OCTOBER 28, 2008

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 28, 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; and Sandra Carter, Deputy Clerk.


Reverend Ken Harley, from the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, in Oxford, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


The Chairman announced that he would like to have the Board address Tab 7, presentations by the Public Safety and Public Works Departments, after the rest of the Agenda has been addressed, due to the extensiveness of the presentations.


Commr. Renick asked that Tab 2, a request from Public Works for approval of an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Eustis, and Tab 4, a request from Procurement for approval to award a Tree Harvesting contract, be pulled from the Consent Agenda for discussion.

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


            Request for approval of the following Budget Change Request:

            Capital Substitution - County Fire Rescue Fund, Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division.  Transfer $59,169 from Machinery and Equipment (replacement engine pumper and equipment) to Machinery and Equipment (specialty pumper).  The replacement engine pumper was budgeted for $300,000, but the vendor quote is $283,122.  The quote also includes the equipment necessary to outfit the pumper, which was budgeted separately for $78,885.  The quote received for the specialty pumper for Harbor Hills is $379,169.  The amount budgeted was $320,000.  The difference of $59,169 will be transferred from the amount remaining after the replacement pumper purchase ($16,878) and the budgeted amount for the equipment ($42,291).


            Request that the Board (1) declare items on submitted list(s) surplus to County needs; (2) authorize the removal of all items on said 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 Works

            Request for approval of Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and The City of Eustis for the Getford Road Flooding Remediation Project and Water Quality Improvement Project.



            Commr. Renick asked that this request be pulled from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda for discussion, because she was concerned about the large contingency figure, being $153,950, plus the fact that the Board usually looks at what the other bids (12 responses) were before approving such a request.  She questioned why this request was not following the usual process.

            Mr. Jim Bannon, Capital Construction and Facilities Development and Management Director, addressed the Board stating that staff should have listed information about the other bidders for the Board’s perusal and failed to do so, but that the company that was chosen was the low bidder.

            Commr. Renick indicated that she did not have a problem with the company in question, it is just that she was concerned that this request was being handled differently than usual and that she was floored by the amount of contingency.

            Mr. Bannon agreed that it was a little on the high side, however, noted that it was not part of the contract sum and it was going to be controlled by him.  He stated that it was included in the request to cover unforeseen items, in that the project involves a landfill site and he has some concerns about what might be discovered below ground.  He commented that any draws made on it would have to be for a legitimate reason.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board could either postpone this request until such time as they can get their questions answered, or reduce the contingency down to a normal amount – somewhere in the 10% range, and, if there are any problems involved, staff can bring the matter back to the Board at a later date.  He indicated that he did not want to hold the project up, but, since the Board meets almost every week, he did not see it as being a big problem, if staff did have to bring the matter back before the Board at a later date.

            Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, clarified the fact that the Board was suggesting a 10% contingency cap and that anything above that would have to come back to them for approval, for any project.  She informed the Board that she would get them a list of the other bids, for their perusal.

            Commr. Renick questioned whether such bids would go through Procurement, as well, and was informed by Mr. Bannon that they would.  She stated that, to give her a level of comfort, she would like to see such requests come from Procurement, rather than Facilities Development and Management.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Facilities Development and Management that Mark Cook Builders be awarded the ITB (Invitation to Bid) for construction of a pole barn in Astatula, in the amount of $638,304, with a 10% cap on contingency, for this project and any future projects, to be used at the discretion of the Capital Construction and Facilities Development and Management Director.



            Commr. Renick asked that this request be pulled from the County Manager’s Consent Agenda for discussion, because she was concerned about the fact that there was only one bid and that the request indicates the amount of money involved, but does not indicate how much the County will be getting per ton of trees harvested.

            Mr. Barnett Schwartzman, Procurement Services Director, addressed the Board stating that staff made a concerted effort to obtain more bids, but they only received the one response from Flatwoods Forest Products, Inc.

            Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Parks and Trails Division Director, Public Works, informed the Board that tree harvesting was initiated to remove sand pines at Pine Forest Park, slash pines at Lake Idamere, and laurel oaks at Ferndale Preserve, which presents a unique situation, because of the topography of the land, which he elaborated on.

            Commr. Renick questioned whether the County could obtain additional bids, or whether there was a deadline involved with this request, and was informed by Mr. Bonilla that the trees will have to be removed, or it will prevent the trail from being finalized in the future.

            Commr. Stivender stated that the County is ready to start construction on the Miracle League Ballfield at Lake Idamere Park, but they will not be able to do so until the trees on the site are removed.

            A brief discussion occurred regarding whether or not the same vendor should do all three sites, the fact that the RFP did not require the County to award all three sites to the same vendor – that it could award two of the sites and rebid the third one, and possibly slowing the process down for what is planned for Lake Idamere Park.

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried, by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved a request from Procurement that Flatwoods Forest Products, Inc. be awarded a contract for $39,500 for RFP No. 08-0254, Tree Harvesting at Pine Forest Park, Lake Idamere Park, and Ferndale Preserve.

            Commr. Renick voted “No”.



            Mr. Bill Gearing, Community Enhancement Coordinator, Community Services, addressed the Board and presented a slide presentation about a new Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which was established as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  As a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement community, Lake County is eligible to receive $3,136,967 in funding through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program, under HERA. The new program provides targeted emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties that might otherwise become sources of abandonment and blight within their communities.  HUD, following Congress’s direction, determined the allocations based on the number/percent of foreclosures, subprime mortgages and mortgage defaults and delinquencies.  HERA calls for the funds to be used to:

·        Establish financing mechanisms for purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed upon homes and residential properties, including such mechanisms as soft-seconds, loan loss reserves, and shared-equity loans for low and moderate income homebuyers.

·        Purchase and rehabilitate homes and residential properties that have been abandoned or foreclosed upon, in order to sell, rent, or redevelop such homes and properties.

·        Establish land banks for homes that have been foreclosed upon.

·        Demolish blighted structures.

            Grantees are permitted to spend up to 10% of the grant, plus program income, for administrative costs.  A completed application, which must include a substantial change to the CDBG Consolidated Action Plan, must be submitted to HUD by December 1, 2008.  The Grantee must use at least 25% of the NSP funds for the purchase and redevelopment of abandoned or foreclosed homes or residential properties that will be used to house individuals or families whose incomes do not exceed 50% of the area median income.  All activities funded must benefit low and moderate income persons whose income does not exceed 120% of the area median income.  Homeowners that are assisted with NSP funds are required to undergo eight hours, or pre-purchase, counseling from a HUD-approved provider.  Green building techniques are encouraged.

            Mr. Gearing informed the Board that ineligible activities would be any activity ineligible under CDBG and not eligible under HERA, being (1) foreclosure prevention; (2) demolition of non-blighted structures; and (3) purchase of properties not abandoned or foreclosed upon.  He stated that some suggested strategies would be to (1) work with lending institutions on financing mechanisms to assist homebuyers in making mortgages affordable and to rehabilitate foreclosed homes; (2) work with non-profits, such as Habitat for Humanity, to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed homes; and (3) work with non-profits, such as LifeStream, to create permanent supportive housing.  He questioned whether the Board approved of the aforementioned strategies and whether the Board had any further guidance for staff.

            Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, addressed the Board and discussed the urgency of having the amendment to the plan completed and sent to HUD.  He stated that the County sent out an RFP (Request for Proposal), to see if there were any agencies in the Central Florida area that could assist staff in writing the plan and getting it prepared to be presented to HUD, and they received two responses back, one from Ms. Liz Eginton, the County’s former Housing and Community Development Director, Department of Community Services, and the other from Guardian Resource Management, Inc., at which time he requested the Board’s approval for staff to contract with Guardian Resource Management this date, so that they could begin working on getting the plan ready for the Board’s review and input, as well as getting it ready for public input, beginning November 10, 2008.  He noted that the County needs to partner with Affordable Housing by Lake, the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, Habitat, New Beginnings, LifeStream, Sunrise ARC, etc., to look at all the different strategies for the Board to consider and select from, for use of the money that will be allocated to the County.  He stated that, with the County being an entitlement county, the funds are going to be restricted for use specifically in entitlement areas, which is the unincorporated area of the County, and within the boundaries of the municipal partners, being Tavares, Astatula, Lady Lake, and Montverde.  He commented that there are funds available from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for cities to apply for through the small cities’ competitive process, but staff is not sure how that process is going to work at this time.  He informed the Board that he would like to have the plan ready by November 10th and needs to discuss with each of the Commissioners, individually, what they would like to see the monies used for, so staff can have a pretty good idea of what the County is going to be submitting to HUD and have it open for public inspection.

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved for staff to contract with Guardian Resource Management, Inc., to get a plan ready to be presented to the Board by the Community Services Department on the strategies to be used in executing the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.



            Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, explained to the Board that this was a request for a 50% waiver of impact fees for a proposed development known as The Glen at Cagan Crossings, located in the Four Corners area of Lake County, consisting of 612 units, 540 of which the 50% waiver was being requested.  The basis for the request was that the units would be affordable to low income persons, as contemplated by Lake County Land Development Regulations, Section 22.9(b)(1).  He stated that Mr. William Deas, Attorney, representing the applicant, Cagan Crossings, Ltd., gave a presentation to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, which voted not to recommend approval of the waiver, due to the fact that it is felt by the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, as well as staff, that the request does not meet the intent of the Lake County Code for waiver and deferral of impact fees, as indicated in a memorandum to the Board from Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, dated October 21, 2008.

            Mr. Deas addressed the Board and distributed a handout containing excerpts from the Cagan Crossings Development Order, pertaining to the determination of affordable housing; excerpts from Section 22 of the County’s Land Development Regulations, pertaining to the waiver or deferral of impact fees for very low and low income housing; excerpts from the Florida Statutes, regarding the definition of “affordable” and “low income persons”; a page containing Qualifying Rent Calculations; and a Cost-Benefit Memorandum, which he reviewed with the Board.  He stated that they currently have 1,044 rental apartments under their Cagan Crossings Development Order with the County, of which 20% must be affordable to low income persons, defined for the year 2002 as $1,054 per month rental.  He commented that they have not done any apartments since 2000, having done mostly commercial parcel sales since then, so they have not concerned themselves very much with impact fees, which have gone from $1,700 per unit in 2000 to $7,148 per unit this year – an increase of 316%, the bulk of which are school impact fees.  Despite that fact they went ahead with the proposed project, because construction costs were down, labor was available, interest rates were favorable, and they did not plan on having to pay the full impact fees.

            Mr. Deas informed the Board that, if their request was approved, it would save them a little less than $2 million, at which time he referred to the Cost-Benefit Memorandum he had distributed to them, noting that it points out, by the County waiving the $1,929,960 over a two or three year period, beginning in late 2009, in exchange for that the County will get $2,444,616 in impact fees; $508,384 in permit/inspection fees; $800,000 per year in ad valorem taxes; 200 new jobs over the next three years, generated by the construction of the project; and 25 permanent positions.  He stated that the equities favor their application, they relied on the DO and the LDRs language in good faith, in going forward, and, if they do not get the waiver, they are going to be substantially damaged.  He pointed out the fact that the LDRs require a recorded recapture agreement and, if, at any time, for five years, they do not meet the eligibility requirements for the waived impact fees, they will have to pay them.

            Mr. Jeff Cagan, Managing Partner of Cagan Crossings, Ltd., addressed the Board stating that, in being very aware of costs and living expenses, especially in today’s economy, they made some major changes in the project, which he elaborated on, trying to make sure that the tenants not only have very favorable rent, but lower utility bills, as well.  He then answered questions from the Board regarding the project and their request for a 50% waiver of the impact fees.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board denied a request for a 50% waiver of impact fees for Cagan Crossings - The Glen - Commission District 2, as recommended by staff and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.



            Mr. Daryl Smith, Environmental Utilities Director, addressed the Board stating that staff has been working on collection services since the third quarter of last year and have come to the Board on a number of occasions, most recently on October 5, 2008, asking them to approve the County’s ability to negotiate with existing service providers, with the understanding that Viola, one of the service providers, did not want to extend their contract.  He stated that, over the last two months, staff has been working with Waste Management, Inc. of Florida and Waste Services of Florida, Inc. to negotiate agreements going forward, for the period starting October 1, 2009.  Agreements were reached with the two of them and staff was then directed to negotiate with them for the Viola service area, with the successful bidder being Waste Management, Inc.  He stated that the Board was being asked this date to approve contracts with Waste Management and Waste Services – with the one for Waste Management including two service areas, being their existing service area and the service area vacated by Viola.  He commented that there were a couple of minor revisions to the contract, one being that the Refuse Rate Index be on a quarterly basis, rather than its current annual basis, for the residential collection services, which he elaborated on, and that they do background checks on people before they are hired.  He stated that, in the negotiations process, Waste Management agreed to forgo the Refuse Rate Index, beginning October 1, 2008, so the County was able to receive a good discount from them, starting at the beginning of this fiscal year, so it will have to modify the existing contract with them, to reflect the change in service and the reduced rate for this coming year.  He asked the Board to authorize staff to work with the County Attorney’s Office, to consider some changes to Chapter 21 of the Municipal Code, noting that he felt the Board was aware of situations in the County involving dirt roads and indicated that they may want to change the language in Chapter 21 to accurately reflect what is being done in those situations.  He stated that staff realized they had made some changes in the final draft of the agreements and the Refuse Rate Index was different than the one received by the Board in their backup material and wanted to make sure that the contract reflects the accurate Refuse Rate Index.

            On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved a request from Environmental Utilities for approval of the Solid Waste Collection Services contracts for Waste Management, Inc. of Florida and Waste Services of Florida, Inc., for the period October 1, 2009 thru September 30, 2014, including various revisions, as indicated; approved an amendment to the existing contract with Waste Management, Inc. of Florida that provides for them to forgo the Refuse Rate Index, for the period effective October 1, 2008 thru September 30 2009; and authorized the County Attorney’s Office and the Department of Environmental Utilities to review and, if appropriate, present to the Board potential changes to Chapter 21 of the Municipal Code.

            PUBLIC HEARING


            Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, informed the Board that this was a request to vacate the entire Plat of Forest at Silver Lake, in the Leesburg area, and that staff was recommending approval of said request.  He reviewed an aerial of the property in question, contained in the Board’s backup material, noting that this request was one of four in the Plat of Forest at Silver Lake that is in the process of being vacated.

            Commr. Hill disclosed, for the record, that she had spoken with the applicant and his attorney, prior to the start of this meeting.

            The Chairman opened the public hearing.

            Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, representing the applicants, addressed the Board stating that his clients were asking to vacate the entire plat and take the lots and blocks off the map and return them to vacant property.

            No one was present in opposition to the request.

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

            On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2008-177 - Vacation Petition No. 1139, Ted and Gail Ostrander, to vacate the entire Plat of Forest at Silver Lake, in the Leesburg area - Commission District 1, as presented.


            Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Director, Growth Management Department, addressed the Board stating that the meeting had been properly noticed and that there was a change to the Regular Rezoning Agenda involving Case No. MSP08/7/1-3, Dirtworx, Inc.  He indicated that staff had received a request from the applicant for a 30 day continuance, until the November 25th Board Meeting, as well as a letter of support from an adjoining property owner, to allow them to work out some minor details and remove concerns of the adjoining property owner, which staff supports.  He commented that the Consent Agenda would remain the same.

            REZONING CASE NO. MSP08/7/1-3 – MSP IN A - DIRTWORX, INC.

            The Chairman opened the public hearing.

            Ms. Amanda Prevatt, the owner of a parcel of property that adjoins the property in question, addressed the Board stating that she had taken time off from work on various occasions to attend previous meetings where this case was addressed and that the case keeps getting postponed and she cannot take any additional time off from work to attend future meetings.  She commented that this request, if approved, is going to drastically impact her family’s lives and that they would like to have the case heard this date, noting that the previous 60 day postponement should have been plenty of time for the attorneys involved to work out any details.

            Mr. Steve Richey, Attorney, representing the applicant, addressed the Board stating that it was his understanding that, when the continuance was asked for, Ms. Prevatt was contacted by staff and advised that the applicant was going to be asking for a continuance, so that she would not have to take any additional time off from work to attend this meeting and apologized to Ms. Prevatt, if that did not occur.

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

            Commr. Renick stated that there have been problems with continuances before, at which time she noted that she had looked at the property in question, as well as surrounding properties that might be affected, and felt that most of them would not be affected, but that, in her opinion, the person that would be the most affected was Ms. Prevatt; therefore, she would be in favor of hearing the case this date.

            Mr. Richey interjected that he heard what Ms. Prevatt had to say before the Zoning Board and responded to it, but that he did not have a problem with hearing what she might have to say this date and then continuing the case until next month, when a full presentation could be made to the Board.

            Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Director, Growth Management Department, informed the Board that it appears the end result of the new site plan is going to be a great improvement over what is already supported by staff, in terms of buffering and additional landscaping.

            Commr. Stewart questioned whether Ms. Prevatt has been a part of the process, thus far, and was informed that some concessions have been made, but, apparently, she was not a part of the process, because she was not aware of them.

            Mr. Richey commented that there have not been any concessions made to the area where Ms. Prevatt’s property is located, because there is sufficient buffering, which exceeds what is being proposed to some other properties in the area that have been beefed up.  He reiterated the fact that he would be happy to meet with Ms. Prevatt and discuss any concerns she might have, should the Board grant the 30 day continuance, and, if there is something that can be done to address those concerns, he will try to do it.

            Mr. Brent Spain, representing Dirtworx, Inc., addressed the Board in response to a question by Commr. Stivender as to whether he was okay with the continuance.  He stated that a couple of months ago there was some confusion with the 30 day continuance and the hearing dates lining up, but that Mr. Richey and his office have been trying to hash out a revised plan and a written settlement agreement.  He stated that, from his client’s perspective, some of the conditions that have been negotiated would be reflected on the revised plan.  He noted that an email was sent to Mr. Sheahan, prior to this meeting, supporting the request for a 30 day continuance.

            A motion was made by Commr. Stivender and seconded by Commr. Hill to approve the request for a 30 day continuance for Dirtworx, Rezoning Case No. MSP08/7/1-3, until the Board Meeting of November 25, 2008, and direct the applicant’s attorney, Mr. Steve Richey, to meet with Ms. Amanda Prevatt, an adjoining property owner, to try to address concerns that she and her family have about the case.

            Under discussion, Commr. Stewart stated that she is well aware of how difficult it is to take time off from work to attend the Board Meetings and questioned whether Ms. Prevatt would be able to submit written comments regarding the case, after she has met with Mr. Richey, and was informed that staff would work with Ms. Prevatt, to ensure that her concerns are addressed.

            The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, which was carried, by a 4-1 vote.

            Commr. Renick voted “No”.

            It was noted that a request by Commr. Renick regarding an agreement involving Sumter County and an issue of road access would be brought before the Board at the November 25th meeting to be addressed.


            The Chairman opened the public hearing.

            Mr. Richard Ruggieri, the owner of a parcel of property involving a Staff Initiated Revocation of Case No. CUP94/11/2-4, addressed the Board and questioned whether the revocation could be postponed, to allow him time to apply for a variance or lot split, to allow two mobile homes that are located on the property to remain on it, noting that, when he purchased the property in February of this year, he was not aware of the CUP.  He commented that he wants to do whatever is necessary to keep the mobile homes on the property.

            Mr. Sheahan was questioned by the Chairman as to whether he would have a problem with postponing the case and was informed that staff would not be in favor of postponing it, because the CUP would not be valid for Mr. Ruggieri, because it was specifically granted for care of the infirm, but it has not been used for that purpose.  Also, the annual extensions were not applied for, as required by the Ordinance, however, noted that staff could work with Code Enforcement to make sure that Mr. Ruggieri is given every opportunity to proceed with the other amendments.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not want Code Enforcement to cite and fine him in the meantime.

            Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, interjected that, typically, when anybody files an application, the County gives them time for the application to go through.

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

            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda, as follows:

            Ordinance No. 2008-70

Eugene T. Calabrese and Denise T. Calabrese

William L. Mims, Jr.

Rezoning Case No. CUP08/10/2-5


Ordinance No. 2008-71

J. D. Horne/Leslie Campione, P.A.

Rezoning Case No. PH45-08-4


John R. Arnold, Trustee

Richey & Cooney

Rezoning Case No. PH28-08-2

(Continuance to 11/05/08)


John R. Arnold, Trustee

Richey & Cooney

Rezoning Case No. CUP08/10/1-2

(Continuance to 11/05/08)


Ordinance No. 2008-72

Staff Initiated Revocation of Conditional Use Permits, as follows:

Robert and Clora Hutton

Rezoning Case No. CUP94/11/2-4


Roy G. Ward and Broyan Masonry, Inc.

Rezoning Case No. CUP941-4


Michael Trotto and Elizabeth Cline

Rezoning Case No. CUP93/12/2-4


Dana Fitch and Linda Fitch

Rezoning Case No. CUP93/8/1-3


David Conover

Rezoning Case No. CUP99/2/2-4


Ordinance No. 2008-73

Voluntary Revocation of Conditional Use Permit, as follows:

Charles and Joyce Caldwell

Rezoning Case No. 524-5


            At 10:15 a.m., the Chairman announced that the Board would recess for 10 minutes.

            OTHER BUSINESS


            On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stivender and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed Mr. Charlie Rector to a vacant District 1 seat on the Local Planning Agency, to complete an unexpired term ending January 31, 2009, and to serve a consecutive four-year term.


            On a motion by Commr. Stivender, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously, by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed Mr. Leonard Di Silvestro to a vacant Architect position on the Board of Building Examiners, to complete an unexpired term ending January 14, 2011.



            Mr. Greg Holcomb, Communications Technologies Director, Public Safety Department, addressed the Board and presented a slide presentation, updating them on the status and progress of the Countywide Radio Services Project, noting that it consists of four individuals, being himself, a Radio Services Coordinator, a Radio Services Technician, and a Communications Specialist, who work in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office Radio Services Deputy and Communications Specialist.  Their mission is to protect the lives and property of Lake County’s citizens, visitors, and Public Safety first responders with the most efficient and cost effective communications technologies meeting their service needs.  They have partnered with 79 various agencies, consisting of 21 in Lake County, 10 in Marion County, 9 in Osceola County, 12 in Polk County, 11 in Volusia County, 8 in Orange County, and 8 in Seminole County, which is a one radio, complete communications partnership.  The benefits to Lake County are as follows:

·                    ALL Internal Lake County Agencies Communicate on ONE System

·                    One Radio, Complete Communications

·                    Countywide Portable Coverage

·                    Simplicity of Operations for Field Personnel

·                    System Reliability Based on New Technologies

·                    Uniform Communication Protocols

·                    Interoperability with Surrounding Counties

·                    National/State/Regional/Local Mutual Aid

·                    Future Proofing – P25 Interoperability

            Mr. Holcomb completed his presentation stating that some good news is that the original budget with Motorola was $32,000,000, but, due to some change orders, the County was credited back $115,845, and there is a grant process involved, as well, as follows:  Community Orientating Police Services (COPS) for 2008, which will return $155,477 to the project; Hazard Mitigation (EM) from FEMA, in the amount of $36,966; and an ongoing Rebanding process, which has brought in $8,513, with some additional funds to be received from it, bringing the total contract to $31,683,199.  He commented that the project is under budget and on schedule, noting that, if it were not for the fact of waiting on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the February timeframe for some frequency allocation scenarios, the system would probably be on line one to two months ahead of time.

            Commr. Stewart commended Mr. Gary Kaiser, Public Safety Director, and his staff for bringing the County the best system that was available, noting that they put a lot of hard work into it and she feels they have brought the County quality.  She admitted that, due to the costs involved, she had some concerns at first.  She commented that there are some rumors going around that are completely unfounded, noting that she conducted her own investigation and met with county and municipal law enforcement agencies, Emergency Management Services personnel, and the other company that was not chosen, and she feels the County made the only choice it could make, which she elaborated on.  She stated that staff did their homework and due diligence and she believes they made the right choice.

            Mr. Gary Kaiser, Public Safety Director, addressed the Board stating that everyone involved with this project came together and did some really unique things and he wanted to thank them for all their help and hard work.

            Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, informed the Board that within a year he hopes to have the Public Works Department on the same system.



            Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Manager, Public Works Department, addressed the Board and gave a brief update on the Public Lands Program properties, reviewing a four page handout that had been distributed to the Board regarding same.  He noted that the first two pages of the handout contained a recap of the properties that the County has acquired outright, indicating the size of the properties and the costs involved with said purchases, a brief description of the properties, etc.  He stated that he had also included the County’s partnership with the Neighborhood Lakes property, as well as the two grants that the County has given to the City of Clermont for the Inland Groves Corporation property acquisition.  He reviewed the Activities to Date, noting that the common theme running through the properties is that staff has tried to make sure that they are all posted with “No Trespassing” signs and they are rezoning those properties where they can to CFD (Community Facilities District).  He discussed what they are doing with some of the properties, such as placing a conservation easement, working to control exotics, installing internal fencing, placing them on a mowing cycle, planning for a butterfly garden on one of them, entering into hay and communications tower leases on one of them, as well as installed a well to monitor nitrate levels, and demolish an abandoned house on it; remediated a contamination issue associated with a diesel water pump on one of the properties and placed 14 acres of citrus under minimal management, so that it can be harvested, generating revenue from it, and developing a management plan for it; plans to place barriers restricting ATV use on one of the properties; and they are trying to finalize a Cooperative Agreement with the St. Johns River Water Management District, regarding the County’s management of one of the properties.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that he would like to make sure that the Trout Lake Nature Center is involved in the Management Plan for the Lake May property.


            Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Parks and Trails Division Director, Public Works, addressed the Board and presented a power point presentation about active parks in the County, noting that it owns and maintains 26 parks, of which 7 are active, being:  North Lake Community Park, Palatlakaha Environmental Agricultural Reserve (P.E.A.R. Park), East Lake Community Park, Lake Idamere Park, Astor Lions Club Park, Paisley Park, and South Lake Community Park.  Information regarding said parks was provided to the Board, as follows:

Park                                                     Fields                                       Status

Astor Park                                           1 Baseball Field                        Open to the Public

                                                            1 Softball Field                         Open to the Public


Paisley Park                                         1 Softball Field                         Open to the Public



PEAR Park                                          2 Softball Fields                        Construction 80% Completed


North Lake Community Park                2 Softball Fields                        Construction 65% Completed

                                                            2 Baseball Fields                      Construction 65% Completed



Lake Idamere Park                               1 Softball Field                         Conceptual Plan Completed

                                                            1 Miracle League Field             Conceptual Plan Completed


South Lake Regional Park                    4 Girls Softball Fields                Conceptual Plan Completed

                                                            4 Little League Fields                Conceptual Plan Completed

                                                            2 Adult Softball Fields              Conceptual Plan Completed


East Lake Community Park                  1 Softball Field                         Conceptual Plan Completed

                                                            1 Baseball Field                        Conceptual Plan Completed

                                                            1 Little League Field                 Conceptual Plan Completed

            Commr. Stivender stated that, since Mr. Bonilla has been on board with the County, he has cleaned things up, taken care of grants that were not properly handled, and, along with his staff, has turned the County’s parks system totally around.  She stated that it was through his leadership, but feels that all of his staff has done a wonderful job.

            Mr. Bonilla thanked his staff for all their hard work, noting that they have been putting out quality work that has saved a lot of money for the County, and the maintenance crews are out there seven days per week keeping the County’s parks clean, safe, and attractive.  He thanked the Board, the County Manager, and Mr. Jim Stivender, Jr., Public Works Director, for all the support they have given him and his staff.




             Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, reminded the Board that an Organizational Meeting of the Value Adjustment Board was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. this date; and that a Canvassing Board was scheduled for Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at 7:30 a.m.


            GREEN FAIR

            Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, announced that a Green Fair will be held at Wooten Park on Saturday, November 1, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



            Commr. Stewart corrected a statement that she made during the Countywide Radio Project presentation that was given earlier in the meeting, noting that she stated she had met with representatives from another company that had bid on the project, but that she had only communicated with them, rather than met with them.



            Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board about a Joint Meeting scheduled to be held with the Umatilla City Council this evening at 7:00 p.m., at Umatilla City Hall.


            There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.




                                                                        WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN