The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Monday, July 11, 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 G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; Rhonda H. Gerber; Don Bailey; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Others present were: Bruce Duncan, Assistant County Attorney; Peter F. Wahl, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
The Chairman opened the meeting, stating that the preliminary annual budgets for the Solid Waste Management Services Department and the Public Services Department would be reviewed and discussed this date.
BUDGETS/OFFICE OF BUDGET
Mr. Pete Wahl, County Manager, informed the Board that the Preliminary Annual Budget for FY 1994-95 had been broken down into two books (distributed to the Board prior to the meeting). He reviewed the items contained in Tab 1, in the first book, stating that it was the summary document for the entire budget and that each department had been broken down, in significant detail, under the remainder of the tabs.
In a memo from Mr. Wahl to the Board, he stated that the preliminary budget, as it currently exists, requires no increase in millage, no increase in solid waste tipping fees and no increase in fees for services scheduled at this time. He further stated that two major decisions made last fiscal year, being (1) returning the responsibility for jail operation to the Sheriff's Office and (2) the initiation of indirect charges for non-general revenue funds, have greatly assisted in bringing the preliminary budget into a balanced position, at this point in time.
A handout was distributed by Ms. Lois Martin, Director of Human Resources, indicating personnel changes to the Solid Waste Management Division, approved by the County Manager.
Mr. Wahl noted that there were some new changes that had not been incorporated in the handout, which were the result of some meetings that had been held during the week prior to this meeting.
Mr. Wahl stated that staff had met with representatives of the Natural Resources Advisory Committee, concerning funding for two Sheriff's deputies to do solid waste management enforcement, due to a change this year in State law that allows for the prosecution of people who dump illegally. He stated that staff had met with the Sheriff and it was recommended that two deputies be attached to the Sheriff's Ranch and Agricultural Land Unit. He stated that the County would pay for the two deputies, however, the Sheriff would assign their responsibility, along with two deputies already employed in said unit. He stated that it will cost the County approximately $100,000, during the first year, with a recurring cost of approximately $75,000 per year.
Ms. Eleanor Anderson, Director, Office of Budget, interjected that, in developing the budget, she felt the County was very wise in setting up a Special Reserve Account, in the amount of $1 million, because it made a big difference in this year's budget. She stated that another thing that made a difference was the increase in taxable value of property, noting that it came in 8% higher this year. She stated that staff was able to balance the General Fund, because of the Special Reserve Account, and that she felt other counties should consider doing the same thing.
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Mr. Ron Roche, Director, Solid Waste Management Services Division, introduced Ms. Barbara Gibbons, the new Programs Specialist Coordinator in his department, to the Board.
Mr. Roche informed the Board that his budget reflected no rate increase and that it reflected the appropriate funding of his department's out-year reserves. He stated that the Operating Fund showed some capital equipment, however, noted that most of it deals with the new cell and the equipment that the County is going to need to operate in that new cell. He stated that he is proposing to purchase used equipment, if possible, however, he budgeted for new equipment, in the event that used equipment cannot be located. He stated that there were no personnel increases for his department, however, noted that his budget did not yet reflect the appropriations for the Sheriff's deputies alluded to earlier.
Mr. Roche stated that the new programs that were initiated mid-year were contained in the proposed budget before the Board this date, as well as several other programs that his department is looking at, which are composting and clean debris recycling. He noted that this proposed budget was pretty much the same budget that was addressed mid-year.
Commr. Swartz requested a current list of all county vehicles, listing their mileage and model year, by department and division.
Mr. Wahl noted that said list was available and would be distributed to the Board.
Commr. Swartz requested a copy of the section of the Florida Statutes that deals with the request for two Sheriff's deputies, for the purpose of enforcing illegal dumping. He stated that he would also like to see a proposal, from staff, indicating a way to reduce the County's Solid Waste Assessment Department's costs, whether it be through personnel, equipment, or advertising, noting that it is a problem, as the County moves forward and continues to implement new MSBUs (Municipal Service Benefit Units). He requested additional sheets, or an amendment to the sheets contained in the budget book before the Board this date, reflecting the pre-mid-year adjustments that were made to the Solid Waste Management Department's personnel, by position and costs.
Commr. Hanson requested figures indicating the projected 20 year savings that will be incurred by the County by fixing the bond rate last year, rather than leaving it at a variable rate, noting that it was her understanding that it will amount to a substantial savings.
The Board then reviewed the proposed Solid Waste budget, page by page, questioning staff about various aspects of it and making recommendations for improving it. Those areas where no significant changes were made were noted.
Discussion occurred regarding a request for some additional work stations, for the Solid Waste Management Services Department, at which time Mr. Roche was questioned extensively about the matter.
Commr. Swartz stated that he did not accept the concept that, because the budget is balanced in the Solid Waste Management Services Department and the County has extra revenue and does not have to increase the assessment, they can buy whatever they want and employ whomever they want, however, he was afraid that was the premise that the Solid Waste Management Services Department was operating off of. He stated that, just because there is money in their budget, it does not mean that they have to spend it. He suggested that an evaluation be done on the number of work stations being requested and that the number be reduced.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he felt Mr. Roche had done an evaluation of same, otherwise he would not have made the request. He stated that he wanted the department to have the equipment they needed to operate efficiently and that, if the department had the financial ability to purchase the work stations, now was the time to do it.
Mr. Roche stated that he would reduce the number of work stations at the Astatula Landfill office from three to two, however, if it presents a problem, then he would bring the matter back before the Board, at mid-year.
Concerning the matter of MSBUs (Municipal Service Benefit Units) and MSTUs (Municipal Service Taxing Units), Commr. Swartz stated that he would like for staff to find out if converting from an MSTU to an MSBU would save homeowners money, as far as their assessments are concerned.
Concerning the matter of the Capital Outlay Schedule, for the Solid Waste Management Services Department's capital projects, Commr. Swartz suggested that, until such time as the Board makes a decision on additional transfer stations, rather than have $1,050,000 in a line item that would lead one to believe that that decision has been made, he suggested that said funds be put into a reserve, or contingency account, until a decision is made on the issue of additional transfer stations.
It was noted that said funds would be put into a reserve account, until they are needed, as requested.
Discussion occurred regarding mercury contamination in the County's waste stream, at which time Commr. Swartz stated that he would like to know what it would cost to install and operate a carbon injected filtering system at the waste-to-energy facility and that he would like for staff to obtain some information about how much waste is coming into the County that contains mercury.
The issue of the two Sheriff's deputies being requested, for the purpose of enforcing illegal dumping, was brought up for further discussion, at which time Commr. Swartz questioned whether two full time deputies were actually needed, to do the job, as opposed to one deputy that could investigate the complaints and provide the law enforcement point contact.
Mr. Wahl stated that the Sheriff had requested two deputies, with the idea that he would incorporate the environmental policing, as part of the Ranch and Agricultural Land Unit's responsibilities.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if the Sheriff already has two deputies on his Ranch and Agricultural Land Unit patrol, he would like for the Board to consider supplementing it with just one additional deputy, at this time, rather than two, to share the responsibilities.
Commr. Hanson stated that she felt, if the Sheriff requested two additional deputies, that is what the Board should give him.
Commr. Gerber concurred with Commr. Swartz, stating that she felt the Sheriff could get along with one additional deputy, at this time, and, if he finds that it is not working, then the Board can add another deputy, at a future date.
Commr. Swartz questioned what the County is currently paying Ogden Martin.
Ms. Anderson stated that the figure budgeted for FY 1994-95, for Ogden Martin, is $6,061,893, however, $9,536,211 is budgeted for them for this year.
The Budget Narrative provided in this year's budget book, for each department, which Ms. Anderson noted had never been provided to the Board before, states that the FY 1994-95 proposed budget reflects the separation of the Solid Waste Management Services Department from the Public Services Department into a separate department. It also breaks down the functional areas and respective proposed budgets for the Solid Waste Management Services Department, indicating a total proposed budget, in the amount of $30,195,102, for said department, for FY 1994-95.
Ms. Anderson brought to the attention of the Board the need to set a meeting for the purpose of setting the millage rate for FY 1994/95.
It was noted that a meeting would be scheduled for Thursday, July 21, 1994 for said purpose, with Friday, July 22, 1994 being set aside, in case it is needed, for a possible carryover.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:10 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for lunch and would reconvene at 1:00 p.m.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Director, Public Services Department, informed the Board that, on June 21, 1994, he had spoken to them concerning the issue of gas tax monies and impact fees, so they were aware of that situation and some of the other forecasts that his department had, that are somewhat dismal, compared to previous years.
Ms. Kathy McDonald, Program Coordinator, distributed a handout indicating the number of employees under Public Services, the various divisions that fall under Public Services, and the names and titles of key personnel, for the Board's perusal.
Ms. Lois Martin, Director of Human Resources, distributed a handout indicating personnel changes to the Public Services Division, approved by the County Manager.
Mr. Stivender stated that there were no significant changes on the Revenue side of his budget, other than in the Transportation Trust Account, noting that, in 1993, his department had $5.5 million in their Cash Balance, at the beginning of the year, and this year they have projected $2 million. He stated that most of the reduction was due to road projects throughout Lake County.
Mr. Stivender reviewed his budget, page by page, answering questions from the Board regarding same. He noted that staff did not disagree with any of the County Manager's recommendations.
The Budget Narrative provided for the Public Services Department states that, due to the separation of the Solid Waste Management Services Department from the Public Services Department into a separate department, the Public Services Department will now consist of the following functional areas: Special Services, Engineering, Road Operations, Mosquito Management and Aquatic Plant Control. It further states that the total proposed Public Services Department's budget, for FY 1994-95, is $21,213,981.
A brief discussion occurred regarding various areas in the County, dealing with the Public Services Department, that need fencing and when the fencing would be done.
Commr. Swartz then suggested that the County also look at the issue of the steam cleaning of County vehicles, where oil and grease is being dispensed onto the open ground, and do something about it.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County's rules should be as strict as those required of everyone else.
It was noted that the matter is in the process of being taken care of.
Commr. Swartz questioned the reason for an increase in Contractual Services fees, at which time Mr. Don Griffey, Director of Engineering, stated that the increase was due to the stormwater issue.
Commr. Swartz questioned the need for a new Mechanics position, to which Mr. Stivender stated that his department is in the process of starting a preventative maintenance program, where things will be fixed before they tear up more things, and they need more mechanics, in order to do it. He further elaborated on the matter.
Mr. Eric Cotsenmoyer, Director, Mosquito-Aquatic Plant Management Division, appeared before the Board and answered questions regarding his budget.
Further discussion occurred regarding the Public Services Department's budget, however, no significant changes were noted.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:10 p.m.
CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK