SEPTEMBER 11, 2007

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, September 11, 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; Debbie Stivender; Elaine Renick; 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; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.


Mr. Ken Harley, Public Transportation Manager, gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that she wanted to make a clarification on Tab 1, which was that the presentation of the Proclamation for Lake County Pollution Prevention Week would be at the next Board meeting on September 18, but the Agenda item was correct.

Commr. Hill stated that she would like to add some things under her business, including the Clerk of the Court’s request for storage as well as an item concerning impact fees.

Commr. Cadwell stated that under his business, he wanted to add two things.  He explained that they needed to make a decision on the December Zoning Meeting, and they needed to get a calendar out and look at the dates to make sure there was not a conflict, because Growth Management had to advertise.  He also wanted to have a brief discussion on the Belton property, which might require some action, and he wanted to place that on the Agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board voted to put those items on the Agenda.


Commr. Renick stated that she wanted to pull Tab 4, not because she had a problem with it, but just because of the amount.

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 1 through 5, pulling Tab 4, as follows:

Environmental Services

Request for approval of Proclamation No 2007-136 declaring the week of September 18, 2007 as Lake County Pollution Prevention Week and allow the students of Tavares High School to give a presentation in show of their support for Pollution Prevention.  (Ms. Hall stated that the presentation of that would be at the next Board meeting, September 18.)

Growth Management

Request for approval of the Satisfaction and Release of Mortgage, Property Owner: Karl Shirey, Code Case #CEB 105-98 – Commission District 5.


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

Public Safety

Request for approval and authorization for Chairman to execute Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement as negotiated.

Commr. Renick stated that the reason she pulled Tab 4, the request to approve the contract with Norment Security Group, Inc. for upgrades at the Detention Center and the budget transfer for that in the amount of $590,000.00, was that she wanted items for that amount to be put on the regular agenda.  She commented that she was satisfied and appreciated the information that Mr. Jim Bannon, Facilities Development and Management, provided to them in the memo.  She realized that this was a very specialized field and that they had to go forward with that.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 4, as follows:


Request for approval and execution of a contract with Norment Security Group, Inc. to provide an upgrade to the Trentech door control and access system currently installed at the Detention Center and to approve budget transfer of $590,000.00.


Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections, stated that they were going to present the optical scan voting system mandated by the State using paper ballots.

Mr. Gene Seets, the Regional Sales Manager with Election System and Software (ES &S), stated that Lake County had been a long-time customer of their company, and he wanted to make sure they answered any technical questions.  He commented that Lake County has had optical scanning for many years, but the difference was that they were going to have it at the precinct level where it would actually be scanned and imaged at the precinct.  He explained that this would present some different issues than the County has had in the past, but that it would be a fairly easy system to transition into, since paper has been around in this county for so long.

Mr. Steve Bolton, Product Developer for ES&S, commented that they tried to make the system as simple as possible for the poll workers to operate.  He showed how the system worked,  and mentioned that it had its own security cover on it and locked down so that no one could interfere with the system.  He stated that the poll workers would have a key that they would put in the lock for the initial ballot box, they would open the lid to that, and they would see the DS200 sitting inside the system.  He explained that there was another key that opened the lid to power the machine up; there was a question that the workers would answer that opened the polls; and the system would print out the poll tape.  They made it so that when a poll worker was ready to start the day, it would be simple to open the polls to produce multiple zero tapes so they could be signed and the election could be started.  He related that the voter would be handed a ballot when they came in; they voted the ballot; and then inserted the ballot in the machine.  He noted that there was a “second chance voting” mechanism, which if the voter mismarked their ballot; left a section blank; or underlined, circled, or put a checkmark by their choice instead of filling in the oval; the device would detect it and send it back to the voter with a message on how to correct the ballot.  He also commented that it imaged the ballot, so that if the election office wanted to bring up the images later on as they canvassed, they were allowed to look at the electronic image of the ballot as well as the physical paper one.  He commented that they definitely wanted to design this system so that they did not have to worry about any new rules or regulations from the State, which were constantly changing.

Mr. Seets pointed out that the M650, which did the absentee ballots, worked off the same software as the iVotronic for the people with disabilities and fell into the same family of election equipment that they presently had, but was just an additional piece.  He also noted that there was battery backup for the voting equipment on board in case of a power outage, and it would be able to scan about 600-800 ballots on that battery.

Mr. Bolton explained that it was simple to load the paper, and all they would have to do was to drop the printer roll into the slot.  He also mentioned that at the end of the night of the election, there was a simple procedure that the poll worker would do to close the polls.

Mr. Seets commented that the system was virtually maintenance free, other than routine checks for it, and demonstrated that it was easy if something did happen, for someone to get in and clean something out or for a maintenance person to check it.  He specified that it did not need any kind of calibration or paper gap sensors.

Commr. Cadwell asked in the event of a recount, if the paper tape would suffice or if they would have to put the ballot back through.

Mr. Seets responded that they would have a series of options, including the paper tape, thumb drive with the election results on it, the actual paper ballots, and the electronic images.

Mr. Bolton added that there had been some precedent set in this State in regard to electronic copies as documentation, and they were trying to convince them that in the event of a recount, they could utilize the images and not have to open up the actual ballot boxes themselves and dig through the paper.




Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of the Department of Community Services, stated that this was for the approval of the 2006/07 SHIP annual report, which also included work for 2004/05 and 2005/06.  He was requesting that the Board approve the report so they could proceed with submitting it to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC).  He noted that there were some issues they were working on with the FHFC as far as the funds that were not spent in 2004/05 and 2005/06.  They had funds that should have been expended by now, but they were requesting an extension from the FHFC to encumber those funds and spend those down.  He explained that there were a number of reasons for that, including that the environment of the construction industry during those years made it very difficult to find contractors to work on repairing homes.  He further specified that during that time, they had two contractors that were working full time with them on that program, but currently they had twelve contractors.

Ms. Liz Eginton, Housing and Community Development Director, Department of Community Services, explained that the handout she presented showed the cumulative SHIP expenditures.  She stated that they were supposed to be completely spent out in their 2004/05 fund, but that there was a little left to encumber.  Also, they still had almost $1.4 million that they still needed to encumber for the 2005/2006 year, so they were a little bit behind as far as their expenditures were concerned.  They were working with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to help them develop a plan to get back in compliance hopefully by early next year, and they were having a technical assistance visit from the Florida Housing Coalition, which did the technical assistance for the FHFC, later on in September.  She commented that part of the problem was that they had been understaffed at the supervisory level.

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 7, the request from Community Services for approval of the FY 2006-07 SHIP Annual Report and the FY 2006-07 Hurricane Housing Annual Report; to direct the Department of Community Services to submit both Reports to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation; and to authorize the Chairman to sign the SHIP Annual Report Certification and the SHIP Regulatory Certification.


            Ms. Eginton stated that they recognized that, in order to speed up their expenditures, they needed additional help at the supervisory level, and this had become particularly critical since they had gotten the additional tornado funds.  They were requesting a Senior Community Development Specialist to take some of the load off of their Community Development Manager.  She stated that it was grant funded, and there were funds available from this year as well as next year.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that the whole program was confusing and tough to manage, and there were real ramifications if they did not manage it properly.

            Ms. Eginton related that they had been in contact with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation very frequently, and they were happy with what they were doing.

            Commr. Stivender commented that this additional person would be working with those twelve or more contractors to get this funding expended.

             On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 8, a request from Community Services for approval of the addition of a Senior Community Development Specialist position to the Housing and Community Development Division of Community Services; approval of related budget transfer in the amount of $15,000 to fund the positions; and approval to amend the proposed FY 2008 budget to include this position and modify the funding allocation.


            Mr. Fletcher Smith stated that Tab 9 was a request to approve and execute the resolution to ratify the issuance of Orange County Housing Finance Authority Homeowner Revenue Bonds and Homeowner Subordinate Revenue Bonds on behalf of Lake County in the amount of $30 million.  He explained that the Orange County Housing Finance Authority represented Lake County in issuing these bonds to make available to lenders and to potential homeowners who wanted to purchase homes.

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2007-137 to ratify issuance by the Orange County Housing Finance Authority of Homeowner Revenue Bond and Homeowner Subordinate Revenue Bonds on behalf of Lake County.

            Mr. W. D. Morris, Executive Director of Orange County Housing Finance Authority, expressed his appreciation for the Board’s support and for the understanding of the need to provide affordable housing finance for its residents, and they looked forward to a continuing relationship.  He also commented that Lake County was probably one of the last places within Central Florida where there were those opportunities, and the County had the best development opportunities in the state right now.

            Commr. Renick commented that there were so many programs to learn about, but she thought there were a number of people that were complaining that they did not have anything in place for addressing affordable housing and assistance for first time home buyers.

            Commr. Cadwell pointed out that Lake County had some pretty aggressive programs and that their problem in the past was that the state kept a lot of those revenues from the SHIP trust fund instead of passing them down, so the County would run out of money around mid-year when they first started the program.

            Commr. Renick also added that, as stated during discussion of the last two items, they also had trouble finding contractors to work for these programs in the past, but now there were more contractors available to do that.



Ms. Jo-Anne Drury from the Budget Office stated that this item was for the purpose of setting    the final Fire Rescue Assessment rates for fiscal year 2008.  She specified that the residential rate was proposed to be $197 per year, and all of the proposed rates, which were included in the Agenda package, were based on a study done by a consultant in 2003.  She related that the proposed rates were included on the taxpayer TRIM notices and were the maximum rates that they could set that day.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Jim Franklin, a resident of Fruitland Park, stated that he would have no objection to the fire fee increase if that fire fee was used to give the fire fighters about a ten percent pay raise.  He also commented that there was a problem with fire fees not being assessed against certain exempt properties, resulting in about $800,000 in lost revenue.  He thought that the state tightening of its purse strings would have a ripple effect on down to the County.  He also thought that the revenue from the increase would pay for about 32 new firemen/EMT’s.

Mr. David Barkin, a Bay Lakes area resident, addressed equity service and stated that when they moved to a rural area, they did not expect immediate emergency service, but they expected something for the ever-increasing tax dollars they paid.  He mentioned that he was a retired fire fighter and appreciated the job they did, but he was concerned that the response time in their area was over 22 minutes, which was totally unacceptable.  He noted that there had been three houses that had burned to the ground in his area.  He wanted fire service that was adequate for everyone.

Mr. Troy Lewis, a resident of the Green Swamp area, stated that he lived next to the fire station on CR 561, which had been a volunteer station and had never been professionally manned.  He was also concerned that he was getting no service for his tax dollars, and related that a lot of people in his area as well as the Bay Lakes area were concerned about this issue.  He noted that it took 40 minutes for fire fighters to arrive after a house in his neighborhood caught on fire two years ago.  He stated that he knew a lot of fire fighters and was appreciative of what they did, but he was concerned that he was subsidizing fire service for other areas with his tax dollars.  He did not mind paying an increased fire fee, but wanted something for that money.  He also complained that illegal lot splits were resulting in the deterioration of their dirt road, which would make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through, and that the County was not helping to maintain it.  He concluded by stating that they were not getting any equity whatsoever.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Mr. Gary Kaiser, Public Safety Director, stated that the Board has been very supportive the last four years of building this fire department.  He explained that they have transitioned from more than half of a volunteer force to a professional force, which was expensive, but that they tried to do the most with every dollar that they had.  He assured the Board that they were growing the department and were reaching out to those areas that had been remote and had not had any service, and they were working toward a resolution of the unacceptable response times.  He specified that this resolution was moving in that direction and addressing the staffing issue to put more full time personnel to address that.  He also noted that they were down to three active volunteers left in the entire county, so they had to make up that deficit.  He opined that they were very close to having truly county-wide full time professional service.

Commr. Cadwell asked if the plan he was referring to would give some relief down in that area.

Mr. Kaiser assured Commr. Cadwell that it would give relief, and added that they were desperately trying to catch up and had been systematically addressing the audit done the first summer he arrived.

Commr. Cadwell commented that they had stayed true to the plan for building the department to what they would need for the citizens, and they were getting towards the end and needed to finish the job.

Fire Chief John Jolliff stated that Fire Station 110 on CR 561 was an existing building, so they could staff that.  He explained that Fire Station 79 would have to be new, since there was nothing there.

Ms. Drury added that if the rate were to stay the same this fiscal year, they would be about $2.5 million short in the fire rescue budget, which would have to be made up with personnel issues.

Mr. Kaiser stated that they would make every effort to extend the service as far as they possibly could without jeopardizing the safety of any of the people that were out there, either the public or employees.

Commr. Cadwell commented that they were probably going to be alright with the proposed fee, but they wanted them to man Station 110 as part of the plan, with the understanding that they would have to address some issues regarding personnel next year.

Mr. Franklin re-addressed the Board to ask the Board to screen the tax exemption list, and stated that all the properties on the exemption list were not all non-profit.  He related that there were restaurants, hotels, and dormitories on that list, and opined that he did not think a building should be exempt just because it was owned by a church.  He suggested that the Board members get a copy of the exemption list and screen it.

Commr. Renick thought that they could man Station 110 on CR 561 and Station 111 in Bay Lake with the overhire positions.

Commr. Cadwell commented that there would have to be a commitment next year to hire people to man those brand new stations.

Mr. Kaiser specified that they had 15 overhire positions, and if they were to use those people, it would probably increase their overtime budget by 50 percent.

Commr. Stivender asked if she made a motion to raise the assessment fee, to man Stations 110 and 111, and to review the exemptions, would the proposed assessment cover that this year.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he was very sympathetic to the residents in those areas, but he thought that they should look at call volumes and other data before making decisions on manning the fire stations.  He also opined that telling them where to put fire stations in the resolution to pass a fee made no sense business-wise or safety-wise.

Commr. Stivender moved to impose the fire rescue assessment as presented and to review the exemptions for the non-profits, and to direct staff to look at how they could get people manned at Station 110 and 111.  Commr. Hill seconded it for discussion.

Commr. Renick stated that it was her understanding that they had stations out there that were not manned and that with this increase in fire fee, they would be able to man those.

Commr. Stivender stated that her understanding was that the CR 561 Station would be able to be manned, and the increase would also prevent further layoffs.

Mr. Kaiser stated that the budget request was to staff Station 110 on CR 561, and there would be three overhires in there.

Commr. Stivender withdrew her motion, and Commr. Hill withdrew her second.  Commr. Stivender asked Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, if it was legal to add the manning of a specific fire station in the resolution.

Mr. Minkoff responded that it should just be direction to the County Manager to deal with that in the budget.

Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that the actual budget proposal did include Station 110, so it was not required to put it into the motion.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to impose the Fire Rescue Assessment as presented to the Board in Resolution No. 2007-138 for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2007, and to have staff review the exemptions.


At 10:20 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for fifteen minutes.


Mr. Daryl Smith, Environmental Services Director, stated that this was the request to approve the final resolution for the Solid Waste Materials Assessment for Fiscal Year 2007/2008 and each fiscal year thereafter until discontinued or changed.  He emphasized that this included the proposal that the assessment be increased by $13 from the existing $174 up to $187.  He also noted that over the past five years, the assessment did go up to $180 but came back down to $174, and it had been there for the past three years.  One reason he thought it was important to approve the assessment was that the collection services that they currently provided to the residents of the unincorporated area of the County were provided by outside contractors, and that part of the contract provision was that the fees were increased on an annual basis based on certain economic factors.  He specified that the average was about $105 when they started, and today it was up to over $129, and none of that has been added to the cost of the services to their customers.  He stated that the other customers would end up subsidizing those increases for the unincorporated customers.  He stated that the second consideration was regarding the solid waste management system becoming an enterprise fund and how they were viewed by the financial community, so that if they went into the bond market to receive funding, they would want to be reviewed favorably.  He also commented that their rates were the second lowest compared to all the other municipalities.  He concluded that he thought it made sense at this time to approve that $13 increase and recommended that the Board adopt the increased fee.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Jim Miller, a resident of Leesburg, stated that the state legislature earlier in the year directed local governments to reduce property taxes for everyone, and the fear was that fees assessment such as this would go up in response.  He was concerned that unincorporated Lake was being used to subsidize the rest of Lake County and to make up for some of that property tax that was given back.  He also had issue with the over 7 percent increase, because personal incomes and the cost of living had not gone up 7 percent.  He asked that if the Board did approve it, that in their comments they explain a little better what this money was being used for.

There being no further individuals who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

Commr. Cadwell commented that the Board was also concerned about fee increases, and that he thought after looking at the numbers that this was an area where they could continue to work with the dollars they had available and not raise it.

Commr. Stewart commented that the County’s citizens were having trouble paying their taxes, and they needed to keep the rates from going up as much as possible.  She stated that the fire assessment was concerning public safety and was a different matter, but she believed they needed to keep the load off of their citizens as much as they could.

Commr. Renick stated that she had originally wanted to advertise this to have more time to learn more about this issue to make an educated decision, but now she was not willing to go through with an increase either at this time.

Commr. Hill stated that usually they reflected the fund balances a bit low at this time with the reserves and the contingencies, and after the audits were completed the first of next year, they might want to re-address it and see where they were at that time.  She suggested that they could always adjust it in midyear, but she appreciated that the Board wanted to stay with the current fee.  She also hoped that they stayed with the recycling program.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2007-139 for the Final Assessment for Solid Waste Materials Assessment for fiscal year 2007-2008, staying with the current fee of $174, and looking to see if there was a need for an adjustment in midyear.




Commr. Hill reported that she looked into the record storage needs for the Clerk, as directed at the previous BCC meeting.  She stated that she met with the Clerk and went out to the warehouse, and the Sheriff’s storage needs were at a different level than the Clerk’s, who needed air conditioning, fire suppression, staffing availability and use, easy access to the records, and a different type of shelving and furniture.  She commented that they could accommodate them within that warehouse easier and less costly, on property they already owned.

Mr. Jim Bannon, Facilities Development and Management Director, showed a sketch of the expansion, and commented that this came about because they were very tight for space, and as soon as this property became available, everyone wanted it.  His maintenance staff moved into that building after they did the swap with Belton and he took over the building downtown.  In addition to that, under the Capital Assets, they had a lot of surplus equipment.  He had looked at the Clerk’s needs and identified those at around 10,000 square feet and had identified that Information Technology (IT) required an additional 3,200 square feet, so their proposal would be to add an addition on to the existing warehouse building.  He pointed out on the overall site drawing the existing building and the addition to that building.  He also related that the intention would be that over the years, they would gradually extend the building out in one direction, and he may have to look at reconfiguring the road so that it would not interfere with any current or future expansion.  He explained that if the Board approved this, they would begin in four to six months.

Commr. Stivender commented that would mean that they would not be able to use that space for another nine to twelve months.

Commr. Hill opined that as long as the Clerk saw some progress on this issue, she thought he would be alright with that.

Commr. Stivender asked what funding source this would come out of.

Commr. Hill responded that they could probably use the half million dollars that they had slated for the Dillard project, and they had fairground funds and reserves.  She stated that they just needed direction on this.

Commr. Stivender commented that this was the direction they originally started when they looked at that warehouse, so she thought that would be the best direction to go in, because then it was permanently owned by the County.

Commr. Cadwell asked if the original Agenda item was the approval of a lease.

Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, mentioned that they had asked Commr. Hill to meet with the Clerk and to come back.

Commr. Cadwell ruled that it was on the Agenda, and they tabled it.  He asked for a motion regarding the request to negotiate a lease.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to deny the lease agreement request for the Dillard property for the Clerk’s storage needs.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to direct staff to look into the expansion of the warehouse and funding sources for that.


Commr. Hill explained that the Impact Fee Committee was going to be meeting on September 20 to re-discuss the School Impact Fee, which was the same date as their joint meeting with the Four Corners, so she would not be able to attend the School Impact Fee meeting with her committee.  She also asked if the County Attorney was going to be able to have representation at that meeting, since he gave an opinion to the School Board that included some different concepts or legal points for them to address when they approved the study.  She mentioned that the only one they considered and changed was concurrency.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that they did not usually go to the Impact Fee Committee meetings on a regular basis, but if there was an issue, he was the one that usually attended it.  He commented that his office was struggling with the same conflict of having the two meetings at the same time.

Commr. Cadwell suggested that they reschedule the Impact Fee meeting.  He asked Commr. Hill how cumbersome it would be to reschedule that.

Commr. Hill stated that she thought they could do that.

Ms. Angi Thompson, Impact Fee Coordinator, stated that they had a consultant coming from Washington to present the study at that meeting, so rescheduling would be contingent upon his availability.  She also related that the consultant’s fee was being paid for by the School Board.

Commr. Cadwell gave direction to try to reschedule that meeting.

Commr. Hill added that there would be quite a few issues raised within that study.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he thought it was important that they had a full Board present at the Four Corners meeting.



Commr. Cadwell stated that he had a request from the Zoning Department to make sure their dates were right in regards to getting out letters and advertisements on the December Zoning meeting.

Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that it looked like they were planning on having that meeting December 18.

Commr. Cadwell directed Ms. Hall to advise the Zoning Department about that date.


Commr. Cadwell stated that he was going to hold off discussing the Belton issue for a week.  He commented that every time they brought that building up, no one wanted it or everyone wanted it, so they would talk about that next week.


The Chairman announced at 11:05 a.m. that they would recess for fifteen minutes.


Mr. Roy Hunter, from the Northeast Lake Chamber of Commerce, thanked Ms. Allison Thall, the Director of the Elder Affairs Council, for the good job she did on the Elder Affairs Symposium last Friday, September 7.  He commented that Ms. Thall had done a terrific job on everything, including the news letter.  He opined that all the members of that committee were great.

He stated that the Northeast Chamber meeting was that night, September 11, in which Mr. Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Director, would be talking about dealing with emergencies.  He mentioned that this meeting would be at the Community Center instead of the school, because of a scheduling conflict.



Commr. Renick noted that they had the issue of the fields in South Lake come up again and again and that they had done the study and knew that there was a huge void in South Lake to the point where she felt they had to do something.  She was going to suggest that they look at the budget, and she stated that she had already discussed this with Ms. Hall and had looked at different areas where they could possibly get the money, one of which was the fairgrounds money, which was $1.5 million.  She was looking for some type of commitment, and she would like to see in the budget that they set aside a beginning amount in terms of working to that end.  She also had talked to Ms. Hall and Mr. Minkoff regarding the Conserve II property and about possibly making an offer on a much smaller piece of Conserve II or another piece of property in that area.  She suggested that they give direction to staff to actively look for land in South Lake for ball fields.

Commr. Cadwell asked where the County was in regard to the fairgrounds project, because they had set money aside over and over and changed their minds about what they were going to do.

Ms. Hall stated that there were a number of smaller projects that they had funded in next year’s budget, and the fairgrounds was one of them at $1.5 million for an air conditioning system for that building and other renovations.  She explained that they would need to look at their reserve levels, and as far as any large quantity of dollars, she wanted to look into it and see what she could come up with to propose to the Board.

Commr. Hall stated that there were wants and needs, and Mr. Watkins’ request was a definite need.  She stated that she knew there was a need for ball fields in the South Lake area, but she wanted to know how the City of Clermont had utilized their impact fee with their parks program and whether they had bought property already with that money.

Commr. Renick explained that they were in the process of acquiring land, but not for an active park, and she thought the Board should have a workshop to discuss all the questions they had regarding Clermont.  She wanted to set a priority to look at that issue, because they had children in the unincorporated areas that did not have any County park facilities.

Commr. Hill stated that was by design, because they had asked the cities to step up to provide active parks and recreation within the city, and Clermont created their impact fee for that purpose.  She did not want to overlay something that they had already started.

Commr. Renick commented that the numbers of children using the facilities were huge.

Commr. Cadwell opined that the money that they needed to discuss was the large amount of infrastructure money that they gave to Clermont, such as for Hancock Park, but that even with those dollars, the County still had not done enough when the numbers of unincorporated children who were participating was taken into consideration.  He also thought that the County needed to make a commitment to do something outside of the City.

Commr. Stewart commented that she did not realize what a critical need there was in that area for ball parks, and she thought that they should do what they could to get the process going to help them down there.

Commr. Cadwell stated that they needed to direct staff to look for funding sources for that.  He noted that the money they were going to look at was mostly going to be capital dollars, such as sales tax, and not general fund dollars.  He commented that during the budget process, they needed to make a commitment to move forward down there.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board directed staff to re-evaluate the budget to find money to designate for pursuing  regional park land in South Lake County.


Commr. Hill stated that she had previously brought up the Lakefront TV issue, and that Ms. Hall had met with Mr. Jay Evans, City Manager of Leesburg regarding that.

Ms. Hall explained that there was $66,000 that they did not need to budget yet, which was good news.  She related that the agreement that they had with Leesburg when they first partnered with them for Lakefront TV gave them a three-year grace period, and that three years was not yet up.  She further explained that they would be removing from the general fund the $66,000 that they had budgeted for connections to certain cable companies.

Commr. Hill suggested that they re-address that whole concept and the money that was set aside for the second station, which was to be for emergency purposes and was not set up to have the level of programming that it currently had.  She related that she had talked to the college, and they were willing to take any and all of that back and redo it to the level that the Board wanted.  She also commented that they increased it one year to reach the entire county during an emergency, but that it still did not do that.  She suggested that they look at the reverse 911 or some other way to make sure that they were reaching all of the pockets that the emergency station was not.

Commr. Cadwell commented that that issue was a complicated one that they needed to discuss and get a history of how the system worked and what the intent was.  He stated that they needed to make a policy decision about programming, but that it was not a budget issue.


Commr. Hill asked if they should discuss the law library, or if the Board wanted to wait and do that at a workshop.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the Board requested that a meeting be set up, and there was a meeting set for October 1 with the Law Library Board.  He related that the lease for that space would continue, unless the Board did not put it in the budget, in which case they had the ability to terminate it.  He explained that it was a budget question if they were planning on terminating it.

Commr. Cadwell recommended that they think that through to make sure that it was alright with the judges, lawyers, and citizens that used that.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.



                                                                                    WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN