The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, November 2, 1999, 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; Catherine C. Hanson, Vice Chairman; Robert A. Pool; and G. Richard Swartz, Jr. Commissioners not present: Rhonda H. Gerber. Others present were: Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager; Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Cadwell noted that there was one addendum to the regular agenda for today's meeting. He informed the Board that, under his business, he would like to add the discussion of the additional exemption for seniors, and the appointment to the Steering Committee for the Lake Apopka Regional Planning Initiative. He noted that, if a vote was needed by the Board on either issue, it would be made at the time of discussion. Commr. Cadwell stated that there would also be an update on the fire assessment problem.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of October 5, 1999, Regular Meeting, as presented.
CLERK OF COURTS' CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests, Items 1-12, under the Clerk of Courts' Consent Agenda:
Acknowledged 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 Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office
Bonds - Contractor
801-2000 James L. Stinson dba Stinson Electric Inc. (Electrical)
936-2002 Joseph Robin Bonjorn (Electrical)
1442-2000 Terry V. Schichtel (Plumbing)
1509-2000 Charles J. Boutwell dba Commercial Electric of Lake County, Inc.
3035-2000 Follmar Electric Company Inc. (Electric)
4064-2000 Mainsail Solutions, Inc. (Building)
4567-2000 Eldridge Simpson dba 3-S Plumbing (Commercial/Residential Plumbing)
5157-2001 T-N-T Aluminum, Inc. (Aluminum)
5232-2000 David Rauh/Brierhill Homes, Inc. (Residential)
5344-2000 Stephen M Farmer dba Baybrook Homes Inc. (Residential Contractor)
5479-2000 D.E.O. Construction Services Inc. (General)
5599-2000 Charles R. DePari, Jr./Ace Electrical Service, Inc. (Electrical)
5662-2000 Ronald Tripp
5702-2000 Edward C. Waters/E.C. Waters, Inc.(HVAC)
5733-2000 Jerry Stone dba Stone's Roofing Co., Inc.
5734-2000 Richard Carver II d/b/a Carver Services
5735-2000 Robyn Banks dba Riptide Electric
5736-2000 Landon S. Burr dba Burr & Tiegs Electrical Contracting Inc.
5737-2000 Dennis Guinn (Electrical)
4876-97 Lawrence Marvin Pickett (Masonry Contractor)
5599-98 Charles R. Depari dba Ace Electrical Services Inc. (Electrician)
5717-99 William Lloyd Mielke/Soft Drink Systems of Orlando
430-2000 The Principal's name has been changed to read:
James W. Montgomery
1886-2001 The anniversary date has been changed to read:
September 30, 2001
James R. Garner dba Garner Construction
4741-2000 The expiration date is amended to:
September 30, 2000
Lange Construction, Inc.
Accounts Allowed/County Property
Request to approve the list of items to be deleted from Fixed Assets for the month of November, 1999, in the amount of $58,077.28.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Monthly Distribution of Revenue Traffic/Criminal Cases, Month Ending September 30, 1999:
Disbursements made to Board $151,093.87
Same period last year $123,541.77
Acknowledged receipt of the notice of application from Brendenwood Water System to the Chief Executive Officer of Lake County for a Staff Assisted Rate Case (SARC) wit the Florida Public Service Commission in accordance with Section 367.091 (2), Florida Statutes.
Acknowledged receipt of the Oklawaha Basin Recreation and Water Conservation and Control Authority's (Lake County Water Authority's) Annual Report of Meeting Schedule as required by Section 189.417(12), Florida Statutes and Rule 9B-50.016, Florida Administrative Code.
Acknowledged receipt of the Oklawaha Basin Recreation and Water Conservation and Control Authority's (Lake County Water Authority's) Final Budget for Fiscal Year 1999-2000 as required by Section 218.34(3), Florida Statutes.
Acknowledged receipt of the following documents received from the City of Tavares:
City of Tavares Ordinance No. 99-01 amending the Future Land Use Designation of property generally described as approximately 1.6 acres of property located on North Eichelberger Road, approximately .2 miles south of Lane Park Cutoff Road in Lake County, Florida; changing the Future Land Use Designation from Lake County Urban Expansion to City Mobile Home. Passed and ordained on April 7, 1999 by the City Council of the City of Tavares, Florida.
City of Tavares Ordinance No. 99-06 amending the boundaries of the City of Tavares by including within the City Limits approximately 3 acres of property generally described as Lot 5 of Southridge Industrial Centre in Lake County, Florida; rezoning the property from County HM to City Industrial; amending the Future Land Use Map from County Employment Center to City Industrial. Passed and ordained on September 8, 1999 by the City Council of the City of Tavares, Florida.
City of Tavares Ordinance No. 99-08 amending the boundaries of the City of Tavares by including within the City Limits approximately 2.88 acres of property generally described as Lot 15 of Southridge Industrial Park in Lake County, Florida; rezoning the property from County HM to City Industrial; amending the Future Land Use Map from County Employment Center to City Industrial. Passed and ordained on July 7, 1999 by the City Council of the City of Tavares, Florida.
Acknowledged receipt of the Budget in Brief, Fiscal Year 2000Annual Service Budget, October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000, from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Budgets/Community Development Districts
Acknowledged receipt of the Village Center Community Development District budget for Fiscal Year 1999/2000, in accordance with Chapter 190.008(2)(b)(c), Florida Statutes.
Acknowledged receipt of the St. Johns River Water Management District Final Budget for Fiscal Year 1999-2000 adopted on September 22, 1999.
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Solid Waste
Approved and authorized signature on the contract with Ernst & Young for the calculation of arbitrage rebate for the $10,000,000 and $6,500,000 Solid Waste Line of Credit Revenue Notes. Estimated fees: $1,500, or 15 hours at $100, plus expenses not to exceed $100, per report.
COUNTY MANAGER'S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests, Tabs 3 through 16, under the County Manager's Consent Agenda:
Request for approval for the BCC to act as Interim Fiscal Agent for the School Readiness Coalition Initiative Grant and approval of request that Children's Services administer the funds. (Fiscal impact: $50,000)
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Community Services
Request for approval and signature on HUD Forms 50071, Certification of Payments to influence Federal Transaction and Form SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities for the Section 8 Voucher Renewal of expiring Contract FL106CE0010 between Lake County and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Request for approval to submit Lake County Cultural Affairs Council Grant in the amount of $500.00.
Request for approval and signatures on a Proclamation 1999-188 designating November 6th as ChildWatch Kick-Off Day.
County Property/Emergency Services
Request for approval to donate a 1969 Ward La France Fire Truck, Serial Number 80307, County Property Number 13366 to the Sumter County Fire Department.
Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Probation Office
Request for approval of Addendum to Lease Agreement between Lake County and Moore Holding Corporation relating to Store No. 18, Golden Triangle Shopping Center, Old Highway 441, for leased space for the Lake County Probation Office.
Accounts Allowed/Budgets/County Manager
Request for approval of budget transfer in the amount of $8,500.00 from the General Fund, Non-Departmental - Other Charges to the County Manager - Machinery & Equipment to purchase ten paperless readers at $850.00 each, to be used in place of paper agendas during the Board of County Commission Meetings.
Request for approval of Resolution 1999-189 to receive unanticipated revenue from the Department of Management Services for the Online One-Stop Permitting Grant in the amount of $46,900.00.
Request for approval and execution of Certificates for employees with one and three years of service.
Resolutions/Roads-County & State
Request for authorization to execute a corrected Resolution 1999-190 accepting the following roads into the County road maintenance system: Sunburst View Drive (County Road Number 2-0846), Sunwood Court (County Road Number 2-0846A), Calabay Court (County Road Number 2-0846B), and Lakewind Drive "Part" (County Road Number 2-0847D).
Request for authorization to release a performance bond in the amount of $226,245.00 that was posted for Weston Hills Phase II Subdivision. Subdivision consists of 162 lots - Commission District 2.
Accounts Allowed/Road Projects
Request for approval to award Rolling Acres Road Phase II Construction Project Number 10-99, Bid Number 99-081, to Art Walker Construction, Inc. and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $282,907.23 from the Road Impact Fee Fund. Benefit District 3, Commission District 5.
Roads-County & Road
Request for approval to remove a portion of Connell Road (from railroad Southwesterly to end of maintenance) from the County maintenance system, located in Section 3, Township 20S, Range 24 East.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Road Projects
Request for approval of amendment to Articles 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, Conklin, Porter & Holmes (CPH), Contract RFP 97-049; Design of Poe Street, Pinecrest Street, Beach Street, and Spruce Street, County Road 42, County Road 445A, Merry Road, Old 441, and Morningside Drive, in the amount of $3,150.00.
Accounts Allowed/Contracts, Leases & Agreements/Road Projects
Request for approval of amendments to Articles 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, Vannasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Contracts RFP 97-049, Design of Laws Road, South Hancock Road, Lake Emma Road, East Dewey Robbins Road, Marion County Road, County Road 452 (Lakeshore Drive), County Road 25, Huffstetler Drive (formerly known as Tavares-Eustis Eastern Collector) and County Road 44/Sleepy Hollow Road/US 441 Intersection, in the amount of $24,810.00.
Ms. Lourdes Ramos, Director of Human Resources, presented information on the following employees, as Commr. Cadwell presented the awards:
Presentation of Plaque to Employees with Five Years of Service
Carol E. Boyle, Assessment Specialist I, Fiscal and Administrative Services/Budget/Special Assessment
Maryann Bardon, Engineer II, Public Works/Engineering
Cheryl Semento, Secretary III, Facilities and Capital Improvements/Capital Improvements
Deanna LaVoie, Lead Permitting Technician, Growth Management/Building/South Lake
Presentation of Plaque to Employees with Ten Years of Service
Quinnette Durkin, Legal Office Administrator, County Attorney
Sharon Fisher, Probation Clerk, Community Services/ Probation
Presentation of Plaque to Employee with Fifteen Years of Service
Melanie H. Hicks, Community Development Coordinator, Community Services/Affordable Housing (not present)
Presentation of Plaque to Employee with Twenty Year of Service
Deborah Butterworth, Equipment Operator III, Public Works, Roads/Maintenance Area I (not present)
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the following proposed Ordinance on the floor, by title only, and noted that it would be Ordinance 1999-107, if approved by the Board:
An Ordinance of the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, Repealing in its Entirety Article VII, Chapter 13, Lake County Code, Entitled Cable Television Franchises, and Known as the Lake County Cable Communications Ordinance, which consists of Sections 13-171 Through 13-230; Providing for Amendment to Chapter 6.5, Lake County Code, Entitled Cable Communications, and Known as the Lake County Cable Communications Ordinance, Section 6.5-5(c), Grant of Franchise; Providing for Waivers of the Lake County Cable Communications Ordinance Requirements; Providing for Amendment to Section 6.5-32(b), Subscriber Rate Regulation; Providing for Severability; Providing for Inclusion in the Lake County Code; and Providing an Effective Date.
Mr. Bruce Thorburn, Communications Systems Director, was present to answer any questions of the Board.
Commr. Cadwell opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public
comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance 1999-107, as read by title only.
Ms. Carol Adams, Director of the Center for Independence Technology and Education (CITE), addressed the Board and stated that they have been serving Lake County since 1976, and in 1992, they established permanent ongoing training for the residents in Lake County who are blind and visually impaired. Ms. Adams stated that they were here today to present an overview of the CITE program. She stated that there are over 6,000 residents in Lake County who are blind, or severely visually impaired, and that does not include the children. She further stated that, starting in January, as one of their goals, they are looking forward to increasing their services to children, so they do not have to go to Orlando. Ms. Adams extended her appreciation to the Board for their support, which helped them develop their support groups. She stated that Lake County is being considered as one of the largest areas in the country for retirement, and part of the aging process is blindness from macular degeneration. Ms. Adams stated that the funding for senior citizens in this State is not what it could be. She stated that they have established a sound base over the past few years and have set up permanent programs in Lake County, and those need to continue, so that people do not have to wait for help. Ms. Adams introduced Ms. Rebecca Johnston and Ms. Lee Nasehi and stated that they will be reviewing the their program with the Board.
Ms. Lee Nasehi stated that, in the packet that was presented to the Board, they included their Mission Statement and Vision. Ms. Nasehi explained that visually impaired residents have families and friends who will be significantly affected by the loss of vision and other disabilities of their loved ones, and there was a broader population base in the County in need of education and support services, in order to cope with this disability.
Ms. Rebecca Johnston reviewed the material that was presented to the Board, and provided detailed information on the following:
Ms. Nasehi stated that CITE needs a larger, more conducive free-standing facility, to be able to provide more services and see more people. She stated that transportation is a particular need, because they spend a disproportionate amount of their budget to get people to service them, and their funding streams do not really cover transportation. Ms. Nasehi explained that Disadvantaged Transportation does not see their client population as priority medical clients, and this is a particular concern. She stated that they need more staff and more revenue. Ms. Nasehi noted that the following were ways that the Lake County Board of County Commissioners can help them meet the needs of its blind and visually impaired residents:
Ms. Nasehi stated that, while they appreciate the $5,000 they received from the County this year, they could use more. She stated that they pay for about half of their support group expenses with the $10,000 they used to get from the County, and now that they are receiving $5,000, it has created a budget gap for them this year, but they will continue to meet those needs. She stated that, in conclusion, she emphasized that the County has a significantly higher population of persons with visual impairments, because it is a retirement county, and there are more people over the age of 55, and many of the eye conditions that they help people with are age related, and as a growing county, this community issue is going to continue to get bigger. She stated that they would like to work with the County as partners.
Ms. Mae McClinton, a student of CITE, informed the Board that she has been associated with the blind for 42 years. Ms. McClinton stated that she was not blind when she first became associated with it, but she taught the blind in her earlier years. She has been affiliated with CITE for the past four years, and it has given her the incentive to go forward and not stop. She stated that she has gone to all of the meetings available to her, and she has gotten all of the training available to her, and she finds it gives her the confidence to continue and never give up. Ms. McClinton stated that she is very independent, and she finds that being affiliated with a blind group is the mainstream of her life.
Ms. Nasehi informed the Board that the budget for Lake, Sumter and Marion counties is about $300,000, and none of the other counties contribute to the funding. She stated that the United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties does support them.
Ms. Adams stated that they will meeting in Leesburg today with representatives from Marion County, and they are going to start paying for their Marion County people. She noted that they applied to the Sumter County Commission, and they have not been successful at getting funding from them. She stated that right now they are being paid some funding from Sumter County out of Blind Services, which is out of Tampa, but they have not been successful in getting community support in Sumter County, which they desperately need. Ms. Adams stated that State has cut funding for people over 55 years old, and it wants to give more money for the younger people. This year they received less money for senior citizens.
Commr. Hanson stated that Mr. George Pringle had talked to her about the health department building in Leesburg, and he was going to talk to Mr. Fletcher Smith, Senior Director of Community Services. She wondered if Mr. Smith had a response to the request.
Mr. Smith stated that he did speak to Mr. Pringle last week, and to the County Manager, but this is an issue that the Board will need to take action on.
Ms. Adams explained that the program was initially a part of Lake Sumter Community College, and at that point, all of the funding came from the Division of Blind Services through the State Department. She stated that approximately 60% of the funding comes from the State and about 40% from the community.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, of the requests being made today, and in assisting with opportunities, the Board can certainly do these things along with handling any resolutions or anything that go along with them. He stated that the County's volunteer coordinator can help in the area of volunteers, and Commr. Swartz can bring it to the attention of the Transportation Disadvantaged Board the concern expressed by them today.
Commr. Hanson stated that she supports at least not reducing the dollars, and she realizes that the recommendation that came back to the Board was to reduce them, in order to bring in more agencies to be served, but that does not reduce the demand and the need of those that are existing. She stated that CITE, in her opinion, is one of the most successful programs around, because it does teach these people who are losing their site how to be independent, and once they are independent, then they do not become dependent on further assistance. She feels very strongly that the Board should not have cut those dollars last year, and she would support going back at least to the $10,000.
Commr. Hanson made a motion for the Board to approve maintaining the funding at $10,000 this year for CITE.
Commr. Pool seconded the motion for discussion.
Under discussion, Commr. Cadwell stated that the only concern he has with this motion is that the Board would have to take the $5,000 from one of the other agencies.
Commr. Hanson clarified that the intent of her motion would be to take the money from Contingency.
Commr. Cadwell stated that it would be unfair to the other agencies who make presentations to the Board, and if the Board approves this motion, they should give all of the other agencies another opportunity to come in and make a presentation, because they are also doing great things and need more funds.
Commr. Hanson stated that her feeling is that CITE should have never been cut, and the numbers that the County has for the social services should be increasing as the County's population increases rather than decreasing, and what they are doing is decreasing per capita the amount of dollars that are being spent on these agencies.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would not support the motion today, but he would support the other requests that were presented including assisting them in finding another facility. He did think it was unfair to go to the other agencies, that are also providing services, for funding.
Commr. Swartz stated that possibly one thing that the Board would all be able to agree upon would be to have the Chairman, on behalf of the Board, contact both the Sumter County and the Marion County Boards and encourage them to try and make some funding available for citizens that come from there counties. He stated that the Citizens' Commission for Children's new funding cycle is beginning, as well, and they are taking proposals perhaps as early as this month, or in December, and that would be another funding source for some of the children's programs CITE is proposing. In regards to the transportation issue, right now the County is having a problem with its Transportation Disadvantaged program, because they are having a hard time keeping drivers. He knows that these services are available to the clients that CITE serves, and he agrees with the Chairman that these are some of the things that the Board can do to help.
Commr. Hanson explained that, if the County has left the total funding at $40,000 for the last three or four years for these agencies, and a couple of more agencies come before them next year and asks for funding, the Board will have to consider cutting the pie a little bit smaller.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, during the budget process, if Commr. Hanson wants to bring forward more funds for that department, that would be the time to do it.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which failed by a 3-1 vote. Commrs. Pool, Cadwell and Swartz voted "no".
Commr. Hanson stated that the Board needs to take a stand with the State on keeping their dollars where they have been historically.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board will contact the other two counties by letter, as noted.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board that there would be a ribbon cutting today at the Agricultural Extension Service Center.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
ASSESSMENTS/COUNTY EMPLOYEES/FIRE & EMERGENCY SERVICES
Mr. Ed Havill, Property Appraiser, addressed the issue of assessments and stated that it is an annual occurrence that the County's fire assessments are wrong, and now the solid waste assessments are wrong. Mr. Havill stated that he has been before the Board numerous times and he has a letter signed by Mr. Don Post, Senior Director of Solid Waste, and Commr. Hanson dated March, 1998, saying that they had personally checked everything in the County and everything was straight. The tax bills were mailed Friday and Saturday, and his office has been inundated by people that should have gotten an $86 fire assessment, and they were charged over $400, and the trash assessments are the same way. He stated that the County's trash and fire assessment rolls are in chaos. Mr. Havill stated that the County has nothing but incompetence, and he has told the Board this before, it needs to solve the problem, because every year he addresses the Board and every year the Board blames the problems on computer glitches or consultants. He stated that the Commissioners keep lying to the taxpayers, and it is more expense to all of the taxpayers, and it has got to stop. Mr. Havill stated that he did the fire assessment in his office for about seven years, and they had not one single problem before the County's assessment office took it over. He stated that the budget of that office is probably 60% or more of his entire assessment office for the whole County. He stated that the lack of leadership in Lake County is appalling. He reminded the Board that last year the County said that there were only 100 assessments that were wrong, but he and Mr. Bob McKee, Tax Collector, identified over 2,000.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, in regard to the solid waste assessment, the Board went through some discussion with Mr. Pete Wahl, former County Manager, whether to set up the assessment office, and now with the fire and the solid waste, he questioned whether Mr. Havill would be willing to assess both of these.
Mr. Havill stated that he would be willing to take the fire and the solid waste assessments and do them correctly, under one condition, and that would be if Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, and Mr. Don Post, Senior Director of Solid Waste, are immediately fired, and the Board replaces them with people that can be leaders in this County. He stated that the Board was wasting one-third of a million dollars on their salaries and benefits. He further stated that the Board needs to get leadership in the County's administration. Mr. Havill stressed that, if the Board made a request to the Property Appraiser to handle the fire and solid waste assessments, he would not do it, because he is not required to do it.
COUNTY MANAGER'S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, informed the Board that a few months ago Senator Anna Cowin and Representative Everett Kelly requested some proposed funding items, so that they could be included in their committees in Tallahassee. He explained that there was a legislative delegation meeting last month, and the 1999 package was put together at that time, and staff is bringing it to the Board for approval or discussion.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board has had discussions over all of the projects, and this was actually the accumulation of different actions by the Board. The resolution today regarding the Astor/Astor Park wastewater treatment facility will be included in the package. He noted that there was one addition to the package this morning regarding the support for funding for the Department of Children and Families.
Commr. Hanson stated that there was another issue that she discussed with Ms. Sue Whittle, County Manager, last week, which was the funding for the ratification of the aquatic weeds, and the lack of reduction of funding in that area. She did not know if there was time to add the item to the package. She explained that they are out spraying weeds, but they are not spraying all of them, so the County has to have someone else go back and spray them individually, and the County has not budgeted this item.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, if there was going to be some need for discussion of the item brought forth by Commr. Hanson, it needs to be added to the package and brought to the Board next week.
Commr. Swartz stated that he thinks that there are some things that the Board is requesting the Legislature to deal with, and to provide funding for, that are appropriate, and they are not just local issues, but they are statewide or regional issues. He feels that the request for funding for the Department of Children and Families is appropriate, because it is a statewide problem, and the State has changed laws regarding the Department of Children and Families, but he would like to have the Board discuss some of these things that seem to him to be more local issues, that the Board should really not be taking to its legislative delegation. He noted that the Board is requesting $14,889,796 for the storm water retrofit for the Lake Griffin Basin. Commr. Swartz stated that he certainly supports working to retrofit the storm water systems going into Lake Griffin and the others, and clearly the funding that Lake County and the Water Authority are providing can certainly be used as match funds against other funds that the Water Management District might have and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) might have, but he thinks that the Board is asking too much in these instances of its legislative delegation, and it should push for those that are regional in nature and important to beyond just Lake County. He stated that, for instance, the Astor-Astor Park wastewater treatment system, is an issue that, while it is local and where the system will go in, it is a regional issue, because of the water in the St. Johns River, and other communities' public health and safety. He stated that, in the Healthy Kids Program, there was a very small cash match of five percent, but now the State is changing that to a higher percentage. Commr. Swartz stated that the Board needs to recognize its place, and this Board has funded a lot of things that are State programs, such as the Guardian Ad Litem, but the Board needs to be cautious when it does fund such programs. He stated that he was not sure what the Board was asking for in Tab 5, which pertains to assistance from the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) in funding the development of a parcel layer for Lake County's Geographic Information System (GIS) Program.
Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director of Growth Management, explained that the request, under Tab 5, grew out of some of the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) projects and staff working with the District on the Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, Wekiva and the Green Swamp boundaries with some of the rural conservation lines, and they all came to the conclusion that they really cannot work with the land use map without the parcel layer. She stated that, given the time of correcting the land use map and making the changes and studying the lakes and all of the projects going on now, the only way to do that was to speed up the purchase of the parcel layer. She clarified that, because of the two areas of special concern, Lake Apopka's location, and Lake Griffin's location, they decided to do the whole County, and the SJRWMD has been receptive to the idea, so they wanted to leave it as a legislative delegation request, but in the SJRWMD budget.
Commr. Swartz stated that, if it is related to issues that are more regional, which is the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern, or Lake Apopka and those cleanup processes, then it probably is appropriate to request help in those areas, but he feels that the Board is going too far, if it is talking about the rest of Lake County. He thinks that the GIS is a local effort beyond that which may be related to more regional ones. Commr. Swartz stated that the County is asking for 122,800 tax parcels, and if it was to determine the parcels that are relative to the Green Swamp or Lake Apopka and request funding for those, that may be an appropriate request for what is a regional and even statewide concern, but he was not sure for the rest of the County. He stated that the Board needs to be realistic when it goes before its legislative delegation, and it needs to push them to fund those things, which they pull back from, that are statewide issues. He stated that, if the Board goes there with its hand out for what are mostly local issues, he feels it will lose any ability to encourage them and get success on what they may need to be doing in other areas.
Commr. Pool stated that, when a request it made, it is usually cut by one-third or one-half, and he feels that the County government is probably going about it in the right way, to try and ask for those dollars and realizing it will be cut, and maybe it can only focus on Lake Apopka, or the Green Swamp.
Commr. Hanson stated that she was not sure that these water systems would be considered just Lake County, because obviously with the Chain of Lakes, it could be regional as well as local. She stated that she made the presentation to the Legislature, and they were not receptive to the State paying for the GIS program.
Commr. Swartz stated that the Board could probably make a strong case, if the request is centered and focused on the Green Swamp and Lake Apopka and those areas. He stated that maybe the State should be paying for all of the funds for the Healthy Kids Program. He noted that the County paid the five percent this last year maybe to encourage them not to increase it, and maybe this is a reasonable thing, but he feels that the Board needs to be a whole lot more focused on Tab 5, and in regards to Tab 2, the retrofits, he feels that the County is going to end up looking at State agencies, for example, the Department of Transportation (DOT) with road issues, DEP, and the SJRWMD, and it will be going to these agencies, which are regional, or state agencies looking for funding there.
Commr. Pool stated that, in many instances, it was the DOT that created some of the problems that the County is dealing with and the DOT should be willing to share in fixing some of these problems, because of the roads and the proximity to the lake.
Commr. Swartz stated that the DOT is sharing in these problems, because the County has a program for what is a major storm water problem in Eustis that the DOT has agreed to work with the County on, but that is not what the County is asking for here. He stated that the Board needs to go forward and say that these are statewide or regional impacts and encourage them to address these issues. He stated that, even if the Legislature went forward with these, the Governor would be right to veto them.
The Board directed staff to add the Legislative budget request for funding, for the Department of Children & Families, to the issues for the 1999 Legislative Delegation Packet, and to look at modifying or scaling down Tabs 2 and 5, and to bring the packet back to the Board next week for final action.
REPORTS - COUNTY ATTORNEY
CONTRACTS, LEASES & AGREEMENTS/COURTS-JUDGES
On a motion by Commr. Swartz, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request for execution of a Special Master Agreement between Lake County, Betty m. Fleck d/b/a Betty's Poodle Salon & Kennel, owner and Robert Q. Williams as Special Master in Case No. SM-12-99.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the request for a partial release of a Public Defender Lien from real property is a case where the lender conducted a foreclosure and bought the property, but by mistake, they sued Sumter County instead of Lake County. Staff has reviewed it and believes that their mortgage is superior to Lake County's lien, and if it did not agree, they would have to reopen the case and serve the County and go through litigation again. Staff was recommending approval of the release.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hanson and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request for a partial release of a Public Defender Lien from real property in the amount of $750.00.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
ROADS-COUNTY & STATE/PUBLIC WORKS
Commr. Pool informed the Board that the residents of Hawthorne have called and sent a letter regarding the ingress and egress of the excel and decel lanes at Hawthorne, and while it may be a State issue, they have asked for the County's help. He asked Mr. Fred Schneider, Director of Engineering, or Mr. Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works, to give a response and maybe contact the State letting them know the concerns that the County has with Hawthorne at Highway 27.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - DISTRICT #4
Commr. Hanson informed the Board that she will be holding a District Meeting on Thursday, November 18, 1999, at 7 p.m., at the Pine Lakes Community Center for the purpose of discussing the Pine Lakes Park/Drop-Off Station as well as emergency services protection for the residents of the Pine Lakes area.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Pool, to approve Resolution 1999-187 regarding the Astor/Astor Park Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Under discussion, Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that Mr. Chandler called and he has had discussions with the Florida Rural Water Association with the possibility of them providing interim financing for the wastewater plant, so they do not have to go to a bank, and as part of that, if it could go forward, the County would have to proceed with some kind of agreement to issue industrial revenue type bonds. Mr. Minkoff indicated that he felt the Board would be supportive of that kind of arrangement, if there was no full faith in credit of the County behind it, so they are also working on those lines.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote.
Commr. Hanson stated that, when the Lake County Comprehensive Health Care Committee meeting was held last week, there seemed to be some concern, on the part of the subcommittee, as to whether they can get the work done, which was creating a strategic plan within the next five months. She suggested that the County bring in a facilitator that can help make it happen, with it still being the plan of the key stakeholders. She would like to propose some funding, and she would like it to be shared by the hospitals in the same proportions that it had been shared when the County did the original study.
Commr. Swartz stated that he thought that, in the last study, the Board was going to get at least a final recommendation or options, and he questioned whether the Board should try to go back and get more of a resolution from that type of arrangement as opposed to a facilitator.
Commr. Hanson stated that she was extremely disappointed when she received the Health Care Study, because she thought the County was moving forward, and she thought the outcome would be a strategic plan. She stated that, when they went back to the RFP, it was not the understanding that a strategic plan would be part of it. She further stated that, as one option, the RFP could be extended to include the outcome of a strategic plan.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would not be tied necessarily to the ones that originally did the study, except that, after going through all of that effort, they would have an intimate knowledge of the County's situation and maybe, for a smaller fee, they would be able to take it to some conclusion.
Commr. Hanson stated that the County may want someone who is a little more objective and has not been involved in the study as much in the past.
Commr. Swartz stated that he would be receptive to that, if Commr. Hanson wants to talk with staff and others and come back with a proposal.
Mr. Smith stated that the Health Care Committee meeting laid out three options, but they did not actually develop a plan for any of these options. In the recommendation, they gave an overview of the consensus of the Committee, but he thinks that a facilitator, that could focus the subcommittee on their duties at hand, would really benefit them. He noted that right now the subcommittee is operating on the recommendation of the report, which would be a decentralized system of service delivery wrapped around a centralized administrative type of program.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, before the Board sets a direction today, he felt they should come back with the original RFP and put it on the agenda for discussion.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:15 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a 15 minute recess.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #5
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Swartz and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the appointment of Commr. Pool to serve on the Lake Apopka Regional Planning Initiative Steering Committee.
ORDINANCES/LAWS & LEGISLATION/PROPERTY APPRAISER
Commr. Cadwell stated that he briefly talked to Orange County about the additional tax exemption for seniors, and they have the same concerns as Lake County, in regards to the intent of the Constitutional Amendment and what the implementation legislation has allowed to happen in regard to the exemptions. He would like to join with them and the other counties and go into the Legislature this year and ask them for clarification, and to bring that exemption back to what it was intended to do with the Constitutional Amendment. He noted that the voters approved it, and the County ought to offer that exemption, if it gets the clarification, and the legislation does what it says it wanted to do.
Mr. Ed Havill, Property Appraiser, explained that his office would have the responsibility of implementing the exemption, if the Board passes the ordinance. Mr. Havill stated that the City of Mount Dora has already passed it, and there will be some people in Mount Dora that will have the benefit of that exemption next year. He understands the problem, because last year, on the ballot, it indicated $20,000 gross, and the Legislature changed it to an adjusted gross of $20,000, which means you can have a higher income. Mr. Havill recommended that the Board pass the ordinance for this year and get the Legislature to fix it for next year. Mr. Havill stated that he feels that the lower income people of this County deserve the exemption for next year's tax bill. He noted that, for his office to administer the exemption, it would not require any additional people. Mr. Havill explained that the income would be a total of everyone living in a household, and the exemption would be verified the same way that his office verifies the total and permanent disabilities.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the ordinance would have to be advertised for the last meeting of this month. Mr. Minkoff stated that he has an estimate from the State in the amount of $1.3 million, as far as the impact on Lake County, but it has a lot of presumptions in it. He noted that the ordinance has to be adopted and in place before December 1, 1999.
Discussion occurred regarding putting the item on the agenda for Board action.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the actual Constitutional Amendment says family income of $20,000 as defined by the Legislature.
Mr. Havill noted that there are several associations that will be putting pressure on the Legislature to get it back to the original Constitutional Amendment that was put on the ballot last year.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this item was carried forward from a previous meeting, but it would be up to the Board to decide whether a motion is needed to place it on the agenda.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Pool, to advertise the ordinance pertaining to an additional tax exemption for seniors.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz questioned whether, during the course of this upcoming tax year, a time frame has been established for filing for this exemption.
Mr. Havill explained that people have already filed, and as soon as it was passed last year, his office started getting calls. His office has let them file and given them a letter explaining to them that the Legislature has to pass it, and if they passed it, then the city and/or county would have to approve it. He stated that the application for the exemption would have to be filed by March 1, and they would appeal, if denied, to the Value Adjustment Board.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this would be an exemption that would be based on objective evidence, so it ought to be a difficult one to appeal.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote.
ASSESSMENTS/FIRE & EMERGENCY SERVICES/SOLID WASTE
Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, stated that it has been brought to the attention of staff that there are some errors in the fire assessment billings, as well as solid waste. Mr. Jackson stated that there are a little less than 1,000 over billed on the fire assessment, and it looks like it is concentrated to condominiums. He explained that staff has not quite identified the source of the program in error, and they are continuing to work with Government Services Group (GSG) and the assessment office. Mr. Jackson stated that, in regards to the solid waste assessments, staff is seeing some under billing taking place.
Commr. Cadwell explained that the assessments are done by the County's offices, not the Property Appraiser's Office or Tax Collector's Office. These offices only send out the information that is provided to them by the County.
Ms. Kathleen Thomas, Operations Director for the Solid Waste Department, informed the Board that staff has not determined the scope of the problem with the errors in the solid waste assessment, however, they think it is due to the conversion of the non-Y2K compliant software to a new compliance system. She stated that staff is working with all of the people who have called in to meet their needs. At this time, she explained some of the problems that they have been informed of and noted the telephone numbers that people can call to get information about their fire assessment and solid waste assessment.
Mr. Jackson stated that staff will continue to work on identifying the problem and come up with a quick solution. They will also work with the Tax Collector's Office.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he feels the Board should make an official request to the Property Appraiser's Office to handle the fire assessment and solid waste assessment.
On a motion by Commr. Hanson, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved to place the item on the agenda regarding a request to the Property Appraiser's Office to handle the assessments.
Commr. Swartz questioned the purpose of making such a request to the Property Appraiser, since he was here in public and before the Board and indicated that he would not do it, and he has indicated this in the past that he would not do it, and the only difference this time was that he selected County employees that he feels need to be fired, in order for him to do it.
Commr. Hanson stated that Mr. Havill had indicated in the past that he would do the assessments.
Commr. Hanson made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Pool, for the Chairman to send Mr. Ed Havill, Property Appraiser, a letter requesting that he handle the assessments.
Under discussion, Commr. Swartz stated that he would vote against the motion, because Mr. Havill clearly said that he would not do it, and he has always indicated that he would not do it, and the only difference this time was he selected certain County employees that need to be fired, as a condition for him to do it. He stated that this is totally inappropriate, and he does not see any reason for sending a letter to him, to allow him, once again, to say the same thing.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried by a 3-1 vote. Commr. Swartz voted "no".
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:50 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 2 p.m for the Ribbon Cutting of the Horticultural Learning Center Discovery Gardens.
At 2 p.m., the Board members attended the Ribbon Cutting for the Lake County Horticultural Learning Center Discovery Gardens at the Horticultural Learning Center (HLC), Agricultural Extension Center.
Mr. Charles Fedunak, Horticulture Agent II, HLC Manager, opened the ceremony and introduced Ms. Hope Lamb, President of the Friends of the HLC. At this time, Ms. Lamb recognized the following individuals who were present: Commr. Swartz, Commr. Pool, Commr. Cadwell, Commr. Hanson; Mr. Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager, Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney; Dr. Christine T. Waddill, Dean and Director, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida; and Dr. Freddie A. Johnson, District III Extension Director, University of Florida. Ms. Lamb explained that the Friends are a non profit organization established in 1988 to support the efforts of the Horticultural Learning Center. Current membership in the organization is 267. Through the efforts of the Friends a private public partnership between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners was established in 1993. Ms. Lamb recognized the following individuals in attendance from the Lake County Extension Service: Perry Jacobs, HLC Gardens Manager; Anna Perez, HLC Secretary; Joyce Kaufman, Maintenance Worker I; and Jonathan McKinney, Maintenance Worker I. She also recognized Mr. Lloyd Singleton, Past Officer of Friends of the HLC. Ms. Lamb extended her thanks to those in attendance and extended a special thanks to the Parks staff.
In conclusion, Mr. Fedunak asked that Dr. Waddell, Ms. Lamb, and Commr. Cadwell cut the ribbon to the Discovery Gardens.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 2: 15 p.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK