APRIL 17, 2007

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.  Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Elaine Renick; Debbie Stivender; and Linda Stewart.  Others present were Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.


Reverend Dr. S. William Tyson, from the Union Congregational Church in Tavares, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, wanted to add on to her business the approval of the Lake Express logo, and stated that she handed out to the Board a memo regarding that.  She also requested to add onto the Agenda discussion of the contract of the Construction Manager for the downtown campus and Addendum No. 1, which had to do with SHIP funds and a request from the City of Mascotte, which would be under Departmental Business, and a presentation would be given on that.

Commr. Cadwell stated that under his business, he asked Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager, to work on a problem with the Astor Church which involved some site plan fees and related things, but that it might not take any action.


On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Minutes of March 13, 2007 (Regular Meeting), as presented.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Minutes of March 20, 2007 (Regular Meeting), as presented.


On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Tab 2, Items 1 through 7, as follows:

List of Warrants

            Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk's Office.

            St. Johns River Water Management District Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

            Request to acknowledge receipt of St. Johns River Water Management District Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2006 (CD), as audited by the accounting firm of James Moore & Co., P.L. and accepted by the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board on March 13, 2007.

            Meeting Notice – Southwest Florida Water Management District

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Meeting Notice - Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Meeting Agenda for March 27, 2007, to be held at 9:00 a.m., at the Tampa Service Office Board Room, 7601 US Highway 301 North, Tampa, FL; and the Minutes of the Governing Board held in Brooksville, Florida on January 30, 2007.

            City of Eustis Annual Report for FY October 1, 2006 – September 30, 2006

            Request to acknowledge receipt of City of Eustis Annual Report for Fiscal Year October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006.

            Letter of Notice regarding Annexation Ordinances from Town of Lady Lake

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Letter of Notice regarding Annexation Ordinance 2006-45, Comprehensive Plan Amendment 2006-46, and Rezoning Ordinance 2006-47, amending the Town of Lady Lake Comprehensive Plan by amending the Official Future Land Use Map, annex, and rezone property South of Wildwood Street and West of Arlington Avenue, owned by Stonewood Village, LLC. Said property consists of 40+/- acres. The proposed large scale comprehensive plan amendment is to change the future land use designation from Lake County urban Expansion to Lady Lake Single Family Medium Density. The applicants propose to annex said property and rezone from Lake County Agriculture (A) to Lady Lake Single Family Medium Density (RS-6). The applicant’s current proposal is for less than 3 dwelling units per acre.

            The general location of the property is south of Wildwood Street and west of Arlington Avenue. The Public Hearing date on the petitions is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2007, at 6:00 p.m., Town Hall Commission Chambers, 409 Fennell Boulevard, Lady Lake, Florida.

            City of Eustis’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

            Request to acknowledge receipt of City of Eustis’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (audit) for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2006.

            Lake County Water Authority Annual Financial Audit & Financial Report

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Lake County Water Authority Annual Financial Audit & Annual Financial Report.

            Village Center Community Development District Financial Statements

            Request to acknowledge receipt of Village Center Community Development District Financial Statements as of September 30, 2006 (With Independent Auditors’ Report Thereon).


            Commr. Stewart pulled Tab 4 for discussion.

            Commr. Renick pulled Tabs 11, 12, 13, and 17 for discussion.

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 20, pulling Tabs 4, 11, 12, 13, and 17, as follows:


            Request for approval of the following Budget Change Requests and Unanticipated Revenue Resolution:

Budget Transfer – Landfill Enterprise Fund, Department of Environmental Services, Solid Waste Operations Division. Transfer $128,810 from Reserve for Operations to Improvements Other Than Buildings. Funds needed for an emergency power generator at the central solid waste landfill facility to assure operations can continue in the event of a loss of commercial power. The generator will service the Administration building, Scalehouse, and Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. Funds available in Reserve for Operations. Funds were budgeted in Fiscal Year 2006 for the emergency power generator, but due to the complexity of the system, there was not enough time to bid and purchase the system last fiscal year. After posting of this transfer, the balance in the Reserve for Operations account will be $1,762,899

            Budget transfer and Capital Substitution - Landfill Enterprise Fund, Department of Environmental Services, Solid Waste Operations Division. Transfer $10,839 from Buildings to Machinery and Equipment. Substitute funds of $34,966 from Machinery and Equipment (flatbed maintenance truck) to Machinery and Equipment. Need to purchase two pickup trucks to replace two trucks that are no longer serviceable and have been sent to auction. The landfill supervisors are currently sharing a pool vehicle intended for general departmental use.

Funds available in Buildings as the storage shed is no longer needed. The department planned to use the shed to store landfill records, but per agreement with FDEP, records can now be archived in the County's record storage facility. Funds also available in Machinery and Equipment as the flatbed maintenance truck can be used for an additional one to two years

Resolution No. 2007-66 to amend the General Fund in order to receive unanticipated revenue for Fiscal Year 2006/2007 in the amount of $2,410 deposited into Partners for Fish and Wildlife and provide appropriations for the disbursement for Aids to Private Organizations. Lake County was awarded a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the purchase of supplies to develop a wildlife habitat on approximately five acres of PEAR Park.

            Employee Services

            Request for approval to process initial payment and execute sworn statement in proof of loss for tornado damage to building at Royal Trails tower site, 30311 Seagrape Ave., Eustis, FL 32726.

Growth Management

            Request for approval of very low-income and low-income impact fee waivers as refunds to lenders on behalf of qualified individuals.


            Request for approval to award Bid No. 07-0817 for a one time purchase of an International 4400 Cab and Chassis to Maudlin International for $73,342.16.

            Request for approval to (1) declare the items on the attached lists surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached lists from the County's official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Services Director to sign vehicle titles.

            Request for approval and execution of contract with MT Stewart Construction, Inc. for reconstructions of living quarters at Fire Station 76 in Yalaha (Commission District 3) and apparatus bay improvements at Fire Station 109 in Clermont (Commission District 2). The cost of this project is $62,200.00.

            Public Works

            Request for approval of Resolution No. 2007-61 recognizing the observance of “Motorcycle Safety Awareness” for the month of May 2007.

            Request for approval of Resolution No. 2007-62 recognizing the observance of “Train Safety Awareness Week” from April 16-22, 2007.

            Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2007-63 authorizing the posting of a “STOP” sign on Pine Meadows Lane (6665A) at its intersection with Lakeview Ct (6665) – Commission District 5.

            Request for authorization to release a maintenance bond in the amount of $64,604.40 posted for Sunrise Lakes Phase III. Sunrise Lakes Phase III consists of 133 lots and is located in Section 26, Township 42 South, Range 26 East - Commission District 2.

            Request for authorization to execute the Hold Harmless Agreement between Lake County and Pineloch Management Corporation for a ribbon cutting ceremony to be held on April 21, 2007 at South Lake Trail, Phase II Project No. 2005-05 - Commission District 2.

            Request for approval to execute change order # 1 in the amount of $280,247.55 relating to additional work on the Countywide Resurfacing Project No. 2006-08, (Bid Number 06-135) - Commission Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tab 21, as follows:

            Request for approval of Agreement with Weigel-Veasey Appraisers, Inc. for CR 466 Segment B Project – Commission District 5.



            Commr. Cadwell stated that Tab 22, a presentation of the results of the study “Impact Fees for Educational Facilities in Lake County, Florida,” which was to be given by Randy Young of Henderson, Young & Company, had been postponed at the request of the School Board.


            Commr. Stewart stated that she had a concern regarding Tab 4, but commented that she was not unsympathetic, since the teaching profession was in the same situation of being greatly underpaid.  She believed, however, that this was a time that the County needed to be thinking about “tightening their belts,” and inquired of Sheriff Gary Borders whether his department received raises in October of 2006.

            Sheriff Borders responded that the starting salary was increased $800 in October and the rest of the employees got a raise of 2.8 percent.  He commented that he was just trying to be competitive with local agencies and that Lady Lake just increased their starting salaries to $36,900 and that they were asking to go to $35,500.

            Commr. Stewart replied that starting salaries were important to attract quality people, but that she was concerned about spending the money to give raises in general right now.

            Sheriff Borders noted that they could not just raise the starting salary and not carry it all the way up to the rank of lieutenant, or starting deputies would be making more than three and four year deputies.

            Commr. Cadwell commented the problem was that they did not just lose people to other agencies before they came to work, but they also could lose them up in the ranks, especially dispatchers who did not make a lot to start with.

            Sheriff Borders commented that one of the areas of their concern was that Tavares was starting their own dispatch at the end of May with a starting salary of $26,000, which was almost $7,000 more than the County’s starting salary.  He stated that they were planning on increasing that salary in steps over time rather than at one time.  He also commented that he understood money issues, but that they still had to have quality law enforcement, attract quality candidates and retain quality deputy sheriffs in this County.

            Commr. Stewart commented that she supported law enforcement completely, but she just had to voice her concerns about the money issue.

            Commr. Stivender stated that she shared the same concerns, but that they had been trying to work on it for the last three years.

            Commr. Renick noted that when they were discussing this the last time, they were talking about the difficulties with recruitment and how it was important to get those salaries up, and she thought they were just going to deal with that part and would deal with the other raises at the next budget discussion.  She stated that she realized that they would need to increase the salaries of those who were hired very recently so that the minimum was not higher than their salaries, but she thought across the board increases would be coming at another time.

            Sheriff Borders apologized for any confusion and clarified that they were only looking at increasing salaries of the sworn officers and the dispatchers through the rank of lieutenant, and that he previously stated that they would address the rest of the agency in October for the civilian employees in the agency.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that he understood Commr. Stewart’s concerns, but that he believed that the request was reasonable considering the action of some of the other city police departments and the County’s Firefighters’ union.  He thought they should approve this budget amendment, and at budget time, they would look at the civilian pay.

            On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 4 of the County Manager’s Consent Agenda as follows:

            Request from Budget for approval of Sheriff’s request to include additional funding totaling $1,305,000 in the mid-year budget amendment to fund starting salary increases for Sheriff's Office deputies and dispatchers.  Also approve transfer of vacancy salary money in law enforcement and in corrections to cover additional needs for the current year.  Funding

supports one additional bailiff to allow adequate coverage during sick and vacation leaves.

            Commr. Renick commented that in Tab 11, there was a little bit of difficulty in understanding how the EMS Grant worked, and that the cities had been accustomed to receiving part of this grant, which they did not this year.  She stated that she talked to Mr. Gary Kaiser, Public Safety Director, and she did not want to delay this since they had a time constraint and did not want to lose the grant.  She asked Mr. Kaiser to address the Board to share what they had previously discussed.

            Mr. Kaiser stated that they thought there needed to be a better system in place to analyze these grants and how they were proportioned out to those cities that would request funding.  They believed that mechanism was Dr. Jack Geelin, the County Medical Director, who was over all the cities, medics, and EMT’s in Lake Sumter EMS, and that he had agreed to do that.  Mr. Kaiser explained that when the grant came back, Dr. Geeslin would reprioritize what he felt was appropriate, and they would send that back.  He also opined that Dr. Geeslin was the appropriate person to do that.

            Commr. Renick opined that she was confident that it would go through that process, but that there was just confusion this year as far as it being more competitive, and the cities thought they would just get their grants.  She commented that she did not think even Dr. Geeslin realized he was going to be the one making the final decision.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 11 of the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, as follows:

            Request from Public Safety for approval for the execution of the Florida Department of Health EMS Grant and approval of the grant Resolution No. 2007-58 and approval of the unanticipated revenue Resolution No. 2007-59.

            Commr. Renick stated that she had a question regarding Tab 12, and that Growth Management and Public Works had a number of specific things that had to be done for this in terms of the re-plat, the temporary easement, and all that, but in the resolution it looked like the County was granting the vacation without stipulating all the other things they had to have.  She wanted to make sure that they hold them to all of the other things that have to be done.

            Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, stated that they came to the County wanting to vacate the portion he showed in red on the overhead.  He explained that they would not just vacate a part of a cul-de-sac since there would be a different lot configuration without the cul-de-sac, so at the same time they had to have a temporary easement for a new cul-de-sac, and that was what they had done on adjacent property.

            Commr. Renick stated that she wanted to make sure that was what they were getting, because it looked to her like they may be getting the vacation, but it was not spelled out.

            Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, interjected that this agenda item was only an approval to advertise, and so the resolution that was being passed today only stated that they should go ahead and advertise the vacation.  He explained that the final resolution would come back at the public hearing and it would include the requirements.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 12, on the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, as follows:

            Request from Public Works for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2007-60 to Advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1109 to vacate right of way and cease maintenance on a portion of a cul-de-sac of a county maintained road, Parkdale Drive (#4532B) in the Plat of Park Hill (PB55, Pg. 33) in the Leesburg area - Commission District 1.

            Commr. Renick stated that she had some serious concerns regarding Tab 13, but that Commr. Hill had more history regarding what this had been doing over the years.

            Commr. Hill stated that when she got here in 2000, this was a $500 item, and then it went to $5,000 before it incrementally went back down.  She commented that at the time, it had been a viable citizens’ issue, because the County did not have the MPO (Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization), and there were a lot of things they did not have in place.  However, since then she thought they had gotten a lot of things in place that they were involved in and she did not see any real activity on their side to equal or justify going ahead with it.  She opined that some committees did a very good job and they should fund those, or if not, they should back out and have a different level of participation.  She also thought there could be problems with the Sunshine Law if they overlapped several committees.  She thought, however, that it was Commr. Renick’s decision about whether this was still a viable committee or not.

            Commr. Renick stated that she was glad Commr. Hill wanted to pull this, and the information she had gotten from this committee did not help a lot.  She stated that there was a reference at the very end of one of the memos that stated one significant service was transportation advocacy efforts, potentially through lobbyists.  She also pointed out that Clermont was involved, since it involved their area, so they were covered there, and that she wanted to be able to talk to all other parties freely without the Sunshine Law concern.

            Mr. Stivender explained that the West Orange South Lake Transportation Task Force was started by a group of cities and the two counties associated with the Hwy 50 corridor several years ago to promote that on a state level to get funding for that corridor.  He opined that it had been successful bringing money back, and at the time, Metro Plan Orlando did not have Hwy 50 on their schedule and that this group was instrumental in getting it recognized on the Metro Plan Orlando list, and they worked closely to work on that corridor.  He stated that there was a comfort level of the previous Board to keep it going, but they had not attended meetings.

            Commr. Hill commented that she did not wish to diminish what that group had done, since they did not have an MPO at that time in the County and they were very instrumental in the Hwy 50 corridor, but she thought that they had grown up and beyond since that time.  She noted that she did not know if not approving this would hinder the County in any way, and encouraged other viewpoints from the Board and the MPO.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that when this group started, the County did not even have a full seat at the MPO alliance, but since they did now, he felt that the MPO would fill this void if they were not comfortable continuing with this group.

            Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the MPO, addressed the Board, stating that it was a unique grassroots organization, with landowners, cities, counties, and business chambers of commerce.  However, he understood if the Board felt that there were other things they could do through the MPO to work together, and opined that through the MPO, the State Road 50 situation was about to be solved.  He also stated that he would still continue to go to the group’s meetings to help out and be a resource.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to not participate and denied the payment of the membership dues of $2,000 to the West Orange South Lake Transportation Task Force.

            Commr. Renick stated that she had a question regarding the memo for Tab 17, noting that Planning and Community Design needed a number of things, and she did not see any assurance that they had made the revisions that needed to be made to the construction plans.

            Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, stated that everything that was required would be included in there, and that this was the maintenance bond for it.  He opined that the job was substantially complete, with just a few things left to be done that would be taken care of.

            Commr. Renick commented that she was uncomfortable with that, since she would prefer assurances that they already had what staff needed.

            Mr. Stivender stated that they could do a zero tolerance on these things and not awarding the plat until everything was done, but they had been trying to be lenient in the past.

            Commr. Stivender related that she did not think there was ever a case where everything was not ultimately done.

            Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, clarified that the County had never had a case where that had happened, but that there were plats through the years where they have had issues and had to proceed against the bond or threaten to.

            Commr. Renick stated that she did not think it was asking too much to ask the developer to complete everything before it came before the Board in the future, since she thought doing it this way was out of order.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 17 of the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, as follows:

            Request from Public Works for authorization to accept the final plat for Eagles Point Phase II, and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Eagles Point Phase II plat, accept a maintenance bond in the amount of $44,259.00, execute a Developer's Agreement for Maintenance of Improvements Between Lake County and Paul Buchanan, Individually and as Trustee and execute Resolution No. 20007-64 accepting the following road into the County Road Maintenance System: Golden Tree Drive (Co. Road No. 5841C). Eagles Point Phase II consists of 24 lots and is located in Section 7, Township 19 South, Range 26 East - Commission District 5.



            Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the MPO, stated that he had sent out a memo to the Board as well as the MPO Board members regarding the unfunded priorities.  He reported that every year they evaluate their priorities for funding, specifically projects that they knew were needs that had not gotten all phases funded.  He commented that sometimes they would have done the study for a project and maybe designed it, but had not bought right of way or had construction dollars, which was typically the case with a lot of those projects.  He specified that the list that was adopted last summer had been given to the Department of Transportation (DOT), and they were very strategic about what they gave to DOT.  He opined that the MPO made some very good decisions last year about how to prioritize, some of which were treating the entire corridor of Hwy 441 as still the number one MPO priority, but they broke it up into separate sections.  He also specified that for the Hwy 441 project, they were looking to widen from four to six lanes.

He reported that the second priority was State Road 50, and the strategy on that was to make it the number one TRIP (Transportation Regional Incentive Program) priority, which will enable the MPO Board on April 25 to ask for authorization to send in the application for State Road 50.  He also stated that they were using the developer funds from Plaza Collina as the local match for those funds, and they expected to be successful on that application.

            He named State Road 46 as the third of the other current major road priorities, but noted that they were waiting on the Wekiva Parkway to go through its study, and that even though it was a very important priority, nothing would change the timing of that one, and that right of way had not yet been purchased.  He named the number four priority as State Road 44 from Mount Dora at Lowe’s up to the right turn to Deland, mentioning that it used to be 44B before an exchange with the County to where Orange Avenue into downtown Eustis was now the county road.  The other road on the list was State Road 19, which he believed to have a small funding chance.

            He stated that he would be giving the Board an update at next week’s Board meeting, where he will have Sumter County talk about a TRIP project they had that was production ready with the local match, which was County Road 468 near where the Villages was building an interchange to the turnpike.  He related that they were going to look to four lane from that interchange to State Road 44, and that he thought it was an ideal TRIP project.  He also related that he was working on getting the interchange in Clermont where Hwy 27 and Hwy 50 met funded out of SIS (Strategic Intermodal System) funds instead of using the DOT funds.  He also mentioned that he had been getting calls regarding the 56-year old Lake Harris Bridge on Hwy 19 between Tavares and Howey in the Hills, but that there was no funding currently in the process for it, and urged the Board to get both the state and congressional representatives involved in it.

            He also mentioned the enhancement project of trails, noting that the South Lake Trail had remained the number one priority.  He related that they were going to approach trails and other projects a little differently than before, by breaking priorities into those that they were trying to get studies and design for in one category and the priorities that they were trying to do right of way and construction in another.  They were finding that sometimes there were so many phases, that the priorities were not communicated well because study and disbursement were not divided up.

            He stated that, regarding transit, he had just gotten some listing of routes that they wanted to get service development grants on, but that he heard that DOT was only giving those grants if they were connected to commuter rail.  He also noted that the Leesburg International Airport and the Umatilla Municipal Airport did not have a lot going on with them yet, but that they were planning on getting more deeply involved with the airports over time.  He asked for input from the Board regarding the way they were treating some of the projects he presented.

            Commr. Renick commented that Hartwood Marsh Road in South Lake County was a nightmare, but that the County had been putting everything off until it could be made four lanes.  She asked at what point they would decide that they had to have a safe road, even while it was only two lanes, and how they could change things to get a drivable road.  She also mentioned that people use Hartwood Marsh Road as an alternate to Hwy 50, creating a lot of traffic.

            Mr. Stivender responded that a year ago they could not get anyone to bid their jobs, so they turned their road construction program into a design program, which is why the County had 80 projects in design and not a lot in construction.  He stated that had fortunately changed for the better, that they were getting competitive bids, and that the projects such as Hartwood Marsh Road were now getting closer to construction.  He reported that this coming year, depending on what their budget would be, they narrowed down a long list of projects they felt needed to be completed the most, including State Road 44 that connected three Commissioners’ Districts and that paralleled Hwy 441, which was 23 years old.  He specified that the intention was to build a four lane Hartwood Marsh Road from Hwy 27 to the first intersection with Hancock Road, and they were looking at getting the money together to do that as soon as possible and revamp some of the priorities.  He also noted that the Board would be seeing a change order soon to do an overlay and resurface a portion of Hartwood Marsh Road, which he noted that 20,000 cars a day traveled on.

            Mr. Fish pointed out that the reason they put the new category in this year was to help deal with the funding and cost issues that were affecting things.  He added that impact fees were not used to fund some major projects, such as State Road 44, Hartwood Marsh Road, or County Road 561, which was a major connector between the County Seat and South Lake, which were not going to be funded through conventional methods that they had approached in the past.  He explained that the significance of the Regionally Significant County Roadway category was to fund the roadways outside of the impact fees and TRIP program, and to look at the bigger picture for the County.


            Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, explained that this was the final plat for Sawgrass Bay, and that there was a question associated with the subdivision to the south and the sidewalks and pedestrians, because this was where the school system was building their elementary school site in the Four Corners area.  He stated that they had looked at all possible access issues, but the subdivision to the south did not allow ingress and egress and there was a large wetland blocking the access to the north.  He noted that the only way physically to access that would be going out to Hwy 27.  He requested approval to move forward with this plat, and felt that the developers of this subdivision had done a better job and had done their homework more in laying theirs out than the other subdivision had as far as densities and setbacks.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board recommended approval to accept the final plat for Sawgrass Bay Phase 1A and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Sawgrass Bay Phase 1A final plat, accept a performance bond in the amount of $56,800.40 and execute a Developer’s Agreement for Construction of Improvements between Lake County and Deluca Enterprises, Inc.

            ADDENDUM NO. 1-I



On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Addendum No. 1-I, a request from Community Services for a commitment of $250,000 in SHIP funds over two years at $125,000 per year to the City of Mascotte as match for a CDBG Small Cities grant to be used for home rehabilitation/replacement.  The commitment will be contingent upon priority being given to Mascotte residents who were already on the County’s housing rehabilitation waiting list.



Ms. Liz Eginton, Housing and Community Development Director, Department of Community Services, addressed the Board regarding the approval of the FY 2007/08 CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) concept budget.  She noted that they usually held the public hearing much earlier, but they did not find out until fairly recently as to what their allocation was to be for next year, because Congress had not passed next year’s budget.  She mentioned that they would like to make some changes to next year’s budget, the most notable change being under the public service projects, to substitute funding a Community Health Care Coordinator position instead of doing the senior services program, because there were other funding sources available for those programs.  Also, they would like to combine this year’s Disaster Assistance for Tornado Victims activity with the existing CDBG Housing Rehabilitation activity and focus on rehabilitation and replacement of mobile homes, which were not eligible for SHIP assistance.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding the CDBG program, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the FY 2007/08 CDBG concept budget as presented by staff.



Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that she had received letters from the American Legion Post 76 asking for permission to sell poppies in front of both the Administration Building and the Judicial Center on May 11, 2007, as they had done in the past, and asked for Board consensus for that.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request of American Legion Post 76 to sell poppies on May 11.


Ms. Hall mentioned that she had received a letter from the Lake County Democratic Party asking to hold a memorial service at the historic courthouse on Monday, May 28, 2007.  The Board gave consensus for that.


Ms. Hall also requested approval for the logo for Lake Express that she sent out in a memo to the Board members and showed a picture of the logo to the Board.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to place the Lake Express logo item on the Agenda.

Ms. Hall commented that it was done by their Information Outreach Department.

Commr. Stivender added that this had been through the Transportation Disadvantaged Board, which requested approval to do advertising to offset the cost of redoing the buses.

Ms. Hall stated that they had talked at times about having advertisements of that nature, and they would be handling that through their department.

Commr. Stivender also added that it would need to be approved by the County Manager and the County Attorney, but she just wanted to make sure the Board did not have an issue with the advertising on the buses.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the logo for Lake Express that was presented.


Ms. Hall explained that there was an unforeseen development with their contract person for the construction of the buildings for the downtown project.  She recapped that about a year and a half ago, they hired the architectural firm HLM Design to do all the architectural designs for all of the buildings in the downtown campus, and they also hired Centex through a separate process to be the construction manager.  She commented that the system was built so that there was a check and balance between the architectural firm and the construction manager firm for the entire construction program.  She reported that very recently the parent company for HLM had purchased Centex, the construction manager firm, therefore eliminating their check and balance system.  She related that staff had met with both the architectural firm and Centex and with the County’s attorneys that had to do with construction in Orlando, and was recommending to the Board that as a safeguard to the County, to terminate the contract with Centex and immediately go forward with an RFP (Request for Proposal) to select another construction manager firm.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to place the matter regarding Centex and HLM on the Agenda.

Commr. Cadwell commented that they had a great team, but that even though the County did not create the problem, it was something they still had to deal with.  He stated that he was going to give representatives from Centex an opportunity to address the Board.

Mr. Mike Ryan, Vice President, Balford Beatty (formerly Centex), stated that they changed their name April 1, 2007.  He explained that HLM was owned by Heery, International, whose parent company was Balford Beatty and that Centex was owned by Centex Homes out of Dallas, Texas at the time they were hired by the County.  He opined that it was a great relationship, because they had worked well together in the past and did the entire Osceola County Judicial Expansion and had great team members.  He related that in December of 2007, the officers of his company were notified that Balford Beatty was making an offer to buy them from Centex, but that they had to be very quiet about it because of the insider trading factor.  He commented that even though they currently had the same parent company as HLM, they were still two totally separate entities, with their own CEO, attorneys, and chief financial officers, and the only thing that had really changed was their name.

Mr. Ryan claimed that they could offer more protection to the County than had ever been provided, and that they were trying to protect taxpayers’ dollars and give the County the best quality product that they could get.  He noted that when HLM was first purchased by Heery, International, the same type of situation occurred, but that project got completed successfully, with no issues and no litigation.  He also stated that he understood the County’s concerns about only having one company to go to if there was a catastrophe, but that his company was offering to the County some very unusual protections.  His firm offered to hire an outside independent monitoring consultant, at their expense, to act as an owner liaison and to monitor all of the money that went back and forth and make sure it was above board.  He also guaranteed that there would be no litigation between his firm and the architect, and reminded the Board that his firm was also bonded for the course of the job.  He stated that he would also guarantee to hold Lake County harmless for any delays caused by the architect.  He stated that they worked out with the Board, the attorneys, and the entire construction crew an upside exposure on errors and omissions, which the County and the architect carried insurance on.  He specified that they would put a ceiling on the amount the County would be responsible for, with any amount above that being absorbed by Centex.  He opined that this was a good opportunity for Lake County, and that they were confident that HLM knew enough about the conditions in this area and had the experience, and that they would not have any of those problems.  He requested a workshop with everyone present to lay out any risks they might have overlooked, and commented that this project meant a lot to him as a longtime Lake County resident.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he was not inclined to have a workshop with the Board, but that he was inclined to put this off for a week to give the County Attorney time to respond to the requests he was making, but that during that time, he should not have any contact with the Commission.

Commr. Stivender stated that this was more of a legal issue than a performance issue, and that their performance was great.  She commented that Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, needed to give them the information needed, and that a week would be good.

Mr. Minkoff stated that he was prepared to respond, and commented that their goal was to try to preserve this relationship from the beginning.  He also stated that the four conditions Mr. Ryan related at this meeting were a result of a group effort that the attorneys, Centex, and HLM tried to work out and solicited.  He explained that they carefully chose the construction manager system mainly for the checks and balances that Ms. Hall had mentioned, which eliminated the issue of bidding out jobs where a contractor was totally at odds with the architect. He pointed out that there was no way to cure the checks and balance problem when the architect and the contractor became the same, because even though 80 percent of the time they had the same goals and drives, 20 percent of the time they did not, whether it be the type of design, the types of materials that were used, subcontractors used, or prices; and the conflict was one of the better things about using the construction manager system.

Mr. Minkoff emphasized that the bigger problem, however, was that Centex was asking the County to recast this transaction as a design build transaction, which meant that a team was chosen to both design and build the contract and had agreed to deliver a product.  He related that when they met with outside counsel, they were hoping to come up with some language to incorporate Mr. Ryan’s suggestions and were told that they probably would have to recast their entire contractual arrangement with both the architect and the contractor to do that into a design build kind of contract.  He explained that the problems with that were that the Board did not choose to go with that type of contract and that the Statutes required that they use a very specific method if they went with design build, which they did not do.  The County would have to advertise for design build and give everyone an opportunity to go that way, and they did not think it was feasible to recast the contract that way.  He also noted that if they stayed on with Centex and everything went well, there would be no problems, but if things did not go well, then they would be out by themselves in litigation and would be in a very difficult relationship.  Also, they would have to relook at the bonding and the insurance to make sure that those were recharacterized to take those more significant risks.  He informed the Board that based on that, the staff decided that those requirements were insurmountable with the time that the County had left in going forward and that they did verify with the architects that there would not be a delay in switching.  He also opined that the original choice between the top two applicants was very close, and they believed there were other qualified construction managers that could do the job.  He commented that the most conservative advice was to make this recommendation for the change, and to keep the current contractor would take a complete rewriting of their contracts and their relationship with the architects and contractor.

Commr. Cadwell asked if this would affect that bond issue.

Ms. Hall responded that it would not affect the bond issue, which was a pledge of the sales tax, and that the actual construction of the project was not something that would affect the ratings.

Commr. Renick inquired of Mr. Minkoff why could they not just go with their original second choice rather than doing another RFP (Request for Proposal) process.

Mr. Minkoff stated that it was not a legal decision, and that legally they were comfortable moving to the second choice, but the Procurement Department and Ms. Hall believed it would be

more above board and fair to redo the entire process and rebid it, since the original bidding was a year ago.

Commr.Cadwell commented that this was the largest project they ever had in Lake County, and they did not want any kind of cloud over it, and they would do everything as transparently as they could for the citizens.  He reiterated his comment about bringing this issue back in one week, with Centex having no contact with the Board during that time.

Ms. Hall stated that she would be glad to bring that back in a week.



            On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the execution of Proclamation No. 2007-65 proclaiming April, 2007 as Water Conservation Month in Lake County.


            EARTH DAY

            Commr. Stivender stated Earth Day was Monday, April 23, at Marsh Park, at 10:00 a.m., where trees will be planted.


            Commr. Stivender noted that the first meeting for the Trails Master Plan would be Wednesday morning, April 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the Leesburg Community Center.


            Commr. Stivender commented that there were a couple of items brought up at the Parks and Recreation meeting that she would like to discuss at the next workshop.  She explained that they were discussing the existing funding that they had been doing for the last 14 to 15 years with the municipalities.  She mentioned that the Commissioners should have gotten letters from them, and that they depended greatly on that.  She also reported that the CIP (Capital Improvement Program) grant applications had gone out for 2007/2008, but she believed that the Board needed to decide how to continue to fund those or if they were going to cut back.  She opined that the municipalities needed to know that for funding mechanisms for the next few years.


            Ms. Deby Wilson, from Clermont, addressed the Board stating that she was concerned that the building slowdown would cause an economic crisis in the County, and cited the statistics showing a drastic decrease in building permits issued for single-family homes for the last few years.  She noted, however, that there were no layoffs in the County government staff of employees such as building inspectors, permit clerks, recording clerks, and plans examiners.  She wanted to know how the County would be able to sustain their payroll with a decrease in revenue and how the increase in taxes and impact fees could be justified if the County did not make immediate adjustments to the government expenditures of payroll and associated benefits in those areas.


            Mr. Chuck Powers, who resided on County Road 44A, east of Eustis, addressed the Board regarding the intersection of Estes Road and CR 44A.  He mentioned that there was another fatality at that intersection a few weeks ago.  He understood that the County would be purchasing the right of way this year and start construction sometime in 2008.  He requested that the Board “fast track” the proposed construction to that intersection, because he was concerned for his safety and that of his family.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that he had talked to Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, about doing some pre-things that would give a better line of vision until it was engineered differently to make it a better intersection.  He commented that a light there would not solve anything, and they needed to make that intersection a different intersection, but that in the meantime maybe they could do some site clearing once they owned the property more than they had already, which might help some.

            Mr. Powers commented that on the northeast side, there were only about three seconds to see someone coming around the curve, but that moving the trees back 50 feet would eliminate a lot of the danger right now until the construction was done.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that the last time he talked to Mr. Powers about this situation, Mr. Stivender was going to set up some time with him.

            Mr. Stivender stated that Mr. Powers was at the last meeting, and that he had set up a meeting with him for today at 2:00 p.m.  He also stated that Mr. Powers was welcome to come by their office in Eustis any time to look at the full construction plans.

            Mr. Powers asked why the County would spend money working on this intersection if they were going to tear it up and replace it anyway.  He stated that it did not make sense to him and seemed a waste of money that they were putting in culverts and redoing the sodding recently.

            Mr. Stivender stated that he directed their maintenance crews to do that to make that intersection as safe as they could in the meantime.  He commented that they had been working on this project for six years and had a full design and were going to work on the right of way acquisition and construction phase next.


            Mr. Steve Rosser, who resided on Hwy 19 in Groveland, in an unincorporated area, stated that he was having a problem with his garbage collectors leaving trash on the right of way after every garbage pickup.  He asked if there was any kind of County oversight or way of reporting that type of thing.

            Commr. Cadwell suggested that he get with the County Manager after the meeting regarding that.

            Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that should not be happening and that she would get with Mr. Rosser and get specifics on that.


            Mr. Richard Stubbs, Sales Manager, 84 Lumber Company in Tavares, stated that he had been in the County for 28 years, and that he had 13 salesmen at his location, and out of those 13, probably about seven or eight were currently struggling to provide a living for their families.  He stated he was concerned about the impact of the construction slowdown on the economy, as well as the high cost of land, and that he knew of hundreds of construction-related employees being laid off or financially struggling.  He encouraged the Board to look particularly at the language of the school impact fee documents and to think about the impact on the economy and budgeting revenue for County programs.  He also mentioned the high price of homes and how he was concerned about others having the opportunities and prosperity he has had.  He opined that it was a collective effort between developers, builders, land owners, suppliers, trades, and the County government to make that happen.

            Commr. Stewart commented that the newspapers and media were unfairly maligning some of the Commissioners, and that they deeply cared about the citizens of this County.  She opined that they were all in this together and that they were not the “competitors in the round building.”  She reiterated that she just wanted what was best for the County, and was not the enemy as she was sometimes made out to be.


            At 10:40 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until the work session at 1:00 p.m.


            Commr. Cadwell opened the meeting by stating that the work session was regarding water.  He commented that this was an informational type session for the County to give staff an idea of whether they wanted to keep working on those particular issues or did not want to be involved in that business.

Mr. Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager, stated that the County had been wrapped up in this issue for three to four years now, and that during that time, they had been doing what they believed to be in the best interest of the County and what the Board wanted.  He commented that before they did anything further, they really needed to know what the Board wanted them to do in the future.  He explained that the three issues were the future water supply, alternative water supply options, and the future of the Water Alliance.  He noted that they were interrelated, but that each one of them had aspects that they needed to address.  He commented that the future water supply options were going to be expensive.  He stated that Mr. Doug Manson had been working on this issue for three or four years on the OUC (Orlando Utilities Commission) efforts and was going to be talking about water in general.

Mr. Doug Manson, an attorney with the law firm of Carey, O’Malley, Whitaker & Manson, in Tampa, stated that they had been working on and got involved in this because the St. Johns River Water Management District began a master water supply planning process for all of the areas within their District, and initially there were meetings going on with the District between the cities and counties regarding their needs for water in the future.  He stated that what was driving that process, starting five to seven year ago, was the setting of the water use caution areas, and the Districts were all charged with going places where they were either running low on water or going to run low on water in the next 20 years by figuring out how much areas were going to need.  He commented that what became clear to him in the OUC permit was that there was going to be a limit to the amount of ground water for the whole Central Florida area, with groundwater being the cheaper water supply. Also, he realized that groundwater for one region would overlap into availability issues in another region, such as the Orlando area and the Lake County area both relying on the same aquifer for waters pumped up from the ground, where a shortage in one area could create a shortage in another area because it was the same aquifer that was being depressurized.  Their concern was what groundwater would be left for their counties and cities, because several of the cities were having a hard time getting their permits; the rules were changing; it was becoming more difficult; new reuse requirements were being implemented; and for the first time, it was discussed that there may be a limit to the amount of groundwater in the area.  Settlement negotiations resulted in a settlement that was currently in existence that allowed them to participate with OUC in alternative water supply development.  He noted that Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, put in an option letter on that project stating that the County might be interested in developing jointly with them some of the alternative water.  He stated that the District had made it clear through the Central Florida Planning Coordination Effort that there was not going to be any more groundwater permitted after 2013 for any of the communities in the Central Florida area, which covered from Brevard County to Tampa, and that all three water management districts were involved in that effort, which were St. Johns, South Florida, and Southwest Florida.  He specified that the southern part of Lake County was in the Central Florida coordinating process, and there would be another one of those areas created in the near future for Marion, Sumter, and the northern part of Lake County.

Mr. Manson commented that Lake County’s geography was unusual from the standpoint that it did not have alternative water supply sources within the confines of the County.  He opined that those projects were so expensive, however, that other areas would be looking for partners to spread the cost out, resulting in the projects being more affordable and feasible.  He explained that during this process, the participants would form an alliance, figure out how much water all the cities needed, and develop a master water supply plan.  He noted that there were several options the County could consider, such as no involvement, limited or indirect involvement, or being a full-service provider, as to whether the Board desired to be involved in the supply of water to County residents.  If the County was not involved, he explained that the cities would have to have a master water supply plan, identify what their needs were, and form their own organization, possibly with outside groups. He referred to the handout that pointed out the positive and negative aspects of each option for the County.  He specified that the advantages for the County of no involvement would be no need for utilities, attorney, or consultant fees and no need to change the Comprehensive Plan.  He noted that some of the disadvantages would be that the County would not have an ability to handle growing demand for services and that they would not be prepared to handle failed water systems that reverted to the County because of F.S. 367.165.

Mr. Manson stated that the County could be involved indirectly by helping with negotiations, representing the interest of eleven cities, with the cities picking it up.  The County could also bring in a transmission pipeline without any direct service to any residents, with the cities signing up the contracts to simply purchase the water, which the County would use to pay back the cost of building the pipeline and transporting the water.  He opined that there was a sliding scale of involvement levels that could go up or down.  He commented that once the County became any kind of water provider, they could mandate certain types of requirements for conservation as a proprietary entity in their water supply contracts.  He stated that another issue was that if they were deciding where the supply pipeline came into the County, they could decide where the transmission would be in certain areas of the County to control growth.  Mr. Manson commented that the difficulties for the cities would be that it was very expensive and would take a lot of bonding capacity to do it, and that would be hard to do without growth.  He noted that the County could finance it off of revenue bonds based on water supply contracts with the cities or private utilities as well as utilize other financial options.  He also mentioned that outside the city boundaries, the State Statutes allowed the County to charge a 25 percent surcharge as a subsidy for providing water to the unincorporated areas.

He commented that the County did not have the option of being a full-service provider right away, where they could be a retailer provider throughout the unincorporated areas and a bulk supplier to the cities, but it was an option they could possibly achieve in five to fifteen years from now.  He stated that now the County needed to start off with the smaller decisions about how much involvement it wanted to have in the process.  He noted that during the last four years, the County had been a facilitator for the cities and the water management districts, but now there was going to be things that needed to be purchased, and payments would need to be made to go forward to do any of this work, which increased the stakes of what the County involvement would be.  He reported that it would be ten years to access the water, because they would have to determine feasibility, design, finance, construct, and go forward.  He stated that regional funding from the water management districts through Senate Bill 444 would be limited, and the District wanted to make sure that Lake County did not get left behind as far as the funding or the planning aspects by waiting too long to get involved in the process.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he could not envision a time when the County would be in competition with any of the cities that were providers, although there may be a way to be a partner.

Mr. Manson opined that the cities and Lake County had a unique relationship and actually worked together and talked with one another, which was not the case in most counties.

Commr. Renick stated she did not wish for the County to be a water supplier, to be involved in the provision of alternative water supplies, or to be involved in the future of the Water Alliance.  She stated that she would love to be a leader in affecting environmental change and protections and in managing water, but she did not think this is where they wanted to go.  She opined that she believed there was merit in having staff at the Water Alliance just to know what was going on as far as what the cities were doing, but she did not think they needed to have a seat on the Water Alliance or to continue to be a facilitator.  She also commented that she was not ready to make sure they had all that in place so that they could grow.

Commr. Cadwell stated that a side issue for the County would be concerning the systems that failed and would automatically revert to the County, and that they needed to have staff look into some type of policy of how the County would handle that.  He noted that there may be a case of that happening in his district in the next year or two, but that it was close to a city.  He emphasized that they needed to have some type of plan in place on purely just an emergency basis.

Commr. Hill asked Mr. Manson if the dollars available through the St. Johns River Water Management District for the 2008 budget year would be available to the cities and the private providers or if it had to flow through the County to them.

Mr. Manson stated that theoretically the matching money was available, but it was easier to get the contracts done while dealing with one entity than working with several entities to create a water supply authority by August of this year.

Commr. Renick stated that she thought the County still played a role in terms of protecting the County water users and their wells, and if they did see a city’s consumptive use permit as possibly damaging to wells that the County was responsible for, they would still need to look into that issue. She also wanted to know more about the water system failures that the County would be responsible for if they happened.

Mr. Manson explained that private water utilities typically did not thrive in the State of Florida, because they could not capitalize infrastructure beyond three years because of PSC (Public Service Commission) regulations, limiting them from building for future demands or doing an alternative water supply, and that they ended up running on a shoestring budget barely enough to keep them going.  He went on to explain that some of them ended up failing or not meeting DEP requirements, which encouraged an entity such as a county or nearby city to take them over and run the facility and retrofit it if it was not properly built to begin with.  He commented that if they went under, the County could contract with another private utility or consulting firm to run it until such time as it could be incorporated somewhere else.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:35 p.m.





                                                                        WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN