A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
august 28, 2012
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 28, 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: Jennifer Hill, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Jimmy Conner; and Welton G. Cadwell. Leslie Campione, Chairman, was not present. 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 Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Milan Weerts with the Woodlands Lutheran Church in Montverde gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commr. Hill announced that the Chairman was in Tampa attending the Republican National Convention, but would be back by the next meeting.
Commr. Cadwell requested to add a discussion regarding the County Manager position to the agenda.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board moved to add that item to the agenda under Commr. Cadwell’s reports regarding the County Manager’s position.
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, noted that he had asked Mr. Jerry Smith, Emergency Management Director, to give the Board an update on Tropical Storm Isaac.
Mr. Smith related that staff started tracking Tropical Storm Isaac on August 21 and started issuing daily weather updates on August 23. He noted the dramatic shifts in the tropical storm path since that time which staff made preparations for, but noted that no action was deemed to be necessary on August 26. However, because there was a potential for tornado activity, they decided to go to an enhanced level 3 with the Public Safety Director, as well as staff from Emergency Management, EMS, Fire Rescue, Public Works, and the Sheriff’s Office standing by in the Emergency Operations Center. He reported that there were no specific incidents related to Isaac in Lake County, and the county only got about an inch to an inch and a half of rain in a day or two and was now back to a typical summer forecast. He also mentioned that the track showed that Isaac was expected to turn into a hurricane and make landfall in the Louisiana area.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, stated that he had to add to the agenda an item regarding a request from the Property Appraiser to trade in vehicles and purchase new ones.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board moved to add that item regarding the Property Appraiser’s request to the agenda under the County Attorney’s business.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meeting of July 24, 2012 (Regular Meeting) as presented.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Jim Bible from Showcase Homes asked the Board’s consideration for modification to the impact fee ordinance at a future date that would allow his company to separate the impact fees from the lots for both the prepayments that were made on school and transportation in order to sell some of their lots.
Mr. Gray noted that he had put this issue on the September 11 agenda for discussion.
Commr. Cadwell asked if that would require a change in the ordinance and whether Mr. Minkoff would provide that language by the 11th.
Mr. Minkoff responded that he will have a presentation regarding that for the Board at the next meeting.
Ms. Linda Nagle, Executive Director of the Home Builders’ Association, requested that the Board consider implementing a subscription agreement with the Florida PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Funding Agency and make available funding and financing for wind resistance, renewable energy, and clean energy improvements, which she believed would also result in additional economic activity in their community. She further explained that the Florida PACE Funding Agency offers a statewide platform for the financing of those types of improvements through the imposition of voluntary special assessments against real property benefited by the improvements. She commented that PACE programs could play an important role in hardening buildings against hurricane events, reducing local greenhouse gas emissions, promoting energy efficiency improvements of buildings, making the shift to renewable sources of energy more affordable, reducing energy costs for residents and businesses, and private sector job creation.
Mr. Ted Stratton, a resident of Leesburg, discussed a concern he had regarding inspection and permitting of septic systems, and he asked the County to look into speeding up that process. He specified that it took about a month for a repairman to be able to finish the work on his septic system that should have only taken one day because of numerous permitting and inspections that had to be done throughout that process.
Commr. Cadwell explained that the State is responsible for that, but the Board will look into the issue and talk to the State about it.
Mr. Gray added that the County has a great relationship with the Department of Health, which is under the state and is responsible for the tank permits, and he will discuss this with Ms. Donna Gregory from the Lake County Health Department.
Mr. Doug Tester, a resident of Eustis, related that he has been dealing with several medical conditions and was no longer qualified for regular disability. He explained that he had been relying on the self-pay system from the Health Department for health care at the North Lake clinic in Umatilla, but he has heard this week that the County has not included the County Prescription Assistance Program in the budget for next year which costs the County about $120,000, which has been helping him with medication expenses totaling over $1,000. He requested that the Board reconsider budgeting funding for the prescription assistance program for the next fiscal year.
Commr. Hill assured Mr. Tester that the Board will take that under consideration.
clerk of court’s consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the Clerk of Court’s Consent Agenda, Tab 2, Items 1 through 5 as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of the 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.
Notice of Public Hearing from City of Umatilla
Request to acknowledge receipt of Notice of Public Hearing from the City of Umatilla for a proposed major site plan on property owned by Lakeview Terrace Retirement Services to be heard by the Umatilla Planning and Zoning Board on August 14, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. and the Umatilla City Council on August 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., stating that both meetings will be held at the Umatilla Council Chambers.
Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Tentative Budget for FY 2012-13
Request to acknowledge receipt of Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Standard Format Tentative Budget Submission for Fiscal Year 2012-2013.
St. Johns River Water Management District’s Tentative Budget for FY 2012-2013
Request to acknowledge receipt of St. Johns River Water Management District’s Tentative Budget Submission for Fiscal Year 2012-2013, provided in accordance with Section 373.536, Florida Statutes.
Request to acknowledge receipt of an investment report, in accordance with the County’s Investment Ordinance, which is prepared semiannually on June 30 and December 31 and has been previously distributed to the Board.
county manager’s consent agenda
Mr. Gray asked to postpone Tab 6 until the next meeting, since Commr. Campione wanted to be present to discuss that item, and Tab 8, since the updated ordinance was not put into the backup materials and would be brought back at the next meeting. He added that he also wanted to pull Tab 12.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 17, pulling Tabs 6, 8, and 12, as follows:
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolution No. 2012-93 through Resolution No. 2012-98 providing for certification of the assessment roll for the Greater Groves Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Greater Hills Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Greater Pines Subdivision, Picciola Island Subdivision, Valencia Terrace Subdivision and Village Green Subdivision; providing for certified copies; providing for adoption of resolutions; and providing for an effective date. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval for the Chairman to sign the FY 2012 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant award documents. These funds will be used by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for its Putting the Brakes on Crime Program. Funds are appropriated in the FY 2012 budget.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval to advertise changes in the Business Incentive Ordinance related to expanding the definition of eligible construction expenses.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval to award contract 12-0228 to Waterman Construction Corporation for driveway and electrical repairs at Fire Station 72. The fiscal impact is $29,028.
Request for approval of Proposed 2013 Comprehensive Plan Amendment Schedule. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval to place a plaque on the Helena Run Preserve property in memory of the John M. Campbell Family and the Merrill Grace Robinson Family.
Request for approval and execution of the CenturyLink contract to provide connectivity cable that will include a back-up system for E911 services using two independent routes, or “entrances” into the new Lake County Emergency Communication and Operations Center. Fiscal impact is $123,150.00, funded by allocated and previously approved E911 funds for this purpose.
Request for approval and execution of: (1) Hazards Analysis Grant Agreement with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management; and (2) authorization for the County Manager to sign future amendments/modifications that do not involve financial impact. This Agreement provides revenue to the Emergency Management Division. No local match is required.
Request for approval of award of three term and supply contracts Under Invitation to Bid 12-0207 to Estep Construction, Ovation Construction, and Wagner 3 Ventures for road, drainage, and sidewalk projects having an individual project value below $100,000. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $704,385.
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2012-99 and execution of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Joint Participation Agreement (JPA) for the construction of intersection modification improvements on SR 19 & CR 450E (Collins St.) and approval to advertise for bids. The fiscal impact is $325,000; Commission District 5.
Request for approval of the corrected Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2012-100 to replace previous Resolution No. 2012-44 associated with Environmental Protection Agency Education Grant approved by BCC on 4/24/12. The fiscal impact is $30,868.00.
Request for approval of the Arthropod Control FY 2012/13 Certified Budget to continue to receive matching State funds for mosquito management activities. The fiscal impact is $18,500.
county attorney’s consent agenda
Commr. Conner asked about the eminent domain issues in Tabs 22 and 23.
Mr. Minkoff explained that Tab 22 was the last parcel that was needed for the South Lake Trail, and they had been working with Mr. Oswald, the property owner, but it was a difficult situation because of mortgages and others on the property. He also reported that Tab 23 was regarding the last piece needed for the improvement and widening of Bible Camp Road in the Groveland area, since they have not been successful in working with the property owner to get that right of way along CR 565A.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 18 through 23, as follows:
Request for approval of Distribution Easement to Progress Energy Florida, Inc., and authorize Chairman to execute document. The fiscal impact was included in the EOC project budget.
Request for approval of Amendment to Lease Agreement between Lake County and James E. Hobbs, Leila A. Hobbs, and Dallas J. Hobbs for county-owned property located at 14102 Jim Hunt Road, Clermont.
Request for approval to cancel the Mortgage and release the Note executed by Thomas and Taylor Cottle on April 10, 2006 and recorded at O.R. Book 3135, Pages 710 through 717, upon receipt of the $2,250.00 payment. Fiscal Impact: The original loan amount was $10,000; recovery will be $2,250.
Request for acceptance of a Statutory Conservation Easement Deed between the School Board of Lake County, Florida and Lake County relating to School Board property located at 20265 Highway 27, Clermont. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2012-101 instituting eminent domain proceedings for acquisition of a portion of a property located on CR 565A for completion of South Lake Trail – Phase III (A), and approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiation offers. The fiscal impact is not determinable at this time.
Request for approval of Resolution No.2012-102 instituting eminent domain proceedings for acquisition of property located on Bible Camp Road for completion of the Bible Camp Road Improvement Project, and approval to proceed with pre-suit negotiation offers. The fiscal impact is not determinable at this time.
vacation petition 1176 – plat of clermont farms
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that Vacation Petition 1176 was to vacate a portion of an unnamed right of way in the Plat of Clermont Farms in south Clermont, showing the area in red on a map on the monitor. He pointed out that there were a lot of subdivisions that have developed around that area, leaving pieces of land that the County was trying to clear up. He mentioned that they had a problem with stormwater drainage reaching the nearby pond, so they are acquiring an easement for drainage so the lot will have access from the cul-de-sac. He related that they have received one phone call of opposition from one of the property owners who believed it should be a park, although it is a buildable lot owned by a property owner who intends to build on it. He recommended approval of the vacation, with all of the changes and modifications to the legal access and easements made by staff.
The Vice Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding the road vacation, the Vice Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1176 to vacate a portion of an unnamed right of way in the Plat of Clermont Farms in the Clermont area and approval and execution of Resolution No.2012-103. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
vacation petition 1177 – vineyard estates – clermont area
Mr. Stivender related that Vacation Petition 1177 was to vacate a portion of a drainage easement in the Vineyard Estates Subdivision, which was just south of the previous vacation that was just discussed. He pointed out that this was a complicated drainage issue that the County has dealt with for about five to seven years, and he illustrated on the monitor the location of the original drainage easement, while noting that there was a lot of encroachment from the existing residents and lots for one home in the area. He explained that this was originally a modification of the drainage system which resulted in a need to change all of the easements around and therefore had to go through the permitting process with the St. Johns River Water Management District. Now that it is now properly permitted and ready to be constructed, he recommended approval to vacate, because they no longer need that easement, since they redesigned the engineering for that system.
Commr. Parks stated that he appreciated Mr. Stivender’s hard work on this, and he believed that this would take care of the problem with flooding and of stormwater going directly into the lake and polluting it.
Mr. Stivender mentioned that one of the challenges of the system that needed to be addressed was the maintenance of the back lot easements that were in property owners’ back yards. He added that there were several letters from the Vineyard Estates Homeowners Association recommending approval for this vacation.
The Vice Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Elwood Obrig, Esq., the attorney for a property owner who is affected by this vacation, stated that he was in support of vacating the easement along the side of his client’s property and having a new easement created along the front or roadside of the property.
There being no one else who wished to speak regarding this vacation, the Vice Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1177 to vacate a portion of a drainage easement in Vineyard Estates in the Clermont area and approval and execution of Resolution No. 2012-104. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
public hearings – rezonings
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, announced that there were no changes to the rezoning agenda that day and showed on the monitor that the meeting had been properly advertised.
rezoning consent agenda
The Vice Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the consent agenda.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Vice Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2012-55
M. and M. Casp/M Pols, Bridge to Ability, Inc.
Casp Property CFD rezoning
Request to rezone property from Planned Commercial (CP) to Community Facility District (CFD) for a Day Care Center/School. CP Ordinance #33-93 for a professional office will be superseded and replaced by the proposed ordinance.
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2012-56
Denise Grimm/Anita Geraci-Carver, Esq.
Request to amend Planned Unit Development (PUD) Resolution #1994-134, Ordinances #15-87 and #30-90 to remove the “owner’s residence” from the Water Ski School uses and incorporating it into the residential lots.
regular rezoning agenda
ph#29-12-2 f&j development-amon pud amendment
Mr. Sheahan explained that this was an amendment that seeks to combine two existing PUD’s under Ordinance No.’s 2007-36 and 2011-4 by combining them into one PUD ordinance, and he mentioned that both developments were vested. He pointed out that staff has determined that the combination of the two developments represents a lower level of development entitlements than what would be granted independently. He reported that the Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended approval of this ordinance, with the primary concerns revolving around transportation. He specified that this amendment proposes 111 dwellings, which was 21 less than originally approved, and the conditions from the previous ordinances have been incorporated for the most part into the new ordinance. He related that the changes would also provide a more uniform flow between the two subdivisions and limit the impacts to the scenic byway, and several conditions have been incorporated to reduce the amount of visual impacts onto the roadway as well as transportation impacts. He mentioned that the Town of Oakland contacted staff about concerns it had with the total trip impact onto this network, so staff has recommended a traffic study that would address those impacts, which would be taken care of through the platting process. He stated that the Green Mountain Scenic Byway Committee also had several recommendations, all of which have been incorporated into the plan, along with a request for an 80-foot setback for any two-or-more-story structure that was built on these lots in order to preserve the scenic vista of the Scenic Byway; however, staff decided to reduce the 80 foot setback to 65 feet, which would require a modification to the proposed ordinance in the packet, on Page 2, Line 33, Section 1B. He added that the applicant also allowed staff to recommend a condition to have a 30-foot development setback away from the tree canopy in order to address a concern from a property owner regarding preservation of oak trees planted by his grandfather.
The Vice Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this rezoning request, the Vice Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously, the Board approved Tab 3, PH#29-12-2, by owners F & J Development, Inc./Jack & Joan Amon and applicant Jimmy Dunn and June Engineering Consultants, Inc., a request to amend Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance #2007-36 and Ordinance #2011-4 by combining them into one PUD ordinance to facilitate development of a residential subdivision, with amendment to Section 1B for a 65-foot rather than an 80-foot setback.
county manager’s departmental business
medicaid backlog assessment
Mr. Darren Gray, County Manager, explained that staff has been working with AHCA (Agency for Health Care Administration) and the state and has received their backlog number from Medicaid.
Ms. Allison Thall, Health and Human Services Division Manager, stated that she would seek direction regarding the Medicaid backlog that was created as a result of legislation that was passed on March 9 during the last legislative session. She explained that the primary purposes of the presentation were to decide whether to accept AHCA’s certified Medicaid backlog that is calculated at 85 percent or to formally appeal 100 percent of that backlog total and also to recommend selecting the five-year payment plan option to help satisfy the County’s backlog responsibility. She assured the Board that staff has been reviewing each backlog entry over the last four months, has met with AHCA, and analyzed the findings to determine their best course of action with regard to the backlog. She gave a quick review of their hospital and Medicaid program and responsibilities pursuant to FS 409.915, including payment of 35 percent of the total cost for each inpatient day for a Medicaid recipient for 10-45 days each fiscal year as well as 35 percent of the nursing home care in excess of $170 per month up to $55 per month per recipient. She opined that historically Medicaid billing and collection processes with AHCA and DCF have been difficult and inaccurate, and she noted that the County can only deny claims with a post office box address or an out-of-county or out-of-state address. She commented that recently DCF and AHCA have made great strides to improve and resolve the eligibility, billing, and collection issues surrounding the Medicaid program by increasing staffing levels and working more collaboratively and have granted counties some access to a portion of the DCF client database for verification purposes. However, she pointed out that this proactive approach has had no bearing on the historic invoices and the denied claims for prior years and months that have gained the attention of the Florida Legislature this year.
Mr. Minkoff commented that it was important to give the Board some background on the legislation and litigation that has resulted, reporting that since the Legislature had been of the opinion that the counties were arbitrarily failing to pay the bills, it passed legislation in March requiring that all past bills from November 2001 through March 31, 2012 be paid by the counties. He related that if the counties failed to pay the backlog, the payments would be withheld through revenue sharing dollars that are given to the counties. As a result of that legislation, Lake had joined with FAC in filing a lawsuit in Leon County which challenged the entire statute under two constitutional grounds regarding a two-thirds majority requirement for reducing the percentage of a state tax shared with the counties and to require counties to expend funds, as well as one ground regarding a four-year statute of limitations. He reported that this litigation is still pending; however, since the Governor and some of the legislative staff have been willing to work with the County, he opined that it might be a good idea to end the litigation and try to work for future legislative solutions for remaining problems. He added that the settlement agreement would allow the County to pay for the backlog during the five-year period by sending them a check rather than withholding from revenue sharing. He explained that the legislation outside of the litigation allows counties to challenge both the backlog and future bills through an administrative process, but the Board has to decide before September 1 whether to file a challenge. He noted that staff has recommended for the Board to do nothing and to accept the state’s offer of paying 85 percent of the backlog; however, if the Board decided to challenge the backlog amount, he would prepare an administrative complaint and begin that litigation, but that course of action would result in the County forfeiting the 15 percent discount amounting to about $300,000 and having to pay 100 percent of the backlog which was ultimately determined to be owed. He added that AHCA has been working to develop a rule as to future bills, with an interim rule in place allowing Ms. Thall to challenge them monthly.
Ms. Thall explained their backlog analysis process starting in April after receiving the backlog spreadsheet from the state that contained every entry that reflected either a denied, billed, or rebilled status claim from November of 2001 to March 24, 2012. She explained that the process included meetings with AHCA to review and discuss the backlog and the timeline for meeting the certification deadline, verification of each recipient’s address for residency, documentation of non-Lake County addresses, and updates to the spreadsheet. She reported that the County received their revised backlog total on August 1 in the amount of $2,027,526, with additional credits for the County of $14,645 identified by AHCA on August 13. She recapped that September 1 is the County’s deadline to determine whether to accept or challenge the backlog total, and September 15 is the date that AHCA is required to certify to the Department of Revenue the County’s final backlog amount and repayment option. She explained that their backlog is primarily comprised of unpaid claims between 2001 and 2007 totaling $950,040, with a small amount of unpaid claims in the amount of $141,720 for the years 2008 through 2012, and the balance of the backlog of $935,766 is made up of the approved claims that the County accrued between January and March of this year that they purposely withheld payments of due to the pending litigation. She calculated that the backlog would be adjusted down to $1,708,752 if the County chooses to take advantage of the 15 percent discount, and she pointed out that staff has verified that only $60,668 of the remaining backlog can be challenged based on residency errors and that $935,395 can be challenged based on the statute of limitations, which is an untested and uncertain challenge at this time and will result in litigation expenses. She related that they could choose between the repayment options of a lump sum payment prior to AHCA’s certification to the Department of Revenue or a five-year payment plan, with one-third of the backlog due the first year in equal monthly payments, and she went over an evaluation of all the County’s options to consider. She related that after an analysis of all of the information, staff recommends and requests that the Board accept the certified Medicaid backlog calculated at 85 percent with a fiscal impact of $1,708,752 and to select the five-year payment plan to satisfy this backlog responsibility.
Commr. Hill asked whether there was any possibility of the legislature readdressing the statute of limitation issue.
Mr. Minkoff responded that he believed if the legislature gave relief to one county, it would treat all counties the same and would give money back to those that had already paid.
Commr. Cadwell noted that although the process regarding this issue started out very badly, AHCA has kept the County informed and involved in the rule-making process, and the Governor has kept his word to try to work with the counties on this issue. He recommended that they approve the staff recommendation.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the staff recommendation to accept the certified Medicaid backlog calculated at 85 percent and to select the five-year payment plan to satisfy this backlog.
CONSERVATION AND COMPLIANCE
RESOLUTION REGARDING House Bill 1263
Mr. Gray pointed out that House Bill 1263 was one of the County’s legislative priorities.
Mr. Gregg Welstead, Conservation and Compliance Director, stated that House Bill 1263 which was passed last spring requires any county with a first magnitude spring to implement a local septic ordinance and septic tank inspection ordinance. He defined a first magnitude spring as any spring that discharges greater than 100 cubic feet per second or 64.6 million gallons per day. He reported that the legislation affects 19 of the 67 counties within the state and that there were 32 first magnitude springs statewide. He defined a spring as where the water appears on the surface and a springshed as where the water at the surface originates and nutrients enter the system, and he listed the first magnitude springsheds that underlie at least in part in Lake County as Alexander Springs, Silver Springs, Silver Glen Springs, and Blue Springs. He emphasized that there has been no significant change in Alexander Springs over the last 50 years and noted that this spring has quarterly monitoring of water quality and has a very good nutrient level. He explained that the Comprehensive Plan provided protections for springsheds, as well as many specifically for Wekiwa Spring. He also noted that there were only 839 structures within five miles of the Alexander Springshed, with no County jurisdiction on 78 of those, and specified that there have been 10 septic failures in the past five years, with the closest failure 2.7 miles away. He explained that the soils that the septic tanks are placed in play a role in the tank failures, and he pointed out that although there is a failure rate of .8 percent statewide, the failure rate in Lake County is .2 percent. He opined that this issue is not a large problem for Lake County. He commented that the cost of compliance would be about $250 to $500 for pump inspections every five years as well as the cost for implementing and monitoring the program and administration fees. He informed the Board that their options would be to opt in, which will occur if the Board did nothing by January 1; to implement a hybrid program in a designated area; or to opt out by a majority resolution of 60 percent of the Board.
Mr. Minkoff pointed out that if the Board did nothing, it would be implemented countywide and would affect the entire unincorporated county.
Mr. Welstead mentioned that the legislation would allow the County to opt in at some point in the future if the Board decided to opt out at this time. He reported that no counties so far have opted in, 11 counties have opted out, and eight counties have so far taken no action. He illustrated a Homeowner’s Guide that is handed out to residents who get a new septic tank by the Health Department while doing inspections, which essentially explains how to maintain their septic tank, with advice such as to pump it every three to five years and to only flush human waste down the toilet. He related that the requested action was for the Board to approve a resolution to opt out of this requirement, which is provided in the backup materials.
Mr. Andy Dubois, a resident of Howey-in-the-Hills, commented that the preliminary planning work within the county to implement an inspection program would take time. He stated that delaying the ordinance for a year or two would coincide with the completion of the FDOH (Florida Department of Health) nitrogen reduction study which provides alternative conventional solutions to both bacterial and nitrogen reduction, and the nutrient criteria work being done by the FDEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) and the Basin Management Action Plan groups are likely to result in new treatment standards. He opined that it would be prudent to opt out at this time and requested that the Board do that.
Mr. Ted Stratton, who had previously spoken during Citizen Question and Comment Period, commented that the costs to implement and maintain the system would be a lot more costly than what was given in the presentation and would require certified and trained inspectors. He also opined that it made no sense to inspect 100 percent of septic systems when the failure rate was only .2 percent.
Ms. Andrea Sampson, a resident of Apopka and President of the Tri-County Association, which represents homeowner associations, stated that she worked very hard on this legislation last year in concert with a number of people and organizations, including the Home Builders Association and septic system contractors, and believed that this issue concerned property rights. She explained that the main issue of HB 1263 was to repeal the statewide mandate that came from Senate Bill 550, which was resulting in high costs throughout the state. She related that it was the intent of the Legislature to make sure to protect first magnitude springs, which was included in the legislation, and they believe the counties and municipalities were in a much better position to judge where there were problems and where this issue needed to be addressed. She opined that there was no justification that they could see for the statewide inspections according to the rules of SB 550, and they wanted to protect homeowners from the exorbitant costs and from an assumption that had yet to be scientifically proven. She concluded that the Tri-County Association recommended that the Board opt out of this at this point in time.
Mr. Dan Peterson, Director of the Coalition for Property Rights, related that he spent considerable time in Tallahassee last session trying to undo SB 550 and putting something in place that gives protection to property owners and flexibility to counties to do what best serves their needs. He opined that every restriction and every regulation on private property is an erosion against people’s liberty and their private property rights, and although in some cases it is warranted if the public safety demands it, they should reject those regulations when they become overburdensome and unneeded such as this type of regulation in Lake County. He commended the Board for bringing this issue up and for their consideration to come down on the side of private property rights and extending liberty to citizens.
Ms. Bill Smalley related that the East Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at their July meeting recommended that the County opt out of the bill and rule that they feel has no benefit to any property owner, tax payer, or business.
Ms. Linda Nagle from the Home Builders Association commented that although they recognize the value of clean water for all of its citizens, they feel that the best route in this case is to opt out.
There being no one else who wished to address the Board regarding this issue, the Vice Chairman closed the public hearing.
Commr. Parks mentioned that he has researched this issue and commented that the policy decisions the Board makes regarding water resources, conservation, and the environment have to be based on the best available science; however, the science in this case does not support that this would have any affect on the Alexander Springs watershed, especially considering the economic affect to their citizens. He added that the water quality of Alexander Springs is quite good, and there were no isotopic tracer studies that were done to prove whether there was a nutrient problem there and if so where it was coming from, which could be done in the future. He also mentioned that the data shows that the money would be better spent on stormwater retrofits and that their water resources are being affected a lot more significantly by stormwater projects. He reported that the Republican Executive Committee had submitted a resolution asking the Board to opt out and commented that he supported the opt-out option.
Mr. Gray read Commr. Campione’s comments into the record which indicated that she supported opting out of the inspection program, because she believed the program should only be considered once the Florida Department of Health’s nitrogen reduction study is completed and that the inspection program under HB 1263 is premature and financially burdensome. However, she wanted the Board in the meantime to consider promoting a voluntary program focusing on awareness of best management practices in areas where more failures have occurred, where there was a high water table, or where there was a high concentration of old septic systems near waterways. She urged the Board to be proactive and deliberative and to seek meaningful local solutions and precautions that protect the ground and surface water and natural resources.
Commr. Conner commented that he was concerned that this could result in exorbitant cost to the homeowner and be another infringement on homeowners’ property rights.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2012-105 opting out of implementation of HB 1263/F.S. 381.00651 within Lake County - Periodic evaluation and assessment of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems in counties containing a First Magnitude Spring.
appointment to library advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Patricia Miller as City of Tavares representative member and Ms. Rosa Rosario as alternate member to the Lake County Library Advisory Board to complete unexpired terms ending Feb. 28, 2014.
reports – county attorney
request from property appraiser’s office regarding vehicles
Mr. Minkoff presented a request from the Property Appraiser’s Office to trade in a 2001 Chevrolet S10 Truck with an estimated trade-in value of $3,000 and a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt with an estimated trade-in value of $7,500 toward the purchase of two new vehicles.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved the request from the Property Appraiser’s Office to trade in the above-mentioned vehicles and purchase two new vehicles.
reports – county manager
garden issue in astor area
Mr. Gray reported that staff has looked into the garden issue in the Astor area that was brought up by Mr. Fischer, and he pointed out that since it was a zoning issue rather than a tree removal issue, it will require a rezoning that would be brought back to the Board.
Commr. Parks elaborated that it would be to make it a principal accessory use.
recognition of olympic athletes who trained at ntc
Mr. Gray received consensus from the Board for the County to present a resolution or proclamation to recognize the Olympic athletes who trained at the National Training Center.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER HILL – vice-CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 1
plaque on helena run preserve property
Commr. Hill thanked the County Attorney’s Office and Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Parks and Trails Division Manager, for their efforts regarding the plaque for the Helena Run Preserve property mentioned in Tab 10, and she noted that Ms. Gwen McLin was very instrumental in the acquisition of that property. She also mentioned that there would be a ceremony to present that plaque on Labor Day.
reports – commissioner parks – district 2
funeral service for property appraiser ed havill
Commr. Parks commented that Commr. Hill and Commr. Campione did a wonderful job speaking at Mr. Ed Havill’s funeral service last week and that Mr. Havill was a true community servant for Lake County.
Commr. Conner added that he noticed that all five Commissioners were at the service and that Judge Hill also did a nice job speaking at that service. He commented on Mr. Havill’s fiscal responsibility, but he noted that the Property Appraiser’s Office strives to give a fair hearing to the people who challenge their assessments.
reports – commissioner conner – district 3
meeting with epa and city of tavares
Mr. Conner related that he and Mr. John Drury, Tavares City Manager, met last Friday with the Secretary from the Environmental Protection Agency to show him the seaplane base and go over some exciting plans from the City of Tavares to continue their momentum. He specified that the City has increased their commercial property values from 20 percent to 35 percent in the last couple of years, which he commented was a remarkable accomplishment in the current economy.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER cadwell – DISTRICT 5
discussion regarding the county manager position
Commr. Cadwell requested that a discussion regarding the future vacancy of the County Manager’s position be put on the agenda for the September 11 Board meeting, since it is apparent that Mr. Gray will be leaving the County. He commented that he wanted the County to move in a positive direction without uncertainty, especially since County staff has gone through so much stress over the last several years. He also asked that Mr. Minkoff bring back a one-year contract for Mr. David Heath, Deputy County Manager, to become the new County Manager, and that they discuss the exit strategy for Mr. Gray during the September 11 meeting. He commented that he was confident about Mr. Heath’s work and qualifications and felt good about moving forward with making him County Manager.
Commr. Hill opined that that was an excellent suggestion.
Commr. Parks gave Mr. Heath a vote of confidence, and he commented that he appreciated moving the discussion about this matter to the September 11 meeting, since Commr. Campione was not present at this time to participate in the discussion.
Commr. Cadwell also suggested that they need to start looking for a new Deputy County Manager as well so that there would not be a void if the Board was ever in this situation again.
Commr. Conner emphasized that Mr. Gray has always had the support of the entire Board and expressed disappointment that Mr. Gray did not stay with the County long-term. He commented that he was a capable and competent administrator, but he also believed that Mr. Heath was capable as well and that he had his support.
Mr. Gray commented that he has enjoyed working with the Board and explained that he was planning to accept the position with the City of Clermont in order to have more time with his family. He opined that the County has the finest staff, which is always prepared for the departure of any staff member. He thanked the Board for the faith they put in him and the staff.
commissioner campione – chairman and district 4
family day proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 4-0, the Board approved and executed Proclamation No. 2012-106 observing September 24, 2012 as Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with your Children.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK