The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 14, 2001, 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: 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/Interim County Manager; Valerie Fuchs, Assistant County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner's Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
Worksession: Platting in the Rural Land Use
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Interim County Manager, informed the Board that the worksession on platting in the rural land use had been pulled from the agenda.
Worksession: Transportation Disadvantaged Program Update
Mr. Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works, addressed the Board and stated that approximately 18 to 24 months ago, staff had a couple of workshops concerning Transportation Disadvantaged to discuss whether the County should be the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC), which the Board is today. He noted that the following staff members helped put together the information being presented today: Ms. Kathy McDonald, Administrative Services Manager; Mr. Noble Olasimbo, Engineer IV, AICP; Mr. Fred Schneider, Engineering Director; Ms. Amy Bradford, Administrative Office Associate; Ms. Treeva Wall, Office Associate. Mr. Stivender stated that about three months ago this item was delegated to Ms. Peggy Dionne, Special Services Director, and Mr. Ken Harley, who will be the Public Transportation Manager and will be coordinating transportation for the disadvantaged.
Ms. Peggy Dionne stated that she would be giving the Board an update on the Transportation Disadvantaged program noting that they have made quite a bit of progress with the program. She wanted to talk to the Board about some of their successes and some of the challenges they are facing. Ms. Dionne updated the Board with a slide presentation noting that the definition of Transportation Disadvantaged is based upon Section 411.202, Florida Statutes. Ms. Dionne stated that they are trying to provide a quality transportation service to the citizens of Lake County. At this time, she reviewed their organizational chart and welcomed Mr. Ken Harley, Public Transportation Manager, and noted that he has joined them from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
Ms. Dionne addressed the slide showing the Demographics Compared to State and noted that she wanted to highlight two specific areas, the percentage of elders in Lake County, which is 26.4%, with the State level being 17.6%; and residents below the poverty line in Lake County, which is 12.8%, with the State level being 14.4%. She reviewed the Current Program Status noting that the County, as the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC), has hired an operator to run the program for them and that is LifeStream, and within their program, they have four subcontractors. Ms. Dionne stated that presently, at the request of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), they are considering an alternate provider contract for Homebound Helpers to meet the needs of the developmentally disabled population that previously exists outside of their CTC system.
Ms. Dionne addressed the Ridership data for the four different programs since January noting the following: Transportation Disadvantaged - 19,596; 5311 (Door to Door) - 4,339; Mid Florida (meal site) - 10,410; and McCoy (adult day care) - 281. She noted that she did not have any comparative statistics, because they are relatively new in the program. She reviewed the current Transportation Disadvantaged Operations noting the trips per day (1,267); office hours; service hours; 24-hour emergency line; and service window. Ms. Dionne noted that the Board had been presented with a marketing brochure that outlines what they have available in public transportation.
Ms. Dionne addressed Page 5 of the handout material showing the Current Funding Sources for Public Transportation in Lake County noting that it shows what is currently in the budget for this program, $402,174 and noted that FY 00/01 reflects only nine months.
Ms. Dionne stated that their Current Issues, as listed, actually drove the decision for the Board of County Commissioners to become the CTC, and they are still working through those areas. In regards to bus ownership, LifeStream was the CTC and the buses were titled to LifeStream and to FDOT, and now that the Board is the CTC, they need to transition those buses to the Board and FDOT. In regards to ridership, one of their goals was to be responsive to their ridership, and to get to the bottom of the complaints, and Ms. Dionne explained the process being used to do this. The other side to the ridership ties into the advertising, which is trying to increase their ridership and get the word out that this program does exist. The next area is invoicing/information and the challenge of getting a single correct invoice with backup material that matches. She stated that their long term project is dealing with reputation and standards, and they are trying to make this a service that people want to use and a quality service for the citizens that are using it. At this time, Ms. Dionne was available to answer questions of the Board.
Ms. Dionne stated that currently their only relationship in this program is with LifeStream and that contract is scheduled to end on November 30, 2001. At this point, they are still gathering data, so their plan, unless they get direction to the contrary, is to renew the contract with LifeStream, which she noted was a one year contract with two renewals on it. The renewal will give them the opportunity to see what they are getting from LifeStream, and then possibly go out with a request for proposal (RFP) and look at what is out in the marketplace for them.
Ms. Dionne explained that the Homebound Helpers was an organization that the DCF found to help with their developmentally disabled population, and for a very long time, they did not even know they existed, because they existed outside of their CTC system. They provide a little bit more than transportation for these clients and are more of a support service. At their last local coordinating board meeting, the decision was made to take a look at Homebound Helpers as an alternative provider to serve just this population.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether there has been any more discussion with Lynx in regards to tying them into the County system, since there seems to be particular road improvements into Orange and/or Seminole County, because they need to be sure to keep that door open for at least some mass transit discussion.
Mr. Stivender stated that, as part of the planning, development and engineering (PD&E) process, he has brought up on several occasions the issue of having a bus service in specific areas, while the County is involved in the six-lane process, and to maybe use that as a stepping stone into a full time service. He also wants to discuss the Highway 441 corridor when they go beyond the Tavares area, because getting to one side of the County to the other may be more difficult on that corridor. Again, he is looking for funding from FDOT for that service and, even though he has had a lot of success, he is still discussing the issue with them.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Lynx connection would be very, very expensive, but staff needs to be at least having these conversations.
Commr. Stivender stated that she went to a Transportation Disadvantaged meeting in Orlando a couple of weeks ago and that was one of the major discussions. She stated that the individual that runs Lynx was present at the meeting and brought up and discussed the fact that they are looking at routes in south Lake County, so it is ongoing.
Mr. Stivender stated that usually the County would end up buying or dedicating two or three buses, and it cost Osceola County about $250,000 to $300,000 for a couple of routes.
Commr. Hanson stated that she attended a meeting in Apopka on the rail from Orlando to Tavares, which was definitely a costly venture and noted that none of them pay for themselves, and over time, they would probably do much better. She stated that her only concern is that it goes on the west side rather than through Mount Dora, which she feels would add a lot of ridership.
Commr. Stivender complimented staff for providing her with a great deal of information on this item.
Commr. Hanson noted that Mr. John Cherry with LifeStream is present today.
Mr. Stivender pointed out that the slide concerning the funding reflects that it is costing more dollars than it has in the last two years, to get involved and participate in the program, and they hope that everything else falls in line associated with the additional funding. It was noted that this is General Fund dollars and no longer County Transportation Trust (CTT) funding.
Worksession: Update on the Implementation of Universal Collection
Mr. Bill Gilley, Solid Waste Director, addressed the Board to present an update on the implementation of universal collection and stated that the first class notices go out today to all of the unincorporated areas. Mr. Gilley stated that staff is trying to finalize their negotiations with the three haulers, which are Town and Country, Florida Recycling and Superior. He stated that they are paying particular interest in Florida Recycling, because they have the toughest area, the northeast area of the County. Mr. Gilley stated that they are meeting with individual homeowner groups about their concerns, and they met with Deer Haven and the hauler on Friday. He stated that the residents in Deer Haven really do not want the trucks running down the streets, so staff has arranged to get them more dumpsters, separate yard waste containers, as well as recycling containers, because as a homeowners group, they maintain their roads. In those cases, staff is trying to work with the individual groups to accommodate their needs with whatever is best for their situation.
Mr. Gilley discussed the public relations (PR) campaign that has been developed for the universal collection noting that $10,000 will be spent for a total media saturation in both newsprint, as well as TV and radio spots, but the key to their campaign is the actual door hangers, which will go out to all of their customers. He noted that they will be paying to have the back side of the hanger printed, which will provide all of the pertinent information regarding the service. He noted that they will be going out the week of September 16, 2001.
Mr. Gilley explained that staff will be coming back to the Board in September, because some of the cities are requesting an extension to their interlocal agreements, until they can complete their negotiations with the haulers. He noted that Umatilla and Howey are currently working with Florida Recycling; and Eustis, Mount Dora, and Fruitland Park are working with Town and Country, to try and evaluate their options, since there will no longer be interlocal agreements between the cities and the County for the service. He noted that staff is currently trying to work with the City of Eustis and possibly allowing them to exist under the current arrangement for the first 90 days of the calendar year, subject to Board approval. Mr. Gilley stated that not having the cities in the program will have a financial impact on the County. As part of the County's negotiations with the haulers, staff is wanting to standardize the commercial rates that are being charged, because the commercial rates are about eight years old. They are also trying to fine tune the mobile home parks that have individual ownership but have dumpster service, because there is quite a bit of difference in money, as far as what they are currently being charged and what they will be paying, although the individual homeowners will be paying it, and not the park itself. Staff has met with the haulers and discussed the roads that are of particular concern and are trying to work with the Sheriff's Department so that if the County provides the material for road repairs, they can use their grader to do the work. He noted that this would involve only the roads that are not County maintained.
Mr. Gilley showed the Board a map depicting the unincorporated area of the County and explained that the Villages currently have a different level of service, because they participate in recycling, but they will now be charged for the service on their tax bill. He did note that some individuals who have provisions with the Villages, where the Villages are to pay for their garbage service, will receive a rebate, until such time they sell their lot.
Mr. Gilley stated that staff has ordered 25,000 recycling bins that should be in by the end of the month; the PR campaign will begin to kick off beginning in September; and the door hangers will be distributed the week of September 16, 2001.
Commr. Hanson stated that she forwarded to staff a copy of the letter she received from the City of Mount Dora requesting a six month delay in the process.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Interim County Manager, stated that Commr. Hill and staff met with City of Fruitland Park, and they requested a six month extension; Commr. Cadwell and staff met with the City of Eustis and they requested a three month extension; so staff will be bringing these requests back to the Board in September and discussing these issues.
Commr. Hanson stated that, at the meeting last week in Astor, the citizens had requested that staff meet with them prior to October 1, 2001.
After the meeting in Astor, Mr. Minkoff stated that he had suggested to Mr. Gilley that he try and get out in the community as much as possible and bring the haulers with him, so that if there are individual roads they need to discuss, they can discuss them at that time.
Commr. Hanson stated that she feels that Mr. Gilley and staff need to be more aggressive and to seek out individuals and communities rather than waiting for them to call staff.
Commr. Pool stated that he had given information to Mr. Gilley that he had received from part-time residents, those who live here six months and live somewhere else six months, and their argument is the fact that they can stop other services, such as delivery of their paper, the mail, cable TV, electric, and water, and they question why they have to continue the garbage service, when they are not here during those six months. He stated that they are really opposed to having to pay, when other types of services can be stopped.
Discussion occurred regarding the garbage collection, in relation to other types of services, with staff clarifying that the collection service falls into the same type of service as fire and hospital services.
Mr. Gilley noted that the drop off service will continue at no extra cost for those items that are not collected at curbside, and for a second pick up, it will cost an additional four to six dollars a month, which will be paid directly to the hauler. He noted that this will be something that staff will be discussing in their final negotiations. Mr. Gilley addressed the issue of missed pick up service noting that there will be a few weeks in the beginning where the process will be thoroughly reviewed.
The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Mr. Gilley for his successful work on developing the universal system, and for his continued work with the cities.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - DISTRICT #3
Commr. Stivender informed the Board that a Steering Committee will meet today at 4 p.m. in the Board Chambers for discussion on the one cent sales tax campaign. It was noted that the public meeting has been advertised and all Commissioners are welcome to attend.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
Commr. Pool informed the Board that he will be speaking tonight at the Friends of Lake Apopka meeting, at the Tanner Building on Lake Apopka in Winter Garden. He, along with Ms. Theresa Jacobs, will be the guest speakers.
Commr. Pool informed the Board that he will be attending the Citrus Ridge Council meeting tomorrow night, August 15, 2001. He noted that, in regards to the discussion taking place on whether or not they want incorporation or not, he has suggested, as a solution, that they put the issue on the ballot as a non-binding referendum asking the citizens if they want to continue the quest for incorporation or not and to find out the consensus of the public.
Meetings/Roads-County & State/State Agencies
Commr. Pool informed the Board that there will be a Department of Transportation (DOT) public meeting Thursday, August 16, 2001, at Lake-Sumter Community College, South Lake Campus, to discuss the Highway 50 corridor.
Commr. Pool informed the Board that Friday, August 17, 2001, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a ribbon cutting for the National Aquatic Training Center.
Roads-County & State/State Agencies
Commr. Pool addressed the issue of the southern connector, as far as being able to get this issue on the agenda, or at least communicate with the Commissioners about the securement of right-of-way. He would like to bring this item to the forefront as soon as possible, so construction can begin.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Senior Director of Public Works, stated that, about two years ago, the southern connector was the number one project, but last year Hook Street became the number one project. He explained that there has not been a lot of right-of-way secured recently for this issue to move forward, and there were some meetings associated with the Ladd brothers and some property that they had which is where it stands right now, but they are interested in moving forward with it.
Commr. Pool stated that, if the Ladds are willing to participate and willing to help push this project forward and have apparently acquired the right-of-way, he would like to see something brought to the Board, so that they can put this back on the list as the number one priority, after Hook Street is complete.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Interim County Manager, stated that he will review this issue with the right-of-way department and bring a report back to the Board.
Mr. Stivender stated that he did not believe that staff had secured any deeds yet, but there has been some interest in getting everybody working together. He noted that revenue should be available in impact fees, and the developers would pay their share, and the County would pay their share, of the capacity of the total roadway that is built, which is the way that it had been discussed.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - DISTRICT #5
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would like to place on the agenda today discussion of a resolution and other action honoring Mr. Jim Simpson.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved to place on the agenda the request, as noted above.
Commr. Cadwell stated that Mr. Jim Simpson had provided strong leadership with the Lake-Orange Extension Advisory Committee and the Mid-Florida Citrus Foundation in providing $10,000 for computers, for the computer lab at the Ag Center, and these organizations are continuing to raise money to make that computer lab self sufficient. Mr. Simpson was very instrumental in bringing this forward and he would like the Board to have staff prepare a resolution honoring Mr. Simpson and naming the computer lab at the Ag Center in his memory.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution 2001-142 honoring Mr. Jim Simpson, as noted, and naming the computer lab at the Ag Center in his memory.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER POOL - DISTRICT #2
Lawsuits Affecting the County
Commr. Pool stated that, in regards to articles in the paper about the Board appearing before the Governor at some point with regard to Sugarloaf, the residents have asked that the Board carry a letter with them , at some date in the future, of support for their denial of that case, and he recognized that two of the Board members were not at that meeting.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Interim County Manager, stated that staff has scheduled this matter for a closed session discussion with the Board next Tuesday, August 21, 2001, to bring the Board up to date on this issue.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HANSON - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #4
Commr. Hanson stated that she had a very good meeting in Astor last week and staff did a very good job talking about the various issues that would be affecting that area. She stated that there had been concern about moving the fire station to SR 40, but the folks seemed to be satisfied with continuing to move the location of it. She stated that the library would go into Astor Park, and the old fire station, the one that is currently in use, would continue to be an auxiliary type support building for the new fire station.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Interim County Manager, noted that staff has placed on the agenda, for August 21, 2001, the actual location of the library, which will be coming back to the Board for approval. In regard to the museum, Mr. Minkoff explained that he and Commr. Hanson and Mr. Mike Anderson, Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Improvements, met with some of the folks interested in the museum, and one of the sites talked about was the site on the river that the County purchased and where the home exists. One of the difficulties with that site is that the building is not handicapped accessible, and it would be very difficult to make it that way. Staff discussed this with the folks in Astor last week and suggested that they talk about the use of that building. Many ideas have been mentioned including a Sheriff's sub-station, a museum, and others, but the building needs to be put to some kind of use. He has also talked to the Sheriff about using the docks, and he has a boat that he would be willing to put there full time, so staff is looking at this possibility to bring to the Board.
Commr. Hanson noted that, from the comments that she got at the meeting, the people have been real pleased with the changes that the County put into place regarding Silver Glen.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney/Interim County Manager, informed the Board that he is planning on scheduling his evaluation, as County Attorney, for the second Board meeting in September.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 9:48 a.m.
CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK