february 14, 2012

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in workshop session on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 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:  Leslie Campione, Chairman; Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Jimmy Conner; and Welton G. Cadwell.  Others present were:  Darren Gray, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Niki Booth, Office Associate V; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.

Agenda update

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, clarified that the agenda item on Tab 1 of the County Manager’s Consent Agenda indicates that this is a one-year renewal, but they have written the contract this year to automatically renew unless it is terminated, so they would not have to bring that School Board agreement back.

citizen question and comment period

There was no one who wished to address the Board.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 1 through 6 as follows:

Community Services

Request to authorize the BCC Chairman to renew for a one (1) year period the Agreement between Lake County and the Lake County School Board to provide all students with the opportunity to participate in the Career, Adult & Community Education Driver’s Education Program - Behind the Wheel Training. The fiscal impact is $278,000.00.

Request for approval to give the County Manager authority to sign the Direct Pay form to Shands University of Florida for an inpatient medical stay qualified under the Health Care Responsibility Act (HCRA) guidelines. The Direct Pay requires the County Manager's signature as the invoice total exceeds $25,000.00. The fiscal impact is $28,643.64.

Request for approval and signature on the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Services Agreement to provide transportation to the developmentally disabled. The fiscal impact is $136,000.00.

Request for approval and signature on Resolution No. 2012-11 accepting unanticipated revenue received from the Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged for the Shirley Conroy Rural Area Capital Assistance Support Grant. The fiscal impact is $77,252.00 - $69,526.80 Grant / $7,725.20 County).

Facilities Development and Management

Request for approval to award contract 11-0024 for on-call construction cost estimating to Cost Management, Inc. (CMI) in conjunction with the County’s needs. Fiscal impact cannot be determined at this time.

Public Works

Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Office Associate IV position within the Public Works Department/Engineering Division. (Fiscal impact is $41,089.)

workshop – solid waste


Mr. Gray explained that this presentation is based on the recommendations made by the Solid Waste Alternative Task Force (SWATF) a few months ago, and staff has reviewed all of those, which they will go through during this presentation.

Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, related that the SWATF started meeting in May 2010, which was about the time that he was put in charge of solid waste, and met through July 2011 to review all of the information and make recommendations.  He specified that they made their 22 recommendations to the Board in September of 2011, and he was hoping to get some direction on all of those topics today after going through the outline, recommendations, and action plan.  He related that the County currently has a $22 million solid waste budget, and they expect that to be about a $16 million program annually in the future.  He showed a diagram illustrating the waste collection system in the unincorporated part of the county, including the waste-to-energy plant where most of their material currently goes and the solid waste operation in their central facility located on the south side of Tavares, which currently receives ash as their majority volume material as well as a lot of yard waste and hazardous waste.  He noted that the two franchise haulers collect from over 67,000 residential units in this county broken up into three areas, and they currently have a good collection service that would be difficult to get residents to agree to change, which included twice a week pickup of garbage and yard waste, once a week recycling pickup, and bulk items picked up upon request.  He stated that there was an 80-acre site in Astatula that was purchased in 1972, which was the County’s first permitted landfill and was closed in 1995, and that the Central Phase II Landfill, which is the ash facility, was opened in 1991 and was at capacity.  He continued to explain that operations at the five-acre Central Phase III Ash Cell site began in 2011, and they started putting their diversion waste and some ash into that cell, which he noted would not be full by 2014.  He pointed out that they also have a Central Phase III MSW Cell that is pending with a 20-year life, which would be used if the prices for disposal were not favorable in the future.  He related that their recycling center has been there for over 20 years, and they were looking into rearranging the drop-off center space to make it more efficient for their customers and use half the space they are using at that facility by adopting some ideas from other counties.  He went over the drop-off centers (convenient centers) located throughout the county, including the heaviest used centers at Rolling Acres and Loghouse.  He reported that 173,000 tons or 84 percent of their solid waste went to Covanta in FY 2010/11, and there was 10,533 tons of yard waste and 10,370 tons of recycling which they were planning on increasing once they did not have to keep the tonnage up in order to meet the required amount they are required to send to Covanta.

Mr. Stivender pointed out that the SWATF concentrated on solid waste collection and disposal options for 2014 and beyond, while considering economics, efficiency, feasibility, and environmental issues.  He named the committee members, who were Chairman Curtis Binney, Brenda Boggs, Chloe Gentry, Dan Gorden, Donald Taylor, Lindell Dorsett, and Richard Grier.  He indicated that in the past there had been some issues with some of their previous haulers, but the two current haulers have been excellent providers of service for Lake County, and the contracts expire with the haulers in 2014, which is the same year as the expiration of the Covanta contract.  He pointed out that there were a lot of options after that time, and he opined that narrowing those down was a challenge for the committee.  He presented a timeline to get the RFQ out for collection and/or disposal services by October, and he noted that they have a meeting with the cities after they get direction in March to see if they want to join the County in that contract.  He commented that he planned to start the solicitations for collection after January 2013 and spend the rest of the year evaluating the process, and he recommended awarding the contract during the 2013/14 budget year.  He related that the disposal contracts would go into effect in July, when the Covanta contract expires, and the collection contracts in October, since that was the end of the hauler contracts.

Mr. Stivender went over the first recommendation of the SWATF, which was to continue the existing Universal Collection for all residential units in unincorporated Lake County for curbside collection service, and he stated that staff recommended moving forward with that recommendation.  He related that the next recommendation was to continue with exclusive franchised residential and commercial collection districts based on regional efficiency and a minimum of two haulers, and he pointed out that the Board could renew the contracts they currently had with the haulers if they so desired; however, they could also solicit for competitive procurement, since they have not examined other options for a long time and did not know what else was out there.  He added that SWATF believed that they should keep two haulers with three districts in case something went wrong with the service, although the current haulers did not have a record of any problems.  He listed Recommended 3, which was to institute mechanized collection for solid waste provided that it was economically feasible as was currently being used in many of the municipalities, with possible cart sizes of 96, 64, or 48 gallon, and he pointed out that the haulers would end up with a longer contract of about 7 to 9 years with this kind of collection in order to recoup the capital costs of the containers that they would provide.  Recommendation 4 also suggested this kind of mechanized collection for residential single-stream curbside recycling using the kind of carts previously mentioned in Recommendation 3, which would be easier to take to the curb as well as larger than the ones currently used and hopefully result in an increased amount of recycling.  He pointed out that the market trend was going toward single-stream recycling, which was thought to be better, easier for residents, and more efficient, and he commented that he was hoping to change the culture of society resulting in increased recycling.

Mr. Stivender related that Recommendation 5 suggested instituting once per week garbage, recycling, and yard waste pickup, all with the mechanized collection previously proposed where feasible, with other options for the rural areas.  He commented that the challenge will be to get the public to accept the reduced number of days of pickup of solid waste, especially in the months of warmer weather, and he was anticipating that the recycling container would be the larger container.  He pointed out that the committee felt strongly about Recommendation 6, which was to require the franchised haulers to offer commercial recycling and recycling education to all customers, and he stated that Recommendation 7 was to maintain residential bulk item collection upon request, which they felt would result in less litter throughout the county.  He stated that the committee’s Recommendation 8 was to continue residential household hazardous, electronic, and pharmaceutical waste collection, and he commented that the joint program they have had with the Sheriff’s office for collection of pharmaceutical waste has worked well and resulted in a lot of waste collected.  He added that part of this recommendation was to maintain the small quantity generators program, including a minimum of 26 community collection events per year at convenient locations, as well as to evaluate residential curbside pickup of household hazardous waste and implement that if it was deemed economically feasible.  He reported that the ninth recommendation of the committee was to continue offering drop off centers with days and hours of operation based on demand, with consideration given to privatization, and he noted that the County currently has drop off centers called convenience centers, and they were working on their hours of operation to make it more flexible for the customer.  He commented that the challenge is that currently $3.4 million goes into solid waste mainly to keep the price per ton of disposal down, and it was estimated to cost $800,000 to run programs like this that would not be tied to the individual residents, with the objective being to get everything cleaned up throughout the county and disposed of properly.  He showed on a graph the amount of people who come into each facility and the current hours of operation and indicated that he could improve on those hours by readjusting staff’s schedules to make the convenient centers more convenient for the public, such as staying open later on weekdays so people can come after work hours and adding days of operation, especially for the well-used facilities.  He indicated that they will also use that funding source to improve the layout of some of those facilities to make it more efficient for the customer, as well as improvement of signage and asphalt surface.

Mr. Gray added that they were still debating whether to use general fund money for collection and looking at other sources; however, although they took out the $3 million that they currently spend out of the general fund model that was presented to the Board in December for the Covanta contract, the $800,000 mentioned above was already incorporated into that model.

Commr. Cadwell commented that they need to strive to include everything they could fairly fund under the enterprise fund, and he asked what the industry standard was for the number of years the hauling contracts would entail in order for them to recoup that investment.

Mr. Stivender responded that they had discussed 7 to 9 years, but he was concerned about going over ten years on any contract.

Commr. Cadwell asked whether there would only be marginal savings with going to once a week pickup.

Mr. Skip McCall from Solid Waste Operations responded that they determined that it would be best to get the price of both once and twice a week collection from the haulers to determine what the best price would be.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that once per week pickup would result in fewer trucks as well as less maintenance on the roads, especially on roads that were difficult to maintain.  He also noted that they would still have to pay something out of the general fund even if they privatize the convenience centers.

Mr. Stivender responded that they were anticipating saving some money on equipment if they found a firm that provided vehicles to haul some of that material.

Commr. Parks asked for more detail about how they plan to accomplish the education component of the single-stream recycling.

Mr. Stivender answered that their intention is to put a program together as part of the Board’s direction today that started immediately to educate the public, including civic community groups, about what would happen starting in 2014, pointing out that this would save residents money since recycling would cost less to get rid of.

Commr. Campione opined that the size and lack of wheels of the current containers were deterrents to use, since those containers could be heavy and hard to get to the curb, and she believed that part of the education process could be pointing out how much more convenient it would be when they implement that program with those changes.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that their recycling numbers are poor compared to other counties, and they would not be able to reach the recycling credits that they need without the current waste-to-energy tonnages without increasing their recycling tonnage.

Mr. Stivender responded that the recycling rate was at 40 percent with Covanta and 10 percent without Covanta at this time, and it will be a challenge to get to the 75 percent expected by the state without totally changing the culture and mindset of the County’s residents.  He related that he will present some goals later in the presentation that will address that issue.

Commr. Conner opined that getting the cities on board and including the cities in a bid process would be the most critical component to save money and increase their efficiency, which would also result in having a uniform system countywide.  He asked what the feedback was that they were getting from the cities regarding this.

Mr. Stivender answered that he has had several discussions with the cities, including Leesburg and Tavares, and they had a meeting set for March 22 with all of the cities at the Agricultural Center to go over the direction that the Board will give him today.  He added that he redrew the lines on the collection hauling maps to better serve the County and municipal haulers that were in the same district without splitting cities to try to make it more efficient.

Commr. Cadwell noted that this proposed system puts more emphasis on an urban type system that would have to be tweaked for the more rural areas, making it easier for the cities to join.

Commr. Conner proposed that one of the highest priorities in giving direction to their staff would be to invite the cities to be included as part of this in order to maximize savings.

Mr. Stivender pointed out that many of the cities will want to know how the lines are going to be drawn regarding having the incorporated, unincorporated, and enclave areas better defined as well as the prices and where they would dispose of the material, so he was working on better defining those lines.  He commented that it may be a year before they have all of that information in place and to get the final inclusion of some cities, and they need to structure their RFQ process so that it is set up that way.

Commr. Campione expressed concern about going to one-day a week pickup, and she wanted to make sure that they were looking at exactly what the cost differential will be in the process.  She expressed doubt that the cities would want to change the frequency of their pickup.

Commr. Parks commented that residents with babies might be concerned about the frequency of pickup of their dirty diapers.

Commr. Conner did not think it would make common sense for once a week collection to be the same price as twice a week collection, and he pointed out that most people only put their garbage out once a week.  He commented that to reduce cost it would be necessary to reduce service, but he believed they could lower the demand if they change the habits and behaviors of residents and use large recycling containers, which he believed was the key to reducing cost as well as bringing the cities in.  He also opined that the more customers they had when they did their request for proposal, the more competitive bids they would get.

Commr. Cadwell asked if there was any recommendation that the Board did not feel comfortable moving forward with in regard to collection.  He commented that he was very happy with their current haulers, but this would be the County’s first chance to look at the whole system with a clean slate and have some choices for collection and disposal of solid waste, which they never had before.  He added that direction for Recommendation 9 would include looking at privatizing part or all of the convenience centers.

Commr. Campione commented that residents would be receptive to a new system if they believe that it would save them money.  She also opined that making the convenience centers as competitive and efficient as possible would be the key to working that into the general fund.  She summarized that the Board was giving consensus for the SWATF recommendations 1 through 9 regarding solid waste collection.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced that there would be a 15-minute recess at 10:00 a.m.

reports – commissioner conner – district 3

hickory point park week proclamation

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved and executed Proclamation No. 2012-12 proclaiming February 19 through February 25, 2012 as Hickory Point Park Week.

solid waste workshop (cont’d)

Commr. Campione asked the public for any comments regarding the SWATF recommendations 1 through 9.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog called fiscalrangers.com, expressed doubt that the savings would be minimal by switching from two to one collection times per week, since there was a significant cost of keeping those trucks maintained and staffed, and he also pointed out that the automated trucks only had one employee per truck rather than two.  He suggested that the County put a decal on the containers that had all of the rules and a website with a webpage dedicated to solid waste and to exclude Mondays as a pickup day, since most holidays fall on that day, especially with one day a week collection.   He opined that there needed to be a better way to evaluate the cost and noted that the study did not contain any discussion of cost.  He cautioned the Board about not giving larger vendors preference due to high cost marketing efforts, as discussed at the previous meeting, as well as to look closely at all technologies before making that choice.  He also opined that the recommendations were very well thought out.

Mr. Dan Gorden, a member of the SWATF, commented that he enjoyed the opportunity to work on the committee and learn a lot about solid waste, and he cautioned the Board against starting completely with a clean slate, since they have already built up business relationships with people and have gotten to know who does the job well or not.  He urged the Board to work with businesses that had a good track record and were currently doing a good job for the County to negotiate what they want to keep them if they possible could, since choosing a vendor who did not pick up the garbage as expected would cause a mess and a lot of problems for the County, especially since the County currently has a system that seems to be working.

Commr. Cadwell responded that those relationships would be inherent in the process, but he wanted to give everyone a chance at those contracts.

Commr. Conner added that the Board should be leery of very low bids.

Solid Waste Disposal

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, related that he will give a brief overview of the current disposal contract with Covanta, noting that this agreement terminates in 2014, and he explained that the Covanta agreement went back to 1988 when the County signed an agreement with what was Covanta at the time, emphasizing that contrary to popular opinion it was a service agreement only and was never intended to be the County’s facility.  He elaborated that the contract called for about 70 percent reduction of waste and that those thresholds have always been met; also, the County pays for the service and agreed to dispose of the ash.  He explained that the facility was financed through industrial revenue bonds that had Lake County’s name on them, but they were no different than those that the County does for other private businesses.  He noted that the fee the County pays to Covanta is very complex involving a lot of factors, one of which includes the debt service on the bonds, and he commented that the largest difficulty for the County was that the contract put most of the risks of the operation on the County.  He related that the County became unhappy with the way the costs were escalating during the 2001-2002 timeframe due to changes in law that required them to make changes to the facility which the County was responsible to pay for, so the Board elected to begin litigation to try to terminate or modify the contract or to at least obtain information specifying those costs.  He went on to explain that during this time, Covanta’s parent company at the time filed for bankruptcy, which moved the County’s litigation into bankruptcy court in the southern district of New York, and the County discovered that there was a third party who was a partner to the agreement; the County then attempted to eliminate the third party, and it was determined in court that the third party did not have any interest in the agreement, which became the catalyst for a settlement in 2004 which resulted in a $30 million savings over the remaining term of the contract.  He reported that the debt service will be paid off in 2013, and the contract with Covanta will expire in 2014, at which time they will be completely free from any obligation to Covanta unless they elect to enter into a new agreement with them.

Commr. Cadwell emphasized that the Covanta that they currently have an agreement with is not the same Covanta that they dealt with at the time of the original agreement.

Mr. Stivender related that Recommendation 10 of the SWATF, which is the first recommendation having to do with disposal, emphasized that priority should be placed on volume reduction, which will result in maximizing the useful life of the Central Facility to avoiding using that facility unless they were forced to by expenses or cost, through alternatives such as recycling of solid waste, household hazardous waste, and electronic waste; reuse of yard waste; waste-to-energy; bio-reactor landfill; and future technologies that further reduce volumes.  He commented that the Covanta waste-to-energy facility has been a viable option and successful in the ability to reduce volume, and the electric revenue that the County was getting was an additional benefit.  He pointed out that although the committee also recommended transferring the remaining waste to a state permitted location to reduce the amount going to the Central Facility, they wanted the County to reduce the waste as much as possible first before they haul it anywhere.  The next recommendation he went over was to enhance the current program of disposing of hazardous waste and electronic waste from the waste stream through a state-approved facility, and he mentioned that the County currently had successful programs in place to recycle hazardous materials such as cooking oils and paint.  He stated that Recommendation 12 was to increase recycling of residential and commercial waste through a private vendor, since the amount of money that the County would have to spend to create a single-stream recycling program would be prohibitive and would be better left to a private-sector recycler, and he informed the Board that they were planning to eliminate the County’s current facility altogether.  He related that the committee’s next recommendation was to increase the reuse of yard waste and promote residential composting, with the possibility of the County’s assistance to residents with setup of the program.  He explained that currently a lot of the County’s yard waste goes to Covanta or has been piling up, and they have not done a good job using that yard waste productively; however, they are currently doing a successful test program with C & C Peat Co. using that material to produce potting soil.  He showed illustrations of composting bins that residents could use in their back yard, and the committee had an idea to have the County or one of their vendors buy in bulk and sell them to the residents at a discounted rate to help reduce curbside waste.  He related that Recommendation 14 was to minimize the use of the Central Facility in order to maximize its useful life, and he pointed out that they could start using that facility anytime if the County could not find a more cost-effective alternative, since it was permitted and meets all of the codes.

Mr. Stivender noted that staff had some reservations about the word “simultaneously” in Recommendation 15, which recommended that the County simultaneously negotiate with Covanta; other private entities engaged in waste disposal; and private entities involved in volume reduction, reuse, and recycling; and compare all of the pricing for these options with the cost of operating the Central Facility.  He commented that there was going to be a big matrix of decision-making regarding this issue, and they would be considering a myriad of factors, such as hauling distance and issues with a disposal site.  He related that Recommendation 16 stated that the County should base the decision on how to dispose of solid waste on a variety of factors, including cost and environmental concerns, and adverse environmental factors may justify choosing a more expensive disposal option.  This recommendation also suggested that the County avoid disposal contracts that obligate the County to deliver a mandated amount of waste, unless the benefits are thoroughly evaluated and understood, as well as long-term contracts that create unjustifiable risk to the County; however, they recommended that the County plan for at least 30 years into the future.  He summarized that the committee and staff felt that those recommendations would save money, do the right thing for the environment, and dispose of everything appropriately and at several different locations; and he pointed out that there were different disposal and collection options which they would need to work through.  He added that Recommendation 15 was where they would negotiate through all of their issues with Covanta and other entities and explore all of their disposal options, which he opined would be complex.

Commr. Hill asked for clarification of whether they were planning to put out an RFP for waste-to-energy and hauling all at the same time.

Mr. Stivender responded that that was correct and added that they would even put those out for the recycling centers for single-stream recycling while figuring out the best way to put all of those options together.

Commr. Hill noted that the entire contract with Covanta could change, not just with the tonnage and the satisfaction of the bond, and they will also be looking at price and revenue from the electricity.

Mr. Minkoff explained that they have discussed a smorgasbord RFP which could be bid strictly on hauling, disposal, recycling, or a combination of them, and he pointed out that the committee recommended that they do not guarantee tonnages to anybody unless there was a significant advantage to the County to do that and they were absolutely certain they would have the tonnages.  He elaborated that anyone who bids would give them a cost per ton to dispose, and they would look at all of the other factors such as the environmental element and bring it back to the Board for evaluation.

Commr. Campione clarified that they would want to know exactly where waste was to be hauled and make sure they were comfortable with the site, which would be addressed in the RFP so that it was clear what the Board was expecting to be included in their response.

Mr. Stivender explained that they wanted to get direction from the Board before moving forward with this, and then staff would work through the RFP to get it ready.

Commr. Parks asked how they would measure environmental concerns and benefits mentioned in Recommendation 16.

Mr. Stivender mentioned that one example would be that putting waste only in the landfill would probably not be the best option regarding environmental factors, but reducing that waste in other ways such as reuse or composting before putting what was left in the landfill would be one way to offset that, and they would look at the big picture of being a good environmental steward.  He also added that reducing the trucks on the highway due to efficiency would result in less aging of the road system and savings of fuel cost.  He related that one of their discussions was about having a bioreactor landfill where the waste is actually composted within the cell, which would maximize the gas that could be collected from the landfill, and they have been discussing a lot of different technologies that were available.

Ms. Brenda Boggs, a member of the SWATF, stated that the committee also expressed a reluctance to haul the waste out of the area, but their biggest concern was to reduce and reuse everything as much as possible and then to dispose of whatever was left somewhere that was close by or utilizing a better option than at a landfill.

Mr. Richard Grier, a member of the SWATF, suggested that regarding Recommendation 3, they should offer two 48-gallon carts instead of offering one 96-gallon cart for trash, with a possibility of a reduced price for only taking one of those 48-gallon carts, which he believed would go a long way toward educating the public about recycling and reduce the amount of trash that would have to be disposed of as well as result in a price savings.  He opined that the word “negotiate” should be changed regarding Recommendation 15 so that it would not imply that they would definitely be working with Covanta, and although he believed there were a lot of advantages to working with Covanta, he believed it should be a level playing field.

Commr. Conner clarified that there will be a bid process as opposed to just negotiating.

Mr. Grier continued to mention that the committee looked at a lot of possibilities for single-stream recycling, but he believed that a single-stream recycling plant in Lake County would provide a lot of jobs and that they should keep the recycling within the county, especially in these economic times and with the variability of fuel prices.

Commr. Conner opined that they need to put recycling cans where there were garbage cans for general public use across the county, which would greatly increase the volume of recycling, and he believed they would get a high degree of voluntary compliance without making recycling mandatory, especially if they set up a fee structure that would encourage that.  He commented that he was impressed with the work of the SWATF and believed that it was a very effective committee.  He also mentioned that he particularly agreed with Recommendations 14 and 15, and he did not think the 20-year capacity of the landfill was a long period of time.

Mr. Minkoff noted that state law prohibits local governments from controlling the flow or mandating pickup of recyclables.

Mr. Gray stated that he planned to bring the proposed RFP’s back before the Board before issuing them to ensure that everyone was in agreement.

Mr. Grier added that during their committee meetings, a developer from a contiguous property offered to sell to the County 80 acres which were adjacent to the landfill, and he suggested that the Board consider buying that property to give the County more years of capacity if it was needed or to locate a composting facility at that site to create compost that could be used on the County’s roadsides and parks.

There was consensus for acceptance of Recommendations 10 through 16.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced that there would be a ten-minute recess at 11:25 a.m.

solid waste workshop (cont’d)


Mr. Stivender pointed out that the use of a 96-gallon recycling container and a 48-gallon garbage container will reduce cost and change the culture.  He then went over the pie chart illustrated on the monitor that represented the revenues and expenditures making up the $22 million solid waste FY 2012 budget, pointing out that they have 163,000 tons going through this system; however, if they reduce the amount of tons to between 100,000 and 110,000 tons, they could reduce the budget by one third.  He pointed out that the special assessment in blue on the pie chart was the bulk of their revenue stream at 53 percent, with tipping fees and the general fund transfer making up the next largest portion, and he noted that currently recycling made up just a small portion of the budget.  He reported that the hauler contracts made up a large part of the expenditures at 42 percent, with the next largest part or 25 percent going to Covanta, 16 percent for loans and transfers, and 10 percent for payroll and administration.  He reported that the general fund contribution which was close to $8 million in 2007 is currently down to $3.4 million as they have reduced their general fund demand over the years, and their intention this year is to reduce it five percent from the top before they set up their budget this year.  He pointed out that the special assessment has stayed the same at $184, although their hauling costs and fuel costs have risen, and the only way that they have been able to keep their head above water is through the electric revenue generated by the contract with Covanta; however, that revenue as well as the general fund contribution will disappear in 2014.  He specified that $52 dollars of the $184 special assessment which is tied to disposal has stayed steady, but the cost of collection currently has a shortfall of $8 per residential unit, but a report received from the internal auditors from the Clerk’s Office indicated a higher cost of an additional $6 to $8 associated with collection and processing the paperwork, resulting in about $200 per year associated with that service per household.  He opined that although they are absorbing those costs in the budget now, they will not be able to do so in the future.  He recapped that the Covanta bond payments end in 2013, the Covanta agreement ends on July 1, 2014, and the agreement with the haulers ends on September 30, 2014.  He commented that he hoped to have a source in place so the haulers will know where to take materials for the three months after the Covanta contract ends.

Commr. Conner asked if it would be advantageous to figure out a way through voluntary compliance of their haulers to move the end of their contract to July 1 instead of September 30.

Commr. Stivender responded that they have been discussing that possibility.

Mr. Minkoff added that they would have to look at the responses and the bids and determine what would change before they can answer those kinds of questions, but they would have to deal with that overlap of time frame as they move forward if there was a change.

Commr. Conner asked for staff to ask the haulers to do that, since it would make the process a lot simpler. 

Mr. Minkoff stated that asking Covanta to extend it for three months would get them the same result, and they would have to evaluate the costs involved to do either of those things.

Mr. Stivender continued his presentation by explaining that Recommendation 17 of the committee was to ensure that the Solid Waste Assessment covers all enterprise fund costs except for the special assessment billing and establishing a reserve fund for extraordinary or catastrophic events such as hurricanes, which he believed could be addressed within the overall reserves.  He noted, however, that Recommendation 18 spelled out programs the SWATF suggested come out of the general fund, since they would assist all unincorporated as well as corporated residents, which were the collection and disposal of hazardous, electronic, and pharmaceutical waste; drop off centers; and the education program; and Recommendation 19 suggested that they work with the cities to provide a coordinated collection and disposal system.  He stated that in accordance with Recommendation 20 to establish a stable multiple year financial and budget plan, he was recommending the 5-7-9 year agreements he previously mentioned, without going out further than that time frame.

There was consensus from the Board to move forward with Recommendations 17 through 20 regarding financial aspects of the solid waste program.

Community Programs

Mr. Stivender emphasized that education was a large component that was discussed by the SWATF, including putting an educational campaign together to explain what can and cannot be put into the containers, which was reflected in the suggestion in Recommendation 21 that the County enhance solid waste education for all components of the waste stream to the general public and Recommendation 22, which recommended that they establish a program to inform residents of all Solid Waste accomplishments with quarterly and annual reports which would let the Board and the public know the successes and challenges they have as part of this program and how they were accomplishing their goals.


Mr. Stivender defined the proposed vision statement as “to enhance Solid Waste collection and disposal programs encompassing roadway litter, increased recycling awareness, code enforcement cleanups, hazardous waste collection, and partnering with local law enforcement for the collection of unwanted prescription medication.”  He also went over the objectives, which were for cleanup, education of the public, proper disposal of hazardous materials, recycling efficiently and economically, composting of yard waste, reducing the waste stream, burning if economically feasible, and burying as a last resort, and he listed their first-year goals for 2015, including reducing municipal solid waste from 84 percent to 52 percent and increasing their recycling four-fold to 37 percent, noting that these were realistic and conservative goals for the first year.  He reported that they would be preparing RFQ’s during the next six months, which are expected to be finished by the fall, and will begin solicitation the first half of 2013.  He related that they would evaluate all of the proposals in late 2013, and they would be in a position in January 2014 to award contracts for disposal, collection, recycling, and anything else regarding this program with the understanding that they will have contracts in place three to six months before they have to be implemented.  He summarized that the request was to move forward with the task force recommendations, solicit vendors for all of the services, and evaluate and present to the Board the options, vendors and pricing at some time in the future.

Commr. Conner expressed concern that they would run into some unanticipated issues while going through this process, and he would like to see the timeline accelerated a little, especially since they were in unchartered territory.

Mr. Stivender responded that they had discussed how much lead time the vendors need to order materials to be ready, and they wanted to have their contract in place before that lead time so that there were not any glitches at the last minute, such as with deliverables; however, they did not want to be in a bad contract situation with prices going up and down by being too early.

Commr. Conner commented that the education process can start sooner rather than later.

Mr. Gray pointed out that they could adjust the timeline as they move forward.

Commr. Campione commented that she thought the way that it was spaced out was smart.

Commr. Parks stated that he appreciated the customer focus regarding the convenience centers that was mentioned earlier.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the requested action by staff to proceed with implementation of the Solid Waste Alternative Task Force recommendations by March 2012; to initiate competitive procurement solicitation for collection and disposal agreements by October 2012; and for staff to evaluate and present to the Board options, vendors, and pricing by June 2013.


addendum 1-i – federal legislative priorities

Mr. Gray mentioned that they had an addendum regarding their federal legislative priorities, and he informed the Board that those were attached to the addendum backup materials.  He also related that they have their Washington DC trip planned from March 6 through March 8, which he and Commr. Campione would be attending, and Commr. Cadwell would be up there for a NACo (National Association of Counties) meeting as well.

reports – commissioner conner – district 3

communication with the school board regarding impact fees

Commr. Conner commented that he wanted to reaffirm their previous statement that they are willing to meet with the School Board, but only after they make a recommendation to the Board on school impact fees, and he pointed out that unfortunately there was not a consensus or a vote of the School Board on impact fees at this point.  He stated that the Board is still waiting to hear from the School Board regarding where they stand on the impact fee issue so that the two boards could meet to discuss this matter, and he did not want to have to extend the moratorium temporarily for another 30 days.

Commr. Campione reported that they have scheduled March 28 on their agenda as the day the Board would have to make a decision regarding the school impact fee suspension, whether or not they get the School Board’s recommendation prior to that time; otherwise, it would go back into effect.  She mentioned that they were getting different accounts about where the School Board members actually stood on the issue.

Commr. Conner stated that he believed that the new Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) would review things like the impact fee study for the County, but they would need to leave some time for the members to be noticed of a meeting to do so.

Commr. Parks elaborated that that committee would also recommend alternate funding for the future as well.

Commr. Conner suggested putting something in writing to the School Board telling them that they need the recommendation as soon as possible so that the Board could go through their normal process.

Commr. Campione commented that she was in favor of getting together with the School Board and understanding their views regarding their needs, projections of future needs, funding sources, and current enrollment as well as to hear the reasons for their recommendation for the proper course of action.  She stated that she would send a letter or an e-mail that day stating that they need a vote to be taken by the School Board before the Board can start that process.

Mr. Gray added that they have six weeks until that impact fee expires, and he currently was planning to put the advertising of that ordinance on the February 28 agenda, but the latest they could advertise that would be March 13 in order to be able to present it at the March 27 meeting.

Commr. Cadwell commented that they wanted to let everyone know way ahead of time whether they would be extending the impact fees because of the effect on the business community and the economy, and the Board should not be forced into setting an artificial date if the School Board has not done that.  He pointed out that they had the ability to extend that up to 90 days without a recommendation from the School Board, although that would not be the Board’s choice to do so.

Commr. Conner added that he believed they should try to move this timeline forward with the School Board as rapidly as possible, but he agreed that it could be extended if the School Board did not meet that timeframe.

Commr. Campione stated that she wanted the Board to make that decision at the February 28 BCC meeting.

Commr. Park suggested that a School Board elected official could be a liaison or to sit in on meetings of the CFAC committee, and he asked if they needed to change the bylaws to accommodate that temporarily.

Mr. Minkoff responded that they would be getting a request to change the Zoning Board and the CFAC to allow an alternate for those committees, and they could change it from a staff person to an elected person at that time.

Commr. Campione opined that it would be a positive thing to have a member from both boards on that committee and would be important for the credibility of that entire process.


letter regarding planning and zoning school board member

Commr. Campione related that she sent the letter out about the Planning and Zoning Board School Board member, and she has gotten back a response indicating that they would like an elected official to be an alternate so that they would still have one of their board members at the Planning and Zoning meetings when they have things come up.

resolution regarding flavored tobacco products

Commr. Campione noted that the resolution to urge retailers to stop the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products in Lake County was a voluntary request, and they were hoping that their retailers would do the right thing and protect the children and young people of Lake County by making these products less accessible.

Commr. Conner commented that although he hated government regulation of businesses, he believed that voluntary compliance was extremely appropriate, and he opined that the practice of getting children hooked on cigarettes when they were young for profit is deplorable.

Commr. Hill pointed out that the action mentioned in the resolution of directly or indirectly targeting youth in advertising, marketing, and production of tobacco products is already prohibited by law.

Commr. Campione explained that they were asking the businesses not to carry those products or to carry less of them.

Commr. Conner noted that this would bring heightened awareness to this problem.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved Resolution No. 2012-10 Urging Tobacco Retailers to Stop the Sale and Marketing of Flavored Tobacco Products in Lake County.

Commr. Hill voted “no.”

reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5

leesburg health department ribbon cutting

Commr. Cadwell related that Commr. Hill did a great job at the ribbon cutting for the Leesburg Health Department last week.

ferran park event

Commr. Cadwell commented that Saturday’s event at Ferran Park was a great event with a lot of volunteer and staff participation, despite the cold weather.

Pear park volunteers

Commr. Cadwell reported that Saturday, February 18, Park and Recreation staff and PEAR recruiting volunteers will set up a booth at the Leesburg downtown market to recruit more volunteers for their Parks and Recreation Department and specifically for PEAR Park, and he mentioned that this year PEAR Park was the Florida Native Plant Society’s annual Ecosystem Restoration Landscape award winner for the State of Florida, which was featured in their quarterly journal.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:40 p.m.



leslie campione, chairman