august 10, 2010

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special workshop session on Tuesday, August 10, 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 Brenda Press, Deputy Clerk.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, Interim County Manager, reported that the County is going to begin uploading the digital audio recordings of the meetings onto the website to allow access for citizens that may not be able to view the video recordings, and explained that the audio recordings will be tabbed to match each Agenda item.  He commented that there are downsides to the audio recording such as the inability to determine who is speaking and the sensitivity of the microphones to pick up all additional conversations.  He stated that the IT Department has been working with the Clerk’s Office on this feature, and noted that it should be available on the website tomorrow.

public hearing

community development block grant Fiscal Year 2010-11 one year action plan

Ms. Dottie Keedy, Economic Development and Community Services Director, stated that this is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) One Year Action Plan Post-Publication Public Hearing which is the final opportunity for public comment on the community needs, program performance and proposed use of the funds, and noted that the plan has been available for public review for 30 days after the Board approved the budget 45 days ago.  She reported that the plan consists of nine parts including the SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance; sections on housing, homeless, non-homeless special needs, community development; and project details and certifications.  She outlined the projects included in the plan and their associated costs to comprise the total budget of $1,117,763.  She stated that staff will be reviewing all of the projects to ensure that they meet the HUD criteria.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

The Chairman closed the public hearing and reserved comment for the Board.

Commr. Hill confirmed that the priority list on Page 24 of the plan was not the priority of the Board.  She asked if the funds in the prescription plan could be used for the cost of inmate medication.

Ms. Keedy responded that she did not think the prescription plan funds could be used for inmate medication costs because it is for low income seniors.

Commr. Cadwell noted that the prescription assistance program runs out of money every year.

Commr. Hill commented that she calculated the costs for the prescription assistance program to be $38 per month per person.

Commr. Conner asked what activities were going to be accomplished with the $70,000 for the Southside Umatilla Water System.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the County has a tentative agreement with the City of Umatilla to take over the water system once the County brings it up to code.  He commented that staff has made arrangements to avoid impact fees, and explained that the $70,000 would pay for the engineering costs to design the upgraded system.  He reported that Mr. Fred Schneider, Public Works, is working with Booth, Ern, Straughan, and Hiott, Inc. (BESH) to obtain a firm estimate of approximately $1 million.  He stated that staff anticipates completing the design in the first year and then plans on looking for grants and possible future CDBG funding in future years to complete the construction.

Commr. Conner asked if the engineering and design is going to take a full year.

Mr. Minkoff opined that the permitting and design phase will take close to a year before the County will be ready to start construction.

Commr. Conner commented that the Board has a $1 million bill in the near future, and opined that it would be wiser to start utilizing the funds in the current year’s program toward that upcoming debt.  He asked how the County planned to fund this project.  He commended the Chairman for working with the City of Umatilla on this issue because originally the city did not want any part of the system.

Commr. Renick stated that she has the same concerns as Commr. Conner.  She reminded the Board that Ms. Keedy stated that staff was going to be evaluating the projects on the plan, and opined that some of the projects in the initial plan may not meet the HUD requirements of servicing low to moderate income residents.  She commented that if there are any projects that do not qualify and the plan has to be amended, then the money should be allocated for the Umatilla water system.

Commr. Cadwell reported that the County has been working with the lobbyists in DC who think there will be monies available for this project, and stated that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has committed to help the County with this system.  He opined that the County is going to be able to obtain grants and funds outside of the County’s money to complete this project.  He agreed that if there are projects that do not qualify, then the money should be set aside for the Umatilla water system.

Commr. Conner commented that hopefully the County would be able to recognize a cost savings due to the reduction in the price of construction.

Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not anticipate any of the existing system to be salvageable and retrofitted for the new system.

Commr. Conner stated that he was unaware that some of the projects may not be HUD eligible, and commented that he did not think they would have been presented to the Board if they did not qualify.

Ms. Keedy responded that she is not certain that all of the projects would qualify, and clarified that staff will be scrutinizing the projects more than they were in the past.  She reported that the County has to adopt the plan and have it submitted to HUD by Friday, but noted that the County does have an opportunity to amend the plan at a later date.

Commr. Conner asked if there is a reasonable assumption that some of the projects are not going to be HUD eligible.

Commr. Renick stated that she did not think staff has reviewed the projects to verify that it services low to moderate income residents.

Mr. Minkoff explained that the cities have not completed all of the documentation to demonstrate eligibility for the projects they have submitted, and stated that all of the county projects are eligible.

Commr. Cadwell commented that the scrutiny of the CDBG funds on a federal level has gotten better because there is opposition to the funding, so HUD is being more careful with the projects they approve.

Commr. Conner asked which projects were the city projects that could possibly be ineligible.

Ms. Keedy responded that the city projects include the Tavares, Montverde and Astatula park improvements, Lady Lake road resurfacing, Minneola library improvements and the Howey-in-the-Hills water treatment plant upgrade.

Commr. Conner stated that he is trying to determine if there is going to be any extra money, and asked if there is a reason to believe that any of those projects will not meet the HUD criteria.

Ms. Keedy stated that she is not able to determine that at this time because the cities have not provided the documentation needed to verify eligibility.

Commr. Conner asked if the Board could agree that any monies that are currently allocated to the city projects would be reallocated to the Umatilla water system if they failed to meet the HUD criteria.

Commr. Cadwell stated that he did not have a problem with reallocating those funds to the Umatilla water system.

Ms. Keedy commented that staff would have to bring those changes back to the Board in an amended plan.

Commr. Cadwell asked if any cost savings on the projects would be brought back to the Board.

Ms. Keedy explained that the County is not just giving the cities an allocation, and stated that the cities have to prove the cost of the project, and then the County will issue payment for that amount.

On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Stewart and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board adopted the Fiscal Year 2010-11 Community Development Block Grant One Year Action Plan by Resolution No. 2010-92 and authorized the Chairman to sign the Application for Federal Assistance Form SF-424 and the required certifications.

constitutional officers’ budgets

Commr. Cadwell stated that the Board invited the constitutional officers to present and discuss their budgets with the Board.  He stated that the Board’s budget is mostly affected by the Supervisor of Elections, the Clerk of Courts and the Sheriff.  He reported that he spoke with Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections whose budget is already minimal, and Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court, who made reductions in his budget as requested by the Chairman.  He mentioned that the Sheriff had a previous speaking engagement this morning, and stated that the Board would reschedule a time for the Sheriff to present his budget to the Board at a later date if he was not able to attend today’s meeting.

Commr. Conner opined that the Board needs to have the presentation of the Sheriff’s budget.

e9-11 funding

Mr. Minkoff presented the Board with a handout which displays the funding from the County to the municipalities that have Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPS) for 2009/10 and 2010/11, and noted that the payments to the municipalities has significantly increased from last year.  He reported that the County benefited from an increase in funding because the Sheriff’s Office is the largest call taker and Lake-Sumter EMS is the second largest.  He stated that the second page of the handout contains details on the Moving Traffic Violation Fee that outlines the seven cities that do not receive the extra E9-11 funding.  He commented that he wanted to confirm the Board’s direction to fund the $76,518 for the seven cities that do not receive the additional E9-11 funding for this year only.

Commr. Conner confirmed that the Board was going to cover the cost for one year only, and asked if the Board could communicate that in writing to the municipalities so there would not be any confusion in the future.

There was a consensus of the Board that the County would fund the $76,518 for one year only and that staff would make the necessary budget adjustments and notify the municipalities of the Board’s decision.

information technology

Mr. Steve Earls, Information Technology Director, stated that the adopted budget for 2009/10 listed in the Recommended Budget on Page F-101 totals $3,368,016, which did not include the unexpected expense of moving the department from the historic courthouse to the DCF complex, and noted that this year the IT Department is only requesting $2,947,552, which is a decrease of $458,000.  He reported that a large portion of the decrease is made up of staff reductions, but commented that staff put a lot of effort into scrutinizing and lowering the department’s operating costs.  He stated that the department would like to reduce the recurring costs by moving into a county building and eliminate the lease at the DCF complex which would result in a $52,000 savings.  He explained that the department is researching low cost and free alternatives, and noted that the County started streaming the Board meetings live on the internet using a free website when other counties spend up to $3,000 a month to provide that service.  He reported that a few years ago the IT Department purchased the 2008 aerials for $250,000, and mentioned that this year the department obtained the 2009 aerials from the St. John’s River Management District and the Southwest Florida Water Management District for ten dollars.  He stated that staff is going to continue to apply technology to offset the personnel reductions in all County departments by automating processes and using remote maintenance.  He reported that the IT Department will continue to provide great customer service and transparency as it works towards IT governance, and stated that a year ago IT began implementing COBIT, the control objectives for IT.  He mentioned that the IT Department published the IT Services Catalog which is expected to help reduce costs by identifying the services that are provided by the department and will eliminate those services being outsourced by other departments.  He reported that another publication the IT Department published this year is the IT Project Portfolio which includes a project description, goals, progress, fiscal impacts and return on investment for all of the IT projects, and noted that these documents are available online.  He stated that the IT Department is doing case studies that include the issue, solution, return on investment and outline how technology is being applied, and explained a few ways that GIS technology is being used by the different County departments.  He encouraged the Board to review some of the case studies and schedule a meeting with the department to discuss possible ways to integrate technology in other areas.  He reported that IT implemented some software that virtualizes the servers and applications which eliminates the need for individual servers resulting in a reduction of hardware and the associated operating costs.  He stated that IT is working on server based applications rather than PC based applications which allows the IT department to provide the safest and most recent version of the software, and noted that this technology allows the County to use older equipment.  He mentioned that IT is using new backup and recovery models to save money while mitigating the risks and reducing downtime.  He stated that Information Outreach Division is enabling citizen self service where citizens can process their requests online instead of having to come into one of the county offices.  He opined that the Internet Applications Developer is a vital position which is not included in the budget, and noted that the position would be coming to the Board for approval next week.  He reported that the Programming and Application Support Division improves business processes with technology, and noted that they saved the County $150,000 by building their own electronic storage device instead of purchasing new equipment.  He stated that the Telecommunications Division has been using voice over internet protocol which allows staff to access remote offices without the cost of renting lines from the telecommunication companies, and noted that this technology enables the County to have four digit dialing, control the long distance costs, utilize a common voicemail system and have automated attendants.  He explained that the Records Management Section continues to face the challenges of managing electronic documents because there have been cases in the past when employees have deleted the document.  He thanked his staff and Mr. Richard Varner, Budget Division, for their assistance in the preparation of the budget.

Commr. Hill asked if the public will have access to the IT Services Catalog and IT Project Portfolio.

Mr. Earls responded that all of the publications are available on the IT page of the County website.

growth management

Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, reported that the Green Team hosted the Green Symposium and the Green Fair which were both very successful. She stated that the Green Fair had over 1,500 people attend, and noted that the third annual Green Fair is scheduled for November 13, 2010, which is being hosted in partnership with the Central Florida Golden Triangle YMCA.  She commented that staff has implemented the Transportation Fee Suspension and created a monitoring system to track the unrealized impact fee collections; written Chapter 22 to accompany the Fee Study; and overseen the process for addressing Senate Bill 360 and Senate Bill 1752 which extends development orders to promote economic development.  She mentioned that the online permitting now includes residential addition, special event tents and other different small commercial permits.  She reported that the department administers the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant which was awarded to the County this past spring, and noted that a site visit by the Department of Energy resulted in Lake County’s practices being used as the best management practices for other awardees throughout the country.  She mentioned some of the accomplishments over the past year including the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, amendments to the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act, the new landscape ordinance, and the Public Facility School Element.  She stated that staff created and implemented a minor site plan review process to expedite the review of small projects, and commented that staff is continuing to refine the rapid development review process which fast tracks all applications for targeted industries.  She reported that the department has established a business tax receipt monitoring database because the County no longer does zoning clearances in advance of tax receipts.  She commented that Growth Management partnered with the IT Department to make zoning clearances and information requests available online for the citizens.  She stated that the new application tracker system is scheduled to be online by the end of the month, and explained that it is a web based customer service initiative that allows staff and citizens to use GIS to find information about development in review within the County.

Ms. King commented that the department is in the process of converting all of the paper records to a digital format which makes it more accessible to the citizens, and noted that staff is also implementing the digital development review process so citizens do not have to come to the County offices in person to start the development review process.  She stated that staff is working with the IT Department to offer online chatting as a convenience for citizens while ensuring that staff keeps public records, but noted that staff is always available in person to assist citizens.  She reported that staff is performing a comprehensive audit of age restricted communities per a request from the School Board.  She stated that the Planning and Community Design Division is leading the drafting and implementation of the new Land Development Regulations which must be completed one year after the submittal of the Comprehensive Plan.  She noted that the Zoning and Planning and Community Design divisions were combined into one division.  She commented that she is monitoring the building permit activity very closely in anticipation to increase the staff hours from 32 hours per week to 40 hours per week so the permits will be processed more timely, and noted that staff is continuing to expand technology to allow the acceptance of permits and construction plans over the internet.  She stated that staff is working with licensed contractors to identify unlicensed contractor activity, and reported that staff is partnering with the Conservation and Compliance Department to oversee the unsafe structure complaints.

public resources

Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director stated that the mission of Public Resources is to provide and promote life enriching experiences that exceed expectations for Lake County residents and visitors.  She reported that there are four divisions under Public Resources which include Agricultural Extension Services, Library Services, Parks and Trails, and Tourism and Business Relations, and noted that Lake Soil and Water Conservation and the Mobile Irrigation Lab are new services under the Agricultural Extension Services Division.  She commented that the Public Resources Department provides fiscal and administrative oversight, coordination of the Citizens Information Line and support for coordinated programming and events.

Agricultural Extension Services

Ms. Breeden reported that Florida Statutes require this division to provide programming and testing in education for pesticide applicators and best management practices for nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.  She stated that the Horticultural Learning Center will continue to host the Master Gardener’s Program even though they have experienced a reduction in staff, and noted that staff would be coordinating with the current volunteer gardeners for continued assistance with the Horticultural Learning Center and Discovery Gardens.  She commented that the educational tours of Discovery Gardens will continue on a streamlined schedule.  She reported that the 4H Program remains successful with continued services in the areas of fruits and vegetables and livestock services.  She stated that the Lake Soil and Water Conservation Division will continue the educational programs, the bi-annual tree giveaway, the speech, poster, and land judging competitions, and the Envirothon which is a team competition for middle and high school students.  She commented that the Mobile Irrigation Lab is fully grant funded and will continue to assist agricultural producers with water conservation.

Commr. Hill asked why the workload measurement was not included for the Mobile Irrigation Lab.

Ms. Breeden responded that the workload measurement should be located under the Conservation and Compliance section of the budget book because it was recently changed from that department to Public Resources.

Library Services

Ms. Breeden reported that Library Services will develop a new five year long range plan of service and new interlocal agreements with the Lake County Library System member libraries, and explained that both were delayed this past year due to the economic conditions.  She stated that the aid to the member libraries totals about $1 million, which is a reduction of ten percent, and noted that the reduction will have an effect on the member libraries.  She commented that the department will continue its regular programming and the Festival of Reading.  She stated that Library Services relies heavily on Information Outreach, and reported that staff is working with Information Outreach to create a mobile application that will allow library patrons to access the library catalogs and order books from their cell phones.  She noted that the budget includes $1.5 million in Library Impact Fee funds to assist with the construction projects at the Lady Lake Public Library, W.T. Bland Public Library, City of Tavares Public Library and the Marianne Beck Memorial Library.  She reported that the library hours will remain the same with Paisley and Astor Libraries remaining closed on Fridays, and noted that although library hours have been reduced, there has been an increase in circulation and computer use countywide.  She stated that the department is developing a Standard Operating Procedures Manual and training associated with the manual.  She explained that staff is working with the County’s main book vendor to streamline the cataloging process which will be rolled out to the member libraries if successful.  She reported that Lake Sumter Community College has added one full time staff member at Cooper Memorial Library to manage the six to eight student workers.  She asked the Board for direction on a request from Polk County to change their contract for funding of the Cagan’s Crossing Library in Four Corners.  She explained that 40 percent of the business at Cagan’s Crossing is generated from Polk County residents, and noted that Polk County’s contribution is needed to continue to meet the needs of Polk County residents.

Commr. Cadwell opined that the Board would like to maintain Polk County as a partner at the Cagan’s Crossing Library, and asked the Board if they objected to presenting Polk County with a counteroffer to accept a reduced amount for one year.

Commr. Conner asked if Polk County contributed to the building of the library.

Commr. Cadwell responded that Polk County did not contribute on the capital side, and noted that the Lake County Commission decided it would be more beneficial to Lake County if Polk County contributed to the operational costs on an ongoing basis.

Ms. Breeden opined that Polk County wants to continue funding but they are experiencing financial difficulties at this time.

Commr. Cadwell asked if Lake County is budgeting the same amount as last year for the Cagan’s Crossing Library.

Ms. Breeden responded that she believes the funding is less for that library.

Mr. Minkoff explained that Polk County pays a percentage of the cost of the library, which means that if it costs less to operate the library, then our bill to Polk County would be less.  He stated that Polk County is suggesting that they only pay half of the bill.

Commr. Conner opined that if Polk County wants to continue to use the library, then they need to pay a fair proportionate share of the operational costs.

Ms. Breeden stated that the other option would be that the County could charge the Polk County residents $40, which would not equal the cost being paid by Polk County.

Commr. Conner suggested raising the fee for non-Lake County residents.

Ms. Breeden responded that the $40 fee is a countywide fee which would affect the other member libraries.

Commr. Cadwell asked if the Board would like to hold Polk County to the original agreement.

Commr. Conner stated that he would like to hold Polk County to the original agreement.

Commr. Renick asked if Polk County can legally back out of the original agreement.

Ms. Breeden commented that Polk County can back out.

Ms. Marsh stated that she does not have the agreement in front of her to know what termination clause was included in the agreement.

Commr. Conner asked if the Board is obligated to allow Polk County residents to use the library.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the County has an obligation under the current agreement.

Commr. Conner asked if there were any obligations if Polk County rescinds the original agreement.

Mr. Minkoff stated that there are some reciprocal agreements that would have to be cancelled.

Ms. Breeden noted that the County would probably have to cancel the agreement with Orange County as well.

Commr. Conner opined that it is unfair for the citizens of Lake County to pay an unfair proportionate share, and stated that if Lake County built the library, then Polk County should pay a higher than proportionate share of the operating costs.

Commr. Cadwell noted that Lake County was going to build the library regardless of the agreements with Polk and Osceola Counties.

Commr. Stewart stated that the information provided indicates that Polk County accounts for 37.9 percent of the business, which is more use than Lake County.

Ms. Breeden explained that Osceola County will be charged $21,000 for approximately five percent usage, and Orange County does not have a monetary agreement with the County because there is a reciprocal borrowing agreement.

Commr. Cadwell asked if this matter should be handled by the county managers or by the chairmen of the boards.

Mr. Minkoff stated that he met with Ms. Breeden and the Deputy County Manager from Polk County who indicated that they would like the bill reduced by half and Polk County residents charged $20.  He opined that this matter should be handled by the County Commission.

Commr. Renick opined that it would not be fair to Lake County residents to pay part of Polk County’s share of the bill.

Commr. Cadwell directed the County Manager to generate a letter to the chairman of the Polk County Commission stating that Lake County expects them to honor the original agreement and suggest a meeting of the chairmen.

Parks and Trails

Ms. Breeden stated that the proposed budget includes the Parks MSTU, Parks Impact Fees and General Fund Operating Funds for Public Lands.  She reported that staff maintains 966 plus acres of parks and trails, which equals 96 acres per staff person compared to 18 acres per staff person in 1997.  She commented that Parks and Trails plans to maintain its park hours including the gated parks at North Lake, Ferndale Preserve and P.E.A.R Park, and noted that Public lands will remain closed this next fiscal year to work on infrastructure and restoration with plans to open the following fiscal year.

Commr. Cadwell directed staff to make it a priority to get the public lands open in the next year, as there are people anxious for them to open.

Ms. Breeden stated that staff will be requesting a park ranger position to assist with the opening of the public lands.  She reported that the Parks and Trails Division will continue its extensive educational programs which are mandated by Florida Communities Trust at P.E.A.R Park and Ferndale Preserve.  She commented that staff would work with Information Outreach and GIS to upload maps and other information to the State Trails website for the blue ways and paved trails.  She stated that staff is working with the Children’s Foundation and the Miracle League to raise funds for the Miracle Field at Lake Idamere Park, and noted that the committee will be meeting this month to discuss the marketing plan and brochure.  She reported that staff is planning to set a date for the first Kayaking Festival for the fall of 2011.

Commr. Renick suggested that the festival be referred to as the Paddling Festival to encourage people with canoes and other items to participate.

Ms. Breeden stated that staff will continue restoration efforts at P.E.A.R Park and Ferndale Preserve.  She reported that the Public Lands Program will continue prescribed burns, removal of invasive and exotic vegetation, and design plans and implementation of infrastructure changes.  She commented that staff anticipates the design and first phase of development of East Lake Community Park to be completed in the next fiscal year, as well as the purchase of property for the South Lake County Regional Park.  She reported that staff prepared a separate list of the capital projects which was approved at the August 2, 2010 Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board meeting, and noted that the Public Lands projects have been previously approved by the Public Lands Acquisition Advisory Council (PLAAC) and the Board of County Commissioners.  She commented that the list includes non-capital restoration projects.  She stated that the City of Astatula has shown interest in having the County work on their boat ramp, and indicated that that project would be added to the budget before the first public hearing.

Commr. Hill asked why the Lake Idamere Park canoe launch pavilion was separated into two different categories.

Ms. Breeden explained that one category is for funds that are carried forward and the other is for new funds, and noted that the new funds for this project would total $25,000.  She stated that there is an immediate need for the pavilion because the existing pavilions are already booked.

Commr. Hill commented that she was going to suggest taking the total project amount of $90,000 to apply it toward the Miracle Field, and asked if the $65,000 were already encumbered.

Ms. Breeden stated that she did not think the funds were already encumbered, and explained that the pavilion was not completed this year because staff was awaiting direction on Lake Idamere Park, and there were delays in finalizing the contract with the landscape architects.

Commr. Hill stated that she had hoped the $90,000 could be applied towards the Miracle Field and the pavilion built at the same time as the field under one contract.

Commr. Cadwell expressed concern that there is an immediate need for the pavilion and that it could be another three years if the pavilion was not built until they were ready to build the  Miracle Field.

Ms. Breeden stated that the design of the pavilion will be done at the same time as the design of the Miracle Field.

Commr. Hill asked if the project was for one or two separate pavilions.

Ms. Breeden stated that it was for one pavilion and a canoe launch.

Commr. Hill asked if the canoe launch was necessary at this time.

Ms. Breeden opined that the canoe launch could be postponed for another year.

Commr. Hill explained that she was trying to find more funding for the Miracle Field.  She asked if the canoe launch was more of a priority for the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board than the Miracle Field.

Commr. Conner stated that as liaison to the Board, he would prefer to present that question to them instead of speaking on their behalf.    

Ms. Breeden stated that the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board did not prioritize the list when it was presented to them.

Mr. Minkoff stated that staff can bring the canoe launch back for discussion, and noted that there is still time to reallocate the $25,000 from the canoe launch to the Miracle Field if that is the desire of the Board.

Ms. Breeden asked for clarification if the Board would like to reallocate the funds for the canoe launch and pavilion.

Commr. Hill stated that she would not like to put a hold on the plans for the pavilion since there is an immediate need.  She commented that she hoped the pavilion could be multi-purpose for the Miracle Field and park.

Mr. Minkoff stated that staff will present both of these issues to the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board for their approval.

Commr. Conner commented that the Kiwanis group stated that it would be helpful in the efforts to raise money for the Miracle Field if there were $25,000 of seed money.

Tourism and Business Relations

Ms. Breeden stated that the Tourism Division has seen an upward trend in Tourism Tax Fund receipts, and noted that the increased collections will result in increased spending on advertisement.  She reported that staff is working towards using more electronic media instead of printed media.  She commented that staff is evaluating Blu-Ray and high definition filming for video advertisements.  She stated that staff works very closely with Information Outreach on various projects including the website updates and electronic media.  She reported that Tourism is going to be doubling the funding for art groups and will be making the third of four payments to the General Fund in the amount of $250,000 in repayment for the Lake Sumter Community College Sports Complex.  She stated that the replacement of the LaRoe Pavilion at the Fairgrounds may attract more events and generate additional revenue, and noted that the division is purchasing a replacement for the 25 year old utility vehicle at the Fairgrounds.  She reported that staff would like to enroll in a blanket liability policy for events to make it easier for groups to rent the County’s facilities.

Mr. Welstead demonstrated that mobile phones can be used on printed media tags to access the Lake County website which is a new method being used by the Tourism and Business Relations Division.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced that there would be a ten minute recess at 10:37 a.m.

constitutional officers’ budget

Commr. Cadwell stated that he spoke with the Sheriff during the break who is going to coordinate with the County Manager to present his budget to the Board at a later date.

economic Growth and redevelopment and community services

Ms. Dottie Keedy, Economic Growth and Redevelopment and Community Services Director, reported that the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Department was recently reorganized and includes the divisions for Economic Growth and Redevelopment, Public Transportation, Health and Human Services and Housing Services.  She stated that the department’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Lake County residents through partnerships with local, state and federal agencies by providing a link between government and the community.

Economic Growth and Redevelopment

Ms. Keedy stated that the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Division will continue many of the programs that were implemented in the past year.  She stated that staff will continue to engage the business community through industry visits as part of the Business Retention and Expansion Program.  She reported that the division held the first Business Owner’s Success Summit to provide resources to existing businesses that want to expand or start in the County, and noted that staff plans to host another summit next year.  She commented that staff would like to update the website because it has been very successful in providing information to the community and potential businesses.  She stated that staff would like to attend tradeshows as exhibitors, and noted that the division is specifically targeting the Farm to Fuel Conference, Waste-to-Fuel Conference, HIIMS Conference, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical Summit to establish relationships with targeted industries.  She reported that staff will continue to work on Brownfield designations and redevelopment plans for commercial and industrial areas within unincorporated areas of the County.  She commented that the division hopes to site a second UCF/Lake County Business Incubator in south Lake County.

Commr. Hill asked the Board to allow her to work with Ms. Keedy and the County Manager to re-evaluate the situation with the Business Resource Center before making any recommendations or commitments.

Public Transportation

Ms. Keedy stated that the Public Transportation Division is going to continue to work on increasing the ridership on LakeXpress by enhancing the marketing efforts through events and contests, and noted that staff is working on transferring the Transportation Disadvantaged clients to the system.  She reported that the division is partnering with high school and middle school students to form student advisory committees to promote the use of the transit system.  She commented that Route 3 for the Mount Dora circulator is increasing the start time to accommodate the student population.  She mentioned that the bus shelters will be installed in the coming year, and noted that the division is instituting the Information Technology Systems with mobile data terminals, automatic passenger counters, cameras and automatic voice enunciators.  She stated that staff is working to relocate the transfer station that is currently located at Citizens Boulevard in Leesburg to Griffin Road.  She reported that staff plans to renovate the Griffin Road Facility for transit staff and bus parking, and noted that the division will host the Fourth Annual Stuff the Bus Contest Food Drive in November.

Commr. Cadwell asked when construction will begin on the bus shelters.

Ms. Keedy stated that constructed on the bus shelters is scheduled to begin in October.

Health & Human Services

Ms. Keedy stated that the Health and Human Services Division administers a large portion of the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant (EECBG) and plans to implement the EECGB Rebate Incentive Program.  She reported that the division will continue to implement various contracts with agencies including the Health Department, LifeStream, Medicaid Nursing Home and Inmate Medical.  She commented that Elder Affairs holds various senior events including the Senior Fest and Fight Back Senior Scams, and noted that they also administer the Senior Food Stamp Program (SNAP) and Medicare Assistance Program (MBOA).  She stated that Children’s Services implements and manages various children advocacy programs including the Medical Exams for abused children, Christmas drives, grants to non-profit organization and hosts a variety of children events.  She reported that Veteran’s Services is estimating that they will provide assistance to 8,000 veterans totaling $4.5 million in VA claims.  She mentioned that she meet with the United Way director regarding the 2-1-1 system, and reported that the United Way stated that Lake County could sign a contract with an organization in Tampa to join the system for approximately $60,000 per year.  She noted that the United Way director is searching for grants to offset the cost for Lake County.  She opined that participating in the 2-1-1 system will increase the call volume for the division, but acknowledged that it would provide some additional services for the residents.

Commr. Cadwell stated that the County should continue to move forward on the 2-1-1 system.

Commr. Hill opined that the 2-1-1 system would be a great help with the volunteers.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the United Way thought they might have grant funding for half of the amount for the first year, and noted that staff will continue to work with the United Way and will report back to the Board.

Housing Services

Ms. Keedy stated that the Housing Services Division includes three programs, which are the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, SHIP Program, and the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.  She explained that the CDBG Program would be implementing the One Year Action Plan and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program which allowed the County to partner with organizations to purchase and rehabilitate 28 foreclosed properties for low and moderate income families.  She reported that Congress approved $1 billion nationwide for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program-3, which Lake County will receive funding as an entitlement county.

Commr. Cadwell asked if staff could present a report to the Board with specifics on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Ms. Keedy commented that staff could present that information to the Board at a later date, and noted that staff is required to submit quarterly reports to HUD.  She reported that the SHIP Program will continue to assist first time homebuyers with down payment assistance because the County recaptured funding from previous years since the legislature did not fund this program this year.  She stated that the Section 8 Program also has recaptured funding, and reported that there are approximately 100 vouchers for new families that are currently on the waiting list of 400 families.

public works

Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that the Public Works Department has been restructured.  He reported that the Road Operations Division is responsible for three maintenance areas, traffic operations, special projects and contract management under the management of interim director, Dennis Warren.  He commented that the funding for the operating costs is generated from taxes which are currently stable, and noted that the capital costs are for replacement equipment which is needed to maintaining highway safety.  He stated that the Engineering Division includes the Design Section, Stormwater, Right-of-Way, Survey, Transportation, and some Stormwater functions that were inherited from the previous department.  He noted that the large amount of funding under capital costs is from the MSTU for Stormwater.  He commented that the Funding and Production Division is responsible for the budget, project management, mosquito control and the Road Program.  He explained that the capital costs totaling $34 million is generated from impact fees and sales tax.  He stated that the Solid Waste Division includes the management of disposal operations, hazardous materials, recycling and the contracts for Covanta and the haulers, and noted that $15 million of the $17 million in operating costs are related to contracted services with Covanta and the haulers.

Road Operations Division

Mr. Stivender explained that five years ago the price of gas skyrocketed because of Hurricane Katrina and other supply and demands during a time when the County’s revenues were dropping, which allowed staff to stabilize the revenues based on the five year cycle.  He reported that gas prices have been stable this summer, and noted that revenues have remained above the forecast for this year.  He stated that the County has 1,350 miles of roads to maintain which is completely funded by the gas tax.  He mentioned that the ARRA projects had a huge impact on the cost to maintain roads and paved a total of 32 miles.  He stated that the division has four equipment operator positions that are replacing positions that were previously cut.

Commr. Conner asked if those positions were included in the budget.

Commr. Cadwell confirmed that the positions were not supervisory positions.

Mr. Stivender clarified that the positions were included in the budget and that the positions were strictly for the operation of the equipment.

Mr. Minkoff stated that these positions were the only new positions in the budget.

Mr. Stivender noted that there is no additional cost associated with the four equipment operator positions except for the cost of the salaries, because the County already has the equipment.  He stated that staff hopes to create a program to handle the paving requests based on the availability of sales tax dollars due to the ARRA funding.  He commented that the division historically had a large reserve, and noted that staff is working towards creating a stable reserve and stable revenues.  He reported that the division recently vacated leased space and moved into the sign shop while the Road Operations Center addition is completed, which is scheduled to be completed this year.

Engineering Division

Mr. Stivender stated that the Engineering Division took over management of water quality and the lab, and noted that staff has been evaluating the services and fees for the lab.  He reported that the division manages the federally mandated NPDES Program and the Floodplain Program which generates a 15 percent discount for Lake County residents that have flood insurance.  He stated that the division has 18 projects currently under design by consultants and 15 projects under design by in-house staff.  He commented that the division is working on obtaining right-of-way acquisitions for road projects on an estimated 125 parcels for 16 different projects.  He reported that staff will be working on the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) Chapter 9 for the new Comprehensive Plan based on new designs standards for roads and subdivisions.  He commented that the Water Atlas was not funded as well as other programs that were historically funded in the past.  He stated that Tindale-Oliver was hired to prepare a traffic signal study as a result of the energy grant.  He reported that the design by BESH, Inc. of the new Umatilla water system would be funded by the CDBG grant, and noted that staff would search for grants to fund the construction of the new system.  He commented that the bids for the cleanup of the Central Fuel Facility will be coming in soon to begin cleanup this year.  He reported that one of the goals of the division is to complete all of the capital projects in Stormwater by September 30, 2012, and opined that it is critical to complete those projects now to capture the current reduced pricing.

Funding and Production Division

Mr. Stivender stated that staff will present the Five Year Road Program to the Board next week, and noted that the Board approved the five ARRA Stimulus projects last week including the Lakeshore Drive Bridge.  He reported that staff set a date of September 30, 2012 to spend all of the reserves in each benefit district for the project management and inspection projects, and mentioned that 2017 is the cut off for capital improvements on the road system in Lake County.  He stated that staff is tracking the demolitions of purchased homes, and noted that staff also deals with the commercial site plans.  He explained that every funding source including the gas tax will sunset between 2014 and 2017, which affects the County and all of the cities.  He reported that there is an equine encephalitis outbreak in Lake County with eight dead horses and others being tested.  He explained that the budget for Mosquito Aquatic Plant management is difficult to manage because its needs change based on the weather conditions and mosquito population.

Solid Waste Division

Mr. Stivender stated that the recycling revenue was not projected to match the budget, and noted that recycling revenue is down.  He commented that the County had a wet winter which increased the hauling costs for leachate.  He reported that Covanta was not operational for 25 days in May, and explained that the County relies heavily on the revenue from electricity to help fund this program.  He stated that the incinerator is currently operating at 102 percent efficiency, and noted that the County is bringing in garbage from outside to maintain that efficiency level.  He mentioned that staff is working on the Four Year Plan to determine the most effective business practices, including methods to reduce costs, and specified that the cost to haul and dispose of leachate is very expensive so staff is evaluating ways to reduce these costs.  He commented that staff would like to present more detailed information on the recycling program to the Board at a later date, and educate the public on the proper methods to dispose of hazardous material collection because there is still a lot getting into the waste stream.  He stated that staff is reviewing the solid waste assessment fee to determine the appropriate amount, and noted that staff is working to reduce the demand on the General Fund.  He commented that he hopes the Solid Waste Task Force will help guide the County and Board through 2014 and beyond.  He reported that one of the two landfill cells is close to being full with possibly another year’s worth of garbage, depending on the volume and incinerator efficiency.  He explained that staff has been in discussion with Covanta which resulted in the discovery that $136,000 may be reallocated to another program once the appropriate approvals are obtained.

Commr. Conner commented that he was not aware that Covanta had shut down, and opined that the Board would like to be informed of such matters.  He asked if the garbage was left at Covanta or if it was buried at the landfill.

Mr. Stivender explained that there are two scheduled shut downs at Covanta occurring once in the spring and the other in the fall. He stated that during the extended shutdown at Covanta, the garbage was buried at the landfill, and confirmed that the County lost the revenue associated with the shut down.

Mr. Minkoff clarified that Covanta made payment towards the loss in revenue because they caused the outage.

Commr. Conner asked what caused the shut down.

Mr. Stivender explained that the system had been shut down for routine maintenance which resulted in the entire facility being shutdown for over three weeks.

Commr. Conner asked if there was a reason the Board was not notified of the shutdown.

Mr. Minkoff stated that he was not aware of the shutdown at the time it occurred, and noted that the staff would be more diligent about notifying the Board.

Commr. Conner commented that it was his understanding that the purpose of the incinerator was to eliminate the need for burying garbage.

Mr. Stivender reported that the incinerator has reduced the volume by 95 percent.

Commr. Conner asked if the projected recycling revenues were different from last year’s budget or the report that was submitted to the Commission when staff wanted to buy the additional piece of recycling equipment.

Mr. Stivender stated that the projections were lower than both reports, and noted that the equipment was not operational until April so there is approximately six months worth of production that was included in the projections that did not happen.

Commr. Conner asked if the revenues are now being generated from that piece of equipment.

Mr. Stivender explained that there are not enough operators to operate the equipment at full capacity.

Mr. Minkoff stated that the projections presented to the Board are higher than what the County can expect to receive from the equipment while in operation.

other business

Commr. Cadwell directed the County Manager to set up a meeting with the Sheriff.  He opined that the pre-budget workshops were beneficial to the budget process so that the Board could review the issues and communicate their expectations to staff.  He thanked the County Manager and staff for their hard work.  He informed the Board that they would be receiving the evaluations for the County Manager and County Attorney.

Commr. Conner asked if the Sheriff would be giving a presentation to the Board.  He further asked if the Board would have further discussion on the amount of reserves that will be used.

Commr. Cadwell opined that there is not a need for another workshop, but commented that the Board could hold discussion after one of the regular meetings.

Commr. Conner commented that he was very impressed with the budget presentations from the staff, and acknowledged that the staff is working hard during these difficult times with fewer resources.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.



welton g. cadwell, chairman