The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a Special Townhall Meeting on Wednesday, December 12, 1990, at 7:00 p.m., at the City Hall Building, Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Don Bailey, Chairman; Richard Swartz; Michael J. Bakich, and Catherine C. Hanson. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Marlene Foran, Secretary.
Chairman, Commr. Bailey, turned the meeting over to District Three Commissioner, Commr. Swartz.
Ms Charlotte Lehner, City Council Member with the City of Howey-in-the-Hills, gave the invocation and Commr. Hanson led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Carlin Washo, Mayor of Howey-in-the-Hills, presented welcoming remarks.
Commr. Swartz opened the meeting by introducing the Board and staff members.
Public Works - Roadway Projects Update
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Director of Public Works, presented an update on the road projects that are currently on-going, and those in the Five Year Plan within a six mile radius around Howey-in-the Hills. Mr. Stivender presented a map showing the locations of the various road projects.
Mr. Stivender pointed out and discussed briefly new construction in the area, some of which include turn lanes and deceleration lanes at the intersection north of town; resurfacing, thermo plastic striping and buttons added to Highway 48; resurfacing a portion of the Buckhill Road area, and Bruce Hunt Road (completion date for Bruce Hunt Road is 1992).
Mr. Stivender talked briefly about the safety program, which includes installing buttons on curves and improving alignment on county roads.
Mr. Stivender pointed out future projects, some of which include paving Pumpkin Center Road, leveling of Lois Drive (Venetian Village), widening and resurfacing of Highway 48 from Astatula into Orange County, Highway 448 in the Lake Jem area, and Ranch Road.
Mr. Les Deatherage, a local resident, asked what the County's plans were for widening Highway 19 to Tavares.
Mr. Stivender stated that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has included, in their five year program, a project to four lane Highway 19 from Highway 441 south to Highway 561.
Commr. Swartz stated it is his assumption that the engineering and right-of-way was scheduled for 1992-1993, with construction scheduled for 1993-1994. This includes only the area north of Highway 561.
Ms. Carlin Washo, Mayor of Howey-in-the-Hills, appeared before those present to ask Mr. Stivender about the safety of the Howey bridge, with Mr. Stivender stating that the bridge is inspected every two years by a consultant hired by DOT, and the next inspection is scheduled during the 1990-91 year.
Mr. T. J. Townsend, a resident of Yalaha, appeared before those present to discuss the intersection of County Road 48 and Highway 27. Mr. Townsend stated that the westbound traffic backs up, and there appears to be a need for a right turn lane. Mr. Stivender stated there are no definite plans for a right turn lane, but the county is looking at the intersection in question.
Mr. Stivender stated that invitations will be mailed out next Monday inviting the public to a meeting scheduled on January 9, 1991, at 9:00 a.m. regarding Road Impact Fees. At this meeting, staff will be discussing the many projects in the five year plan for impact fees.
Commr. Swartz encouraged those present to think about county roads in and around Howey-in-the-Hills that need turn lanes, etc. and bring a list with them to the January 9, 1991 meeting.
Environmental Services - Recycling Program Update
Mr. Brad Bauserman, Recycling Coordinator, presented an update on the County's Recycling Program. Mr. Bauserman stated that, at the county level, they are working to provide public information and courteous, reliable service in terms of collection. He further stated there are 13,000 households in the county currently involved in the recycling program, with participation at about 68%.
Mr. Bauserman stated that he is giving presentations in the school systems to educate students about the program, brochures are available, cable television advertising is being utilized, and videos are being prepared.
Mr. Bauserman called attention to a new, unique program called the Household Battery Collection program, which consists of a curbside collection and a retail establishment collection of old household batteries.
Mr. Bauserman further stated that plans have been made to establish a drop off center in January, which will be located in the Astor area.
Mr. Robert West, a resident of Yulaha, questioned what plans were being made to handle used motor oil, stating that motor oil is one of the most devastating items to have laying around.
Mr. Bauserman responded that we have five used oil collection facilities around the county, and the Department of Environmental Regulations recently started a public education campaign regarding used motor oil disposal. He further stated that Astatula would be the nearest facility to Mr. West.
Mr. Les Deatherage, a local resident, appeared before those present and questioned if the Astatula facility was opened six days a week, with Mr. Bauserman stating that he thought it was opened six days a week, but would check.
Mr. Deatherage further questioned what test equipment was being installed at the incinerator to check for mercury levels.
Commr. Swartz instructed staff to prepare a schedule, for distribution to the city halls, post offices and libraries, with the locations and the hours of the facilities in the county. Commr. Swartz responded to Mr. Deatherage's question by stating that Lake County has approved and instituted a program for environmental monitoring. He stated that a consulting firm has been hired by the Board to do baseline testing, and the consulting firm has completed environmental testing in areas most likely to show deposits from contamination from the incinerator. Commr. Swartz stated that the testing included testing water samples, soil samples, grass samples, air samples, fish, sampling of wildlife flesh, etc. Commr. Swartz stated that the testing has been analyzed and reports have been completed, and the next step will be testing during the State and Federal Government required compliance testing of the incinerator.
Mr. Gunther Gonder, a local resident, appeared before those present questioning if Counties, that are using Lake County's incinerator, have recycling programs similar to ours. Commr. Swartz responding that the County has attempted to get the necessary solid waste to meet the requirements of the contract and further stated that the county tries to screen solid waste that is brought into the county by identifying programs that have a recycling program in effect.
Ms. Ruth Gray, a resident of Lake JoAnna, appeared before those present and asked what she should do with the batteries that she now has in her garage.
Mr. Bauserman stated that the County is in the process of
establishing a retail establishment pick-up at neighborhood businesses.
Criminal Justice Project - Update
Mr. Mike Anderson, Director of Capital Projects, presented an update of the Criminal Justice Project. Mr. Anderson presented a drawing of the three projects that are under construction.
Mr. Anderson stated that the Prelude is designed as a 192 bed security facility, capable of functioning independently. He stated that the completion date for the Prelude is scheduled for January of 1991. He further stated a luncheon is scheduled for January 22, 1991, which is open to the public, with an open house tentatively scheduled for the 25th and 26th of January.
Mr. Anderson stated that the Main Jail is designed as a 768 bed security facility, with two man and four man cells. He further stated that the uniqueness of the facility is the strong architectural influence, with security maintained within the integrity of the building, and a completion date is set for the summer of 1992.
Mr. Anderson stated that the Courts Building is a six courts facility, with provisions to add two additional courts in the future, if needed, with a completion date set for the summer of 1992.
Mr. Max Booke, a local resident, appeared before those present and questioned how many guest were now housed in the jail, with staff stating that there are approximately 350 inmates on an average.
Major Financing Issues Facing the County
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, addressed financing issues facing the county. Mr. Thelen commented the cost of running the new corrections facilities will increase by approximately $4,000,000.00 to $5,000,000.00, stating that, when the Main Jail opens in 1992, the county will be able to lease out approximately 300 spaces, thus, significant reducing the budget by $1,000,000.00 or more.
Mr. Thelen stated that a major issue that needs to be addressed is the Parks and Recreation program, stating that the
Board set up a Parks and Recreation program last year for unincorporated areas through the use of federal revenue sharing funds, and a $50,000 contribution from the general fund. If the County chooses to continue the program, the cost will be approximately $200,000.00 next year.
Mr. Thelen stated that the State is requiring that the Comprehensive Plan include Storm Water Management in the unincorporated area. Mr. Thelen further stated that funding could be done through a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU).
Mr. Thelen commented on the Fire MSTU as it relates to Howey-in-the-Hills. The Board created a MSTU that consolidates six districts into one MSTU, for providing fire protection.
Mr. Thelen commented briefly on the MSTUs, for Water and Sewer, that the Board created at the County Commissioners' meeting on December 11, 1990.
Mr. T. J. Townsend, a local resident, appeared before those present and asked if a water system is considered to be standard, if it meets the current Department of Environmental Regulations (DER) requirements, with Mr. Thelen responding that, if the system meets the DER requirements, it is considered standard.
Mr. Gunther Gonder, a local resident, appeared before those present and asked how can the taxpayers of Lake County be sure they do not end up bearing the burden for the infrastructure of the new developments in South Lake County.
Mr. Thelen responded to Mr. Gonder's question by stating that the Board has taken a position that growth should pay for itself; policies are developed at the time the development is established, and those polices are enforced.
Mayor Carlin Washo appeared before those present to ask the status of Hickory Point, how it will be funded, and will there be any restrictions to residents that live outside of Lake County.
Commr. Swartz responded by giving a brief update on Hickory Point, stating that the project is being funded with tax dollars through the Lake County Water Authority. He further stated that
there is a possibility of a fee system consisting of a yearly pass plus a per day cost.
Comprehensive Plan Update
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning & Development, gave a brief update on the Comprehensive Plan and extended his thanks to Howey-in-the-Hills for their hospitality and courtesy extended to his staff in preparation of the Housing Element.
Mr. Swanson presented the Future Land Use Map, known as the "Mickey Mouse" map, and stated that the Future Land Use Map represents those areas that are entitled, under Florida Stature Chapter 180, to water and sanitation services. Mr. Swanson stated that all five maps that have been prepared will be presented to the Board and the public for their consideration and adoption at the December 12th Public Hearing.
Commr. Swartz informed those present that there is a Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. on December 13, 1990, in the Board of County Commissioner's chambers, with a continuation of the Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
DON BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK