A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
September 11, 1980
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in Special Session on Thursday, September 11, 1980, at 9:00 A.M. in the Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room, Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present were: C. A. "Lex" Deems, Chairman; Thomas J. Windram; Glenn Y. Middleton; James R. Carson, Jr.; and Glenn C. Burhans. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Sanford Minkoff, County Attorney's Office; Don Smalt, Executive Assistant to the Clerk; Harold Koppel, Finance Director; and Pat Willman, Deputy Clerk.
Discussion occurred regarding the proposed budget requests for 1980-1981, with the following tentative results:
Lake County Nutrition Program Title III B Project approved at $2,632.52 and Title III C Project approved at $11,575.00
Fire Control Assessment Approved at $8,666.82
County Forester Assessment Approved at $3,000.00
Lake County Historical Society Approved at $1,500.00
East Central Florida Regional Approved at $8,640.00
Okalawaha River Basin Approved at $2,500.00; Mr. Watkins to check re: any projects which are not complete.
North Central Florida Regional Approved at $2,500.00
Youth Programs, Inc. Approved at $6,000.00
Clerk Circuit Court (Recording
& Management) Approved at $37,310.00
Clerk Circuit Court (Finance &
Administration) Approved at $18,275.00 & Clerk to purchase requested computer equipment from excess fees from present year.
County Attorney Approved at $116,280.00
Supervisor of Elections Approved at $78,087.23
Elections Approved at $64,200.00
DEPARTMENT TENTATIVE RESULTS
Personnel Approved at $8,850.00
Purchasing Approved at $5,000.00
Central Stores Should not be a budgeted item/ in-out expenditure.
Board of County Commissioners Approved at $58,874.00
Planning Approved at $31,610.00
Building & Zoning Approved at $45,925.00
Planning - 201 Facilities Plan In-out expenditure
Emergency Services Approved at $12,748.00
County Service Officer Approved at $4,500.00
Lake County Family Health Approved at $lO,OOO.OO
Lake Sumter Community Mental Approved at $80,000.00
District III Mental Health Approved at $7,121.00
Welfare Approved at $432,131.00
Sunrise Workshop Included in Welfare Budget
Animal Control Approved at $18,895.00 and add new line item for $lO,OOO.OO/ in-out expenditure to comply with newly enacted law re: neutering.
Nursing Home Approved at $345,450.00
Fairgrounds Approved at $15,800
Expo and Farmer's Market Approved at $39,064.00
Agriculture Approved at $30,645.00
Lake Soil & Water Conservation Eliminate new position - Conservation Technician at $ll,SOO.OO; Budget approved at $28,065.00
Pollution Control Approved at $29,990.00
(Aulls; Brownlee; Daniel) Approved at $24,153.00
Auto Inspection Approved at $54,070.00
Clerk County Court Approved at $40,088.00
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 12:15 P.M., the Chairman announced the Board would recess for lunch at the Golden Coral in Eustis with the Public and Press invited on a Dutch-Treat basis and reconvene at 1:30 P.M.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES/HOSPITALS/MUNICIPALITIES
Mr. Bob Jordan appeared before the Board stating he represented the Northwest Ambulance District/City of Leesburg, to discuss the budget request of $330,498.00 made by the City.
Considerable discussion occurred concerning the various areas of the request such as personnel, equipment, and other services necessary for the operation of the ambulance service. Commr. Carson noted that since the original budget request was made by the City, one of the emergency vehicles had been wrecked and there would be an additional budget request for replacement of the vehicle.
Mr. Jordan stated the budget request included two vehicles and he was under the impression the wrecked vehicle would be replaced by the County with funds from contingency of the present years budget. Commr. Carson advised Mr. Jordan there were no contingency funds for any Special Taxing District. Mr. Jordan explained he had received his information from the City Manager, Mr. Glidewell.
Mr. Watkins questioned Mr. Jordan as to whether the City had discussed or made a decision pertaining to increasing the millage for the District. Mr. Jordan indicated the City Commission had not addressed that point.
Mr. Jordan indicated the budget request remains the same as in the orininal letter with the exception of the $30,000 to replace one of the ambulances now in use which should be decreased to $15,000 for the purchase of a non-emergency vehicle. Mr. Jordan explained that much of the personnel's time was spent on non-emergency transportation calls. Commr. Deems mentioned he was under the impression the nonemergency transports were to be handled by the Lake Sumter Community Mental Health Center.
Mr. Watkins questioned if the District could legally use the funds created by the District for any purpose other than emergency service and advised Mr. Jordan to have the City's legal counsel or the County's counsel research the matter to be sure the funds created by the District are being properly used.
Mr. Jordan explained to the Board that many of the calls for non-emergency transportation were ordered by physicians and were quite frequent, indicating this tied up up the emergency vehicles for non-emergency use. Mr. Jordan stated to the Board the District was not in a position at the present time to maintain the level of service as in the past without additional vehicles and manpower. Mr. Jordan also advised he did not feel the job could be done any more cost effective then is being done at present.
The Board and Mr. Jordan discussed the rates of the District and the methods of collection. Mr. Windram indicated he felt collections should be made through any possible means such as private insurance, medicaid, medicare, etc.
The Personnel salary request for the Northwest and the Northeast Districts were reviewed and discussed. Mr. Jordan pointed out that the Fire Service is approximately l/3 of the budget request for the Northwest District. Mr. Jordan referred to the personnel of the Northeast District as being mostly part time college students, etc. and stated the personnel of the Northwest for the most part had at least five years experience which would, along with the cross training, explain the higher rate of salary.
Commr. Carson pointed out that in the past few years since Waterman Hospital and Leesburg had taken over the service there had been very few complaints as opposed to when the service was contracted through a private ambulance service and therefore did not feel that the number of years experience would indicate any better level of service being provided in either service.
Commr. Carson stated the problem he had had all along was the arbitrary allocation of l/3 of the salaries of the fire department and that the salaries in the department that the District was being asked to pay l/3 of were higher than necessary due to the cross training and eventually this would bring about the need to split the services (fire and ambulance) or whatever was necessary to provide the services at the lowest possible cost to the tax payer. It was noted the number of employees for each District is approximately the same however, the Northwest's salary request was approximately $298,600 and the Northeast's being approximately $211,500, a difference of $87,000.
Detailed discussion continued and Mr. Jordan advised the Board that the bottom line was that if the County was unable to provide the manpower and equipment as requested, the City would be unable to provide the service this year. Mr . Jordan indicated perhaps the County would want to perform the service themselves or hire it out, it would be up to the County to make that decision. Commr. Carson asked Mr. Jordan to repeat his statement. Mr. Jordan stated that if the Board does find itself able to fund the budget, the City and Fire Department finds themselves in the posture that they will be unable to maintain the quality of service that they have in the past, therefore they will not be able to operate the service for the County. The service will then either be operated by the County or by someone else. Commr. Carson asked Mr. Jordan if he had been told to appear at this meeting and advise the Board of his comments. Mr. Jordan stated this was the feeling of the Fire Chief and the Department, he was not specifically told to state this but it is what he has been told by the Fire Chief. Commr. Carson stated the Board had a contract with the City of Leesburg for the service which is governed by the City Commissioners and advised Mr. Jordan that he was only trying to determine if this feeling came from the City Commission of Leesburg or someone in a Department Head status.
Mr. Jordan stated that l/3 of the Fire Department personnel were receiving a part of their salary through the ambulance district funds. Commr. Carson questioned the total number of Fire Department personnel to which Mr. Jordan replied there were 40. Commr. Carson stated there were 21 personnel listed in the budget request which indicated the ambulance district funds would be funding l/2 rather than l/3 of the Fire Department personnel.
Mention was also made by the Board of the tower recently installed in Leesburg for the purpose of communication services for all the ambulance districts, which was paid for through the District funds and State grants. Commr. Carson asked if the tower was being used totally for the amublance and rescue service or for fire, police and ambulance. Mr. Jordan indicated the console was used for the most part for the ambulance service however, the fire and police of Leesburg also use the communications tower and console. Mr. Jordan stated the City of Leesburg guilt the guilding which houses the communications equipment and also furnished the additional telephone lines.
Commr. Burhans moved to cut the Sheriff's proposed budget back to last years budget level plus a 10% increase. Commr. Middleton seconded the motion.
Under discussion, Commr. Deems stated he was concerned about cutting this particular budget due to the nature of the work involved.
Further discussion occurred regarding the Sheriff's request and Commr. Deems suggested the Sheriff be contacted and asked to come to the meeting and discuss the request with the Board.
DEPARTMENT TENTATIVE RESULTS
County Judges (Milton; Caldwell) Eliminate memory typewriter; Approved at $2,325.00.
State Attorney Approved at $8,000.00.
Public Defender Approved at $2,169.00
Road & Bridge Utilities cut to $14,000.00 and equipment cut to $177,000.00.
SHERIFF'S BUDGET CONT'D
Commr. Carson asked Sheriff McCall if he had learned anything which might be helpful concerning a possibility of getting two major oil companies to work together on a transfer of their allocations to allow himp to purchase from a company which is not necessarily the top of the market. Sheriff McCall stated he had talked with his supplier who had indicated he would prefer to retain the business. Sheriff McCall stated he felt the County could proceed with their proposal to convert to propane which would be c considerable savings to the County, however this would not be an immediate transfer. In view of these facts, the Sheriff stated he had requested what he felt was necessary to provide the fuel for the coming year.
Lengthy discussion occurred regarding the conversion of the Sheriff's Department vehicles to propane. Sheriff McCall advised a study had been conducted and he would like an additional 30 days for more testing. It was noted Levy County and some of the other municipalities, etc. have converted and are very satisfied with the results.
Commr. Windram asked Sheriff McCall for figures on the amounts expended to date on the various catagories of the Department. The Sheriff advised he could get those figures for the Board. The Board and Sheriff discussed the request for 6 additional personnel; 4 outside patrol and two inside for communications and corrections. The cost of additional patrol personnel was noted to be approximately $28,000.00 per person and the inside personnel at approximately $9 to $lO,OOO.OO per person.
Commr. Deems asked if it was customary in all or most jails to feed the personnel. Sheriff McCall explained the only personnel allowed to eat in the jail were road patrol deputies when they are in the immediate vacinity of the jail; deputies from other counties who are here to pick up or deliver prisoners or possibly investigators from other areas who are here pertaining to a case, etc.
Further discussion continued regarding the various request of the Sheriff's budget proposal such as repairs to the jail facility, personnel, fuel, equipment, etc.
Sheriff McCall stated he felt cutting the request any further would only result in a shortage of funds during the year. He stated he very much appreciated their cooperation and assistance in the past and assured the Board the statements made by the media indicating the Sheriff would enter into a lawsuit against the County if his budget were cut, were completely false.
The Chairman announced the Board would meet tomorrow morning, September 12, 1980, at 9:00 A.M., to continue discussion of the budget. The Chairman requested the motion on the floor to cut the Sheriff's budget back to last years level plus a 10% increase, be withdrawn until the Board completes its discussion of the subject. Commr. Burhans withdrew his motion and Commr. Middleton withdrew his second.
The meeting adjourned at 4:45 P.M.
C.A. "Lex" Deems, Chairman
James C. Watkins, Clerk