A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 2, 2010
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 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; Elaine Renick, Vice Chairman; Jennifer Hill; Jimmy Conner; and Linda Stewart. Others present were: Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, Interim County Manager; Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and DeAnna Diggs, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Reverend Don Thompson from the Golden Triangle Center for Spiritual Living gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Cadwell stated that the discussion of the proposed budget plan from Library Services would be postponed indefinitely because the Board wished to address Library Services with other budget issues.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.
Florida Public Service Commission Bulletin
Request to acknowledge receipt of Florida Public Service Commission Bulletin – Application for increase in water and wastewater rates in Lake County by Utilities Inc. of Pennbrooke. Docket No. 090392-WS
The Customer Meeting will be held Wednesday, February 24, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. at the Grand Hall at Pennbrooke Fairways, 33825 Pennbrooke Parkway, Leesburg, FL 34748.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Alternative Public Meeting Notice regarding the CR 470 PD&E Study from I-75 to Lake-Sumter County line for Thursday, February 25, 2010, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Panasoffkee Recreation Park, 1582 CR 459, Lake Panasoffkee, Florida 33538, along with a map of the meeting location.
Semiannual Investment Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of Semiannual Investment Report for December 31, 2009, in accordance with the County’s Investment Ordinance; an investment report is prepared semiannually at June 30 and December 31. The attached report was previously distributed to the Board.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Interim County Manager, noted that the meeting was being broadcast live on the internet so individuals who live out of the County can view the meeting. He added that the County was tracking the amount of viewers and monitoring the system to assure it was functioning properly.
Ms. Melanie Marsh, Acting County Attorney, requested that an item be added to the County Attorney’s business for a closed session.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the addition to the Agenda.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
Mr. Minkoff pulled Tabs 4 and 11 stating that Tab 4 was no longer necessary, and Tab 11 was given an extension.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Renick and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 12, pulling Tabs 3, 4, and 11 as follows:
Request for (1) approval for the Department of Community Services to submit a direct application for Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Phase 28 funding as a Local Recipient Organization if directed by action of the local Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Board. (2) Authorize the Department of Community Services to manage the program and prepare required plans, reports and other related documents as directed by the local FEMA Board and/or as required by FEMA. (3) Appoint Allison Thall or an alternate designated by her to serve as Lake County Government’s representative on the local FEMA Board. (4) Appoint Jerry Smith or an alternate designated by the Public Safety Director as the representative from Public Safety to serve on the local FEMA Board.
Request for approval to amend Amendment #2 reducing the Arthropod Control FY 09/10 Certified Local Budge revenue in the amount of $313.50 due to a decrease in revenue from the sale of surplus equipment and a corresponding decrease in chemical expenses.
Request for approval of the extension of Contract RSQ 07-0113 between Lake County and Shaw Environmental, Inc. for a period of nine (9) months, from April 1, 2010 thru December 31, 2010 for the purpose of completing the final two (2) tasks required by the contract at no additional cost to the County.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval of Option #3 to change the design for the computer rooms for the 320 Building to utilize the Central Energy Plant through a chiller system with the dual conventional refrigerant system serving as a backup to provide environmental controls to the computer rooms for the 320 Building.
Request for approval of an award in the amount of $74,954.00 to Great Southern Construction Equipment, Inc. for the purchase of a 30,000 pound double drum vibratory asphalt compactor in conjunction with the County needs.
Request for approval and execution of an Access Easement Agreement with Progress Energy, Florida, Inc. for an easement to construct intersection improvements at CR 44/Forest Drive Intersection.
Request for approval and execution of a Right of Way Reimbursement Agreement with Cutrale Citrus Juices, USA, Inc. and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing in conjunction with the CR 44A/Shady Acres Road Intersection Project.
Request for approval and execution of a County Deed and Resolution No. 2010-16 to the Florida Department of Transportation for Lake County’s interest in Lemon Street (#7405), at the intersection with SR 500 (US 27/441) in conjunction with the FDOT SR 25 & 500 widening project, in the Lake Area.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Renick, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 13 through 14 as follows:
Request for approval of demolition of county-owned building commonly referred to as the Mt. Plymouth Fire Station Community Building located at 25421 Colmar Avenue, Sorrento and transfer of property to the Department of Public Safety.
Request for approval of the termination of Lease Agreement between Lake County and OFB Commercial Properties for Guardian Ad Litem office space.
Ms. Susan Irby, Employee Services, presented the following employee awards, commenting briefly about each employee’s service to the County.
Shelly Coates, OnBase Administrator/Business Analyst
Information Technology/Programming & Application Support
Wayne Gudzinskas, Library Assistant
Public Resources/Library Services/Cooper Memorial Library
Jeffrey Lord, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Thomas Mitchell, Jr., Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Harry Outen, Financial Specialist (not present)
Facilities Development & Management/Maintenance Division
William Cork, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Noah Hollis, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety, Fire Rescue
Truman McCall, Equipment Operator III
Public Works/Road Operations/Maintenance Area III (Umatilla)
Michael Quick, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue
Neal Sandy, Plans Examiner II
Growth Management/Building Services
Mr. Kristian Swenson, Facilities Development and Management Interim Director, stated that Mr. Dale King could not be present, but added that he would like to present the award on his behalf, and commented briefly about his service to the County.
Dale King, Energy Maintenance Technician (not present)
Facilities Development & Management/Maintenance Division/Energy Management
Ms. Allison Thall, Director of Community Services, presented the following employee award, commenting briefly about the employee’s service to the County.
Teresa Dunham, Program Specialist
Community Services/CDBG Division
Ms. Amye King, Director of Growth Management, presented the following award, commenting briefly about the employee’s service to the County.
Dale Greiner, Building Services Director
Growth Management/Building Services
board/committee certificate presentations
Commr. Cadwell presented the following awards, and expressed gratitude for the services provided by the following individuals:
Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
Paul Russell for service from 2007-2009 (not present)
Board of Building Examiners
Frank J. Kimmel for service from 2000-2009 (not present)
Children’s Services Council
Roy Hunter for service from 2002-2009
Library Advisory Board
Barbara Newman for service from 2002-2010 (not present)
Roy Hunter for service from 2003-2009
Wendy Wickwire for service from 2009-2010 (not present)
Local Planning Agency
John Childers for service from 2006-2010 (not present)
Timothy Morris for service from 2009-2010 (not present)
Rob Kelly for service from 2006-2010 (not present)
Michael Carey for service from 2004-2010
Peggy Belflower for service from 2006-2010 (not present)
Nadine Foley for service from 2004-2010
Ms. Terry Godts for service from 2008-2010 (not present)
Keith Schue for service from 2004-2010 (not present)
Vicki Zaneis for service from 2007-2010
ordinance no. 2010-10
Ms. Marsh stated that Tab 15 would be Ordinance No. 2010-10. She then placed the proposed Ordinance on the floor by title only, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING CHAPTER 22 OF THE LAKE COUNTY CODE ENTITLED IMPACT FEES, SECTION 22-37, ENTITLED IMPOSITION, TO PROVIDE FOR A SUSPENSION OF TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEE COLLECTION; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Ms. Marsh added that the effective date beginning on adoption and lasting for one year would be put in the final draft prior to signing.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Bob Funk, a resident of Mt. Dora, expressed his concern over the suspension of the impact fees. He opined that suspending impact fees would not achieve the goal of improving the tax base with a better commercial or business ratio. He stated that unemployment was a national problem, not a County problem, but noted that a local solution would prepare the County for inflation.
Ms. Leslie Campione, resident of Mt. Dora, commented that the impact of construction in Lake County has affected its ability to diversify the local economy, and added that the suspension of transportation impact fees would be a first step in changing the entire impact fee structure as it applies to commercial and industrial uses in Lake County. She related that the Economic Development Study emphasized that the local tax base was inefficient, and opined that it currently penalizes those businesses from coming to Lake County and expanding. She stated that she believed that the businesses that embarked on new construction projects before the suspension should still receive the waiver.
Mr. David Morse, owner of Loch Leven Landing, stated that he supported the suspension. He explained that he received a deferral, and added that it helped with the impact fees substantially. He asked that the deferment be transferred into the waiver for the year, relating that the savings could translate into incentives for new businesses.
Mr. Don Magruder, Chairman of Citizens for Better Government, stated that transportation impact fees are assessed on houses rather than automobiles because no one would buy the cars, and opined that for the same reason, prospective businesses are not developing in Lake County. He gave examples of some of the current impact fees for various businesses, and added that the goal was to create businesses and jobs. He commented that 90% of the jurisdictions in America pay no impact fees, and opined that for Lake County to stay competitive with the rest of the region, transportation impact fees must be suspended or the 12.7% unemployment rate would grow worse.
Ms. Jennifer Merritt, resident of Grand Island, expressed her support for the suspension of the transportation impact fees, and asked that the Board be considerate of the small business owners.
Mr. Casey Kesinger, resident of Montverde, commented that economic development is a major concern in Lake County, and added that the suspension of transportation impact fees should be a first step towards diversifying economic development.
Mr. Mike Baker, resident of Leesburg, stated that suspending the transportation impact fees may help to sustain more citizens’ jobs for a longer period of time.
Mr. Charles Ayres, resident of Mt. Dora, stated that he supported the transportation impact fee suspension, but opined that it would be wise to suspend them for a year, and this should be retroactive to January 1, 2010.
Ms. Patricia Sullivan, resident of Eustis and a member of the North Lake TEA Party, pointed out the North Lake TEA Party members, and stated that they would speak in favor of suspending the transportation impact fees for a year in an effort to help stimulate jobs and growth to the local economy.
Mr. Matthew Gowan, resident of Clermont, stated that suspending transportation impact fees would create jobs, and suggested that the deferment be retroactive to January 1, 2010. He related that the goal of impact fees should be to raise the amount of money needed to fund the legitimate functions of government, while doing the least amount of damage to the economy, and respecting the principle of treating taxpayers equally.
Mr. Vance Jochim, resident of Tavares, stated that he supported the suspension of the transportation impact fees, but suggested that staff perform objective monitoring of the process to determine the costs. He stated that the County should evaluate its existing accounts to locate the funds needed to offset this program.
Mr. Jimmy Crawford, attorney representing Schmidt Construction, described the history of Schmidt Construction and possible projects that may become definite if the transportation impact fees were suspended.
Mr. Jerry Suarez, resident of Eustis, stated that jobs are a national issue, not a local issue, and added that small businesses are the solution to that problem because they are impacted directly. He expressed his full support for the suspension of the transportation impact fees retroactive to January 1, 2010.
Mr. Andrew Knut, Vice President of the Lake County Home Builders Association, stated that businesses who are not able to build in Lake County have been able to build in surrounding counties, which means that residents are traveling outside the county to those jobs and that impacts the roads.
Mr. Tim Green, President of the Chamber Alliance of Lake County, stated that he represents 3,400 local businesses, with most being small businesses. He added that the suspension would help to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
Mr. Dan Robuck, resident of Leesburg, thanked the Board for considering the temporary suspension from transportation impact fees, and added that it would help the tax base and reduce the unemployment rate.
Mr. Greg Beliveau, resident of Okahumpa, suggested using incentives to bring jobs back to the County, and that the suspension is extended for a period beyond one year.
Commr. Cadwell responded that an extension had been previously suggested, explaining that the date could be extended at a later date if needed.
Mr. George Hansford, Lake County Home Builders Association, expressed his support for the suspension of the transportation impact fees, but stated that he did not support using the economic development incentive funds to pay for the impact fees. He related that the economic development funds should be used as an incentive for encouraging businesses to relocate to Lake County.
Ms. Linda Nagel, Executive Director of the Home Builders Association, encouraged the Board to move forward with the proposed ordinance.
Mr. John Brandeburg, resident of Lady Lake, asked the Board to not vote on the proposed ordinance in favor of commercial interest.
Mr. Joseph Rudderal, resident of Leesburg, stated that jobs are needed throughout the United States, and opined that Lake County should be aggressive with regards to economic development. He expressed the importance of staying competitive with neighboring counties, and opined that services should not be cut to expand the tax base, nor should taxes increase. He encouraged the Board to suspend the transportation impact fees.
Mr. Rick Vanwagner, pastor of the Family Christian Center, related that there has been an enormous increase in the amount of people needing help, and the church is feeding more people than they have the capacity to feed. He stated that he supported the suspension, and asked if non-profits would be considered.
Mr. Michael Rich, resident of Lady Lake, opined that the housing and commercial markets are unstable mainly due to the collapse of the funding market, and Central Florida had the largest decrease in sales since 1963. He stated that the average preowned home in Lake County currently sells for approximately $143,000, and unemployment is at an all-time high, and both the economy and industry are in trouble. He related that reports show that for every dollar spent on new commercial and housing construction, at least another eighty cents is spent in total economic activity, and each job created creates another 1.2 jobs. He pointed out that other sectors in the county could benefit from this suspension of transportation impact fees. He suggested that the impact fees be lowered or cancelled permanently.
Ms. Gail Boettiger, resident of Howey-in-the-Hills, stated that she represented nine close families and friends that owned small business, and they were all in favor of suspending the collection of transportation impact fees indefinitely. She related that she was a member of the TEA Party, and opined that people are taxed enough already.
Mr. Patrick Gionini, resident of Lake County, stated that he had personal knowledge of two well-known restaurant chains that would like to build in the area but will not consider Lake County because of the impact fees.
Commr. Stewart stated that in the last 3 ½ years, the current Commission has tried to help diversify the local economy and build local businesses. She stated that the Commission has only voted against a large commercial development that was too large for the rural area, where majority of the citizens did not support the development, and that was against the Comprehensive Plan. She challenged the public to find where the Board has been anti-business, and stated that Lake County’s impact fees are competitive with surrounding counties.
recess and reassembly
At 10:20 a.m, the Chairman announced that there would be a fifteen-minute recess.
ordinance no. 2010-10 continued
Mr. David Vongunten, resident of Lake County, stated that the First Baptist Church of Umatilla serves 1,000 free meals a week, and it cost the church $10,000 in impact fees to have the portable building to supply these meals. He stated that suspending the impact fees for one year will not produce the expected results, and encouraged the Board to review the overall planning in regards to impact fees.
Commr. Conner asked if the impact fees were imposed by the county.
Mr. Vongunten, stated that he could not answer that.
Mr. Richard Little, resident of Leesburg, thanked the Board for considering the suspension of the transportation impact fees for a year, and added that they needed to be suspended indefinitely.
Mr. John Pospisil, resident of Lake County, stated that impact fees are the fairest way for growth to pay for itself, and opined that it would be grossly unfair for general taxes to pay for the cost of development and growth. He expressed that waiving the transportation impact fees makes sense, but added that the appropriate matrix is not the calendar but some objective number such as the unemployment rate or the number of building permits issued.
Mr. Tom Hoffmeister, Lake County entrepreneur, described his plans for an assisted living facility to create more jobs if impact fees were waived.
The Chairman closed the public hearing and reserved comment to the Board.
Commr. Hill clarified that the Board is discussing a suspension of transportation impact fees, not a waiver, and the county is not required to offset the loss of funding under a suspension. She related that the suspension applies to commercial, residential, and non-profit organizations. She reported that the impact deferral agreement that was included in the ordinance states, should a suspension of impact fees be imposed prior to the date of the County Ordinance, the impact fees would be removed. She suggested honoring the 4 out of 7 deferrals. She pointed out that the County has an excellent system in place to track and trace the data, and noted that they coordinate with 14 different cities.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he is an advocate of impact fees, but noted that if this program is successful, then the County needs to evaluate having a percentage of that revenue being dedicated back to transportation to make up the difference by putting some additional funds back. He expressed that he supported the suspension of the transportation impact fees until December 31, 2010.
Commr. Hill noted that one of the recommendations from the task force was a variation of Commr. Cadwell’s suggestion.
Commr. Renick suggested lowering rather than eliminating the impact fees. She added that costs have decreased and fees could be reduced to give relief. She expressed her concerns over losing impact fees from the large corporations that would build regardless of the imposed impact fees. She opined that more problems will be created if the impact fees are eliminated altogether, and recommended that the impact fees be lowered.
Commr. Hill questioned whether Commr. Renick was asking to lower the level of service for the roads or to change the percentage of collection.
Commr. Renick replied that she was referring to lowering the percentage of collection, but noted that this is one of those “unintended consequences.” She expressed her concerns regarding concurrency, stating that if the necessary roads are not being constructed, then concurrency would not be met and the new businesses would be prohibited from building. She commented that she was not in favor of eliminating the transportation impact fees, but supported lowering the collection of the fees.
Commr. Stewart stated that she was not comfortable with eliminating the impact fees for large corporations, and she believed the intended goal was to help small businesses.
Commr. Renick noted that all options had not been explored.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that new commercial and industrial buildings could be tracked during budget deliberations, and a percentage of these funds could be dedicated to transportation. He noted that impact fee dollars are restricted in terms of what they can be used for, but noted that these would be general fund dollars that could be spent on any type of project.
Commr. Stewart stated that she supported Commr. Cadwell’s idea because commercial pays for itself, provides a tax base, and provides jobs.
Commr. Conner thanked the Commission for their consideration of this proposal, and opined that the issue was potential loss of government revenue versus the possibility of job creation. He referred to public comment regarding extending the suspension beyond December 31, 2010, but commented that the program could be reevaluated at that time. He suggested that the program be gradually diminished when the economy recovers if the Board wished to implement this program. He recommended suspending the transportation impact fees and lowering the fees when they were reinstated.
Commr. Renick questioned the possibility of setting certain criteria to be eligible to receive the suspension so that the large corporations would not receive the relief.
Ms. Marsh answered that if the requirements are not the same for all businesses, then impact fees would have to be offset with another funding source. She added that it might be possible to set a certain dollar amount that applies to all businesses.
Commr. Renick stated that would eliminate most of her concerns if a dollar amount were set for receiving the impact fee suspension, because money would still be accumulated in the fund.
Commr. Cadwell noted that this discussion arose due to the need for jobs, and stated that those large corporations will be creating jobs.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2010-10 amending Section 22-37 of Chapter 22, Lake County Code, regarding Transportation Impact Fee Imposition, suspending the impact fees for one year from the effective date.
Commr. Renick voted “no.”
REPORTS – COUNTY ATTORNEY
Ms. Marsh requested that the Board approve a closed session meeting on Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. to discuss funding litigation.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved a closed session for Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. to discuss funding litigation.
REPORTS – COUNTY MANAGER
tab 3 – FDOT service development grant
Commr. Renick questioned whether 100-percent of the FDOT Service Development Grant was paid previously.
Mr. Minkoff answered that it was a 50-percent match for the first and second year.
Commr. Renick expressed her concerns of not matching the $95,000.
Commr. Conner asked what the ridership projections for the first year were.
Ms. Thall replied that she did not have that information at this time.
On a motion by Commr. Renick, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved postponing Tab 3 until Thursday, March 4, 2010.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – DISTRICT 1
Commr. Hill asked if all Commissioners were scheduled to attend the summit on Thursday, March 19, 2010, with the Chamber of Kissimmee-Osceola.
Mr. Minkoff related that he anticipated that all Board members would be in attendance.
Commr. Hill reported that she attended the one year anniversary for the UCF Business Incubator, and added that the program has been very successful.
Commr. Cadwell requested that a presentation be scheduled to give the Board an update on this program.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER renick – vice chairman DISTRICT 2
Commr. Renick stated that she received a request from Southwest Florida Water Management asking for a letter of support to perform a hydrological study.
The Board directed staff to draft a letter of support for the hydrological study at Green Swamp.
reports – commissioner conner – district 3
Commr. Conner commended staff for their assistance in the live broadcasting of the meeting.
reports – commissioner stewart – district 4
Commr. Stewart requested that a presentation be scheduled for Angel Flight to inform the public of the benefits of their services.
Mr. Minkoff noted that he would contact Angel Flight to schedule the presentation.
Commr. Cadwell remarked that he would like to present them with a resolution after their presentation.
Commr. Stewart stated that she attended the Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet, and gave accolades to Ms. Lori Westphal, Rimes Elementary, who was awarded the Lake County Teacher of the Year Award, along with every teacher in the County. She also requested that public comment be available at the Joint Meeting with the City of Clermont scheduled on Monday, March 29, 2010.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER CADWELL – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 5
Commr. Cadwell expressed his appreciation for Commrs. Renick and Stewart’s participation in the Georgefest Parade as representation of the Board.
CITIZEN QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD
No one present wished to address the Board.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
welton g. cadwell, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK