The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, July 19, 1990, 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: Michael J. Bakich, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Don Bailey; Richard Swartz; and Thomas J. Windram. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; James C. Watkins, Clerk; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Toni M. Austin, Deputy Clerk.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, stated that, at the last budget session, the Board had directed staff to come back with an amended budget that reflected no tax increase from the current mill levy. At this time, this information was reviewed by the Board, which enhanced the revenues by over $800,000.00, and reduced expenses by about 1.6 to 1.7 million dollars. Mr. Thelen stated that staff assumed that the Sheriff's Office and the Clerk's Office, which are not fee supportive, would follow the suggestion of reducing their salary increases from 8% to 6%, with Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections, willing to accept this change. Mr. Thelen further stated that a figure of $100,000.00 has been identified by the County Clerk as potential reductions. It was noted that $250,000.00 has been placed into the cash carried forward, bringing the figure to approximately 4.1 million dollars. Mr. Thelen reviewed the FY 1990/91 Revenue Enhancement fees, which reflected a total increase of 10% in the building fees; 30% in the zoning fees; 30% in the subdivision fees; and 30% in the pollution control fees.
Mr. Windram questioned the amount of race track funds received by the County, and stated that it has always been the Board's policy, not by law, that the funds to road construction.
Mr. Thelen continued to discuss the memorandum representing the appropriation reductions, with Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Executive Director of Administrative Services/Budget, stating that there is more than enough in reserve to make the projected adjustments.
Discussion occurred regarding the contingency fund, with Commr. Swartz stating that he understood that the Board, during the previous year, placed monies from certain line items into contin-
gency, in order that the Board would have to come back and decide where the funds would be spent, with the Board gaining more control of the monies.
Mr. Thelen discussed the positions that he had originally recommended for the full year, and nor implementing them at mid-
year. He suggested that these nine positions be totally eliminated, with a later budget amendment, if necessary.
Mr. Thelen discussed several of the municipalities not wanting to participate in the countywide library system, with a reduction being made in this area, and the general fund appropriations made in the judiciary funding.
Mr. James C. Watkins, Clerk, addressed the Board on the two issues that were requested of him, as Clerk, at the last meeting. He stated that he was to review the new positions being requested, and the reduction in salaries from 8% to 6%.
Mr. Thelen stated that the positions would be included in the $100,000.00 reduction being requested.
Mr. Watkins stated that it has always been a policy of his to approve the same percentage increase the County Commissioners allocate to their departments, with the corresponding amount being placed into his budget. Mr. Watkins stated that the inflation rate is presently at 5.9%. At this time, Mr. Watkins presented a reduction, in the amount of $43,466.00.
Mr. Watkins stated that the new positions being requested were reviewed, and that the Finance position, in the amount of $23,396.00, has been deleted.
Mr. Watkins discussed two other positions being requested, one of which would be located in Administrative Services, and would deal with the computer. He stated that the auditor has repeatedly criticized the Clerk for not have a computer security person, and does not recommend the deletion of this position, in the amount of $36,222.00. At this time, the insurance for computer security was discussed.
Mr. Watkins discussed the position being requested in County Court, with an expenditure of $19,815.00, and presented statistics involving the percentage of increase in case loads within this area.
Mr. Watkins respectfully requested an increase of 7.5% in the Clerk's Office. He stated that he can probably reduce his budget another $5-7,000.00 for equipment that will not be necessary. He stated that unspent budget monies have been presented to the Board over the last years.
Mr. Watkins discussed the computer situation and stated that the Clerk's Office is ready to move forward with this system, and that 50% of the funding has been requested from ad valorem taxation and Find and Forfeiture, with one-half of it coming from the fees of the office.
Commr. Swartz discussed the Clerk's computer system, in relation to what is needed by the Board of County Commissioners. He then requested that staff look at other funding revenue sources, other than ad valorem taxes, which includes the franchise fee concept.
Mr. Watkins stated that, once again, he did not want to lose the Data Processing position, because it is needed, and that the Office will adjust without the other positions.
Commr. Gregg suggested that the committee that reviews the computer system make sure that the Board's computer system, and all
of the other officers' equipment is compatible, with Mr. Thelen stating that he will have the committee review and come back to the Board with recommendations.
Sheriff George Knupp and Ms. Linda Maresca, Finance Director, appeared before the Board to discuss his proposed budget. At this time, Ms. Maresca presented the Board with a revised operating expense summary sheet and reviewed each of the reductions, which totaled $87,278.00.
Sheriff Knupp discussed the request for personnel, and stated that the Sheriff's Department is not going to be funded anymore by the Water Authority, which did supply two deputies and two boats. He went on the discuss the positions in his office, and the manpower he felt would be necessary to accommodate the public, in relation to dealing with crime and drugs. Sheriff Knupp stated that he is requesting $277,000.00 to hire eight new deputies. He further stated that last year he turned back over to the Board $454,000.00 in excess monies.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board has already indicated that it cannot fund nine of the General Fund positions that the County departments have requested.
Ms. Maresca reviewed the positions that the Board added to the Board of County Commissioners last year. She stated that, as of October 1, 1989, the Board had 379 employees, and as of June 14, 1990, the Board had 436 employees. She further stated that, as of October 1, 1990, there were eight vacant positions, and at the budget hearings the Board approved 15 new positions, with the Board having eight fog truck drivers (Mosquito Control). Ms. Maresca stated that 26 positions were added beyond the 15 positions that were approved at the budget hearings.
Mr. Thelen stated that funding had been provided in the Contingency Fund, with Ms. Maresca informing the Board that the Sheriff does not have the option to do this.
Commr. Bakich discussed the approximate $85,000.00 reduction being offered by the Sheriff today, and the possibility of funding four positions for the Sheriff, in the amount of $221,000.00.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would only be willing to review the budget at mid-year, in order to determine whether or not there would be additional revenues, and review the Sheriff's request at that time.
Mr. Chuck Pula, Parks and Recreation Coordinator, appeared before the Board to discuss the resolution containing verbiage concerning Lake County's commitment that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would like adopted. Mr. Pula stated that, if an agreement regarding Lake County's construction and maintenance of the rail trail could be reached, DNR will fund the land acquisition costs of this trail. The financial implication of the grant is estimated to be $400,000.00 to one million dollars.
Mr. Pula stated that, due to this new position by DNR, staff has not had an opportunity to determine what all the construction and maintenance costs would be. Staff estimates the trails clearing, soil compaction and treatment costs to be $60,000.00 per mile with asphalt. Other alternative materials and sources of funding have not been studied yet.
Mr. Pula stated that DNR is very aware of Lake County's interest and efforts to work with them, so there is no urgency for a supporting resolution at this time. If the Board wished to adopt a Rails To Trails Supporting Resolution today, the following was suggested:
The Board of County Commissioners hereby directs the Public Works Department to provide labor and equipment when available at the discretion of the County Engineer to assist in the construction and maintenance of the trail after it is purchased by the Florida Department of Natural Resources.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, stated that he would like this issue to be brought back before the Board on August 14, 1990, in order that Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, has the
opportunity to review, before recommendations are made to the Board.
At this time, it was noted that the Rails to Trails Supporting Resolution would be brought back before the Board on August 14, 1990 for consideration.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, discussed the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) for Greater Hills. Mr. Thelen stated that this is a request from Greater Hills for the MSTU. The Board had previously authorized up to four (4) mills, with Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Executive Director of Administrative Services/Budget, using the figure of four (4) mills, to estimate a revenue of a little more than $10,000.00. Mr. Thelen recommended that the Board deal strictly with the light bills, with Ms. Anderson stating that the developer will make up the difference.
Commr. Swartz stated that he understood that he was in support of funding those common things, that deal with the street lighting, stormwater retention areas, etc., and stated that he has no intention of levying millage for the pool and maintenance, and landscaping.
Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that the MSTU includes maintenance of common areas, and is very broad with very few definitions. Ms. Lustgarten addressed the issue of the use of MSTU's in general.
Commr. Gregg requested that Ms. Lustgarten review the MSTU resolution, and to provide information to the Board on this issue.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, stated that the figures presented today by the Clerk and the Sheriff could be absorbed by the Board in reducing the Contingency, and move ahead with a no tax increase. He stated that, if the Board chose to provide the Sheriff with additional manpower, he did not foresee a no tax increase.
Commr. Gregg stated that he has not seen any cuts in personnel in Environmental Services under the Board's functions.
It was the consensus of the Board that there be no additional positions added to the budget for the Sheriff, with Commr. Swartz stating that he would be willing to look at a mid-year correction with the Sheriff, as he would with anybody else, depending on new revenues.
Mr. Thelen recommended that $137,661.00 be funded out of Contingency, leaving the balance of $1,706,000.00, with this being the consensus of the Board.
Discussion occurred regarding scheduling a meeting to set the millage, with the Board deciding on September 20, 1990, at 7:00 p.m.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Countywide - General Fund tentative millage rate at 4.938.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following tentative millage rates:
Northlake County Hospital District (West) 1.000
Northlake County Hospital District (East) 1.000
Northlake Ambulance District .223
Northeast Ambulance District .223
Greater Hills MSTU 4.000
Mr. Bob McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk, stated, for clarification, that the Clerk was to cut the amount of $19,815.00 and $23,396.00 (two positions) from his budget, and to reduce his budget by an additional $5,000.00 in equipment.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.
MICHAEL J. BAKICH, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK