The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Monday, July 25, 1988, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of county Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Glenn C. Burhans, Chairman; Thomas J. Windram; Claude E. Smoak, Jr.; James R. Carson, Jr.; and Don Bailey. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Michael C. Willett, County Administrator; Katherine A. McDonald, Assistant County Administrator; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Administrator; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
James C. Watkins, Clerk, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Windram.
OUTDOOR RECREATION/STATE AGENCIES
Commr. Bailey gave a brief introduction to a presentation to be held regarding a request from the State, for assistance from the Board, in the acquisition of Seminole Springs.
At this time, Commr. Bailey introduced Mr. Charlie Hardy, Bureau Chief, Bureau of Land Acquisition, Department of Natural Resources, and Mr. Bob Burns, Central Florida representative for the Nature Conservancy.
Mr. Hardy appeared before the Board and stated that his department is very much involved in negotiations for the Seminole Springs property. He stated that timing is such that he felt it necessary to appear before the Board today and update them as to where his department is, what they are doing, and where they hope to go, in hopes of soliciting the Board's support of said project (although he stated that he was not in a position to directly ask the Board for a commitment of monies). He distributed a map to the Board showing the Seminole Springs property.
Discussion occurred regarding the request, at which time Mr. Hardy answered questions presented to him by the Board. Upon being questioned as to an amount of funds needed from Lake County, he replied that a base amount of approximately $1 million was needed to make the project happen.
It was noted that other counties have participated in the project. Some of the counties were reimbursed totally and some not.
Commr. Bailey recommended that the Board offer some direction as to whether they support the project or not.
Mr. Watkins stated that, in talking with the State, he understood that they would like to know whether the Board is interested in pursuing said project, not only at the State level, but lending, at minimum, its moral support to the effort, and, at maximum, becoming financially involved, if necessary. He, therefore, suggested dividing the request into two parts. One, being the concept of supporting their efforts in securing the property (which is already on record as the Board approving such efforts) and secondly, if it becomes necessary, to financially support the project.
Commr. Smoak reminded the Board that they had passed a resolution, some time ago, approving the purchase of Seminole Springs, as well as BMK Ranch, with a provision that the purchase price be in close proximity to the appraised value, and forwarded said resolution to the State. He stated that the Board needs to endorse the activities of the State, to proceed with whatever is necessary to give them support from local government, short of a commitment of participation, until it is known how said participation will evolve and be structured, and, in addition, to appoint a member of the Board as a liaison person to continue direct participation in the negotiations, to represent the Board without the authority of committing the Board to a specific action. At this time, he recommended that said person be Commr. Bailey.
It was suggested by Mr. Watkins that if there are any negative feelings, whatsoever, by any member of the Board, regarding said request for support of the purchase of Seminole Springs, that it be made known today.
Commr. Bailey made a motion for the Board to continue supporting the State, in the acquisition of Seminole Springs, and for representatives of the Bureau of Land Acquisition, namely Mr. Hardy, to bring a recommendation back to the Board at a later date, as far as how they wish for Lake County to participate, such as title, ownership, amount of funding, management, decision making process, etc., which was seconded by Commr. Smoak and carried unanimously.
On a motion by Commr. Smoak, seconded by Commr. Windram and carried unanimously, the Board appointed Commr. Bailey as the liaison commissioner for the Seminole Springs project.
At this time, Commr. Smoak suggested having the Finance Department investigate the possibility of what Eunding resources might be available to the County for doing this project.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 9:45 a.m. the Chairman announced that the Board would take a five minute recess.
Noel E. Griffin, Jr., Sheriff, appeared before the Board to discuss his budget for Fiscal Year 1988-89. He stated that said budget included the funding for four (4) road deputies, two (2) investigators, four (4) communications officers and one (1) cook. He also stated that there are three separate areas of the budget that may require a budget amendment as early as October, 1988, being:
1. Upon completion of the temporary jail facility and approval to house inmates within, the budget will have to be amended to accommodate food catering, bedding and linen, clothing of inmates, and any other miscellaneous expenses necessary and required to operate a Department of Corrections approved facility.
2. Should the County E-911 System become operational during the 1988-89 fiscal year, a budget amendment will be required to accommodate the salary of additional personnel, matching funds, uniforms, insurance, and other miscellaneous operating expenses as may be required to operate and main-tain the E-911 system.
3. On or about October 1, 1988, a projected Florida State retirement rate change may be announced by the State of Florida that would effect the retirement rate of law enforcement and corrections personnel, to be effective January 1, 1989. The projected increase, based upon current personnel of both law and jail, are estimated to be $66,764.00. Should this retirement rate change become effective January 1, 1989, the 1988-89 fiscal budget would have to be amended accordingly.
Sheriff Griffin then informed the Board that he would be meeting, this date, with Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health and General Services, and his staff, to discuss the item of $143,000.00 which has been budgeted into the category identified as Care of Prisoners. Should the Board assume the financial responsibility of all expenses currently budgeted in the account of Care of Prisoners (with the exception of $26,400.00, which is Dr. Josephine Martin's salary), the Sheriff's Office total budget could be reduced by $116,600.00.
Sheriff Griffin stated that said budget is a 16% increase, which includes four (4) months of thirty-eight personnel for the Temporary Jail, which was not in the previous budget.
HEALTH & GENERAL SERVICES
Ms. Frankie Thorp, Director of Animal Control, addressed the Board regarding an increase in her budget of 9%, of which part of said funds would cover the cost of another clerical position. Ms. Thorp was commended for consistently keeping her budget request at a minimum.
Dr. June Atkinson, County Health Director, addressed the Board regarding a 1.7% increase in her budget.
Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health and General Services, addressed the Board regarding said request and explained what said increase would cover.
Dr. Atkinson stated that her department will receive a full allotment from the State, for Primary Health Care, which is $508,000.00. However, the State's General Revenue Fund will be cut by $48,000.00, requiring that several program areas be cut back.
Discussion occurred regarding said request, at which time she answered questions presented to her by the Board.
Ms. Betty Dittman, Director, Lake County Expo Center/Fairgrounds, appeared before the Board regarding an increase of 5% in the Fairgrounds budget.
Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health and General Services, addressed the Board on Mrs. Dittman's behalf, and explained the
reason for said increase.
Discussion occurred regarding how much monies could possibly be generated by the County, if the County had a large facility at their disposal, for such purposes as Fair activities. It was felt by Ms. Dittman that such a facility would be a profitable venture.
Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health and General Services, addressed the Board regarding budgets for the following departments:
Mr. Strickland stated that said department had a reduction (from $100,866.00 down to $93,693.00) over last year's operation, due to personnel changes and eliminating the need for a Medical Director, as Dr. Atkinson will be utilized for such services in a disaster situation, and the Medical Director of the ambulance services is in charge at the scene.
Public Housing (Section 8)
Mr. Strickland stated that Section 8 Public Housing is a federally funded program and that his department has been operating within the balance of the budget. The County program and the Eustis program have to be added together to get the overall budget.
Mr. Strickland stated that the Social Services' budget has held pretty consistent. He stated that approximately $116,000.00 will be transferring over to this budget, from the Sheriff's budget, for health care of prisoners. He stated that he would be working with the Sheriff's Office to prevent duplication of payments.
Mr. Strickland stated that the Veterans Services' budget had a decrease, due to the fact that salaries for personnel lowered. However, there was an increase in Machinery and Equipment.
Private Industry Council
Mr. Strickland stated that the Private Industry Council is a totally federal funded program, therefore, presents no problems.
Mr. Strickland addressed the Board regarding budgets that fall under the category of Grants/Liaison Departments, as follows:
Community Services Block Grant
Community Services Trust Fund
Senior Citizen Services (Meals on Wheels)
Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund
Lake Sumter Mental Health
Emergency Food Shelter
Lake County Public Health Unit
Discussion occurred regarding funding requested by Northeast Ambulance, for a portion of the console for the E-911 system, at which time Commr. Bailey made a motion to eliminate said funding from the budget. After further discussion, he withdrew his motion.
Mr. Glenn Timmons, Director of Personnel, addressed the Board regarding his department's budget, stating that the major change this year is a request for a much needed person to handle insurance claims, as his department is now responsible for approximately 615 employees.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Rudy Marchese, Director of Planning and Development, addressed the Board regarding his department's budget. He discussed what Lake County presently charges, in fees, for various services rendered, and what they hope to generate in additional revenue, through proposed increases in fees, which would keep Lake County consistent with other counties, as follows:
PUD Extensions - Individuals will now be charged ($300.00) for extensions to their PUDs, which had not been done in the past.
Master Park Plan - $50.00 will now be charged for any minor amendments to Park Plans and $300.00 for any major amendments, due to a considerable amount of staff time required each time changes are made.
Mobile Home Bonds Processing Fee - $150.00 fee for a Mobile Home Bond, with a $50.00 fee for renewal.
DRI Fee - No change - to be left as is.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:00 Noon, the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for Lunch and reconvene at 1:00 p.m. for the waste-to-energy presentation.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/LANDFILLS
Commr. Carson opened the discussion regarding a waste-to-energy facility for Lake County. He referred to a report which the Board had received from R. W. Beck and Associates, and stated that said report would be submitted for the record, however, he could not comment on it at this time, as the Board had just received the report this date.
Mr. Mike Stearman, City Manager for the City of Eustis, addressed the Board and stated that, to his recollection, said meeting was called in order for the Board to hear from staff people that have not been publicly heard from before regarding said issue, as suggested by Commr. Smoak.
At this time, Commr. Smoak reiterated what had been discussed at the Board Meeting of July 19th, being that a motion was approved for the Board to hold a workshop meeting with the staff, specifically, and with representatives from Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc.; that the Board not invite the experts; and that the experts be specifically directed not to continue to negotiate with NRG, unless NRG contacted them regarding the area still under consideration, which was the $2.00 per ton fee. The Board also agreed to hear any other proposal, or any other alternative which one wanted to present to the Board. It was specifically intended to be a general workshop meeting, to determine whether the Board wants to pursue and negotiate, in good faith, for a waste-to-energy facility, based on the current rate structure, as the Board knows it, and to do so in an open atmosphere, so that anyone else in the community who felt that they had a better deal to offer, had the forum to make such a presentation.
Mr. Kyle Adams, from the District Office of Waste Management of North America (better known as Town & Country, in Leesburg), appeared before the Board and gave a brief statement regarding his firm, stating that his firm is the largest private company in the solid waste business.
Mr. Warren Smith, representing Waste Management's Regional Office in Ft. Lauderdale, and Mr. Harvey Bush, Waste Management's Regional Engineer for the State of Florida, appeared before the Board and gave a brief slide presentation showing the firm's qualifications and modern solid waste disposal techniques which are being employed by the firm across the country. Mr. Bush distributed a letter regarding solid waste disposal options for the Board's
Considerable discussion occurred regarding different aspects of a waste-to-energy facility, such as the tipping fee and how much said fee would be: the need for a landfill and what size it should be: environmental risks involved with such a project; the need for mandatory pickup and anticipated problems associated with it: and a waste-to-energy facility versus an incinerator.
Mr. Omar Smith, Post, Buckley, Schuh and Jernigan, Inc. addressed the Board and gave some input regarding his findings on the subject, as well as answered questions presented to him by the Board. He then introduced Mr. David Deans, who reviewed, in detail, the letter which the Board had received from R. W. Beck and Associates, regarding the landfill and waste-to-energy facility.
Commr. Carson requested Mr. Sledge, Piper & Marbury, or Mr. Schoenhofer, Alex Brown & Associates, to give some input, at this time, on the subject.
Mr. Sledge suggested to the Board what they should do, from this point on.
At this time, Commr. Smoak stated his reasons for asking that the experts not be present today, and stated that he feels the Board needs to make a decision, today, regarding whether to go on with the project or not.
Mr. Schoenhofer addressed the Board stating that he came today merely to listen, not to give a presentation.
Ms. Claire Bartlett, Director of Solid Waste Disposal, addressed the Board stating that she feels the County is putting the cart before the horse.
A motion was made by Commr. Smoak and seconded by Commr. Bailey that the Board of County Commissioners communicate with Mr. F. Browne Gregg that, subject to a recommendation from the County's legal staff as to the proper method of doing so, the intent of the Board, because it appears that certain conditions precedent in the service agreement will not occur, that the parties should cease negotiations; and, secondly, that should (at some point in time in the future) the Solid Waste Management Plan, being developed by the County's engineering staff, indicate a recommendation for this type of waste-to-energy plant, that NRG (Mr. Gregg and his staff) be invited to participate in the Procurement.
Mr. Sledge appeared before the Board and stated that the agreement, itself, will terminate if certain conditions are not met by the end of the year. Some of them are as follows:
1. If the County has not enacted a flow control ordinance and a service fee ordinance by the end of the year.
2. If the County cannot meet the waste requirements (163,000 tons) to satisfy delivery obligations, as required by the contract.
Mr. Sledge asked the Board whether they would like to put said motion off until the Special Board Meeting called for August 4, 1988.
Commr. Smoak then restated the intent of the Board, subject to advice from legal counsel, and amended his motion to include the specific conditions referred to by Mr. Sledge.
It was confirmed that the Board intends to live up to the contract, and is in no way breaching the contract.
At this time, the Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried.
Commr. Carson voted "No".
It was noted, for the record, that Commr. Windram abstained from the vote.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
GLENN C. BURHANS, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK