January 11, 2011

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in special session on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 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:  Jennifer Hill, Chairman; Leslie Campione, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Jimmy Conner; and Welton G. Cadwell.  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; and Courtney Vincent, Deputy Clerk.

Agenda update

Commr. Cadwell requested to add a discussion regarding the Black Bear Scenic Byway Committee liaison to the end of the meeting.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the addition to the agenda.

Commr. Hill noted there would also be a report on the Howey Bridge at the end of the meeting.

closed session

Ms. Marsh stated she had previously asked for the closed session authorized by Florida Statute 286.011 to discuss pending litigation in front of a court or administrative agency, and once the closed session started, it would be confined to settlement negotiations or strategy sessions related to litigation and litigation expenditures.  She noted a court reporter would record the entire session, as well as when they begin, when they end, and all discussions in the proceedings, including the names of all persons present at any time and whoever speaks.  She explained the court reporter’s notes would be transcribed and be made public at the time the litigation was concluded, and at the beginning of the session the Chair or the entity was required to give notice of who would be at the meeting, which was the Board; Mr. Minkoff; Mr. Greg Stewart, the outside counsel; and herself.  She added she had a copy of the required advertisement of the meeting, and she estimated the session would last about an hour.

Recess and Reassembly

The Chairman announced at 9:36 a.m. there would be a ten minute break.


south lake interlocal service boundary agreement update

Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, addressed the Board regarding the South Lake Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) negotiations.  She gave a PowerPoint presentation which provided background on the negotiations as well as the current status, asking for direction on multiple pertinent issues.  She discussed the enabling legislation, Chapter 171, Florida Statute, Part II, summarizing it as saying it provided for an alternative process for annexation that allowed counties and municipalities to jointly determine how services were provided with the purpose of encouraging intergovernmental coordination and planning, service delivery, and boundary adjustments and to reduce intergovernmental conflicts and litigation between local governments.  She noted Commr. Parks had attended the negotiations of the ISBA, hosted by the City of Groveland, since being elected Commissioner, adding that Lake County, Mascotte, Clermont, Howey-In-The-Hills, Leesburg, and Minneola had all passed resolutions to participate in the negotiations. She remarked the participants decided to discuss fire rescue services separately.  She explained a list of discussion items was created by each city, displaying slides which reported the County’s and each municipality’s initial issues, with wastewater services, future economic plans for the US 27/Turnpike area, joint use of equipment, water services, public maintenance services, and issues of annexation being some of the common submissions.  She reported the cities were currently negotiating common boundaries along US 27.

Ms. King displayed the South Lake Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement Area map and explained the color-coding of the proposed growth areas, noting Clermont, Minneola, and Groveland had all agreed to their boundaries and the only areas currently being worked out were Leesburg and Mascotte.

Mr. Minkoff clarified the shaded areas of each colors were existing city limits.

Commr. Parks asked if, per the last ISBA meeting, the boundary issues needed to be rectified prior to any further proceedings.

Ms. King responded it had been decided it was best for the cities to work out the boundary issues amongst themselves.

Commr. Cadwell asked if there was going to be a change in leadership in Mascotte.

Ms. King confirmed there was a change in leadership but there was no current knowledge as to how it would affect negotiations.

Commr. Hill commented each list of initial discussion items included a water/wastewater issue, noting the County did not handle those services and asking if the municipalities were looking the County or if it was a discussion between the cities.

Ms. King responded no one was looking to the County for assistance on those issues, the discussion was between the cities and the particulars addressed were dependent upon the individual needs of each municipality.  She asked the Board if the County should restrict annexation into the Green Swamp area of critical State concerns and were there other areas that should be restricted.

The Board discussed restrictions to annexation into the Green Swamp area and other areas and recommended for Ms. King to negotiate for the Board to have final approval before an area was annexed beyond the boundaries of the Green Swamp.

Ms. King asked if the Board would like to identify the area between Leesburg and Howey-In-The-Hills, referring to it as greater Yalaha, noting the cities had not identified and this was an opportunity for the Board to identify it on the County’s behalf.

The Board recommended leaving that area alone but provide provisions for the handling of emergency services in the agreement.

Ms. King asked if the County should allow non-contiguous annexation.

The Board discussed the issue of allowing non-contiguous annexation and recommended the particular parcels currently requesting non-contiguous annexation needed to be identified in the agreement and criteria needed to be established for any future parcels along with Board approval.

Ms. King asked if the agreement should be contingent upon a Fire Rescue agreement.

The Board agreed it should.

Ms. King asked if the County should require a program to annex enclaves under ten acres to handle overlap or voids in service provision.

The Board discussed the issue of a program to annex enclaves under ten acres and recommended not requiring it, stating service issues should be addressed in the agreement.

Ms. King asked if the County should consider joint and consistent land development regulations (LDR’s).

Mr. Minkoff clarified the question was whether the County should adopt the LDR’s of individual cities or if they should make the County LDR’s consistent with the cities.

The Board discussed the issue of joint and consistent LDR’s and recommended joint and consistent LDR’s not be a requirement but instead considered as an exercise.

Ms. King asked if a municipality should assume local street maintenance once greater than 50 percent of the land adjacent to the street was annexed.

The Board discussed the issue of responsibility of street maintenance, agreeing that a municipality should assume the local street maintenance once more than 50 percent of the land adjacent to the street was annexed and recommending something be added to the agreement prohibiting annexation that omits small residential roads.

Ms. King asked if all the local governments should jointly develop an economic plan for the US 27/Turnpike area from CR 561 to Leesburg.

The Board recommended they should.

Ms. King asked if the cities should participate in a new regional park; financially for either development, maintenance, or both.

The Board recommended they should.

Ms. King asked whether a developer, city, or the County should install fire hydrants on water lines or only put taps in so hydrants could be added later.

The Board discussed the issue of installing fire hydrants or taps and recommended at least taps be installed so there could be the option of adding hydrants later, suggesting referring to development patterns to determine by way of population density whether a hydrant or a tap would be more suitable.

Ms. King asked if the County should require solid waste commitments through 2014.

The Board agreed the County should require it, but within a certain price range.

Ms. King asked whether an agreement should be reached allowing the joint use of equipment on a time and materials cost basis, including sign maintenance agreements.

The Board recommended a joint use agreement be established.

Ms. King asked if fleet maintenance should be consolidated.

Mr. Minkoff clarified consolidate was not the right word; it pertained more to joint use.

The Board recommended allowing joint use of fleet maintenance services.

Ms. King asked whether all parties should agree to use of County addressing system.

The Board recommended they should all use the County addressing system.

Ms. King asked for clarification the Board’s recommendation concerning restricting annexation in certain areas.  She stated her understanding was the Board did not want rigid requirements in allowing annexations but they did want to allow annexations parcel by parcel with Board approval if they were not contiguous and allow the Board to approve in the future if certain criteria were met that had not been developed yet.

The Board confirmed their recommendation.

lake sumter ems service delivery

Mr. Jim Judge, Executive Director of Lake-Sumter Emergency Medical Services (EMS), addressed the Board giving a PowerPoint presentation regarding Lake-Sumter EMS Service Delivery.  He discussed the history of EMS in Lake and Sumter Counties, noting Lake-Sumter EMS was established in October 2010 and was a governmental, nonprofit, independent corporation.  He introduced Mr. Brian Andrews, Lake-Sumter EMS Patient Financial Services Manager.

Mr. Andrews addressed the Board regarding Lake-Sumter EMS financial information and continuing the PowerPoint presentation.  He discussed the cost of readiness, which was the cost of being prepared to respond to requests for service 24 hours a day, every day, regardless of whether or not there were any calls.  He noted the cost of readiness covered approximately one-third of the Lake-Sumter EMS budget and stated the fixed expenses related to the cost of readiness were difficult to make up given the current reimbursement environment.  He displayed a pie chart showing only Lake County’s cost of readiness, which was $9 million, reporting that 82 percent of the expenses went towards salary.  He discussed the various funding sources starting with system revenues, mentioning in 2009 Lake County generated approximately $9.7 million in user fee collections and received about $200,000 in income from fire dispatch fees, adding there was a small portion of income from other sources such as grants.  He stated the total income was about $10.1 million per year which funded all operating and capital expenses leaving approximately $1.2 million to help offset the cost of readiness, noting that in their next year’s budget the amount would increase to about $2.6 million because they cut their budget this year by $1.4 million.  He discussed the reimbursements provided by Medicare and Medicaid, noting that by law they were not allowed to bill above the $350 average allowance for Medicare and the $154 allowance for Medicaid and any remainder above those amounts was required to be written off, adding that last year they wrote off a total of $2.9 million.  He displayed a chart showing the breakdown of the percentages of total charges and collections, stressing that 65 percent of payers allowed less than the cost of services.  He displayed and discussed the ten year cumulative charges and collections for Lake-Sumter EMS and showed a graph displaying user fee collections versus subsidy, noting that in the last three or four years user fees continued to go up while subsidy continued to go down.  He discussed key budget events over the last ten years, explaining subsidies taken at various points, noting that in the last year the subsidy amount had decreased while the call volume increased.  He reported the average cost per household for the EMS MSTU was less than $27 and over the last three years there had been a 12 percent reduction in total budget.  He displayed a chart showing the 2009-2010 cost relating to the ALS Fire Department Agreements with Lake County and Lake-Sumter EMS and discussed a slide showing the 2010-2011 combined budget for Lake and Sumter Counties.  He broke down the staff positions by department, stating there were a total of 263 employees with the majority in field operations.  He remarked that over a ten year period they responded to a total of 437,144 calls, transported a total of 316,741 patients, and driven a total of 13,798,135 miles.  He added that in the last fiscal year they responded to 53,064 calls and transported 39,044 patients.

Mr. John Simpson, Quality Assurance Manager, continued the presentation, displaying a diagram showing the two sides of the pre-hospital system:  The EMS side and the Fire Services side.  He then displayed a chart showing the process of care from the start of a 911 call through the end of treatment, noting the scope of medical practice and care expanded with the progression of the event timeline.  He stated the steps of the response process as incident recognition/access 911, dispatch, first responder/basic/advanced life support, advanced life support/transport, medevac helicopter when needed, emergency department, patient rehabilitation, and patient education/prevention awareness.  He stressed the high level of training EMT-Basic and the EMT-Paramedic personnel went through as well as the requirements of certification, adding communication center staff were also required to complete 300 hours of training and receive certification.  He stated there was a consolidated dispatch center located in Mount Dora that provided dispatch services for EMS for Lake and Sumter Counties as well as 13 fire stations in Lake County and the Department of Public Safety in The Villages, noting they processed over 140,000 phone calls a year.  He mentioned the current facility, which was not hardened against natural disasters, needed to be expanded, commenting they were looking to relocate to a County-owned hardened facility.  He discussed the air medical services, stating there were two primary services based out of Wildwood and Clermont.  He displayed a map showing the vehicle locations, noting Lake and Sumter Counties had a combined total area of 1,736 square miles and adding there were 23 – 24 hour demand vehicles and five peak demand vehicles which were each staffed with a single EMT and single Paramedic.  He reported they co-located whenever possible to reduce costs and they were currently located in four Lake County fire stations, 12 city stations, and stations in Sumter County, reporting approximately 62 percent of their ambulances were located in fire stations.  He explained the locations were selected based on call volumes.

Mr. Judge continued the presentation, discussing system savings and noting things such as standard guidelines, continuing education, one State EMT license, and cooperation between the different first responder systems contributing towards saving tens of thousands of dollars.  He summarized and displayed a list of the numerous types of training provided on an annual basis for free to the emergency responders.  He listed destination hospital locations, bed delays at hospitals, hospital diversions, and regulations as system challenges.  He remarked while Lake and Sumter Counties had four primary hospitals, Lake-Sumter EMS went to 12 hospitals in eight counties on a regular basis depending on which was closest or most appropriate at the time, though he noted if a non-critical patient did not have a preference they would be taken to South Lake Hospital or Florida Hospital Waterman or if they needed to go to a trauma center they would go to Orlando Regional Medical Center.  He mentioned they were also responsible for interfacility transfers and out of county transfers.  He discussed offload delays, explaining it meant ambulances could not discharge their patients into hospital care because the hospital was full.  He explained 90 percent of the time it took an average of 27 minutes to offload a patient at the hospital but the other ten percent tended to occur in this region during the winter months with the influx of seasonal residents.  He stated when the hospitals were completely inundated with patients they would go on divert status, meaning ambulances should divert to a different hospital.  He described some of the ways they helped crowded hospitals, noting they sometimes brought over extra stretchers and had a paramedic manage three or four patients while they waited for a doctor.  He reported on payroll costs, overtime laws, workers compensation, and industry regulations as other items to consider.  He mentioned the gross pay of Lake-Sumter EMS EMT’s and Paramedics was about five percent lower than the gross pay of their counterparts in Fire Services and their employees were not a part of the Florida Retirement System.  He explained that unlike Fire Services personnel, ambulance employees must be paid overtime if they worked more than 40 hours in a seven day work week.  He noted the average work week was 56 hours, and to compensate, the hourly rate of pay was lowered to adjust for the greater number of overtime hours.  He stated EMS had a higher risk factor than Fire, noting the cost for workers compensation was higher for EMS was higher than that of Fire Services.  He described the regulations of the EMS industry, displaying a chart summarizing the pertinent Florida Statutes, Florida Administrative Code and Federal Regulations, and explaining that with each addition to the regulation came an increase in expenses for training, legal issues, and technology in order to be in compliance.  He commented on the numerous types of technology EMS services utilized, showing a slide with pictures of some of the different items and mentioning grant money was used to help purchase them.  He remarked on the various community events Lake-Sumter EMS provided services for and then discussed the different community programs such as the Wellness Program, Flu Clinics, Career Days, Mass Citizen CPR Training, Mass Casualty Drills, School Safety Presentations, and Kids in Safety Seats (KISS) Program.  He mentioned the large number of community partners they worked with and noted in the last ten years Lake-Sumter EMS employees had donated over $50,000 of their money for United Way, Children’s Miracle Network, American Cancer Society, and more.  He discussed the future of Lake-Sumter EMS, saying they were looking at intensifying operational data analysis, refining system development techniques, maximizing cost savings opportunities, and that they would continue to pursue quality improvement initiatives.  He stressed the medical care they provided in the pre-hospital environment truly reduced healthcare costs and enhanced the patient’s ability to have a better quality of life and they were doing it on a regular basis with their partners at the hospitals.  He concluded with a list of the awards Lake-Sumter EMS won over the last ten years for the quality of their services and the programs they provided.

Commr. Parks asked for clarification on the agreements with the hospitals and EMS Services regarding the issue of bed delays.

Mr. Judge explained when hospitals became saturated they activated their internal emergency program, bringing staff from other areas of the hospital into the emergency room to not only triage patients but also get physicians in to see the patients so they could either discharge them or admit them into the hospital.  He noted when that situation occurred, all they could do was work with the hospital, stressing that they worked together with the hospital management teams to resolve the situation and in the mean time their partners in Fire Services were continuing first responder services with 36 Advanced Life Support (ALS) units and another 22 Basic Life Support (BLS) units to help with medical care.  He mentioned they tried to meet on a quarterly basis with the hospitals to go over peek demand issues.

Commr. Parks asked whether EMS or the hospital was the entity required to make more accommodations to support patient overflow.

Mr. Judge responded it was a team effort, explaining they understood the hospitals were overwhelmed.  He noted the problem of patient overflow was not only a regional issue.

Commr. Parks asked if there were dedicated vehicles to long distance patient transport.

Mr. Judge replied the vehicles used most often for out of county transfers were what were considered peek demand vehicles but they were currently working on having off duty personnel on call to conduct long distance transports so they would not deplete their resources.

Mr. Minkoff updated the Board on what was happening with Sumter County in regards to their EMS services.  He explained they were looking at their ambulance services and were considering privatizing that service, noting there had been two responses to the request for proposal that went out.  He added Sumter County was working through additional information requests with those responses and pricing had not been established yet.  He reported the Sumter County Commission would be meeting late in January to further discuss the issue, mentioning they had a March deadline if they wished to withdraw from Lake-Sumter EMS and they were required to notify Lake County if that was their decision.

howey bridge update

The Chairman asked Mr. Jim Stivender, Director of Public Works, to give an update on the Howey Bridge Project.  She stated the information would be posted on the County website as well as printed in the news paper.

Mr. Stivender explained starting Wednesday, January 12, 2010 at 10:00 p.m. and ending Thursday, January 13, 2010 at 6:00 a.m., and then continuing Sunday night through Thursday night through February 3, 2011, the bridge would be closed.  He reported the detour would be set up to go through Astatula.  He noted the contractors were responsible for emergency signage.

Mr. Minkoff informed the Board that Fire Services worked with the cities to make sure everyone was aware of how to handle emergency response during the time the bridge was closed.

Recess and Reassembly

The Chairman announced at 11:20 a.m. there would be a ten minute break.

public safety/fire rescue service delivery

Mr. John Jolliff, Director of Public Safety and Fire Chief, addressed the Board to give a PowerPoint presentation on Public Safety and Fire Rescue Service Delivery.  He described the organizational history of Lake County Fire Rescue (LCFR), noting that 2011 marked the 25th Anniversary in delivering fire rescue services to the citizens of Lake County.  He discussed the vision of the organization, their mission statement, and their core values and he also displayed a copy of their organizational chart.  He stated urban, suburban, and rural response zones had been identified, giving approximate response times of five, ten, and greater than ten minutes respectively, and summarized the population statistics for the impact area protected by LCFR.  He reported the current Insurance Services Office (ISO) classification was a split Class of 6/9, explaining the Class 6 was for properties within five miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a hydrant and the Class 9 was for properties at a greater distance from those resources.  He outlined and displayed the response statistics for the unincorporated areas of the County as well as the emergency response performance over the last three years, reporting 100 percent of calls were answered by a first response unit within 7 minutes and 51 seconds and EMS calls accounted for 68.4 percent of the total calls for service.  He discussed the collaborative inter-agency service strategies including mutual aid agreements and contractual agreements.  He described various community outreach endeavors such as the SHARPS Program for needle disposal, blood pressure checks, public fire education, and public CPR training and certification.  He reviewed the cost reduction strategies currently in practice, noting they had outsourced station supply deliveries and annual testing of equipment, participated in an EMS supplies restocking exchange with Lake-Sumter EMS, and changed the in-house training schedule to reduce overtime.

Mr. Jim Dickerson, Assistant Chief in charge of Operations, continued the PowerPoint presentation, discussing the daily activities of LCFR.  He stated as Operations Chief he oversaw the daily and emergency operations of 23 fire stations throughout the County with 196 personnel, a fleet of 80 vehicles, and 16,000 calls for help a year.  He noted there were only three senior staff members for 193 field personnel because of the goal to have as many men in the field as possible.  He explained the 23 fire stations were staffed 24 hours a day, every day, and out of those stations 13 of them were always ALS stations and 3 stations were designated special operations stations.  He reviewed the credentials required for the job, displaying the different levels and qualifications required starting with basic entry level and concluding with senior command staff.  He chronicled an average day for a LCFR EMT/Paramedic, displaying the schedule during the presentation.  He reviewed their mission-critical support functions, breaking them down into command, staffing and control; logistics; and training and safety.  He discussed the Special Operational Response Team (SORT) and special response units, mentioning there were 33 team members over 3 duty shifts strategically located throughout the County and trained in structural collapse rescue, confined space rescue, hazardous materials mitigation, vehicle/machinery rescue, and high angle rescue.  He commented their SORT team had become a regional asset and they had top line special operations equipment thanks to the Urban Areas Security Initiative Grant (UASI) which provided about $600,000.  He mentioned there were also an EMS bicycle team, a surface-water rescue team, all-terrain vehicle units, and a forward operations unit.  He discussed the Tanker Task Force used to provide immediate water to all structure fire alarms and the Wildland Task Force which was implemented when the Drought Index was greater than 550 KBDI.  He explained the policy for the standard deployment of resources for fire rescue incidents, noting single units responded to incidences such as vehicle fires and non-emergency calls, multiple units responded to incidents such as structure fires and multi-vehicle accidents, and special operations responded to such things as hazardous materials incidents and complex technical rescue incidents.  He displayed a graph showing a comparison of fire progression, structure stability, and survivability, noting that within 8-12 minutes the structure has reached a critical stage in fire progression and flashover (when everything in the room was heated to ignition temperature and ignited at one time) was eminent.  He explained it was for that reason they strategically placed stations within that 8-12 minute timeline.  He then displayed a map and chart showing an analogy of a structure fire alarm.

Mr. Jack Fillman, Assistant Chief in charge of Administration, continued the PowerPoint presentation.  He noted LCFR worked under a single countywide Medical Director and a uniform set of medical protocols.  He mentioned Lake-Sumter EMS provided dispatch services and served as the patient transport agency unless trauma alert or stroke alert required immediate air transportation from the scene.  He reviewed ALS procedures, displaying a list of protocols during the presentation as well as a graph depicting the EMS time-critical mission.  He explained the survivability rate decreased as time increased.

Mr. Barry Fitzgerald, Lieutenant/Paramedic within the Training Division, continued the PowerPoint presentation.  He chronicled a LCFR ALS scenario, detailing the steps involved in responding to a critical cardiac patient beginning with rapid patient assessment through treatment, stabilization, and the LCFR paramedic assisting Lake-Sumter EMS to transport the patient to the hospital.  He displayed various types of ALS equipment, providing the list of the equipment on the PowerPoint slide, noting the equipment presented was carried on each LCFR ALS Unit at the designated 13 ALS County fire stations.

Chief Jolliff continued the PowerPoint presentation.  He stated one of the reasons LCFR performed the services they did was because of the legal authority established under State Statute for county governments to provide fire protection and emergency management including rescue, EMS, and other public safety needs for the unincorporated areas of the county.  He mentioned industry standards were another reason, siting National Consensus Standards for safety and deployment and Florida Statutes concerning emergency medical services, fire standards and safety.  He stressed the most important reason was because they saved lives, adding they performed the services in such a way as to protect the fire fighters as much as they could.  He discussed efforts to improve upon the quality of their services, commenting on the relocation and rebuilding project for Altoona Station 14 as well as the proposed new facilities for Astatula Station 77, Hotel Station 90, and US27/SR 19 Area Station 79.  He also mentioned the service contracts with Groveland and Mascotte for their assistance in covering the unincorporated areas, noting that because of annexations those areas shrank and so they would need to reconsider the contracts.

Mr. Minkoff clarified the funds were in the budget to replace the Altoona Station, the contracts with Groveland and Mascotte would be terminated at the end of the current fiscal year, and they would look at adding fire fighters on the north side of those areas.

Commr. Hill asked, referring to the map from Tab 1 which depicted the interlocal service boundaries, should the interlocal service boundary agreement go into affect would the proposed Hotel Station and US27/SR19 Station still be necessary.

Mr. Minkoff responded he and Chief Jolliff were meeting with the City Manager and Fire Chief for Clermont later that month, adding they were considering a temporary station to the north of US27/SR19 area that might be relocated in the future depending on the progress of the annexations.  He mentioned negotiations of the interlocal service boundary could impact the needs of a station in that area.

Commr. Cadwell asked if the mention on the tenth slide of an Automatic First Response Agreement currently under development was something LCFR had been working on for a while.

Chief Jolliff explained it was an issue that had been discussed at monthly meetings for a while but aside from attempted drafts it had not progressed any further.

Commr. Cadwell emphasized the importance moving forward with that endeavor.

Mr. Minkoff commented LCFR had met with two cities and was scheduled to meet with a third in an attempt to establish Automatic First Response Agreements, specifying it was separate from the Joint Meeting the Board held with the cities regarding Fire/EMS services in the County.

Commr. Hill asked if Mr. Minkoff has spoken with Ms. Melissa DeMarco, the Mayor of Mount Dora, because she had mentioned to her the City may not be ready to meet on January 26, 2011 for the next scheduled Joint Meeting.  She mentioned the issue may come up at the next League of Cities meeting on Friday, January 14, 2011.

Mr. Minkoff stated he had been attending the League of Cities meetings and then asked if the Board would be willing to postpone the Joint Meeting should the Cities request it.

The Board agreed with postponing the meeting.

Commr. Parks thanked LCFR and Lake-Sumter EMS for their presentations, noting the information provided would be helpful as they moved forward with the Joint Meeting, which he stated would be held on February 4, 2011.  He commented the purpose of the meeting was to improve public safety, not consolidation or taking over services, and suggested using the University of Central Florida’s School of Public Administration as a source for independent data collection.

Commr. Cadwell mentioned he thought Mayor DeMarco had been working on something similar to that already.

Commr. Campione reported meeting with Mayor DeMarco and Dr. Charles Mojock, President of Lake-Sumter Community College, to see if it would be feasible for the College to act as the independent data collection agency and to ask Dr. Mojock to return with information on what the College would charge for those services so it could be compared against the cost for a private consultant.

Mr. Minkoff stated he had sent Dr. Mojock copies of studies the County had received from Seminole, Orange, and Volusia County, noting they had also been sent to the commissioners and Dr. Mojock would forward them to UCF.

Commr. Cadwell stressed the purpose of sharing the studies was to review the format used and not the results since they were specific to the counties they pertained to and not relevant to Lake County.

Commr. Campione agreed the studies were to serve as a template to give Lake-Sumter Community College and UCF for the work involved in that type of an analysis.

emergency communications and operations center

Mr. Kristian Swenson, Facilities Development and Management Director, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Emergency Communications and Operations Center (ECOC), noting he would be co-presenting with Mr. Kevin Ratigan, Senior Vice President of Architects Design Group (ADG) and the architect on the project; Mr. Greg Holcomb, Public Safety Communications Technology Manager; and Mr. Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Director.  He discussed the project’s history, displaying the timeline on the first two slides.  He stated in September 2010 the Board approved the construction option, Option 1-B, which included hardening the Central Energy Plant and included the Communications Center with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which would include the Emergency Management, Sheriff’s Office, and Lake-Sumter EMS Dispatch Centers.  He mentioned the maximum project cost would be $11 million.

Mr. Minkoff distributed a handout to the Board of potential funding sources for the EOC project which was the actual exhibit handed out at the March 2010 meeting where the Board discussed how the County would pay for each of the options presented.  He explained the initial thought was to use several sources for funding including Ambulance MSTU, E-911 funds, and approximately $5.6 million in total sales tax funds for Option 1-B.  He said the second handout he distributed gave a break down of the sales tax fund, clarifying there were assumptions that sales tax would not increase until 2012 with very modest increases after that and any current items funded would continue to be funded in the following years, adding it appeared the entirety of the funds allocated for each year were being spent.  He noted the EOC appeared on the breakdown in the 2012 section with the assumption the bulk of the project would be spent in that budget year, mentioning the amount budgeted from sales tax for the EOC in 2012 was for the complete sales tax contribution to the project when based off of the initial $11 million estimate of the total cost.  He reported Mr. Swenson had assured him the project would be completed at $9 million, and in doing that the sales tax contribution would be reduced to $3.6 million.  He explained the amounts for the EOC project as well as for the Judicial Center Expansion project on the sales tax break down were showing all of the budgeted funds being spent for the purpose of analysis, the break down going through 2018 with the red numbers showing where there would be a cash flow issue if 100 percent of every dollar was spent all the way through.

Mr. Swenson reported the projected $11 million cost for Option 1-B could be broken down to about $7.5 million towards brick and mortar construction costs and approximately $3.5 million for equipment and soft costs including things like contingency, architects and engineering fees, A/V equipment and furnishings.  He stressed the actual construction costs were the $7.5 million.  He described the uses for the building, saying it would serve as a 24 hour 911 call center, house the 911 dispatching for the majority of the 911 calls in the County, have administrative offices for the Sheriff’s Office’s 911 and dispatch functions, Lake-Sumter EMS dispatch function, Public Safety’s Emergency Management, and during non-emergency times it would have a component for Public Works Traffic Management.  He added that during non-emergency situations the building could also be used as a meeting facility for the Board, constitutional officers, and community groups.  He explained there was also space planned in the building to house the Clerk of Court’s financial computer server as well as the BCC mirror server, which would save the County approximately $30,000 currently paid annually to house the server off site.  He mentioned the building was designed to allow for future growth and could allow for complete communications consolidation.  He described the breakdown of the cost estimates, reporting a building size reduction of 3,098 square feet would bring the cost down about $800,000, using it as an example of how as they progressed in the project the detailed cost estimate would be reduced as final plans were developed.  He discussed the value of the vacated space the EOC currently occupied in the County Administration Building, approximating an annual savings of $16,000 to $24,000 for the 2,000 square foot space, adding there would also be lease space savings recognized for Lake-Sumter EMS.

Mr. Ratigan stated he had been working with the County since the summer of 2010 to help bring the project to its current point.  He continued the PowerPoint presentation, giving a project status update.  He discussed the space needs assessment where they looked at the facilities and met with the stake holders of the project to determine current and future needs to be incorporated into the facility such as hardening the facility to protect it from hurricanes and accommodating the Sheriff’s ongoing efforts to consolidate with municipalities.  He discussed the schematic design phase, describing it as the preliminary design portion of the project.  He displayed the current site plan which had the building on the northeast corner of the judicial site, specifying they were directed to look at minimal impact on the site plan and the way the site infrastructure was set up.  He mentioned they looked at using the Central Energy Plant to take the electrical and air conditioning needs of the facility and met with the architect of the Judicial Center to come up with budgets for hardening that building, which were included in the budget.  He added the Central Energy Plant was not designed to the same requirements for survivability that the ECOC would be and the plant was not operating at peek efficiency because there was not enough of a load on it.  He noted hardening the Central Energy Plant and using it for the power needs of the ECOC would eliminate the necessity of incorporating a redundancy of utilities in the new building because they were already established in the power plant.  He displayed a preliminary elevation of the facility, noting how the design blended with the rest of the buildings on the site and describing the features of the structure as being consistent with the requirements for the grants received for the project.  He displayed the floor plan of the first floor, describing the efficient use of the planned space and how it allowed for the security of the facility to be maintained.  He noted the first floor would house the IT space and file servers, Sheriff’s Communications Center, EMS Emergency Communication, and monitors for traffic management within the communications center.  He displayed the second floor plan, noting it would be primarily the EOC and the offices for Emergency Management along with a large training area that would be available for other County uses.  He described the efforts to consolidate and eliminate special needs, such as eliminating the need for a locker room by lining the corridors with lockers and eliminating the AV control room by creating a work space in the EOC, noting the changes were an effort to make the building as efficient as possible.  He remarked that by consolidating and eliminating some of the spatial needs of the facility they were able to reduce the size of the building by about ten percent and as they moved forward with detailed design they would look at ways to make the building systems as efficient as the floor plan.

Mr. Holcomb continued the PowerPoint presentation, discussing the 911 services that would be in the ECOC and the funding for those services.  He displayed a review of the current 911 services in the County, describing the eight Lake County Sheriff’s Office and City Dispatch agencies, stating they were known as primary centers which meant when a citizen called 911, one of those agencies would be the first to answer the call.  He described the steps of a 911 call, starting with the call being received by the primary center, then they identify if it was a law enforcement or EMS/fire services call; if it was law enforcement they handled the call and if it was fire/EMS the call was transferred to the secondary center which in Lake County was Lake-Sumter EMS.  He discussed the funding portion of 911, explaining it was funded through a collection of fees from phone services in Lake County, collecting roughly about $1.4 million a year to service the 911 system within the County, adding there was additional funding not covered by the 911 phone fees the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) were covering.  He displayed funding figures from the PSAP’s, the slide identifying the number of personnel at each one of the locations providing 911 dispatch services, the 2010 call volume for each agency, the 2010 actual budget and the 2011 budget to go to each agency.  He noted they were directed to look at the reserves to offset some of the funds that would come out of the general fund for their agency and other agencies, which was shown in the increased amounts for the 2011 budget.  He mentioned the numbers not represented on the slide were the funds provided through grants they could apply for twice a year through the State 911 Board which they could use to offset items they were currently not paying for and some of the building costs.  He stated the E911 legislation and rules stated revenues derived from the E911 fee under FL Statute 365.172 and the interest earned were appropriated for E911 purposes by the County Commissioners, adding the State E911 plan established the BCC in each County as the responsible fiscal agent for those funds.  He discussed the benefit of having a co-located communication center such as streamlining the call taking process, a reduction in equipment, expansion capabilities for services, on-site training, and more collaboration and problem resolution.  He explained there were currently 27 law enforcement, EMS, and fire agencies in Lake County and 21 of them would be dispatched from the ECOC.  He specified the remaining six PSAP’s were Eustis, Groveland, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Mount Dora, and Tavares.  He displayed pictures of the current Sheriff’s Office, describing the setup, emphasizing the lack of space and the negative impact of the retrofitting on the necessary technology as well as discussing other issues such as poor ventilation, training issues, no room for additional help if there was a major event or disaster, no room for future growth, noise levels, no break room or quite room, and inadequate accommodations for their electronic equipment.  He displayed pictures of the LSEMS facility, noting it was a storefront facility retrofitted to accommodate the needs, but stressed they shared many of the issues the Sheriff’s Office reported as well as others such as it being a leased facility not hardened against natural/manmade disasters, minimal utility redundancies, only a single toilet and sink restroom for all staff, no direct call link which required calls to be transferred, and substantial security vulnerability.  He mentioned the impact of the Sheriff’s Office remaining in its current location, noting they would have to relocate dispatch from the second to the first floor because of the need for additional space and spend money to remodel the first floor as well as the cost to keep calls live while the renovations were going on, adding there would be no future consolidation of services.

Mr. Smith continued the presentation discussing why the County needed the EOC.  He listed the County requirements for an EOC, stating Florida Administrative Code Rule 9G directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management come every four years and provide an assessment of the County Emergency Management program, requiring the county be able to activate the EOC within one hour.  He specified it was why the current location in the County Administration Building needed to remain set up at all times.  He explained the EOC was a standard of government to maintain operations for citizens and provide for survivors during disasters.  He stressed the County Administration Building currently did not meet FEMA standards for an EOC because of the structural design of the building, the multiple security vulnerabilities, inadequate space for critical community partners, various scattered functions which caused inefficiencies, and when activated it would disrupt normal services to citizens.  He described the requirements for grant funding included committing the new building to emergency management for 15 years and providing day-to-day and sustained continuous emergency operations with a minimum working space for 131 people and a minimum of 11,135 square feet.  He specified State funding was for new construction, Federal funding could assist with potential renovation but would require a renegotiated contract, and all the grants required the building sustain a wind load of up to 160 mph, possess redundancies in the utilities and meet Homeland Security protection measures.  He reported the grant funding details beginning with existing funding contracts such as the $1 million from Direct Appropriation for general construction and equipment which was granted a second modification to extend the deadline to June 30, 2012.  He mentioned the funding available from House Bill 7121 from the Florida Legislature for a grant in the amount of $176,815 for general construction that was granted a fourth modification extending the deadline until June 2012 with an additional $50,358 to go towards hardening expenses extended until June 30, 2011.  He stated he was confident the State of Florida would not request any of the money back, allowing them to go completely through designing and bidding the project using the $1 million provided by the State.  He also mentioned there was $1 million from the Homeland Security Grant Program for general construction, adding the original contract would expire on May 31, 2012.  He discussed pending funding contracts such as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program which could contribute up to $1.5 million towards hardening of the entire project, noting they needed to submit the design documents and specifying the County would pay for hardening the building to 110 mph winds and the grant funds would cover the remaining costs towards design, engineering, and construction to make the building able to sustain the 160 mph winds.  He said they would submit the design plan, due June 30, 2011, and their engineers would confirm the design and generate a contract for the grant funds which would expire October 18, 2012.  He also commented on a pending $800,000 from the Homeland Security Grant Program, saying they were waiting for approval of their environmental study from the Department of Homeland Security.

Commr. Conner asked if those funds were committed.

Mr. Smith replied yes, the money was earmarked from Congress specifically for Lake County.  He then displayed a bar graph of the EOC grant funding contracts which displayed the grants, their amounts, and the expiration dates.  He described the grant challenges, mentioning two of the grants had exhausted all possible extensions and stressing the need to ensure they were in the building or at least possessed a certificate of occupancy by October 18, 2012 because the $1.5 million was allocated by the Stafford Act and extensions were prohibited.  He noted extensions were allowed on the $1 million DHS funding but currently no applications for extension had been submitted.  He was confident all of the deadlines for the grant funding would be met.  He stated if grant funding alone was used for the project it would only pay for a 10,795 square foot building.  He then reminded the Board the County had a minimum requirement of 11,135 square feet and there would be an $111,816 shortfall for meeting all requirements.  He displayed a list of the contents of the minimum sized building, noting it would only have an office for one staff position and would be building a building that was only used during an actual emergency.  He stressed coupling it with the communications center would allow the building to be utilized 24 hours a day.

Commr. Conner asked for clarification on what Mr. Smith said regarding what the EOC would contain if only grant money was used to fund the project.

Mr. Smith clarified if only grant money were used, the minimum requirements for the grant funding would need to be met.  He specified the office for a single staff member would meet the requirement for day-to-day activities and the remainder of the items included in the minimum plan would meet the requirements for sustained emergency operations.

Commr. Conner asked if there would be an area in the facility that could be co-used for another purpose and if it was allowed with the grants.

Mr. Smith responded there would be few things that could be co-used; most of the co-use ideas they had were for the break out rooms and training rooms.

Mr. Swenson continued the presentation, discussing current architectural fees.  He noted the Board approved the contract in September 2010 for $540,000 and about $115,000 of those funds had currently been spent on the spatial needs assessment and the schematic design.  He stated there were three options for the project:  Option 1 would be for the Board to decide to not continue with the project, which would result in having to pay the architectural fees to this date; Option 2 would be to continue with the project in a modified form, which would require renegotiation with the architect depending on what the modified form was; Option 3 would be to continue with the approved project and the current approved contract with the architect.

Commr. Parks requested clarification on the schematic design part of the project, saying it was his understanding it had been completed and they would be receiving a report in three weeks on the projected costs.

Mr. Swenson responded the Board had selected PPI as the contractor, noting they would be tasked with doing the detailed cost estimate and they were also planning cost estimating with an independent cost estimator, a process that would take about three weeks to get a detailed estimate.  He explained the estimates were extremely detailed, covering such things as the estimated number of square feet of drywall needed.  He said after the three weeks, the two estimates would be compared and discussed to see what differences there were and then present back to make sure they were on track within the budget.

Commr. Cadwell questioned if the costs would be substantially lower based on the projections.

Mr. Swenson said yes, they believed there would be an $800,000 reduction.  He opined the other reductions that were not seen as easily in a square foot number would have a lower detailed cost estimate as well.

Commr. Cadwell asked if the amount did not include the contingencies they said they would not need.

Mr. Swenson replied that was correct, when they looked at the bricks and mortar charge and PPI’s willingness to not use any of the contingency the soft costs could be targeted as well to come down in the detailed cost estimate.

Commr. Cadwell opined the project was important to their future and the citizens and there was a good opportunity to use State and Federal funds to make it happen.  He added he hoped the Board decided to continue with the process and let them come back with what the actual costs would be before declining a project they may never be able to do again.

Commr. Parks commented he had differing opinions of the project, that at first he thought they would be spending a lot of money that would be used possibly only one day a year.  He asked if it was an EOC project or if it was a sharing of facilities and services project, and if it was the latter then he would select Option 2 and request they come return in three weeks to show additional savings to the County beyond the ten percent.  He stated the opportunity to have EMS, Fire, and Sheriff’s communication center together was a benefit, and wondered what the cost would be if the County tried to do it independently because of the desire to improve public safety.  He asked when and if they went forward with the project if the current leased property for EMS would be vacated, stating if they gave up the lease and saved those funds he could begin to see the benefit.

Commr. Cadwell agreed the County needed the communications services together, adding since State required the County have an EOC it should be constructed properly while the opportunity existed.  He stressed the importance to public safety in having those departments within the same building, adding there would be no better opportunity to use Federal or State dollars to make it happen.

Commr. Parks commented that in a couple weeks the Board would have an opportunity to review a cost of options showing even more savings.  He asked if the Board would work individually with staff to see what other cost reductions could be realized.

Commr. Cadwell responded it was his understanding the staff had been doing that as much as they could since the discussion at the Board retreat because of how important it was to save the ECOC project.

Commr. Hill agreed, stating she thought the staff had been working towards cost reduction since the first floor plan was created.  She mentioned the one thing that had been impressed upon her during the presentation was the amount of training required and having a training room in the facility would help greatly.  She expressed concern over the insufficient security at the EMS location considering the equipment and supplies contained in the storefront building.  She mentioned she was impressed 21 out of 27 communications departments would be contained in the ECOC, adding she hoped if the building was constructed the other six would join them because of how important it was to have all of them in one location.  She stressed the ECOC was a communications building, not a one event building.  She stated she was in favor of Option3.

Commr. Cadwell commented Commr. Parks could meet with the staff and discuss ideas.

Commr. Parks stated he was ready to take the next step, adding it was encouraging to hear the County would be compensated for the fees.  He remarked they needed to be careful as they progressed to the next step because the funds were still tax dollars.

Commr. Hill expressed she would hate to tell them they have to modify the form.

Commr. Conner remarked that incentivizing the design without following through with the construction was an example of government at its worst and they should not use State or Federal dollars to design the EOC if they were not going to follow through with the building.  He stated the Board had a fiduciary obligation to spend State and Federal dollars just as meticulously as they would local dollars.  He asked if Commr. Campione had anything to add.

Commr. Campione mentioned spending a lot of time over the last two weeks researching all aspects of the project and expressed her appreciation of the time that went into the presentation given at the meeting.  She noted there was a real need to look at the current dispatch situation and equipment and how it was housed because of the issue with security at the current locations.  She added when the equipment necessary for communications operations was put into an existing building, the required retrofitting was cost prohibitive.  She stated the EOC portion was ancillary and the grant dollars could be used towards something the County actually needed such as having primary dispatch out of one location with the hopes of convincing the other cities to join in.  She remarked there was no sense in trying to convince the cities now because there was no available space.  She explained moving the EOC from the current location would create space in the County Administration Building, providing an opportunity for other departments leasing space to move in.  She expressed her concern of taking on the additional cost of running a new building, commenting that getting rid of other lease spaces should reduce operating costs.  She stated her concern about overburdening the infrastructure sales tax revenue, saying she would feel better if the contribution from that fund could be reduced to $1 million.

Commr. Conner remarked he appreciated what Commr. Campione said because the Board had spent 90 percent of the discussion talking about the building and less than ten percent discussing how the County would pay for it, adding on the handout Mr. Minkoff had distributed $391,000 was in red at the end of 2012.  He asked Mr. Minkoff what the red numbers represented.

 Mr. Minkoff responded the figures were a worst case scenario using the assumption each project listed would spend 100 percent of their available funds, which would cause the sales tax fund to be short $391,000 in 2012.  He explained it was possible to move one of the projects back by a couple months to allow for it to fall under the 2013 budget and prevent the deficit.

 Commr. Conner commented on the assumption the County would have $10 million a year in sales tax revenues, noting the funds could fluctuate and while it was not likely it was possible there could be a drop in the revenue for the fund.  He expressed his concern of overburdening the sales tax fund, stating that based off the chart Mr. Minkoff provided the County would have a deficit in the fund.  He explained he was uncomfortable obligating every dollar projected for the sales tax revenues, regardless of how meritorious the project was because it did not leave any funds for new projects.  He added that Mr. Minkoff had said some projects could be moved and he did not anticipate there being less than $10 million in sales tax revenues; but that the red numbers on the paper should be enough to make everyone stop and think.  He asked what fund would cover the operating costs and if it had been calculated how much the operating costs would be and what the impact on the regular budget would be.

Commr. Cadwell commented there were operating costs for where the communications departments were currently located.

Commr. Conner clarified, asking if EMS would reduce their budget by whatever the operating costs of the building would be.

Commr. Cadwell responded yes, they would reduce their budget by that portion.

Commr. Campione added that was the anticipated action.

Commr. Conner asked if any comparisons had been done on the operating costs.

Mr. Minkoff replied the lease reduction for Lake-Sumter EMS would be approximately the same as what the County would save, about $16,000 a year, of which the County only receives 75 percent because of Sumter County.  He explained all buildings were maintained through the general fund.

Commr. Conner asked if Mr. Minkoff did not anticipate funding the operating costs as being a huge problem.

Mr. Minkoff responded he did not anticipate a huge increase in operational costs, particularly if they used the Central Energy Plant.

Commr. Campione stated if the cities could be convinced to join the ECOC, the 911 funds that were currently going to the different dispatch centers would then come to the ECOC.  She commented the cities were also supplementing those centers out of their general funds, so in the long run it would save the cities money while allowing the County to use the 911 funds for operational costs.  She expressed she had not wanted to see the County enter into something that would cost more money to operate, but now she was comfortable with how it would be funded.  She explained the sales tax burden would be lessened with her request for the $2 million reduction in project costs, noting once the costs were lowered they would need to find other revenue sources to help such as the 911 grant money.

Commr. Hill responded she was glad Commr. Campione brought that up because she was thinking the same thing.  She explained she had not been sure if it was possible to use the 911 funds, but it was a possibility.

Commr. Parks added the option of cost would show what cost saves were built into the project and it was the view of the Board to continue to look for every cost savings possible in the design.

Commr. Hill stated they would move forward with the project.

It was the consensus of the Board to move forward with Option 3, continuing with the previously approved plan for the ECOC.

Recess and Reassembly

The Chairman announced at 1:29 p.m. that there would be a 15-minute break.

discussion of county manager position

The Chairman stated she would not like to end the meeting without a consensus on how the Board would be moving forward with the selection of a County Manager.

Commr. Conner made a motion to authorize the Chairman and the County Attorney’s Office to negotiate an employment contract with Mr. Darren Gray, Deputy County Manager, for the position of County Manager, requesting the contract be brought back before the Board on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

Commr. Cadwell seconded the motion.

Commr. Parks stated he supported the motion but asked if the motion were passed if the Board would be reviewing Mr. Gray’s performance after six months.

Commr. Conner responded it was his assumption a six month review would be included as it was a standard component in an employment contract.

Commr. Cadwell asked if Mr. Minkoff would continue as the Interim County Manager until the contract was created and a starting date established.

Commr. Conner answered yes.

Commr. Campione commented on the process of selecting a County Manager, noting her preference was with hiring an outside firm to search for appropriate candidates.  She remarked she supported the selection of Mr. Gray, mentioning she was impressed with his budgetary experience, and she was in favor of the six month review.

Commr. Cadwell thanked Mr. Minkoff for his work as Interim County Manager.

Commr. Hill expressed she supported the selection of Mr. Gray for the position of County Manager, noting she was impressed with his community involvement.  She thanked Mr. Minkoff for his work as Interim County Manager.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Chairman and the County Attorney’s Office to negotiate an employment contract with Mr. Darren Gray, Deputy County Manager, for the position of County Manager, making sure to include a provision for a six month review.

black bear scenic byway committee

Commr. Cadwell stated the Board had appointed him to the Black Bear Scenic Byway Committee, commenting that most of the elected officials on the committee were titularly and noting the previous year Commr. Stewart had the Board replace her with Mr. David Hansen, Public Lands Program Manager.  He mentioned Mr. Hansen was willing to resume the roll of liaison for the Board on the committee, adding Mr. Hansen would report to him and he would report to the Board.  He requested Mr. Hansen become the liaison for the Board on the Black Bear Scenic Byway Committee.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved appointing Mr. Hansen as the official liaison for the Board on the Black Bear Scenic Byway Committee.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:58 p.m.



Jennifer Hill, chairman