A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
APRIL 28, 2009
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 28, 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; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Ellie McDonald, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, requested that her Memorandum of April 23, 2009, regarding budget reductions be added to the Agenda.
Commr. Hill requested that a Law Enforcement Proclamation to be presented on May 7, 2009, be added to the Agenda.
Commr. Stewart requested that a discussion on an Amendment to a Bill in Tallahassee concerning SR 46 be placed under her business.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he had a letter from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) regarding funding to be given to Lake County for the Byrne Grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the amount of $750,000 and requested it be added to the Agenda as it was time sensitive.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved adding the following Agenda items: Budget Reduction Discussion, Law Enforcement Proclamation, and the FDLE Grant.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff requested a Closed Session at the close of the meeting today to update the Board on union negotiations.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that Ms. Pam Steinke, Administrator, Lake County Health Department, was present to provide an update on the Swine Flu situation relating to Lake County and the State of Florida.
presentation - swine flu
Ms. Steinke introduced Ms. Sarah Matthews, MPH, Lake County Health Department Epidemiologist and stated that they together with Dr. Juan Almeyda, Lake County Health Department Medical Director, would be monitoring the Swine Flu. Ms. Steinke reported that there were no cases in Florida at this time, but that there were 40 cases in the United States. She stated that the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded it to Pandemic Alert Phase 4 which indicates that there is a significant increase in risk as well as sustainability. She explained that WHO goes from Level 1 to Level 6.
Ms. Matthews reported that Lake County and the State of Florida were in active surveillance for cases that fit the case definition. She stated that State laboratories have been prepared to identify the strains that were causing this flu and that protocols were in place in Health Department bureaus throughout the State. She mentioned that Florida has approximately 100 sentinel physicians with 5 being in Lake County which is part of their influenza surveillance that goes on throughout the year. She explained that the sentinel physicians look for symptoms of influenza type illness and test for them and as a result they come up with the yearly vaccines and statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). She mentioned that they also have the ability to monitor over-the-counter sales of drugs such as thermometers and medicines taken for flu like sickness, as well as a computerized system that monitors people admitted to the hospital. She commented that specific for Lake County, Epidemiology communicates with these sentinel physicians, community hospitals and physicians as well as daily conferences with the Bureau of Epidemiology.
Ms. Steinke stated that the Lake County Health Department has brought together their internal incident command staff and at present was in the monitoring stage and participates in daily conference calls with the Department of Health (DOH), Emergency Managers and Health Departments throughout the State. She discussed the recommendations from the State Surgeon General to stay home from work or school when ill to avoid spreading infections; avoid close contact with people who are coughing or ill; avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth; wash hands frequently; contact your local physician if flu symptoms occur; and use hand sanitizer when appropriate. She explained that Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food or eating pork products, but spreads from person-to-person. She commented that the CDC has created a Webpage at www.cdc.gov/swinflu to obtain information about Swine Flu.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 7, as follows:
Request for approval of and signature on the Direct Pay to LifeStream Behavioral Center for the quarterly payment from the Criminal Justice, Mental Health & Substance Abuse Planning Grant for the reinvestment in Mental Health & Substance Abuse planning initiatives for treatment services.
Facilities Development And Management
Request for approval to add the work associated with Jail drainage repairs (Auger Monster) to the site improvements scope of work currently being undertaken by PPI under the Phase 1 Downtown Project. The work was bid out by PPI and the cost of the work is $159,503.89. The cost of this work can be covered by the already approved contingency for Phase 1.
Request from Procurement for approval and execution of a construction contract award to Southern Building Services, Inc. to provide renovation to Fire Station 110 (Clermont) in the amount of $152,000.00, and 2) approve allowances of $12,800 and contingency cost of $15,200.
FOR INFORMATION ONLY-NO ACTION REQUIRED. The Procurement Policy revisions enacted by the BCC on September 27, 2007 delegated authority to the County Manager to complete certain individual purchase and contract modification actions in excess of $25,000 under "term and supply" contracts and in certain other specified contractual actions. At the BCC meeting in October 2007, there was discussion regarding a need to provide information to the BCC regarding such actions for a limited period of time.
Request for approval of the amended Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and The Town of Lady Lake for maintenance for a portion of the right-of-way on C.R. 466.
Request to advertise for bids for the Getford Road Regional Stormwater Pond. Commission District 4.
Request from Public Works to advertise for bids and execute the grant contract with the LCWA for the # 4140 Dead River Road Stormwater Project No. 2009-07. Commission District 3.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
Commr. Cadwell stated that Tab 8 was a request for approval of a Letter of Termination regarding the Parking Agreement with First Baptist Church of Tavares for their vacant lot located at the corner of Main Street and Joanna Avenue. He commented that the church had worked well with the County, not only during the construction period but in general as well. He requested permission to prepare a Resolution to be presented to the Minister at a future meeting of the Board to show the County’s appreciation to the church.
Commr. Conner stated that Tab 9 was a request for approval of an Amendment to Lease Agreement for the Department of Community Services for space located at 1300 Duncan Drive, Tavares. He commented that the County Attorney’s office had been proactive by taking advantage of the market and renegotiating the current lease resulting in a savings of approximately $1,760 per month.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that they would bring back the renewal of the Public Works lease in Eustis stating that they were looking at what rents were available in the market place. He remarked that they not only consider the rent per square foot, but also the Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges, taxes, maintenance, and insurance. He explained that in instances where there are no CAM charges, the final gross amount of $15 per square foot for rent is equivalent to approximately $11.50 per square foot. He commented that they had looked at roughly 100 rental space listings so far which would enable them to obtain the market price in the area.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 8 and 9, together with Resolution No. 2009-57 for First Baptist Church of Tavares expressing appreciation for their willingness to work with the County during its parking issues, as follows:
Request for approval of letter of termination regarding the Parking Agreement with First Baptist Church of Tavares for the Church's vacant lot located at the corner of Main Street and Joanna Avenue, together with Resolution No. 2009-57.
Request for approval of Amendment to Lease Agreement for lease space for the Department of Community Services located at 1300 Duncan Drive, Tavares.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Director of Community Services, stated that Tab 10 was a request for authorization for permission to advertise changes to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2007/08 Action Plan. He explained that the reason for this was that they had some uncommitted funds they would like to move into the Altoona Charter School project. He stated that they currently have $44,820 and would like to add an additional $50,000 for a total of $94,820 for this project. He commented that they also would like to move some uncommitted PY2007 funds in the amount of $189,592 to PY2008 to renovate the Leesburg Health Clinic in order to reduce their dependence on the rental property where they had the Women’s Wellness Clinic on Hwy. 441 in Leesburg. He explained that they needed to advertise this for public hearing in early June for comments or changes.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved advertising changes to the CDBG 2007/08 Action Plan by moving uncommitted funds and funds remaining in the Altoona Charter School project in the PY2007 CDBG Action Plan to the PY2008 CDBG Action Plan to further fund the Altoona Charter School project and the renovation and addition to a County-owned facility for use as a Women's Wellness Clinic.
housing assistance payments
Mr. Smith addressed the Board requesting authorization to contact the landlords and voucher recipients for the Section 8 Housing Program and explained that he had met with the Commissioners regarding this issue. He stated that each year they must anticipate what their U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget would be. He commented that with the current funding level they would not have sufficient funds to pay the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) through the end of the year and that they need to take action now in order not to extend those Section 8 housing dollars. He explained that they were required to give sixty (60) days prior notice to landlords and tenants that they may be changing the manner in which they cover the rental costs.
Commr. Cadwell opined that they would get the additional funds, but until that time they cannot take a chance of overspending that budget.
Mr. Smith reported that he and Commr. Conner met with Representative Alan Grayson on Saturday to learn why the specific allocation for 2009 had not been announced. He commented that the allocation was normally announced earlier in the year which allowed them to project their budget.
Commr. Hill commented that if they suspend the rent for September, for example, it would give them enough time to find out if the funds would be forthcoming and make any necessary plans if they did not receive the rent for the last month in the year.
Mr. Smith explained that this action would provide a sixty (60) day window to give them proper notice required by HUD to make arrangements to cover their rent. He commented that it was their hope that when they get the final Federal budget they would not have to eliminate or suspend any payments. However, he stated that they need authorization to begin working on this now.
Commr. Renick stated that when she discussed this matter with Mr. Smith part of the reason that this situation arose was that the rents were high and questioned whether they could renegotiate rents.
Mr. Smith responded by stating that HUD sets the amount of dollars they were allowed to spend towards rent and that they actually spend less than HUD’s recommendation. He explained that they were covering 90 percent of the rental costs and brought this in line by not filling any vouchers. He commented that the rental amount was established between the landlord and the tenant and that certainly they could talk to the landlords about renegotiating. He explained that normally the portion of the rent not covered by HUD was the responsibility of the tenant.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it may be necessary to hold a housing workshop regarding the Section 8 Housing Plan.
Ms. Stacy Kleinfeld, Section 8 Housing Manager, addressed the Board stating that every year HUD sets the fair market rents for the area which were the average gross rents for one bedroom, two bedrooms, and three bedrooms. She explained that Housing Authorities must take that fair market rent amount and determine whether they will fund 90 to 100 percent of that amount. She commented that at the present time they were funding 90 percent, telling the landlord that is the most the rent can be for the contract which was based on several components. She stated that at the present time the landlords were asking higher than the fair market rents established by HUD, but that was not uncommon. She commented, however, that they force the landlord to bring the rent down to the standard set by HUD in order to receive their assistance.
Commr. Cadwell stated that contact then needs to be with HUD rather than the local landlord. He commented that they need to lobby HUD to either come back and revisit the market value in Lake County or reevaluate it. He also mentioned that HUD has guidelines by which the County has to abide in order to have Section 8 Housing available.
Commr. Conner questioned whether there was a law that says they have to pay by HUD’s guidelines or if they would be allowed to pay a lower amount if the market was lower than what HUD estimated.
Mr. Smith stated that it was based on HUD fair rental values. He explained that if the landlord would accept lower than what HUD says the County could certainly look into paying a lower amount.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the action to be taken today was to make sure they did not overspend the budget between now and the end of the year.
Commr. Renick moved to approve sending letters out with the possible suspension of subsidy assistance for the month of September.
Commr. Conner questioned the amount of revenue and expenditures for this fund.
Mr. Smith stated that their revenue stems from a monthly contract amount from HUD which at the present time is $220,000 for Housing Assistance Payments. He explained that amount was reduced by 5 percent to be held in reserves and resulted in a monthly amount of $208,000. He remarked that they pay out approximately $240,000 a month for housing assistance.
Commr. Conner commented that they have been spending $32,000 a month more than what they receive and questioned where that money was coming from and was it reimbursed.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, stated that the fund would end up whole by the end of the year as a result of the action taken today by suspending the months of July, August and September, if necessary. She explained that they disburse the money and then it is reimbursed; however, it was not reimbursed at the level being paid out. She commented that they were running in the red hoping that it would be made up once they obtain the budget amount for Section 8 Housing. She remarked that the money comes from their accounts and that Ms. Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance, had explained to her that it was not uncommon in many grant situations to pay upfront and then get reimbursed. She noted, however, that they basically cover it for the period of time the money is out before it gets reimbursed. She clarified that the funds come from “pooled” cash which is basically the bank account.
Mr. Smith stated that this happens almost annually while waiting for HUD to announce the New Year budget within the first two to three months of the year. He explained that as Congressman Grayson discussed Saturday, the shift in administrations pushed it back and the actual Appropriations Bill was not signed until mid-March which created a time delay to work through the process and make the allocations.
Commr. Cadwell stated that there was a motion and a second to approve the recommendation to suspend monthly Housing Assistance Payments for families currently receiving assistance under the Section 8 program for the months of July, August and September 2009, if necessary. The motion carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
2009-2012 local housing assistance plan
Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, stated that he had prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the 2009-2012 Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP).
Commr. Cadwell commented that the last time this item was before the Board they narrowed the matter down to a couple of issues and suggested that only those primary issues be discussed.
Mr. Smith stated that they previously discussed adopting the housing incentives before LHAP was completed by the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) from June 2008 through December 2008 and it was tabled due to several issues. He opined that one of the major items from that meeting was a consensus of the Board to adopt and implement a strategy using State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) dollars to assist with the development of rental units. He explained that in the Executive Summary of the Incentives Report it stated that there was an abundance of affordable housing for those in Lake County, but there was a shortage of rental units. He stated that they created the Bridge Loan Strategy last year to assist the City of Leesburg in renovating Kristen Court Apartments for home ownership.
Commr. Cadwell advised the Board that they took this back to the AHAC and spent a half day deciphering the direction the Board had given them.
Mr. Smith stated that the amount of funds they could put into the Bridge Loan for rental strategy was $520,000 which was 25 percent of the SHIP allocation they received for Fiscal Year 2008/2009. He mentioned that of that $520,000 a developer would be eligible for 20 percent, or $104,000, of the total allocation.
Commr. Renick suggested that Mr. Smith discuss the difference between assistance levels for existing homes versus new construction.
Mr. Smith stated that they discussed this issue when they were in the Bridge Strategy as well as Home Purchase Assistance. He commented that they currently provide $35,000 down payment assistance for “new home purchase” for very low income households; $30,000 assistance for low income households; and $10,000 assistance for moderate income households. He explained that they had discussed reducing the amount of assistance provided for the purchase of “existing homes” by half resulting in $17,500 down payment assistance for very low income households; $15,000 assistance for low income households; and $5,000 assistance for moderate income households.
Commr. Renick stated that she did not understand why they doubled the assistance amount to place someone in a new home versus the amount to place them in an existing home. She opined that the amount should not be doubled for placement in a new home if their goal was to move people from substandard housing into good homes and it would seem they would be able to assist more people by trying to get them into existing homes for half the amount.
Mr. Smith responded by stating that there were additional costs for new home construction for materials and land. He explained that this was a trend which had been going on a number of years and although impact fees are waived for affordable housing, at least 50 percent of those fees have to be paid and accounted for.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they were getting more requests for new homes than for existing homes. He asked that Mr. Smith earmark any items not resolved today for discussion within the next couple of weeks.
Mr. Smith stated that this LHAP was due the first week in May, but he could explain to Ms. Darlene Raker at the Florida Housing Finance Corporation that they may have a delay.
A discussion ensued regarding leveling the amount of assistance provided for newly built homes that were sitting empty and older existing homes needing repairs.
Mr. Smith stated that if a newly built home had not been occupied for at least one year after the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) it becomes an existing home, but anything before that is considered new. He commented that with an existing home they allow up to $5,000 of the money provided to repair any deficiencies in that home.
Commr. Renick stated that if their goal was to get people out of substandard housing and to assist first time homeowners in the proper income category she wanted to know why they were forgiving the loans after the 10th year of the anniversary of the mortgage.
Mr. Smith remarked that this plan had been in effect since 1994-1995, has gone through many different amendments, and it was for that reason he wanted to discuss these issues with the Board. He noted that there were other counties using these dollars that have longer terms to recapture the funding and, in fact, in some situations require them to pay the money back over the course of a number of years. He stated that this was a local issue and Florida Housing Finance Corporation would like a decision as to any changes the County would like made.
Commr. Cadwell stated that it was a matter of philosophy that first time homeowners with very low income receive assistance and if they keep that house in good condition over 10 years it becomes an investment for that family and puts them in a better situation. He remarked that if a majority of the Board would like the 10th year repayment language removed they could do so; however, they would have to monitor the sale of the home for quite some time in order to recapture those funds.
Commr. Renick referred to the recipient selection criteria noting that the first four priorities refer to low income households currently living in substandard housing, but priorities five through eight refer to low income households living in rental units. She stated she wanted to get people out of substandard housing whether they were in a house or a rental unit.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Smith if they were required under SHIP to have some of the rental units’ money as well.
Mr. Smith stated that they were now putting it in the Bridge Loan to assist developers construct rental units. He explained that this was a First Time Homebuyer Program so most of the people either live with their family or in rental units already and that they want to assist people in substandard housing. He mentioned that the applicants go through a screening process through Affordable Housing by Lake, Homes and Partnership, and the City of Leesburg to become eligible and qualify their information is checked, are asked where they presently live and whether it is substandard housing, but there is no inspection of their living quarters. He commented that the point was well taken and they will include in their program whatever the Board decides.
Commr. Renick commented that she was concerned about paying for things for those having insurance coverage, other than what the insurance pays, and opined that they were almost in competition with insurance companies.
Commr. Conner questioned why they were providing assistance for people who have insurance.
Mr. Smith responded by stating that they receive funds for replacement and repairs through a Disaster Mitigation and Replacement Strategy and that insurance was not addressed in that Plan, although it should have been. He mentioned that they had addressed this issue with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) when they encountered a situation where someone in a mobile home had $2,800 that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had given them to replace a roof. He commented that the FHFC said if it was not in their Plan there was no restriction on them. He also remarked that when they came across homeowners who had insurance they talked with them and their agents to determine how much they received to repair their home and based on their understanding they could assist them since there was no preclusion to assist someone with homeowner insurance. He commented that this was something they wanted to bring out in this Plan and would like to know how the Board would like it handled.
Commr. Conner opined that government involvement provides a disincentive for the property owner and the insurance company to work out the problem.
Commr. Renick commented that she wanted everyone to understand that she believes in giving people help, just not a handout. She expressed the need to be very careful with this money to make it go farther so they could help more people.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the insurance issue was only under disaster mitigation, not the whole program.
Mr. Smith explained that the mitigation portion of the plan allows them to assist a homeowner with up to $3,000 for such things as removing a tree from the roof; placing a tarp on the roof; boarding up windows and things of that nature. He stated that this assistance is provided under a grant, not a loan.
Commr. Renick opined that a homeowner who was provided assistance in obtaining their home should not be able to come back and ask for further assistance.
Commr. Cadwell explained that the Affordable Advisory Committee discussed that issue but there were a couple of instances where it would make sense to assist them again and language was included stating it was not automatic, but would be reviewed by the Building Department, Community Services and a member of the Affordable Housing Committee.
Commr. Stewart asked Mr. Smith to explain any special circumstances that would apply in providing assistance a second time.
Mr. Smith explained that when someone purchases an existing house which passed inspection with a seven or eight year old roof and within three to five years the roof deteriorated to the point where leaks occur, unless the roof was repaired, their insurance company would cancel their insurance. If that homeowner is in the very low to low income level they might not have $5,000 or more to replace the roof and in that instance they would be eligible after five years to ask that their circumstances be reviewed by the review committee as noted by Commr. Cadwell and that committee would determine whether or not it was appropriate to assist them.
Commr. Renick remarked that when they help someone obtain a home it becomes a big improvement in their lives and perhaps at that time funds should be set aside in an escrow account for extended purposes. Her concern was that people who had not yet been assisted were waiting for funds while others were receiving help for a second time. She stated that she wanted to be sure as many people were helped as possible.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they wanted to have the latitude to assist if special circumstances arose.
Mr. Smith stated that at the present time the current LHAP restricts their ability to provide that second assistance and that this was a newly recommended strategy.
Commr. Cadwell suggested they provide some direction by way of a motion to change the language in regard to recapture.
Commr. Renick moved to rewrite the recapture provisions in the Plan and Commr. Stewart seconded the motion.
Under discussion, Mr. Smith stated that they could include whatever strategy the Board suggests and have it submitted or brought back to the Board for review.
Commr. Conner requested clarification on the recapture issue.
Commr. Renick asked if members of the Board were bothered by the 5 and 10 year recapture limits, noting that the motion was for recapture but did not specify the recapture limits.
Commr. Cadwell stated that if they wanted to recapture forever they would need to provide language to accomplish that.
Commr. Stewart remarked that she did not want to recapture forever, but rather extend the limit to a definite time.
Commr. Renick asked if she wanted to make sure that they do recapture and have to continue to pay.
Commr. Stewart replied that was correct.
Commr. Hill wanted to clarify that they were asking for the liens to be continued and placed on the house indefinitely until full payment.
Commr. Cadwell replied that was correct.
Mr. Smith commented that there was a five year lien on home repair and asked if the Board would like to extend that explaining that at some point the owner would either move or pass away. He commented that according to their guidelines if a family member moves into the home and is eligible for the program, the payback is not required; however, it would have to be repaid if the family member was not eligible based on his income. He stated that the lien could be extended for the period of time suggested by the Board and it would then become a monitoring issue by maintaining those files and periodically checking to see if the home had been sold or if anything had gone wrong.
Commr. Renick suggested changing the language in the recapture clause by removing “prior to the tenth (10th) year anniversary of the execution of the mortgage.”
Commr. Cadwell stated that the motion changes the language to be: “Recapture of the total sum of the awarded funding assistance originating from the SHIP program will be immediately due and payable in full, without notice, if the following conditions occur . . . .” He questioned whether this would include the repair program as well.
Commr. Renick stated that they would be taking out “five (5)” years with regard to the repair program.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that they would have to monitor those forever.
Mr. Smith stated that the recapture limits were 5 years for rehab; 10 years for purchase; and 30 years for home replacement. He questioned whether they would want to eliminate the 30 year limit for replacement as well. He mentioned that it would be necessary to maintain the files and verify information with the Property Appraiser and the Tax Collector to be sure it continued to be homestead property. He stated that if a lien was on the property and it had been sold or refinanced, the lender was legally bound to notify them about the second mortgage.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the answer needed by Mr. Smith was whether they want the same type of language in all categories where any recapture or forgiveness language appears.
Mr. Smith noted that the only exception to this is the rental strategy through the bridge loan where there is a 15 year limit that the developer has to make those units available for eligible tenants.
Commr. Renick stated that the language to be changed throughout the document would be found under Funding Strategies: (A) Home Purchase Assistance Strategy; (B) Home Rehabilitation; and (C) Demolition and Replacement Strategy.
Mr. Smith stated that they would ensure that the homeowner was fully aware of the language when entering into the second mortgage with them and to monitor those at least on an annual basis for any other changes.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion and second to rewrite the recapture provisions in the Plan to read: “Recapture of the total sum of the awarded funding assistance originating from the SHIP program will be immediately due and payable in full, without notice, if . . .” subject to the conditions outlined in Item 5. - Terms, Recapture and Default. It was noted that this language would be reflected in the Home Purchase Assistance Strategy; Home Rehabilitation and Demolition; and Replacement Strategy programs.
The motion carried 4-1.
Commr. Cadwell voted “no.”
Mr. Smith referred to Bridge Loans for Housing Development beginning and stated that the bridge loan strategy was to give the developer incentive to provide multifamily developments for rental. He stated that the language was taken directly from Florida Statutes which requires the loans to be forgiven after 15 years, but does not address extending that time.
Commr. Cadwell asked if there was a motion regarding the insurance issue on mitigation.
Commr. Conner opined that they should not provide assistance to those homes covered by insurance.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the insurance coverage is often inadequate and if the house is damaged during a disaster and cannot be repaired due to the lack of the necessary insurance, the County would assist those people. He commented that is where disaster mitigation comes into play.
Commr. Renick opined that it would be a disincentive for the insurance company if the County was going to pay and thought it was letting them off the hook. She questioned if there was any way to help people get adequate insurance.
Commr. Conner agreed with Commr. Renick and thought that in some situations it would be inappropriate to provide first dollars to those having insurance and should be provided at the point of last resort not first. He commented that with so many people needing assistance the last people to be helped should be the people with insurance.
Ms. Cindy Hall, County Manager, noted that under Disaster Mitigation and Recovery Assistance it says assistance will be provided only for those repairs not covered by insurance. She remarked that she understood that although this language was not originally included, that changes had been made.
Mr. Smith explained that this language applied to the mitigation portion. He went on to say that the department changes reflect the fact that if they have insurance their insurance company would cover whatever is included in their policy, and then the SHIP dollars would be available to make the repairs needed over and above that.
Commr. Stewart stated that there were certain areas in the County where people can only afford the bare minimum insurance, if that. She stated that she agrees that the County should assist with whatever the insurance does not cover, but thought they need to go to their insurance company first.
Commr. Renick stated that she would let the insurance issue go and brought up the discrepancy between existing homes and new construction.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved an equal assistance award for new construction and existing homes.
Commr. Cadwell - voted “no.”
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that the Minutes should reflect the amount the assistance should be for both.
Mr. Smith responded that the amount of assistance for new construction and existing homes for very low income households would be $17,500; for low income households $15,000; and for moderate income households $5,000.
Commr. Cadwell asked for a motion to approve the Plan as amended today.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved the 2009-2012 Local Housing Assistance Plan as amended at this meeting.
Commr. Cadwell voted “no.”
REZONING regular AGENDA
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Director of Planning and Community Design, reported that they received a request from the Applicant regarding Tabs 3 and 4 for a continuance of sixty (60) days on Rezoning Case Nos. PH #56-08-2 and PH #57-08-2. He commented that all other items remain on the Consent Agenda.
The Chairman opened the public hearing on the Regular Agenda for case numbers PH# 56-08-02 and PH #57-08-2. The Applicant was represented and no one was opposed to the postponement.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Renick stated that she would be unable to attend the meeting if continued for sixty (60) days and asked the Applicant, Mr. Alan R. Oyler, P.E., Director of Public Works for the City of Orlando, if there would be a problem postponing the meeting further out.
Mr. Oyler responded that they had no objection to postponing these cases for ninety (90) days.
Commr. Renick expressed her appreciation for the extension.
Commr. Renick made a motion, seconded by Commr. Stewart to postpone the Rezoning Regular Agenda, Tabs 3 and 4, for ninety (90) days, as follows:
Walter Conserv II (RIB Site #10) / Orange County & City of Orlando
Douglas Pickell, P.E., PB Americas, Inc.
Rezoning Case No. PH #56-08-2
Request approval to rezone approximately 175.61 acres from Agriculture (A) to Community Facility District (CFD) to accommodate construction of rapid infiltration basins for the Orange County/City of Orlando Water Conserv II project.
Orange County & City of Orlando
Douglas Pickell, P.E. PB Americas, Inc.
Rezoning Case No. PH #57-08-2
CUP #859-3 to accommodate expansion of Rapid Infiltration Basin (RIBs) for Orange County/City of Orlando Conserv. II.
Under discussion, Commr. Cadwell noted that in the Planning and Zoning minutes it appeared that staff was working with Orange County to make this beneficial for everyone and hoped that the Zoning Board would to continue their efforts with Orange County.
The Chairman called for a vote on the motion and second which carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
REZONING CONSENT AGENDA
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 and 2.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Hill referred to Tab 2 stating that it seemed they received a variance from the Board of Adjustment (BOA) to a little higher density, but under the point system it appears to be an R-1 and asked if there was sufficient data to go forward with rezoning to the higher density or remain R-1. She stated that she was inquiring because it was along the shoreline and they had been protective of the shoreline by keeping those at a 1-1.
Mr. Sheahan stated that the BOA did not give them a variance to density, they simply gave them a variance to a chart in the Land Development Regulations (LDRs). He explained that based on his staff’s analysis the density they were requesting was consistent with the density in the surrounding community.
Commr. Hill stated that when these have come to the Board later they have seen the error of their ways from not putting higher densities on shorelines and wanted to know if they should be consistent in patterning those now to have a little lower density around shorelines.
The Chairman pulled Tab 2 from the Consent Agenda and returned to Tab 1, rezoning case number PH #01-09-3.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Tab 1 of the Rezoning Consent Agenda, as follows:
Tab 1 – Ordinance No. 2009-23
Minneola Oaks Development
Richard H. Langley
Rezoning Case No. PH #01-09-3
Request approval to rezone the property from R-1 to MP for the purpose of providing continuity between surrounding properties.
The Chairman returned to Tab 2, PH #58-08-5 and reopened the public hearing.
Ms. Karen Block, presented Rezoning Case PH #58-08-5, with Steven F. Bruce and Vickie L. Sweigart-Bruce as the Applicants and owners. She stated that the Applicants were requesting a zoning change from Mobile Home Rental Park District (RMRP) to Estate Residential (R-2) for single family residential development. She presented a summary of their analysis and explained that based on these findings staff recommended approval of the request to rezone to the R-2 zoning district.
The Chairman asked if the Applicant or the Applicant’s representative were present. It was noted that the Applicant was present.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing and reserved the right of the Applicant to address any questions.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Tab 2 of the Rezoning Consent Agenda as follows:
Tab 2 - Ordinance No. 2009-24
Steven F. Bruce & Vickie L. Sweigart-Bruce
Rezoning Case No. PH #58-08-5
Request approval to rezone 1.21 acres from Mobile Home Rental Park District (RMRP) to Estate Residential (R-2).
BOARD AGENDA (CONTINUED)
comprehensive plan and map amendments
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that Tab 13 was the official action for an Ordinance adoption and if approved it would be Ordinance No. 2009-22.
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, AMENDING THE LAKE COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN; PROVIDING FOR TEXT AND AMENDMENTS TO THE FUTURE LAND USE MAP RELATED TO THE WEKIVA RIVER PROTECTION AREA (WRPA) AND THE WEKIVA STUDY AREA (WSA); AMENDING FUTURE LAND USE ELEMENT POLICY 1-1.6 FUNCTION OF FUTURE LAND USE CATEGORIES TO CREATE NEW FUTURE LAND USE CATEGORIES; CREATING POLICY 1-1.13A ENTITLED OPEN SPACE WITHIN RURAL CONSERVATION SUBDIVISIONS; AMENDING GOAL 2, REGARDING THE WRPA; AMENDING OBJECTIVE 1-20; RELATING TO THE DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE WRPA AND WSA; AMENDING DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR AMENDMENTS TO THE POLICIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE WRPA; PROVIDING FOR LOCATIONAL CRITERIA FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES WITHIN THE WRPA; PROVIDING FOR SILVICULTURE EXEMPTIONS IN THE WRPA; DELETING THE DEFINITION OF THE MOUNT PLYMOUTH SORRENTO URBAN COMPACT NODE; DELETING OBJECTION 1-21, OBJECTIVE 1-22, OBJECTIVE 1-23, OBJECTIVE 1-24, AND OBJECTIVE 1-25; AND INCORPORATING THOSE POLICIES UNDER OBJECTION 1-20; PROVIDING FOR A WILD AND SCENIC RIVER PRESERVATION POLICY; CREATING OBJECTION 1-22 REGARDING THE WSA AND CREATING ASSOCIATED POLICIES; PROVIDING FOR OPEN SPACE IN THE WSA; PROVIDING FOR DEDICATION OF OPEN SPACE; PROVIDING FOR DEVELOPMENT DESIGN STANDARDS IN THE WSA; PROVIDING FOR PROTECTION, IDENTIFICATION AND SETBACKS FROM KARST FEATURES; PROVIDING FOR DEVELOPMENT BEST MANAGEMENT POLICIES FOR GROUNDWATER PROTECTION; AMENDING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTIVE 7.2; PROVIDING POLICIES FOR GROUNDWATER RECHARGE, LANDSCAPING AT COUNTY FACILITIES, AND FOR PROTECTING SINKHOLES AND KARST FEATURES; AMENDING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTION 7-3; PROVIDING POLICIES FOR PROTECTION OF WATER AND WATERSHEDS, AND TO MAP OUTSTANDING FLORIDA WATERS; CREATING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTION 7-4A; PROVIDING POLICIES FOR IDENTIFICATION, ACQUISITION, PROTECTION AND RESTORATION OF SPRINGSHEDS; PROVIDING POLICIES FOR GOLF COURSE DEVELOPMENT; PROVIDING FOR AN EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR LANDSCAPE AND LAWN CARE PROFESSIONALS; AMENDING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTION 7-5; ADDING POLICY ON PROTECTION OF WETLANDS; CREATING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTIVE 7-5B, REGARDING AREAS OF ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE; AMENDING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTION 7-6; REQUIRING ALL DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS EXCEEDING 40 ACRES TO INVENTORY NATURAL UPLAND AREAS; PROVIDING POLICIES FOR PROTECTION, ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT OF SENSITIVE NATURAL HABITAT; AMENDING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTIVE 7-7; PROVIDING FOR PROTECTION OF VEGETATIVE COMMUNITIES AND WILDLIFE PROTECTION; REQUIRING SURVEYS AND ON-SITE PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE WITHIN ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS; AMENDING CONSERVATION ELEMENT, OBJECTIVE 7-17; PROVIDING POLICIES FOR NATURAL AREA NETWORKS AND SPECIAL PROTECTION AREAS; CREATING OBJECTIVE 6A-5 REGARDING WASTE WATER TREATMENT IN THE WSA AND ASSOCIATED POLICIES; PROVIDING FOR TREATMENT OF WASTEWATER DISCHARGE AND COORDINATION WITH WASTEWATER PROVIDERS; PROVIDING FOR ONSITE TREATMENT; PROVIDING FOR REPLACEMENT OF SEPTIC SYSTEMS IN THE WSA; PROVIDING FOR ONSITE DISPOSAL MANAGEMENT ENTITY; REPEALING AND REPLACING CHAPTER VI, PUBLIC FACILITIES ELEMENT, STORMWATER SUB-ELEMENT, REGARDING PROTECTION OF SURFACE AND GROUNDWATER; PROVIDING FOR A MASTER STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE WSA; PROVIDING FOR STORMWATER MANAGEMENT WITHIN SPRINGSHEDS; PROVIDING FOR BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS; OBJECTIVE 7-6; REQUIRING ALL DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS EXCEEDING 40 ACRES TO INVENTORY NATURAL UPLAND AREAS; AMENDING CHAPTER X, CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS ELEMENT TABLE X-C STORMWATER REGARDING FIVE YEAR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS SCHEDULE FOR STORMWATER; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Director of Planning and Community Design, stated that the Board reviewed this Amendment several times and this Ordinance is required by the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act (WPA) and was signed into law by Governor Jeb Bush. He commented that the Ordinance had received an enormous amount of input from all facets of the community. He reported that the Local Planning Agency (LPA) had worked on it for a number of days and several staff members had put incredible effort into the Ordinance including Mr. Walter Wood, Senior Hydrogeologist, Environmental Utilities, and Ms. Mary Hamilton, Stormwater Project Manager, Public Works. He remarked that this was the final adoption of the Ordinance and that it addresses the objections, recommendations and comments provided by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) including those additional comments raised in December and January. He explained that major components of the Amendment include protection of open space, ground water and other water resources, and protection of environmental resources while balancing private property rights. He commented that the Amendment provides changes to the Future Land Use Map as requested by DCA, but retains the current categories in the Wekiva River Protection Area. He stated that the Amendment seeks to preserve property rights while meeting the requirements of the Act. He explained that the changes in the Future Land Use Map had been proposed, but need clarification either granting or denying any property rights or entitlements on the property. He commented that in many cases, particularly with the new category entitled Rural Transition, additional density was assigned to the property with most of that area currently assigned a 1-5 density. He remarked that the Rural Transition category allows a density of 1-1 providing that 50 percent open space is provided. He reported that one of the major premises of the Amendment is common open space which is central to the development of the Ordinance. He explained that this approach is recognized by the DCA as being the most effective means of protecting large tracts for recharge environmental protection, and preservation of area for residents. He mentioned that Policy 6A-5.2 regarding wastewater basically states that they will coordinate with the appropriate agency to ensure that proper wastewater treatment is provided. He commented that it does not require that the County implement that particular program, but puts the emphasis on the appropriate State agency. He explained that staff requests two minor changes to Policy 6A-5.6, one which strikes the words on line 9 “or requires repair” and on line 15 of the same policy, clarifying that any pump-out program or maintenance program be funded by the State with language added that notes: “as State funding becomes available.” He stated that they had received letters of support for this Ordinance from various agencies and there are several people in the audience who would like to address the Board on this matter.
Commr. Cadwell questioned whether once approved would it be in the new Comprehensive Plan when it comes before the Board.
Mr. Sheahan stated that most of the changes reflected in this Ordinance should be carried over to the proposed Comprehensive Plan, and if there were any additional concerns the Board would have the opportunity to address them with those Amendments.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Jean Etter of Mt. Plymouth addressed the Board stating that ordinarily she would be happy with the Ordinance and acknowledged the tremendous amount of work putting it together. She expressed her concerns which were based on current events in Tallahassee. She explained that she had written to the Board regarding Senate Bill 274, her concern with the rules and the fact that they apply to the Mt. Plymouth/Sorrento area. She commented that most people cannot afford the new system and expressed concern about the limitations of the State’s grant system. She remarked that she wanted to be sure the language in the Ordinance would be strong enough that the County’s rules could supersede the State rules if possible. She was also concerned about this being a detriment to someone selling a home.
Commr. Cadwell opined that if the State required replacement of a perfectly good system, the State should pay for it.
Mr. Jon Pospisil, a Lake County property owner, stated that the Ordinance before the Board is the product of many hours of labor by the LPA staff and was worthy of the Board’s support. He opined that the Board’s action will set an important precedent for the proposed new Comprehensive Plan which has the same problem as well, which is that it requires that in every situation all open space in any subdivision generally be deeded to a Home Owners Association (HOA) and held as a common area, including large lots developed at a density of 1-3 with 35 percent open space. He believed that typically in a low density large lot subdivision, HOA-owned common open space provides little or no incremental benefit over other approaches while imposing high cost on both the land owner and developer in the County and makes achieving or maintaining a rural lifestyle more expensive. He commented that people on small lots or open densities not only derive more aesthetic benefits from a lot that views an attractive open space, but also enjoy reduced clustered noise from neighbors and some small measure of additional privacy. However, those that purchase a larger lot have already reduced noise from neighbors and some additional privacy in looking at more greenery between their house and the next. He also thought people would pay as much for a two-acre lot with proportionate open spaces as they would for a three acre tract which they could use as they wish. He opined that the County would lose in two ways; first, by imposing costs to the private sector with little or no corresponding benefit which makes Lake County a less business friendly jurisdiction. Secondly, it would reduce the real estate tax base. He also pointed out that much of the County’s rural life is centered around equestrian interests and activities, and pushing a portion of the market to two-acre tracts which are generally regarded as too small to keep horses would be taking incentive away for people who want a rural bedroom community. Further, he opined that they should acknowledge the difference between parcels that actually have especially environmentally sensitive uplands and those that do not. He also stated that the modifications he suggested would bring about superior results for land owners, County government, rural residents and all stakeholders who appreciate the value and special place of the Wekiva in Central Florida.
Mr. Keith Schue, a resident of Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento, spoke on behalf of the Nature Conservancy with respect to revisions made to the proposed Comprehensive Plan policies for the Wekiva and in response to the Work Report from the DCA. He noted that County staff has worked diligently to work through the issues with DCA and that he was very comfortable with the proposal before the Board. He stated that open space should be dedicated as a common tract protected by an easement or similar legally binding instrument held by a Homeowners Association. In that way, he stated that the County would not have to try to police hundreds of residential individual lots, but only one entity which is the HOA. He commented that the HOA is coupled with a management plan relating to the protection of the onsite natural features within those common areas. He thought it was very important that common open space truly is common and that to do it any other way would create an unenforceable scenario. He also stated that in order to ensure a conservation design, every effort should be made to connect open space areas by clustering units closer together providing larger contiguous tracts of common area. He commented that he was very supportive of the policies before the Board and hoped they would adopt them as presented.
The Chairman closed the public hearing.
Under discussion Commr. Cadwell stated that he had met and discussed this with Mr. Pospisil and it gets down to more of a philosophical difference in how they think they should conserve the land. He stated that he was not at a comfort level regarding changing any of the language because he was concerned about monitoring and enforcement of it by Code Enforcement. He pointed out that they would be addressing this issue again with the regular Comprehensive Plan.
Commr. Hill asked if accepting this into their Comprehensive Plan would hold Lake County under any monetary obligation to compensate property owners for anything that was entitled in there.
Mr. Sheahan responded that there was always a chance of property rights claims, but the Plan itself is a policy document. He noted that the real test comes with the implementation of Land Development Regulations (LDRs), and whether someone has moved forward in insuring their entitlements through some kind of development order that must be considered and that would be paramount to a claim for vesting. He explained that this Amendment, as well as their current Comprehensive Plan and LDRs, provides for a vested rights process which provides an opportunity for them to make a claim of being vested from the provisions of this Plan. He assured the Board that the County has taken the position that they would do their best to ensure that they were compensated for State mandates, and that the appropriate responsibility was there such as the change today requested by staff to ensure that State funding is available if we do this maintenance program which was one of the requirements of DCA.
Commr. Cadwell commented that have covered it all fairly well and it was a good document.
On a motion by Commr. Stewart, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2009-22, Amendment to Lake County Comprehensive Plan with two changes in Policy 6A-5.6, (1) by striking the words “or requires repair” on line 9; and (2) on line 15 of the same policy, clarifying that any pump-out program or maintenance program be funded by the State by adding the language “as State funding becomes available.”
REPORTS – county manager
BUDGET REDUCTIONS AND WORKFORCE PLANNING
Commr. Hall stated that the first step toward moving forward with some permanent and sustainable reductions in the budget would be:
1. To discontinue 1% of employee salaries currently contributed on an annual basis into a Post Employment Health Plan (PEHP). She explained that this would result in a savings of approximately $270,000 annually. She stated that all current employee accounts would remain intact and without change;
2. A proposed Early Out Program. She stated that the program had been structured so that employees with 15 years of continuous service with Lake County would be eligible to select voluntary termination which would give them a severance package of 12 weeks and health coverage for 12 months; and
3. A proposed reduction in future sick leave pay-out primarily for future employees although as of July 1 the percentage of pay-out would be frozen for all current employees. So, once again, no employee would have any reduction to how they currently are through their current pay-out, but in the future it would not increase.
Ms. Hall stated that she would address any questions the Board had and requested approval to move forward with these reductions in the budget.
A full discussion ensued regarding each of the three reduction methods. Ms. Hall explained that discontinuing the 1% of employee salaries currently contributed to PEHP was an additional benefit provided to employees put into that Plan for their use once they separate from the County. She clarified that it was not the Nationwide Retirement Policy or the Deferred Compensation Plan. She stated that the County would pay health insurance for those who participate in the Early Out Program by covering their COBRA payment for twelve months, noting that they would no longer be considered employees.
Commr. Conner expressed his concern that the COBRA payment was twice the amount of their regular payment.
Ms. Sharon Wall, Employee Services Director, stated that the County would carry the employee’s health care which would give them incentive to take the early out. She commented that the County’s insurance is self-funded and does not pay a premium per se.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that when the County provides this insurance there is no COBRA premium due to the fact that they are self-insured fund and that the County pays for a Third Party Administrator, reinsurance costs, and claims costs. He commented that when an employee takes COBRA the actual rate is higher because other charges were allowed for providing the insurance. Therefore, the County would not be paying the COBRA rate; they would just be providing the insurance as if they were still employees. He stated that the cost would be exactly the same if those taking the early out had stayed employed, but they would no longer be employees. He remarked that the reinsurer must approve it, but the County is required by law to cover all retiring employees, for example, which is currently covered in the County’s reinsurance program.
Commr. Renick moved to approve the budget reductions and Commr. Hill seconded the motion.
Under discussion Commr. Conner commented that he had some suggestions and ideas that he would like to present to the Board and asked if he should direct those in writing to the County Manager.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that he put his ideas in writing with a copy to the Board which would provide an opportunity to review them before the budget discussions on May 12.
The Chairman stated that there was a motion and a second to approve the County Manager’s budget reduction plan and asked for a vote. The motion carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
REPORTS - COUNTY MANAGER
Ms. Hall informed the Board that there would be a Budget Workshop held on May 12.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – VICE CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 1
PROCLAMATION FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Commr. Hill stated that the Sheriff has always graciously included the Board of County Commissioners in his Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Ceremony and that the Board participates by reading into the record an official Proclamation to those officers who gave their lives for the citizens of Lake County. She requested that a Proclamation be presented at the Ceremony to be held May 7, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2009-58 for Lake County Law Enforcement Officers who have given their lives for the citizens of Lake County.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CONNER – DISTRICT 3
MEETING WITH CONGRESSMAN ALAN GRAYSON
Commr. Conner commented that as briefly alluded to by Mr. Fletcher Smith, Community Services Director, they met with Congressman Grayson on Saturday. He reported that he and Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (LSMPO) had also met with Congressman Grayson regarding transportation issues.
LAKE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Commr. Conner reported that as County Liaison to The Lake County Historical Society he attended their Annual Awards Ceremony on Friday and the recipients of awards were very deserving. He commented that he was very impressed with the work of the Historical Society and after learning that their funding was removed last year, he would commented that he would be requesting some conservative financial support for the Historical Society during the budget sessions.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER STEWART – DISTRICT 4
DONATION TO ANIMAL CONTROL SHELTER
Commr. Stewart reported that Ms. Allie Wilcox, a student at Mt. Dora High School, had her fifteenth birthday party recently and in lieu of gifts she requested everyone bring a donation for the Lake County Animal Control Shelter. She stated that as a result she collected $200 which she personally delivered to the Shelter.
AMENDMENT TO SENATE BILL 582
Commr. Stewart stated that Senator Carey Baker had attached an Amendment to the Transportation Bill known as Senate Bill 582. She commented that the Amendment in part reads: “neither the construction of a new toll facility nor the imposition of a toll on an existing state highway system facility may eliminate a non-tolled alternative within the corridor serving similar origins and destinations.” She explained that although this Amendment sounds very reasonable for most areas, it could not be applied to the Wekiva Basin and would basically destroy the intent of the 2004 Wekiva Parkway Protection Act as well as the intent of the Wekiva policies recently passed by the County. She expressed her deep concern about this issue and suggested sending a letter, which she had prepared, to Senator Baker advising him of the Board’s thoughts and asking him to reconsider the Amendment until next year so that he could investigate the ramifications of the Amendment. She noted that time was of the essence as they only had two more days before the Amendment would be passed. As she did not have a copy of her proposed letter for each Board member she read it aloud for their benefit in making a decision to send the letter.
A full discussion ensued regarding the concerns of the Board whereby this Amendment would jeopardize completion of the Wekiva Parkway project; the enforcement of tolls; and the contents of the language of a letter to be sent to Senator Baker.
Commr. Cadwell asked permission to write the letter as Chairman of the Board to express their concerns.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board agreed to have the Chairman compose a letter immediately to Senator Baker regarding the proposed Amendment to Senate Bill 582 expressing the Board’s deep concerns therein.
florida springS protection act
Commr. Stewart expressed her concerned about the Spring Protection Act and wanted to make sure everyone was aware of its contents. She did not request any action by the Board at this time.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER CADWELL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
EDWARD BYRNE MEMORIAL JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANT
Commr. Cadwell stated that he had received a letter form FDLE regarding funding given to Lake County for the Byrne Grant under the American recovery and Reinvestment Act in the amount of $750,000. He explained that a local Advisory Board made up of the Sheriff and the local Police Departments would decide allocation of the funds between the cities and the Sheriff’s department. He noted that this matter was time sensitive and therefore needed action today.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved permission to participate in the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.
The Chairman announced that after the adjournment they would go into a Closed Session regarding union negotiations.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:20 a.m.
WELTON G. CADWELL, CHAIRMAN
NEIL KELLY, CLERK