A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
March 13, 2012
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 13, 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; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Shannon Treen, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Mr. Jim Briggs of the Baha’i Group of Lake County gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, stated that he had no updates to the agenda.
Ms. Susan Irby, Employee Services Director, presented the following awards, commenting briefly on each employee’s service to the County.
Junadeane Carls, Office Associate IV
Public Resources/Parks & Trails Division
Maria Granado, Community Health Worker Specialist
Community Services/Health & Human Services Division
Sharon Lewis, Engineer III (not present)
Public Works/Engineering Division
James Ramirez, Traffic Signal Technician
Public Works/Road Operations Division
Jeremy West, Roads Maintenance Operator
Public Works/Road Operations Division
Phyllis Hegg, Office Associate V (not present)
Public Works Department
Robert Rinehart, Mosquito & Aquatic Plant Supervisor (presented by Jim Stivender)
Public Works/Environmental Services Division
Stephen Yaw, Trades Crew Leader (not present) (presented by Wendy Breeden)
Public Resources/Parks & Trails Division
board/committee certificate presentations
Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
Richard G. Backus, for service from 2009-2011
Glorious Mitchell, for service from 2008-2011
Jose Rubio, Jr., for service from 2009-2011 (not present)
Jamie Hanja, for service from 2008-2011
Arts and Cultural Alliance
Judy Smathers, for service from 2007-2011 (not present)
Children’s Services Council
Kimberly Grabert, for service from 2010-2011 (not present)
Ann Lewis, for service from 2007-2012 (not present)
Library Advisory Board
Rick Roderick, for service from 2010-2011 (not present)
John Childers, for service from 2006-2012
florida surveyors & mappers week proclamation presentation
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, read aloud and presented Proclamation No. 2012-20 proclaiming March 18 -24, 2012 Florida Surveyors & Mappers Week to Mr. Jennings Griffin as Treasurer for the Central Florida Chapter for the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society.
Certificates of appreciation
Mr. Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Director, explained that the Lake County Neighborhood Preparedness Program was established to help communities build confidence by empowering them to react calmly, safely, and efficiently in the aftermath of a disaster before emergency response providers arrive and that the Board officially recognized the program on the one-year anniversary of the February 2007 Groundhog Day Tornadoes as a way for residents to better prepare for and handle disaster situations. He specified that the program guides residents through nine simple steps for carrying out a disciplined community response during the times of disaster before the arrival of emergency responders to help participants work together to make sure all neighbors are accounted for and help is afforded to those with special needs or those who require minor first aid attention, and the main elements of the program include mapping the neighborhood to identify vulnerabilities and skill sets of community members and to create contact lists. He identified three communities that have put a great deal of effort and time into developing unique plans that work for their communities, which give first responders and emergency managers peace of mind that they have developed a basic plan, communicated with one another, and stand ready to relay the information to first response agencies, and presented the Certificates of Appreciation to Lakes of Mount Dora, Mid Florida Lakes, and Royal Harbor in Tavares for completing the Neighborhood Preparedness Program.
On a motion by Commr. Hill, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meetings of January 24, 2012 (Regular Meeting), February 7, 2012 (Regular Meeting), and February 14, 2012 (Special Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
No one wished to address the Board.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 5, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.
Property on Lands Available List
Request to acknowledge receipt of property placed on the Lands Available List.
Notification of Submittal of SJRWMD 2012 Consolidated Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of a notification of submittal to Governor Rick Scott of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 2012 Consolidated Report pursuant to Section 373.036, Florida Statutes, which was approved on February 14, 2012, including a District Water Management Plan Annual Progress Report, Minimum Flows and Levels Priority List and Schedule, Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan, Water Resource Development Work Program and Alternative Water Supply Annual Report, Florida Forever Work Plan Annual Update, and Wetland Mitigation Cash Donation Report, along with their website to obtain said report.
Notification from City of Eustis Regarding Annexation
Request to acknowledge receipt of a letter dated February 24, 2012 provided to the County from the City of Eustis as notification of the City’s intent to annex approximately 5.03 acres contiguous to the Eustis City limits and located within the Eustis Planning Area on the north side of CR 44 east of Fish Camp Road, along with Notice of Quasi-Judicial Public Hearing for the first reading of Ordinance No. 12-04 scheduled for March 15, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. and the second reading on April 5, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, City Hall, 10 North Grove Street, Eustis.
Proposed FY 2013 Budget for Plaza Collina CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the proposed fiscal year 2013 budget for the Plaza Collina Community Development District in accordance with Chapter 190.008 F.S.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 15 as follows:
Request for approval and signature on each of the nine Agreements between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and Bridgeway Services, Building Block Ministries, Bush Gardens Foster Home, Creative Concepts, Earth Angels, Gift of Love, Life Care Services, Love Thy Neighbor, and Tee Foundation to provide transportation services to Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) clients. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature on an Interlocal Agreement between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Transit Development Plan major update in the amount of $105,000.00 (100% Grant Funded).
Conservation and Compliance
Request for approval for Satisfaction & Release of Fine, Property Owner: Robert P. Welch, Case# 2008080113, Fiscal impact is $1,000.
Request for approval of withdrawal of the previous standardization on the Ford product line for fleet vehicles.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval to solicit and accept sponsorships for the inaugural Lake County Wings and Wildflowers Birding Festival to be held September 28 – 30, 2012. Fiscal impact is projected not to exceed $30,000 total cost.
Request for approval of recommendation for award to Wicker Tractors, Leesburg, FL for six (6) utility vehicles to support Public Resources, Parks and Trails Division daily operations. Fiscal impact $54,150.00.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Park Attendant position in the Public Resources Department, Parks & Trails Division. (The fiscal impact is $34,818.)
Request for approval and signature of revised policy LCC-8, Lake County Library System Circulation and Registration Policy. No fiscal impact.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Mobile Irrigation Lab Technician position within the Public Resources Department, Agricultural Education Services Division. (Fiscal impact is $39,163 – 100% Grant Funded.)
Request for approval of recommendation of award to Glade and Grove Supply Co. Inc., Belle Glade, FL for a Broom Tractor to support Public Works, Road Operations daily operations. Fiscal impact $43,700.00.
Request for approval of recommendation of award to Ring Power, Riverview, FL for three (3) flex wing mowers to support Public Works, Road Operations daily operations. Fiscal impact $38,772.00.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Equipment Operator II position in the Public Works Department, Road Operations Division. The fiscal impact is $38,299.
Request for authorization to fill one (1) vacant Right of Way Agent II position within the Public Works Department/Engineering Division. Fiscal impact is $54,884.
COUNTY ATTORNEY’S CONSENT AGENDA
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, explained that they attempted to purchase the property referred to in the item regarding the lease for the Mount Plymouth Library in Tab 18 as directed by the Board, but the Chamber indicated that they would prefer to lease rather than sell it, so they negotiated a lease that was presented in the backup information under the consent agenda.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it was a favorable lease for the County which contained a lot of options and that he appreciated the efforts of staff.
Mr. Minkoff elaborated that the County has the right to terminate the lease, but the Chamber did not.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 16 through 18 as follows:
Request for approval to advertise an ordinance amending the Lake County Investment Policy.
Request for approval to advertise the Local Vendor Reciprocal Match Procurement ordinance. No fiscal impact.
Request for approval of Lease Agreement between Lake County and the East Lake County Chamber of Commerce for lease space for the East Lake County Library. Fiscal impact approximately $29,000.
ordinance regarding suspension of educational impact fee
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading by title only, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING CHAPTER 22 OF THE LAKE COUNTY CODE ENTITLED IMPACT FEES; AMENDING ARTICLE II, ENTITLED EDUCATIONAL IMPACT FEES, SECTION 22-22, ENTITLED IMPOSITION, FOR THE PURPOSES OF EXTENDING THE SUSPENSION OF THE COLLECTION OF EDUCATIONAL IMPACT FEES THROUGH APRIL 1, 2013; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to speak regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione pointed out that the last discussion of suspension of impact fees brought up the issue of the treatment of prepaid impact fees, and she asked for the County Attorney to look into an ordinance revision that would give relief or flexibility for those individuals who prepaid those fees so that they could have a discussion about that at the second reading.
Mr. Minkoff responded that there would not be a second reading of this ordinance, since this was the final reading, but he could bring that back as a separate agenda item.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2012-15 amending section 22-22, Lake County Code, to extend the suspension of collection of the Educational Impact Fee. The Board also directed the County Attorney to bring back information at a future meeting to see if there could be an ordinance revision to give flexibility to the individuals who prepaid impact fees.
ordinance for change to capital facilities advisory committee
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its first and final reading by title only, as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 2-90.68, LAKE COUNTY CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR AN ELECTED OFFICIAL FROM THE LAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD TO SERVE ON THE CAPITAL FACILITIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE CODE; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to speak regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Campione explained that the reason for this modification was to allow the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) to examine the school impact fee situation, capital needs, and the overall situation with regard to the suspension and possible options in the future for addressing capital needs with the schools. She related that the School Board requested to have a voting member on that board.
Commr. Parks commented that he thought it was very appropriate to have a School Board member on the CFAC.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2012-16 amending Section 2-90.68, Lake County Code, to change the School Board membership on the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee from the Superintendent or designee to an elected official and alternate.
vacation petition no. 1171 in the eustis area
Commr. Conner disclosed that he had a business relationship with First Green Bank, so he thought he should declare a conflict of interest in an abundance of caution, although he saw that they withdrew their objection.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, related that Vacation Petition No. 1171 was to vacate an easement in front of the Chrysler dealership in the Eustis area, which was postponed from the last meeting so that the two parties could get together to address the issues about ingress and egress through the site to the First Green Bank. He showed on an overhead map what they were vacating, which was notated in red, and he mentioned that a dedication of an easement goes to the City of Eustis to be rededicated at a future time. He stated that he understands those issues have been worked out, and he recommended approval of the vacation.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to speak regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing. She also mentioned that the Commissioners received a letter indicating that Attorney Scott Gerken was satisfied on the part of the bank regarding the conditions that the City had imposed and the Chrysler dealership had agreed to.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried by a vote of 4-0, with Commr. Conner abstaining from the vote, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1171 to vacate right of way and easement (19-19-27) in the Eustis Area and approval and execution of Resolution No. 2012-22. Commission District 4. No fiscal impact.
update on rail projects
Mr. Gray explained that the Board approved moving forward with the rail upgrade as well as a commuter rail study about a year ago, and the purpose of this presentation was to update the Board on what has been happening during this past year.
Mr. Scott Blankenship, Economic Development and Tourism Director, related that this presentation would provide an update on the status of the agreements for the Florida Central Railroad (FCRR) track upgrades and the US 441 Corridor Alternative Analysis (Commuter Rail) and the potential impacts of these projects, including economic impact, history, projects, grants, status of agreements, and requested action. He pointed out that every $1 in rail investment equates to $3 of economic impact and that $50,000 of railroad investment equates to one job, which would mean that the expected $11.41 million invested in this rail project has the potential to create 228 jobs and a $34 million economic impact. He pointed out on an overhead map some specific commercial and industrial opportunities along the rail corridor, such as the Tavares Industrial Park and Eustis Commerce Park. He related that some general benefits of rail were freight savings for long hauls, logistical ease for storage and unloading when convenient, and environmental considerations such as fuel economy of 436 miles per gallon and 75 percent reduction in greenhouse gases than trucks. He pointed out that some companies in Orange County use rail, such as Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay, and he believed having adequate rail service available would attract businesses to Lake County as well as help existing businesses.
Mr. Stivender opined that the history of rail in Florida and in Lake County is very unique, because it was a very popular location that needed rail and had a lot of rails at one time. He explained that the industry as a whole went through a very tough time in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and in the last 15 years the industry has spent billions of dollars in upgrades throughout the country to make it successful, resulting in continuous rail throughout a lot of the United States. He recapped that there was a request for a match in June of 2010 for the Dora Canal Bridge Replacement project, and although the Board denied that request, the City of Tavares, the Lake County Water Authority (LCWA) and FCRR agreed to provide that match and move forward with that, which is expected to be completed next year. He also mentioned the $18.4 million project for upgrade to the system of the welded rail and the $1.7 million US 441 corridor study, stating that the local match for each one of those has gone through the MPO process, and the cities in both Lake and Orange Counties have been involved in those projects, with one of the issues being how the Wekiva Parkway Trail was going to work in there. He commented that rail was a very good economic generator, especially since there was currently a shortage of long-haul truck drivers, and he opined that putting rails in place was the right thing to do. He illustrated on an overhead map the proposed track upgrades of continuous welded rail from downtown Orlando into the Cities of Eustis, Tavares, and Mount Dora in Lake County, which would be a smoother and quieter ride at a lot higher speed than a bolted rail system. He mentioned that the idea behind the corridor study would be to identify the ridership numbers of those that would use the system every day to get to and from work to avoid the heavy traffic on US Hwy 441.
Mr. T. J. Fish, Executive Director of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), reported on the grants that were provided for the track upgrades, including $13.8 million or 75 percent of the cost from the state, since it absolutely believed in the economic development potential of this corridor, and he added that the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) awarded a grant of $2.2 million, which he noted was their only grant awarded in the State of Florida last year. He opined that short lines such as the FCRR have been under-emphasized, but they are like the onramp and off-ramp to the interstate systems such as CFX. He also opined that this $18.4 million infrastructure project was an investment rather than an expense, and he pointed out the demonstration of support from Tavares, Eustis, Mount Dora, and potentially Umatilla. He added that they were still waiting to see if the City of Orlando would commit to an investment for a connection to their Silver Star Commerce Park, which was a massive employment center based around freight rail. He mentioned that there already has been continuous rail put in a few years ago by CFRR between Orlando and Plymouth just north of Apopka, so the additional improvements of this grant were to fix any issues along that corridor, followed by a spur that goes through Ocoee into downtown Winter Garden and the Silver Star Commerce Park. He also noted that the Dora Canal Bridge was going into construction this year in partnership with the Water Authority as well as the continuous weld north of Eustis to the fairgrounds area and the industrial park. They also hope to be able to work with FDOT for additional dollars to extend that to Umatilla as well as improve the bolted track into downtown Mount Dora. He mentioned that the MPO was directly assisting with the work to make sure they meet all of the federal requirements for the grant. He also commented that if they could also successfully work with DOT and the Federal Transit Administration to secure funds to begin a commuter rail service of some kind which would not be a burden to the taxpayers of Lake County, that could potentially create some serious economic development in the downtowns of Tavares and Eustis, as well as the Golden Triangle shopping center area in Mount Dora. He went over the matches from Lake County of $107,500 and the Cities of Mt. Dora, Eustis and Tavares of $35,000 apiece, as well as the Metroplan Orlando area total of $212,500. He mentioned that a study will be conducted for Sunrail connections to Orlando International Airport and the Medical City for Orange County, and he wanted to keep those studies and the studies in Lake County moving together so that they can be successful for the entire region.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the commuter analysis and the trail are separate economic development issues, but this first step is the one they believe would create the most jobs right now.
Mr. Fish responded that the tier 1 issues are economic development through the freight provision upgrades, although if the passenger rail study turns out to be encouraging, they could look at that as well, and the trail issues would take a little longer.
Mr. Minkoff next spoke on the status of the agreements, noting that he and Commr. Campione met with CSX and Florida Central Railroads as well as some of the cities. He stated that they got a draft track upgrade agreement from the railroad in January, and they elected to have separate agreements for Lake County partners and Orange County partners, but no partner has approved an agreement to date regarding the rail upgrades. One issue that was raised concerning the Lake County partners was the cost or the scope of the project, and he reported that yesterday they got some updated cost numbers from Florida Central which indicated that there was not enough money to do the piece of the project from Eustis to Umatilla. He added that there has been some discussion with Mount Dora about the Tavares to Mount Dora link being less important than the Umatilla one, especially since there were still some questions about whether Mount Dora city officials wanted the rail to come into the downtown area, which was an issue that still had to be resolved and worked out with the partners.
Commr. Campione commented that there was a lot of vacant industrial-zoned property in Umatilla, which needed to definitely be a consideration.
Mr. Minkoff added that one of the issues that Umatilla was concerned about was having rail cars that were stored there blocking the entire SR 19 view. He then recapped that previous Board direction was to work out the trail issue at the same time as the rail upgrade, and they got a positive response from CSX who indicated that they would agree to sell the County the right-of-way. However, although CSX owns the real estate, Florida Central has a lease and the right to use the real estate, and they got a response from Florida Central that they would abandon their track or lease from Mount Dora all the way to the east for a payment of $2.75 million, which was a negotiable amount. He related that they have discussed allowing some time to make a decision to buy it, because they do not know if there is right-of-way underneath those tracks, and they were continuing to work on that issue. They were also looking into building some additional track that FCRR could use for storage in another location in lieu of that payment, and they also wanted to discuss with them about possibly using the right-of-way from Mount Dora to Tavares or east of Mount Dora to allow the trail at the same time that the track exists so that they would be coexisting on the same corridor. He also mentioned that they would get their money back if the railroad sells the tracks to the state for commuter rail at a later time. He explained that the requested actions are to include the approval of the US 441 Corridor Analysis agreement and budget transfer at the next meeting, continue to monitor the Orange County Agreement, continue to coordinate with their local partners, and continue to negotiate the side agreement with Florida Central Railroad regarding the previously-mentioned issues.
