A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 12, 2006, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present: Catherine C. Hanson, Chairman; Welton G. Cadwell, Vice Chairman; Jennifer Hill; and Robert A. Pool. Commissioner Debbie Stivender was not present. Others present: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cynthia W. “Cindy” Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; and Judy McAuley, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that Addendum No. 1 includes two items; one is the continuation of discussion on the tentative budget for FY 2007 and the other is the request for approval of the contract for Cagan Crossing Community Library.
Commr. Cadwell requested adding an item to the agenda under his reports to give direction to staff regarding Rezoning Case No. PH 22-06-5, Robert Granger, Jr., which was approved in February 2006.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Pool and carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved to add the item to the agenda.
SOLID WASTE MATERIALS ASSESSMENT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006-2007
Commr. Hanson announced that this public hearing is for the purpose of approval of a final assessment resolution for Solid Waste Materials Assessment for Fiscal Year 2006-2007.
Mr. Daryl H. Smith, Director, Department of Environmental Services, stated that this is an annual process to have assessments authorized by the Board of County Commissioners as part of the Florida Statutes and the Lake County Code. He recommended approval.
Commr. Hanson opened the public hearing. There being no public comment, the public hearing was closed.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved Final Assessment Resolution 2006-176 for Solid Waste Materials Assessment for Fiscal Year 2006-2007 and each fiscal year thereafter until discontinued or changed; Maximum Annual Assessment per Equivalent Residential Unit 2006-2007 Fiscal Year and each fiscal year thereafter: Residential Units: $174.00.
FIRE AND RESCUE ASSESSMENTS - BEGINNING OCTOBER 1, 2006
Commr. Hanson announced that this public hearing is for the purpose of approval of a resolution to impose Fire and Rescue Assessments against assessed property located in Lake County, Florida, for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2006.
Ms. Regina Frazier, Budget Director, stated that this is the final public hearing for the Fire and Rescue Assessment. It includes a 25% increase in the rates over the prior year and a 7% increase in The Villages’ rate per their request. (See Pages 5 and 6 of the resolution for rates.)
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the assessment includes more stations, more firefighters and more improvements to service that have been talked about over the last several months.
Commr. Hanson opened the public hearing. There being no public comment, the public hearing was closed.
A motion was made by Commr. Cadwell and seconded by Commr. Hill for approval of a resolution to impose Fire and Rescue Assessments against assessed property located in Lake County, Florida, for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2006; approval of the rate of assessment; approval of the assessment roll; and approval of an effective date.
Under discussion, Commr. Hanson commented that they have talked about a split in ad valorem and assessment for next year.
Ms. Hall confirmed that they will be bringing that to the Board before the end of this calendar year for action if the Board so chooses.
Commr. Pool commented that no one wants an increase in fire fees. He stated that we have a very good department with some wonderful employees and we are trying to beef it up to make it better for everyone in Lake County. We have to raise the amount we collect to provide that level of service. He stated that there has been a lot of concern about insurance costs. ISO ratings have gone down because of beefing up this department.
Commr. Hanson stated that the level of service has changed a great deal over the last fifteen to twenty years but there is a price to pay.
Commr. Hanson called for a vote on the motion which carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0, for Board approval of Resolution 2006-177 to impose Fire and Rescue Assessments against assessed property located in Lake County, Florida, for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2006; approval of the rate of assessment; approval of the assessment roll; and approval of an effective date.
Ms. Carol Stricklin, Lake County Growth Management Director, stated that the worksession scheduled for today was one of three meetings that staff scheduled some time ago for the Board to consider the proposed Comprehensive Plan update in worksession with a tentative transmittal hearing date of October 3, 2006. These meetings were scheduled in anticipation that the Lake County Local Planning Agency (LPA) would have transmitted the Plan to the Board for review. She stated that she will give a brief update on the status of the LPA’s actions. She will request direction from the Board on how to proceed with the review schedule, particularly with the worksession that was scheduled for Friday, September 15. A number of requests have been received from the public to speak at that meeting.
Ms. Stricklin stated that the LPA met yesterday, September 11, and transmitted to the Board the majority of the Comprehensive Plan Elements except the Future Land Use Map and the Future Land Use Element. Their work continues on those two items. Yesterday, the LPA voted to take up the Future Land Use Element again on October 5, along with the Future Land Use Map and, in particular, invite several cities to come in and discuss land uses within the Joint Planning Area (JPA). She stated that, during the meeting yesterday, several LPA members expressed concern about whether it would be appropriate for the worksessions to go forward if those materials have not yet been transmitted to the Board. She asked for Board direction as to how staff should proceed in bringing the Plan to the Board and in rescheduling the worksessions and transmittal hearing.
Commr. Pool stated that the Future Land Use Map and Future Land Use Element are integral to the Comprehensive Plan.
Commr. Cadwell agreed that is the backbone of the Plan. Regarding talk about this Board trying to move forward with the Plan or the LPA trying to hold it up, he stated that is a non-issue. He explained that, if approved tomorrow, the new Board would have the final say. He stated that he does not want to see the Plan until it is all together. He opined that it would be premature to have the meeting Friday, September 15. He stated that we need to send a message to the LPA that the Department of Community Services (DCA) has expectations and we need to get the Plan done. We need to get it to this Board or to the new Board, which will have the final say, so it does not matter, timing wise, when that happens. It needs to move forward so the public can begin giving input. He encouraged the LPA to finish it and give it to the Board. Secondly, he stated that he would like the Board to allow the Chairman, or he will do it, to contact our leadership in Tallahassee regarding the language on school concurrency and Wekiva. He explained that we are prohibited from forwarding that language to DCA. He stated that we need to ask if there is some way to get a waiver or some exemption from DCA to get those two items to them. He stated that school concurrency still has to go to the LPA but that language and the Wekiva language need to be sent to Tallahassee.
Commr. Hanson stated that it is important to make that effort. She stated that we have to realize that projects are still moving forward without the benefit of the new policies, the new Land Development Regulations, the new Future Land Use Map, being in place. She stated that we need to move forward with school concurrency and the Wekiva.
Commr. Pool asked if a date certain is possible, whether two weeks, a month or some other timeline for completion. He agreed with Commr. Cadwell that the new Board will have the final say.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that, if the LPA is meeting October 5 and if they need a couple of meetings, by the first part of November we need to have a firm date to get that Plan back in.
Commr. Hanson commented that she understands that the new Commissioners will be sworn in November 21, 2006.
Commr. Cadwell asked if November 1 is a realistic deadline to ask the Local Planning Agency to have the Plan to the Board of County Commissioners.
Ms. Stricklin stated that a November 1 deadline would allow multiple meetings in October, if required.
Commr. Pool commented that should be adequate time.
Ms. Stricklin stated that there are a limited number of items for the LPA to consider.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that this Board is meeting in October and should be told if the LPA is running into problems. He stated that we need to let DCA know that we are serious about getting the Comprehensive Plan done. He stated that it should be to this Board by November and the new Board will hear it. He opined that it does not make much sense to have two sets of public hearings on it. He stated that, if there is some way for the LPA to get it to this Board by November 1, this Board can schedule meetings in November and December.
Commr. Pool pointed out that letters are on file requesting to speak September 11 and Ms. Sticklin stated that staff will notify those people who have requested to speak that the workshop has been cancelled.
Commr. Hanson acknowledged consensus by the Board.
REPORTS - COMMISSIONER CADWELL - DISTRICT #5
GRANGER REZONING CASE
Commr. Cadwell explained that the Board approved a small rezoning outside the City of Eustis adjacent to Wedgewood that created ten lots. (Rezoning Case No. PH 22-06-5, Robert Granger, Jr., was approved for rezoning by the Board February 28, 2006.) He stated that the original plan was to have more lots but the lots were made larger in order to utilize a larger septic system. Originally, water was to have been supplied by the City or by Wedgewood. He referred to an August 16, 2006, letter from Ms. Leslie Campione, attorney for Mr. Granger. (A copy of the letter is included in the backup material.) He stated that the City of Eustis and Wedgewood have said that water is not available for the new subdivision. He stated that he thought this would be a Land Development Regulation (LDR) issue and that this Board could make a decision, understanding that ten lots are involved.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, opined that staff’s position is that the Board has the ability to waive the requirement but staff may not be prepared to make a recommendation today. He stated that staff’s request is to put this item on a regular agenda for a formal recommendation to the Board, hopefully at the first meeting in October.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Chief Planner, Growth Management Department, stated that the provision in the Land Development Regulations specifically says the Board may consider this at a public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he understands the ramifications of setting a precedent but there are some common sense issues when there are ten lots as opposed to 300 or 400 lots. He stated that this developer offered larger septic tanks on larger lots and he thinks we need to try to help him if we can.
A motion was made by Commr. Cadwell and seconded by Commr. Pool to place this item on the first meeting agenda in October 2006.
Under discussion, Commr. Hill stated that there are other developments that fall into the ten-lot or less category. She asked if this will be the procedure to use.
Mr. Minkoff stated that this is an issue, as we go forward with the new Comprehensive Plan and the LDRs, and as the section on both utilities and land use is looked at, that the Board would want to give some attention to as to what the position will be in the future.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he is not interested in changing the policy because it is a good policy and he agrees that developments need to hook up to water when they can. However, this is a ten-lot development where that is not possible.
Commr. Hanson called for a vote on the motion which carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
DISCUSSION ON TENTATIVE BUDGET FOR FY 2007
Regarding discussion on the tentative budget for Fiscal Year 2007 at the September 5, 2006, public hearing, Ms. Hall presented a list of recurring expenditures that account for the increased revenue in the General Fund and a list of final adjustments that staff is requesting for the 2007 budget. She asked for direction from the Board regarding changes or amendments to the budget.
Commr. Hanson noted that the millage rate for Lake Mary in Seminole County was discussed last week as being approximately .5000 mills. She confirmed that Lake Mary’s rate is 3.9998 which is a big difference. She commented that Seminole County was mentioned as a good example and that it is a good area to try to emulate, particularly in the area of light industry. She explained that it is a small county and much of the county is in the city.
Ms. Hall confirmed that Seminole County is close to being built-out.
Commr. Hanson agreed with Commr. Cadwell that there is an opportunity today to be able to use the increased revenues that Lake County has been fortunate to receive to continue to implement some of the services that are so vital to the quality of life that we have in Lake County. She remarked that it probably will not always be there but she hopes so. She asked which services will be eliminated if we start cutting.
Commr. Cadwell stated that most of the programs going forward are still in their infancy. He stated that, just at the time we are getting ready to do some things in parks and we have our libraries where they should be, he believes to take a step back would be a disservice to the citizens. He stated that he hopes we will continue to move in the direction we are moving.
Commr. Pool stated that, regardless of the move we make, we are not going to make everyone happy. He stated that $400 is a lot of money. He repeated his earlier statement which was that, on a $9,000 tax bill, $400 was not substantial enough to make that speaker happy. He stated that we will not be able to provide the services and do the things we think are important to the citizens of Lake County if we do a rollback. He stated that he does not see how that would be possible unless there are ideas about what should be cut, ideas which are not needs.
Commr. Cadwell stated that is the Board’s job.
Commr. Pool stated that he has ideas but he does not think this Board will agree on individual ideas. Perhaps staff can say we can cut a million here or a million there but he does not think it will help with what we want to do and provide the level of service that citizens are expecting in Lake County.
Commr. Hill asked Ms. Hall if Commr. Stivender gave her a list of things she was considering.
Ms. Hall stated that she has not talked to any of the Commissioners individually on this item.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that the four items in the backup material (Public Works Fleet Maintenance position, LifeStream additional funding, Economic Development sponsorships, and Emergency Management laptops) do not change the bottom line and are items that were left out or are new items that need to be added. He stated that he would hope that all four of those items would be brought forward to the public hearing.
Commissioners Hanson and Pool agreed and the Board gave staff direction to bring forward the four items on the list of final adjustments for discussion at the public hearing scheduled for September 19, 2006.
CAGAN CROSSING COMMUNITY LIBRARY CONTRACT
Mr. Jim Bannon, Director of Facilities Development and Management, presented the request for approval of the construction contract for the Cagan Crossing Community Library with R.D. Michaels, Inc., Bid 06-004, approval of the overall project budget and approval of a budget transfer request. He stated that the project was put out to bid on a standard construction contract format and R.D. Michaels was the only bidder on the project but they did get competition right up to pre-bid. He stated that a number of contractors were interested in the project and, on the day of bid submission, R.D. Michaels was assuming there would be other contractors producing bids. He explained that the original bid amount was $7.9 million but, through a Value Engineering (VE) exercise, the bid was reduced to $7,073,030.00. There are additional owners’ costs of $703,750.00 (computers, security equipment, furniture, etc.) for total project costs of $7,776,780.00. Grant fund money, $1,473,000.00, is available and brings the project down to $6,303,780.00. Mr. Bannon stated that the proposed project budget for 2007 is defined at $6.2 million and the overall project new budget is $6,303,780.00.
Mr. Bannon confirmed that the project does meet the minimum level of certification for green building, the LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) building.
Regarding Value Engineering, Commr. Pool asked if there are other areas we could look at for cutting costs. Mr. Bannon agreed that they have done all they can do to VE this project. He stated that they have tweaked it but it is still a good quality building. He opined that, if anymore is taken out, it will start to ruin the quality of the building.
Commr. Pool asked if other potential users will participant with staffing and other things. Ms. Hall stated that staff is still working with Polk and Osceola Counties and a draft interlocal agreement has been sent to both counties. They are in the process of working through some kind of financial assistance. Commr. Pool stated that he would recommend some kind of annual fee for users from outside the area if they do not participate. Commr. Cadwell stated that the boards of both counties told him, as recently as one month ago, that they are committed to the library. Ms. Hall confirmed that they have had very positive conversations with staff from Polk and Osceola Counties.
On a motion by Commr. Pool, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the construction contract for the Cagan Crossing Community Library with R.D. Michaels, Inc., Bid 06-004; approved the overall project budget; and approved the associated budget transfer request.
Mr. Minkoff stated that, at the last Board meeting, he recommended to the Board to have a closed session to discuss pending litigation. The closed session will be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to litigation expenditures. The entire session will be recorded by a court reporter who, when the session is begun, will record the time of beginning and the time of termination, all discussions and proceedings and the names of all persons present. No portion of the session will be off the record. The notes will be transcribed and filed and made public at the end of the litigation. Mr. Minkoff confirmed that the session has been advertised. In addition to the Board members, Ms. Hall, Ms. Melanie Marsh, Deputy County Attorney, and Mr. Minkoff will be attending the session and it is anticipated that the session will last thirty minutes. Once the closed session is concluded, the public meeting will be reopened.
At 10:10 a.m., Commr. Hanson reconvened the public meeting.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:10 a.m.
CATHERINE C. HANSON, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK