OCTOBER 21, 2008

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.  Commissioners present at the meeting were:  Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Debbie Stivender; Elaine Renick; and Linda Stewart.  Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.


Commr. Cadwell gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that Addendum 1-I was a departmental presentation and mentioned that Tab 15 needed to be changed to District 4.  She also reported that Tab 22, which was an impact fee question regarding Cagan Crossings, was postponed until October 28, because the applicant had requested another week.

Commr. Cadwell stated that he wanted to put under his business the County Attorney and County Manager’s evaluations, which would not require any action.


            Commr. Renick stated that on Page 16, Line 5 of the Minutes for September 16, 2008, the gentlemen’s name was Timothee Sallin and not Timothy Simon; and on the September 23, 2008 Minutes, Page 4, Line 25 should state that Commr. Stivender and not Commr. Renick voted “no,” and that on Page 17, Line 30, Commr. Stewart and not Commr. Cadwell voted “no.”

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender, and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of September 16, 2008 (Regular Meeting), as corrected; and September 23, 2008 (Regular Meeting), as corrected.


On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 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.

Annexation Ordinance from City of Clermont

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 596-M which annexes a vacant parcel of land into the city limits of Clermont.  The Ordinance was adopted by the Clermont City Council on September 23, 2008.  The new address for this property is now 2750 Hartwood Marsh Road.

            Village Center CDD Fiscal Year 2008/09 Budget

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Fiscal Year 2008/2009 budget adopted by the Village Center Community Development District Board of Supervisors on September 19, 2008, in accordance with Chapter 190.008(2)(b)(c), Florida Statutes and Resolution 08-30 adopting same.

Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission:

In re:  Petition for approval of standard interconnection agreements for expedited interconnection of customer-owned renewable generation and associated net metering tariff, by Tampa Electric Company - Docket No. 080255-EI.

In re: Petition for approval of net metering tariff, new interconnection Inc. - Docket No. 080257-EI.

In re: Petition for approval of standard interconnection agreements for Tier 1 through Tier 3 customer-owned renewable generation systems and revisions to tariff sheets iv, 4.2, 4.16, and 9.1, by Gulf Power Company - Docket No. 080260-EI.

In re:  Petition for approval of net metering tariff and standard interconnection agreements, by Florida Power & Light Company - Docket No. 080265-EI.

In re:  Petition for approval of standard interconnection agreements for customer-owned renewable generation systems, by Florida Public Utilities Company - Docket No. 080294-EI; Order No. PSC-08-0624-TRF-EI; Issued: September 24, 2008.

Order Approving Amended Tariffs and Interconnection Agreements

Notice Before the Public Service Commission

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission:  Petition for waiver of Rule 25-17.250(1) and (2)(a), F.A.C., which requires Progress Energy Florida to have a standard offer contract open until a request for proposal is issued for same avoided unit in standard offer contract, and for approval of standard offer contract - Docket No. 080501-EI; Order No. PSC-08-0625-PCO-EI; Issued:  September 24, 2008.

Hearing to be held on Friday, September 26, 2008, at 4:00 p.m., at the West Pasco County Government Center, County Commission Board Room, 7530 Little Road, New Port Richey, FL.

Meeting Schedule for Country Greens CDD for Fiscal Year 2009

Request to acknowledge receipt of public meeting schedule for Country Greens Community Development District for Fiscal Year 2009, pursuant to Chapter 189 Florida Statutes.  The meetings will be held on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:00 a.m. at The Hampton Inn, 19700 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora.

Notices of Public Hearing for City of Groveland Annexations

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Notices of Public Hearing for Annexation for the following annexation ordinances from the City of Groveland:

Ordinance 2008-10-38, annexing 1.35 +/- acres.

Ordinance 2008-10-39, annexing 17.79 +/- acres.

Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice Before the Florida Public Service Commission – In re: Application for increase in water and wastewater rates by Aqua Utilities Florida, Inc.; Docket No. 080121-WS, Rate Case Synopsis, Lake County.

            Ordinances from the Town of Lady Lake

Request to acknowledge receipt of copies of Ordinances from the Town of Lady Lake as follows:

Ordinance 2008-10 amending the Town of Lady Lake Land Development Regulations (Ordinance No. 2005-52); Chapter 10, Landscaping & Tree Protection Regulations.

Ordinance No. 2008-11 amending the Town of Lady Lake Land Development Regulations; Chapter 9 entitled Miscellaneous Regulations, adding Section 7 entitled “Underground Utilities”; adding provisions governing the installation of underground utilities.

Ordinance 2008-12 amending the Town of Lady Lake Comprehensive Plan, by adopting the Public Schools Facilities Element and updating the Intergovernmental Coordination Element and the Capital Improvement Element including goals, objectives, and policies.

Ordinance No. 2008-13 creating regulations controlling the solicitation of charitable donations in the Town of Lady Lake, including but not limited to, on public highways, roads, and rights of way, providing for administrative fines and for criminal penalties.

Ordinance No. 2008-20 providing for amendments to the Land Development Regulations of the Town of Lady Lake, amending provisions regarding the Planning and Zoning Board.

Ordinance No. 2008-22 amending Ordinance 2006-12 Section 2.4 to allow the additional use of storage and sale of automotive diesel under the Memorandum of Agreement for the special exception use for certain property currently owned by Racetrac Petroleum, Inc. located at 324 North Highway 27/441 within the town limits of the Town of Lady Lake.

Ordinance 2008-23 amending Lady Lake’s Land Development Regulations, Chapter 4 entitled Concurrency Management System, and amending Section 3 A), C) and F).

Ordinance No. 208-25 deleting Ordinance 2007-06 and Chapter VII Article VIII Cross Connections and Backflow Prevention and providing for enforcement of the cross connection control program.

Notice Before Florida Public Service Commission

Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Applications for an Extension of Service Area from the Florida Public Service Commission – Notice is hereby given on the 2nd day of October, 2008, pursuant to Section 367.045, Florida Statutes, and Section 25-30.030 of the Florida Administrative Code of the Application of Aqua Utilities Florida, Inc., 1100 Thomas Avenue, Leesburg, Florida  34748, of its intent to apply to the Florida Public Service Commission to extend its service area to provide water and wastewater service to the properties described below in Lake County, Florida:

Morningview Revised Legal Description, Township 20 South, Range 24 East, Lake County, Florida, Section 2

Kings Cove Revised Legal Description, Township 19 South, Range 24 East, Lake County, Florida, Section 1

Any objections to the Applications must be made in writing and filed with the Director, Office of Commission Clerk, 2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850, no later than 30 days after the last date this notice was mailed or published, whichever is later, with a copy provided to Michael B. Twomey, Esquire, P. O. Box 5256, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-5256.  The objection must state the grounds for the objections with particularity.

City of Eustis Annual Budget for FY 2008/09

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of City of Eustis’ Annual Budget for FY 2008-2009.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for City of Umatilla

Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the City of Umatilla for the year ended September 30, 2007.


Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, clarified that on Tab 4, which was an amendment to the Agreement between Lake County and Central Florida Health Alliance, the document that was in the file might be slightly different than the final document that was ultimately signed, but the intent is to extend the agreement with Leesburg Regional for one year for the treatment of jail inmates on the same basis that they currently had.  He explained that they were trying to work out the final language with the hospital.

Commr. Renick requested pulling Tabs 11 and 12, which were resolutions to advertise the public hearings for road vacations for Petition No.’s 1146 and 1143.  She wanted to let the applicants for those road vacations know that before she actually would vote for them, she hoped that they would show Clermont a site plan on both of those, since it was in Clermont’s JPA.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 16, as follows:


            Request to approve Budget Change Requests:

            Budget transfer – Various Funds, Various Departments.  This amendment is needed to reclassify various revenue accounts to reflect Fiscal Year 2008-09 updates to the Uniform Accounting System Chart of Accounts required by the State of Florida.

            Approval of request for payment of Florida Association of Counties membership dues for November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2009. The request exceeds the County Manager's approval limit of $25,000.  Total payment is for $26,694.00.

            Approval of request for payment of first installment of three-year commitment for Myregion.org.  The request exceeds the County Manager's approval limit of $25,000.  Total payment is for $30,000.00

Approval of request for payment to Florida Hospital Medical Center for an inmate.  The request exceeds the County Manager’s approval limit of $25,000.  Total payment is for $28,619.72.

Community Services

            Request for approval of the amendment to the Agreement between Lake County and Central Florida Health Alliance (Leesburg Regional Medical Center) for hospital services for jail inmates and authorization for Board Chairman to sign the amendment and any subsequent documents relating to this Agreement. Also pursuant to the Agreement, authorize the Lake County Jail Administrator to name an administrator to serve as the hospital contact.


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

            Public Safety

            Request to approve Chairman's signature for the Embarq tariff charges for Lake County E9-1-1 annual monthly charges per contract.

            Public Works

            Request for approval and execution of a Temporary Construction Easement needed to replace a driveway in conjunction with the South Dewey Robbins Road Project.  Commission District 3.

            Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2008-174 to Advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1133, Lake County Environmental Lands, to vacate tracts and right of way in the Plat of Groveland Farms. Commission District 2.

            Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2008-175 to Advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1135, Tony Lambert, to vacate rights of way in the Plat of Lake King Gardens, in the Altoona area. Commission District 5.

            Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2008-167 to Advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1145, Joseph Zagame, to vacate the entire Plat of St. James Place, in the Lady Lake area. Commission District 5.

            Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2008-168 to Advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1146, R. Neil Britt, to vacate the entire Plat of John's Lake Plaza, in the Clermont area. Commission District 2.

            Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 169 to Advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition 1143, Clermont Motor Sales LLC, in the Plat of Lake Highlands Co., in the Clermont area. Commission District 2.

            Request for authorization to release a letter of credit for performance for construction of improvements in the total amount of $55,550.00 that was posted for Timuquana Park. Timuquana Park consists of 18 lots and is located in Section 32, Township 19 South, Range 28 East, Commission District 4.

            Request for authorization to accept the final plat for View Point and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the View Point plat. View Point consists of 4 lots and is located in Section 31, Township 19 South, Range 25 East. Commission District 1.

            Request for approval of the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Mt. Dora to improve water quality and drainage on Lake John and Dogwood Mountain outfall in the Gertrude Drainage Basin and also approve transfer of funds from the reserve account.  Commission District 4.

            Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2008-170 to Advertise Public Hearing for Vacation Petition No. 1144, Interlachen Investments LLC, to vacate right of way in the Plat of Monte Vista Park Farms, in the Clermont area. Commission District 2.


On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 17 through 20, as follows:

            Request for approval of Resolution No. 2008-171 changing the speed zone on a portion of Lake Griffin.  Commission District 1.

            Request for approval to process invoice for payment of $41,143.26 to Foley & Lardner, LLP.

            Request for approval of Request to Modify Development Restrictions in the Lake County Commerce Park.  Commission District 3.

            Request for approval of lease agreement between Lake County and Ali Jawad for Tax Collector lease space.  Commission District 2.




Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, stated that Tab 21 was to request approval to continue the direct pay procedure for this budget year to pay the monthly Medicaid costs that they had each year.  He pointed out that normally these were fairly significant costs for the County and specified that they had $1.7 million in hospital services, over $464,000 in nursing home expenses, and $249,000 that they were mandated to cover for Welfare Hospital Service (HCRA).  He related that last week he received some information that ACHA (Agency for Health Care Administration) was looking at increasing their Medicaid Nursing Home Cost from $464,000 to $1.7 million per year, which would be an increase of a little over $1.2 million.  He noted that that would impact them during the months of July, August, and September by increasing their budget by $310,000 and that they were preparing a legislative statement on that to include in the package that the County Manager was putting together.

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request from Community Services to continue the direct pay procedure during FY 2008/09 for the monthly Medicaid Nursing Home and Hospital bills as well as for direct pay for the monthly Health Care Responsibility Act (HCRA) bills received by the Department of Community Services, effective with the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2008.

            PUBLIC HEARING


            Mr. Doug Krueger, Budget Director, stated that this item was regarding the re-budget of some capital projects that were budgeted in Fiscal Year 2007/08 with funding which lapsed on September 30, and they were asking the Board to re-budget those projects in 2008/09.  He pointed out that there was no new money involved in that, and it was all the previous year’s money, so it would be a fund balance revenue estimate.  He reported that the advertisement for this was done on October 18, and he requested approval.

            Commr. Stewart expressed concern that the advertisement did not explain anything and that it just stated that those additional monies were in their budget.  She was concerned that it would lead the public to believe there was money in the budget, when that money was actually already encumbered and could not be spent.  She asked Mr. Krueger if there was anything they could do to make those advertisements clearer.

            Mr. Krueger stated that he was in the process of contacting the Department of Revenue to see if there were looser restrictions on what they could put in the newspaper advertisement.

            The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Amended Budget to include project carry-forwards from Fiscal Year 2007-08 and Resolution No. 2008-172.

            PUBLIC HEARING



Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that this was a request that came to them from the Orange County Industrial Development Authority, and they worked with the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Director’s Office and Bond Counsel.  They were proposing to issue bonds not to exceed $65,000,000 for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Florida for projects throughout Central Florida.  He noted that there would be no liability for Lake County in the issuance of these pass-through bonds.  He also pointed out that this had nothing to do with permitting, but just strictly with issuing the financing.  He explained that it did not restrict the County on zoning, so the applicants would have to follow all the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use permitting issues either in the City or the County wherever the project was located.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Renick, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution 2008-173 for issuance of Orange County Industrial Development Authority Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Florida), Series 2008 in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $65,000,000; and the execution of the Interlocal Agreement with Orange County, Florida.




Ms. Dottie Keedy, Economic Growth and Redevelopment Director, explained that this was a request for an incentive for Raptor Fabrication & Equipment for $10,000 to assist with hiring a grant consultant to help with applying for grants for the Florida Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies Grant Programs.  She reported that each grant had a cap of $2.5 million, and only one grant per applicant could be awarded.  She stated that the grant application would be to build a 10 million gallon per year biodiesel plant in the Groveland area, which is a clean technology and one of their targeted industries, and therefore staff recommended approval.

Dr. Dwayne Dundore, Chief Technology Officer with Raptor Fabrication & Equipment, stated that they were currently building biodiesel plants around the world, with four of them in Groveland, two of which were currently operational, making Lake County and Groveland the highest biodiesel producer than any other place in the country.  He related that they were proposing to build a biodiesel complex containing a 10 million gallon plant, which would house laboratories, feed stock providers, and blenders and would help the other biodiesel companies that were in the complex to be able to get feedstock, chemicals, and raw materials they needed at a better price, because sharing those with other plants makes it more cost effective by buying everything in bulk.  He stated that one thing related to the grant was that they have commercialized their brown grease applications, which took the brown grease from grease trap waste out of sewage and converted it to biodiesel.  He pointed out that grease trap waste was the number one environmental problem related to agricultural spray fields and that the grease load clogs up the systems of the municipal plants.  He explained that they could strip the grease from that sewage, reuse the grease, and turn it into biodiesel.  He referred to a handout which showed that there would be almost 110 jobs in the complex within the first year after it was built and reported that the actual site was on Sampey Road, which was a Groveland spray field.

Commr. Renick clarified that the grant was just for expanding the biodiesel and grease operations, and expressed some reservations about the possible invasiveness of jatropha.

He explained that the jatropha project was not part of the grant and that the plant would be built before they could get enough crop of jatropha to grow.

On a motion by Commr.  Stewart, seconded by Commr. Stivender, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the request from Economic Growth and Redevelopment for approval to award Raptor Fabrication & Equipment an incentive amount of $10,000.



Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he had formerly informed the Board about the decision by Judge T. Michael Johnson regarding the Florida Beer Wholesalers case.  He related that he did not think they would recommend appealing that case, so the Keg Registration Ordinance No. 2008-9 would no longer be in effect.



            Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, reported some information regarding the issue of providing better fire service in the Clermont area, and explained that there were three directions that the Board could take, including to do nothing different than what they were currently doing and what was currently budgeted; to provide some supplemental funding requested by Clermont for them to cover certain roadways that were within city boundaries as well as certain neighborhoods on their eastern boundary, which would cost approximately $130,000; or for the County to establish a fire station that was further east on Highway 50 that would serve those neighborhoods as well as the areas that were north and south of Highway 50 close to the Orange County line.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that they had a responsibility to their entire system.

            Mr. Gary Kaiser, Public Safety Director, stated that in December of 2005, the Board approved a first response agreement for Lake County to address several areas along the county border, and they had a deficiency in the east Clermont area.  He explained that the proposal from Clermont brought this to the forefront as a higher priority, so they delved into this and came up with some statistics and alarm information, which staff would present.  They learned in that process that the areas identified by the City were less than 30 percent of the entire area where they had a response problem of over 5 or 10 minutes.  He felt that there was a need for them to locate a station east of Clermont in the Highway 50 area, and they would cover the additional north and south areas and would be able to provide backup to the City of Clermont.

            Mr. John Jolliff, Deputy Fire Chief, stated that they took a look at the statistics from a year’s data for Highway 27, Hartwood Marsh Road, Johns Lake Road, and Highway 50 in the Clermont area, and found that they had not responded to many accidents in those areas.

            Mr. Jim Dickerson, Operations Chief, talked about the numbers and types of calls and stated that they did identify a major problem on the east side up to the county line and Bella Collina and down to Johns Lake.  The area that Clermont was offering to help them with was the Greater Pines/Greater Hills area, which encompassed 212 calls out of the 519 that they were deficient in that area, and their response time at best was a little over nine minutes and at worst was close to 12 minutes.  They were proposing to find a location to significantly reduce response times in those areas, and they had worked with staff on locating a motel off of State Road 50 and 455 and came up with a good price, where they could be in operation quickly.  The problem with the response time in that entire area was that many of the residents were losing their insurance, because the insurance companies were not recognizing whether Clermont was covering the area.  He referred to the handout identifying several options of both long and short term solutions, and explained that Option 2 would get them in the area immediately, and Option 1 would allow them to look elsewhere to possibly have a temporary station until a permanent station could be built.

            Commr. Cadwell asked if it would be realistic to think they could find a good location around Highway 50 that would cure that problem.

            Ms. Hall commented that they thought that there was, and there were a couple of areas they were looking at, including a temporary one as well as some acreage north of Highway 50 that could be permanent if they went that route.  She related that their preference right now was the temporary motel site and to work to find a long-term temporary site in that location, and they do think they had some possibilities to do that.

            Mr. Dickerson commented that the motel site was a great location near a traffic light, which also allowed them to provide coverage for the north end of the City.  He also related that the motel has identified a double-efficiency room that they could use that would allow the firefighters to cook and take showers.  He explained that it was close to the exit and that there would be four parking locations reserved for their truck, as well as secure areas for their gear.  He also noted that they were on an access road that would lead to 455.

            Commr. Stewart commented that they needed a presence out there.  She also understood that since staffing was already available, they would not have to hire additional staffing and that they would not have to buy additional equipment.

            Mr. Dickerson responded that they needed to have one reserve engine per five frontline engines, and they currently had 20 front-line engines and 5 reserved, meaning that they had one extra.  Also, since they have had a hard time getting Station 110 remodeled, they currently had those personnel available to staff that station until Station 110 was ready, and since Station 110 was a lot smaller than they had anticipated, they could actually staff the additional station without there being an impact on staff.

            Commr. Renick commented that she liked the idea of going with a temporary site, especially since they did not know what Clermont would decide to do in the future.

            Mr. Kaiser added that they did not consider municipal boundaries when positioning fire stations, but rather where they should go, and this fit into their criteria.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender, and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Option 2, which was to identify an existing building capable of housing firefighters for 24/7 operations immediately (the motel site previously discussed), with the lease agreement of the building based on common practices, and to not seek a permanent home during temporary relocation without further discussion with the City of Clermont.



            Ms. Judy Buckland, Library Services Program Coordinator, commented that the “Festival of Reading” promotes reading and the love of literature and noted that this was their sixth year.  She related that the festival hosted nationally-recognized authors during a series of events that was held throughout the County in their thirteen libraries and in outreach locations.  She reported that last year they had 34 authors and over 3500 people in attendance.  She stated that this year’s theme is “Fantastic Florida,” and they have already secured several of the Florida Book Award winners.  She asked the Festival of Reading Committee to come forward to have their hard work and dedication recognized.

            Commr. Cadwell pointed out that they had received a national award for that program and presented the NACO Achievement Award for the “Festival of Reading” program to the Library Services staff.



            Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that this presentation would show exactly what they had to do to enhance some of their sites.

            Ms. Wendy Poag, Naturalist Land Steward, Parks and Trails Division, gave a power point presentation regarding the management of their land and its resources and to discuss Lake County’s properties, ecosystems, and restoration activities.  She stated that there were many benefits of managing these lands well, and public lands were home to many rare and declining species.  She commented that these lands also provide educational opportunities for children of all ages, leading to increased awareness of environmental issues and increased support for those activities.  She stated that multi-aged forests harvested over time can retain their beauty and function, and these lands could also be viewed as a timber resource and also provided mitigation areas for various species such as gopher tortoises.  She next discussed Lake County’s diverse ecosystems and noted that Florida ranks as one of the top four in botanical diversity, along with Texas, Hawaii, and California.  She explained that scrub was the driest ecosystem, containing bare patches of sand which were indicative of their ancient dune systems that those ecosystems lie on.  She also related that they liked to manage land in a mosaic of shrub levels, using combinations of roller chopping and fire, and she showed a picture of some of the scrub species of concern.  The next ecosystem she discussed was sandhill, which was a rolling, open system with many grasses and wildflowers that contained over 40 species per square meter.  She noted that only 2 percent of this ecosystem remains across the southeast.  She explained that the open character of that landscape was maintained by fire.  She showed dry uplands, the rarest kind of land, that were critical water filtration and recharge areas and held most of the species of concern.  She stated that the pine flatwoods were their most common ecosystem and that suppression of fire in these systems that used to burn often was one of the causes of the wildfires in the recent past.  She pointed out some of the things that were not seen in these ecosystems, such as exotic invasives, monocultures of a single species, rooftops, or roads.  She showed photographs of ephemeral ponds, which were small lakes and ponds that did not hold water 12 months of the year, and emphasized that they were critical to amphibian reproduction.  She also pointed out that dry-downs of lakes actually improve their water quality and help the muck oxidize.  She explained that all those ecosystems were not just stand-alone, but were all interconnected, along with the animals’ lives that depended on them.

            Ms. Poag explained that the main difference between land management and restoration was that management sites were intact ecosystems, but restoration sites required much more effort and money.  She defined restoration as the process of putting a site back to a prior condition in terms of species and function as an ecosystem, including controlling exotic invasive species which often were brought in from along the roadsides, rivers, canals, or any place where animals or people travel and could wipe out all the other native species.  She stated that there were also processes they used to control undesirable native species, such as weedy or pioneer species that were quick to dominate fallow land, such as laurel oak and sand pine.  She explained that a canopy over the landscape causes loss of groundcover diversity, because minimal light was reaching the ground.  She talked about the benefits of fire, such as decreased diseases, more nutrients added to the soil, conditions which allow the seeds from the various wildflowers and grasses to germinate and grow without competition, and rejuvenation of the existing plants and noted that it only took several weeks to several months after the fire for the landscape to quickly change.  She commented that some of the restoration processes could be labor intensive and site specific, including hand collection of seed of specific species to increase biodiversity for a site currently devoid of those species.  She reported that the cost of restoration was about $2,000 to $10,000 per acre initially, depending on the tasks involved.  She stated that their management plan was the framework of how to reach their goals, and they needed to be flexible and adapt their management approaches to the monitoring results.  She went over their basic four step process, which was to first inventory what was on the site; figure out what they wanted; clearly establish policies which were consistent with their long-term goals, with each property having a unique work plan and a time line to reach the overall objectives outlined in the management plan; and monitoring their success and whether their goals were being met.  She concluded by stating that even though fire was a natural part of the land management process and very beneficial, it invokes fear within the public, but assured the Board that with education, they could work through them.  She thanked the Board for their continued support of Parks and Trails and Public Lands.



            Commr. Hill stated that there was still a vacancy on the Impact Fee Committee in the category of Banking and Finance, which was not district related, even though they have advertised, placed it on the website, and tried to tell everyone possible about this vacancy.


            Commr. Hill related that the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC) hired Lake County’s new business director, who was a Leesburg resident.  She related that the new director would be coming around to meet with the Commissioners individually in early November when she comes on board.  She asked if a link could be put on the website regarding that, explaining who she is and what her responsibilities would be.



            Commr. Renick stated that last Thursday, October 16, she attended the Water Alliance’s Utility Working Group, where the representative from the St. Johns River Water Management District who was present expressed some concern that Lake County was going forward with a landscape ordinance before the St. Johns had finished their study on soil sensors.  She asked whether they should postpone their next workshop regarding this issue until the conclusion of the St. Johns’ study.  She also related that the St. Johns wanted their landscape ordinance to be one that they could all use as they go through their CUP process.

            Ms. Hall informed the Board that the workshop was scheduled for next Tuesday, October 28.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that they needed to cancel that workshop.

            Commr. Hill asked if the workshop was still on about the radio and the parks.

            Ms. Hall stated that she would still like the Radio and Parks portion of the workshop to continue.



            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2008-176 to proclaim November as Epilepsy Awareness Month.


            Commr. Cadwell stated that he brought forward the evaluations for the County Attorney and County Manager, since they were postponed so that they could concentrate on the budget issues.  He explained that neither expected any compensation other than what the County was giving this year to all employees, so there was not any reason to bring it back, since that was what the discussion was usually about.  He commented that all the remarks were positive, and all the marks were good, and he wanted them to know that the Board appreciated what they both were doing for them.


            No one present wished to address the Board.


            At 10:30 a.m. the Chairman announced that the Board would recess until the Joint Meeting with the School Board at 3:30 p.m.


            The Chairman reconvened the meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the Training Room, Room 233, Administration Building.


            Commr. Cadwell stated that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the East Lake County park and School Site “J,” and commented that this was truly going to be a joint venture, where the two entities would be working together to figure out the best ways to make this project work and that he was excited about this project.


            Mr. Jim Stivender, Lake County Public Works Director, stated that when they first were seriously considering this site, they looked at this intersection, which had been last worked on in 1991 when turn lanes were put in.  He showed an upgrade of that intersection, which included a secured contract for the right of way for two homes there for a water retention area, and they were still working on securing some right of ways.  He added that sidewalks were included in that design and that they already had 9,000 cars traveling north and south.  He reported that the biggest challenge to this design was the utilities, and the problem was to get a road alignment to work just right within a small area.  He also related that they were 65 to 75 percent complete with their design, and the permitting for the water retention was currently underway.  He pointed out that the other item they had before them was the parks plan, which was brought to the community at a well-attended public meeting two years ago to discuss the layout.  He stated that at direction from this Board Meeting, they would move forward with another public meeting to make sure that the ball fields and other priorities were still true and correct.  As part of the site work and the agreement with the School Board, they wanted to put as many amenities on the site as they could and to address stormwater and the earthwork necessary for the project, and they could add other amenities as funds become available at a later date.  He noted that a year ago the estimates for the project would have been doubled, but the price of construction has come down considerably, especially in earthwork moving, so they were hoping that the lower prices would enable them to acquire some more amenities for the park on this site.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that on staff level, they were looking at other things they could do for the community, including the possibility of a library, which they could discuss, and the configuration of the ball field.

            Mr. Scott Strong, School Board Member, District 2, asked about the 2009 funds and anticipated grove revenue of $100,000.

            Mr. Stivender explained that that number was a little high and was based on about $1.40 per pound solid, which now was at 80 cents per pound solid.  He stated that they have received revenue on the grove property the last two years at a good price, and the revenue went back into the park site.

            Commr. Cadwell added that they also did that in Umatilla, and until they were ready to develop the park, they made sure that any of the revenues from the fruit went back into the park fund.  He also mentioned that the handout showed that a combination pavilion/restroom and a baseball field were going to be the first things that they would see out there.  After talking to the residents in that region, he thought that would be the best way to go, because Mount Dora was having problems providing fields for little league, with 70 percent of participants being County residents.  He also suggested that they talk to the Mount Dora leagues to see whether the full-sized field or the little league field would be appropriate to build first.

            Mr. Strong inquired whether the parks would go in at exactly the same time as the school, and would not be discretionary based on funding.

            Mr. Stivender explained that they were going to use the money already set aside for that project, but the funds were not currently available for the approximately $2 million worth of additional improvements needed for the entire site.

            Commr. Cadwell remarked that there was no one better at working with the grant system in Tallahassee than Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Director of Parks and Trails.  He added that he has been working to see if there were any other monies that they could get to move things forward and try to do all they can initially.

            Mr. Strong commented that the residents were lukewarm to the idea of the school, but were really excited about the park and that it would be a nice benefit to the community.

            Commr. Renick clarified that the library was just an idea and was not substantially included in these plans, and she commented that the library made the plans look crowded.

            Mr. Stivender explained that parking would maximize the entire site, so if the library would occur, the parking in front of that library would be designated for that site.

            Commr. Cadwell pointed out that realistically the funding of that library would not occur for a long time.  He also assured the School Board that the County Commission was committed to the park just as the School Board was committed to the school, and he did not anticipate coming back to the School Board for any additional help with it.

            Mr. Larry Metz, School Board Chairman, had a question about the phasing of the construction of the high priority park components, such as infrastructure for the site, the baseball field, and a combination pavilion/restroom.  He was concerned that if they put the baseball field in the east corner of the property and the school in the far west corner of the property, it could be a matter of years before the interior spaces were developed.  He inquired whether there was a way to develop a site plan that covered their needs and was phased so that they would be building from the west to the east so the undeveloped property would be at the end of the property rather than separating the school from what was already developed.

            Mr. Stivender stated that this was a concept that came out of the previous meeting.  He commented that that was a good suggestion, and they would implement that as part of their public meeting process.  He also assured them that they wanted to make this site as efficient as they could, and they could work from that side.

            Mr. Metz related that they were going to build the school as soon as they had the land, and the money was ready to go, they were working on plans, and the school could be ready by August of 2010.  He also commented that this design was an early artist’s rendering.

            Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, pointed out that the entire site would be grassed and level like Hickory Point, so that even if there were not actually ball fields, it could be used for football and soccer fields, and active recreation could occur on them until the actual fields were built.

            Commr. Renick was concerned about the liability of a skateboard park, which was shown as a possible amenity on the plans, and wanted to discuss whether to go forward with that option.

            Mr. Jimmy Conner, School Board Member, District 4, commented that the cost of a skateboard facility was expensive, and the per person utilization of a ball park compared to an individual skateboard park was a much better value.  He thought that they needed to put team sport fields and a large number of fields used by youth ahead of “individual sports.”  He also commented that this has been a model project of two government agencies working together at the Board as well as the staff level and that they were grateful to the County for providing a site for a much-needed school out there.

            Commr. Cadwell assured the School Board that once the County got the initial work done on the park, even though that property would not be developed all at once, it would all be maintained.


            Mr. Gary Parker, Director of Facilities Design and Construction, Lake County Schools, pointed out in the plans the lines north and south which delineated the school site from the park site in terms of what they were building and paying for and what they would normally build with an elementary school.  He related that they were incorporating the outside play courts, play fields, soccer fields, covered play, and all the things that they would typically build in an elementary school anyway, and those become dual use because of the proximity.  He showed where there would be a fence to protect and separate the children and keep them from meandering out unsupervised.  He also mentioned that at some point, they understood that this would become part of the trail system, and they have incorporated an extra wide sidewalk across the front of the property which would tie in to the interior trail system that was on the site.  They also planned it to bring the school’s pedestrian traffic in to a bike rack area, so that they did not have to cross any driveways other than at the signalized intersection.  He stated that it was designed so that once school was in session, the only way into the building was to come through the administration office.  They have positioned the building so that the dining/multipurpose area had direct access out the east side, which was in line with the sidewalk that they provided from the trail system into the building, so during the summer when there was a park program, that portion of the building would be available for use by the park staff.  Also, their media center in the front had an outside door that could be opened for evening meetings, so that the rest of the school could be maintained in a secure situation.  He explained a concept that allowed flexible use of parking and commented that they were trying to maximize their dollars for both entities.

            Commr. Cadwell asked the County Commissioners if they had any reservations regarding the library.

            Commr. Stewart explained that some factions of the community in that area might have some problems with that, since it would be taking up some of the park area.  She added that it may become an issue, but everyone could work that out.

            Mr. Metz inquired about the environmental, soil contamination, and sinkhole issues.

            Mr. Parker responded that as part of the normal due diligence process, the County had already done a Phase I and Phase II environmental study on this, which basically ruled out any soil contamination from existing grove or nursery operations, and they had begun doing soil borings so that they could start engineering analysis on the building site itself, but as they started to drill the bit came off the equipment and just fell into an abyss.   He stated that they did ground penetrating radar tests last week which indicated an anomaly that may be a sinkhole, and they had further testing scheduled and would know definitely by October 22 what the scope of the issue was.  He also added that there were five other anomalies in addition to that which were identified in the ground penetrating radar process, four of which appeared to be underground utilities and one an underground tank.

            Mr. Strong stated that if it was a sinkhole, it would be fine to put a ball field on it, but not a structure.  He asked if the County would allow them the flexibility to move over to another portion of that property if there was a sinkhole.

            Mr. Parker pointed out that the first site plan actually showed the school at the east end and the park at the west end, but it was jointly determined that the current location was better in terms of access and what they wanted to do with the road.

            Mr. Minkoff pointed out that the agreement originally stated that the school could be anywhere on the site, and they were open to anything that would work for both parties.

            Ms. Kyleen Fischer, School Board Vice Chairman, was concerned about the security of the facilities and whether the school would have a secure front.

            Ms. Cindy Barrow, School Board Member, District 5, inquired whether there was any way to do any additional fencing that would make the front more secure.

            Mr. Parker stated that it would not be impossible and would involve gates across the drive-in.  However, that would tend to negate the idea of having overflow parking that could be used both ways when the school was not in session.

            Mr. Metz mentioned the School Board’s commitment to building to green standards, even though they did not purchase the green certificate.

            Mr. Parker added that all of their buildings were a brick exterior with a cavity wall system, which was probably one of the most energy efficient and water-tight wall systems that could be built in the State of Florida.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that there would be some great opportunities for some walking field trips, since they were only going to use native vegetation and were going to mark what the plants were.  He suggested that they design it so that there was a secure flow during the school day to where the students could utilize the whole park area.

            Mr. Steve Johnson, School Board Attorney, stated that they have already made a presentation about the facility before the Eustis City Commission, which he felt was well received.   He also noted that it would be fairly essential that they have the utilization of waste water services from the City of Eustis, and they needed to make sure they got approval for that.

            Mr. Minkoff stated that assuming the environmental issues work out, the next step would be the preparation of an amendment where the staffs negotiate the prices and firm up the location, and then they would bring it back to both Boards.  He mentioned that they were working on the School Board’s timetable, since they wanted to get the school started, and they thought that the amendment would be ready by the end of November to go to both Boards for final approval of the overall site.  That would be the last step before they would be ready to start construction on the school from a design and legal standpoint.

            PUBLIC INPUT

            Ms. Jean Etter, a resident of Mount Plymouth, stated that she thought this project was wonderful and a great start for the two Boards to be working together.  She opined that even though those thoughts were not currently shared by some people in the community, she felt that everyone would ultimately be happy with it.  She stated that the possibility of the library going on that site has alarmed a lot of people for a variety of reasons.  She related that the Chamber currently owns the property the library sits on, and they benefit from the lease; also, the Chamber and the library periodically get together to put on several community events that raise money for the library, which would be difficult to do if they were no longer on the same parcel.  She also mentioned that she did not think the skateboard park would be a large issue, because there was only one person at the meeting that inquired about that.

            Mr. Conner suggested that they present the plan the way it was presented in the past, which was without the library, since people would not like to feel that something was changing on them.  He stated that they could discuss the library to get the residents’ opinion on it, rather than make it look like the library was something that was pre-determined.

            Mr. Minkoff related that they have been looking at library sites, since they were in a leased facility.  He explained that they thought that this would be a good area and that there were a lot of advantages to co-locating as they have done with the park locations in Astor and Paisley, such as minimizing the impact of the library as far as parking and stormwater.  He also pointed out that the library could be smaller, because it did not have to have a meeting space in it.  He commented that even though it was not planned until 2016, they thought it would be better to let people know it was a possibility at the beginning rather than add it later onto the park site.

            Commr. Stewart opined that a library at this site would be more economical for the County in the long run, because they would not have to lease a space, and purchasing the existing site would be expensive and probably not feasible at this time.


            There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.



                                                                        WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN