A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
august 27, 2013
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 27, 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
Mr. Jim Briggs of the Baha’i Group of Lake County gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, reported that he was pulling Tab 3 regarding a proposal to clarify the transfer of development rights to be heard under Tab 22 and will also pull Tab 9 for a separate vote, as requested by Commr. Conner.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 7, 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.
Letter from The Estates at Cherry Lake CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of a letter from The Estates at Cherry Lake Community Development District stating that their Annual Financial Report for 2012 has been filed with the Department of Financial Services, per the requirements set forth in Section 218.32(1)(a), Florida Statutes, and requesting that a link to the report be provided on the County’s website, pursuant to Section 218.32(1)(g), Florida Statutes.
Letter from The Cascades at Groveland CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of a letter from The Cascades at Groveland Community Development District stating that their Annual Financial Report for 2012 has been filed with the Department of Financial Services, per the requirements set forth in Section 218.32(1)(a), Florida Statutes, and requesting that a link to the report be provided on the County’s website, pursuant to Section 218.32(1)(g), Florida Statutes.
Lake County Water Authority Tentative Budget for 2013-14
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Lake County Water Authority DRAFT Tentative Budget for 2013-2014.
Semiannual Investment Report for June 30, 2013
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Semiannual Investment Report for June 30, 2013. In accordance with the County’s Investment Ordinance, an investment report is prepared semiannually at June 30 and December 31. The attached report was previously distributed to the Board.
St. Johns River Water Management District Tentative Budget for FY 2013-14
Request to acknowledge receipt of a PDF copy of the Tentative Budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 for the St. Johns River Water Management District, received attached to an email stating that the tentative budget would be hand delivered to the Governor’s Office on Thursday, August 1, 2013.
Southwest Florida Water Management District Tentative Budget for FY 2013-14
Request to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Tentative Budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 for the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
COUNTY MANAGER’S CONSENT AGENDA
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 2 through 12, pulling Tabs 3 and 9, as follows:
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval of and authorization for the Chairman to sign Resolution No.’s 2013-86 through 2013-91 providing for certification of the non-ad valorem assessment rolls for the Greater Groves Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Greater Hills Municipal Service Benefit Unit, Greater Pines Subdivision, Picciola Island Subdivision, Valencia Terrace Subdivision and Village Green Subdivision; providing for certified copies; providing for adoption of resolutions; and providing for an effective date. These non-ad valorem assessments are collected by the County on the property taxes of the homeowners within the subdivisions and fund general improvement maintenance services and street lighting within the respective subdivision. The required maintenance services are the responsibility of the subdivisions. The total amount collected on the property tax bills for these MSBUs is $763,677Community Services. These non-ad valorem assessments are collected by the County on the property taxes of the homeowners within the subdivisions and fund general improvement maintenance services and street lighting within the respective subdivision. The required maintenance services are the responsibility of the subdivisions. The total amount collected on the property tax bills for these MSBUs is $763,677.
Request for approval and signature of the agreement between Lake County and Cornerstone Hospice Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation, for master planning and development of the Children's Memorial Garden at Lake Idamere Park. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3.
Request for approval the CenturyLink Custom Cover Agreement providing infrastructure, equipment, and internet access to Lake County Libraries, and approval for the County Manager to sign said agreement. Also requesting permission for Procurement Manager to sign any addenda or contract amendments that falls within current delegations of authority. The fiscal impact is $18,092 (Expenditure). This results in a savings of 49% from the current year budgeted amount of $35,514.
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2013-92 to advertise Public Hearing to vacate a portion of unimproved right of way known as Washington Drive, in the Plat of Lakeview Park. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5.
Request for approval and signature of Resolution No. 2013-93 to advertise Public Hearing to vacate right of way in the Plat of Groveland Farms, (PB2, Pg. 10) located in the Mascotte area. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request for approval and execution of a purchase agreement with Progress Energy Florida, Inc. / Duke Energy, and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign any and all documents necessary for closing for a 30 ft. wide electrical utility easement being purchased over County property that was purchased as part of the Forest Hills / Lake Mack Flood Buy Out Program. The fiscal impact is $2,127.30 (revenue) to Lake County. Commission District 5.
Request for approval to execute an Amendment to an Interlocal Agreement between Lake County and the City of Umatilla for Orange Avenue Redesign and Rehabilitation Project. The project is located in Commission District 5.
Request for approval to advertise for bids for the Kurt Street/Ardice Avenue Intersection Improvements project. The fiscal impact is $75,000.00 (County's Portion - Expenditure). Commission District 4.
Request for approval to execute an Interlocal Agreement between Lake County, Florida and the City of Mount Dora for Sidewalk Improvements to Heim Road. The fiscal impact is $7,265.00 - Expenditure (Estimate). Commission District 4.
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Gary Salzman, a resident of Leesburg and the President of the PEAR Association, referred to the approval of the 2013-2023 Resource Management Plan for PEAR Park in Tab 17 and stated that the Parks and Trails Division presented this plan to the PEAR Association. He commented that after reviewing the Resource Management Plan, they heartily endorse it and hope that the Board will approve it and forward it to the appropriate state agency.
Commr. Campione commented that the Board appreciates all of the work done by all of the volunteers and his organization as well as all of the contributions they make to Lake County, and she assured Mr. Salzman that the County will work to do its part.
contract to design roundabout at cr 561 and cr 455
Commr. Campione declared a conflict of interest as a precautionary measure, because she has used the firm BESH in the past to do some engineering work and may be using them in the future.
Commr. Conner noted that he continues to oppose this particular roundabout project at CR 561 and CR 455, and he opined that the crash data that was presented to the Commission when they approved this was inflated, since it included accidents 1,000 feet or more away from the intersection. He specified that this was a $1 million project for a roundabout in the Montverde area, although it is not in the County’s five-year capital plan or something they would normally spend local money on, but the County is spending that money because it was from the federal rather than local government. He stated that an intersection is normally addressed based on need, crash data, or complaints from residents; however, there was none of that in this case. He expressed a concern that this location was selected because the County owns the right of way at that intersection, and stated that he could not support that and urged the Board’s consideration of this project.
Commr. Campione responded that she did not believe there was inflated crash data and pointed out that this was not a warrant study, which is typically done when they are looking at whether to put a traffic signal in or not. She elaborated that the criteria that was used was a result of the type of funding that is used, and there was a P&E Study using data to fit the parameters of that study. She emphasized that this project was using federal gas tax money that County residents pay that they will never see again unless they ask to have it come back to Lake County, and these funds would have otherwise been used for projects in other counties. She stated that they had a chance to take care of this intersection which will become a growing problem as more trips are generated as a result of the Minneola interchange while they have a funding source to use.
Commr. Parks commented that the County’s engineers support that as being a dangerous intersection, and he believed this would be safer than a traffic light, which would have to be funded out of the County’s local dollars. He added that they ran a 30-year operational cost analysis showing that it is cheaper to construct the roundabout than to put in a traffic light.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 3-1, with Commr. Campione abstaining, the Board approved the request for approval to award contract 13-0025 under the Department of Transportation (FDOT) Local Agency Program (LAP) Project to Design a Roundabout at CR 561 and CR 455 to Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc. (BESH). The fiscal impact is not to exceed $270,279.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
COUNTY ATTORNEY’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 Attorney’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 13 as follows:
Request for approval of Second Amendment to Lease Agreement with Scott A. Strong Family II, LLC for Tax Collector Office Space located at 1340 Citizens Boulevard, Leesburg. The fiscal impact is $34,656.00.
presentation – central florida water initiative
Mr. Tom Bartol, Bureau Chief, Water Supply, St. Johns River Water Management District, who was representing the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI), explained that the CFWI was a collaborative water supply planning effort to protect, conserve and restore Central Florida’s water resources for a five-county area made up of Polk, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and southern Lake County, which covers 5,000 square miles and a population of 7.2 million. He mentioned that the governance of the CFWI has representatives from three water management districts, as well as utilities, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. He reported that the area is reaching the sustainable limits of fresh groundwater and needs to ensure that they meet the future demands and to protect the water resources of this area; and they were addressing those challenges with one groundwater model, one strategy for programs to protect the Minimum Flows & Levels (MFL), and one joint Regional Water Supply Plan (RWSP) for the three districts. He related that water use in the area has been pretty level since 1995 with excellent water conservation, and today the Central Florida area is using about 800 million gallons a day of fresh groundwater. He projected that they would need 1.1 billion gallons to meet those water demands by 2035, noting that the aquifer levels would be lowered if they did not address this problem, which could have unacceptable impacts on water resources such as springs, lakes, and wetlands; after four years of study by the CFWI, they have concluded that traditional ground water can meet some but not all projected and permitted needs in the area. He mentioned that there were some sensitive areas in the CFWI, including the Wekiva Springs and River and numerous sensitive lake and wetland systems located in South Lake County. He noted that they have determined through these studies that 850 million gallons a day is approximately the sustainable limit of fresh ground water, which means that the extra 300 million needed in the future would have to be made up through water supply options or alternatives, including increased conservation, alternative water supplies such as expanding reclaimed water, and resource development options such as larger water storage areas to better use the water.
Mr. Bartol indicated that they have linked land use planning with water supply planning, and local governments would need to amend their Comprehensive Plans and ensure that they have their 10-year Water Supply Facilities Work Plans completed once this water supply plan is approved by the District’s governing boards. He requested that the Board have their staff take a look at this water supply plan, comment on it, and make sure that it meets the demand and population projections of the area. He displayed their public involvement schedule and noted that there was a public meeting planned in Clermont for December as well as a webinar that would be given on Thursday, August 29 at 1:30 p.m., which would be available to review off of the Districts’ websites. He related that they would also have a solutions phase to look at what type of alternative water supply projects would best meet the needs of the utilities in this area.
Commr. Cadwell noted that they have been working with the cities on the long-range goals.
Commr. Parks elaborated that the South Lake Water Initiative has been working to address the three options mentioned in the presentation for a couple of years, and St. Johns has been working with them on engineering plans to combine potable water systems and assessing conservation measures to address the issue. He commented that the Commissioners have been getting emails about declining lake levels in South Lake, which was becoming a big issue. He stated that he has been thinking of having a water summit toward the end of the year to address declining water level issues in the Clermont Chain of Lakes. He commented that withdrawals and historic alterations as well as rainfall were affecting their lake levels.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that they look at all of the plats that have been approved, especially near the chain of lakes in South Lake County, and he pointed out that water that used to flow directly into the lakes as runoff is now being captured to let it seep into the aquifer after filtrating that water, which might play some part in the amount of water in the lakes. He also mentioned that the partners take into consideration the fact that the County has less staff than they used to have.
Commr. Sullivan commented that this was a multi-jurisdictional, multi-governmental program that they would have to stay on top of to keep it moving forward through a long arduous process, and he opined that the use of water is the largest issue facing growth in Florida.
professional dirt services – rezoning case mcup#13/5/1-4
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Planning and Community Design Manager, Department of Growth Management, pointed out that Rezoning Case MCP#13/5/1-4, Professional Dirt Services, brought by the Applicant, Ted Wicks, was the only case on the rezoning agenda that day.
Commr. Campione declared a conflict of interest for this case, since she has used Professional Dirt Services to do a paving project in the past, and she mentioned that the Commissioners have received emails regarding this case.
Commr. Conner disclosed that he had previously had a telephone conversation about three weeks ago with Mr. Wayne Bailey.
Commr. Parks disclosed that he had a conversation about a year ago with Mr. Ken LaRoe and has also discussed this case with the Attorney, Mr. Jimmy Crawford.
Mr. Sheahan related that the property is located in the Eustis area, pointing out the location on an overhead map, and was approximately 14 acres in size. He stated that the property was currently used for a C&D facility, was zoned agriculture, and was in the Rural Land Use Category, which does allow facilities of this type. He explained that a borrow bit was started on the property in the 1960’s, but the use was required to cease in 2002 by a consent agreement between the applicant and Lake County; and construction and demolition landfill operations began in the 1980’s, with the consent agreement in 2002 establishing limitations and conditions on the C&D facility to limit its use to Professional Dirt Services only, which is allowed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit, which has been continuously renewed. He mentioned that the applicant has sought additional approvals to allow a borrow pit on the site on a couple of occasions in 2009 and 2012, which were ultimately withdrawn. He reported that that applicant is requesting to continue the use of the site as a C&D disposal facility which it currently operates and to also excavate the site as a borrow pit for withdrawal of fill for use in the Wekiva Parkway construction. He noted that the proposed ordinance does continue the limitation on C&D to only Professional Dirt Services with significant monitoring requirements, and although the Comprehensive Plan does prohibit new mines in the Wekiva Study Area, it does allow borrow bits, especially with the approval of the BCC and if they are limited in use for public works projects near or in environmentally-sensitive areas of the county. He added that conditions have been included in the ordinance which would require the material from the site to be used within the Wekiva Study Area.
Mr. Sheahan related that the property is surrounded by rural uses and agricultural uses; however, there are home sites all the way around the property. He added that although the LDR does require a 200-foot setback from residential properties, the applicant has been operating under a 50-foot setback which has been in place since the consent order and the original DEP permit, and the applicant wishes to continue this 50-foot setback. He pointed out that under the 2012 DEP permit, the C&D facility is not subject to a liner for the facility that is normally required for C&D facilities, but it is limited to clean fill, and the ordinance does restrict the deposit of drywall, which was a significant concern. He reported that the Planning and Zoning Board failed to make a recommendation on this application, since both motions made failed 3-3, and staff received quite a few emails from neighboring residents opposing this project.
Commr. Cadwell asked whether all traffic would come out on CR 439.
Mr. Sheahan responded that the only exit from the site is on CR 439, and since there is a condition in the ordinance which requires stacking of trucks, they have asked the applicant to move the gate further down from the road on the site so that there is room for three trucks to stack without blocking traffic on 439.
Commr. Parks inquired whether the County will have a problem monitoring this with reduced staff.
Mr. Sheahan answered that currently a notice is sent out annually, and the Code Enforcement staff annually inspects the sites, with a copy of the results also sent to DEP.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Mr. Jimmy Crawford, Attorney representing Professional Dirt Services, handed out a project summary that was prepared by Wicks Engineering Services, and he noted that this case has been before the Board several times in the past, with most of the concerns being over the use of the facility as a C&D landfill. He pointed out that this case was not about whether to permit a C&D landfill, since that was already the existing use of the property, and they were offering additional conditions to the C&D that give the County further additional safeguards for environmental and water quality issues, including prohibiting of drywall or treated wood, a noise study, a traffic study and management plan, closure plan, pile-height limits, bonding requirements, and water quality monitoring. He also noted that currently the County has no control over the supervision or management of the DEP permit items; however, the new zoning requirements will make that all a part of their County permit in addition to the extra things previously mentioned. He explained that they were asking for the ability to sell fill dirt to the Wekiva Parkway, although they do not have a contract in hand yet, since they need to show zoning approval to take the dirt out in order to get the contract, but they are confident that they will get a contract, since they were closest to a significant part of the Wekiva Parkway. He stated that the applicant has hired Mr. Don Griffey to be their formal traffic engineer in order to address traffic concerns and prepare a traffic report, and he pointed out that County staff has also looked extensively at the traffic issue.
Mr. Don Griffey, President of Griffey Engineering, explained that the traffic analysis studied the effect of the operation on the local road system, focusing only on the roads in the east Lake County area, and he related that one of the things they look at is the existing conditions of the roadway. He specified that the project will access CR 439, which currently has an adopted level of service of “C,” which is a high standard, and an allowed peak volume of 520 trips. He pointed out that currently that road is only at 32 percent of capacity at 164 trips, with a lot of gaps and opportunities for ingress and egress. He explained that he calculated trip generation based on how much dirt they would be hauling out of there and what the size of the trucks are and determined that they would generate 23 PM peak hour trips, which he opined would be a low-volume generator for the roads. He noted that their trips would be limited to the haul routes which would only be on arterial and collector roads rather than local roads, and there was adequate sight distance at the entrance. He reported that there was only one small section of roadway that would be problematic, which was on the old 44B where it narrows into two lanes before Waycross, but he pointed out that the state is in the process of planning for the improvements of that roadway and that their use of that roadway was temporary.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they might need some type of language in the ordinance to make sure that the applicant does not use any of the local roads.
Mr. Crawford elaborated that they did the traffic study at an estimated amount of 300,000 yards a day, which would be about 60 to 70 days of haul, and he emphasized that it was a very temporary use, since those types of projects used all of their dirt at once. He explained that the restrictions in the C&D ordinance states that it could only be used for PDS dirt, which limits their ability to fill the pit with enough dirt in order to seal it up within the next couple of years, and he opined that they were not extending the life of this C&D facility significantly by doing this. He stated that he would then address the residents’ concerns.
Commr. Cadwell clarifed that the emphasis of the operation will be to sell the dirt and generate funds if the rezoning is approved, and he asked what the motivation will be to get the landfill closed once the dirt is gone and those funds are collected and whether selling this dirt will help to get the landfill closed sooner.
Mr. Dan Cordle, owner of Professional Dirt Services, responded that this project would help speed up the closure of the borrow pit, and he commented that he was trying to speed up the process so that he could get out of there. He added that 99 percent of his work is in Lake County and that he lives in the county and has been a good neighbor for all of these years.
Mr. Crawford noted that PDS has been in business 35 years, and the infusion of cash that can come from the dirt is critical to the survival of the business.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they need to figure out a way that is beneficial to everyone.
Mr. Derek Schroth, an attorney who filed an appearance on behalf of the LaRoe and Boyd families as well as some of the other adjacent property owners, pointed out that although the applicant was forced to stop the mining activity in 2002, the applicant actually had to enter into a settlement agreement in 1998 to cease and desist all mining activity, so he had been in violation of that agreement at that time, with code enforcement violations being brought against him in 2001. He related that the applicant entered into another agreement in 2002 that was referenced in the staff report in which was noted that any future violation of that consent agreement shall terminate his legally nonconforming use of the landfill, and future mining violations shall be considered repeat irreversible and irreparable violations. He commented that there was evidence of some of the impacts and the fact that the applicant is currently engaging in the activity in which they are seeking approval for in this rezoning case, and he displayed evidence on the overhead such as pictures, videos, and testimony with regard to their operations from 2009 to 2012. He noted that the ordinance contains some strict regulations in terms of what the applicant can do on this site, and he asked who would enforce that, since DEP does not enforce those types of activity. He related that a report from Mr. Wicks from March 2009 contained a project description which stated the site is approved by Lake County local government as a C&D landfill and borrow pit, and he opined that this was not correct since it was not a borrow pit and that they were specifically prevented from operating a borrow pit.
Mr. Schroth added that the County’s Comp Plan clearly states why they should deny this project, since this is an environmentally sensitive area, and their Comp Plan specifically mandates that the County is to protect and preserve natural areas including effective recharge areas such as this site. He stated that there was also a mandate in the Comp Plan that no development may be approved in this area unless it is in compliance with the Comp Plan and Land Development Regulations, and he pointed out that staff has acknowledged that this project does not comply with the 200-foot buffer requirement specified in the LDR’s; in fact, the applicant is significantly encroaching on their current 50-foot buffer requirement. He mentioned that the proposed future use of this project is an expansion of a nonconforming use, since the applicant’s goal is making this a much larger landfill with the goal of closing it, and the scope of that was not disclosed at this time. He opined that the most important policy regarding the County’s Comprehensive Plan is the County’s specific prohibition of mining in environmentally sensitive areas, although this project is a mining operation which is specifically prohibited in the Wekiva Study Area by the Comp Plan, and there has not been sufficient showing in this case of necessity of construction of improvements for public works projects, since there is no contract that has been entered into by the applicant at this time. He commented that the ordinance itself had several issues, including an absence of limitations stating that this will only serve construction of the Beltway, limitations on the number of routes on the roads, and a three-year limitation on the mining operation. He respectfully requested that the Board deny this proposal with prejudice.
Ms. Jenny Boyd, a resident of Eustis, stated that she had a vested interest in this case since she wanted to pass on property in that area that had been in her husband’s family for three generations to the fourth generation, and she displayed photographs showing the borrow pit in 1992 with the buffers that were in place at that time and the way that it currently looked, which depicted that it was quite a bit larger. She commented that PDS has already been expanding the borrow pit before actually getting the permission to do so and showed aerial photographs from 2009 when it was undisturbed and from May 2013 showing that dirt had been removed, and she mentioned that FDEP issued a letter of noncompliance on March 17, 2011 stating that a pickup truck load of C&D material was disposed of at the PDS facility and that a trained operator was not available on staff. She also mentioned that a neighbor observed two months ago another pickup truck load being dropped off at the facility in a truck from another company, and she opined that the company is always breaking the rules. She expressed concern about the length of time of the activity, unsightly views, rank odors, rodents, safety of residents, air quality, effects to the drinking water, and inability of residents to sell their homes. She displayed additional photographs of the material in the C&D pit. She asked the Board to vote “no” to the request of the expansion of the borrow pit.
Ms. Yana Gregory, a resident of Eustis, showed a video presentation of residents commenting on the PDS operation and the traffic. She stated that she counted a vehicle going by every seven seconds at 7:00 p.m., and she commented that she could not let her 13-year old son approach CR 439 to take out the trash because of the dump trucks going by at intermittent times.
Mr. Ernest Booth, a resident of Eustis who lived on adjacent property north of the landfill, expressed concerns about polluted water and air in this rural area as well as the safety of his grandchildren who frequently visit, and he also showed a video depicting a time line of the operation, including violations, the consent agreement for PDS to cease and desist, a noncompliance notice of that agreement, and photographs of the truck traffic and borrow pit, ending with a request to close the pit.
Ms. Susan Ray, a resident of Eustis, related that she opposed Sumter Electric from moving adjacent to her property six or seven years ago, and she related that although she had a letter of intent at the time from a developer that wanted to use part of her property for equestrian trails and homes, the developer rescinded that offer because of the approval of that rezoning request after stating that her property was not worth anything because of that rezoning. She mentioned that her neighbors at that time were concerned about water quality and property values, and she hoped that the Board will consider those effects on the nearby residents.
Mr. Phil Landers, a resident of Sorrento who bought a piece of property to build a home on Lake Seneca, expressed concern about the chemical waste, and he showed the Board a photograph that was taken from a helicopter of the site which he opined appeared to be a hazardous waste dump. He pointed out a blue chemical drum in the photograph that he believed was a container that was normally used to store the worst kind of chemicals, and he pointed out treated wood poles. He commented that he was concerned about the materials that could not be seen that were under the surface since the company has had violations in the past, and he requested that a hazmat team check the site. He also gave his professional opinion as an engineer that the location was a watershed, and he commented that they should take a proactive look at this rather than wait until the damage was done.
Mr. Ken LaRoe, a resident of Eustis, commented that the fact that they were back in front of the Board again regarding this rezoning request and that the Planning and Zoning did not deny the request was an outrage. He pointed out that PDS stated that they would close the borrow pit a long time ago, and he opined that it did not make sense and defied physics that taking dirt away from the site would result in it being closed quicker. He questioned the believability of the company’s claims in general because of their list of repeated violations, and he opined that conditions that are placed in the ordinance would not solve the problem, because the County does not have the staff to enforce those conditions and that it was doubtful that the company would abide by them. He reiterated that there were concerns from the neighbors about traffic, noise, the amount of time involved, and property values; and he noted that the road was very busy, dangerous, and hilly with limited visibility. He mentioned that he was a local entrepreneur who has owned banks and restaurants that employed many people, and he noted that there were going to be hundreds of property owners whose property rights will be affected if this request is approved.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:55 a.m. that there will be a ten-minute recess.
public hearing - rezoning
professional dirt services – rezoning case mcup#13/5/1-4 (cont’d)
Mr. Crawford stated that he wanted to call Mr. Ted Wicks to speak in rebuttal to the pictures that were presented, and he asked Mr. Wicks to explain about the trucks that were leaving the site in those photographs.
Mr. Schroth objected, stating that there was no foundation that Mr. Wicks personally observed any of that activity and no predicate laid.
Commr. Campione announced that his objection was noted on the record.
Mr. Crawford stated that he would go through the pictures with Mr. Wicks, and he would bring Mr. Cordle up to talk about whatever Mr. Wicks did not have personal knowledge of. He asked him if he was familiar with the operation of the pit.
Mr. Ted Wicks, Project Engineer, explained that most of his involvement has been with the C&D portion for a number of years, and he noted that one of the strongest component of the FDEP permit is the recycling component, since materials that are brought into the C&D operation are required to be recycled if they are in fact recyclable. He indicated that although he observed the site conditions, he did not observe the particular truck shown in the photographs, but he has seen materials brought into the site by other trucks which were either clean concrete or other materials with intermixed soils, lime rock, or broken asphalt which are sorted once they get to the disposal site and then recycled or hauled back offsite for additional use. He also pointed out that another photograph depicted where materials eventually end up getting covered and compacted as part of the working phase.
Commr. Cadwell asked if the blue barrel that was depicted in one of the photographs was an acceptable thing to put in that landfill if it was empty.
Mr. Wicks responded that that particular barrel would be acceptable, because it is a plastic water barrel, adding that the procedure is that a load is dumped once it comes in so that staff can inspect and sort it to make sure there is no unacceptable material, and materials such as batteries, tires, and aluminum collected as part of the recycling program are kept in a separate location on the site to be subsequently hauled off for further recycling. He also added in response to a question by Mr. Crawford that he did not see anything in the photographs that were shown that would be a violation or a problem with the C&D landfill.
Mr. Schroth asked if he prepared an engineering report to DEP which represented that Lake County had approved this facility as a borrow pit.
Mr. Wicks answered that he did prepare that report and that that particular section carried through to several different engineering reports.
Mr. Schroth asked if he was ever informed by the applicant that he had signed a consent agreement in 2002 expressly barring him from that type of activity.
Mr. Wicks responded that he was aware of the consent order, explaining that originally it was approved as a borrow pit, but that statement continued on through the other reports due to an error on his firm’s part.
Mr. Schroth asked how Mr. Wicks would know there was water in the previously-mentioned barrel.
Mr. Wicks responded that since they saw those onsite all the time, he speculated what those barrels were.
Mr. Schroth asked if he knew whether DEP has cited PDS for dumping tires and other materials that are not considered C&D under their permit, and he asked if his firm responded to the violations with his engineering report in 2011 and 2012.
Mr. Wicks responded that he was not aware of any cited violations by DEP, and the incidents he referred to from 2011 and 2012 were a compliance issue and did not represent a violation of the permit and were simply corrective action issues. He explained that they respond to them for Mr. Cordle when they come up.
Mr. Schroth presented several current violations from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to Professional Dirt Services and entered them into the record.
Mr. Crawford inquired whether they have ever been cited by DEP whereby they would have been fined or had their permit revoked.
Mr. Wicks responded that they have not been cited by DEP to that extent.
Mr. Crawford asked Mr. Cordle about the blue barrels that are shown in the photograph.
Mr. Cordle responded that they are water barrels that are used on the construction site to mix concrete. He also stated that he believed that the trucks shown in the photographs contained some clay road base or crushed asphalt that had come off of a job, sorted through, and hauled back off the site rather than something that was mined on the site; and he assured everyone that he has not been mining dirt from the property.
Mr. Crawford concluded that this decision needs to be based upon competent, substantial evidence, and he pointed out that every person who was qualified to testify, including County staff, has stated that this permit is consistent with the LDR’s and the Comp Plan, that there is capacity on the roadways, and that adopting it would result in more environmental protections. He pointed out that the C&D facility has been there since the early 1980’s, and the pit has existed since the early 1970’s, although they had to come back and clarify the conditions in 2002; he emphasized that none of the current operations will change if the permit was denied that day. He asked the Board to consider what is good for the community and the County as a whole, and he pointed out that Mr. Cordle has been a business owner in the county for 43 years. He also noted that there was a litany of conditions in this permit that are not in their permits right now, but they were willing to give the County that control and those additional conditions in return for the ability to sell the dirt.
Commr. Parks stated that although there were some additional measures that will give the County additional control, he was concerned that County staff does not have the ability to enforce the follow-up monitoring, and he asked if the applicant would help the County pay for that. He also indicated that he was also concerned about C&D landfills that are not lined.
Mr. Crawford responded that it was technically impossible to line the pit the way it currently exists; however, if they are allowed to dig the dirt out, they would be able and willing to line those sites with a layer of impermeable clay, which would provide two layers of protection. He then commented that there should be some kind of permit or tipping fee to make up for the removal of the material and the extra monitoring and compliance requirements by the County, and they would be agreeable to paying for additional monitoring.
Commr. Cadwell asked Mr. Sheahan if the monitoring regulations were part of the County’s LDR’s.
Mr. Sheahan responded that not all of them would be, and there were some that are very specific to this property such as hours of operation, the traffic study, and stacking.
Commr. Conner asked what the length of time was that the applicant would need to provide sand for the Wekiva Parkway.
Mr. Crawford answered that it was a very short process once they begin and should not be more than about six months from start to finish, and he added that he was fine with putting in a reasonable time limit in the ordinance.
Commr. Sullivan commented that if this rezoning was approved, they would have to set up some parameters of a timeframe for PDS to expand their operations to remove field dirt should they be able to provide that material to the Wekiva Parkway, and it would also require more monitoring. He asked whether this C&D landfill would close more quickly if all of that comes together.
Mr. Crawford responded that they believe it would shorten that process, but there was no way for him to testify as to a year unless the County puts that as a condition in the ordinance, and he pointed out that they still needed to get an operating permit from the County which requires a lot more detail about the project, including a timeframe and necessity for it.
Commr. Campione asked if he would agree to put in the ordinance that they would agree to abide by a fee structure that the County implements in the future for additional services associated with mining or similar activity, regardless of what they would be.
Mr. Crawford stated that they would do that and added that they have had similar conditions in previous ordinances.
Commr. Campione announced that the Board will give the applicant and his attorney 15 minutes to discuss additional conditions and meanwhile proceed with the rest of the agenda.
Mr. Schroth commented that the Board was essentially legislating without notice, and he noted that there are other residents opposed to this rezoning, including their email list of about 60 people, that did not have notice that the Board would alter the existing site in any way such as the addition of a clay liner.
Commr. Campione stated that since they are making the conditions more stringent than advertised, it was not a due process issue, and she proceeded to the next agenda item.
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
transfer of pine meadows conservation area from sJrwmd
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, explained that the purpose of this presentation is to seek the Board’s approval of a donation from St. Johns River Water Management District (the District) of 770 acres of the Pine Meadows Conservation Area and to receive an update from Robert Christianson, Director of Operations and Land Resources for the District, about two proposed Lake Apopka projects. She related that Pine Meadows is comprised of 803 acres owned by the District located north of CR 44A between Trout Lake Nature Center and Lake May Reserve, and after the District assessed all of its properties last year, it approved the initial recommendation to surplus the Pine Meadows property in December 2012. She recapped that the Board expressed interest in seeking a donation of the entire property and directed staff to work with St. Johns to that end, and shortly after the District’s initial determination, staff from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission approached Lake County staff with plans to the Pine Meadows property that could be made by FWC for public access, such as installation of a boat ramp, canal cleanup, habitat enhancements, and improved parking areas to support hiking, birding, fishing, and possibly duck hunting. She reported that ultimately the District approved a donation of 770 acres to the County through a quit claim deed subject to a conservation easement to the District, with the remaining 33 acres to be exchanged or sold by the District.
Ms. Breeden indicated that the Preliminary Conceptual Plan for the property includes the improvements proposed by FWC and the proposed trail alignment, but no local funding is available for any improvements other than the ones by FWC. She added that the District Board also gave its approval for St. Johns staff to continue to maintain the conservation area according to its management plan until October 1, 2015, including the existing hay, apiary, and tree removal leases; monitoring water quality and levels; and retaining the right to install wells and monitoring equipment on the property as needed. She mentioned that this property meets a number of Public Land criteria, and the improvements that will be done by FWC will make it possible to open the property to the public within the next year or two. She also noted that the County will not have to fund the management or maintenance cost of this property until October of 2015, which are estimated at $50,000 annually without any other added amenities. She also pointed out that the 2.5 miles of trail alignment this property donation will bring is needed for the future trail connection between Trout Lake and Lake May Reserve and that the wetland habitats on the property can be enhanced but not restored. She commented that the property would also support ecotourism by adding to the County’s inventory of natural sites open to the public. She related that the next steps would be for the Board to approve the donation of 770 acres of the Pine Meadows Conservation area from the District, to seek a partnership with Florida Fish and Wildlife as previously described, and to bring back final closing documents and agreements.
Mr. Christianson opined that this was a very good outcome and that the District’s governing board was very pleased with this recommendation. He explained that they intend to move forward with the surplus of the remaining 33 acres which contained some pasture and wooded areas as well as keeping a conservation easement over it, limiting its development to about one or two homes, and he displayed that part of the property on an overhead map, noting that it was on the southwestern portion of the property.
Commr. Campione clarified that this would be done through a public process where anyone would have an opportunity to bid on that land if there were not an arrangement between the District and another public entity, and she stated that she would want the District to consider reaching out to the City of Eustis. She then asked if the conservation easement restricts the habitat restoration of the Pine Meadows property.
Ms. Breeden responded that the habitats can be managed and enhanced, but it would be improbable to restore, because the nature of the property will make restoration expensive and not feasible.
Commr. Campione asked if the County would be limited by restrictions from generating revenue from the property by things such as memberships for people who wanted to duck hunt in order to pay for the cost of maintaining the property.
Mr. Christianson responded that the District does not plan on putting any restrictions on that kind of activity and commented that they would probably encourage it, since it sounds like a very good idea.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that the long-range goal was to connect Trout Lake Nature Center with the Lake May Conservation Area in order to market as a destination trail, although that is a long-range plan with this as the first step to do that, since the County does not have the money to do that at this time.
Commr. Conner commented that although he wanted to acquire the property, he was concerned about the operational costs, and he asked what the cost would be to the County for the minimal level of maintenance and a detailed explanation of what that would entail.
Ms. Breeden responded that the $50,000 figure was assuming that the Fish & Wildlife Commission made the above-mentioned improvements and the County made no improvements.
Commr. Conner asked what the maintenance would cost if they did not open the site to the public.
Ms. Breeden replied that it would cost approximately $25,000 to the general fund.
Commr. Conner emphasized that although he would support this today, he wanted to make it clear that there will be an impact on the general fund for the cost of maintenance after 2015. He also commented that he will support efforts to make the property self-sustaining, and the financial problems the County is facing are caused more by operating costs than capital expenditures.
Commr. Campione inquired about the reversion clause in the agreement.
Mr. Christianson pointed out that if the County fails to take care of the property or meet the conservation objectives, there is a provision that the property would go back to the District.
Commr. Campione requested to put a clause in the contract that would allow the City of Eustis to have a first right of refusal if the County was not interested in keeping the property.
Mr. Christianson also gave an update about Lake Apopka activities, mentioning that they have had discussions with Long & Scott Farms about the possibility of a land exchange for some property he displayed in blue on an overhead map to be used for part of their maintenance compound as part of their ongoing agricultural operations on all the property they own to the north, which the District believes is the highest and best use for the property, in exchange for property in red on the map. He opined that this would increase the conservation inventory of the District that could be used for public access and get rid of what was essentially industrial-type property. He noted that this update was for informational purposes only, and no specific action was requested from the Board regarding this exchange at this time; however, he anticipated redesignating the blue area on the map as agriculture in the Comp Plan as it originally had been and wanted to know if there could be some consideration to waive the fees to the District for that Comprehensive Plan land use change when it occurred. He also related that there was an existing boat ramp at the end of a county road near the former Duda Farms property which was indicated by a star on the map that they have been using for their commercial fisherman who harvest shad from the lake as part of their restoration project, and they have the opportunity this year to make improvements to that boat ramp and to improve the conveyance possibility down the McDonald Canal for citizens to get to Lake Apopka. He indicated that they have talked to County staff about a partnership to create trail and boating opportunities at that location.
Commr. Campione commented that the above-mentioned proposal could help the Long & Scott family after everything that they have been through, and she also thought the boat ramp that was mentioned was a good idea as well.
Ms. Joan Bryant, a resident of Eustis and representative of Trout Lake Nature Center, stated that Trout Lake is very much in favor of this solution, and she requested that under the section entitled “rights reserved to grantor restoration and enhancement,” to add a statement in that paragraph stating that “notwithstanding the above, commercial mining of any type is prohibited,” since she was concerned that someone could decide somewhere in the future that mining of peat would be considered restoration. She commented that it was a great opportunity for Lake County to acquire this land and to set it up for a fantastic endeavor in the future.
Ms. Linda Bystrak, representing the Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society and a resident of Leesburg, commented that they were very grateful to the Board for considering this transfer of land, and she reiterated Ms. Bryant’s concerns about the possibility of peat mining and stated that she would like to see it excluded in the transfer to prohibit that kind of activity on that site.
Commr. Campione opined that the Board should defer to the District as to whether the County is triggering their conservation easement limitations, and she pointed out that there may be new technology in the future.
Mr. Christianson responded that he believed the District could find language which will strike the right balance, and the Board will see that language before the final approval.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to proceed with the transfer of the Pine Meadows Conservation Area from the St. Johns River Water Management District through a Quit Claim Deed and to proceed with closing; gave approval to accept a Conservation Easement on the property; approval to adopt the St. Johns River Water Management District Land Management Plan for the property; approval of the preliminary conceptual plan; approval for the District to continue management of property and apiary and hay leases through September 2015; approval for the Chairman to sign related documents; and upon closing, approval for staff to begin negotiations with the Florida Wildlife Commission on an agreement to improve the property. Also, the Board moved to continue to work with the District in regard to the Long & Scott land swap and the McDonald Canal Boat Ramp.
professional dirt services – rezoning case mcup#13/5/1-4 (cont’d)
Mr. Crawford informed the Board that he caucused with staff and read the two voluntary conditions that the applicant would agree to, which were that the applicant would install a minimum six-inch barrier layer of low permeability compacted clay following any excavation of material prior to the deposition of any construction and demolition debris to serve as additional lining for the pit consistent with any FDEP permitting and would also pay to Lake County a fee of ten cents per each cubic yard of material sold and removed from the site to compensate Lake County for additional supervision, inspection, and control resources, which would be pursuant to a system approved by the County prior to approval of the operating permit.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, commented that the County does not want to grow a bureaucracy to monitor this and did not know if ten cents per cubic yard would be enough. He stated that they will probably have to hire a continuing engineer to monitor it.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, suggested that the County eliminate any connection between cubic yards and provide language that the operating permit would identify an inspection and control process and that the applicant would be responsible to pay the costs of an outside person to implement it, since there is no way for them to monitor the trucks.
Commr. Cadwell suggested that they take out everything from the word before “fee” to the word “site” in Section 2.B.12.
Mr. Crawford pointed out that that would give them more incentive to get this done as quickly as possible.
Mr. Minkoff elaborated that the operating permit would include requirements of additional supervision, inspection, and control by a qualified consultant that the County would retain and the applicant would pay for.
Mr. Schroth commented that he has not had an opportunity to consult with his clients regarding the specific language, and he does not have the expertise to know whether a clay lining would be sufficient. He suggested that he withdraw his notice of appearance and that the Board deny the ordinance, so the applicant could work with him and staff.
Mr. Crawford stated that he would not want the Board to deny this ordinance so they would have to come back again, and he requested to move forward with this today if the County agreed with the language presented.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-1, with Commr. Campione abstaining, the Board approved Ordinance 2013-39 for Rezoning Case MCUP #13/5/1-4, by Professional Dirt Services, the request for a Mining Conditional Use Permit for a borrow pit for clean sand and fill in addition to the construction and demolition (C&D) debris landfill authorized under a 2002 Consent Agreement, with additional restrictions to the ordinance to set up parameters of a timeframe, to require the applicant to install a minimum six-inch barrier of low-permeability compacted clay lining to the pit, and to require the applicant to pay the County for the additional monitoring that will be required.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
ordinance implementing isba with town of lady Lake County
Mr. Minkoff placed the proposed ordinance on the floor for reading by title only as follows:
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA, ADOPTING AN INTERLOCAL SERVICE BOUNDARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN LAKE COUNTY, THE TOWN OF LADY LAKE, AND THE VILLAGE CENTER COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE; AND PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to speak regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2013-40 implementing an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) between the Town of Lady Lake, the Village Center Community Development District, and Lake County. The fiscal impact is $146 to record the Ordinance and ISBA in the public records of Lake County.
resource management plan for pear park
Ms. Breeden explained that this was the public hearing to request Board approval for the 2013-2023 Resource Management Plan for Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park, which consisted of 268 acres that the County leases from the State of Florida, as well as approval to submit that plan to the state, and she displayed on the monitor that it had been advertised. She recapped that PEAR Park is located south of Leesburg, adjacent to US 27, and was made up of two parcels; and she mentioned that it was the second busiest county park. She related that the 268-acre parcel is to be managed to serve the public interest by protecting and conserving land, air, water, and the state’s natural resources; and the County was required to submit an updated Management Plan to the state at least every ten years which must be approved at a public hearing. She pointed out on the overhead the slide listing the short-term and long-term goals of the plan, which included habitat restoration and improvement, public access and recreational opportunities, invasive species control, and imperiled species habitat maintenance and restoration. She reported that the PEAR Association, which was started in 1998 and has been recognized numerous times for their dedication and extensive volunteer work focusing on preservation, conservation, restoration, and education, endorsed the Management Plan in March 2013; and the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Advisory Board approved it in July. She requested approval of the 2013-2023 Resource Management Plan for PEAR Park as well as approval for staff to submit the Management Plan to the Division of State Lands for review by the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC).
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
Ms. Peg Lindsay, a member of the PEAR Association, thanked the Board for their continued support of PEAR Park and commented that it was a wonderful place. She also commented that the Lake County Parks and Trails staff has done a great job, has been very helpful, and worked well with the volunteers. She concluded that she wanted to show her and her organization’s support for this plan.
Ms. Linda Bystrak stated that they support this resource management plan, and she hoped to keep it going for the future.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the 2013-2013 Resource Management Plan for the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (P.E.A.R.) Park and gave approval for staff to submit the 2013-2023 Resource Management Plan to the Division of State Lands - Office of Environmental Services for review by the Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC). There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 3
certificate of public convenience and necessity for lake ems
Mr. Minkoff explained that in order to operate the Emergency Medical Services transport system within Lake County, they had to have a certificate from the Board for Lake Emergency Services issued after a public hearing, and he noted that all the municipalities have been notified as required by statute.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to speak, 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 Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Lake Emergency Medical Services, Inc.
vacation petition no. 1197 – glenn drive
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, related that Vacation Petition No. 1197 was a petition to vacate a portion of Glenn Drive, which is in the Plat of Glenn Cove off Dead River Road on Lake Harris in Tavares, and he mentioned that he had two letters in favor and one in opposition to this vacation. He commented that he did not see that this vacation would result in a significant change and did not see a public purpose for it, since the main original public purpose was access to Lot 19, but there was not an issue associated with legal access. He mentioned that the letter of opposition was regarding involvement of the HOA and whether there would be restitution to the HOA for selling the property, although it does not work that way.
Mr. Tim Hoban, an attorney representing the Petitioner, related that he will be doing a unity of title for the two lots involved and mentioned that there were three people supporting this vacation who were currently in the audience, but there were seven others in favor of it who were there previously that day, but could not stay. He explained that due to a lot of crime in the area, they erected a wall that reduced the crime significantly, and this vacation would allow them to close this off. He added that it was one buildable lot, and they own three sides of the vacation. He requested that the Board grant this vacation.
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Vacation Petition # 1197 to vacate a portion of right of way of Glenn Drive in the Platt of Glenn Cove located in Section 36, Township 19S, Range 25E, in the Tavares area, and approval of Resolution No. 2013-94. There is no fiscal impact.
vacation petition no. 1180 – s. libby road
Mr. Stivender explained that this vacation is in conjunction with the City of Groveland, and they had a letter of support from the City to vacate those bits and pieces of right of way and to clean up the title. He related that this was a remnant piece that got cut off by the Parkway that dead-ended into residents’ property, and those residents do not have interest in the road. He mentioned that Groveland does not need this as a utility access, and he recommended approval to vacate.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Vacation Petition # 1180 to vacate and cease maintenance on S. Libby Road, lying Westerly of Wilson Lake Parkway and Southerly of West Libby Road located in Section 34, Township 21S, Range 25E in the Groveland area, as well as approval of Resolution No. 2013-95. There is no fiscal impact.
recess and reassembly
Commr. Campione announced at 1:00 p.m. that there would be a 45-minute lunch recess.
road impact fee transportation construction program
Mr. Stivender related that the County was responsible for resurfacing 1,393 miles of road, most of it asphalt, mentioning that they still had 121 miles of clay roads and that they have surfaced treated 26 miles of road, which he noted would make them last longer. He reported that they had about 2,800 requests for maintenance type issues in 2012 such as pothole repair, road grading, or drainage concerns; and he explained that was not a bad year for that, since it had been a dry winter; however, he pointed out that there have been a lot of calls for maintenance the last few months due to over-average rainfalls. He recapped that his department rated every road in the County annually using the PASER System that used a rating of 10 for a perfect road and a rating of 1 for a road that is full of potholes. He commented that they try to put a microsurface on a road before it gets below a 6 rating, which was half the price of resurfacing, and he displayed a graph of the percentage of road miles by rating. He noted that they shifted some of their resurfacing priorities, and the stimulus package helped them to reduce the amount of roads that needed major resurfacing work. He was concerned, however, that although the County currently has 225 miles of Level 6 roads which would cost $40,000 per mile to improve or a total of $9 million, they were only spending $300,000 for that this coming year, which he commented would deteriorate some of the roads to a 4 or 5 level quickly. He mentioned that they were also short on funds to resurface the Level 4 or 5 roads as well, most of which were mainly in subdivisions that were built about 30 years ago, but he estimated that 50 percent of the County’s roads should be fine for the next few years.
Commr. Cadwell asked for Mr. Stivender to get him a list of the clay to paved program over the last ten years.
Mr. Stivender reported that the County had done 100 special assessments in the last 30 years made up of 99 road projects and one water project, and he specified that the owners had paid $6.3 million and the County $4.7 million for those projects. He explained that the County has been maintaining those roads since they were approved, and he mentioned that there were two special assessment projects currently in process, which were Granville Avenue in Clermont and Firethorn Road in Eustis. He presented a list of active projects, including shoulders on CR 450, Lake Minneola Shores (CR 561) bridge repairs, South Lake Trail Phase III, Bible Camp Road widening and resurfacing, Alfred Street one-way streets, and the Countywide Resurfacing Phase II for FY 2013. He related that the Renewal Sales Tax Projects for 2014 included CR 19A and Dillard Road Intersection in Eustis, CR 44 widening by the Fairgrounds, the Griffin Avenue and Rolling Acres Road intersection in Fruitland Park, the Hancock Road North Extension, and Orange Avenue in Umatilla; and he listed some projects that were on the project list for 2015, 2016, and 2017. He then listed some projects that would be done with federal and state grants, such as CR 473 and the Westmont Road intersection, the roundabout at CR 561 and 455, a safety improvement of pavement markings on CR 561, and sidewalk improvements along Abrams Road in Eustis. He also listed core projects that were still left on the impact fee project list for the old Benefit Districts, which were CR 466A in Fruitland Park for right of way acquisition, widening and resurfacing of CR 565 in South Lake County, the North Hancock Road extension, and SR 44 (formerly C-44B) in the Eustis area.
Mr. Stivender stated that he was expecting a minimal impact fee program based on the approval going in effect January 1 and was not addressing at this time any increase in the South District but will work on that once that has been approved. He pointed out that the County has not met and discussed any projects with the cities since 2009 because of a lack of funds, but in March 2014 they will meet with the south, north, and central district as well as all of the cities in those districts to get a consensus about what the top priorities are to put together a long-term plan. He presented a new potential project list for the upcoming road impact fees that will start to be collected in January 2014, which contained the CR 437 PD&E Study, the CR 455 and CR 50 intersection, the Hancock Road north extension, Phase I of Hartwood Marsh Road, Lake Ella Road, the Round Lake Road PD&E, and the other part of the funding for SR 44 when DOT moves forward with that. He gave the Board an update on the Minneola Interchange project, stating that they applied for a TIGER grant for $18 million but have not heard anything back from the federal government about that yet. He pointed out on a map a green segment which represented the County’s responsibility, and he reported that FDOT informed the County that it must have all of the right of way in place by July 1, 2014 and that they plan to have the interchange open by December 2016. He stated that the remaining cost of the County’s segment is $9.6 million. He related that their funding sources for transportation are the gas tax, Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects, road impact fees, grants, general fund, and MSTU funds. He displayed on a graph the transportation revenue from 2004-2013, which showed a steady decline from 2007 to the present of about 50 percent, and he explained that they had to keep a large amount of money in reserve for a project once a job is bid, which was shown in gray on the graph. He asked for approval to move forward with the 2014-2018 Road Program and Construction Program.
Commr. Campione related that she had received a lot of complaints about the loud truck traffic on 44A from the large semi-trucks coming from Deland to 19, which she noted has increased as a result of trucks taking that route as a bypass. She asked if the County could impose a weight restriction on that road to prevent the noise and degradation of the road, and although it is designated as a collector road, it functions for the residents who live on that road as their neighborhood road.
Mr. Stivender responded that the challenge is that this road was built as a truck route, is shown on GPS as a truck route, and is shorter than using the bypass around town. He commented that weight restrictions would be difficult to enforce, which would have to be done by DOT. He pointed out that their study did not show that the percentage of truck traffic was out of the ordinary and has actually gone down in the last ten years, and he added that the road is structurally sound enough for truck traffic. He noted that the Sheriff indicated that he has stepped up patrols out there.
Commr. Cadwell asked whether Mr. Stivender contacted the trucking firm from Brevard County that is causing the majority of the problem.
Mr. Stivender answered that he called that company, found out the correct person to send a letter to, and had drafted a letter.
Commr. Cadwell directed him to send that letter and to get back together with the Sheriff to discuss this issue.
Commr. Campione asked why that was designated as the bypass.
Mr. Stivender explained that the 44 bypass is on the north side of town rather than the segment east, and Eustis worked hard with DOT to use the old 44B and have it routed that way. However, the traffic that they are referring to is coming from 46 and 44 going across Lake County to Parks West.
Commr. Campione commented that this road has no shoulders, which would make it unsafe for bicycling.
Commr. Sullivan opined that since this was a minor collector road, it fits all of the requirements of semi-truck drivers.
Mr. Bob Schmeltz, a resident of Eustis, commented that although he believed when he moved to his home in 2008 that it was a beautiful place to live, he has started to sleep in his girlfriend’s house on the weekends to escape the noise from the truck traffic in the middle of the night that wakes him up. He asked for the truck traffic to stop on that road, and he noted that the trucks will take a different route when the Sheriff is present but revert to using the road when the Sheriff leaves. He presented a petition which was signed by 33 people asking to reroute the trucks to 44.
Ms. Lisa Cox, a longtime resident who lives on 44A and a neighbor of to the previous speaker, specified that she counted seven semi-trucks going by extremely fast from 2:30 to 7:00 a.m. coming from the Sanford and DeLand area. She opined that something has got to be done about the trucks.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the FY 2014-2018 Road Impact Fee Transportation Construction Program, the Federal/State Grants Transportation Construction Program, and the Renewal Sales Tax Capital Projects – Road Transportation Construction Program. The fiscal impact for FY 2014 is estimated at $19,722,000 - Expenditure. The Board also requested that staff contact the trucking company and discuss with the Sheriff the problem of nuisance truck traffic along 44A.
Commr. Campione mentioned that the residents were very appreciative to have the crosswalk marked where the golf carts would cross in the Mt. Plymouth-Sorrento area.
county manager’s departmental business
advertisement of ordinances
Ms. Amye King, Growth Management Director, related that she was requesting approval to advertise for various Land Development Regulation (LDR) ordinances regarding special events applications, the music festival definition, off-premise signage, tree replacement, and transfer of development rights. She explained that currently applications for special event applications can be submitted by an event organizer who is leasing the property without evidence that the owner is aware of the event, and this LDR amendment would just clarify that property owner permission is required for an event and also clarifies that a timeline for an application to be submitted is 90 days, which could be waived by staff provided that all of the public safety requirements can be met. She then explained that the definition of “Music Festival” was inadvertently omitted from the special events ordinance that was recently passed, and the definition they added to the proposed ordinance was the same one that was used previously, and she clarified that this would not affect existing CUP’s. She related that currently newly-developed sites are required to have a specific number of trees based on the size of the parcel, and if the lot is heavily treed and there is no area to replace the trees on that property, the applicant under the current tree removal ordinance can replace the trees on public property or pay into the tree mitigation fund, which could be extraordinarily expensive. The amendment would keep the building envelope, septic system, driveway, and ten feet around the perimeter exempt from that requirement.
Ms. King explained that the new proposed ordinance regarding the Wekiva River Protection Area provides a process for the transfer of development rights within the Wekiva sending and receiving areas and better defines a procedure for processing those TDR’s and reassignments through rezoning per the Board’s direction, and she noted that this would just clarify rather than change the intent of that language. She then related that currently the County’s regulations do not allow off-site signage, but the Board directed staff to write an ordinance which provides options for that. She pointed out that this amendment provides that signs are accessory to permitted uses or structures, excluding temporary signs; provides for off-premise ground signs on developed or developing property; and provides that signs can be located on another parcel with better visibility but counts against the total sign square footage requirement. She requested to advertise the public hearings for those LDR amendments on September 24, 2013.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Park and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to advertise a Public Hearing for the following ordinances: Amendment to Off-Premise Signs, Amendment to Chapter II regarding the definition of “Music Festival,” Amendment to the Tree Removal Ordinance, Amendment to the Special Event Ordinance, and Amendment to Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) within the Wekiva River Protection Area.
update on cagan crossings community library agreement
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, introduced Ms. Jennifer Barker as the new Financial Coordinator for Public Resources, and noted that the purpose of her presentation was to update the Board on library innovation and to seek Board direction on continuation of the joint use library agreement with Polk County.
Mr. Paul Alford, Library Services Manager, gave an update on library innovations which are proposed for the Cagan Crossings Community Library and potential funding sources which may help with those library services, such as a formation of a library foundation to help support innovations and programming at that library and others in the county. He stated that they would like to explore many opportunities for the existing structural space at the Cagan Crossings Library as well as the unfinished second floor by rebranding and recreating libraries as technology hubs, as well as learning and innovation centers with the latest technological tools for video and audio production, robotics, 21st century skills, and job readiness skills. He related that staff also sees potential for at least a part-time presence for a Business Opportunity –Welcome Center in the library to provide better services to the businesses and individuals in the Four Corners area. He stated that there were a number of additional funding sources that they wanted to explore, including federal and state grants and impact fees. He added that staff was in the process of forming a foundation to generate additional private and public sector funds to support special projects such as the second-floor space at Cagan and programs that could be launched there and throughout the county, as well as securing grants and private gifts. He related that this group will be making a presentation to the Board at an upcoming meeting, provide agreements between the Foundation and Lake County, and initiate the process of incorporating as a nonprofit and begin their support efforts.
Ms. Breeden related that this year’s net revenue from Polk County was $58,748, and Polk County residents are charged $20 for a library card as part of the agreement, which is projected to bring in about $12,500 in revenue. She mentioned that the current agreement is renewable for one year, but if the agreement expires, Polk County residents will be charged a $40 non-resident fee. She reported that although $78,000 in revenue from Polk County was budgeted for next fiscal year based on the current agreement, Polk County has requested to contribute a net revenue of $7,600 using its own adjustments and estimates instead, including those having to do with usage of Northeast Regional Park, or a decrease of $70,400. She pointed out that the budget for the Cagan library for the upcoming fiscal year was $445,105, and the percentage of Polk residents using the library was calculated at 19 percent by staff, while the proposed payment from Polk for FY 2013-14 is a little over 12 percent of the budget. She also mentioned that Lake County residents were currently being charged full non-resident fees at the Northeast Regional Park in Polk County. She listed four options that have been identified for consideration which were to (1) accept Polk County’s recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year to reduce revenue from $78,000 to $7,600; (2) allow the current agreement to expire and charge Polk County residents a $40 fee for a library card; (3) initiate a reciprocal use agreement which would allow Polk County residents to use the library and allow Lake County residents to pay resident fee rates for park usage; or (4) accept Polk County’s recommendation as shown in Option 1 resulting in revenue of $7,600, but Lake County residents would receive a 50 percent discount on non-resident fees for use of the Northeast Regional Park. She showed a graph illustrating a more visible comparison of the budget impact of the four options, and she indicated that the requested action is for the Board to Choose Option 4 and direct staff to bring back an agreement with Polk County. She assured the Board that she would keep them informed of the progress.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that the Northeast Regional Park was not as large as what was planned and commented that there was an informal agreement when that park was built for the use of Lake County residents, although he believed that Lake County Little League players could not play in Polk County. He opined that a lot more residents probably used the library than the park, and he noted that Polk County does not have a library of its own. He also commented that he did not believe that was the spirit of that agreement.
Commr. Sullivan stated that he liked Option 4 the best, with the condition that they charge $40 for a library card to Polk residents, since revenue is key for them to continue to provide the services that they are providing. He commented that the Cagan Crossings library is always busy and provided phenomenal service to those 19 percent of Polk County users, and that Polk County should pay their fair share.
Ms. Breeden responded that charging a $40 fee would better describe option 2.
Commr. Conner asked if Polk County could provide them with specific details about the number of children from Lake County using the park, and he commented that their numbers should not be given credibility if they could not give them those statistics. He opined that he did not think any of the options given were advantageous or fair to Lake County and did not like any of them.
Commr. Campione agreed that they should start by confirming the data given by Polk County and that none of the options looked good. She pointed out, however, that they may not even end up with $7,600 from Polk County if they did not work with them on this issue.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out that basic staff and services are needed at that library, even if they are just getting a little bit from Polk, and he commented that they should figure in somewhat the fact that the library was one of the only gathering places at that particular area of the county to sustain a sense of community.
Commr. Campione stated that she could not support any options until they verify the numbers.
Mr. Heath stated that he will bring this issue back after verifying those numbers.
appointment to women’s hall of fame selection committee
On a motion by Commr. Conner, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Jeanne C. Bauer to the Women’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee to represent District 3 to complete an unexpired one-year term ending June 12, 2014.
Commr. Campione suggested that they commemorate the inductees with a plaque with all of the names on it with a directory of the pictures in order to take up less space.
appointment to board of building examiners
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. George Marek to the Board of Building Examiners as an Engineer representative to complete an unexpired four-year term ending January 14, 2017.
reports – county attorney
senate bill no. 50 and board meeting process
Mr. Minkoff related that he would present information regarding recent legislation that was approved that will go into effect October 1 involving public meetings, as well as discussion about proclamations going forward as requested by the Board. He opined that Senate Bill 50 would not greatly change what the County does, since they have allowed public comment at all of their meetings for quite a while, but it does require that the public be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition, and one difference is that it applies to all the County’s boards and agencies. He also explained that the bill specifies that public comment could be heard at a separate meeting than the one in which the Board takes official action, although that is not the Board’s procedure; however, if the County is sued for failing to let an individual speak when he or she is entitled to, the County could be responsible to pay attorney’s fees and costs, but the action the Board takes in that case would not be voided. He added that if the Board follows processes that it adopts, it is deemed to be in compliance with the statute, including a specified amount of time that individuals are allowed to talk, allowing representatives to speak for groups, and usage of sign in cards. He noted that emergency situations, ministerial acts such as minutes and proclamations, exempt meetings such as litigation strategy sessions, and when the Board acts in a quasi-judicial capacity such as zoning meetings are exempt from this law; and he pointed out that boards which handle quasi-judicial issues would also be exempt.
Mr. Minkoff commented that this bill raises the issue of how it would affect the agenda, although the Attorney General has issued an opinion in the past indicating that the Board is not required to have an agenda and that anything could be added to a meeting; however, there is still debate about whether the new bill requires the Board to have an agenda, but he believes that an agenda is needed in order to have a notice of an issue or proposition and to give the public an opportunity to speak about it. He suggested that they require that things be on the agenda and eliminate additions to the agenda that are not posted by Friday afternoon prior to the next Tuesday meeting, with the exception of exempt or emergency matters. He mentioned that there is nothing written in their code or policies about meeting procedures, but the Board as well as the various boards and committees mainly follow Robert’s Rules, although some of those could not be adopted totally since some of it is inconsistent with Florida law. He also recommended that the Board limit proclamations for major things such as for national or state months, days, or weeks; major local events; and individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions and to develop a letter of recognition form for other types of recognition to send or present at an event. He reported that the County has to implement SB 50 by October 1, but he opined that their current process of allowing public comment at every meeting should be compliant. He recommended that they bring back an ordinance to implement the SB 50 rules, the three-minute rule, the note cards, and other things in order to have the safe haven under the act; and he noted that they could reference Robert’s Rules as a general guideline that they would use for certain circumstances that could come up. He requested approval of the proclamation guidelines and indicated that he would bring back an ordinance in September.
Mr. Heath clarified that right now he has the Commissioners send him an email if they want to discuss something that is not on the agenda so that he could send it out to the individual Board members, but in order to have constructive notice to residents, he would put an addendum of that issue on the website.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he liked the idea of the letters of recognition as a vehicle to handle those that do not warrant a proclamation or resolution.
Commr. Campione clarified that the Board wanted to go with the status quo on how they have been conducting the meetings per Robert’s Rules of Order.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board moved to implement SB 50, to have items in by Friday noon to go on the agenda, and to follow the above-mentioned rules regarding conferring proclamations and letters of recognition.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 3:50 p.m. that there would be a ten-minute recess.
reports – county manager
Mr. Heath recapped that the Board approved three solid waste contracts for the haulers and one for disposal on August 13, and the Chairman has declined to sign the agreements since that time. He noted that there is currently no County policy for the execution of documents, and he needed someone to be authorized to execute those previously-mentioned contracts. He related that one of the options that the Board has is to have the Vice Chairman or some other designated person to sign them, and he requested that the Board give approval for Commr. Conner as the Vice Chairman to sign those.
Commr. Cadwell commented that this was a unique situation for the Board and moved to authorize the Vice Chairman to sign those contracts that were approved two weeks ago and ask the County Attorney’s Office to bring back an amended code for some type of procedure to follow in case that issue ever recurs, which was seconded for discussion.
Commr. Sullivan commented that he is aware of information now that he was not aware of when he voted to accept the bids, including a possible alternative, although he believed the signing of the contracts was a separate issue. He asked to revisit this issue and explore other alternatives before locking the County into a seven-year contract.
Commr. Campione pointed out that they could not have a discussion anymore on this issue if the agreements are signed.
Commr. Parks clarified with the County Attorney that the Vice Chairman would legally be allowed to sign the contracts.
Commr. Cadwell emphasized that the Board had a long discussion and that the solid waste discussions have been going on for three years. He expressed concern about the County losing credibility, and he believed the RFP process was done properly, fairly, and with integrity.
Commr. Campione responded that she was concerned about the Board’s credibility with their constituents, since everyone she has heard from does not want the program that was approved.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he has not heard that from constituents, other than a couple of communities that were concerned about once a week pickup and the size of the containers.
Commr. Campione pointed out that it had not been explained to residents what it would cost them for the additional service of twice a week pickup, and some who might not even have that as an option would also be disgruntled. She was also concerned that the hauling contracts would be more expensive than what the County currently pays with rates higher than other counties.
Commr. Parks stated that he has also heard concerns about having two pickup days a week, and he emphasized that that is the largest issue for him. He mentioned that after thoroughly researching this, he found out that the haulers had input both before, during, and after regarding what collection system would be the most efficient and cheapest, and they all stated that the automated 1-1-1 was the most efficient and least expensive. He pointed out that although there is a capital investment, the equipment upgrade would be an advantage for Workers’ Comp and injury issues and would result in a lower cost for a lower number of employees that would be needed. He emphasized that he would not want to move forward with these contracts, however, unless they could have an option for two pickup days per week with a 2-1-1 program, and he noted that the selected hauler did provide a price for that option.
Commr. Campione expressed concern about residents leaving their waste on the side of the road or in the woods, since an appointment will be needed to pick up certain bulk items.
Commr. Conner commented that if they start the RFP process over, it will cost the people of this county millions of dollars, and the RFP process that was done involving sealed bids and the opportunity for every vendor to have input was open, honest and filled with integrity. He opined that they need to be looking at the big picture as leaders and encouraging residents to recycle more, and the program included in the contracts provides financial incentive to recycle.
Commr. Cadwell asked if the Chairman’s intention was to negotiate with their current vendors or for the Board to have a workshop to decide what they will do.
Commr. Campione responded that she wanted to have a workshop to look at the program itself and examine all of the alternatives in order to provide the services that residents want at a good, competitive rate. She elaborated that she was concerned at the time of the last meeting about getting something in place by October of 2014, so she recommended that they negotiate with the current vendor so that they would have something in place while they looked at the program. She also expressed concern about a bid that was 58 percent lower than the next lowest bid from a company without a track record, noting that the company can ask the County for a rate increase under the contract for extraordinary situations, such as if their business plan was not working out.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he was concerned about repeating a mistake that resulted in the worst solid waste contract for the County that they had ever entered into.
Commr. Parks added that his research indicated that the next highest bid was higher because of transportation costs to haul the waste from a transfer station in Groveland.
Commr. Cadwell clarified that twice a week pickup as an alternative would only be possible in organized communities where everyone agrees to it or if the entire County decides to do that.
Commr. Conner commented that there was nothing in the RFP that would prohibit the County from negotiating a second day pickup if they wanted one, and he recapped that one of the 22 recommendations from the Solid Waste Alternative Task Force was an increase in recycling.
Commr. Campione specified that the Eustis program has resulted in a reduction in the regular trash stream by giving incentives of up to $160 per year to residents to maximize their recycling, and residents have responded to that. She also commented that Eustis will pick up bulk items on their one regular pickup day and allows residents who do not want to have to store large trash cans to put trash bags out instead; however, the County’s RFP specifications did not allow for a proposal like that.
Commr. Parks pointed out that the County’s haulers can provide incentives for recycling as well according to the RFP and the contracts. He also commented that automated pickup is cheaper and more efficient in the long run.
Commr. Sullivan commented that he was not comfortable with throwing out all of the bids and starting all over again, since a lot of time and effort has been put into this, but he wanted to have some more information about some of the alternatives that they did not look at during a workshop without holding up the process before he felt comfortable going forward with this, although he believed that the RFP process has been above board and has been done with integrity. He asked if they could hold the bids and have a workshop to make sure they have all the information they need to move forward, especially regarding disposal.
Commr. Campione asked Mr. Minkoff about the procedural aspect of this.
Mr. Minkoff responded that he believed the bids were good through the end of October.
Commr. Cadwell commented that he did not think they could do that without throwing all of the bids out and starting all over again.
Commr. Conner asked Commr. Sullivan to discuss his concerns at this time.
Commr. Sullivan responded that he had concerns regarding the discontinuation of using the Covanta facility such as the loss of electricity revenue and the fact that the County has waived ad valorem taxes on that facility, and he also expressed concern about the County changing to a different way of handling solid waste and the impact on the residents.
Commr. Conner indicated that he and staff met with Covanta to discuss their program, and he did not see that their program was better than what was chosen, especially since they would be mixing the garbage and recycling together to get sorted later in a facility that is not built yet, which would result in the contamination of some of those recyclable materials. He also pointed out that currently they are not paying anything for disposal of recyclables, but Covanta would charge the County the same cost per ton for recycling as they would for solid waste disposal.
The Chairman opened up the issue to public comment.
Ms. Marie Dubois, a resident of Howey in the Hills, commented that she was concerned about how she and her neighbors would transport the large trash cans to the paved road, and she requested the option of opting out of the County’s trash pickup to take care of the solid waste herself or to reconsider and have the workshop to look at other options.
Mr. Charlie Dean, a resident of Lake Panasoffkee and President of ACMS, addressed Commr. Campione’s question about how they could provide their service at such a low rate by explaining that it was through economy of scale, and he noted that they have developed a facility that has an overall footprint of over 485 acres and over 100 million cubic yards of airspace. He assured the Board that they bid on exactly the specifications of the RFP, have infrastructure already in place at their facility, and have worked with people who have expertise in the recycling business to make that a component of what they offer. He also assured the Board that they have ample amount of capital and were well funded.
Mr. Fred Hawkins, a representative of WSI, opined that the Solid Waste Task Force was made up of great people who did a thorough job for the County, and he commented that throwing the bids out when their numbers were already out there would be a disaster for everyone involved except those that did not win. He pointed out that recyclables tend to be very light, and the carts roll easily and very well to the curb, and he noted that although there will be a few problems at first, residents will end up being satisfied with the service.
Mr. Joe Treshler, a representative of Covanta, opined that the differences Covanta offers for the waste to energy facility were ignored, such as the environmental protection, although the cost for the landfill option is lower, and he assured the Board that they were not interested in offering the traditional dirty MRF to anyone but instead offered a new technology. He reported that their company made the decision on March 6 to start offering this technology on a commercial basis after the County’s code of silence went into effect, and he pointed out that disposal is only 25 percent or less of the total cost of managing solid waste. He specified that their projections showed that they would save the County about $300,000 a year based on the numbers that were given in the RFP. He summarized that he offered the County a proposal that would lower their cost of collection, give them 100 percent recycling participation from the beginning, resulted in decreased use of the landfill, and provide 50 new jobs in the county with an economic impact of $4 million, which they thought was a better deal for Lake County, and he believed a workshop was a way to make sure that their decisions were the best for Lake County.
Mr. Platt Loftis, a representative of Waste Pro Florida, stated that he had a list of 25 workshops that took place from May 2010 to July 2011 with the Solid Waste Alternative Task Force resulting in a ten-page recommendation, and all ten vendors who made proposals met in Chambers in an open forum during several workshops. He added that shortly after that, a review draft was sent out by Mr. Stivender to the Board, and he recapped that there was a unanimous decision to proceed with the RFP. He commented that there have been two proposals brought forth to the County after all sealed bids have been delivered and opened, which he opined was an unethical and immoral way to do business.
Mr. Bob Hyres, a founder and Executive Vice President of Waste Pro, commented that he was extremely concerned about the process during the last couple of weeks, and he did not think an unsolicited proposal at this point in time should be disrupting this process. He opined that the method that is being proposed after the fact will create one of the worst recycling scenarios in the state and will result in contaminated recyclables or many of the recyclables being incinerated. He added that the ash from the waste to energy plant that ends up in the landfill is extremely toxic, and he listed several cities and locations that have tried the proposed program and terminated it. He commented that the last minute bids were unordinary, unethical, and possibly illegal. He mentioned that twice a week pickup could be done.
Mr. Doug McCoy, a representative from Waste Management, opined that he has been serving this county for 30 years with an excellent and high level of service, and assured the Board that Waste Management will continue to provide the best possible service through September 30, 2014. He opined that it will cost the County $755,000 a year more on the collection side if this was approved today and specified that the retirees in the central area off of US Hwy 27 currently pay $10.53 per month for their services from Waste Management but will be paying $14.97 under the new contract. He also opined that the companies who won the bid did not realize what the costs are of serving the county, which is highly rural in nature.
Mr. Brad Avery, a representative of WCA, spoke highly about the process that was followed for the solid waste RFP, noting that it was transparent, had integrity, and was fair. He pointed out that each bidder was given an opportunity during a three-year process, and he commented that all of the grumbling about a change in service usually goes away within 60 days. He also mentioned that all of the dirty MRF’s he has seen have failed.
Commr. Campione assured the Board that she will do her part to help Lake County get on board with any program that is approved, but still believed they were missing some opportunities if they do not throw the bids out.
Commr. Parks commented that he believed that they could not throw out the bids or put off the contracts and pointed out that the most cost-effective option was selected. However, he wanted it noted that they would be going forward with an option of a twice a week pickup for his south district, which they would discuss at their workshop on October 22.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board moved that the execution of the solid waste contracts will be done by the Vice Chairman.
Commr. Campione and Commr. Sullivan voted “no.”
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – vice-CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
constitution week 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. 2013-85 proclaiming September 17-23, 2013 as Constitution Week.
facility for veterans memorial group
Commr. Conner asked consensus from the Board to direct the County Manager to try to find a room for the Veterans Memorial Group to meet, since they have recently lost their meeting facility, which was amenable to the Board as long as the County Attorney could sign off on it. It was also suggested that the constitutional officers be contacted to see if they could offer help.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
local works day proclamation
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2013-84 proclaiming September 6, 2013 as “Local Works Day.” Commr. Cadwell read the proclamation and showed a short video presentation commemorating that occasion.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – CHAIRMAN & DISTRICT 4
league of women voters discussion
Commr. Campione reported that she was honored to attend a panel discussion that the League of Women Voters held in Lady Lake on August 26 in which they were celebrating Equality Day recognizing the anniversary of women securing the right to vote. She mentioned that the Sumter County Clerk of Court was present, and there was discussion on being a female elected official and what those rights mean. She commented that it is a pleasure working with the other Commissioners, even when there is disagreement among Board members due to strong beliefs and values on similar issues.
joint meeting with school board
Commr. Campione related that she got numerous calls from School Board members who were concerned after the last Board meeting that the Board was waiting too long to have their joint meeting with the School Board to come to a resolution about the issue of special assessments, so that they could get an assessment on the tax roll by next year. She suggested that everyone make a list of questions and concerns they would like to fully consider during that meeting.
Commr. Conner recommended that the BCC suggest to the School Board that they need to come to a consensus as a board as to what they support.
Commr. Campione mentioned that she has had a lot of conversations with School Board members and read the minutes of their meeting, which she thought indicated that the School Board has the support to go forward with an assessment for the full amount. She also added that the option of an MSBU would allow the option of an impact fee for residents that did not want to do an assessment, including those within the cities.
Commr. Parks agreed that the School Board indicated a consensus for the assessment for the full amount.
Mr. Heath related that the public hearing to discuss suspending the impact fees another year is at this point going to be scheduled for September 24, and he noted that there was only one other day in September that the Commissioners were all available, which was September 16.
Mr. Minkoff opined that there is no way of putting the special assessment on the tax bill without property owner consent at this point, and he related that he will arrange for a representative from Nabors, Giblin and Nickerson to be at the joint meeting to discuss the legal issues associated with that.
Commr. Heath suggested that the Board meet with someone from Nabors, Giblin and Nickerson on September 10 to discuss any legal questions they have before the joint meeting.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.
leslie campione, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK