A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JULY 28, 1983
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, July 28, 1983, at 1:30 p.m. for a budget workshop, held in the County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Thomas J. Windram, Chairman; James R. Carson, Jr.; Claude E. Smoak, Jr.; C. A. "Lex" Deems; and Glenn C. Burhans. Others present were Donald W. Smalt, Director of Administrative Services; Robert Wilson, Finance Director; William LeHeup, Senior Clerk; Michael C. Willett, Director of Development and Public Works; and Cathy B. Roy, Secretary.
The Chairman announced that the Board would consider setting a certified millage rate, consider dates for public hearings, discuss health insurance increases and provide guidelines and direct the Personnel Department to provide departmental salaries and wage proposals for employees and department heads.
The Board was informed by Mr. Wilson that the handout reflected recommended cuts by the Board and included was a 4% increase in salaries. Mr. Wilson stated that the tentative budget handout reflected an 8% increase in the rolled back millage rate (3.677) or an overall increase of 19.8% in the overall base taxes collected.
On a question by Commr. Carson, Mr. Wilson stated that the increase in tax revenues between an 8% millage increase and a 15% millage increase would be $547,217.00.
Discussion occurred regarding the proposed 4% salary increase for County employees. It was noted that the tentative $750,000 increase allocated to the Sheriff's Department included a total increase of 6% in personal services, which included the increase due to the fact that the Sheriff was offering family coverage in health insurance. Approximately 2% of the total personal services would be allocated for the health insurance.
Mrs. Don Williams, South Lake County Resident, addressed the Board requesting that the Board not cut the Sheriff's Department budget.
Commr . Carson addressed the Board regarding proposed increases in the County Health Insurance Program for the coming year. Commr. Carson stated that he had contacted other Counties and private firms regarding their insurance programs and had found they paid between 100% to 150% more than Lake County has been paying for the same coverage and stated he expected an increase from the present rate of $83.00 per month to $140.00 to $150.00 per month for the same or less coverage. Commr. Carson stated that the Insurance Committee will most likely go to bid with this type of increase; however, the increases would still be expected with the bidding process. Commr. Carson stated there was presently $250,000 in the Insurance line item and recommended it be increased $200,000 to $450,000.
Discussion occurred regarding various means of lowering this figure by either offering less coverage, higher deductibles or increases in employee participation.
Development and Public Works
Discussion occurred regarding additional cuts needed in the budget to operate within an 8% increase in the millage or 19.8% increase in tax revenues for the County.
Mr. Michael Willett, Director of Development and Public Works, stated the Board might want to consider cuts in some areas of his budget as follows:
(-$100,000) - Unmaintained Road Program
(-$5,500) - Consultant fees taken from a number of the budgets under the jurisdiction of Mr. Willett
$30,000 - Increase in revenues from fees
(-$8,000) - Equipment from various budgets
(-$lO,OOO)- Leases and rentals of equipment
(-$7,000) - Fuel - bringing the gas prices to a 1979 level
Mr. Willett stated he did not feel a raise in landfill fees would be necessary this year.
Discussion occurred regarding the $100,000 from the unmaintained road program and Mr. Willett stated that this would still leave all the expected revenues from the 9th cent gas tax ($265,000) for the unmaintained road program.
No action was taken on any of the above mentioned cuts. Sheriff's Department
Mrs. Dorothy Shipes, Florida Citrus Commission, addressed the Board to express gratitude to the Lake County Sheriff's Department for their support to the agricultural interests in Lake County.
Further discussion occurred regarding the needed cuts in the budget to operate within an 8% millage increase. Discussion occurred regarding using an attrition figure on salaries of between 2-5%. Discussion occurred regarding an overall 2% decrease in all budgets and it was noted there were portions that are set by State and Federal Government that would not be able to reduce the budget by 2%.
Discussion occurred regarding deleting the $60,000 set aside for the recreational area for the Lake County Jail in the Revenue Sharing portion and taking it out of the one million dollars set aside for jail construction.
On a motion by Commr. Carson and seconded by Commr. Deems, the Board placed on the floor for discussion a proposed millage rate of 4.229, constituting a 15% increase in the aggregate millage rate.
Considerable discussion occurred regarding the fact that this increase would fund the tentative budget submitted this date and the fact that this increase in the millage rate would constitute a 29.2% increase in property taxes.
The motion failed on a two-three vote with Commrs. Burhans, Smoak and Windram voting "NO".
On a motion by Commr. Smoak, seconded by Commr. Burhans and carried unanimously, the Board certified a tentative aggregate millage rate of 3.971, constituting a rolled back millage rate of 3.677 or an 8% increase over the rolled back millage rate of 1982-83.
Discussion occurred regarding the tentative dates of September 13, 1983, at 5:05 p.m. and September 20, 1983, at 5:05 p.m. for Public Hearing Budget Sessions and stated these dates were acceptable to the members of the Board.
Discussion occurred regarding the tentative allocation of
$750,000 increase in the Sheriff's Department budget. It was noted that none of this increase was allocated to a specific portion of the budget. Commr. Smoak stated that the $750,000 tentative increase would fund the eighteen (18) correctional personnel, one (1) nurse, one (1) ranch and grove deputy and one (1) clerk, would basically fund his entire equipment request and allow 6% for increases in total personal services with
approximately 2% of the 6% going to insurance coverage. Commr. Windram referred to a recent press release by Sheriff Griffin stating that should only $750,000 increase be allocated that the correctional personnel would be cut to nine (9). Commr. Windram stated it was his recommendation that the Board consider the following allocation broken down into two areas of the Sheriff's Department Budget:
Law Enforcement $312,003
Jail Operations & Baliffs $437,997
Mr. Chris Giachetti, Sheriff's Department, addressed the Board and confirmed that the Sheriff must submit two separate budgets to the Board, one under correction and one law enforcement. Mr. Giachetti stated that when the discussion occurred regarding hiring of eighteen additional correctional personnel it was under a $900,000 increase. Mr. Giachetti stated that with a $750,000 increase keeping the originally discussed additional correctional and law enforcement personnel the Sheriff's Department is faced with having to cut back on salaries as the $750,000 does not account for the salary adjustments made by the Sheriff during the year. Commr. Windram stated that the increase of $750,000 included a 6% increase over the budgeted amount of last year.
Discussion occurred regarding the shortfall expected by the Sheriff's Department in the Insurance Account for this fiscal year. Mr. Giachetti stated that it would be approximately $5,000.to $6,000, and Mr. Giachetti requested that the Board approve a transfer from Contingency to cover this shortfall.
On a motion by Commr . Smoak, seconded by Commr . Deems and carried unanimously, the Board approved the necessary transfer from Sheriff's Contingency Account, not to exceed $6,000, to the Insurance line item to cover the referenced shortfall.
Personnel & Salaries
Discussion occurred regarding employees and department heads salaries in providing guidelines in order that Mr. Timmons can work up the salaries and wage proposals. The Board instructed that the guidelines be set at 4% for the initial considerations of the salaries and wage proposals.
Commr . Windram read a letter to the Board from T. Keith Hall, Tax Collector, regarding renovations he would need to the Old Library Building in Clermont in order to relocate his office. The letter included a request that the Board look into the feasibility of locating the other services discussed for the South Lake County Annex next to his office in a shopping center in Clermont. The letter was referred to Commr. Smoak who stated that he hoped to meet with the County Attorney's Office regarding the present lease Mr. Hall has on his South Lake Office as well as looking into the feasibility of utilizing space near the present office of the Tax Collector.
There being no further business to be brought before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
THOMAS J WINDRAM, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK