NOVEMBER 20, 2007

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, November 20, 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.  Others present were: Sanford A. (Sandy) Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Ellie McDonald, Deputy Clerk.  Commissioner Debbie Stivender was absent due to illness.


Reverend John Barham, United Methodist Church of Tavares, City of Tavares, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, informed the Board that Tab 3, Item 1, under the County Manager’s Departmental Business should be pulled as that item had been taken care of and was no longer necessary.  She also requested that Tab 6 should be pulled for further review and come back at a later date, and that Tab 20 should be postponed until the December 4, 2007, meeting of the Board.


            On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of October 16, 2007 (Regular Meeting), and October 23, 2007 (Regular Meeting), as presented.


On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the following requests:

List of Warrants

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

Unclaimed Proceeds for Tax Deeds

Request to acknowledge receipt of unclaimed excess proceeds for tax deeds totaling $65,688.35.

            Notice from Southwest Florida Water Management District of Second Extension

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice from Southwest Florida Water Management District of Second extension of Water Shortage Order 07-02; More stringent actions to be considered on November 30, 2007.

Southwest Florida Water Management District Five Year Water Resource Program

Request to acknowledge receipt of Southwest Florida Water Management District Five Year Water Resource Development Work Program, pursuant to Subsection 373.536(6) (a), Florida Statutes.

Southwest Water Management District Meeting Agenda

Request to acknowledge receipt of Meeting Notice – Southwest Water Management District Governing Board Meeting Agenda for October 30, 2007, to be held at 9:00 a.m., at the Sarasota Service Office, 6750 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, Florida 34240-9711, and Approved Minutes of the Meeting of the Governing Board, held on August 28, 2007.

            Ordinance from City of Fruitland Park

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance No. 2007-31 from the City of Fruitland Park, annexing property into the City of Fruitland Park, in compliance with F.S. 171.044(3), which was adopted on October 25, 2007.

            Excess Fees

Request to acknowledge receipt of excess fees returned to Board of County Commissioners from Clerk of Circuit Court, in the amount of $1,410,190.34.


On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 19, pulling Tab 3, Item 1, and  pulling Tab 6, as follows:


Request for approval of Budget Change Requests and Unanticipated Revenue Resolution.

Budget Transfer – Approval of request Transportation Disadvantaged Fund, Department of Community Services, Public Transportation Division. Transfer $1,135,206 from the CTD Trips org code to a new org code for the Fixed Route (Lake Xpress).  The Public Transportation Division is requesting a new org code to track expenses associated with the Fixed Route (Lake Xpress).  Funds were originally budgeted in the CTD Trips org code.  This transfer will establish a new org code and budget.  Funds are available in the CTD Trips org. code.

Request to approve Resolution No. 2007-179 to amend the Fire Control Fund in order to receive unanticipated revenue for Fiscal Year 2008 in the amount of $22,865 deposited into Hazard Mitigation Grant and provide appropriations for the disbursement for Grant Program Repair and Maintenance.  A Hazard Mitigation Grant was awarded to Lake County for the wind retrofit of Astor Fire Station #10, and Clermont Fire Station #112.

Community Services

Request for acceptance of the FY 2007-08 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funding Approval/Agreement, to authorize the Chairman to sign it, and to direct the Department of Community Services to implement the programs covered under the Agreement. The Chairman is requested to sign the three copies of the CDBG Funding Approval/Agreement.

Request for approval of amendments to the FY 2003-06 Local Housing Assistance Plan.

Growth Management    Request for permission to advertise proposed ordinance changing Section 3.01.02 Classification of Uses, of the Land Development Regulations reducing the minimum width requirement for single family dwelling units.


            Request for approval of single source determination with Honeywell International, Inc. to provide an annual service repair and parts for the major digital controllers of the HVAC system.

            Public Safety

Request for approval to submit a grant to the United States Fire Administration to Firefighters Grant Program. Application period is October 22, 2007 through November 4, 2007 with awards given out early next year. Matching funds will be used from this year’s budget.

Public Works

            Request for authorization to submit Cost-Share Applications to St. Johns River Water Management District for the following drainage & water quality improvement projects: Acorn Road, Beverly Court and Porto Bello Avenue - Commission Districts 1, 2 and 5.

Request for approval of agreement for change order to the intersection at CR 565A / SR 50 Intersection in the City of Groveland - Commission District 3.

Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the Town of Astatula for the CR 561 Corridor Master Plan - Tracking # SDY 07019 CRC # RI-0702 - Commission District 2.

Request for approval of the scope for design proposal of Washington Ave. Drainage Improvements by Inwood Consulting Engineers. Tracking # STR 08003 - Commission District 5.

Request for approval of Resolution No. 2007-180 to raise the speed limit on Loghouse Rd (0835) from Priebe Rd west to CR 561 in Commission District 2, from 25 MPH to 35 MPH.

Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2007-181 to advertise public hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1124-Lake 64, to vacate lots, tracts and unnamed right of way, in the Plat of Groveland Farms, in the Groveland area - Commission District 2.

Request for approval and execution of a purchase agreement with Michael A. Cortez, for right of way and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing, in conjunction with the Lakeshore Drive (#1040) / Oswalt Road (#0840) / Loghouse Road (#0835) Intersection Project located in Clermont. Commission District 2.

Request for approval and execution of a purchase agreement with Corbin and Bethyal Knox, and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing, for property within the Forest Hills/Lake Mack Flood Buy Out Program.  Commission District 5.


Request for approval of changes made to executed Interlocal Agreement and authorize Chair to initial those changes.

Commr. Renick requested the Board review with her Tab 13, the Interlocal Agreement with Lake County and the Town of Astatula for the CR 561 Corridor Master Plan and expressed her concern with the number of projects being funded at this time and questioned whether they should go forward.

Commr. Cadwell stated perhaps Mr. Jim Stivender could give them an update on all of the projects.

Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, stated that it would be 2015-2017 before they will see construction so there are a few years ahead before getting concerned.




Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, requested acceptance of the grant they are receiving from the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation (FHKC), stating they submitted a Phase II Grant for continuing Outreach activities from November 1 to the end of June, 2008, and funding was approved in the amount of $85,676.78.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the acceptance of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation Phase II Grant in the amount of $85,676.78.


Mr. Smith requested approval of the Standard Coordination Contracts between Lake County and Zion Gates of Hope, and between Lake County and Faith Group Home, Inc., for provision of transportation services, stating that these funds come from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities providing transportation to jobs and training for the disabled.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously, by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved both Standard Coordination Contracts between Lake County and Zion Gates of Hope and between Lake County and Faith Group Home, Inc.


Mr. Smith requested the submission of a Resolution to the legislative delegation supporting the restoration of the Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Program and to keep the Medicaid transportation services within the Coordinated Transportation System.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the submission of a Resolution to the legislative delegation supporting the restoration of the Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Program and to keep the Medicaid transportation services within the Coordinated Transportation System.



Ms. Dottie Keedy, Economic Growth and Redevelopment Director, addressed the Board regarding the request for approval to make a formal offer to Flowers Foods for the incentive package.  She stated that Flowers Foods is a food service company located in Thomasville, Georgia, and they are looking for a Central Florida location for a new facility.  She reported that they are proposing to build a 152,000 – 200,000 square foot facility, and are looking at Lot 3 in the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park, owned by Lake County.  She explained that the project would create 150 full time jobs, 100 contractual jobs onsite and 130 independent support personnel, with a proposed $50 million capital investment.  Ms. Keedy explained that the incentives that were proposed were to sell the land at $65,000 per acre which is well below market rate and is approximately 23 acres in size; pay the site preparation costs, which would include relocating a 10” stormwater pipe that runs through the lot at a cost of about $145,000; pay the impact fees associated with the project, which are County Transportation and Fire impact fees and City of Groveland Water and Wastewater impact fees, totaling $748,000 based on a 200,000 square foot facility.  She explained that the total incentive package would be approximately $2.5 million.  She commented that if Flowers chooses to move forward and if the Board approves, she anticipates that they would submit a Job Growth Incentive Application, and based on the information submitted to Ms. Keedy, that would be approximately $111,000.  She specified that 38 of those jobs would qualify with salaries ranging from $37,000 - $75,000 annually.  She noted that she included in the package information regarding revenue estimated to be generated by this project in landfills and tax revenue and if accepted a Contract for Purchase would be brought back to the Board with the details of the incentives included in that contract.  She reported that this went to the Lake County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), and while the IDA supported the project and the company, they had some concern with the recommended sale at $65,000 per acre and they did not approve the recommendation for the incentive package.  Ms. Keedy introduced Mr. David Weaver, representing Flowers, who has been very helpful and has done a great job working with them.

Mr. David Weaver, Chief Broker in Florida, stated he had been representing Flowers approximately two years in looking for a site in the Central Florida area.  He commented that Flowers was a fine company looking at several sites and that they like the community and the environment here, but are not, however, in a position to say whether they will accept or reject this offer or modify it in any way, and everything has been very favorable.  He reported that they would bring a minimum of 250 jobs to the community, build a plant of 150,000 – 200,000 square feet and would like to get underway quickly.  He stated that they are a $2 billion company with 36 other plants around the Southeastern part of the United States.  He reiterated that they have not accepted this as what they are willing to pay because many communities court them to put plants in their communities and offer to literally give them the land.  He noted, however, they realize in Florida that the economic situation is different, but they do think they should get some benefits from coming to a community like this and bringing jobs and the investment they bring.  He specified that if the Board approves the offer he will take it to Flowers and see what they can do about getting them to locate in this area.

Commr. Cadwell commented on the fact that Mr. Weaver stated that Flowers is looking at other sites and thinks that in talking to some members of the IDA, that although they liked the project, they did not approve the package because of the land sale price and the lack of a firm commitment on the part of Flowers.

Mr. Weaver stated that the company personnel did not want to appear to the community or the Commissioners that they were not grateful for consideration.

Commr. Cadwell stated that he had spoken with Ms. Keedy and had sent word to the  Chairman of Flowers that the Board is not in a bidding war, that the offer is as it stands and if the Board approves it today then Mr. Weaver needs to take that back to them.

Mr. Weaver stated that they have tendered some offers to see what they want to do and this is entirely acceptable to them as far as logistics are concerned, but the concern the IDA may have is that they did not want to sell the land at less than full price because they felt it might compete with other properties around.

A discussion ensued regarding the sale prices for properties in the Christopher C. Ford Park and Ms. Keedy stated that the last property the County sold was the Prestige Agreement which was $110,000 per acre, and the County’s property sold for about $30,000 per acre a year or so ago.

Mr. Minkoff stated that he thought the Prestige Agreement was the correct number, but sometimes the property value is discounted in order to get the right company to purchase.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the Incentive Package for Flowers Foods.


            Ms. Dottie Keedy, Economic Growth and Redevelopment Director, addressed the Board recommending approval of an Incentive Package for Niagara Bottling Company, aka Project Falls, which would add 88 job positions, all of which meet the criteria of 115 percent or more of the average annual wage in Lake County, totaling $250,500.  She stated that the IDA also recommended the approval of the application.  The second incentive requested is the local county match for the Qualified Targeted Industries Incentive, a State incentive program that is based on job creation which rebates tax revenues, stating that the County’s match over five years would total $121,800. The third incentive requested is the Board of County Commissioner’s portion of the personal property tax abatement over five years.  She explained that the personal property tax is the tangible tax charged on equipment at the facility and the estimated value of that is $379,280 a year for a total of $1,896,400, making the total incentive package $2,268,700.

            Mr. Ray Gilley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC), addressed the Board stating that their role as the County’s partner is to assist in identifying and bringing opportunities to local communities to consider and make good decisions on them, explaining that the role and responsibility of the community is to understand and weigh-in on the benefits of the opportunity against the demands on the community in which it will be located.  In the case of Project Falls, Mr. Gilley commented that the community dialog has been very healthy and very cordial, stating now is the time for the company to address the issues concerned so that a balanced decision can be made.  He explained that this company offers substantial new high wage job creation and was committed to make over 200 new jobs within the first five years, at least 88 jobs in the first year and the incentive report would be tied to the agreed upon job creation.  He related that it was also notable that the lowest paying job exceeds the 115 percent of the average wage in Lake County and that management salaries are in the six figure range.  He stated that the total capital investment for the facility and its equipment is quoted at over $97 million, which would make it one of the largest in Lake County and in the region.  He explained that these are the kind of impacts the EDC seeks in order to diversify and broaden the region’s economy.  He commented that the value of adding this high wage employer must weigh against the demands that the operation would place on the surrounding community.  He mentioned that the EDC has had a great dialogue with the company executives and they have proven to be very environmentally conscious and have been glad to hear issues and concerns and have worked creatively to try to address them.  He asked the Board to listen with an open mind and ask any questions as they present this opportunity and then make a thoughtful and balanced decision.  He stated that the Lake County tax base is 80 percent residential, 20 percent commercial and is somewhat out-of-balance compared to where the County needs to be, and this project would go a long way toward that end.  He reported that over 70 percent of the water consumed is to maintain yards, and he felt this project has created an awareness of how water is used and would be a great partner to help lead the State in finding solutions to the water consumption issue.

            Mr. Brian Hess, Director of Operations for Niagara, presented an overview of Project Falls.  He introduced Mr. Andrew Peykoff, Sr., the founder and President of the Company, who was in the audience.  He stated that he wanted to attack the water issue head on.  He explained that what is being debated in the paper and what everyone wanted to hear is how the jobs, the tax benefits and scholarships, as well as other benefits of this project, would outweigh the water used.  He commented that in order to properly evaluate the issue, he wanted to dispel some of the misinformation.  He had researched the matter and one of the key issues was the perception that all water sources will dry up by 2013.  He commented that was not what St. John’s was saying, but rather that after 2013 in order to continue the sustainability of the aquifer, alternative water sources would be needed.  Although he does not know how Florida will deal with that issue, he stated 2013 will happen whether Niagara is here or not, therefore, this cannot be used as a reason not to look at economic progress.  He noted that the water issue did not come up with respect to the bakery, which would use 120 million gallons of water within the next ten years.

            He commented that they had received over 70 job applications from people who currently drive to Orlando and that Lake County needs Niagara, the bakery and as many other companies as can bring in good jobs.  He explained that the company provides private label bottled water for grocery stores, putting other people’s labels on their product, which eliminates advertising costs, and gives them a competitive advantage.  He specified that what sets them apart is that they are a vertically integrated company, they make all of their own bottles and caps, and are a highly technical business and that some of the primary jobs in the business are production managers, line supervisors, quality assurance supervisors and technicians, maintenance technicians, management trainees, forklift drivers and others.  He stated the jobs are very important and good paying and are not entry level jobs.  Also, employees are sent to various countries to obtain training for the skills they need to productively contribute to the company.  He explained that marketing research shows that for every one manufacturing job created, four additional jobs are created in the community, some of which are electrical contractors, local restaurants, and construction specialists.

            Mr. Hess explained Niagara had been recruited for two years by the State, County and the City of Groveland.  He stated that they were told by the City of Groveland that there was a sufficient water supply to sell them the water, and their original intent was to purchase the water from them.    After entering into a contract to purchase the building, Mr. Hess stated that it would take over a year to get permits to supply the water for the company.  He explained that they were offered two incentive packages to come to Lake County and that they had expended over $50 million.

            He commented that what makes this project very unique is that they are environmentally conscious and the operation has been designed to be the most environmentally friendly bottler in the country.  They have designed a bottle that uses half as much plastic as the average soda bottle and about one-third as much plastic as Gatorade bottles and is 20 percent lighter than the next lightest bottle in the country which is an engineering feat that will be unveiled in March.  He reported that they recycle 100 percent of everything that comes into their facility whether it is cardboard, plastic, pallets, or water, noting that every ounce of water that does not go into a bottle would go into a proposed reclaimed water line to either Groveland or private individuals toward irrigation of lawns.  He also mentioned that they have been offered $800,000-$900,000 from the State in roadway improvement funding which would come back into the County.  He requested that the Board approve the incentives with the condition that they are approved by St. John’s and remove the County’s opposition to their CUP permit.

            Commr. Renick stated that she was sympathetic to the situation the company finds themselves in; however, it does not change how strongly she feels about the project.  She stated that she actually found out about the project from a Sentinel reporter and before that she did not know about this project and was not sure their confidentiality agreement served them well.

            Mr. Hess addressed Commr. Renick’s statement by saying that they met with Commissioner Hill and with over fifteen County staff, including the County Manager, Building and Planning Departments, Economic Development Director and others.

            Mr. Hess requested support from the people of the County who recruited them to come here and would appreciate the Board’s consideration.

            Commr. Stewart stated that she was made aware of this project the day before the public was made aware of it and that this was an unfortunate situation for everyone, because the County does need jobs.  She explained that she met with Mr. Peykoff and Mr. Hess and was impressed and noted that they were doing a lot that other companies are not doing by recycling, reducing the plastic in the bottles, and working to reduce the energy costs in their businesses.  She commented that twenty years ago she would have welcomed the company with open arms and that it would have been wonderful for Lake County, but right now water is too critical, and that the County’s population is outgrowing the water supply, and in a few years the County will be relying on alternative water.  She related that at a time when we should be considering much stricter methods of conservation, she cannot condone any business which will take water from Lake County and sell it elsewhere, noting that it has nothing to do with him or his company.

            Mr. Hess responded to Commr. Stewart by saying that he appreciated her comments and thought that she had the best interests of Lake County at heart.  He stated that the big problem in Florida was the water used for human consumption.  He stated that 70 percent of the water used by our municipalities was used for inefficient purposes to water lawns and explained that he was bringing up ideas to address this and would make a commitment to find ways within the next twelve months to discontinue inefficient water usage in an amount equal to, or greater than, the water they would use whether it means volunteering to reseed peoples lawns with a grass that does not require irrigation, or buying other peoples CUP permits to discontinue if the Board would support them.

Commr. Hill stated she met with the EDC Director and the County Manager and she was under the impression that the company would either be receiving a CUP from Groveland or from St. John’s and the water issue would not necessarily be in the Board’s ballpark and that the company had other alternatives they were reviewing, such as trucking water in or using well water.  She explained that the water is controlled by the State of Florida, and that all utilities, whether local or private, have to go through a process with the State to receive their water and that had nothing to do with the Board and that the incentive package was the main focus of the Board.  She commented that she did not understand how they could invest $50 million without having that permit in hand to continue the business.

Mr. Hess stated they did not intend to get a CUP permit, their intention was to purchase the water and they had assurances that the water supply was there.  Upon finding out that the water supply was not there, Mr. Hess stated they had to react and be creative.  He agreed that the State and St. John’s ultimately must decide this issue.  He commented that they were uncomfortable with the fact that the Board had essentially appointed Ms. Renick to oppose their permit with St. John’s and felt it unfair and inconsistent.

Commr. Hill stated that she did not want to give incentives to the company until she thinks that the State has made a decision of how they want to proceed in providing water for the State of Florida.

Commr. Stewart stated that it seemed premature asking for incentives before being approved by St. John’s.  She commented that the water issue must be dealt with as it is approaching and that a CUP is not the way to go.  She requested that he show the Board that they will save more water in the ground than they will pull out.

Mr. Hess replied stating that it will be easier than they think and felt there would be articles in the paper about the efforts they are making and hoped that the Board would approve.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board denied the request from Economic Growth and Development for approval of the Incentive Package for Niagara Bottling Corporation.

Mr. Hess made a public announcement to that they were going to deliver 36,000 bottles of water to Clermont Dodge would be made available to the citizens of Clermont for pick up tomorrow due to the boil water notice in Clermont.



Mr. Doug Woodyard, Telecommunications Manager, requested approval to purchase the new countywide voicemail system from Southeast Telecom (SETEL) from Sarasota County, Bid #5079, noting that the cost to upgrade the system would be $45,000.  He stated that this machine handles roughly 3900 calls a day during normal business hours, 400 calls an hour and can take 24 calls at a time.  He stated that the machine would not only be voice mail for the County, but also a front end machine that handles all the outer offices for the Clerk for jury duty selection, the Public Defender, the Department of Environmental Health, Growth Management, State Attorney and several other offices.  He stated that the reason for the upgrade is to allow for more reliability, more capacity and to give them a three year manufacturer’s warranty.  He stated that this is a budgeted item for approval.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the purchase of the countywide voicemail system from Southeast Telecom.



Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Services Director, requested approval to award OEC Business Interiors, Inc, Designers West Interiors and Library Interiors of Florida, Inc., to provide furniture, warehousing (if necessary) and installation of the furniture for the Cagan Crossing Library.  Mr. Schwartzman stated that they received bids from four companies and they are recommending the award to three of those companies on a split order basis based on low pricing, and this is a departmental item coming before the Board due to the dollar amount.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request to award OEC Business Interiors, Inc., Designers West Interiors and Library Interiors of Florida, Inc., to provide furniture, warehousing and installation of furniture for the Cagan Crossing Library.



Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, requested approval from the Board to be a cooperative partner with Southwest Florida Water Management District on the Big Prairie Watershed Management Plan, which encompasses Groveland to the Sumter County line.  He stated they met with St. John’s and received verbal approval from Mr. Kirby Green, St. John’s Executive Director, that they would participate in this process.  He commented that they did not get exact amounts, but did receive support.

Commr. Renick commented that it was wonderful that St. John’s was now willing to be a partner, but she would like to be given a better level of understanding.

Mr. Stivender responded by stating that ten years ago they had a flooding problem due to backups in Sumter County.  He explained that the Southwest Water Management District line falls on the county line; however, the basin line does not, and technically Big Prairie is part of the Southwest Florida Management Basin, but the political line is the county line.  He related that the Water Authority of North St. John’s has a huge interest in this because it was not necessarily part of their physical basin but it was in their political boundaries.  He mentioned that there was a flooding problem there, and they have waited several years before Sumter County would get onboard with this so that Lake County could move forward, because there is a huge water quality and flooding problem and they both need to be addressed simultaneously.

Commr. Renick stated that she thought about Lake Lowery sometimes when there was a flooding problem, and depending on how that was addressed, that may or may not be to the County’s benefit.

Mr. Stivender explained that the study will show exactly what is proposed and how the County will participate, whether or not it was supported.  Mr. Stivender stated that the County is a $750,000 investor in the fund and will definitely have a voice in it.

Commr. Renick thought Southwest Florida Water Management District would have the final say on this.

Mr. Stivender stated that they are being very proactive by trying to work this out with the counties.  He suggested that Sumter County should be on board, because the water capacity keeps coming down.  He thought the flooding was due to very little maintenance or a limited management system there, and that this will put all that in place, and the St. John’s, Lake County, and Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) will all have an active role.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request to be a cooperative partner with Southwest Florida Water Management District on the Big Prairie Watershed Management Plan, dependent upon St. John’s participation as a partner.



Ms. Eve Reynolds, Office of Budget, requested approval to amend the Fiscal Year 2008 budget to include purchase orders and project carry-forwards from Fiscal Year 2007.  She stated that all the items in this carry-forward amendment were approved by the Board in prior fiscal years; however, work was not completed by September 30 and would continue into Fiscal Year 2008.  Consequently, the remaining balances on those purchase orders and projects must be carried forward.  She stated that this process occurs every year to accommodate activities that span two or more fiscal years and that the amount of the carry-forward cannot be accurately determined until the final bills were paid for the year which occurred the second or third week in October.  She reported that there were also organizational changes this year in some departments, and these changes were reflected in the document; however, there were some accounting adjustments which need to take place to ensure that purchase orders end up in the proper location.  She commented that after discussion by the Board and public comment, they request approval of the carry-forward budget amendment for all funds in the amount of $33,874,667.

Commr. Renick commented that she understands the carry-forward budget, but requested a change be made in order to foster trust with the public.  She explained that the public would prefer to hear about this during budget hearings, and not find out that there would be a $30 million carry-forward after the close of the budget process and would like to ask the staff to make every effort to bring this earlier while going through the process.

Commr. Cadwell stated they would have to bring an estimate because there would not be a definitive figure.

Commr. Renick felt that even if it were an estimate, it would have been discussed during the budget process instead of coming back later with a large figure.

Commr. Cadwell stated that between now and the start of the budget process again perhaps there should be discussion on how to handle this situation.

Commr. Hill was concerned about the perception of the public, but that this money was already encumbered in the other budget that was being brought forward and did not change the bottom line, except for the fact that the money was there.

Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated this carry-forward amount was not approved as part of the budget process because what was approved was from 2007 forward, but stated what can be done in the budget process for next year would be to state an estimated amount of money which was likely to be carried forward and would be brought to the Board at a later date.  She stated that some indication or estimate can be stated during the process.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the carry-forward budget amendment for all funds in the amount of $33,874,667.



On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and unanimously carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board appointed Dr. Chad Watkins as representative to the Comprehensive Health Care Committee to complete an unexpired term ending August 16, 2008 and serve a consecutive three-year term.


Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, addressed the Board stating that the Resolution creating the Transportation Alternative Funding Task Force had been amended, adopted and signed.

Commr. Hill commented that there is no stated time limit for the Task Force to complete their report and questioned the completion date.

Commr. Cadwell stated that this would not be finalized today and requested a week to speak with Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director, Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO), and Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, and come back with a recommendation.

 On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and unanimously carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board appointed the following individuals to the Transportation Alternative Funding Task Force:  Mr. H. Bennett Walling for District 1; Mr. Virgil Clark, District 2; Mr. Fred Johnson, District 3; Mr. Bud Beucher, District 4; and Mr. Duane K. Booth, District 5.

On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill, and unanimously carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board appointed Commissioner Welton Cadwell to the Transportation Alternative Funding Task Force, as a liaison from the Board.



Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, addressed the Board stating that they have approval to extend the Ordinance that  was passed eighteen months ago regarding platting of new lots until the School Board had approved it.  They had hoped that the Comprehensive Plan would be completed and that concurrency would be enacted by this time, but since that has not occurred, the Ordinance extends the date for an additional year for an effective date for that LDR Section.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and unanimously carried by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the request to advertise the proposed ordinance relating to Chapter V-A, LDRs, entitled Necessary Public Services and Facilities regarding the expiration date for the School Concurrency Ordinance.



Commr. Hill reported that the State of the County address was delivered to the South Lake County Chamber and was well accepted.  She also expressed her appreciation to Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director, LSMPO, for again reviewing with her the alignment of SR 46A, realizing the outcome cannot be changed but hoped to incorporate a higher design.  She stated that the approval should not be done hastily and that she had several suggestions such as requiring contiguous property to be placed in the conservation easement in addition to the right of way for the costs of two lanes, so that if four lanes are constructed then right-of-way would be in place.  She also wished to address roadway improvements keeping in mind stormwater, trails, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, and saving as many oak trees as possible in designing the road.  She explained that pedestrian safety features should also be included making it appear to be a boulevard rather than an expressway.

Commr. Stewart responded by stating that they realize eventually it may have to be four-laned and that has been taken into account. She stated that there would be a berm with landscaping going up, which had been moved further away to save many of the buffer trees and Mr. Taylor, at his own expense, was looking at the layout of the land and would move the old oak trees worth saving.

Commr. Hill questioned whether they would be designing for a possible trail or sidewalk with lighting in mind.

Commr. Stewart replied that at the present time there are no funds available to put asphalt down.

Commr. Renick stated that they are not to the point where DOT has had their public hearings.



Commr. Renick mentioned that it had been suggested that she be a part of the Lake County Water Alliance. She stated it seemed there was a misunderstanding during the workshop about the County not wanting to be a water provider, and wondered whether the Board should reconsider participating as a voting member or included as a liaison.  She commented that the Water Alliance was all about alternative water sources and perhaps they could not look at that without also looking at what measure were going to be made in terms of conservation.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board took quick action that day, and one of the things he thought after leaving the meeting was that all they would be doing was helping them obtain the CUP and the alternative water supply project in Seminole County, and he stated the Board does not want to do that.  He stated that staff should be at the table on the issue, and that is the only vehicle to do it.

Commr. Renick stated that the main issue was whether or not they wanted to get into the water business by being a water provider.

Commr. Hill stated that she would like Commr. Renick to remain with the Water Alliance for information purposes.

Commr. Cadwell stated that since they took action to withdraw from the Water alliance, it should be placed on the agenda for today.

On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill, and unanimously carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board placed the Water Alliance issue on today’s agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Hill, and unanimously carried by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request to rejoin the Water Alliance at their request and that Commr. Renick serve as a representative for the Board.


Commr. Renick stated at the present time they were inundated with applications and suggested that they might want to start placing applications on file for future purchases as additional funds become available.

Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not think that was advisable because a parcel they have been seeking may become available and that even though it may be cumbersome to keep the applications, he felt it was necessary to keep the parcel inventory available.

Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Manager, stated that they have 37 properties at the present time which are essentially on the same playing field and have passed muster through Mr. Hansen, the Council and through their Greenprint Model.  He commented that should there be a next step by prioritizing those in a formal fashion relatively simple like size, contiguity, manageability, partnership opportunities and things of that nature, but there was still an issue of who is going to do it.  He explained that as far as having a moratorium on applications, he already started intimating that a moratorium may be coming and that the application would be put on file, and the sellers were agreeable to that.  He noted that it is a buyer’s market right now, which was to their advantage.

Commr. Stewart questioned whether or not the properties will be prioritized.

Commr. Cadwell was concerned that if there were put on file, the prioritization would be determined by only one person, because they would not be brought forward.

Commr. Cadwell requested that the Board allow him a week to consider the matter, and perhaps it should be added to the agenda.

Commr. Renick stated that some questions for Commr. Cadwell to think about were whether there would be a cutoff and whether they let people know that they have many properties ahead of them and that they will place their application on file; and another issue was whether or not they would prioritize properties that were pretty far along in the process as well as those that they did not even have appraisals on, and whether they looked at them as two separate groups or whether they should be lumped together.  She stated they would bring this issue back at the next meeting.


Commr. Stewart, as liaison to the Economic Development Steering Committee, stated that at the League of Cities meeting their member reported that the Steering Committee there was a lack of participation, and that a number of people had dropped out.

Commr. Hill stated that Ms. Melissa Demarco, Representative for the League of Cities, said that the consultant was very good and was doing a good job, but the participation level is low.

Ms. Dottie Keedy stated that the committee had only met twice because the consultants come from Texas and the next meeting will be a week from Wednesday.  She stated that she sent the first draft of a technical memorandum from their initial work on the project and thinks that will assist the Steering Committee to give more input to the consultants and that she tried to allow more lead time for everyone to get it on their schedule to boost attendance.

Commr. Renick stated that they needed to get a correction in the newspaper as it had the time for the Visioning Session in Clermont as 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. when it was actually 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Commr. Hill questioned whether they, as a Board, could attend the Visioning Sessions.

Ms. Keedy replied they could attend and that she sent out a reminder yesterday to her email list.

Commr. Stewart mentioned that they have businessmen still becoming members of the Committee.

Ms. Keedy stated that the Committee was very informal and anyone could attend and participate.


            Ms. Barbara Lightner, founder of Joining Hands, Inc. of Florida, a charitable organization, addressed the Board concerning her desire for a revision to be made to the Ordinance regulating bingo, stating charities such as hers cannot compete with commercial Bingo.  She distributed a packet to the Board, the Clerk, and the County Attorney.  She was concerned that there was illegal gambling going on being disguised as Bingo in Lake County.  She related that she had contacted Para-mutual Wagering, the County Attorney’s office, the Sheriff’s office, State Attorney Brad King’s office, and Attorney General Bill McCollum with no results.   She was concerned about the effect on small charities when commercial Bingo operators do not follow Florida Statute 849.0931.  She was told in Tallahassee that this was an issue for local government.

She explained that the charities should be able to keep the money from Bingo to help their community, and that was not happening.  She noted that six charity halls closed because they are not able to compete and the eight charities in Lake County that were still operating were on the verge of closing because of the jackpots the commercial bingo halls offered.  Also, the commercial Bingo halls do not show the charities they are supporting, but hers have the information on the walls.

            Commr. Cadwell responded to Ms. Lightner by stating that the Ordinance they created took a long time to prepare and was a little contentious, but if there is an enforcement problem, the County Attorney, the Sheriff and he would meet to review the Ordinance and see what the problem seems to be from an enforcement end.

            Ms. Lightner did not want the commercial halls to close down because small charities would still need them, but wanted them to operate in a lawful manner.


Mr. Roy Hunter, of Mt. Dora, representing the Northeast Lake Chamber of Commerce, distributed to the Board a letter from Mr. Michael J. Perry, Executive Director of the Lake County Water Authority, for information purposes to assist Commr. Renick and Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, at their meeting with St. John’s.  He commented that he appreciated the Board’s decision on the Niagara project.


Mr. Bob Funk of Mt. Dora thanked the Board for their vote on the Niagara project and hoped for continued disapproval of this project in the area.  He referred to the Clerk’s Agenda item regarding the receipt of Southwest Florida Water Management District’s of Second Extension of Water Shortage Order stating that more will follow.  He was concerned that if Niagara gets approval from St. John’s, they will be back before the County. He was also concerned that if approved, Niagara will have an ironclad contract to take water and ship it out-of-state for the next 10-25 years and it will not be recycled back into the aquifer, which would not be good for our area.


Mr. Bill Calhoun, of Lady Lake, expressed his concern about Mr. Brian Hess, from Niagara, giving the impression that he had received permission, in writing, from a member of the County staff that they could go forward.

Mr. Cadwell explained that they had obtained a zoning clearance letter which any citizen could obtain by making application.

Mr. Calhoun cautioned staff in being careful about the content of memos to applicants which could be misconstrued.

Mr. Caldwell stated that confidentiality posed a difficulty and the Board would discuss how better to handle clearance letters from this point forward.


Mr. Rob Kelly, representing the Citizens Coalition of Lake County, commented that they support the decisions of the Board on both Flowers and Niagara.  He stated that it was their hope that the focus could be placed on Flowers and that the community could show Flowers how business friendly Lake County could be and felt it was very important that everyone do what they can to secure the company coming here and that it would be a great opportunity for the area.

Mr. Kelly stated that regarding incentives for having companies come to Lake County, he felt it was important to look at how the incentive packages are used, and asked the Board to consider a mechanism which could be put in place to measure the results and the return on that investment over a contracted period of time so adjustments could be made for taxpayers to get the best return possible on the investment given out.  He requested the Board to implement a mechanism to measure the results as the packages are offered and put in place.

He mentioned that they also had a question about the tax abatement issue and thought the term “tax abatement” typically is interchangeable with the term “tax exemption,” and by definition tax abatement means to reduce and put an end to our taxes.  He noted there is not a provision in law for tax abatement in Florida, but the law does address the issue of economic development tax exemption.  He stated that Florida Statute 196.1995 provides an option to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) for an economic development tax exemption; however, he felt that in 1980 there was a referendum in Lake County that put that question before the voters and it was declined.

Commr. Renick stated that this issue was very different between the two companies.  She stated Flowers was not asking for a tax abatement and Niagara was, but she did not feel it needed to be discussed because they could see where things were going.

Commr. Hill stated that the standard county incentive package was available to anyone, and the IDA would then make all the considerations and look at the criteria.  She stated that she did not think the tax abatement was part of that package, or that they had ever given a tax abatement.


 Ms. Mary Reamer of Hawthorne addressed the Board stating that she agreed with the vote of the Board and appreciated the action taken.


Mr. Rick Joyce, a member of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), addressed the Board over his concerns regarding comments that were made about the IDA with regard to the Flowers and Niagara incentive requests.  He mentioned that both decisions made by the IDA were unanimous, both to deny Flowers and to support the job growth incentive for Niagara. He commented that the Commissioners had no more information before them than the IDA regarding Flowers.  He stated he has been a shareholder of Flowers for about eight years and is well aware of the company’s good reputation.  He was concerned that the Flowers Company had not made a decision about relocation yet before asking for the incentives.  He was also concerned that the type of jobs they will bring would not be the high paying jobs the Board directed the IDA to seek, since they did not request JGI funds.  He commented it was purely a matter of negotiation strategy, and did not reflect what the IDA thought of the company, which as that they were a great and profitable company and that once they were here they would stay for a long time.

He also mentioned that Flowers would use one million gallons of water a month.

Mr. Joyce pointed out that IDA is limited to determining whether or not a company making application for a JGI fund award meets the financial criteria which Niagara did, noting their lowest paying job is more than 115 percent of the County average.  In dealing with the water issue, he stated that he thought that the Water Management District would feel that the water usage was an insignificant use.  He specified that there was a water plant in Montverde taking close to 300,000 gallons a day, and a juice plant that takes 1.5 million gallons a day.  He stated that he hoped if they feel it was an appropriate withdrawal, at some point they could come back with a clean slate and perhaps ask for those incentives.

He asked if water usage was going to be a criteria by which they would have to determine whether or they would or would not award JGI funds, and asked that the Board set a threshold for the IDA so that they would not be in a position to make unpopular decisions again.

Commr. Cadwell commented that it is probably not a water issue but rather a natural resource issue and that is something that needs to be discussed.

Mr. Joyce requested direction from the Board in this matter.


Mr. John Harris from unincorporated Lake County, near Groveland, expressed his thanks to each and every Board member as well as the County Manager, for taking the time to respond to his letter regarding Niagara.  He commented that it was great to live in a county where the local officials come through and were there to assist the citizens.


At 11:40 a.m. the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until 1:00 p.m., at which time the Impact Fee Workshop would be held.


Commissioner Cadwell reconvened the meeting at 1:00 p.m., stating the purpose of this session was a Workshop on Educational Impact Fees.


Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, referred to the Administrative Ordinance before the Board which had been approved to be advertised, but suggested that they go through all the changes that were made.  He stated that most of the changes are administrative, eliminating definitions that were not used, correcting some language and pointing out the changes that were substantive.

He stated that on page 3 of the Ordinance, lines 14-17, allow the cities to join in the County Park Impact Fee if they wish to do so.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the next change was found on page 11, line 33, which changed the membership of the Impact Fee Committee from the current 10 members to 11 members and that the additional member would be a citizen-at-large.

The next changes Mr. Minkoff referred to were on page 14, the first of which begins on line 16, paragraph four which was a new provision that stated when someone gets a waiver for low or very low income that there will be a Recapture Agreement signed.  It was proposed that the Agreement would be enforced for 10 years and if the homeowner sold its property to someone who was not also qualified, they would then have to pay the impact fees if sold within that ten year period, and he thought Ms. Hall would like to change that to five years.

Commr. Hill stated it was still listed as 10 years and wanted to know if it should be stricken through and changed to 5.

Mr. Minkoff stated that Mr. Fletcher Smith, Public Works Director, would monitor and administer this.

Commr. Cadwell stated that it should read 5 years.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the next substantive change was on line 32 of page 14, paragraph 5, which would allow builders without a buyer at the time construction begins to enter into an Agreement with the County stating they are planning to sell the home to a qualified person and would like to defer impact fees in order to build the house.  If the builder did not sell to a qualified person, they would pay the impact fees plus interest, but if the builder sells it to a qualified person then the fees would be waived, assisting the builder in constructing spec houses.

He referred to the bottom of page 15 and top of page 16 which rewrites the prepayment section which had been substantially changed from what it was stating that now it is limited to a twelve month period.  He stated now if they prepaid, they would be required to get the building permit within twelve months or it would automatically change into a credit.  He stated that previously they were good forever, noting that if they elected to prepay and then change their plans they could not get their money back.  He thought the idea behind this was that it would allow someone on the process when there was a change coming to be able to fix the fees that were due and would be advantageous for commercial development.  He explained that he had tentatively provided the Effective Date to be April 1, until after any additional school impact fees were adopted.

He stated that on page 18, lines 6 and 36, they enlarged the times people can ask for refunds.  In paragraph 3 it was changed from 180 days to 365 days and in paragraph 1 from 30 days to 180 days.  He explained that Paragraph 4 on page 18, is a new paragraph stating that the County Manager will be allowed to issue refunds stating that when a single family residence is built, impact fees are paid at the time the building permit is obtained, and the home is sold to a person who would qualify for an impact fee waiver, the County Manager could approve the refunds and eliminate a step.

He mentioned that on page 19 they have provided that for refunds that are not caused by County error, that there would be an administrative fee set by the Board, which would be the actual cost of processing the refund.  He reported that subsection 1, on page 19, line 38, exempts people from paying impact fees if they are replacing a home or commercial building that was destroyed, with a new building or dwelling the same size or smaller if they rebuild or replace within six years from the date of destruction.  He specified that the reason for this change was to limit the timeframe, but still allow enough time for people to get through the insurance process.

Mr. Minkoff stated that regarding administrative fees on page 23 there have been a couple of changes.  He explained that currently the administrative fees were taken out of the impact fee, and this change adds the administrative fee to the impact fee.  He explained that at the time this was presented, they did not have the consultant’s study back on what the fee should be so as it stands the fee would be a maximum of 3 percent up to $300, but he anticipated that the administrative fee would be $100 or less for issuance of permits.

He stated that on page 23, line 44, there is a change to eliminate the appeal to the Board of County Commissioners, and the County Manager’s decision shall constitute final administrative review.  He explained that the only other substantive change on page 30 in the school impact fee section requested that the School Board include in their report all revenues received, including interest, as well as all expenditures to impact fee funds so they could better track the receipt and expenditure of impact fees.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the Administrative Ordinance had already been approved to advertise so there was no action to take today.

Commr. Renick was concerned about appeals on page 23, and that instead of having the Board as the final say, it was the County Manager, which she thought was a huge responsibility for one person.  She thought that people expected the Board of County Commissioners to have the final say.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the County Manager would do that before, but it would still have to come to the Board for ratification and now Mr. Minkoff is saying it would have to go to the State and commented that he did not have a problem with it still coming to the Board.

Mr. Minkoff stated he thought it was Ms. Wickwire’s attempt to eliminate that step to the Board.

Commr. Renick stated it was done purposely to give the staff and the County Manager’s office the final interpretation of what the Ordinance says.

Commr. Cadwell explained that the bottom line would be that they would say no and the Board would say yes and he thinks that power should be kept with the Board.

Mr. Minkoff stated that with those three changes they will have it advertised and because it increases fees they are treating it as two public hearings and will be on December 11, the same day as the school impact fees.


Mr. Randy Young, of Henderson, Young & Company, presented to the Board the Proposed School Impact Fee which had been reviewed and recommended by the School Board and reviewed by the County’s Impact Fee Committee. He mentioned that this may be scheduled for action in December, and under Florida law it will be ninety days later before the impact fee will be effective.

Mr. Young commented that the impact fee the Board had adopted on behalf of the School Board in Lake County in 2004 was just over $4,000 for a single family house, which makes it one of the highest in the State.  He stated that school districts all over the State, including Lake County, had been facing increasing costs for land and building costs and increasing enrollment. He projected on the screen a four-page Comparison of the 2004 and 2007 School Impact Fees for Lake County, a copy of which was given to the Commissioners, County Attorney, County Manager, and Clerk of Court prior to the meeting.  He then explained the differences from 2004 to 2007 in capacity, enrollment, capacity shortage, projected growth, construction cost per student and all other items on the comparison points through and including item 17 on page 4.  Mr. Young stated that this research was prepared before the economic downturn and that the projections may change in different areas.  He stated that the amount in his study, and recommended to the Board through and by the School Board, for a single family house would be $14,646.  He explained that if they did not borrow again and if the interest expense was excluded, the fee for a single family house would be $9,324, a multi-family fee would be $5,689, and the mobile home fee would be $3,297.

He commented that interest is a real cost that the School Board had to pay and that he disagreed with the Homebuilders Association about this issue.

Commr. Hill commented that they have reviewed this together many times, and clarified that everything had been corrected.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the transportation study created a separate category for transportation impacts for lower income housing and that was not included in the schools.

Commr. Hill questioned if that was not something that needed to be included within the schools.  She stated that she wanted to make sure that proportionate share has been brought up.

Mr. Young stated that she was correct, and that proportionate share mitigation was a separate requirement of the Growth Management Law for school concurrency as well as transportation.

Commr. Cadwell inquired whether the recommendation of the Impact Fee Committee not to use the interest cost in the formula was based on the economy or was it because of their concern that it was indefensible or there was no court case.

Mr. Young stated that they had heard both arguments expressed very articulately.  He commented that the cumulative effect of those beliefs led to a substantial vote from the committee to present as it stood.

Commr. Renick stated that Mr. Minkoff had made the statement it appeared to be a legal issue rather than a policy issue, but at the time of the Impact Fee Committee meeting they did not have an answer and still do not.  She explained they knew it had been done in Palm Beach and Brevard counties and it had not been.

Mr. Minkoff stated he did not know about the other two counties Mr. Young mentioned and that he had not looked at those.  He commented that he has no case law necessarily that would say it is incorrect, but they have some concerns and worked out with the School Board that they would request an opinion.  He commented that at this point they are unable to have an opinion from someone who deals in this area.  He also indicated that this was defensive, and they do not have an opinion that says it is not defensible and was not sure he would discuss in a public meeting what his thoughts would be.  He mentioned that he thought the School Board was willing to defend their ordinance if adopted at the full amount to provide the legal defense, and to provide any refunds to pay any damages to be awarded if that were the case.

 Mr. Steve Johnson, attorney for the School Board, stated that the School Board had not taken any formal action on that position and there would be a meeting prior to the Board of County Commissioners’ December 11 meeting to bring up that topic and discuss that issue.  He stated he would like to make it clear that there had been no formal decision about that one way or the other.

Mr. Jimmy Connor stated that to a large degree he thought Mr. Minkoff outlined the position that the School Board had taken in their discussions this year, which may not have been formalized, and they never discussed “damages”. He thought Mr. Johnson was correct that a formal position needed to be taken, particularly if there was going to be the potential for litigation.

Commr. Renick questioned whether there would be a formal position before the December 11 date.

Mr. Jimmy Connor stated that 1.1 mill is the maximum they can go pursuant to their financial advisors who have scrutinized public financial management and who have told them that they do not want to incur debt they cannot repay and where debt is more than the 1.1 mill, not only for fiscally prudent reasons, but also to be sure they do not jeopardize the improvements and the strong bond ratings the School Board has been able to accomplish over the past few years.  He stated they are borrowed out to the maximum based on their financial position and wanted to make clear that they do not have wiggle room from 1.1 to 1.5 mill, noting that 1.1 is even one-tenth further than they used to be.

Mr. Minkoff stated there was an agenda item for approval to advertise the draft Ordinance, and the only changes to the Ordinance as to the current Code are to reflect the updated study.  He noted that the June 28 date was used, and he would prefer that not be changed so it could be advertised today, which as agreed to by Mr. Young.  He also commented that the proposed Ordinance has the proposed fees at the maximum amount from the study on page 3 of the Ordinance which could be reduced at the Public Hearing, but if the smaller amount were to be advertised, they could not increase it without advertising again.

Commr. Hill asked whether they can or cannot go ahead and have another sales tax brought up at the Impact Fee Committee meeting.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the discussion at the Impact Fee Committee came from the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO) which is looking for alternative funding for transportation, and the question was raised whether the School Board had the ability to levy an additional sales tax and if they did, could the sales tax that currently goes to the school be taken and put into transportation.  He stated that statutorily the School Board has the ability to levy an additional one-half cent sales tax that takes a referendum by the voters.  He explained that it was legally possible to collect that one-half cent sales tax and to also share in the local option tax, and there is no legal prohibition against that.  He commented that they had an Interlocal Agreement with the School Board where they agreed to accept the one-third cent and that they would not ask for the additional one-half cent, so that Interlocal Agreement would have to be amended.  Also, there were some bonding issues, because the original bond issue for the one-cent indicated that it was to fund schools, transportation and other projects.  He thought if they went in that direction, the new referendum could cure that, noting that those were issues they would have to look at.

Mr. Connor stated that they had a written document stating that by accepting the sales tax, they would not go for a half-penny sales tax, stating they none of them would give any consideration to breaking their word.  He commented that one of the most successful endeavors Lake County ever had between the Lake County Commission and the School Board was the extension of the sales tax and that every high school in Lake County has been renovated and brought up to modern technology because of that successful venture.  He thought that they would be very unwise to even consider breaking their word to the people of Lake County.  He further stated that the fact that it was recommended by the Impact Fee Committee to look at does show how limited the School Board’s revenue sources were, and which is one of the problems they face as a School Board.  He explained that the vote by the Impact Fee Committee to recommend something that was not feasible was why the School Board was here today.

Mr. Minkoff stated that if approval is given today to advertise the meeting would be December 11, 2007, at 5:05 p.m., and the Administrative Order would be first and the School Impact Fee shortly thereafter.

On a motion by Commissioner Stewart, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a 4-0 vote, the Board approved the request to advertise the Ordinance amending Chapter 22, Lake County Code, School Impact Fees.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:25 p.m.



                                                                        WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN