March 26, 2013

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 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; Timothy I. Sullivan; Sean Parks; 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; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Brooks Braswell from the First Baptist Church of Umatilla gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Commr. Parks introduced Boy Scout Troop 551 from Clermont who were in the audience and stated that he was helping them with the citizenship and community merit badge.

Agenda update

There were no changes to the Agenda.


On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of February 22, 2013 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Scott Taylor, a resident of Sorrento, related that he discovered at a recent FDOT meeting that the company doing the design work for Section 5 of the Wekiva Parkway, which is the relocation of CR 46A, will come before the Board to present some alternatives for that at the end of April, including one alternative located on the Seminole Forest land.  He related that he has written FDOT an email asking them not to consider this alternative, and he has spoken with the Chairman of the Wekiva Basin Commission, who also expressed a concern about that alignment.  He requested that the Board be mindful of all the previous discussions that have occurred as well as all of the work that has gone into preparing the information regarding this issue and to relocate the road as far west as possible and not on state lands.

Commr. Campione stated that as they get further along in that process, DOT and the consultant will be meeting with the Board and presenting all of those alternatives, and she assured Mr. Taylor that the County will keep him informed of the date of that meeting.  She added that she understood that there will also be a communitywide meeting.  She commented that she was not inclined to be supportive of relocating the road on the public lands, and she indicated that she did not see that as a recommendation in a preliminary report she had seen. 

Commr. Cadwell recalled that the previous Board had passed a resolution asking the state not to locate the road on the state lands.


On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 5, as follows:

List of Warrants

Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.

Property Placed on the Lands Available List

Request to acknowledge receipt of Property placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until May 27, 2013 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.

Southwest Florida Water Management District’s 2013 Consolidated Annual Report

Request to acknowledge receipt of CD Copy of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s 2013 Consolidated Annual Report on the management of water resources.

BCC-105 Audit of E-911 Services

Request to acknowledge receipt of the BCC-105 Audit of E-911 Services.

City of Groveland CRA 2012 Annual Report

Request to acknowledge receipt of City of Groveland’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) 2012 Annual Report, which was adopted by the CRA on February 25, 2013 and published in the Lake edition of the Orlando Sentinel, in accordance with Section 163.356(3)(c), Florida Statutes.

Electronic Report from the Clerk of Court Operations Corporation

Request to acknowledge receipt of an electronic report submitted via email from the Clerk of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC) for the second quarter of SFY 2012-13, as per section 318.18(13)(b), Florida Statutes.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 16 as follows:

Conservation and Compliance

Request for approval of submittal of grant application by Animal Services Division to "Florida Animal Friend." Potential grant fiscal impact up to $25,000.

Facilities Development and Management

Request for approval to award on-call contracts for facilities construction and maintenance projects having individual values below $50,000 to Ryan Fitzgerald Construction (Mount Dora) and Ruby Builders (Orlando). The estimated annual fiscal impact is $200,000.

Request for approval of a GMP of $68,852.88 to Ruby Builders Inc. and a contingency of $6,885 for the project entitled “Lake County Probation Office Building Renovation,” and authorize County staff to complete all associated implementing documents. The fiscal impact is $75,737.88 (Expense).

Growth Management

Request for approval to advertise the Wireless Antennas, Towers and Equipment Facilities Ordinance to be heard before the BCC on April 23, 2013.

Human Resources

Request for approval of three amendments to the Employment Policies Manual relating to Section 6.5 Leave of Absence, Section 2.1 Code of Ethics, and the change of department name from Employee Services to Human Resources. There is no fiscal impact.

Public Resources

Request for approval of the Multi-purpose Athletic Fields plan proposed by the South Lake Hospital for the Live Well Fitness Center, also known as the National Training Center. Request approval for South Lake Hospital to construct four (4) multi-purpose Athletic Fields. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 2.

Request for approval of award of contract 13-0422, Lime Rock for Lake County Parks & Trails to Billy Hay Excavating, Polk City, Florida, and authorization for the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is estimated at $43,750.00 (Expenditure).

Request for approval to cancel LCC-44, Lake County Library System Interlibrary Loan Policy. There is no fiscal impact.

Public Safety

Request for approval of additional limited competition purchase for relocation of communication consoles to the new Emergency Communications and Operations Center (ECOC) and authorize the procurement office to execute all implementing documentation. The fiscal impact for this additional purchase is $24,916.32.

Request for approval and execution of: (1) FY12 State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) Funding Agreement in the amount of $15,778; and (2) Resolution No. 2013-34. This Agreement provides revenue to the Emergency Management Division. No local match is required.

Public Works

Request for approval and authorization for Chairman to execute a satisfaction and release of lien for six (6) special assessments. There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval and execution of an operating lease for four (4) Motor Graders for a four (4) year term with Highland Tractor (Ocala, FL) for use by Public Works. The fiscal impact is $401,913.60 for a 4-year lease term (Expenditure from gas tax).

Request to advertise for #7212 Griffin View Drive at US Highway 27/441 Intersection Improvements project. The fiscal impact is $105,000.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 1.

Request for authorization to award CR-450 Paved Shoulders, Project No. 2013-02, Bid No. 13-0022, to C. W. Roberts Contracting, Inc., in the amount of $2,488,051.38, and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $1,985,687.00 from the Federal/State Grants Fund and $502,364.38 from Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects Fund for the CR-450 Paved Shoulders project. The fiscal impact is $2,488,051.38. Commission District 5.


On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Conner, and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 17 and 18 as follows:

Request for approval and execution of the Settlement Agreement between Lake County and D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. regarding the CR-565A and Silver Eagle Road Project. The fiscal impact is ($7,164.00) expenditure reduction - County portion. Commission District 1.

Request for approval of acceptance of $3,347.28 as settlement of subrogation claim involving Donald P. McClain.


resolution in appreciation of efforts of chamber alliance

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2013-31 appreciating the efforts of the Chamber Alliance of Lake County for organizing Lake Legislative Days 2013 in Tallahassee.

Commr. Campione read the resolution and commented that the program was a huge success and went very smoothly this year, and they had great meetings with legislators for the specific areas of concern.  She thanked the Chamber Alliance for putting that together and giving them the opportunity to plead their case to the legislators and to work with the business community.  She commented that she hoped to see the fruits of their labor soon from what comes out of the legislative session regarding the requests that they have made.  She then presented the resolution to Ms. Kelly Pisciotta, Past President of the Chamber Alliance of Lake County and Lake Legislative Days 2013 Chair.

Ms. Pisciotta thanked everyone that was involved and commented that it was a great committee.  She also thanked the Board for their support and for helping them with this effort.  She related that they were working on their plan to continue what they started in February, since this was only the beginning of this endeavor.

health and wellness branding

Mr. Robert Thompson, Chairman of the Board of the South Lake Chamber, thanked the Board for passing the resolution about a month ago that was directly related to the initiative he would be discussing.  He explained that about six months ago, the Chamber started to look at what they could do to truly impact the business community and the economic health of the region of South Lake County, and they determined while on a trip to Austin, Texas with the Metro Orlando EDC (Economic Development Commission) that they needed to take ownership of a brand for their community which would attract businesses who look for that type of lifestyle.  He related that health and wellness was chosen as the brand to own, since South Lake County was already seen as the number one triathlon location in the world, and a variety of well- known athletes were residents of South Lake County, including 23 Olympic athletes who competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London; also, the National Training Center (NTC) and countless athletic training facilities were located in Clermont and the South Lake area.  He reported that the South Lake Chamber has adopted a three-year strategy with that as their focus and mentioned that they were hoping to get businesses such as a Trek Bicycles testing facility which would employ about 26 people at an average wage of $125,000.  He added in partnership with the hospital and the cities, a program was being launched by the Chambers as they move into their new building for their over 700 members called “A New Building and A New You,” which is a workplace wellness program that the hospital is supporting for South Lake County.  He reported that the City of Clermont is currently in the process of becoming a certified runner-friendly city and has taken large strides with a lot of initiatives, one of which is coming before the TDC regarding the rowing facility.  He then showed a video which is available on YouTube that encapsulates what the region offers in the area of health, wellness, sports, fitness, and the natural environment as well as what they hope to achieve in the future.

Commr. Parks expressed support of this initiative and opined that it would not have happened without Mr. Thompson’s leadership.  He commented that this endeavor fits their economic development goals of trying to grow jobs and their local businesses while capitalizing on their quality of life.

Commr. Campione requested that the Board be given periodic updates about the launching of this initiative and results that they see from this in the future.

public hearings – rezoning

Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, Department of Growth Management, noted that two items that they advertised were postponed, which were MSP#13/3/1-2 for the Cemex Construction Sand Mine and the proposed LDR amendment on fire protection standards.  He also reported that the cases have been properly advertised.

rezoning consent agenda

The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the case remaining on the Rezoning Consent Agenda, which was PH#4-13-5.

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

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda as follows:

Tab 1.  Ordinance No. 2013-19


Dr. A. Portigliatti, Mg./Villagio at Lady Lake, LLC

Request to rezone property from Planned Unit Development (PUD) to Community Facility District (CFD) for a 154-bed Assisted Living Facility/Nursing Home.  PUD Ordinance No. 2006-24 that allows the development of 17 residential units will be rescinded and replaced by the proposed ordinance.

rezoning regular agenda

lpa #13/1/10-2 – comprehensive plan map amendment

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance relating to this rezoning on the floor for its final reading by title only as follows:


Mr. Sheahan explained that this map amendment is one that was rejected by DCA (Department of Community Affairs) on procedural grounds at the adoption of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, and the Board directed staff to bring these back at the earliest convenience.  He pointed out on a map the area, specific roads, and locations that were referred to in the ordinance, pointing out that the subject property of this amendment is just north of Plaza Collina and extends all the way to the southern shore of Lake Apopka.  He related that the changes were to restore the property back to the Urban Low future land use density from the Rural Transition density, which was formerly Urban Expansion under the former Comprehensive Plan.  He stated that they attempted to correct that mapping error, but DCA had some procedural objections which resulted in this case.  He mentioned that the Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously for the approval of this amendment as well as for transmittal.   He reported that DCA had no concerns, but DOT did state some concerns related to additional data inventory and analysis, but that was compiled and provided to DOT beforehand, which allayed all of their concerns.

Commr. Campione clarified that they were essentially just returning the property to the same density it had under the old Comp Plan which had been pulled off, but DCA did not like the timing of their attempt to put that density back in place after the Comp Plan had already been submitted.

Mr. Sheahan added that that was a change in policy direction, because DCA had formerly allowed the County to do that.

The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding this Comp Plan Amendment.

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

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved LPA #13/1/10-2 (DCA #13-2ESR), a Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment to correct a mapping error changing 151 parcels consisting of 580 acres from Rural Transition to Urban Low Density Future Land Use previously approved by the Board, and approval of Ordinance No. 2013-15.

Public hearings – regular agenda

vacation petition 1185 – plats of bella collina – montverde

Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, stated that Vacation Petition 1185 was to vacate platted side yard utility easements in the Plats of Bella Collina in the Montverde area and showed that location on a map on the overhead monitor, noting that they encroached on a house in the area.  He commented that there was no need for those easements, so he recommended approval to vacate those.

Commr. Campione clarified that essentially those lots are being used as one lot as opposed to multiple lots.

Mr. Stivender elaborated that one property owner owns all of that property; however, as the house was laid out, the easements were based on every lot line but were not needed in certain locations and could be eliminated.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to speak regarding this vacation, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1186 and approval and execution of Resolution No. 2013-35 to vacate platted side yard utility easements in the Plats of Bella Collina (PB 51, Pg. 31 & PB 64, Pg. 80) in the Montverde area. There is no fiscal impact.

vacation Petition No. 1186 – deer island estates – tavares area

Commr. Campione recused herself from this case, since this was connected to a real estate closing in her law office, and she filled out Form 8B and handed it to the Clerk as part of the record to go with the backup of this meeting.

Mr. Stivender related that Vacation Petition No. 1186 was to vacate platted side yard utility easements in the Plat of Deer Island Estates in the Tavares area and showed that location on a map on the overhead monitor.  He explained that an easement ran through two houses, and they settled it by putting an easement between the two homes.  He noted that this vacation would vacate the easement that goes through the homes, which would clear the title up, and he recommended approval.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to speak regarding this vacation, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-0, with Commr. Campione abstaining from the vote, the Board approved Vacation Petition No. 1186 and approval and execution of Resolution No. 2013-36 to vacate platted side yard utility easements in the Plat of Deer Island Estates, Unit 1 (PB 17, Pg. 28), lying between lots 2 & 3 and between lots 3 & 4 in the Tavares area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.

mining ordinance

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for its final reading by title only as follows:


Mr. Sheahan commented that he believed the title summarizes this ordinance adequately, and he explained that this ordinance cleans up many items that had been problematic process-wise over the last six to eight years.  He pointed out that this ordinance has worked very well and has been a model for other communities.  He summarized that the changes in the ordinance were to implement requirements of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, change and refine steps that were necessary to clean up the process requirements of the ordinance to make it more understandable, and implement the findings of the Green Swamp Mining Committee as they apply to mining in general.  He commented that his staff worked heavily with the mining industry and consulted at length with the environmental community, and they resolved many issues.  However, there are still some outstanding questions, and they received correspondence late in the process with some general concerns to limit sand mining in the Green Swamp, but the recommendation of the Green Swamp Mining Committee was not to limit sand mining and to allow it to continue under the same provisions which have been allowed.  He stated that another concern was to place a limit on the size of borrow pits, which are mines without processing facilities located on them typically used for public works projects in close proximity to that site to avoid trucking material over long distances; however, residents who had concerns have been told there are problems with restricting size, because there is economic feasibility with having a small area to borrow material from.  He reported that another concern was that an LDR requirement was eliminated regarding prime aquifer recharge areas, but the legislature has instructed the St. Johns River Water Management District (St. Johns) to develop a map and definition for a prime aquifer recharge area; however St. Johns has not done that yet and are several years late in that effort.  He pointed out that this is not a County venue, and the County does not have the expertise to define a recharge area.  Also, the policy provision specifically dictates that St. Johns develop that criteria, and they will bring that back to the Board once it is completed.  He added that tree mitigation and natural vegetation is required, noting that there is a significant amount of trees and land available for further mitigation on the site when a development moves forward.

Commr. Parks suggested that the ordinance define the operating hours and have the applicant apply for a variance if he wanted to change those hours.

Mr. Sheahan pointed out that those were typically established during the Conditional Use Permit process and were in the MSP when it comes before the Board.  He also commented that there was quite a variability of mines in Lake County, with some being in urban areas, some in residential areas, and some in rural areas, making the variability of the hours quite broad; and creating one standard would not apply in every circumstance.

Commr. Parks expressed concern about the roads being damaged.

Mr. Sheahan responded that they have to submit a trucking plan when they come in for their operating permit approval, and Public Works reviews that plan and determines what transportation improvements are necessary to accommodate those trucks.

Mr. Stivender elaborated that on several occasions the developer already plans to build the roads to industrial strength standards, being fully aware of the impact of trucks on the roads, and he mentioned that Hartwood Marsh Road was built by the sand mining companies and not the County as an example of that.

Commr. Parks asked if there was a bond in place regarding reclamation.

Mr. Sheahan responded that typically they do not require a bond for that, but they do have a reclamation plan as part of the operating permit.

Mr. Minkoff added that the operating permits or the CUP’s require reclamation to be done as they are going forward usually in phases, and the developers would not be allowed to move from one phase to the next until reclamation is done for the previous phase.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the answers to most of the questions and concerns expressed by the public in the last-minute correspondence are somewhere else in the mining ordinance even if it was not addressed in the section they are discussing at this time.  He also opined that limiting borrow pits to five acres would be a disaster.

Mr. Sheahan added that he sent a memo to the Commissioners with two changes to Section 6.06.03 and 6.06.04 changing the date for the annual inspection to be consistent with other agencies in submittal of those requirements.  He specified that the change was to strike the requirement that it shall be submitted by February 1st of each year in Section 6.06.03 and to add February 1st of each year in Section 6.06.04 to replace the September 30th date.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Scott Taylor, a resident of Sorrento, commented that the Growth Management staff does a great job, and he asked the Board to consider limiting the size of borrow pits in the Wekiva Protection Area, since it is a policy issue for the Board to decide.  He recalled that no mining was permitted in that area originally and that there was a statement in the Comp Plan of the importance of this area. 

Ms. Helen McCormick, a resident of Sorrento, stated that she is very concerned and confused regarding the size of borrow pits and why only a small borrow pit would be needed, especially for a project as large as the Wekiva Parkway.  She opined that the size definitely needs to be restricted so that it would not become a sand mine in that sensitive environmental area and pointed out that the sand filters the water as part of the water cycle in the Wekiva Protection Area.  She asked the Board to limit the size of the borrow pit and to strike the words “or near” from the ordinance in the phrase “the borrow pit necessary for highway or public works within or near sensitive areas,” since it was a vague word, and she was concerned it would provide a loophole for anyone who wants to start a borrow pit within the protection area for mining sand, since sand mining is currently a lucrative industry and provides incentive for exploitation of this area.  She concluded that this is a serious rather than a minor issue regarding the big picture.

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

Commr. Campione stated that her understanding for the allowance of borrow pits in the Wekiva Area and the utilization of those resources for construction projects in that vicinity is essentially for economic reasons, and she pointed out that there are so many uses that are severely restricted in that area.  She also noted that there were safeguards in place, since the Board would be reviewing any of those requests under Conditional Use Permits, which would give them an opportunity to review the size and the proximity to the alleged project and to put conditions on where that material could be used.

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that he was planning on having discussions with Mr. Sheahan about fine-tuning this policy to address everyone’s concerns as liaison to the Mining Committee, but he encouraged the Board to pass this ordinance.  He opined that the County’s mining ordinance as a whole is the best one in the state and is designed to prevent the usage of loopholes.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2013-16 amending Chapter II, entitled "Definitions" to add and amend definitions pertaining to mining; to amend Chapter VI, entitled "Resource Protection Standards" Section 6.06.00, entitled "Mining" to update and clarify the section, to address when and what type of mining activity can take place in environmentally sensitive areas of the County as prescribed by the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, with the changes recommended by staff to Section 6.06.03 and 6.06.04.

ordinance regarding bonds on platted subdivisions

Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:


Mr. Minkoff explained that he made this ordinance broad enough to include all development orders in addition to those for subdivisions when preparing it at the Board’s direction, and he chose December 31, 2015 in order to review it again if the economy improves.

Commr. Campione commented that she believes this goes hand-in-hand with the Board’s efforts to try to assist with the economic recovery within Lake County and to give flexibility for projects that are on hold until economic conditions improve without any additional costs or hurdles for those developers.  She then opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2013-17 amending the Lake County Code, Chapter 2, entitled “Administration,” Article V, entitled “County Manager,” Section 2-94, entitled “Enumeration of Powers,” to give the County Manager or designee the authority to approve an extension to December 31, 2015 for any Lake County-issued or approved development order, building permit or developer agreement currently in effect and expiring before December 31, 2015, with conditions. There is no fiscal impact.

maintenance map for portion of cr 478 in groveland area

Mr. Stivender explained that the old CR 478 stopped just east of Cherry Lake Tree Farm and was resurfaced 30 years ago when the County acquired right-of-way, but a two-foot by nine-foot strip of land was left out of that acquisition as the area was developed but was still within the confines of the road maintenance.  He relayed a request from a developer to grant a maintenance map for the existing piece of road so that they could have access to the property and proceed with their development to the south of that property.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to accept and execute a Maintenance Map for a two-foot strip of land on a portion of CR 478, Cherry Lake Rd. (#1829), in the Groveland area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.

ordinance regarding law library

Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:


Mr. Minkoff explained that the result of this ordinance will be that the money previously designated for the law library will have to be used for the other purposes stated in Section 9-16, such as innovations in legal aid programs, court programs, juvenile assessment centers, and juvenile alternative programs.

Commr. Campione recapped that this came up during the County’s budget workshops as a way for the County to realize savings now as opposed to waiting until the next fiscal year, since based on the use of this facility, it appeared that this was an area that they could actually cut without losing much in the way of services, because very few people avail themselves of those services.  She commented that there are many avenues today via the internet to get access to information without the County having to provide the superfluous very expensive services that lawyers often use in their offices and specified that the fiscal impact will be $182,000 in savings.

Mr. Conner asked when the Law Library will be closed if this ordinance passes.

Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, responded that the Westlaw subscription will expire April 1.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2013-18 Repealing Chapter 12, Article II, Lake County Code (“Law Library”) and Amending Chapter 9, Article II (“Court Costs and Fees”), to Remove References to the Law Library.


community services

agreement with lynx for fixed route services in south lake

Ms. Dottie Keedy, Community Services Director, stated that she was seeking approval from the Board for the LYNX South Lake Transit Route 55 Agreement which runs from October 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 and to continue negotiations with LYNX on the South Lake Route 204 Agreement, and she pointed out that the information in the packets do not reflect new information she received at a meeting they had with LYNX late yesterday.  She recapped some of the information from the transportation budget workshop in December, including that there was no general fund subsidy for LakeXpress, but there was a general fund transfer of $1.4 million for paratransit in FY 2012-13; also, the current contract with MV Transportation expires in September, and the bid process is in progress right now.  She commented that the demand for fixed-route service in South Lake will require negotiating with LYNX to access federal funds from the new urban area, which includes South Lake County.  She related that they need to make further cuts to the transportation budget to meet the 6 to 10 percent departmental goals for FY 2013-14, noting that funding for those routes was evaluated as part of that budget process.

Ms. Keedy reported that the impact on the general fund this year for public transportation was a transfer of $1.4 million and a budgeted fund balance of $448,000, with $1.3 million of that allocated for paratransit, $168,376 for LYNX Route 204, $70,734 for Route 55 in the Four Corners area, and the rest for administration and capital costs.  She specified that Route 55 is the US 27/US 192 to attractions area route which mostly serves Orange and Osceola County residents, and Route 204 is the Clermont Park and Ride to downtown Orlando, which serves 77 South Lake residents. She illustrated the ridership trends for Route 55 on a bar graph which showed a slight increase in the last few years and a map of the route, pointing out that only a small part of that route is in Lake County.  She then showed a bar graph illustrating the ridership trends for Route 204, which shows a large increase since 2007, and reported that the general fund pays about $183 per rider per month totaling $168,376 annually; she related that the riders of that route currently pay a one way fare of $3.50 one-way or $6.50 for an all-day pass, which would increase to $253 per month for each rider if the subsidy was taken away.

Ms. Keedy related that she and her staff had a meeting with LYNX representatives, who were very anxious to continue to work together with the County to provide service in their adjoining areas.  She pointed out that although staff was recommending an early termination of Route 55, LYNX wanted to continue evaluating that route as part of their entire service plan in that area, and she reported that LYNX wanted to continue negotiations regarding Route 204 in hopes that they could continue that after October 1.  She asked the Board to approve the Agreement for Route 55 which began in October 1, 2012 and will end on June 30, which will cost the County $41,234 but will save them $29,500 for this fiscal year by ending that early; and mentioned that their next steps will be to continue negotiating with LNYX on Route 204, bring back some additional information and a revised agreement for that route, and meet with LYNX on transition issues related to terminating Route 55.  She commented that LYNX has a process they have to follow to terminate a route, including public notice and public hearings in that area.

Mr. Heath elaborated that the request by staff is to strike all of the language in this agreement relating to Route 204, and they would bring a separate agreement back to the Board for that route hopefully within the next 30 days.

Commr. Parks recapped that they have discussed the importance of Route 204 and have received emails regarding that route, noting that it is keeping traffic off of Highway 50, and he commented that he supported the recommendation by staff.  He added that unfortunately Route 55 is a reflection of the tough times they were experiencing, but he hopes that LYNX would evaluate that.  He asked that the County maintain some control of the user fees for Route 204.

Commr. Campione pointed out that LYNX was receiving federal funds to serve that area.

Mr. Heath noted that staff is recommending that they eliminate the general fund subsidies and that LYNX pick it up; however, LYNX might require the Board to accept a fee increase as a condition for providing that service.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved an Agreement with Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) for the FY 12/13 LYNX/Lake County Agreement for Route 55, but postponed the agreement regarding Route 204 and gave direction to staff to evaluate continuation of Route 204.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced at 10:30 a.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.

presentation regarding minneola cra

Mayor Pat Kelly of Minneola commented that he fought against urban sprawl in Minneola ten years ago, and his largest concern currently is the fiscal responsibility of the City and to make sure they were financially stable.  He explained that he wanted to make sure that this was a collaborative effort by the MPO, stakeholders, the County, and the cities and that everyone’s input is addressed.  He stated that he supports this CRA and hopes that the County will also support it.  He opined that it was good for economic development and that it was a key hub for the Minneola interchange and a key distribution point for manufacturers or warehousing.

Vice Mayor Joseph Saunders of Minneola stated that this is a project that has involved many people, a lot of dollars, and tremendous effort and investment over the last decade, with property owners and developers coming together and investing substantial property and money for the interchange, schools, and infrastructure.  He specified that Minneola has invested over $20 million in water and waste treatment facilities in this area and is instituting a community redevelopment effort effective in April.  He pointed out that there will be a variety of governmental entities working together; the CRA will provide secondary access roads to the interchange; the State Turnpike Enterprise is investing $30 million to build the interchange; and they hope that the County will be investing in primary access to the Hancock Road interchange extension.  He opined that the regional interchange will provide jobs, economic development, and opportunities for Lake County for years to come, as well as increase the tax base.  He opined that this was a win-win situation for everyone and an investment in the area, and they had to do this in order for the City to be viable.

Mr. Greg Beliveau of LPG Urban & Regional Planners, Inc. emphasized that the CRA will fund public infrastructure predominately.  He also pointed out that it is a regional system, since they are not funding any private road systems that are within the projects identified with the CRA, but was rather to fund a network of regional roads and an interchange to serve South Lake County and predominately relieve road networks that exist currently.  He showed a slide illustrating how this creates a regional benefit to a regional road system and incorporates not only the road systems that are going to be built within the CRA but also how it connects to all of the road system that are identified in the MPO system, and he went over how it will affect specific roads in the area.  He mentioned that a property owner was donating 100 acres for this interchange; also, FDOT has already committed $30 million to this project, with $15 million of that as a loan to the CRA, and expects to be under construction by next year and completion by 2016.  He also listed the participants, which included Sugarloaf DRI, Hills of Minneola DRI, and various PUD’s, and he noted that all of the entitlements are in place with no other approvals required.  He specified that the impacts include over 8,000 residential units, 1.7 million square feet of commercial and office, and 1.4 million square feet of industrial space that would provide over 5,000 jobs immediately with spinoff jobs of 7,000 employees which would generate $300 million worth of annual income and salaries and a total of $1 billion in economic development impact.  He reported that the CRA will sunset when the projects and infrastructure are completed and paid for, and then all of the money will come back to the County and other partners.  He presented a project list of the proposed projects, noting that the numbers and costs presented will be updated as a result of right-of-way acquisition that was previously unknown.  He also opined that the TIF (tax increment financing method) could carry the debt service without a problem.  He went over the next steps, including the CRA creation by the City of Minneola, which will be done in April, and right of way acquisition on Hancock Road by the County.

Commr. Campione mentioned that she had received a letter from the South Lake Chamber of Commerce about a request to reinstate transportation impact fees in the south part of the county, and she asked where the City of Minneola stood on that issue.

Mr. Mark Johnson, Manager of the City of Minneola, responded that they have not taken a position on that or discussed that yet.

Commr. Campione commented that if the cities of South Lake are on board with that and that was the consensus of that part of the county, it could potentially be a funding source that could be explored.

Commr. Parks added that the only way to fund the North Hancock connection would be through impact fees, since now they do not even have the ability to negotiate for right of way.

Mayor Kelly indicated that he would speak to his council regarding impact fees and get back to the Board as soon as possible, and he added that the City wants to have a partnership with the County, although they could do this on their own.

Commr. Conner clarified that the source of revenue that the City of Minneola would be bonding are the increases in value within the 3,900 acres that make up the CRA.  He asked what the County’s responsibility would be.

Mr. Beliveau responded that so far the County would only be responsible for the two segments that would be linkages for the roads that are part of the project to link with the Turnpike.

Commr. Parks opined that the Board should support this and give the City some indication of the County’s support of this CRA.  He also commented that he believed this fell in line with the CFAC committee’s discussion and recommendation of transportation benefit districts as an alternative method to fund transportation needs for the county.

Mr. Stivender also gave a presentation to provide the Board with an overview of what his department has been doing in the last five years and what road improvements are needed in preparation for a future Florida Turnpike interchange in Minneola, which is proposed to open by the end of 2016.  He recalled that this interchange was planned and discussed ten years ago with a group of developers, and the City of Minneola was later the manager of the PD&E Study in 2008.  He showed the areas that were outside the developers’ area of control and noted that the PD&E Study identified a route, property owners, and what needed to be done in those particular areas.  However, he pointed out that a lot has changed in the last five years because of the revenue stream.  He reported that the design plans that cost $680,000 will be completed this year, and right of way at a cost of about $500,000 has been acquired on the south portion, which was the North Hancock segment.  He related that Citrus Grove Road was resurfaced as part of a small phase of one of the developments, but was never properly designed and has a lot of engineering issues; however, they have the alignment laid out in the PD&E for that segment, although they do not have any funding for that part of it.  He also mentioned that there was $3 million of right of way to purchase on North Hancock Road, and the construction price would be $6.5 million for a four-lane and $5 million for a two-lane road; available funding is $4.9 million, which includes $1 million in impact fees which have not yet been collected.  He summarized that the County was short about $3.5 million for work on Hancock Road, with a total of $10.6 million of unfunded work, and they have moved forward with right of way acquisition and have met with the City of Minneola engineers to look at all of those areas.  He commented that their goal is to use public-private partnerships with developers for construction and right of way.

Commr. Sullivan commented that when the County had transportation impact fees in place, there was negotiation of how developers could meet those obligations to the County.

Mr. Stivender responded that it would be an ideal situation to give credits to developers to pay for infrastructure rather than having them pay impact fees and opined that it was the best tool at their disposal.

Commr. Campione clarified that the County would only have that mechanism available if there was some type of impact fee in place.

Commr. Parks commented that impact fees would go a long way to help pay for the unfunded portion of this project, and he opined that the public would better understand what that money is being used for, since Mr. Stivender has clearly identified a need.

Commr. Conner stated that he believed the Board needed to formally ask the cities about transportation impact fees after a presentation on this project has been made to them as soon as possible.

Commr. Cadwell commented that Mr. Stivender has absolutely no credits to “sell” without the impact fees in place, and he asked him whether he expects to receive any right of way from the developers.

Mr. Stivender responded that Black West, a developer, is doing some research right now in buyers and sellers, the County is asking for a donation of right of way to avoid purchase of that, and they were currently in discussions with other developers as well.

Mr. Heath informed the Board that they would need to have a hearing on this issue by October 1 and to meet with their consultant to update the study associated with the impact fee.  He stated that in order to do that, they would need to bring forward an item to have the study updated for that specific subdistrict and a finite study done.

Commr. Cadwell asked what they would do about the other ten cities in the county.

Commr. Campione commented that since the South Lake area wanted to go in that direction but other parts of the County did not, they should go with what that area wanted.

There was consensus of the Board to bring back a study of that issue in less than 30 days.

Mr. T. J. Fish, MPO Director, suggested that the MPO South Lake Task Force could discuss that when they meet next week to get that process rolling.  He also mentioned that the future regional county roads that were discussed today are all in the long-range 2035 transportation plan, and it was already contemplated that there would be a 50/50 partnership with the developers on the interchange, Hancock Road, and Citrus Grove Road.  He added that the County’s role would be to address pieces of right of way and road outside the CRA, and he commented that the County would collect $5 million in impact fees for the 10,000 homes expected over the next several years for the area around the interchange at the rate of the current impact fee as of January 1; however, the old impact fee would generate $25 million.

Mr. Stivender clarified that he would come back to the Board in less than 30 days with an agreement and stated that it would be a 90-day study.

Mr. Minkoff clarified that they were studying who benefits from the road improvements rather than studying a geographical area, and the impact fee would be imposed against those benefited property owners.  He explained that they will not be studying the South Lake district, but they will have to assess the cost of those roads against the people who are benefited by them, which he commented would be more difficult than a countywide study.

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares and writer of a blog called fiscalrangers.com, expressed concern that there was not enough information in the presentation regarding the CRA about protections for the taxpayer or for the funding process.  He mentioned that there were three investigations currently going on in Broward County due to severe mismanagement of CRA funds.  He related that Lake County has had 16 CRA’s, including the two that were pending from Minneola which are oriented towards rebuilding historic areas, and three of those are not generating any money, including the Leesburg 27/441 corridor.  He stated that this plan is diverting about 20 mils, with 5 mils of that coming out of the County general fund, and he asked why all of the other taxpayers have to subsidize the money being diverted out of that area. He noted that they were using very low property values for the baseline that were close to agricultural levels, with everything above that going into the CRA fund.  He expressed approval that there was a sunset type of control in the plan and stated that the County needs some sort of controls over this process.  He also commented that impact fees would help to fund this.

Ms. Helen McCormick, a resident of Sorrento, asked who would repay the $15 million that DOT expects to be repaid back out of the $30 million DOT has agreed to give to this project.

Mayor Kelly responded that the money would come from the CRA, pointing out that he did not expect the City of Minneola or the County at any point in time to be responsible for that money, and he assured her that the process would end if the numbers indicate otherwise.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to write a letter of support to the City of Minneola stating that the County has been updated on their efforts regarding this project and that it understands its obligations and was looking at ways to pay for them.

public resources

inland groves property and south lake regional park

Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, explained that the purpose of this presentation is to discuss a partnership with the City of Clermont and request approval of an agreement to solidify that partnership which she opined will help meet the county’s need for a regional park in South Lake and would provide the City of Clermont funding to improve passive recreation activities on the Inland Groves property.  She discussed the Parks Master Plan, noting that it called for three community parks and one regional park in South Lake County when it was first developed in 2005, but the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Advisory Board later recommended revising the plan to include 1 community park and 2 regional parks in the area.  She recapped that the County began operating the Minneola Athletic Complex in 2011, which was a community park, and the County partnered with the NTC (National Training Center) in 2012 to assist with the additional four multi-purpose fields.  However, she commented that there is still a need for active parks in the area.  She reported that in September 2012 the BCC approved a parkland acquisition strategy that could take advantage of today’s more favorable real estate climate by buying parklands for future development as funds become available while continuing to identify alternative funding through mechanisms such as partnerships, joint use agreements, cooperative agreements, grants, donations, and sponsorships.

Ms. Breeden illustrated on a map recreational opportunities in the greater Clermont area and the proposed location of the South Lake Regional Park on property owned by the City of Clermont, of which staff had already made an initial property assessment which noted that it was well-located and almost equidistant from the eastern and western boundaries of the county just south of SR 50 and west of Max Hooks Road.  She added that the results of an environmental assessment that was done were satisfactory and that there was good access to the property.  She reported that additional staff analysis finds the property to be consistent with the Parks & Trails Master Plan and that it would help support the current and future need for additional sports fields and facilities in South Lake County, and she noted that the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board approved the project at its March 11 meeting.  She further reported that ownership of the property previously used as a spray field will be transferred to the County at no cost, although $25,000 will be budgeted for due diligence of that transaction, and the County would be able to improve the property in phases with no required timeline and with planning and design taking place as funds become available.  She explained that the City of Clermont will be granted $1.8 million on a reimbursement basis for improvements to Inland Groves using Public Lands Program General Obligation Bond Funds, with the remaining bond funds to go towards completion of Northshore Overlook and public lands already open to the public.

Mr. John Griffin from AECom Landscape Architects gave an update on the Inland Groves Property and an overview of the conceptual plans, relating that the park is roughly 218 acres and located on the west shoreline of Lake Minneola and a few miles north and west of downtown Clermont.  He showed the site on an aerial, pointing out that the site was previously used for citrus groves and cattle and is currently in an undeveloped state.  He reported that the site is currently undergoing upland and wetland restoration in four areas.  He described the extensive public involvement process that was done by the City of Clermont in 2012 and related that the master plan for a passive park was approved by the Clermont City Council in August 2012.  He indicated that there were marshes to the south and west of the site, and CR 561 runs along the north and south and bisects a portion of the property.  He stated that key natural features include wetlands with vast live oak tree canopy, open space, a large wetland in the center of the property, oak hammocks, and sandy beaches along Lake Minneola; and he opined that it was a truly beautiful site and would be a great amenity.  He pointed out that additional features include the South Lake Trail adjacent to CR 561, scrub demonstration area, fishing pier, restrooms, dog parks, community garden, and picnic pavilions; and he showed the architectural plans for the restroom buildings and picnic pavilion.  He reported that they are in the process of advancing the conceptual master plan, and they expect Phase I to be under construction and open in the late spring of 2014.

Mr. Minkoff recalled that in 2007-2008 they initially provided $5 million towards the purchase of this property in partnership with the City using PLAAC (Public Lands Acquisition) funds as well as a large state grant, and those agreements provided that the City would manage the site and that it be limited to conservation, protection of resources, and passive recreational uses.  He also mentioned that the County was to approve the construction of any improvements and to receive an annual report from the City.  He explained that the proposed amendment essentially provides that the County will provide up to an additional $1.8 million from the Public Lands money to be used for improvements to the property on a reimbursement basis, and in addition the second amendment provides that the City will convey to the County the former 140-acre sprayfield site at no cost on the condition that the County verifies that it will suitable for active recreational use including zoning.  He added that the agreement also provides that the City will continue to maintain that property through September 2014, negating any fiscal impact to the County’s 2013-14 budget.  He asked that the Board approve the second amendment to the interlocal agreement between the City of Clermont and Lake County, and he stated that staff would then conduct due diligence on the sprayfield property and meet with Groveland to discuss beginning an annexation process before going forward with the agreement.

Commr. Cadwell commented that this has been a long time coming, but he believed it would be a good deal for both the City and the County.

Commr. Parks stated that this was a win-win situation, that he was in support of this project, and that Clermont was looking forward to moving forward with this agreement.  He pointed out that this was coming out of PLAAC money and not out of the general fund.

Commr. Cadwell offered to show a presentation to homeowners groups about the North Lake Park as a model to address any concerns.

Mr. Christopher Berry, a resident of Clermont, stated that he was in support of the park endeavors, and he asked for the Board to consider placing a cricket field at the park, which he opined would be low maintenance and which would help keep him and other elderly residents active and in shape.  He also mentioned that he wanted to train children in this sport.

Commr. Cadwell commented that a multi-purpose field could be adapted for cricket.

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Second Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement between the City of Clermont and Lake County regarding the Grant for the Preservation of Natural and Historic Resources. The fiscal impact is approximately $1,825,000 (Expense).

public works

SR 19 bridge over lake harris between howey and tavares

Mr. Fred Schneider, County Engineer, Public Works Department, announced that they would discuss future alternatives for the SR 19 Bridge over Lake Harris between Howey-in-the-Hills and the City of Tavares and whether to keep part of it in place as a fishing pier or a trail.   He related that this bridge was the subject of a PD&E Study by DOT and was on the replacement list for DOT to supplant the existing bridge with another two-lane bridge.  He showed the location of the bridge on an overhead map, noting that the PD&E Study which is projected to be completed in June 2013 begins at CR 48 in Howey-in-the-Hills and runs north of CR 561 in the City of Tavares, covering a total distance of 4.9 miles, with the length of the bridge being 3,125 feet.  He related that the bridge is 62-years old and has steel girders and peeling rust, and the proposed bridge will have reinforced concrete beams and a spacing of the pier support structure more than twice the distance of the existing structure.  He pointed out that the existing bridge is a two-lane bridge with no shoulders, bike lanes, or walkways; however, the proposed two-lane replacement bridge funded by DOT will have 12-foot lanes, 10-foot shoulders inside and outside to provide room for bicycles, and a five-foot wide sidewalk with a barrier wall.  He mentioned that although DOT does not believe there is enough traffic to justify the cost of construction of a four-lane bridge at this time, they plan on purchasing all of the right of way at this time for possible construction of four lanes in the future.  He reported that the current DOT Program has completion of the design scheduled for 2014, purchase of right-of-way in 2015, and construction in 2017 of replacement of the bridge at a cost of $47 million.  He informed the Board that DOT requests a response from the County by June 1 regarding whether Lake County would like to keep the existing bridge in place for some other use.

Mr. Schneider explained that there has been discussion about keeping the bridge as a 500-foot fishing pier with the removal of the outside three feet and installation of aluminum railings that would meet the ADA requirements, and he mentioned that DOT was concerned about later removing a structure that was kept in place temporarily and used as a recreational facility.  He noted that in order to keep the existing bridge in place, DOT would have to purchase an additional 1.9 acres of right of way from the Lighthouse Plaza Office Retail Commercial property on the east side of SR 19 next to the Royal Harbor subdivision.  He reported that the additional cost to repair and upgrade the bridge to a fishing pier in order to keep the bridge in place, less the cost savings of $240,000 by not removing the 500 feet of bridge, would be about $1.7 million.  He then stated that the second alternative would be to keep the entire length of the bridge in place for a recreational trail, which would require the purchase of additional right of way and two homes as well as additional ADA upgrades such as railings, slopes, and lighting at an additional total cost of over $4.6 million.  He concluded that staff is recommending that the Board advise DOT that Lake County is not in a position to fund the extra costs necessary to keep the SR 19 Bridge in place as a fishing or pedestrian facility.

Commr. Campione asked if people were currently fishing off of that bridge.

Mr. Mike Perry from DOT responded that it was underutilized at this point, and although some residents have used that bridge for fishing, they can fish just as well from the shoreline.  He pointed out that there has been no charge for admission into Hickory Point Park for the last three years, which is open for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Commr. Campione asked whether a five-foot wide sidewalk would be functional for the intended type of use, and she opined it would be used more if it was wider.

Mr. Schneider responded that a five-foot sidewalk is a standard width sidewalk, but they could talk to DOT about that since that was not enough room for both a bicycle and a pedestrian.

Mr. Stivender added that they could talk to DOT about adjusting the width of the shoulders and making the sidewalk wider.

Mr. T. J. Fish related that he had been directed through the MPO to approach the cities and the Water Authority, and it was very apparent that there was no support to keep the bridge.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to accept the recommendation from staff to advise FDOT that Lake County is not in a position to fund the extra costs necessary for the SR 19 Bridge to remain in place as a fishing or pedestrian facility.

other business

appointment to affordable housing advisory committee

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Conner and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Rene O’Day as an Alternate Member to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to serve an unexpired two-year term ending 11/30/14 as a resident who is actively engaged in the banking or mortgage banking industry in connection with affordable housing.

reports – county manager

introduction of new fleet manager

Mr. Heath introduced Mr. Keith Stevenson, who was the new Fleet Maintenance Manager, mentioning that he had formerly worked for Goodyear.

request from mascotte for fire services

Mr. Heath reported that last week he received an email from Mr. Jim Gleason, City Manager of Mascotte, which related that the Mascotte City Council was debating during their budget discussions whether to continue providing fire services and asked Lake County to provide estimates to the City to provide those services.  He informed the Board that he was planning on giving the City of Mascotte a range of fully loaded costs and going through the details with them.

Commr. Cadwell commented that the City does not have any cap room on their rollback in order for them to just come under the MSTU, so the County would need to give them a price.

workshop to discuss gas tax

Mr. Heath recapped that the Board had talked about having a work session to discuss the local option five-cent gas tax during the retreat in January, and he related that since they would have to have that done by July 1, he had tentatively scheduled a workshop for the Board for April 9 regarding that issue.  He asked if the Board was comfortable with that.

Commr. Campione conveyed to the Board that they had received a letter from the City Manager of Eustis conveying the City’s support for a public hearing regarding the renewal and/or increase of the gas tax for Lake County as well as a hearing to discuss transportation needs, but the City Commission has not taken a position on the merits of the renewal or addition of gas taxes until a determination has been made of the needs and funding options identified.

Commr. Conner commented that there has been a lot of unexpected pushback on the gas tax, especially due to the current price of gas.  He stated that although he has supported this in the past, he did not think this was the best time to look into this issue because of the high gas prices, and he believed this would get a lot more public acceptance when gases prices are lower.

Mayor Bob Thielhelm of Mount Dora commented that maintaining their transportation infrastructure was critical to the quality of life for residents countywide and the viability of their commercial properties, and he added that a fully-functioning, well-maintained transportation system is essential to encourage new businesses to relocate.  He recapped that the Board held a workshop in 2011 at Camp Challenge to discuss the various recommended options for transportation funding that were recommended by CFAC, and it is even more apparent now that there are significant needs and funding challenges to maintain the transportation system and network of roads.  He opined that the Board would want as much discussion and information exchanged as possible, and he requested that the Board have meetings around the county to receive public input on this particular issue and offered to host this public forum at their city’s community center.  He also opined that the current funding mechanism in place is not adequate to meet their needs.

Commr. Sullivan stated that he has been a proponent of the gas tax, and he believed that people need to know what those funds are used for.  He pointed out that the CFAC recommended that they should utilize that tax, and he was open to at least having a workshop on it.  He opined that in order to grow economically, they need to figure out how to fund the needs they have.

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the Board is aware of the problem and the needs, but realizes that they needed to be fiscally responsible and might not be able to deal with the problem at this time.  He expressed concern about the discussion of the additional five cents muddling up the existing gas tax funding they have coming up for renewal.

Commr. Campione commented that they could not lose that existing revenue stream.

Commr. Parks stated that although he would like to keep the dialogue about this issue open, he did not think it was something he would support this year.  He pointed out that the feedback he receives from South Lake indicates that the County is encouraged to use impact fees first before they consider a tax on citizens that already reside here.  He suggested that the cities do a resolution supporting something like that.

Commr. Campione commented that residents should understand the difference between what the uses of impact fees and gas taxes are and that they are addressing two totally different needs, such as maintenance.  She clarified that they will not be having a workshop on this issue at this time.

reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1

changes to sign ordinance

Commr. Sullivan asked for consensus from the Board to direct staff to look into some changes to the sign ordinance, such as commercial design and style standards for offsite and large commercial.  He explained that their design capacity does not allow enough flexibility for signs to be commercially designed to take maximum advantage of the space of the sign.  He elaborated that there is an issue that has arisen in his district because of the number of businesses they have in their off-site sign.

Commr. Parks commented that he supports that because of an issue he is aware of.

Commr. Cadwell cautioned the Board to be careful about the changes that are made, since a lot of time has been spent to make sure that the county is not littered with signs.

Commr. Sullivan elaborated that he was only talking about a minor adjustment.

positive economic development events

Commr. Sullivan opined that there were some positive economic development events coming to his district due to an upcoming business expansion that will bring 60 to 70 jobs, with about 20 to 30 of those being high-paying jobs.  He informed the Board that they will be seeing the zoning for that come before them in the future.

reports – commissioner parks – district 2

bill 790 regarding compressed natural gas

Commr. Parks asked the Board to follow up with Lake County Days in Tallahassee regarding Bill 790 regarding an economic development initiative for compressed natural gas and for Economic Development staff to give them an update on that.

Mr. Heath responded that they could do that as part of their quarterly report.

bike florida event in clermont

Commr. Parks noted that Bike Florida was making its way through Lake County and was in Clermont that day with 750 bicyclists from out of town who would be spending the night at local hotels and spending money in Lake County.


child abuse prevention month proclamation

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2013-32 proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

parents & children’s day proclamation

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2013-33 proclaiming April 1, 2013 as Parents and Children’s Day and April 2013 as Child Care Awareness Month in Lake County.


letter to historical society

Commr. Conner related that he had sent a letter to the Historical Society members.

enforcement of noise ordinance within city of astatula

Commr. Conner reported concerns about noise coming from a club business within the City of Astatula, and he asked the County Attorney to explain the issue to the Board and asked the Board to decide whether they would like to resolve the problem or believe it was a City of Astatula issue.

Mr. Minkoff explained that they had previously created an ordinance in response to a problem and noise complaints at Dead River Vic’s in the City of Tavares which made it a violation of the County’s code for someone in a city or an adjoining county to make noise that comes into their county and becomes a nuisance.  He commented that this was a creative ordinance which had not been totally tested in court.  He also suggested that they talk with the City of Astatula first before they started citing property owners in Astatula.

Mr. Heath stated that this was an unusual situation, because they were discussing citing property within a town, and he suggested that they send a letter to the City and the property owner putting them on notice of their intent if the Board was interested in enforcing the noise ordinance within corporate property inside the city, as opposed to staff just showing up unannounced.

Commr. Campione agreed that talking to the City was the first step.

Mr. Ron Collodi, Code Enforcement Manager, informed the Board that Astatula has a part-time Code Enforcement Officer who has worked in conjunction with County staff.

Commr. Cadwell suggested that Mr. Collodi go out in the field with the part-time officer to give him an idea of what would be a violation of their County noise policy.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to put this issue on the agenda.

On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to try to work with the City of Astatula first and if that does not work, to resolve the issue by looking into enforcing the County’s noise ordinance.

reports – commissioner campione – chairman and district 4

royal trails issue

Commr. Campione reported that staff is working hard with the Forest Service to resolve the issue regarding problems the Royal Trails residents are having with ingress and egress from their neighborhood during fires, and they will be having a meeting in the relatively near future with the residents in that area to convey alternatives for emergency access in that area.

partnership with lake tech for welding and machine program

Commr. Campione related that the County’s Economic Development Department has an opportunity to partner with Lake Tech, the School District, and the private sector to meet an important need as they try to attract new businesses and grow their existing businesses.

Mr. Adam Sumner, Economic Development and Tourism Interim Director, stated that they have done site visits and met with over 400 businesses throughout the community, and he has found that manufacturing skills are the number one priority in the workforce nationwide today.    He mentioned that there was a program that provides participants with certification that a welder, machinist, or fabricator has qualified certified training which is highly desirable in the workforce, since it lowers the employers’ cost of insurance and liability and speeds up their productivity.  He stated that Dr. Diane Culpepper, Director of Lake Tech, would share her vision for how they could accomplish meeting the needs of Lake County’s growing manufacturing workforce.

Commr. Campione mentioned that she has heard that manufacturers were going outside of Lake County to hire employees who have the training that was needed, but county residents could take these jobs if they were trained for them.

Dr. Culpepper commented that the role Lake Tech plays in the economic development of their community is to prepare the skilled workforce for employment, but she continually hears that the county does not have enough skilled workforce, especially in manufacturing, welding, and machine.  She related that although Lake Tech currently does offer a welding shop and program, consisting of 1170 hours of instruction, with students enrolled for 30 hours a week, they can only put through 19 students in the daytime and 19 in the evening.  She pointed out that their programs are always packed to capacity and need a larger facility, and the students want to take advanced welding training after completing their program, which provides them with certification for the entry level welding skills.  She stated that this year they have also had calls from businesses to provide customized training for their current workforce, but they do not have the time or space to be able to provide that training; they also do not currently have a machining program, which is a two-year, 1500-hour program, although they have recently purchased online courses for the theoretical part of basic machining.  She related that their goal is to one day open a center for advanced manufacturing that would allow them to prepare the skilled workforce that businesses are demanding, double the size of their welding program, offer access to the advanced welding classes, and open a machining program; they also want to be able to serve the companies in the community that want to send their current welding workforce for specialized training.  She noted that they need funds to be able to do that and explained that the state funding they receive from the higher education budget does not provide them a way to build, remodel buildings, or add programs.  She stated that they have to establish their plans in phases, with the first phase using two unused buildings on their campus that need some repair and remodeling to double their welding program, provide advanced courses, hire a second teacher, and add a small machine shop to serve the current employers in the County and be able to attract new companies to the county that are looking for that skilled workforce, which would cost approximately $1.3 million.  She commented that they need public and private partners to be able to raise money for this project, since they cannot do it on their own.

Commr. Campione related that she has approached Senator Alan Hayes about this idea, who seemed optimistic about potentially getting an appropriation of as much as $500,000 for Lake County during this legislative session, under the condition that there is a private match as well.  She requested that the County help pull this effort together, and she noted that she is not asking for the Board to contribute monetarily at this point.  She also requested that the County follow up with Senator Hayes regarding that appropriation.

Commr. Sullivan opined that this was a great idea to support the local needs of the community and to increase business activity, and he thought they should have their Economic Development staff get involved in this to help move this forward.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m.



leslie campione, chairman