A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JUNE 18, 2007
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a special workshop session on Monday, June 18, 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; and Linda Stewart. Commissioner Debbie Stivender was not present. Others present were Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
2007 FINANCIAL CONDITION ANALYSIS
Mr. Jason Showe, Revenue Coordinator, Office of Budget, gave a history of the origination of the facts and figures of the Financial Condition Analysis, which was a 2003 publication entitled “Evaluating Financial Condition, a Handbook for Local Government.” This report contained a total of 22 indicators, as well as descriptions, graphs, warning trends, and analysis, but his presentation would provide an overview of what he considered the most critical of those indicators. He emphasized that the important thing to note was the trends on those charts, which showed where they thought the future was going to head for those indicators.
Mr. Showe started with a population analysis, which he believed was one of the most important indicators, noting that strong population increases were still being projected in the County. He explained that in 2006, the population was a little over 276,000, and that the increasing trend was going to create additional pressure for infrastructure as well as services, such as water supply, traffic circulation, open space, and government infrastructure. He also commented that although there were peaks and valleys in the population percentage increase chart, it was important to note that most of the growth fell between four and five percent annual growth, which indicated good and strong growth. He commented that Lake County was also outpacing the growth in the state, with double the amount of growth than the state as a whole from 2000 through 2006. He pointed out that they expected those over 64 years old to continue to be a strong portion of their population, and that the growth of the population under 18 was declining slightly, but that was still a definite portion of Lake’s population to consider.
Mr. Showe gave a snapshot of what the County’s 2006 revenues looked like at the end of the audited year. He commented that the biggest change shown in the chart was their increased reliance on tax dollars, pointing out that taxes made up 52.6 percent of their revenue in 2000 and 64.5 percent in 2006. He explained that this was due to an increase in population base, tax base, and property value Lake had seen in that time. He also noted that licenses and permits dropped dramatically because they had moved Building Services out of the general fund, and that the other categories had remained fairly level, which is what they liked to see as they continued to move forward. He stated that there were strong increases in the value of 1 mill, noting that the 2007 value of $17.9 million per 1 mill was 142 percent higher than in 2000, as a result of good property value increases in the County. He showed that the annual commercial and residential growth in 2006 was strong, and even though they both had come down in 2007, the growing trend was still continuing. Also, he pointed out that residential continued to be a majority of the land value, but commercial was slowly showing some increase in that.
Mr. Showe noted that one area that was showing a little bit of decline in recent years was their intergovernmental revenue, which was completely subject to legislative issues, and that they would be keeping their eye on those revenues with what was going on in the state legislature. He explained that the main two articles in this revenue were Revenue Sharing and the half cent sales tax, and 2007 was experiencing a ten percent downturn in the half cent sales tax, which was typical of what other areas of the state were experiencing. He explained that Intergovernmental Grant Revenues consisted of Affordable Housing, Public Transportation, Section 8, and CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) and were grants that they got from both the State and the Federal government. He emphasized that they were reliant upon those grants to provide those services, and it was important to keep track of what the County was collecting from those, so that if those grants were eliminated, they would know how much that would impact their general fund.
Mr. Showe then showed a chart of the 2006 expenditures in terms of category, noting that Public Safety was still the County’s number one general fund expenditure. He mentioned that courts expenditures had decreased from 2.3 percent in 2000 to 1.2 percent in 2006, due to Article V, and that the County had seen some slight increases in Human Services and Culture and Recreation. He commented that the chart showed that the County’s expenditures have basically remained the same, even as their budget has grown, showing that they were maintaining a commitment to all the categories. He also mentioned that the County was keeping pace with the number of employees to the number of citizens in the County, but that the cost of the fringe benefits for those employees had increased due to increasing retirement and insurance rates that had been felt in all industries. He reported that since 2001, the County’s current revenues had exceeded their current expenditures. He showed how the County was maintaining their roads and what the cost of that was, stating that in 2000, it cost about $3,200 to maintain one mile of road and in 2006, that was up to over $5,300, due to a lot of factors, including a backlog of maintenance needs, increased population, and declining infrastructure.
STATE OF THE ROADS
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, commented that last week at the Florida Association of Counties, there was a lot of discussion about what would happen regarding taxation, but his group was talking about the ability to maintain their existing infrastructure while facing skyrocketing costs. He stated that they had tried every different option to deal with this issue. He explained that the Road Operations Division of the Public Works Department were responsible for maintenance of the signs, signals, striping, drainage, and roadways contained in the County maintained road network.
Mr. Kristian Swenson, Road Operations Division Director, explained that they broke down the Road Operations into three sections, one of which was the Administration Section, which provided management support, and that the other two sections dealt with maintenance. The Direct Maintenance involved the hands-on service, such as mowing, fixing potholes, and maintenance of roads, and the indirect maintenance were the same type of tasks, but just provided by private industry.
Mr. Stivender stated that the County was broken down into three maintenance areas, which were Area I (Leesburg), Area II (Minneola), and Area III (Umatilla). He went on to explain that the biggest change was in the Minneola area, which was the whole south end of the County, and that the Umatilla area was everything east of Tavares. He explained that the rating system they used was a nationally recognized system, and that they had been refining it over the last four years.
Mr. Swenson continued to explain that their direct-maintenance employees looked at every road in the County annually, took measurements, documented where there were curves and sidewalks, and looked at the condition. He specified that the PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating) system had ratings that went from 1 to 10, taking into account cracks, number of potholes, and things like that, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. He also pointed out a chart on Page 6 of the booklet that showed the life span of Lake County roads and how by year 15, the road really started to fall off and became an area of critical concern. Also, he noted the chart on the next page which showed the general information about the road inventory and how many miles of road the County had and how many of those were asphalt and clay. Mr. Stivender pointed out that they had been working to reduce the amount of clay roads, because the cost of equipment and maintenance of those were much greater than for paved roads. They also pointed out that waiting until roads got below a rating of 4 would cost a lot more to repair, because the only alternative would be resurfacing as opposed to other types of repair or thin non-structural overlay, and waiting until a road deteriorated beyond that point would impact customer service and rideability. Mr. Stivender commented that they were working on ways to extend the life of the roads as much as possible to decrease the amount of resurfacing that needed to be done.
Mr. Swenson related that 56 percent of the County’s roads were in the area of critical concern or rapid deterioration, and specified that page 11 in the booklet broke down the areas of critical concern by Commission Districts. He also mentioned that pothole repairs were more common, pronounced and expensive for roads rated under a rating of 6, especially in wet weather. He stated that the annual inventory they had previously mentioned was used to compile their road resurfacing program, and that the lowest rating and the highest traffic count would be a priority for resurfacing. It was also mentioned that the rate of resurfacing each road was about every 100 years, making it imperative that the roads be maintained so that their lifespan extended that long, especially in the face of drastic increases in the price of asphalt since 2003. Mr. Stivender emphasized that he would put any new dollars into the resurfacing of existing roads and that he was concentrating on that portion of their infrastructure.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Stivender if there were any innovative ways brought up at the Orlando conference to fund resurfacing.
Mr. Stivender responded that the only thing that was discussed, which was very complicated, was MSBU’s, where an area would identify and vote to bill themselves for resurfacing roads, and that some Counties’ subdivisions were all set up that way.
Mr. Swenson pointed out the three future maintenance strategies shown on page 16, and that Strategy 1 was to let a road deteriorate to a category 6, just as it gets to an area of critical concern, and then put on a sealcoat. He specified that Strategy 2 was to allow a road to decline to a category 4 and perform an asphalt overlay to increase it up to a category 6, where it would be sealcoated; and Strategy 3 was to allow the road to deteriorate to a 4, resurface with a conventional asphalt overlay, and bring it back up to an acceptable level of a 9 and then allow it to deteriorate to a category 4 again. He noted that the cost of Strategy 1 was the cheapest, Strategy 2 was slightly more expensive, and Strategy 3 was double the cost of Strategy 1; and he commented that they had used a combination of all three strategies.
Mr. Swenson pointed out that page 19 contained charts which showed the amount of roads, broken down into Commission Districts, in the categories that were currently needing treatment and the cost of that, and that the total cost of needed repairs was currently about $43 million. Mr. Stivender pointed out that impact fees were not used for this type of maintenance, and that they had about $1.5 million in sales tax, but that they were looking at shuffling that a little bit to try to bump that number up to keep pace with the cost of resurfacing. He commented that $43 million would put them on a pace that would be the best case scenario, and although he realized that that was probably not realistic, he wanted to show the Board the real numbers. He also emphasized that they were focusing on the worst situations regarding resurfacing concerns. Mr. Swenson commented that unfortunately the subdivisions and residential type roads were falling off the program because of lack of resources and trying to keep up with the main thoroughfares with high traffic counts.
FIVE-YEAR SIDEWALK CONSTRUCTION PLAN
Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, stated that the sidewalk program had been planned since the sales tax had passed in 2003, some of which was supposed to go towards sidewalks. He stated that the price of concrete and the acquisition of the right of ways had made it more difficult and reduced the amount of projects that they could undertake. After being bombarded with many requests for sidewalks, they had developed a matrix to rate the requests, and he requested that the Board let him know if they were on the right track with this rating system and the program. He pointed out that they had listed 11 projects for the next five years, based on the revenue that they had. Some of the factors that they had looked at included whether they connected to parks or schools, whether there was shopping in the area, paved shoulders, and whether they were missing links to other sidewalks. He commented that the other question was whether to raise the percentage above 5 percent of the penny sales tax next year to increase the revenues for sidewalks.
He went over the projects individually, starting with their number one project, which was CR 455 in Montverde. He commented that there was a school there and that they were helping to fund a study on CR 455 to refurbish and rework the entire secondary road corridor. He noted that years ago that was a truck corridor, but now they got a lot of residential and school traffic out there, and there were no sidewalks at all.
The second project Mr. Stivender talked about was Hancock Road and Johns Lake Road in Clermont. He commented that they had gotten many calls on this and that it justified accessing all the school sites. He noted that a problem was that Johns Lake Road had an inadequate right of way, and they would have to acquire that. He stated that there were a lot of children walking in that area and a substantial amount of traffic, and that many other roads in this area had sidewalks on one or both sides. He stated that the Villa City Road area in Groveland had a similar situation. He specified that there was a large residential population to the north walking into a commercial area, and that it was a high-rated area for sidewalks. The two issues to address in that project would be a narrow right of way and working around the wetlands in the area.
The next one on their list of projects was the #2 Road in Howey-in-the-Hills, which they had been interested in for a long time. He pointed out that there were a lot of subdivisions west of town, government buildings, and the post office. Another project he mentioned was Eudora Road in Mount Dora, where there was a six-foot sidewalk on the west side where the elementary school was, but that a lot of the children lived on the east side. He commented that they would need to get a piece of right of way from several property owners to try to get a staging area on the east side of that road to cross the street and go into the subdivision behind the commercial area there.
He went on to say that they had gotten a lot of requests for sidewalks for the Grassy Lake Road and Washington Street area in Minneola, where there were two elementary schools, a cemetery, and a large residential area. He commented that trying to address pedestrian traffic there was going to be a challenge, because that road was the only way to get in and out from Old Highway 50 to Washington Street to get to any of those facilities. He then went on to address Dillard Road in Tavares, near Eustis, to link pieces of sidewalks that were built with different road projects, which would form a continuous sidewalk from the Huffstetler sidewalks, which were already in place, down to and across US Hwy 441. Another project was Thomas Avenue in Leesburg, which was a back door from Leesburg to Fruitland Park. He commented that there were parts that already had sidewalks and that this would link Griffin Road up to Martin Luther King Blvd. He noted that there were several apartment complexes that were not there a couple of years ago and pedestrians that walked along the side of the road where there were no sidewalks.
Mr. Stivender spoke about some projects that had already been in the rating program and that they were already in the process of working on. One of those was for the south side of Lane Park Cutoff in Tavares, which was the location of the middle school. He stated that they were in the process of acquiring the last two or three pieces of right of way and wanted to get that one out of the way within the next few months. He also mentioned that there were residential areas and the Bragg Center all together at that location. He stated that Mohawk Road in Minneola was a similar situation, and that it would connect to the South Lake Trail. The last one on the list was CR 450A (Willis McCall Road) in Umatilla, and he noted that the cost of that was a little higher than expected, because they needed to put a railing in because there was a ditch to the north of it. He commented there were a lot of children walking in that area and other sidewalks near there.
Mr. Stivender stated that they would like to get the Board’s approval on those projects to move forward with a formal adoption so that they could proceed with the projects. He commented that the last pages of the booklet contained additional sidewalk projects that did not fall in the matrix for funding and were on hold.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he thought this matrix was a good system, and that they just needed to make sure that they moved the projects up as they could.
Commr. Renick commented that she believed that putting the emphasis on where there were schools was a good way to rate them.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:00 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for ten minutes.
PROPOSAL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE
Mr. Daryl Smith, Environmental Services Director, stated that he had talked with the Board at the last workshop about a month ago about the enhanced environmental compliance initiative that they were working toward, and wanted to get some feedback from them and to make sure they were heading in the right direction. He noted that at the last meeting they proposed two options, one of which was that they would undertake the responsibility for just enforcing the laws that were out there and the permits that DEP and the Water Management District would issue, and if someone did not have a permit, then they would make sure to bring them into compliance and fine them until they came into compliance. The other option that was presented was that they would start from scratch and get into the permitting business themselves on an ongoing basis. He recapped that the Board chose Option No. 1 and decided that they would hire another position to help them with that environmental enforcement. He commented that that position would be in next year’s budget, and until they got that resolved, they did not know how they would move forward with that program.
Mr. Smith reported that they had been working on an ordinance that Mr. Mike Bowers, their Division Director, was going to introduce to give them some ideas of how that might work. One of the things they had seen as they had been moving forward was an exciting interim, in-between option which would allow them to be delegated the authority to enforce the ordinance and the requirements that were in place by either the DEP or the Water Management District, and were in initial discussions with both of those organizations regarding that.
Commr. Cadwell asked if those agencies were offering any type of funding help if those agencies had to use less of their personnel.
Mr. Smith responded that they hoped there would be, but they did not know at this point.
Commr. Hill commented that she believed that this was mandated, but asked if it was an option that they could do.
Mr. Smith stated that currently they had a certain amount of ability to enforce in the compliance area, but they wanted to do more and recommended to the Board to give them the ability to do so. He also commented that they did not have enough staff to follow up on as many of those violations as they had, and neither did the DEP or Water Management District.
Mr. Bowers stated that currently if they saw a violation, they went out to assess the violation and then turn it over to the permitting agency, because they did not have any permitting or enforcement authority. He added that the difference between Option 1 and what they currently did was that they would continue to do what they did with the permits being issued by the State, but when they found someone that was in violation and did not have a permit, they would be able to fine them for not having a permit, but not for what they were doing, since they did not have permitting authority. He specified that the fines they were proposing ranged from $250 to $500, which was concurrent with what Code Enforcement was fining. He went on to explain that the alternative 2 would work very similar to the storage tank program where they would be delegated enforcement authority from the permitting agency and would be able to take it to their own code board and fine them. He noted that the ability to do that would come from adopting their Florida Statutes and their fining matrix.
Commr. Renick stated that she wanted the County to do this, because she wanted effective protection for their environment, and she was hoping that they could put more control in the County’s hands so that they would not have the abuses that she believed they had now. She hoped that if they could take over more, received the fines, and had control, then it would work better.
Commr. Hill believed that the other agencies should shift some additional money when they shifted additional responsibility to the County. She commented that if the County was going to take it over, she would rather them have the permitting ability also.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he was excited about going to Option 1, because they had a long discussion about going to the next step. He opined that Option 1 was a great first step for them and would allow them to know what was going on and be able to do something quickly to get it rectified.
Mr. Bowers also noted that Alternative 2 was an in-between step on the way to doing the permitting. He commented that the tradeoff was that the other agencies might not be able to wholly fund a position, but the County would have local control and would be able to do something about violations right away. He pointed out that any of the fines that they did get would go to them instead of to the State.
Mr. Smith stated that they had the ordinance drafted, but they were still working on a stop order procedure that was not incorporated into it right now and were still working with the County Attorney’s Office on that.
Commr. Renick asked if Mr. Smith was leaning toward Alternative 1 or Alternative 2.
Mr. Smith responded that they were looking on getting some feedback from the Board that day regarding whether they wanted them to pursue the possibility of getting delegation authority from either the DEP or the Water Management District. He stated that if they chose not to, then they would just proceed with the development of the ordinance that they currently had and not follow that course. He also noted that they were not talking about going to any full-blown permitting process at this time, but just the delegation possibility.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, asked if the funding would be the same for both alternatives.
Mr. Smith responded that it should be the same, but that if they accepted delegation, they would have to know what their responsibilities were and be assured that they could do that with one person.
Mr. Bowers commented that there would be a lengthy application process that they would have to go through to be approved to be a delegate, and they would find out at that time what would be required and assess whether they had the personnel to do that and how many people they would need. He opined that in talking with the different agencies, he got the feeling that they had what the agencies were looking for.
Commr. Stewart commented that she thought this should be a priority.
Commr. Renick stated that she thought that Mr. Smith and Mr. Bowers were absolutely headed in the right direction.
DISCUSSION OF LDR’S FOR INDUSTRIAL USE
Ms. Carol Stricklin, Growth Management Director, stated that this was the second part of the discussion regarding performance standards for industrial uses, addressing noise, odor, vibrations, and some of the impacts that were seen from those types of uses and how they could strengthen their performance standards for better code enforcement in those areas. She noted that she would address site development standards for heavy industrial uses at this workshop, and that these standards would apply to development of those sites or additions to existing sites. She pointed out that those standards would not address locational criteria for future land use or zoning, and that would be the next piece that would come up out of the Comprehensive Plan update and the Future Land Use Map. She further explained that they would address how sites that had that zoning would be allowed to develop.
She stated that she would walk through the ordinance that was included in the packet and explain how they were proposing to amend their existing regulations to better protect the residential areas. She explained that the Code classified industrial uses into heavy and light, and that they were looking primarily at heavy industrial uses, because those were the concrete plants and other types of uses that tended to have impacts on adjacent properties. She stated that the ordinance would reword those definitions to allow uses to be classified as either heavy or light and authorized the County Manager or designee to make a determination based upon those impacts when a use might fall into heavy industrial.
She reported that the next thing the ordinance did was to look at the table of allowable uses, which was the chart in the Code that specified where heavy industrial uses were allowed. She explained that currently heavy industrial uses were considered permitted in those zoning districts where it was an allowable use. Her department was suggesting that they amend those standards so that when a heavy industrial use was proposed within 500 feet of a residential property or PUD zoning, it became a conditional use and would require a public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell asked if this would apply to the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park.
Ms. Stricklin responded that this would apply to the Industrial Park.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he had a problem with that, even though he understood that they were doing it only for the industries they would worry about.
Ms. Stricklin pointed out that they had also attached a “Footnote 24,” creating a new section that would define what the conditions of approval were, specifically having to do with requirements for minimum setbacks, noise attenuation measures (including the conducting of noise studies), hours of operation, screening of outdoor storage of materials, and treatment of dust.
Commr. Stewart asked what was required now of the heavy industrial that was already established next to residential neighborhoods as far as noise.
Mr. Stricklin responded that the noise standards were in the County Code, and they had to do with a nuisance standard pursued through Code Enforcement. She commented that they had received direction from the Board to look at other ways of controlling noise impacts, perhaps looking at a standard based upon decibels or something that was specifically measurable. She also confirmed that if they amended their noise standards in the County Code, it would apply to existing uses. She further explained that they were suggesting that during the development of new sites, it would give them the ability to look at noise attenuation measures at the time the site was built, such as placement of machinery, screening of machinery, concrete walls to block sound, and those types of things as part of the new site plan approval. She noted that hours of operation was an issue that frequently arose with heavy industrial uses and one she thought they would have a lot of discussion about, because certain types of industrial uses, such as concrete plants, were required to operate outside of what was considered normal business hours. She explained that they were supplying materials that were needed at certain times of the day and would have trouble conforming to the County’s hours of operation restriction.
Ms. Stricklin stated that the final area of change had to do with the landscaping requirements, and that currently they had bufferyard requirements that looked at the zoning of the site and the adjacent site, and there was a table that defined what type of bufferyard was required. Her department was proposing a new bufferyard standard of 50 feet as well as additional screening requirements within that bufferyard that could be imposed for the most intense industrial use adjacent to residential.
She related that based upon the Board’s direction, they would go in front of the Local Planning Agency for their review and bring this back to the Board for a public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would like to have a discussion with staff about the DRI, because he had concerns about the logic of that. He noted that they had their own architectural rules and extra rules already and that they probably already did everything they would do in a CUP.
Commr. Renick commented that the new regulations would only add an additional 20 feet of buffering, and she had noticed that a 100 foot buffer was not unusual in some ordinances she had researched for a heavy industrial use such as a concrete plant.
Commr. Cadwell commented that if a business was in industrial zoning and surrounded by industrial, to make them go through a CUP would not be a good thing from a business and economic standpoint, if they were not close to residential houses.
Ms. Stricklin commented that a big issue with those industrial uses was encroachment by residential, where residential uses had established themselves around a business that did not have anything around it for many years.
Commr. Cadwell established that the Board was comfortable with the direction that staff was moving in, and he stated that he would meet with Ms. Stricklin on the CUP and DRI issue itself regarding the industrial park.
DISCUSSION OF myregion.org POLICY FRAMEWORK
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that the County had been involved with the How Shall We Grow process since its inception a couple of years ago, and it was concluding in August. She related that one of the things each of the jurisdictions was asked to do was to present the policy framework that they had developed as six broad goals that were representative of the feedback that they got from citizens in the entire region. She explained that the myregion.org group would like each jurisdiction to actually sign and indicate support of the three documents she had given to the Board members, which were the Regional Policy Framework and Action plan, the Regional Growth Compact, and the Map with population centers. She also specified that in the Policy Framework, there were six policies that they had identified, with some action steps and implementation strategies, which were in the process of being revised. She pointed out that the second document given to the Board was the Compact, which reiterated the six policies that were listed in the policy framework, and it was basically an agreement to work regionally on all of those types of policies so that there was a regional effort to pursue that vision. She stated that the third item in the packet was presented at a joint meeting of all the cities and all elected officials, which was a map with the centers of population identified. She also commented that Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO), had been working with the cities to ensure that they were comfortable with the type of population circle that was put on the map, and was in the process of getting feedback from the cities. She asked the Board for feedback or consensus about the three centers of population that were in the unincorporated area, which were the Villages, the Four Corners area, and the Mr. Plymouth-Sorrento area. She also asked the Board for feedback or consensus regarding all three documents presented.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the framework they put together, the shared vision, and the maps were pretty realistic, and he would encourage the Board to support it. He also commented that the question would be how they would implement it.
Commr. Hill asked how binding the agreement would be, such as the part where they were going to equitably distribute the cost of developing alternative water supplies.
Ms. Hall responded that most of those were to encourage or support those types of words that were almost philosophical in nature and not asking for money, but just to participate in those types of discussions. She stated that the County’s policy was to work with the cities to help them develop their water systems. She also opined that it was her understanding that they were not requiring the governments to behave any differently than they currently did, but it was a philosophical exercise to look at all of those issues from a regional perspective.
Commr. Renick commented that she was not sure that it accomplished a whole lot, and that they had the MPO Alliance, the Regional Planning Council, and a lot of other entities that looked at working cooperatively with the surrounding regions. She opined that they had already gone through all of that and that it seemed redundant to her. She also commented that she did not think there was anything in the myregion.org documents that worried her, because she did not think it was in any way binding. She stated that the Board’s region was Lake County, and that they looked out for Lake County, but that they had worked with other counties on joint things when they needed to.
Commr. Cadwell stated that in the past, they had come together with other counties to solve an issue. He commented that under every category, since he had been on the Board, there had probably been at least one issue that they had to do something together with other regions. He believed that this would be a good guideline or framework to work under for a solution to a particular problem affecting the region as a whole. He also commented that this would include a larger region than they had ever included before. He noted, however, that he understood Commr. Renick’s doubts.
Commr. Hill commented that she was concerned that agreeing to create a regional multi-modal transportation system, such as light rail, would shift the State’s dollars and take away from the County’s local road dollars.
Ms. Hall stated that she did not think there would be any shift in funding, and that she thought that they were moving toward the MPO Alliance as a transportation entity. She also commented that it was meant to create a better communication mechanism from a regional perspective and for Lake County to be a participant in the discussions that would go on.
Commr. Hill commented that she did not see the need to create another transportation authority other than the MPO and was concerned that doing so could take it out of the County’s hands and that there was a shift in general against local control.
Ms. Hall stated that she would certainly be willing to give feedback to the myregion.org people, and if there was concern about whether it locked the County into any kind of funding or about losing an element of local control, she could take that back to them.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they had until August to research it more and get all of their questions answered.
IMPACT FEE DISCUSSION
Commr. Cadwell stated that when they had large increases in impact fees in the past, the Board had randomly come up with a percentage that they would increase them just to keep everyone satisfied and on the same page. He mentioned that he had talked to everyone he could think of on the state and national level about this subject, especially pertaining to commercial and industrial, and he was looking for an economic indicator they could use on the commercial and the industrial in a scientific way. He had ideas that he wanted to discuss with staff about how Lake County could create their own CPI, where they would decide what applicable indicators they would use. He mentioned that Mr. Bob McKee, Tax Collector, was willing to work with staff as a constitutional officer and present his ideas to do that. Commr. Cadwell wanted to know if there was interest from the Board in this as an option as they go through the process of discussing it. He pointed out that he was not endorsing that at this time, but just wanted staff to look at it.
Commr. Hill commented that the League of Cities was concerned about whether the methodology of the way they did impact fees was correct and if there was a different way and how they would compensate for commercial and industrial.
Commr. Renick stated that even though she was for slow growth, she was referring to residential growth, and she was hoping that they could get the County less dependent on the housing industry by bringing in other industry and businesses.
Commr. Cadwell concurred and commented that they still had to compete.
Commr. Stewart stated that it was commercial and industrial that she was also concerned about as they discussed the increases in the impact fees.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that if the transportation impact fees were based on traffic generation and if they could demonstrate that the traffic generation was different, then they could adjust the study. He commented that they could not adjust the impact fees in one category to save another, but they would have to make up those revenues using another revenue source.
Commr. Stewart noted that in several studies on impact fees she had seen, cities that passed high impact fees had not lost any kind of business, industrial, or residential growth.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he was concerned about this great of an increase and wanted the Board to be conscientious about what they were doing.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 p.m.
WELTON CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK