A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MAY 11, 2004
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a regular session on Tuesday, May 11, 2004, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioner’s Meeting Room, on the second floor of the Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Debbie Stivender, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell; and Robert A. Pool. Commissioners not present: Catherine C. Hanson. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; William “Bill” Neron, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, Board of County Commissioner’s Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Toni M. Riggs, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, informed the Board that there was an Addendum No. 1 to the agenda today, with two consent items and one report item. Mr. Neron stated that staff would also like to reschedule three items on today’s agenda to next week, as follows: (Tab. B. 3.) Trout Lake Nature Center presentation; (VI. A. Tab 5) the discussion item from Mr. Jonathan M. Cherry, President/CEO, LifeStream Behavioral Center; and (VIII. B. Tab 7) the City of Minneola item regarding fire/rescue services, because they asked that the County delay that a week, until after they meet tonight.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Cadwell made a motion, which was seconded by Commr. Pool, to approve the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 4, and Addendum No. 1, I. A. and B.
Under discussion, Commr. Hill addressed Tab 2, the request to hire two additional permitting specialists, and asked for clarification.
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Director of Growth Management, explained that, about three months ago, they added some additional people in the Building Services Division and, at that time, the Board directed staff to bring these types of requests to the Board separately, because funding is already in place. It was noted that the funds would come from the building fees, not from the general budget.
Commr. Stivender called for a vote on the motion, which was carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, to approve the following requests:
Community Services/Annual Funding Agreement/Boys and Girls Clubs
Community Foundation of South Lake County/Stuckey’s Kids
Request from Community Services for approval to amend Annual Funding Agreements with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter Counties and the Community Foundation of South Lake County on Behalf of Stuckey’s Kids and encumber additional funds in the amount of $2,000.00 to the Community Foundation of South Lake County on Behalf of Stuckey’s Kids bringing their total annual funding to $20,000.00 and $1,500.00 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter Counties bringing their total annual funding to $8,956.00.
Request from Growth Management for approval to hire two additional permitting specialists and to approve the budget transfer in the amount of $64,067.00 from reserves to fund the additional positions.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Agreement/Department of Community Affairs
Request from Public Safety for approval and execution of Modification Number 1 to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Agreement between the State of Florida, Department of Community Affairs and Lake County for the revision of the Lake County Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS).
U.S.Forest Service Agreement/Maintain Roads/Ocala National Forest
Request from Public Works for approval to amend the Agreement entered into on July 3, 1990 between the U.S. Forest Service and Lake County to maintain roads within the Ocala National Forest area.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
Joint Participation Agreement/Florida Department of Transportation/Resolutions
Request from Program Analysis & Contract Management for approval of the Joint Participation Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for funding of the service route and supporting Resolution 2004-76.
Settlement Agreement and Release/Gray Materials and Conracting/Road Projects
Request from Public Works for approval and authorization to execute a Settlement Agreement and Release between Lake County and Gray Materials and Contracting, Inc. Regarding CR-25 Widening and Resurfacing Project Number 2002-03, and expending $12,166.67 from the Board Impact Fee Benefit District 3 Fund.
Commr. Stivender recognized Ms. Evelyn Smith, Mayor, City of Eustis.
PUBLIC HEARING - MID-YEAR BUDGET AMENDMENT
Ms. Regina Frazier, Budget Director, addressed the Board to discuss the Mid-Year Budget Amendment. The total adjustment is $37 million; $15 million is the infrastructure line of credit; $20 million is the beginning fund balance adjustments. Ms. Frazier explained that, once the audit is completed by the outside auditor, staff adjusts the beginning fund balances to match what they were at the end of last year. There are also re-budgets and a few minor grant adjustments. She noted that the reserves for the General Fund are at 13.5%.
Commr. Stivender opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and called for public comment. There being none, the public hearing portion of the meeting was closed.
Commr. Hill stated that she understands that the Board has already budgeted quite a few items, which the Board received at the Financial Retreat on Friday, April 23, 2004. She stated that there is a lot in the Mid-Year Budget Amendment that was not discussed at that time, so there are a lot of other items that were not budgeted for the year that are coming forward now.
Ms. Frazier explained that other things that would be in the Mid-Year Budget Amendment would be re-budgets where they might be bringing money back out that they carried forward, or grants adjustments, if the grant came in at a different amount than what they had budgeted.
In response to Commr. Hill’s question about the $1 million budget transfers that were done in February, Ms. Frazier explained that they had already been included in the Mid-Year Budget Amendment. In response to Commr. Hill’s question about whether the Mid-Year Budget Amendment included any of the emergency items that were brought forth, such as the health department mold issue, the Clermont Library, or Transportation Disadvantaged, Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, explained that those items come out of the reserve for contingency account.
Commr. Cadwell explained that these changes, as shown, affect the bottom line, and the others are in-house transfers from one department to another that do not affect the bottom line.
Commr. Hill wanted to know if staff notified any of the constitutional officers about their mid-year budgets because, even though Ms. Frazier has only spoken directly to the Sheriff’s Office, she has gotten one written request from the judicial office and had one short conference with the Tax Collector. She stated that the Tax Collector brought up a lot of factors, and she wanted to make sure that the Board has the whole picture, whenever they go into a budget year. She felt that they were transferring an awful lot of money mid-year, and they have not taken into account some things that might come down for the next budget year.
Mr. Neron stated that staff has already started preparing next year’s proposed budget and, in that budget, they are taking into account these items being discussed. He believes that staff can bring to the Board a balanced budget with all of these things and still maintain a healthy reserve. The proposed budget for next year will fall within the Board policy of a 10% to 12% reserve for contingency. He stated that the Board has been very conservative over the last couple of years, and they have increased the reserve significantly over that time.
Commr. Hill wanted to know why the Board would not tighten their belt, in anticipation of the legislative session and next year’s budget. In looking at the Mid-Year Budget Amendment, she realizes that it is not reoccurring money, but there are some items on that list, as shown, that are going to be reoccurring, and she wants to make sure that they have factored in all of those, when they go to the six constitutional officers come budget year next time because, as long as she has been on the Board, they have always budgeted two years out.
Mr. Neron stated that he had a brief conversation with Sheriff Fred Cobb yesterday, and he gave him the number he is working with for his upcoming budget, and the number that staff has in the proposed budget is very close to his number. He feels comfortable that staff will bring the Board a balanced budget, with no fee increases, and they will maintain a healthy reserve for the contingency account.
Commr. Hill stated that it is her recommendation and that it is very important that staff contact all of the constitutional officers, because there are a lot of other factors that they need to be aware of other than personnel and staffing.
Mr. Neron explained that $15 million of the amendment reflects the line of credit that the Board has already authorized to borrow for the infrastructure projects.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried by 3-1 vote, the Board approved the Mid-Year Budget Amendment, Resolution 2004-80.
Commr. Hill voted “no”.
Commr. Hill stated that she felt it was a little bit of a heavy mid-year amendment, and they need to be a little more conservative.
Commr. Stivender recognized Ms. Elaine Renick, City Council Member, City of Clermont, and Ms. Dottie Keedy, City Administrator, City of Tavares.
TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (TMDL’S) BY VIVIAN GARFEIN,
DISTRICT SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
Ms. Vivian Garfein, District Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, stated that, before she started her presentation on Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), she wanted to alert the Board to something that has happened in Lake County this past week, with regard to air quality. Ms. Garfein stated that last Thursday and Friday, the County had two ozone exceedences. On Thursday, May 6, 2004, the County had 89 parts per billion of ozone; and on Friday, May 7, 2004, 87 parts per billion of ozone; the standard is 85. She noted that this was the monitor at Lost Lake Elementary School, SR 50 and Highway 27, and it was a three year average. The County attained for the years 2001, 2002, 2003, an average of 75 parts per billion. Historically, May is a peak month where they do experience some of these exceedences, but she wanted the Board to be aware of it. She explained that ozone is produced from volatile organic compounds (VOCs); nitrogen oxide (NOX) combined with sunlight. She stated that VOCs come from emissions from industry and cars, and NOX comes from emissions from cars and power plants. She suspects that, given the location of the monitor and the times of day, it may be a large amount of car emissions. It was noted that Osceola County or Orange County did not experience these. Ms. Garfein stated that it was nothing to be alarmed about and hopefully it is just the pattern of May, and this is Clean Air Month.
Ms. Garfein addressed today’s presentation regarding Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) and provided the Board with a copy of her power point. She stated that the TMDL establishes the maximum amount of pollutant that a water body can assimilate without exceeding water quality standards. She expounded on the following:
Origin in the Clean Water Act (CWA)
•Section 305b requires states to monitor surface waters to determine whether their designated use is being maintained.
•Surface water criteria (numeric and narrative) in Chapter 62-302 were the primary tool used to determine whether impairment of the designated use is occurring.
•Waters were classified as good, fair, or poor water quality.
Section 303d of the CWA requires states to list waters that are determined to be impaired and develop and implement TMDLs for the parameters that do not meet water quality standards - 303dlist.
EPA was sued by EarthJustice in Florida in April 1998 and settled with a detailed schedule for TMDL development
The Consent Decree contains the schedule for TMDL development - 13 years.
Based primarily on DEP watershed management approach but with EPA as back-up.
If DEP cannot meet the schedule, EPA has an additional 9 months to propose a TMDL.
Many due by 12/02 - divided the workload
State of Florida Authority -
•1999 Watershed Restoration Act (found in 403.067 Florida Statutes)
•Directed FDEP to establish a rule for determining impairment of surface waters - FAC 62-303 - Impaired Waters Rule
•List of impaired waters to be adopted by Secretary with public input
•Actual TMDLs adopted by FAC Chapter 62-304 - 62-304.500 for the Central District
Ms. Garfein explained that the State is divided into six regulatory districts, and this is the Central District and, within each district, there are five basins. Before she reviewed the following, Ms. Garfein stated that Mr. Allan Hewitt, Water Resource Director, and Lake County staff do a wonderful job of entering data, collecting data, and entering it into comment, and they rely a lot upon this data.
• Phase 1 - Preliminary Assessment
• Phase 2 - Targeted Monitoring
• Phase 3 - TMDL Development and Adoption
• Phase 4 - Develop Basin Management Action Plan
• Phase 5 - TMDL Implementation
Ms. Garfein informed the Board that Lake Apopka is being cleaned up and that is having a positive impact on the downstream lakes here in the County, but it is under the control and management of the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). In looking at the charts in the power point, she pointed out that phosphorus is really the pollutant that they are concerned about in almost all of these lakes.
Ms. Garfein briefly reviewed the Allocation Process, Steps 1-3, and the Appendix, the three sheets noted as DEP Drafts, for Lake Beauclair and Trout Lake, which were examples of the work they have been doing with Lake County staff, Mr. Hewitt, Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager/Director of Growth Management, Mr. David Hansen, Engineer, Public Works, Ms. Blanche Hardy, Environmental Services Director, and Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works. She noted that these individuals have been participating in meetings for over two years at a staff level. She pointed out a list of Projects Designated to Improve Water Quality in Lake County, Upper Ocklawaha Basin, for Lake County (Total - $1,173,729); Lake County Water Authority (Total - $1,280,853); and the St. Johns River Water Management District (in Lake County); (Totals in Lake County - $70,854,421); and a page showing the Draft Loading Reductions for the Harris Chain of Lakes. She pointed out that they have made their goal, as shown for Lake Eustis, Lake Cora, and Lake Beauclair, in reducing the total of phosphorus. She noted that this is in draft form, and they will be confirming this information.
Ms. Garfein wanted to encourage the Board’s continued support of these various storm water retrofitting projects, and to enlist their aid as they go forward. She stated that they are working on the basin management action plan now. She noted that the Chairman received a letter from Ms. Colleen Castille, their new Secretary, formally requesting that one of the Board members be appointed to sit on a group of elected body officials, so that they can regularly bring them news and enlist their aid, and that there be a number of staff people who will continue to work with them, as they produce this basin management action plan, and the implementation of it. Ms. Garfein stated that they recognize and certainly congratulate all of the municipalities and counties and political entities that have already put a tremendous amount of money into cleaning up stormwater. She stated that they are looking at the elimination of what is existing, and they are going to have to take growth and future growth into consideration as part of the equation, as they go through the next five year cycle. She stated that it really brings all of the entities and governments together to work toward a regional plan, for the well being of their most treasured resources in Central Florida.
Commr. Stivender referred to the page showing the Projects Designated to Improve Water Quality and noted that Lake County is spending the money it collects for stormwater very wisely, and that the Water Authority, and the cities, have also spent money, as shown.
Commr. Pool stated that historically cities, and even county governments, did not think about the stormwater. The key is managing the stormwater and implementing these programs. He explained that, when they have this fee that is attached to the tax dollars, it can either be borrowed or bonded with voter approval and they could take some of these dollars and leverage them and get 10 to 20 basins done, instead of incrementally getting them done over a period of time. The Board may want to think about bonding those dollars to get them done now, not ten years from now, retrofitting the existing plans.
Ms. Garfein stated that septic tanks around water bodies is going to be a concern in the future, and they look forward to continuing their work with Lake County.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board is a partner with St. Johns Utilities now, in their efforts in getting the septic tanks out of Astor.
Commr. Pool stated that this Board is mandating that central water and sewer systems be made available in lieu of septic systems, and most of the major projects that the Board has approved are required to have central sewer systems.
Ms. Garfein stated that the recent legislation on the Wekiva will be a part of the middle basin, and they are not setting TMDLs in the middle basin until this coming year, but they will be moving that schedule up because of the Wekiva and getting on with that rather quickly and that will impact a part of Lake County as well.
Commr. Stivender stated that she had talked with the County Manager, and they would like Mr. David Hansen to be the staff person assigned to the working group, and she would like to be the liaison, if the other Commissioners were in agreement. It was noted that they agreed for her to serve in this capacity.
Through discussion, Ms. Gardein noted that this information will be placed on the County’s web site through Water Resources.
Commr. Pool stated that he would like staff to provide the Board members with the number of cities that have a fee for storm water.
WILDLIFE HABITAT CERTIFICATION BY LUWANA LANIER MILNER,
HABITAT STEWARD, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
Commr. Cadwell stated that he has invited Ms. Luwana Lanier Milner, Habitat Steward, National Wildlife Federation, to come forward and make a presentation to the Board about the wildlife habitat certification. He stated that the cities were also invited to be here today.
Ms. Milner extended her appreciation to Commr. Cadwell for listening to a citizen’s idea, and for inviting her to share that idea with the Board today. As a volunteer, she works with the Lake County Water Authority, and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). As a watershed action volunteer, she has had the opportunity to work with Trout Lake Nature Center where she serves as a volunteer and a docent. She teaches outdoor classes, from K to 12, at the Trout Lake Nature Center. At this time, she presented personal and professional background information about herself noting that she was back in her home town of Eustis. She stated that she has spent many years working in the capacity of education, but now she is pursuing her interest in natural resources.
Ms. Milner stated that, in 2001, she became associated with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and she took advantage of the opportunity of becoming a certified Habitat Steward. She is here to share a program, the NWF Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program. She explained the history of the program noting that, in 1973, the “National Wildlife Magazine” featured an article about how to create a habitat in your backyard, and the response to this article was so great that the NWF created the Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program to teach people how to restore habitat and recognize those efforts. She explained that this program addresses resource conservation where people can create sustainable landscapes that are better for people and wildlife. She reviewed the basic habitat requirements and addressed the certification process noting that she cannot even begin to mention all of the tools and materials that are available.
Ms. Milner addressed school yard habitats, which are outdoor classrooms, and stated that Trout Lake Nature Center is just one example of this type of habitat. She talked about all of the organizations that can create a school yard habitat, and sites that can be used for a habitat. She stated that the environment base education and method of teaching and learning has resulted in an improvement in student behavior, a renewed excitement towards learning, and improvement in student performance on standardized tests, which is being recognized nation wide. A study that was conducted in 1999 showed that 100% of schools using an environment base learning have students with improved behavior, attendance, and attitudes relative to traditional schools, and 77% of the schools had improved standardized test scores, and 73% had improved grade point averages. So she went to the Board of Directors at Trout Lake Nature Center and showed them the packet of tools and curriculum that goes beyond what they are currently using.
Commr. Stivender questioned whether Ms. Milner has gone to the School Board and given this presentation to the Curriculum Specialist, with Ms. Milner noting that she had not gone there yet, but the School Board is on her list and, after speaking to Commr. Cadwell, she said she would begin here with the Board, because she felt that this would be a bigger opportunity to begin getting the information out to others.
Commr. Stivender stated that she did visit the Scrub Jay Trail at the B.B. Brown property where the whole site is set up for the environment, and she wanted everyone to know that Ms. Doris Ragan, who was her teacher in school in Tavares and who lives in town, has an entire yard that is a backyard/full yard habitat with different types of plants that she supplies to the schools, and she would fit into this criteria.
Commr. Hill wanted to know if this program was approved for a college level curriculum, and Ms. Milner noted that there is another course specifically for colleges. Commr. Hill stated that the Lake-Sumter Community College (LSCC) has a nature trail that is in desperate need of redoing and they may be able to incorporate this into their curriculum.
Ms. Milner stated that Trout Lake Nature Center is leading by example, and they have a strong network of partnerships, as noted, and now they have chosen to participate in the NWF Schoolyard Habitat Certification Program, with plans to enhance their existing programs. After they complete the certification, they plan to apply for environmental excellence awards with the NWF Corporate Partners. She noted that Home Depot is a corporate sponsor of the backyard program. She stated that the following are certified wildlife habitats throughout Lake County: Lost Lake Elementary School, Lake Louisa State Park, Greater Groves Neighborhood (Clermont), B B Brown’s Gardens/Florida Scrub Jay Trail, South Lake Hospital/Women’s Health; and many other numerous backyards. Ms. Milner noted that Ms. Elaine Renick, Councilwoman, is certifying her backyard. She explained that there is an Online Habitat Community, for example, http://www.naturescapebroward.com and she wanted to thank Lake Technical Center for helping her today, by allowing her to use their computer lab.
Ms. Milner stated that there are a lot of things going on in the headlines regarding parks, and the County is currently looking at a Master Park Plan. She stated that the parks program could fit under this overall program. Other things being discussed include the new government annex, offices and parks, stormwater runoff, Boundless Playgrounds, Marion Baysinger Memorial Library, and Orlando/Lake Sentinel’s “Reading by Nine” program. Ms. Milner stated that, in State news, lawmakers have been divvying up $3.2 billion for hometown projects, one of which was a $50,000 project for the Maitland Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.
In closing, Ms. Milner stated that this is a win-win model, with benefits to education, environment, economy, health to citizens, national recognition, national funding, grants and awards. She is trying to help Trout Lake Nature Center who has done a fabulous job, and she is here to create that awareness. They need the Board to help them lead by example and help them get the recognition they need and the County take credit for it. She suggested that they adopt a countywide mission and become a nationally recognized program of environmental stewardship and certify Lake County as an official NWF Community Wildlife Habitat, which would be a two to five year plan. She hoped that the program has excited them today, because the time is right. She has included a backyard wildlife certification application in the packet.
Commr. Pool addressed stormwater retention ponds and wanted to make sure that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the County would encourage these, because sometimes they have to maintain them, and it would be great to see these ponds filled with some type of plant life and habitat.
Ms. Milner stated that, as a watershed action volunteer, she attended about a three hour meeting recently at the Lake County Water Authority where they were showing the existing stormwater sites. She stated that, if you could recreate a habitat site and cover the fences with honeysuckle, you would have a hummingbird habitat, and that would be just one step to creating a habitat at these types of ponds. She wanted the Board to know that a lot of these national corporations and partners that offer a lot of money, such as Toyota and Home Depot, have application criteria for grants and awards that is modeled after the certification criteria.
Commr. Stivender wanted to know if Ms. Milner was going to be visiting the different municipalities, or whether she was hoping that this presentation reached them, and they would be calling her, because Ms. Keedy is here today from the City of Tavares, and she has been working on this for years.
Ms. Milner stated that she would love to talk to every city, and she is available to show this presentation to anybody. She would appreciate the Board advising her accordingly because she counts on them to help her and, in working together, they will be able to pursue funding very quickly.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he was going to suggest, after the presentation today, that the Board have the County Manager look into where this idea would fit into the County’s overall plans. He stated that he has been on the Broward County’s web site, and he has contacted the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) about having Broward County do a presentation at the conference this summer. They have a couple of opportunities to look at here locally, one is with Trout Lake who has an employee that is partially funded by the Water Authority. He stated that there may be some way, as opposed to the County, to do this in cooperation with Trout Lake, or somebody, to research it and see whether it needs to fit into the County’s parks, or whether it needs to fit into some organization that is already doing it, and the County will partner with them.
Commr. Stivender stated that it does need to be a part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, which is being revised.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board needs to adopt the program, and they need to determine where it will fit into the scope of plans for the County.
Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, stated that he would like to put together a team made up of key staff members to discuss this program, to see where it might fit and enhance it and come back to the Board in a few weeks with a report.
Ms. Milner stated that, in the package, she gave the Board guidelines and instructions for starting the community wildlife habitat program, with Step 1 being to create a habitat team, which is made up of a variety of representatives from all over the County.
Commr. Cadwell noted that, by consensus, the Board agreed to move forward with the information.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
PARKS AND RECREATION
Mr. Travis Whigham addressed the Board to discuss parks and recreation. Mr. Whigham stated that he is against the Board purchasing 100 acres on CR 450 for a regional park, which is currently an orange grove, because they are not purchasing land to preserve the natural habitat or anything else, and because of the fact that very few people are going to be able to use this park, because most people in Lake County do not have transportation to get there. If the Board looks at the 2000 census, the areas that need to be covered through parks and recreation, and other things like flood water management, would include Forest Hills, Lake Kathryn and others. There is a new park in Pine Lakes that has a children count of 227 and, if you visit that park at almost any time, you will find that there are very few, if any, people there. There is a soccer field that no one has used and basketballs courts that are rarely used. You will find the same thing in Paisley, which has a children count of 179, and that park also has many amenities that are not used. In the Forest Hills/Lake Mack area, the census shows a children count of 265, and it is a small park on about a half acre with very limited amenities. He stated that this is an area where they could expand and bring in park activities, by purchasing a piece of property nearby. Mr. Whigham stated that, where there is equipment already available for activities, the parks are not being used because there are no adults joining together to form youth organizations, or youth groups to get kids interested in them. He stated that Paisley has two community centers, yet Forest Hills has none. He pointed out that the fire station, and the parks in Forest Hills, were not purchased with County funds; these places were donated. He stated that these are areas that need attention. If the County is going to spend money to buy 100 acres, he suggested that the County communities would be better served if the Board purchased smaller acres of property, about 25 acres, throughout the County, where children will benefit from them, and set up 10 or 15 parks that will be closer to the location of population where the kids can get to them.
Commr. Stivender stated that the Board addressed all of these concerns during the Master Park Plan presentation, and they came up with specific sites, and they showed different little community parks in the areas pointed out by Mr. Whigham, and a regional park. Commr. Stivender suggested that he get a copy of the Master Park Plan, so that he can see that all of the areas he mentioned are being considered in the overall plan for the County.
Commr. Cadwell stated that, even though Mr. Whigham has said he did not attend the meeting when the parks presentation was made to the Board, for about a year now, there have been meetings throughout the community. He stated that Mr. Whigham needs to express what he wants for his community, and then the Board will go from there.
Mr. Whigham stated that Lake Kathryn does not have a park at all, and these children have no way to go to and from these parks, unless they are located only two or three miles from their home. He is afraid that, if the Board puts all of that money into a big park right away without doing the others first, they will have an empty playground there.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not feel that this was going to happen because there are 250 kids that did not have a place to play soccer this year within a mile of that place, and there are 10% city residents, and 90% county residents.
Mr. Whigham pointed out that the regional park is going to be right between Umatilla and Paisley.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he had left a message to set up a community meeting, but he asked that Mr. Whigham disregard that message, and he will talk to him later about how they are going to handle that area. He stated that every place that Mr. Whigham mentioned has a community group that came forward to the County and asked them to help with a program and, to go out and take 50 acres and build a park without that core group, Mr. Whigham is right, nothing is going to happen. Everywhere they have built a park, the community has come forward as a group and asked the Board to help them with it, and that is one thing that is lacking in Mr. Whigham’s community.
Mr. Whigham stated that he would like to see the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) spend some of their funds to help with the flooding problems in their area. Everybody pays the same taxes, but they have never gotten any service from the Water Authority, or the SJRWMD.
APPOINTMENTS/CITIZENS’ COMMISSION FOR CHILDREN
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the appointment of the following individuals to vacant positions on the Lake County Citizens’ Commission for Children:
At-Large - Dr. Mary Anderson (reappointment)
District 1 - Julie Yandell
District 2 - Charles Crane (reappointment)
District 4 - B.E. Thompson (reappointment)
District 5 - Lalenya Robertson (reappointment)
Superintendent of Schools or administrative designee -
Jay Marshall (reappointment)
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HILL - DISTRICT #1
LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL
Commr. Hill noted that the Board will be meeting for the Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony at noon today.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONERS POOL - DISTRICT #2
FLORIDA SCRUB JAY TRAIL
Commr. Pool asked that Cathy and Bruce Brown, Clermont, please stand and come forward and tell people where they are located so they can go and see their Scrub Jay habitat.
Ms. Cathy Brown, Clermont, stated that the Florida Scrub Jay Trail that opened up this past Saturday is located between Clermont and Groveland, and it is open to the public free of charge every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are working with some volunteers now that would be able to act as docents and tour the community through the property and, when those docents are unavailable, there are self guided tours and information available to help people go through the tour.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER HILL - DISTRICT #1
Commr. Hill extended her thanks to staff for working on the County picnic, and to Commr. Cadwell and Mr. Bill Neron, County Manager, for cooking.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - DISTRICT #5
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the execution of the following proclamations:
Proclamation 2004-77 proclaiming May 16 through 22, 2004 as Emergency Medical Services week.
Proclamation 2004-78 proclaiming May 20, 2004 Trauma Awareness Day.
Proclamation 2004-79 proclaiming May 19, 2004 Emergency Medical Services for Children Day.
ADDENDUM NO. 1
DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE/LETTER TO GOVERNOR
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved for the Chairman to get with the County Attorney to send a letter to Governor Bush requesting that he veto the Department of Juvenile Justice cost shifts to local government as an unfunded mandate, which is unconstitutional.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER STIVENDER - CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT #3
CITY OF FRUITLAND PARK/JOINT MEETING
Commr. Stivender addressed the discussion item regarding a joint meeting with the City of Fruitland Park, during the first week of August, in the evening.
Commr. Hill stated that she attended the open house for their new facility, and City would like for the Board to come and be hosted.
It was noted that the date will be determined.
Commr. Stivender extended her thanks to Ms. Helena Osborne-Ponsi, Volunteer Coordinator, for the outstanding job that she did with her husband, and the crew, with the volunteer reception, and she thanked the Commissioners and volunteers that attended the reception.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.
DEBBIE STIVENDER, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK