The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, September 5, 1996, at 6:00 p.m., in the Board Meeting Room, Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; William "Bill" H. Good, Vice Chairman; Rhonda H. Gerber; and Catherine C. Hanson. Commissioners not present at the meeting were: G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Staff members present were: Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Sue Whittle, County Manager; Ava Kronz, BCC Office Manager; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; Sarah LaMarche, Budget Director; Tracy Zeller, Senior Budget Analyst; Kevin McDonald, Senior Budget Analyst; Julia Wilson, Budget Assistant; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.


Commr. Cadwell opened the meeting and stated that the first public hearing was for the purpose of amending and adopting the tentative budget, recomputing the proposed millage rate, if necessary, and publicly announcing the percent by which the recomputed proposed millage exceeds the rolled-back rate. He stated that Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, would present a brief budget overview.

Ms. Whittle stated that the tentative budget for Fiscal Year 1996/97 totaled $147,125,061. This budget included the continuation of existing programs, funding for some selected enhancements, no increases in taxes for citizens, and it was a decrease of 2.2% over the prior year's budget. The revenues in the General Fund budget totaled $56,760,187, which was an increase of 2.5% over the amended 1995/96 budget. It included a Contingency, which was 11% of the fund. The budget was balanced to the roll-back rate of 4.909 mills, which included a 4.1% increase in total assessed taxable value of property in the County, which resulted in

a net of $917,000 in additional monies for the County this year. The total assessed taxable value included new construction that was added to the tax rolls during this year. Ms. Whittle stated that other General Fund Revenues indicated that Licenses and Permits show a 31% estimated increase for next year; Intergovernmental Revenues were flat, and since the budget workshops, notice has been received from the State on the sales tax and revenue sharing funds that decreased their estimates for the coming year, and this was taken into account in balancing the budget for tonight. She stated that Charges for Services included $1,020,000 for housing Federal prisoners, and this was a significant increase over the projections for this year. The Fines and Forfeitures Revenues were projected to be flat next year. In the Miscellaneous Revenues, Ms. Whittle noted that $99,000 had been added from jail pay phone commissions, at the request of the Sheriff. In Revenues for Other Funds, there was a 29% reduction in the millage rate in the Ambulance Fund; there was a 2% increase in fire structure tax in the Fire Control Fund; there was a 5% increase per year estimated for five years, in the Infrastructure Sales Tax, but the increase in infrastructure sales tax estimated for this year was 10%. Ms. Whittle stated that historically it has been in the neighborhood of 9% per year, but the County was projecting very conservatively for future years.

Ms. Whittle discussed the expense side of the budget and stated that, in all funds, on the Board Expenses and Personal Services, there was a net of seven positions that were deleted, and a 1.1% overall reduction in the budget. In the Operating Expenses, there was a 9.5% reduction in the budget that primarily resulted from the Sales Tax Capital Projects, and the Solid Waste Operating and Capital Funds being less for next year. Ms. Whittle stated that the Capital Outlay of all funds was 16% of the total budget, which included about $4 million for buildings; $12 million for roads; and $3 million for machinery and equipment. She stated that the Grants and Aids for the County totaled about $4.8 million. At this time, she reviewed some of the major grants and aids, as listed in the backup material, and noted that the Reserves and Contingencies for all funds totaled 16% of the budget; in the General Fund there was 11% in Reserves and Contingencies, which totaled $6.187 million; and the Special Restricted Reserve for the General Fund totaled $3.197 million. She stated that the Rebudgets for all departments was about $5.4 million.

Ms. Whittle reviewed the Lake County Government's Vision, and noted that the Board had adopted four focus areas this year, which were Environmental Conservation, Economic Stability, Strengthen Communities, and Excellence in Government Service. She reviewed the program enhancements, which would implement these goals, as outlined in the backup material.

Ms. Whittle stated that the budget had been truly a team effort, and she extended her thanks to the Commission, Constitutional Officers, Department Directors, and the Budget staff, who had worked tirelessly to bring the budget to the Board in this format and balanced to the roll-back rate.


Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment.

Sheriff George E. Knupp, Jr. addressed the Board to discuss marine officers and stated that the Legislature was allowing the Sheriff's Department to place the funds, which were collected from the inmate telephones, into the General Fund. He requested that these funds ($99,000) be added to his budget to pay the salaries of the DARE people. The funding that had been set aside for the DARE Officers would be moved to the area where the Sheriff's Department could continue to fund marine officers this fiscal year.

Ms. Whittle stated that the request being presented by the Sheriff had been reflected in the budget.

Sheriff Knupp stated that he had requested $27,000 to purchase a new boat. The Federal Government has since given the Sheriff's Department a boat, which has been valued between $65-70,000. He would not be needing the boat he had requested, but the current boats needed new motors, and he wanted to use the $27,000 to replace those motors. It was noted that the $27,000 had been approved by the Board.

Sheriff Knupp discussed the ten acres of County property that had been designated to the Sheriff's Department to be used for a garden. He stated that the building for the project had been purchased and was on the site waiting to be constructed, and the equipment had been purchased to do the farming. Sheriff Knupp stated that the Chief Deputy had looked at the site and determined that there was no way the Sheriff's Department could begin the project, because of what was still on the property. A short video of the property was shown to the Board, in order to show the condition of it. Chief Deputy Dave Hall narrated the video and stated that the property was unusable in its current condition. He stated that approximately three acres had been cleared, and the project had been approved four months ago. He stated that there was no well, and he had asked for concrete pads to put the building on, but he was told that the County did not have the manpower to do it.

Sheriff Knupp stated that soil samples had been done, and now he needed the property cleared, so that he could begin the project. Discussion had taken place earlier about the possibility of using an existing well some distance away, and after consulting with County staff, it was determined that it would be more cost effective to drill two four-inch wells on the property, but he wanted to be planting on September 1, 1996.

The Board directed the County Manager to coordinate the clearing of the property with the Sheriff's staff.

Commr. Cadwell called for further public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting as closed.

Commr. Hanson addressed the 31% increase in Licenses and Permits and questioned whether the fees would remain in the Growth Management Department and not go into General Revenue.

Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Director of Budget, explained that the Department of Growth Management was in the General Fund, so it would be General Fund Revenue, but it was being shown as departmental revenue.

Ms. Whittle explained that the fees were not enough to totally run the department and that additional people had been added to the South Lake office, based upon the fact that they had identified higher revenues that were expected.

Commr. Hanson stated that the fees were very, very high, and the County needed to watch these fees in the future.


Ms. Whittle publicly announced the percent by which the proposed millage rate was less than the rolled-back rate, which was .984%.

On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Good and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board adopted the proposed tentative millage rate of 4.909 mills for the General Fund.

Commr. Swartz was not present for the discussion or vote.

On a motion by Commr. Good, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board adopted the proposed tentative millage rate of .158 for the Lake County Ambulance District.

Commr. Swartz was not present for the discussion or vote.

On a motion by Commr. Gerber, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the proposed total tentative budget for Fiscal Year 1996/97, in the amount of $147,125,061.

Commr. Swartz was not present for the discussion or vote.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board would recess the public hearing and continue it to the final adoption hearing on September 17, 1996, at 6 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible.

There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting recessed at 6:35 p.m., and the public hearing was continued until September 17, 1996, at 6 p.m., or as soon thereafter.