A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 19, 1994, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Catherine C. Hanson, Chairman; Welton C. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; G. Richard Swartz, Jr.; Rhonda H. Gerber; and Don Bailey. Others present were: James C. Watkins, Clerk; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy, Finance & Audit Department; Frank Gaylord, Interim County Attorney; Peter F. Wahl, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Bailey gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that today was Student Government Day and would consist of a two day program. Today would be an overview of the responsibilities of the Commissioners and staff, and a "Mock Session" of a Board meeting would be held on May 3, 1994.
Commr. Hanson stated that she had a couple of items she would like to have brought forward on the agenda. The first item, for discussion, involved the livestock issue that the Sheriff's Office would like to have established under the Animal Control Division.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, the Board approved to add the above item, as stated by Commr. Hanson, to the agenda for discussion.
Commr. Hanson stated that the second issue involved an agenda item from the Tourist Development Council (TDC) requesting that the TDC be allowed to go out for request for proposals for the tourism study.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether there was any backup material for the Board to review regarding the request from TDC.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, informed the Board that the criteria had not yet been developed and would be developed by the TDC.
Commr. Gerber suggested that the TDC agenda request be added, for discussion only, and Commr. Cadwell stated that he had no problem with this suggestion, if the Board was still able to act on the request.
Commr. Swartz stated that he had a problem acting on a request without any backup material, or knowledge on the issue. He questioned the urgency for the request to be placed on the agenda.
Commr. Hanson stated that the TDC had already approved to bring this item to the Board.
Commr. Bailey made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell, to bring the item forward from the TDC regarding a tourism study, for discussion and possible action.
It was noted that the motion failed by a 3-2 vote, with Commrs. Swartz and Gerber voting "no".
Clarification was made that, in order to bring an item forward and add it to the agenda, there would have to be an extraordinary vote, which would be a four member vote. Since the vote failed, the item would be placed on the next Board agenda.
After further discussion regarding the urgency of the item from the TDC, Commr. Bailey suggested that the item be placed under Commr. Hanson's business, in order to continue discussion.
Commr. Hanson stated that the next issue to be brought forward was the wastewater discussion for Central Park. It was noted that the Board would hear the scheduled item at an earlier time, if there were no objections.
Commr. Bailey stated that the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) met at 8 a.m. this morning, and the members were present for the discussion.
Discussion occurred regarding the Minutes of March 1, 1994, Regular Meeting, with the following changes being made:
Page 16 - Paragraph 2 - Amend: to show that Commr. Hanson was not present for the vote.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Minutes of March 1, 1994, Regular Meeting, as amended.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Minutes of March 15, 1994, Regular Meeting, as presented.
CLERK OF COURT'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following requests:
Accounts Allowed/County Property
Approval of list of items (8) to be deleted from Fixed Assets for the month of April 1994, in the amount of $28,100.00.
Bonds - Contractor
Request to approve and authorize proper signature on the following Contractor Bonds:
1624-94 Robert D. Hedrick (Class C - Residential Building)
4122-94 Ronald L. Hart, Sr. (General Contractor)
5289-94 Steve C. Lail (Masonry/Concrete)
Request to approve and authorize the proper signatures on the following Satisfaction of Assessment Liens:
Astor Forest Campsites
Ruth Etta Robinson and Larry & Phyllis Wys $2,432.97
Orlando J. and Arva Andrews 2,384.64
Howard R. and Jannell Amos 2,158.36
Wesley M. and Marjo Williams 1,730.69
Murray C. and Carol L. Canova 1,800.01
William H. and Doris R. Clay 1,284.55
Judith P. Degler 1,812.02
Mur Sims and Norman F. Perry 1,155.03
Barbara J. Morri Foster Jr., Barbara J.
Morrison and James C. Foster, Jr. 2,007.73
Martha Marini and Lance Jason Corral 1,588.63
Alan and Mary C. Dempster $2,097.82
Ocala Forest Campsites
Maria Z. Teninty $ 444.28
United Southern Bank $ 794.38
Sparks Village Subdivision
James A. and Alpha Lee Dolan $ 498.09
Forest Lake Subdivision
Carol Ann Lavenia Trust $2,126.37
Accounts Allowed/Finance Department
Request to acknowledge receipt of the List of Warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136 of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Clerical Support Division of the Clerk's Office.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Annual Financial Audit and Financial Report (AFR) for the Oklawaha Basin Recreation and Water Conservation and Control Authority for Fiscal Year 1992-93.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Florida Public Service Commission Hearing, Investigation Into Proper Tariffing of Telephone Service for Elevators and Common Areas Within Residential Facilities, Wednesday, May 25, 1994, 9:30 a.m., Room 106, Fletcher Building, 101 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-0850.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Annual Financial Report of the Southwest Florida Water Management District for Fiscal Year ended September 30, 1993.
FACILITIES AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS/COMMITTEES/COUNTY PROPERTY
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, informed the Board that the next items to be discussed involved Tabs 22 and 23 from the original agenda, and Tab II. A. 1 on the Addendum No. 1 agenda. All items involved the water/wastewater at the Lake County Central Park, and some method of providing financing for those improvements. Mr. Wahl stated that, in March, 1994, the Board directed staff to re-review the issue, in addition to refining the proposals of the two vendors, the City of Leesburg and Southern States Utilities. The Board also requested staff to look at the County's development of the water system and becoming a provider for the water services.
Mr. Mike Anderson, Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements, appeared before the Board to present a report on the three agenda items. Mr. Anderson reviewed previous action taken by the IDA to endorse the recommendation made by staff to begin negotiations with Southern States Utilities (SSU), and to go forth to the Board of County Commissioners with the recommendation. This recommendation followed a lengthy evaluation of the costs and timeliness of both SSU and the City of Leesburg when considered as the primary utilities capable of serving Central Park. No action was taken by the Board, but instead, the Board asked staff to study various options which could assist in their decision as to which utility provider could best serve Central Park. The following additional information was requested:
1) Determine what would be required by the County to provide
water to C.P.
2) What permits would be required and how long would it take
to obtain them?
3) Determine the costs associated with providing on-site water.
4) Provide, to the City of Leesburg, a complete PBS&J
report, including site plan and a copy of Southern
States Utilities proposal letter.
5) Ask Leesburg to respond with their best possible proposal.
Mr. Anderson directed the Board to Page 3 of the Request for Board Action dated April 15, 1994, which had the breakdown of the two scenarios, the on-site water well (approximately $300,000), and to drill new well on-site (approximately $500,000). He noted that the information was obtained from previous studies provided by Farner Barley. He discussed the FAX that he sent to SSU and the City of Leesburg, which asked whether either would consider providing only waste water treatment to the Lake County Central Park. He stated that each provider indicated "no", and therefore, this more less stopped any further consideration of the development of an on-site well. He further stated that his recommendation, at this point in time, would be to abandon to place the on-site well, and come back at a later date, if necessary, to develop it on an as needed basis.
Mr. Anderson directed the Board's attention to Page 2-1, which addressed the timeliness and permits that are required. The schedule demonstrated the time that was required to put together a design build contract for the utilities, which would be approximately 12 weeks. He addressed the permitting that would be necessary and stated that it would take approximately a 20 week turnaround time on the permitting. He stated that 14 weeks have been allowed for the on-site infrastructure to be put into place; seven weeks for the off-site; a couple of weeks for test and flush; which all just meets the nine month commitment to accommodate Carroll Fulmer.
Mr. Anderson addressed the items in Tab 3, which consisted of the proposal from the City of Leesburg. He directed the Board's attention to Page 3-4, which indicated a cost comparison as follows: City of Leesburg - $692,000; SSU - $806,200. Mr. Anderson stated that the $692,000 was a considerable reduction from the original estimates that had been developed earlier for the same services. This included Leesburg only having to come 12,560 feet as opposed to 6 1/2 miles, as indicated in the original proposal. Mr. Anderson directed the Board's attention to Page 3-5, which showed that the City of Leesburg included an Impact Fee Incentive Plan for Economic Development. He discussed the user specific calculations determined by the City of Leesburg, in regards to American Hotel Registry, but stated that he feels that the engineer's methodology would be the only criteria that staff can use, until such time it is known as to who will actually occupy and be in business, and that he did not feel this would be indicative as to what the whole park represents as far as users.
Commr. Swartz questioned the methodology determined by Leesburg, which indicates that the impact fee is calculated based on the impact to the system, low user pays less impact fees, high user pays higher impact fees.
Mr. Anderson explained that, after receiving the proposal from Leesburg, the information was incorporated into the PBS&J report. He directed the Board's attention to Page 5-2, the letter from PBS&J, which stated the following: "The current proposal from the City of Leesburg still is significantly more expensive on a capital cost basis than that of the SSU alternative ($3,850,640 versus $801,000)." He discussed impact fees and the validity of whether or not the County should be in the business of trying to carry the cost of impact fees and distribute those proportionally within the property of Central Park. He suggested that, as an option to this, the Board should reconsider the whole issue and limit the County's considerations to just the capital costs, on the costs to get the lines and services in the ground. It is generally understood that impact fees are the cost of doing business, or cost of operation, and that they are usually passed on to the consumer. He did not feel it would be appropriate to try and reflect this in the asking price per parcel, and he would ask the Board to consider looking at the capital costs alone, and only be concerned with impact fees that relate to the overall picture, but that the County would not actually waive impact fees, and would not try and reflect these in the asking price per parcel. Mr. Anderson explained that, after SSU reviewed the updated proposal from Leesburg, they provided a formal proposal (Page 4-2) in writing from SSU, with a Cost Comparison on Page 4-4, which indicated a total cost of $692,000 from Leesburg, and a total cost of $154,400 from SSU. This proposal was taken to PBS&J, and they incorporated the numbers into their report. He directed the Board's attention to Page 5-9, Comparison of Total Costs for Each Service Provider, and the report from PBS&J dated April 15, 1994, which indicated the following: "The current proposal from the City of Leesburg still is significantly more expensive on a capital cost basis than that of the most recent SSU alternative ($3,850,640 vs. $323,450)." Mr. Anderson stated that, if the impact fees were set aside, and consideration was given to only the capital costs, an investment would be reflected in the amount of $692,000 to get utilities from Leesburg versus $154,400 for similar services from SSU.
Mr. Anderson stated that, in order to properly facilitate the current property owners waiting to begin development within Central Park, and to maximize the marketing potential of the rest of the industrial park, staff recommends the following:
a) Lake County to begin immediately to develop a design/build
criteria package for the on-site and off-site infrastructure
for Central Park.
b) Lake County to begin negotiations with Southern States
Utilities to provide the water and wastewater treatment
for Central Park, utilizing their current capacities.
Commr. Swartz questioned the figures on Page 4-5, which reflected consumer charges over a ten year period. The figures indicated that a consumer would pay almost five times as much over a ten year period of time for sewer.
Mr. Edd Holder, Chairman of the IDA, appeared before the Board to discuss impact fees. Mr. Holder stated that the IDA felt that the impact fees should be paid by the user. He stated that, if the County does business with a private entity, then the net worth would be included on the tax rolls as a tangible asset to be taxed, with one-half of the taxes going to the school system. Mr. Holder stated that there is a tremendous amount of disparity between what Lake County's competitors in Osceola, Seminole and Orange are charging for water and sewer, which gives the County room to stay competitive. He stated that the IDA, at its last two meetings, unanimously recommended that staff's recommendations be approved.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether it would be wise to ignore the monthly and yearly charges that a company would pay, which would be six times as much for their water and wastewater with SSU.
Mr. Holder discussed water usage being an insignificant part of a company's overhead, and stated that he felt it was the IDA's responsibility to recommend to the Board which had the lowest cost for the County's taxpayers' dollars. He noted that Lake County is at one-half the rate that its competitors are for water and wastewater commercial utility rates.
Commr. Bailey explained that, when the IDA discusses such issues, they always discuss the impact on the taxpayers, and business paying for itself. The timeliness was very important, because of Carol Fulmer and American Hotel.
Discussion occurred regarding the final figures presented by SSU, and the comparison that had been made between those figures and the ones presented by Leesburg.
Mr. Anderson addressed the figure of $3,850,640 established by Leesburg and explained that this includes the off-site infrastructure, and the connection costs for the available capacity and the remaining capacity, for both water and wastewater, and directed the Board's attention to Page 5-9, which was the Comparison of Total Costs for Each Service Provider.
Mr. Mark Walsh, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, appeared before the Board to discuss the figures in the report made by PBS&J.
Commr. Swartz questioned Mr. Walsh as to whether PBS&J, or any of its offices, have had any relationship, or done any consulting work, with SSU, its parent company, or any subsidiary companies. Mr. Walsh stated that he has worked for PBS&J for 13 years, and that, to the best of his knowledge of those 13 years, PBS&J has not worked for SSU, or its parent company, or any of its subsidiaries.
Mr. Walsh addressed the Comparison Table on page 5-9 and presented an explanation of the analysis. The analysis includes the impact fees for Leesburg, but Mr. Anderson's recommendation is not to consider impact fees in the table.
Commr. Swartz addressed Page 3-7, Estimated Consumption Charges, and questioned the extremely big difference in costs to the consumer, with Leesburg showing over a ten year period a figure of $10,797.60, and SSU showing $61,027.20.
Mr. Claude Smoak appeared before the Board and presented an explanation of the figures and stated that the IDA does not want the public to subsidize the cost of utility service to the businesses that may come to the County. He stated that the IDA wants business to pay its own way, and it wants the service to be provided by the cheapest provider, at the cheapest capital cost. Mr. Smoak stated that Lake County is competing with Seminole County, Osceola County and Orange County. He stated that private enterprise pays taxes and local government does not pay taxes. Mr. Smoak stated that the IDA has reviewed the numbers and tried to make a recommendation to the Board based on the staff's report, that would allow private enterprise to make the improvements at a substantially reduced cost to the public; there would never be any public subsidizing of the future costs involved with that development; and that they have a lower up front public cost. There are no impact fees by SSU, but there are impact fees with Leesburg. Mr. Smoak stated that the question is how to spend the public's money, and the IDA suggests that private industry can do a better job in this case, based on their own numbers, and requested that the Board support the recommendations of staff and IDA.
Mr. Alvin Jackson, Economic Development Coordinator, appeared before the Board and explained that the utility costs to a large company are a minute portion of its overhead.
Commr. Swartz questioned whether Mr. Jackson had consulted with Carol Fulmer specifically on the issue of costs for water and wastewater.
Mr. Jackson stated that Carol Fulmer had considered on-site cleaning of their trucks, but after consulting with them last week, they will most likely be doing this off-site, with this issue only being addressed in Phase III of their development. Mr. Jackson stated that the utility costs have not been a question.
Mr. Rex Taylor, City of Leesburg, appeared before the Board and stated that the proposal put on the table by Leesburg has been accurately portrayed, but in comparison standards with SSU, he was not sure. Mr. Taylor commented that it was obvious that SSU was physically closer than the City of Leesburg. They can bring the utilities to the site quicker, time wise, and the capital costs should be lower, but he stated that some of the engineering numbers give him concern. The numbers presented by SSU have been reduced, and the County has decided to have the end user pay the impact fees. Mr. Taylor stated that, on the short run, SSU will be less expensive, but in the long run, Leesburg will be less expensive. He stated that, if he were to make the decision, he would go with SSU, because the utilities would be supplied quicker, and the issues down the road are to be worked out. Mr. Taylor stated that he feels comfortable with the numbers that Leesburg has put on the table, but on the short run issue, SSU would get there quicker at probably a lower cost, but in the long run, Leesburg would be the lower cost. Mr. Taylor stated that he feels good about the issue that Leesburg has brought forward, because the numbers are lower than what the County was considering earlier, and now the County was looking at assessing the end user as opposed to averaging the number throughout the cost of the land, which Leesburg did not feel was the best way to approach the issue of impact fees.
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Attorney representing SSU, appeared before the Board and stated that clearly there was a significant difference between the capital costs and the costs to the public, which was indicated in the two proposals, and that there was over a one-half million dollar cost savings in going with SSU as opposed to the City of Leesburg. Ms. Bonifay explained that the impact fees and the user charges will not remain the same and may be shifted somewhere in the future. She explained that SSU was regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). She stated that Leesburg operates its own utilities that can essentially be done through a public hearing process. Ms. Bonifay stated that, under the present City of Leesburg ordinance, it only charges non-city residents 25 percent more than they charge in-city residents. Pursuant to Florida Statute Chapter 180, the City can go up to 125 percent of that City fee. She explained that PSC has intervenors that represent the public's interest and would make sure the rates are competitive. Ms. Bonifay urged the Board to ask questions of representatives from SSU. She stated that the public's best interest would be served today by beginning negotiations with SSU, who are less then five tenths (5/10s) of a mile from the industrial park, and the estimates of the proposal presented by SSU have been verified with Mr. Anderson.
Commr. Gerber questioned the issue of impact fees, and Ms. Bonifay explained that, at some point of time, SSU will have an impact fee.
Mr. Wahl directed the Board's attention to Tab 6, Page 4, and stated that the Table consists of the revised figures from SSU, which indicate off-site infrastructure improvements at $83,800.
Commr. Cadwell stated that it has been a problem trying to weigh the County's responsibility to the tenants, once they get to the property, as opposed to the County's responsibility to the taxpayers, and even though this is coming out of infrastructure, it is still tax money, and the County needs to be careful with how it spends the money, therefore, he will support the proposal presented by IDA.
Commr. Bailey stated that the IDA looked at the least impact to the taxpayer, with the understanding that business would take care of itself.
Commr. Hanson extended her appreciation to Leesburg for working with the County through this issue, and for being so candid on their recommendation. She stated that the issues to consider are timeliness, which is critical, and growth paying for itself. She further stated that the recommendation gives the County the greatest return for the tax dollars, and she will support the recommendation of both staff and IDA.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board approved for Lake County to begin immediately to develop a design/build criteria package for the on-site and off-site infrastructure for Central Park.
Commr. Bailey made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gerber, to approve for Lake County to begin negotiations with Southern States Utilities to provide the water and wastewater treatment for Central Park, utilizing their current capacities.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz stated that it was very clear regardless of whether you now support the Southern States, or the Leesburg proposal, that the postponement of this issue for 30 days was going to result in a substantial savings no matter which provider would have been chosen, and it would not have been in the best interest of either the users, or the taxpayers of Lake County to have made that decision a month ago. Secondly, he stated that Mr. Taylor was very kind and very generous with his comments. He was probably correct that, in the most immediate short term, it would be cheaper to utilize SSU, but he was absolutely correct that, in the long term, and with PBS&J's total present worth chart, that was presented a month ago, and should have been modified by taking out the 1.9 million dollars (Connection Costs for Remaining Capacity - Leesburg) to make the numbers equal, shows that there is almost a three million dollar lower cost in the total present worth of going with Leesburg as opposed to SSU's proposal. The other issue that was important for service to that facility was that Leesburg has one of the most outstanding utility programs anywhere, both in terms of being able to provide water, wastewater, natural gas, and for provision of services to the County facility, both in the short run and the long run Lake County and the people who end up buying in that park would be better served by having that level of quality of service, and after looking at the present worth values, it was clear it was less money in the long run. He stated that he has far more confidence in Leesburg's ability to provide quality utility service to that facility than he does for SSU, and he will vote against the motion to select to negotiate with SSU.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 4-1 vote. Commr. Swartz voted "no".
Commr. Bailey extended his appreciation to the IDA members that were present at the meeting and commended them for their workmanship.
Mr. Wahl informed the Board of the addendum item pertaining to the development of a financial plan for the purpose of reimbursing development costs associated with the construction of Lake County's Central Park. The figures were revised and reflected an estimated total in the amount of $4,977,036. He stated that staff needs the Board's permission to begin to develop the financial plan and work with Public Financial Management (PFM) and bond counsel and the engineering company, if necessary, to develop the package to bring back to the Board for its consideration.
Mr. Anderson explained that next year there is an anticipated shortfall in the cash flow for the renovation.
Ms. Lavon Wisher, PFM, Financial Advisory to Lake County, appeared before the Board and stated that, in March 1994, she had reviewed the alternate methods of financing and recommended, at that time, for it to be the most cost beneficial to the County, the County would obtain a variable line of credit for three years, which would be paid back with an aggressive program in selling the lots in Central Park. Beginning in May, 1995, the County would pay interest for the first three years, and then have a balloon payment at the end of May, 1997, and have the right to prepay at any time without penalty. Taking the projections of the engineering and to pay back for the infrastructure, if you went to the highest price identified for the lots, the County would be paying back in about 64 percent of the payment of the lots and all of the infrastructure. If the County went to the lower part, then it would take about 98 percent of Phase I, which means on the payment of the sale of all of Phase I, the County should be able to pay back all of the infrastructure, and to pay back to the County the money that it had placed up front. She stated that the reimbursement to the County has to be treated in a unique fashion, due to fact that the reimbursement regulations under the Tax Reform Bill does not allow the County to go and get tax exempt financing. She stated that, after consulting with Mr. Wahl, PFM is recommending that the County substitute some projects that are already within the capital improvement budget, pay them back for the lot sales, which will give the County the benefit of the tax debt financing. She stated that the most expeditious way is to get the County to negotiate with a private bank the variable line of credit. On the County's behalf, PFM will negotiate with a private institution the right to convert to a fixed rate, if the variable rate continues to rise.
Commr. Bailey made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Swartz to give authorization to proceed with the development of a financial plan for the purpose of reimbursing development costs associated with construction of Lake County's Central Park, subject to the County Attorney's review and approval.
Commr. Swartz stated that he hopes that this will be done with the most recent provider of short term financing, which has given the County very aggressive rates, so that a lot of money is not spent on negotiating.
Ms. Wisher stated that she has been in discussions with the County's existing lender, and in order to keep them aggressive, PFM will continue marketing with the other private institutions.
Mr. Wahl stated that staff is going to put out a very quick turnaround, a very short RFP and sit down and negotiate with any interested vendors to get the best possible rate, in order for the County to make sure it is in compliance with the law.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:35 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a five minute recess.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES/ANIMAL CONTROL/RESOLUTIONS
Commr. Hanson stated that she would like to move forward at this time, the request for approval of a resolution providing for the definition of dangerous dog and providing for creation of a Dangerous Dog Board of Appeals to provide due process upon the classification of "dangerous dog", as indicated on Addendum No. 1, Item I. A. 1.
Mr. Frank Gaylord, Interim County Attorney, addressed the proposed resolution before the Board. He stated that, on Page 3, a paragraph 4 was added, which allows for the destruction of the dangerous dog. Mr. Gaylord stated that the reason for the resolution is that the Statute does not provide for a due process for the dangerous dog designation. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has declared that this is unconstitutional, because it violates due process, and therefore, this is an attempt to provide for the appellate process for such a determination.
Commr. Hanson entered, for the record, a petition and pictures of the goats that were killed. It was noted that they were related to a case involving Mr. Eddie Eberhardt.
Mr. Eddie Eberhardt appeared before the Board and provided, for the record, pictures of the dogs, which he owned, and a letter written by Mr. Edwin Williams.
Mr. Gaylord stated that the two issues, the appellate process versus the dogs that are presently under Animal Control custody, should be separated.
Chief Craig Haun, Fire and Emergency Services, appeared before the Board and stated that the resolution before the Board provides for an appeal process for owners who have dogs that have been declared dangerous. The resolution will allow staff to handle the problem in an expedient manner instead of having to wait to go through the court system, which will be beneficial to everyone.
Commr. Swartz explained that he could understand adopting by resolution the creation of a board, but questioned whether the definition in the resolution pertaining to "dangerous dog" is consistent with State Statute, and questioned the force of law for adopting a resolution as opposed to an ordinance.
Mr. Bruce Duncan, Assistant County Attorney, appeared before the Board and explained that what the Board had in a resolution will also be provided for in the ordinance, which will be presented to the Committee being established, and which Commr. Swartz will serve as Chairman. Mr. Duncan stated that Florida Statute, Chapter 767, provides the counties and local government with the authority to be more specific and stringent in handling the dangerous dog situation, if it so chooses.
Discussion occurred regarding resolutions not having the same force of law as an ordinance, with it being noted the language in the proposed resolution is more stringent than what is required in Florida Statute, Chapter 767.
Discussion occurred regarding the Board having the ability to pass an emergency ordinance, if deemed necessary.
Mr. Duncan presented the status of the dogs that killed the goats, as indicated in the photographs provided to the Board. He stated that civil infractions currently exist in the County Court of Lake County against Mr. Eddie Eberhardt, owner of the dogs, and that he is facing approximately $1,750.00 in fines. Mr. Duncan stated that the State Attorney's Office will not handle the prosecution of these cases, therefore, he is acting as the prosecutor in this case. He informed the Board that he has discussed with the defense lawyer and the judge the possibility of waiving the fines, with the understanding that Mr. Eberhardt agree to the euthanasia of the dogs, or the removal of the dogs from Lake County. This offer has been made to Mr. Eberhardt, and if he does not accept the proposal, a hearing will be held before the judge, who has the authority to fine Mr. Eberhardt, and to order him not to be in possession of dogs without the approval of the Animal Control Department. Mr. Duncan stated that it appears that some type of resolution has been made, in regards to these three specific dogs, which may take away the necessity for emergency measures. He stated that an ordinance has been drafted, which provides the same measures and procedures as presented in the resolution, and it is ready to be presented to the Committee. Mr. Duncan noted that one of the reasons for the resolution was the need for an emergency type resolution to the issue at hand, and there may not be a need for emergency measures, and the issue can be dealt with through an ordinance.
Commr. Swartz was of the understanding that the Animal Control Board would serve as an intermediary much as being described as the Dangerous Dog Board of Appeals.
Mr. Duncan explained that he has tried to set up a Board and a Committee, with the Committee being responsible for making recommendations to the Board concerning animal control, care of the shelters, how the shelters will be run, and the Appeal Board having the sole responsibility of being a liaison, or a buffer, between the Animal Control Department, which makes the actual decision on the dogs, and the Commission. If the Appeal Board decides that the decision of the Department was correct, there has to be, pursuant to case law, a provision to go from the Appeal Board to the Court, and not to the County Commission. Mr. Duncan suggested that the five appointed members that sit on the Animal Control Ordinance Study Committee act as the Appeal Board.
After further discussion of the issue, it was the feeling of the Board that the emergency need no longer existed, due to the dogs owned by Mr. Eberhardt being an issue in the court system. Therefore, any action taken by the Board on a resolution, emergency ordinance, or a future ordinance would not impact the issue that is currently before the court.
Commr. Swartz suggested, prior to the Study Committee working through all of its other issues, that staff come back, as soon as possible, with an ordinance that can later be incorporated into the Committee's final ordinance that would provide for the definitions that are not included in the State Statutes and set up a separate Board of Appeals. He also suggested that the Appeal Board not be designated strictly as a "dangerous dog" Appeal Board, but to be constructed to address any dangerous animal. He stated that the Board could vote today to advertise for the public hearing on the ordinance.
Mr. Wahl stated that the Board could authorize and advertise an ordinance and incorporate the procedures for the dangerous animal appeal process by resolution. Mr. Wahl suggested that the Board also expand beyond the definition of dogs to include other animals.
Commr. Swartz made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Cadwell to authorize staff to advertise an ordinance that would create the definitions included in the proposed resolution before the Board today, and to provide for, either through a resolution, or the ordinance, an appeal board that would hear those cases consistent with State Statute.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz suggested that the ordinance be advertised as soon as possible and brought back to the Board.
It was noted that there were several individuals in the audience who were concerned about the future of the dogs owned by Mr. Eberhardt.
Commr. Swartz explained that the County is currently acting under State Statutes in terms of handling these types of incidences that occur between vicious dogs and humans. In terms of the issue going before the court, Commr. Swartz stated that he hoped staff would convey to the judge, as he deals with that issue that simply transfers animals that may pose a hazard to people in Lake County, to another location, that the Board may not necessarily subscribe to this solution.
Commr. Hanson explained to those in the audience who were requesting to speak that, if the Board had proceeded to take action on the resolution, the meeting would have been opened for public comment, but because the issue involving the dogs owned by Mr. Eberhardt was before the court, the Board would not be taking action on the resolution, and could not address the case before the court.
Mr. Wahl clarified that the Board could not get involved with the court process, but that, if someone present had additional information, or petitions, to submit to the Board, the Board could receive them at this time.
It was noted that the advertised ordinance would be heard on May 17, 1994 at the regular Board meeting.
Mr. Duncan explained that the plea negotiation hearing for Mr. Eberhardt is scheduled for April 25, 1994, and May 2, 1994 will be the sentencing day. The Board cannot make the ordinance retroactively apply to the Eberhardt case.
The Chairman called for the vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously.
Commr. Hanson presented Ms. Ava K. Kronz, BCC Office Manager, a resolution expressing the Board's gratitude for her many hours of dedication in the performance of the special and unusual responsibilities of coordinating the arrangements for many exceptional occasions, particularly the State of the County Address, Student Government Day, and the Volunteer Reception, not only for the benefit of the Board, but also for the benefit of the residents of Lake County.
WORKSHOP - Update on Stormwater Management Program
Mr. Don Griffey, Director of Engineering, addressed the Board and stated that, on September 21, 1993, the Board authorized an expanded Stormwater Management Program, in order to address the goals and objectives of the stormwater sub-element of the Comprehensive Plan. A component of the program was to provide the Board with regular updates in a workshop format.
Mr. Griffey introduced Ms. Lori Harris, Engineer III, who would be working on the Stormwater Management Program. Mr. Griffey informed the Board that a second survey crew has been added to staff as of April 1, 1994, and other positions are being proposed, as follows:
1. Design Graphics Technician - October 1994
Performance to include:
- basin map, flood map & graphical support
2. Stormwater Technician - April 1995
Performance to include:
- computer modeling and data analysis
3. Secretary II - October 1995
Performance to include:
- clerical support and time tracking
Mr. Griffey stated that these are the same positions as in the original program and are positions that the Board has already approved and are reflected in the budget.
Ms. Harris addressed the Floodplain Management, which involves establishing a flood mapping determination service as part of the National Flood Insurance Program - Community Rating System (NFIP-CRS) Program. Ms. Harris noted that communication with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates that a remapping of the Lake County area is scheduled for 1997. She further noted that the Public Services Department needs to revise the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) to comply with the current NFIP regulations, eliminate regulation conflicts and administer regulations in accordance with the NFIP-CRS Program. Ms. Harris also referred to the section of the backup material regarding Development Regulation, which addressed the Technical Review Committee and the Land Development Regulations.
Mr. Griffey noted that staff will be working with the LDR Review Committee when making the necessary adjustments to the LDRs.
Mr. Griffey referred to the section of the backup material relating to Basin Studies and Mapping and stated that staff has been working with the established agencies including the Water Authority, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), and Soil Conservation Services. Mr. Griffey stated that independent studies will be done in-house for the Astor Area and Wolfbranch. He discussed the Joint Project Studies with SJRWMD and stated that there is $90,000 budgeted for aerial and photo mapping, and a contract amount of $61,000, and he is proposing to use the balance for the aerial topographic mapping in the high growth area of S.R. 50 and U.S. 27. Mr. Griffey also discussed the pilot retrofitting study, and the study that was conducted by SJRWMD on the Hicks Ditch Basin, which staff would like to continue. He stated that SJRWMD has $55,000 available this Fiscal Year to commit to this project, however, this commitment is contingent on Lake County's matching fund contribution.
For Fiscal Year 1994-1995, Mr. Griffey stated that staff will continue its corporative effort with SJRWMD. He stated that Public Services would need to budget $50,000 for the 1994-1995 FY for aerial topographic mapping. The Dora Basin was the second choice for a joint study between Lake County and SJRWMD. In order to continue the joint project relationship, Public Services would need to budget $50,000 for the 1994-1995 FY for stormwater basin studies.
Mr. Griffey discussed the possibility of incorporating stormwater maintenance into the Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) program. It was noted that this issue would be discussed at the second Board meeting in May.
Commr. Cadwell extended his appreciation to staff for the updated report. He stated that decisions regarding stormwater have been made over the last several years, which did not involve any monies, but now the County is getting into the phase, because of the Comprehensive Plan, where decisions will be involving a funding source. The Board had made a commitment to the lakes in the County and this will be a step in that direction.
Mr. Griffey stated that the County Transportation Trust (CTT) monies have been used in the past and will be used for the future project, with the understanding that a portion of the funds will be reimbursed.
Commr. Swartz commended staff for putting together the Stormwater Management Program, which was done largely without consultants. He stated that he hopes the County, after it has the information, can go out into the communities and explain how the stormwater issue can be improved, and to get them to buy into some of the costs. Commr. Swartz stated that it is very encouraging to have SJRWMD willing to spend money with Lake County. He encouraged that staff get on the agenda for the Water Authority and let them know that Lake County is now willing to join them in dealing with stormwater issues.
Commr. Hanson commended staff and the direction it has taken to eliminate a lot of duplication between agencies and procedures.
Mr. Griffey requested that the Board commit funds to include $30,000 for the aerial topographic mapping, and the $55,000 to continue the study in the Hitch Ditch Basin.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board authorized staff to go forward with the cooperative effort with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) and to expend those excess engineering fee funds, approximately $30,000, and to expend the $55,000 utilizing some of the County Transportation Trust (CTT) funds in the short-term.
Commr. Swartz commented that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a slide program dealing with stormwater and suggested that staff get a copy of it and supplement it with some of the things that are being done locally and some of the projects that the County is working on.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
Discussion occurred regarding the items under the County Manager's Consent Agenda. Commr. Swartz requested that Tabs 3, 4, and 7 be pulled for discussion.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following requests, with the exception of Tabs 3, 4, and 7:
Accounts Allowed/Budget Transfers
Request to approve the following Budget Transfers:
1. Fund: General
Division: In-House Support
From: Operating Expenses $5,000
To: Non-Operating $5,000
Transfer #: 94-0115
2. Fund: General
Department: Office of Purchasing
From: Contingency $2,396
To: Operating Expenses $2,396
Transfer #: 94-0117
3. Fund: General
From: Contingency $10,000
To: Capital Outlay $10,000
Transfer #: 94-0123
Request to approve Resolution requesting that the General Fund for Fiscal Year 1993/94 be amended in the amount of $3,830.00 in order to receive unanticipated revenue from the satisfaction of past Code Enforcement Board liens.
Accounts Allowed/Landfills/State Agencies/Resolutions
Request to approved Resolution requesting that the Landfill Enterprise Fund for Fiscal Year 1993/94 be amended in the amount of $50,000 in order to receive unanticipated revenue from the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection, for the purpose of management of waste tires in Lake County.
Request to approve Final Plat of Wedgewood III, acceptance of a Maintenance Bond in the amount of $16,850.00, acceptance of a Performance Bond in the amount of $30,250.00, and acceptance of the following roads into the County Maintenance System: Antone Drive (#5-6445A), Bogey Court "Part" (#5-6344A), Francis Drive (#5-6445B), Jean Drive (#5-6445C) and Helen Drive (#5-6445) - Commissioner District 5.
Subdivisions/Planning and Development
Request to approve Final Plat of Highland Lakes Subdivision, Phase 2D, subject to the County Attorney's review and approval.
Public Services/Landfills/Solid Waste/Other Counties
Request to approve for Class I Solid Waste to be removed from Lake County and disposed of properly in Seminole County.
Public Services/Solid Waste/Forestry Division
Request to approve to waive the solid waste disposal fees for collection of refuse from the Ocala National Forest area on Earth Day, April 16, 1994, and for a community assistance project per the attached letter. A roll-off container will be donated to the Forestry Division by Industrial Waste Service.
Road Vacations/Roads-County & State
Request to approve to advertise Road Vacation Petition No. 755 by John T. Snipes to vacate road rights of way, Deer Island Club, Sec. 36, Twp 19, Rge. 26; Sec. 31, Twp. 19, Rge. 27; Sec. 1, Twp. 20, Rge. 26; Sec. 6, Twp. 20, Rge 27, Lake Jem Area - Commissioner District 3.
Accounts Allowed/Bids/Road Projects
Request to approve to advertise for bids for C-435 Widening, Project No. 15-94, at an estimated cost of $320,000.00 from the County Transportation Trust Fund - Commissioner District 4.
Accounts Allowed/Bids/Road Projects
Request to advertise for bids for #4/5-7581 Wiygul Road Resurfacing, Project No. 14-94, at an estimated cost of $98,000.00 from the County Transportation Trust Fund - Commissioner District 4 and 5.
Request to approve to advertise for bids for SA-79, Rainbow Lane Extension, in Howey Subdivision "A", at an estimated cost of $32,725.00 - Commissioner District 2.
Deeds/Roads-County & State/Rights-of-Way, Roads & Easements
Request to accept the following deeds:
Statutory Warranty Deeds:
James N. Gleed
Fosgate Road, #2-1860
Susan M. Goodnight
Lake Burns, #5-7575
Lake Burns, #5-7575
Highlands Growth Properties, Inc.
Non-Exclusive Easement Deeds:
Robert M. Molko, Trustee
Paul R. Kawczk
Camellia Ave. & Panther St.
William J. Hoover
Carolina St. & Vera Ave.
George O. and Elisabeth B. Pringle
Request for approval to advertise for bids, proposals and professional services; award and issue Purchase Orders for quotes, bids, proposals, annual bids, State Contract, G.S.A. Cooperative Bids, OEM Repairs, sole source and proprietor source; approve and execute contracts and encumber funds, as follows:
D) Issue Purchase Orders for Services or Commodities from Annual
Bids, State Contract, G.S.A., or Cooperative Bids.
1) SOLID WASTE $112,768.00
Atlantic Ford Truck/Authorization to issue a Purchase Order
for two new 64,000 GVW, 16 yard, Tandem Axle Dump Trucks per
the Florida State Contract #070-700-94-1. The funds for this
was Board Approved at mid year, but is not listed on the
Capital expenditure list.
E) Authorization to waive Bid Requirements and Issue Purchase
Orders for Services or Commodities that are Not Bid or Quoted,
or if they are OEM Repairs.
1) PUBLIC SERVICES $ 64,053.63
Florida Central Railroad/Authorization to waive bid
requirements and issue a Purchase Order for payment for the
railroad crossing replacement at CR 448 at Lake Jem. This
replacement is required per the County's written agreement
with Seaboard Air Line Railway Company, now known as Florida
Central Railroad. Authorization for payment is based on the
Board Approved agreements dated November 10, 1924, Section 3
and June 5, 1961, Section 2, stating that the County will
"bear any and all expenses in the maintenance of said highway
upon the right of way and property". The County Attorney has
recommended that the invoice No. 02144, from Florida Central
Railroad be paid through the issuance of a Purchase Order.
The original invoice is for $66,523.63, but Jim Stivender
recommends deducting $2,470.00 for land clearing, which he
felt had no viable relationship to this project.
Request to approve a Resolution authorizing the Director of Tourist Development Council to request in writing the State of Florida, Department of Revenue, Sales Tax Registrations, whenever deemed necessary and providing for an effective date.
Request for approval to allow Channel 2 TV, in conjunction with the United Chambers of Commerce of Lake County, to host an after hours function at the Welcome Center on May 12, 1994.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Under discussion of Tab 3, Commr. Swartz questioned whether the trade of the 1978 Ford pickup brush truck is being handled consistently with the Purchasing Policies, or State Statutes.
Mr. Wahl noted that the trade was being handled in the appropriate manner.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, the Board approved to trade a 1978 Ford pickup brush truck (property #8958) to William J. Willis for a 1973 Chrysler 55 Hp Boat Motor (Model 557HF, Serial #6320), subject to being consistent with the County's Purchasing Policies and/or State Statutes.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/COUNTY PROPERTY
Under discussion of Tab 4, Commr. Swartz stated that the Lease Agreement between Lake County and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Post 10474 does not include language that is similar to the language in the agreement with the VFW Post north of Umatilla, in relation to how they will let others utilize it.
Mr. Craig Haun, Senior Director, Fire and Emergency Services, addressed the Board and stated that he was not familiar with the agreement between the County and the VFW Post in Umatilla. He stated that the agreement being presented to the Board allows the community to utilize the building as a community center, and because they are doing the renovation and upkeep to the building, the County did not place specific language in the agreement to address this issue.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, stated that the Board may wish to ask VFW Post 10474 for an operational plan, which would be subject to review of the County.
Commr. Swartz requested that the appropriate language be incorporated into the Agreement to address the use of a public building.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Lease Agreement Between Lake County and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Post 10474 Relating to Lake County Property, subject to making the agreement consistent with the other County's Veterans' agreements.
LANDFILLS/PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Under discussion of Tab 7, the request to go out with a Request for Proposal for Analytical Services for Landfill Monitoring, Commr. Swartz stated that the County needs to make sure that it does not create qualifications and criteria that will eliminate people who might be able to give the County a competitive bid and quality service.
Mr. Jim Barker, Director of Environmental Management, addressed the Board and explained that staff has incorporated minimum standards while still having the level of service. Mr. Barker informed the Board that approximately 20-25 laboratories responded to the last Request for Proposal. It was noted that staff will be short listing the applicants to five.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, the Board approved to go out with a Request for Proposal for Analytical Services for Landfill Monitoring.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
Commr. Hanson called for public questions, comments or concerns from the citizens present at the meeting.
Mr. George Winters appeared before the Board to discuss an issue that came before the Board that had not been deliberated, which pertained to the tourist. He addressed the comment made by a Board member concerning the cost of doing business being born by private industry. He stated that the cost is usually passed on to the consumer. Mr. Winters stated that, as citizens, in order to bring industry into Lake County, they need to make it as attractive as possible, not only from a tax point of view. Mr. Winters directed a question to the County Attorney, as follows: If he, as a citizen, filed an action with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) concerning a Land Development Regulation (LDR) that he feels is unjust, and DCA comes to Lake County to deliberate the issue, should he not be a participant in those deliberations?
Mr. Frank Gaylord, Interim County Attorney, responded to Mr. Winters' question by stating that there is a means through the Administrative Hearing process where an individual can preserve his rights as an affected party, or an interested party.
Mr. Winters explained that he was of the understanding that an individual had challenged the definition of "kennel" and was excluded from the deliberations at the local level.
Mr. Gaylord explained that this was not a correct statement.
Mr. Winters discussed the action taken by the Commissioners to hire and fire employees, including the County Attorney and the County Manager. He urged the Board, in its deliberations, to look at all of the personnel practices involved with hiring an official of such stature, in order to have the best selection of qualified people, before the County engaged the services of another high level County executive, or official. He discussed the issue of Mr. Gaylord being able to continue his private practice as an attorney and the idea of someone in such a position giving the appearance of having a conflict of interest.
Commr. Bailey addressed Mr. Winters' comments about the County using taxpayers money, and the County letting the private sector pay its own way, which was the decision that he made today.
Mr. Winters stated the context that he was addressing involved bringing industry into Lake County and making it as attractive as possible, and one way to do this would be to make the cost of doing business as reasonable as it can.
Commr. Bailey explained that the County was looking for a diversified industry, and he stated that the Board adopted jobs and economic development as its number one issue.
Commr. Swartz addressed the LDR challenge brought forth by Mr. Winters, and stated that he raised the question of that challenge some time ago, and had requested more information. He stated that he would like to have a recap of where the challenge began, where it is going, correspondence, meetings, because he would like to know the status of the issue. Commr. Swartz stated that the last he had heard the County did not know the position that DCA had taken on this issue.
Mr. Gaylord stated that he was to have received some correspondence from DCA yesterday, or this morning, dealing with their position, and that DCA and Lake County had engaged in several telephone conversations regarding this issue.
Commr. Swartz stated that his point continues to be that, before Lake County continues down the road with a challenge to the LDRs, at some point in time the Board needs to decide whether or not it wants to defend the LDR that is being challenged, or if it wants to modify it, and the Board has not done this. He stated that this is why he is requesting all of the information about the challenge.
Discussion occurred regarding the position that DCA has taken on the challenge that was made to the LDR regarding "kennels", with it being noted that DCA found in favor of the challenger. Mr. Gaylord explained that the County pointed out some inconsistencies and therefore, he is of the understanding that DCA has revised its position.
Commr. Hanson requested that Mr. Gaylord bring the information on this issue to the Board.
Ms. Janet Brady appeared before the Board and stated that she and her husband are the petitioners in the case that was filed last year, which challenged the LDR relating to "kennels". She stated that the petition was filed with the County and it was ignored, so it was passed onto DCA. An informal hearing was held and it went to DCA for a decision. The decision was made in the favor of the petitioners months ago. Ms. Brady referred to the comment made by Mr. Gaylord regarding him recently receiving information from DCA and stated that she received information last week that had to do with settlement negotiations that had been going on between the County and DCA. She stated that DCA, a few months ago, had filed for an Administrative Hearing, with a hearing date being established for June 7, 1994. She has been advised by an attorney that the negotiations between DCA and the County, which excluded the petitioners, were not proper and were probably illegal. She made reference to the information she received from DCA which indicated that conference telephone calls had been made between the Planning Department and the County, in which she and her husband, as the petitioners, were excluded.
Mr. Gaylord explained that, when there are multiple parties involved, negotiations can be made between them, as well as an attempt to resolve the matter between themselves. Mr. Gaylord stated that he would provide the Board with all of the information regarding this issue.
Commr. Hanson requested that Mr. Gaylord bring all of the information to the Board including its position on the issue, and what the process is from here, and to make sure that the petitioner is involved.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, presented the request to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried, the Board approved the creation of the Citizens' Commission for Children Division in the Department of Community Services, effective May 1, 1994.
Commr. Swartz was not present for the discussion or vote.
It was noted that Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services, was present to answer questions of the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried, the Board approved to authorize the full-time position of Citizens' Commission Coordinator, Pay Range 609, in Citizens' Commission for Children Division, Department of Community Services, effective May 1, 1994.
Commr. Swartz was not present for the discussion or vote.
AGRICULTURAL SERVICE/COUNTY EMPLOYEES
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, presented the request to the Board.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried, the Board approved the reclassification of the Secretary III position, Pay Range 122-01, to 4H Program Assistant, Pay Range 224-01, in the Office of Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service, effective upon approval.
Commr. Swartz was not present for the discussion or vote.
MOSQUITO CONTROL/COUNTY EMPLOYEES
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, presented the request to the Board. Mr. Wahl stated that there had been hope that the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) would assist in paying for the position being requested, but after further contact with SJRWMD, they have not demonstrated any interest in participating in the funding, but he does believe that there is a need for the position.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, the Board approved the reclassification of the Mosquito Control Inspector I position, Pay Range 219-01, to Entomologist, Pay Range 703-01, in the Department of Public Services, Mosquito & Aquatic Plant Management Division, Mosquito Management & Maintenance, effective upon approval.
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Gerber and carried unanimously, the Board approved the Resolution supporting the Florida Boaters and Anglers' Pledge Program.
Mr. Jim Barker, Director of Environmental Management, explained how the information on the Florida Boaters and Anglers Pledge Program would be distributed to the community, which will include a press release.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved the following requests:
Planning and Development/Subdivisions
Request for final plat approval of Wolf Branch Village, Phase 2, 26 lots - Commissioner District 4, subject to the County Attorney's review and approval.
Request to approve and execute the Resolution regarding Fairway Avenue (Road Vacation Petition No. 745).
Deeds/Roads-County and State
Request for the acceptance of the following Statutory Warranty Deed:
MacKAY-FISHER PARTNERS, a Florida General Partnership
Marion County Rd., #5-8010
Road Projects/Accounts Allowed
Request for approval to award Emeralda Island Road "Part" Resurfacing and Pipe Work Project No. 10-94, Bid #B-5-4-50 to Paquette Paving Company and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $186,191.00 from the Transportation Trust Fund - Commissioner District 5.
Request for approval to advertise for bids, proposals and professional services; award and issue Purchase Orders for quotes, bids, proposals, annual bids, State Contract, G.S.A. Cooperative Bids, OEM Repairs, sole source and proprietor source; approve and execute contracts and encumber funds, as follows:
B) Authorization to Waive Bid Requirements and Accept Quotes and Issue Purchase Orders.
1) PUBLIC SERVICES $28,250.00
State Asphalt Corporation/Authorization to waive bid requirements and accept the low quote, #Q-4-4-29 for regarding
and resloping of the Paramoor clay pit. Three vendors responded. Estimated savings between high and low quote is
$36,750.00. The original estimate was under $25,000.00, but
the additional seed and mulch requested in the specifications,
increased the cost.
PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT/CODE ENFORCEMENT
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to authorize the execution of the Satisfaction and Release of Lien on William R. Bates and Pluma E. Bates, due to the Code Enforcement Board receiving a check in the amount of $11,595.00 to satisfy said lien.
Mr. Frank Gaylord, Interim County Attorney, requested the Board's permission to advertise for the first and second cent of gasoline tax, to be reimposed, to be brought to the Board in May.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously, the Board approved the advertising, as requested by Mr. Frank Gaylord, as stated above.
SOLID WASTE/ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Commr. Gerber questioned the status of the waste energy air monitoring program. Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, indicated that staff is continuing its work on the issue.
Commr. Bailey informed the Board that the Youth Fair went well and he appreciated the help that was given to the event.
Commr. Bailey reported on the triathlon scheduled in South Lake County and stated that the County is waiting for the approval from the Department of Transportation (DOT) on the Greater Floridian and Florida Challenge and hopefully he will be able to provide a final report on this issue.
Commr. Hanson extended her appreciation to Commr. Bailey for his involvement with the Youth Fair.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board approved the appointment of Janine K. Peters and Richard J. Sturdivant to fill the citizen-at-large vacancies on the Lake County Animal Control Ordinance Study Committee, as recommended by Commr. Swartz.
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/COUNTY ATTORNEY
Discussion occurred regarding the request to approve the Agreement between Lake County and Frank T. Gaylord, P.A. It was noted that the contract would include an annual amount of $1,600.00 to be paid by the County, for a portion of the costs of a liability insurance policy. It was also noted that approximately $112,000.00 had been budgeted, but that the contract now amounted to approximately $103,000.00, with a reduction being made in the individual operating costs.
Commr. Hanson stated that a question had come up regarding how much time Mr. Gaylord would spend with his private practice, and that it appeared that it would be nothing that would interfere with the full time service to the County.
Discussion occurred regarding Mr. Gaylord's private practice. Mr. Gaylord explained that the contract included general language pertaining to his practice, but that he was not expanding his business.
Commr. Gerber indicated that she would be more comfortable with the contract including language referring to the practice not being expanded, because she could foresee a conflict of interest.
Mr. Gaylord explained that his practice would consist of ongoing representation of families that he and his father had established together over the years.
Commr. Swartz stated that there are issues that relate to the contract that are somewhat peripheral and some that are very specific to the contract. He referred to Page 6, Section 7. Dues and Subscriptions and questioned whether there was any limit.
Mr. Wahl explained that Dues and Subscriptions would be a budgetary item, as well as Professional Development, which the Board would have to approve as it goes through the budgetary process. He noted that currently $1,000.00 has been budgeted for Professional Development.
Commr. Swartz addressed Page 7, Section 9. Expenses, and stated that the language does not indicate that the Board will budget the needed amount.
Commr. Hanson stated that language could be added, in order to make it a budgeted item.
Commr. Swartz addressed the issue of the employee of the P.A. being eligible for the health insurance program, and questioned what other non-Board entities are eligible for the health insurance.
Mr. Wahl explained that the Water Authority and the constitutional officers are eligible for the health insurance, but that he was not aware of any other positions that are not statutorily created that are eligible.
Commr. Swartz referred to Page 3, Paragraph E. regarding the P.A. practicing estate planning, so long as it does not interfere with his duties and stated that the language does not limit his existing practice. He stated that it would be a mistake for the County to engage an attorney that would be allowed to continue in his private practice. He discussed the perception of conflict and stated that there is always going to be a conflict that may exist in the future. He further stated that he would not support that aspect of what the contract proposes.
Discussion occurred regarding the relationship that the County has had with attorneys in the past who have had private practices. Commr. Swartz stated that the past relationships involved private associations located outside of the courthouse who billed the County on an hourly basis. He explained that, in 1988, he supported the change in the attorney's relationship with the County, and he would not support going back and engaging an outside attorney. Commr. Swartz stated that the County will be doing a disservice to Mr. Gaylord, the Board, and the citizens, when the County begins a process of advertising and soliciting of applicants for a position, and without interviewing, it places the applicants aside and indicates that the County is going to hire Mr. Gaylord, first of all as the County Attorney, and subsequently hire Mr. Gaylord as a contract with his professional association and letting him continue in that position. He explained that he did not support the direction that the Board has taken to do this, and that he did not believe that the public was going to view this to be in the best interest of the County. Commr. Swartz felt that the Board did not follow the purchasing policies when the Board took such action. At a minimum, the Board would have to waive some of its own purchasing policies, in order to do what is being contemplated. Commr. Swartz referred to the Purchasing Policy Guidelines, which were adopted February 15, 1994. He referred to #11, Acquisition of Non-Purchase Order Items as Listed on Attachment A, which indicates that certain items are exempt from formal advertised bid requirements, however, a competitive environment shall be maintained where feasible. For the Board to take the direction it is taking today, it is indicating that it is not feasible to go through some type of competitive environment to acquire legal services in the form which it now appears the majority of the Board wants to do, which is to contract with a professional association. If this is the intention of the Board, in order to follow the Purchasing Guidelines, the Board should have gone out for some type of request for proposal (RFP), or competitive environment. He stated that he sees no reason why it would not be feasible, other than the majority of the Board has decided that it wants to hire Mr. Gaylord. He further stated that the Board has the ability to hire Mr. Gaylord as the County Attorney, but if it is going to hire Mr. Gaylord as a private association, it requires coming under the competitive environment, otherwise this should be waived.
Commr. Bailey questioned whether staff worked with the labor council and the Director of Personnel and external auditor.
Mr. Wahl stated that historically, the positions of the County Attorney and County Manager are seen as "at will" positions. Under both the Code and the Purchasing Policy, the purchase of professional services such as legal services, does not have to comply strictly to the requirements of the Purchasing Policy. The action that the Board took identified a desire to employ, or engage, Mr. Gaylord as the County Attorney. In attempting to negotiate a contract with Mr. Gaylord, which allows him to maintain limited private involvement, it needs to be done as a P.A. In the past, assistant county attorneys have conducted private practices to a limited degree being careful and cautious that there is no conflict of interest, which is a professional responsibility that they carry to the County and the Florida Bar Association. Mr. Wahl stated that he did not consider the Purchasing Policy, because he believes that there is an exclusion for the purchase of professional services. There are some services identified that are not subject to the proposal in the bid process.
Commr. Swartz stated that, in taking the most liberal view, what the Board is doing here falls under an exemption, but it says that however, a competitive environment shall be maintained where feasible, and he is suggesting that it is absolutely feasible. He suggested that, at a minimum, the Board needs to waive a requirement that is in the Purchasing Policy that says a competitive environment shall be maintained where feasible.
Commr. Hanson explained that the Board had already decided that it was going to hire Mr. Gaylord, and now to come forth and put it for competitive bid would have undermined that decision.
Commr. Swartz disagreed and stated that, when the Board, by a majority, decided to hire Mr. Gaylord, it was as an employee. The Chairman was instructed to bring back an agreement, at which time it was not with a professional association. It became an agreement for a contractual relationship, which then comes under the purchasing rules. If the Board is going to contract with a professional association, the Purchasing Policy indicates that, where feasible, it will be done in a competitive environment, and this has not been done, but the Board may choose to waive this requirement.
Commr. Hanson reminded the Board that she began the negotiations with a budgeted amount of $112,000.00. She was to get to the lowest level to bring Mr. Gaylord on board. Commr. Hanson stated that this did involve the consideration of a contract, but if the Board does not want to go with a contract, she will continue to strive to get the lowest bottom line cost to the taxpayers for the County Attorney's position. She stated that a contract was one way she found that the County could achieve this goal, but if the Board does not choose to go with a contract, she will go back through the process.
Commr. Bailey stated that he has no problem with the results that Commr. Hanson has presented to the Board. He stated that she has come under the price paid to the last attorney. Commr. Bailey explained that the hiring of Mr. Gaylord is supported by many people in the County, and if the Board was appearing to approve someone in this position that the taxpayers did not approve, the meeting room would be full of individuals who would voice their opposition. Commr. Bailey stated that he is happy with the contract before the Board, with possibly some minor changes.
Commr. Swartz explained that he has no opposition to considering local attorneys, but unfortunately the process that the Board has now taken does not compare Mr. Gaylord to anyone, and the candidates that applied for the job were never interviewed. Therefore, Mr. Gaylord was not placed in any competitive environment with any of the attorneys who met the qualifications as advertised. Secondly, by going through this process, there will be no comparison of the contract before the Board today with what might be a contract that the Board could achieve with some other local attorney. The Board has avoided any competitive nature in looking at both his qualifications as they compare to other attorneys who applied, other attorneys in Lake County who have significant public government experience, both in terms of qualifications or in terms of costs.
Commr. Hanson stressed the point that the Board has decided to hire Mr. Gaylord, but if it does not want to pursue the contract, she can go back and consider the budgeted amount for a County employee. She stated that she was not instructed by the Board to go forward on a contract basis, but this is the way she got the lowest price. Commr. Hanson stated that the Board has taken an in between step toward privatizing and has been able to take advantage of some savings that the Board could not have done, if the attorney had been strictly an employee.
Commr. Swartz suggested that, at a minimum, the Board needed to waive some of the purchasing policies, because of the direction it is taking. Commr. Swartz explained that there are other people who have far more governmental law experience, and that Mr. Gaylord does not represent the best County Attorney that the Board could have for Lake County, whether it be done through hiring directly, or whether it be done through some scheme of professional association. Commr. Swartz addressed his personal contact with Mr. Gaylord and explained that he has gotten back what has been less than candid, full, complete, and honest responses, and this is very troubling to him. He stated that, if the Board wants to go through and hire, as a professional association, it is basically ignoring the purchasing policies, and the Board will not know if it got the best deal.
Commr. Hanson stated that when the County requested applications, very few were received from Lake County. She explained that her responses from Mr. Gaylord have been timely and very candid.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Bailey, and carried, the Board approved the Agreement between Lake County and Frank T. Gaylord, P.A., with the addition under Section 9 to include "agrees to budget and to pay".
The motion was carried by a 3-2 vote. Commrs. Gerber and Swartz voted "no".
Commr. Gerber stated that Commr. Swartz brought up some significant issues that the Board should have dealt with, and that she is still not comfortable with the language in Section 3. E.
STATE AGENCIES/PARKS AND RECREATION
On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Bailey and carried unanimously, the Board approved to prepare and send a letter to the Florida Department of State supporting nominating Ferran Park and the Alice McClelland Memorial Bandshell for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
STATE AGENCIES/LAWS AND LEGISLATION
On a motion by Commr. Bailey, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board approved to support the Unfunded Mandate Bill which is to be introduced in Congress.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT/ANIMAL CONTROL
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that the livestock issue is moving forward with better communication between the Sheriff and Animal Control.
Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board that the League of Cities' Quarterly Dinner is next Wednesday, April 27, 1994.
Ms. Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager, addressed the Board about the item where the Board created the full time position for the Citizens' Commission Coordinator and requested a motion to approve a transfer from the General Fund Contingency.
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, stated that the monies will have to be moved from Contractual Services and distributed within the Personnel items.
Commr. Swartz made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Bailey, to approve for staff to make the appropriate budget transfers, whether they come from Contractual Services, or any other appropriate account, for the full time position of Citizens' Commission Coordinator.
Under discussion, Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Director, Office of Budget Management, addressed the Board and clarified that the funds needed to come from the Contingency Fund, with the monies being placed in the appropriate line items.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 12:55 p.m.
CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK