A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
october 9, 2012
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 9, 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: David Heath, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, 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 Rick Fountain of the Tavares First Baptist Church gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
sales surtax oversight committee report
Mr. Keith Mullins, Clermont City Council Member, presented the report from the Sales Surtax Oversight Committee and explained that the history of the tax started in 2001, when the citizens voted to impose a one percent sales tax in Lake County. He further explained that a citizens’ oversight committee was created as a condition of that tax which would look at the budgets of the 14 cities, the School Board, and the County prior to their fiscal year to be sure that the governments would spend the sales tax money in the way that the citizens intended when they passed that bill. He reported that the committee met on September 9 to look at that spending, and after clarifying any questions they had, it was determined that everyone is in compliance for the year that started October 1 and does plan on spending the sales tax money exactly the way the citizens intended it to be spent. He related that he will come before the Board again in six months to give a follow-up report on the past year.
Commr. Campione noted that School Board Members Rosanne Brandeburg, Chairperson, and Kyleen Fischer, Vice Chairperson, were present and welcomed them to the meeting.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Sales Surtax Oversight Committee Report.
Ms. Susan Irby, Human Resources Director, presented the Five Year employee awards.
Philip Berg, Maintenance Technician
Facilities Development & Management
Katherine Blanton, Program Associate
Community Services/Housing Services Division
Ashley Carranza, Data Entry Operator (not present)
Public Defender’s Office
Ronald Collodi, Code Enforcement Division Manager
Conservation & Compliance/Code Enforcement Division
Randy Love, Traffic Signal Technician (not present)
Public Works/Road Operations Division
Paterno Magno, Engineer IV (not present)
Public Works/Engineering Division
Prathabsingh Rajaram, Landfill Attendant
Public Works/Solid Waste Division
twenty five years
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented the Twenty Five Year award, commenting on the employee’s service to the County.
Robert Chase, Survey Technician
Public Works/Engineering Division
Mr. Richard LeBlanc, Architect IV, Facilities and Management, presented the Retirement award and commented on the employee’s service to the County.
James Condon, Facilities Contract Specialist
Facilities Development and Management
employee of the quarter
Mr. Steve Earls, Information Technology Director, presented the Employee of the Quarter Award.
Shelly Coates, OnBase Admin/Business Analyst (not present)
Information Technology/Programming and Application Support Division
t.e.a.m. of the quarter
Mr. Stivender presented the TEAM Award.
Adam Bourne, Information Technology/Programming and Application Support Division
Denis Dietz, Temia Wilkins, Kathy Wilson, Public Works/Road Operations Division
There were no changes to this meeting’s Agenda.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog on fiscal issues, commented that although he is in favor of the County advertising the ordinance in Tab 25 on the consent agenda for a modification to the Land Development Regulations as a result of a previous request from a citizen to be able to plant a family garden, he still believes there are a lot of other restrictions that cause loss of property value and property rights for property owners in the Comp Plan. He elaborated that he has been concerned about the dangers of sustainable development and the Comp Plan process which resulted in a lot of restrictions which led to that specific type of instance. He requested that the Board look into rolling back some of those restrictions.
Ms. Judy Johnson Crew, a longtime resident of Lake County, expressed concern about possible cutbacks for the bus and library systems, and she requested that the Board look at the importance and funding options for the bus system, especially Route 2 and door-to-door service, as well as an increase in library services.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, 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.
Property Placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until December 10, 2012 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
Property Placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until December 17, 2012 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the 2011-12 Fiscal Year Annual Report for the Florida Forest Service’s Cooperative Forestry Assistance Program and Fire Protection Program in Lake County, which identifies major forestry activities throughout the County from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the adopted budget for the Village Center Community Development District for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 in accordance with Chapter 190.008(2)(b)(c), Florida Statutes.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Campione noted that the Traffic Education Trust Fund in Tab 3 was set up by a father in the State of Florida who had lost his 16-year-old daughter in a traffic accident, and the County serves as a pass-through for those funds to provide training for young people who are getting their driver’s licenses.
Commr. Conner mentioned that School Board Member Kyleen Fischer helped to institute that program in Lake County.
Commr. Campione also noted that the award for the emergency generator contract in Tab 15 at Fire Station 71 was to Power Technology Southeast, which is a Leesburg company.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 22 as follows:
Request for approval of the funding request for the Lake County School Board's Career, Adult and Community Education Driver's Education Program - Behind the Wheel Training for Fiscal Year 2012-2013. The fiscal impact is $278,000.00 and is fully funded by the Traffic Education Trust Fund.
Request for approval of the quote from HRH/Hunt Insurance Group, Inc. to provide catastrophic/hospital inmate medical insurance from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013, and authorize the County Manager to sign all related implementation documentation. The fiscal impact is $50,520.00; funded by General Fund.
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign the contract between Lake County and the State of Florida Department of Health for operation of the Lake County Health Department. The contract is effective 10/1/12 through 9/30/13. The fiscal impact is $341,822.00; funded by the General Fund.
Request for approval of the Lake County Funeral Directors Association, Inc. agreement for cremation, burial, and transportation of indigent or unclaimed deceased persons. The fiscal impact cannot be determined; funded by General Fund.
Request for approval and signature on the Agreement between Lake County and We Care of Lake County, Inc. for operation of the Lake County We Care program effective 10/1/12 through 9/30/13. The fiscal impact is $71,250.00; funded by the General Fund.
Conservation and Compliance
Request for approval of acceptance of grant allocation for the Criminal Justice Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant Award and authorize David Heath, County Manager to sign any subsequent documents. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval 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 for approval of Check Request (Direct Pay) for Florida Association of Counties membership dues. The fiscal impact is $26,694.00.
Request for approval to purchase refrigerators for the Judicial Areas in the Judicial Expansion.
Request for approval to advertise an ordinance providing for conversion of pre-paid impact fees to impact fee credits upon sale of affected property. No direct fiscal impact is anticipated at this time.
Request for approval to advertise the amendments to Lake County Code, Sections 6-21, Definitions, 6-22, Adoption and Enforcement, and Section 6-82, Locally Licensed Contractors.
Request for approval of award of contract 12-0431 in the amount of $310,500.30 for Bermuda and Bahia Sports Turfgrass "Athletic Fields" Maintenance and Related Services Program to D & A Building Services, Longwood, FL, PROscape, Inc, Orlando, FL and All Pro Land Services, Deleon Springs, FL, and authorize the Procurement office to execute all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is $310,500.30.
Request for approval of award of RFQ 2012-00102 to Power Technology Southeast, Leesburg, Florida for the purchase of two (2) emergency generators at Fire Stations 14 and 77 and one (1) replacement emergency generator at Fire Station 71 and request authorization for the Procurement Services Office to prepare and sign appropriate documentation for award. The fiscal impact is $91,650.00.
Request for authorization to approve funding in the amount of $49,210.00 through agreement modification # 3 for Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery, Inc. (LASER) for FY 2013.
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2012-124 for National Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for authorization to execute an Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the Town of Lady Lake for the transfer of Paradise Drive (County Road Number 7901H) to the Town of Lady Lake and to reimburse the Town an amount not to exceed $20,000.00 for resurfacing Paradise Drive from Wales Plaza to the cul-de-sac. The fiscal impact is not-to-exceed $20,000.00. Commission District 5.
Request for approval to advertise the Floodplain Ordinance for Public Hearing on November 20, 2012. The proposed changes are required for consistency with the 2010 Florida Building Code which became effective on March 15, 2012. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2012-125 and Execution of LAP Agreement with FDOT for the design of a northbound turn-lane on CR 473 @ Westmont Rd. The fiscal impact is $15,000. Commission District 3, Project Tracking # INT11014.
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2012-126 and Execution of LAP Agreement with FDOT for the design of a sidewalk project at Carver Middle School on Thomas Avenue (from MLK Blvd. to Griffin Rd.) The fiscal impact is $20,000. Commission District 1, Project Tracking No. S/W 12010.
Request for approval to write off the delinquent special assessment account #694125 as an uncollectable debt.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Parks recused himself from voting on Tab 26 due to a conflict of interest.
Commr. Hill requested to pull Tab 25 for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 23 and 24 as follows:
Request for approval to declare the property formerly known as the Picciola Fire Station (Alternate Keys 1585147 and 2537108) as surplus for the purpose of disposal.
Request for approval and execution of the Settlement Agreement between Lake County and Ellen LeViner Bailey, et al. The total fiscal impact is $3,000.00.
Commr. Hill commented that she has had some concerns regarding Tab 25, including the clear-cutting of trees, and believed that a waiver could be given to the property owner until she found out that there would be costs associated with that, and she asked the Board to make sure that they understand the full concept of the changes to the LDR’s that they would be making by passing that ordinance.
Commr. Campione responded that the limitation of one-half acre of property would address that concern, and this would allow a parcel to have a garden on it which otherwise would not be able to do so because it did not already have a primary use for garden purposes. She commented that she believed that it was wrong to make property owners get a variance in order to use their own property for a garden and that she thought it should be an allowable use. She also pointed out that in a modern subdivision, there would be homeowner’s deed restrictions that would have requirements about accessory and primary uses which would limit that activity.
Commr. Cadwell added that the trees were not an issue in this particular case, since the problem was a zoning issue. He opined that this was a good ordinance that will help residents.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, elaborated that there would be local mechanisms put in place in a modern subdivision that would control uses as they see fit, and the ordinance has provisions in it to ensure that the natural resources are protected. He also noted that the tree issue is consistent with their tree protection ordinance, and that was not an issue for the gentlemen from Astor. He added that this ordinance had some practicality control, since it would not allow anyone to store any heavy equipment on the site, and it was highly unlikely that someone would maintain a garden on an isolated lot that they would have to drive to and from every day.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 25, a request for approval to Advertise an Ordinance amending Chapters II, III and IX of the Land Development Regulations (LDR), entitled “Definitions,” “Zoning District Regulations,” and “Development Design and Improvement Standards,” respectively, in order to permit the planting of “Family Gardens,” or a private garden up to one-half acre (21,780 sq. ft.) in size as the principal use of a property that is planted and harvested for the benefit and use of an individual, family or subdivision community.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried by vote of 4-0, with Commr. Parks abstaining from the vote, the Board approved Tab 26, the request for approval of Resolution No. 2012-127 authorizing the issuance of Lake County, Florida Industrial Development Revenue Bond, Series 2012A (Crane's View Lodge Project) in an amount not to exceed $22,000,000 and not exceeding $8,000,000 Lake County, Florida Taxable Industrial Development Revenue Bonds, Series 2012B (Crane's View Lodge Project) AND approval for Chairman and Clerk to execute all the necessary documents regarding this transaction.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that the annual national observance of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day will be for the week of October 10 through 14, 2012, and he noted that the statistics show that the initiatives that were implemented in 2006 resulted in a significant drop in fatalities since that year.
Deputy Chesser from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office spoke on behalf of the 12th annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day and specified that traffic crashes in the United States have taken 476,465 lives in the last 12 years, including over 32,000 in 2011. She reported that there were 35,885 lives taken in Florida alone during those 12 years, including 2,207 lives lost in 2011, 76 of those in Lake County. She commented that road conditions that need to be addressed are a contributing factor, and cost-effective roadway safety improvements such as all-weather signage help to reduce those dangers. She also related that cell-phone usage and texting results in a lot of distracted drivers on the roadways, and not using seatbelts or obeying the traffic laws also contribute to traffic deaths; also, about one-third of the crash fatalities in the county are from drinking and driving. She stated that they want to continue educating the public, especially those that are younger, to make them realize that their actions can contribute greatly to what is happening on the roadways. She recommended approval of Resolution No. 2012-128 supporting commemoration of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day, which she explained was initiated in 2000 by the National Society of Professional Engineers and observed each year to remind everyone that most car crashes are preventable and encourage everyone to make a commitment to reduce traffic fatalities. She also opined that by changing their driving habits, drivers can ensure their safety as well as the safety of the other drivers and pedestrians, and she pointed out that Lake County has seen a decline in fatalities in the past few years due to education, community awareness, ongoing support for local law enforcement, and efficient engineering, maintenance, practice, and improvements by the Public Works Department, which was illustrated on a chart attached to the resolution.
Commr. Campione commented that the County’s Public Works Department plays a key part in this by doing things to improve driving conditions such as filling in deep ruts in the roads which could cause severe accidents, especially in the rural areas with higher speed limits.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No 2012-128 supporting the 12th Annual National Observance of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day - October 10, 2012, for the weekend of Friday, October 12, 2012 through Monday, October 14, 2012.
overview and update on teen court programs
Ms. Stephanie Glass, Program Specialist for the Lake County Teen Court Program, pointed out the cost savings of their program by stating that the cost for a youth to be processed through the traditional juvenile justice system is $5,000, but the cost of youth to be diverted to their program is less than $400. She noted that there are also future cost savings, since their goal is to stop the criminal behavior so that the individual does not later end up in the adult criminal justice system. She related that their budget is entirely funded with statutorily-designated money from traffic tickets and court fees so that offenders are paying for the prevention and early intervention of juvenile crime, and it does not come out of the general fund. She commented that equally important to the cost savings is the quality of services provided by their agency partners and volunteers to better the youth that they work with, strive to identify and address the underlying issues so that the offenders can become productive citizens, and promote motivation for self-improvement and a healthy attitude for authority. She stated that the key part of teen court is the positive peer pressure to conform to societal norms, and the program gives first-time offenders a second chance, yet holds them accountable for their actions, as well as offers hands-on educational experience with the judicial process, promotes civic engagement and community involvement, and provides exposure to career options. She explained that teen volunteers act as defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, bailiff, clerk, and jury, with the judge being the only participating adult in the courtroom. She mentioned that the teen court program’s effectiveness has been proven through multiple research studies as well as by looking at the numbers and the fact that their referrals are decreasing. She reported that they maintain a 90 percent success rate and 11 percent recidivism and that 284 volunteers were involved with the program in fiscal year 2011/12 providing 1,948 hours of service. She also mentioned that since an arrest record can eliminate some career options for the juvenile offender, this year there were legislative changes requiring a civil citation or other diversion program be established at the local level to keep youth who pose no threat to the community out of the justice system, including the Work in Lieu of Arrest program implemented this year in collaboration with Sheriff Borders which requires the offender to work 20 community service hours spread over four Saturdays with the Sheriff’s Office supervising the work detail.
Mr. Justin Null, the Work in Lieu of Arrest Associate, related that since they began conducting community service projects in January, participants have packaged food for Kids Against Hunger in Eustis, assisted a veteran’s organization, maintained plots in a community garden for production of produce which is donated to local food banks, conducted community cleanups in Sorrento and Leesburg, weeded and collected loose trash at the landfill, and assisted local churches with maintenance. He added that they were also looking forward to doing some cemetery restoration projects in the near future, and their goal was to work the offenders hard but to teach them about positive community involvement and instill a sense of pride in a job well done in the hope that the youth will develop a desire to continue to serve the community after they are done with the program. He specified that to date 32 individuals have completed the program, and only one has reoffended.
Ms. Glass stated that Law & Government Explorer Post 68 helps students to gain insight into programs that offer leadership life skills, character education, service learning, and hands-on career activities, as well as build self-confidence, problem solving skills, and cooperative relationships with adults. She specified that some of their planned activities are teen court participation, mock trial competitions, job shadowing elected officials, attending public meetings, and attending presentations by speakers of varied legal backgrounds.
Mr. Michael Graves, a longtime teen court volunteer and Public Defender Elect for the 5th Circuit, related that he has practiced criminal defense law for 28 years in Lake County and commented that the largest problem he has seen in this system was how to divert the young offenders away from a life that would be burdensome on the community and a waste of their lives into a life that would be positive for the community and themselves. He mentioned that he was the first teen court judge, and he opined that it was the best alternative that they had. He also commented that Lake County had a program that it could be proud of and which is used as a model for other programs throughout the state. He stated that the teen court program allows an opportunity for the future without ancillary consequences of the criminal justice system. He noted the dedication of the County employees who run this program and who provide closer supervision than in any other area of the criminal justice system for the accountability of the offender’s actions. He concluded that this program provides dividends to the citizens of Lake County in the future in the quality of life and by economically lessening the burden to the taxpayers, and he was extremely proud to be part of it.
Mr. Walter Forgie, Teen Court Volunteer and Supervisor for the State Attorney’s Office, discussed the benefits of the Teen Court program for their office and related that about 320 cases in the last fiscal year were referred to Teen Court, which was decreasing their case load, and he commented they were referring more serious cases over time due to increasing confidence in the program. He opined that more importantly was the benefit to the juvenile participants and that there was accountability, including apologies to the victims and very close supervision. He pointed out that they were not seeing those offenders back again, and their success rates were a lot higher than in the adult system. He opined that they had a program they could be proud of.
Sgt. Michael Marden with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office mentioned that this program started out through the School Resource Officers. He commented that children act without thinking about future consequences, and this program diverts them from having a criminal record with an understanding that being caught for a second offense will mean that they will have a criminal history. He explained that although many have the perception that a juvenile criminal history goes away after age 18, it actually affects whether or not someone gets accepted for college or the military and can have a long-term impact on that person’s life. He specified that most of the cases that are referred to the Teen Court program are first time misdemeanor arrests such as possession of illegal substances such as marijuana and fights in school. He commented that this allows law enforcement a route to avoid taking those offenders to jail and instead sending them to a program where they will have to work and think about what they have done and the consequences that resulted from that, and he added that this diversion also saves up to seven hours of a deputy’s time for each juvenile arrest. He reported that they were going to start having deputies as well as city police departments who are on patrol participate in this program when they run into these issues on the street, and he commented on their great working relationship with County staff.
Ms. Kacey Edmondson, Senior Juvenile Probation Officer, read a letter from Mr. Jeff Shealey, Chief Probation Officer of the Fifth Circuit, in support of the program stating that one of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice initiatives is to prevent and defer youth from entering the formal criminal justice system, which has proven to reduce recidivism and is much less costly than formal processing; additionally, this type of program helps law enforcement avoid the downtime associated with a formal referral to the criminal justice system. She related that because of the County’s support, Lake County is on the cutting edge of juvenile justice programming, and he mentioned that the exceptional staff that works with this program under the direction of Ms. Glass is responsible for making great strides in reducing delinquency.
Ms. Jacqueline Durham, a Teen Court Volunteer, related that being a teen court volunteer for the last five years has given her a sense of responsibility and has made her want to be a positive force in someone’s life and to affect someone’s life in a positive way. She commented that she was proud of the Teen Court program, and she stated that being part of the program is especially good experience for those that want to go into law and that she has seen volunteers go on to become attorneys.
Ms. Glass concluded that the program has real consequences to real situations and addresses real problems in a practical, cost-effective way, and they want to give their young people an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for future success. She commented that she was proud to work with the program and to be a part of something so special.
Commr. Cadwell asked for some examples of the types of cases and offenses they get.
Ms. Glass responded that the offenses include stealing cars, assault, burglary, trespass, and drug offenses, and noted that they have been getting multiple felony cases. She also related that those with drug offenses have to pass drug tests and take drug courses.
Commr. Hill commended Ms. Glass for doing an excellent job and noted a marked improvement in the program since she has taken over it.
presentation of white cane safety day proclamation
Commr. Campione read Proclamation No. 2012-107 observing October 15, 2012 as “White Cane Safety Day” in Lake County, which has already been approved on September 11, 2012, and presented the proclamation to Ms. Chantel Buck, Executive Director, and Mr. Scott VanHoose, Client Services Coordinator, for New Vision for Independence. She explained that on October 15, the local agency, which provides adaptive training for individuals with low vision or blindness, will be holding an event to give people an opportunity to learn firsthand about the abilities of persons who are blind or visually impaired, and she asked anyone who was interested in participating in that event to contact their Board of County Commission office.
Ms. Buck commented that the white cane is an important tool in the life of someone who is blind or visually impaired in order to be safe and independent in the community.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced that there would be a ten-minute recess at 10:10 a.m.
presentation by lake county water authority on water levels
Mr. Mike Perry, Executive Director, Lake County Water Authority, stated that he had prepared a presentation related to the Clermont Chain of Lakes, and he noted that they have been getting complaints from citizens who were convinced that someone was to blame for doing something that has caused the problems in water levels in the area’s lakes and canals. He emphasized, however, that both the Clermont and Harris Chain of Lakes react very sensitively to rainfall, and he assured the Board that they try to manage the system as best they can at an elevation level no lower than 96 and no higher than 97.5 feet. He illustrated on a graph the historical record of the USGS monitoring from the mid-1940’s, and pointed out that although there have been some drought conditions that occur every 10 or 20 years, the conditions in 2002 were by far the most significant in that time period with historic low levels and drought, which were especially apparent in Lake Minneola; however, it was followed by record rainfall in 2003 which caused lake levels to rebound to the point of almost flood conditions. He explained that the Water Authority manages six water control structures on the Palatlakaha River, which were only designed to hold water back and not to let water out in order to provide for freeze protection for the citrus industry in that area, and they could only move water through a series of cascading pools filling up from the south to the north. He pointed out that they only operate the system when water levels start reaching flood conditions peaking above 97 or 98 feet, and the last time they operated the Cherry Lake structure closest to the Clermont chain by opening up the dams was in early 2006. He noted that it takes a contribution from both the Little and Big Creek Basin in the Clermont Chain, which come into Lake Louisa, to recharge the lakes other than the rainfall which fall on the lakes themselves, and the water would have to work its way through the system of the chain of lakes in order to make it to the Palatlakaha River for it to go north to get into the Harris Chain. He related that they had several monitoring locations and stations on the Clermont Chain to help them understand what is going on with the system, including a water level monitoring station on Lake Minehaha and on both Big and Little Creeks. He emphasized that one of the largest issues they had been dealing with was the second worst drought scenario on record, mostly due to lack of rain, resulting in a cumulative rainfall deficit of between 47 and 52 inches, and although they have gotten above-average rainfall recently, they still need more of that kind of rainfall to continue to recover. He commented that they have also looked into whether there was anything else they could do to help the recovery of the water levels, including examining culverts for blockages and looking into adding culverts to the system, and some of the long-range projects they are looking at include revising the surface water and groundwater model and incorporating the OUC well fields and sand mines into the model to determine whether those make a difference. He pointed out that the last study done indicated that only four percent of the lake level reduction was due to pumping and consumptive use, but they are going to take another look at that, since conditions have changed since then.
Commr. Parks mentioned that this issue comes up at the meetings of the South Lake Water Initiative, and he opined that the drawdown was more than four percent due to increased growth and was from the top of the aquifer, but he agreed that rainfall was a large part of the problem. He stated that he was looking forward to seeing the new model when it comes out and that he appreciated Mr. Perry giving the Board an update. He commented that property owners who live on the lakefront are justifiably concerned about property values decreasing.
Mr. Perry responded that their board has already taken action to get the consultant on board to begin that modeling effort that leads to making changes to the culverts in the short term.
Commr. Parks announced that the South Lake Water Initiative would be presenting on November 16 to the St. Johns River Water Management governing board their effort by the five cities in South Lake and Lake County to address water use and drawdown as well as the water level issue to some degree. He was hoping the new model the Water Authority is working on would give them some assistance to study the effects sub-regionally and to bring the reuse water from Orange County where the big drawdown is occurring to where the highest recharge areas are in South Lake.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the South Lake Water Initiative also give that presentation to the Board, and he also suggested that the Chairman write a letter to the Water Authority thanking them for making this presentation.
county manager’s departmental business
economic development and tourism
update from office of economic development and tourism
Mr. Scott Blankenship, Economic Development and Tourism Director, stated that he would update the Board about what his department had done this past quarter as well as what their plans are for next quarter. He noted that they offered incentives for job creation to companies such as Coyote Mud, a large facility for outdoor recreation in Astatula; The Big House, a 162,000 square foot indoor recreation facility in Tavares; the Osprey Lodge, an assisted living facility in Tavares; the Beacon College expansion in Leesburg for an administration building; and Gaballi/OrganicaWorld located in Groveland, which is the largest greenhouse in Florida which was expected to create 100 jobs. He mentioned that his department had also helped First Class Airfare to get Progressive Energy to waive a $13,000 hookup fee and reduced the amount of time it would take to get a power hookup for a huge $250,000 piece of equipment, which he noted gave the Board an example of what his department does continually for their customers. He listed other businesses which were expanding or moving into Lake County and creating over 225 jobs, such as Reed Nissan, Hunt Industrial Park, and Recovery Village; and opined that they were striving to create a positive business environment for the county as a place to move a company to by their site visits and the programs they put together. He reported that the grand openings of the Business Opportunity Center in South Lake on September 19 and Northeast Lake on September 21 had a great turnout in both locations and was very well received by the public, with the Chambers heavily involved, and they already had their first client in South Lake. He related that they have also been conducting a study of County fee rates relative to their surrounding area to make sure their fees were competitive and using their website in order to automate the process for accessing those fees; they executed their agreement with the property owners to fund the South Lake Sector Plan; and they have held meetings with industry specialists from Progress Energy from different parts of the country to discuss how the company can help the County with economic development. He mentioned that Skybolt Aeromotive Corporation, a Lake County company, won the 2012 Schwartz Industry Innovation Award, and he listed the activities that staff has been regularly working on, including 300 site visits, working with School Board staff and local business leaders to develop a soft skills curriculum for the county’s schools, and hosting manufacturing and aerospace industry roundtables which received great feedback from the participants.
Mr. Blankenship reported that their tourism activity was up one percent over the same period last year and commented that the industry as a whole was fairly healthy; he also pointed out that Lake County hosts a lot of tax-exempt organizations which do not show up in those numbers but which were still positive for the county. He related that they were up 100 percent in the number of events that they have sponsored compared to the same period last year by expanding the number of events and organizations that apply, with the amount of money contributed by the TDC to support those types of events increased over 200 percent. He mentioned that staff has started to track their economic impact based on those applications, and they will have data going forward to see what kind of impact and estimated room nights they receive from those. He gave the Board an update on Tourism activities, such as new positions filled, development of a sports website, preparing for the Hog Rally starting on October 31, and development of a draft strategic plan for capital projects for all tourism-related activities. He recapped that about a year ago there were three capital requests presented to the TDC, but due to a lot of confusion at the time about how they wanted to proceed, the TDC decided to put those on hold until they put a plan in place to help them make decisions about how to invest that money. He reported that staff surveyed 30 counties in the state about how they allocated funds for capital projects in order to get some baseline information, and that research indicated that about 25 out of the 30 counties spent money for capital projects, and the average spent by those counties was about 32 percent of their total Tourism budget for capital projects, with roughly 30 percent of capital project funding used for debt service on existing facilities. He reported that the TDC decided at their October 8 workshop to move $750,000 a year into a reserve fund dedicated to capital spending, although they have not received applications requesting this funding yet.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the TDC actually decided to put $2.7 million in reserve which could be available for capital projects if needed, and they would expedite and open up the process to everyone. He noted that there was unanimous consent to spend money for capital.
Commr. Campione elaborated that those funds could only be used for operation or capital and could not be put towards anything else.
Commr. Conner opined that there needed to be geographical balance in awarding of the monies and that it should be an objective process using specific criteria rather than a subjective process.
Commr. Cadwell opined that he was still undecided about factoring in geographical location, since they needed to look at what the best investment would be for the county. He also related that the TDC will have that discussion in the future.
Commr. Campione added that the idea was to generate revenue, bed taxes in the local economy, and all of the ancillary benefits that go along with that such as gas purchases and restaurant spending, and she opined that having objective criteria was important to help make those evaluations. She also pointed out that since the Board will be making the final decision, it could be the arbitrator for any territorialism that comes up in making those decisions.
Commr. Cadwell explained that the TDC was working with the Sports Commission right now on identifying specific niches for Lake County.
Commr. Parks opined that they needed people on the TDC that were not parochial and would work together to compete with other counties and regions to draw people to their county.
Mr. Blankenship related that there was already a Capital Projects policy in place which was adopted in March of 2011 and which noted four submission periods per year and listed grading criteria such as commitment to the expansion of tourism as well as soundness, quality, stability, and uniqueness of the proposed project. He commented that the Wings and Wildflowers Festival was well received and had a great turnout with an estimated 2,500 visitors, and he reported that it generated over $5,000 in program fees and over $15,000 in sponsorships. He reported that the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora was sold out, and they were still working to get information from surrounding hotels to get the full impact of the event.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he was impressed with the number and quality of the vendors that were present.
Mr. Blankenship went over the next quarter’s planned activities, including hosting their first tourism roundtable, hosting the third manufacturing roundtable, launch of the fee calculator on the website, and the Scoping Meeting for the South Lake Sector Plan on November 1.
facilities development and management
update on construction projects
Mr. Richard LeBlanc, Architect IV, Department of Facilities and Management, gave a construction update and provided an overview of the various projects that are being planned and constructed. He reported that one of the projects in development, the Historical Courthouse renovation of the interior remodeling of the second through fifth floors that will house the Lake County Sheriff’s Office administration and civil case staff members, has a budget of about $1.4 million, and currently the stakeholders are reviewing the drawings for that project. He then related that the Judicial Center renovation of the second through fourth floors which will house the State Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office with an approved budget of $770,000 is currently in the permitting process. He explained that there is an agreement with the City of Tavares giving them an option for purchasing the Public Records Center between October 2014 and May 2015, and if the City decides to purchase that property, space will have to be found for the Clerk staff that is currently there. He reported that projects nearing construction are the Transportation Headquarters in Fruitland Park for interior and restroom renovation, which is under review for the GMP, and the Animal Services Building Renovation for improvements such as expanded parking lot and kennel area, which is currently awaiting bonding and insurance information from the Construction Manager. He stated that the Combined Fleet Operations Center is currently under construction to fully enclose the building, add sprinklers, ventilation, and electrical improvements. He concluded that all of their projects are within budget and on schedule.
Mr. Glen Mullins, Vice President of CPPI Construction, gave an update on the construction of the Emergency Communications & Operations Center, stating that Florida Power will provide power this month, with air conditioning scheduled to be provided in November, and they were on schedule for the substantial completion in January of 2013. He showed some aerial, ground level, and interior photographs depicting the construction of that building, as well as the installation of the sanitary storage tank, generator, and fuel tank, and an artist rendering of what the building would look like once it was complete. He next reported on the construction of the Judicial Center, mentioning some of the milestones, including power being provided to the building in January 2012 and air conditioning installation in April 2012, and he noted that the substantial completion of the main building is scheduled for November 15, 2012. He added that the roundabout should be completed on December 1, 2012, and the current jury assembly area is expected to be completed on July 2013. He showed photographs depicting the construction of the Judicial Center and the roundabout.
women’s hall of fame inductee
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the ratification of Gwen McLin as the Women’s Hall of Fame inductee for 2012.
appointment of members to board of building examiners
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board appointed Ms. Lori Brown as a Business member to the Board of Building Examiners to complete an unexpired term ending January 14, 2013 and to serve an additional four-year term ending January 14, 2017.
commissioner hill – vice chairman and district 1
wings and wildflowers event
Commr. Hill stated that she was sorry that she missed the Wings and Wildflowers Festival, but she was out of town attending an Octoberfest event in Wisconsin, which was very well attended with about 2,000 to 3,000 people present. She suggested that they could look into having a similar event in Lake County.
Commr. Campione mentioned that there was a new German restaurant that opened in Mount Dora.
commissioner parks – district 2
presentation at south lake water initiative
Commr. Parks related that he met with St. Johns River Water Management District representatives since the last BCC meeting, who invited the County to make a presentation at the South Lake Water Initiative with the cities. He reported that he was currently working on that with the County Manager and staff, and he assured the Board that he will make sure that gets put on the agenda with plenty of time for their comments. He commented that St. Johns really liked what the County was trying to do and appreciated the support of the Board on that.
possible future workshop to discuss ems issues
Commr. Parks asked about scheduling a workshop regarding EMS (Emergency Medical Service) at some time in the future.
Commr. Conner commented that anything that has to do with EMS needs to go to the EMS Board rather than being discussed at a County Commission meeting, and he wanted to make sure that the cities do not get the impression that they were being excluded from any discussions.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, requested to hold off on that until Mr. Jerry Smith, the new EMS Director, has a chance to get an understanding of that agency’s financing and operation, and he will report back to the Board when Mr. Smith is in a position to meaningfully address the Board. He added that the next scheduled meeting of the EMS Board is scheduled for December 11.
Commr. Parks stated that he understands that, but he was concerned that more speculation could occur regarding what the EMS Board will do, since there was a lot of time between now and December.
hospice month proclation
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation 2012-129 proclaiming November 2012 as Hospice Month.
commissioner conner – district 3
league of cities sponsor night
Commr. Conner thanked Commr. Hill, Commr. Parks, and Mr. Heath for attending the League of Cities Sponsor Night.
commissioner cadwell – district 5
north lake park weekend events
Commr. Cadwell commented that there were Pop Warner Football events, soccer games, a Tampa-based baseball tournament, and other events going on all at the same time at North Lake Park during the weekend with an estimated 4,500 people in attendance. He opined that they might be able to draw even more people to that park if they could increase the hotel accommodations in that area, which they have been discussing with the City of Umatilla.
commissioner campione – chairman and district 4
notice of public information for meeting regarding turnpike
Commr. Campione announced that they received a Notice of Public Information for a meeting for the Florida Turnpike widening from SR 50 to Interstate 75 for Tuesday, October 23 at Minneola City Hall from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
county attorney evaluation
Commr. Campione related that they have gotten all of the review reports back for the County Attorney Review and reported that the rankings were an overall rating of 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. She commented that they were all very happy with the services the County Attorney’s office is providing as well as the responsiveness the Board gets from the County Attorney and his staff.
Commr. Cadwell added that Mr. Minkoff’s calming influence throughout the county is unmatched.
Commr. Campione pointed out that Tab 37 and 38 were for informational purposes only regarding vested rights, as follows:
Acknowledgement of Vested Rights Determination for BPL Eagleridge, LLC (VRD# 2012-0002) for the development located at US 27 and Golden Eagle Boulevard granting vested rights to complete proposed commercial development. This item is informational only per Section 14.16.04 LDR, and no action is required. There is no fiscal impact.
Acknowledgement of Vested Rights Determination for F&J Development/La Cascada PUD, allowing completion of the development of the La Cascada PUD approved by Ordinance 2007-36 subject to conditions. This item is informational only per Section 14.16.04 LDR, and no action is required. There is no fiscal impact.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK