A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
december 2, 2014
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, December 2, 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, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Brooks Braswell, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Umatilla, gave the Invocation, and Commr. Campione led the Pledge of Allegiance.
state of the county and inductions into women’s hall of fame
Women’s Hall of Fame
Commr. Conner introduced his fellow commissioners and recognized the constitutional officers and other governmental officials that were present. He related that the next order of business was to have the annual inductions into the Women’s Hall of Fame, noting that he would have Commr. Cadwell officiate those presentations.
Commr. Cadwell recapped that the Board created the Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame in 1995 to honor those who had made monumental achievements in Lake County within the fields of art, agriculture, business, community service, the environment, government, health care, humanities, philanthropy, science, and education. He elaborated that outstanding leaders have been nominated by friends, relatives, and the community as they grace the walls in Chambers, and they would welcome two more inspiring women that day, Ms. Delores Gano Walker and the late Ms. Jacqueline Hester, into this prestigious group of citizens who have made a positive impact on Lake County, noting that both of them have many accomplishments in common, including a desire to preserve Lake County’s rich history as well as their service to the community that they have called home for nearly nine decades.
Commr. Parks announced that he had the privilege and honor of introducing Ms. Delores Gano Walker, and he commented that he greatly appreciated this moment to honor one of Lake County’s most notable historians. He related that Ms. Walker was born in rural South Lake County in 1926 and that her roots could be traced back to some of the earliest settlers in the region. He elaborated that her paternal grandfather, Archibald Gano, was part of the group that incorporated Clermont in 1891, and her maternal grandfather, George Myers, was Groveland’s first police chief and Mascotte’s first mayor. He stated that Ms. Walker attended public school in Howey in the Hills, Tavares, and Groveland and only left the area to live for a short time in Jacksonville to work for the companies supporting the allies during World War II. He noted that Ms. Walker was a founding member of the South Lake Historical Society in 1979, gave walking tours around Clermont during the city’s 125th anniversary, is Clermont’s historian emeritus, is the head of Clermont’s historic village, and was instrumental in the founding of the Groveland Historical Museum. He added that she is considered royalty in South Lake County, is still known for her stellar square dancing skills at 88 years old, volunteers for the First United Methodist Church in Clermont, and is a sought-after speaker for all historical events in South Lake County; also, for her contributions to their community, Ms. Walker has been honored with the South Lake Chamber Gem of the Hills recognition, the Mayor’s Community Service Award, and Lake County Historian of the Year. He welcomed Ms. Walker to the Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Ms. Walker mentioned that six generations of her family are associated with this part of Florida, and her paternal grandfather, Archibald Gano, came to this area in 1878, married a local girl, and had 10 sons and no daughters. She commented that it was a great pleasure for her to be there that day, and she thanked everyone for this honor.
Commr. Sullivan stated that he was honored that day to induct into the Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame the late Ms. Jacqueline Hester, who was a woman known for her dedication to history, heritage, and education and a fifth generation Leesburg resident who was born in 1924 to a pioneer family. He elaborated that she was a descendent of Mr. Thomas Robertson, Leesburg’s first homesteader, and as a member of the Florida genealogical society, she was able to show that Mr. Robertson was in fact living in Florida prior to 1845 when Florida became a state. He noted that it was Ms. Hester’s research that proved that while Mr. Evander Lee may have established the first community known as Leesburg, he was not the area’s first settler. He related that Ms. Hester graduated from Leesburg High School in 1941 and enrolled in the National Youth Administration, where she received a certificate in sheet metal work and radio code theory, becoming the first female radio telegraph operator in commercial aviation in 1942; she went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State and a Master of Arts from the University of South Florida. He related that Ms. Hester returned to Lake County after pursuing her education and became a teacher at Leesburg High School before working with her family at their lumber company; afterwards, Ms. Hester then served as the Clerk of the County Judge’s Court, which was the first constitutional office in Lake County to become racially integrated. He added that she later worked as Clerk of the Circuit Court and administrative assistant to the Board of County Commissioners, but Ms. Hester’s love for education was so strong that she returned to spend the last ten years of her career as an occupational instructor at the Vo Tech Center in Eustis. He mentioned that during her many years of service, Ms. Hester held offices including President of the Leesburg Business and Women’s Club, Director and Treasurer of the Leesburg Chamber of Commerce, and Charter President of the Florida County Judge’s and Clerk’s Association. He noted that Ms. Hester passed away in her Altoona retirement home in June at the age of 90. He announced that it was his honor to induct Ms. Hester into the Women’s Hall of Fame, and he asked Judge Bill Milton to accept the award on her behalf.
Judge Milton related that 54 years ago he was fortunate to be introduced to Ms. Hester at a time when he was seeking the services of someone to become the Clerk of the County Judge’s Court, which was an important job, to succeed a woman who was leaving that position after having held it for 30 years in order to become the first woman judge in the county. He commented that they were proud to be the first constitutional office in the history of Lake County that brought about racial integration of their staff, which he noted was not a popular thing to do at that time, and they had done many things during that time that were unpopular. He opined that she was one of the most remarkable people that he has ever met, and he was one of the people who had nominated Ms. Hester for the Women’s Hall of Fame award. He invited the members of the Hester family to come up to the podium to have their picture taken as well.
Commr. Sullivan mentioned that he was a student at Leesburg High School at a time when Ms. Hester was a teacher.
Commr. Cadwell congratulated both of the inductees and stated that the Board appreciated everything they have done for Lake County. He commented that their contributions would be memorialized forever in that room and then unveiled the portraits on the Women’s Hall of Fame wall.
State of the County
Commr. Conner explained that the State of the County highlights all of the things that they have done over the past year in the form of a video.
The video, which was narrated by Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic and Tourism Director, commented that the Board of County Commissioners has been moving forward with a clear vision, has set forth an ambitious plan for Lake County’s future by forming valued public and private partnerships, and has been strengthening their economic base while maintaining the County’s unique quality of life. He related that the County Commission improved the level of service it provided to its citizens through agreements with municipalities and entrepreneurs as well as with the help of staff and dedicated volunteers, and it strives to remain an increasingly desirable location for families, business owners, visitors, residents, athletes, and retirees. He stated that public safety has always been a top priority in Lake County, and the County has made tremendous strides this year in working with municipalities and Lake EMS on interlocal service boundary agreements (ISBA) which allow the closest available unit, whether city or County, to respond to emergency calls and reduce response times; also, a new automatic vehicle location (AVL) system makes this possible by allowing dispatch of the closest fire truck or ambulance to any emergency. He specified that Lake County entered into ISBA agreements in 2014 with Groveland, Mascotte, and Minneola and is working on future agreements with cities which provide municipal fire service, and the County also added three new fire trucks to its fleet in Leesburg, Lady Lake, and Mount Plymouth.
Mr. Chandler noted that Lake County is paving the way for the future by designing and building roads, most notably a new Turnpike Interchange that the Board approved in late 2014 east of Minneola by making North Hancock Road four lanes, which was an $8.6 million project with $1.9 million funded from the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) grant that could be completed as soon as December 2016. He also reported that Lake County in partnership with the Villages funded the construction of a segment of CR 466A using a $4.3 million FDOT grant, and Lake County will move forward with the next phase of construction during the summer of 2015. He reported that additionally the County worked on other major projects in 2014, including the North Hancock Road custom emergency access median to allow fire trucks to safely exit Legends Way in Clermont, four miles of paved shoulders built along CR 450 in Umatilla using $2.1 million in grant funding, and sidewalk enhancements, drainage improvements, and new pavement to the intersection of Kurt Street and Ardice Avenue.
Mr. Chandler commented that Lake County has had a productive year promoting the county to entrepreneurs and tourists by focusing on their business-friendly support system and unique quality of life. He specified that infrastructure was one important factor to attract businesses to their area, including the Wellness Way Sector Plan, originally conceptualized by Commr. Parks, which would consist of a mix of health and wellness industries, manufacturing, technology, and residential units on a large currently undeveloped tract of land south of Clermont intended to be mindful of quality of life while laying the groundwork for a strong economic base for generations to come. He specified that the manufacturing workforce in Lake County is strong, with 300 manufacturing businesses employing seven percent of the county’s workforce totaling more than 7,500 employees, which will improve even further with the construction of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Lake Technical College, which hosted its groundbreaking ceremony in October and which is set to be one of the premier workforce training facilities in Central Florida. He added that Lake County has also held several semi-annual Partners for Success events to help foster the relationship between the future workforce and local business leaders, which showcase career and technical education programs offered by Lake County Schools, such as culinary arts, manufacturing, and mobile application development. He pointed out that Lake County’s economic indicators all point to a growing and healthy economy, with the labor force up 3.6 percent, employment up 4.6 percent, and jobs increasing more than 3 percent year over year.
Mr. Chandler mentioned that Lake County has recently launched a new brand called “Real Florida, Real Close” and has experienced record numbers of visitors and overnight stays. He related that Hickory Point Beach, the largest sand volleyball facility in the State of Florida, was made possible through a partnership between the County, the Florida Region of USA Volleyball, and the Lake County Water Authority and was fully funded with tourism development dollars. He added that Lake County also held its inaugural tourism expo in June with more than 50 exhibitors in attendance. He noted that the county was a top-notch location for fishing tournaments, water ski championships, and boating competitions; and it was also known for other sporting events, such as hosting the National Golf Association Lake County Classic, Ms. Dot Richardson’s softball spring games, and the Florida High School Athletic Association’s State Golf Championship in partnership with the Central Florida Sports Commission. He reported that the County launched its highly-anticipated sports website this year, www.sportsinlakefl.com, which showcases the county’s state-of-the-art sports venues and details why Lake County is a prime destination for sporting events and activities. He remarked that the County is also known for its natural recreational resources, such as its 1,400 lakes, rolling hills, scenic vistas, running trails, and pristine parks; and he specifically mentioned the South Lake Trail improvements, the new Pine Meadows Conservation area, Lake May Reserve, and the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead.
Mr. Chandler commented that Lake County dedicates countless time, effort, and resources to improving its citizens’ quality of life by exploring cost efficiencies and providing top-notch support services and customer service. He explained that residents were issued larger recycling carts under the County’s new residential curbside collection program, which the County hopes will lower costs and encourage citizens to reduce waste volume through the single-stream recycling program. Also, he pointed out that Animal Services made strides in its community outreach and the number of animals adopted, rescued, or reclaimed by owners in 2014, with the live release rate for dogs increasing 150 percent and 200 percent for cats year over year, and the Board turned over operations of the Animal Services Division to the Sheriff’s Office in October, which is expected to result in enhancement of operations and provide additional resources. The County also worked in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office to receive a $1.2 million reinvesting grant to continue its mental health, substance abuse, and jail diversion program. He related that the County’s housing assistance programs helped prepare and rehabilitate 25 families’ homes through a variety of funding sources and provided subsidized rental housing for more than 550 families monthly through the Section 8 program, and the County offered Children’s Services Grants to 12 nonprofit agencies to benefit more than 3,000 at-risk children. The County also worked in partnership with LifeStream Behavioral Center to open Hope Spring Villas, a 35-unit apartment complex created to increase access to affordable housing; worked with Leesburg to open a 12-unit complex in Carver Heights with the goal of transitioning residents from rental units to home ownership; and partnered with New Beginnings to develop a 10-bed facility in South Lake County for homeless individuals through SHIP (State Housing Initiative Partnership) transitional housing. He reported that Lake County Veterans’ Services serves more than 7,500 clients or an average of 680 clients per month in offices in Tavares, Clermont, and Leesburg, with new revenue secured for clients totaling $14.5 million in 2014, an increase of $1.5 million over 2013. He mentioned that over 350 volunteers contributed over 25,000 hours of assistance in the literacy program, Adopt a Lake, Teen Court, Emergency Services, the Parks and Trails Division, and Animal Services.
He commented that Lake County is becoming a key player in the region and has been offered a place on many important regional boards, noting that Commr. Cadwell has been named Chairman of the Central Florida Expressway Authority Board this year and Commr. Conner sits on the board of the Economic Development Commission, with Commissioners also serving on two Wekiva planning boards, the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, and the League of Cities. He added that the County has made a name for itself by hosting professional distinguished events, including the Wings & Wildflowers Festival, which was held this year at Venetian Gardens in partnership with the City of Leesburg and which attracted approximately 4,000 visitors and 1,000 field trip participants, as well as the 3rd Annual Central Florida Landscape and Garden Fair held in May at Discovery Gardens and the library system’s 2014 Bookfest entitled “Delicious Reads,” attended by more than 2,000 reading enthusiasts. He concluded that the Board has its sight set for a vision for the future for a strong economy, combined with a unique quality of life, and to lay the groundwork for future generations to create a bright path for Lake County.
Commr. Conner commented that their staff did a tremendous job on the State of the County video, and he specifically thanked Mr. Chandler; Ms. Kelly Lafollette, Communications Director; and their staffs for all the work they put into that video. He stated that his message that day on behalf of the Board was that they were a pro-business and low-tax county. He mentioned that he was proud when New Life opened, which was a facility that treats brain trauma, noting that the CEO of that facility credits its opening to the help and cooperation of the Economic Development Department. He highlighted the opening of the beach volleyball complex at Hickory Point, pointing out that it was the fastest growing sport in NCAA right now, and he commented that it was the nicest facility in the state. He remarked that Lake County still has the second lowest property tax millage rate in the region, second only to Sumter County, and he pointed out that they were trying to do more with less. He added that the Board was also not afraid to take on tough issues and worked very well together for the most part. He mentioned that Commr. Campione helped them address some semi-truck traffic problems on 44A and the CRA in Mount Plymouth, noting that she worked well with her constituents. He also highlighted the efforts of Commr. Parks in working on the South Lake Water Initiative and the Wellness Way Sector Plan. He added that Commr. Sullivan was working with the League of Cities on the renewal of the infrastructure sales tax. He commented that he was excited about the appointment of Commr. Cadwell as Chairman of the Central Florida Expressway Authority, which he believed was a reflection and enhancement of the good reputation that Lake County has in the business community. He emphasized that the county’s population has increased by 10,000 people over the last six years, and the demand for emergency services, parks, recreation, and libraries has grown as well. He noted that the Board has been very good stewards of tax dollars, since they are providing a higher level of service than they were six years ago, even with the increased population, $38.7 million less in revenue, and the elimination of positions. He commented that their excellent employees have stepped up to make that happen. He thanked all of their constitutional officers and emphasized the great relationship the County has with them, and he congratulated Ms. Hester, Ms. Walker, their representatives, and their families as inductees into the Women’s Hall of Fame. He concluded that Lake County is a great place to live, and he announced that there would be a reception in the rotunda.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:00 a.m. that there would be a 15-minute recess.
There were no updates to the Agenda.
election of chairman and vice chairman
Commr. Cadwell stated that speaking as someone who has served as Chairman numerous times, including one time for four years in a row, he knew the benefits and the downside of a Chairman serving for more than one year, and he suggested that they keep the same leadership team in place as last year as they had done previously with Commr. Campione.
Commr. Sullivan responded that he politely disagrees with that, since he had voted for Commr. Campione to stay on as Chairman during his first year on the Board because he believed continuity was an important part of what they were doing at the time, but he now believes they should rotate the Chairmanship on a yearly basis in order to let everyone have the opportunity to act as Chairman and to make sure all of the areas in the county were represented. He specified that he thought it would be appropriate and in the best interest of everybody for Commr. Parks to step up to be the Chairman, and he mentioned that he would also like to get into the rotation.
Commr. Campione commented that she would decline her second year as Chairman in hindsight if she could go back and do it again, because it would allow them to rotate the position around the county. She added that the schedule was heavy, with the Chairman going to more events and activities, and she believed it is helpful for their constituents to see that they are moving the Chairman’s job from one Commissioner to another and allowing each of them to serve in that leadership role. She concluded that she agreed with Commr. Sullivan, and she suggested that they start a precedent for a single-year rotation with succession going to the Vice Chairman.
Commr. Parks commented that this is a surprise to him, and at some point he would definitely like to step up to become Chairman. He added that he was mindful of the commitment that they have made.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board elected Commr. Conner to remain as Chairman and Commr. Parks to remain as Vice Chairman.
Commr. Campione and Commr. Sullivan voted “no.”
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of October 28, 2014 (Regular Meeting) and October 29, 2014 (Special Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog about local fiscal and governmental issues, discussed some issues he was having with trash pickup by WSA, specifying that his trash was not picked up last Friday, even though a press release from the County indicated that homes with a Thursday pickup day would have their garbage picked up on Friday during Thanksgiving week. He pointed out, however, that the garbage was not picked up until that Saturday morning, and this was the second time that his trash was not picked up on his scheduled day by WSA. He commended Mr. Stivender for dealing with all of the problems that have occurred since the change in the garbage service, and he opined that WSA was the cause of many of the problems. He suggested that the Board change the calendar and the press releases to add a caveat that garbage could be picked up on a day other than the scheduled one, and he recommended that the Board have a representative from WSA come to a Board meeting in order to discuss the problems they have been having with this vendor. He also suggested that the County put a feedback form online specifically on the waste management system that would be sent to a County employee and recommended that they give out the WSA headquarters phone number for public complaints, so that the County does not have to take on the time and expense to deal with those issues, or invoice WSA for the expense the County had to incur for that.
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 4, 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.
Notice of Public Hearing for Annexation from City of Groveland
Request to acknowledge receipt of a Notice of Public Hearing for Annexation from the City of Groveland together with proposed Ordinance No. 2014-12-18. A workshop regarding the Annexation Project will be held November 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Puryear Building at 243 S. Lake Avenue, Groveland.
Property Placed on the Lands Available List
Request to acknowledge receipt of Property placed on the Lands Available List.
Inspector General Report – BCC-126 – IT Records Management
Request to acknowledge receipt of Inspector General Report - BCC-126 - Follow-up Review of Audit of IT Records Management.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 11 as follows:
Request for approval of Lease Agreement between Lake County and Eustis Building Street, LLC. for the Lake County Health Department space located in the Van Dee Medical Building, 2-18 Eustis Street in Eustis. The fiscal impact is $26,570.85 for FY14/15.
Request for approval to execute a Satisfaction of Mortgage for property owned by Anife G. Trapeznikova. The fiscal impact is $2,650.00 (Revenue).
Request for approval and execution of a Release of Lien as to Certain Real Property owned by Thomas M. Johnson. The fiscal impact is $1,950.00 (Revenue).
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for authorization to apply for a grant awarded by VISIT FLORIDA's Medical Meetings & Training Promotion Grant Program to assist with the promotion of Lake County Florida as an ideal host for medical meetings and trainings. Also request authorization to accept the grant if awarded for County Manager to sign and process any subsequent related funding, contracts, or grant documents, and to process any budget adjustments needed to facilitate the grant. This is a 50% matching grant. The fiscal impact will be up to $25,000 (Revenue and Expenditure) for the Grant, and up to $25,000 (Expense) of matching funds from the Tourist Resort Tax Fund.
Request for approval of the Microsoft Enterprise Enrollment packet for the purchase of software licensing and assurance. The fiscal impact is $169,137.13 (Budgeted Expense).
Request for approval to award contract 14-0034 for on-call geotechnical engineering services to Central Testing Laboratory, Inc. (Leesburg) and Andreyev & Associates, Inc. (Clermont). Actual annual fiscal impact will be dependent upon needs. Expenditures during the last year of contract services amounted to $25,490.
Request for authorization to release a performance bond for construction of improvements in the amount of $59,770.82 that was posted for Barrington Estates Phase 2. Barrington Estates Phase 2 consists of 30 lots and is located just west of CR 561, south of Groveland in Section 14, Township 23 South, Range 25 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request for approval to advertise an Ordinance to re-impose the third-cent through six-cent local option fuel tax pursuant to Section 336.025, Florida Statutes. The re-imposition shall be for a period commencing August 31, 2015 and continuing through December 31, 2043. The ordinance also amends Section 13-27 and Section 13-28, Lake County Code, to make them consistent with the re-imposition of the local option taxes. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and authorization for County Manager to sign a Purchase Agreement between Stanley and Antoinette Westfall for the purchase of strips of land to be used for the right of way and a permanent easement for the C466A Roadway Improvement Project in the Fruitland Park area. Also, authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing. The fiscal impact is $53,492.88 (Expenditure). Commission District 5.
interlocal service boundary agreement with city of leesburg
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, ADOPTING AN INTERLOCAL SERVICE BOUNDARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY AND THE CITY OF LEESBURG; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the agreement incorporates the northern side of the city, since the southern side was already included in the South Lake Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA).
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione questioned the fiscal impact indicated in the agenda as being the recording amount, since she expected that there would be more analysis of the overall fiscal impact and the potential for how much money they anticipate will change hands, and she asked whether they simply do not have the data at this point to be able to estimate that.
Mr. Heath responded that they anticipate it being about a $50,000 a year expenditure by looking at the other three agreements they had previously done, and he noted that they would reconcile the actual number of calls at the end of every quarter.
Mr. Minkoff added that the fiscal impact of this agreement is more difficult to predict than previous agreements, because the County has more fire services in this ISBA than they did in Groveland and Mascotte, so they are unsure what the impact would be.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2014-70 adopting the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) between the City of Leesburg and Lake County. The fiscal impact is $223.50 to record the Ordinance and ISBA in the Public Records of Lake County.
interlocal service boundary agreement with city of clermont
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, ADOPTING AN INTERLOCAL SERVICE BOUNDARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY AND THE CITY OF CLERMONT; REPEALING AND REPLACING ORDINANCE 2014-33 THAT PREVIOUSLY ADOPTED AN INTERLOCAL SERVICE BOUNDARY AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF CLERMONT; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, stated that he would present three very closely related items, which were the Clermont ISBA, the agreement for Fire Station 90 with the City of Clermont, and the station site and right of way agreement with Senninger Irrigation. He presented a boundary map which includes the City of Clermont, and he recapped that the ISBA process started in 2013. He explained that this ISBA is similar to the others the County has in place, allowing for joint cooperation in the areas of growth management, non-contiguous annexation, and emergency services, including the Automatic Aid component, which will provide significant enhancement to fire service response times by ensuring that the closest unit responds to incidents, using the AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) System to identify which unit is closest, and dispatching all the calls through Lake EMS. He elaborated that the medical and fire reimbursement schedule is in line with the others that the County has done, which is $100 per call for medical and $500 per call for fire, and this agreement will provide for automatic aid for the next 20 years and be effective on February 1, 2015. He relayed to the Board that the City of Clermont City Council adopted the agreement in June 2014 which provides for non-contiguous annexation and requires that central utilities be provided for development of any non-contiguous parcels. He recapped that the Board directed staff at the October 28 BCC Meeting to remove some language from the previous version of the ISBA stating that the entity having jurisdiction has the final decision on development and that parcels greater than ten acres require the owner’s consent for annexation. He reported that removing this language makes the document consistent with the one approved by the Clermont City Council.
Mr. Veach recapped that the Board also directed staff at the October 28 meeting to pursue an agreement with the City of Clermont that would provide for a jointly-operated fire station between the City and the County, which provides that the County will be responsible for site development and fire station construction, that Clermont will provide for half the cost of site improvements and construction as well as provide access to water and sewer, and that the cost of operation would be shared between the two entities. He displayed a map of the general vicinity of the project, and he related that the structure design of the project has been completed, specifying that it would be 2,400 square feet with a detached parking area. He added that the rezoning and the site plan are in the review process, and a sand skink survey cannot be conducted until after March of 2015, which will slightly delay the project. He then presented the agreement with Senninger that the Board directed staff to pursue and explained that that agreement provides that Senninger will transfer about four acres of right of way on Hartle Road in exchange for impact fee credits and will donate a fire station parcel of about two acres. He related that the County will then construct and extend Hartle Road utilizing the existing signalization on SR 50, and the road realignment will allow Senninger to move forward with their planned expansion. He stated that the next steps would begin with approval of the project document, and then staff would prepare bid documents for the construction-related activities, the sand skink survey will be completed, and the project would be constructed with an anticipated completion date of the third quarter of 2015. He displayed a map that clearly depicted how this fire agreement fits into the overall picture of the fire agreements they have done so far, pointing out the areas for the agreements approved that day as well as fire agreements that are already in place and those in various stages of discussion. He requested that the Board approve the Clermont ISBA, the Fire Station 90 funding and operation agreement with the City of Clermont, and the station site and right of way agreement with Senninger Irrigation.
Commr. Cadwell opined that the map illustrates that the amount of significant coverage in the county with fire agreements is an amazing piece of work and is a reflection of the willingness of the cities to work with the Board. He added that these agreements made common sense to the average person, and he commented that he is proud that they got that done.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this matter, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione clarified that all of Clermont’s stations were ALS certified. She asked whether there is a type of mechanism or understanding in this agreement which anticipates and deals with a situation like what occurred in Groveland regarding the golf course issue where a portion of land that is part of a larger community could be pulled out and attempted to be annexed into the City of Clermont in order to rezone that property for residential purposes, making it clear that that is not what is anticipated with regard to non-contiguous annexations.
Mr. Minkoff responded that the purpose of the ISBA in the statute is to identify an area that they believe would be entirely within the city or the city service areas in the next twenty years, and he did not believe they contemplated the golf course issue in this agreement, since he does not believe there are any golf courses in that area that are outside the city in this case. He added that they do have some larger developments, however, that could result in a checkerboard subdivision issue, and the intent of this agreement is that the services would be the same whether they were in the city or the County. He commented that the issue they had in Groveland was more of a land use decision which could be brought before the County than an annexation issue.
Commr. Campione expressed a concern that they were creating an unintended consequence of it becoming a land use issue that the County has no control over but which would affect unincorporated residents, although she indicated that she feels better that they do not have any situations like the Palisades scenario in Clermont.
Mr. Minkoff pointed out that that was not a new problem, and although this might increase some of the annexations, there were already a lot of areas where an unincorporated area was immediately adjacent to an incorporated one. He opined that they do not contemplate that these agreements would result in anything different than the existing circumstance.
Commr. Parks commented that another circumstance similar to the one that occurred at the Palisades would not be in the spirit of this ISBA with Clermont.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that they move forward with this ISBA and have staff in the meantime look at some additional language to go back and amend all of their ISBA’s to cover this type of situation if it could not be done with the County’s own rules and regulations, since he does not think this golf course situation is an anomaly. He commented that they need to make sure they have some protections for established communities.
Commr. Campione pointed out that there may be a scenario that they are not anticipating, and she suggested that they address the agreements with an amendment so that there is no question in five or ten years about whether the County intended for that to happen. She opined that the amendments should not affect the agreements from a substantive standpoint.
Commr. Parks mentioned that staff was working on LDR (Land Development Regulations) ordinance changes to address maintenance of golf courses and open areas.
Mr. Heath reported that there were about 150 golf courses closed nationwide, 13 or 14 of which were in the State of Florida, and staff was trying to monitor how each county was handling that situation and any unintended consequences of those actions.
Commr. Campione reiterated her thoughts regarding giving credit for open space in designating the land, noting that they did not give credit in the past for a golf course being open space, and she opined that doing that might be the remedy.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2014-71 adopting the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) between the City of Clermont and Lake County, the Interlocal Agreement between the City of Clermont and Lake County for a Joint Fire Station, and the agreement between Senninger Irrigation, Inc. and Lake County regarding Road Right of Way and Joint Fire Station Property; and approval for Chairman to execute any necessary closing documents. The total fiscal impact for all three items is $939,188.50.
Commr. Sullivan asked how much time it would take for staff to get back to the Board with the changes that were discussed, suggesting that it be within the next six months.
Mr. Heath responded that he was thinking the latter part of March or early April, since it was tied to the long term plans for the fire department that they would be bringing to the Board.
ordinance regarding educational impact fees
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 22-22, LAKE COUNTY CODE, TO INCREASE THE EDUCATIONAL IMPACT FEES TO 75% OF THE RATE RECOMMENDED IN THE ADOPTED IMPACT FEE STUDY DATED JUNE 7, 2011, TO BE EFFECTIVE APRIL 6, 2015; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Minkoff also explained that the ordinance directs the Clerk to withhold payment of these impact fees to the School Board until an updated study is given to and approved by the Board that would justify this rate.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Vance Jochim stated that he supported the rate of this impact fee, since this was one of the major revenue sources for the school system, and he noted that the School Board has come to a consensus and a decision about the rate for these fees and has requested that the Board go forward with it. He suggested that the Board not be a barrier to the School Board’s ability to fund schools and that they approve this ordinance.
Mr. Bill Mathias, Vice Chairman of the School Board, thanked the Board for their leadership regarding this impact fee, and he assured the Board that they are fully committed to finding alternative ways to fully fund growth. He commended the efforts of County staff after a proactive discussion regarding his concerns about the construction on Hancock Road that would be coming back to the Board, which he believes is a good example of good governance and intergovernmental cooperation and support. He concluded that the most important issue facing their school district is the fully funding of growth in South Lake.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that the Board has to weigh how those types of decisions affect the economy, and he asked whether Mr. Mathias believes that the funding for schools is at such a critical point that the rate advertised is important enough to take the risk of how it would affect the homebuilding industry.
Mr. Mathias responded that he believes that the funding for schools is at that point from both a School Board and a business prospective if they truly were to have economic development, and he added that they will not have growth if people do not move there because of the condition of the schools or if the schools could not accommodate that growth.
Commr. Conner asked the County Attorney to explain for the record more of the details about how this ordinance will work with regard to the collection and distribution of the monies.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the statutes require that they use the latest data in order to set the impact fee, even though they are not setting the rate at 100 percent of that study, since the data from that study is three or four years old at this point. He elaborated that Section 6 of the proposed ordinance directs the Clerk to hold in escrow fees collected after the effective date until such time as they get an updated fee study which justifies the rates. He added they would have the ability to refund money to any property owner who had paid those fees if the study shows that it is less than these rates, and it would go to the School Board if the study shows the rate is justified.
Commr. Conner commented that he understands the tough job of the school system, and he opined that this was an investment that is worth the gamble, since he believed it would have a small effect on the home building industry. He mentioned that he believed the School Board has a lot of incentive to get the study done in order to receive the money held in escrow, and the Board has done its due diligence as partners of the School Board.
Commr. Sullivan commented that he agreed that in order for them to grow their community, their education system has to be a very vital part of that, and although he does not normally like impact fees and the way it affects their homebuilding industry, he will support moving forward because he believes it is the lesser of many evils. He added that he does not see any new revenue sources for the school system that would solve that problem.
Commr. Parks opined that although he feels that impact fees are flawed, it is the only thing they have right now to fill the great need of the school system, and he commented that people will ultimately not want to move to or stay in Lake County if they are faced with schools that are on the decline. He elaborated that South Lake is where the most recent growth has occurred. He concluded that he supports moving forward with this ordinance as well as continuing to look for alternative ways to fund the growth to the school system, including looking at the different benefit districts and the infill.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the collection of fees will be enacted immediately, but they will wait to distribute them to the School Board.
Mr. Heath specified that the new fees would go into effect the first week in April.
Commr. Campione related that she concurred that education is the key to economic development, and even though their school system is doing a lot of great things, there still were deficiencies. She disagreed, however, with the premise that imposing an impact fee totaling 75 percent of the findings of an old study will fix all of their problems, and she noted that she could support 50 percent of that fee until the new study is done. She opined that she believes the collection and administration of impact fees is flawed and that there are fairness issues regarding penalizing people who build new homes rather than people with children who move to existing homes in Lake County. She pointed out that 75 percent would be a substantial increase to the current rate, and she opined that adopting this would not be sensitive to the economic effect, especially in the north part of the county. She requested that the Board take this in a smaller increment and get the study done before taking on a higher fee. She also expressed that she would be more comfortable with at least three benefit districts to ensure that the impact fees were serving the needs of that particular district, and she asked that they explore, promote, and encourage infill.
Commr. Parks stated that he agreed with the benefit districts, and he asked whether there was a timeframe for a discussion with staff about implementing the different benefit districts.
Mr. Heath replied that it would be up to the School Board to get the study done that documents the feasibility of that.
Commr. Conner elaborated that the School Board has asked that that be looked at in the next study, but he opined that there would be a lot of obstacles to overcome in order to implement those benefit districts, including some legal problems.
Commr. Parks asked if they know when the study would be updated.
Mr. Mathias related that the Request for Proposal was being sent out that week, and they expected that the study could be done by April. He mentioned that he researched and looked at more current impact fee studies that were done in other counties, and those studies indicated that 75 percent is fair, although ultimately 100 percent would be needed in order to fully fund the needed infrastructure.
Commr. Conner commented that he appreciated that the School Board was united and decisive, and he pointed out that he believes the Board has been extremely sensitive to the economy, illustrated by the fact that they have waived impact fees year after year during the economic downturn. He suggested that they monitor permits once this fee is implemented to make sure that there were no detrimental impacts and to take a look at that if needed. He opined that this was not an easy issue.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2014-72 amending Chapter 22, Lake County Code, Section 22-22 regarding Educational Impact Fees, which would increase the educational impact fees to 75 percent of the rate recommended in the adopted impact fee study dated June 7, 2011, with the caveat that the funds would not be transferred over to the School Board until they have updated the study. The fiscal impact is estimated at $7,484,123.00 for the first year (revenue).
Commr. Campione voted “no.”
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Board have a workshop at some point about infill incentives.
presentation - conflicts under chapter 112, florida statutes
Mr. Minkoff explained that they would be presenting at the next meeting an agenda item asking the Board to waive some of the conflicts for some of their advisory board members, and he wanted to inform the Board of the rules in advance and to answer any of their questions so that they would be aware of it when the agenda item comes up. He recapped that the Commissioners are required to have four hours of annual training in ethics, public records, and the Sunshine laws. He related that a situation has arisen with some of the advisory committees that are recommending grants and members involved in affordable housing having possible conflicts with some of the issues that they are involved in. He emphasized that F.S. 112.313(3) or (7) regarding conflicting employment or contractual relationship conflicts are not rules that could be waived by a voting conflict, and elected officials must choose between their public or private job. He noted, however, that the appointed officials could get a waiver from the board that appoints them so that they could keep both positions. He specified that F.S. 112.313(3) prohibits public officers from purchasing things for the County from any entity where the public officer, their spouse, or their child is an officer, partner, director, or proprietor of the owner of a material interest, noting that these rules apply to all their employees as well as to the board members themselves. He elaborated that the way the Children’s Services Grants have been structured, particularly in view of the audits, are that they are actually contracts for services, and a conflict could arise if a member of that board contracts with an agency the board member is involved with. He added that the Board is not allowed to sell anything to the County in any way, shape, or form, but he pointed out that that has never been an issue at the Board level. He also clarified that even a public officer who is an unpaid director needs to make sure that their organization is not doing business with the County, or it would create this kind of conflict.
Mr. Minkoff reported that the second statute, F.S. 112.313(7), states that public officers are not allowed to hold employment or a contractual relationship with an outside business entity that the County regulates or does business with; creates a continuing or frequently-recurring conflict, such as realtors who have clients who come before the Board several times a year for a rezoning case; or would prohibit or prevent them from performing their public duties in some way. He explained that there were some exemptions that apply, including if the official’s business was part of a rotation system, selected pursuant to a sealed and competitive bid, utilized during an emergency, was the only source of supply, or were given no more than $500 in business per year. He added that other exemptions were purchasing of goods or services at the same price as is offered to the public and if an elected official is employed by a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity, not paid from contract funds, did not participate in the government’s decision to enter into contract with the nonprofit, and abstains from any vote pertaining to the nonprofit. He mentioned that they have seen that the Florida Commission on Ethics has been negating conflicts regarding governmental-type jobs where there is a “unity of interests” between the outside entity and the public agency, such as the Economic Development Council, and he opined that this would likely apply any time the Board appoints a member to serve on a board or committee and that there would not be a conflict in that case, since they would be representing the Board on the committee and not the private sector. He pointed out that the Statute allows the Board to grant a waiver for advisory board members with a 2/3 or 4/5 vote, and there were some possible conflicts that could come up for the Tourist Development Council, Children’s Services Council, and Affordable Housing Advisory Committee that they would be presenting to the Board at the BCC meeting on December 16. He added that in the future they plan to query those appointed officials about those issues and bring any conflict forward to the Board at the time they are appointed to the boards.
appointments to the planning and zoning board
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointments of Ms. Laura Jones Smith (District 2) and Mr. Michael Mazzeo (At-large) and reappointment of Mr. Rick Gonzalez (District 4) to the Lake County Planning & Zoning Board for a four-year term ending January 31, 2019.
appointments to the LSMPO citizens advisory committee
Commr. Conner announced that one application was withdrawn for District 2.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointments of Mr. Ben Homan (District 2) and Ms. Natalie Werner (District 4) to the LSMPO (Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Committee) Citizens’ Advisory Committee to serve a two-year term ending December 31, 2016.
appointments to lsmpo bicycle & pedestrian committee
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointments of Mr. Nicholas Sottile to serve a two-year term ending December 31, 2016 and Mr. Michael Stephens to complete an unexpired two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2015 to the LSMPO Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
update on palisades golf course situation
Commr. Parks reported that he represented the Board the previous evening at the City of Groveland Council meeting to express their concern about the request of the developer to annex and rezone the Palisades Golf Course property. He related that the application for annexation was withdrawn, and he mentioned that there were about 200 concerned residents in opposition who were present that night. He commented that he believed it was a great example of a community coming together over an important issue that would have dramatically affected their quality of life and property values, and he was happy with the turnout.
east ridge middle school safeaccess priority project
Commr. Parks mentioned that a constituent who represented a large neighborhood south of East Ridge Middle School came to him with safety concerns about a crosswalk which he pointed out on a map displayed on the overhead monitor, including worn striping and the crosswalk not being well marked. He related that there has been some “near misses” at that location, and a lot of children are walking across from East Ridge Middle into this neighborhood. He explained that he was trying to be proactive by bringing this issue to the Board’s attention as well as to the Public Works Department, and he noted that this intersection is listed as a priority project for the Safe Schools Access. He requested that they direct staff to move forward with applying for any FDOT money that could help with the intersection and for staff to fix some of the striping and put up some signage. He also encouraged the Commissioners to look into the other dangerous intersections and crosswalks that were mentioned and work with staff to apply for the DOT money available to improve those as well.
Commr. Campione commented that there were similar improvements needed in a lot of different schools throughout the county.
Commr. Sullivan pointed out that the Lake-Sumter MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) did a study on the Safe Schools which identified what all of those issues were.
Commr. Parks remarked that they need to choose the ones that are critical from a long list and then move forward with staff to apply for the money available from DOT.
Commr. Sullivan stated that there was some legislation pending that could also give them some additional funding for those projects.
Commr. Parks responded that the legislation may also address changing the definition of a pedestrian crosswalk to make it stricter.
Commr. Campione suggested that they get an update from Mr. Stivender as they are completed and as staff moves on to the next project.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – DISTRICT 4
state of the county video
Commr. Campione commended staff for the work they did on the State of the County video, which she opined was very well done, and she commented that it was good to take stock and look at the big picture after working hard all year on those things.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
st. johns river alliance
Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board that he had received the Board’s permission to speak that day at the legislative delegation in regard to the St. Johns River Alliance, and he was on the agenda to do that.
appointment of alternate for right of way committee
Commr. Cadwell explained that the structure of the Central Florida Expressway Right-of-Way Committee allowed for the availability for alternates, and he asked to appoint Ms. Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney, to act as alternate for Mr. Minkoff for the Right-of-Way Committee, on Mr. Minkoff’s recommendation.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Marsh as alternate to that committee.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
letter in support of new nursing home program
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board gave approval for Commr. Conner to send a letter to the Agency for Health Care Administration in support of the Adventist Care Centers’ Fountain Inn Nursing and Rehabilitation Center establishing a new 120-bed nursing home program for the Florida Hospital Waterman campus.
state of the county
Commr. Conner commented that he was very proud of the State of the County ceremonies that day and thought all parties did a great job. He apologized to Sheriff Gary Borders for forgetting to mention him during that program, although he had intended to include him in his remarks and commend him for cutting his budget for three years, outsourcing inmate medical care, and his security at the new courthouse.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:38 a.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK