A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JANUARY 13, 2009
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a special Workshop Session on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, at 9:00 a.m., in Training Room 233, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: Welton G. Cadwell, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Elaine Renick; Jimmy Conner; 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 Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, and Ellie McDonald, Deputy Clerk.
CALL TO ORDER
Commr. Cadwell called the meeting to order stating that this was a workshop between the Board and that no public comment would be taken today.
WILD FIRE UPDATE
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager requested that Mr. Gary Kaiser, Fire Chief/Public Safety Director, present an update on the burn.
Mr. Jim Dickerson, Assistant Fire Chief, addressed the Board regarding the 2009 wild fire season. He explained that the drought index measures the first six inches of the soil noting that the more moisture in the soil, the lower the drought index which goes from a scale of “0” being a swamp, to “800” being as dry as the desert. He stated that at the present time ninety-four percent (94%) of Lake County was at a scale of 655 and that last year at this time Lake County was at a drought index rate of 505 and only forty percent (40%) of the County was less than that. He reported that typically once the drought index reaches a 500 rate, they staff extra units to try to keep the fires small and increase their response and by doing so, last year’s fires were relatively small. He stated that he was concerned that they would not be able to staff extra units this year due to their low budget and wanted to make the Board aware that without extra units the potential for larger fires would be greater, fires would be left unchecked the day before, and they would be unable to assist the Division of Forestry. He commented that they were going into the dry period and that it was not normal to have a high drought index this early. He stated that they typically make it through the March winds as a normal wild fire season, but they seem to be in bad shape already having had a number of fires this year burning over 15 - 25 acres.
Mr. Ray Lovett, Forest Area Supervisor, substantiated the drought index as stated and that historically this was the earliest Lake County had gotten this high. He mentioned that their staff meteorologist in Tallahassee distributed an email earlier this week including the long-range outlook for upcoming conditions this year and stated it was one of the worst they have had since 1998. He commented that in previous years, including last year, they had a number of fires and that they could only staff four areas within the County with four tractor plow units and two brush trucks. He stated that without the help of Lake County’s Fire Department over the last few years the fire season would have been much worse.
Commr. Cadwell requested that Mr. Dickerson and Ms. Hall present and discuss with the Board a breakdown of what it would cost to get to some level with the brush trucks so they could still respond quickly.
Mr. Dickerson stated that last year they spent $70,000 in overtime on proactivity with some reactivity. He explained that they typically staff two or three brush trucks a day which costs approximately $2,100 for a twelve hour operational period and results in approximately $700 per day per truck. He commented that they were unaware of the time frame for the dry period explaining that at the same time in 1998 they had the wettest January and February in history. He mentioned that there was no rain after that period of time and that Lake County did not enter into the big drought season until after the wind months were gone. He explained that they were concerned because this year it would be very dry during the windy months.
Mr. Lovett stated that their meteorologist, in her long range outlook, did say that there was really no relief this year except for the possibility of a hurricane coming through which would be the most substantial rainfall anticipated this year. He commented that the wild fire season would subside in June.
Mr. Dickerson stated that they typically go through a bad wild fire season every ten years.
Commr. Cadwell asked Ms. Hall to discuss this with him on Tuesday.
Commr. Renick asked if there was any way that the Forestry Service could make the public aware of the severity of the situation by alerting the newspapers.
Mr. Dickerson stated that their public information department could work with the newspapers to get the word out to the County.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, commented that last year they spent approximately $100,000 on maintaining non-County maintained roads due to the drought.
STORMWATER PROGRAM UPDATE
Mr. Stivender stated that Ms. Mary Hamilton, Stormwater Project Manager, would make a presentation of the status of the County’s Stormwater Project. He summarized that they are under requirements with the Federal Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Pollution Control Act of 1970 to clean up the lakes that were affected by fertilizer and nutrients that were discarded from large tracts of land. Ms. Hamilton gave a slide presentation to update the Board of their present stormwater projects. She stated that in District 1 they had installed an exfiltration system in Lakeside Village last year at an approximate cost of $225,000 with the outfall being Lake Griffin. She commented that one of the four countywide drainage projects approved by the Board was the drainage improvements at Porto Bello Avenue, in the Lake Harris area, which is under construction for an approximate cost of $360,000, and included the installation of a water quality unit to help settle sediment before getting to the lake. She stated that construction has just begun on the Beverly Court drainage rehab project which outfalls into the Lake Glona area and includes the installation of a water quality unit at an approximate cost of $470,000. She stated that an exfiltration system in District 2 was installed along Elbert Street on Lake Minnehaha which replaced two existing outfalls that had rotted; and worked with the people to relocate and replace the easements to their property lines and improve those outfalls. She stated that this project was completed in July 2008. She commented that they met with Clermont and the Water Authority regarding Hook Street and this was the first concept they had come up with where they were going to run a double series of exfiltration systems along that County street and Bloxham, which is a city street. She stated that they are now running exfiltration only down one side of each street and to the south because topography put in a dry stormwater pond and that they were in the process of having a discussion with residents to find out if they are willing to entertain that option. They do not have construction dates on this project, but estimate a cost of approximately $1.4 million. She mentioned that as a result of the Johns Lake Basin Study, Shore Drive in District 2, has been completed at an approximate cost of $35,000. She reported that the Dead River Stormwater Pond and Restoration Project in District 3 will be expanded and that they are doing some wetlands planting. She commented that Public Lands partnered with them on this project to be constructed in the summer of 2009 where they will be restoring the uplands, treating specific areas, and redirecting current stormwater discharges to Dead River Road at a cost of approximately $2.5 million. She stated that the Hollendel Road project would be going out for bid in the next few weeks noting that St. John’s purchased a 17-acre parcel for them and they would be putting in a 10-acre pond and would replant the area to treat the Hawthorne mobile home vicinity as well as some of CR 48 and Hollendel Road. She reported that the Orange Avenue drainage improvements would be completed soon by replacing an aging drainage system and installing a water quality unit to help reduce sediment loads to Lake Harris at a cost of approximately $345,000. She stated that the Eustis/Lakeshore Drainage Improvements project is in final design. She explained that the Getford Road project was a joint project with the City of Eustis where they will construct a stormwater pond and associated conveyance system at a cost of approximately $2.5 million. She stated that the Lake Gertrude project had been completed and was a joint effort with the City of Mount Dora to improve the outfall from Lake Gertrude going into Mount Dora. She commented that the City of Mount Dora recently opened bids on Phase III of the Dogwood Mountain/Johns Lake project. She explained that they have a Water Authority grant and the County was expected to pay approximately $500,000 for their share but that has now been reduced to $150,000 with construction to begin within the next couple of months. In the St. John’s area she stated that Acorn Road would be the last of the four drainage rehab projects constructed in the next month or so. There is a localized problem so they will be approving the conveyance as well as adding a water quality structure. She stated that the Old Chisholm Trail project was just completed and came out of their Lake Yale Basin Study where there was an old pipe that came through and literally ran underneath the edge of a residence, so it was a safety and maintenance issue at a cost of approximately $95,000. She mentioned that Washington Avenue was also in the Lake Yale Basin Study and they were looking at design options there.
ROAD IMPACT FEES
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, addressed the Board by reviewing the Road Benefit Districts and Impact Fees regarding how they are collected. He stated that the funds were accumulated in Benefit Districts 1 through 6 as reflected in the map displayed and were spent only in those Districts. He discussed the revenue over the past nine years by way of a graph showing a rapid decline in revenue since 2005. He stated that in August when they presented their original proposal to the Board it was based on the first six months of the year and there was an incredible drop in revenue from June through September. He commented that they would bring this proposal forward in February to perform a series of slashes because the yellow lines in the presented graph reflects their projection for the entire year through October 1, 2009, and was not what they collected so far. He explained that they projected a little over $3 million for the year and have only collected around $500,000 in the first quarter. Because no one is building, there is no revenue in this fund and they need to cut a lot of their forecast not only for this year, but also for future years. He explained that they are only increasing incrementally $1 million per year. He commented that they were being low end on purpose because there were a lot of economic issues out of their control. He mentioned that some of the projects shown in red on the report have been reduced and those in slashed through in red have been cut out of the program. He stated that they kept various projects which were either already under construction; tied to agreements and/or school projects; or those committed to by a City Agreement or a Private Resource Agreement. He explained that they wanted to cut projects now rather than August because they needed to let everyone know that the revenue shortfalls were here now and were not going to get any better.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager distributed a copy of a letter from the City Manager of Groveland and asked Mr. Stivender if that issue needed to be addressed at this time.
Mr. Stivender stated he would bring that up at the presentation in February. He commented that essentially Groveland worked out some priorities and was one of the few districts that had revenue in it because they have not had any substantial projects. He commented that they were leaning toward how to address the SR 50 corridor. He explained that due to a series of changes, the City wanted to readdress their program. He commented that in the Fruitland Park area they were working on an agreement with The Villages to complete CR 466 and that will entail what money, originally committed by the County to do CR 466, could be freed up to do work in the CR 466A area. He stated that there was $5 million they need to get back from DOT and work through those details, but they were not yet ready to make that commitment. He commented that they hope to have these issues worked out in February.
Commr. Hill questioned whether the Washington Street and Fosgate Road projects had been taken off Road District 5.
Mr. Stivender stated that they removed the Washington Street project at the intersection of SR 27. He stated it was a small project, and had emphasized their work toward Fosgate Road and the school site. He explained that the portion running north from SR 50 extending Hancock to the school was there, but they removed the portion running from the school west of SR 27. He commented that was the one requested by the city and was squeezed in; however, that would provide one major link to the school. Hopefully, between development and other things that occur in that area they will be able to work from the high school past the two elementary schools to SR 27 and give a second access to that school. He commented that there was no construction money for either one of these projects and that from an economic standpoint they would be looking to some of those developers to partner with them to help build some of the roads.
Commr. Renick questioned whether the Board should give direction today regarding SR 50 through Groveland so that when they bring the Plan back to the Board in February it would reflect that they think the change Groveland suggested was a good one.
Mr. Stivender remarked that it would be great to have consensus from the Board to move forward with that.
Commr. Hill asked that Mr. Stivender bring back an update on Plaza Collina in February.
It was the consensus of the Board to place road improvements in the Groveland area on the program for public hearing in February and that Mr. Stivender would also present an update of Plaza Collina / East SR 50 at that time.
TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVE FUNDING TASK FORCE
Option One - Cost Cutting Measures
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that she would walk them through the report regarding recommendations being made for Transportation Alternative Funding and asked the Board to request any additional information on any of the Options. She mentioned that several members of the Task Force were present at this meeting today. She referred to Option 1 on page 2 of the report with respect to reexamining the planning and design requirement of projects regarding additional features, such as sidewalks, landscaping and other enhancements, to ensure that the public benefit outweighs the public’s cost. She requested direction as to whether the Board would like to readdress Option 1 by policy.
Mr. Stivender stated that almost every curb and gutter project they have in Lake County in suburban areas have a sidewalk component as part of their current standards. He stated that it was based on land use and that CR 466 and Hancock Road have sidewalks on both sides. He mentioned that he thought there were some questions from the committee about cost-cutting measures and when they see sidewalks with no-one on them at that particular time, the question arises whether they are needed. He commented that they found out that walking and riding bikes have been a very strong component of design for the last 10-15 years and have included either paved shoulders or sidewalks in almost every project since the early 1990’s unless it was in a very rural area.
Commr. Renick stated that she thought they had decided to cut back sidewalks and just put sidewalks with the schools.
Mr. Stivender stated that was a sidewalk solo program tied to school safety. When it comes to building collectors on the southern connectors they are connecting subdivisions with sidewalks along that corridor.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether there was any savings by having a sidewalk on only one side of the road.
Mr. Stivender commented that with $5-$10 per foot for sidewalks, there was a definite savings by having only one sidewalk and they have done that in some cases. He stated, however, they have found that when a sidewalk was not done in these types of settings it ended up a footpath and had to be retrofitted with a sidewalk later, which was more costly when trees, utilities and other improvements were in the area. He explained that when the zoning is R-3 and R-4 in a lot of those areas, a sidewalk would be appropriate. He commented that every single project they were talking about has a public discussion with public opinion and in each discussion the first thing off the bat was where the sidewalks, connections, and trails would be. He stated that land use was not necessarily the deciding factor. He explained that in some cases there were commercial areas that connect to a residential area and they want a component that makes it all work together.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director, MPO, stated that there was a Comprehensive Plan policy and right now that dictates in or out by policy, not just by budget, whether there was right of way available and if there was no right of way it had to be eliminated. He suggested trying to get municipalities involved in funding their sidewalks.
Mr. Stivender remarked that Mr. Fish had hit on one of the key components noting that the County was not the only show in town and when they were in and around cities there were amenities requested by city residents and the cities need to assist the County in funding.
Option 2 - General Fund
With regard to Option 2 Ms. Hall stated that there was a significant feeling on the Committee that an incremental shift of General Fund dollars should be dedicated to transportation and the suggestion was to begin to phase it in as highlighted on page 3 which recommends that Year 1 result in a two percent (2%) budget commitment from General Fund revenues be dedicated to road maintenance. She commented that years ago General Fund money had been dedicated to road maintenance, improvements and expansions, but apparently the County got away from that. She stated that if the Board was interested in working through that as they prepare the budget for next year, they would be looking to build that in. She asked for direction whether to look at that. She commented that two percent (2%) would result in $2 million to $3 million and that the funds would be shifted.
Commr. Cadwell stated that this was something they needed to discuss and asked that Ms. Hall prepare an analysis on General Fund revenue expectations over the next few years to find out what kind of monies would be generated and weigh it against the other programs it would have to come from. He stated that they needed to look seriously at this recommendation.
Option 3 - Municipal Role
Ms. Hall discussed Option 3 which concerned working with the cities to get their participation with funding maintenance and repair of city roads. She stated that one of the areas that came out was that the cities on occasion will annex some land but not take the roads and then the County works with the roads. She commented that they currently see this as something they need to look at very carefully. At the present time Mr. Stivender and his department have been working with the Eustis, Mount Dora, and Tavares areas to address this problem. Because the County barns are located in unincorporated areas it inefficient to maintain and repair the city roads that they are currently covering.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Minkoff what could be done from a legal standpoint in this regard.
Mr. Minkoff stated that they have a good Attorney General Opinion which indicates that the cities are responsible to maintain certain parts of County roads inside the cities. He explained that he would be discussing that Opinion with the City Attorneys today at lunch and would probably get some feedback from the cities at that point. He also stated that the only other way he knew to bring it up legally was through Part Two of the Annexation Law, the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement, because that would be one key area where they could negotiate forcing them to take it over as part of such an Agreement.
Mr. Stivender stated that over the last four or five months they have been working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to put these maps together. He stated that they used the Golden Triangle area because they knew it relatively well and it was a GPA area to distinguish what has been annexed inside, how they connect, and how many roads were in that area. He commented that they have a better handle on that and wanted to talk with those City Managers to see if they could come up with something since the barn that maintains all the County roads was in Umatilla. He commented that there were three facilities (one in each city) that are far closer and, therefore, efficiency of government would only compel looking at it to see if there was a better way of doing business.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that outside of policy, where they are no longer letting them annex property without taking the roads, they need to go back and find a way to work with them on the maintenance of the ones that will always going to be county roads and will not be annexed in.
Mr. Fish stated that since this issue would likely come up at the MPO he agreed with Mr. Minkoff that the service delivery area was the best vehicle to package this issue with the cities. He commented that it really addresses the service provision part of it and thought that was something where the MPO needed to engage the cities because they were all in this together.
Commr. Renick stated that she wanted the Committee to know that the Board has discussed this situation, but there was only so much that could be done when the cities have the annexation. She commented that when they had the meeting with all the cities about the Interlocal Service Boundary Area Agreements everyone was very positive yet only one city contacted her expressing interest.
Mr. Fish stated that he would like to have this discussion with the cities through the MPO, but every time they have talked about these agreements other issues get lumped in having nothing to do with transportation. He commented that he understood it was because that is what those agreements are for, but things like public safety, water, utilities and other issues come into play.
Mr. Stivender commented that the largest infrastructure out there now is roads and, therefore, a lot of this discussion today is focusing on the best way to manage those infrastructures.
Options 4-A and 4-B - Ad Valorem
Ms. Hall discussed Option 4-A which was to add a small millage countywide for transportation. The committee thought a slight tax increase was appropriate at the point and time that the other General Fund revenues had been dedicated. She stated that Option 4-B was an idea to dedicate the tax revenue in the General Fund that was generated by new commercial development to transportation on a five-year timeframe and after those five years that revenue would revert to General Fund purposes.
Commr. Cadwell commented he was intrigued by this Option and was trying to determine how to can come up with some realistic numbers because the commercial roads were so slow. He commented that a basket example could be used such as stating how much money was represented in the last two years when this was done, because the biggest impact on new commercial in the city was transportation. He explained that they should use different percentages when compiling this information.
Ms. Hall stated that they could bring back some numbers and let them know its magnitude.
Commr. Hill questioned whether the discussion of this idea was with the impact fees in place or without them
Ms. Hall stated she thought it would be with the impact fees as it was not necessarily to cancel the impact fees and do this instead.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the discussion was that they were paying impact fees and that would take care of what they were doing in the next few years on that road and thought it needed to be reviewed.
Mr. Fish commented to Commr. Hill’s point and wanted everyone to be aware that out of the seven task force members there were a couple who would like to see the impact fee go away. However, when reviewing the issue the reality became more evident because of the level of needs and that although there would be a fee, they could keep from raising it. He noted that it then became clear that if another source could be put in then it would balance and stabilize the program.
Commr. Cadwell stated that you lower the impact fee by using a little bit of General Fund, a little bit of this, a little of that and it will draw that fee back down. He requested that Ms. Hall go back the last four or five years to find out what that would have been generated if it had been done in that manner.
Options 5-A and 5-B - Countywide Municipal Services Taxation Unit (MSTU)
Ms. Hall commented that Option 5-A was a countywide MSTU and that those cities have to pass an Ordinance stating that they wish to participate. She stated that in the best case scenario all 14 cities would participate in a countywide MSTU which would give them the opportunity to work with the cities to obtain some of the funding solutions, whether they are city roads or unincorporated roads. She mentioned that the nice thing about the countywide MSTU was that if a city chose not to participate, that would not be a problem, they simply would not be included and would not benefit from the funding that came in, the road construction, or whatever took place. She stated that Option 5-B dealt with only the unincorporated area, noting that the Board could choose to setup any MSTUs they want in the unincorporated area. She explained that 5-A and 5-B are similar, but 5-B does not address the cities and 5-A does.
Commr. Renick questioned how on the one hand they were not supporting an increase in taxes and on the other hand be in favor of an MSTU.
Ms. Hall stated that an MSTU is an ad valorem tax.
Mr. Fish commented that the Task Force was never a proponent for raising anything, but those gentlemen saw the magnitude of the problem and that something needs to be done. He explained that this might be a solution.
Commr. Cadwell explained that if there was a combination of two or three things they could perhaps cut the impact fee in half, but it would depend on the other revenues that were being put in there. He commented that they were looking at the overall cost of doing business.
Mr. Fish stated that on behalf of the MPO regarding Option 5-A, he was curious to see if there was any consensus also from the cities.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would almost like to move forward to have that dialogue to find out if they were anywhere close. He questioned whether the Interlocal Service Development Delivery Areas could be fashioned to include those cities that wanted to participate and have the others excluded.
Mr. Minkoff remarked that it was intended that those would not be countywide because the issues were so diverse in different parts of the county. He stated that most likely there could be one agreement with the southern, western or eastern cities.
Commr. Cadwell stated that if they wanted to look at any additional funding they would need to give staff direction today. He commented that if the majority of the Board was not interested in even looking at an MSTU during these times they need to give staff direction now so their time would not be wasted.
After some discussion, Commr. Cadwell stated that they would keep this report and work through it over the next few years. He commented that they would work on some of the options now and go back to others later. He opined that at the present time he would not spend any more time or energy on this one.
Option 6 - Impact Fees
Ms. Hall stated that Option 6 deals with how impact fees were used and the study from a year and a half ago to come up with new fees. She called their attention to the second yellow highlighted portion of this Option that says that the Task Force recommends that impact fees should only be utilized for net capacity projects noting that would be a change from how it is presently being done.
Mr. Stivender stated that the reference to debt capacity would be if they four lane CR 466. He explained that they would be tearing out the old road and, therefore, they would not be giving any credit to another funding source for the old road system. He stated that if there was a value to that old road there should be an alternate funding source such as sales tax, or gas tax to pay for that share of the highway, such as resurfacing old roadway. He explained that SR 44 between the bridge and the fairgrounds is an impact fee project where no additional lanes were being added, but they were widening the existing lanes, adding paved shoulders and turn lanes which was a $4 million project. He stated that they were adding a certain factor capacity and their concern was that that was not really the intent. He commented that the intent was to add lanes and substantial capacity and that was not what they had been able to do because the road had deteriorated to a point where something had to be done with it. Therefore, they have worked through by adding capacity to roadways even though they are not four laning the highway. He explained that there was a concern that there should be another revenue source for that in lieu of impact fees.
Commr. Cadwell stated that understanding the suggestion they made that labor and material costs were down, they know roads could be built cheaper now. He commented that the problem was that money should not be spent on a study until they enact some of the other things because they may draw that down too. He stated that if they could decide in a real policy, they could look at it and perhaps create an Ordinance that states they would take revenues from transportation off commercial property or whatever it is, and that would need to be done at the tail end of the other policy changes that were made.
Mr. Stivender stated that what initiated this whole thing was based on cost associated with time period, and if you take that out and apply the fees they are getting now, it would result in a substantially lower number.
Ms. Hall asked if they wanted any additional information on the net capacity portion.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they needed to have a discussion on that.
Mr. Fish commented that a statement was included about over reliance on the impact fee and again it goes back to the issue that if another stable source was being used to replace those two lanes that already existed and were using the impact fee for the two new lanes, then that would result in a balanced program.
Option 7 - Fuel Taxes
Ms. Hall stated that Option 7 suggested implementing the additional available five pennies of local option gas tax and, if so, they would need to have it arranged before July 1, 2009, and would not become active until January 2010.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he and Mr. Stivender have had this discussion many times and with each discussion they were also looking at other revenue sources for transportation. He commented that he had become a big supporter of impact fees at the expense of any additional gas tax and was also a big supporter of sales tax at the expense of any additional gas tax. He stated, however, he would like Mr. Stivender to survey other Florida counties that have the full nickel and present their price of gas and diesel fuel. He opined that he would find that their price was the same as ours and that the market is run by the market, not by each county that has an additional gas tax. He explained that this Board needs to look at that because if the county has a full nickel and they are selling gas at the same price we are, then that nickel is going to somebody else.
Mr. Stivender stated that Volusia County has had the nickel for a long time and the price in Deland was almost the same price as here. He mentioned that they had discussed this as early as 1993 and found that it would take a 4/5 vote to go forward. He explained that anything those funds were used for have to be in the Comprehensive Plan and a program would need to be adopted to inform the public exactly how it was being spent. He also stated that they were able to get Florida Association of Counties (FAC) to change the wording to allow for resurfacing which would be the principle here. He stated that an extra nickel would produce approximately $6 million depending on how the share goes to the cities; and how that works out would depend on the amount of their final revenue. He explained that the cities would benefit but would not have to vote.
Commrs. Conner and Renick agreed that the tax would be more palatable as user tax rather than a tax for everyone.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they needed to be perfectly honest with each other as they go done this road as there was no sense spending energy and time on this when it takes a 4/5 vote and if at anytime during this process there are those that no longer support it they need to advise the Board.
Option 8 - Public-Private Partnerships
Ms. Hall stated that she thought they were frequently partnering with developments to construct road capacity improvements. She asked if they should do anything different than they are doing currently.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Fish if everyone within the cities were on board with this concurrency.
Mr. Fish responded that yes, everything was working great. He mentioned that the Board should be aware that it is a practice sometimes when a development proposal has more than one failure as in Clermont, for example, where there may be three different areas that failed on the road system, they often talk about type-lining their total obligations and putting it into one thing. For instance, Clermont’s priority is Hook Street and instead of fixing three small things they may get one portion of Hook Street built. Another example is The Villages where instead of the impact on CR 466A, which they are not able to build yet, they are getting all of CR 466 done.
Option 9 - Other Funding Sources
Ms. Hall stated that Municipal Service Benefit Units (MSBUs) are an effective method for funding in small areas.
Mr. Stivender stated that Greater Hills and Greater Pines subdivisions have MSBUs for lighting and maintenance.
Commr. Cadwell commented that most MSBUs were community generated.
Mr. Fish commented that there were a couple of spaces in Lake County that really were municipal based. He stated that he did not see this being driven by the County Commission but would be on a case-by-case basis and more likely occur in the municipalities.
Option 10 - Sales Tax
Ms. Hall stated that the Task Force supported going back to the voters when the current sales tax expires in 2016 to request an extension on the sales tax and to dedicate all of it to transportation.
Commr. Cadwell asked if that would mean our one-third of the penny or all of it because the main way they sold that last time was by including the school system which was one of the big selling points.
Ms. Hall stated that she thought the comment at the discussion was the entire penny.
Mr. Fish remarked that the sales tax was one of the things in the adopted MPO Plan as being renewed in 2017 under current conditions. He expressed his concern that by the end of the year the MPO will be required to consider all the needs and come up with a cost feasible final plan. He commented that there was no easy fix, but to get the plan adopted they must indicate where the money would come from. He explained that if sales tax would not be part of the plan approximately one-third of the dollars would be cut out.
Commr. Cadwell stated that they were talking about some big picture down the road and if they put some of this in place things may be great, but today people would have to realize the fact that a pothole would be there longer and that grass would not get mowed as often under current conditions. He commented that these are suggestions from the Task Force and expressed appreciation for their service on that board. He stated that they came up with some good suggestions and hoped that they understand that the Board is serious about reviewing them.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced that there would be a fifteen-minute recess and they would reconvene at 10:25 a.m.
COUNTY ROAD SYSTEM UPDATE
Mr. Stivender discussed the state of the County Road System, how the funds are distributed and used, and the challenges they face. He remarked that he had shared the 2007 program with the Board two years ago and the big challenges they had associated mostly with resurfacing County roads. He commented that a 2008 program has been compiled and asked that they read it at their leisure. He reported that last year instead of resurfacing roads with sales tax they were compelled to replace equipment that had 300,000 miles on it and was 12-15 years old. He stated that they have some $7 million worth of equipment, and that if they were to purchase it new today it would cost close to $10-$11 million. He stated that these were some of their capital challenges for this coming year, but he wanted to go back and share some of the challenges that brought them to this state of affairs. He reviewed the Road Revenue Per Capita Per Year (Road Revenue chart) chart and noted that every revenue source they have used for maintenance over the years increased, people have driven more, population has gone up, and the age of the system has gone up. He stated that the County has 1350 miles of roads and 90 miles of those roads now need resurfacing. He explained that the County’s traffic is down about five percent (5%) over the last five years, however, the roads that are now 20-25 years old have not had any maintenance in the way of resurfacing. He referred to the Road Revenue Chart explaining that twenty-five years ago the cost of maintaining in Lake County was relatively small and that they have been able to keep that price down. He reported that the Board implemented the addition of two cents to the gas tax for the next three years and, therefore, they met the challenges and provided a substantial amount of money to work on roads. He explained that they went from 1985 to 2003 without any ad valorem taxes going to road maintenance, and the gas tax was increased. Until the challenges of the last few years they were able to get by. He mentioned that in 2001 the voters supported a sales tax; one-third was the County’s share and half of that went to roads, and they set aside money for resurfacing. The challenge for them was that the prices had been high, and even though they were currently lower, they have continued to be unable to close that gap. The gap has been tied to $40 to $50 per person in Lake County per year to maintain roads, to keep the lights on, keep potholes repaired, keep the mowers going and keep everything working. He stated that what was $30 per person in 1982 is now $60 per person, so the cost of doing business has essentially doubled for every consumer in Lake County. He stated that they projected out the current revenue going to transportation and discovered that by using the adopted low BEBR numbers and keeping them the same, there was still a per capita reduction because revenue stays the same and population still goes up.
Mr. Stivender stated that there was a gap of approximately $6-$8 million even with the sales tax and gas taxes and that they have looked at some type of ad valorem tax to close the gap. He explained although that was not a favorable solution, they needed to look at it in order to maintain roads and take care of the 90 miles of roads that need resurfacing. He commented that in 1991 there was a change in the way the formulas were written so the State kept more of the money and distributed it a little differently; and 1998 was a year when they closed the gap and were always the “go-to” department because they had funds available. He commented that they basically could work through those issues, but they have not been able to do that in recent years and, in fact, they have worked out agreements with funding being paid by other departments back into the set gas tax to pay for prior services.
OPEN AIR VENDORS ORDINANCE
Mr. Minkoff stated that he and Ms. Terri Diesbourg, Zoning Director, compiled a survey of what surrounding counties were doing with regard to open air vendors. He commented that in 2003 a proposal had been presented to eliminate temporary sales events and the Board turned it down. He explained that at that time there was a discussion that they did not want to negatively affect very small vendors but since that time, at least in the northern portion of the County, most of the four or six lane rights of way are now within municipal limits. He commented that there were very few areas of US 441 that were not inside the city. He stated that Lake County is one of the biggest landlords of these temporary sales events. He explained that Ms. Diesbourg obtained information from the Fairgrounds indicating how many events and types of sales are done there.
Ms. Diesbourg addressed the Board stating that the types of sales events held at the Fairgrounds were: four auto tent sales each year from Sumter County with an income from each event of $2,000 or $8,000 annually; three or four gun shows each year from a Merritt Island Company with an income of $2,200 each for a total of $6,600 annually; and tool sales twice each year from a company in Nebraska having an income of $550 each or $1,100 annually. She stated that each of these events are from outside vendors so one way to look at it was that they were taking those dollars away from Lake County vendors, but looking at it another way, it was income for the County.
Mr. Minkoff remarked that Commr. Stewart had requested them to research whether the Ordinance could have a different set of rules for vendors who had businesses in Lake County versus vendors who did not and he stated they do not believe that legally their Ordinance could discriminate based on that in terms of a Land Use Ordinance. So, the question is either it is all or none. He stated that this Ordinance was originally written to only allow farm produce stands and they could probably broaden that exemption to allow very small vendors, but the negative of that was that if they allow those types of vendors they can proliferate anywhere in the County.
Commr. Stewart stated that the issue was more complicated than it sounded. She stated that they need to support their local businesses and commented that the automotive dealers are very concerned about this. She questioned whether there was a way to restrict all automotive sales at the Fairgrounds as a goodwill gesture until these economic times are over.
Mr. Minkoff stated that he thought there would be no problem with them deciding not to allow those types of events at the Fairgrounds; however, they could not limit renting to only Lake County vendors.
After a full discussion regarding discriminating by trade and the ramifications of losing revenue from sales tax of purchases made at the location; temporary structure limits; vendors selling on the roadside being in violation of the Code; changing exemptions to allow certain types of temporary and permanent sales; control of the vendors at the County-owned Fairgrounds; requiring vendor permits; and booking car dealer shows, it was determined that it was a City issue more than it was a County issue.
Commr. Cadwell stated that if they wanted to look at a policy restricting what was done at the Fairgrounds, understanding that it would cost revenue, then that needs to be discussed.
Mr. Minkoff commented that it would not take an Ordinance to do that as the Board could do that by policy.
Mr. Minkoff stated that he had requested a Closed Session pursuant to Florida Statute 286.011 to discuss pending litigation. He stated that he had indicated that the subject matter would be confined only to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions; the court reporter would be present to record everything that was said including the times of commencement and termination; that she would record the names of everyone present and the names of everyone who was speaking. He further stated that no portion of the session could be off the record and that the court reporter’s notes would be transcribed and would be made public after the conclusion of the litigation. He stated that notice had been given and he had a copy of the ad of this session and once they complete the session they will come back into the public meeting and reopen the meeting. He stated that at this point they could begin.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
The Chairman called for a ten minute recess, reconvening at 12:50 p.m.
Waste to Energy Facility Deliveries
Mr. Daryl Smith, Solid Waste Director, addressed the Board relative to waste deliveries to the Waste-To-Energy Facility. He discussed contract issues where they have a commitment to deliver 163,000 tons of waste to Covanta on an annual basis. Another contract issue was the agreement Covanta has with Progress Energy where Progress Energy pays for the electricity generated on a regular basis and a capacity payment associated with Progress Energy not building capacity for energy generation in the future. He commented that the focus today would be on the capacity payment. He explained that he would be sharing numbers today showing the contract amount to be paid to Covanta up to 163,000 tons, and if they do not deliver that amount they pay Covanta approximately $1.40 per ton on an annual basis for every ton below 163,000 tons. He reported that if they deliver over 163,000 tons they pay $26.07 per ton in excess which was a reduction from the initial fee of $47.45 per ton for the first 163,000 tons. He commented that they receive $40 per ton for the solid waste delivered to them which is their tipping fee for the commercial and municipal folks who provide it and that remains the same whether above or below the 163,000 tons. However, if they do less than the 163,000 tons they will lose $40 per ton against the budgeted revenue since the shortfall comes from the municipalities who pay $40 per ton. He reported that they receive $13.97 per ton electrical generation revenue from Progress Energy whether above or below the 163,000 tons. He stated that the capacity payment is $544,000 per month if they exceed a seventy percent (70%) average of the commitment on a twelve month rolling basis, but that is lost if they drop below the seventy percent (70%) average. He remarked that being below the 163,000 tons delivered is when they face the possibility of falling below the seventy percent (70%) rolling average. He explained that Covanta has an opportunity to deliver up 8,000 tons to the Waste Energy Facility that they go out and bring into the facility and they pay the County $47.40 for that. He commented that to be in an ideal situation, they would have 163,000 tons they would deliver coming from the County and would not involve Covanta; and that Covanta would deliver approximately 8,000 tons for a total of 171,000 tons which is where they would like to be. He explained that one of the present challenges is that they do not have any excess tonnage. He presented a slide showing projections which indicated that they will not be able to make that 163,000 tons and may not be able to reach the seventy percent (70%) rolling average due to reduced deliveries. He explained that during 2008 they lost Eustis, Mount Dora, Fruitland Park and The Villages which accounted for approximately 15,000 tons. He stated that the reduction challenge they face is not limited to Lake County but rather the entire industry both in the private and public sector is experiencing reduced waste amounts. He explained the “put or pay” arrangements within the County and how they were trying to find a way to meet their “put or pay” through arrangements that they have with the vendors providing the service. He discussed various “what if” scenarios and commented on the significance related to annual volume they would be facing related to weekly tonnage. He reported that another challenge was with Covanta’s performance because they have outages scheduled twice a year and the County gets a reduction from Progress Energy for those periods of outage by reducing their commitment due to the fact that they are planned and are part of the Agreement. The other consideration for this year which is something that only happens every five years, Covanta has to have a major overhaul on the turbine generator and that is significant because there is always some risk when the turbine generator is taken out of service because it reduces the ability to burn what they need to meet their commitment to Progress Energy. He explained that the maximum burn at Covanta is 3,640 tons per week so even if they delivered the maximum allowed, that is all that they can burn and at some point they would not be able to reach the 163,000 tons. He referred to and commented on the Capacity Projection 12-month rolling averages for various percentages with a base of 2965 tons per week, noting that the trend is down at this time and without increases they will not achieve the annual tonnage of 163,000. He then discussed alternatives to increase deliveries and requested the Board consider them and offer feedback. The alternatives discussed were: continued delivery of mulch; separation of construction and demolition debris and Class III material which originally was sent to a separate landfill but now they are compressing it with heavy equipment, breaking it up and then delivering to the Waste Management Facility which saves in disposal costs; pursuing additional municipal waste by pursuing agreements with other municipalities; receive private and public waste generated from within and outside Lake County which may result in reducing their rates for new waste being brought in or reduce it for everyone which requires feedback from the Board; potential for Waste Pro to provide some waste; Waste Management deliveries were underpaid in the amount of approximately $250,000 from November 2002 until November 2008 and they will guarantee deliveries of solid waste up to $40 per ton up to that amount which means an additional 6,000 tons which provides breathing room to develop other solutions to the long range problem; landfill mining; increase Covanta’s deliveries by bringing in a lower cost tonnage; delivery of tires; and recyclables as an option of last resort which they do not recommend.
Commr. Cadwell asked if garbage was stockpiled when Covanta was out of service and Mr. Smith explained that there had been no diversions and that during planned downtime, if the weight was low enough, they continue to take waste by getting the pit as low as possible to use as a buffer.
Commr. Conner questioned whether Waste Management was bringing them all the garbage they were collecting today from the different entities that they were six months ago or were they taking some of that elsewhere.
Mr. Smith responded by stating that they were bringing them what they were committed to bring contractually, and that what they were not obligated to bring was being taken elsewhere.
Mr. Doug McCoy District Manager, Waste Management, addressed the Board by stating that he had been working with Lake County for approximately twelve years. He explained that they started moving waste many years ago from cities like Eustis and Mount Dora when the tipping fee was about $91 per ton. He commented that at that time the cities looked for a less expensive disposal site. He stated that they started direct hauling waste to their transfer station in Orlando at that time. He stated that if at that time all the waste of Lake County came into Covanta the plant would be well over capacity because it was time for growth. He commented that he met with Mr. Jeff Cooper, Contracts Administrator, and was willing to partner with the County to ensure they met capacity if the waste volume dropped, and that verbal arrangement continued until August 2008 when the state of the economy began to diminish. He stated that the volume in their newly found transfer station in Wildwood started to diminish where they have a “put or pay” so he brought material until he could no longer bring it without being in jeopardy of violating my “put or pay” with that facility. He explained that was why Waste Management stopped bringing waste to Lake County. He commented that they actually ran at a two month deficit at their “put or pay” because Mr. Cooper had a goal to get to the end of the Fiscal Year with a certain amount of waste and they helped him do that explaining that after that point they would not be able to fill the desire of Covanta for that waste.
Commr. Conner stated that there was a need for contractual protections and they need to figure out what course of action to take to get that protection.
Commr. Renick agreed that they need contractual protection. She prefaced her remarks with the fact that they were creating less garbage which is a good thing and did not want this Commission to consider burning recyclables which would go against everything they are trying to do in terms of being green. However, if the tipping fee is considerably less somewhere else then the cities will choose to go there which comes down to whether or not we are competitive.
Mr. Cooper stated that he and Mr. McCoy work very well together, but to be fair and honest, Waste Management had a “put or pay” at The Villages for their transfer station and they actively solicited Eustis and Mt. Dora and other places to help fill their “put or pay”. He reminded them that when they renegotiated with Covanta and got rid of all their Interlocal Agreements the whole idea was to make sure that every city had the right to tell their hauler to bring their garbage to us so they would not encounter any problem. He commented that the problem arose when there was a turnover in the cities because everybody who was there then, are gone now so when these new agreements came along with all the different cities, they were ripe for Waste Management to try and get their “put or pay” and to fill their obligations.
Mr. McCoy remarked that he did not think anyone envisioned that they would be meeting here today with a lack of garbage.
Commr. Conner questioned the amount of tipping fees being paid by Mt. Dora and the other municipalities to go up to The Villages.
Mr. McCoy responded that right now, as part of their contracts which are public records, it was $40 which was the same rate that the County had.
Commr. Conner remarked that it makes no sense for County municipalities to be paying the same amount of money to go to The Villages Transfer Station when the County needs the garbage and taking it to The Villages would adversely impact the community. He stated that there needs to be communication with the municipalities on these issues.
Mr. Cooper stated that they are still working with Waste Management and explained that one of the reasons they stopped at the end of August was due to holidays. He commented that there are six holidays in the hauler contracts and when those six holidays occur he has to make sure they have enough waste because there are no deliveries on the following Monday. He remarked that during that period of time Mr. McCoy took their waste to make their own “put or pay” at the transfer station in Wildwood and gave the County enough waste to get through Labor Day. After that, the County would have to deal with obtaining enough waste to make it through the rest the end of the Fiscal Year. He stated that they then started a program where they bought 1500 tons of mulch in the month of October and another 800 tons in November in order to make up for the difference. He reiterated that every month they do not meet the seventy percent (70%) they lose $544,000.
Commr. Hill stated that she had sat on the Solid Waste Committee and they have been very proactive about obtaining garbage. She mentioned that in the last two years, Mr. Smith had gone to Hernando, Polk and Marion counties because we knew others were building transfer stations and there was a possibility that we would lose them. She explained that this was not something that just happened over Christmas and with the economy the way it is, restaurants, businesses and construction are down and the amount of their garbage has dropped.
There was a concern about negotiating the contracts to obligate cities to have their garbage delivered to a specific transfer station.
Mr. Cooper explained that the cities do not state where to take the waste because the hauler is responsible to take it wherever they deem financially feasible. He commented that one of the things they had hoped that they would do when they renegotiated contracts was to have them reserve the right upon 60 days notice to tell the hauler where to take the garbage.
In order to help solve the situation, Mr. McCoy stated that the cities contract with them, but they still have authority over where that waste goes. He mentioned that when they negotiated contracts with the municipalities they gave them the option to designate where they send their waste because they would like the option in case either Waste Management became more expensive or the County became more expensive. He commented that at least in the short term, Waste Management has an alternative - if in fact his “put or pay” is met in The Villages, he will bring waste to the County again as he has always done. However, Waste Management has waste throughout the State where they would potentially truck in 100 yard trailers at a much lower rate than $40, but they can supply the County the waste it requires to meet capacity needs.
Commr. Stewart stated that since the County has the same tipping fees as The Villages, she did not understand why the municipalities would go to The Villages rather than the County.
Mr. Cooper stated that he has been trying desperately to speak to each of the cities and their Solid Waste Departments. He commented that with regard to directing the hauler to the transfer station of choice it should be included in the contract. He explained that he has had that discussion with Minneola, the Town of Montverde, Eustis, Tavares and one other city. He stated they had also decided to address that issue by implementing a semi-annual meeting of all County Solid Waste people for all the different cities participating to make them aware of what is going on and they have taken some proactive steps to do that. He explained that one thing they could do to help solve the problem was to negotiate with Waste Management for $15 - $20 per ton, and also go other places to try and get their waste. He stated that they need to find about 8,000 tons of waste and determine how to obtain it. As mentioned earlier by Mr. Smith, Montverde has already decided to renew their contract with Waste Pro giving direction to have all the garbage brought to Lake County instead of the previous transfer station. He also mentioned that Waste Services informed him that they would bring the County all the waste from the Coleman prison, but they only agreed to pay $36.50 rather than the $40 per ton. He stated that in an emergency situation when looking for the 8,000 tons, the question becomes how to get permission to get waste in at whatever price is needed in order to fulfill the 163,000 tons - the Board sets the fee.
Commr. Cadwell asked that Mr. Cooper take the first step by bringing back his opinion of the easiest and most flexible place to get that 8,000 tons. Once that information is presented, they can decide on a policy for obtaining it. He also stated that while Mr. Cooper has been meeting at staff level perhaps they should meet Mayor to Chairman, Mayor to local Commissioner and Manager to Manager.
Commr. Hill stated that she would be happy to speak to the leaders in her District in Fruitland Park.
Mr. McCoy stated that if the cities all leave their facility, the impact will hit Waste Management. However, if the flexibility they have had with the County for the past five years remains the same and they are impacted as little as possible, the County still gets the waste it needs. Mr. Smith stated that they still have the commitment for the 6,000 tons that Mr. McCoy has already made verbally for $250,000.
Mr. Cooper remarked that the 6,000 tons would keep them above the seventy percent (70%) through the end of the Fiscal Year, but should there be a drop they would have problems, thus the need for flexibility.
A discussion ensued regarding tipping fees at Covanta noting that those could be changed to whatever the Board chooses. Also mentioned was the concept of making agreements with those cities that they do no have at the present time such as Groveland and Mascotte. It was determined that the relationship with municipalities is critical because Waste Management may not be working with the County at some time in the future.
Commr. Cadwell asked that Ms. Hall schedule meetings with the cities on a Manager/Mayor level with Mr. Cooper and Mr. Smith in attendance. He stated that he would also attend as a District Commissioner. Because of Mr. Cooper’s relationship with Solid Waste, he asked him to make sure that the Manager appoints someone from there to attend as well.
Mr. Smith wanted to make sure of the direction the Board had given and stated that he understood that they want them to pursue the opportunity to get some other waste and that they are willing to consider some reduction in pricing. He stated that they would bring that information back to the Board with their recommendations understanding the concerns regarding different rates for different folks.
STIMULUS PACKAGE PROJECTS
Ms. Hall stated that they have heard that the Federal Government will be providing a stimulus package in an amount between $350 billion or $700 billion to help with infrastructure projects at the local level, but it is yet to be determined what will take place or what avenue will be used to make the selection of where the money will go and who will distribute it. Even though some of the projects do not all fall under transportation, she had heard that the funds would be funneled through the Department of Transportation (DOT). She explained that they want to be ready to submit their projects as fast as possible once they know the exact process. She stated that Mr. Stivender has made contact with the people at DOT and will communicate with them on an ongoing basis. She commented that the types of criteria they are looking for are roads, bridges, sewer systems, government buildings, and other types of infrastructure projects where the architectural design and any engineering was finished so that they can be ready to turn dirt in 120 days. Once these projects actually start construction the goal would be for those contracts to generate some economic activity. She stated that an exhaustive list of projects submitted by County Departments were enclosed in their packets with a ranking method from 1 to 3, with “1” being those having the fastest turn around. She explained that she had asked Mr. Jim Bannon, Facilities Development & Management Director to rank the projects with the fastest turn around. She then requested that the Board submit and rank their priority projects so that once the criteria and process was known they would be ready to move forward. She noted that Mr. Stivender would discuss transportation projects and asked that they provide her with several items, such as county buildings, for prioritization. She commented that she thought Mr. Stivender would place the Picciola Bridge as his highest priority for transportation as well as perhaps Lois Drive and CR 474. She stated that Mr. Bill Gearing, Community Services Enhancement Coordinator, was in attendance at this meeting and had submitted a number of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects which would also be considered under the stimulus package. She then remarked that they were here to listen to their discussions about their priorities.
A full discussion ensued regarding the projects to be placed on the list including the Judicial Center; Paisley Fire Station; Animal Control; the Picciola Bridge; and Southside Umatilla Water System, all of which were shovel ready except for the Water System. It was noted that the Water System was not ready and might be a waste of time to submit it at this point. They referred to Mr. Bannon’s list indicating that the items ranked “1” were ready to go; “2” were almost ready to go; and those marked “3” were those that could be ready with some effort. The discussion concerned problems associated with the Judicial Center, which was out for bids, and noted that it was a requirement of the State to provide room for the judiciary and court support services and that it could be built in phases according to funds available. It was mentioned that their liaison and lobbyists would not only give them an indication of items to place on the list, but would also trim the list down according to the criteria presented.
Commr. Cadwell asked that Ms. Hall contact Mr. Jim Davenport, the Board’s lobbyist in Washington, between now and next Tuesday to obtain some input and bring back the discussion Tuesday if they needed to decide on certain projects to get their name on the State’s list. COMMISSION LIAISON APPOINTMENTS
Commr. Cadwell stated that there were some changes on the Commission Liaison Appointment list that was distributed. He noted that Commr. Stewart is actually the liaison for the Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway. He stated that there was a request for a Commissioner to serve on the Shared Services Council and asked that Commr. Hill serve in that capacity. Both changes would be reflected on the revised list.
Commr. Renick commented that even though her list looked shorter than the others she wanted to make sure that they understood she was also on the Executive Committee of the Regional Planning Council, which was an additional meeting; as well as being on the Regional Policy Planning Committee which meets in Orlando and made a total of eight meetings.
Commr. Conner asked if they had given thought to having a liaison to the Legislature.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he is the liaison to some extent through FAC and the National Association of Counties (NACO) and through their lobbyists. He mentioned that they have only hired issue-specific lobbyists in Tallahassee.
Commr. Conner stated he was referring to working through our lobbyists and asked if he could be an alternate.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he could certainly be an alternate and remarked to Mr. Minkoff that other counties send more than one commissioner and that there was nothing wrong with that.
Mr. Minkoff stated that they would have to be careful in terms of the meetings there.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Liaison Appointments for 2009 with the noted changes.
SOUTHSIDE UMATILLA WATER SYSTEM
Commr. Renick stated that she wished to discus the possibility of creating a special assessment for residents who are part of the Southside Umatilla Water System. She explained that because some residents were paying their $25 and some were not she was trying to determine how to collect that money.
Commr. Cadwell explained that since that meeting there was a push back and that it would be hard to get a consensus on what needed to be done. He commented that while her plans made sense business wise, all that would do would have them wind up owning dilapidated properties because it would be on their tax bill and they could not afford to pay it. He explained that they would work hard with the community to educate them on how that kind of utility works. He stated that he would like one more opportunity to go back to the City of Umatilla and discuss it with the new Council President and the City Manager to see if there were some opportunities to try to work something out.
Mr. Daryl Smith, Environmental Utilities Director stated that it would cost approximately $35,000 on an annual basis (which was what they were collecting from them at $25 per month) to run that facility, which would be breaking even in terms of ongoing operations. He explained, however, that figure did not allow for any capital expenditures and the uncertainty of the unknown could be devastating.
Commr. Conner remarked that meeting with the City of Umatilla would be a great step. He expressed his support to Commr. Renick and thought her memo stated an equitable and less expensive way to implement handling the water bills.
Commr. Cadwell stated that a 10:00 a.m. Closed Session should be added to the agenda for the meeting of January 20, 2009.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved adding a Closed Session at 10:00 a.m. to the Agenda of the Board Meeting of January 20, 2009.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved having a Closed Session at the Board Meeting on January 20, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.
Presentation by Mr. Billy Hattaway
Ms. Hall stated that they would like to have Mr. Billy Hattaway with Florida Association of Counties make a presentation to the Board at their February 10 work session related to Transportation. She stated that his thoughts were a cut above others they had seen and combined infrastructure, economic development, and quality of life.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he thought it would be well worth their time and agreed to have the presentation.
COMMISSIONER RENICK - DISTRICT 2
Bureau of Economic Business Research Numbers
Commr. Renick stated that when they adopted the “low” BEBR (Bureau of Economic Business Research) number the decision was somewhat split. She commented that since that time she met with Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, and Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, regarding adopting the “low” number. She explained that they had all received a letter from the Local Planning Agency (LPA) which indicated they had done everything they could to get it to the low number but it still comes up being “low/medium.” After thinking it through, she reported that the “low/medium,” not medium, was a more realistic number and would be easier for Ms. King to defend with the DCA.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved an addition to the Agenda of the BEBR number presented to the DCA.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved having Ms. King present the “low/medium” BEBR number to the DCA versus straight “low” number.
COMMISSIONER CONNER - DISTRICT 3
Montverde City Council Meeting
Commr. Conner reported that he had would attend the Montverde City Council meeting tonight and would thank them for their decision to bring their solid waste to the County.
Proposed Presentation by Budget Director
Commr. Conner referred to a January 9, 2009, Memorandum to the Board from Mr. Doug Krueger, Budget Director, regarding the analysis of the Fund Balance for Fiscal Year 2007-08. He stated that he had discussed the matter with Mr. Krueger and understood that this for this Fiscal Year they were on target to spend $5 million more than what they would be receiving. Because he felt this was very problematic he suggested having Mr. Krueger make a presentation to provide information about their financial situation before the February workshop.
Ms. Hall clarified that financial workshops had been planned for February 10 and again in March, however, due to the fact that Commr. Conner would prefer to advance the presentation; it could be made at a Board Meeting.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would meet with Ms. Hall to obtain a date that would work well for everyone.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
WELTON CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
NEIL KELLY, CLERK