Commr. Campione opined that they were making good progress regarding the upgrades, but she believed they should keep moving ahead with the commuter rail analysis, since everyone has been negotiating and working together in good faith.
Commr. Parks stated he believed this investment in heavy rail is the “off-ramp” that would make them competitive and provide the County economic development opportunities, and he opined that the investment would be well worth it and that they should move forward.
Commr. Cadwell stated that although he did not want to seem shortsighted in stating that the commuter analysis and the trail should be separate, he believed they should take care of the first issue of the commuter analysis initially.
Commr. Campione elaborated that they could not move on to the next step until laying that foundation, and that was the basis for this entire discussion. She mentioned that they were moving ahead with the PD&E Study regarding the trail, which may present other options to look at, so it may be premature to decide certain things with regard to the rail line until they know exactly what is going to make the most sense. She asked if anyone wished to speak regarding this issue.
Mr. Paul Berg, Eustis City Manager, mentioned that the City of Eustis committed $300,000 to this project over a year ago, but because they have been successful in obtaining the additional grant, the matching requirements dropped to $160,000. He opined that both the City and the County would recoup their investment if they were able to recruit a major business to their city through property and sales taxes. He thanked the County for getting on board with this, and he encouraged the Board to continue to support the project, which he believed was critical for attracting jobs.
Mr. Gray noted that the County’s contribution went down to $489,000 because of the additional grant procured by the efforts of the City of Tavares.
Mr. John Drury, City Administrator for Tavares, related that the United States has a multibillion dollar rail infrastructure that runs all over the country, and not having access to that existing infrastructure is like having no exchange ramp to that system, which prevents the community from reaping any economic benefits of that existing infrastructure. He opined that the rail infrastructure would grow over the next 15 years as one of the primary ways to move commerce around the country, and those communities that have access to that are the ones that will have the jobs in their community, along with a decent tax base and a lower tax rate. He commended the Board for what they were doing.
The Board gave consensus to move forward with the requested actions of including the US Highway 441 Corridor Analysis agreement and budget transfer on the next agenda; monitoring the Orange County Agreement; continuing to coordinate with local partners and negotiating side agreements with the Florida Central Railroad, which includes providing for trail right of way through purchase or use of alternative storage; negotiating an option period to allow for determination of right of way prior to purchase; and allowing joint use of trail even if there is no abandonment or purchase.
presentation by FDOT on wekiva parkway financing plan
Mr. Stivender explained that the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) has taken over the Wekiva Parkway project, and their presentation would identify exactly what DOT would be working on and their schedule.
Mr. Alan Hyman, Director of Transportation Operations for District 5 in Deland, stated that he was responsible for making sure that the Wekiva Parkway gets built as committed by DOT and that he would give an overview of the project. He related that the Wekiva Parkway would consist of 25 miles of new toll expressway in Seminole, Lake, and Orange Counties as well as construction of $500 million of non-toll road improvements such as widening of SR 46, reconstruction of the US 441/SR 46 interchange in Mount Dora, and relocation of CR 46A to provide improved wildlife connectivity and other benefits, for a total project cost of $1.7 billion; and he pointed out that the project would provide an interchange for connectivity to SR 417 and I-4. He illustrated on overhead maps the project limits and mileage for each section of the parkway and the non-tolled segments, including the realigned CR 46A and the frontage roads for non-toll access. He mentioned that the project was a partnership between FDOT District 5, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, and Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority. He reported that they had an agreement with the Expressway Authority that was recently approved, and then they can determine the funding that all three of the partners would contribute after that was signed. He noted that the project was broken up into different sections to designate some of the funding and timing specifics, and he pointed out two sections in Lake County that would be the first sections built, which was expected to start in the fall of this year. He presented a project schedule based on the funding, noting that he included the various steps they use for procurement to get the roadway constructed and opened to traffic on the sections regarding DOT and that 4A and 4B would be the first sections to be completed. He stated that they were working with the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) on an environmental assessment and to finalize the FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) for the entire project and were expecting to finish that in the next week or two and to start the final design. He added that the FHA has given the go-ahead to advertise Section 4A and 4B for the design build procurement. He explained that they had two contracts to split the project into east and west segments for preliminary engineering for requirements for right-of-way, although the final alignment has not been determined yet, and they have also done some value engineering and risk assessment. He related that they are working on the final design and procurement for Sections 3A, 3B, 5, 6, and 7A; and the Expressway Authority is working on the consultant acquisition for Sections 1 and 2, which he believed would be a traditional design and build. He mentioned that since 4A and 4B will be the first sections built, there will be a temporary connection to CR 435 for a couple of years, which will be moved once Section 2 is connected.
Commr. Campione asked about the final design procurement of the flyover in Mount Dora.
Mr. Hyman stated that the final configuration had not been determined yet, and they had another meeting with Mount Dora in a few weeks to discuss that, since the City had some concerns about that intersection.
Commr. Campione noted that the scope for the final design procurement would include an evaluation of the present location of the 46A realignment in relation to some alternatives.
Mr. Hyman responded that the exact location of 46A has not been determined yet, but he assured her that moving ahead with Section 4A and 4B would not affect 46A at this point.
Commr. Campione stated that she wanted Mr. Fish to apprise the Board regarding the East Lake/Northwest Orange regional meeting at Mount Dora City Hall, and they were notified that DOT would be funding a study of the local county roads such as Round Lake Road, CR 437, and CR 435 that would be impacted by those above-mentioned sections of the Wekiva Parkway as they are being completed and in the long run when it was all completed.
Mr. Fish commented that the MPO pointed out to District 5 that the study and traffic modeling that was previously done was five-years old, and since the land use changes that have occurred and the planning visions have changed, they wanted to look at the Wekiva Parkway project in 2022 when the whole thing would be opened. He commented that everything east of CR 44 running east-west coming into Mount Dora would include looking at an extension of Round Lake Road up to CR 44, which would give a better connection to Umatilla on CR 439, realignment with CR 437, re-evaluation and realignment of CR 46A, as well as CR 435 out of Apopka to Mount Plymouth. He noted that they wanted to look at certain issues such as the fact that Kelly Park Road does not connect to US Hwy 441 and that CR 448 at Jones Road would pull traffic to a new interchange. He reported that DOT agreed that it was worth it for them to fund that analysis and turn it over to the two counties to address their priorities. He also mentioned that the MPO would be starting the PD&E Study of the Wekiva Trail to look at the rail bed and right-of-way issues with BESH, a local firm, doing the title work on the rail beds.
Commr. Campione announced that there was a meeting scheduled for that evening at Sorrento Elementary School from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. where Representatives Brian Nelson and Larry Metz would be holding a town hall meeting, with representatives from the Expressway Authority, DOT, MPO, and County Public Works staff also present to discuss specifically the Wekiva Parkway and related issues.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:30 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
conservation and compliance
discusion regarding tethering of dogs
Mr. Gray recapped that the Board directed staff back in December to look at some alternatives and report back to the Board when they had their first presentation regarding tethering of animals, and he indicated that he would look for direction from the Board after this presentation.
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Conservation and Compliance Director, explained that single-point tethering was when a dog is tied to a single point which allows it freedom of movement around that point in an area defined by the length of the tether; and multi-point, runner, or cable tethering is essentially the same thing, except that the line is fixed between two points allowing the animal an increased area of movement and additional opportunities for shade. He specified that the considerations of tethering were the size, weight, breed, and sex of the dog; restraints and physical environment such as the length of the tether, the harness or collar, opportunity for shade, food, and water; time or event such as time of day, length of time, weather conditions; and other considerations such as whether the owner is present and can see the dog and the size of the yard. He related that in their December proposal they focused on the restraint type considerations and the physical environment such as length of the tether, harnesses, limit of the weight of the tether, food, water, shade, and requirement of animals to be tethered on a runner or cable for additional area. He recapped that the Board wanted them to look at the additional alternatives, talk to stakeholders, and estimate the resource requirements associated with the alternatives, and he reported that the city managers deferred to the Board to determine the best solution. He mentioned that Lake County Animal Services takes care of all of the areas in the County, including the municipalities other than Mount Dora and Lady Lake, and that staff has discussed this issue with the South Lake Animal League, PETA, and other interested parties.
Mr. Welstead reported that the alternative they were proposing included requirements already in the existing ordinance that the dog should be at least six months of age and not a female in heat, that the length of the tether should be sufficient to allow freedom of movement and separation of waste, and that the tether not extend over fencing or other objects causing an injury or strangle hazard. He added that they also think they should prohibit tethering during periods of severe weather, such as a tropical storm or freeze, but he commented that he did not recommend limitations regarding temperature, time of day, or duration of tethering which would become too difficult to enforce. He related that their recommended alternative would also include a requirement that tethering would only be allowed in the physical presence of the owner or a responsible adult. He indicated that they were envisioning calls regarding tethering as considered being secondary calls by Animal Control, which are in the same category as barking dogs, loose animals, animal odors, or animal hoarding, since it was not an immediate threat to an individual or an animal.
Commr. Campione asked whether they track calls according to whether they were in the city limits or in the unincorporated area and indicated that she was interested in finding out whether an increase in density in the urbanized areas was resulting in more or less calls.
Mr. Welstead responded that they could do that, but it was not something they do routinely.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it would be good to know.
Mr. Welstead reported that there were currently ten animal control officers who were responsible for 1,139 square miles, and the calls were currently running about 1,000 calls per officer per year. He explained that the office runs strictly on a complaint-driven basis, and he estimated that there were about 180,000 dogs in Lake County based on national averages with about 5,000 of them tethered. He expected to get about 2,500 initial complaints, which equated to a minimum of two visits, one to assess the situation and one to ensure compliance, and he recommended that two additional animal control officers would be needed upon adoption of this ordinance in addition to capital costs for vehicles and supplies for a total cost of $230,000. He also recommended that they educate the public for the first six months after adoption using door hangers, brochures, speakers, public service announcements, and press releases; and after that time he recommended that the first call would result in education and acknowledgment in writing of the new ordinance, the second call would result in a notice of violation, the third call would have the consequence of a minimum of a $250 fine, with subsequent calls at $500 per occurrence. He pointed out that tethering will not be considered or treated as an animal cruelty complaint. He summarized the alternatives as enforcing the rules that were under the existing code, prohibiting single-point tethering, or eliminating tethering except in the physical presence of the owner or responsible adult, and asked for Board direction on what course to pursue.
Commr. Campione stated that she believed other counties that had instituted similar policies had indicated that they were not incurring additional cost to enforce them, since fines were offsetting some of the additional expense, and they were focusing on the educational aspect and giving adequate opportunity for people to respond. She commented that she would not want to take on additional cost right now since the County did not have the money to hire additional staff, and she was hoping that they would correct a lot of situations with the six-month window of education.
Commr. Conner pointed out that the staff’s recommendation was for two additional positions, and he believed that the starting point should be to have an ordinance in front of the Board. He added that they would be misleading the public if they adopt something without a corresponding commitment for the manpower they would need to enforce and implement it.
Commr. Campione responded that she believes they can get the point across through education inexpensively, especially since there were a lot of people interested in this issue that could help them with that. She added that another large issue is fencing, and she recommended a website regarding fencing called chainfreenation.org which gives technical information about providing escape-proof fencing. She opined that they were moving forward with this issue and that today’s presentation introduced new information and a new proposal than the one in December, and she pointed out that these kind of ordinances have been implemented in other Florida counties.
Commr. Parks asked if the cities would be able to help them with education.
Mr. Welstead responded that the cities could use a utility stuffer as the best avenue.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he would not be a hindrance today in moving forward with advertising the ordinance and having a public discussion, but he worries that dogs may be held in less desirable places than tethering if they do away with it, such as wrong-sized kennels or being allowed to run loose. He also believed that they could not do this without hiring more staff, and they already do not have enough staff to handle the calls they are currently receiving.
Ms. Renee Rivard from the Florida Chapter of the League of Humane Voters, which was a nonprofit, nonpartisan political action committee regarding animals, stated that their group worked with Hillsborough to pass its anti-tethering ordinance and were now working with Pasco and Hernando Counties, and their group would like to work with Lake County to create an ordinance that would stop the abuse of chained dogs in their community. She related that they have forwarded the Commissioners a series of emails which contain anti-tethering ordinances from counties in Florida that ban unattended dog tethering as well as questionnaires that were sent to their Animal Services Directors, which she hoped would answer some of the Board’s questions and concerns. She pointed out that the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Veterinary Association, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture speak out against dog tethering, and she named three goals for the ordinance, which were to protect the public from unattended chained dogs who were 2.8 times more likely to bite; protect the dogs from strangulation, being stolen, or being attacked by other animals; or avoid loopholes for abusers who chain their dogs all day every day. She commented that timed ordinances were costly to enforce and create loopholes, and vague language also creates loopholes. She opined that those who tether their dogs need to find alternatives, since responsibility and financial commitment are part of owning a dog, and their organization would be willing to work with those individuals to give them ideas for alternatives. She assured the Board that they would have the same amount of calls after passing this ordinance that they had before, especially with the educational component, and that there would not be many dogs surrendered and euthanized because of it.
Ms. Leigh Dundore, a resident of Clermont and a volunteer with the South Lake Animal League, stated that she knew someone who witnessed firsthand a dog dying in the sun that was chained to a pole just a few feet away from shade trees this past June after making calls for two years to the Sheriff regarding conditions at that home, but she was told repeatedly that there was nothing the law would allow, although just over the county line ten feet away from there, Orange County could have done something. She offered the County the support of the local rescue group to help families bring the living conditions to a humane level by providing the materials, labor, and manpower needed to accomplish this, and she noted that they also offer humane education to help prevent neglect in exchange for an agreement to spay or neuter the animals. She commented that they could do even more if the law supported their efforts as a result of this ordinance, and the County must protect the public from attacks of chained and aggressive dogs.
Ms. Nancy McDavid, a resident of Clermont, related that she came before the Board about a year ago to ask them to consider this ordinance, and she asked if they could take action on this ordinance soon, since she was concerned about the approaching summer’s high temperatures. She related that Hillsborough County has passed an ordinance recently and opined that Seminole City has a good, enforceable ordinance and ban on unattended tethering. She commented that laws were enacted because they were needed rather than being based on cost, and she believed that they should make do with what they have. She pointed out that a ban on unattended tethering would deter people who were planning to tether the newly-acquired dog in the yard instead of being a responsible pet owner from initially getting a dog and would actually cut down on complaints or level off in the long run. She proposed setting up a citizen’s advisory board with members such as a veterinarian to look into this issue.
Commr. Campione assured Ms. McDavid that she was making a difference by reaching out to the Board and collecting thousands of names on petitions and that the Board was listening and working on a solution. She then as Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Cadwell asked if there were any statistics or numbers to show how many abuse calls the County has had that involved tethering.
Ms. Marjorie Boyd, Animal Services Director, responded that the statistics that they keep for animal neglect and cruelty are not broken up in that way, and she pointed out that her department was one of the few that handle more than dogs and cats and that have the level of service that they have, although they do that with less staff than most counties.
Commr. Campione noted that the numbers dropped down once the offenders were notified and given an opportunity to correct the situation in Miami Dade, with almost no subsequent violations, which she believed showed that education would go a long way to making a difference in keeping down the actual calls.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that today they were discussing having staff create an ordinance and prepare it for advertising with the new proposal where tethering would have to be in the presence of an owner.
Commr. Parks stated that he supported moving forward with that, with the next step being the approval of an ordinance. He specified that he supported alternative 4 of allowing tethering only in the presence of the owner or a responsible adult. He also was concerned about the health and safety issue that chained dogs can become more aggressive.
Commr. Hill noted that she liked the weather statement in the presentation that stated that the dog was not outside during a period of extreme weather including extreme heat, near-freezing temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, and hurricanes. She also believed that they should incorporate the exceptions list in the ordinance.
Commr. Conner mentioned he wanted to see a penalty given for the second offense.
Commr. Campione commented that she would rather the offenders use that money toward building a fence.
Mr. Minkoff explained that the County used the special master type process for code enforcement, and the special master has discretion as to the amount of fine given, including no fine or a creative penalty, since the fines are only recommended penalties. He also pointed out that the code enforcement process always requires a violator be given a notice and an opportunity to comply unless there is irreparable harm, and he suggested that the Board not be concerned with the amount of the fine.
Commr. Campione clarified that there was consensus to have staff draft and advertise an ordinance to bring back to the Board to incorporate staff’s recommendation to eliminate tethering except in the physical presence of the owner or a responsible adult and based on the recently-adopted ordinance by Hillsborough County.
Mr. Minkoff informed the Board that he could bring the ordinance back to the Board for a vote by the first meeting in April.
diabetes management pilot program
Mr. Gray explained that the Diabetes Management Pilot Program is part of their wellness program with money that is allotted to the County through Blue Cross Blue Shield, and he pointed out that no general fund money goes toward this program. He related that he would be coming back to the Board during the summer with some other options and programs for wellness.
Commr. Cadwell commented that this pilot program to manage diabetes would take care of some of the other health problems diabetics could have.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Diabetes Managed Pilot Program.
appointment to library advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board appointed Mr. Robert Glockler as the member representative and reappointed Mr. John L. Johnson as the alternate member representative from the City of Leesburg to the Library Advisory Board to serve four-year terms ending February 28, 2016.
reports – county manager
medicaid legislation update from legislative session
Mr. Gray explained that he wanted to make the Board aware of the bill regarding Medicaid that has passed the House and the Senate during the legislative session that ended last Friday, March 9, and what that bill could potentially mean to the County, although the Governor has not signed that bill into law yet.
Mr. Allison Thall, Health and Human Services Division Manager, recapped that there were many past-due bills that were owed to the state for the Medicaid billing, although many counties have been billed incorrectly due to the new Medicaid billing system, such as being double-billed and mistakes in establishing County residency. However, she pointed out that the state feels strongly that the money is still fundamentally owed to them regardless of which county actually owes it, and on March 9 the legislature passed a bill that would dramatically impact all of the counties in Florida with respect to the counties’ share of cost for Medicaid charges, including a requirement that all past due and/or denied bills be brought to date and that the payments for the backlog be withheld through their revenue sharing dollars, that the backlog include charges denied from the present going back to November of 2001, and that the backlog would require payment based on the Agency for Health Care Administration’s (AHCA) balance sheet. She also mentioned that AHCA is now allowed going forward to deduct the amount due for their monthly Medicaid bills from their revenue cost-sharing dollars as well. She related that counties who wish to dispute the proof of residency would have to first provide evidence of such and apply for a refund through the Department of Revenue. She reported that they have $2,652,500 budgeted for Medicaid payments for their current fiscal year, although it is estimated that they would actually spend $4,363,000, and they were currently trending their Medicaid payments at $363,500 per month.
Mr. Gray elaborated that the $2.6 million was based on historical payments the County had made, and there has been a larger effort over this last year to make sure those Medicaid patients are eligible. He reported that even without the above-mentioned backlog, the County will still have to pay about $1.7 million more than what they had anticipated in Medicaid expenses this year.
Ms. Thall related that based on the data that has been provided to the County by AHCA, the County’s backlog of denied or unpaid claims for the past 10 years is currently calculated at the $2,915,000 mark, which represents 85 percent of that backlog, of which they would be required to pay back a third or $961,690 in the first year of a five-year payback period in equal monthly payments starting on October 1, 2012 according to the new legislation that was just passed. She explained that the remaining two-thirds or $1,954,000 of this backlog amount would be paid over the following 48 months in equal monthly payments starting in October of 2013 by withholding of their revenue sharing dollars. She explained that the County could either accept the backlog as calculated at 85 percent or contest that amount, which would result in the total increasing to 100 percent or $3,450,000, and the County will have 30 days in which to decide whether to contest that amount after AHCA notifies them of those charges on August 1, 2012 by showing by a preponderance of the evidence that a recipient was not eligible. She mentioned that if they contest the amount and win, they would be refunded the erroneous billing in the form of a credit against their revenue share withholding. She summarized that they will require an estimated additional amount of $1,737,546 for this fiscal year, and staff was recommending withholding their monthly Medicaid payments beginning with their January invoice until they determine whether this bill would actually become a law. She informed the Board that staff would be back with an update for them in April during the legislative update.
Mr. Gray summarized that their annual cost for Medicaid is going to be over $4 million, and the County is looking at paying a total of $7 to $10 million if this bill is passed over the next couple of years to get this resolved. He mentioned that Commr. Cadwell has had some conversations with the Florida Association of Counties, which has contacted the Governor about this issue, and that this would have a huge impact on them during their budgeting process this year.
Commr. Conner mentioned that he contacted Senator Alan Hays’ office on the last day of the session per the requests from the emails he had received and also made a phone call to the Office of the President of the Senate.
Commr. Campione noted that she did something similar and believed that the rest of the Board did also.
ruling regarding florida retirement system
Mr. Gray related that there was a ruling regarding the employee participation in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) about the provision that employees pay three percent into their retirement.
Mr. Minkoff gave an update about this matter, stating that the circuit court in Leon County declared that the statute requiring all employees contribute three percent was unconstitutional, since it abrogated those employees who were in unions the right of collective bargaining and that it was a breach of the contract that was created in the statutes with the retirement plan, especially for existing employees who were in the system. He reported that the state has indicated that they would appeal that case, which would result in a stay. He was not sure if that case will be heard by the District Court of Appeal in the First District and then go to the Supreme Court, which he estimated would take about two years for a final decision, or if it would go directly to the Supreme Court, which would probably take about a year. He pointed out that the counties were not directly involved in this issue, since the statute requires that the payment be made directly from an employee into FRS, and the counties were not part of the litigation. He commented, however, that if the state has to refund the money back to the employees, the counties would have to be prepared for the state to look at local governments to make up the amount of the additional contribution, such as increasing the contribution rates from the employer, which could amount to a $5 million impact to Lake County, although that would not be until the 2014 budget at the earliest.
letter congratulating lake county for winning sunny award
Mr. Gray reported that the County received a letter from the Sunshine Review congratulating Lake County for their website as a sunny award winner, which honors the most transparent government websites in America, and that only 214 of the more than 6,000 government websites ranked by Sunshine Review earned this award.
commissioner hill – vice chairman and district 1
update on hospital tax district legislative bill
Commr. Hill asked for an update on the legislative bill regarding the hospital tax district, mentioning that she was aware that the Governor has not signed that yet.
Mr. Minkoff responded that he and Mr. Gray were planning on bringing the Board back a legislative update next month which would include that issue. He also mentioned that there were two fact webinars that were open to the Commissioners that Wednesday and Thursday morning, March 14 and 15, which will explain a lot of the legislation that was statewide.
commissioner parks – district 2
economic update meetings in micro-regions
Commr. Parks announced that he would like to hold a town hall meeting in his district to discuss the County’s economic development efforts and to include recommendations and information that would encourage local businesses to apply for government contracts.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that would include an economic update and a mini vendor symposium about how to do business with the County, and he suggested that they do three meetings by designated economic development areas as a County function without tying it to a Chamber function, since there were business people who were not active in the Chamber.
Mr. Gray added that they have discussed doing economic updates in three micro-regions.
Commr. Campione suggested that they look at what they have done in the last year since the institution of their Economic Action Plan and the direction the County was going, and get input from those that were present at the start of this process about whether they are accomplishing their goals per micro-region. She also mentioned that the County was hosting the Metro-Orlando EDC Board Meeting on Wednesday, March 28, at the Red Tail Country Club, which she believed would be a great environment for this, and she elaborated that they were working on a short video that they could present to the EDC Board about some of the initiatives that they have implemented over the last year for economic development.
reading to fourth grade class
Commr. Parks thanked Ms. Reynolds’ fourth-grade class at Tavares Elementary School for allowing him to read “Horton Hatches an Egg” last week on National Reading Day honoring Dr. Seuss.
commissioner conner – district 3
child care awareness month proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Hill and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-23 proclaiming April 2012 as Child Care Awareness Month and April 1, 2012 as Parents’ and Children’s Day in Lake County.
participation in reading to elementary school students
Commr. Conner mentioned that he had also participated in the National Reading Day at Tavares Elementary School where he read to a kindergarten and third-grade class, and he thanked Commr. Parks, Commr. Hill, and some County employees for participating as well.
metro orlando edc james greene award annual dinner
Commr. Conner reported that he attended and represented the Board as liaison at the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission’s James Greene Award Annual Dinner at the Amway Center last week.
presentation to league of cities
Commr. Conner related that Mr. Scott Blankenship, Economic Development and Tourism Director, and their Economic Development Department made a positive presentation to the Lake County League of Cities last Friday.
proposal from school board regaring ad valorem taxes
Commr. Conner stated that he had asked the County Attorney to give his opinion on the proposal from one or more members of the School Board asking the Board to impose ad valorem taxes for the School District.
Mr. Minkoff explained that it would not be appropriate to use County ad valorem dollars for general education purposes.
Commr. Conner stated that he believed the School Board had the authority to do that itself upon voter approval.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT 4
washington d.c. trip
Commr. Campione reported that she, along with Commr. Cadwell and Mr. Gray, traveled to Washington D.C. last week and met with Homeland Security, FEMA, and the Department of Transportation staff, as well as the offices of Congressman Dan Webster, Congressman Corrine Brown, Congressman Richard Nugent, Congressman Cliff Stern, Congressman Marco Rubio, and Senator Bill Nelson, and were given the opportunity to discuss the County’s most important issues that are impacted by the decision making process happening right now, including the provisions they were looking at regarding the transportation issue. She mentioned that they also got some helpful ideas on avenues they could pursue for the technology the County needs for the dispatch center. She opined that it was a productive meeting and that they had some good help and representation in Washington.
Commr. Cadwell commented that everyone they had met already had an understanding and background of the County’s requests and what they were doing.
Septic tank legislation repeal
Commr. Campione related that they had to wait to see how the new legislation from the state regarding the septic tank repeal would affect the Wekiva River Basin area, since it did not necessarily resolve that issue, except from the standpoint of the mandate and inspections. She specified that they had a year to decide whether or not to opt out because they have a Class 1 Spring in Lake County, and there are provisions that they could put into effect if they felt that it was important for them to address some issues that they may have in regard to groundwater, surface water, and quality-related septic tanks. She suggested that they get some people together who cared about and were informed on this issue to take a look at whether they wanted to do a complete opt out or look at some ways to deal with things such as high density of septic tanks and old systems next to waterways and high water table areas where they could have real problems to address. However, she opined that the problem she had with this legislation was that it was completely arbitrary, but they could address the specific problems that they had in the County without a blanket requirement.
Commr. Cadwell asked if they could still do specific areas if they opt out.
Mr. Minkoff responded that there was not anything in the last version that he saw that would prohibit them from having their own rule if they opted out.
letters to constitutional officers regarding budget
Commr. Campione stated that she was in the process of putting together the letters to the constitutional officers with regard to the Board’s requested 5 percent cuts in order to meet the projections that they were presented with in December for five years out and how this was going to impact their reserves and their ability to continue operating at their current level of service. She pointed out that this request was based on the assumption that the decrease in ad valorem values would be as high as 8 percent this coming year and that the rollback would be used to make up the rest of the expected shortfall, and she believed the Board should get together to look at the budget projections again before sending those letters.
Commr. Cadwell suggested waiting a couple of weeks to see what happens in the legislature and then get together in a workshop setting before writing that letter.
Commr. Campione pointed out that she has already showed the constitutional officers the projections, and she stated that the Board had a choice of going with the rollback rate or asking for the constitutional officers to cut more than 5 percent.
Mr. Gray commented that he presented the five-year plan on what they thought they knew at that point, but what is happening in the legislature over the last couple of weeks was unknown at that time. He related that they will not have property values until the first of June, and then the millage rate has to be set by the last week of July.
Commr. Conner stated that he believed that committing to a specific millage rate without knowing what the revenues are going to be and prior to going through the budget process is premature.
Commr. Campione stated that she was in favor of running three scenarios by about the middle of April about what could happen with the budget and share the information with the constitutional officers.
national public health week proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-24 proclaiming April 2-8, 2012 as National Public Health Week.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
review of constitutional amendments
Commr. Conner suggested that the Board review the constitutional amendments, since some of those have ramifications on the County’s ability to impose property taxes.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 12:37 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK