A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 11, 2014
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 11, 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 Rick Fountain from the First Baptist Church in Tavares gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were no changes to the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meetings of February 11, 2014 (Regular Meeting) and February 12, 2014 (Special Meeting) as presented.
presentation of national nutrition month proclamation
Commr. Conner presented Proclamation No. 2014-9, which had been previously approved by the Board, to Ms. Sue Miller, Nutrition Consultant and member of the American Dietetic Association.
Ms. Miller explained that in celebration of March being National Nutrition Month, there was an annual campaign sponsored by the American Dietetic Association to promote healthy food choices and physical activity, and she displayed a banner signifying that event. She noted that individuals could count their steps as they walk, with 2,000 steps equaling one mile.
Robert Weaver, Mechanic I (not present)
Facilities & Fleet Management/Fleet Management Division
Donald Glessner, Facilities Contract Specialist (not present)
Facilities & Fleet Management
Jeffrey Ernest Fabi, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Brian Gamble, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jeffrey Hurst, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Brad Russ, Aquatic Supervisor
Public Works/Aquatic Plant Management Division
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented the award for twenty years of service to Mr. Zbroslaw (Ross) Pluta, Engineer III, Development Review Division, Public Works, commenting briefly about his service to the County.
Ms. Amy King, Growth Management Director, presented the award for twenty years of service to Ms. Sheila Short, Senior Planner, Planning and Community Design Division, Growth Management, commenting briefly about her service to the County.
retirement (presented by Mr. Stivender)
Demetri Mouyos, Environmental Waste Technician (16 Years)
Public Works/Solid Waste Operations Division
Enterprise Zone Development Agency
Kent Adcock, for service from 2012-2013
Library Advisory Board
Betty Ann Christian, for service from 2004-2014
William S. Stokes, for service from 2011-2013 (not present)
Patricia L. Miller, for service from 2012-2013 (not present)
Patricia Gallagher, for service from 2010-2013 (not present)
Children’s Services Council
Kathy A. Haviland, for service from 2012-2014
proclamation for irish american heritage month
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2014-27 declaring March as Irish American Heritage Month.
resolution in appreciation of efforts of chamber alliance
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2014-28 appreciating the efforts of the Chamber Alliance of Lake County for organizing Lake Legislative Days 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida.
florida surveyors and mappers week proclamation
Commr. Campione read the Proclamation declaring March 16 through 22, 2014 as Florida Surveyors and Mappers Week aloud.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the above-mentioned Proclamation No. 2014-29 proclaiming March 16 through 22 as Florida Surveyors and Mappers Week.
citizen question and comment period
Ms. Shanna Steinberg, a resident of Lady Lake, spoke in support of adding a rescue coordinator position to Animal Services, expressing surprise that the position was not approved when the Board originally discussed it at the last BCC Meeting of February 25, since she believed that the position would save the lives of thousands of animals and save the County money as well. She opined out that it had been shown that hiring a rescue coordinator would allow the animals to be moved out of the shelter faster, resulting in less cost for their care and less time for the animals to become sick, and she related that counties who already have this position have a much more successful adoption rate and a lower euthanasia rate. She stated that the staff at Animal Services works tirelessly each day to save those animals but have to see some of the animals they have been caring for be put down, resulting in a sense of hopelessness; however, a rescue coordinator would drastically support and improve the morale of the staff, give those animals a voice, and ensure that those animals have the best chance possible and get the best exposure to find a home.
Ms. Debbie Shank, a resident of Mount Dora who has worked to rescue animals, also spoke in support of the rescue coordinator position and stated that she visits the local shelter several times a week to video the animals in need and share them along with other information about the animals on Facebook to try to get them adopted. She commented that a lot of the animals that are brought in are adoptable, but become sick after being in the shelter, where they are moved to an isolation room, are deemed at least temporarily unadoptable, not seen by the public, and ultimately euthanized as a result. She related that she and other volunteers she works with interact with the animals, play with them, take them out, and make sure that they get along with other animals and children; and since the staff at the shelter does not have the time or manpower to assess the dogs, they do it for them. She specified that her rescue operation has taken in over 400 animals, mostly from Lake County, and although many of them are initially sick, they get better once they are out of the shelter. She also complained about a delay in time from when they take the photographs of the pets until they are posted on the County’s website. She opined that rescues and the public should be contacted immediately upon intake so that they can get the animals out of the shelter sooner, since it costs the County money, manpower, and medication to care for them, and a rescue coordinator could market these dogs to the public and the rescues and get them into safe, loving homes sooner.
Ms. Megan Davis, a resident of Leesburg who has spent numerous hours volunteering for the animal shelter, supported the rescue coordinator position and pointed out that despite the efforts of volunteers, the work for staff is physically and emotionally exhausting, and the animals are also suffering as a result.
Ms. Melissa Haselhurst, who volunteers extensively at the shelter, stated that the rescue coordinator position is definitely a needed position in order for the animals to get enough exposure to be adopted and for the public to know that they could get their animals spayed and neutered for free. She added that having someone who could represent and speak for the animals publically would save the money of euthanizing them and would reduce the amount of dogs that would die before being seen by the public.
Ms. Linda Coletta, a resident of Minneola who runs a rescue organization, distributed a handout that compares the 2013 adoption rate to the 2014 numbers projected out for the entire year, which reflected that the adoption rates of Lake County Animal Services have improved dramatically, and she thanked Mr. Sheahan and his staff for their efforts which resulted in that improvement; however, she pointed out that this good news is more than offset by the fact that the number of rescues decreased significantly by almost 50 percent in 2014. She commented that rescues save the County money by paying the cost of preparing animals for adoption; getting animals out of the shelter faster, which saves the $15 a day cost of care; and resulting in less returns and abandonments to the County’s shelter. She opined that it would be more cost effective for the County to utilize its resources to fund a rescue coordinator who could work with the 300 rescues in Florida, and she requested that the Board approve the salaried full-time rescue coordinator position.
Ms. Marci Knauss, a resident of Mount Dora, commented that there is a lot of community support from people giving a lot of their time and love to the animals in the shelter, as well as support from businesses who are donating services and equipment for renovations to improve the conditions at the Animal Control facilities, all of which demonstrate the importance of animals in their community. She requested that the Board give the Animal Control staff and the volunteers the help they need to get animals to rescue organizations and to loving homes, and she pointed out that Lake County was one of the only counties in the area without a rescue coordinator position.
Ms. Haley Weber, a resident of Groveland, mentioned that she cares for and assesses the dogs that come in and out of her rescue group, and she specified that she and her 15-year old sister had taken care of 14 horses, 100 goats, 40 cattle, 20 dogs, 10 puppies, and 2 injured and sick animals that morning. She commented that the employees of Animal Services are overworked and that it was disheartening to see the low morale and declining health of her friends who work there. She emphasized that the volunteers do not have the time and resources that the County could provide to a rescue coordinator employee to get the animals featured on social media sites in order to be adopted; however, the volunteers have been doing an effective job posting the pictures of the animals on rescue websites.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, 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 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.
Inspector General Audit Reports
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following Inspector General Audit reports:
BCC-115 Fixed Asset Verification
BCC-116 Audit of Hauler Billings
Town of Lady Lake Ordinances and Resolutions
Request to acknowledge receipt from the Town of Lady Lake copies of the following documents:
Ordinance No. 2013-09
Ordinance No. 2013-15
Resolution No. 2013-109
Resolution No. 2013-110
Resolution No. 2013-111
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 7 through 22 as follows:
Request for approval to designate LifeStream Behavioral Center as the approved drug abuse treatment/education program recipient for FY 2013/2014 using funds collected totaling $30,000.00 per Ordinance Number 2001-90 from 10/01/13 through 9/30/14 and authorize the Board Chairman to sign the subsequent contract and other related documents. The fiscal impact is $30,000 (expense).
Request for approval of the Florida Department of Transportation Section 5311 Joint Participation Agreement Amendment and the supporting Resolution No. 2014-30 as it relates to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirement. There is no fiscal impact.
Community Safety and Compliance
Request for acceptance of the satisfaction and release of the $825.00 Code Enforcement Lien. The fiscal impact is $825.00 (Revenue) received in Fiscal Year 2008-2009.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval to solicit and accept sponsorships for the Lake County 3rd Annual Wings and Wildflower Festival to be held October 3-5, 2014 at the Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, FL. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of contract renewal with the Central Florida Sports Commission (CFSC). The baseline fiscal impact is $104,902.00 (Expense) per contract year, which is consistent with the previous contract.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval to award contract 14-0205 for various site renovations to improve vehicular access at Fire Station 11 (Shockley Heights) to Ryan Fitzgerald Construction (Mount Dora, FL). The fiscal impact is $77,073.60 (Expenditure).
Request for approval for Procurement Services to access a competitively awarded City of Orlando contract for Healthcare and Benefits Consultant Services valid through May 10, 2015, with the option to renew for two (2) additional 12-month terms. The fiscal impact is $45,000 Budgeted for Fiscal Year 2014.
Request for approval for Procurement Services to access a competitively awarded Orange County Public Schools contract for Third Party Administrator (TPA) Services for the County’s Flexible Spending Plan Program, valid through August 31, 2016. The fiscal impact is $10,738.50 for Fiscal Year 2014.
Request for approval of a staff-recommended list of vendors to be used for competitive bidding of on-call general maintenance services at County parks and related facilities and authorization for the procurement office to complete all implementing documentation. The annual fiscal impact is estimated at $200,000.
Request for approval for continuation of the current standardization of SetCom Intra-Vehicle Communication systems, and authorize the procurement office to issue purchase orders to manufacturer for related goods and services as may be required by either BCC or other Lake County fire rescue agencies. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $45,000 as described in the background section of this agenda item.
Request for authorization to award Kurt Street at Ardice Avenue/Mt. Homer Road Intersection Improvements, Project No. 2014-03, Bid No. 14-0010, to Estep Construction, Inc. in the amount of $173,377.50, and to encumber and expend funds from the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects fund. The fiscal impact is $173,377.50. Commission District 4.
Request for approval of termination of the agreement between Lake County and the Landings at Lake Harris, LLC for construction of Spine Road. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Fetch-N-Play Acres and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Fetch-N-Play Acres plat. Fetch-N-Play Acres consists of 2 lots and is located east of Leesburg, off Tuscawilla Drive, south of US Hwy 441 in Section 31, Township 19 South, Range 25 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Harbor Hills Phase 6A Partial Replat and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Harbor Hills Phase 6A Partial Replat plat. Harbor Hills Phase 6A Partial Replat consists of 2 lots and is located east of Lady Lake off of Lake Griffin Road in Section 13, Township 18 South, Range 24 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5.
Request for authorization for the Chairman to execute change order #2 to the Alfred Street One Way Pair Project No. 2013-07, Bid No. 13-0038, to DeWitt Excavating, Inc. Change order #2 is to relocate sanitary sewer laterals and water services that conflict with storm pipe installation. The total estimated cost for this work is $50,000.00 that is to be funded by the Road Impact Fee Benefit District 2 Fund and reimbursed by the City of Tavares.
Request for authorization for the Chairman to execute change order #3 to the Alfred Street One Way Pair Project No. 2013-07, Bid No. 13-0038, to DeWitt Excavating, Inc. Change order #3 is related to traffic detection for the signals at the following intersections: Alfred Street/Sinclair Avenue, Alfred Street/St. Clair Abrams Avenue, Caroline Street/Sinclair Avenue, and Caroline Street/St. Clair Abrams Avenue. The total estimated cost for this work is $37,995.76 that is to be funded by the Road Impact Fee Benefit District 2 Fund.
Request for authorization for the Chairman to approve contract change order #1 to the Construction Engineering Inspection, Materials Testing, and Post-Design Engineering Services for the Alfred Street One-Way Pair Project, RSQ 14-0006, to Tierra, Inc. Change order #1 is for additional subsurface utility engineering services needed to avoid project delays. Work is to be funded by the Road Impact Fee Benefit District 2 Fund. The fiscal impact is $28,550.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 3.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tab 23, as follows:
Request for approval to cancel the Mortgage executed by Daniel Gerkey on September 7, 2007 and recorded at O.R. Book 3507, Pages 985 through 992, upon receipt of the $6,000.00 payment. Fiscal Impact: The original loan amount was $30,000; recovery will be $6,000.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
community safety and compliance
public safety coordinating council strategic plan
Ms. Stephanie Glass, Teen Court Supervisor, related that she would be going over the Strategic Plan from the Public Safety Coordinating Council and would provide an overview of the council and the updated proposed strategic plan. She explained that the Public Safety Coordinating Council (PSCC) meets quarterly and was established in 2005 for the purpose of monitoring the County jail population and developing strategies to avoid jail overcrowding. She added that it is comprised of 21 criminal justice stakeholders, including the Sheriff, a County Commissioner, county and circuit judges, the Public Defender, the State Attorney, community providers, and correctional directors. She commented that the collaborative nature of the PSCC has increased communication between criminal justice partners and has allowed the Council to be action oriented when seeking resolution of identified justice system gaps. She named some of their existing goals and achievements, including developing a cross-system plan to alleviate jail overcrowding as recommended by a Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance assessment, securing over $2.2 million in state and federal grant funding for Council initiatives to reduce the jail population, developing intermediate sanction and pre-trial release options by increasing utilization of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI), initiating the early intervention program which facilitates swift adjudication of criminal offenses by nonviolent misdemeanor offenders and expedites sentencing of in-custody felony offenders, and improving and expediting the process for obtaining appropriate mental health crisis services for justice-involved adults with the creation of the Forensic Community Services Team who have served 137 individuals since 2011. She mentioned that Sheriff Gary Borders has noted that the collaborative efforts of the Council since 2007 have helped reduce the jail population.
Ms. Glass presented the updated goals of the Strategic Plan of the PSCC for 2013-18, one of which was to strengthen existing and new partnerships and to maintain a data keeping system that enhances both administrative efficiency and system-wide policymaking, which will help with collaborative grant applications, clarify program outcome measures, and improve processes. She noted that another goal was to keep people who come into contact with law enforcement because of mental illness from becoming unnecessarily enmeshed in the criminal justice system by increasing the Crisis Intervention training, increasing information sharing of offender history and treatment status, and creating a mobile response team. She added that they were working to enable the assessment of more defendants so that they can be released at the earliest possible time with the support and supervision they may need to remain safety in the community and return to court as directed, and she reported that another goal was to increase resources required to facilitate successful reentry and transition into the community from incarceration through increased education, therapeutic, and vocational programs and identifying and linking the offender to resources prior to their returning to the community. She related that another goal of the Council was to understand and improve the current system of probation supervision, violation and revocation by utilizing graduated sanctions to decrease all of the technical violations. She requested that the Board approve the PSCC’s updated five-year strategic plan.
Commr. Cadwell asked Ms. Glass for an example of the graduated sanctions.
Ms. Glass responded that an individual who was on probation and failed the drug test would be referred and enter more intensive drug treatment rather than be sent back to jail.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he was glad they were looking at some innovative ways to make the system better, since it is hard for offenders to make it through all of the requirements of the current probation system and to avoid going back to jail.
Commr. Sullivan commented that the Council has worked hard on trying to find some innovative ways to change the court system and make the system better for everyone concerned.
Ms. Glass added that after attending the Florida Justice Summit, she realizes that Lake County is ahead of the game in working together and establishing programs.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Public Safety Coordinating Council's updated five-year strategic plan.
animal services update
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Community Safety and Compliance Director, related that they would provide the Board with an update on the daily activities that Animal Services has been doing and some new programs that they have instituted, as well as some pressing needs of the shelter to continue some of the good work that has been going on.
Ms. Cyndi Nason, Animal Services Division Manager, recapped that the Board was briefed on the progress in addressing the Audit findings during the presentation in September 2013 and that she proposed at that time implementing the PetData program for licensing and changing the software at the shelter from Visibility to ShelterPro. She reported that the first pet license renewals for the PetData program that they implemented were sent out in January, and they have done over 3,000 renewals so far and have taken in about $25,000 in revenue, which was about equal to last year, although they anticipate that they will see an increase in their revenue by about mid-April to May. She commented that the ShelterPro software has been a big improvement, although they were still in the learning process, and would help them in a lot of ways by tracking their animals as well as individuals they deal with and many of their different processes. She reported that they also had success with the spay and neuter rebate program that they instituted that started in August of last year, which was funded largely from donations out of the spay-neuter trust fund, and she specified that over 280 spay and neuter rebates were given so far this fiscal year with about 60 on average a month at a cost of about $3,600 each month, and the hope was to encourage more people to get their animals spayed and neutered. She noted that the new kennel building is up and running, which gives them 48 additional kennels used for quarantine and isolation.
Ms. Nason commented that she hopes to increase public outreach this year, and they have scheduled six rabies clinics, with the first event scheduled for March 22; have attended several adoption events, including Wings & Wildflowers in Leesburg; and have prescheduled six livestock auctions throughout the year. She illustrated the banner that Commr. Campione donated to draw attention to the shelter, and she pointed out that the shelter is experiencing more visitors every month and has received 1400 more calls than the same period last year. She mentioned that they have a lot of wonderful volunteers that come in to help them every day to do a wide range of things from cleaning to walking and socializing the animals, and the shelter has seen an increase in volunteerism. She opined that although the foster program which was established for the intensive care of puppies as well as injured or special needs animals is in its infancy, they already have seen successes in that program. She related that they have continued to receive a lot of donations of food, litter, Karunda Beds for dog kennels, other pet supplies, and funding; and they expect a donation of a commercial washer and dryer, an air conditioning system for the kennel, and painting and repair work to make the shelter look brighter and more welcoming. She reported that they have new medical protocols in place and that there were three veterinarians working part-time for the shelter two to three days per week performing 30 to 40 spays, neuters, and other surgeries a week. She displayed a graph comparing placement of animals from 2009 to 2014, broken down by the number of animals adopted, rescued, or returned to their owners, and she commented that cats are a very big challenge in a shelter environment because of an aversion to change which causes stress and an adverse effect on their health. She also mentioned that the large population of feral cats in the community adds to the challenge and that there are not as many rescues for cats. She pointed out that the amount of dog euthanasia continues to go down, and their goal is to keep euthanasia as low as possible and to give the animals a chance to be adopted or for a rescue group to take them. She related that they did a county by county comparison of the number of rescues from Seminole, Marion, Sumter, and Lake Counties which showed that they were fairly competitive with what the other shelters were doing, and she noted that Marion County does not do much rescue and that Sumter County indicated that they do not have a rescue coordinator position.
Mr. Sheahan commented that the Animal Control staff at the shelter was doing a lot with little by being creative and utilizing resources as best as they could, and the public has been phenomenal in helping them with their needs, including with big-ticket items; also, he noted that the rescues are an integral part to the success of the shelter. He related that the challenges include reducing the intake through spaying and neutering and increasing the number of adoptions and rescues. He also pointed out that the kennel is an old facility which gets extremely hot and uncomfortable in the summer for staff, the animals, and visitors, but they are currently evaluating the improvement needs and structural questions and working on getting some possible air and lighting improvements in that building. He stated that they have identified staffing needs for a field supervisor, since there is currently not enough management on site for the supervisory needs of the shelter, and an adoption and rescue coordinator. He explained that Animal Services has only two supervisors to handle a lot of different components and functions, including the animal control officer duties of answering calls out in the field, investigations, coordination with the Sheriff’s Office, agricultural-related complaints regarding horses and cows, and exotic issues; customer service operation duties; hospital operation of the veterinarians and those that assist them to enable them to do the previously-mentioned surgeries; and duties related to the dispatch component. He opined that the Board has already heard how integral the rescue coordinator position is to the needs of the shelter, and they could absolutely use someone in that full-time position, noting that the decrease in the rescue numbers could be attributed to the lack of staff. He recapped that the Board had directed staff to maintain a status quo budget under the budget guidance for FY 2015, and funding for the facility and staffing needs are not available under that budget direction and would be tied to the upcoming budget negotiations. He noted that if the needs are addressed in the FY 2014 budget, funding would come out of reserves at midyear. He concluded that the next steps will include continuing with their rabies and adoption events and to work with the rescues to increase adoptions, although that task is currently split between several staff members and is not efficient. He continued to explain that they will work with outside groups on donations, noting that Regions Bank and the Hurricane Bar and Restaurant has offered to do fundraisers for the shelter and that Target has recently donated a truckload of pet supplies, and they will continue to strengthen their protocols to reduce disease, which has been an ongoing challenge.
Ms. Carolyn Maimone, a resident of Tavares, expressed her concerns that there was no cat quarantine area at the shelter and that the shelter’s customer service staff does not make the experience enjoyable, fun, and exciting enough for people who come to adopt an animal. She suggested that the process needs to be easier for people to volunteer rather than having to go through the Human Resources Department to fill out an application, and she opined that they need at least 100 volunteers rather than the two dozen volunteers that the shelter has for a facility of that size. She commented that she was discouraged that she was not allowed to borrow a cat trap in order to trap, neuter, and release some feral cats around her neighborhood, which would help to keep that population down.
Commr. Campione related that she had received an email suggesting that they implement a clinic for spaying and neutering for certain situations such as for pit bulls, since they are more difficult to adopt out, which gave an example of how it has been done in other places, and she asked if staff could address the possibility of doing that and whether they would have the support of the veterinary community for that.
Ms. Nason responded that she has not reached out to the veterinarians yet at this point, but she noted that pit bulls are more difficult to adopt because of the stereotype of that breed, although most of them make loyal, wonderful pets, and that being in a kennel is very hard for those types of dogs. She related that they have just spoken with South Lake Animal League about the possibility of a spay and neuter program in addition to the rebates they already do, which has shown to have been effective in other areas.
Commr. Campione suggested that the County explore that further, and she noted that the two prime issues they have identified is to increase spaying and neutering, especially for particular types of dogs that are disproportionately adding to those numbers, and making a connection between the County’s program and the rescues or people who would adopt. She also suggested that they look at the catch and release program as an opportunity to address the feral cat situation. She asked if there was any progress regarding outreach for pet data and getting the number of licenses issued up.
Mr. Sheahan responded that his staff was already in the process of working with the Information Outreach staff on creating a poster and some pamphlets for the veterinarians, and he has met several of them and let them know that those changes were coming. He added that some of the Lake County veterinarians are trying to form an association which will be a great venue to get those kinds of questions answered. He related that they have been in contact with PetData, which has indicated that they would be amenable to adding some language to the notices to clarify that the fees collected are going toward the care of the animals, and he pointed out that the tags are also bringing in additional donations from people willing to give an extra $5 or $10 to support the shelter.
Commr. Parks asked if there were any further capital needs other than what was already mentioned.
Mr. Sheahan answered that the new building is Phase I of three phases and that the other two phases were unfunded; however, he noted that the space needs were currently being met, and the other phases were for environmental needs, including control of diseases such as kennel cough and feline respiratory virus, which is extremely contagious. He summarized that the largest immediate needs currently are the previously-mentioned positions and facility issues.
Commr. Sullivan commented that Animal Services has come a long way in cutting down euthanasia and increasing adoptions, and he asked if the two requested positions would further the goals for Animal Services and be used for essentially services. He pointed out that there were many needs throughout the county such as ambulance service, and he wanted to make sure that those were dollars well spent during this tough economic time.
Mr. Sheahan assured him that he would not be asking the Board to fill those positions if he did not feel that they were absolutely necessary, although he understands that the Board has to balance those needs with the rest of the needs of the county, and he believes that they would help increase adoptions and decrease euthanasia, as well as save money used for the care of those animals.
Commr. Cadwell stated that although he does not doubt the need for either position and hopes they consider those during next year’s budget discussions, he believes that the Board needs to make that decision after looking at all of their other needs rather than in a vacuum.
Commr. Parks opined that although Animal Services has come a long way this year, he believes that staff morale is tough in the shelter and that other things are needed to create a top notch system that is the best in the state, which was what they should strive for. He related that he supports the two requested positions starting in October and strongly supports an aggressive spay and neuter program, which he wants the County to make their top priority. He proposed that they direct staff to work immediately on an expanded spay and neuter program and suggested that staff work with the South Lake Animal League’s Neuter Commuter program. He elaborated that he also wanted to see specifics about the system the rescue coordinator would use to qualify rescues before that position is in place, and he indicated that he wanted to hear more information about having the Sheriff’s Department help the County with animal control as well as more about facility improvement needs that were previously mentioned. He concluded that he wanted to know the total cost of everything that was proposed.
Commr. Conner stated that the prudent approach will be to consider these positions subject to funding next fiscal year countywide, and he commented that he hoped they will have some money next year to meet the needs in the community that he does not feel that they are currently meeting, such as ambulances and adequate pay for law enforcement officers. He indicated that although he would like to have the positions requested, he did not want to take reserves out in the middle of the fiscal year to do that; however, he suggested that the Board include those in their budget for next year, subject to funding. He opined that the County has some good leadership in Animal Services now, but it will take some time to do everything they wanted to do, and he asked if the Board was in consensus with waiting until next fiscal year.
Commr. Campione indicated that she was not in agreement with that, since she believed they should approve the rescue coordinator position right away rather than waiting until then.
Commr. Cadwell indicated that he is in agreement with waiting until next year.
Commr. Sullivan commented that he believes they should at least approve the rescue coordinator position, which will result in an immediate impact, although he agrees that they need to take that up during the budgetary process.
Commr. Parks announced that he wanted to make a full disclosure that he would be requesting a high amount of money next year for the spay and neuter program, which might not be acceptable to the other Commissioners.
Commr. Campione expressed a concern that an all-or-nothing approach will be insurmountable due to lack of funds, and she requested that the Board does something as a mid-year adjustment that will have a huge impact right away and save money immediately. She pointed out that people have given them money to help with capital improvements in good faith that the County would contribute something to that effort as well, and she believes that putting the rescue coordinator in place would be that good faith effort on their part in order to make a difference today.
Commr. Conner commented that after discussing this issue several times, he believes that a majority of the County Commission wants to put this in the budget for next year, and he believes that the best approach is to look at this along with the County’s other needs in order to be able to prioritize their needs.
Commr. Cadwell opined that they would have to take the status quo directive out of their budget philosophy in order to look at these and other positions that will be discussed.
Commr. Conner expressed concern about other Commissioners bringing requests to fill other positions to the Board in the future.
Mr. Heath related that he would be bringing two things he was very concerned about to the Board at the next meeting on March 25 regarding facilities and Information Technology which he believes are approaching emergency levels right now, as well as an issue regarding probation. He indicated that approved and supplemental budget requests for Animal Services next year would result in an additional $150,000, which would include a spay and neuter start-up, the requested positions, and some money for shelter facilities to accommodate the donations. He added that he expected to bring back the budget outlook at the end of May or early June.
Commr. Conner clarified that they could maintain the budget guidelines by taking no action today but yet still add those positions during the budget process after looking at the budget in totality, as well as consider the expansion of the spay and neuter programs.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:45 a.m. that there would be a fifteen-minute recess.
draft letter to school board regarding sales tax renewal
Commr. Campione opined that the draft letter to the School Board regarding the infrastructure sales tax has a good tone and covered all of the things the Board discussed at the last BCC meeting.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to send and transmit the above-mentioned letter to the School Board.
commissioner discussion/action items
discussion of lynx route 55
Commr. Conner clarified that the real issue regarding Route 55 is that Lynx added three miles to a realignment of the route, resulting in a current route of 18 miles. He related that Lynx has repeatedly indicated that there was no way to increase the times of that route without adding a new bus, and extending the hours of service would require the drivers to be paid overtime rates of $30 per hour due to the union contract. He summarized that expanding the hours is not financially viable for Lake County, but he pointed out that the memo indicated that Lake County could request a proposal for a shuttle service; however, the riders would have to make the connection, which could be problematic for them. He suggested that another option would be to see if Polk County would be interested in expanding their fixed route service into Lake County, which he believed would be the most cost effective solution. He asked Commr. Cadwell if he would be able to discuss this with some Polk County officials.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he would be glad to look into that after meeting with staff to clarify what they would be asking for. He opined that partnering with Polk would make sense, because the ridership numbers indicate that it would affect Polk County as much as Lake County, and he clarified that he would look into a similar service that the riders currently have.
Commr. Parks opined that a partnership with Polk County could be ideal. He added that the shuttle service may not be desirable because the riders would have to make transfers.
discussion of truck traffic on cr 44a
Commr. Conner recapped that the issue regarding problematic truck traffic on CR 44A has been discussed at previous BCC meetings, and he noted that that Commr. Campione is asking the Board to designate a portion of CR 44A as a no-truck route.
Commr. Campione clarified that the location of the no-truck route would be from the eastern terminus where SR 44 and CR 44A converge to the Eustis Bypass, and she noted that trucks could continue on SR 44 north of the Eustis Bypass and then come out on 44A, where a left-hand turn would take them to Hwy 19.
Commr. Cadwell asked if she was also asking for a reduction of the speed limit for that designated route.
Commr. Campione responded that she believes only the section that is on the eastern end is problematic; however, she would be willing to drop the speed limit issue if there was support for the no-truck route, although she believes a lower speed limit would help with enforcement.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that they do it in stages by trying the no-truck route designation first and asked if they could start by just doing that in the evenings and let the truck traffic continue during the day.
Commr. Campione replied that designating only evening hours would be too complicated, and she explained that they were only addressing the through-trucks, since she realizes that local trucks from businesses along that road would have to use that road. She explained that she was trying to address the issue of this road being used as a highway.
Commr. Cadwell commented that historically CR 44A was never intended to be the truck route.
Mr. Stivender pointed out that a truck going north on CR 437 has nowhere to go, so that they have to address that issue; however, the CR 439 issue is not a problem as long as the traffic was going north or south. He remarked that they need to think about how to post this, and he opined that the no-through trucks would more easily solve the issue about local deliveries and the people who live along the corridor who have businesses associated with trucking, such as nurseries.
Commr. Campione suggested that the Board adopt a resolution which would designate the previously-mentioned corridor as a no-through truck zone and authorize the Chairman to sign the resolution.
Mr. John Trybulec, a resident who lives on CR 44A in Eustis, emphasized that he hears large 18-wheeler trucks speeding by his home every day at all hours of the day and night, and he noted that the road has no shoulders and is being destroyed by the extremely heavy trucks when their wheels go off the edges of the road, pointing out that the road has deep crevices on each side of the lane which continually are getting worse. He opined that the truckers are following the fastest route according to their electronic navigational devices to save gas. He related that he has 80 signed petitions from residents who are also unhappy with the situation and presented those to the Board. He commented that although he is a proponent of commerce, he feels that the rights of others are being infringed upon due to the noise caused by the excessive speed and destruction of the road to the point where the road is unsafe. He pointed out that SR 44 has shoulders and was designed for constant commerce, and he stated that SR 44A needs a sign with proper wording regarding speed and size of trucks and possibly an alternative route, and he offered his services as a writer pro bono to write the proper text for the signs needed.
Commr. Parks commented that he appreciated what Commr. Campione is doing and feels that this will be a step in the right direction.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved adoption of Resolution No. 2014-31 to designate the 44A corridor from its eastern terminus on SR 44 to the Eustis Bypass and CR 437 north of 44 as a no-through truck route for Class 8 sized semi-trucks or larger, noting that the noise from those trucks has created a nuisance for residents, and authorize Public Works to post the appropriate signage and notify the Sheriff of the regulation, as well as authorized the Chairman to sign.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
library week functions
Commr. Sullivan announced that there were many functions going on throughout the county that week in celebration of Library Week, including mystery writers coming in from all over the country to appear at the county’s local libraries. He elaborated that there were many great programs planned, writing programs will be offered, and he would be at several of the events.
reports – commissioner parks –district 2
parks advisory committee meeting
Commr. Parks reported that he had attended the Parks Advisory Committee meeting as liaison to that committee, which went very well, and he commended staff for accomplishing so much with so little resources. He also noted that management plans for the PEAR Park site and another site have received approval from the DEP.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – DISTRICT 4
positive emails from residents regarding east lake park
Commr. Campione commented that she has received positive emails from residents who use East Lake Park and who are happy with that facility. She related that many of them have indicated that they would like to see more of the phases occur, and she has tried to explain the process by which that happens to those citizens.
opening of east lake historical society museum
Commr. Campione reported that she attended the opening of the East Lake Historical Society Museum on the evening of March 10 in the Treadwell Building on SR 46 in Sorrento. She commented that the East Lake Historical Society, which was started about 5 ½ years ago, was thrilled to have a location to put their artifacts and memorabilia, and she announced that they will present a murder mystery-themed event at the East Lake Library that evening.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
opening of babe ruth league
Commr. Cadwell related that he attended the opening of the Babe Ruth League at North Lake Park on Saturday morning, March 8, which had a good turnout and beautiful weather, and he threw out the first pitch at that event.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
Boy scout dinner
Commr. Conner stated that he and most of the Commissioners attended the Boy Scout dinner, noting that Commr. Parks did a good job as MC as well as organizing that event.
benefit barbeque for family of sergeant meeks
Commr. Conner mentioned that he attended a barbeque last Friday, March 7, to benefit the family of Sergeant John Meeks.
tour of senninger company
Commr. Conner commented that he was impressed during a tour of Senninger about how the president of the company interacted with his employees, all of whom he knew by name, and the high productivity level of that plant; and he thanked the Economic Development and Tourism staff for setting that up.
seminole county referendums to be put on the ballot
Commr. Conner noted that since he serves on the EDC Board of Directors, he made an appointment to see Dr. Walt Griffin, the Seminole County Superintendent, last week, where he learned that the Seminole County School Board put a one mil increase on the ballot for four years to raise money for some immediate needs. He also learned that the Seminole County Commission will put a sales tax referendum on the ballot for a 50 percent share for the County, 25 percent for the cities, and 25 percent to the School District. He added that he had read in the newspaper that Seminole County was using Mr. Bruce Barcelo as a consultant for that referendum.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK