A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
december 3, 2013
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 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: Jimmy Conner, Chairman; Sean Parks, Vice Chairman; Leslie Campione; Timothy I. Sullivan; 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.
Commr. Campione welcomed everyone to the BCC Meeting, which would include the State of the County address and the induction of two women to the Women’s Hall of Fame. She then recognized the Commissioners as well as various elected officials who were in attendance including Rep. Larry Metz, Rep. Bryan Nelson, Ms. Cindy Brown from Congressman Dan Webster’s Office, newly elected Mayor of Mount Dora Cathy Hoechst, Sheriff Gary Borders, and former County Commissioner Catherine Hanson, who was responsible for initiating the Women’s Hall of Fame.
INVOCATION and pledge
Commr. Parks gave the Invocation, and Sheriff Gary Borders led the Pledge of Allegiance.
women’s hall of fame induction
Commr. Cadwell officiated the induction of Ms. Linda Watts and the posthumous induction of Ms. Betty Sexton into the Women’s Hall of Fame, and he explained that the Board created the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995 to honor those who have made monumental accomplishments in Lake County within the fields of agriculture, art, business, community service, the environment, government, health care, humanities, philanthropy, science, and education. He related that numerous community leaders have been honored by being placed in the Women’s Hall of Fame, and he welcomed the two new inspiring women inductees to that group who have made a positive impact to their community.
Commr. Sullivan commented that Ms. Linda Watts is truly an admired person in their community for her accomplishments, and he noted that she was born in Eustis, grew up in Umatilla, moved to Leesburg in 1964, and was truly a Lake County native. He noted that she was Chairman of the Leesburg Art Festival for 14 years and taught pre-kindergarten and kindergarten aged children in Leesburg for 20 years. He added that although Ms. Watts works in the community helping people from babies to the elderly, most notably she is known for her work with area youth and instilling in them the importance of volunteer work and giving of oneself more than just giving money to good causes. He elaborated that each year she organizes fund raisers for clothing, baby supplies, toys and games, school supplies, food, and personal care items for those in nursing homes and shelters. He related that her motto is “Every time we hug someone who is lonely or different, kiss someone who will not be here tomorrow, or provide a necessity item to someone who has nothing, it makes everything we do worthwhile.” He stated that as a former teacher, she also stresses the importance of education to local youth and has established scholarship programs totaling $124,000 since 1996 for college-level education for local students. He mentioned that Ms. Watts has received numerous honors, awards, and accolades throughout the years from organizations such as the Orlando Sentinel, Magic 107.7, the Girl Scouts, Radio Z 88.3, Walt Disney World, and Energizer, and she was chosen by People Magazine as one of the All Stars Among Us for being an individual who has gone above and beyond to serve the community. Also, she was named a University of Phoenix volunteer leader award honoree, which was only given out annually to ten outstanding individuals nationwide, and in 2008 she received a special congressional recognition for her outstanding and invaluable service to the community. He pointed out that three Florida governors have also recognized her community service, and he welcomed her into the Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Ms. Watts remarked that this is the biggest honor she has ever received, because it is from Lake County.
Commr. Conner commented that the Women’s Hall of Fame induction was a great honor for the Board and their community, and he noted that although Ms. Betty Sexton passed away a few months ago, her son and daughter were present to accept the award. He related that Ms. Sexton ministered to and gave her life to other people, and she was active in the First Baptist Church of Fruitland Park. He stated that she founded the Day Spring Ministry in 1986 which provided food, doctors, and counseling to needy families, which has grown from when it was first established due to her efforts in working with organizations such as Publix and Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando. He also noted that numerous community fund raising events were organized by Ms. Sexton throughout the years to help raise money to stock the food pantry, which he pointed out never ran out of food for people in need, and she passed her legacy of volunteering down to her children and grandchildren, who also work tirelessly in support of the ministry. He added that she has helped hundreds of thousands of families by her efforts, and he noted that she was proud to say, “The Lord has always seen us through,” giving the Lord credit rather than herself for what she has accomplished. He commented that her ability to instill a caring spirit and a sense of community still lives on, since the ministry that she had established is going strong with the help of many volunteers. He announced that it is his honor to welcome her to the Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame, and he presented the award to her son, Milton.
state of the county
Commr. Campione commented that the County has completed many outstanding achievements this past fiscal year that they have highlighted in their State of the County address, and she clarified that the County encompasses the whole organization of people who makes sure things get done. She added that the Board greatly appreciates the employees that go out and make the policy and programs happen. She opined that it has been an honor for her as Chairman to see how many of the achievements have made a great impact on the community and have moved the County forward in a strong and positive direction, shown by indicators such as their unemployment numbers, which are lower than the state average for the first time since August of 2008. She commented, however, that they know they have a long way to go, but that this milestone is an indicator of improvement. She stated that she appreciated all of the hard work from the private sector, their education partners, their Economic Development Department, and all of those in Lake County who were trying to turn the economy around, which has been a difficult endeavor. She also noted that the County has been working diligently to position itself to support business opportunities and attract tourists to their area, and a new branding campaign will be launched this upcoming year which will tie together the county’s unique assets and its close proximity to major attractions and amenities in the region and which was the result of several work sessions held by their Tourist Development Council (TDC). She introduced the presentation of the State of the County Address video.
The presentation, which was narrated by Commr. Campione, pointed out that Lake County represents the real Florida because of the natural assets it contains such as lakes, forests, rivers, and rolling vistas; and the citizens of Lake County represent a cross section of Florida’s best residents who are ready to get involved in their community, including entrepreneurs, volunteers, artists, athletes, young families, and retirees. Commr. Campione noted that Lake County is centered among the major cities of Florida such as Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando and close to the beaches, major sporting events, and theme parks; also, Lake County has its own state-of-the-art medical facilities that are within easy driving distance to renowned research hospitals. She revealed the new slogan for the County, which was “Lake County: Real Florida, Real Close,” which will be used for the upcoming economic development initiative to introduce the county to tourists and respected business owners.
She indicated that she would highlight some of the Board’s most notable accomplishments, such as a more centralized communication system, purchase of needed fire rescue equipment due to a federal grant, and the opening of the new Emergency Communications and Operations Center (ECOC) in the area of public safety. She also noted that since there were more than 1,400 lakes in the county, their mosquito and aquatic abatement program is critical to the health and safety of those lakes and their residents, and 1,200 acres of water were treated for nuisance aquatic plants and over 260,000 acres treated for mosquitos. Also, to protect their groundwater, Lake County’s Household Hazardous Waste program held 26 outreach events throughout the year which safely removed 66 tons of potential environmental contaminants from the waste stream. She reported that for pedestrian safety, sidewalk repairs were completed in 12 neighborhoods and on two collector roads, and 2200 linear feet of sidewalk and 100 ramps are being constructed using federally-funded Community Development Block Grant funds as part of the County’s ADA sidewalk reconstruction program. She reported that Lake County Animal Services has been proactively promoting safety for its residents and animal population by starting an online program for the registration of pets and to obtain licenses, reduce adoption fees, and build enhancements to the shelter to allow for better quarantine of sick animals. She mentioned that a spay and neuter rebate program was implemented which refunds pet owners up to $50 per animal for spaying or neutering their pets. She also mentioned that their probation program for criminal offenders under a new state directive gives more attention to root problems and behavioral health services and counseling.
Commr. Campione related that Lake County completed several major transportation and infrastructure improvements in 2013, including the completion of intersection improvements at CR 565A and Silver Eagle made possible by a $405,000 grant from FDOT, which included a traffic signal and sidewalk connection from CR 565A to South Lake High School, as well as another $360,000 grant-funded project for the construction of turn lanes and paved shoulders and installation of a traffic signal at SR 19 and CR 450E. She listed several other improvements that were made to existing intersections, including several traffic signals, swales, sidewalks, and the County’s first school zone radar speed flasher system on Bates Avenue in Eustis. She pointed out that several stormwater projects were also completed, including the installation of a water quality improvement system for East Crooked Lake in the Eustis area which corrected a severe erosion problem and enhanced the quality of the water entering the lake. She also mentioned that a non-compliant private water system in the Umatilla area necessitated County involvement, even though the County is not usually involved with those types of systems, and the County was able to facilitate the design and installation of a new water system that allowed residents to connect to the City of Umatilla’s water treatment facility by using a $1.2 million CDBG. She commented that the County has continued to meet the expectations from residents for new or improved parks, including the new 34-acre East Lake Community Park, which opened in May with five ball fields, three multi-purpose fields, and a path for walking, running and biking; there were also improvements made to the Minneola Athletic Complex such as a new staircase, concession stand upgrades, and a chairlift to meet ADA compliance. She added that construction of a basketball court and enhancements to tennis and pickle ball courts were recently completed at PEAR Park in the Leesburg area. She related that the County’s libraries participated in the celebration of the 500-year anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Ponce De Leon with many well-attended library programs and special events, and the libraries also organized more than 500 activities with a total of 27,000 attendees as part of this year’s summer reading program. She added that the ebooks program continues to grow, with 170,000 ebooks checked out so far since the start of the program in 2011.
Commr. Campione related that this year Lake County has continued to improve housing conditions, facilitate affordable housing, improve bus shelters for public transportation, and assist Lake County veterans to access $13 million in disability compensation and pension benefits. Lake County also collaborated with LifeStream Behavioral Center to use Neighborhood Stabilization Funds to acquire and renovate an apartment complex in Leesburg that was in foreclosure which is now being managed by LifeStream to help its clients. She reported the significant impact made by volunteerism in Lake County by 350 individuals who donated 24,000 hours of their time in 2013 assisting in libraries, with the adult literacy program, teen court, animal services, probation, parks, and emergency management; in addition, volunteers collected 4,000 pounds of non-perishable food during the Stuff the Bus food drive, and the Master Gardeners volunteered 9,100 hours to help with plant clinics, maintenance of Discovery Gardens, and various educational programs.
Commr. Campione reported that the County hosted and supported numerous community events this past year, including the 2nd Annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival in October, which won numerous awards and brought thousands of bird lovers and wildflower enthusiasts to Lake County, and tourism tax dollars helped to sponsor 70 organizations that hosted tourist-related events with an economic impact of over $93 million. She noted that the county has been the site for numerous state and national sports championships which have brought in hundreds of athletes and their families and over half a million dollars in economic impact per event. She related that improved street lighting, landscaping, and signs were installed at the Ford Commerce Park in Groveland in order to enhance the property to attract new tenants, and Raney Construction was able to expand by purchasing two buildings there utilizing the County’s “RAPID” permitting process and increased its employment by 30 percent. Also, the County teamed up with the City of Leesburg to attract Rural King, which sells goods for outdoor recreation and farming, has 65 stores in eight different states, and is renovating a vacant building on US Hwy 27 in Leesburg; and the County also collaborated with Leesburg to secure $400,000 from the state’s Economic Development Transportation Fund to construct a seaplane ramp at Leesburg’s International Airport in order to facilitate the 35,000 square-foot expansion of Wipaire, a manufacture of seaplane floats. The County worked in conjunction with educational agencies and legislators to secure a $1 million grant for renovation of an 11,500 square-foot facility at Lake Tech, purchase equipment, and set up a training program for manufacturing, machining, and welding for the startup of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in order to respond to the need for high-tech manufacturing workers. She announced that there will soon be another company coming to the county which will bring 40 new jobs, and she related that the Board designated 16,000 acres in southeast Lake County as the “Wellness Way Sector Plan,” which will target health and wellness industries, protect natural resources, diversify its economy, and strengthen connectivity in the region.
Commr. Campione thanked the Sheriff for all that his department does for the County to keep Lake County’s citizens safe, and she recognized that Lake Tech Director Diane Culpepper’s vision about connecting the employers, manufacturing sector, and education sector helped to start the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, which she believes will attract businesses to the county.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 9:45 a.m. that there would be a 15-minute recess.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that Commr. Cadwell had asked to continue Tab 5 on the County Manager’s Consent Agenda so that he could have additional time to look at that item, and he anticipated bringing it back to the Board on December 17 or January 14.
election of chairman and vice chairman
Commr. Campione related that she had prepared a memorandum for the incoming Chair in order to ensure continuity, because she believes they are on a positive track right now, have a lot of great things going on from an economic development standpoint, and have made a lot of progress in so many areas, but there was still a lot to do. She specified that tracking devices with emergency services was a huge step in the right direction to promote efficiency, save lives, and save money. She commented that she was very appreciative of the Advanced Manufacturing Center, what Dr. Mojock was doing at Lake-Sumter State College, and what the school district was doing with their academies, because she believes these are the links that they could provide between the private sector business industry and their education partners. She also mentioned that she was excited about the CRA in the Mount Plymouth-Sorrento area, the Wekiva Parkway, and the different transportation projects they were working on. She opined that the goals mentioned in her memorandum were things the Board has been working on for many years which are starting to come to fruition. She commented that she has enjoyed serving as the Chairman of the BCC and that it has been an honor to serve with the other Commissioners.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board elected Commr. Conner as Chairman of the BCC.
Commr. Campione requested to continue to serve as liaison on the EDC at least one more year as they see the branding effort through, since the EDC is launching its new branding at the same time that the County is launching their branding of the Real Florida, Real Close campaign.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board elected Commr. Parks as Vice Chairman of the BCC.
Ms. Christina Brandolini, Human Resources Manager, presented the following employee awards:
Jenny Born, Office Associate IV
Public Resources/Parks and Trails Division
Carl (Steve) Earls, Information Technology Director
Denise Haynes, Office Associate II
Public Works/Maintenance Division
RETIREMENT – 24 years
Edmund J. Dagner, Chief Inspector (not present)
Growth Management, Building Services Division
Kent Adcock (not present)
Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
Capital Facilities Advisory Committee
Stephanie Gardner (not present)
Library Advisory Board
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the BCC Minutes of September 16, 2013 (Joint Meeting with Lake County School Board) and October 22, 2013 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
No one present wished to address the Board.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 3 as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the 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.
Annual Audit Plan for Fiscal Year 2013-2014
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Annual Audit Plan for Fiscal Year 2013-2014.
Resolution and Meeting Schedule for Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Resolution 2014-02 identifying the Fiscal Year 2013-14 meeting schedule for the Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District, pursuant to Chapter 190, Florida Statutes, along with cover letter dated November 11, 2013.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Campione announced that the EDC’s new branding program for the entire region will be unveiled on Friday, December 6, in Orlando during a large economic conference, and she opined that it had tremendous potential and that Lake County will reap significant benefits from the efforts of the EDC to put the region on the map for business.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 13, pulling Tab 5 as follows:
Request for approval of annual grant funding for eight organizations who have submitted applications for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 County funds through the Human Services Grant Request for Proposal process; authorization for signatures on subsequent agreements; and authorization to encumber and expend funds. The fiscal impact is $47,500.00 (Expense) and is funded by the General Fund.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval of contract renewal with the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC). The annual fiscal impact is based on a ratio of $0.74 per Lake County resident as estimated by the most recent University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research Population Estimates Report. For the 2013/2014 Fiscal Year, the fiscal impact will be $221,761.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2013-153 for $777,059, to include the receipt of contracted revenues and their related expenditures for 1) Dispatch Services for the City of Lady Lake, 2) Administration of the Law Enforcement and Corrections Training Center for Lake Technical Institute, and 3) Provision of a Marine Patrol unit for the Lake County Water Authority. The total fiscal impact is $777,059 (Revenue) and $777,059 (Expense).
Request for approval and execution of: (1) FY13 State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) Funding Agreement in the amount of $15,778; (2) Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2013-154; and (3) authorization for the County Manager to sign future amendments/modifications that do not involve financial impact. This agreement provides revenue to the Emergency Management Division. No local match is required.
Request for authorization to advertise for bids and transfer of the funding for Special Assessment Project No. 105 - Colley Drive located in both Tavadora Shores and Lakescene Subdivisions in Tavares within Sections 27 & 34, Township 19S, Range 26E. The estimated fiscal impact of the project is $459,379.00 to be funded by County Transportation Trust Fund Reserves. Commission District 3.
Request for approval of the TRIP Agreement and supporting Resolution No. 2013-155 between Lake County and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for the funding of Right of Way Acquisitions on CR 466A in the amount of $4,354,034.00. The CR 466A construction project is a proposed Four-Lane Divided Urban Roadway which begins at US 27 and runs west to the Lake/Sumter County Line in Fruitland Park. The road will have sidewalks and bike lanes and a divided median. This TRIP agreement will fund right of way purchases for two of the three phased construction segments of CR 466A. The two phases to be funded with the TRIP funds under this agreement are Phase I from US 27 west to Sunny Ct. (0.43 miles) and Phase II from Marguerite Drive west to the Lake/Sumter County line (1.81 miles). Phase III from Sunny Ct. west to Marguerite Drive remain unfunded at this time (0.81 miles). The total FDOT TRIP funding of the Project is $8,708,068.00 (Eight Million Seven Hundred Eight Thousand Sixty-Eight Dollars). The FDOT is providing $4,354,034.00 (Four Million Three Hundred Fifty-Four Thousand Thirty-Four Dollars) of TRIP funding. Lake County is providing the required 50% match of $4,354,034.00 from previously expended and budgeted funds. TRIP reimbursement from this agreement will be used toward construction of Phase I of the project.
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Johns Lake Landing Phase 1 and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Johns Lake Landing Phase 1 plat, accept a maintenance bond in the amount of $56,038.41, execute a Developer's Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements Between Lake County and John’s Lake LLC, accept a cash surety in the amount of $37,290.00, execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Landscape Improvements, and execute Resolution No. 2013-156 accepting the following roads into the County Road Maintenance System: Good Hearth Boulevard (Co. Road No. 1262), Hartle Road “Part” (Co. Road No. 1362). Johns Lake Landing Phase 1 consists of 1 lot and is located south of SR 50, off Hartle Road in Section 26, Township 22 South, Range 26 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Johns Lake Landing Phase 2 and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Johns Lake Landing Phase 2 final plat, accept a performance bond in the amount of $2,297,483.42, and execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and Johns Lake, LLC. Johns Lake Landing Phase 2 consists of 96 lots and is located south of SR 50, off of Hartle Road in Section 26, Township 22 South, Range 26 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request for approval of the purchase of ten (10) 20-yard rectangular roll-off containers from Equipco (Miami, FL), and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $32,775.00 (Expenditure).
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Greater Lakes Phase 2 and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Greater Lakes Phase 2 plat, accept a maintenance bond in the amount of $72,145.44, execute a Developer's Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements Between Lake County and Home Dynamics Sawgrass, LLC, accept a performance bond in the amount of $40,489.02, execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Sidewalk Improvements, and execute Resolution No. 2013-157 accepting the following roads into the County Road Maintenance System: Shasta Street (Co. Road No. 0357J), Champlain Street (Co. Road No. 0357K), and Mead Street (Co. Road No. 0357L). Greater Lakes Phase 2 consists of 110 lots and is located south of Clermont, off US Highway 27 in the Four Corners area, in Section 11, Township 24 South, Range 26 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tab 14 as follows:
Request for approval and execution of Release of Lien as to Certain Real Property for property owner, Sharon B. Baragona. The fiscal impact is $1,500.00 – Revenue.
funding for new science lab facility
Dr. Charles Mojock, President of Lake Sumter State College, explained that he wanted to discuss with the Board the science lab facility at their South Lake campus, and he emphasized that this has been their number one capital project for over five years in order to support the stem fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, he explained that because of financial setbacks due to the economic times, they have not realized this goal yet, but have converted some classrooms and built a temporary modular facility for some labs in which to operate. He pointed out that they have almost 3,300 students on that campus, and they are still looking for the kind of space to support those programs. He requested the Board’s support of the college’s request to the legislative delegation and to help them advocate for getting that project. He mentioned a recent newspaper article which contained a study showing that Florida’s public universities were only producing a little over half as many engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and technicians that they would need in order to meet the amount of job growth in the next decade. He pointed out that the Board is striving to attract and support those kinds of high tech and stem industries in their own economic development plan that could bring the kind of high-paying jobs that the County is looking for and needs. He commented that producing such skilled graduates requires expensive state-of-the-art facilities and high-quality faculty, and although their college is poised to deliver a high-quality education and has a world-class facility on their Leesburg campus which was built in 2009, they lack a comparable facility on the South Lake campus. He recapped the successful partnerships that the South Lake campus has already entered into, and emphasized that the new labs will open up potential to serve the hospital and other health care providers, develop partnerships with UCF and Lake County Schools, prepare health care professionals and technicians, and attract new science and health companies to Lake County. He estimated the cost for this would be in the $10 million to $12 million range, and he commented that he believes the Board’s support will be very helpful to them.
Commr. Parks commented that the magnet high school would be incredible for Lake County and will put them on the map in terms of education.
Commr. Campione clarified that the request is to put this on their legislative priorities and that they lobby on behalf of the college and the school district rather than a monetary request. She asked whether there was a plan for a magnet school in the north part of the county so that there would be one in all three regions in Lake County.
Dr. Mojock responded that they are definitely interested in doing that and are looking into having a magnet school there.
Commr. Cadwell asked whether they should also add this to their federal lobbying list.
Dr. Mojock commented that it would certainly help if they could put this on a separate federal agenda.
Commr. Cadwell commented on the positive growth of the educational system and the college since Dr. Mojock’s arrival in the county, and he emphasized that education is important in order to attract businesses, create jobs for their citizens, and for economic development in general. He commented that this request is very connected with what the Board is trying to do regarding jobs and improving the workforce.
Commr. Sullivan commented that workforce is probably one of the biggest challenges they have in Lake County as they move forward, and he believes this project will help with that.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to add this to their 2014 legislative priorities and directed the County Manager to look into making this a priority for their federal lobbyists as well.
groundwater guardian community program
Mr. James Burks, President of the Groundwater Foundation, commented that he believed that their upcoming Groundwater Guardian Program will be applicable to what they will be doing in Lake County, and he mentioned that there have been a lot of water initiatives and activities. He opined that it has become more apparent that there are areas of collaboration that can help them get more out of the time and energy they spend on their research and help to get the community engaged. He recapped that they were currently using about 94 percent of their current groundwater resource in the area, and he emphasized that they would want to do anything they could to avoid getting into a depletion stage if possible. He related that in October people from all over the United States shared with them strategies and initiatives to work towards sustainable groundwater usage or slow down the rate of depletion with the hope that technology and strategies come forth that could help them with that situation in the future. He opined that he believed that they were at least making people aware of what was happening and going forward with good planning before they get to the depletion phase. He explained that the Groundwater Foundation’s mission statement keeps their purpose clear and their actions intentional and focused on educating people of all ages, especially youth, and inspiring action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations. He related that the history of the Groundwater Foundation started with an incident of an infant who developed a form of blue baby syndrome, a lack of the ability of the hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the body, which was tied to high nitrate levels in the groundwater in the area. The infant’s mother found that there was not a lot of information available at that time while trying to research this matter, and she started the foundation in order to share the ability to utilize good responsible science with the public to motivate people to get involved. He explained that the Groundwater Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization started in 1985, noting that that same motivation has carried forth in a lot of the initiatives starting with education programs working with various entities, including a merit badge program with the Girl Scouts of America. He specified that one of the educational tools that is prevalent in Lake County is the Awesome Aquifer, which is a simple groundwater modeling tool that helps to show students a visual illustrative way of what groundwater is, how groundwater moves, how it interacts with surface water, and the implications of human activity regarding ground and surface water; and he pointed out that this program has gained the attention of the Science Olympiad Group, a venue which helps create a heightened interest in students in science and technology and which has competitions nationwide.
Mr. Burks commented that the Groundwater Guardian Program is primarily the venue designed to help bridge the education and the action or application of the knowledge and has been successful in effectively getting people interested and recruiting the public to get involved in those initiatives and bringing local and national recognition to the community’s efforts, which helps them to recruit more people and gain more resources for their efforts. He specified that a recent large summit held in Howey in the Hills resulted in a sharing of ideas such as wellhead protection programs, groundwater educational fairs, expired pharmaceutical collection programs in order to prevent them from being flushed into the groundwater, and creative synergy programs involving manufacturers and industrial businesses to share and recycle byproducts rather than having them end up in landfills. He opined that the well-attended Water Summit held in Clermont on November 21 shows the interest that residents have on this subject in Lake County and that he believes there would be many people interested in volunteering. He listed some reasons that Lake County should become a Groundwater Guardian community, noting that there are a multitude of ideas, shared written materials, tools, ideas to put education fairs together, networking with other communities, recognition tools such as highway signs to designate the community as a Groundwater Guardian (GG) community, and media coverage. He commented that although there is currently only one Groundwater Guardian community in Florida, the state probably has the highest population density sitting above aquifers in the nation and is getting close to a level of depletion; and it is estimated that 1.1 million gallons of water a day will be pumped out by 2035. He stated that a Groundwater Guardian community team can bring disciplines of education, government, business, and manufacturing all together to discuss how they can work together to make Lake County a better place and have sustainable water use for future generations. He pointed out that there was a low processing cost for the County to submit an application of about $100 with $75 renewals annually, and working with their foundation will help to bring additional ideas that would take their initiatives even further and bring more people to the table. He related that the next step would be for the Board to approve having a Groundwater Community in Lake County and to have meetings to figure out who would be involved and able to bring high energy to this initiative to get it started.
Commr. Parks commented that he absolutely believes in what the Groundwater Guardian foundation is doing, and he pointed out that it was an educational rather than a regulatory program in order to get people informed and engaged in the water issue in Lake County. He opined that the water issue could also affect businesses and property values, and he asked to be involved in this initiative and believed there would be members of the South Lake Chamber who would be great leaders as well. He opined that the application for this is not difficult and does not have an excessive cost to it.
Commr. Campione expressed concern that she does not want to exercise control of those who have wells or get into a political realm regarding this issue. She commented, however, that what the Groundwater Guardian was doing regarding technology was great, and she noted that evaporation is key when looking at irrigation of crops.
Commr. Conner suggested that they have Commr. Parks look into this further and bring it back to the Board in the future, since it is not an action item on the agenda that day.
Commr. Sullivan opined that they did have a water problem in Florida which could result in killing economic development and growth, and he believed that they needed to educate the public about that and get them involved.
Commr. Parks indicated that he will work with the County Manager and then come back to the Board with an action item, and he clarified that the Groundwater Guardian program was about using the best science to make fact-based decisions and policy.
Commr. Cadwell asked whether Commr. Parks will come back with a framework and the vehicle they would use to promote the initiatives.
Commr. Parks indicated that he will do that, and he suggested that the League of Cities could possibly get involved as well.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that although the County is not in the utility business, they are involved in the water supply business and take on that responsibility through the rules and regulations they set for the County.
Commr. Campione related that she had looked at the Groundwater Guardian website, and she commented that everything she has seen so far has been good and indicated that they base things on science and focus on technology as a way to conserve water.
resolution for inventory of county-owned property for use as
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the resolution for inventory of County-owned property appropriate for use as affordable housing.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that the legislature in 2007 required counties every three years to have a public hearing listing any property that the County has that is available or could be used for affordable housing. He reported that the County does not currently have anything that is available for public housing, and he added that the Board has adopted a very aggressive approach to attempt to get property not needed by the County to be used as affordable housing as quickly as they can, which was shown recently when they received a house from Wells Fargo Bank in Umatilla and immediately transferred it to Habitat for Humanity for use. He specified that the resolution reflects the fact that they have no property, and he indicated that he gave the Board a full list of all County-owned property out of their database for their information, which is also available on the County’s GIS website.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2013-158 including an inventory of county-owned property appropriate for use as affordable housing.
county manager’s departmental business
economic development and tourism
tdc capital project funding applications
Mr. Adam Sumner, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, explained that this item is their second round of capital funding projects for the fall cycle of 2013 TDC capital applications, and he reported that they had about $2.3 million available and would be recommending allocating $81,000, which would leave a balance of about $2.3 million available for capital. He mentioned that the next round of applications would be in April of next year. He related that they have received three applications this year, one of which was from the NTC (National Training Center) for improvements to the track, but they have since withdrawn their application due to some ownership concerns and the legality of the funding. He opined that the second project, the Wekiva History Museum, is a very interesting project that they were very optimistic about long-term, but unfortunately staff and TDC has recommended denial at this point, since the timing is not right at this time for this application, and it was not currently in the Parks Master Plan for that area. He commented that the Hickory Point Recreation Facility Boat Dock Improvements project, which was the third project, was a very good application by the Water Authority, and he elaborated that although this project was actually eligible for more money than was requested, they were only asking for the requested amount in order to be good stewards of public money. He elaborated that these improvements would be needed for the new Oakley Bass Tournament coming this spring to allow participants to load and unload the boats quickly for the tournaments and would help grow the sport of fishing in Lake County, as well as kayaking, sailing, and other water sports.
Commr. Cadwell added that the TDC committee held the public hearings, and he mentioned that Helen McCormick has been working with the Wekiva History Museum project.
Ms. Helen McCormick, a resident of Mt. Plymouth, opined that the Groundwater Guardian program discussed earlier in the meeting offered excellent education to help the public make an informed decision, and she was very much in favor of preserving the groundwater as much as possible, which she believed would also be financially beneficial to residents. She related that the fundamental underlying purpose of the outdoor history museum was to have a Wekiva Welcome Center, since they have a nationally-known river system, especially because Lake County does not currently have any welcome center in that area to help guide the over 300,000 tourists that come to that area regularly. She pointed out on an overhead map the planned location of the park at the northeast corner of Mount Plymouth Lake, and she indicated that many volunteers were willing to do the preparation for the eventuality that they will have a welcome center in that location, but it needed to be open to the public first. She commented that she was advocating only for a primitive but multi-purpose park with no restrooms or amenities in the initial phase until they can determine the success of having the park at that location. She suggested that they put a cross fence at the narrowest part of the property to deter the use of motorized vehicles such as ATV’s by the neighborhood children to minimize risk and act as a boundary for the park.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Comm. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the recommendations provided by the Tourist Development Council (TDC) to approve the TDC Capital Project Funding Application submitted by the Lake County Water Authority for dock improvements at the Hickory Point Recreational Facility, as well as approval for Chairman to sign the finalized contract after agency approval, and to deny the TDC Capital Project Funding Application submitted by the Mount Plymouth Land Owner's League for an outdoor history museum. The fiscal impact is $81,820.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 11:15 a.m. that there would be a fifteen-minute recess.
fiscal and administrative services
quarterly financial report for fourth quarter of FY 2013
Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, related that he would give an update on the quarterly financial report for the FY 2013 budget that was adopted on September 25, 2012 for a total of $381.7 million, and he pointed out that the property values for that year decreased by 6.2 percent and that the general fund operating budget was $120 million. He discussed the revenue status, noting that the ad valorem revenues for the general fund have declined each year since FY 2011 and were $78.2 million in FY 2013, which was about 97 percent of what they had budgeted. He pointed out that the fire rescue non ad valorem assessment revenues had a slight increase from FY 2012 to $16 million or about 97 percent of what they had budgeted, and they budgeted higher in FY 2013 than for FY 2012 for the solid waste disposal assessment revenues and brought in $12.1 million, about 97 percent of what they had budgeted. He related that they both budgeted and received $11.2 million in state sales tax revenue in 2011; the sales tax increased slightly in FY 2012; and the sales tax came in surprisingly well in FY 2013 at $12.2 million, which he believed was a positive sign. He commented that they had budgeted the infrastructure sales tax revenue conservatively, but it came in slightly higher at $11.6 million.
Mr. Koontz illustrated on a graph the expenditures of all of the departments, pointing out that most of the departments spent 70 to 90 percent of what was budgeted, and he presented another graph showing that the expenditures have been decreasing each year since FY 2011 from $300 to $267 million countywide and from $120 to $115 million from the general fund. He commented that due to a conservative estimate of revenues, the state revenue sharing and the state sales tax both exceeded expectations; also, the revenues from the court technology, probation, and excess fees were higher than projected. He commented that since he was also conservative in projecting health services expenditures, there were expenditures that were lower than projected such as Medicaid, HCRA, and inmate medical expenses; he also mentioned that the County departments did a great job in cutting expenses, which resulted in lower than expected operational expenses and non-departmental expenses such as leases and technology maintenance contracts. He reported that their cash brought forward will be about $2.5 million over what they had projected, but there are some operational issues that need to be addressed, including the facility maintenance (HVAC) and aging IT infrastructure, including servers. He proposed that after the audit is completed and they come back tentatively on April 8 to do the mid-year budget adjustment and recognize the cash brought forward, they put the majority of that in reserves to bring the reserves up to close to ten percent and to look at some of the operational issues previously mentioned and include some of those when they do that mid-year adjustment. He gave a human resources update and reported that there were 30 vacant positions for the fourth quarter of FY 2013. He related that the average time to fill those positions was about 48 days and gave a breakdown of those positions. He listed the next steps over the next several months, including an economic update presentation to the Board on January 14, 2014, the public hearing for the grant reconciliation and the budget kickoff on January 28, and the mid-year budget adjustment on April 8.
Commr. Campione commented that they have some IT equipment that is out of date and needs to be updated, and this system is needed as an interface with the public. She thought it was a step in the right direction to look at how they could apply some of the cash-brought- forward funds to address those specific needs.
Mr. Koontz pointed out that 75 percent of the County’s servers are six years old or older.
Commr. Campione asked if they could use the performance contracting concept for the HVAC needs.
Mr. Heath responded that they will have a presentation after the first of the year on the status of their facilities and will address performance contracting in that presentation.
Mr. Koontz added that they were looking at a couple of different aspects, including better maintenance contracts than what they currently have, replacement, and performance contracting.
time of collection for residential impact fees
Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, stated that she would present an update on alternative times for collection of residential impact fees, and she recapped that the Board approved reinstatement of transportation and school impact fees effective January 13, 2014. She noted that the time of collection of impact fees is currently at the time of permit for residential, although the Board recently approved collecting impact fees at the time of the certificate of occupancy (CO) for industrial and commercial. She suggested changes that will allow a licensed contractor to defer impact fee payment for residential construction to the CO or a maximum of one year, and the contractors have to agree that the County will suspend their license until the impact fee is paid in the event of non-compliance. She commented that the developer would benefit by keeping their money longer, and limiting deferral to CO for only licensed contractors would minimize the risk of non-compliance. She pointed out that the home building industry concurs with this recommendation and that the fiscal impact will be negligible. She requested the Board to authorize staff to advertise for a public hearing for December 17, 2013.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that they could suspend the contractor’s ability to pull permits in Lake County if they were state certified, but they could not suspend the license; however, they could suspend the entire license of a registered contractor with a County license.
Ms. Carolyn Maimone, Executive Director of the Home Builders Association of Lake-Sumter, opined that this would help a lot of the custom home builders, and she commended the County Manager, County Attorney, and staff for their efforts to work with the public and with their association to make the reinstatement of the impact fees easier as well as other things staff has worked on. She commented that the Home Builders Association was supportive of and very happy with this proposed ordinance change that defers the payment of impact fees to the last draw on the contract instead of the first one.
Commr. Conner commented that this was a great example of their staff being responsive to the business community and reflecting the philosophy of the Board to be business friendly.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Comm. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board gave authorization to staff to advertise the public hearing for amendment of impact fee Section 22-8 of the Lake County Code. The revision would allow licensed contractors to pay residential impact fees at issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, and the amendment would become effective upon filing with the Department of State. The deferral option applies to all impact fees levied against residential uses. There is no fiscal impact.
building division update
Ms. King related that this presentation would give the Board an update on the Building Division that would provide some idea of the development activity they have had, the status of their outsourcing, and their future needs. She recapped that in response to an increase in building activity beginning in 2010, the County hired the firm of Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc. (BESH) to back up County staff for inspection and plans review services rather than hiring more full-time employees, and she added that the County also contracted with BESH for fire inspection services recently. She noted that recovery in construction has been erratic with ebbs and flows up until recently, but current data shows a constant trend upward. She commented that the contract with BESH was intended to provide support services at an estimated cost of $25,000, but the final cost for FY 2013 was three times that amount or $77,577 because of the increased activity. She pointed out that the sustained activity has them utilizing their vendor most days rather than just for overflow as originally intended, and she also presented a graph showing the sustained amount of increased revenue. She showed another graph illustrating that permits were up by 18 percent and that inspections were up by 32 percent during the last year.
Ms. King pointed out that her department had quite a large staff in 2003, but they currently have a much reduced staff even though their permits have increased by 1,000 and inspections have gone up by 28,000 since 2010. She commented that although they have not quite had as many permits as in 2008, the average number of inspections per inspector has risen to a level just over 8,000, which has increased over 3,000. She reported that currently, to keep up with the inspections that are required, they are utilizing two building inspectors, two multi-discipline plans examiners who normally review plans over the counter, their licensed investigator who has a limited number of certifications, and two private inspectors from BESH out in the field; and she noted that they are paying 25 hours of overtime to their staff. She related that the total hourly cost for a BCC employee is $39.40 including benefits and vehicle, and the hourly cost for their provider is $65.29. She also broke down the cost of $10.35 for the County to do an inspection in-house or $16.50 for a provider to do it. She opined, however, that the provider they use has been excellent, has always responded very quickly when they have more inspections than anticipated, and has done the inspections for the least amount of cost compared to others that have bid. She explained that focus has transferred from plans review to a demand for inspections. She summarized that with the increase in construction, it is more efficient to hire in-house staff, and she pointed out that an in-house plan review will allow permits to be issued the same day. She related that the incoming revenue currently supports hiring three limited-term staff members, and she requested approval to hire three full-time BCC employees, with the condition that each of those employees’ contracts will be reviewed at the end of every year to determine if there is enough permit activity to continue their employment, which she indicated would result in a total cost savings to the County of $161,000, as well as approval to maintain the contract with the current provider for the overflow as originally intended.
Ms. Carolyn Maimone commented that she is in support of what Ms. King is proposing, and she has noticed from the builder’s perspective that it is taking a little bit longer and that the builders frequently are not familiar with the inspector that they are dealing with. She opined that this would add continuity and would save money for the County in the long run.
Commr. Sullivan pointed out that this was funded in-house as an enterprise fund.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they all expect that things will get better, and they needed to have a trained staff ready for the expected increase in building activity.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved three new, limited-term building positions and to maintain the contract with the current provider for the overflow as originally intended.
public lands assessment
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, explained that the purpose of this presentation is to provide the Board with an assessment of the County-owned and maintained Public Lands properties. She recapped that Mr. Robert Christianson, Director for the Division of Operations and Land Resources with the St. Johns River Water Management District, presented the Board with the District’s land assessment process along with its findings and recommendations specific to Lake County on October 23, 2012, and after that presentation the Board requested that staff go through a similar process with their own Public Lands properties.
Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Parks and Trails Division Manager, provided some background information on the County’s Land Acquisition Program which was approved on November 2, 2004 by the Board in response to the Public Lands referendum approved by more than 70 percent of voters, which allowed the County to issue $36 million in bonds for the acquisition and improvements of environmentally-sensitive land in order to protect drinking water sources; improve water quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; preserve natural areas and open space; provide passive recreation areas; and provide trails and connectivity to natural habitats. He related that all property submitted was evaluated by staff and the members of the Public Lands Acquisition Advisory Council (PLAAC), which was dissolved in 2011. He mentioned that Lake County was home to 166,000 acres of environmentally-sensitive land, which includes County-owned land, federal land, state land, SJRWMD properties, and Water Authority properties. He presented a slide of an updated map illustrating the location of the parcels and inventory of the County Public Lands properties acquired under the auspices of the Public Lands Acquisition Program since 2004, and he specified that currently three of those properties are open to the public. He pointed out that the Mount Plymouth property, which is composed of five separate parcels totaling approximately 184 acres, was donated to Lake County in 2007. He added that properties acquired through partnerships include the Neighborhood Lakes Reserve, the Dead River Road Regional Stormwater Pond property, Lake Hiawatha Preserve (Inland Groves), North Shores Overlook and Trailhead, and the Pine Meadows Conservation Area.
Mr. Bonilla presented a list of evaluation criteria that staff took into consideration to help establish the merit of each parcel, including being open to the public, accessibility, environmental values, whether it was maintenance friendly, potential for recreation, partnerships, operating and capital funding, and consistency with the Parks and Recreation Master Plan or the Trails Master Plan. He stated that the three staff-recommended options are to retain and continue County ownership and management, transfer to a public agency with a conservation easement on the property and a management plan in place, or to surplus by selling or exchanging only the donated properties or parcels. He then went through and discussed all of the Public Lands properties, starting with Ellis Acres Reserve, which was located on CR 42 in the Paisley area and one of the County’s most popular destinations. He also noted that this was currently the second largest of all the Public Lands properties consisting of 417 acres, and staff recommends continuing the County ownership and management of this property given the County’s future plans for this property and the positive impact and response from the citizens and visitors. He related that the Northeast Lake County Scrub Preserve was approximately 63 acres of sand pine interspersed with wetlands, and one of the management goals for the site is to provide a location for the Florida scrub jay and for more continuity of wildlife habitat. He stated that staff recommends exploring the opportunity of transferring this property to a public agency or to continue County ownership and management if there is no interest, and he mentioned that the South Pine Lakes Reserve consisted of 128 acres of uplands and wetlands with a management goal and recommendation similar to the Northeast Scrub Preserve property. He described the Lake May Reserve, which was located just outside of Eustis on the north side of CR 44A and consisted of approximately 136 acres of uplands, wetlands, and open water and was one of the three open public lands properties which was a popular destination with residents and visitors, including during the Wings & Wildflowers festival. He relayed that staff believes this property should be retained in County ownership and continued in the land management program.
Mr. Bonilla noted that the next several properties he would discuss were located in the Wekiva area south of SR 46, where there were a lot of ongoing projects, and he specified that staff believes it is in the best interest of the County to retain Parcels C and E which was illustrated on the overhead map and to surplus Parcels A, B, and D within the Mt. Plymouth Lakes property. He related that the Neighborhood Lakes Reserve property consisting of 210 acres and part of a multi-agency acquisition totaling approximately 1,594 acres within both Lake and Orange Counties, with some of the land to the east of the parcel being used to build the Wekiva Parkway, was transferred to the County by the SJRWMD in 2012 as part of the St. Johns land assessment. He then displayed a map showing the Wekiva area which he commented would help them put in perspective the overall master site plan of the area, and he pointed out that the properties in red were the County-owned properties and that the planned trail alignment in the area was shown in orange. He mentioned that the activities taking place right now include the construction of the Wekiva Parkway, studies of the preliminary alignment and design of the East-West Lake Wekiva Trail, and the CR 46 multi-purpose trail alignment. He recommended for the County to continue ownership and land management of the Neighborhood Lakes Reserve property, considering all of the evaluating factors and all of the existing and planned activities in the Wekiva area.
Mr. Bonilla explained that the Lady Lake Preserve property, consisting of 65 acres located in west Lake County and east of the City of Lady Lake, was acquired to preserve the eastern part of Lady Lake, which was a rainfall-dependent lake with a sand bottom, and its associated wetlands and uplands. He pointed out that there was no public access to this property and no proposed physical improvements as a result, and the property is being maintained solely for the preservation of the existing ecosystem and associated fish and wildlife. He related that the staff recommendation is to explore the opportunity of transferring this property to a public agency. He then related that the Dead River Road Regional Stormwater Pond was made possible through the mutual efforts between the Stormwater management section and the Public Land management section, and both sections decided to acquire the property for water resource protection as well as protection of portions of the Lake Harris shoreline. He reported that management of the site and the stormwater treatment facility is currently being handled by the Public Works Department, and he conveyed the recommendation by staff to continue County ownership and management of this property. He reported that the Helena Run Preserve is approximately 20 acres south of Leesburg in west Lake County consisting almost exclusively of wetlands, and he commented that preserving this section of floodplain swamp may help prevent future deterioration of water quality to Helena Run and Lake Harris. He added that while the site is not conducive to many land-based passive recreational opportunities, it enhances the Helena Run blue way, and he recommended that the County continue ownership and management of the property. The next property he discussed was the Pasture Reserve located in the Green Swamp, noting that it was the largest at 810 acres of all the Public Lands property in their inventory and home to many animal and plant species. He mentioned that it was one of the three Public Lands open to the public and was a popular destination for visitors and residents, including during the Wings & Wildflowers festival as well as over 25 nature-based events that the County has held there. He relayed that the staff recommendation was to continue ownership and land management of the Pasture Reserve property. He explained that the North Shore Overlook and Trailhead project was made possible by a grant that was secured by the Green Mountain Scenic Byway Committee, support from the Board, and the partnership with SJRWMD, and staff has completed the design and begun construction on the project. He stated that staff recommends continuing land development and management of this property. He noted that the management of the public lands has always been funded out of the general fund for the operation, maintenance, and restoration, which is also expected to be the case for the future Pine Meadows property; however, he pointed out that the management of Ferndale Preserve and PEAR Park, although also environmentally-sensitive properties, is currently being funded out of the MSTU.
Ms. Breeden summarized that Lake County maintains 2,051 acres of Public Lands properties, and staff is recommending that the County retain 1,738 acres under County management, which were shown in blue on the overhead map. She opined that 256 acres could potentially be transferred to other public agencies with a conservation easement based on the evaluation criteria and assessment, including the North East Lake County Scrub Preserve, the South Pine Lakes Reserve, and the Lady Lake Preserve, but she related that staff recommends that these properties remain under County management if there is no interest from other public agencies. She added that three of the small parcels of the Mt. Plymouth Lakes Reserve totaling 57 acres could be surplused. She requested approval to accept staff’s recommendations, for staff to seek potential public agencies interested in accepting the above-mentioned properties with a conservation easement, and to surplus the donated Mt. Plymouth Lakes Reserve parcels A, B, and D.
Commr. Campione asked whether lands purchased with the bond proceeds could be surplused.
Mr. Minkoff replied that the lands could be surplused, but the money would be restricted.
Commr. Campione suggested that they could use some of the money from selling some of the properties for other land that is available, and she asked whether a 501(c)(3) organization or a conservation group could buy and operate one of those facilities.
Mr. Minkoff answered that a private group that is properly set up and had the conservation easement would work as well.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the only piece of property he has concern about is the South Pine Lakes Preserve, because the long-range plan for that property was for public access and some trails since it has frontage on 44, and he opined that it has positive identity and benefit for the community and ecological benefits. He asked for the Board to consider this property further, although he agrees with the rest of the recommendations.
Commr. Campione stated that she supports Commr. Cadwell’s concern about Pine Lakes Preserve and also believes they should hold on to that property. She commented that she supports the staff recommendations on all the other properties, however, especially since it does not make sense to hold onto the Mount Plymouth properties that are completely surrounded by private property ownership.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to retain the above-mentioned 1,730 acres of Public Lands property in County ownership.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board moved to surplus the 57 acres recommended by staff.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board moved to pull South Pine Lakes from the transfer.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the Northeast Lake County Scrub Preserve was not involved in the mitigation of the scrub preserve they had to do for the active park and the ball fields, and this decision would not result in violation of any agreements.
Commr. Campione added that the scrub habitat would still be protected no matter who owns the property, because it is required by law.
Commr. Sullivan made a motion to seek transfer of the Northeast Lake County Scrub Preserve and Lady Lake Preserve to potential public or private agencies interested in accepting those properties, with the restrictions that it meets the caveats of conservation. However, he then withdrew his motion.
Commr. Campione asked the County Attorney how they could make their motion in order to give them the most flexibility and entertain offers so that they could at first attempt to sell on the private market before transferring the properties to an agency or organization.
Mr. Minkoff replied that he would first need to know whether the County would transfer the properties with or without a conservation easement on them in order to disclose the conditions to the buyer.
Commr. Campione asked whether the Board could have staff look into reasonable caveats or whether the regulations would protect the properties.
Commr. Conner commented that it would be wiser to have a more thorough discussion about whether they would surplus those two properties on the private market rather than make a decision right away, which he believes would be a different discussion than the current issue.
Commr. Cadwell added that they would also need an analogy of what those two parcels would realistically be worth.
Mr. Minkoff pointed out that the Board made a commitment to the neighborhood around the Lady Lake Preserve to not change the use of the property without having a public hearing, since those residents were opposed to any development there.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to have staff evaluate the above-mentioned issues and come back to the Board with a report and recommendation for those two properties.
representative to serve on central florida sports commission
Commr. Cadwell explained that this appointment is an extension until the spring of next year and would be for the representative of South Lake Hospital.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the extension of Lake County member Paul Johns’ current term ending December 31, 2013 to the spring of 2014, as recommended by the Central Florida Sports Commission.
update on suit regarding juvenile justice
Mr. Minkoff gave an update regarding juvenile justice litigation that the County has been involved with along with many other counties throughout the state and mentioned that this was a large issue for the Florida Association of Counties (FAC). He explained that the Department of Juvenile Justice changed the way they calculated the County’s responsibility for juvenile detention days in 2008 and 2010, but the changes were not in accordance with the statute. He related that initially some of the counties challenged that change, and ultimately the First District Court of Appeal ruled for the counties that the Department’s methods were incorrect. He noted that the County was able to use those additional funds to solve some of their budget problems when the Department immediately stopped using those methods going forward, which led to a reduction in the County’s expenditure for both last year’s and this year’s budget. He recapped that the Board had approved County involvement in all three lawsuits, one for each fiscal year, and the County was overbilled and owed an additional $1 million for time periods prior to 2013. He reported that the Department has claimed that the only relief that the counties could receive is to have the legislature appropriate the money, although the Department has relayed to the legislature that the counties should not retroactively receive this money, which totals $88 million for all the counties involved He pointed out that this situation is similar to the Medicare issue, where ultimately it was determined that the counties were the ones that owed money, and the legislature made the counties pay it back. He requested assistance from the Board in working with their delegation.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it is the Commissioners’ responsibility as elected officials to make sure the state understands the importance of this issue and that they are right.
Mr. Minkoff mentioned that Ms. Stephanie Glass, Teen Court Specialist, is an excellent resource on this issue and is participating on the statewide committee that is working on the legislation for next year.
reports – county manager
educational concurrency review committee meeting
Mr. Heath reported that the Lake County Educational Concurrency Review Committee, comprised of all the representatives from the cities, including elected officials, is scheduled to meet on December 4. He recapped that over the last several months the Board has had a number of discussions on the school interlocal agreements and concurrency, and he asked whether the Board wanted to take a position on or to advance any of the issues the County has been discussing, including changing the school interlocal agreement to make it consistent with statute, school concurrency, increasing de minimus, changing the concurrency zones in South Lake, and changing the reservation process to make it consistent with the School Board.
Commr. Campione commented that she believed that would be the perfect opportunity to address those things, and she believes the Board needs to take a leadership role to get the School Board to tweak the agreement and prepare for when development picks up.
Commr. Cadwell agreed that it was the Board’s responsibility and that they should do something about those issues now. He also pointed out that the Board asked the legislature to allow them to be one of the first counties to try that system.
Commr. Sullivan stated that he supports updating the agreements and taking a look at how they make it work as they grow.
Commr. Conner appointed Commr. Campione as liaison to that committee effective immediately so that she could represent the Board during the December 4 meeting.
update on lynx routes 55 and 204
Mr. Heath gave an update on Lynx Routes 55 and 204, and he mentioned that Lynx had its public hearing on November 26. He related that they are currently exchanging agreements with Lynx consistent with the funding levels that the Board authorized and that he expects Route 55 at Four Corners to start running again by the latter part of December, assuming that the Lynx governing board approves those two agreements on December 4. He added that staff is currently working through the County’s website to gauge the preference for the riders of Route 204 from the Park and Ride Lot, since they are planning to drastically reduce those headways, in order to make sure that the times of those routes coincide with the greatest number of riders.
Commr. Parks noted that the constituents wanted him to express their wish to keep Route 204, and he encouraged the Commissioners to read the minutes from the Lynx meeting.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
amended proclamation for purple heart county
Commr. Sullivan explained that this will be an amendment of the proclamation that the Board approved in support of those who earned the Purple Heart medal which will proclaim Lake County as a Purple Heart County.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved amended Proclamation No. 2013-124, which has been changed to include new wording, “The Lake County BCC hereby proclaims Lake County as a Purple Heart County.” This is necessary in order for it to be included in the national registry.
goodwill clothing drive
Commr. Sullivan thanked all the members of staff and residents who participated in the clothing drive for Goodwill, stating that it will result in keeping 82 jobs in Lake County.
reports – commissioner campione – district 4
pancreatic awareness month proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the execution of Proclamation No. 2013-152 declaring the month of November 2013 “Pancreatic Awareness Month” in Lake County.
orlando one summit
Commr. Campione mentioned that she will be attending the Orlando One Summit in Orlando beginning tomorrow, December 4, which is put on by the Metro EDC. She assured the Board that she will give them a report when she returns from that.
reports – commissioner parks – district 2
water summit held in south lake
Commr. Parks reported that the Water Summit held in Clermont on November 21 was well attended and emphasized that water is a hugely important issue and that they needed to strategically plan for it for the future. He added that Representative Larry Metz attended the summit and indicated an intention to support the County on this issue and discuss it at an upcoming delegation meeting
Commr. Sullivan opined that water issues could become a legislative priority for them, and he commented that the issue is multifaceted, involves many counties, and will become a critical area for the state in the future.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
stuff the bus event
Commr. Cadwell commented that the Lake County Public Transportation staff did a great job on the Stuff the Bus event, even though there was inclement weather that day.
Leadership naco meeting
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would be attending a leadership NACo meeting of the committee chairs in Washington DC from January 7 through 9, 2014, and he mentioned that NACo will cover most of the expenses of his trip. He asked whether he should reach out to their federal lobbyists while he was there.
Commr. Conner opined that he believed it was a good idea to touch base with the powers that be there, including their lobbyists.
Commr. Cadwell expressed concern that underage people are buying electronic cigarettes, and he directed Mr. Minkoff to research the legality of underage people buying those.
reports – commissioner conner – chairman and district 3
liaision assignments for commissioners
Commr. Conner asked the Board to let him know each Commissioner’s preference regarding which liaison appointments they want or do not want.
mobile home code issue
Commr. Conner read a letter from a resident of Tavares thanking the Board for changing the code regarding a mobile home issue he was having and fixing the problem for him and others facing the same problems, noting that it would help improve property values and be good for local businesses which would obtain more sales and work from the code change. He commented that it was nice to see a gesture from a constituent showing appreciation, and he wanted to put that into the record.
retreat to be scheduled in january regarding goals
Commr. Conner requested to schedule an informal retreat in January so that the Commissioners can discuss the top goals they want to achieve this year, and he suggested that the Commissioners give Ms. Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office, their schedule in order for Ms. Taylor to coordinate a time and place for the retreat.
Commr. Cadwell commented that having that gathering is a good idea, and he suggested that they get a list from Ms. Taylor of where they had those kinds of retreats in the past.
Mr. Minkoff elaborated that the location for the retreat would legally have to be someplace open to the public and have accommodations for the disabled to be able to attend. He commented that he usually preferred that it be in public-type or charitable-type facilities.
Commr. Campione commented that Camp Boggy Creek has a wonderful conference room and good accommodations, and she added that it is open to the public, would be a nice environment, and is a charitable organization.
Commr. Conner suggested that they meet at the ECOC (Emergency Communications and Operations Center), but he stated that they will look at other locations and make a decision.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK