A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
april 10, 2012
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 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: Leslie Campione, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Jimmy Conner; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: Darren Gray, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, 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 Shannon Treen, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor David Miller from the Southpointe Baptist Fellowship in Leesburg gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, welcomed Mr. Marcus Johnson to the meeting and stated that he was a Leadership Lake intern and was job shadowing to see how local government worked. He then requested to pull Tab 19, the quarterly update of the various construction projects, to make changes to the presentation and he planned to bring that back at the May 8, 2012 meeting. He also mentioned that he had asked Chief Jolliff and Chief Dickerson to give an update on the status of the brush fires in Lake County.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he wanted to add an item to the agenda under his business for Board direction regarding a conference call scheduled by the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Counties on Thursday.
brush fire status update
Mr. John Jolliff, Public Safety Director and Fire Chief, pointed out that there has been very little rain and unseasonably windy conditions which has added to the brush fire problem. He stated that Mr. Jim Dickerson, Operation Chief for Lake County Fire Rescue, would be providing an update on the efforts of the Lake County Fire Rescue and their plans for the future.
Chief Dickerson explained that there were currently four active fires in Lake County and specified that there was one on the old Duda Farms property near Lake Jem that was over 200 acres in a mucky area so it was difficult to access; however, the Florida Forest Service was working on it every day. He noted that the Timber Village fire in Groveland was about 130 acres and they continued to work on that every day to get the perimeter down. He related that the Lake Holly fire in Lake Mack was currently in the monitoring phase and that they did have some evacuations last week, and he indicated that the Devon Court fire from three weeks ago had broken out again on Friday. He then stated that the drought index for Lake County was at 650 and 90 percent of the counties in the State were over 600. He mentioned that it was more difficult to receive assistance from neighboring counties because those counties were fighting fires as well. He added that they have reached out to the cities in Lake County to form agency strike teams for structural protection and specified that there was a team in the north, central and south part of the County. He related that they elevated their response to high in order to ensure there were enough resources on the road.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that fighting all of those fires not only put a strain on overtime, it put a strain on the firefighters and asked if the firefighters were being monitored to make sure they were getting the proper rest that they needed.
Chief Dickerson replied “yes,” and added that they were making sure the firefighters rested when they could and that they also staffed two additional trucks that were designed for new fire response each day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Ms. Susan Irby, Employee Services Director, presented the following employee awards:
James Campbell, Mechanic II (not present)
Fleet Management Division
Richard Helfst, Senior GIS Analyst
Information Technology/Geographic Information Services Division
James Kasch, Maintenance Worker II (not present)
Fleet Management Division
Seth Lynch, Engineer II
Public Works/Engineering Division
Brian Tindell, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Charles Matlak, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jared Mielke, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Donovan Miller, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Sean Wilson, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Mr. Richard LeBlanc, Staff Architect, presented the following awards, commenting briefly about each employee’s service to the County:
James Condon, Facilities Contract Specialist
Facilities Development & Management Department
Joseph Harris, Chief Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Development & Management/Maintenance Division
Chief Jolliff presented the following employee award, commenting briefly about his service to the County:
Raymond Brittian, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Mr. Steve Earls, Information Technology Director, presented the following award, commenting briefly about his service to the County:
James Dunkle, Technology Asset Specialist (not present)
Information Technology/Information Systems Division
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, presented the following award, commenting briefly about his service to the County:
Thomas Eicher, Parks & Trails Program Manager
Public Resources/Parks & Trails Division
EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER
Mr. David Heath, Deputy County Manager, presented the following award, commenting briefly about her service to the County:
Niki Booth, Office Associate V
County Manager’s Office
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of March 13, 2012 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog called FiscalRangers.com, addressed the Board to discuss Agenda 21 and community redevelopment areas (CRA’s). He encouraged the Board to educate themselves on Agenda 21 because many of the Agenda 21 issues were implemented through the American Planning Association guide and many planners used that guide to develop comprehensive plans. He stated that the main issue was that restrictions on property values were included in the comprehensive plans and added that there were counties across the Country that were creating property rights councils to evaluate those restrictions because professional appraisers were now being instructed on how to reduce the value of land. He also mentioned that CRA’s were addressed in Agenda 21 and noted that Umatilla pulled $857,000 out of their CRA over a 20 year time period and diverted it to non-voter approved uses. He stated that a plan needed to be approved first in order to avoid any negative impacts to property owners and taxpayers.
Commr. Campione stated that she had been following the discussion on Agenda 21, but she thought it would be helpful if someone completed a critical analysis of it to determine which parts were good planning principles that were not potentially part of a large global scheme to devalue property rights. She then addressed the CRA statement and pointed out that those dollars were directed at infrastructure and the city council makes the decisions about where to put taxpayer dollars because a CRA was typically in the center of the commercial district.
Commr. Parks thanked Mr. Jochim for bringing that information to their attention and commented that the American Planning Association has never endorsed Agenda 21 and had made a recent statement opposing it.
comprehensive annual financial report
Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court, recognized Ms. Barbara Lehman, Ms. Kristy Mullane, Ms. Tracy Zeller, Ms. JoAnne Drury, Ms. Karen Huffman, Ms. Connie Rodgers, Ms. Toni Riggs, and Mr. Kevin McDonald as the Clerk’s County Finance staff who helped prepare the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ending September 30, 2011. He also recognized Ms. Kelly LaFollette, Ms. Magdalena Contreras, and Ms. Dianna Magrum as Board employees who helped with the design of the cover and with printing the reports. He then stated that for the first time this year, they produced a citizen’s report, which was a simplified version of the CAFR, and he recognized Ms. Barbara Lehman, Ms. Kristy Mullane, Ms. Shannon Treen, and Ms. Kelly LaFollette for their work on the citizen’s report. He mentioned that the County has received an award for outstanding achievement in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the CAFR for the past 30 years and for the citizen’s report this year. He then introduced the external auditors, Mr. Dan O’Keefe and Mr. William Blend, shareholders with Moore, Stephens, Lovelace, P.A., who would present the annual audit report.
Mr. O’Keefe explained that staff was responsible for preparing the CAFR, but their job as external auditors was to opine the financial statements and analyze the different parts of the CAFR to ensure that the information was fairly presented and conformed to generally accepted accounting principles. He noted that they audited and issued reports on compliance and internal control over compliance related to major federal and state financial assistance programs and issued a report on internal control over financial reporting and on compliance and other matters. He also mentioned that they issued a management letter that addressed items such as investment policies, and they performed a financial condition assessment. He stated that they did not find any material weaknesses or deficiencies and found that the financial statements were fairly presented and that the information could be relied on.
Mr. Blend continued the presentation and explained that management’s responsibility was to provide the auditors with timely and accurate information and the auditor’s responsibility was to perform the audit in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, as well as the government auditing standards and the rules of the Auditor General for Florida. He remarked that they performed specific tests based on areas where they identified risk in the financial statements and pointed out that they also evaluated the County’s compliance with laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements and specified that their focus was to determine where there was risk. He related that the Clerk’s staff had reconciled the accounts and made any necessary corrections before the audit started and noted that there were no unreported or unadjusted differences and that management did not receive opinions from other accountants. He mentioned that they used a risk-based audit approach to determine the significant areas to audit and stated that the management representation letter they received at the conclusion of the audit indicated that all of the information provided had been accurate. He added that Ms. Lehman was chosen to oversee the audit and that his audit team was comprised of governmental and information technology specialists. He briefly reviewed the audit schedule and then discussed the financial analysis of the audit. He stated that the two levels of reporting units were basic financial statements, which included governmental and business-type activities, and fund financial statements, which included major and aggregate non-major funds. He showed a chart depicting the top level analysis and pointed out that the total assets for governmental activities was $666.5 million and specified that the majority of those assets were invested in infrastructure. He added that the restricted portion of the net assets were funds committed for debt service payments and other commitments, and the unrestricted portion were the available funds that showed the health of the County. He remarked that the change in net assets for governmental activities was negative $10.6 million. He explained that the business-type activities only included the landfill and the total assets were $21.8 million, with the majority being invested in infrastructure and that the change in net assets was an increase of $1.4 million. He then discussed the fund financial statements which included major governmental funds, such as the general fund, road impact fees, and facilities expansion projects, along with the proprietary funds, such as the landfill fund, and the fiduciary funds, such as the agency funds. He mentioned that the total assets for the general fund were $51.5 million and the total liabilities were $11.8 million. He added that the net change in the fund balance was negative $4.8 million; however, that was a cost savings for the County because the County was anticipating more of a loss. He showed the proprietary funds for the landfill and the internal service fund, which included the self-insurance fund for the County and the Sheriff’s Office, and noted that the operating loss for the landfill was $1.2 million, but that was offset by a $2.8 million net transfer from the general fund, and the operating loss for the internal service fund was $1.3 million. He concluded the presentation listing the audit highlights and stated that the County received an unqualified opinion, and there were no findings on the internal controls, the compliance over grants, or on the auditor’s management letter.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner 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.
City of Eustis’ Audit Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the City of Eustis’ audit report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011 in accordance with the Single Audit Act, along with cover letter dated March 22, 2012.
Lake County Water Authority’s Annual Financial Audit
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Lake County Water Authority’s Annual Financial Audit for 2010-2011, which was presented to the Water Authority Board of Trustees on February 22, 2012, and a copy of the Lake County Water Authority’s Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2011.
St. Johns River Water Management District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of a letter from the St. Johns River Water Management District stating that the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011, audited by the accounting firm of James Moore & Co., P.L. and accepted by the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board on March 13, 2012, is available on the District’s website at floridaswater.com/financialstatements.
Lake County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Request acceptance of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ended September 30, 2011. The County is required to have an annual audit of its financial statements. The CAFR includes the financial results of the Board of County Commissioners and Constitutional Officers for the year ended September 30, 2011. Mr. William Blend, shareholder with Moore, Stephens, Lovelace, our external auditors, will make a short presentation.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 17 as follows:
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.
Request to approve award of contract 12-0213 for Sub-Meter Installation at various County facilities to Kornhaus Electric, Inc. The fiscal impact is $41,030 (100% grant funded).
Request to approve award of contract 12-0212 for replacement of boiler and pump equipment at the 1975 Energy plant (Tavares) to Hill York Service Corporation in the amount of $73,274 (100% grant funded).
Request to approve award of contract 12-0211 for upgrade of interior lighting at various County facilities to Kornhaus Electric Inc. in the amount of $52,234.20 (100% grant funded).
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Senior Building Inspector position in the Growth Management Department/Building Services Division as a limited term position. Duration of the position would be based on operational need, up to September 30, 2012. The total fiscal impact is $18,363 for the remainder of the 2012 Fiscal Year.
Request for approval of the refund for overpayment of Road and School Impact Fees to Maronda Homes collected by the City of Fruitland Park. The fiscal impact is $11,513.
Request for approval of the Budget Change Request in accordance with U.S. Department of Energy approval. No fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2012-35 to provide telecommunication services and support to the Lake County Health Department. The fiscal impact is $150,000 (100% reimbursed).
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Librarian I position in the Public Resources Department, Library Services Division. The fiscal impact is $48,616.
Request for approval and authorization for Chairman to execute First Amendment to Co-location License Agreement with Progress Energy. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2012-36 authorizing the reduction of the speed limit on CR 44 (6068) between East Orange Avenue and CR 44A from 55 MPH to 50 MPH in the Eustis area, Commission District 4. Section 6, Township 19, Range 27. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for authorization to fill two (2) vacant positions in the Public Works Department, Road Operations Division. The fiscal impact is $68,889.
Request that the Board award to Great Southern Construction, Orlando, FL for a Hydraulic Excavator to support Public Works, Road Operations daily operations. The fiscal impact is $299,369.00.
Request that the Board approve award to Flagler Construction Equipment, Orlando, FL, for a Brush Chipper (Disc Style) to support Public Works, Road Operations daily operations, and authorize the procurement office to complete all ordering documentation. The fiscal impact is $38,677.00.
Request to approve and execute a Purchase Agreement with the Haines Creek Church of God for right of way for the Radio Road Project in the Leesburg area, and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing. The fiscal impact is $29,125.00. Commission District 3.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tab 18 as follows:
Request for approval to declare the following County owned property as surplus for the purpose of disposal: Alt Keys 1261511, 1323410, 1409365, 1519136, 1519209, and 1606667. There is no fiscal impact at this time.
national library week proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-34 celebrating National Library Week in Lake County from April 8-14, 2012 after Commr. Cadwell read the Proclamation in its entirety and presented it to Mr. Tom Merchant, Library Services Division Manager.
motorcycle safety awareness month resolution
Sergeant Tom McKane, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and representative of the Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST), explained that May is nationally recognized as motorcycle safety awareness month and Lake County would show their support as well by passing the resolution. He stated that motorcycle crashes have been on the rise over the years and pointed out that CTST is a partnership between law enforcement, Public Works, ABATE of Florida, and concerned citizens to promote motorcycle safety through education and by ensuring that the roads are safe.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-37 to recognize May 2012 as ‘Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month’ in Lake County.
ordinance regarding the school board seat on the planning &
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading by title only, as follows:
an ordinance of the board of county commissioners of lake county, florida; amending section 13.04.02, lake county code, appendix e, land development regulations, entitled membership; providing for an alternate appointment for the school board position on the planning & zoning board; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the code; providing for filing with the department of state, and providing for an effective date.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2012-24 amending Section 13.04.02, Land Development Regulations, to provide for an alternate member for the School Board seat on the Lake County Planning & Zoning Board to serve in the absence of the primary member.
ordinance regarding the lake county investment policy
Mr. Minkoff 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, amending chapter 2, article II, financial affairs, section 2-24 of the lake county code, entitled lake county investment policy; investment of surplus funds; authorized investments; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the code; providing for filing with the secretary of state; and providing for an effective date.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2012-25 amending the Lake County Investment Policy.
ordinance regarding tethering dogs
Mr. Minkoff 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; amending chapter 4, article i, administration, section 4-3, lake county code, entitled definitions; creating chapter 4, article ii, animal control, section 4-41, lake county code, entitled prohibition of tethering dogs; providing for severability; providing for inclusion in the code; providing for filing with the department of state; and providing for an effective date.
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Conservation and Compliance Director, gave a presentation summarizing the dog tethering ordinance and stated that staff took the Board’s direction and used Hillsborough County’s ordinance as a model, they focused on education as the primary initial tool, and they revised the enforcement and penalties. He explained that the ordinance prohibited tethering a dog except when the dog was in visual range and physical presence of the owner. He added that the dog must be tethered by a commercially available buckle-type collar or body harness made of nylon or leather and it must be of sufficient size and weight to adequately and safely restrain the dog without placing excessive strain or weight on the dog. He related that the dog could not be tethered outside in periods of extreme weather. He then listed the exceptions and noted that a dog could be tethered while attending an event such as a dog show, when engaged in herding livestock, when being attended to by a veterinarian, when being trained to act in a law enforcement capacity, when complying with the regulations of a camping or recreational area, when part of a rescue operation during a disaster, and when being transported in a vehicle. He remarked that a sick or injured dog could not be tethered as a means of confinement and a puppy under six months of age may be tethered only if the owner was present. He stated that they planned to educate the public until November 1 when the ordinance would be implemented through methods such as public service announcements, press releases and upon receipt of a first complaint. He added that they would issue violation notices for repeat complaints, but they would not impose a fine until November 1. He mentioned that after November 1, the first complaint would be a notice of violation and the second complaint or a subsequent visit for non-compliance would be referred to the special master. He then showed the recommended penalties for violations and pointed out that there would be a $150 fine for the first violation for simple tethering and a $500 fine for subsequent violations within five years, a $500 fine for the first violation for tethering resulting in injury/damage and a $1,000 fine for subsequent violations within five years, and a $1,000 fine for the first violation for tethering resulting in severe injury or death and a $5,000 fine for subsequent violations within five years.
Commr. Conner asked for clarification on when a fine would be given.
Mr. Minkoff explained that within the code enforcement process, an animal control officer was required to give a notice of violation first unless the damage was irreparable. He added that in almost all simple tethering cases, a notice would be given first before a fine was rendered.
Commr. Campione mentioned that she received an email from a member of the public suggesting that the fines be reduced in the event that the owner provided proof that the animal was spayed or neutered. She noted that they should take that into consideration for the future as encouragement for the owners to spay and neuter their animals.
Mr. Welstead commented that the fines were only recommendations, so the special master could take that into consideration.
Mr. Minkoff noted that he could look at having that suggestion put into the ordinance and could bring that back at a future meeting.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Carla Wilson, a resident of Winter Springs, addressed the Board in support of the ordinance and stated that she and her husband worked with Animal Services in Seminole County to pass a similar ordinance and she expressed that a chain-free community was safer for the public and for the dogs.
Ms. Maria Bolton Joubert, a resident of Oviedo, spoke in support of the ordinance but expressed her concern about the implementation date being in November. She pointed out that the summer was approaching and with the extreme heat in the summer, she hoped that during the outreach with the public the County would instill the importance of taking care of the animals to make sure the animals have adequate water and shade.
Ms. Renee Rivard from the Florida Chapter of the League of Humane Voters stated that on March 9 in Jacksonville a 17-month old child wandered away from his mother while she was unloading groceries from the car and the child was attacked and killed by the neighbor’s chained dog. She also mentioned that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been tracking chained dog attacks since the 1990’s and specified that in 2009, a 22-year old Eustis woman was jogging and was mauled by two dogs who had broken free from their chains which resulted in multiple surgeries to help repair the extensive nerve damage to her legs. She noted that the 17-month old child could still be alive today if Duvall County had an ordinance that banned unattended dog tethering and noted that the League of Humane Voters was currently working with Jacksonville Council Members to enact such an ordinance. She related that other counties such as Miami-Dade, Collier, Okaloosa, Sarasota and Hillsborough have passed ordinances to ban unattended dog tethering, and opined that Lake County should follow in those counties’ footsteps to protect children from chained dogs. She pointed out that the League of Humane Voters emailed the Board questionnaires from animal services directors and counties who have banned unattended dog tethering to show that there was no cost involved with passing the ordinance and that enforcement would be easy. She added that very few or no dogs have been surrendered because of the ordinance and that education was most important. She expressed that the Board should keep in mind three goals when implementing the ordinance and those were public safety, safety of the dogs, and not creating loopholes for abusers, and she urged the Board to approve an ordinance that stated that the owner or keeper must be outside and in visual range of the tethered dog. She also brought forward a door hanger used by Hillsborough County in their educational period as an example of what Lake County could use.
Ms. Angie Bellinger spoke in support of the ordinance and opined that dogs were not inexpensive and there were many responsibilities that came with owning a dog. She remarked that there has been some opposition to the fines, but she felt that owners should have to pay a fine as a consequence of abusing an animal.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Parks stated that he supported the ordinance because it would help protect the public. He added that tethering was not only cruel to dogs, but it caused them to become more aggressive.
Commr. Conner opined that the fine structure for the first two proposed ordinances were either too lenient or too severe, but he felt the proposed ordinance in front of them today was very reasonable and the right balance, so he supported it.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that the Animal Services Department was already understaffed and overworked and because this ordinance would generate more calls for that department, the Board needed to remember that when they addressed the budget next year.
Commr. Hill commented that she was pleased with that version of the ordinance and opined that they needed to make sure there would be enough staff to implement it.
Commr. Campione pointed out that outreach was the most important part in keeping costs down and she suggested that they discuss with the cities about having them put a notice in the utility bills making all of the customers aware of the ordinance and specifying what was and what was not allowed. She also mentioned creating posters to hang up in organizations such as the humane society, rescue shelters, pet supermarkets, and veterinarians.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2012-26 prohibiting the tethering of dogs.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced that there would be a ten-minute recess at 10:33 a.m.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
vanpool program and paratransit trip reductions
Mr. Gray stated that the presentation would be divided into two parts to first discuss the Vanpool Program and then the Paratransit Program.
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Community Services Director, explained that the purpose of the presentation was to receive direction from the Board on the continuation of the Lake County Vanpool Program and on reducing the paratransit trips due to decreased Medicaid funding and increased costs. She first discussed the Vanpool program and described it as a service provided in which a group of employees pay to utilize a van to commute to their place of employment. She added that LYNX operated the program in Lake County and the riders paid for the program and operated the pool. She indicated that there were currently 15 vanpools and 115 residents participating and that most of the riders met at a predetermined location in either South Lake County or the Golden Triangle area, and all but one of those vans travels to the Coleman Federal Prison. She recalled that last fall the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) notified LYNX that they were operating out of their service area and because of that, LYNX determined that they could no longer provide the service at no cost to Lake County. She noted that the Board then approved staff’s recommendation to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to determine whether there were any private sector interests in providing that service, but then LYNX notified the County that they could provide the service at no cost if the existing agreement was amended to include the vanpool program. She stated that staff began negotiations with LYNX to amend the agreement but were then informed that LYNX could not include those trips in their federal funding formula, which would have offset the cost of providing the service. She outlined the proposal made by LYNX and specified that LYNX would contract with VSPI to provide the service, any deficiencies in operating costs from the fares would be invoiced to Lake County, Lake County would be responsible for costs in the event of a default by the contractor for LYNX, Lake County would pay $75,000 to LYNX for costs incurred prior to October 2011, and Lake County would purchase new vehicles as needed for the program. She explained that staff analyzed the proposal and determined that they would need a general fund subsidy to contract with LYNX under those terms, but they realized that the County could count those trips as part of their funding formula, which would result in increased future funding. She also noted that other vanpool service providers would likely respond directly to an RFP. She then stated that staff was recommending that they notify LYNX of the County’s intent to issue an RFP, notify the riders of a possible interruption in service, and proceed with issuing the RFP.
Commr. Campione asked what the cost would be if the County agreed to use a different provider.
Ms. Keedy replied that they would not know the cost until they received the proposals back. She added that the program was supposed to pay for itself other than the capital purchases, and that they do have some funding to purchase vans, but she wanted to see whether any private sector companies could provide the vans as well.
Commr. Cadwell commented that there were vendors out there that would submit proposals and those vendors needed to know that the County did not have money to fund the program.
Ms. Keedy elaborated that VSPI, which provides the service for LYNX, and Enterprise, which is also in the vanpool business, would probably respond directly to an RFP. She also noted that they were told by FTA that the County could receive as much as $100,000 each year for additional funding by counting those trips.
Commr. Campione stated that it might be beneficial to ask other employers in the County to see if they were interested in participating in the vanpool program because that would be a good economic development outreach and the County could count those trips and receive additional funding which would help offset some of the other costs in the public transit programs.
Ms. Keedy mentioned that the Department of Transportation had a program that promoted vanpools and they planned to assist the County as well.
Commr. Conner expressed that he opposed the vanpool program for a multitude of reasons but he did not support it mainly because taxpayers and the government were subsidizing rides to work for people who were not considered to be low income; however, he would support a vanpool program where private companies bought the vans and operated them. He added that 14 of the 15 vanpools go to the Coleman Federal Prison and he has never seen any study showing that those employees were in low wage jobs. He opined that the program should target the low income individuals rather than middle wage earners.
Commr. Campione explained that the vanpool program was directed at all users of the transportation system and it was not intended to be a subsidy directed at one segment of the population. She pointed out that the program was designed to help with the overall transportation system as a whole because it was a way to cut down on the number of cars on the roads and to help defer the cost of having to add more lanes to the highways. She remarked that they had nothing to lose by doing the RFP to find out what the actual cost would be.
Commr. Conner agreed with the value of carpooling, but he felt that the government did not need to buy the vehicles to encourage it.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved for staff to proceed with the issuance of an RFP for vanpool services.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
Ms. Keedy continued the presentation to discuss the Paratransit Program and noted that Lake County Connection provides paratransit services to qualified Lake County residents through the Transportation Disadvantaged and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Complementary Service. She defined transportation disadvantaged as a person who is unable to transport themselves or purchase transportation in order to obtain access to health care, employment, shopping, or education because of a physical or mental disability, income status, or age, or is a child who is handicapped, high-risk or at-risk. She pointed out that in order to become classified as transportation disadvantaged an individual must submit an application to MV Transportation, which is the County’s transit contractor, with supporting documentation of their income, and they must be economically disadvantaged and meet one of the criteria as outlined in Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes. She also mentioned that the transportation disadvantaged service plan prioritizes the trips with medical being the first priority followed by nutritional, employment and training/education. She then explained that the ADA requires public transit agencies that provide fixed-route services to provide complementary paratransit services to people with disabilities who cannot use the fixed-route bus or rail service because of a disability. She noted that in order to qualify for the service, individuals must submit an application along with supporting documentation of their disability if it cannot be observed, and they must live within 3/4 miles of the fixed route and not be able to navigate the fixed route. She related that between October 2011 and March 2012 the County provided 79,208 paratransit trips and the majority of those trips were medical, employment and nutritional. She indicated that Lake County was recently notified that the monthly Medicaid allocation had been reduced effective immediately, and they were already facing increases in fuel and maintenance costs and a contractual cost of living allowance for MV Transportation. She noted that prior to those impacts, they anticipated that the general fund transfer made in 2007 would supplement the program through fiscal year 2013/2014, but that was no longer the case. She added that if trips were reduced beginning May 1, 2012, the savings would be used to increase the fund balance which in turn would decrease the general fund subsidy needed in fiscal year 2012/2013. She explained that staff was recommending trip reductions to help with the unanticipated impacts and stated that the trip reductions would affect 105 clients receiving service for employment related trips and 18 clients receiving service for educational related trips, which would amount to an approximate trip reduction of 8,255 for the remainder of the fiscal year. She then noted that staff’s requested action was to notify the existing education and employment paratransit riders that the trip reductions would begin effective May 1, 2012 and staff would continue to investigate alternatives to assist those clients in finding new means of transportation.
Commr. Cadwell expressed that he knew they needed to eliminate the employment trips in order to save money, but he was concerned about the clients that used that service and whether those individuals would lose their jobs because they would not be able to get to work. He also mentioned that those individuals could apply for other social services programs if they did lose their jobs and that would affect the County’s budget as well.
Mr. Gray pointed out that with the anticipated eight percent reduction in property values and the Medicaid allocation reduction, they felt that eliminating the education and employment trips was the only way to fund the program for next year so that they could still provide the medical and nutritional trips. He also noted that they planned to address the public transportation issue in more detail when they hold the budget workshop.
Commr. Campione asked if there would be a discount on the fare if an individual who qualified for transportation disadvantaged took the fixed route instead.
Ms. Keedy replied that if an individual could use the fixed route, then they would not qualify for transportation disadvantaged adding that individuals were usually transferred over to the fixed route if they had a temporary condition or if their situation changed.
Commr. Campione asked how far the individuals were from the fixed route and what could the County do to make the fixed route more accommodating.
Mr. Ken Harley, Public Transportation Division Manager, stated that the individuals who participated in the transportation disadvantaged were located in various parts of the County so most of them were not even near the fixed route. He added that the County required the individuals who were near the fixed route to use that instead of the door to door service.
Commr. Campione asked if the County kept a record of where those clients lived and what their destination was because that information might help the County explore other alternatives to help take care of those needs.
Mr. Harley answered that they had that information and could bring it back to the Board.
Commr. Conner expressed that the County should be helping the people who were disabled and who were in need of those services rather than make those cuts.
Mr. Gray clarified that they were going to continue with the medical and nutritional trips, as well as the ADA complementary service.
Commr. Parks asked if they had ever considered advertising on the busses as they do with LakeXpress.
Ms. Keedy noted that was part of their contract with Martin-Mency, Inc. and there were a few Lake County Connection busses displaying ads.
Commr. Campione asked if staff could determine which of the clients who used the employment and education service qualified under ADA as opposed to the transportation disadvantaged.
Mr. Harley stated that they could break down that information.
Commr. Parks asked if there were any efforts to coordinate with non-profits, churches, or even the Food Providers Group in South Lake to see if those organizations would be willing to provide some of the trips.
Mr. Harley pointed out that that issue came up at their task force meeting last week and they were currently working on trying to find some non-profit organizations or faith-based organizations that might be willing to help adding that they planned to talk to some veteran groups as well.
Commr. Cadwell commented that transporting people was another liability issue so it might be difficult to find a non-profit organization that would be able to provide that.
Mr. Gray emphasized that the County’s only two options were to either make the cuts or take some funding out of reserves and they were predicting that the reserves would run into the negative within the next couple of years. He noted that they might have to continue the cuts for next year as well and even with the cuts, it would still be difficult to fund the medical and nutritional trips because of the cutback in funding.
Commr. Conner asked if staff could clearly explain the reason as to why the County had to eliminate those trips from the paratransit program in the notices to the affected riders.
Ms. Keedy stated that they would express their regret in making those cuts in the letters.
Mr. T.J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter MPO, commented that the MPO was updating their transit plan to start services in South Lake and any funding reductions for the transportation disadvantaged meant that they would lose some of the federal grant funding for the fixed route, so all of those issues tied into the transportation system as a whole.
Commr. Parks stated that the cities in South Lake have expressed an interest in stepping up to help with those services.
Commr. Cadwell noted that by increasing the amount of fixed routes in the County, there was a greater chance of moving some of those individuals from the transportation disadvantage to the fixed routes.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to eliminate the employment and education paratransit trips effective May 1, 2012.
appointment to the board of building examiners
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. George Schmid to the Board of Building Examiners under the Certified Building Contractor member designation to complete the remainder of an unexpired term ending January 14, 2015.
reports – county manager
Mr. Gray stated that they had previously discussed having a budget workshop to address various budget issues including the recently signed Medicaid bill, and he wanted direction on when to schedule that. He mentioned that they had met with all of the constitutional officers regarding the suggested budget guidelines and that the letters were ready to send out to all of them. He suggested they add the workshop to the May 8 meeting or schedule a separate workshop on another day.
Commr. Campione pointed out that the Sheriff had to submit his budget at the beginning of June and she was concerned that by having the workshop on May 8, the Sheriff would not be given enough of a notice to possibly adjust his budget after he found out what funding was available, so she was in favor of having a separate meeting in April. She also recommended that since the Board did not want to get into a discussion about millage rates until they knew exactly what they would be, they could come up with a couple different scenarios for that meeting.
Commr. Conner asked if having the budget workshop would help them figure out what number to tell the Sheriff or did they already know that number.
Commr. Campione explained that they have not discussed in detail the different scenarios that could happen but she wanted that information presented directly to the Sheriff so that he would know what the worst case scenario was.
Commr. Parks commented that the County would have a 10 percent reduction over the next two years and he opined that the scenarios would be evident as to what would need to be done.
Commr. Conner asked if the purpose of having Commr. Parks meet with the Sheriff was to look at the Sheriff’s budget and identify areas that could be cut.
Commr. Parks stated that he, as well as the Chairman had been meeting with the Sheriff and the purpose of having those meetings was to start a new process of having discussions with the Sheriff well in advance of when he needed to submit his budget. He added that the Sheriff was very aware of the problems the County was faced with.
Commr. Campione noted that she had been very reluctant to discuss the areas that she felt could be cut because the Sheriff was the expert and he knew where the savings could be. She opined that giving some bottom line numbers was the way to go.
Commr. Conner suggested having the Chairman send letters to each constitutional officer making them aware of the County’s budget challenges and when the budget workshop would be held so that the constitutional officers did not find out about all of the budgetary impacts at the last minute.
Commr. Campione expressed that was a great idea and she would touch base with the constitutional officers that week.
Mr. Gray pointed out that all of the County departments had already submitted their budgets so he would be able to show those to the Board and he could also create some scenarios and discuss some of the level of service issues they would be facing.
The Board reached a consensus to hold a budget workshop on May 1, 2012.
reports – commissioner parks – district 2
early learning coalition meeting
Commr. Parks noted that he filled in for Commr. Conner at the Early Learning Coalition meeting and he was honored to present Proclamation No. 2012-23 proclaiming April 2012 as Child Care Awareness Month in Lake County and April 1, 2012 as Parent's and Children's Day in Lake County.
Commr. Parks stated that the Honor Flight, which honors WWII veterans, would be taking veterans from Lake and Sumter Counties to the WWII memorial on May 26, 2012 and June 30, 2012 and he suggested that the Board write a personal letter to each of those veterans thanking them for their service.
update on the hooks street issue
Commr. Parks asked Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, to give the Board an update on the situation with Highway 50, 27 and Hooks Street in Clermont.
Mr. Stivender explained that the Department of Transportation (DOT) helped the County fund improvements to the Grand Highway and Hooks Street intersection and related that Hooks Street had been opened to traffic as of last Monday, but on Thursday, the DOT installed a four-way stop sign at the off-ramp on Hooks Street connecting the Grand Highway. He noted that the DOT was supposed to review their original design that was proposed in October 2011 and come up with an alternative, but the four-way stop sign was not the alternative that the County had requested. He asked the Board to send a letter to DOT asking them to reconsider their design and review the intersection based on the construction that was just completed, which added a four lane highway to the intersection and through traffic from Highway 27 to Citrus Tower and to Hancock Road as a bypass of Highway 50.
Mr. Fish commented that DOT confirmed that they visited the intersection that morning to see the traffic during the peak hours and they were supposed to update him after that. He added that DOT was now aware of the problem.
Mr. Gray mentioned that he spoke with the City Manager of Clermont yesterday and they had a police officer out there directing traffic to keep it from backing up onto Highway 27.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board moved to add this item to the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved sending a letter to DOT asking them to reconsider the design of the Grand Highway and Hooks Street intersection.
reports – commissioner conner – district 3
early learning coalition
Commr. Conner thanked Commr. Parks for attending the Early Learning Coalition meeting in place of him and for presenting the proclamation to them.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT 4
law enforcement month proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-38 declaring the month of May 2012 as Law Enforcement Month in Lake County.
good news jail and prison ministry proclamation
Commr. Campione related that Mr. Bob Whitworth, the Sheriff’s Chaplain and one of the founders of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, was having a banquet on April 27, 2012 to recognize the volunteers of that program and he wanted to present a proclamation to them.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board moved to add this item to the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-39 recognizing the volunteers of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry for making changes in lives, breaking patterns of crime and destructive lifestyles, and for making a positive impact on the community.
security staffing needs at the new courthouse
Commr. Campione encouraged the Board to take a tour of the new Courthouse because it would help them visualize the additional security staffing needs. She mentioned that even though the target completion date for the new Courthouse was October 1, 2012, the inmate transfer bridge would not be operational until next year, so they should have the Sheriff wait until then to submit requests for additional security staff.
capital facilities projects update
Commr. Campione asked if staff could address the security changes with the new and existing Courthouse when they update the Board on the various capital facilities projects.
Mr. Gray stated that he would have staff add that to the presentation.
Commr. Campione stated that there was a consensus to change the name of the Judicial Center to the Lake County Courthouse once it was completed and that it was time to start changing the signage and design. She also noted that they should start looking at the signage for the Historical Courthouse as well for when the Sheriff’s renovations were completed.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
florida association of counties conference call
Commr. Cadwell reported that the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) would be having a conference call on Thursday to discuss options in regards to the Medicaid funding issue. He noted that FAC would probably ask the counties to join them in their decision and he was not sure whether the County wanted to do that. He added that they needed to be cautious and understand the consequences of their actions.
Commr. Campione asked if they could offer a suggestion to the State to create different categories for the counties based on the rate of denial because Lake County was very diligent in checking all of the claims and only denying the ones they could not verify as Lake County residents.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the counties tried to explain during the legislative session that there was a better way to handle the situation, but the State knew the system was broke, including the Governor. He noted that Lake County would also have to worry about having to pay for additional patients once other counties started verifying that some of their patients were actually Lake County residents.
Mr. Minkoff commented that the counties that put more resources into verifying the bills were the ones with the higher rejection rates, but the smaller counties had a higher payment rate because they did not have the resources to verify the bills. He added that there had not been any evidence to suggest that some counties were refusing to pay. He noted that the Agency for Health Care Association (AHCA) indicated that they planned to meet with all of the counties, so staff would be able to bring information back to the Board at the legislative update in two weeks. He stated that it may be prudent to wait on making a decision until after the legislative update and after FAC makes their decision.
Mr. Gray related that AHCA was scheduled to meet with staff next Tuesday.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:06 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK