A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
may 17, 2016
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 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: Sean M. Parks, Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Jimmy Conner; and Leslie Campione. Others present were: David Heath, County Manager; Melanie Marsh, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Tim Travis from The Father’s House in Leesburg gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that he would like to pull Tab 17 from the Consent Agenda regarding the procurement associated with the medical clinic to be considered with Tab 34 when the Board discusses the medical plan. He also announced that since the agenda was published, they have received a letter from Extreme Groves withdrawing their rezoning request for Tab 9, Rezoning Case No. FLU-2016-01-2.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would be giving a very brief update under his business about a very positive meeting that he and Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Development Director, had with the Lake County Water Authority in regards to the volleyball complex.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of April 5, 2016 (Regular Meeting) and April 19, 2016 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog about fiscal and governmental issues, opined that a few items on the County’s consent agenda should be pulled for further discussion, including a justification analysis of the cost and benefits of the employee medical center contract for $705,000 and the Lake-Sumter MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) contract.
Commr. Campione elaborated that there was in-depth discussion about the MPO contract at the last MPO meeting, including why it was necessary, and she offered to discuss that issue, which was under Tab 8, during her reports.
Mr. Bob Albers, a resident of Astor, asked why the County requested that he change his building application request regarding containers to state “buildings” instead of “containers.”
Commr. Campione suggested that the reason could be that he was using those containers as buildings for people to occupy.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Interim Planning Manager, explained that the change was in order to be consistent with the Florida Building Code, since they are to be used as buildings. He offered to meet with Mr. Albers to explain those requirements in detail.
Mr. Albers mentioned that he had a Code violation because someone supposedly walked into one of his containers, which he opined was not fair or right. He commented that he has been working on this project for over two years, since it was held up over a year by different agencies. He added that since he missed the schedule by two days, he had to start the permitting process over again, and he complained about the requirements he has dealt with for his project in Astor.
Commr. Campione responded that the County wants good businesses that are safe and meet the Code, and she assured Mr. Albers that the same rules apply to everyone. She commented that the Commissioners care very deeply about the local economy in Astor and are trying to be fair and consistent, noting that there were a lot of complaints coming in from the other businesses that had to go through all of the requirements. She offered to meet with Mr. Albers to explain the County’s requirements.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the Board had tried to help Mr. Albers by initially giving him an alternative rather than making him remove all the containers off the property and start again.
Mr. Rick Gonzalez, a resident of Eustis, recapped that Lake County made a generous donation to the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park last year, and he related that they were adding the names of five fallen soldiers to the wall. He noted that a bronze plaque will recognize Lake County’s contribution to the effort to make this memorial a reality, and he invited the Commission to attend the ceremony on Memorial Day.
presentation of proclamations
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2016-53 proclaiming the week of May 15-21, 2016 as "Emergency Medical Services Week" in Lake County, per Commissioner Cadwell.
Commr Cadwell read the proclamation aloud, presented it to the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) employees who were present, and personally thanked them for the job they do.
Commr. Parks presented Proclamation No. 2016-50 for Water Safety Month to Ms. Stephanie Lucas, School Board member and Vice Chair of the Water Safety Task Force, read the proclamation aloud, and presented a short video from the Sheriff’s Department about water safety and safe boat operation.
Commr. Parks added that statistics show up to eight people will drown in Lake County this year, which illustrates the importance of the promotion of water safety in the county’s lakes and pools. He also mentioned that multiple agencies were involved in this effort, such as cities, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies. He announced that there was a Water Safety Day coming up Saturday, May 21, in Leesburg, as well as other events in the future, and he encouraged the Commissioners to attend those events.
Commr. Parks presented an award to the Water Safety Team, including Mr. Jim Harrison, Mr. Bill Griswold, and Mr. Joe Goloversic with the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Mr. Goloversic related that he had attended the International Boating and Water Safety Summit held in San Diego, California, in March, where the National Water Safety Congress presented this Safety Team the Award of Merit, a prestigious regional award with national recognition, which he presented to Mr. Harrison.
Commr. Sullivan recognized that the Coast Guard Auxiliary has provided 50 years of outstanding community service to this county on a totally volunteer basis, saving hundreds of lives during that time, and requested acknowledgment from the audience for that service.
Commr. Parks mentioned that one of the benefits of formalizing the Water Safety Team has been the ability to obtain grants from businesses to provide swimming lessons to children who otherwise could not afford them.
presentation of comprehensive annual financial report
Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court, presented the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ended September 30, 2015 and noted that the Board had also been provided a copy of the Citizens’ Annual Financial Report, which was a pared-down version of the CAFR. He announced that Lake County, through the Clerk’s County Finance Office, has received the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the production of the CAFR for the last 34 years and have also won the award for the Citizens’ Annual Financial Report, as well, over the last five years. He recognized Mr. Kevin McDonald, Budget Officer, for his efforts in producing the distinguished budget report for the Clerk’s Office, noting that they had received the GFOA award for the last 24 years. He commented that he is very proud of the Finance Office staff, recognizing those who were present, including Mr. McDonald, Ms. Joanne Drury, Ms. April Allman, Ms. Tracy Zeller, and Ms. Julia Wilson, as well as those not present, including Ms. Cindy Richardson, Ms. Karen Huffman, Ms. Connie Rodgers, and Ms. Barbara Bohrer, all of whom were under the direction of Ms. Kristy Mullane, the newly directed Chief Deputy of County Finance. He thanked Ms. Kelly Lafollette and her staff for their assistance with printing the financial documents in-house.
Mr. Bill Blend, Engagement Shareholder from Moore Stephens Lovelace presented the September 30, 2015 financial statements for the County and the results of their audit and mentioned that the report came out late this year because of a delay getting the FRS (Florida Retirement System) information for the pension liability from the State rather than any issues regarding the County. He thanked the staff at the Clerk’s Office and the County, as well as the Inspector General’s Office, and he related that he would be performing his required communications in accordance with government audit standards as well as an overview of the financial highlights for the year. He explained that his office’s responsibility is to ensure that they perform their audit in accordance with those government audit standards as well as the rules of the Auditor General and the single audit requirements of the A133 (known currently as the uniform guide), and he assured the Board that they met those requirements. He indicated that management’s responsibility to provide them timely information and to make sure that the financial information is presented to them in a form which they could audit was satisfactorily performed. He mentioned that they evaluate internal controls and compliance as it relates to the financial accounting and reporting rather than perform an audit of internal controls. He noted that they have no significant matters to report to the Board of any issues that would have come up, and management has provided them with the appropriate management representation letter, with Ms. Mullane being the direct contact as it relates to the performance of their services to the County.
Mr. Blend presented information regarding the deliverables, referencing pages 13 and 14 containing the independent auditor’s report of the overall financial statements, noting that it was an unmodified report, meaning that they believe that the information contained there is materially correct from their perspective and have provided an audit opinion to reflect that, which is the best report the County could get as an entity from a CPA firm. He elaborated that reports on compliance for each major federal program can be found on pages 213 and 214 in the CAFR, and they had no findings that relate to the County’s grants or internal controls and compliance relating to the County’s activities, which indicated clean reports for those matters. He added that the management letter, which is a requirement of the Auditor General for the State of Florida, reflects an unmodified report indicating no findings. He mentioned that the County was found to be in compliance with the Florida Statutes 218 regarding investments and the Statute regarding E911 funds. He pointed out that since they had to report the pension liability now, the impact of that was the restatement of about $90 million in their governmental funds, reducing their net position; also, the impact on their business-type activities is just under $1 million, and overall created an additional six to eight pages within the financial statements of additional disclosures and puts governmental reporting as it relates to pensions on par with private reporting. He presented the results of the financial audit and specified that there was an increase of about $7 million in governmental activities, which was positive compared to a loss last year, and there was a loss this year in business-type activities due to issues with the landfill, which hopefully will improve in that area in the future. He specified that the fund balance in the General Fund of $3.5 million was 11 percent of the expenditures budgeted, and since revenues were slightly over-budget and expenditures under-budget, a net increase in the governmental position was created. He related that the proprietary activities reflect a loss in the landfill fund, and although the internal service funds are meant to operate at a net even position, there was a slight loss related to the self-insurance fund.
Commr. Conner asked if Lake County’s negative landfill situation was common for counties.
Mr. Blend responded that although it was not common, landfills tend not to be money-making operations such as water utilities; however, they want to have an operating income to make sure they have the infrastructure for future use as it relates to landfill closure costs. He suggested that they look at the rates they are charging due to the fact that the revenues are not covering the costs at the present time.
Commr. Campione asked how the landfill operational revenue compares to recent years.
Ms. Kristy Mullane, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, explained that there is a difference from 2014 to 2015 due to a change from the previous contract with Covanta to the operations now.
Commr. Campione added that Covanta was paying for the ash disposal, and they do not have that income anymore. She then asked at what point there should be concern about the loss of revenue for the landfill.
Mr. Blend answered that they were currently in a transition phase, but there would be concerns if they were having losses year after year for multiple years.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the acceptance of the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ended September 30, 2015.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 9, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.
Property on Lands Available List
Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until July 19, 2016 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until July 25, 2016 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
Pine Island CDD Proposed Budget for FY 2017
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Pine Island Community Development District’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b), Florida Statutes.
Northeast CRA Redevelopment Plan Amendment
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Northeast Community Redevelopment Agency (NECRA) Redevelopment Plan Amendment (Stormwater Master Plan) that the Mount Dora Redevelopment Agency is amending its redevelopment plan by Ordinance No. 2016-18. The purpose of the amendment is to include stormwater infrastructure planning, design and construction in the redevelopment plan.
Ordinance for Annexation of Property from City of Clermont
Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 2016-09 Annexation of Property – Hartle Grove from the City of Clermont which annexes Rooms to Go, Hess, AutoZone, a vacant parcel, and Terrace Grove Subdivision into the City Limits of Clermont. This Ordinance was adopted by the Clermont City Council on April 12, 2016.
Founders Ridge CDD Proposed Budget for FY 2017
Request to acknowledge receipt of Founders Ridge Community Development District’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 for purposes of disclosure and information only. This budget is provided in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b), Florida Statutes. The District will schedule a public hearing not less than 60 days from the date of this letter for adoption of same.
Central Lake CDD Proposed Budget for FY 2017
Request to acknowledge receipt of District’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 for purposes of disclosure and information only. This budget is provided in accordance with Section 190.008(2)(b), Florida Statutes. The District will schedule a public hearing not less than 60 days from the date of this letter for adoption of same.
Ordinance from the City of Eustis
Request to acknowledge receipt of draft Ordinance No. 16-XX from the City of Eustis intending to annex approximately 46.27 acres contiguous to the Eustis City limits and located within the Eustis Planning Area. The public hearings for this annexation are scheduled for May 19, 2016 at 6:00 P.M. and the second reading on August 18, 2016 at 6:00 P.M. Meetings are held in the Eustis City Hall Commission Room, 10 North Grove Street, Eustis, Florida.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Campione noted that she has received a large amount of input about the Eustis resolution regarding the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) on Tab 15 expressing concerns about the proposed planning areas or boundaries of that ISBA from the City of Mount Dora and unincorporated residents who are not in favor of being annexed into the City of Eustis, since they were miles away from the urban center of Eustis. She elaborated that this will give the County the vehicle to talk through all the issues, to see to what extent they could address some of the issues and concerns such as who would provide some of the services, and to be cognizant of the wishes of the unincorporated residents in those areas. She expressed confidence of being able to work towards an agreement that will be acceptable to both sides.
Commr. Parks added that the agenda item was just recognition that the County was responding to the resolution in order to follow ISBA protocol legislation, and he added that the Board would address some of the concerns at a later date as they move forward.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 6 through 29, pulling Tabs 8 and 17 as follows:
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2016-54 designating June 2016 as Tobacco-Free Parks Month. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of the Chairman's signature on Certification of Local Government Approval for Nonprofit Organizations - Emergency Shelter on behalf of the Lake Community Action Agency for their 2016 Emergency Solutions Grant Application. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and execution of the Second Modification and Extension of Lease Agreement with John R. Prickett, Jr., for lease space for the Tax Collector's Office in Eustis. The fiscal impact for FY16 is $33,320.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2016-55 authorizing the release of the automatic statutory reservation of petroleum and mineral rights under Section 271.11, Florida Statutes, on property generally located west of Lake Harris and east of Sunnyside Drive, which was previously owned by Lake County.
Request for approval to execute the Stipulated Order of Taking and Final Judgment in Court Case No. 2015-CA-002247, Lake County vs. Allan Pharmer and Deidre L. Pharmer, et al., (Parcel Number: FP27) for needed right of way on the CR 466A Road Project. The total settlement for approval is $24,681.75. The fiscal impact is $24,681.75 (Expenditure). Commission District 5.
Request for approval of the Fifth Amendment to Declaration of Restrictive Covenants for Lake County Central Park, Estoppel Letter regarding POA fees, and Resolution No. 2016-56 releasing mineral and petroleum rights regarding Lots 27 and 30 at the Christopher C. Ford Industrial Park. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to have a Closed Session of the Board of County Commissioners to discuss pending litigation. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of the amendment to contract 15-0622 between Lake County and Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc.(BESH, Tavares) for building plan review and inspection services. There is no change in the fiscal impact.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2016-57 responding to Eustis Resolution 16-27, initiating the process pursuant to Section 171.203 F.S. for negotiating an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement. There is no fiscal impact.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval of a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of $683,553.00 and other project related costs and design/construction contingency allowance of $84,157.40 for the project entitled “Lake County Public Defender’s Office Renovations,” and authorize County staff to complete all associated implementing documents. The fiscal impact is $767,710.40 (Expenditure). Commission District 3.
Request for approval of an Amendment to the contract with Humana for Group Dental Insurance adding a one (1) year extension from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 at the same pricing, and terms as set forth in the original agreement. The fiscal impact is $499,130 (Estimated Annual Expenditure).
Request for approval to amend contract 11-0018, pre-paid legal services with U.S. Legal Services to extend for an additional plan year October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. There is no fiscal impact; this is a benefit offered to the employees on a voluntary basis completely paid for by the employees.
Request for approval to award contract 16-0421, Supply and Installation of Windscreens at Various County Parks, to CRI Services, Inc. (Zellwood), and authorize Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $30,000 (Expenditure).
Request for approval of the Memorandum of Agreement with the Florida Department of Corrections; authorize the Fire Chief to execute the document, and to execute future renewals as needed. The State of Florida Department of Corrections requests renewal of agreement to ensure that Lake County will continue to provide Fire/Rescue Services to the DOC corrections facility when needed. This agreement is renewed every five (5) years.
Request for approval of the LAP Agreement and supporting Resolution No. 2016-58 between Lake County and FDOT for the design of a roundabout and sidewalk crossing at CR 19A and Old 441/Eudora Road (FPN #437464-1-38-01). The fiscal impact is $325,000 (100% Grant Funded in FY2017). Commission District 4.
Request for approval of an agreement with the Lake-Sumter MPO for funding of the Lake County Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Plan and approve the budget transfer (BUA 2016-08.02) moving the funding to the 880810 - Aids to Other Government Agencies account. The fiscal impact is $30,000 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to award the term and supply contract 16-0423 to Ergon Asphalt (Tampa, FL) for the purchase of liquid asphalt, RC 250 type, cutback asphalt and Emulsion Prime-Rapid set in conjunction with the County's needs, and authorize the procurement office to execute all implementation documents. The estimated fiscal impact is $60,000.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2016-59 designating University Avenue as appropriate for golf cart signage and operation of golf carts in accordance with Section 15-15, Lake County Code (see attached Exhibit A). There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2016-60 supporting the Lake County Priority Projects on the Lake-Sumter MPO List of Priority Projects (LOPP) FY 2020/21 - 2039/40. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to award contract 16-0015, Transportation Impact Fee Analysis and Nexus Study to Kittelson & Associates Inc. (Tampa, FL.), and approve a Budget Transfer (BUA 2016-08.12) to provide funding. The fiscal impact is $99,850 (Expenditure).
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2016-61 to Advertise Public Hearing to vacate a portion of a perpetual grading easement lying along CR 455 (Fred Boutros). There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.
Request for approval for re-assignment of vendor responsibilities from Blackwell Affordable Services (Kissimmee) to Impressions Landscape & Water (Apopka) under contract 14-0425 for Sidewalk, Vacant Lot, Bridge Approach, Retention Area Mowing and Related Services; termination of the agreement with Blackwell Affordable Services; and authorization for procurement services to execute all implementing documentation. This action may involve a reduction in cost (estimated at $3,000 annually) as the pricing from the new recommended vendor is slightly less than the pricing from the vendor being replaced.
public hearings: rezonings
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Interim Planning Manager, displayed on the overhead monitor that all hearings been properly advertised as required by Florida Statutes, and he noted that the Rezoning Consent Agenda items will be presented first.
rezoning consent agenda
Commr. Campione asked to pull Item 2 regarding the Bates Property, Rezoning Case No. FLU-2016-05-4, since she had received comments about that case from individuals who indicated they would be present at the meeting, although they were not yet in attendance.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 6, pulling Item 2.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding those cases, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, Items 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6, as follows:
Rezoning Case # CP-2016-05
Rural Support Uses Text Amendment
Proposed Text Amendment to modify the allowed use within Policy I-1.4.7, Rural Support
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2016-19
Rezoning Case #RZ-16-09-5
Donald and Jodi Green Property
Request to rezone 4.05 acres from Rural Residential (R-1) to Agriculture (A) in order to expand an existing apiary and agriculture operations.
Tab 4. Ordinance No. 2016-20
Rezoning Case #RZ-16-11-1
Avalon Groves PUD Amendment
Request of a one time, two-year extension to commence development of the PUD by amending Ordinance No. 2012-10 and rescind/replace it with a new PUD Ordinance.
Tab 5. Ordinance No. 2016-21
Rezoning Case #CUP-16-01-3
Viola Green Property CUP Amendment
Request to amend Conditional Use Permit #874-3 with a replacement ordinance to reflect a reconfigured land use area.
Tab 6. Ordinance No. 2016-22
Rezoning Case No. RZ-16-08-4
E. Lake Chamber of Commerce/Jacqueline De Witt
Request to rezone subject property from Urban Residential (R-6) to Neighborhood Commercial (C-1).
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:00 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
regular rezoning agenda
withdrawal of Case No. FLU-2016-01-2, extreme groves
Mr. Sheahan recapped that they received a request the night before on behalf of Extreme Groves Investments and Meritage Homes to formerly withdraw the application to amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM), which was Tab 9 on the agenda as Case No. FLU-2016-01-2, and he explained that he would need a motion from the Board to accept the withdrawal after public input.
Commr. Cadwell disclosed that he had met with the developer and several of the neighbors regarding this case, as well as discussed this case with the County’s Zoning Division.
Commr. Conner and Commr. Campione both disclosed that they met with representatives from both sides of this issue.
Commr Parks disclosed that he had met with the applicants and a group of community residents on April 1 in Room 235 in the Administration Building, noting that a record of those in attendance is available.
The Chairman opened the public hearing specifically regarding the request to withdraw Tab 9.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this withdrawal, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the withdrawal of Tab 9, Extreme Groves Investment LLC, Case No. FLU-2016-01-2.
bates property future land use map amendment – flu-2016-05-4
Mr. Sheahan explained that FLU-2016-05-4 for the Bates Property was a request to amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) for approximately 35 acres in the Eustis area off Estes Road and south of Lake Lincoln Lane from the Rural Transition Future Land Use Category (FLUC) which allows a maximum density of two dwelling units per one acre to the Urban Low FLUC which allows a maximum density of four dwelling units per net acre. He elaborated that this change would potentially allow an increase from 70 units to approximately 140 units and clarified that this would be for transmittal of the amendment. He displayed an aerial map illustrating that much of the area is in the Urban Low category, and he pointed out that there are utilities available from the City of Eustis for the property. He reported that the applicant has gone through the review process; the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval unanimously; and staff also recommends approval of this request. He added that the applicant provided the County with a conceptual PUD layout, which he displayed on the overhead monitor.
Commr. Campione asked whether there was access between this property and the property to the south that actually has access on Hwy 44.
Mr. Sheahan responded that was not how this was proposed, but it could be looked at during the applicant’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval.
Commr. Campione asked whether there has been any evaluation by staff of the transportation impacts on Estes Road, which she noted does not have any shoulders or much additional right of way.
Mr. Sheahan answered that they have just recently received a transportation study for the property but have not yet had time to fully study it. He explained that they will take a more detailed look at the transportation impacts when the property goes through the rezoning process and add requirements as necessary to make improvements or alternative design.
Commr. Campione clarified that this will come back for adoption after the transmittal, and she mentioned that the Board has looked at doing PUD’s in some cases in conjunction with the adoption so that they have assurances with regard to transportation improvements, site design, open space, and those types of things. She asked whether they could put that type of requirement in place as a condition to transmitting.
Mr. Sheahan replied that they cannot add conditions in the transmittal, but they could state on the record to put the applicant on notice that those concerns would have to be addressed during the adoption stage in order for the Board to consider adoption.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the PUD would be part of the applicant’s presentation during the final adoption of the future land use. He then asked about Commr. Campione’s reference to the south piece of the connection of the road which was intended to be an extension.
Commr. Campione responded that there is actually a road there that was 75 percent finished and then stopped. She pointed out that currently the density is two units to one acre with 50 percent open space, and she expressed concern about a density of four units to one acre with no open space, in light of the development patterns present in the surrounding area and the fact that it is in the Wekiva Planning Area, with one- and five-acre lots all around that area. She added that Estes Road already has a lot of issues with the current level of traffic, the lack of right of way and shoulder, and the use of the road by cyclists; and this project would potentially exacerbate those issues.
Commr. Cadwell elaborated that the intersection of Estes Road and Orange Avenue was to be a continuation to Hwy 44A before the first part was platted, but there were issues with some lakes in that area.
Mr. Sheahan pointed out that the applicant has been made aware that improvements would be necessary to those intersections in order to meet transportation concurrency requirements, and he showed on the map that the access that is proposed is directly onto Lake Lincoln Road, noting that there is a lot that needs to be done to handle that amount of traffic.
Commr. Cadwell opined that if they move forward with the land use amendment that day and have some language in there that would tie it back to the PUD, the plan would need to include some type of connection with Hwy 44 rather than Estes Road in order for him to support the project, since that amount of density heading to Estes Road would give him great concern.
Commr. Campione commented that the aerial map shows that there are a lot of trees on the property, and she will be looking for a plan that would be complimentary to the existing trees.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Lee Owen, a resident who lives on Estes Road in Eustis, noted that although she was not opposed to development if it was done well, she did not know why the density had to be changed at this location, since a lot of time and effort went into the master land use plan, and there were reasons given to the designations for different sites. She commented that this site already has multiple options for dwelling units per acre from one unit per five-acre site to two units to one acre, and the vast majority of the properties all around there are existing home sites consisting of at least a half-acre, with many consisting of more than one acre, so this is not in keeping with the vast majority of the surrounding properties. She expressed doubts that this project will be able to comply with the requirements of the Wekiva Study Area. She commented that Estes Road is already inadequate, floods during heavy rains, and has drainage issues. She expressed concern about school buses, students walking to school, school traffic, and safety. She asked that these things be taken into consideration as they consider higher densities; however, she believes the problem would be solved if the development could access Hwy 44.
Mr. Egor Emery, a resident who lives on Estes Road in Eustis, noted that he was against approval of this request and development and requested that the transportation element of this be entered into the record. He elaborated that Estes Road is a prescriptive road with limited ability for creation of turn lanes or modifications, and traffic is a very serious issue in this case. He opined that the urban designation is designed for cities, and he believed that the proper role of the County is to deny this application and to let the city choose when. and if, this should be urbanized and provide the utility services at that time. He asked the Board to leave this property at its current designation and let the applicant deal with the city.
Mr. Bill Ray, representing the applicant, assured everyone that he is well aware of the concerns that were raised and noted that they have submitted a traffic report prepared by Griffey & Associates into the record with their recommendations and observations, including addressing the intersections that are proposed to be impacted by this development. He pointed out that this was a transmittal hearing, and the details they were discussing would definitely be able to be addressed prior to the adoption of the amendment, recognizing that the concept plan submitted was a more general outline of the development and that the PUD will give them the flexibility to address those concerns in a logical and practical manner. He mentioned that he understands that the Board would like them to look into a connection to the south, and they could reach out to the adjacent property owners to discuss cross-connection availability and to pursue negotiations with those property owners in order to provide for that cross-connection. He assured the Board that he was aware of the policies regarding the Wekiva Study Area and that they are proposing to limit or prohibit the proliferation of septic tanks within this area by using affordable higher densities that allow the homes to be on central utilities. He opined that the one unit per one- to five-acre densities on an individual well and septic would allow for more long-term impact to the Floridian Aquifer and the Wekiva Spring Shed than using a central utility system with proper treatment with the City of Eustis. He pointed out that the development will be in easy walking distance to a middle school, and although they have already made substantial improvements, they are proposing to make even more improvements to the area to accommodate future growth. He opined that growth is coming to this area and noted the urban low density around that area. He related that the issue of open space would be addressed at the PUD level and opined that they should be focusing on the design rather than the density numbers in order to mitigate any impacts on the surrounding area. He asked the Board to support staff’s and the Planning & Zoning Board’s recommendation for approval of transmittal to DEO (Department of Economic Opportunity) and assured the Board that he will incorporate the comments expressed during this hearing into their responses.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione commented that depending on the City of Eustis to deal with the transportation issues could be problematic if the City does not recognize the same issues as the County, such as the impact on Estes Road. She related that she could not in good faith support an adoption of the higher density unless the access was to the south to Hwy 44, and she would want the design criteria to address preservation of the trees and open space in a PUD.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that the Board be open-minded about the densities needed to enable sewer utility service, but he would be looking at the size of the parcels in the PUD. He added that the most important issue would be the requirement of the connection to the south to connect that parcel with Hwy 44. He remarked that the Board was responsible for the traffic on County roads and the traffic at the intersection of Estes Road and Orange Avenue was problematic.
Commr. Campione stated that she agreed with Commr. Cadwell on the lot size issue and suggested that they look at clustering, the overall layout, and architectural criteria for beneficial house designs that would accompany a PUD which they would feel good about approving.
Commr. Parks expressed a concern about making sure that any conditions or additional steps are clearly documented so that there is no confusion moving forward.
Mr. Sheahan clarified that if the Board chooses to transmit the amendment, staff will require that the PUD will be part of the adoption process and will address low-impact design and architectural standards to minimize impacts on the site, tree preservation, connection to SR 44, improvements to Estes Road, and specific adherence to the Wekiva policies.
Commr. Cadwell specified that he will not be able to support vehicular traffic patterns from Estes onto Lake Lincoln Lane, although he would be in support of looking at pedestrian access at that location for students to get to the middle school.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the transmittal of the Bates Property Future Land Use Map Amendment, Rezoning Case No. FLU-2016-05-4, with the aforementioned conditions.
Commr. Parks voted “no,” since he wanted the access issues addressed beforehand.
yonally-gist rezoning – rz-16-05-5
Mr. Sheahan presented the Yonally-Gist Rezoning, Case No. RZ-16-05-5, which was a request to rezone 9.77 acres from R-1 (Rural Residential) to CFD (Community Facility District) for an Adult Congregate Living Facility/Nursing Home (ACLF/Nursing Home), and he specified that the owner of the property is Carolyn Yonally and that the applicants were Stanley and Keisha Gist.
Commr. Cadwell disclosed that although he has not met with the applicant on this case, he had met with several of the residents in the area, whose names are on file in the Planning and Zoning Division office.
Commr. Conner disclosed that he had spoken with Ms. Lynn Bain.
Mr. Sheahan noted that he had recently received notification that Mr. Jimmy Crawford, an attorney, was representing the applicant. He continued to explain that the two-parcel property is located within the Rural Future Land Use Category (FLUC) which has a density of one dwelling unit per five acres; however, there was no density restriction, since this was a community facility, and the applicant was proposing to provide a maximum of 160 beds in the facility. He reported that staff feels any transportation impacts could be mitigated with some improvements, and he noted that the area was rural to the south, north, and east of the property. He pointed out that the applicant agreed to several conditions in order to alleviate the concerns of the residents which primarily had to do with development of an on-site wastewater treatment plant and traffic and noise impacts, including requirement of a 30-foot buffer around the entire property from all property lines, requirement of the construction on the site to be similar to single-family design, and utilization of native and existing vegetation and trees.
Commr. Parks disclosed that Mr. Crawford called him to let him know he would be speaking about this case.
Mr. Crawford, representing Stanley and Keisha Gist, commented that the applicants and the project engineer have worked hard with staff to create a minimal impact, residential, assisted-living, memory care facility, noting that research has shown that assisted-living and memory-care residents do much better in a residential setting than they do in an institutional setting. He related that they have tried to design, and believe they have succeeded in designing, a low-impact residential development utilizing the existing residence on the property which currently houses two residential clients, as well as an existing greenhouse and storage building, which he illustrated on the overhead monitor. He specified that they plan to build a maximum of four units, each built like a home, one at a time, connected by covered walkways, to provide a home environment for individuals who could no longer stay in their own home at a staff-to-client ratio of about 1 to 3. He elaborated that there would be a key-code door and two key-code gates before a resident could get outside of the facility. He related that the staff report showed that the road is currently at 23 percent of capacity and would be at 27 percent of capacity after the development, which would be less traffic than if the property was developed at the current zoning density of one unit per acre for residential, and he noted that none of their clients are able to drive. He added that the lot was wooded with extensive buffering, and they increased their buffer in response to nearby residents’ concerns to 25 feet on the east and 30 feet on the west in order to leave more of the existing woods and increased their entrance width to 24 feet in order to negate their impact on the unpaved secondary roads to the west. He explained that the applicants currently operate a similar facility in Eustis, and he entered into the record letters from some of their existing clients’ families that he believed would alleviate some of the concerns from the nearby neighbors, reading some of the letters aloud to highlight the high-quality, personalized care received in an intimate and home-like environment, where the clients’ individualized needs were being met as they experienced a sense of community, with the letters stressing the happiness and contentment felt by those clients; other letters talked about the economic advantages to having that type of business in that area as well as meeting a need for those types of facilities in the community. He also mentioned that they will have a greenhouse on the property for the residents to grow plants and gardens, as well as back porch gardens for those who are less mobile.
Commr. Cadwell asked how many years of experience the applicants had in this business.
Mr. Crawford answered that they opened the facility in Eustis in 2012, which was a smaller, one-building facility which held six residents.
Commr. Conner asked whether his clients own the property for this facility.
Mr. Crawford responded that the applicants were the lease-purchasers of the property, and he also clarified that the capacity of the project shown on the site plan would be 128 residents for the four buildings, although they have asked for a maximum of 160.
Commr. Campione asked about information regarding the phases of the project.
Mr. Crawford recapped that the plan was to build in phases, with the road and the first four-plex building in the first phase, along with the stormwater, and he mentioned that the sewage will be from advanced treatment septic tanks for each individual unit to avoid a package plant. He added that the construction will be done one at a time as need arises and money becomes available.
Commr. Conner asked how many apartments will be in each unit.
Mr. Crawford replied that each four-plex will have four apartments or small houses, with each house containing four one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units.
Commr. Conner expressed concern about whether this business will be successful and the possibility of the buildings becoming vacant in the future due to an unviable business plan, since going from six units to 160 is a major increase. He also asked how many employees will be working at the facility.
Mr. Crawford answered that there would be roughly 40 employees once it was all built out, but doing the phased implementation of this plan will enable them to grow in a proper manner. He also mentioned that they will be required to have a state license and for their employees to be licensed and trained.
Commr. Conner asked what kind of pay system the business will utilize.
Mr. Crawford replied that it would be private pay.
Ms. Keisha Gist, the applicant, elaborated that they work with the long-term diversion care programs, so they have some families that subsidize some portion of the charge, and they also accept part of the payment from Medicaid.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Candace Pailer, a resident of Lady Lake who lives on French Road near the proposed facility, commented that she had moved there from Miami for peace and quiet after retiring from teaching, and she expressed concern that the facility will interfere with that peace and quiet and will result in increased traffic from employee, service, and food truck vehicles. She illustrated on the overhead map that the road is in very bad condition and added that there are children and bus stops along that road. She opined that the area is not very rural and that there are pedestrians from Carlton Village using their neighborhood. She also expressed concern about their property values decreasing, their property taxes increasing, the road becoming more torn up, low water pressure in the area, and fire hazards due to no available fire hydrants in the area.
Ms. Jan Redoutey, a resident of Lady Lake who lives on French Road near the proposed facility, also mentioned that she liked the setting and the peace and quiet of the area and added that she walks her dog and bicycles up and down the street often. She commented that she was afraid of the change that would happen to the road and the area if the facility were built there and the fact that she would not be able to do those activities anymore. She asked that the Board not rezone her property and reiterated the previously-mentioned concerns about employee and truck traffic.
Ms. Caroline Grino, another resident who lives on French Road, commented that this is a family-oriented area and that she did not think a medical facility belonged in that location. She opined that there were plenty of other places for the applicants to locate the facility, including the remodeling of existing facilities. She noted that French Road is shaped like a horseshoe, with a majority of vehicles coming off of Lake Griffin Road, and she also expressed concern about children on school buses, the absence of sidewalks, and the added traffic.
Mr. Robert Marcus, a resident of French Road diagonally across the road from the proposed site, presented three photographs of the road showing the narrowness and condition of the roads and two 90-degree turns in the roads, and he asked why the applicants want to locate their nursing home in their residential area, noting that there was property two miles away that was already zoned for that use on U.S. Highway 441. He mentioned that there were three of those kinds of facilities already operating in Lady Lake and a fourth one currently under construction. He commented that he has had negative personal experience with some nursing homes and had found only one excellent facility in his experience which was non-profit, run by an organization, and expensive. He showed a photograph of a typical 100-bed nursing home which brought in gross revenue of $8.5 million annually in order to illustrate that nursing homes such as this facility were money-making businesses and not community service projects, and he added that the nursing homes cannot operate without Medicaid and Medicare.
Ms. Lynn Bain, a resident of Eustis, related that her husband was a resident at the At Home Care Facility in Eustis, and she commented that facing the end of life and catastrophic illness of family members is a very difficult time for which one is never really prepared. She elaborated that those family members need a lot of guidance and information to decide about the care of their loved ones, and she had found out about the option of smaller at-home memory care from an organization called Care Patrol. She opined that Mr. and Mrs. Gist have provided for her husband, her family, and the residents under their care much support, dignity, and very personal care, and the Gists were exemplary caregivers and visionaries in regard to memory care in the way they treat the residents and enhance the lives of the residents and their families. She added that although that type of care might not be good for everyone, it was the way of the future in terms of care of their elderly, terminally ill, and dementia patients. She assured everyone that those kinds of facilities are quiet and low-key with a very calm, caring, and supportive family atmosphere with very little in-and-out traffic. She concluded that it gives people emotional comfort to have their family cared for in such a way.
Ms. Robin Patrowicz, a resident of Mount Dora and representative for Care Patrol, an organization which provides a free community service that helps senior citizens and their families find long-term living solutions, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Gist for being visionaries and unsung heroes. She noted that her organization does not have any affiliation with a particular senior facility, and she visits most of the senior communities and sees the way they operate. She commented that Ms. Gist was very politically involved as the head of the Florida Assisted Living Association and expressed confidence in Ms. Gist’s abilities to run this type of facility and to provide a comforting, wonderful environment. She added that senior citizens and their families need and deserve that type of care, and she asked the Commissioners to give the applicants their support and to help move this country into the progression towards memory care.
Commr. Cadwell asked Ms. Patrowicz if she believes in her professional opinion that the applicants would be able to run this large a facility after running a much smaller one.
Ms. Patrowicz answered that she believes without a doubt that the applicants would be able to successfully run that facility in a mindful way and expressed confidence that they will be successful. She also opined that the Gists were in the business for the right reason in order to provide the right care for seniors and families rather than doing it to make a lot of money. She offered to take the Commissioners to the existing facility to see the care for themselves, including the smells coming from the kitchen and the non-clinical household sounds, which they all want for their loved ones.
Commr. Conner asked her to elaborate on what she does.
Ms. Patrowicz responded that Care Patrol is a nationwide company that provides a free community service by finding long-term living solutions for families, and they get compensated by a referral fee from communities that they have a relationship with, which were 95 to 97 percent of all the communities in Lake County.
Mr. Crawford stated he would like to address a few points that were brought up by those who spoke and mentioned that there was a letter in the packet that addressed the concerns that a lot of people expressed. He assured everyone that their buildings will reflect the surrounding zoning with residential-based, small clustered homes for the residents that contain kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and closets just like regular homes, with the difference being the constant care and supervision, although not necessarily medical care. He emphasized that Mr. Ted Wicks, Project Engineer, Wicks Engineering Service, determined that the project would generate only half the traffic than if ten homes were built on that parcel, but he noted that there would be delivery trucks and ambulances now and then using that road; however, he added that they would direct all of their traffic off of Lake Griffin Road a quarter of a mile from where their entrance would be, prohibiting traffic from coming down French Road, which could be a condition of the CFD zoning, along with possibly posting a no through traffic sign at the southern intersection of French and Lake Griffin Roads to prevent vehicles from using that as a cut-through to their facility. He pointed out that they have agreed to give the 33 feet of right of way, construct the road improvement in front of their property, and build a sidewalk, but could not do that for their neighbors due to lack of right of way. He opined that all of these measures would keep traffic impacts to a minimum and the traffic off of French Road. He assured the Board and those with concerns that the applicants run their facilities in a first-class manner and that this one would be run the same way and would be a safe place for the clients and neighbors. He also emphasized that there is no evidence of diminution in value from a residential facility to surrounding residential properties. He pointed out that this was the first step of a long process, and they had to come in with detailed site plan and construction plan reviews, which will entail detailed traffic, lighting, and noise studies as well as a landscape design in order to move forward. He concluded that this project is a nice transition use between the more intense development to the west and the less intense development around the area which will have a positive effect on the community and the county as a whole, and he asked for approval of the project.
Commr. Parks asked for more details regarding the landscape buffer.
Mr. Crawford responded that the required buffers are 30 feet on each side in the ordinance, and additionally they are leaving the existing forest of tree and bush material along the edges as an opaque landscape buffer.
Commr. Conner commented that the road issues that were brought up were legitimate, since the roads in that area are narrow and in bad condition.
Mr. Crawford assured him that they will be mitigating the road impacts by prohibiting the through traffic on French Road and illustrated the intended traffic flow on the overhead monitor.
Commr. Conner asked about the water system and the concern someone had expressed regarding the water pressure issue.
Mr. Crawford replied that he had no knowledge about water pressure issues and noted that the facility would be on a DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) approved potable well which will not impact anyone else’s water system.
Commr. Cadwell commented that this decision is a tough one for him, since the concerns expressed about the transportation system in that area are true, and the roads are in bad shape. He mentioned that the County has been trying to work with the community on the possibility of getting those roads into the assessment program and the road system. He clarified that staff could not use any other method than signage to make French Road as a through road for only the residents to use.
Mr. Crawford interjected that Mr. Wicks indicated that they could put a directional entrance into their property that would allow for only a right turn in and a left turn out.
Commr. Cadwell added that he also understood the neighbors’ concerns about a proposed project for something different than what is already in that area, but he believes from his experience that he would not personally have a problem living next to a nursing home. He summarized that with the additional buffers being proposed for the property, the single story buildings that will mirror the surrounding residences, and with everything else they will do and provide there, he intends to support approval for the project.
Commr. Campione mentioned that there is a requirement in the ordinance for the appearance of single family residential units, and she believed that this type of facility was an ideal situation for a loved one. She also opined that although there will be deliveries and family members visiting, there would not be a lot of traffic, and she pointed out that a subdivision on a cul-de-sac would look very much like what is being proposed with a lot more traffic. She commented that although she understood the neighbors’ concerns, she would support approval.
Commr. Conner assured everyone that he would not support the project if he believed the neighbors or property owners in the area would be adversely affected by the facility, but his experience with those types of facilities indicates that there is not much traffic and that it is quiet, and he elaborated that the evidence shows that there would not be as adverse an effect as some people seem to think there would be. He talked about the increase in life expectancy and the great need for those types of facilities in their community. He indicated support for this project and remarked that he would not mind living next to an assisted living facility, since they were quiet and good neighbors.
Commr. Sullivan also mentioned the change in life expectancy and the need for a facility that will have the care that one will need, and he added that this would not disrupt the neighborhood with the considerations of the added buffers and the access via Lake Griffin Road.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, County Attorney, clarified that the motion will include the condition that the access will be limited to Lake Griffin Road and French, as pointed out by Mr. Crawford.
Commr. Campione pointed out that the site plan is a condition of the zoning, which locks the applicant in to this plan and layout.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 7, Rezoning Case RZ-16-05-5, Yonally-Gist Rezoning, which was a request to rezone 9.77 acres from R-1 (Rural Residential) to CFD (Community Facility District) for an Adult Congregate Living Facility/Nursing Home (ACLF/Nursing Home), and Ordinance No. 2016-23.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 12:05 p.m. that there would be a five-minute recess.
lake minneola landings pud amendment – case #rz-15-20-1
Mr. Sheahan related that the last case on the rezoning agenda was Rezoning Case No. RZ-15-20-1, Lake Minneola Landings, which was an amendment to an existing PUD approved in 1991 to increase the size and the number of units to a total amount of 69 units. He elaborated that the property was located in the Groveland area, north of CR 565A and west of CR 561, illustrating the location on the overhead map, and he mentioned that Minneola was to the northeast. He recapped that the Board had heard an exemption to this PUD request in March in which the Board granted them a waiver to the connection requirement from the Comprehensive Plan to central water and sewer, and he related that the applicants plan to serve the property with septic, with the water utility service coming from Groveland. He explained that the rezoning would change the existing MP (Planned Industrial) zoning to PUD (Planned Unit Development) to incorporate it into the existing PUD for a total area of approximately 40 acres. He mentioned that the proposed zoning request is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for residential units in the Low Density Future Land Use Category and the Land Development Regulations.
Commr. Campione, Commr. Cadwell, Commr. Conner, and Commr. Parks all disclosed that they have discussed this case with Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, attorney for the owner of the property.
Ms. Bonifay mentioned that this PUD was originally known as “Chris’ Landing,” which had consisted of fewer lots but also included a proposal for a marina with gas tanks and a large dry storage area that did not seem to be appropriate. She explained that the applicant had acquired some additional property, added it to this site, and proposed a total of 69 sites. She assured the Board that all of the environmental reports are in the backup information and that it has been reviewed and found in compliance by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the St. Johns River Water Management District, and the Lake County Health Department. She recapped that they had provided an analysis and a study when they had gotten a waiver in March from the Board to serve the project with septic tanks which found that this property had very good soils and indicated that septic would not be a problem on this site, and she added that both of the developments that are on the east and west are served by septic with no apparent problems. She related that the transportation improvements are specified in the backup information, and they will be giving additional right of way along the road to widen it. She added that it will have access to the trail, and they had worked with Lake County to determine where the access would be. She opined that this was a very straightforward development plan, and she related that Mr. Ted Wicks, Wicks Engineering Services, and the owner talked to several nearby residents and answered their questions after the Planning & Zoning meeting, who did not appear to have any further concerns after it was explained that this would just amend an existing PUD. She elaborated that there was a misunderstanding initially about the road alignment, but they have met the transportation capacity requirements. She stated that after getting an informal determination from the School Board regarding school capacity, they then went back and made a full formal application and request for a capacity determination, which was issued in April, indicating that there was sufficient capacity at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. She related that stormwater could become a potential problem which might require them to retain and treat that on site. She asked that the Board support the staff recommendation and opined that previous projects built by Hyland Homes, the developer, have always been well done, well thought-out, and an asset to the community.
Commr. Cadwell asked where the trail would actually tie in with the property.
Ms. Bonifay answered that it would be on the southwest corner.
Commr. Parks elaborated that the location was chosen to avoid crossing at intersections where there is heavy traffic and to be away from that traffic.
Commr. Sullivan asked for clarification that they have met all of the environmental regulations regarding septic systems as opposed to central sewers.
Ms. Bonifay confirmed that to be the case and elaborated that the future owners would have to get a clearance from the Department of Health before they can get a building permit. She also explained that this project was unique in that they have been doing the rezoning while going forward with their preliminary plat, which has been reviewed by County staff.
Commr. Parks mentioned that his only concern was the issue about septic tanks, and he asked if there was a higher standard for septic tanks than what is legally permitted particularly with nitrogen removal in proximity to water bodies that they were trying to protect such as Lake Minneola, although there may be lots in the layout that may not be applicable to that, in which case it will be sufficient not to provide additional nutrient loading from septic tanks. He also asked how the septic tanks will be maintained.
Mr. Wicks recapped that he had done a significant number of soil borings when he had done an onsite treatment and disposal system quality analysis during the work for the waiver that had identified the soil conditions and geohydrology of the site, gave them information on where the seasonal high water tables were, and a number of things they take into account to determine whether a site is suitable for the use of onsite systems. He assured the Board that he had looked at nutrient loading, and the Palatlakaha River and subsequent connected lakes have been evaluated by the state and local agencies, with the determination that the limiting nutrient is phosphorous rather than nitrogen. He elaborated that the sandy clay eight feet down in most cases tends to provide a natural filter for effluent from sources such as septic tanks as it filters down toward the groundwater. He reported that although the effects of nitrogen in the ground water is considered to be a health risk at a maximum contaminant level of ten milligrams per liter, they were not facing a nutrient problem in this case, and he noted that they were required to meet the Outstanding Florida Waters requirements for stormwater treatment and disposal, the basin requirements, and some attenuations of peak flows as they designed this system. He concluded that in their analysis in this case, both the soils and the soil conditions, the hydrology, the absence of a seasonal high water table, and the loading rates tell them that this has very minimal risks to create either a groundwater or surface water contamination problem, and he recommended that the Homeowners’ Association establish a policy to require the homeowners to inspect, pump, and maintain their systems at least on a five-year basis, which would mimic and is consistent to what the County has required in the Green Swamp and what has been recommended for the Wekiva Basin and to include that in their HOA (Homeowners Asociation) documents.
Commr. Parks asked what particular case would warrant using an advanced treatment for nitrogen removal in his opinion.
Mr. Wicks answered that it has been specifically targeted in the Wekiva Basin, since that is an area of surface-water discharge, and most of the groundwater there is connected by spring flow or some type of effluent contamination; however, there was a very dry profile in this particular case all the way down to below the sandy clay lands, and the nitrogen would not be expected to reach the groundwater in such a concentration that would exceed the public drinking water standards. He added that the phosphorous leaching from septic tanks has been shown scientifically not to occur in these kinds of conditions, and he opined that there was a protection afforded in this case to both the surface and groundwater based on the design of the conditional septic tank.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that the larger threat would be from the phosphorous that would be coming from the runoff rather than the septic tank, which would be minimized by the design of the stormwater.
Mr. Wicks responded that the St. Johns River Water Management District has indicated to them that they would need to design that stormwater system so that there was no net phosphorous release from the site. He concluded that their analysis shows that a conventional septic tank system provides adequate protection.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Cindy Davis, a resident of Clermont who lives near the proposed site, expressed concern about an increase in traffic due to the development of several subdivisions that are being built in the area, questioned whether there have been any recent traffic studies done since 2008, and suggested adding a light or roundabout. She also stated that she disagreed about school concurrency being available at the nearby schools, since as a member of the School Advisory Council (SAC) at Clermont Middle School, she had heard that there were 736 students enrolled at that school with a capacity of only 718. She commented that there was an algae problem on the lake bordering her property.
Ms. Cherie Aultman, a resident of Clermont, expressed concern about the placement of septic tanks on very small lots and the installation of a boat ramp without storage for boats or trailers, which will result in those boats being stored on a very small lot and being driven over the drain fields, and she summarized that she believed there was too much density for both boats and septic tanks. She also stated that she was concerned about water from failing septic systems flowing downhill into the lake or into the river which goes into Cherry Lake. She suggested either less density for the subdivision or to get hooked up to the City of Groveland’s utilities, with the developer paying the cost for the pipes needed. She also expressed concern about the location of the developer’s access to the trail being too inconvenient for the residents of the subdivision, resulting in those residents using a shortcut from the front intersection to the trail crossing at the corner to get there, adding more people using the road around the lake. She related that the developer is widening the road five feet closer to the body of water to increase the access.
Ms. Lauranna Turner, Director of Seven Oaks Co-op, whose property borders the new development on the west side, noted that their community is served by one well located about 25 feet from the proposed site and expressed concern that the 69 septic tanks from the proposed development will have an adverse effect on their currently pristine water. She commented that they were not opposed to development there but feel that the density proposed is too high for the area. She requested that the Board reduce the density to something more realistic for the area before approving the development, and she suggested other options of an advanced system or a pioneer agreement for collaboration with the City of Groveland.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this rezoning case, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Ms. Bonifay stated that one of the speakers who talked about a traffic study was provided an updated traffic study by County staff indicating that the trips generated by the 69 units would only use 19 percent of the capacity and that there is truly no concurrency issue or problem. She reiterated that there is a school capacity report dated April 18, 2016 showing that there is capacity at each school level along with a capacity reservation given by the School Board for this project. She clarified that although Groveland is providing central water to this project, it provided a letter stating it does not have capacity at this time to provide central sewer to it, and she emphasized that the distance to the sewer utility is not the problem. She pointed out that the developments on either side of the site have septic tanks, and their analysis shows there have not been any historical water quality problems in this area due to the use of septic. She added that the density for this project is 2.6 units per acre in an area allowed up to four per acre, and she opined that this was a viable and well-planned development.
Commr. Parks mentioned that the email from the Health Department indicates that the Health Department will evaluate each site upon permitting and verify exactly what would be required for each single-family residence at that time, and he asked whether they were exhausting all precautions.
Mr. Wicks answered that once they apply for a building permit, they will be immediately sent to the Health Department for a septic tank permit which will require a further soil evaluation and a determination of whether there is enough room to construct the septic tank and enough reserve area to construct an additional drain field should that original one fail, noting that the permitting process would look at each individual lot on its own merits.
Commr. Campione asked whether there is a possibility that the City of Groveland will gain enough capacity for this project in the future.
Ms. Bonifay answered that right now there is not a possibility of that happening and that Groveland has not given them a timeframe of when they will have that capacity available.
Commr. Cadwell added that he believed that if Groveland considered additional capacity, it would be routed in a different direction to avoid going towards Clermont.
Commr. Campione commented that requiring the five-year inspection in the HOA documents would remove the County from the obligation and oversight of those.
Ms. Bonifay opined that it would be better for the County to have that requirement in the HOA documents where any problems would be policed by neighbors rather than the County taking on the administration and responsibility of that.
Ms. Marsh recommended that the PUD contain a provision that requires that inspection condition in the HOA documents, and the County will look at their HOA documents when the applicants come in for a final plat approval to make sure that provision is in there.
Commr. Campione asked whether the County could be added as an enforcement party if they chose to do that to ensure enforcement in the case of amendment of the HOA documents.
Mr. Heath responded that they could make sure that the HOA documents include a requirement that that section of the CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) could not be amended without approval from the County.
Ms. Marsh clarified that a violation of that requirement in the restricted covenants would be a civil issue and would not be handled by the County’s Code Enforcement. She elaborated that the County would include in their PUD the requirement that the language is included in their HOA documents and could not be changed without the County’s permission, with the HOA rather than the County having enforcement authority.
Commr. Sullivan clarified that adding the language in the HOA documents that require a five-year maintenance schedule would give the County at least some administrative recourse to get the state to look at that. He then commented that his concerns about the traffic and the environmental impacts were addressed during this hearing, noting that he is convinced that septic tanks will work in this particular subdivision and that the applicants have exhausted the feasibility of bringing in sewage service from Groveland. He added that he likes the idea of the requirements for the five-year septic tank inspection being included in the HOA documents.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Rezoning Case #RZ-15-20-1, Lake Minneola Landings PUD Amendment, a request to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance # 54-91 to add Planned Industrial zoned acreage for a subdivision consisting of 69 residential units, with additional language in the ordinance requiring HOA documentation of five-year inspections, for the HOA to maintain records and a schedule of inspections, and inclusion in the PUD the condition that the HOA not change this requirement without the Board’s permission, as well as Ordinance No. 2016-24.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 1:20 p.m. that there would be a recess until 2:00 p.m.
ordinance - floodplain management and & grading standards
Ms. Marsh placed the proposed ordinance amending the Floodplain Management and Lot Grading standards on the floor for reading by title only, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; RENUMBERING SECTION 9.07.14, LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, TO NEW SECTION 9.11.00, TO BE ENTITLED “LOT GRADING;” AMENDING SECTION 3.02.05, LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, ENTITLED “SETBACKS;” AMENDING SECTION 14.14.02, LAKE COUNTY CODE, APPENDIX E, LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, ENTITLED “ZONING PERMITS;” PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by those present by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2016-18 amending the Floodplain Management and Lot Grading standards within unincorporated Lake County. There is no fiscal impact. (Commr. Campione was not in attendance at that time.)
budget work sessions
solid waste operation update and fy 2017 budget presentation
Ms. Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Division Manager, related that she would present an update of the Solid Waste program and the budget workshop. She showed an organizational chart illustrating that Solid Waste is part of the Environmental Services Division and noted that there were 32 full-time personnel. She explained that they provide the curbside collection and disposal for the County, operate the central facility, handle the hazardous waste collection, operate six countywide convenience centers, and manage the solid waste assessment program. She elaborated that their curbside collection services are provided to about 68,000 unincorporated residences, which includes the once-a-week trash, recycling, and yard waste collection, as well as some construction material and bulk items; and they have disposed of 50,000 tons of trash and processed 13,000 tons of recyclable materials in FY 2015. She noted that they were closing the five-acre Phase III cell of the landfill this year, and she stated that the main landfill operation consists of administration functions, operation of the scale house, maintenance of the central facility, processing of yard waste, special hauling, operation of the active cell, and many long-term care obligations. She related that they have hosted 26 community Hazardous Waste Collection Events throughout the county which takes household products such as corrosive drain cleaners, toxic fertilizers, petroleum products, oil base paints, batteries, or any product with reactive ingredients considered to be household hazardous waste. She presented a map, photographs, and a listing of the locations and operating hours of the County’s convenience centers, noting that the residents have adjusted to the change of hours, and she pointed out that there was about a 50-50 split of County and city residents using the facility.
Ms. Hamilton listed the accomplishments of her division, including completion of the DEP permitting for the cell closure that will be effective in October, and she mentioned that they will still accept tires, paint, furniture, and garbage even after the closure. She also explained that yard waste will continue to be accepted for residential and commercial customers, although they will not be able to accept large items such as spas that would not be able to fit in a 20-yard roll off container. She related that they have participated in two Keep Lake Beautiful events this year and one coming up that Saturday, May 21, in Umatilla to provide the household hazardous waste services, with the haulers providing collection and disposal service, and they have added bear-proof community dumpsters to the Paisley and Astor Convenience Centers providing 24/7 access with funding from their FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission) grant. She reported that after they had put out an RFP (request for proposal) to determine whether distance hauling would be cost effective per the direction of the Board and evaluated several bids, they determined that it was far more competitive and cheaper to keep that option in-house. Also, the division redesigned and readjusted staffing to the adjusted hours of operation, continues to surplus excess equipment, and are renting more equipment rather than purchasing in order to eliminate maintenance costs. She displayed charts of some benchmarks comparing the County to nearby counties which illustrated that the 68,000 Lake County residential units serviced in FY 2015 was less than Orange, Polk, and Marion Counties and that the County’s $178 average Solid Waste Assessment per residential unit was less than most surrounding counties. She pointed out that recycling has gone up since they had instituted the new solid waste contracts. She listed the components of the FY 2017 proposed budget totaling $16.7 million, with the largest expense being for collection and disposal, and she elaborated that they have eliminated one vacant supervisor position and are planning on purchasing one claw truck. She stated that the general fund transfer of $2.9 million reflects an increase of $750,000 from last year in order to keep the countywide services status quo from FY2016 due to the declining fund balance and the reduction of tipping fees, and she specified that they currently have about $120,000 in reserves.
Commr. Parks asked for further details regarding the RFP for distance hauling.
Ms. Hamilton answered that the lowest bidder was four times more expensive than using in-house services, noting that she had a detailed spread sheet of each of the bids available.
Commr. Cadwell asked whether the County will be responsible for the leachate costs indefinitely.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, responded that the cost for the leachate will decline substantially when they close and cap the five-acre cell this coming year.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the only place to save money would be from closing the convenience centers, but the Board policy was against giving those up, especially since that would be detrimental to the Keep America Beautiful mission and objectives.
Mr. Heath explained that this budget has two components, the assessment and the countywide services, which has been an issue since the establishment and discussions of the Solid Waste Alternative Task Force. He recapped that they cut positions in last year’s budget, and this year they looked for opportunities to reduce expenditures, since the fund balances were going down and revenues were not coming in due to closure of the cell. He mentioned that after he had determined that outsourcing would not help reduce expenditures, he then had staff put together a budget that was predicated on getting the same transfer from the general fund for 2017 as for 2016, which would necessitate discontinuing the hazardous waste program and closing the convenience centers as an unintended consequence; however, those programs are important for the goals of the Board regarding Keep Lake Beautiful. He summarized that reducing expenditures would be very difficult at this time.
Commr. Campione asked for Ms. Hamilton to elaborate on the other expenditures listed.
Ms. Hamilton explained that leachate was a large expenditure, with some of the other ones being their other operating contracts, disposal of hazardous waste, and other repair and maintenance types of operating expenses.
Commr. Campione asked how Lake County compares to other communities regarding the other services they provide in relation to solid waste, including the landfill.
Ms. Hamilton responded that the neighboring counties have similar services, with the exception of Marion County, which provides 18 convenience centers with the same services provided at the Lake County convenience centers but no collection services.
Commr. Campione commented that the landfill could ensure that the County has a place to dispose of solid waste, even if it was on a short-term basis, no matter what happens in the market, and she asked what the cost was to keep that asset available and how much of that is associated with the other expenses of running the landfill.
Ms. Hamilton answered that they looked at the 20-acre cell during the Phase III permitting to close the five-acre one. She added that there has been some deterioration of the liner and some slope failure, and it would cost about $300,000 to be able to use that cell.
Mr. Stivender added that currently they do not have to worry about leachate in the 20-acre cell, since it has nothing in it, and right now the County’s only costs are to mow it, maintain it, and make sure everything operates properly to satisfy the DEP requirements.
Commr. Campione asked if the landfill operations could be made more profitable.
Mr. Stivender responded that they were receiving revenue from the cell that they had been operating by charging $40 per ton and then seeing a spike in revenue by reducing that number to $27.50 per ton; however, there is a loss of revenue as they were dwindling their operations. He expounded that other costs for the County include monitoring, permitting, and maintenance of all of their sites, including convenience centers, until they get to a point where they stop producing a gas and stabilize, noting that the maintenance also entails capital improvements to grade the slopes due to decay over time. He pointed out that the Solid Waste budget has seen a reduction from $20 million in 2012 to $16 million in 2017.
Commr. Campione commented that they previously had a larger budget because there was more money coming in associated with Covanta as well as the electricity revenues.
Mr. Stivender responded that it was correct that they had a decline in the general fund transfer because they had the excess revenue from electricity at the end of the contract, and they were able to roll that over for almost two years with only a $300,000 transfer. He elaborated that last year they had to transfer $2.3 million in from the general fund, and they are now getting to the point where they have some cash carried forward which will keep the transfer down, although they are out of that rollover revenue. He summarized that they stretched the dollars a long way over those two or three years without any additional impact to the general fund.
Commr. Campione summarized that the budget will continue to look like this year’s budget going forward if they continue to do things the same as they have been doing them as far as the convenience centers and hazardous waste collection, and any reductions they would see in the landfill would be because over time it would be less expensive to maintain some of the cells as they are closed. She opined that the County could create some revenue by opening up the landfill to other entities, although the leachate would be another cost to contend with.
Mr. Heath pointed out that the auditors indicated that the County was in a transition period until they get past the closure phase and start to see some decline in the amount of leachate the County needs to process, when they will start to see a stabilization of the budget, which would be a good time to look into opening up an additional cell rather than taking on another issue, since the timing is not right.
Mr. Stivender added that they hope to use the renewed sales tax revenue for the capital cost to close the cell, and the Board should assess their cell situation about two years before the end of the seven-year contract ending in 2021 after looking at the marketplace at that time. He specified that currently the Heart of Florida disposal is cheaper than what the County could do, but that may change by that time.
Commr. Campione expressed concern about trash she continues to see on the side of the road that the hauler does not seem to be getting in time, and she asked that staff continue to work with the haulers to come up with a better system of keeping track of what needs to be picked up.
Mr. Stivender assured Commr. Campione that staff monitors that on a monthly basis, sends out notice letters of possible penalties if necessary, and grades the haulers accordingly.
Commr. Campione asked about whether the haulers could ask for a price increase.
Mr. Heath responded that the haulers have already asked for an increase once, but he had denied their request. He explained that the haulers can ask for an increase once a year under the contract, but they need to submit audited financial statements to back up their claim, and the County has an internal process in place to utilize the external auditors to review those and then to deny the requests that are not substantiated.
Commr. Campione expressed concern about not having control over whether the recyclables are really being recycled or where those end up.
Mr. Stivender responded that the County authorizes where the recyclables go but do not track it beyond that.
Ms. Hamilton added that the contract requires the haulers to use a DEP-approved recycling recovery facility, and she commented that this is not an issue that they are aware of.
Commr. Parks commented that he likes that the recycling rates have gone up to the point where Lake County had one of the highest rates. He asked whether there was a way to work with their auto part supply businesses to put in a collection bin for used oil filters.
Ms. Hamilton explained that municipal agencies could use Petrotech through the contract the County has in place right now, and they are working with Groveland to do that, although they prefer that the cities work directly with the contractor because of some containment issues; however, their contract does not allow for private businesses to utilize Petrotech, so they need to figure out whether or not Petrotech would be the best company for them.
Commr. Parks directed staff to continue to inform businesses about that option so that they can continue to do that on their own and to reach out to all of the cities to let them know that they can use the contract.
Mr. Stivender pointed out that the County does take that type of material for hazardous waste collection but noted that the County’s price for disposal of that material went up substantially this year, which would be a detriment to the private sector doing that on their own.
Mr. Heath suggested and received consensus for staff to do a presentation at the League of Cities luncheon on the convenience centers and the hazardous waste program.
communications department update and budget presentation
Ms. Kelly Lafollette, Communications Director, stated that the purpose of the presentation was to provide the Board with an overview of the Communications Department activities and proposed FY 2017 budget, and she presented an organizational chart showing a total of eight full-time employees which includes herself, three graphic design employees, one employee who handles communications and media relations, and three web development staff. She related that the mission statement for the department was to effectively coordinate communication between the Board and citizens, business owners and visitors regarding County services, goals, objectives, and accomplishments. She explained that the department supports outreach initiatives for the Board and some of the Constitutional Offices; provides public relations, web, and graphic design services for all County departments, including key programs such as Tourism, Transit, Parks & Trails, and the Lake County Extension Office; helps support marketing and outreach efforts for events and programs sponsored by the Historical Society, the Water Safety Committee, and Keep Lake Beautiful; and provides communications and web support during EOC (Emergency Operation Center) activations. She related that the Communications and Media Relations responsibilities are primarily carried out by the County’s Public Information Officer, including outreach to local media, citizens, businesses, and visitors to promote County programs, initiatives, and accomplishments by the issuance in 2015 of 268 news releases and media advisories, planning and coordinating County events, developing content for print and digital outlets, management of social media, and distribution of a weekly e-newsletter which goes out to 6,300 subscribers.
Ms. Lafollette reported that currently they oversee ten Facebook accounts with a total of 12,700 followers, eight Twitter accounts with a total of 5,400 followers, and one tourism blog, noting that the impacts of social media now have far-reaching effects as a major source of media outlets to gather news and information. She related that staff designs a variety of printed materials such as advertisements, promotional items, fliers, and invitations; supports some of the Constitutional Officers with their graphics needs; processes all County stationary orders and many outside commercial print projects which allows them to work closely with all of the departments and the vendors to ensure cost-effective methods are being used whenever they print externally; and supports large-scale projects that require a lot of deliverables such as the Wings & Wildflowers project, which spanned several months and included many different graphic design needs. She added that the department also develops digital graphics, such as designing layouts for websites, developing the annual State of the County graphics, taking and editing of digital photography and video, and designing presentation templates. She explained that the web development staff manages both the front-end user experience and the back-end programming and database connectivity that feeds information and data to the 18 County and outside organization websites, and she specified that there were 2,300 web-related projects and tasks that were completed in 2015. She noted that in 2015, the department helped support numerous County events, including the Wings & Wildflowers Festival, Keep Lake Beautiful initiatives, and several ribbon cuttings and community celebrations, and they were able to incorporate much more video and soundbites into the State of the County presentation this past year to make it more of a video than a slide show. She mentioned that three new websites were launched by the department this past fiscal year, which includes the new Tourism website that went live last April, the sales tax informational website in June, and the Keep Lake Beautiful website in August.
Ms. Lafollette also mentioned that some other accomplishments included aiding the Human Resources Department with their rollout of benefit changes for the new fiscal year and designing a multi-page handout that outlined the changes being made and helped to inform the employees of how making more informed decisions about their health-care options can help save them money, as well as completion of the veterans’ handbook and update to the county’s goals and objectives. She pointed out that the County won a SUNsational Award from the Florida Festival and Events Association for the fourth year in a row for the Wings & Wildflowers social media outreach. She noted that this year the department revamped the State Legislative Priorities documentation to be inclusive of all priorities and to enable the individual project sheets to be pulled for meetings with legislators in Tallahassee and worked with the Property Appraiser’s Office on some enhancements to their website. Other efficiencies were that they created a temporary secure website to livestream twelve traffic cameras during Leesburg BikeFest so that law enforcement and emergency management could monitor traffic patterns and incidents, and she restructured the management of the graphic design services within the department to help streamline management of graphics projects. She showed some benchmarks which illustrate that although Lake County had the highest number of websites supported by County staff than all of the other surrounding counties, as a direct result of efficiencies within Lake County government which eliminated duplication of services, Lake had one of the lowest staffing levels of the surrounding counties. She also showed a graph illustrating that Lake’s budget of $624,641 was lower than all other counties except Marion County, with Sumter County having no communication budget. She reported that currently the funding for her department comes from three different sources, 63 percent from the general fund, 31 percent from Tourist Development Tax, and 6 percent from Transit Funds. She specified that the total cost for personal services is $639,043, and the operating expenses, including equipment, software, training, and office supplies, are $15,004 for a total budget of $654,047, which reflects a slight decrease in the department’s operating budget but maintains the current levels of service.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he is amazed at the quality of work that this department accomplishes.
Commr. Parks commented about the efficiency the department shows in managing all of their websites, and he thanked Ms. Lafollette and her team for the great job they do.
update on employee medical plan and proposed medical center
Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, stated that his presentation would provide the Board with an overview of the County’s self-funded medical plan for FY 2017 and information on the update regarding the proposed employee medical center. He presented an organizational chart showing that the department has 9.5 full-time employees and a mission statement to develop, implement, and support programs and processes that add value to the County and its employees, leading to improved employee wellbeing, growth, and retention, while committed to the County’s goals and its management and prosperity for its employees, citizens, and all customers and businesses, including proactively administering the risk and benefits programs for the County and other participating entities. He recapped that they manage a self-funded medical plan for the County’s employees and their dependents, as well as the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization, Supervisor of Elections, Property Appraiser, Water Authority, Tax Collector, Lake Emergency Medical Services, and Clerk of Courts, and he specified that they currently average over 1,100 employees and 2,643 total plan members across all entities, including approximately 606 Lake County BCC employees,. He reviewed the department’s accomplishments, including providing benefits services and health screenings to employees in July 2015, holding flu shot clinics in October 2015, meeting with all benefits partners to inform them of changes to the health plan, and conducting benefits-related information sessions to educate employees on plan design changes.
Mr. Anderson opined that their largest efficiency is that they are a self-funded plan, which enables the County to keep any savings if claims are lower than anticipated, with stop-loss insurance coverage to pay for excess and higher than anticipated costs; and other efficiencies listed were the use of the Florida Blue network to provide discounted medical services at an annual savings of $16.6 million on billed medical charges and modification of the plan design to encourage appropriate use of the health insurance program after conducting an analysis of claims data. He added that the purchased excess loss insurance to protect the County from large claims of over $200,000 resulted in the County receiving $133,645 in excess loss reimbursement in FY 2015 and $54,297 this fiscal year to date, and Lake County has also received pharmacy rebates of $196,415 in FY 2015 and $133,454 for FY 2016 to date. He showed benchmarks illustrating that all counties except for Marion County were self-funded, with the number of employees participating in a county health plan ranging from a low of 528 to a high of 1,124, with Lake at over 1,100 employees, and that there are a wide variety of plans offered from other organizations. His benchmarks also showed that Lake County was in the middle of the range of employer and employee share of the health care premiums compared to other counties.
Mr. Anderson recapped that staff presented information on options for operating an employee medical center or clinic at the December 1, 2015 BCC meeting, wherein the Board directed staff to survey other agencies utilizing the health plan, survey employees about utilizing an employee medical center, and conduct a procurement process for an employee medical center. He reported that after the Human Resources staff met with representatives from all the other entities and ascertained that they were all receptive to the concept of a clinic, staff prepared and conducted a survey of employee interest in utilizing an employee medical center which indicated that 80 percent of the 495 employees who submitted opinions would consider using the clinic for some of their medical needs if it had a small $5-$10 co-pay, with an additional 10 percent indicating they would use it if the clinic was free. He broke down the indicated usage of the clinic which demonstrated that 23 percent of respondents would use the clinic for all regular doctor’s visits, 16 percent would use the clinic only for urgent care, 59 percent would use both the center and their regular doctor depending on the need, and 3 percent would never use the center due to long-established relationships with their current doctor.
Mr. John Robinson, consultant with Robinson Bush, described the procurement process used for the employee medical center and gave an overview of the RFP (request for proposal) the County used, noting that they looked at the qualifications of the company, set the scope of work, specified the communication and reporting requirements, and evaluated the cost and guarantees in hard dollars for both a management company model and local provider model. He mentioned that they wanted to concentrate on the primary care services for annual physicals as well as acute and chronic types of conditions that would provide continuity of care, but they also looked at urgent care services for acute conditions, ancillary medical services such as laboratory services and cost-effective common medication dispensing, and health management services and screening. He gave an overview of some of the important issues they looked at regarding the clinic, including that the facility should be open for 40 hours per week with flexible hours including evening times, located in a central and convenient location, and staffed by a Board Certified physician; that the emphasis for the clinic should be on primary care services and health management to realize long-term savings and continuity of care; and that the clinic contract should be for one year with four one-year extensions. He commented that they were looking at the hard rather than the soft savings, such as reductions in primary and urgent care visits and emergency room visits, increased use of generic medications, and redirection of outpatient services; and he noted that they also intend to see improvements in the member’s health with early detection of conditions. He showed a chart of expected return on investment and a range of services that would have to be redirected in order for the clinic to break even and to be of value to the County financially. He specified that the proposal they got back from Healthstat has an annual cost of a little over $700,000 for the clinic, and they subtracted out the $120,000 for the employment services that the County currently pays for things such as Workers’ Comp and all of the employment-related physicals in order to see what the true cost or savings would be to the health plan itself. He elaborated that a redirection of about 10 to 35 percent of their primary care services would result in a savings of about $140,000 from their health plan. He noted, however, that as the clinic builds up over time with more use, the break-even level of utilization would be about 35 percent use. He related that some considerations in opening a clinic would be incentives for participation; utilization for ongoing primary care needs to increase over time; the cost to the County for opening, managing, and running the clinic; the expectation of losses in the initial years, including $445,000 in the first year; and for the possible need for additional locations in the future. He assured that there were built-in protections to cancel if the clinic was not meeting the Board’s expectations.
Mr. Anderson reported that in FY 2016 they had increased the employee contribution, changed the plan design based on utilization, and increased the County budget contribution per position per year. He showed a bar graph of the reserves showing a continuing decline from $8.85 million in FY 2011 to $1.59 million in FY 2017, noting that there would have been no reserves in FY 2017 if they had not made changes, and he pointed out that they were required to keep approximately two months of payout in reserves, which would be about $2 million at current rates. He showed another bar graph illustrating that the claims payments showed a steady increase from 2011; however, he also noted that the claims for the last fiscal year actually were below projections due to the plan design changes, although he opined that medical costs will continue to climb. He recommended a seven percent increase to employee contributions to be effective January 8, 2017, to be waived if employees get a biometric screening done at the clinic if it is approved. He reported that the largest portion of the proposed budget in the amount of $12 million will come from the County’s budgeted contribution per position, with the employee participants paying another $2.3 million, and he added that they get another $50,000 from Blue Cross for contributions to their wellness program. He summarized that the total budget was in the amount of $18,171,924, with reserves making up $3.1 million of that, and the budget includes the increase to employer contributions, a small increase in claims, and mandated reinsurance fees. He commented that historically costs have been increasing by 8 to 9 percent each year, with medical costs expected to continue to increase, and other organizations have successfully implemented clinics. He added that although there may be a loss of up to $445,000 to operate the clinic in the first year, ultimately use of the clinic should result in savings to the health plan; however, he cautioned that an increase in employer and employee contributions is necessary to maintain sufficient reserves with or without a clinic and suggested doing that in smaller increments each year rather than one larger increase in future years. He requested that the Board approve increases to the employee contributions to be effective January 8, 2017, which will be waived for employees who complete biometric screenings between October 1 and December 31, 2016; approve Tab 17 awarding the contract to Healthstat Inc.; and authorize the County Manager to update plan documents as necessary.
Commr. Campione commented that she thought the contract with Healthstat would include some type of guarantee built in regarding return on investment and potential loss.
Mr. Anderson replied that Healthstat submitted a guarantee of up to a total of one-third of their administration fee of $330,000 or a maximum guarantee of $100,000 broken down in various line items and based on a 75 percent participation rate. He also clarified that Healthstat had the strongest guarantee by far than any other company who responded to the RFP.
Commr. Conner recapped that he had expressed some reservations about the clinic when they initially discussed the issue, but he realizes that the County has a long-term problem with medical costs. He expressed concern about the operating hours of the clinic, noting that many children and adults have health issues during evening and late night hours and that one location would not be enough to meet the needs of employees and users who live in a very large, spread-out county. He also expressed concern about the expenses for the County by not charging a co-pay for visits or prescriptions, and he opined that the County could not afford the expense of almost half a million dollars in one year. He asked to be shown a model that has been implemented which would give him some propensity to expect that the clinic would be successful as well as a plan that will seem less risky.
Mr. Anderson responded that most doctors’ offices are not open 24 hours a day, so the option will still be available for those that get sick to go to the emergency room or urgent care, noting that the clinic would be in addition to the health plan and not a substitute for it. He added that they plan to have staggered hours, including a half day on Saturday, and he commented that the concern about location is valid, since Lake County is a large county, although most employees work in a five-mile radius of Tavares. He elaborated that the biometric screenings that would check triglycerides, glucose levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and respiration would help people manage their health care, which was one of the purposes of the clinic.
Commr. Sullivan commented that the key to the success of this will be the utilization and incentives that will get people to use the clinic, which was the reason for waiving the co-pays, and any problems identified during the biometric screening could be controlled, which will save money on the cost of the health care going forward. He pointed out that with the cost of health care continuing to increase, he believed they needed to make an effort to control those costs as they move forward and that this was probably the least expensive way to do that. He concluded that if they do not do something proactive to try to control their costs going forward, there will be a continual increase in premiums, although he did not like the idea of spending the money. He added that he liked the ability to be able to get out of the contract after one year.
Commr. Cadwell opined that if they do not do something different than they have been doing, the math will ensure they will be faced with a problem down the road. He commented that while investing that much money to open the clinic is a gamble, it is something the County can get out of if it does not work. He pointed out that the incentive would be to let the employees know that the County is bearing all of the costs they can now on their health coverage and that something will have to change in their health plan which will result in the employees bearing more of the costs if they do not utilize the clinic and do the preemptive screening to avoid long-range health concerns. He elaborated that this gives the Board an option, and they can look at the numbers and make a decision about whether to continue it a second year.
Commr. Parks commented that the status quo is not going to work, and he asked whether the doctor will be at the clinic the entire 40 hours that the clinic is open.
Mr. Anderson answered that the same doctor should be there for all of the hours that the clinic will be open.
Mr. Heath interjected that they were planning on using data showing the peak periods of the day that people go to the doctor or the emergency room to gauge the hours of operation for the clinic. He mentioned that Sheriff Borders has a facility in Leesburg and is looking at opening one in South Lake, since the employees like and utilize the facility to the point where it was getting to be at full capacity usage.
Commr. Conner commented that although the price of the clinic seems high, $500,000 is a small percentage of the $12 million in health care claims they currently experience, but he stated that he did not yet feel comfortable moving ahead with this.
Commr. Campione added that the cost is projected to increase 8 to 9 percent every year, resulting in an even higher cost if they do not do something now, and they have a better chance of significantly reducing their ongoing costs in the future, even though it will initially be some money out of pocket.
Commr. Conner agreed with that statement and added that although he was initially opposed, he sees that the annual increases are not sustainable. He indicated that he might vote to approve the use of the clinic, since he does not think there are any alternatives.
Mr. Heath related that the clinic is a separate issue from the medical plan, and they will need to increase the employer and employee contribution whether or not they move forward with the clinic in order to keep the reserves at the required level. He added that something will need to change in the next few years or the County will end up paying $10,000 to $11,000 per employee annually, and he noted that there has been an increasing number of local governments who have instituted the clinics over the past year. He opined that if they do not use the clinic, the County could end up having to use a high-deductible HSA (health savings account), which he pointed out would be a very employee-unfriendly plan, and he is trying to do everything possible to avoid that scenario.
Commr. Parks opined that they need to support the clinic, since costs will get more expensive rather than cheaper, but he asked to see a model or a visual description of what the clinic would be like for their employees.
Commr. Campione suggested that Healthstat come to a future BCC meeting to give the Board an overview of the entity that they are selecting and what they hope to achieve. She related that she believed that this would help employees with the overall management of their health as well as administering of the prescriptions.
Mr. Anderson responded that the clinic would be used for both primary and urgent care, as well as some generic prescription dispensing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the increase to employee contributions starting in January 2017 and the waiver of those increases for those who get the biomedical screening.
Commr. Campione clarified that in addition to clinic or urgent services, people who choose to use the clinic for their primary care will get a wellness-type program and will get referrals to network specialists when necessary.
Commr. Parks explained that he would vote against the motion approving the clinic because he wanted to table the issue until he received more information and not because he did not think they needed to move forward with the clinic.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved Tab 17 to award contract 16-0209 to Healthstat Inc. (Charlotte, NC) for operation of an Employee Medical Center. The fiscal impact is $705,313 (estimated first year operating costs) plus an additional $45,057 for clinic start-up costs (Expenditure) and authorization for the County Manager to update the plan documents as necessary.
Commr. Conner and Commr. Parks voted “no.”
appointment of members to the well florida council
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by those present by a vote of 4-0, with Commr. Conner not present, the Board approved the appointments of members to the Well Florida Council, as follows: reappointment of Jonathan Cherry as Lake County Provider Member to serve a consecutive two-year term ending September 30, 2018 and appointment of Regina Laursen as a Lake County Purchase Member to complete an unexpired term ending September 30, 2016 and serve a consecutive two-year term ending September 30, 2018.
appointments to the parks, recreation & trails advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointments of Helen LaValley (School Board Representative) and reappointment of Patricia Burgos (Water Authority Representative), Mayor Chris Bell (League of Cities Representative), and Michael Stone (At-Large member who is a resident of unincorporated Lake County) to the Parks, Recreation & Trails Advisory Board to serve a two-year term expiring May 20, 2018.
reappointment to careersource central florida
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointment of Mr. Greg Beliveau to serve in the Private Sector Seat representing Lake County on the CareerSource Central Florida Board of Directors for a three-year term from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019.
Commr. Campione commented that Mr. Beliveau has been very engaged, goes to all of the meetings, participates in all of the discussions, and does a great job looking out for Lake County’s interest in regard to CareerSource.
appointments - wekiva wild and scenic river system committee
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointment of Commr. Campione as Lake County's member and appointment of Brian Sheahan, Community Safety & Compliance Director, as Lake County's alternate member to the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System Advisory Management Committee for four-year terms beginning May 2016.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – DISTRICT 4
keep lake beautiful event
Commr. Campione reminded everyone of the Keep Lake Beautiful events in Umatilla on Saturday, May 21.
use of pooled cash funds policy
Commr. Campione explained that Lake County Policy LCC-97 entitled “Use of Pooled Cash Funds” establishes a procedure to govern the use of the County’s Pooled Cash funds as it pertains to other entities, which would specifically apply to the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Lake EMS (Emergency Medical Services). She elaborated that a recent audit raised the issue that the County did not actually have a policy requiring approval from the Board for expenditures over a certain amount, although they have done this by practice over the last 12 years. She summarized that this policy would codify the procedure they had been following already and put caps in place.
Mr. Heath specified that this policy would establish guidelines of $500,000 for the MPO and $1 million for EMS, with any requests exceeding those amounts being brought back to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Lake County Policy LCC-97 entitled "Use of Pooled Cash Funds" which establishes a policy to govern the use of the County's Pooled Cash funds as it pertains to other entities.
services agreement with mpo
Commr. Campione explained that the agreement in Tab 8 with the MPO for staff services will update and codify the arrangement whereby Lake County government is providing a variety of services rather than have the MPO have to have their own attorney, human resources department, and other services on staff, in order to achieve efficiency of government services. She mentioned that there had been an issue raised about the compensation that the County has received for the services they have been providing.
Mr. Heath recommended that the County put money into the budget office’s budget next year to do an internal services study of the amount of five percent of the planning funds for services provided to the MPO.
Commr. Campione interjected that going forward with the internal study would allow them to identify exactly what the value actually is in the future.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 8 for approval and execution of an agreement between Lake County and the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Staff Services in order to codify the services the County was currently providing and how they calculate that. There is no fiscal impact.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
east lake historical society heritage festival
Commr. Cadwell related that the East Lake Historical Society Heritage Festival will be held on Saturday, May 21, at 9:00 a.m. in Sorrento.
facilities at hickory point volleyball complex
Commr. Cadwell reported that he and Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Development Director, met with the Water Authority in regards to the locker room and bathroom facility at the Hickory Point volleyball complex, and he opined that everyone seemed satisfied with the direction they were going and will continue to meet as they move forward in the process.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
appointment to expressway authority board
Commr. Parks informed the Board that he would be appointing Commr. Cadwell to represent the Board for another year on the CFX (Central Florida Expressway Authority) and expressed appreciation for Commr. Cadwell’s leadership and work on that board.
Commr. Parks reminded the Commissioners that the transit meetings were happening now and mentioned that he went to one in Groveland on May 16 which presented the transit plan, including the new Route 50 in South Lake. He elaborated that the meetings are informational for the public and to provide outreach to the cities for their input regarding location and other details about the bus stops and the route itself.
florida county government guide
Commr. Parks asked the Commissioners to encourage people to use the Florida County Government Guide, which the Florida Association of Counties is promoting as a valuable source to teach high school and college students how local government works, and he mentioned that he was working on purchasing a few of them and making this available in the library system.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.
sean M. parks, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK