The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, July 19, 1996, 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: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman (Commr. Good was not present due to illness); Catherine C. Hanson; Rhonda H. Gerber, and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Others present were: Bruce Duncan, Assistant County Attorney; Sue B. Whittle, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk; and Marlene S. Foran, Deputy Clerk.
It was noted that the following individuals were in attendance from County Finance to provide statistical information and to answer questions during the Budget Workshop: Sarah R. LaMarche, Budget Director; Tracy L. Zeller, Senior Budget Analyst; Kevin M. McDonald, Senior Budget Analyst; and Julia A. Wilson, Budget Assistant.
BUDGET WORKSHOP - COURTS
Ms. Jolene Cazzola, Program Director, appeared before the Board to present a brief overview of the tentative budget for Guardian Ad Litem, in the amount of $15,290.00, for Fiscal Year 1996/97, and distributed a packet comprised of the proposed budget and statistical information on the Guardian Ad Litem program. Ms. Cazzola noted that they were requesting a part-time clerical position and explained that the Case Coordinator could appropriately supervise thirty (30) volunteers carrying sixty (60) to seventy-five (75) cases, and Lake County's Guardian Ad Litem program was quickly approaching those guidelines. She stated that, without a part-time secretary, the program would be unable to provide services to additional children. She briefly discussed an increase in office rental and in travel and per diem due to an increase in cases.
Commr. Swartz requested that staff look for available office space within a County building for the Guardian Ad Litem office as of October 1, 1996, which would provide additional funding for the part-time secretary position, and bring back options to the Board on July 23, 1996.
Ms. Marge Manger, a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer, appeared before the Board to express support of the Guardian Ad Litem program and the need for a part-time secretary to allow the Case Coordinator time to train new volunteers.
Ms. Elizabeth Cardinal, a Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer, appeared before the Board to express support of the Guardian Ad Litem program and briefly discussed the cases that she has been involved in, and the need for the Case Coordinator to be available to assist the volunteers.
Ms. Carol Lenahan, a Guardian Ad Litem Volunteer, appeared before the Board to express support of the Guardian Ad Litem program and requested that the Board consider the request for a part-time secretary.
Ms. Jo Miranda, Case Coordinator, appeared before the Board and stated that she has been in contact with the Lake County Volunteer Coordinator in regard to volunteers and that the Coordinator has supplied volunteers for office help.
Commr. Hanson suggested that funding for the Guardian Ad Litem program be added to the list of issues for the Legislative Delegation to address.
Commr. Swartz suggested and encouraged Guardian Ad Litem to address the issues with the Legislative Delegation through letters from the volunteers. He further suggested that the judges address with the State Legislature the issue of the Legislature funding state mandated programs.
It was the consensus of the Board to consider the part-time position.
Ms. Faye Osebold, Librarian, appeared before the Board to present the tentative budget for the Law Library, in the amount of $133,045.00, for Fiscal Year 1996/97, a decrease of 9.5% decrease from the 1996 amended budget.
Mr. Hugh Bass, representing the Office of the State Attorney, appeared before the Board to present the tentative budget for the Office of the State Attorney, in the amount of $74,302.00, for Fiscal Year 1996/97, an increase of 2.5% over the 1996 amended budget. Mr. Bass stated that he would discuss with Mr. Brad King, State Attorney, the possibility of available office space for the Guardian Ad Litem program.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 9:50 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for five minutes and reconvene at 9:55 a.m.
Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, directed the Board's attention to the Budget Highlights under the Courts Operating Budget and noted an increase in mandated costs over the 1996 amended budget for Court Costs, Conflict Attorneys, and Circuit Judges.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4 - 0 vote, the Board approved to send the State of Florida a bill for Article 5 costs for the previous year.
Commr. Good was not present for the discussion or vote.
DISCUSSION ON LAKE APOPKA RESTORATION
Mr. Casey Fitzgerald, Assistant Director, Department of Water Resources, St. Johns Water Management District, appeared before the Board to present an update on the Lake Apopka Restoration program and explained that restoration of Lake Apopka emerged as the environmental issue of the 1996 legislative session and has
resulted in an opportunity to move forward aggressively with the restoration of Lake Apopka and the down stream lakes. It was noted that a letter from Bob Griffin, Ann Griffin and the Lake County Conservation Council Water Issues Committee, dated July 19, 1996, had been distributed to the Board expressing support of funding for the Lake Apopka marsh flow way.
Dr. Edgar Lowe appeared before the Board and presented graphics on the monitor illustrating the solutions for restoring the environmental and economic vitality of the lake system, and the future benefits of implementing the solutions. He stated that it has been determined that the pollution problems in the Oklawaha Chain of Lakes, which are most severe in Lake Apopka, are the result of decades of phosphorus pollution, algae blooms, and nutrient discharges to down stream lakes. He explained that the restoration project includes limiting phosphorus discharges from the muck farms, and creating a marsh flow way which will filter the pollutants that remain in the lake. At this time, he discussed the benefits of the marsh flow way. He stated that within a decade there would be a significant noticeable improvement in Lake Apopka, and within twenty-five (25) years final results would be achieved.
Mr. Fitzgerald discussed funding for the Lake Apopka Restoration project, and stated that complete construction for the marsh flow way was estimated at $15,000,000.00, and that Phase I was estimated at $6,300,000.00, with a completion date within eighteen (18) months. He stated that the marsh flow way would be located in Lake County, and that the direct benefits would be to Lake County in terms of clean water and enhanced economic value in terms of recreational opportunities. He stated that they were requesting that Orange County, Lake County, and the Lake County Water Authority individually invest $1,000,000.00 per year for three years toward the restoration project.
Mr. Joe Hill, a resident of Fruitland Park, appeared before the Board to express support of the Lake Apopka Restoration project.
Mr. Jim Thomas, representing Friends of Lake Apopka, appeared before the Board to express support of all phases of the Lake Apopka Restoration project. At this time, he distributed to the Board bottled water from Lake Apopka as a reminder that we have come a long way, we are making progress, but we have a long way to go.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Gerber, to direct the County Manager to come back to the Board on July 23, 1996 with a financial plan and funding alternatives to allow Lake County to participate in the Lake Apopka marsh flow way project.
Commr. Swartz suggested that consideration to use available funds in Tourist Development Council reserves be included in the review and that Fish and Boater Improvement Funds be considered.
Commr. Hanson suggested that Economic Development dollars also be considered.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which carried unanimously by a 4 - 0 vote.
Commr. Good was not present for the discussion or vote.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:55 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for ten minutes, and reconvene at 11:05 a.m.
BUDGET WORKSHOP (CONTINUED)
Ms. Whittle presented the tentative budget for the Historical Society, in the amount of $13,458.00, for Fiscal Year 1996/97.
Certificate of Indebtedness
Ms. Whittle briefly discussed the tentative budget for Certificates of Indebtedness, and explained that this was a debt
service fund used to record racetrack and jai alai fronton revenues received from the state, and the subsequent payment of interest and principal on the Certificates of Indebtedness bonds issued in 1971. She stated that revenues are budgeted at $297,670.00, debt service at $160,447, and $134,690 was budgeted for transfer to the General Fund for Fiscal Year 1996/97.
Ad Valorem Taxes to Cities
Ms. Whittle briefly discussed the tentative budget for Ad Valorem Taxes to Cities, and explained that the County was required to remit ad valorem taxes to community redevelopment districts. She stated that the total budget from the General Fund was $174,100.00, and $11,000,000 from the Lake County Ambulance Fund, for a combined total of $185,100.00 for Fiscal Year 1996/97. She noted that the recipients for 1997 were the Cities of Mount Dora, Eustis, Fruitland Park and Tavares.
Office of Micro Computer Services
Ms. Whittle stated that the Office of Micro Computer Services was a new office created in 1996 for the purpose of providing computer and network maintenance, performing upgrades, and setting up newly purchased computers for all County departments. She briefly discussed the tentative Enhanced Budget, in the amount of $216,613.00, for Fiscal Year 1996/97. Discussion occurred in regard to the name Micro Computer Services, and it was the decision of the Board to remove the name "Micro" from the title. She explained that the Enhanced Budget includes personal services of $123,606.00 for an administrator, a technician, and a secretary/technician for a capital outlay of $67,065.00, which includes computer equipment, software, and a vehicle. She stated that she was recommending that the Board approve the Enhanced Budget for Fiscal Year 1996/97.
Ms. Whittle briefly discussed the Property Appraiser's tentative budget, in the amount of $1,166,621.00, for Fiscal Year
1996/97, and explained that a new computer system has been included in the Property Appraiser's budget. She suggested that the approval of the Property Appraiser's budget be contingent on the computer system being coordinated with the Board's computer system.
It was noted that the Tax Collector was not required to submit his budget until August 1, 1996.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK