A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
december 4, 2012
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, December 4, 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; Jimmy Conner, Vice Chairman; Sean Parks; Timothy Sullivan; and Welton G. Cadwell. Others present were: David Heath, County Manager; Sanford A. “Sandy” Minkoff, County Attorney; Wendy Taylor, Executive Office Manager, County Manager’s Office; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Rabbi Chaim Solomon from the Traditional Congregation of Mount Dora gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
election of chairman and vice chairman
Commr. Sullivan opined that keeping Commr. Campione as Chairman of the BCC for one more year would ensure a level of continuity going forward.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board elected Commr. Campione to continue to serve as Chairman for one more year.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board elected Commr. Conner as Vice Chairman.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, related that Commr. Cadwell wanted to pull Tab 8 from the Consent Agenda so that he could have an opportunity to talk to the Sheriff about that matter.
Commr. Cadwell explained that he believed some tough omissions of handicapped parking spaces were made in the design of the new courthouse parking lot, and he opined that there was room in that lot for those spaces which would allow the Sheriff to still be able to place parking area gates there.
Commr. Campione commented that Commr. Cadwell has a unique perspective on this since he was there from the start of the original design as well as the modifications.
Mr. Heath also requested to have the presentation under Tab 30 of the certificate to Maria Granado which was under Commr. Conner’s business immediately after the Employee Awards.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, requested to add under his business a discussion of the draft ordinance regarding the additional homestead for qualifying senior citizens.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to add that item to the agenda.
Ms. Susan Irby, Human Resources Director, recognized the following employees for their years of service completed in November:
Jennifer Cotch, Environmental Specialist
Growth Management/Planning and Community Design Division
Steve Greene, Chief Planner
Growth Management/ Planning and Community Design Division
Diane Hagan, Animal Shelter Technician I (not present)
Conservation and Compliance/Animal Services Division
Maria Ramirez, Library Assistant I
Public Resources/Library Services Division
James Simpson, Delivery Service Driver/Operator
Public Resources/Library Services Division
Richard Varner, Senior Budget Analyst
Fiscal and Administrative Services/Budget Division
Katia Barber, Library Assistant I
Public Resources/Library Services Division
Esther Catino, Library Assistant I (not present)
Public Resources/Library Services Division
Lynda Hogans, Office Associate II
Public Resources/Library Services Division
Edward Luning, Fixed Assets/Surplus Specialist
Fiscal and Administrative Services/Procurement Services Division
Deborah Kohler, Public Hearing Associate
Building Services/Building Services Division
Olakunle Olasimbo, Engineer IV
Public Works/Engineering Division
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, presented the 20-year award.
Patricia Harker, Right-of-Way Supervisor
Public Works/Engineering Division
presentation of certificate to maria granado
Commr. Conner recognized Ms. Maria Granado and presented her with a certificate for receiving the “Against All Odds” award at the Lake Sumter Community College (LSCC) Distinguished Alumni Awards on October 25. He specified that Ms. Granado works for the County in the Department of Community Services, Division of Health and Human Services, as a Community Health Worker. He commented that he was impressed with the odds Ms. Granado has overcome growing up in a family of migrant workers and dropping out of high school during her senior year because of lack of transportation; however, she earned her GED, started working towards earning an Associate’s Degree from Dade Community College, and entered the workforce, poring all her effort into the farm worker community by working for several non-profit organizations providing housing, job-training, and support services to farm workers and homeless families in Dade County. She later earned her Associate in Arts Degree from LSCC, and she is currently working towards earning her Bachelor’s Degree, which she expects to complete in March, and then plans to start earning her Master’s Degree. Her work targets uninsured and underinsured residents in Lake County, securing federal grant funding to offset the costs of her work, and she has trained over 150 health workers.
citizen question and comment period
Ms. Kelly Smallridge, Director of Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties, which serves children and their mothers involved in domestic assault situations, commented that they use the Children’s Services Grant for children who have been exposed to violence and have nowhere else to go. She expressed concern in relation to Tab 4 regarding the amount of $8,000 in funding provided to their agency in relation to what other programs have received from that grant. She opined that her program and the forensics program are the two most important programs in the county for their children, and she believed that the criteria could be looked at and revamped.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the County had a committee that went through and studied all of those applications, and even though the funding is continually being cut, they try to be fair to everyone.
Ms. Rebecca Foley-Kearney, Children and Elder Services Specialist, explained that there is a process that the RFP committee goes through for all of the RFP’s that are submitted, including researching all of the requests. She opined that the decisions were tough, because every year their funding does get cut. She commented that although she knows that Haven needs the dollars, all of the other agencies are in need of that funding as well, and the committee tries to be fair regarding distribution of those dollars.
Commr. Campione added that the County received many more applications than they were able to grant, and it was difficult to figure out how to distribute the funds to agencies that do receive them to make sure they were taking care of as many needs as possible in the community. She commented that they were able to leverage County and community dollars, and the organizations were able to raise more money to provide for those needs and were doing a great job with the dollars that are available. She concluded that they were able to cover a wide range of areas that directly relate to the children in the community, and they were trying hard to make those dollars go as far as they could.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meeting of September 25, 2012 (Regular Meeting) and October 30, 2012 (Special Meeting) as presented.
clerk of court’s consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Clerk of Court’s Consent Agenda, items 1 through 6 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.
Lands Available List
Request to acknowledge receipt of the list of property placed on the Lands Available List for the Tax Deed Sale of November 6, 2012. Lake County has until February 4, 2013 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
Annual Report and Five Year Plan from Water Authority
Request to acknowledge receipt of the 2011 Annual Report and 2011-2016 Five Year Plan from the Lake County Water Authority, in accordance with Chapter 2005-314, Laws of Florida, along with cover letter dated October 31, 2012.
Notice of Annexation and Public Hearing Notice from City of Mt. Dora
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of Notice of Annexation and public hearing notice from the City of Mount Dora stating that the final hearing on the voluntary annexation of approximately 1.94 acres of property generally located on the east side of CR 19A and south of Lake Center Drive, Mount Dora, and Ordinance 2012-17 will be on December 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 510 Baker Street, Mount Dora, which is provided pursuant to Section 171.044(6) Florida Statutes.
BCC-102 Audit of Animal Services Report
Request to acknowledge receipt of the BCC-102 Audit of Animal Services, Licensure Function audit report.
Annual Financial Audit Report from Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Annual Financial Audit Report from the Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.
county manager’s consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 17, pulling Tab 8, as follows:
Request for approval of annual grant funding for seven (7) organizations who have submitted applications for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 County funds through the Human Services Grant Request for Proposal process; authorization for signatures on subsequent agreements; and authorization to encumber and expend funds. The fiscal impact is $47,500.00 (Expense) and is funded by the General Fund.
Request for approval of annual grant funding for eleven (11) organizations who have submitted applications for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 County funds through the Children's Services Council Grant Request for Proposal process; authorization for signatures on subsequent agreements; and authorization to encumber and expend funds. The fiscal impact is $150,761.00 (Expense) and is funded by the General Fund.
Request for approval of the FY 2011-2012 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Request for approval of the 2013 Commission meeting dates.
Request for approval to (1) declare the items on the attached list(s) surplus to County needs and (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached lists from the County's official fixed asset inventory system records.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval of Heery Architect’s additional service request, in the amount of $5,425.00, to provide additional architectural services to include changes to architectural, mechanical, and electrical plans for the Judicial Center Expansion project. The fiscal impact is $5,425.00.
Request for approval of the LCSO request, in the amount of $22,481.07, to provide additional parking at the ECOC for LCSO dispatchers. The fiscal impact is $22,481.07.
Request for approval and BCC ratification of the attached Collective Bargaining Agreement between Lake County and the Professional Firefighters of Lake County, IAFF Local 3990. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of designation of Paul Alford as the Single Administrative Head of the Lake County Library System and signature of Form DLIS/SA03, Certification of Credentials for the Single Library Administrative Head. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of employment of Ms. Brooke L. Moffis, Extension Agent II, (Residential Horticulture). The fiscal impact is $23,395. (Expense).
Request for approval and signature of Lease Agreement for the Green Mountain Scenic Byway North Shore Overlook & Trailhead Project (C.R. 455 Entrance Trailhead) between Lake County and the St. Johns River Water Management District. There is no immediate fiscal impact.
Request for approval and signature of Florida Wildflower Foundation Exhibit Loan Agreement and Exhibition Agreement. The fiscal impact is $250 (Expense).
Request for approval of the purchase of four (4) LIFEPAK (Monitor / CPR / Defibrillator) components and related accessories. The fiscal impact is $89,766.80 (Expense).
Request for approval of an agreement with Tiger Creek Conservation Bank for purchase of mitigation credits to satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) permits for the Hartwood Marsh and Hancock Road intersection improvements. The fiscal impact is $16,200 (Expenditure) – Tracking #INT10027.
county attorney’s consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 18 and 19, as follows:
Request for approval of Lease Agreement Between Lake County and The Village Green Office Center for Clerk of Court office space in The Villages located at 902 Avenida Central.
Request for approval to make required tax deed applications on the required 41 parcels for year 2009 County held tax certificates; and if recommended, approval to make tax deed applications on additional parcels that were assessed at less than $5,000 on the property appraiser’s roll. The fiscal impact is $7,425 at this time.
county manager’s departmental business
economic development and tourism
presentation to thank those involved in wings & wildflowers
Mr. Scott Blankenship, Economic Development and Tourism Director, introduced a video presentation of the Wings & Wildflowers Festival which occurred on September 28-30 and related that although the net cost of the festival was only about $2,500, it had an overall economic impact of over $1 million. He opined that this was a phenomenal event, and they were excited to host it. He mentioned that Ms. Kathy Pagan, Program Analyst, Economic Development and Tourism Department, was the lead architect for this inaugural event.
Ms. Pagan stated that this event created heads in beds and the tourism tax revenues that they needed in Lake County, and she related that the event’s 120 programs offered something for everyone, including programs by bus, kayak, boat, horseback, and horse and buggy. She explained that they wanted to establish Lake County as a premier wildlife and birding destination. She pointed out that the majority of the festival programming was free, and only the offsite programs had a fee; however they sold about $1200 in commemorative merchandise. She reported that over 3,000 people attended it and that the Lakeside Inn, who was their host hotel, sold out every room every day for three days. She commented that their sites for the festival were scattered throughout the county and included the Lake Apopka Restoration Area, the Ocala National Forest, and the Green Swamp, and this initiative enabled the County to establish great new partnerships, such as with the Florida Wildflower Foundation, which had their symposium in conjunction with the festival. She noted that there were 80 vendors and exhibitors, making them the largest festival in the country, and experts from numerous environmental fields came to be part of the event and offered activities for people of all ages and abilities. She mentioned two partnerships that were forged with Cornell University and the National Wildlife Federation, who was their largest sponsor. She mentioned that over 300 surveys were received back with great comments regarding the superior birding experience, artwork, nice and helpful staff and volunteers, excursions, and learning opportunities. She commented that they were planning on making next year’s festival even better by taking into consideration any comments or suggestions for improvement, and the enthusiasm and excitement of their volunteers were conveyed to their visitors, who responded with matching enthusiasm. She noted that they won five gold metal awards for the graphic art and promotional materials, which gave them credibility with national publications and brought in out-of-state visitors as well as visitors from all over the state, and many of the visitors have made plans to return to Lake County, which will increase future tourism dollars and reflect an enhanced image of the county. She pointed out that this festival would not have been possible without all of the efforts of their partners and volunteers, as well as from County staff such as Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director; Ms. Kelly LaFollette, Communications Director; the Parks and Trails Division; and the Lake County Water Authority, and she had the volunteers stand and be recognized.
Commr. Parks mentioned that the County has been trying to recruit the Florida Wildflower Center, and the enthusiasm and hard work that went into this festival made a great impression and celebrated the natural environment and the resources they have in the County.
capital funding policy for tourist development tax
Mr. Blankenship explained that the purpose of this presentation is to highlight the changes since the last time they updated the Capital Projects Funding and Guidelines policy which was first adopted in May of 2011, noting that the TDC held a workshop to discuss this issue and decided to recommend that monies be allocated to the reserves in support of capital projects. He specified that 75 percent of those funds from the Tourist Development Tax could be used for capital expenses and that the current reserve balance available is $2.28 million. He explained that new projects are defined as new construction or expansion, renovation, or replacement of an existing facility which has a total cost of at least $25,000 over the life of the project and a useful life at least ten years; also, purchase of major equipment, a rehabilitation project, or a major maintenance project can be considered an eligible capital project if it meets those dollar and useful life requirements as well. He further explained that there would be two application periods per calendar year six months apart, and staff will offer pre-application seminars to applicants to guide them through the process; also, a Capital Projects Impact Model (CIM) was created to evaluate the applications, which contains baseline data analysis to help make those decisions. He related that the applicants will have the option to make a presentation in front of the TDC Board, which will then have a two-week evaluation process to make a recommendation to the BCC, and the applicants will also have an opportunity to make a presentation in front of the BCC for the final funding request if their project gets a recommendation from the TDC. He commented that funding approval is at the sole discretion of the BCC and subject to availability of funds, and he requested that the Board approve the Tourist Development Capital Projects Funding Program and Guidelines.
Commr. Conner expressed a concern to make sure that the applications are judged based on merit as opposed to other considerations, and he asked Mr. Blankenship about the criteria.
Mr. Blankenship assured him that there will be in-depth criteria and that a full packet will be available to the TDC to review in order to make their decision. He also noted that there are post-reporting requirements in the policy.
Commr. Conner asked whether priority is given to a project with outside private matching money.
Mr. Blankenship responded that one of the requirements for application is 50 percent in matching money.
Mr. Adam Sumner, Senior Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator, added that a higher match percentage results in a higher project score in the model presented.
Mr. Blankenship also pointed out that staff will do their own due diligence to evaluate the projects before they even get to the TDC.
Commr. Conner expressed concern about allowing in-kind matches.
Commr. Cadwell responded that he did not see in-kind matches being a problem in the process. He also clarified that the projects that do not get a recommendation from the TDC will not be heard by the BCC.
Commr. Conner requested that it be reflected in the policy that a Commissioner can bring a project forward before the BCC if he feels strongly enough about it.
Commr. Cadwell recommended that they require a four-fifths vote to put that project on the agenda if it was not recommended by the TDC, and he pointed out that those projects that do not receive a recommendation will have the opportunity to reapply during the next application period.
Commr. Campione opined that a Commissioner should be able to ask for consideration of a project, since the BCC meetings were the only opportunity for a Commissioner to have that discussion with the other Board members pursuant to the Sunshine Law.
Commr. Cadwell agreed with that, since it would be the only opportunity for discussion.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, pointed out that since presentations to the Board are not required to be made, they can conceivably put those on the Consent Agenda, and a Commissioner who has a specific issue could bring it up or request a presentation.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Capital Funding Policy Amendment for the Tourist Development Tax, with an amendment stating that the projects that are not accepted by the TDC will not be presented to the BCC unless there is a specific request by a Commissioner to reconsider a project.
open for business resolution
Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, stated that she would provide an update of the “Open for Business” initiative to streamline the permitting process. She related that about two years ago myregion.org and the coalition of the Florida Business Associations got together to judge the region’s economic recovery, and business leaders which included associated builders and contractors, the Florida Banker’s Association, Home Builders Association, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, and Workforce Central Florida focused first on identifying regulatory barriers. One of their main focuses was how to streamline the permitting process, which led to the establishment of a regional work group comprised of seven county managers, county staff, and the municipalities to determine the areas that could be improved in the permitting process that would enable a friendlier, faster, and more efficient method of issuing approvals. She related that they came up with eight standards that each county and municipality had to meet before they would be certified as “Open for Business,” which included customer service, pre-application review, minimizing costs, a timeliness table for the approval process, reducing the approval steps, process improvements including technological upgrades and innovations, and minimizing the time and steps for the permit to be issued once the project is approved. She commented that since her staff already met these standards, it was easy for them to become certified, and she specified things that their staff has been doing, such as to provide opportunity for customer feedback, have regular staff training, reward good customer service, expedited review, online tutorials, application checklists, electronic submission of plans, provide the applicant with a case manager who acts as the ombudsman, and use mobile technology for inspections.
Ms. King continued to explain that once each county and municipality in that seven-county region meets the eight standards and agrees to sign the “Open for Business” resolution that is before the Board today, they will be certified as “Open for Business” and be included on an “Open for Business” website along with the right to use the logo on their website and on their materials, documents, and applications; however, all elements for the standards for certification have to be maintained to keep that certification. She then illustrated the logo and noted that they will be using it on the County’s website and documents with the Board’s approval. She mentioned that it was also promoted through myregion.org and the regional website, and businesses will know when they see this logo that it means that they are dedicated to helping them make their business a reality, as well as providing great customer service, communication, an aggressive timeline, and minimal approval steps. She reported that a regional signing ceremony will take place on December 14 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, and commissioners and managers from each county and city that is or will be certified as “Open for Business” by 2013 are invited to participate in that ceremony, including the four municipalities in Lake County that are or will be certified, which are the Cities of Groveland, Clermont, Minneola, and Tavares. She requested that the Board approve and execute the “Open for Business” Resolution and to authorize the Chairman or her designee to attend the Regional Signing Ceremony on December 14.
Commr. Parks clarified that staff was going through and analyzing the comment cards received for feedback, and he commented he was hearing more and more compliments and good things about their staff as time goes by.
Ms. King responded that the comment cards also have a place for people to give their phone number if they wish to be contacted and that she makes those return calls herself.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the “Open for Business” Resolution No. 2012-150 and authorized the Chairman or designee to attend the Regional Signing Ceremony on December 14.
RECESS AND REASSEMBLY
The Chairman announced at 10:30 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
long & scott airport & business center planned development
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, Department of Growth Management, explained that this is an update that the Board requested at a previous meeting on the Long and Scott Airport business planned development zoning that was rescheduled from November to the December 20th Orange County Planning and Zoning Meeting. He recapped that Lake County originally approved Ordinance No. 2004-84 which rezoned a small portion containing 1455 feet of land for the purpose of extending the airstrip into Lake County from the North Orlando Airpark (NOA); in July 2010 Orange County transmitted a Comprehensive Plan amendment that allowed an Aviation Growth Center to be placed immediately adjacent to Lake County which included the NOA, and also at that time the Long & Scott Family Farms asked to remove the condition in Ordinance No. 2004-84 that required Lake County’s approval of any land use change and transferred ownership of the NOA to the West Orange Airport Authority (WOAA). He noted that in August 2010, DCA found the Comp Plan amendment not in compliance mainly due to noncompliance concerns with the Orange County Comprehensive Plan; in May 2011 Orange County entered a Compliance Agreement that allowed the amendment to proceed; and in June of 2011 Orange County approved the amendment to allow 150,000 square feet of office, 50,000 square feet of commercial, 2.8 million square feet of industrial, and 750,000 square feet of airport and aviation uses. He recapped that in May of 2012 the Lake County BCC (the Board) approved a Development Agreement that was requested for mitigation of transportation impacts that would occur in Lake County, and in November the Board approved Ordinance 2012-74 allowing continued use of the airstrip portion in Lake County under very specific conditions. He related that now Long & Scott Farms is requesting the full amount of allowances provided in the Orange County Comprehensive Plan which applies to the property under certain conditions. He illustrated the location of the North Orlando Airpark and where the airstrip extends into Lake County along the county line, pointing out that the NOA also extends north of Jones Avenue. He pointed out that contingent with this approval, Long & Scott and WOA have been working with the St. Johns River Water Management District to do a land swap, illustrating on the overhead monitor the location of that land, and explained that this property meets their mission for the North Lake Apopka Restoration Area, but that property would have to be brought into the Aviation Growth Center through a comp plan amendment to allow any type of aviation or commercial uses on the property, although that land swap has not yet gone before the St. Johns Governing Board, and he related that he has asked that Lake County be informed when that item is on the agenda.
Mr. Sheahan explained that the major policy provisions of the Aviation Growth Center are that it requires adoption of an Airport Master Plan, allows up to 750,000 square feet of airport related uses prior to completion of that master plan including 315 hangars, future development is contingent on obtaining a service agreement for public utilities, and a traffic impact study would be required prior to a construction plan for approval by both Orange and Lake Counties according to their development agreement. The remainder of the policy would kick in after approval of the Airport Master Plan which would include the aforementioned square feet of industrial, commercial, and office development, as well as a waiver to allow an increase in height except within 100 feet of residential property. He reported that the Orange County staff recommended several conditions, most significant of which is to adhere to the Comp Plan policy requirements, submittal and adoption of the Airport Master Plan, meeting concurrency, limiting development to only 750,000 square feet prior to the Airport Master Plan, and submittal of the Traffic Study for review by both Orange and Lake Counties. He noted that the issues with this proposal have been discussed on several occasions before the Board, including the suitability of the location for a large commercial airport, the economic development potential, ecotourism impacts, compatibility with the existing North Lake Apopka Restoration Area and trail initiatives, and compatibility with the surrounding uses. He stated that the options were a 90-day postponement, support of the development request with specified conditions, to recommend that Orange County deny the request, or to take no action; however, he recommended that the Board request a 90-day continuance to allow the regional summit to occur so they could decide what best fits the regional vision for location of an airport of this type.
Mr. Robert Christianson, Division of Operations and Land Resources Director with the St. Johns River Water Management District, related that the WOAA made a proposal to the District many months ago for a land exchange, and they have been evaluating that request. He added that he believes that the Airport Authority acted on that agreement last week, but he reported that St. Johns has not acted on it.
Commr. Campione explained that she had sent a letter to Mayor Jacobs several months ago with the Board’s concerns and has received feedback from other communities that wanted to be involved in the discussion of this issue. She commented that she would be willing to take a lead in getting input in this situation which clearly impacts the entire region, and she supported asking for a 90-day postponement on the Orange County zoning matter in order to get that input and be the facilitator of those discussions. She suggested involving the surrounding cities, stakeholders, and entities such as Winter Garden, Oakland, Montverde, Mount Dora, Apopka, Friends of Lake Apopka, the Audubon Society, and the Water Management District. She also noted that huge investments have been made and continue to be made in the area of ecotourism. She suggested that the County formulate what their specific position is relatively soon.
Commr. Cadwell opined that the County needed to make sure the concerns of the cities are also brought forward to the whole group, and they needed to know ahead of time how they were going to do it. He indicated that he supported the postponement.
Mr. Heath explained that they started meeting on a regular basis in May to put this summit together, but they were concerned about legal issues if they had that summit between May and November since Long & Scott had a pending zoning application. He believed they could reach out to all of the stakeholders and try to have this summit meeting at the end of January or the beginning of February in time to formulate a formal position before March.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to ask Orange County for a 90-day postponement of this case until a regional summit to discuss the siting of a general aviation airport can be held.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to also express their concern and opposition to the St. Johns River Water Management District and to ask them to postpone any action until then as well.
securing of trail right of way on pine meadows property
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, stated that this request was for the Board’s approval for staff to work with St. Johns to secure a trail right-of-way on its Pine Meadows Conservation Area property, and she gave some background information dating back to March of 2009 when Trout Lake Nature Center was interested in trail connectivity of public properties in the area of CR 44A north of Eustis from the nature center through the Pine Meadows Conservation Area to Lake May Reserve. She related that St. Johns began acquiring parcels within the Pine Meadows Conservation Area in 1992 and approved a management plan for the property in March of 2010 which made reference to the trail and includes a recreation strategy to continue to work with Lake County on proposals regarding the Trout Lake Nature Center to Lake May area trail; and in December of 2011 St. Johns began its yearlong Lands Assessment Program which evaluated every acre of the conservation properties. She recapped that during Mr. Christianson’s presentation to the Board in October, one of the recommendations he related St. Johns was considering was to sell the Pine Meadows Conservation Area property with the intention of maintaining a conservation easement over the majority of the property, but Commr. Cadwell expressed concern about the importance of the Pine Meadows property to the proposed trail. She related that final recommendations will be made to the St. Johns Board on December 11, which will include transfer of trail right-of-way along the property’s southern border to Lake County for future trail development with the trail alignment to be determined, and she noted that the total property consisted of 803 acres. She illustrated the proposed trail on an overhead map and pointed out that the County would need to acquire right-of-way to complete the future trail, but the right-of-way through the Pine Meadows property is critical to making the connection. She reported that in order to move forward in securing the trail right-of-way, staff will have to request approval from St. Johns to access the property to perform a site assessment and identify options for a trail alignment. She mentioned that a large part of the Pine Meadows Conservation Area is comprised of wetlands, so it might be necessary to incorporate boardwalks and levies into the future trail. She requested approval for staff to work with the St. Johns River Water Management District to secure a trail right-of-way on the Pine Meadows property for future trail development.
Commr. Campione asked about whether peat mining will be allowed on the property.
Mr. Christianson responded that although normally he would think it would not be allowed on the property since it seems to be incompatible with the conservation objectives for the property, St. Johns wanted to do some additional technical evaluation before ruling that out in a small area of Emeralda Marsh if they find out that careful, highly-controlled peat mining activity can be conducive to restoration.
Commr. Cadwell related that the Board has been getting many calls from citizens who were concerned about that issue.
Mr. Christianson commented that they have also met with interested citizens and have committed to work with those citizens as they go through this process. He related that they have agreed to defer the implementation of the recommendation until at least July of 2013 in order to give the citizens and other interested parties a chance to collaborate more on this, and they were still open to a counter proposal that could be developed that relieved the District of the long-term maintenance requirements for that property.
Mr. Patrick McCord, Biological Scientist and Project Manager for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, stated that concurrent with the District’s process in assessing all of their holdings for this process by which they are reviewing the conservation values, they have had discussions on some potential habitat enhancements for the Pine Meadows Conservation Area that would ultimately lead to it being open as a public use area; however, this was before they were aware that the disposition of this property would be uncertain. He related that he approached Commr. Campione about the possibility of having discussions about developing a cooperative relationship by which the District and the County could enter into an agreement to could keep this property in public ownership and cooperatively manage and shoulder the responsibilities of long-term maintenance and management of the property for public use.
Commr. Campione asked about other maintenance responsibilities and costs and stated that she supported getting more facts together.
Commr. Sullivan expressed a concern that whatever they do with that property will result in the best use of it for the public, and he commented that there may be mitigation for peat mines that improve the property. He stated that he believes they should continue to move forward.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved for staff to work with the SJRWMD to secure a trail right-of-way on the District’s Pine Meadows Conservation Area property for future trail development.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to continue to work with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the SJRWMD to explore other possibilities for this property.
appointments to affordable housing advisory committee
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the execution of Resolution No. 2012-151 and the reappointment of the following members to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to serve two-year terms ending Nov. 30, 2014: Gerardo Suarez, Jr. (District 4) as a resident who is actively engaged in the banking or mortgage banking industry in connection with affordable housing; Carl Ludecke (District 4) as a resident who is actively engaged in the residential home building industry in connection with affordable housing; and Donald Miller (District 4) as a resident who is actively engaged as a real estate professional in connection with affordable housing.
appointments to tourist development council
Commr. Cadwell requested that the Board postpone the appointments to the Tourist Development Council (TDC) until the next BCC Meeting, since he was not quite ready to make a recommendation and was still deciding on these appointments, and he pointed out that the TDC was not scheduled to meet in December.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to postpone those appointments until the next BCC meeting.
reports – county attorney
ordinance regarding amendment 11
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, related that he had prepared an ordinance which would implement Amendment 11 that was on the ballot last month which was contained in Section 196.075 of the Florida Statutes to allow people over the age of 65 who had a limited household income of a little over $20,000 and have lived in their home for at least 25 years to have an additional exemption which would allow a total exemption of up to $250,000. He explained that technically the Statute requires that this ordinance be approved prior to December 1 in order to be effective next year, but that was not possible because of the certification process of the election. He noted, however, that he has seen documentation from other counties where the Property Appraiser will honor the ordinances if they are approved in December for next year. He added that there are approximately 1200 people that currently have the additional senior exemption, but the 25-year residency requirement and the value of their homesteads would exclude a lot of them from receiving the additional exemption, so he did not anticipate that this would result in a significant fiscal impact for the County. He related that it takes a four-fifths vote of the Board to implement it, and he believed they could advertise the ordinance in time to be able to put it on the next BCC meeting’s agenda if the Board gives its approval to advertise it.
Commr. Campione pointed out that over 62 percent of the voters in Lake County voted in favor of Amendment 11.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to advertise the ordinance.
reports – county manager
additional legislative issues
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, recapped that the Board adopted several legislative priorities several months ago and has since identified some additional ones regarding the sand skinks, Agenda 21, and Firearms. He reported that Fish and Wildlife changed their protocol last year regarding sand skinks which has resulted in creating some permitting problems, especially in South Lake County, and he pointed out that sand skink habitat accounts for about 70 percent of their vacant property, which has ramifications for economic development. Also, he explained that the state has preempted local governments from getting involved in firearm issues, so he was recommending that the Board request legislation to clarify that regulation when there is a clear and present danger. The Board has also expressed an interest over the last several months regarding Agenda 21, which will be addressed at a work session in January, and a request for the state to form a commission specifically to find what kind of items relate to Agenda 21 and what kind of latitude the local governments have on that will be discussed. He asked the Board’s support to include those three issues in their legislative package.
Commr. Parks pointed out that Congressman Dan Webster was very supportive of the County’s stand on the sand skink issue, and he commented that he believed they should move forward with making a statement in the opening paragraph of their Comp Plan addressing Agenda 21.
Commr. Campione noted that she has been doing a lot of research on that, and she had reservations about putting that statement at the beginning of their Comp Plan, since she did not see how they can purge the Comp Plan of state-mandated requirements which were adopted by state law.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to incorporate the additional legislative issues regarding sand skinks, Agenda 21, and firearms into the legislative package.
reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1
florida association of counties meeting
Commr. Sullivan reported that he had the opportunity to attend the Florida Association of Counties meeting and learned a lot about the process of working with the legislature. He opined that some of the priorities set by that group are in line with those of Lake County and that he wanted to make sure they present those to their legislative delegation as a part of that process.
reports – commissioner parks – district 2
Commr. Parks related that he served on the canvassing committee, and he opined that the Supervisor of Election’s office did a great job on the recount, which required a lot of additional hours for their staff as well as the hours provided by volunteers.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that most of the people working on that were volunteers, which saved the County a lot of money, since the cost could have been five times as much.
arts and cultural alliance
Commr. Parks relayed that the Arts and Cultural Alliance was very thankful for the cooperation and support from the Board.
reports – commissioner conner – district 3
human trafficking proclamation
Commr. Conner mentioned that he served on the Shared Services Network, and he had been asked by them to propose a human trafficking proclamation to raise awareness. He commented that he was unaware until recently of the human trafficking problem, and he requested approval of that proclamation.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-148 regarding Human Trafficking.
proclamation celebrating lake county’s 125th birthday
Commr. Conner mentioned that the Historical Society was putting together a celebration for the County’s 125th birthday.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2012-149 celebrating Lake County’s 125th birthday.
general budget overview/review
Mr. Heath explained that the purpose for the workshop was to go over where they left off in 2012, including the closing of the books and the changes they made to the current FY 2013 budget, and to begin the discussion of the FY 2014 budget, which he opined would be fraught with issues.
Mr. Steve Koontz, Budget Director, related that he would present the fourth quarter report in the same format as the quarterly reports he has been doing throughout the year, and he illustrated on a graph the ad valorem revenues and how they compared to last year, noting that the total revenues for the year were $71.7 million, which was a little lower than expected, about 95 percent of what they had budgeted, and consistently lower than last year for all four quarters. He mentioned that the fire rescue non ad valorem assessment revenues ran in the same cycle as the property taxes and were $15.8 million for the year, and he reported that the solid waste disposal assessment revenues came in at exactly what they had budgeted, which was $12 million. He pointed out that the state sales tax revenues came in slightly higher than last year with a total revenue of about $11.3 million. He then presented a graph showing all of the expenditures of each department, pointing out that most departments came in below their expenditure budgets, and presented the annual county-wide expenditures, noting that $326 million was spent in 2011 as opposed to $253.6 million that was spent in 2012. He reported that the County had 742 positions as of the end of September, with 697 of those filled and the remainder in the process of being filled. He went over the schedule of the budget workshops in December through February 12, including discussions of the Lake EMS budget on December 11, Public Transportation on December 18, parks and libraries on January 8, presentation of other budget issues on January 22, and discussion of budget guidelines on February 12.
Mr. Koontz related that the FY 2013 adopted budget was $381.7 million, with a general fund operating budget of $120 million, and the Lake EMS and Fire Rescue millages were kept at the FY 2012 rates. He commented that all the millages stayed the same, with the exception of the Public Lands Voted Debt Millage, which was increased to ensure the coverage of the debt payments, and they would be looking at those from year to year. He noted that countywide property values decreased by 6.2 percent, and the budget was balanced with five-percent reductions in operating budgets of the County departments and Constitutional Offices and reductions in reserves. He illustrated on a graph that there has been a 34 percent decline in property values since 2008 and that positions have been reduced during that time from 374 to 222. He opined that they were expecting taxable values to level off in FY 2015 and start to increase slowly in FY 2016, and he stated that they were looking at another five-percent decrease in expenses in FY 2013. He also showed on a graph that there was a gap between new revenues and new expenses, which was made up by the cash brought forward from the fund balance, and a pie chart showing what comprised the general fund expense budget, including 57 percent for the Constitutional Officers and 25 percent for the County departments. He mentioned that the numbers will not be final until the Clerk’s Finance Department finishes auditing the numbers in the timeframe of February or March, and he related that the adopted budget book has been completed and distributed.
Mr. Koontz recapped that the reserve policy has been changed to a 7 to 12 percent range, and he reported that they were going through an evaluation of FY 2012 and working on some estimates of cash brought forward for FY 2013, which they estimate at $33.9 million, and FY 2013 reserve adjustments, which they updated at $16.5 million, resulting in an actual reserve estimate of 13.7 percent. He elaborated that higher than expected Medicaid payments and inmate medical expenses and lower than expected excess fees and revenues were some of the reasons that the reserves were lower than they had estimated and the cash brought forward was higher than projected for FY 2013. He showed on a graph that reserves are expected to drop below 7 percent to 6.1 percent in 2014 and mentioned that they were also seeing similar trends in all of the ad valorem-based funds, and he opined that that would present some real challenges for the County, especially in the Stormwater, Parks and Road MSTU. He commented that the economy is still slow to recover, including the real estate market, and property values have not yet stabilized and may decrease further; however, the three constitutional amendments that passed in November will have a minimal impact on the revenues. He stated that they were estimating a 3 percent decline for planning purposes, and a reduction of expenses will be a part of the budget strategy, which includes a five percent reduction for County Departments and Constitutional Offices.
Mr. Heath presented some of the issues and challenges that would impact FY 2014, including uncertainty of ad valorem revenues, the fact that there have been no employee raises in four years, increasing employee medical expenses, unfunded mandates from the legislature such as modifying jail terms and state withdrawal from primary care, resulting possible changes to contribution rates due to FRS litigation of the mandatory 3 percent contribution, and solid waste changes after the County’s contract with Covanta ends, since the County was looking into possibly retaining some general fund money in the Solid Waste budget to provide for County-wide services such as the drop-off sites. He added that other challenges would be the Astatula fuel remediation due to a fuel spill; public transportation funding, which they will be giving a presentation about to the Board on December 18; library funding, including the challenges of joint funding with other counties; rising Medicaid costs and backlog; an additional allocation needed to update the Public Safety radio system; and issues regarding the Stormwater, Parks and Roads MSTU, 80 percent of which has been recently used to keep parks running, although some of those dollars might be needed for stormwater projects next year, which will stretch the parks budget further due to the costs of ongoing operation and maintenance of the County’s continually increasing facilities. He opined that the County will not be able to meet a minimum reserve according to their policy even if the budget is reduced by five percent, unless projected revenues are better than anticipated, and he asked the Board for their patience and restraint, commenting that this will be a very long and contentious process dealing with quality of life issues.
Commr. Campione asked why the inmate medical bills were higher than usual.
Mr. Koontz responded that there were a few inmates that had major medical conditions and problems this year.
Mr. Heath added that the inmate population is aging just as the general population is.
Commr. Parks asked how much the Astatula fuel remediation will cost.
Mr. Koontz responded that Phase II of the remedial project will be a $437,000 investment sometime in the future plus the operating and maintenance costs to run it, and he related that they were presently continuously monitoring the wells.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced that there would be a recess until the workshop at 1:30 p.m.
lake county sheriff’s office budget presentation
Sheriff Gary Borders gave a power point presentation about his upcoming budget, including an overview of their agency and some of the challenges that they face. He stated that the Sheriff’s Office is comprised of Administrative Services, Criminal Justice Operations of the Jail, and Law Enforcement Operations, which consists of Uniform Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Special Investigations. He related that Uniform Patrol deputies respond to approximately 300,000 calls a year and consist of the Street Crimes Unit, Canine Unit, and Traffic Enforcement Unit, which he noted was created to help reduce traffic fatalities and has been responsibility for a decline in yearly traffic deaths in Lake County from 75 in 2005 to 46 in 2011. He commented that since he still believed that number was unacceptable, he searched for and was awarded grants to target drunk driving, and the Traffic Enforcement Unit has made 199 DUI arrests since April 2012, has conducted DUI checkpoints across Lake County in an effort to keep their roads safer, and has one unit to focus solely on drunk driving. He explained that Criminal Investigations is comprised of detectives who respond to calls and initiate cases while working in the areas of major crimes such as homicide and assault, general crimes such as burglary and theft, special crimes of sexual battery, and Crime Scene Investigations (CSI), which is a specialized unit that processes major crime scenes. He pointed out that overtime in the CSI unit is twice as high for callouts by city agencies than their own agency and that FDLE no longer processes crime scenes and relies on his office for that, especially for officer-involved shootings. He related that he established the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Special Investigations Unit in 2008 to catch sexual predators that prey on children via the internet, resulting in 151 arrests and the monitoring of 425 registered offenders.
Sheriff Borders explained that the Communications Center is the hub of any law enforcement agency and the first to receive and disseminate calls for service throughout Lake County, and he opined that the personnel assigned to work in this unit are a very service-oriented team of professionals who have passed many hours of training and certification requirements. He added that they were looking at moving into the Emergency Operations Center towards the beginning of 2013, and he noted that they also provide services for Umatilla, Astatula, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fruitland Park, Mascotte, Minneola, and Clermont and will be providing service to Tavares after they move to the EOC. He mentioned that they had a deputy sheriff in every middle and high school in Lake County as part of the School Resource Unit of their Special Services Bureau as well as the DARE program and a gang resistance program.
Commr. Conner asked about whether the School Board and the cities contribute to the funding of the School Resource Officers (SRO).
Sheriff Borders responded that the School Board contributes about 40 percent of the total officers’ annual salary, and the cities do not provide any School Resource Officers at this time due to budget constraints. He then reported on the makeup of their Community Services Unit, which saves the Sheriff’s Office money, such as the Project Safety Net which provides a bracelet for citizens with Alzheimer’s or autism to help locate them if they are lost and Citizens on Patrol, which he commented does more and more things to assist the deputies as there are more cutbacks in staff, such as checking on senior citizens on their Senior Watch and VIN verifications. He reported that there has been a reduction of violent crime in the county over the last few years, which they attribute to partnering with the community through programs such as the Neighborhood Watch Program and Crime Watch Captains and disseminating real time information shared via the internet and through emails. He showed a video illustrating their initiatives to tackle the Meth Lab problem, and he noted that they led the State of Florida in the number of meth labs that were busted in 2009 and surpassed that mark this year because they are more aggressive in seeking them out and proactive in teaching their citizens what to look for in identifying possible meth labs and report it to the Sheriff’s Office. He commented that the implementation of their volunteer services is also to take some of the workload to free up the deputy sheriffs to do other things. He stated that they have seen an increase in property crimes due to the struggling economy, but community involvement is key to help combat the increase in these crimes, including the calls to Crimeline.
He reported that their cost-cutting initiatives were agency-wide, and they have done several things this past year to meet the budget cuts, such as using a local bidding process for savings in insurance, mentioning that Brown & Brown Insurance in Leesburg oversees all of their health, workers comp, automotive, and property & casualty insurance, resulting in costs that were about $300,000 less than last year; as well as increasing the employee cost share of the current health insurance coverage or change to a new base plan option with higher deductibles, higher copays, and a higher pharmacy cost. He added that they were looking into wellness clinics for the employees and see potential for substantial savings by doing that. He mentioned that in an effort to maintain an acceptable level of staff in Patrol, the reserve program was revamped in order to have trained deputy sheriffs filling vacant spots, and currently they have 20 reserve deputies who are required to work a minimum of 12 hours a month but are not paid for their services, although they are provided the equipment needed.
Criminal Justice Operations/Jail
Sheriff Borders noted that 58 of the 67 county jails in Florida are operated by the Sheriff.
Commr. Cadwell commented that 20 years ago when he first started as Commissioner, the County ran the jail with disastrous results. He related that there is now a partnership between the County and the Sheriff, and he opined that privatization would not be a feasible option.
Commr. Campione stated that she would support a resolution adopted by the Board that indicates that they do not intend to privatize the jail and that they support the Sheriff operating the jail.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to add that item to the agenda.
Commr. Parks opined that the Sheriff was the expert in regard to running the jail, and the resolution would send a clear message that they appreciate this partnership.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to commit to maintaining the partnership with the Sheriff to run the County jail and approval of Resolution No. 2012-152.
Commr. Cadwell noted that years ago he served on the Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission for FDLE representing Florida’s counties, and he encouraged the sheriff at that time to get accredited, since he believed that was very important. He stated that he appreciated the Sheriff following through to stay accredited, which he opined was not easy to do.
Sheriff Borders pointed out that the jail has been accredited since 2006, and he reported that the jail was a 960 bed facility which houses maximum, medium, and minimum custody inmates of both sexes as well as juveniles, with 75 percent of inmates still awaiting sentencing.
Commr. Cadwell asked the Sheriff to later provide him with the breakdown of the jail population by percentages of what the inmates are charged with, especially the drug-related charges.
Sheriff Borders commented that the percentage of drug-related charges will be high. He then illustrated with a bar graph the monthly average jail population numbers for FY 2011-2012, which ranged from 865 to 975, noting that they were starting to see a steady increase over the last six months; however, he commented that the numbers were low compared to 2009 where he housed over 1200 inmates a day. He related that over the last few years they have been managing the population by working with their judges to get some of the minor offenses such as violation of probation through the system quicker. He mentioned the ten-acre garden utilizing inmate workers to grow crops used for inmate meals, thus saving taxpayers money, and specified that the total production in 2012 was nearly 140,000 pounds of fresh produce with an estimated total savings of $81,000, which was enough produce to also give to organizations such as the United Way and local food banks. He also pointed out that the price per inmate meal in 2011 was $1.02, which was one of the lowest costs in the state. He related that the Sheriff’s Office also provides lawn maintenance and landscaping work for various County properties located throughout the county such as the Administration Building, main courthouse property, landfill property, and Royal Trails Radio Tower site, which saves the County money; and inmate workers are also utilized for special events and to aid in disaster clean up.
Sheriff Borders spoke about the ACER (Accountability, Control, Education, and Rehabilitation) Academy for Juvenile Inmates, noting that there was a full-time certified teacher in the jail supplied by the School Board, and he mentioned that they only house juveniles who are to be tried as adults. He related that there were 25 juveniles enrolled in 2012, with a total of 9 getting their GED or high school diploma, and he commented that the Sheriff’s Office keeps their studies on track so that they could possibly continue their studies in the school system if they get released from jail. He reported that they process about 13,000 people a year who get arrested, and they believe they have a responsibility to take advantage of that opportunity to offer those inmates programs to help prepare them for integration back into society as productive citizens, including religious study, GED classes, parenting classes, and substance abuse counseling, made possible by their partnership with local churches and the efforts of their staff and volunteers. He stated that they offer tours to various organizations and were part of A&E’s Beyond Scared Straight program in partnership with Teen Court, which has brought positive national attention to the Sheriff’s Office. He reported, however, that their most recent jail inspection in September noted that there was a deficiency in the inmate ratio for toilets and showers as well as the inmate bed spacing minimum, caused mainly by the cost-cutting measures in the jail that resulted in reduced staff, closing of some areas, and the relocation of 128 inmates throughout the facility. He indicated that the Sheriff’s Office is currently in the process of seeking competitive bids to outsource medical operations, since currently their inmate medical costs are almost $4 million a year for total inmate health care, and they have received three bids ranging from $3,843,498 to $4,142,394. He compared the Lake County jail budget to those of other nearby counties and pointed out that their budget was one of the lowest.
Commr. Cadwell asked the Sheriff to provide to him statistics showing how many juvenile offenders they have to transport to Marion County.
Lake County Courthouse
Sheriff Borders explained that the primary function of the Court Services Bureau is to provide security for the judges and others at the Lake County Courthouse. He related that they currently oversee an area of approximately 120,000 square feet and that 300,000 citizens come through the security checkpoint entrance yearly. He also noted that currently there are eight courtrooms with 12 judges and 16 holding cells with a capacity of 120 inmates, and they monitor 26 cameras and 51 panic alarms from their control room. However, he pointed out that with the opening of the 168,000 square foot new courthouse expansion as of January 22, 2013, six additional courtrooms, 28 additional holding cells, and two control rooms with additional cameras and panic alarms will be added to the building. He listed the additional duties of the Court Services Bureau staff, such as handling disturbances that arise from court venues, making arrests from warrant alerts, responding to emergency medical calls, providing security escorts for jurors and witnesses to and from the parking garage, and providing security for judges, hearing officers, the State Attorney’s Office, and other staff. He pointed out that the costs involved in providing services to the new Judicial Center was not included in the overall Sheriff’s Office budget, and it is expected that the Board’s fiscal impact for the FY 2012-13 budget will be $267,135.75, which is requested to be allocated to the current Court Services budget in January.
Sheriff Borders noted that his current FY 2012-13 budget of $49,655,328 is lower than the budget that was in place when he took over in 2006 of $50,642,125 and commented that law enforcement is having to do more with less because of budget reductions and reduced staffing while still maintaining the quality of life in Lake County. He opined that studies show that public safety was one of the primary factors that families consider when relocating. He illustrated on a graph that their staffing is reduced from 747 employees in 2010 to 694 employees in 2012 and pointed out that employees have not received a raise in over four years and continue to have costs passed on to them such as insurance increases and contribution to the retirement system. He related that another challenge is that the inmate population appears to be on the increase, and opening up an additional unit would require added staffing. He also noted that staffing is at minimum levels agency wide, and he commented that they cannot continue to decrease staff and provide the same level of service that their community expects. He concluded that they will be going over more specific information about their needs with the Board in the future as they work on their next budget that is due in June.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the Board set a goal for themselves to have some budget guidelines ready by February, and he commented that they were now looking at some tough program cuts.
Commr. Parks commented that he agreed that they need to be careful to preserve the quality of life in the county, including a lower crime rate, which families and businesses look at when relocating to an area.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 2:36 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK