The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Monday, December 5, 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: C. W. "Chick" Gregg, Chairman; Michael J. Bakich; Thomas J. Windram; Richard Swartz; and Don Bailey. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Michael C. Willett, County Administrator; Katherine A. McDonald, Assistant County Administrator; and Linda Springston, Deputy Clerk.
James C. Watkins, Clerk, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Bailey.
PUBLIC WORKS/LANDFILLS/ROAD PROJECTS
The following employees of the Public Works Department appeared before the Board, to discuss their specialized fields: Ben Benedum, Director of Public Works; Jim Stivender, Assistant Director of Public Works: Don Roof, Survey Coordinator; Dottie Keedy, Program Coordinator; Charlie Daniels, Road Superintendent; Wade Curtis, Chief Construction Inspector: and Claire Bartlett, Solid Waste Director.
Mr. Ben Benedum, Director of Public Works, explained to the Board how the present road situation has evolved since 1966. He stated that in 1966 the Road Department was created: and that the county road system was divided into three districts, which took certain roads into the county maintenance system and certain roads were not included.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Assistant Director of Public Works, presented the Board with a brief summary of the miles of roads, and a budget breakdown by departments. He stated that in 1982, the County started the special assessment program, which is continuously updated, and covers road maintenance, construction, and permitting.
Mr. Stivender informed the Board that the design policies, such as, bringing roads into the county maintenance system and the subdivision regulations, to better define minimum standards, are some of the programs that will be updated.
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Benedum whether the Public Works Department is satisfied with the present three district system, in terms of maintenance.
Mr. Benedum stated that the only change he would recommend, is an addendum to District 3, which is headquartered in East Umatilla, such as adding 3A. The addition to District 3 would be headquartered somewhere in the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento area. Other than that addition, he is satisfied with the three maintenance districts.
Commr. Gregg questioned Mr. Benedum regarding problems with impact fee type projects, such as delay from the time the project is recommended, versus the purchase of right-of-way.
Mr. Benedum stated that such projects do take a great deal of time, from the time of initiation, until the time the County is able to clear the right-of-way, to progress with the project: also, one of the major problems is in the permitting phase.
Mr. Stivender added that obtaining right-of-way for clay roads is usually a simple process, but obtaining the right-of-way to widen a road is more difficult.
Commr. Gregg questioned whether there was any way that the County can improve obtaining permits with St. Johns River Water Management.
Mr. Benedum stated that, at the present time, there is a 30-day limit on County resurfacing programs. It was noted that, when more information about the project, is requested, it takes an additional 30 days.
Mr. Stivender stated that, in regards to the Bassville intersection project, problems occurred because of the lack of stormwater and swales, which allow break perculation; and the need for considerable pipework, because of the narrow right-of-way. He stated that, those items needed to be permitted, therefore, were required to be placed on the St. Johns River Water Management Agenda, which can take up to 90 days or more.
Mr. Stivender briefly discussed the Public Works Department progress with obtaining right-of-ways and road name changes.
Ms. Dottie Keedy, Program Coordinator, briefly discussed her role in the Public Works Department as Program Coordinator, which includes, coordinating the impact fee program, prioritizing projects, coordinating paperwork, and setting up the special assessment projects.
Mr. Stivender added that Ms. Keedy also develops a summary of the status of current projects, weekly.
Mr. Stivender discussed with the Board the road program for the current fiscal year, noting that the Board may add projects, delete projects, or prioritize any projects they may feel necessary.
Commr. Gregg questioned the possibility of putting a caution light up at the intersection of Morningside and Radio Roads, in Leesburg, because of problems with being able to see the stop sign at night.
Mr. Stivender stated that his department will check on the problems, adding that there may be a problem with sight distance at that stop sign, such as a tree.
Commr. Bailey questioned the possibility of looking into an intersection, in Okahumpka, at County Road 48/19/471, where there have been several problems.
Mr. Stivender informed the Board that the Public Works Department will include that intersection in the program.
Mr. Stivender briefly summarized the impact fee districts, which are divided relative to the cities and geographical locations.
Ms. Claire Bartlett, Solid Waste Disposal Director, summarized the Solid Waste Operations for the Board. She discussed the location of the transfer stations, the status of the closing of the Lady Lake and Umatilla landfills.
Ms. Bartlett stated that, eventually, the County will have three major transfer stations, with scales, which will accommodate commercial and individual users. It was noted that Post, Buckley, Schuh and Jernigan is studying the distances to determine the optimum sites for these stations.
Ms. Bartlett stated that the scales at the Astatula Landfill will be on line as of January 1, 1989.
Mr. Michael C. Willett, County Administrator, stated that the County will have to make radical changes in how the waste stream, within the County, is being controlled and monitored, because one of the conditions of the bond issue, which was passed, requires that there be a backup mechanism for assessments. He also noted that it had been recommended to consider the assessments as a method of insuring that the people will pay for the disposal costs.
It was noted that Ms. Bartlett is setting up a Hauler's Committee to get the commercial hauler's input and cooperation in establishing methods to better control the waste stream, within the County.
At this time, the Commissioners thanked the employees of the Public Works Department for taking the time to come to the meeting and give their presentation.
Mr. Glenn Timmons, Personnel Director, and Mr. Dennis Dorsey, Assistant Personnel Director, appeared before the Board to give insight into the role of the Personnel Department, the methodology, and the areas needing attention.
Mr. Timmons stated that the Personnel Department interviews applicants, screens and ranks them, then forwards the applications to the proper departments. He also stated that every clerical and secretarial applicant receives a typing test, and a shorthand test, when applicable.
Mr. Timmons informed the Board that each new employee is given a copy of the Lake County Personnel Rules and Regulations.
Mr. Timmons noted that the County now has a very good insurance program, and has had very few accidents involving Worker's Compensation. He stated that the average processing of insurance claims is 22.5 claims daily.
Mr. Timmons stated that he feels that the major role of the Personnel Department is in assisting others; such as, assisting management and supervisors in recruiting, developing and utilizing human resources, employee relations, and ensuring that employees are treated fairly.
Mr. Timmons noted that the average cost of training an employee, depending upon the job, is approximately $1,500-$2,000, a year.
Mr. Timmons informed the Board that the Personnel Department's advertising budget is approximately $9,000 which includes the advertising of positions around the County, some of which are advertised nationally.
Mr. Timmons stated that his department assists management in disciplinary action and is also responsible for handling employee grievances. He noted that the Florida Statutes and Equal Opportunity Regulations make it clear that employees in the County, City, or State have a vested interest in their job, hence, the Personnel Department has four steps of disciplinary action to use as a guide, which includes a verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension, and then termination.
Mr. Timmons informed the Board that the Grievance Committee is made up of a citizen member, a county supervisor, and a county employee, which consists of a procedure for employees to have their concerns heard. There has only been one grievance which has gone before the Committee in approximately two or three years.
Mr. Timmons stated that classification and pay status is surveyed yearly, which is compared with surrounding counties and cities. At the present time, Lake County is rated in the middle, compared with surrounding counties.
Mr. Timmons noted that Lake County's benefits are excellent compared with other counties, because of a valuable major medical as policy and the recently obtained dental plan and prescription card plan.
Commr. Bakich requested Mr. Timmons to prepare a comparison showing the variance between surrounding counties, regarding salaries for the planning and engineering positions.
Mr. Timmons reviewed the exit interview process with the Board, which enables management to better know the reasons for employees leaving the County.
Mr. Timmons briefly discussed the possibility of establishing a union avoidance committee, because he does not feel that a union is needed in Lake County.
Mr. Timmons stated that his department is in the process of developing an employee newsletter, for suggestions by employees and management, and informational purposes.
Mr. Timmons reviewed the past achievements which his department has attained, such as, Personnel Rules, Pay and Classification Plan, Improved Benefits, Sexual Harrassment Policy, Exit Interviews, and the Employee Survey. He also noted that some of the improvements which need to be attained, such as, people relations on the part of supervisors, training for administrative abilities, training for service to the public, and minority hiring.
At this time the Board thanked Mr. Timmons and Mr. Dorsey for their presentation.
Ms. Mary McMahon, Library Coordinator, distributed to the Board the Lake County Library System Newsletter, bookmarks, and various library items.
Ms. McMahon outlined the establishment of the Library system, which is governed by Florida Statute 257, and which states that there must be a single administrative head, an operating budget of at least $20,000, and must give free library services to all permanent county residents. She stated that, in 1982, the Board of County Commissioners passed Ordinance 1982-18, which set up the library system for the free circulation of library materials, to the residents of Lake County, with the stipulation that all of the local libraries maintain their local autonomy. This ordinance also set up the Lake County Library Board, which studies and makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners regarding library service within the county, and determines the allocation of monies into the system. In addition, this ordinance appoints a coordinator, and has no power to levy or borrow money.
Ms. McMahon stated that there are also Interlocal Agreements with six of the municipalities, who are part of the library system, those being: Umatilla, Eustis, Mount Dora, Tavares, Fruitland Park, and Clermont. The agreements stipulate that the county set up the Library Board, fund it at a level at least equal to the last fiveyears, guarantee local autonomy, and to appropriate the money that is allocated for the cities in the manner that the Library Board deems it to be allocated. In that agreement, the cities agree to maintain their same level of funding, to cooperate with the county library system, to provide free library circulation of materials, assume responsibility for any overexpenditures which they may incur, to continue their financial support at the same five year level, and to adhere to any of the uniform policies and procedures which are adopted by the Board of County Commissioners or the Lake County Library Board. She noted that, all of the city libraries have had input into these requirements.
Ms. McMahon discussed Resolution 1983-32, which also governs the library system, and designates the Eustis Library as the Central Service Unit.
Ms. McMahon informed the Board that the library system obtains monies from the cities, the County, the State, and Federal grants. In the cities, they maintain their own library and budget; their local level budgets are submitted to the County Finance Department and are sent to the State, certifying that that is what the city will spend for free library service, to their citizens. Each of the city's library bills are paid through the County Finance Department, and must be approved by the Library Coordinator (Ms. McMahon). The county funds are used to cover the salary of the Library Coordinator, and to reimburse the cities for their participation, in the library system.
Ms. McMahon stated that State funds are derived from State Aid, which is achieved through a yearly grant, based on expenditures from the past two years. She stated also, that the library system receives Federal funds which are distributed by the State, in the form of grants, which are monitored and audited on a yearly basis.
Ms. McMahon reviewed the current library staff, which consists of herself and Ms. Susan Caldwell, who is employed part-time by the County and part-time by the Federal Children's Grant.
Ms. McMahon discussed the current programs with the Board, such as the automation program, which will provide a setup in each of the libraries, and is in the process of being installed and utilized. The main computer for the system is located in the Sheriff's Department next to the County's emergency 911 computer.
Ms. McMahon informed the Board that the library system presents approximately 40 programs, monthly, to 300-400 children, prepares a monthly newsletter, has circulating collections of large prints, video and audio cassettes, and children's materials.
Ms. McMahon discussed several projects and workshops which are currently being planned.
Ms. McMahon stated that all the records in the libraries should be in automation form within one year's time, then, begin the on-line circulation: and, in three to five years, there will be an on-line computer catalog, which will link all of the libraries together.
Ms. McMahon discussed the development of a "Books by Mail" program versus a "Bookmobile", for the library system, which would be bought through county funds or county and state funds. She also discussed the possibility of obtaining a telefax system for each library.
Ms. McMahon stated that some of the needs, of the library system, are to add more staff in the future, and for additional money. She also stated, that there are two vacant seats, on the Library Board, which are due to be filled at the next regular Board of County Commissioners Meeting.
At this time, the Board thanked Ms. McMahon for the presentation before them today.
Mr. Terry Courneya, Lake County Agriculture Extension Agent, appeared before the Board to present a summary of the Agricultural Center (Ag Center), which is a unit of the Florida Department of Agriculture Exemption Service, serves at the budget of the Board of County Commissioners, is responsible for reporting to the Board of County Commissioners, and serve the citizens of Lake County.
Mr. Courneya stated that the objective of the Ag Center is to bring the resources of the University of Florida, to the citizens of Lake County, who do not normally enroll in classroom courses, at Gainesville or any off-campus location.
Mr. Courneya informed the Board that the Ag Center offers programs in the form of seminars, workshops, newsletters, newspaper articles, and other media which is convenient for the citizens of Lake County.
Mr. Courneya also informed the Board that the Ag Center consists of three major program areas, which include: Agriculture, Home Economics, and 4-H. The staff includes seven University of Florida faculty members, four and one-half secretarial positions, and one maintenance custodial position. Also, there is a computer programmer, who is a career service employee of the University of Florida, assigned to Lake County.
Mr. Courneya discussed the clientele contacts which his office had done during the past year. Also, discussed was the annual plan for the Ag Center and their four-year plan, adding that, currently, it is in the second year of that four-year plan.
Mr. Courneya stated that there is an Exemption Advisory Committee, which includes a member of the Board of County Commissioners, the County Administrator, and representatives of the citizens of Lake County, its objective being to deal with all of the major program areas. In addition to that committee, each program area has an advisory committee, for refining the impact of agricultural education in Lake County. He also noted that the Ag Center prepares a quarterly report for the advisory committees and copies of that report are provided to the County Commissioners. Also, in addition to those quarterly reports, an annual report is provided of the Ag Center's accomplishments.
Mr. Courneya provided the Board with a monthly statistical summary report, which accounts for the clientele contact the Ag Center has had, the nature of the audience, the subject matter covered, and how many people participated. The report is sent to the United States Department of Agriculture, in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Courneyea briefly discussed the Ag Center's operational budget, which was allocated at $293,640 for this fiscal year.
Mr. Courneya stated that the Ag Center's main objective is to provide a distribution of information, knowledge and ideas to the citizens of Lake County.
At this time, the Board thanked Mr. Courneya for his presentation today.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 12:OO noon, the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch, and reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Bruce Thorburn, 911 Coordinator, and Ms. Linda Gussler, Addressing Coordinator, appeared before the Board to discuss the 911 and Addressing Departments.
Mr. Bruce Thorburn, 911 Coordinator, informed the Board that the purpose of 911 is to enable a caller to get direct access to an emergency service, by dialing those three numbers on their telephone.
Mr. Thorburn stated that the 911 system consists of three data bases, such as, a master street and address guide, a telephone number data base, and a routing data base which determines the jurisdiction of the call.
Mr. Thorburn reviewed a flow chart with the Board, which outlines what occurs once a 911 call is made in Lake County. He stated that there are two computer systems, which are working constantly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He also stated that all 911 calls are recorded, and the system is capable of transferring calls to the municipalities that have PSAP capabilities.
Mr. Thorburn noted that the cities of Groveland and Clermont have voice only capabilities, and will dispatch their own calls, because they are not participating PSAP's.
Mr. Thorburn informed the Board that the mobile home parks are being handled as if they were a municipality, and that the addressing function must coordinate with the 911 system.
Ms. Linda Gussler, Addressing Coordinator, noted that regarding the Sunnyside area of Leesburg, the County will be working with the City of Leesburg, to provide that area with city street numbers.
Mr. Thorburn discussed what the current policy requires when a road is not named, and should be named, in order to develop addresses for the residents on that road, and incorporate them into the addressing system.
Mr. Thorburn stated that he expects the system to be on-line for testing in March, 1989, with the exception of Clermont, which will be tested in September, 1989.
Some discussion occurred regarding the collection and incorporation of important information, such as, medical and special problems, into the computers, to enable emergency personnel to be aware of what problems may occur, once they arrive at that residence or business.
At this time, the Commissioners thanked Mr. Thorburn and Ms. Gussler for providing them with their presentation today.
Mr. Chuck Sowers, Chief Fire Coordinator, appeared before the Board to discuss the Fire Protection Department with the Board.
Mr. Sowers provided the Board with a brief background of the department and the fire station locations, within Lake County.
Mr. Sowers stated that, his main responsibility was to put together a fire protection system for Lake County that would cover the entire county and provide for adequate fire response to all the citizens.
Mr. Sowers briefly discussed the previous locations of the volunteer fire departments, which were scattered throughout the County.
Mr. Sowers discussed the nine budgets, in each of the fire protection areas, and Mid-Florida Lakes, in addition, the Fire Protection staff budget.
Mr. Sowers highlighted the chain of command of his staff, which are full time paid positions. He stated that the division chiefs are on a part-paid status, there are also, district chiefs. He stated that out of the 450 active volunteers, approximately 37 are full-time professional firefighters in paid positions.
Mr. Sowers described the purpose and objectives of the Fire Protection Department, which includes a communication system, central purchasing, and organized training.
Considerable discussion occurred regarding firefighters who do not have the proper equipment to fight fires, and the option of loaning certain equipment to other fire districts who do not have enough equipment or have outdated equipment.
Mr. Sowers discussed the training required for volunteer firemen, which consists of a mandatory 30 hours, covering the basic fundamentals of firefighting. He stated that, at the present time, Lake County has 430 certified firefighters.
Mr. Sowers stated that, during the day, the volunteer fire stations are often short-handed of qualified firefighters and support personnel, because most of the volunteers have day jobs.
Also, of the paid firefighters, if there is a fire to respond to at night, they are called to duty.
Mr. Sowers noted that the Fire Protection Department could utilize an additional Fire Code Inspector, to handle the overload of inspections which must be completed, and would like to request one in the future budget.
Mr. Sowers stated that the district chiefs report directly to the Fire Coordinator (himself), and that most of them are Lake County employees, except in the Astor and Paisley stations.
Mr. Sowers informed the Board that the fire stations are audited yearly, and that all payments are made through the County Finance Department, and must go through the County's purchasing process to make any purchases or repairs.
At this time, the Board thanked Mr. Sowers for the information he presented to them today, regarding the Fire Coordinator's Office.
On a motion by Commr. Windram, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved for Commr. Gregg, to act on behalf of the Commission, to meet with the Clerk and the County Administrator, to discuss administrative relationships and responsibilities, then return to the Board, at a later date, with recommendations.
There being no further business to be brought before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.
C. W. "CHICK" GREGG, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK