The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Thursday, July 19, 2001, at 6:30 p.m., at Treadway Elementary School, Leesburg, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Debbie Stivender and Jennifer Hill. Others present were: Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Interim County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Administrative Supervisor, Board of County Commissioner's Office; Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Community Services; Wendy Breeden, Library Services Director, Community Services; Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Public Works; Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements; Bob Stevens, Parks and Recreation Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.
Commr. Stivender opened the meeting, at which time she welcomed everyone in attendance and gave a brief overview of how the meeting would be conducted and the reason for the meeting. She then introduced Mr. Fletcher Smith, noting that he would be giving a presentation on the County's Library System and the proposed site for a new branch library for the central Lake County area.
PRESENTATION ON LIBRARIES
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Senior Director, Community Services, addressed those present and discussed why the Gateway Christian School site, located across the street from Treadway Elementary School, in Leesburg, was picked as the site for a new branch library for the central Lake County area. He reviewed the history of the Lake County Library System, noting that it was established in 1982, however, was revitalized after some state rules were changed and, in 1992, the County began developing the Cooperative Library System, at which time he discussed how said system works. He stated that, in 1999, the Board of County Commissioners organized a library team and authorized them to decide the best way to provide library services in the County. He stated that one of the issues that was looked at was the burden that the city member libraries shouldered, by providing services to those people who live in the unincorporated areas of the County. He stated that the County needed to find a way to provide services to said areas; therefore, staff went to the Board of County Commissioners with a plan, which was to put branch libraries in those areas. He stated that the County currently has six member libraries, from the northern part of the County to Clermont. He stated that the plan included putting in six branch libraries and, after looking at a number of sites, the team decided to utilize the Gateway Christian School site for the branch library to be located in the central Lake County area.
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Library Services Director, addressed those present and discussed what services the Lake County Library System provides and what is planned for the Leesburg area. She stated that the County has a strong library system with its member and branch libraries, noting that their strength lies in their ability to share resources and, at the same time, provide localized services and programming. She stated that one of the biggest things is the shared catalogue, noting that there are no longer card catalogues - everything is now on the computer. She stated that the County also has a courier service, which will deliver material to any library that is convenient to the citizen requesting it, as well as a Books-by-Mail service, which will deliver requested material to one's home and the County will pay the postage to and from said home. She stated that an individual can make a personal request, or conduct a search of their own from their own computer at home.
Ms. Breeden stated that the Lake County Library System is currently lining up its Summer Reading Program and noted that they have inter-library loans, where they will request materials from all over the world, for citizens to utilize. She stated that the County also has reciprocal borrowing with the Orange County Library System, noting that, if an individual has a Lake County library card, that individual can obtain a one year library card from the Orange County Library System and use their resources. She stated that the County is currently in the process of setting up agreements with the Volusia, Osceola, and Polk County Library Systems to have reciprocal borrowing with them, as well. She stated that the Library System provides a reference service, which utilizes books, on-line data bases, and 57 newspapers from around the country. She stated that the Gateway Christian School is a 5,000 square foot classroom building that is going to be retrofitted for the library and will have a community room, a children's area, and, hopefully, in the future, a computer training lab, where the general public can come in for computer training and learn how to search the Internet.
PRESENTATION ON COUNTY FACILITIES
Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements, addressed those present, stating that he served on the library team, which made a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners to develop six libraries - three of which were developed last year and three of which are under development this year. He stated that there will be a new library in the Astor area, the Paisley area, and one in a site that has yet to be determined. He
discussed how staff came up with the site in question and what potential the building has. He stated that one of its potentials is that of active recreation, which he elaborated on.
Mr. Bob Stevens, Parks and Recreation Director, Facilities and Capital Improvements, addressed those present and discussed the potential for the Gateway Christian School site. He noted that an official name has yet to be chosen for said site. He stated that some pamphlets had been provided for those present, for their perusal, where County staff listed every type of recreational activity they felt would be suitable for said site - both indoor and outdoor. He stated that the gymnasium lends itself for basketball, volleyball, soccer, and other league type games, as well as the opportunity to hold dances and instructional programs, such as arts and crafts, computer training, etc. He stated that the County may even be able to rent the facility at off times, where it can be used by the public for weddings, banquets, etc. He stated that one of the purposes of this meeting is to determine what the interest of the community might be for said facility, should the County be able to acquire it.
At this time, various residents in the area addressed the Board, noting concerns they had about the County utilizing the site in question, such as that of vandalism, noise, additional traffic, and whether there was a time line involved with the proposed project.
It was noted that the County hopes to have the proposed library in place sometime between January and March of 2002.
Mr. Stevens briefly discussed the proposed Twin Lakes Recreational Park, located on CR 473, and what the County plans to do, with regard to it.
PRESENTATION ON ROADS
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Senior Director, Public Works, addressed those present and referred to a handout that his staff had prepared, which contained road projects that the County has recently completed; projects under construction; projects that are proposed for the near future; and projects that are pending, which he reviewed, elaborating on several of the projects.
He noted that Hwy. 441 is going to be six-laned and under construction for the next 10 years, from CR 42, in Marion County, to Apopka.
Mr. Stivender then answered questions from various residents in the area about concerns they had, with regard to increased traffic generated from the proposed facility; whether a traffic light could be installed at the corner of Treadway Road, as well as a right turn lane; the need for a crossing guard; the issue of staffing the new facility and whether there would be a duplication of services, with Lake Sumter Community College being located so close by and offering some of the same services that are being proposed for the new facility; a concern that people will be
bused in from other communities, if the facility becomes a not-for-profit one, as was suggested by one of the residents; whether the facility would be a regional facility; and the fact that the lighting of the grounds, as proposed, will be a nuisance to the neighboring residents.
Discussion occurred regarding the pros and cons of having activities such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball at the new facility, at which time various residents addressed the Board indicating how they felt about the matter.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
________________________________ CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK