The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, June 12, 2001, at 9:00 a.m., in the Magnolia Room, Everett Kelly Building, Lake Sumter Community College, Leesburg, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Catherine C. Hanson, Chairman; Robert A. Pool, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Jennifer Hill; and Debbie Stivender Others present were: Sanford A. Minkoff, County Attorney/Acting County Manager; Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney; Alvin Jackson, Deputy County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; Sarah LaMarche, Senior Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services; Fletcher Smith, Senior Director of Community Services; Bill Gilley, Senior Director of Solid Waste Management; Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works; Lourdes Ramos, Senior Director of Human Resources; Sharon Farrell, Senior Director of Growth Management; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Hanson opened the meeting and noted that the Board has a full schedule for today. At this time, she turned the meeting over to Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Acting County Manager.
Mr. Minkoff stated that staff is going to try to educate, as well as discuss proposed policy changes to let the Board know what is being done with the County's money and how it is being invested.
Tab 1 - Investment Overview & Proposed Revisions to Investment Policy
Ms. Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, directed the Board's attention to Tab1, and stated that this is an overview of investments of the County at May 31, 2001. The first sheet is a listing of everything that the County invested its excess funds in. Ms. Lehman briefly reviewed the information, as provided in the backup, and explained that the County has one checking account in Tavares, and any of the excess money that they have at the end of the day is swept into an overnight repurchase agreement, which is earning 3.72% right now. The balance varies anywhere from $1 million to $4 million on a daily basis. She stated that the SBA is a local government trust fund that a lot of governments in Florida use. There are approximately 600 participating governments in Florida and money is pooled together and invested. It is run by the State and it is a money market fund with a maturity of about 60 days. The rates right now are about 4.5%, and the County has $84 million there. Ms. Lehman explained that it is used like a savings account and money is moved back and forth on a daily basis depending on the County's needs. She reviewed the longer term deposits and stated that the County has some certificates at a local bank that gives the County very good rates. She pointed out that there is a $6.9 million, 7.00% Certificate of Deposit (CD) at SouthTrust Bank, which is a debt service reserve for the resource recovery bond issue. Ms. Lehman stated that part of the County's investment policy, which they will be discussing, requires that they only use a certified public depository in Florida and most of the banks in Florida are members of a collateral pool, which is an agreement where the bank sets aside collateral to insure the value of government deposits that are in their bank. She explained US Treasury Securities and noted that treasuries are not selling as frequently as they were and some of the maturities are being discontinued, and as they begin to mature, the County will probably be investing in other things, because the rates are down right now. Ms. Lehman addressed the US Agency Securities, which have really high coupon rates, and stated that those are a straight debt and, because they are a government sponsored organization, they have a very good high credit rating. Ms. Lehman explained that the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) and the Florida Association of Court Clerks (FACC) started the Florida Local Government Investment Trust fund in about 1992 or 1993, and the investments in this fund are nine months to two or three years, and it is currently paying about 4.86%. She stated that the County has $120 million, which represents all of the money put together in one place. Ms. Lehman stated that the County has about 40 or more funds and they separate the cash out by every fund on their books, but they put it all together for banking purposes.
Ms. Lehman stated that, at the end of the year, staff figures out the interest rate that they made for the year, and they usually make about 5.5% to 6% on the funds, and next year it may be a little bit lower, because treasury rates are down to about 3.5%, 4.5% on two year investments. She explained that staff has a program where every fund gets a share of the interest based on their daily balance. She noted that the County earned about $2.5 million to $3 million in interest this year.
Ms. Lehman addressed the Investment Policy, which the Board adopted in 1994 and, in about1995, the Legislature made it a requirement that counties and governments who are investing in anything other than standard type investments have an investment policy to direct their investments. She recently revised it to go in line with the Florida Statutes. She pointed out that, on Page 2 of the policy, Investment Objectives, it indicates that the primary objective is Safety of Capital, secondly, to maintain adequate liquidity, and the third objective is to get a good return on their investments. She briefly reviewed other language in the policy and noted that, on Page 8, it refers to the Investment Team, and the members on the team.
Ms. Lehman explained that staff has talked about getting a Portfolio Manager, or using a bank to do their investments, and staff prefers to keep it in house.
Mr. Minkoff stated that a presentation was made a couple of years ago by First Union, and they had indicated that they would perform the service for 15 to 25 basis points of interest on the investments, and at that time, the County Manager and the Clerk did not bring this option forward.
Ms. Lehman addressed Section XVII. Continuing Education, and stated that last year the legislature passed a requirement that the officials that are responsible for making investment decisions have eight hours of continuing professional education in investment practices. She noted that she rewrote the policy to include the Clerk and the Chief Deputy Clerk. Ms. Lehman stated that she would like to bring the Investment Policy to the Board on the agenda for the next Board meeting for approval.
Ms. Lehman informed the Board that last summer the Governmental Accounting Standards Board passed a new requirement for governmental accounting, which is called GASB 34, and the County will have to start accounting for infrastructure that the County has built or constructed for the last 25 years. She stated that she has been working on this for about two years, and at the end of the year and the beginning of 2002, staff will produce a financial statement that will look like a business balance sheet, in addition to the other reporting that they have done in the past. Ms. Lehman noted that she had prepared statements for 1999, with the new format, and she will bring those forward and show them how it is going to look. She explained that, after attending several conferences, she has found that there are two methods that are allowed when figuring the costs for the past years, one estimates the historical costs, or takes a capital maintenance approach, which she explained, and staff is just now trying to determine an approach to go back and estimate the historical costs.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works, stated that his department has a list of all of the projects and how much was spent on each project since 1979.
Tab 2 - Health Insurance Update
Ms. Sarah LaMarche, Senior Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, stated that the BCC became self-insured on October 1, 1999 through the recommendation made by the Insurance Team. Staff is currently evaluating request for proposals (RFPs), for several things, as noted in the backup, Tab 2, Page 1. Ms. LaMarche explained that the Insurance Team felt that there was a much better choice for physicians that were in the self-insurance network versus Blue Cross Blue Shield. She noted that, with self-insurance, staff is better able to manage the Fund and to see the trends on a monthly basis and take corrective action early. She reviewed the stop-loss (when excess coverage begins) noting that the County only has one employee that has reached that point this year. She stated that staff is estimating that they will not meet the stop-loss amount of $2.7 million for the group for the year, and currently through April, about half of the employees have single coverage and about half have family coverage.
Mr. Minkoff explained how the insurance is managed and noted that the Sheriff this year will be switching to an insurance plan similar to the Boards except that it will be administered through the Florida Sheriff's Association, as opposed to him doing it individually.
Ms. LaMarche stated that currently the Board has 656 full-time authorized positions, which results in a cost of $492.89 per employee per month. She noted the list of budgeted revenues per employee per month and stated that, after talking to the Board's consultant and attending several seminars, the indication is that their claims increase for next year will be about 10% and the pharmacy increase will be about 20%. Ms. LaMarche stated that staff is suggesting that the Board increase the family coverage 3% to 5% noting that the Board has been very generous in their contribution. She stated that the recommendation will be coming to the Board next month. Ms. LaMarche stated that Tab 2, Page 2 is a reflection of the Risk Management - Group Health Insurance Fund, Actual and Projected Expenditures and Analysis through Fiscal Year 2003. Her assumptions were that the Board add no new people; and there are no increase in contributions, so in 2002 they will break even, but because of rising costs, staff is estimating the Special Reserve to be reduced by about $600,000. She stated that staff would like to see a standard practice of six months in reserve in the current year and 2002, and about four months in 2003. She noted that the County has an actuarially determined Incurred But Not Reported Liability Reserve of $515,000.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the Board has an agreement with Waterman and its physicians where they get a very favorable rate from them, and it has been extended for two additional years, so they also try to manage the costs from the provider side as well.
Ms. LaMarche stated that the Board will see the next few pages in their monthly report, and Tab 2, Page 3 shows the Medical Claim Costs and the Pharmacy Claims Costs, which is a rolling 12 month average and Tab 2, Page 4 shows the bar charts of the Group Health Fund Audited Revenue and Expenses from last year, and the current year Budget vs. Actual Medical, Pharmacy & Fixed Costs, which indicates that the Board is still in a favorable condition.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the Board approved the settlement with Commercial Union where they were paying the Board $350,000, and as part of that settlement, they have asked that the Board release the previous insurer, CGU Life Insurance Company. He stated that the County had not planned on doing that, however, Florida Healthcare Purchasing Cooperative has gone out of business, so staff will be bringing back to the Board, on one of the next agendas, a request to approve the release.
Ms. LaMarche noted that Tab 2, Page 5 reflects the Number of Workers' Compensation Claims and Tab 2, Page 6 reflects the Budget Issues and Performance Indicators.
Mr. Minkoff noted that the County has no pending liability claims that are in the litigation stage, and it is really in good shape, from a risk management standpoint.
Tab 3 - Solid Waste & Fire Assessment - Hardship Issues
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Senior Director of Community Services, stated that staff talked with the Tax Collector's Office about the number of homeowners in Lake County that filed for the second homestead exemption, and there are almost 3,000 people that qualified for it. The solid waste and fire assessment cost is going to be approximately $300 with the universal collection fee that is being put in place. Mr. Smith stated that the County has been spending an average of about $8,000 a year on this program. He stated that staff has not had a very good response from those in the County who may be eligible for this assistance, with the County only serving 38 individuals last year, and he feels that this is a matter of educating the public about the program. Mr. Smith stated that, not only has staff looked at the basic eligibility requirements of that program, but also of the indigent burial program, and the prescription medication program. He stated that staff would like to take a very cautious approach to this because they do not know what kind of fiscal impact this will have on the budget. He stated that staff would like to raise the basic income level to the 150% of the 2001 Federal Poverty Level, which would be $12,855 for a family of one. Mr. Smith stated that staff would like to establish this criteria for all of the programs and would include indigent burial and the prescription medication program. He would anticipate that, once this is lowered, the assets would be left at $5,000, and they could possibly see up to a 500% increase in the number of people who may qualify, which would have a fiscal impact of $57,000. In their budget this year, and in their base line budget for next year, they have funds for grant-in-aids to non-profit agencies. He stated that historically they give many $5,000 grants to a number of agencies, and they could look at utilizing some of those dollars, but he knows that many of those agencies look forward to getting some dollars from the County for a cash match, so that may not be a valid option.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not want to see the County pursue the option of taking the money from those agencies, because those agencies are providing services to the County.
Mr. Minkoff noted that staff has not been considering the option of utilizing those grant monies in the budget at this time.
Mr. Smith explained that, if the County had a seamless eligibility criteria, a person who comes in for prescription medication assistance would also be eligible for the fire and solid waste assessment program, if he was a homeowner. He stated that staff would like to add the following to the criteria: if individuals have a statement from a physician that they are required to take ongoing medication, staff will back that cost out of their annual income level. Mr. Smith stated that they would then be eligible for the prescription medication program, which is funded by $20,000 from the General Fund and $100,000 of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars. He stated that, once they start taking applicants for the solid waste and fire assessment program, staff could look at the number of individuals filing and why certain individuals are being disqualified and could come back to the Board, in February, with information and statistics and look at adjusting the asset level for that specific program.
Mr. Minkoff stated that Mr. Smith's recommendation, which will be brought back to the Board, is to increase to 150% of the Poverty Level guidelines for qualification and have it across the Board, and to include the deduction of maintenance medications from the income. He noted that there will be an estimated $70,000 General Fund expense, which is only for fire and solid waste. Mr. Minkoff stated that this will be brought back to the Board as a formal policy and will be included in the budget. He noted that the information that the Board will receive in February, as noted by Mr. Smith, could be used to set the policy for the following fiscal year.
Commr. Stivender noted that yesterday she talked to J. Rodger Amon, MPA, Administrator of the Lake County Health Department, about the prescription distribution level at the Health Clinic, and he explained that the level of distribution could be tripled with monies received from the Board.
Mr. Minkoff noted that Mr. Smith meets with Dr. Amon on a weekly basis, and he and Mr. Smith meet with him on a monthly basis and talk about cooperation and ongoing programs.
Tab 4 - Budget Overview - General Fund
Ms. LaMarche took this opportunity to extend her appreciation to Mr. Minkoff for his complete review of the budget and noted that the information before the Board today is current information, but it will change on a daily basis, as staff receives changes from each department.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the General Fund includes not only the County departments, but also the Constitutional Officers, so staff tries to estimate their expenditures and what kind of cash they will get back from them. He noted that generally the County does not spend 100% of the budgeted amount.
Commr. Hill stated that, after reviewing the information and comparing it to the information the Board received in February, it seems as though the expenses are up and the revenues are down.
Ms. LaMarche stated that, as of today's date, these are the most accurate figures. She referred to the charts on Tab 4, Page 1, and stated that, from the report given by the auditors, the County ended the year on pretty much of an even level. She is projecting that, at the end of this fiscal year, the County will have about $3.2 million more in expenses than revenues in the actual, not in the budgeted. As she looks at 2002, she sees about a $5 million deficit and about a $7 million deficit in 2003.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the deficit this year was planned, and the budget that was adopted by the Board showed that they were using reserves, in order to make the budget work, so the financial performance this year is not any worse than what they thought it would be last September and, in fact, it is probably better than what was proposed last September.
Ms. LaMarche stated that, if none of the assumptions change from what they are today, by the end of 2002 the County will have $7 million total in reserve, and by the end of 2003 they will have a total of $250,000 in reserve, which is not acceptable. She noted that Tab 4, Page 1 reflected the following: Budget Recommended Practices indicate that the reserve for FY '03 should be 2 months of expenditures (16.7%), or $13,300,000. She noted that there is about $10 million in budgeted reserve right now.
Ms. LaMarche briefly reviewed Tab 4, Page 2, Revenues Summary by Major Revenue Fiscal Years 2000 through 2003, and Tab 4, Page 3, Expenditure Summary by Department Fiscal Years 2000 through 2003, which reflected the Actual for 2000 and the Baseline Budgets for 2002 and 2003, and noted that these categories are based on the State Chart of Accounts categories for taxes, which she split into ad valorem and franchise fees, and they reflect the total taxes for the General Fund.
Ms. LaMarche explained that there are five major categories in the Revenue side, as follows: Licenses and Permits - primarily building permits; Intergovernmental - 90% from the State Revenue Sharing and the half cent sales tax (anticipated to increase about 5%); Charges for Services - housing of prisoners and the Orange County prisoners (by 2004, charges for Orange County prisoners will probably be gone); Fine and Forfeitures - mostly court fees; Miscellaneous - interest revenue; Transfers In - excess fees from Constitutional Officers and administration charge. Ms. LaMarche noted that staff determines the charges made for administrative departments, because they do not have ways to generate revenue. She explained that the County hired KGMP this year to look at the real costs of doing business, and they presented a report, which was the first attempt of having a formal review of the actual charges to each of the funds. After much discussion, staff decided not to use the results of the report this year and would continue to charge the funds between 4.5% to 5% of revenue for the service.
Discussion occurred regarding the percentage being charged to the funds for administrative fees, with Ms. LaMarche explaining that staff has used 4.75% of current year revenue since about 1993, and before that time, nothing was being charged. It was noted that the study by KMGP showed that some funds showed a decrease, and others showed an increase, so after discussion among staff members, the decision was made to continue with the charges as they have done in the past.
Ms. LaMarche stated that, on June 1, 2001, staff received a preliminary gross taxable value for all properties, which was about a ten percent increase over the prior year. She is hoping that, on July 1, when staff gets the certified dollars, that number will be a little bit higher. The senior exemption is only about $300,000, so it really does not impact the General Fund.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the actual reduction and the actual dollars is never 5%, but the Florida Statutes require them to show a 5% reduction.
Ms. LaMarche referred to Tab 4, Page 3, Expenditures, and stated that she separated this by Board of County Commissioners and Courts and Constitutional Officers. She clarified that the Cultural dollars are only General Fund dollars and does not reflect the tourism dollars.
Commr. Hanson noted that, after talking to Mr. Minkoff, it was clarified that the unspent dollars for the individual who was not hired until mid-year would be returned to the Tourist Development Council (TDC) monies, and it would not go into the General Fund.
Ms. LaMarche continued her discussion of Tab 4, Page 3, Expenditures, and presented details about each fund and specifically noted that, in the Non Departmental, staff has added in this particular year about $425,000 a year for five years for the new accounting software package. She explained the expenses contained in the Constitutional Offices number and noted that she has subtracted out about $500,000 each year, because of notification from the State that the retirement rates are being lowered. She further explained that the loss for infrastructure sales tax will be about $1.5 million.
Commr. Hanson questioned what it would equate to in increased millage to keep $7 million in the reserves.
Ms. LaMarche explained that the information would hinge on the July 1 numbers, because right now the County has about $84 billion in assessments, with a potential of going to $90 billion, but staff will be able to give this information to the Board in the near future. She noted that Tab 4, Page 3 shows $7 million as budgeted Contingency, and Tab 4, Page 2 shows $9 million in the Beginning Fund Balance for the Baseline Budget 2003.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the departments have requested an additional $5.4 million in 2002, and almost $4 million in 2003 for enhancements over and above the numbers being shown in the General Fund.
Ms. Lamarche addressed Tab 4, Pages 4 and 5, General Fund and noted that the figures reflect highlights of changes from Fiscal Year 2000 Actual, to Fiscal Year 2001 Estimated Compared to Fiscal Year 2000 Actual. She referred to Page 4 and explained that the Clerk gave the County about $395,000 last year, and they are estimating about $300,000 this year. The Sheriff's estimate is $250,000 this year, and the Property Appraiser had some excess fees last year, but they did not purchase a piece of equipment, and the excess fees were spent this year, so they are anticipating about $12,000 from that office, and even less from the Tax Collector. In regards to the Race Track funds, they ended up with a surplus of $400,000 that they transferred into the General Fund. Ms. LaMarche stated that the General Fund loaned the Ford Park some money and last year they paid it back. She referred to Page 5 and the expense figures and stated that several of the Senior Directors will be making presentations to the Board.
Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Improvements, addressed Tab 4, Page 5 and stated that every year his department experiences unanticipated expenditures, and they are not carrying a contingency for these items. Mr. Anderson explained that the expenditure amount of $2,100,000 included in-house projects that were not budgeted.
Ms. LaMarche addressed the energy costs, as noted by Mr. Anderson, and stated that a surcharge was just discovered, which means the actual will be over the budget, and staff will be coming back to the Board and asking for another $100,000 this year. It was noted that this was something that was passed on to the County by its utility providers.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that, in terms of estimated actual in revenues and expenditures, there may have been some budget amendments, but the figures being shown are not over budget expenditures. Mr. Minkoff stated that there may still be a deficit, and the only way to really impact that is to either increase taxes or cut programs, which will be the choice that the Board will be faced with when they are given the budget.
Ms. LaMarche stated that she has put together a breakdown in the General Fund, by line item, which will be included in the next package of information that will be presented to the Board. She addressed Tab 4, Page 6 and stated that, at the Board's last retreat, staff was given the direction to look at some of the surrounding counties and make a comparison of commercial and residential percentages and, as noted, Lake County is at the bottom, in terms of the percentage of commercial for FY 2001.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 10:50 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would take a ten minute recess.
Tab 5 - Budget Overview - Emergency Services
Mr. Minkoff stated that he had a request about a month ago from Mr. Tad Stone, Emergency Services, to add six new positions, to open Station 62 in Fruitland Park, and that agenda item is pending, so that he can talk to the Board about the fire budget. He stated that Tab 5, Page 1 is the Team report that was done about three years ago, and the recommendation that they made to the Board. He stated that, with the exception of South Lake (Summer Bay), the plan has not only been carried out, it has been exceeded. He stated that the South Lake Station is under design and is about ready to be bid out, and the funds and impact fee budget are there to build it, and hopefully the station will be opened during the first quarter of next year. Mr. Minkoff stated that yesterday the ambulance corporation approved the agreement with Lake County to start Advanced Life Support (ALS), and that item will be on the June 19, 2001 Board agenda and, once that is done, the fire department will be ready to begin ALS and will start in the Villages first, and then they will begin this in Pine Lakes and Astor, not necessarily in that order, and the new South Lake station will be an ALS station.
Mr. Minkoff referred to Page 2, the Comparison of Current Revenues, Expenses, and Ending Balance for Fund 168, Emergency Services, and noted that, when staff excludes capital, the department is spending about $843,000 more than what they are taking in, and this was planned, because there was $5.5 million in reserves at the beginning of the year. He stated that, if he implements the six positions to reopen Station 62, and the 15 positions that are being asked for next year to open South Lake and Harbor Shores, they will be spending another $845,000, not including capital, or $2.6 million including capital and bringing the fund balance down really low. If they continue in this direction, they will be in a deficit position, or the Board will be required to look at the fire fees in 2003, to increase them by about five dollars to make the budget balance.
Ms. LaMarche clarified that this would be in baseline, and the enhanced budget includes all of the new people, the six people for Station 62, 15 people for 2002, and another 12 for 2003, and those are shown in the enhanced budget.
Mr. Minkoff noted that, to include the people for 2003, it would make the fire fee go up $18, and the 2003 people are adding a third person on the shift in four stations, Minneola, Plantation, Pine Lakes and Sorrento. He stated that the fire department has a new five year plan that they have been developing, which staff will be scheduling for a workshop soon with the Board, but moving along with this plan, it is going to have a very substantial increase through 2003. Once they get beyond the year 2003, he does not believe that there will be future increases of this extent through the years. He explained that, when the Board sees the new five year plan, a lot of what they are proposing will be aimed at such things as Insurance Servicing Organization (ISO) ratings, and the County's improvements and enhancements of the fire department. He noted that the biggest component of the ISO rating is water supply, and a lot of times these types of additions are not going to have the impact on ISO, because without the available central water supply, it is hard to get those ratings down significantly. He noted that the ISO ratings may not be countywide, but in areas where there is a water supply, there may be better opportunities to reduce those ratings. Mr. Minkoff stated that, when staff gives the Board the five year plan, he will make sure that staff can address those kinds of questions, but he cannot necessarily draw a correlation between this and reduced insurance at this point. In regards to the questions of whether the six people are needed now at Station 62, he explained that there is a big problem in Lady Lake, and they need the additional backup. He will be bringing that agenda item to the Board with a recommendation of approval.
Ms. LaMarche reiterated that, if the Board hires the six people now, and proceeds with the hiring schedule to 2003, there will be a deficit in the fund, if the Board does not raise the fire fee. She stated that staff now understands that vacant land can be assessed, so there is a possibility that in 2002, staff could get the consultants back to look at the trend.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the Supreme Court has a case where the Appellate Court held that you could break up the fire into components, and that you could not assess the medical portion of the fire service, and you could only assess the fire portion of the service, and that case is pending. He stated that the whole special assessment area may change depending on what they do at any time. Mr. Minkoff stated that the real point is that, in order to continue improving the fire service, there is going to be a need for more revenues. He stated that the County has a great group of firefighters and a great group of fire managers, and if you look at the service from where it was and where it is today, it has made tremendous strives, and ALS is going to be just another step where they are getting better, but it is going to cost more money to keep improving at this level. He stated that the fire department is working closely with ALS, and the ambulance company also approved agreements with Clermont and Leesburg. He noted that Mount Dora has requested an agreement where they would also provide ALS, and the ambulance company is paying the cities to do it.
Ms. LaMarche addressed the need for a $5 increase in the fire fee and stated that the original recommendation was that staff does not have to notice anyone unless the increase is over 5%, so that ends in 2003, which is the $100 maximum, so to do anything else in 2003, they would have to notice all of the property owners in Lake County and provide the ads in the paper, and staff does not plan on doing that this year, but it would in 2003.
Mr. Minkoff referred to the court case that he noted earlier regarding breaking up the fire components and stated that the argument being made is that you cannot do special assessments for medical response, and the Appellate Court has agreed and said that you can separate the fire from the medical, and the Supreme Court will be making the final decision. He noted that it is less important to Lake County, because it does not do any transport at all, but there are a lot of municipalities and counties that have combined their fire and transport together and use special assessments to pay for the whole thing.
Tab 6 - Budget Overview - Building Division
Mr. Minkoff stated that he met with Commr. Hanson and representatives of the Homebuilders Association, and one of the issues that they raised was that they believe that the revenue from building permit fees should be used to pay the cost of providing the building permit and building enforcement services. They asked that staff separate these out in the budget. Mr. Minkoff explained that, when the Board approved the increase in fees two years ago, the fees came in before the people were hired, so it looked as though the County was making a lot of money, because the hiring had to follow the fee increases. He referred to Tab 6, Page 1 and noted that, in some years they exceeded and in some years it looks like they are going to decrease and, with the Board's permission, when staff presents the budget to the Board this year, he would like to break this out, so that they can show the revenue from building permit fees and the expenses of the building permits separately within the General Fund budget. He noted that the Florida Statute requires staff to do it this way, and this will be the recommendation that he will bring to them. He further noted that there is also a code enforcement portion that will be in this budget, because the Statute allows it, not only for the administration of the building code, but for the enforcement of the building code. The administration costs that they are using came from the KPMG study.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Homebuilders have been working closely with Ms. Sharon Farrell, Senior Director of Growth Management, and Mr. Dale Greiner, Building Services Director, and she has been meeting with them once a month, to discuss decreasing the review time and becoming more efficient in getting the plans back out, either rejected and/or reevaluated, and the efficiency ratings are going up.
Commr. Stivender stated that she has been working with the Development Review Committee and noted that they are supposed to be meeting monthly, to review any concerns in the development process.
Mr. Minkoff stated that Mr. Fred Schneider, Engineering Director, and Mr. Max Forgey, Planning and Development Services Director, have been working together and trying to address issues as they develop in the review process, and he feels they should continue to meet.
Ms. LaMarche stated that personally she believes that Mr. Greiner has done an outstanding job, in terms of not only coming up with reasonable and good performance measures, but tying in personal goals of staff, to these goals, as noted, and it is their plan to get the Board an update every six months on the actual compared to the target for all of these.
Tab 7 - Budget Overview - Personnel Summary by Department
Ms. LaMarche stated that Tab 7 shows a five year history of the departments authorized full-time positions and the change over time in each of the departments, and the cost centers of each of the departments. She stated that Tab 7, Pages 2 and 3 shows the Personnel Summary for the Board, and Tab 7, Page 4 shows the Summary of Authorized Full-Time Positions for the Last Ten Fiscal Years, and the History of Authorized Full-Time Positions for Constitutional Offices and Board of County Commissioners, for Fiscal Year 2002 and 2003.
Commr. Hill referred to Tab 7, Page 1, Growth Management and Code Enforcement, and stated that there was a major increase in personnel, and she questioned whether the services were better, because, when looking back at information that had been provided to her in the bi-annual budget document, staff had a page relating to Code Enforcement that showed a 25% reduction in code violations, yet the number of staff increased. She stated that the goal was to respond to new complaints within five working days, 75% of the time, but the projection for 2000/01 was a 65% response. She was questioning why the increase in staff and what is the response time for the other 35%.
Commr. Cadwell addressed the correlation between the calls and the personnel and explained that they used to generate a lot of code complaints that are not there now, because yearly inspections are being done on Conditional Use Permits (CUPs).
Ms. LaMarche stated that the annual budget was done two years ago and, at that time, Ms. Farrell had indicated that they needed more code officers to cut down the time, but staff told her that the General Fund could not afford it in this budget year, or the next budget year, so staff said no to any new code people.
There were other questions regarding changes in personnel, and staff presented detailed information relating to those changes. It was noted by staff that most of the increase in personnel was found to be in the Department of Growth Management, Building Services, which was due to the increase in fees.
Tab 8 - Infrastructure Sales Tax Projects
Mr. Minkoff stated that the Board members have been presented with a handout of short term space assignment considerations, which he had developed and would like to implement, and he asked Mr. Anderson to discuss these with the Board.
Mr. Anderson referred to Tab 8, Page 1, Supervisor of Elections, and the request for additional office space and explained that Veterans Services will be moving to Community Services, on the first floor of the County Administration Building; We Care Program will be moving to the Health Department on Highway 441, Eustis; and Affordable Housing will be moving to the Bank of America Building, Eustis. He stated that the Housing and Community Development Division involves nine positions, and they have administrative dollars that they can draw down to pay lease costs and utility costs, and if they have programs that have a revenue source, his idea was to get them out where they will be paying for those costs with the grant funds and utilize that space for general fund activities.
Mr. Anderson referred to Tab 8, Page 2, New Positions requiring office space, and stated that the first group of new individuals would include the Cultural Affairs Director and Administrative Assistant; Children's Affairs Director and ½ Administrative Assistant; and Elderly Affairs Director and ½ Administrative Assistant. He stated that they would be located a the Hunter Building (East Half). He stated that under #3, the offices needing additional space included Fiscal Administration, Community Outreach Office, and Economic Development, which will also be located at the Hunter Building (East Half). Mr. Anderson noted that a drawing had been provided in the backup material of the Hunter Building.
Mr. Minkoff clarified that the Hunter Building will require carpet and paint at a minimal expense, and they are not talking about the renovation of the building. He stated that there is more to this than moving the people there, and that his goal is a reorganization of the way the administrative people are being used to maximize resources, to either limit new hires in the future, or limit the number of people that they will need and at the same time provide more administrative help to those individuals who share these positions.
Mr. Anderson addressed concerns expressed by Commr. Stivender regarding the work space in the Hunter Building and stated that the Herman Miller architect looked at the building, and he has reassured him that there is adequate space for the noted positions.
Mr. Anderson explained that the parking lot associated with the Hunter Building is under this year's budget, for paving and landscaping, so the whole area, as well as the building will be going through some transformation. He noted that he will be meeting with the City of Tavares tomorrow to discuss what the County can do to keep in line with the City's historic preservation.
Mr. Minkoff explained that many of the people to be located in the Hunter Building will be working out of the office, or in other buildings, or out in the field, but the Administrative Assistants will be there.
Mr. Minkoff stated that, with the Board's permission, he would like to make these two changes, for the Supervisor of Elections, and the New Positions at the Hunter Building (East Half),which he believes will solve the short term problem.
Mr. Anderson referred to item #4, Information Technical (IT) Services, and stated that, it was his understanding that four of the Service Technicians will remain on the second floor of the County Administration Building (CAB), and six Service Technicians, as well as Mr. Steve Earls, will be relocated to the Fifth Floor of the Historic Courthouse. It was noted that these individuals volunteered to occupy this space. In talking to the Tax Collector, he currently occupies the east wing of the fifth floor for his records storage, but he would relinquish that space, if Mr. Anderson can renovate part of the section of the building between the Property Appraiser and the Tax Collector for records storage and a small conference room. Mr. Anderson stated that he met with Mr. Bob McKee, Tax Collector, yesterday and he agreed that this would be very good use of the space.
Mr. Anderson stated that, in regards to item #5, the EMS Dispatch Center is to vacate their current office complex in Mount Dora, and they have requested space within the Tavares campus, with consideration being given to the renovation of building "H" for a new dispatch center and, in regards to item #7, the Sheriff has requested use of building "H" for additional law enforcement offices, but he has indicated that he will need the entire building.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the Board has authorized staff to go forward with the EMS Dispatch Center, and he will proceed with the renovation of building "H" for them, and there may be space in that building that they can give to the Sheriff, because the dispatching is not going to take the entire building.
Mr. Minkoff referred to item #6 and stated that the Fifth Judicial District has requested office space within building "G" and, with the number of positions indicated to them, they will need the entire building. He stated that this would also be a building that could possibly be given to the Sheriff.
Mr. Anderson stated that, if they were ever to expand the courthouse, building "G" had been identified, as a site to be cleared, but right now it is still a serviceable building.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, out of fairness, if nothing else, the courts system had asked for that building long before any other requests were made to staff.
Mr. Minkoff stated that staff can work with the Sheriff to find him another location. It was noted that, at one time, the Board had talked about having all of the dispatching in one building, and the Sheriff would keep his office separate from the dispatch center, but they would still be in one building, and this would free up space in his existing building, but staff had been informed that the Sheriff was not interested in this option. Mr. Minkoff explained that the Sheriff was looking for space for investigations, not communications. He stated that he will proceed to go ahead and dedicate the building on the north side of the street to the courts, and on the south side, they will offer the Sheriff whatever space they have left and work to solve his other problems. It was noted that staff will continue with the dispatch design for building "H" and building "G" will have very minimal changes.
Mr. Anderson referred to item #8 and the request from Growth Management for more space for the Code Enforcement offices and stated that the space currently being occupied by Economic Development will accommodate their needs should that office move to the Hunter Building.
It was noted that there was a consensus of the Board for staff to go ahead with the short term space assignments, as discussed.
RECESS & REASSEMBLY
At 11:53 a.m., it was noted that the Board would recess for lunch.
INFRASTRUCTURE SALES TAX (IST) REVENUE AND PROJECTS
Facilities & Capital Improvements
Mr. Minkoff stated that, at this point, he felt he would have the Board look at the money that is left and have the Board tell him how it should be spent in the budget. He has suggested that, since this is the end of the sales tax money, staff needs to argue today, in front of the Board, for any part of it, as opposed to someone else getting it. He stated that his goal is to have the Board tell him how he should budget these monies next year and for what projects, and as a follow up, he would like Board discussion on what the Board is doing with the sales tax in general after December, 2002. He referred to Page 1 and noted that the Projected Revenue from Oct. 1, 2000 - Dec. 2002 is $29,506,874 and this includes the repayment from the Industrial Park in the amount of $2,387,000. Mr. Minkoff stated that there has been $9,229,024 in projects where the monies have been spent. He clarified that the Board could cancel the first four items and stop now on those projects, but in regards to everything else being shown on Page 1, the monies have been spent.
Commr. Hanson wanted to know whether the money to the Tourist Development Council (TDC) had been removed from the potential funding for the Central Park Fund.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the TDC monies have not been taken from these potential monies and this is the debt for infrastructure that was taken from sales tax.
Mr. Minkoff referred to Page 2, Infrastructure Sales Tax Projects in Progress, and stated that the first four line items are for the architects for the first four projects, with those four projects being listed on Page 3, as follows: records storage facility; fairgrounds/expo renovation; judicial parking lot - additional 99 spaces; and agricultural center renovation. He stated that the $6.9 million are in progress projects, which, when added to the first page, would result in about $16 million, which leaves the Board about $13 million to spend, most of which will have to be budgeted in this next tax year. He further noted that Page 4 reflects Additional Projects for Consideration, and there may be others that the Board will want on this list.
Mr. Minkoff stated that Commr. Hanson had a meeting with all of the Constitutional Officers, and they were interested in a couple items, as noted on Page 3. He stated that the bailiffs and the judges feel that it is important to have the security bollards at the Judicial Center entranceway. The Sheriff believes that Jail Pod E should be built at an updated estimated cost of $7 million, because the County is going to have to stop taking outside prisoners at some point in time, and if they do not have it, they will have to use all of the space designated for Lake County prisoners. He noted that the Board has discussed the Judicial Center expansion, and they know that there is not enough money left in the current sales tax for that expansion. He stated that staff is initially planning on budgeting the Sheriff's vehicles out of sales tax next year. He noted that the $892,296 for the voting machines is the amount of local money that is needed for the purchase, and the actual cost is greater because they did get State money as well.
Discussion occurred regarding the Orange County prisoners, with Mr. Anderson noting that there are weeks when the County has in excess of 900 beds filled and that is near the maximum capacity for the jail. In talking to Major Gary Borders last week, it does not look like there is going to be any relief from Orange County for the next three or four years, even with the addition to their facility, so Orange County has implied to the Sheriff that they will keep inmates in Lake County as long as the Sheriff will have them.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Board needs to determine whether it is more cost effective for Lake County to bring prisoners in from Orange County versus building the jail pod.
Through further discussion, it was noted that there are approximately 130 to 150 Orange County prisoners in the Lake County jail at this time, and the revenue received from Orange County is about $1.2 million, with expenses being less than $300,000.
Commr. Pool wondered whether, as the County grows, there will be a need for Jail Pod E, if the County phases out the Orange County prisoners. He questioned whether staff has any trend guidelines to help the Board make a decision as far as needs.
Mr. Anderson explained that staff has brought statistical information to the Board that included population and court case numbers and, with the exception of the federal inmates and the Orange County inmates, the County is ahead of the curve, as far as County inmates, and within the next five years or so, Lake County will be maxed out with its own prisoners. In regards to the Jail Pod modifications to Prelude, in the amount of $268,339, Mr. Anderson explained that this was a request that was made before the County ever got the inmates from Orange County, and at that particular time, the jail had indicated that they would like to convert Prelude from direct supervision to indirect supervision and that changed the whole management philosophy of that Pod. He stated that he does not see them ever going back to this idea.
Mr. Minkoff addressed the question about Article V and stated that the Sheriff believes that, in the near future, the State is going to require the County to house juveniles, but, in his last discussion with the Sheriff, when the County built Pod E, the Sheriff was thinking that one floor would be built for juveniles.
At 12:45 p.m., it was noted that Commr. Cadwell left the meeting.
INFRASTRUCTURE SALES TAX (IST) REVENUE AND PROJECTS
Discussion occurred regarding the property in the Astor area, with Mr. Minkoff explaining that the Powell property and the Otis Lee property could be purchased with Race Track monies, because they would fit that same purpose of creating park lands. He noted that the properties are across the street from the boat ramp north of the existing parking lot, and they have been appraised, and staff is in the process of negotiating and making an offer on them.
Mr. Anderson stated that both owners are receptive to an appraised value. He stated that staff would have to work with the engineers, because all of that property is reclaimed wetlands.
Mr. Anderson addressed the three libraries noted on Page 2 and stated that the two libraries in Astor and Paisley (the modular buildings) are in manufacturing right now, so those are committed funds, and there was one that was intended to go at a site to be selected in central Lake County (possibly Treadway), but it has been canceled.
At 12:50 p.m., it was noted that Commr. Cadwell returned to the meeting.
INFRASTRUCTURE SALES TAX (IST) REVENUE AND PROJECTS
Mr. Minkoff stated that, when he met with the Constitutional Officers, one thing they all agreed upon was that the County should purchase 20 to 40 acres in South Lake County very close to the intersection that had been selected earlier at Hartwood Marsh and Hancock Road, and they all indicated that they would be interested in opening up an office at the same place to serve its residents. Mr. Minkoff explained that staff met with the Jahnas, owners of the property, and they asked staff not to appraise their property, because they were in the process of accepting an offer, but they indicated that, if that deal fell through, they would get back with staff.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works, stated that, in regards to Hartwood Marsh, staff is trying to get money from the State to four-lane that facility into Orange County.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that staff talk to Volusia County, because they have some service areas that are completely separate and others that they keep together.
Mr. Minkoff explained that staff met with the judge, and he felt that the criminal courts area would be very difficult to house in another location, because of the prisoners and transport issues, and it would be even more expensive for the civil courts to be in another location, but they would not be opposed to looking at it, if the County felt it would be in the best interest of the County and its residents.
Discussion occurred regarding the amount of acreage that the Board wanted to look at in South Lake County, with some Commissioners feeling that, instead of 30 acres, maybe 40 to 60 acres would be better, for long term benefits. Commr. Pool reminded staff that part of the Jahna property, about 50 acres, was to be utilized for a park.
Mr. Stivender stated that staff has been talking to the School Board about a joint use facility in South Lake County for parking buses and perhaps a maintenance facility.
Mr. Minkoff stated that the property being discussed in South Lake County was about $18,000 an acre, and it is probably about $25,000 an acre, since it has been sold again, so if the Board is thinking about 80 acres or more, the cost will be in the millions. He did not feel that, for the function being discussed, the Board would need 80 acres. It was noted that the Board had $3 million (Page 3) for the South Lake Annex (site and building), with the estimate being predicated on a 15,000 square foot building, and this did not take into consideration Mr. Stivender's request for a fleet maintenance center/school bus parking area type partnership.
Commr. Hanson stated that she and Mr. Minkoff met with a group from Washington that would work with the County in seeking funds from the federal government for projects such as the trails, sewer systems (Astor), a central location for social services, and a government services building such as the one the Board discussed earlier in South Lake County. She noted that the cost for this service would be about $5,000 a month.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he had considered something like this at the State level like some of the other counties are doing. He stated that he got some information from Osceola County who is doing this in Washington and in Tallahassee, and the return of dollars is unbelievable when compared to what they would have gotten themselves. He felt that the Board needed to look at pursuing this issue and budget wise he felt that the Board should at least have some money set aside to have this discussion, and to decide during the budget process whether it wants to go in this direction.
Commr. Hanson stated that the person in charge of the Appropriation's Committee in Washington is from Hillsborough County, Mr. Bill Young, and he is going to try and get as many dollars as he can into Florida. She felt that, if the Board did not start leveraging its dollars in a better fashion, their only dollars would be ad valorem, which limits them significantly.
Mr. Minkoff stated that he will distribute a copy of the proposal and staff will make that enhancement to the budget, so the Board can talk about it during the budget process.
Mr. Smith, Senior Director Community Services, referred to the issue of the Citrus Ridge Library, in the amount of $1.2 million, and stated that right now the library is located at a shopping center on Highway 192, and it is 6,500 square feet. He stated that the lease cost is about $75,000 to $78,000 a year. Mr. Smith stated that staff has had a number of discussions with Mr. Jeff Kegan, the developer behind Kegan's Crossing, and he is extremely interested in selling the County some of the property, to locate the permanent library site at the entrance of the development. He stated that it is a great location and is very visible from Highway 27 going both north and south. About six or eight months ago, staff advertised for anyone who would be interested in selling property in that area, but they did not get any response. Staff met again with Mr. Kegan and asked him to give them the cost of a piece of property at that location, and he provided them with some information about the costs. Mr. Smith explained that staff was considering locating a 10,000 square foot library there, and in several years possibly expanding it to a 20,000 square foot library. He stated that the growth in that area is phenomenal, and they definitely need to look at a larger and more permanent facility for the area. The price for 1.19 acres, which was quoted to him by Mr. Kegan, would be $250,000 with the opportunity still being open to negotiation. A larger two acre parcel would be $400,000. He noted that it would be a couple of miles from the Orange County/Polk County line, and it would still be considered in the four corners. Mr. Smith stated that he and Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Services Director, looked at the cost for construction of a library, and it would be $150 a square foot; a 10,000 square foot building would be $1.5 million; a 20,000 square foot building would be $3 million. He stated that the County could apply for a $500,000 State grant that would go towards construction, which would reduce the cost.
Commr. Pool stated that there would have to be a very good opportunity for partnerships in that area with Osceola County, Orange County and Polk County, before he would want to invest in such a venture, because those costs need to be shared, and they do not need to duplicate services. He questioned whether staff had gotten anything from those counties, in terms of a dollar figure, or commitment.
Mr. Smith stated that staff has moved forward with interlocal library agreements with Polk County and Osceola County, and they have one in place currently with Orange County where their patrons use the library in Lake County, and they are not charged the cost of a library card. He stated that, if they can build the facility, one of the things that the other counties most likely would be willing to share in would be the operational cost on an annual basis. He did not know if the other counties would allocate dollars for capital or fixed assets.
Commr. Hanson stated that staff needs to be looking at what the other counties are going to be bringing to the table, in the way of capital, to provide for the services in the area. She stated that a study is going to be done to look at services and who is going to be providing them, and it will be brought back to the Board.
Mr. Minkoff stated that there are going to be 20,000 people in that area in a very short period of time. There are 7,000 to 8,000 in Tavares, and they have a 15,000 square foot library, so a 10,000 square foot library is not a regional library that is going to serve those four counties, or serve 100,000 people. He stated that the question of the other counties contributing and whether Lake County needs a library are separate issues. Mr. Minkoff explained that the Library Team's recommendation that came to the Board was based upon there being only one library in Lake County as the Lake County Library System, and the best model seemed to have only one library system in the County, and he does not know whether the incorporation of the counties would make a lot of difference.
Commr. Hanson stated that she was concerned that Lake County will continue to provide more and more services to areas that are not incorporated, to significant numbers of people, and they need to ask themselves how much they are willing to provide and still be incorporated.
Commr. Pool stated that the numbers are staggering, because by the year 2004, they anticipate almost 200,000 people in that four corners area. He still feels that there are some possible partnerships and a regional approach to providing those services without duplicating services, wherever they build the facilities and opportunities to share some of the other expenses to run them and/or build them.
Mr. Smith explained that he is requesting the sales tax money to buy the land for the Citrus Ridge Library.
Mr. Anderson noted that the County needs to get a couple of appraisals on the noted property, because a developer is going to look at it with an emphasis on commercial potential, and the County looks at it from a real cost.
Mr. Smith noted that the released price on the Kegan property is about $100,000 for the 1.19 acres, but he added in the cost of putting in the infrastructure for the retention and the drainage. It was noted by staff that the Kegans also have some requirement for a minimum amount of community area. He stated that he would like to get back with Mr. Kegan and let him know the direction of the Board.
Commr. Pool stated that he was having a hard time understanding the proposed price for the acreage, even though he realizes that the prices have certainly escalated in that area, and he also realizes that, if they do not purchase some land now, they may be looking back and asking themselves why they did not buy some at this opportune time. He stated that an appraised value will help them understand where they are today, but as the area continues to develop and grow, these properties are going to become more and more expensive, and it is unfortunate that they did not lock onto something earlier, but he did wish that there were properties further off of the highway, so that the County could put less money into the property and more into the library.
Discussion occurred regarding the library that is in place today in this area, with staff noting that it has a three year lease with two years renewable.
Mr. Minkoff referred to the property being discussed and stated that the owners will provide all of the storm water utilities, so it is actually 1.1 acres of useable land, as opposed to having to do retention and such.
Discussion occurred regarding the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) on the Kegan property, with the Board indicating that the planning staff needs to review the requirements of this DRI for this particular development.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the issue is not so much this piece of property, but a new library in this area, because it may be in another location, and Mr. Smith is wanting to use some of the sales tax money to build a new library in the Citrus Ridge area, and he is by no means proposing that the Board buy this property today.
Commr. Pool stated that obviously schools will have to be built in this area and, as the school sites are purchased, this will be an opportunity for the Board to allocate and build the library to help benefit the schools in a similar location.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, in the years that the Board has been working with the school system to try to get these joint facilities, the issue of libraries has always presented a problem, because recreational facilities can be open after hours where libraries are generally open during the day, and there is also the issue of security.
Commr. Pool suggested that Mr. Smith ask the School Board if they have any proposed sites, or opportunities, to buy in this particular area. He stated that it would be his recommendation not to exclude the site being discussed today for the location of the library.
Mr. Anderson referred to Page 2, Infrastructure Sales Tax Projects in Progress, and noted that the $298,728 for the Central Lake Library modular building and site prep is not going to be used, so that item needs to be removed from the list, however, if they were to go forward and do the renovation for the library at Treadway, as well as the gymnasium, they could reassign that money. He stated that the County will also have to tie utilities into the Treadway property, which would amount to $500,000 for the Treadway renovation and $300,000 for the utilities.
Discussion occurred regarding Page 3, Other Projects Previously Considered, with the Board indicating that they should move ahead with the fairgrounds/expo renovation and the records storage facility.
Mr. Minkoff explained the proposed parking at the Judicial Center (99 spaces) and stated that the existing retention pond would become parking, and the retention pond will be moved to Old Highway 441 along the side of the road.
Mr. Anderson explained that, under the two conceptual plans that staff showed the Board, even with structured parking, and the two versions of expansion, neither one encroached into that triangular area. He stated that, even if the County was to acquire the school property across Old Highway 441, there would still be some need for some surface parking. It was noted that staff has informally talked to the City of Tavares, but staff will have to go through site plan approval. Mr. Anderson noted that staff will be requesting the same consideration for this parking as they did for the overall site parking for the Criminal Justice Facility.
Discussion occurred regarding the document imaging system, in the amount of $632,000 and Mr. Minkoff noted that the Board is having a presentation at next week's Board meeting from the CAP Team. They are recommending this as a startup program in Public Works, Facilities and Capital Improvements, and the County Attorney, County Manager, and the Board Offices. Mr. Minkoff explained the process and noted that the goal is to go to a total electronic record keeping system, which is similar to what the courts are moving to now. In regards to the need for the records storage facility, Mr. Minkoff explained that the document imaging system will be a pilot program that is only going to last a year, and to get the whole County on it would take several years and several million dollars.
In regards to the First Union building, Mr. Minkoff stated that the Board has a commitment from the Clerk that, for several years, he will give them at least $300,000 in excess fees. It was noted that the Clerk's budget that he submitted does not have it for next year.
Mr. Anderson discussed the Emergency Ops Center (EOC) (new facility), which is to be located in Leesburg, and stated that the Sheriff refuses to participate in this relocated facility, so he questioned the need for it. He explained that the training room in the Administration Building is set up as the EOC. It was noted that this item came forward as a request from the Emergency Management Department, with little explanation being given for the need.
Mr. Stivender referred to Page 4 and noted that the amount of $5 million has been designated for roads. He stated that Page 5 reflects the Ready-To-Bid Road Construction Projects. He stated that the last time staff met with the Board there was $380 million worth of roads to address over the next 20 years. He stated that today staff was asking for $5.8 million over the next few months to start and complete the list of projects, as noted, by January 1, 2002. He explained that the County does not have gas tax money to pay for these projects, and they are collector type roads that are in dire need of repair, and there are not enough impact fees in these particular areas to move forward with them. At this time, he reviewed the projects with the Board.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, if the voters decide to continue to utilize the penny for infrastructure projects, the Board should take a portion of the County's share and put it toward transportation to show the Board's intent. He feels the Board should address the high priority projects and spend between $1 million and $1.5 million on road projects now.
Mr. Stivender stated that the special assessment projects that are ready to go are covered in the CTT funds in the existing budget.
Discussion occurred regarding the projects on the list, with Mr. Minkoff noting that the consensus of the Board is to have staff prioritize the projects, and to set aside $2 million for these projects.
Mr. Anderson stated that he did not have the new fairgrounds and community center on the list, and it has been on the CIP list for almost five years, and staff was looking at proceeding with the design for it at Lake Idamere. He noted that this project would be about $2 million.
Commr. Hanson felt that this would be an item that the Board should put on hold depending on the sales tax.
Mr. Anderson stated that there has been some concern about the site, because of highway construction, the bypass, and development in this area, and the Board may want to do an economic study to see if it is still feasible for this particular site, and if it is not, then staff will look elsewhere, or the Board may want to reconsider it all together.
Mr. Anderson addressed the agricultural center renovation, in the amount of $701,722 and stated that this is a project that is supported by the community, and it will probably continue to strive where it is today. The Board directed staff to continue with the design of the project.
Ms. LaMarche explained that she had put in a $2 million Contingency on Page 4 and stated that staff is constantly faced with overruns and project costs, or special projects that are not even on this list.
Commr. Hanson stated that the Board needs to look at this list and determine which ones might be appropriate for federal or state matching dollars.
At this time, the staff requested a recap of the items that the Board wants on the list, to be applied to the $13 million. The items were reviewed and noted as follows:
Records Storage facility Hold
Fairgrounds/Expo renovation $685,420
Judicial parking lot - add'l 99 spaces $281,196
Agricultural Center renovation Hold
Jail Pod modifications to Prelude Delete
Security bollards - JC entranceway $75,000
Building G Delete
Building H, Comm. Center $625,000
Document Imaging system Hold
Citrus Ridge Library (site & bldg.) $1,200,000
Jail Pod E Hold
Master Plan, countywide Hold
JC expansion & parking, A/E only Hold
South Lake Annex (site & bldg) $3,000,000
Powell property (Astor) $250,000
Otis Lee property (Astor) $350,000
Develop Powell & O. Lee properties $500,000
Emergency Ops Center (New facility) Delete
Emergency Mgmt. Office Delete
Rails to Trails projects Hold
Parks - construction at current park
Regional Parks Hold
Sheriff vehicles FY 2002 $752,000
ADA modifications FY 2002 Delete
Voting Machines $892,296
Central Energy Plant expansion
and equipment Hold
Judicial Center expansion Hold
Judicial Center parking garage Hold
Solid Waste Recycling Facility
and equipment $1,500,000
Pine Lakes drop-off center Delete
Mr. Gilley addressed the Solid Waste Recycling Facility and equipment and stated that they currently have about $200,000 budgeted. They had architects look at it, and they have looked at others around the State, and they actually need about $1,500,000 for the equipment and the building (20,000 square feet), to be successful at diverting as much as they can from Ogden. He noted that, if they can get another 12,000 tons out of the waste stream, they can save $500,000 that they will not have to pay Ogden.
Mr. Minkoff addressed the Judicial Center items and stated that there is no way to expand the Judicial Center, because they do not have the funds.
Commr. Pool stated that, if the Judicial Center has reached its capacity, and the new one cent sales tax is to be renewed, maybe some of those funds should be utilized for the expansion, or perhaps the Board is going to try to use ad valorem and/or sales tax.
Mr. Minkoff stated that there may be a lot of less expensive ways to address the issue at the Judicial Center than to just make the building much bigger. He felt that more studies could be done, and these numbers today probably will not be necessary, in the next ten to 15 years, if they take the appropriate steps, but he was sure it will mean relocating Public Works. He stated that they made great strides this year by creating the four judicial suites and moving the law library across the street, and the parking that was added, and they have done a lot to handle their immediate needs, and Mr. Anderson is continually looking at the future.
Mr. Anderson stated that he really needs some help on a master plan where they can look at some of the other options, because staff recognizes that they are not taking full advantage of the property that they have today, and they may have to look at property that they do not own, to have a more centrally located parking garage.
Mr. Minkoff stated that a master plan would not be a sales tax type item, and he felt it would be premature, at this time, to budget this kind of money for this item.
Mr. Minkoff stated that his goal is to give the Board a budget, and to get these projects done next year, and if there are additional monies, or if they are a little over budget, staff will give the Board the choice of other projects. He noted that they may be able to do land purchases with race track money.
Discussion occurred regarding the continuation of the sales tax, and Commr. Cadwell stated that the cities have gotten their capital project lists together and an inventory of what they have spent the money on since the inception of the sales tax. There are some community leaders that are interested in heading a group to promote the tax, and the Board will need some type of resolution from the Board, the School Board, and the League of Cities, as to how they will divide the funding. He hoped that the Board would agree that the cities would get a third, the County would get a third, and the School Board would get a third. He stated that this has been discussed with the Superintendent of Schools and the Chairman of the School Board, and he hoped that the Board could say that this would be what they would like to do, from their standpoint, and get them to act on it, and then have the community leaders take this project to the voters. He stated that the Board would be out of the issue at that point and would only provide information.
Commr. Hanson questioned whether the Board was at the point where it needed to get that motion on the record for the split of the funds.
Commr. Cadwell felt that the Board needed to have the issue on the October-November ballot for a special election this year. He noted that the election could coincide with the cities' elections in November.
It was noted that one penny generates $19 million and right now the County gets two-thirds of those monies and a significant amount of it goes back to pay the debt service.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether the Board was still committed to putting part of the money into transportation for existing roads and new roads, with it being noted that the Board felt it was committed to roads, because of its decision today to allocate $2 million.
It was the consensus of the Board that Mr. Minkoff ask the County Attorney's Office to begin working on the documentation that is necessary for the election in November.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he will contact the School Board to make sure of their position and see whether they want the Board to act first, and then come to them for a resolution saying that they want to participate, and then let the voters decide.
Commr. Hanson noted that Page 7 showed the map of the state and the Penny Sales Tax Levy by County.
Commr. Hill questioned whether it would be plausible financially to put the needs for storm water and transportation together as a sales tax issue rather than as an extra ad valorem tax, as a fairness issue to the citizens. She felt that this would be a good selling point, and a rational point, as far as taxes go.
Mr. Stivender stated that staff is looking at basins, which include commercial property, residential property, industrial property, and roads, and how it all affects the water quality of that basin. He noted that the storm water that staff is looking at is beyond roads. It was noted that impact fees are also being used for new storm water problems when they retrofit a subdivision.
Discussion occurred regarding the new design for the sales tax sign, with it being noted that the Board will cover the cost for the signs and staff will provide the signs for display.
Mr. Minkoff explained that Orange County takes a portion of the Sheriff's budget for the unincorporated area, and they raise the funds through the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU), and the balance of his budget is paid for by the countywide levy. The Sheriff's budget has a General Fund portion and a MSTU portion. He noted that Sheriff Knupp has never been in favor of doing this in the past, but any county has this ability.
Commr. Hanson stated that this may be something that the Board would want to look at for additional dollars, as the county grows, and she asked Mr. Minkoff to provide the Board with information pertaining to this issue.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK