FEBRUARY 10, 2009

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a special workshop session on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 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; Jimmy Conner; Elaine Renick; and Linda Stewart.  Others present were Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Cindy Hall, County Manager; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.


            Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that she would give some history of this project and discuss what they were looking at today based on the dramatic turn in the economy that no one was anticipating a couple of years ago.  She explained that in 2007 they issued $90 million in bonds, and the plan at that time was that the project would cost approximately $180 million and that they would have two bond issues two years apart at $90 million each to pay for that.  She related that when they did the bonds in April of 2007, the bond ratings, which were very good and in the AA category, reflected the fact that they anticipated a second bond issue of $90 million.  However, last summer as the sixth cent sales tax started to decline, they came to the Board to inform them that the bonding capacity had been reduced and they were looking at ways to reduce the scope of the project.  She recapped that the Board at that time approved shelling out some space in the planned courthouse, eliminating some other aspects that were parts of the project, and redesigning the refurbishment of the current courthouse so that it would be much less expensive.  She stated that as part of this year’s budget, the Board approved $11 million that would be dedicated to the courthouse project, and unofficially they had earmarked the future revenue from the infrastructure sales tax, which they estimated at $20 million, that was currently dedicated to facilities to fund part of the courthouse.  She mentioned that due to the declining economic situation, sales tax, and property values, next year’s budget would be very difficult.  She reported that although they did have bonding capacity left, they needed to be able to build in the ability to pay the debt service into the budget, which would be difficult in the tight budget anticipated for next year.  However, she presented hand outs showing that there was about $36 million left of the $90 million first bond issue that would be dedicated to Phase II, pointed out that they did not need to build debt service into the budget for a couple of years, and gave examples of what a bond issue would look like if they were to do one, including the debt service.  She also related that they had asked the architects and construction managers to see if it would be possible to phase the construction of the new building into two phases and a design for a Phase II(A) that would coincide with the $46 million in cash they had mentioned above that would be functional on its own, and they indicated that there might be a way to accomplish that.

            Mr. Jim Bannon, Director of Capital Construction, stated that because of the funding issues, they asked the architects to develop some design solutions to reduce the size of the Judicial Center, which were shared by Judge Don F. Briggs and Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk.  He related that Heery Design would talk briefly about those ideas and that PPI would give an overview of where they were on the project and offer recommendations of how they should move forward.

            Mr. Doug Kleppin, Lead Designer with Heery Design, related that the building was L-shaped with a leg that faces Main Street and a leg that parallels the existing building with a natural expansion joint that occurs at that L that they need for construction purposes, which divided the building systems mechanically and electrically.  They proposed in effect to make that the phase break, with the first phase including all the primary infrastructure for the courts, inmate delivery, and vertical circulation for the public becoming the first piece of an operable courthouse where all the systems are in place for at least the initial phase, the Phase II (B), and for possible future expansion.  He mentioned that the smaller option was actually one that they illustrated in August or September of 2005.  He pointed out that it would take some additional work with the judiciary and the Clerk’s Office to find a solution that was amiable and actually works for everyone.

            Commr. Conner inquired what the entire square footage of the complex as well as the scaled-down version would be.

            Mr. Kleppin responded that the original plan was 286,000 square feet, and they would reduce that by almost 100,000 square feet to about 190,000 square feet.

            Mr. Glen Mullins, Vice President Regional Manager with PPI Construction Management, stated that Heery put together some very rough sketches for the concept that Mr. Kleppin described, and commented that they have not had time to analyze that completely and develop estimates on it.  However, they did some quick ora magnitude assessments of what that might be, including the site work that was necessary in the existing judicial parking lot, moving utilities around, preparing for the building, and the construction of the portion of the scaled-down building and came up with a range estimate of $65 to $70 million for that portion of the building.

            Commr. Renick pointed out that it seemed the County would still have to take on additional debt service to do the minimum phase for that cost.

            Ms. Hall stated that although initially she hoped that they would come to a decision today of whether or not to redesign, the consultants have indicated to her that their recommendation was to put the documents out to bid and see what the costs would be.

            Mr. Mullins explained that the market today was very good in terms of competitiveness in the marketplace, and there might be some advantages to doing that, since the design was done and they were ready to bid that project to find out what the actual value is of the full courthouse.  He related that when they bid a job, they broke it down into bid packages, which were actual trade scopes of work, and they would have 35 or more bid packages for this project which would help them analyze the value of the work.  Then, if they did need to reduce costs, it would give them the information and analytical data to work with going forward.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that if the Board did not want to borrow any more money, then they definitely would have to make some changes to the project.  However, he thought they needed to see what was out there in the marketplace and how much difference there would in the price, and then decide whether they wanted to take on any additional debt.

            Commr. Conner stated that he was interested in seeing a financing plan on how to repay the cost of any building they decide to construct, and he stated that he did not want to increase millage rates to pay a debt service in a down economy.  He also commented that he was not going to support taking on $40 or $50 more in debt.  He related that he would like to move this project forward, however, because they could currently get a good value regarding construction prices and that they needed to utilize the money that they have already bonded.

            Commr. Cadwell commented that they had the documents ready to put out to bid for the whole project, and asked if they had the documents ready for the scaled-down version.

            Mr. Mullins responded that they did not have the documents for the scaled-down version, but they have the documents for the full version and that they have been in discussions with Heery about the time frame for revising the documents to put them out.

            Commr. Renick stated that she would not be comfortable bidding that if they were not serious about building the full project, since there was a lot of time and effort on the part of the people doing those bids.

            Commr. Conner asked if they could give a range for the estimate of the cost for construction of the 286,000 square foot building.

            Mr. Mullins stated that his educated guess at this point would be about ten to fifteen percent reduction in the market today, based on the competition they currently see.

            Commr. Conner commented that even if the price came out to be 20 percent less than anticipated, they would still be $29 million short of what they currently had available for this project, which he did not think they could afford.  He pointed out that they would also have to build the operating budget for this new building into the budget.

            Commr. Cadwell asked what the time frame would be to put out two packages.

            Mr. Bob Egleston, Project Manager for Heery, emphasized that they had complete drawings that they invested a lot of time and effort in working with the judiciary and the courts to understand how the pieces went together, and they wanted to use that.  Also, he pointed out that there was no risk in putting it out to bid.  He understood that they were probably going to scale back, but having an accurate square foot cost would help them to make better decisions on what they could do to reduce the project.  He also informed the Board that there was a time consideration, because there would be a code change on March 1 for the State of Florida, and they could lock in under the current code and not have any more costs that would run into the project after the code changes.  He explained that there was a two or three month time frame in revising the drawings if they kept a portion of the project as it currently was.  He specified that the code would require increased steel costs for more reinforcement to withstand higher winds, which would make the structure of the building more expensive.

            Commr. Renick stated that she did not think they should be concerned with the code changes, because she thought they were being changed for a reason.

            Commr. Hill opined that there was no way of putting that plan together unless they put it out to bid, and she thought that putting a second document out would probably confuse the bid market.  She also noted that they spent almost two years already on this design with all the stake holders to come up with the most efficient, cost-effective, and functional building, and she thought that redesigning it would compromise that and be short sighted of their future needs.

            Mr. John Carlson of PPI Construction stated that the value of bidding this project would be to provide accurate, real time data from the marketplace that they did not have now.  He commented that the market was incredibly dynamic right now, and they would break this project into 35 discrete packages of work with multiple bids for each of those pieces to use at no risk to the County as data to make the right decisions going forward.

            On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to place the Phase II documents as designed out to bid, which would give them a working number to determine what they would be able to build.



            Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that Mr. Billy Hattaway with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) was a specialist in communities that wanted to be able to utilize different modes of transportation.  He mentioned that if the Board saw the value in this presentation, they wanted to have a full day workshop sometime later this year involving all the cities.  He suggested that they have elected officials attend the presentation in the morning and then have all the planners and engineers attend in the afternoon.

            Mr. Hattaway commented that he has seen a lot of things happen in the State of Florida over his adult life and how things are working and not working both in terms of transportation and growth in their communities.  He opined that there were concerns about how Lake County would see itself and want to grow in the future when the economy picks back up and how the Board would deal with those challenges regarding the issues of quality of life, transportation, and economic development.  He commented that the slowdown in growth gives the County time to reflect on what it has been doing in the last forty to fifty years and to revisit what they would want to do differently once things start to gear back up again.  He opined that there have been many negative consequences with the way that the area has grown in the past.  He noted that quality of life was highly valued in this area, and every community needed to decide what that meant to them.  He commented that an environment that was spread out and not supportive to walking has been created.   This has created many problems, including obesity caused by physical inactivity.  He pointed out that sprawl development continues to consume a lot of previously undisturbed or agricultural land, and there was a lot of cost which they have not recognized in the past that they needed to be more aware of.  He presented a chart which showed that the number of miles that each person has driven has doubled in the last 20 to 30 years, and that trend has continued because of the change in development patterns.  He related that there were impacts to agriculture and nature, and he reported that there were environmental costs to sprawl and that 27 percent of the greenhouse gases come from transportation.  He also pointed out that the country uses a disproportionate share of energy, which has cost it a lot around the world in terms of its relationships with other countries.

            Mr. Hattaway stated that the five keys to success of place, which would get people to walk more so that they would use their car less, were feelings of comfort, welcome, safety, convenience, and efficiency.  He specified that in Florida, people needed shade from trees, awnings, and some type of shelter; places to walk; and access to conveniences in close proximity to where people live and could access on foot.  He also stated that those spaces needed to be attractive and well-maintained, with parks on a local scale and open space where people could gather and recreate.  He commented that it gave a feeling of safety when there were people about on foot that could watch out for each other.  

Mr. Hattaway reported that the Highway Trust Fund was in bankruptcy as of October of last year, and there has not been any real political will to deal with it in the past, which would make it difficult to continue to widen state roads using federal funds.  He noted that driving was down over 100 billion miles from October of 2007 to October 2008, which meant that there was less money going into the Highway Trust Fund to operate and maintain that infrastructure.  He stated that the conventional suburban developments that were typically built for the last forty years after the automobile became such a dominant force were auto dominant, low density, had separate land uses, and every trip had to go out on the arterial.  However, a traditional neighborhood had a gridded network of streets, focused on the pedestrian, had mixed uses, was multi-modal, and was less dependent on the arterial.  He pointed out that the way schools were currently planned added about 30 percent increase in traffic due to bus traffic and people taking their children to school, and that less than 8 percent of children walk or bike to school today compared with 48 percent in 1969.  He presented a chart that showed that the less dwelling units per acre there were, the more people had to drive in order to take care of their needs.  He stated that in terms of Lake County, he thought that one opportunity would be to look at focusing growth in towns that advocate compact, walkable, bicycle-friendly development including neighborhood schools, mixed use development, streets that work for everyone, and a range of housing choices.  He related that the goals that they would look for would be achieving a sense of community and place; providing a range of transportation, employment, and housing; preserving and enhancing the natural and cultural resources; and promoting public health.  He found that even though 30 to 40 percent of the public would choose compact mixed use development, only 2 to 5 percent of housing was this type of development, and this showed that there was a lot of opportunity in the market to fill that gap.  He pointed out that the commuter rail coming into play and all the transit systems that would feed off of that would provide more opportunities for transit oriented development and that a recent study verified that that would reduce automobile trips by 50 percent.  He showed a photograph illustrating that mixed use development could be at a scale that was appropriate for the communities in Lake County.  He commented that he has seen communities change their course from suburban sprawl to focus more on compact development and mixed use principles in towns and small cities, with education on implications of current development patterns, collaboration to develop a network, and integration of land use and transportation.

            Commr. Cadwell stated that they were thinking of having Mr. Hattaway come back to sponsor a workshop at the college or other venue, and he received consensus from the Board to do that.


The Chairman announced at 10:05 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.


Mr. Doug Krueger, Budget Director, stated that they were about to embark on the budget preparation process for fiscal year 2009/10 and that they wanted to get some direction before their department started working on the budget.  He referred to a handout in the packet which was an estimated General Fund Pro Forma Budget for FY 2009/10, and commented that the $3.8 million fund balance figure could easily double.  He reported that it assumed a tax base for the fiscal year of $20.5 billion and that their current tax base was just under $21 billion, which equates to about a 2.5 percent reduction in their property tax revenues.  He also assumed the current millage rate, which would actually be a tax cut with the reduction in the tax base and lower than the rollback rate.  He noted that there were also no adjustments made on the expenditure side to salaries and that the transfer to the constitutional officers would be no more than the current year.  Also, no new debt service was built into these projections, and they reduced their grants to $250,000.  He pointed out that based on those assumptions, they had a shortfall of $3.8 million.  He added that included in this was the assumption that they were going to generate a $23 million fund balance from the current year to be carried over to next year, but he estimated that probably in the general fund that number would be closer to $19 million, which could add another $4 million to the imbalance.  He asked for direction from the Board on the approach to take, including using the additional fund balance available in the health and property insurance, reducing hours, and reducing reserves.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the employee health insurance was something they could talk about and that they could look at taking some of the money in that plan.  In regard to the hours, he asked Ms. Hall if she had talked about that with the Employee Advisory Committee and thought they could be given a presentation for informational purposes to let them know what they were looking at to balance the budget.

Ms. Hall stated that she did not know if that had been discussed with the Employee Advisory Committee, but she certainly could do that.  Her perspective was that employees were very supportive of all the things that had taken place so far regarding their current raise policy and that they would support possible future measures.  She also informed the Board that they were looking at reducing hours to possibly 36 or 32 hours and then adjusting the salaries accordingly to be consistent with the number of hours reduced, allowing them to keep benefits and jobs.

Commr. Cadwell stated that he thought they should look at that.

Commr. Conner commented that he thought it was problematic for them to be spending more money than they were taking in, especially in the long term.  He thought that in this fiscal year they needed to direct their County Manager to look at their organization to evaluate the necessity of positions and that they needed to make hard decisions about ways they could cut their expenses not limited to the decrease in the hours.

Ms. Hall related that they have instructed departments to cut down on their expenses as much as they possibly could.  She mentioned that the departments were aware of the crisis going into next year and that anything that they do not spend this year and was carried forward would help them out next year.  She also noted that Mr. Krueger and his office currently were going through a detailed analysis of the expenditures so far this year and were prepared to come back in March to give the Board an update on that.  She added that they have been watching their positions very carefully, and they were at the point that the departments and the programs were very lean, but the service levels would become less responsive with additional cuts.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the economic stabilization reserves were created for two things, and since they were actually in a mandated catastrophe now, he thought they should use at least part of that in the budget process.

Commr. Renick thought that looking at using those reserves should be a last resort, in case they needed that for a hurricane or other emergency situation.  She stated that she felt that they should look at everything, and she thought Ms. Hall could come back to them after she and her staff did the preparation that they needed to do.

Ms. Hall commented that that would be sufficient direction for them at this point.  She also stated that they wanted the Board to be aware of where they were going into next year and the types of things they were looking at and wanted to know if there was anything in there that the Board absolutely did not want them to consider.  She stated that they would put some information together as they went through the budget process and come forward with some specific proposals for the Board to look at.

Commr. Cadwell added that in this environment, they needed to look at all possible program and budget cuts.

Mr. Bob McKee, Tax Collector, commented that the transfer that goes from the Board to their office should be noticeably less next year, because it was proportionate to their collections, and the County may have upwards of almost 2 million additional dollars when they adjust their revenue inflows and outflows.


Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director, Metropolitan Planning Organization, stated that there was a one-mile zone that was part of the Plaza Collina Development of Regional Impact, and when they received approval from Lake County to move forward with that project, it obligated them to satisfy conditions of DOT, including constructing that mile.  He reported that the DRI also would owe $1 million to DOT in June at the anticipated completion date, so that portion was moving forward.  He presented a graphic on the overhead that summarized the segments and the funding amounts, and noted that the bid for the segment from Orange County to the Turnpike interchange west of Hancock Road came in $12 million under the estimated cost.  He reported that their focus now that DOT was moving forward with construction of the six lane portion that would go west of Hancock Road was getting the unfunded segment on over to the interchange with US Hwy 27 funded, which was the number one priority for other arterial funding.  He explained that DOT only had two sources of money for these types of projects, which were the Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) such as US 27 and other arterials such as SR 50.  He noted that the segment shown in red on the map was on DOT’s supported list of stimulus package projects and was looking good if Congress does what they were expected to do.  He also mentioned that they were asking DOT to fund the interchange itself with US Hwy 27 through the SIS program, and that was the number one priority for that funding.  He commented that SR 50 was a perfect example of one of those arterials where suburban development styles overloaded it too quickly, from 24,000 cars a day to 55,000 cars a day currently, and it was one of the only corridors right now in Lake County where they were seeing any development interests.


Mr. Krueger explained that the Transportation Task Force made a recommendation that contained a number of different options, including Option 2, which was to dedicate a percentage of General Fund Revenues for road maintenance and gradually phase that in from 2 percent up to 8 percent.  He stated that the schedule in the handout basically was designed to show what it would have been generating over the last five years if they had been doing that.  He noted that in 2007/08 they had $136 million in current revenues, which would have generated $2.7 million at 2 percent and almost $11 million at 8 percent.  He pointed out, however, that if they currently could not come up with $3 million in debt service, they certainly would have a difficult time actually transferring money from the general fund to the road program under Option 2.  He then explained that Option 4B was to dedicate tax revenues associated with improved commercial and industrial development towards road maintenance, and presented a handout showing the tax base over the last five or six years just related to commercial and industrial development and that increase from year to year. He reported that in the current year of 2008/09, the growth in commercial/industrial development was $211 billion, which at their current tax rate of 4.6 mils, would have generated about $900,000 that could have gone towards the road maintenance budget.

Commr. Conner asked Mr. Stivender what the overall conditions of the County roads at this time were and about the grading scale that they use.

Mr. Stivender responded that there were about 1280 miles of paved road, and 90 miles of them need paving immediately.  He continued to explain that they grade roads from 1 being full of potholes to 10 being a brand new road, and that a road that was rated 4 substantially had a lot of potholes on it and would need to be paved.  He added that there were sections of SR 44 that they were getting ready to work on in the general area west of the fairgrounds that were a 4.  He related that roads that were sixes were worn and decayed, but they could put a small service of sealant to micro resurface it, which would make them an 8.  He also mentioned that all the roads that had been worse than a 4 had already been repaired.

Commr. Conner inquired how much revenue they had this year to resurface roads and where that revenue came from.

Mr. Stivender reported that they had a little over $3 million from sales tax, which was down 10 percent.

Commr. Conner asked about the 5 cent gas tax and commented that he has seen the importance of maintaining their infrastructure.  He expressed a desire to carefully examine the condition of the roads.

Mr. Stivender stated that he asked his staff to come back and give him a list of exactly how many roads in the next five years would become a need that was rated from 4 to 6, and their goal would be to micro surface the fives and sixes so that they did not become fours.  They had 629 miles of roads over the next five years that fell under that category, were in the aging process, and were in need of work, which made up 50 percent of the road system.  He then showed a map regarding the five cent gas tax, showing the locally imposed motor fuel taxes throughout the State of Florida and pointed out the counties whose gas tax was higher, equal, and less than Lake County.  He commented that five years ago the map would have shown much fewer counties with gas taxes above 12 cents, and that showed a trend toward moving forward with that tax, with Marion County also considering using the tax.  He then presented a chart showing counties with the lowest gasoline prices to compare with those that charge the tax, and commented that it was hard to make a consistent comparison, because it was market driven and changed with location.  He concluded that the tax might play a role on the price of gas, but definitely not the only role.

Commr. Stewart commented that it was important to keep the condition of their roads up, but she thought it was bad timing to catch up on road maintenance with the economy in as bad a shape as it was in.  She opined that she would feel differently possibly three years from now when the economy was back up.

Commr. Renick thought that there currently was not support for this tax.

Commr. Cadwell commented that there was a nickel going somewhere, but it was not to the County.

Commr. Conner commented that the budget presentations given that day would be a reason to support the gas tax, because they would not have the available funds from their sales tax to meet their needs, and the market today resulted in favorable construction costs.  He suggested that they could possibly do a gas tax with a corresponding commitment to reduce millage by a small portion, which he thought would increase public support for it.  He pointed out, however, that he was not saying he would support the tax, but that he was just arguing the other side and did not think a discussion would hurt.

Commr. Hill commented that they were already currently behind in their ad valorem millage, and she did not see them dropping that any further.  She also indicated she was not in favor of the gas tax.


Ms. Sharon Wall, Employee Services Director, recapped that on October 1, 2006, the County changed health plans to Blue Cross/Blue Shield as their TPA.  She explained that as a self-funded plan, they were responsible for all the costs, and they kept reserves for that.  She included in the packet the actuary report so that they could see how well everything has been going and that last year starting on October 1, 2008, their costs dropped from $10,000 down to $8,600.  She noted that they still had very good reserves above the 25 percent needed.  She commented that they had a better TPA with better technological processing and they have had some low claim years, even though this year was not quite as low.  She related that they could give money back to the County, and she showed a chart which illustrated how much money they could save by suspending employer contributions for specific increments of time and another chart specifying the various funds that money could go into and how much could go into each fund.  She stated that they recommend suspending the employer contributions for six months, which would still keep very healthy reserves in the plan.

Ms. Hall asked the Board for direction as to whether to proceed with that proposal.

Commr. Conner clarified that they would still have a projected fund balance in that of $6.8 million, and he asked what the actuary told them they needed to have in that fund.

Sharon Hall responded that they looked at 25 percent, including the incurred but not spent yet funds as well as their claims that were already there that had been paid, which was about $1.8 million.  She stated that would leave them flexibility for high claims and about a 10.4 percent increase in costs.

Commr. Cadwell stated that he thought they ought to do that, and there was consensus from the Board to suspend employer contributions from the general fund to the health plan insurance fund for six months.

Ms. Hall further explained that the concept would be that the amount of money that was suspended from going into the insurance fund and was going into each individual fund would remain with that fund to assist with carry forward money for next year.  She commented that it was a tool that would at least give them some assistance.


Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not know if they needed to come up with ten performance objectives for the evaluation and that four or five of them would be sufficient.

Commr. Renick commented that she was comfortable with the form presented in the backup, because it was similar to the way teachers graded.  She mentioned that there were a lot of performance objectives that just had three expectations of low, medium, and high (unsatisfactory, satisfactory, and superior), and she asked if the Board wanted to use the five given on the form, or if they wanted to change those to three.  She also thought that the integrity category needed to be a category in itself or at least listed first under the performance dimensions.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, pointed out that the scale from 1 through 5 was already used for other employees.

Commr. Renick also thought it was important to have a comment box for any rating other than satisfactory so that there was something to justify a superior or an unsatisfactory rating.

Ms. Hall noted that they were already doing that same thing with other employees, since they have recently changed their evaluation procedures.

Commr. Conner asked where personnel management would be addressed on the form, which he felt was a key component of the evaluation.

Commr. Renick suggested that Mr. Minkoff could possibly add another bullet under the Service Delivery Management performance dimension for personnel management.

Commr. Cadwell stated that they could change the title of that dimension to Service Delivery and Personnel Management as well as adding the third bullet.  He also suggested that on Page 4, regarding Performance Objectives, that they could give the whole list of the Board’s suggested objectives or a narrowed-down list of five to Ms. Hall and let her look at it and come back to them with her suggestions.

Commr. Renick commented that one of the things she would like to address was regarding follow up, because she felt that when she gave a Board directive, she never knew when she would hear back about what they asked staff to do.  She thought that they should specify a time they need an issue readdressed, and asked how they could write that.

Commr. Cadwell thought they should throw some of their ideas out on the table and then have Ms. Hall bring it back for their approval.

Mr. Minkoff stated that they did this in their previous evaluation form with their employees, and they described it as a negotiation.

Commr. Cadwell directed that all the Commissioners have their list of comments to Ms. Hall by next Tuesday, and depending on the length of the list at the meeting at that time, they would talk about when they actually would bring the list back.


Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, stated that this was to adopt the Foreclosure Prevention Program, which was originally discussed back in late August and brought back to the Board on September 2 for approval.  He explained that this was a refinement initially of a Foreclosure Prevention Program that they had for the Hurricane Housing Recovery Project and that they sent the LHAP (Local Housing Assistance Plan) Amendment to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), which reviewed and approved it in October.  However, after further reviewing it after the first of the year, the FHFC determined the County needed to adopt this by resolution, since it was a little bit different than the strategy they had for the Foreclosure Prevention Strategy.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to place this item on the Agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2009-15 approving amendments to the FY 2006-09 Local Housing Assistance Plan and authorizing the submission of the amendments to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation.


Ms. Hall stated that their initial understanding was that it would be best to submit only transportation projects for the federal funding project list, and the Board approved five different transportation projects to be included on this list.  However, during consultation with their lobbyists, they were told that they should diversity the items on the list so that it would not comprise just transportation projects, and the lobbyists’ suggestion was to pick a couple of projects that they had submitted last year and proceed with those.  She gave the Board a list of six items that comprised a revised project list, including three transportation programs as they were originally presented to the Board, two items for the Emergency Operations Center, and one regarding law enforcement and asked for approval of those six items to move forward to get those to the lobbyists and the legislators in Washington.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to put this item regarding the federal funding project list on the Agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the revised project list of six items to submit to their Washington delegation for earmarked federal funding, which were the South Lake Sheriff’s Command Center (renamed Lake County Sheriff’s Office South Lake District), Picciola Bridge Project, Lakeshore Drive/Palatlakaha Bridge, Emergency Operations Center Technology, Lake County Emergency Operations Center construction, and South Lake/Minneola Trail Phase III and IV.


Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, requested that they have a closed session at the next Board Meeting of February 17, at about 10:30 or 11:00 a.m.

On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to place that request on the Agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s request to have a closed session on February 17, 2009, at 10:30 a.m.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:43 a.m.