The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Wednesday, April 18, 1991, at 3:00 p.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Courthouse, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Donald B. Bailey, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Richard Swartz; and Catherine Hanson. Commr. Bakich was absent. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; and Marlene Foran, Deputy Clerk.
SOLID WASTE WORKSHOP
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board and stated that they have before them a schedule of rates, as well as the proposals submitted by South Lake Refuse Service, Inc.; Town & Country Refuse, Inc.; Industrial Waste Service/AAA Refuse Service (IWS/AAA); and Berry's Refuse Service, Inc., for the purpose of providing service to alternative franchise areas. He stated that a matrix was also included showing the rate comparisons.
Mr. Findell stated that a review of the information provided by the haulers indicates that IWS/AAA's rates have been reduced, from their previous rates, through utilization of green boxes, and briefly reviewed the matrix provided for the Board's review.
Mr. Findell stated that the Board's options are to set rates for each of the proposed franchise areas using the information provided at this time, consider reassigning franchise area providers according to lowest proposed rate for the provision of service in each area, or reconsider bidding the provision of the service in all franchise areas.
Commr. Swartz asked for clarification on language in the proposed franchise agreement regarding curbside collection and levels of service, at which time, Ms. Annette Star Lustgarten,
County Attorney, provided clarification on the language relative to levels of service.
Mr. Findell responded to a concern expressed regarding the understanding of each of the haulers in reference to the levels of service that is to be provided. Mr. Findell stated that his conversations with Town & Country Refuse, Inc. and South Lake Refuse Service, Inc. have indicated that they have prepared their rate proposals on the basis of providing service to all customers within a given service area.
Commr. Swartz questioned each of the representatives of the four companies what their understanding was regarding the level of service to be provided. Representatives from all four companies responded it was their understanding that service was to be provided to all customers, and each explained their method of servicing those customers that are difficult to reach.
Mr. Jeff Abernathy, representing IWS/AAA Refuse Service, appeared before the Board and explained that the prices IWS/AAA Refuse has quoted are for curbside service for every customer in every franchise area quoted, but they feel there will be approximately 400 customers that will not be curbside, and those customers will be given a green box.
Mr. Lewis Stone, representing IWS/AAA Refuse Service, stated that their pricing structure will be averaged at $7.97 for every customer across the County, as required by the agreement, with a discount given to those that do not receive curbside service.
In response to a question addressed by Commr. Bailey, Mr. Findell stated that a mobile home park, which is billed for service as one account, will be treated as a commercial customer for collection and disposal purposes, and billing for recycling purposes will be determined at a later time.
Mr. Dan Gordon, representing Hawthorne, appeared before the Board and questioned, if a mobile home park is considered to be a commercial customer, would that contract be available to other haulers. Ms. Lustgarten responded that a mobile home park, that
was a commercial account on January 1, 1991, would continue to be treated as a commercial customer.
Ms. Claire Bartlett, representing Solid Waste Disposal Operations, questioned does a commercial mobile home park have the authority to contract with whomever they wish, provided the hauler is a franchised hauler in Lake County, with clarification being made by staff.
Commr. Swartz brought up for discussion a suggested proposal to negotiate a contract with the Northeast/Northwest franchise areas and Southeast/Southwest franchise areas offering, to the areas designated for Town & County Refuse and IWS/AAA, a monthly collection only charge, for collection once a week, of $6.00 per month. The areas designated for South Lake Refuse and Berry's Refuse, a monthly collection only charge, for collection once a week, of $7.00 per month.
Discussion occurred regarding the densities of the locations in question and the proposed rates. Mr. Abernathy stated that the similarities in the locations are in volume of customers, but not in the cost to provide service to these locations. Mr. Bazil Hart, Jr., South Lake Refuse, commented that the fees quoted by IWS/AAA indicate the area designated South Lake is more rural than the other franchise areas.
Commr. Swartz stated that he feels the issue is a matter of finding a trade off between keeping the four competitors, who currently service the County, as opposed to negotiating with the hauler offering the lowest rate; therefore, reducing the number of haulers servicing the County.
Commr. Gregg stated that he feels a comparison of densities of the areas should be considered.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Attorney, representing Berry's Refuse Service, expressed his concern that the suggested proposal reflects a rate of $.94 less for Berry's Refuse than rates proposed by the other haulers for Berry's proposed service area.
Commr. Swartz brought up for discussion a second option using the lowest rates that each hauler provided, resulting in the South Lake area being quoted at $6.97 by IWS/AAA; the Town & Country area being quoted at $5.94 by IWS/AAA; the IWS/AAA area being quoted at $6.38 by Town & County; and the Berry's Refuse area being quoted at $7.94 by South Lake Refuse. Mr. Hart stated that this is not a fair proposal, and is not taking into consideration the densities of the franchise areas.
Commr. Gregg suggested a proposal rate of $7.50 for the area designated as South Lake; $6.00 for the area designated as Town & County; $7.00 for the area designated as IWS/AAA; and $7.50 for the area designated as Berry's Refuse, stating that he feels these numbers are more in line based on densities of the areas in question.
Discussion occurred between the Board and the haulers regarding the proposed rates, and the possibility of reassigning franchise areas among the haulers, with the Board offering a proposed rate for Berry's Refuse at $7.94; South Lake Refuse at $7.97; IWS/AAA, serving the northwest franchise area, at $5.94; and Town & County, serving the northeast franchise area, at $6.38.
At this time, it was decided that the Chairman would call for a recess to allow the haulers an opportunity to contact their corporate offices regarding the suggested proposal, as stated above.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 4:00 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess and reconvene at 4:15 p.m. for continuation of the workshop on the solid waste collection program.
SOLID WASTE WORKSHOP
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/ CONTRACTS, LEASES AND AGREEMENTS
Ms. Nikki Clayton, Attorney, representing Town & Country Refuse, Inc. and Waste Management Industries, appeared before the Board and presented a historical recounting of Town & Country's understanding of their present situation.
Ms. Clayton stated that Town & Country did not take into consideration the possibility of reassigning territories when presenting their numbers. Ms. Clayton stated that their first preference is to perform service in their own area at the rate quoted. Town & Country's second preference would be to service the areas designated IWS/AAA and Town & Country at a rate of $5.65. Ms. Clayton stated that their third choice would be to agree to the rate of $6.38, but would have to take into consideration market share.
Mr. Findell stated that the franchise agreement is based on the market share, and the franchise area boundaries will be adjusted every three years, based on changes that have occurred in population growth within the County.
Mr. Kyle Adams, with Town & Country, representing Waste Management Industries, stated they have concerns with the rates they have quoted, after hearing comments being made today, and he does not have the authority to agree to trading franchise areas, at this time.
It was the decision of the Board to offer a proposal reassigning franchise areas, with a proposed rate of $7.94 for the southeast franchise area to be served by Berry's Refuse; $7.97 for the southwest franchise area to be served by South Lake Refuse; $6.38 for the northeast franchise area to be served by Town & Country; and $5.94 for the northwest franchise area to be served by IWS/AAA; to direct the haulers to review these rates with their corporations, and advise the Board of their decision by Tuesday, April 23, 1991.
COUNTY ATTORNEY/SUITS AFFECTING THE COUNTY
The County Attorney informed the Board (for informational purposes) that the Supreme Court has issued an opinion in the St. Johns School Board case, and that information is forthcoming.
Commr. Gregg stated that he would like to have a hearing scheduled, if the opinion is in favor of the St. Johns County Ordinance, for the purpose of discussing school impact fees.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held a special Townhall Meeting, on Thursday, April 18, 1991, at 7:00 p.m., at Leesburg City Hall. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Donald B. Bailey, Chairman; C. W. "Chick" Gregg; Richard Swartz; Catherine Hanson; and Michael J. Bakich. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Alan A. Thelen, County Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
Mr. Al Thelen, County Manager, gave the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commr. Gregg.
Commr. Gregg (District Commissioner) opened the meeting by introducing the following department heads and staff members that were present: Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services; Mr. John Swanson, Executive Director of Planning & Development; Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works; Mr. Dave Warren, Director of the Tourist Development Council; Mr. Lonnie Strickland, Director of Health & General Services; Mr. Tom Neumayer, Director of the Department of Corrections; and Ms. Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager.
It was noted that, in addition to the department heads and staff members that were present, there were approximately 25 individuals from the local community present.
Department of Public Works
Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, appeared before those present and gave a brief overview of the Public Works Department and how it operates. He stated that the department of Parks and Facilities falls under his supervision, noting that park maintenance is a relatively new section of the Public Works Department. He then referred to a handout from his department, indicating some road projects in the County that have been completed, such as Spring Lake Road, in Fruitland Park; the Hwy. 33/48 intersection which is in Okahumpka; to projects as far east
as Howey-in-the-Hills, which is a resurfacing project. He indicated some countywide resurfacing projects which have been done, noting that they have added a "button" program and a "striping" program, which enhances the roads and makes them safer to travel. He alluded to current road projects, such as the one which is just being completed in the Lady Lake area, as well as the Griffin Avenue Widening and Resurfacing Project, in Lady Lake. He stated they have bids out to do improvements (left turn lanes) at the intersection of Radio Road, Hwy. 473, and 44. He stated that clay roads, such as Twin Lakes, Haines Creek, and Cypress Road, will be brought up to paved standards. He stated that Crescent Drive, in the Picciola area, is a special assessment resurfacing project, to be brought into the County Maintenance System. He stated they have removed the buildings at Singeltary Park, in order to make room for additional parking (possibly doubling it) and extending the boat ramps.
Mr. Stivender then discussed future projects, such as the east/west connector, which he noted the City of Leesburg and the County have been working on for some time; the Hwy. 33 widening project, in the Okahumpka area, which he noted will be widened to 30 feet; and the Picciola Cutoff road project. He discussed the FDOT projects, noting that the State has awarded the resurfacing of Hwy. 441, from Leesburg to Tavares. He stated said highway is probably one of the more dangerous roads, when it rains, due to the amount of rutting and hydroplaning. He stated the intersection at Hwys. 27 and 33 is scheduled for signalization, noting that it should be done this year. He then discussed the U.S. 27/441 six laning project, noting that the amount of cars that travel that road amount to almost 40,000 cars per day, especially during the winter months. He stated that segment of road is at level of service E, however, by doing the six laning, the level of service can be changed from E to B, which means at least another 10,000 cars per day, and a much better flow of traffic. He stated his
department is trying to anticipate areas that have growth potential and take care of them now, in order to prevent problems later on.
Department of Corrections
Mr. Tom Neumayer, Director of the Department of Corrections, appeared before those present stating that he has been with the County approximately seven months, noting that what drew him here was the fact that the County only had approximately 300 inmates, yet they were building a facility with almost 1,000 beds. He stated this struck a cord with him that finally there was a governmental agency that was actually planning for the future - not building only for the capacity they needed, and then worrying about the future later, which he found to be refreshing. He stated the philosophy of Corrections, not only in Lake County, but throughout the country, has undergone a metamorphosis into what is known as "direct supervision", whereby there is no physical barrier between the corrections officers and the inmates. He stated it sounds strange, but it works, noting that the staff undergoes intensive training on interpersonal communications and specific direct supervision concepts. He stated that, over a brief period of time, there is a mutual respect that develops on both sides - the officers learn to respect the inmates as individuals, not just criminals, and learn to understand some of the concerns that they have, and, at the same time, the inmates begin to respect the officers and understand their job, and the position that they are put in. He stated disciplinary infractions decline, the destruction of County property and facilities decline, it becomes a much smoother operation, and the number of hours the officers and inmates are together become more pleasant. He noted the Prelude facility was opened the beginning of March and has been very successful. He stated they are trying to integrate certain programs, to go into effect at the time they occupy the Main Jail, such as expanding the educational programs they have for the inmates; spiritual guidance; and substance abuse programming, in an effort to give the individuals a certain sense of self worth, as
statistics show that if one takes an individual and teaches him or her certain social skills that most individuals take for granted, such as opening a checking account, balancing a checkbook, filling out an employment application, etc., and give them a leg up on any substance abuse problems that they have, then the chances of them returning to criminal activity and ending up back in jail, and costing the taxpayers tax dollars, declines. He stated construction of direct supervision is far less expensive than conventional construction, and the concept of direct supervision ends up, long-term, having fewer inmates recidivate, thus, fewer tax dollars expended on the actual incarceration effort. He stated that, in the past four years, in Lake County, the inmate population has risen 51%, and they have no reason to believe that it is going to decline. He stated that, as far as a rate of incarceration, per 1,000 population, in the County, Lake County is mid-level with the State, noting that the County is currently running 2.2 individuals per 1,000 population. He stated that they expect, during fiscal year 1992, to have a County inmate population of approximately 500. He stated that, at the present time, this County is negotiating contracts with several Federal agencies, and some of the other counties, to lease out its vacant bed space, for as long as it is available, to help alleviate their overcrowding, which helps them reduce the possibility of lawsuits, and, at the same time, will pay this County, on a per diem basis, for the inmates that we hold for them. He stated that, by leasing the bed space, it will offset the higher appropriations that the County is going to require, in order to run a much larger and newer facility. He stated that staff is very much looking forward to getting the new structure open, possibly a year from now, and that they foresee a lot of good things happening, within the realm of corrections.
Tourist Development Council
Mr. Dave Warren, Director of the Tourist Development Council, appeared before those present stating that his department was just formed in December, 1990. He stated they operate off the Tourist
Development tax (bed tax), which he noted is 2% at the present time, and that it is collected from any RV park, motel, hotel, fish camp, etc. that collects a tax, and where people stay less than six months. He stated that this is where the Council gets its money to operate, as there is no ad valorem tax or general fund involved. He stated a referendum was passed in November, 1984, and then was actually put into effect in December, 1990. He stated they have been collecting money since 1984, and with said funds have purchased 285 acres of land, located at Hwys. 19/27 and the turnpike. He stated the Council is now looking at how said property should be used. He also noted that a resolution was passed, pertaining to promotion and advertising, and how funds could be spent regarding it.
Mr. Warren stated staff presently has a number of projects underway, one of which is to possibly locate a Welcome Center at the area in question, so that when tourists come into the County, they will have the ability to stop by and let staff show them what is available in Leesburg, as far as restaurants, hotels, motels and places to visit while in the County. Another project he is currently involved with, is a brochure, to educate those individuals coming into the County as to what is available to them. He stated the brochure will list the major festivals that go on in the County, noting that almost every city has some kind of festival. He stated the brochure will also list different things to do in Lake County, such as renting houseboats and going down the river; renting horses and riding through the Ocala National Forest; parachute jumping in Umatilla; fishing; the Lakeside Inn, in Mt. Dora; various golf courses, of which one of the top ten in the State of Florida is at Mission Inn in Howey-in-the-Hills; the Citrus Tower, in Clermont; the Lakeridge Winery, in Clermont; a glider operation at the intersection of Hwys. 33 and 561, of which people come from all over the world to participate in; as well as three international ski schools located in the same vicinity.
Mr. Warren stated the County may possibly relocate the Fairgrounds to the property located at Hwys. 19/27 and the turnpike, or the Tourist Development Council may possibly put in, in the interim, a golf course, or a multi-purpose building, which the various Chambers of Commerce in the County could use. He then answered questions presented by several individuals present in the audience.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before those present and stated what departments fall under his division. He stated the County is trying to develop a mandatory solid waste collection program and mandatory solid waste system, noting that the intent of this program is to provide for collection of solid waste throughout the County, to ensure that the waste is collected and disposed of in a proper manner, and to limit the amount of litter spread about the County. He stated that, during the last several months, staff has been negotiating a franchise agreement with several waste collectors, noting that they have spent the last few weeks negotiating rates with them, and hope that they are very close to setting those rates sometime in the next week. He stated the County is planning on implementing the mandatory collection program in October, 1991, if everything goes well, and that, as a part of that mandatory program, they will be setting up a special assessment program, to help pay for those solid and hazardous waste management system costs - both collection and disposal, as well as recycling. He discussed the waste-to-energy facility, stating that it went into start-up operation last August and into commercial operation in March, 1991. He stated the County is also putting into place a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center, which is to be located at the Astatula Landfill, noting that everything is in place and should be operational in May. He stated the purpose of the center is to provide a place where residents of the County can bring their household hazardous waste, on an at-will basis. He stated the center will be open a
couple of days per week, of which one of those days will be Saturday, in order to make it convenient for everybody.
Mr. Findell stated the County is presently working on several landfill closures, noting that two were closed to the acceptance of waste a couple of years ago, and are now undergoing physical closure. He stated staff is about to complete the Umatilla and Loghouse Landfill closures, as well. He stated they will be starting closure of the Lady Lake Landfill in the Fall, and are in the process of permitting a new landfill, which will possibly be located southwest of Okahumpka. He stated the County is currently doing site surveys on the property, as well as environmental analyses that are needed, in order to decide whether or not to purchase the property. If the County decides to purchase said property, they hope to have a permit in hand to construct the landfill by September of 1992, which, soon after, the Astatula Landfill will be closed. He stated the County hopes to use a portion of the new landfill site to create a nature reserve, as the site is a combination of both uplands and wetlands, in order to create an environmental positive along with what some might consider an environmental negative.
Mr. Findell stated the Pollution Control Division is working on a couple of important ordinances, being the Stormwater Management Ordinance and a revision to the Wetlands Ordinance. He stated they are important because they help to further protect the County's very precious resources, but, at the same time, will be used, once approved by regulatory agencies other than the Board of County Commissioners, to assist the County in receiving delegation of permitting authority from the water management districts. He stated the County is helping to establish the utilities for the industrial park that will be located at the Hwys. 19/27 and the turnpike site, as well as working with the Astor Park Association, to provide a wastewater treatment system in the Astor/Astor Park area, which he noted is a very environmentally sensitive area. He stated that one of the big tasks the County is faced with this year
comes from the preparation of the County's Comprehensive Plan. He stated the Comprehensive Plan requires the County to develop an environmental management program which will guide the County into the future, and provide direction to the Board of County Commissioners' staff and the citizens of the County, in how they wish to protect their environment for the next 20 years. He then answered questions from several individuals in the audience.
Planning and Development
Mr. John Swanson, Director of Planning and Development, appeared before those present and reviewed a map which he had prepared indicating the property located at Hwys. 19/27 and the turnpike. He noted how many acres each color on the map represented and what each parcel of property was being used for, or was being proposed to be used for. He stated the County is now entering into a phase of development to have the property developed into a preliminary plan and a final plat for Phase I, which he stated a portion of fronts on Hwy. 27. He stated said property is not in competition with any other site in the County, and that they hope to develop the site, in order to increase the County's employment base. He stated they hope, by June of 1991, to have the site ready for sale.
At this time, the Board members and staff answered questions, presented by those present in the audience, regarding access to Lake Saunders; the Objections, Recommendations, and Comments Report from the Department of Community Affairs, pertaining to the Comprehensive Plan; and the Mandatory Solid Waste Collection Program.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Council, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK