A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OCTOBER 26, 2007
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a special Department Workshop session, Environmental Services, on Friday, October 26, 2007, at 9:00 a.m., at the Bob Norris Auditorium, Lake County Agricultural Center, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; and Elaine Renick. Commr. Stivender was not present due to illness and Commr. Stewart was not present due to a family emergency. Others present were Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Gregg Welstead, Deputy County Manager; and Ellie McDonald, Deputy Clerk.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Mr. Daryl Smith, Director of Environmental Services, welcomed the Board to the Departments’ presentation being given by sixteen departmental employees representing each Division. He commented that the Director of Mosquito and Aquatic Management had a prior commitment and did not attend today due to an annual meeting. Mr. Smith had distributed a hard copy of the entire slide presentation for the Board to follow prior to the meeting. He expressed that the employees of Environmental Services loved their work, were very knowledgeable, enjoyed serving the citizens of Lake County, and had a great deal of pride in their work.
SOLID WASTE OPERATIONS
INTEGRATED SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (ISWMS) DROP-OFFS
Mr. Harrie Edwards, Drop-Off Supervisor, stated that Solid Waste Operations consisted of four operations: The Residential Drop-off Center, Scale House Operations, Yard Waste, and Solid Waste Operations. He explained that the Residential Drop-Off Center consists of one supervisor and eight full-time County Landfill Attendant employees, together with a number of temporary employees used during peak periods and the winter season, specifying that the Residential Drop-Off Centers are located in Astor, Paisley, Pine Lakes, Lady Lake, Loghouse (Clermont), and Astatula (Central Solid Waste Facility). He explained that Astor, Loghouse, and Paisley are two-tiered operations, but Loghouse and Paisley are being brought down to single-level operations to make it easier for citizens to access and exit; the Pine Lakes Facility is a single-level operation off Highway 44 and has easy access for citizens. He stated that Lady Lake, Astatula and Clermont are single-level operations, and that some of the materials accepted at all locations were household garbage, recyclables, yard waste, furniture and other select materials. He explained that all materials come into, and are processed in, the Central Solid Waste Facility in Astatula.
INTEGRATED SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM DISPOSAL
Mr. Eric Anderson, Senior Landfill Supervisor stated that he and Mike TerMeer are the two Landfill Supervisors and it is their mission to keep the operation flowing, safe, to exhibit courtesy to the people of Lake County, and to manage smooth transportation along the highway. He noted that all the drivers hold commercial driver’s licenses, and are required to adhere to all Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, move the waste up and down the highway and distribute it throughout the County. He commented that Scalehouse Operations consists of five employees and is supervised by Ms. Carole Griffin. He explained that the operation insures that all analytical data is recorded by recording anything going in and out of Covanto, as well as anything going in or out of the main facility enabling them to obtain information with respect to adjustments in each facility. He specified that last year Covanto took in 154,876 tons of garbage, and after it was burned it came back to the facility as ash monofill at 49,553 tons, which was an eight to one reduction. He reported that a ticket, which records the data, is generated and handed to the person bringing in the waste and if a payment is needed, that information is also recorded.
Mr. Anderson continued by describing yard waste as a separate entity in itself. He stated that 12,796 tons of raw yard wastes were collected last year, which was mulched and used to cover raw garbage as a requirement of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Mr. Anderson went on to say that he and Mr. Mike TerMeer operate the main facility where operators are dispatched to different locations throughout the County, picking up yard waste, metal, furniture and everything coming from each location, and described the equipment used to handle this operation. He explained multi-level drop-offs and wanted everyone to understand the savings by having the green box which holds 2.5 times the amount of MSW as the 105 yard walking floor trailer, noting that the department has green boxes at two of the four facilities. He then explained how the garbage is compacted and that the goal was to get the most amount of garbage in the least amount of area. He reported that lawn mowers and equipment which haul gas and oil are taken to the main facility and the drop-offs, where landfill attendants pump out the oil and gasoline to save the environment and then the machinery is recycled. He commented that tires are accepted at all of the facilities, and are taken to the main facility to be loaded in a trailer and reused for energy. He stated that all maintenance to the equipment is performed in-house with the exception of working on the motors, repairing tires and things of that nature. He stated that the mission was to make the people of Lake County feel comfortable and safe coming to their facility and think that coming to the landfill was not a bad experience.
INTEGRATED SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FUTURE
Mr. Gary Debo, Director, Solid Waste Operations Division, spoke to the Board regarding the accomplishments and future projects of Solid Waste which would make a difference to the citizens and employees of Lake County. He commented there was a visibility issue around the fuel facility and with the assistance of Public Works the vegetative landscaping was cleared. He stated that they hosted the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA’s) 25th Annual Road-e-o, which was a competition of Solid Waste equipment operators and mechanics throughout the State using various equipment, and there were a couple of local equipment operators who won awards. He expressed his gratitude to the Ken Bragg Center and to Mission Inn who helped them host the SWANA event. He stated that they have made Loghouse improvements by removing the obsolete, stationary compactor which posed a hazard, by lowering the wall and reshaping it to allow more space for residents to bring their waste for proper disposal, that the Department would be evaluating the Paisley and Astor drop-offs this fiscal year to make them more efficient and that they would also replace leachate tanks during this fiscal year due to the fact that ash leachate is very corrosive. He commented that the Phase III Landfill Project concept, which had been proposed in 2004, would give them 5 million yards of disposal capacity. He stated that a bid was placed in 2004 and the consultant came back and doubled their disposal capacity to 10 million yards, noting that by widening the footprint they could go higher. He explained that the first sequence of the Phase III Landfill Project would give them 1.7 million cubic yards of disposal capacity which should last five to six years and that it would be necessary to come back to the Board as the phases were built to seek Board direction whether or not to continue with this effort.
SOLID WASTE PROGRAMS
SOLID WASTE ASSESSMENTS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Ms. Cindy Heffler, Assessment and Customer Service Supervisor, stated her section was divided into two areas: (1) Assessment Database whose primary function is to accurately maintain the Solid Waste Assessment of over $11 million and make sure it is annually certified to the Tax Collector, by adding and subtracting buildings and changing the assessments as needed, obtaining the information from the Building Department and their own field inspections that they update weekly with the Property Appraiser, and collect invoices for Interim Assessments for properties that had building permits before October 1, 2006. She stated that since that date, the Building Department had been collecting the fee for them and greatly increased the collection rate and reduced losses; processed refunds for vacancy refunds and impassable road rebates; responded to citizens regarding assessment policies and charges assessed to them; prepared notices, resolutions and public hearing documentation as outlined in Chapter 21 of the Lake County Codes and Chapter 197 of the Florida Statutes; and prepared the roll certification documents and the assessment roll for delivery to the Tax Collector by September 15 of each year; and (2) The Department provides Customer Service whose primary function is to assist citizens with garbage issues and ensure that garbage haulers meet the requirements of the contracts; assist citizens with complaints and questions regarding the haulers and collection services; assist Garbage Haulers with road issues; act as a mediator between citizens and haulers; recommend fines if haulers are not meeting their contract guidelines; maintain a garbage customer service information and complaint database; pay Garbage Haulers each month for money collected from citizens for their services; adjust their invoice for what they are charged for such things as bringing in residential garbage in a commercial truck and vice versa; determine annual hauler collection increases; and assist with data mining to increase the recycling service percentages for the County. She reported that she has two Field Inspectors, whose major jobs are connected to assessment databases where they handle the mobile home park count, the unlivable units, and verification of structures, and share all this information with Fire and Municipal Service Benefit Units (MSBU), as well as review hauler issues, Illegal Dumping and Littering.
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE
Mr. Emilio Bruna, Director of Solid Waste Programs Division, Household Hazardous Waste, addressed the Board stating the Household Hazardous Waste Section was asked by the State and the County to inspect small businesses in Lake County that generate hazardous waste, noting that at least twenty percent of the total number of firms must be inspected each year. He explained that these inspections were to be performed to assist the businesses in complying with environmental provisions for hazardous waste, and if they did not comply they would be referred to the DEP for further action. He reported that they also manage the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program, reporting that in FY 2007 they managed more than 731,000 pounds, including electronic waste.
Mr. Bruna stated that they were disposing of some of the commodities which they customarily received from the citizens. He stated that at the present time they sell the motor oil, the batteries and carpet padding. He commented that if used cooking oil was brought to them from mom and pop type restaurants, which otherwise might have been thrown down the drain and damaged the waste water treatment plant, it could result in revenue of five cents a pound for Lake County. He reported that electronic waste is a cost item for the County, and he was shocked to see that 533,000 pounds was properly disposed of in this program and in the future the County may be able to realize some monies from them. He reported that in the Household Hazardous Waste Section of the Department there is one supervisor, one inspector and three hazardous waste technicians, all OSHA/HAZWOPER 40 hours certified and that there have been no job related injuries since before 2005, mentioning that these employees assisted during the Groundhog Day Tornados by closing down the household hazardous waste portion of the drop-off facilities. He repotted that projects for the future include recycling paint by mixing, repackaging, and sending that paint to non-profit organizations, and to install a personal cooling system for the summer of 2008.
Ms. Debbie Fore, Recycling Operations Coordinator for Solid Waste Programs Division, reported that on October 1, 2007, they began management of the recyclable residential solid waste at the Landfill, and as of October 24, 2007, the Recycling Section had processed and shipped more than 1006 tons of material with an expected gross revenue of over $69,000. She explained that the staff consists of her, an Equipment Operator IV, two vacancies for Equipment Operator II and a Recycling Administrative Specialist, as well as 6 ARC clients and potentially four Sheriff’s Department Inmates for April 2008 to help sort out the product. She reported they have an Interlocal Agreement with the Lake County School Board to revenue share with the schools, and at the present time all the schools have recycling bins and for cardboard. She commented that the timeline for full operation would be about six months. She reported that they are trying to locate equipment to reduce Styrofoam by melting it down, putting it into cubes, and then selling it.
RECYCLING AND SUSTAINABILITY
Mr. Emilio Bruna, Director of Solid Waste Programs Division, brought with him actual recyclables such as newsprint and cardboard, as well as milk cartons, glass bottles, and coffee cans which are considered “commingled” recyclables. He reported that since taking over in October 2007, they were receiving an increased rate on these recyclables. He explained further that the rates for various recyclables would increase more if certain commodities were separated and each commodity was sold by the truckload.
Mr. Bruna then spoke regarding the initiatives of the Solid Waste Programs Division which included a new Solid Waste Collection Contract in October 2009, ideas for commercial recycling account, the need to increase the recycling participation rate, proposal to upgrade the Recycling Facility; enclose the HHW facility by walling it in to comply with DEP, prepare for digital TV changeover in 2009, and submit a Policy Proposal on Green Initiatives and Sustainability. He then defined sustainability by stating that these are actions that can be maintained or continued, and defined “green” as any action which is environmentally conscious. He explained that the price of crude oil rose to over $90 a barrel and at today’s consumption rate all the crude oil would be used by the year 2050, which is the clearest example of a non-sustainable act. He noted that the Governor had signed a number of Executive Orders for limiting greenhouse gases. He stated that he and Sharon Tatum, Administration, Public Education Specialist, attended a Summit in Orange County exhibiting organically grown products from small farms in Orange County. He mentioned that various government agencies were holding a myriad of forums on things such as climate protection and water sustainability. He stated the green market is supposed to be over a trillion dollars by the year 2030, and there is an opportunity in that market for Lake County. He stated that the problem exists, that the citizens feel the solution is local, and that the Board could expect a report from his department in a few months.
MARKETING RECYCLING SERVICES
Mr. Daryl Smith, Director of Environmental Services, addressed the Board concerning marketing recycling services in a more significant way by bringing in as many recyclables as possible to receive more revenue. He asked that the Board consider several ideas including marketing services to a number of commercial customer classes such as municipalities. He explained that one consideration associated with a new Agreement is whether they have enough solid waste coming into the system to feed the waste management facility. He specified that as part of the negotiations with municipalities, they want a long term Agreement to deliver their solid waste to them. He stated the other main non-commercial entity is the School Board and that they are currently negotiating with them and have containers at their locations. He stated they do not have an Agreement with the School Board at the present time, but a final draft is being circulated which could soon be brought to the Board.
Mr. Smith reported that there are numerous commercial customers with whom there would be an opportunity to develop a relationship, and he would like to develop a standard agreement the County Manager or her designee would be able to sign, enabling them to enter into agreements with those commercial establishments to accept their recyclables thereby providing an opportunity to market these services and continue to enhance the revenues received in the recycling operation. He noted that they would be coming back to the Board in a short period of time regarding this agreement.
FUTURE SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICES DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Mr. Daryl Smith proceeded to address the Board stating that future solid waste collection was one of the most significant activities going on in the Department of Environmental Services and expressed his hope that the Board would have a strong commitment to be involved and work with the Department in the development of these new collection services, stating that the existing contracts expire November 30, 2009, and new services need to be in place on October 1, 2009. He reported that the process had been started to have new services in place within that time frame, and that the goals established are: (1) to provide comprehensive input from all the stakeholders, stating that everyone involved would be able to participate and have input; (2) to reduce the need for lobbying the Board; and (3) to develop the best, most appropriate, services for Lake County customers. He explained that the stakeholders are the Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS) Customers, the Board of County Commissioners and staff, and the Solid Waste Collectors. He reported that a meeting schedule consisting of thirteen meetings, one every three weeks, had been established to bring this to fruition. He explained that by meeting with franchise collectors, or anyone interested in providing solid waste collection services, they could obtain input for providing collection services that exist and formulate pros and cons on different types of services that can be provided as part of the collection service. He mentioned that the Solid Waste Advisory Committee monthly meetings with the public and the Board, as directed, would bring them up-to-date on the options available for providing service.
Mr. Smith explained the importance of starting this process so early was that it would take nine months to educate the customers on the new services, allow collectors time to secure new equipment they may need, and to set up their routes so that by October 1, 2009, they would be ready to go forward. He stated by December 2008, contracts must be awarded for these services as well as an Ordinance approved by the Board that coincides with those contracts to make sure the customers would be aware of what they need to do to comply with the contracts. He explained that submissions from potential vendors on pricing, or whatever else needed to be submitted to make an award, would need to be brought forward in October because it would take a month or so to obtain a final decision from the Board. He also explained there would need to be procurement documents sometime in August or September for the vendors to bid on and to have all final information together for Board approval by July 2008.
He stated that one of the most important issues to be considered by the Board would be procuring the services and whether to go through competitive procurement or through the negotiation process. He specified that some other issues to be considered are the pay-as-you-go system, number of garbage collections a week, automated collection, length of the contract, satisfaction with quality service, and collection on dirt roads. He expressed that he would like to know what issues the Board would like considered as they move forward with the collection services, as well as how often the Board would like to interact in this process.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
At 10:20 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 10:30 a.m.
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
WATER RESOURCE LABORATORY
Ms. Cathie McGwier, Laboratory Supervisor, reported that she had a staff of three, other than herself, and that internal county related projects include sampling all landfills, surface water, and potable water for county departments; storm water with Public Works; and approximately twenty springs in the County. She stated that external projects are those which generate revenue from external clients, including citizens with both potable water and surface water. She reported that the laboratory performed analysis for the Water Authority, City Wastewater Plant, industrial waste for LRMC and the Daily Commercial; worked with environmental consultants; and were also one of the first counties to partner with the Watershed Action Volunteers (WAV) who collect field samples and bring them into the lab where the data is analyzed and provided for their database as well as the County’s database. She explained that laboratory statistics have remained constant throughout the years regarding the number of samples, and that the amount of field work has increased with a spike in 2006 generated primarily from outside clients. She specified that the Surface Water Program consisted of sampling the major chains of lakes containing 50 acres or more at least once a year, and maintaining a historical water quality database, providing data for the Lake County Water Atlas and that the Springs Monitoring Program currently samples 20 springs throughout the county, performs laboratory analyses, and records and reports flow measurements data to the FDEP and the Lake County Water Atlas. She stated that the Ground Water Program consists of three different areas: the landfills, the cities and potable water. She explained that they perform semi-annual sampling and analysis, water level measures for contour maps and quarterly monitoring of the gas vents at the landfills and report to FDEP. She reported that they perform sampling and/or analysis for neighboring cities for permit compliance. She then described the potable water program stating that they perform drinking water samples for citizens, realtors and for all the County Departments who have potable wells. She stated that she is a member of the Technical Working group of the Upper Ocklawaha BMAP, and provides sampling and analytical data for that program. She commented that recently they were involved with creating and maintaining layers for the GIS Divisions, and working on the development of the water bodies pilot project. She explained that their lab maintains its certification through proficiency testing. She reported on recent improvements to productivity and service, stating the department began electronically tracking analyst training records, created a workflow checklist for tracking all landfill data and inventoried all County-owned potable wells, and brought them into compliance with sampling/analysis/permitting, and created a GIS layer. She described future improvements to productivity and customer service by purchasing new instrumentation for more analyses to be performed in-house, such as efficient analyses of metals and Total Organic Carbon; building an addition on the laboratory, providing additional workspace and separation of chemicals from office space and instrumentation; and interfacing the laboratory instruments with computers to allow for direct downloads of data, reducing possible transcription errors as well as improving analyst efficiency.
Mr. Walter Wood, Senior Hydrogeologist stated that he was involved in the Wekiva Permitting issues, the Department of Health, and the Wekiva Working Group, and has been attending the Wekiva Commission Meetings and was also very much involved in Landfill Monitoring as far as preparing reports for DEP. He explained the history of the Water Atlas Program which was started from data the laboratory had been collecting for years and noted that in the 1980’s St. John’s Water Management District provided assistance so that the data could be entered into a computer, but it was still not easily accessible until they ran across the Water Atlas concept at the University of South Florida, a software program, database driven, which contains data from various agencies and allows communication with the people who work with the data, the citizens, and scientists, in a form everyone can use. He explained that some of the information the Atlas provided was water quality data, aerial photos, boat ramps and parks, lake bottom contour maps, fishing reports, water levels, flows and rainfall to name a few. He reported that Hillsborough, Lake, Manatee, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and Seminole Counties all have Water Atlases and that Lake County’s Water Atlas is located at http://lakewateratlas.org. He informed the Board that the Adopt-A-Pond/Lake Program, FACAT-Approved Lessons Plans for Grades 5-12, Historical Pages for Waterbodies and Real-time Water Quality data were all possible future enhancements of the Atlas. He mentioned that this year Emergency Services is going to place live weather data in the Atlas.
Mr. Charlie Cox, Environmental Programs Supervisor, reported that his department, consisting of four employees, is basically the enforcement branch of the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement. He stated that they set fines against people when rules are violated and have taken over the enforcement part of the FDEP tanks contract for 316 facilities for the County, which brought in $143,000 per year and perform tank inspections from retail outlets and industrial facilities. He explained that they also perform installation of tanks, make sure there are no contaminates in soil when tanks are removed, and check transfer switches which allows retail outlets to bring a generator onsite in case of a hurricane in order to continue pumping gas and processing credit cards. He reported that the Department works closely with FDEP and St. John’s Water Management District performing environmental enforcement by taking all environmental complaints concerning wetlands, tree removals and others coming into Lake County to resolve violations. He stated that there are forty-two active mining operation facilities within Lake County which are inspected at least annually for compliance with the facilities’ permit; three “sludge” spreading operation sites and nine industrial waste spray fields primarily used for disposal of waste water. He stated that a Home Heating Oil Recovery Program was started a few years ago which was being paid for by environmental fines. Mr. Cox informed the Board that they work with the Wellhead Protection Program whereby in 2006-2007 the staff reviewed applications, inspected and approved thirteen wellhead sites.
ENHANCED ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE PROGRAM
Mr. Mike Bowers, Division Director for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, stated that during April 2007, the Department of Environmental Services was charged by the Board to come up with some enhancements to Lake County’s Environmental Program Regulations. He stated that the intent of the enhancements was to broaden the County’s regulatory authority and to enact more control over possible environmental violations at the county level. In response to that direction, Mr. Bowers stated that they would be coming to the Board requesting a change in LDR Chapter VI, section 6.01.02 “Lands to Which this Section Applies”, which refers to wetlands, noting they would like to include only properties that meet the Right to Farm Act. He explained that they also would like the Board to approve a “stop work order” process, to be issued by the County Manager or designee, for violations of activities permitted by Lake County in order to stop some of the damage before it worsens. He reported that the status of existing enhancements includes the implementation of a fining matrix for development without an order (DWO) on parcels / properties that require an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) which is from $500 for one acre up to $15,000 for 51 acres and over; and implementation of a “Notice of Commencement” to fulfill the requirement of notification in conjunction with LDR Section 6.01.03 A. He also stated that the Pollution Recovery Fund has been changed to the Environmental Recovery Fund with Protected Trees and Pollutant Storage Tanks added. He stated that, by way of the budget, they eliminated the current $75 Tree Permit fee for the removal of trees at existing single family residential properties because he felt people were not coming to obtain tree removal permits because of the cost. He reported that they put together a sliding fining matrix for people who do not get a permit, ranging from $100 for one to four trees and up to $500 for ten plus trees, and if it is an historic tree it will be taken to the Special Master to decide how much to charge for illegal removal. He further explained that contractors would pay an additional $350 fine.
Mr. Bowers reported that a few months ago the Department pursued delegation of the State’s Environmental Resource Permit Program (ERP) from FDEP and SJRWMD, but St. John’s Water Management District is not willing to relinquish delegation of the enforcement portion of the program as it would require the Department to learn the entire program simply for that one portion. He stated that though there is not a large environmental permitting department, and perhaps rewording the LDRs could bring forth better regulations.
MOSQUITO AND AQUATIC PLANT MANAGEMENT
MOSQUITO AND ACQUATIC PLANT MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW
Mr. Robert Rinehart, Assistant Director, Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Management Division, spoke to the Board regarding Florida’s history stating that in 1838 delegates from what was then the territory of Florida met at a thriving community in the panhandle called St. Joseph, to draft a letter to the U.S. Congress requesting that Florida be admitted into the Union, and the very next year nearly three-fourths of the population from St. Joseph died from the dreaded yellow fever and the remaining inhabitants of St. Joseph fled for their lives. Mr. Rinehart explained that if it were not for that very special event in 1839, St. Joseph, Florida, might very well have become Florida’s capital. He mentioned that over the centuries scientists have discovered that certain diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and various ensyphlematic viruses were transmitted by mosquitoes. He opined that mosquito control is a necessary and important service, not only for Lake County, and the State of Florida, but probably for the entire world, commenting that the number one killer in the world today is from malaria, which is transmitted by anopheles mosquitoes. He related that in about 1898 an introduction of one single water hyacinth plant into the St. John’s River in Palatka created devastating results to our aquatic resources and that over the past 100 years water hyacinths have spread to almost every single water body in the State of Florida; however, the relatively new introduction of hydrillas, an exotic and invasive plant has overshadowed the infestation of water hyacinths and has created some very serious and biological economic impacts to Lake County communities and lakes. He opined that it is extremely important to have some type of management protocol in place for these invasive and exotic aquatic plants so our lakes do not end up as useless water bodies.
Mr. Craig Scott, Mosquito Management Field Supervisor, spoke to the Board about mosquito surveillance which basically observes the changes in mosquito abundance in order to assess what might happen in the future. He explained that it has been determined that it was best to deal with the more active bitters, then determine the management activities based on risk of arboviral disease transmission. He mentioned that last year they collected and identified over 42,000 mosquitoes, and so far this year, they have identified over 20,000 mosquitoes, some of which transmit specific kinds of viruses. He mentioned that one of the actions taken by the Department is mosquito adulticiding, which is the reduction of the adult mosquitoes, by using ultraviolet spray systems at night, noting that the pesticide is less than one ounce per acre, which is a very small, safe and effective amount. He reported that last year they treated over one million acres, and so far this year a little over .5 million acres. He continued by stating that the majority of field operations is larviciding which is eliminating the mosquitoes in their aquatic stage through biological larvicide and reported that last year approximately 25 acres were treated with larvicide and this year over 83 acres were treated due mainly to drought situations in the last couple of years.
AQUATIC PLANT MANAGEMENT
Mr. Scott Grippin, Aquatic Biologist and Field Supervisor for Aquatic Plant Management, explained that their department has Permit Type (PT) Programs. He referred to the DEP PT1 Plant Control Program which includes hydrillas, water hyacinth, and water lettuce plants, noting these plants take priority because they have the capability of rendering our lakes unusable. He commented that in 2006 almost 2900 acres of hydrilla were treated; to date 450 acres have been treated. Mr. Grippin stated that PT2s, non-DEP Program lakes, consist of lakes with water hyacinths and water lettuce only and residential canals greater than 10 acres. He reported that PT3s are residential canals containing duckweed, a top water plant, which residents consider an eyesore. He explained that the Department takes great pride in making sure the residents are contacted and assisted in any way possible by either cleaning out, treating, or providing suggestions on handling duckweed.
Mr. Grippin stated that PT4s consist of a collaboration between Mosquito Control and Aquatic Plant Management, noting that people contact the Department reporting they have an area containing hyacinths and/or water lettuce in their water bodies. He stated these two plants provide a place for certain species of mosquitoes to attach themselves to the roofs of those top water plants, breath oxygen through the plants and keep them from surfacing preventing natural predators from keeping them in check. He reported the Department also manages PT5 controls assisting other cities with lettuce or hyacinth.
Mr. Grippin explained that using air boats is beneficial for overseeing the lakes. He stated that the County is split into two regions, the North and the South and there is a technician assigned to both regions. He commented that he performs hydrillas surveys and concentrates his efforts on the Harris Chain, which consists of Lakes Eustis, Harris, and Griffin and if there is a problem, it would be taken care of immediately, resulting in less impact on the aquatic eco system. He stated he takes great pride in managing and keeping the lakes nice for the community by maintaining them to be free of vegetation.
Ms. Melissa Howard, Financial and Office Coordinator, presented an overview of the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget which was split into three areas, the first of which is Solid Waste which is comprised of the Solid Waste Operations Programs and the Administration budget for a total revenue of approximately $37 million, the largest portion of which is the annual ad valorem assessment levied against the unincorporated Lake County residents annually on their tax rolls. She reported the tax was currently $174 per household and brought in a total revenue of approximately $11.3 million. She noted that they also received revenue generated through the recycling center and hazardous waste areas for approximately $1.6 million, fees generated through commercial and non-unincorporated waste received at the landfill for approximately $4.8 million, as well as receiving approximately $8 million in electric revenue generated through the Covanta plant. She stated that the largest expense was contractual services of $16.6 million which consists primarily of the operation and maintenance fee for the Covanta plant, as well as the contract haulers fee and $8.1 million in debt payment, primarily for the Covanta plant.
She commented that Environmental Compliance and Enforcement had revenues of approximately $1.5 million, which includes a subsidy from the general fund of $1.2 million. She explained they had some revenue generated within their department of approximately $141,000 for storage tank charges, which is a fixed amount received from the State; and then they received $100,000 for environmental review fees. She reported there were review fees made up of industrial and agricultural wastewater annual fees and reinspection fees. She stated that the largest expense was for salaries and benefits for their staff which was $754,000 for FY 2008. She specified that they were also budgeting $484,000 this year for contractual services, which was primarily for the Astatula Fuel Cleanup Project and $130,000 for machinery and equipment to replace outdated equipment in the lab.
She reported that the Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Division had revenues of approximately $1.6 million, and also received a subsidy from the general fund of approximately $1.5 million, and that they received a grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services for $100,000 as well as a reimbursement from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection of $37,000. With regard to expenses for Mosquito and Aquatic Plant Division, she reported that the salary and benefits for their staff was approximately $1.1 million, and they have budgeted $365,000 for operating supplies, including fuel for their equipment and county vehicles, for traps and miscellaneous supplies; and have budgeted $117,000 for their machinery and equipment.
Ms. Howard explained that some of the office activities that their administration building office staff handles were processing payroll for sixty employees on a bi-weekly basis; handling new hire paperwork, and for FY 2007 that included 13 new hires for the department; working towards acquiring a scanner for use with the DataOne Project which will allow them to store and retrieve their documents more efficiently; handling telecommunications for their department consisting of 1800 calls per month, 518 of which were related to customer service issues; coordinating the use of the department’s Nextel phones; coordinating new telephone system; restructuring telephone/fax lines to reduce cost to the department by approximately $10,000 annually; processing Direct Pays, VISA, and Journal Entries of approximately $11.8 million, and Purchase Orders of approximately $9.9 million; as well as participating in a March of Dimes plant sale to raise approximately $2,800.
PUBLIC EDUCATION, OUTREACH AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Ms. Sharon Tatum, Public Education Specialist, addressed the Board explaining that the responsibilities of her position were to inform the Lake County Public about the services provided by the Department, facilitate programs that increase Lake County residents’, students’ and visitors’ understanding of their ecological impact; and delivering this information by classroom visits, community meetings, facility tours, Community Outreach, newspapers and radio stations, and more recently using volunteers. She reported that earlier this year Lake-Sumter Community College contacted her about attending the “2007 Quality of Life Conference” for students from 6th grade through 12th grade, resulting in collaboration between the Lake County Water Authority, Parks and Trails, Water Lab, Solid Waste Operations, Solid Waste Programs, Covanta Energy, Inc., the City of Leesburg and Lake-Sumter Community College. She reported that the students took tours of the landfill, and Covanta performed research and participated in presentations at Hickory Point. She was very impressed with the amount of energy that the students exemplified with this project.
She stated that one hour Media Presentations on WLBE radio station helped inform the public about the Department’s responsibilities, inviting listeners to call in with their questions and to become familiar with what was being done by Environmental Services. She related a recent Anti-Pollution Roundup for Pollution Prevention Expo in Eustis organized by the Department which was advertised in the newspaper, where the Mounted Cowboy Association Volunteers came out and showcased their organization. She stated another way to inform students would be to bring them before the Board, noting that often the students do not know what job Commissioners perform or which Commissioner represents their district, and this would give them an opportunity to obtain that information. She related that last year a group from Tavares High School came before the Board for a Proclamation to be declared on America’s Recycle Day.
Mr. Daryl Smith explained the most important thing about the Covanto Plant is that the Contract expires in 2014. He also stated that the Department does not use consultants to perform management activities, noting that the only consultants used by the Department are either environmental or engineering consultants.
Mr. Smith stated that the Board would make the final decision on what services will be offered from Solid Waste in the future. He stated that the Department would be making recommendations for the Board and there would be some tough decisions to make through this process. He commented that because the services are so complex and there are so many variations they could present to the Board, that they would get some feedback before the final presentation.
Commr. Cadwell stated that there were probably a dozen “hot button” issues in that whole process where they needed clear guidance.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Smith about the fining matrix for tree removal there and if there was a replanting requirement.
Mr. Mike Bowers, Director, Environmental Compliance & Enforcement, replied that there is a replanting requirement.
Commr. Renick then asked what was involved in leachate disposal.
Mr. Gary Debo explained that leachate is liquid passing through waste which collects some of the constituents that are in that waste and fall out the bottom, which has to be disposed of properly. He explained that they had been disposing of that with the Phase II Landfill, and the constituents in the incinerator ash in that Landfill, which was primarily chloride, reach out into the water that passes through it. He pointed out that since Lake County was a fairly rural county, the chlorides that are in the leachate cannot effectively be treated locally. He related that it was an expensive proposition for the County because they had to truck the leachate to Jacksonville to dispose of it, which greatly adds to their cost. He stated that the chloride or salt in the leachate was corrosive, but not hazardous, and unfortunately those tanks were in the process of failing. He mentioned that in 2003 they applied a coating to the tanks to get a little more life out of them, but now they needed to be replaced. He reported that one of the advantages for the Phase III Operation would be that they could separate the ash residual from the garbage coming into the landfill in a diversion, which was the waste being diverted from the waste energy plant, making it much easier and less expensive to treat, and then they might be able to treat the leachate locally.
Commr. Hill commented that Styrofoam recycling could be very lucrative and wanted to know if it had been put into the budget this year.
Mr. Smith responded that it had not been put in this year’s budget, but that it was something they were going to examine and try to determine if it would be feasible to move forward with recycling Styrofoam.
Commr. Hill asked where they obtain their list of tanks to inspect.
Mr. Charlie Cox stated that LDEP provides a list of the contracts each year. He explained that when a tank is installed, it is registered and is put on their list, and the facility is required to tell them what they installed. Then it is inspected and the facility is advised of the records to be kept. He added that if the tank was to be removed, they would perform a removal inspection to keep the database current. He commented that their contract requires inspection of 90 percent of all the facilities and that they inspected 100 percent of them.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.
WELTON CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
JAMES C. WATKINS, CLERK