A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
january 14, 2014
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 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; Timothy I. Sullivan; Leslie Campione; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: David Heath, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Brooks Braswell from the First Baptist Church of Umatilla gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that he needed to make two changes to the agenda, and the first change was that he was pulling Tab 6 dealing with the supplemental funding for LYNX so that he could get additional information back before the Board considered that. He also pulled Tab 24 regarding the approval to advertise the synthetic marijuana ordinance in order to get additional information from the Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office.
Ms. Christina Brandolini, Human Resources Manager, presented the following employee awards:
Andrea Adams, Office Associate V
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Christopher Bagley, Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Darrell Collier, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Ramon Hernandez, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Melving Isaac-Jimenez, Planner
Growth Management/Planning & Community Design Division
Brent Muse, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Debra Rosenmund, Associate Planner (not present)
Growth Management/Planning & Community Design Division
Joann Sala, Licensing Investigator
Growth Management/Building Services Division
Clayton Vaughn, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Scott Woodruff, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Ronald Cobbs, Lan/Wan Specialist
Information Technology/Information Systems Division
William Tillery, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
twenty five years
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Community Services Director, presented the following award, commenting about Ms. Pell’s service to the County:
Joan Pell, Office Associate IV
Community Services/Health & Human Services Division
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented the following award, commenting about Mr. Gillard’s service to the County:
Clarence Gillard, Sign & Striping Technician I
Public Works/Traffic Operations Division
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, presented the following award, commenting about Ms. Young’s service to the County:
Patricia Young, Park Attendant (12 Years) (Presented by Wendy Breeden)
Public Resources/Parks & Trails Division
Alvin Padgett, Equipment Operator III (20 Years) (not present)
Public Works/Maintenance Area II Division (Minneola)
employee of the quarter
Judy Buckland, Program Specialist – Public Resources Department (Presented by Ms. Breeden)
supervisor of the quarter
Adam Sherk, Special Projects Supervisor - Public Works, Road Operations Division (Presented by Mr. Stivender)
team of the quarter
Community Services/Housing Services (Kathy Blanton, Nicole DeYarman, Teresa Dunham, Amy Elliott, Mariela Garcia, and Cheri King).
Mr. Fred Costello from the Palisades Homeowners Association in South Lake County mentioned that a representative from their property management company, Century Management, was also in attendance, and he explained that the purpose of their visit that day was to express their appreciation and recognize members of the Lake County team for taking action last year to repair damaged and ineffective water drainage canals on two Lake County roads that run along the hillside boundaries of the Palisades Community in Clermont. He related that due to an extreme amount of rainfall they had received last spring and a nonfunctioning water drainage canal on Jalarmy Road, which runs north and south on the eastern property boundary of the Palisades, large volumes of water cascaded downhill and cut a four to five-foot deep ditch alongside the road, resulting in exposed cables, damage to a fence, and a potential danger to any vehicle that might have veered off the road. He continued to explain that on Cherry Lake Road, which runs east and west on the northern property boundary, due to the same above-mentioned conditions, mud and debris were dumped onto multiple properties in the community to the extent that lawns and patios were buried with mud, pools were filled with silt and other debris, and other health hazards were created. He related that he contacted Commr. Parks and asked for help, who arranged for them to meet with Mr. Stivender and develop a repair plan. He noted that the County team repaired and paid for the damage on Jalarmy Road, repaired the damage on Cherry Lake Road, and shared the costs with the Palisades Homeowners Association for that repair work. He commented that excellent results were achieved in a true spirit of partnership, and he emphasized that the County kept every promise made to the residents of his community, worked with professionalism, and got the job done. He presented an award and submitted a photographic account of what happened.
Mr. Rich Weaver, President of the Homeowners Advisory Committee and a resident of the Palisades community, added that the repairs were made quickly, and they appreciate the County’s efforts. He read the plaque to be presented aloud, which stated “The residents of the Palisades Golf Community, Clermont, Florida; their homeowners association; the HOA Board of Advisors; and the Palisades Country Club hereby express their appreciation to Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks, Public Works Director Jim Stivender, and Road Superintendent Jeff Johnson and his work crew for the repair on Cherry Lake and Jalarmy Road of the water drainage channels requested by their community earlier this year. This Lake County team worked in partnership with their residents with professionalism and achieved excellent results.”
Mr. Stivender had the employees who worked on the project stand up and be recognized, and he commented that a lot of people worked on this project and that it was a team effort.
Commr. Conner thanked Commr. Parks and Mr. Stivender for handling this matter, and he opined that the County’s employees take care of everything the right way.
Commr. Parks expressed appreciation for the hard work of the County’s staff, and he commented that this was a great example of public-private partnership and a show of caring.
human trafficking awareness month proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2014-1 proclaiming January 2014 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month as requested by Commissioner Conner.
introduction of leesburg city manager
Commr. Conner announced that Mr. Al Minner is the new City Manager of Leesburg and mentioned that Mr. Minner has previously worked in Sebastian and Fort Meade.
Mr. Minner commented that it was a pleasure to be in Leesburg and Lake County, and he reported that he has almost 20 years’ experience as a city manager and that this was the fourth community and third Florida community that he has worked in. He opined that he believes the things they were doing in Leesburg will be fruitful, and he stated that he was looking forward to working with everyone.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of September 24, 2013 (Regular Meeting), November 5, 2013 (Regular Meeting), November 19, 2013 (Regular Meeting), and December 3, 2013 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog about fiscal issues, expressed concern that the two audits that were on the agenda were not disclosed as audits, attached to the agenda, or discussed at the meeting in order to make the public aware of the issues addressed by the audits; and he encouraged the Board to discuss the audits at the next workshop. He mentioned that he was concerned that there was no information about the prior or future expenses using the local option fuel tax funds. He also encouraged the County to pursue entering into further agreements with other cities similar to the Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of Groveland that is on that day’s agenda and to work on coordination of scheduling of fire trucks and emergency vehicles using the closest one available with those kind of cost-sharing agreements, which he believed would also save taxpayer money.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan 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.
Lake County Water Authority’s 2012 Annual Report and Five-Year Plan
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Lake County Water Authority’s 2012 Annual Report and the 2012-2017 Five-Year Plan, along with a cover letter dated December 5, 2013.
BCC-111 ARRA Grant Reporting for FY 2013
Request to acknowledge receipt of BCC-111 ARRA Grant Reporting audit for FY 2013.
Receipt of Notice of Application for Amendment to Water and Wastewater Certificates
Request to acknowledge receipt from Central Sumter Utility Company of a Notice of Application for Amendment to Water and Wastewater Certificates pursuant to Section 367.045, Florida Statutes, and Section 25-30.030, Florida Administrative Code, of its intent to extend its water and wastewater service area to property in Sections 5, 6, 7, 8 and 18, Township 19 South, Range 24 East in Lake County, Florida.
BCC-112 Web Server Application Security
Request to acknowledge receipt of BCC-112 Web Server-Application Security audit.
Lake County Water Authority Board of Trustees Meeting Schedule for 2014
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Lake County Water Authority Board of Trustees Meeting Schedule for 2014.
Ordinance from City of Clermont
Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 2013-19 from the City of Clermont which annexes a parcel of land into its City limits.
Ordinance from City of Fruitland Park
Request to acknowledge receipt from the City of Fruitland Park of Ordinance 2013-11 amending the boundaries of the City.
SJRWMD 2014 Governing Board Meeting Schedule
Request to acknowledge receipt of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 2014 Governing Board Meeting Schedule.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 6 through 19, pulling Tab 6, as follows:
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval of the TDC Cooperative Marketing Policy. There is no fiscal impact.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval of contract 14-0401 for HVAC, Ice Machine, and Walk-In Cooler Maintenance and Repair Services to AMSCO (Air, Mechanical & Services Corp.), Casselberry, Florida; and authorize Procurement Services to execute all implementing documentation. The annual fiscal impact is estimated at $53,245.00.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval of purchase of one (1) Stryker stretcher, two (2) Physio Control cardiac monitors, and one (1) cardiac monitor battery charging station for Lake EMS, and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $57,328 (Expenditure).
Request for approval of contract 14-0603 to ETR, LLC (Sanford, FL) for purchase of ambulances on an as-required basis with initial purchase of one (1) ambulance, and execution of all implementing documentation by the Procurement Office. The fiscal impact for the initial purchase of one (1) ambulance is $141,657.00 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to advertise a public hearing to amend ordinance to update definition of Active Adult Community under Chapter 22, pertaining to impact fees. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and execution of Special Master (SM) Agreement between Lake County and Dennis Horton and accept the conservation easement pursuant to this Special Master Agreement. The fiscal impact is $150 (1/3 of the SM fees).
Request for approval and authorization for Chairman to execute a satisfaction and release of lien for three (3) special assessments. There is no fiscal impact. Commission Districts 4 and 5.
Request for approval of contract 14-0002 for right-of-way shoulder rehabilitation services to Merrell's Grade-All, Inc. (St. Cloud, FL), and authorize the procurement office to complete all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact is $236,925.00 (Expenditure). This covers all Commission districts.
Request for approval to amend Mosquito Control Local Funds Amendment #1 by transferring funds from Operating Supplies to Travel & Per Diem and Training. Amendment #1 amending Local Funds is to transfer $2,260 from Operating Supplies to Travel & Per Diem ($1,260) and Training ($1,000) to enable three (3) employees to attend DODD's courses in order to obtain CEU's needed to maintain their PHPC (Public Health Pest Control) licenses. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to advertise for bids for the CR 50 (Washington Street) Intersection at US 27 project at an estimated cost of $347,300.00 from the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects Infrastructure Construction (Expense) account. The fiscal impact is $347,300.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 2.
Request for authorization to award CR 561 Restriping from US 27 to CR 48; Project No. 2014-02, Bid No. 14-0002, to Whiteleaf, Inc. DBA/Traffic Solutions, in the amount of $144,055.47, and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $144,055.47 from the Federal/State Grants Fund for the CR 561 Restriping from US 27 to CR 48 project. Also request authorization for the Chairman to execute a Local Agency Program Supplemental Agreement and supporting Resolution No. 2014-2. The fiscal impact is $144,055.47 (100% grant funded). Commission Districts 1 & 3.
Request for approval to advertise for bids for the CR 445 Widening and Resurfacing (SR 19 to Hibiscus Road) project at an estimated cost of $485,000.00 from the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects – Infrastructure fund. The fiscal impact is $485,000. Commission District 5.
Request for authorization to release a cash surety in the amount of $5,812.95, accept a letter of credit for maintenance in the amount of $73,856.00, execute a Developer's Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements Between Lake County and Plymouth MB, LLC and execute Resolution No. 2014-3 accepting the following roads into the County Road Maintenance System: Plymouth Creek Circle (County Road No. 3985), Stream Avenue (County Road No. 3985A), and Shallow Avenue (County Road No. 3985B). Plymouth Creek Estates is located off of CR 437, south of SR 46 and consists of 72 lots. It is located in Section 13, Township 23 South, Range 25 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 4.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Campione commented that she had previously taken issue last year with Mr. David Dean being a consultant to the County because of his relationship with a vendor that they do business with, and she wanted to register her concern, although she recognizes that this is under the purview of the County Attorney and totally within his discretion.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-1, with Commr. Campione voting “no,” the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tab 20, as follows:
Request for approval of outside counsel firms and their use on an as needed basis for County purposes. There is no fiscal impact.
adoption of ordinance imposing local option fuel tax
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; REPEALING SECTION 13-26, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED TWO-CENT TAX; RE-IMPOSING THE ONE-CENT AND TWO-CENT LOCAL OPTION FUEL TAX AS AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO SECTION 336.025(1)(a), FLORIDA STATUTES; RE-IMPOSING SUCH LOCAL OPTION FUEL TAX FOR A PERIOD OF TWENTY-NINE (29) YEARS AND FOUR (4) MONTHS COMMENCING ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 AND CONTINUING THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2043; AMENDING SECTION 13-29, LAKE COUNTY CODE, ENTITLED TWO-CENT TAX REIMPOSED; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Minkoff indicated that the agenda item also includes a resolution of intent indicating to the municipalities that the statutory distribution formula will be used for the two cents if there is no interlocal agreement by June 1.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), related that the MPO sent out a request to several entities to consider a resolution of support for this renewal, and they received responses from several cities, including Lady Lake, Clermont, Fruitland Park, Howey in the Hills, and Umatilla indicating that they have all passed resolutions, as well as several Chambers including Tavares, South Lake Chamber, and the Chamber Alliance of Lake County. He commented that there was broad-based support within the community for renewal of this fuel tax.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved adoption of Ordinance No. 2014-1 re-imposing the One-Cent and Two-Cent Local Option Fuel Tax pursuant to Section 336.025, Florida Statutes. The re-imposition shall be for a period of twenty-nine (29) years and four (4) months commencing September 1, 2014 and continuing through December 31, 2043. The Ordinance also repeals Section 13-26, Lake County Code, entitled Two-Cent Tax as the section is outdated, and amends Section 13-29, Lake County Code, to make it consistent with the re-imposition of the Local Option Tax. Also, adoption of Resolution No. 2014-4 readopting and extending the one-cent and two-cent local gas tax. The fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.
Commr. Sullivan added that as liaison to the League of Cities, he has seen that this is a topic that the League has discussed on numerous occasions, and he noted that the League of Cities is in support of moving forward with this after working out some of the details.
economic outlook and property tax trends presentation
Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, commented that this economic outlook is basically the beginning of the budget process for them this year, and he related that he would be coming back to make a budget presentation before the Board in two weeks and then discussing the guidelines on February 11. He introduced Mr. Andrew Collins, the Chief of Property Tax Resource Management, and he explained that in this capacity he directs a research program responsible for implementing several key functions, including annual tax roll evaluation, the collection and analysis of ad valorem and non ad valorem data, and publication of the Florida Ad Valorem Evaluation Impacts Data Handbook. He added that Mr. Collins has extensive background working with the Department of Revenue and other experience with property portfolio analysis and energy efficiency building standards with the Department of Management Services, and he also has extensive experience in policy areas of local government, finance, energy, economic regulation, and environmental and natural resources as well as state and federal program management. He mentioned that he held graduate degrees in economics and public administration.
Mr. Collins explained that there were separate formulas for the tax base, the millage rate, and the amount on the tax bill, and he showed a chart which gave amounts and breakdowns for the just, assessed, and taxable values. He specified that there were about 10 million parcel counts across the state, and they review all of them every year. He illustrated using a pie chart that about 70 percent of the parcel count of real property consists of single family homes and that vacant residential made up over 15 percent; and he noted that the commercial/industrial category was fairly small at 3.5 percent of the actual count of parcels. He used another pie chart to contrast those basic counts of parcels with how much value they actually incorporate, with single family homes making up the bulk of the value across the state at 63.5 percent and commercial/industrial at 17.5 percent, which is a much larger percent than the parcel count percentage. He displayed on a line graph the history of real property just value growth in Florida from 1981 to 2013, noting that although real estate normally has small incremental gains over the years, the line radically departed due to skyrocketing property values starting around 2000. He pointed out, however, that the current values are roughly where they should be, since the average growth rate projected out from that time would have brought us to the current just value. He further explained that the unusual growth pattern that occurred from 2000 until 2007 was not sustainable and was due to unusual circumstances of easy credit and questionable mortgage practices. He related that the unusual rise and fall of values during that period took on a bell shaped curve, since it normally takes essentially the same amount of time to get to the peak of any kind of commodity escalation as to the trough before it normalizes and starts to regain normal growth. He predicted that they have completed the latter half of the bell curve and will start to get back on track, although the 2014 economy will be very fragile, and he specified that Lake County saw roughly one percent in growth last year, which was less than the growth experienced in the southern counties and the metropolitan areas in the state which experienced a quicker descent after the downturn occurred. He commented that it may be about another year before that growth starts to trickle down to the mid-size counties and result in increased sales activity and home prices.
Mr. Collins pointed out that there were a fairly large amount of exemptions statewide, with the bulk total of the homestead exemptions accounting for about 50 percent of the value that is taken off the tax rolls, and he mentioned that the government exemptions and associated nontaxable property were other large exemptions. He showed a bar graph depicting the total statewide taxable value showing a slight increase since 2011 as well as one depicting just value of new construction which shows that new construction is starting to pick up this year, although it is nowhere near what it was in 2007. He commented that there was some anecdotal evidence in the labor markets that some performance enhancement salary treatment will be necessary to retain skilled workers at their current job so that they do not go back to the newly available construction jobs because of the growing demand for those services. He pointed out that the indications of real property bulk sales counts is good news since it indicates a rise in real estate transactions, noting that the sales values are starting to pick up as well. He presented a slide of information obtained from the Economic and Demographic Research Council showing a simplified driver of the Florida economy with factors such as tourism, population growth, and new construction working together to determine the economic health of the state. He mentioned that population growth was starting to get more attention and is a huge driver for sustained growth, although it presents environmental and growth management challenges as well. He reported that the national economy strongly improved in 2012 and 2013, and Florida’s growth was just below the national average at a 2.5 percent increase; he also saw the beginning of an increase in personal income in 2013. He related that the state’s unemployment rate has been 8 to 10 percent, but it has come back down to between 7 and 7.5 percent, although he pointed out that the numbers do not reflect those who stopped looking for jobs or who are underemployed, and he noted that the state is still 6.8 percent below their peak employment in 2007 and that they have lost approximately 445,000 jobs since that time. He stated that population growth was projected to rise and stabilize at about 1 percent annually, although historically they have had about a three percent growth in population before the downturn, and he noted that many of those individuals moving to Florida will be ages 60 through 79. He mentioned that it is predicted that sometime over the next year, Florida will become the third most populated state in the country, which gives them some a fair amount of clout regarding national policy debates.
Mr. Collins remarked that overall the housing market across the state is starting to come back slowly, and the median home prices have started to climb, although they are well below the national average. He commented that this increase will be fragile for quite a while, especially since the shadow inventory of distressed homes needs to be taken off the market. He pointed out that the homeownership rate across the state is back to the normal, long-run average of about 65 percent after an artificially high percentage of 72 percent in the 2007-2008 period due to people getting into mortgages that were not sustainable, and he believes they will be able to get back to a stable growth path. However, he noted that there are a lot of foreclosures and distressed properties that are available or not quite on the market yet, and although there are many positive signs overall of a recovering economy, it is good to be cautious. He further explained that the “shadow inventory” of homes may contain a significant number of “ghost” homes that have not been maintained and may take a certain amount of upgrade just to make it a viable home again, resulting in a two-tiered supply consisting of viable homes and seriously distressed homes. He also opined that home ownership is not thought to be as much a part of the American dream as it previously was. He assured everyone that despite some uncertainty on a national level about the budget process, there is a two-year agreement in place which will give some budget stability.
Commr. Conner commented that Lake County budgets conservatively.
Mr. Collins responded that that was a good move, and he opined that the infrastructure improvement that the County is doing is a good investment for when growth returns.
Mr. Conner thanked Senator Alan Hays for his help in getting Mr. Collins to speak to the Board that day.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:23 a.m. that there will be a 17-minute recess.
discussion regarding school courtesy transportation
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, gave some background into the issue of the School Board’s request for reimbursement for courtesy transportation at Lake Minneola High School, which was initially discussed at the BCC Meeting of October 22, and he explained that Commr. Campione had received a letter from then School Board Chairman Kyleen Fischer on October 8 asking the Board to pay an invoice for courtesy busing for $9,442.08. He recapped that at the October 22 BCC Meeting, the Board directed him to discuss this with the School Superintendent and requested documentation of any agreement between the School Board and the County to pay for busing until the sidewalks were built, documentation of how the School Board came up with the $9,400 figure, the School Board’s right of way acquisition policy regarding sidewalks, and what the School Board’s intent was after the termination of the agreement with families regarding courtesy busing for Lake Minneola High School. He related that he talked to Ms. Carol MacLeod, Chief Financial Officer for Lake County Schools; Ms. Debbie Stivender, School Board Member; and Ms. Susan Moxley, School Superintendent, to outline these issues. He pointed out that the backup information contained a letter dated December 20 from Ms. Stivender addressing those issues, which contained a request for the County to pay an invoice in the amount $27,877.67 for the total cost of the busing for the past three years from FY 2011-12 to June of this year, based on the same rate as they charge charter schools for courtesy busing. He related that the School Board indicated it does not have a right of way policy, but they have provided right of way for sidewalks for the County in the past, and they did not expect that to change. He stated that the School Board also indicated that although there was no agreement with the County to pay for that service, they believed that the Board had verbally agreed to do that. He added that he provided the Clerk’s Minutes from the joint work session with the School Board on August 30, 2011 in the backup, and he commented that he did not see any evidence that anyone had committed to paying the invoice in those minutes nor in the verbatim transcript he had staff prepare of that discussion. He pointed out that the $27,000 would have to be paid out of reserves from the general fund if the Board approved that request.
Ms. Debbie Stivender, Chairman of the School Board, related that she thoroughly reviewed the School Board minutes going back to 2007 when the issue originally came up about putting the school at that site, noting that she was on the BCC at the time, and she recapped that when the prior School Board denied another site because of lack of infrastructure, Mr. Larry Metz, who was School Board Chairman at that time, found this site on a parcel that was donated by a developer in 2007. She stated that the BCC and Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, were approached in January 2008 before the School Board approved the contract and started the planning of the site. She commented that since the School Board is only responsible for transporting students outside the parent responsibility zone consisting of a two-mile radius of any school, the state does not refund the School Board for any transportation provided to students who live inside that zone. She also pointed out that the sitting School Board did not create this issue but worked with the developer and the County staff on traffic concerns, because the growth in South Lake at that time was excessive, and comments were made in 2007 that additional road capacity would be available by the time the school opened in 2011. She explained that they originally used four school buses to pick up those students due to unsafe conditions and lack of sidewalks at the time, but the number of buses and the dollar amount needed has continued to decrease because of the growing number of students who have been driving or have been driven to school. She commented that the sidewalks will help but will not eliminate traffic issues, and the proposed new route will help with the amount of traffic on that road. She opined that the buses reduce the amount of traffic right now by about 75 to 100 cars that would otherwise be traveling on that road. She assured the Board that the School Board will continue to work with County staff on appropriate new locations when the need arises, and she opined that there will be a need to put in elementary and middle schools as the growth in that area continues. She commented that it is in the best interest of their students and families to work together, and she mentioned that the mission of the School Board is to ensure that every student is either career or college ready when they graduate. She asked for the Board’s consideration in this matter, since they are in dire need of funds and have no taxing base.
Mr. Bill Mathias, District 1 School Board Member, asked for cooperation between the two entities, and he pointed out that they have minimized the expense since their original request three years ago to an annual cost this year of $5,218 to ensure the safety of 104 students. He mentioned the increased traffic at that location, which he believed would be dealt with when the County completed the road construction on Hancock Road. He opined that this is an opportunity for the public to see the County and the School Board working together, and he noted that the City of Groveland Commission unanimously agreed to work together with the School Board.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the BCC recognized the need for additional improvements near the high school at the joint meeting in 2011, which the County has in their five-year plan, but he denied that the Board ever verbally agreed to actually reimburse the School Board other than his own offhand remark indicating that the option of sidewalks would be cheaper than providing busing. He also pointed out that the BCC did not approve that school site, although the County has to deal with the traffic situation that the school creates; however, he expressed sympathy for the tough financial situation that the School Board is in.
Commr. Sullivan commented that although he wanted to support the School Board, he did not feel that he could support several years of retroactive reimbursement. He mentioned that the MPO has done a great study on the sidewalk needs, and they were behind on road construction for a variety of different reasons. He expressed a possibility of supporting $5,200 for this year to help with the problem, but he was concerned about setting a precedent that was beyond the purview of the County Commission.
Commr. Parks expressed a desire that the public know that the two entities are working together, including working on putting the necessary infrastructure in at that location; however, he noted that it was apparent to him after looking at the minutes of that meeting that there was no agreement. He stated that he also wanted to move forward to get some of the sidewalk projects done quicker.
Commr. Campione asked what the time frame was for completion of the road improvements and the new sidewalks associated with that at that location.
Mr. Stivender responded that Mr. Minkoff was in the process of acquiring right of way on Hancock Road extension, which should be done this year, and he reported that construction on the relocation of the traffic signal, sidewalks, and a trail should begin January 2015 and be completed by summer of 2016 at a cost of about $9 or $10 million.
Mr. Minkoff noted that right of way costs will be about $5 million.
Commr. Campione commented that adjacent and needed infrastructure has got to be a key part of school siting, and she opined that they should dedicate a portion of the penny sales tax to go towards sidewalk construction in those areas where they are really needed rather than waiting ten years. She also requested an understanding that improvements would be in place on school siting in the future as part of the agreement with other entities including the School Board so that this issue would not come up again. She stated that she did not want to support something that would set a precedent for the Board to pay expenses associated with the duties and responsibilities of the School Board; however, she recognizes that this is a traffic and safety situation, and she would be open to helping with the $5,000 amount discussed that day.
Commr. Cadwell added that he did not think that the County has approved any more development since the school has been built that would have made the problem any worse, and he cautioned the Board about setting a precedent that may be used by the other schools in the county that had the same problem. He stated that he assumes that discussion of the penny sales tax will be brought up at the Board’s upcoming retreat. He also commented that the County was in a budget crisis this next year and was running out of reserves to take money from, and he did not think it would be prudent to use those reserves for that reason when they might have other areas that rise to a level of higher need.
Commr. Conner commented that he did not hear any BCC support for paying that invoice at this time, but he believes they should take a look at dedicating some sales tax money for that infrastructure during their retreat. He stated that although he completely agrees that cooperation between the two entities is important, he believes that the BCC’s position on this issue was inaccurately stated by the School Board, and he wanted to stop that from happening again in the future.
Commr. Campione related that she had expressed her support for a payment for busing as a stopgap between now and the end of the period as a show of good faith and cooperation.
Commr. Sullivan expressed concern about the precedent this will set and wanted to make sure that the School Board understands that this is only a one-time issue.
Commr. Conner opined that this would set a precedent for every year to follow, and this was the School Board’s responsibility rather than the Board’s responsibility. He pointed out that the School Board is not the only entity that has financial trouble, noting that the County has greatly downsized and has not given employee raises for years. He related that Mr. Stivender has already been working on resolving some of the previously-mentioned infrastructure issues, which he thought was a better solution than paying the invoice presented by the School Board. He also opined that the County could not do this for one school without doing it for all of them, especially without doing a study to discover which schools generated the most dangerous traffic.
Commr. Cadwell opined that pushing this project up on the list of priorities might result in the delay or elimination of other important infrastructure projects, and he asked whether the general fund was the only legal place to get the money needed to pay this invoice.
Mr. Heath answered that it would have to be paid through the general fund and added that busing would be needed for two additional years before the road construction is done.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board moved to make a one-time payment of $5,218.56 to get them through this school year until June of 2014 to give sufficient time for the School Board to decide what to do until the infrastructure improvements are in place.
Commr. Conner and Commr. Cadwell voted “no.”
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
fire station and automatic aid update
Fire Chief John Jolliff explained that this presentation will be on Fire Station 90 in Clermont, Fire Station 14 in Altoona, and Fire Station 39 in Mt. Plymouth; and they would also give the Board an update on the City of Groveland Automatic Aid Agreement. He recapped that fire personnel from Fire Station 90 were currently located at the Value Place Hotel in Clermont, and he reported that during initial discussions with Clermont on the ISBA, staff learned that Clermont was looking at property for a future fire station in the general area of the hotel. He related that they started working with the City and looking at some property that they could purchase for a joint fire station; however, he wanted to keep the Sheriff’s sub-station as an alternate site and to continue looking at putting a rear entrance at the sub-station to Greater Hills Road, since it was a safer entrance than off of Highway 50.
Mr. Kristian Swenson, Facilities and Fleet Management Director, recapped that at the BCC Meeting on November 5, the Board directed staff to work with Lake County EMS to add them to the design of the new Fire Station #14 on State Road 19 in Altoona, and he stated that Mr. Jerry Smith, EMS Director, outlined their needs for the fire station, including a separate sleeping area due to call and schedule differences, report writing area, space in the day room for two EMS personnel, and space in the garage for one ambulance. He related that he relayed those needs to the architect, who has come up with a preliminary schematic design which was effectively a floor plan of the station. He reported that the cost estimator and the designer have begun the process of working together to ensure that the size of the building is within budget, which allows the architect to look at wall systems and building types to further hone his design to stay within budget. He indicated that they would continue with the design, but would bring it back before the Board for further discussion if any issues arise with that. He then discussed Fire Station #39 in Mt. Plymouth, which he explained was a metal building with a three-garage base located next to SR 46 and off of Walton Heath Road. He related that the living area needs to be remodeled due to age, but the fire staff felt that the floor plan was adequate and laid out fairly well with the minor exception of the Supervisors’ Quarters at the work station. However, he noted that there was no room for expansion to add EMS to that station, and currently there are no funds for either the improvement of the station or the expansion to add EMS. He showed some pictures of the different rooms in the station, including the day room, kitchen, dining area, and the Supervisors’ Quarters. He mentioned that a Sorrento resident offered to donate to the County an 1100-square foot building if the County will move that building from its current property, which is .6 miles away from the fire station, to another location, and he specified that it was a residential structure that could possibly make an appropriate crew quarters for the fire station. He commented that the benefits of accepting and using this building are that it will provide an expansion to the station quickly, result in potential cost savings, and would allow EMS to be added to the station. He provided some pictures of the building showing it is a square house with wrap-around porches as well as an illustration of the floor plan showing a large open room consisting of a dining-living room-kitchen combination, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. He named some issues with the utilization of this building, including the fact that the fire station currently resides on two parcels, one of which is not zoned CFD and would need to be rezoned, and the building is a wood-frame structure which is not constructed to the normal County standards, although it is in excellent condition. He related that the next steps would be to obtain bids for the cost of moving the building, look at the potential savings, and come back to the Board for approval and direction on whether to do that.
Commr. Cadwell asked if they will keep the roof over the wraparound porch intact.
Mr. Swenson answered that although they were initially concerned that the porches made the width of the house quite wide, they now believe after taking some measurements that the road is wide enough to accommodate transport of the building in one piece.
Commr. Parks asked what the time frame was for the firefighters from Station 90 to move out of the Value Place Hotel and into a better location.
Mr. Heath responded that he expects them to be moved to either the Sheriff Substation or the property on Hartle Road by the end of this calendar year.
Mr. Minkoff added that they had been looking at locations that were north of Highway 50 for future fire stations rather than south, but he believes they could bring back to the Board the purchase for property south of 50 fairly quickly.
Chief Jolliff related that they have started initial talks regarding the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreements, including a fire agreement that would take care of all of the enclaves. He specified that the Groveland Interlocal Boundary Service Agreement (ISBA) and Automatic Aid Agreement, which will be effective on March 1, designates that the closest unit responds to incidents within the ISBA area, that Lake EMS dispatches all calls, and that the costs of the calls are $100 for medical and $500 for fire, with a quarterly true-up to address allocation of costs. He indicated that they would continue to pursue similar agreements with other cities who wanted to participate. He explained that the Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVL) which will be used for identifying the closest unit is currently in procurement, and they were evaluating bids at this time. He asked for authorization to move forward with the acquisition of property with the City of Clermont and a modular building on either property as well as authorization to move forward with the concept plan to move the donated building to Fire Station #39 and bring that back to the Board for approval of costs. He also asked for approval of the Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of Groveland.
Commr. Cadwell commented on the importance of the Automatic Aid Agreement, which is the first one in the County, and he believed that other cities would want to be part of this.
Commr. Sullivan opined that inter-coordination of services between municipalities and the County will help them to use their tax dollars effectively.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the staff recommendations regarding the fire stations, including moving forward with the acquisition of property with the City of Clermont and moving forward with the concept plan to move the donated building to Fire Station #39, which will be brought back to the Board for approval of cost, as well as approval of the Automatic Aid Agreement with the City of Groveland.
Commr. Cadwell requested that the Chairman write a letter to the City of Groveland on behalf of the Board relaying how important the Automatic Aid Agreement is.
Mr. Heath suggested that they set up some sort of signing ceremony for the agreement.
reports – county manager
introduction of new public information officer
Mr. Heath introduced Ms. Elisha Pappacoda, the County’s new Public Information Officer, who has previously worked at Fox 35 and the Village Sun.
appreciation to staff for smooth transition of impact fees
Mr. Heath gave kudos to Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, and her staff for a smooth transition during the reinstatement of the road and education impact fees, which went back into effect on January 13.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
comment regarding economic development
Commr. Sullivan commented that economic development is the key to the future success of Lake County as they move forward, and the policies that the Board is fostering are on track for moving forward in that regard to make Lake County a viable place economically to live and work.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
approval of pear park management plan
Commr. Parks mentioned that he attended the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Advisory Committee meeting on January 13, and he reported that the PEAR Park Management Plan has been approved, which means that there will be little to no additional monitoring and reporting required by County staff for that park for the next ten years, since staff did such a good job ensuring that the plan was very good, complete, and was in line with the vision of the citizens. He also mentioned that staff did great work on an extremely professional guide that was done completely in house depicting events throughout the calendar year taking place at the County’s different parks and facilities around the county.
board retreat scheduled for january 21
Commr. Parks stated that he appreciated and was looking forward to attending the Board retreat that was scheduled for January 21.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – DISTRICT 4
award to electron machine
Commr. Campione suggested that Commr. Cadwell discuss at the retreat or at some other time the award from the Governor that Electron Machine, a Lake County company, will receive on January 21 in Tallahassee.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
reappointment of commr. Cadwell to tdc chairmanship
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2014-5 for the reappointment of Commr. Cadwell as Chairman of the TDC.
martin luther king breakfast
Commr. Conner related that he represented the County and presented the resolution at the Martin Luther King breakfast, which Commr. Sullivan and Mr. Heath also attended.
liaison commissioner appointments
Commr. Conner presented the Board with the liaison appointments and noted that he tried to accommodate the Commissioners’ requests.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK