover, and they continue to adjust the grant revenues and expenditures to reflect the latest information they have on grants. He stated that he would also go through other specific adjustments that deal with personnel, capital outlay, and capital improvements, which were summarized on pages 7, 8, and 9 in the handed-out material. He specified that they reinstated the internet application developer position that the Board approved on August 17, with a correction on page 10 and 19 to reflect that the correct number should be $34,889.00 rather than $61,238.00. He related that they also deleted a laboratory analyst position in the Engineering Division of the Public Works Department and added a part-time grant-funded position in housing services. Under capital outlay, they deleted three paratransit vehicles under Public Transportation and added a vehicle locater system which is funded by stimulus funding. They allocated some reserves in Fire Rescue for an emergency generator at Fire Station 27 near Eustis, and they reallocated some reserves under Capital Improvements to specific projects at Lake May Reserve and South Trail Right of Way Land Acquisition, as well as reroofing the Public Defender’s building. He added that other significant adjustments were $30,000 to include 211 funding for calls to social service agencies and $76,518 for municipalities that were not receiving E911 funding to offset the $12.50 traffic fine that would go towards their radio maintenance system. He also mentioned that they allocated $100,000 for driveway repairs at Fire Station 109 near Clermont and Fire Station 27 in Eustis in their Fire Rescue Budget, and they adjusted the landfill enterprise fund revenues down by $360,478 when that was consolidated with the Public Works Department to make them more in line with what was actually going to be collected.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Marilyn Bainter, a resident who lives east of Eustis, made an objection to the statement about reduction of the millage, and she opined that in fact they were increasing the general millage by a fraction of a mill, even though she understood that the ambulance service has cut their millage and that they would be paying the same amount of millage of 5.22. She commented that in 2007 they were required to cut 9 percent by the legislature, which turned out to be 2 percent, and Lake County was one of four counties in the state that had the highest increased spending with 161 percent of increased collections. She stated that in 2002, a local CPA who served on a committee to review the county budget related to her that she did not think the committee’s efforts had any overall cost cutting implications and recommended looking for areas where there was a duplication of services. She opined that there were currently duplication of services within the County, such as in veteran’s services, elder affairs, soil and water, drug program, stormwater, and emergency services. She also related that three quarters of the jail population was still waiting to go to trial and could not work, but the County was paying for their food, medical expenses, shelter, and clothing, and she believed that those prisoners needed to be moved through the penal system more quickly.
Mr. Wolfgang Halbig, a resident of Sorrento, stated that he has spent the last several weeks studying the budget that was proposed by the Board, and he expressed concern about the lack of consolidation and the duplication of fire and ambulance services, which he believed could save at least $8 million. He also was concerned that the account for Lake-Sumter EMS contained $3.5 million in reserves.
Ms. Linda Nagle from the Home Builders’ Association stated that they realize that the total ad valorem millage rate will be the same in the proposed 2011 budget as it is currently; however, they would like to see more cutbacks in some of the expenses. She also stated that she wanted to go on record as opposing the proposed budget for not holding and reducing all budget rates, and she opined that they were increasing expenditures by $12.9 million. She commented that every dollar makes a difference to Lake County’s citizens and businesses that are struggling financially, and what was good in the past is no longer appropriate. She related that she knew the County’s revenues were in serious decline, and without further reductions in expenses, they were prolonging the inevitable. She noted that a decline in property values did not mean a decline in taxes for everyone. She requested that the Board cut the size of county government, prioritize essential services, reduce deficit spending, and lower all tax rates and fees, instead of relying upon decreased property values to cut their spending.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Conner opined that they were going to have to look at consolidating some services in the near future and that it would be economical to stop the current duplication of services. He acknowledged that cutting 41 full time positions was a lot of cuts for the County, but he opined that he did not think they would be able to sustain the Sheriff’s budget at the current level indefinitely. He was looking at a process to provide services in a more cost efficient manner, and he believed the League of Cities was inclined to move in that direction.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they should question the need for 14 fire departments in the County, and they have always extended an offer to the municipalities to discuss that. He suggested that they have an elected level discussion as opposed to a staff level discussion.
Commr. Conner specified that the City of Minneola contracts with the Sheriff, even though they have their own fire department. He also emphasized that the County did not raise millage rates or fees even though other counties have been raising them because of depressed property values, which he felt was an accomplishment, and he pointed out that the amount of revenue that the County was receiving from property taxes is $10 to $11 million lower this year than what is was last year.
Commr. Stewart stated that County staff and the Commission have worked very hard together to bring a budget that would not significantly hurt the citizens, and the County should be commended for not raising the millage.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the tentative millage rate for 2010-11 as follows: the Lake County general fund Countywide millage rate of 4.7309 mills; Lake County Ambulance MSTU of 0.3853 mills; Lake County Public Lands - Voted Debt at 0.1101 mills; Lake County Stormwater, Parks and Roads MSTU of 0.4984 mills; and Fire Rescue/Emergency Medical Services MSTU of 0.3222 mills.
Mr. Krueger noted that on Page 32 of the capital improvement list, they had $3 million earmarked for the judicial center expansion that would not be needed in 2010-11, and they were asking to change that to a generic capital improvement projects designation pending their discussion next week on the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) in case the Board wanted to allocate those funds in 2010-11 for that project instead.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the changes to the 2010-11 recommended budget totaling $3,884,841 as presented previously at the meeting, as well as the aforementioned change noted by Mr. Krueger regarding the $3 million capital improvement fund.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a vote of 3-1, the Board approved the 2010-11 tentative budget total of $445,512,033.
Commr. Conner voted no.
Commr. Conner reiterated his concern about the amount they were taking from reserves, even though he commended the County for having built up that reserve and the staff for the consolidation of positions, and he believed they would need to have a completely different approach next year.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, the Board approved the public hearing date for final adoption of the 2010-11 millage rates and budget of September 21 at 5:05 p.m. or soon thereafter in County Commission Chambers.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:37 p.m.
welton g. cadwell, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK