september 13, 2011

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in a special workshop session on Tuesday, September 13, 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:  Darren Gray, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; and Shannon Treen, Deputy Clerk.


Commr. Hill led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

Commr. Hill asked to add under her Business a Board of Adjustment appointment and to move Tab 5 before the presentation of Tab 1.

Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, requested to move Tab 4 after Tab 2.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board moved to add the Board of Adjustment appointment to the agenda.

joint resolution with the city of mount dora

Commr. Campione stated that she had been working with the City of Mount Dora on a joint resolution to recognize the area east of Highway 441 on SR 46 where the interchange would be for the expansion of SR 429 for the Wekiva Parkway.  She noted that the 700 acre area was a prime location for attracting primary sector jobs to Lake County, adding that they were hoping for industries targeted by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC), such as high tech, life sciences, media, production, and information technology.  She related that they would need to have adequate infrastructure and find a way to market the location so that everyone knew that the land use was appropriate for a variety of purposes.  She noted that she and the City of Mount Dora decided to create a joint resolution stating that they would work together since part of the property was in the city limits and the other part was in the County.  She explained that the City was the provider of the utilities and that it would be a long term benefit for all of Lake County, particularly the northeastern region because of the significant number of jobs and industries that would be created.

Commr. Cadwell asked whether the County was going to help the City of Mount Dora to develop a funding unit for utilities.

Commr. Campione stated that the City of Mount Dora was the provider of the utilities, adding that the intention was to work with the City because that area would be incorporated into the City.  She noted that they had discussed the possibility of applying for grants together as two jurisdictions.

Ms. Melissa DeMarco, Mayor of the City of Mount Dora, explained that the primary purpose of putting that language in the resolution was to show there were collaborative efforts when seeking grants and funding and that there was a larger governmental entity involved.  She noted that the area would be larger than the Kelly Park Development of Regional Impact (DRI) being proposed in Apopka and that it would not require an interchange.  She opined that it had tremendous potential for economic development in Lake County and related that they were calling it the Mount Dora employment center.  She stated that they needed to adopt a larger strategy in getting the location on the map and noted that they were ready to get the project moving as they were already planning to build a new water treatment plant in that area.  She expressed that the Board, along with the City of Mount Dora, should start being ambassadors for the project, and although she may not be the Mayor much longer, she still supported it.  She added that she was pleased that they were working together.

Commr. Campione stated that the ultimate goal was to attract attention to that area in hopes that the private sector would step up and help with the infrastructure side of it.  She noted that another component of the resolution was to recognize that the Lake Wekiva Trail was another asset of the area and could potentially be incorporated into the ultimate design.

Commr. Cadwell asked whether the energy for the project would still be there once she was no longer Mayor.

Mayor DeMarco replied “yes,” and noted that the entire council would like to push the project forward.  She added that as the Wekiva Parkway came along, the center would become an immediate need; therefore, they should plan now and begin a marketing strategy to let everyone know that opportunity existed in Lake County.

Commr. Conner stated that he was concerned about the language in number 6 under section 2 of the resolution because it seemed as though the County was agreeing to help with the funding of water and sewer.  He expressed that he did not want that to be misconstrued by the City of Mount Dora in the future, so they needed to be very clear that the County was not obligating funds for infrastructure.

Commr. Campione suggested that they add language after the phrase City of Mount Dora that stated “City of Mount Dora, as the utility provider,” to make it clear that they were the provider of the utilities.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board voted to amend Joint Resolution No. 2011-132 with the City of Mount Dora regarding the property east of Hwy 441.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Cadwell, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the amended Joint Resolution No. 2011-132 with the City of Mount Dora regarding the property east of Hwy 441 with the added language of “the City of Mount Dora, as the utility provider,” on number 6 under Section 2.


growth management’s online permitting process

Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, addressed the Board stating that she would discuss the new addition to the portfolio of online permits and noted that she would give an overview of the permitting process as well as the new tools that were being put in place to process single-family dwelling permits electronically through the County’s website.  She explained that the Growth Management and Information Technology Departments have been working together since 2008 to offer online permits to customers.  She then showed a list of permits that could be obtained and paid for online and noted that within the past six months, almost one-third of all of the online permits were processed online.  She stated that the process for obtaining a single-family permit before launching the online system required an owner or contractor to come into the County offices and apply in person.  She specified that the process consisted of obtaining a zoning clearance, a building plan review and a permit from the State Department of Environmental Health if a septic tank or well was needed, and then the permit would be issued.  She added that the process could entail multiple trips to those offices.  She explained that the Growth Management and Information Technology Departments, as well as the Office of Information Outreach and Department of Health had been working together for the past six months to develop a user friendly way of transferring the in-person process into an online portal to allow the permitting process to be done remotely.  She noted that there was an issue with the permits being processed online if there was a need for septic, so they developed a way of allowing staff to process the applicant’s permit for them.  She related that they used the County’s purchasing card system for fee collection, explaining that staff collected the fees through the system and then paid the State for the permits.  She expressed that Lake County was the first county in the State to have single-family residential permitting 100 percent online.

Mr. Gray noted that Ms. Donna Gregory, Administrator for the Lake County Health Department, had been a big part of the team because she wanted to be the first health department in the State to implement the online permitting.

Ms. Anita Greiner, Chief Planner with Growth Management, discussed the steps involved with completing the online permitting application, noting that the application was customized so the applicant knew which forms and documents were required.  She added that they were able to eliminate some of the forms required by creating disclaimers for the applicants to read.  She related that the first step of the application asked the applicant whether they were the owner or builder and what type of dwelling would be built, and the second step asked where the property was located.  She specified that the third step asked for the applicant’s contact information and directions to the job site and the fourth step showed a disclaimer if the applicant noted that the property would be serviced by a septic tank.  She added that the disclaimer would let the applicant know that the County would forward the permit and obtain it for them and they would have to sign an affidavit authorizing the County to do that.  She stated that the fifth step ensured the products met Code standards and the sixth step asked for the job value and square footage.  She noted that once the application was submitted, the applicant would receive an email indicating which documents were required and needed to be uploaded and once the entire application was reviewed, they would receive an email with a breakdown of fees for payment.  She pointed out that after the permit was issued, they would let the applicant know that all of their submitted documents were available on the County’s ftp site for easy access.

Mr. Erikk Ross, Programming and Application Support Director, explained that a mobile website was created so that applicants could check the status of their permit, noting that it was accessible to all smart phones.  He added that they planned to add some basic features, such as requesting an inspection and paying fees.

Ms. Greiner stated that they asked five contractors to test the system, noting that three of those would be giving feedback on the system.

Mr. Paul Caruso, owner of Corban Construction, explained that he thought the system was very simple and easy to understand.  He commented that it could be at least a three trip process normally when applying for a permit and noted that other counties offered the online process, but trips to their offices were still required.  He added that he was able to check the status on his phone and expressed that it was a great asset and he highly recommended it.

Mr. Glenn Phillips, owner of G. Phillips Homes, stated that the entire process was usually a multi trip event and thought the online process was very easy.  He commented that it represented a lot of work behind the scenes and expressed that he was proud that Lake County was being proactive in creating the online permitting and for being the first in the State to be completely online.  He added that it did not take much time to complete the application online and mentioned that he thought it was a benefit to be able to submit the required documents online since those documents were typically already in digital format.  He expressed that he highly recommended it.

Mr. Craig Hegstrom, owner of Hegstrom Homes, commented that his office was located in Sorrento so it did take a lot of time for them to come to the County offices to apply for a permit.  He expressed that he thought it was great to have this process online, especially for when he needed to make minor revisions to the applications.  He suggested that there should be an option to pay for the permit online using a credit card and then prior to the first inspection, pay for the impact fees online by check.

Commr. Conner asked whether the applicants could pay for the permit application with a check or if they were required to pay by credit card.

Ms. Greiner responded that they could mail in a check, but checks could not be processed online.  She added that the applicants received an email stating the options of paying by check or by credit card.

Commr. Conner asked how Lake County was different from other counties with online permitting.

Ms. King stated that the revolutionary part of the new system was that they partnered with the Department of Health on their septic tank permit, noting that no other county had been able to do that yet.  She added that it could save three or fours days depending on the site, but it would alleviate the trips.  She then mentioned that they wanted to accomplish adding the commercial and industrial site plan submittals, preliminary plat submittals and the rezoning submittals online in the future and pointed out that they had been working with the Office of Information Outreach on developing tutorials for all of the permits to assist the customer with the process.  She added that a tutorial was currently in the final development stages for the new single-family permitting process as well as a few of the minor permits.  She explained that they would be launching a new customer friendly portal on Growth Management’s home page that would allow for a better display of the online permitting options and stated that they were recommending that the single-family online permitting process go live on September 14, 2011.

Commr. Parks thanked the testers and the staff for their work on the system and opined that it was a proud day to be in Lake County.  He noted that creating the online system matched their number one goal of creating a business friendly environment and added that their next step was to get the cities involved and coordinate with them to integrate the system.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the launching of Growth Management’s new online permitting processes for single-family dwelling units on September 14, 2011.

public hearings

fire assessment

Mr. Gray recapped that the County hired a consultant to review the fire assessment rate and that a rate was adopted about a month ago.  He stated that Mr. Steve Koontz, Budget Director, would discuss the background of the fire assessment and have a recommendation for the Board.

Mr. Koontz explained that the fire assessment was based on the 2011 Fire Assessment Study that was completed by Tindale-Oliver.  He reported that although the residential rates slightly increased from $175 to $181, all of the other rates decreased.  He noted that the Initial Rate Resolution was approved on July 26, 2011 and that the fiscal impact was $16.4 million.  He added that the public hearing was noticed in the Orlando Sentinel on August 19, 2011.

Commr. Hill stated that the information for the public hearing was also attached to the TRIM notice that was sent to all property owners.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog called FiscalRangers.com, addressed the Board stating that it would be helpful to provide a summary of prior year data for comparison when the final public hearings were held as a courtesy to the public.  He added that the online documents did not provide that information and although those discussions happened at workshops, not all citizens attended those.

There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved Resolution No. 2011-133 to impose Fire Assessments against assessed property located in Lake County, Florida, for the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2011 and approved the rate of assessment and the assessment roll.

solid waste assessment

Mr. Koontz explained that the Solid Waste Material Assessment was $184 and that it had not changed since fiscal year 2009.  He added that the Initial Rate Resolution was approved on July 5, 2011 and that the fiscal impact was $12.3 million.  He noted that the public hearing was also noticed in the Orlando Sentinel and the information was attached to the TRIM notice.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Ms. Gail Curry, a resident of Astatula, addressed the Board stating that she had a 600 foot guest house on her property that had been empty for six years.  She noted that since it only had a bathroom and a refrigerator, there was no way it would provide as much solid waste as her regular house and suggested the Board consider taxing residential properties the same as commercial properties, which was by square feet.  She mentioned that it would also be helpful to place a statement on the TRIM notice indicating that the taxpayer could request a reimbursement of funds on residences that were vacant for an entire year, adding that she just recently became aware of that information.

Commr. Cadwell commented that the Board received her letter and informed her that they had discussed her concerns and were working to resolve them.

There being no one else who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Final Assessment Resolution No. 2011-134 for collection, management, and disposal of solid waste and recovered materials for FY 2011/2012 which included an annual assessment of $184.00.


2012-2016 transportation construction program

Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that he along with Ms. Lori Conway, Funding and Production Director; Mr. Fred Schneider, Engineering Director; and Mr. T.J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), worked together to create the 2012-2016 Transportation Construction Program.  He noted that the program would cost $47 million, adding that it would have cost less but they had to apply the prepayment of impact fees into the program.  He then discussed the projects associated with federal and state grant funds and explained that paved shoulders would be added to CR 450 in Umatilla as well as a traffic light out to SR 19.  He pointed out that a sidewalk would be constructed on CR 561 that would extend from Tavares Middle School to the nearby subdivisions and noted that a traffic light and a sidewalk would be installed at the intersection of CR 565A and Silver Eagle Road.  He explained that $2 million was set aside for capital construction of the South Lake Trail, adding that they were asking for additional money from the Department of Transportation (DOT) so they could finish the project in one phase.  He then discussed the projects associated with the road impact fees fund and stated that in benefit district 1, the realignment project in Altoona was substantially completed, but since there were some funds left over, they were planning to use those for realignments and additional turn lanes on CR 445 from Kismet Road.  He noted that in benefit district 2, the Old Highway 441 (Alfred Street) project was ongoing with the City of Tavares and mentioned that Britt Road was a safety project that was long overdue, adding that they would acquire property for right of way and widen the curves in the narrow parts of the road.

Commr. Cadwell asked if they were able to acquire what was needed.

Mr. Stivender explained that they would have to buy what was needed, adding that they were only making improvements to the curves since that presented a major safety concern.

Commr. Campione asked if they would be able to add additional shoulders on other sections of that road.

Mr. Stivender stated that they were not able to with the current funds, but they planned to address Britt Road again in the future when more funding was available.  He then pointed out that they had an agreement with the State to construct a four lane road on SR 44; however, they decided to utilize those funds to address issues associated with the access to the nearby Publix, and they were still working on getting a commitment from the State to release those funds for that improvement instead.  He stated that in benefit district 3, the project for widening CR 466 was essentially done and the final payouts were already made.  He noted that they were setting aside funds to acquire right of way on CR 466A, adding that they had been working with the City of Fruitland Park to acquire as many properties as they could.  He pointed out that the project for CR 470 was for the connection between Highway 27 and the Turnpike and that it was already designed.  He specified that the project for the Eagles Nest Road intersection was to widen and resurface the remaining part of it, and the project for Radio Road was similar in that it would basically clean up and rehab the area.  He explained that in benefit district 4, the project to widen and resurface Lakeshore Boulevard was an agreement with the Town of Howey-in-the-Hills, and they hoped to start that construction in 2012.  He related that in benefit district 5, they would be acquiring right of way for the Hancock Road extension, which would also use funding from sales tax.  He noted that the project for Hartwood Marsh Road to construct a turn lane was scheduled for 2012.

Commr. Parks asked if there was an approximate time frame of when the Hartwood Marsh Road construction would begin.

Mr. Stivender stated that he was unsure when that project would fit into the schedule, but it would happen in 2012.  He added that once all of the projects were approved, he would be able to map out the projects and could decide what order to do them in.

Commr. Hill asked if the cost for Hancock Road was for right of way only.

Mr. Stivender stated that was correct and noted that if they were able to work out arrangements with some of the larger property owners, then they might be able to save some money and use those funds for construction.

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that they were purchasing properties as soon as they became available with willing sellers, but they did not have appraisals on the large properties yet.  He noted that there were several properties where they would need to buy the house.

Commr. Parks asked if they had determined how many houses they would need to buy.

Mr. Minkoff noted that there were two or three, adding that one large property may be a donation, but they were still uncertain.

Mr. Stivender explained that in benefit district 6, the project for CR 565 was to widen and resurface the road, adding that there was a lot of growth in that area.  He related that CR 565A was associated with a grant project and that was to also widen and resurface the road.  He mentioned that there was an agreement between the County and the City of Mascotte stating that the County would manage the Sunset Avenue project for the City.  He then discussed the projects associated with the sales tax fund and stated that the project at CR 19A and Dillard Road was to construct turn lanes at the Tax Collector’s Office.  He explained that they would start the Project Development & Environmental Study of CR 437 to determine how the County could complement the Wekiva Parkway and noted that they planned to rehabilitate the CR 445 bridge.  He related that they would be making some minimal intersection improvements to CR 455 and CR 50, adding that the long range goal of the Turnpike was to make those roads eight lanes.  He noted that the project at the intersection of Old Highway 50 and Highway 27 in Minneola was to construct a turn lane to help with the traffic back-up that happened in the afternoon, and they planned to make some improvements to the curve on Grassy Lake Road because of accidents at that intersection.  He related that they would add some turn lanes to the intersection of Griffin Avenue and Rolling Acres Road and stated that they would widen and resurface Griffin View Drive on the south end.  He mentioned that they would like to make some intersection improvements at Griffin View Drive and Harbor Hills Boulevard; however, they have not acquired right of way yet, but they did have the design completed.  He specified that the project for Johns Lake Road started off as a sidewalk project to Lost Lake Elementary, but they realized that they would need to rebuild the entire road.  He noted that they would make some intersection improvements at Lake Ella Road because that was a safety issue and explained that they would widen Old Mount Dora Road because it was narrow and had no right of way.  He stated that they wanted to make some improvements on Oswalt Road to connect some of the nearby subdivisions since there had been complaints that traffic was only allowed one way in and out of the subdivisions.  He explained that they had allocated $2.6 million for 2012 for the countywide resurfacing program and that 50 percent of the sales tax funded that.  He noted that the countywide sidewalk retrofit program was to retrofit sidewalks throughout the County for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and mentioned that they did not have new revenue designated for that program as they were trying to keep up with resurfacing roads.  He requested that the Board approve the program so they could move forward and start working on the projects immediately.

Commr. Cadwell asked if there was still a strain on Old Mount Dora Road now that Highway 441 was completed.

Mr. Stivender replied “yes,” and added that many residents still used that road.  He noted that once the improvements were done, that road would be transferred to the City of Eustis.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. T.J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), addressed the Board stating that the MPO team and the Public Works team had worked together on prioritizing regional needs that qualified for state and federal funding.  He noted that the MPO had five projects that were priorities and that were in the production phase.  He explained that they did not have enough funds for the CR 466A project in Fruitland Park; however, they were hoping the residents would step up and want to move forward with it.  He related that the Hancock Road extension in Minneola was a priority not only because of the traffic issues with Lake Minneola High School, but because that project would help connect the proposed interchange at the turnpike.  He noted that the project at CR 470 was also a priority and that Leesburg owned the property around the interchange, so they had the ability to be a partner with economic development.  He mentioned that Hartwood Marsh Road needed improvement from Highway 27 to the South Lake Charter School and that they agreed to not widen the road all the way to Orange County.  He stated that the other projects listed as a priority by the MPO were either still being studied or were being designed and expressed that Lake County needed to get the competitive advantage back since they could not use impact fees as leverage anymore like Sumter County.

Commr. Campione asked what the transportation impact fees were for Sumter County.

Mr. Fish responded that it was about $3,500 per home, but that Sumter County was unique because a developer could come in and make improvements and they would get 100 percent credit back through the impact fee credits.  He noted that the impact fee credit agreements were successful.

Commr. Campione expressed that the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee should start determining whether to put impact fees back in place and what the structure would be like in order to be competitive.

Commr. Parks commented that the Committee was trying to figure out a specific number for a fee and whether impact fees would even be used.  He noted that the Committee would have a recommendation soon.

Mr. Stivender added that if they decided to adopt a fee, they were proposing a discount so that Lake County would be competitive.

Commr. Parks opined that the fee should be tied to unemployment.

Mr. Fish mentioned that he had not heard any momentum to eliminate or increase the fee and related that the Committee understood that impact fees could not be the only funding source and that any new sources would help alleviate and take the pressure off the impact fee program.

Commr. Cadwell asked whether the Economic Development Office had been involved in the discussions regarding impact fees, especially if the discount would be based on unemployment.

Commr. Parks commented that it was a great idea to have Economic Development involved as the Committee finalized their recommendations.

Mr. Fish mentioned that the Committee would be making a presentation to the Board at the end of October.

Ms. Linda Wentworth, a resident of Montverde, asked if it would be eight years before improvements would be made at CR 455.

Mr. Stivender stated that they were planning for minor improvements to the north and south side of CR 455.  He added that the bridge may not even be at that location in the future so they needed to be careful of how many improvements they made to it now.

Ms. Wentworth opined that it was very dangerous coming over the bridge and trying to continue north onto CR 455, especially during rush hour times.  She expressed that it would be better to just add two more stop signs.

Mr. Stivender explained that the bridge was built in 1960 and that there was not a lot of room to make improvements to it.  He mentioned that they kept the project on the program to try to figure out alternatives for how to make the traffic flow better.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog called FiscalRangers.com, addressed the Board stating that he has attended all of the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee meetings, and although Mr. Stivender and Mr. Koontz reorganized the approach at the last meeting by showing data and the priorities of the projects, they still needed to expand on that.  He noted that there had been presentations by the consultant and by the team that completed the transportation study in 2008, and neither of those had been brought to the Board for approval.  He expressed that his concern was that a lot of information was being discussed at those meetings, but there was not any kind of facilitation process to accumulate those ideas.  He suggested that the Board organize the objectives of what they wanted to hear from the Committee so they had direction since that had been lost over the past several meetings.

Commr. Hill commented that the Committee had all new members and that there had been staff turnover within that department as well.

Commr. Parks related that the purpose of the Committee was made very clear at the beginning of the meetings, but they had to deal with tough issues.  He stated that although there had been some problems with not having the right information, he thought they were doing a good job.

Mr. Alan Winslow, Capital Facilities Advisory Committee member, clarified that the Committee was basically starting from scratch and noted that they not only had to discuss impact fees, but they had to discuss the gas taxes and the sales tax because they were all up for renewal within the next three to four years.  He expressed that it was a very complex situation and related that they were close to having a recommendation which would include prioritizing the options.

The Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the 2012-2016 Road Impact Fee, the Federal/State Grants, and the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects-Road Transportation Construction Program.

reports – county manager

Go Green, Get Green rebate program

The County Manager informed the Board that he would be sending a memo to all County employees that week letting them know that they could participate in the Go Green, Get Green rebate program.


appointment to the board of adjustment

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed Ms. Mary Link Bennett to replace Mr. Robert S. Levens as the At-Large member to the Board of Adjustment to serve the remainder of an unexpired term ending January 31, 2015.

lake emergency medical services meeting

Commr. Hill reminded the Board of the EMS meeting at the Ag Center at 1:00 p.m. that afternoon.

reports – commissioner parks – district 2

West Orange South Lake Transportation Task Force meeting

Commr. Parks reminded the Board of the West Orange South Lake Transportation Task Force meeting on September 14, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at the City of Winter Garden City Hall where they would have a visioning session regarding Wellness Way.

traffic light at summit greens

Commr. Parks asked the Board to defer the decision regarding installing a traffic light at the Summit Greens community and Hancock Road in Clermont since he was unsure whether the entire community supported that.  He noted that he spoke with Dr. Charles Mojock, President of Lake Sumter Community College (LSCC), about the concern of installing that traffic light, since Dr. Mojock felt that the nearby intersection of Oakley Seaver Drive was more warranting of a traffic light.  He explained that he did still want to pursue getting a deceleration lane off of Highway 50 into Summit Greens.

Commr. Hill asked whether a study was completed for that area.

Mr. Stivender replied that the Board had been shown a map that identified future signal locations, with Oakley Seaver Drive as one of the key locations.  He added that a requisition for $18,000 was prepared for engineering to design the light so he wanted direction on how to proceed.

Commr. Parks commented that they should hear comments from LSCC, the National Training Center (NTC) and the Summit Greens Homeowners Association first.  He pointed out that although a lot of people supported the traffic light, there were some that did not.

Commr. Conner mentioned that he had spoken with Dr. Mojock as well about the concern of whether installing a traffic light at Diamond Players Club would prohibit another light at Oakley Seaver Drive.  He explained that staff conveyed that there would be no legal issue that would prevent them from installing both lights.  He pointed out that there had been a unanimous Commission vote on that issue and that it needed to be added to the agenda if they wanted to reconsider it.

Commr. Parks expressed that having two traffic lights close together may not be the best thing to do and that it could affect future development for the NTC and LSCC.

Commr. Campione stated that they might want to back up a bit before they spend money on engineering.  She pointed out that she had received a disconcerting email stating that the residents of Summit Greens were told to utilize that specific entrance so that the traffic counts were higher.  She noted that they had also been receiving additional information about how the traffic light would impact other entities and suggested they rethink their decision.

Commr. Parks mentioned that although many residents wanted the traffic light, he thought the deceleration lane was more important to them.  He noted that he wanted to recognize true safety concerns, but the traffic light did not meet the warrant for the test.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried by a 4-1 vote, the Board approved for the Summit Greens traffic light issue to be added to the September 20, 2011 meeting agenda for reconsideration.

Commr. Conner voted “no.”

reports – commissioner conner – district 3

concern about books in children’s section of libraries

Commr. Conner informed the Board that he had received phone calls stating concerns that there were inappropriate books in the children’s section of libraries.  He added that the issue was brought up over a year ago, and he thought it had been resolved, but he would like it to be addressed again.

Mr. Gray stated that the issue was with the Leesburg Public Library, noting that was a member library and that the Commission had never made a decision in regards to that issue.  He added that there was an appeal process they could go through to address it.

Commr. Cadwell explained that he was not on the Library Advisory Board when the issue was originally discussed, and there had not been any discussion on it until now when they received a letter from Senator Alan Hays.  He commented that he would bring the issue up at the next meeting.

Commr. Campione asked whether the Board could direct the Leesburg Public Library to remove those books from the children’s section.

Mr. Minkoff explained that the first amendment was implicated when political bodies started making decisions about where books should be placed in a library and added that the federal courts had struck down decisions by elected boards to move books based on content.  He related that the Leesburg Public Library went through an objective process where they based changes upon objective criteria, and the results ended up at their city council.  He remarked that the first amendment was the utmost important in the Constitution and that it was protected by the courts.


septic tank legislation

Commr. Campione stated that there would be a Legislative Delegation meeting on September 28, 2011 and suggested that they get together information regarding the septic tank legislation that was proposed last year for that meeting.  She noted that she was unclear of what would be implemented and who would be responsible, adding that they would then be able to let their legislative delegation know where they stood on the issue.

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that they could get the information from Florida Association of Counties and opined that if the State was going to implement the plan, then they should have to pay for it.

Commr. Campione related that some time ago the Water Authority had stated concerns regarding water quality in the Haines Creek area, adding that there were many mobile home parks and developments that had old private package plants that were near waterways.  She pointed out that a lot of the pipes were never tested and had leaked, causing a flooding incident where a stormwater system had collected waste.  She added that was a source of pollution in some of the waterways and suggested that they discuss the issue with the Health Department.

Mr. Minkoff stated that Mr. Gregg Welstead, Conservation and Compliance Director, had been involved with the issue in the Haines Creek area and that he would be able to inform the Board about it.

Commr. Campione stated that the Water Authority had identified four or five places for where the source could have been, and it was not just one incident but it was ongoing.

Commr. Parks related that they should also ask about the location of older sprayfields, because some of those sprayfields that came from the package plants were very close to wetlands.  He stated that they were legally permitted, but they were an issue.

reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5

Parks and recreation committee meeting

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that the Parks and Recreation Committee met on September 12, 2011 where an update on the South Lake Trail was presented as well as the draft agreement for the Minneola Athletic Complex.

environmental science technology degree

Commr. Cadwell noted that Lake Sumter Community College would start offering an Associate in Science Degree in Environmental Science Technology in the spring and noted that County staff had helped LSCC with the curriculum.

economic development council luncheon

Commr. Cadwell reminded the Board of the Economic Development Council innovation luncheon on September 14, 2011.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:23 a.m.



JENNIFER hill, chairman