The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, October 22, 1991, at 1:30 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; Catherine Hanson; and Michael J. Bakich. Others present were: Annette Star Lustgarten, County Attorney; Mike Anderson, Interim County Manager; Ava Kronz, Assistant to the County Manager; James C. Watkins, Clerk; Robert K. McKee, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board stating that a couple of months ago the Board had directed staff to initiate an investigation for the potential mining of landfills in Lake County, as there are a couple of landfills that have yet to be closed. He stated that the Astatula Landfill is scheduled for closure in 1993, and the Lady Lake Landfill is scheduled for closure this year. He stated that the purpose of the landfill mining study is to look at the possibility of mining waste from the two landfills to see if the County can, in fact, save money by doing so, and reduce the necessity of having to move to the proposed Site K landfill, which involves a fairly substantial amount of money for the purchase, construction, and initial operation of it. He stated that the report which was submitted to the Board two weeks ago, and the one that was submitted last week, was the compilation of staff's preliminary findings. He stated that the study itself is based on a myriad of assumptions, many of which were contained in the report given by Public Financial Management (PFM) during a Special Meeting held earlier this date; some that were based on staff's own knowledge of the County's operating system, and many that were based on the
report that was prepared by the Collier County Solid Waste Management Department (the organization that currently has the most experience in landfill mining, in the State of Florida).
Mr. Bill Cummins, Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Division Director (the principal author of the study), appeared before the Board and presented them with the detailed aspects of the study - the conclusions and the backup information upon which the conclusions were derived. He then reviewed an overhead showing how landfills are mined - from old unlined landfills to new lined ones, and answered questions from the Board pertaining to same.
Mr. Cummins stated that the presentation evolves around three major aspects, so they wound up with eight different alternatives to study, at which time he reviewed an overhead showing said alternatives and their present worth ranking.
Mr. Cummins reviewed an overhead showing the difference in costs between a site development and the capital and operational costs for setting up a mining operation. He then reviewed an overhead showing a matrix of alternative rankings and projections, noting that the lowest ranking was Case 6, which kept the waste-to-energy plant, Astatula II, and mining of the two unclosed sites, followed by Alternative 5, which is the same, except that it does not have mining. He stated that this all involves voluntary collection. He stated that they have just added mandatory collection, noting that the costs figures went up, but the rankings for the first three did not change.
Mr. Cummins stated that an important consideration that needed to be kept in mind was the fact that staff assumed all the landfill cells, including Site K, would be 90 feet; however, Site K is not presently designed to go to 90 feet, and they do not know if Astatula I, Astatula II, or Lady Lake will take a 90 foot cell. He stated that they have just finished a 45 foot cell height, which substantially increases the present worth values by $10-22 million. He stated that it also forces the County to buy Site K, or another site, in approximately three to seven years. He stated that if the
County goes to a shorter cell, under all the scenarios, they would use the land up so rapidly that they would have to go to a new site very quickly.
Mr. Cummins then reviewed an overhead showing the calculations that staff did regarding the assumptions, noting that each set of calculations has its own set of assumptions, as well as an overhead showing an activity schedule of when all the changes alluded to were going to take place. He stated that he assumed the waste-to-energy facility would run the full 22 years.
Mr. Cummins reviewed an overhead showing figures based on Collier County's calculation data regarding cover material, noting that he had modified it to this county's use, and that he felt it was a good, reasonable, unbiased look at what this county is doing, as far as landfill mining is concerned.
Commr. Bakich questioned whether staff was aware of how much, if any, hazardous waste was underground in Astatula, to which
Ms. Claire Bartlett, Solid Waste Management Director, responded, stating that, as far as the asbestos wastestream was concerned, she could accurately inform the Board of the amount of asbestos waste since 1988; however, beyond 1988, she has not been able to locate any records indicating the location, or the quantity of same.
Ms. Caroline Carter, a local resident, appeared before the Board and questioned the handling of hazardous waste in the landfill mining process, to which Mr. Cummins replied that the hazardous waste would probably be pulled out first, then the large rubble (construction and demolition material), followed by tires.
Ms. Carter then questioned who was doing the monitoring of the groundwater in Lake County, to which Mr. Findell, Executive Director of Environmental Services, replied that his staff was doing it.
At this time, Mr. Findell summarized the study and discussed some recommendations which were made. He stated that the concept of landfill mining certainly has certain economic and environmental advantages. He stated that the economic advantage is principally
the potential for delay and closure of the existing landfill, as well as the potential delay in the purchase of Site K. As far as the environmental advantage, he stated that he looks at two things, one being whether there is an existing problem that can be mitigated to some extent, or whether there is a potential problem that can be prevented from occurring. He discussed a problem the County is faced with at the Astatula I Landfill site, noting that it is one that would probably require long-term remedial action to correct. He stated that it would require the County to close Astatula and take remedial action to remove the groundwater contamination that exists there now, noting that it most likely would consist of the construction of an air stripper, and spraying of the groundwater that is pumped out, through that air stripper, onto surrounding sites. He stated that it would be a long-term project and noted the reason why.
Mr. Findell stated that if the Board is interested in pursuing this, staff would have to enter into discussions with the Department of Environmental Regulation (DER), due to the fact that the consent order requires the County to close the Astatula Landfill in 1993, and have a new facility constructed and in operation by December of that year. He stated that staff would have to obtain a conceptual approval of this concept from DER, amend the existing consent order, to allow staff time to further investigate the potential, and to allow them time to actually permit a new landfill site at Astatula II. He stated that the County would have to go through the construction of a new landfill at Astatula, and that it would have to be lined (basically the same activity that they are currently conducting for the proposed Site K). He stated that staff would have to do the geotechnical analysis to indicate whether or not they could actually go to 90 feet (a factor which had been discussed earlier during the presentation) and whether there are any other problems. He stated that they would have to form some remedial action on the existing site, in concert with this activity, as well, due to the fact that
DER will have a very strong concern about the existing contamination, and would not want to put off any work on remediating that contamination until some foreseeable date in the future.
Mr. Findell also stated that he had had some initial discussions with Mr. Richard Tedder, who is the Solid Waste Manager at the Department of Environmental Regulation, and Mr. Tedder had indicated that DER would have some initial reluctance to approve this concept, because it has not been tried and true, and is not something that the DER office in Orlando is familiar with. However, he stated that Mr. Tedder did indicate that, although there would be some initial reluctance, DER understands the economic and environmental advantages for the County, as well as the political advantages for DER, and that the County is willing to take a risk in doing something that is plowing new ground, so they would be open for discussion, after that initial reluctance.
Commr. Bakich questioned Mr. Findell as to whether he felt this would lead toward the State recycling, to which Mr. Findell replied that it would, if the materials were separated. He stressed the point that the Board should take a cautious approach, as they will be plowing new ground, and are dealing with a landfill that they do not have a lot of historical information about. He stated that the County may get into costs that they do not perceive and have not considered in this particular analysis. He noted that the County has to have the first permit application to DER by December of this year.
Further discussion occurred, at which time it was the consensus of the Board to move ahead with the matter.
Mr. Roy Sebring, a local resident, appeared before the Board questioning the tons per hour of waste that would be processed, to which Mr. Cummins replied that this county would mine approximately 75 tons per hour, and that, with the waste-to-energy facility, it would go down to approximately 30 tons per hour.
Mr. Robert Willets, a resident of Umatilla, appeared before the Board and questioned the Class I and Class III classifications for the lining requirements, at which time a brief discussion occurred regarding the matter.
Ms. Rhonda Gerber, a local resident, appeared before the Board and questioned what the County will do with the ash from the incinerator, if it is eventually determined to be hazardous, to which Mr. Findell replied that, if it is determined to be hazardous, it would have to be disposed of in the constraints of the Hazardous Waste Management Program. He stated this means that it would have to be treated or buried in a hazardous waste permitted facility, which he noted the County currently does not have.
Mr. Dan Eastwood, a resident of Tavares, appeared before the Board stating that the Lake County Taxpayers' League has a subcommittee looking at this matter, from an economic standpoint, and that some of the representatives from that league had just come back from Collier County where they were able to obtain some information regarding the matter. He then informed the Board what he had learned from the trip.
Ms. Jo Irwin, a local resident, appeared before the Board and questioned what the County is going to do about the water around the Astatula Landfill, if it is found to be contaminated, to which Mr. Findell responded, indicating the steps that would be taken and what has been done so far, concerning the matter. He stated that staff is currently waiting for comments back from the Department of Environmental Regulation.
Mr. Findell stated that he would initiate a more formal discussion with DER, to get a reaction from them, and report his findings to the Board on November 5, 1991, which would give the Board some direction as to where the County needs to go from here.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 3:00 p.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 3:05 p.m.
ADDENDUM TO BOARD AGENDA
COUNTY EMPLOYEES/COUNTY POLICIES & PROCEDURES/PERSONNEL
Ms. Lois Martin, Director of Personnel, appeared before the Board stating that, at the final budget hearing, the Board adopted the procedure for filling any vacant positions which become available within the County. She stated that the Executive Director is to present to the Board verification for filling the position, such as whether or not the position is essential, what effect it will have on the operational program, if the position is not filled, etc. She stated that she came up with a proposal, which contains an alternative, being that the County will post positions internally first, to give people within the system a chance for that position, prior to posting the position externally. She stated that an employee will still have to apply and be qualified - it just gives them the first opportunity to be considered. She stated that the procedure would be effective as of October 1, 1991, and that it will apply to any regular, full-time position that becomes vacant, with the exclusion of 100% grant funded positions and positions which provide an essential public service.
It was the consensus of the Board to follow the above stated procedure.
Ms. Martin then stated that a second alternative for filling a position would be that, prior to it being presented to the Board, it would be posted internally, open to the Board of County Commissioners' employees only, then, if no selection is made, or no employee applies for it, the request would be presented to the Board.
Ms. Martin went, step by step, through the process that the Personnel Department currently uses in filling vacant positions, at which time a brief discussion occurred regarding same.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Gregg and carried unanimously, the Board approved the procedure for filling
vacant positions that become available in the County, as presented by Ms. Lois Martin, Director of Personnel.
Commr. Gregg noted that he had spoken with Mr. Kendall Spencer, regarding the matter of him serving on the Selection Committee for the County Manager, and that Mr. Spencer had indicated that he would serve on said committee.
On a motion by Commr. Gregg, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Kendal Spencer to the Selection Committee for the County Manager.
The Chairman, Commr. Bailey, informed those present (for informational purposes) that the meeting between the City Managers and the Board of County Commissioners, for the purpose of discussing the incinerator issue, had been scheduled for October 29, 1991, at 9:00 a.m., at Vic's Embers Restaurant, in Leesburg.
COUNTY EMPLOYEES/ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/PERSONNEL
Mr. Don Findell, Director of Environmental Services, appeared before the Board stating that the County will need to fill the position that will be vacated by Mr. Brad Bauserman, Recycling Coordinator, who resigned, to become effective November 22, 1991.
It was noted that Mr. Bauserman has done an outstanding job for the County, and that he will be hard to replace. The Board requested that a resolution be prepared for Mr. Bauserman, in appreciation of his service to the County.
COMMITTEES/ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES/LANDFILLS (CONT'D.)
Considerable discussion occurred regarding the committee to study solid waste and who should be on it, at which time Ms. Lustgarten, County Attorney, stated that she could pursue the legal counsel, and have a recommendation ready for the Board to consider, at the Board Meeting scheduled for November 5, 1991; however, in the meantime, the Board will need to decide what direction they want to give that team.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.
DONALD B. BAILEY, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK