FEBRUARY 11, 2014

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 9:02 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida.  Commissioners present at the meeting were:  Jimmy Conner, Chairman; Sean Parks, Vice Chairman; Timothy I. Sullivan; Leslie Campione; 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 Jennifer Johnson and Shannon Treen, Deputy Clerk.

Commissioner Conner remembered Bernice Evans, member of the Historical Society who served on the Board of Directors, as she passed away last week.

INVOCATION and pledge

Pastor Bill Boylston with the Lake County Baptist Association gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

There were no changes to the Agenda.


Ms. Christina Brandolini, Employee Services Director, presented the following employee awards:


Timothy Burgess, Traffic Signal Technician

Public Works/Traffic Operations Division


Alan Kirkland, Engineer IV

Public Works/Survey and Design Division


Jonathan Sanchez, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division


Buffy Tucci, Firefighter/EMT (not present)

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division



Deborah Miller, Office Associate III

Public Works/Mosquito Management Division


Phyllis Miller, Dispatch Officer

Community Safety and Compliance/Animal Services Division



Donna Gray-Williams, Librarian II

Public Resources/Library Services Division


Mitchell Montgomery, Energy Maintenance Technician

Facilities & Fleet Management/Energy Management Division



Karen Chester, Associate Planner

Growth Management/Planning & Community Design Division



Charlene Smith, Support Services Manager (17 Years)

Public Resources/Library Services Division


Bruce Bowers, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (25 Years)

Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division



On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the BCC Minutes of December 17, 2013 (Regular Meeting) and January 14, 2014 (Regular Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Vance Jochim, a resident of Tavares who writes a blog called FiscalRangers.com, referred to the Library impact fees listed under the Clerk of Court’s Consent Agenda and pointed out his concern about the Agenda not stating what is in the detailed documents regarding the project possibly costing up to $2.2 million in building out the top floor of the Cagan Crossing Library, and there was no information for what it would be used for.  He noted that if they were going to start the ball rolling to spend that amount, there would need to be a justification phase at the beginning and not after staff has become involved.  He mentioned that the construction may be for a training center and suggested that there be a workshop session and discussion on the future of the library system because there seems to be a government expansion, as some libraries have added community centers, which competes with local business.  He inquired as to whether there would be a plan to recover the money invested that comes from local taxpayers.  He stated that there is a chance to define for the public whether the Board is supporting small government or the belief that this should be big government and should provide services for all different types of people with tax dollars. 


On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Item 2, as follows:

List of Warrants

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

Notice of Public Hearing from the City of Minneola

Request to acknowledge receipt from the City of Minneola of a notice regarding a public hearing on Monday, February 3, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. at the Minneola City Hall at 800 North U.S. 27, Minneola, to consider a request for a Conditional Use Permit allowing property located at 552 US Highway 27, Unit B, in Minneola, within a B-1 (“Business”) Zoning District to be used for House of Worship purposes3.

Notice of Ordinance from the City of Mascotte

Request to acknowledge receipt from the City of Mascotte of Ordinance 2013-12-516 for an annexation approved by the City Council members on December 16, 2013


On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the County Manager’s Consent Agenda, Tabs 3 through 11, as follows:

Community Services

Request from Community Services for approval of a staff-recommended list of vendors to be used for competitive bidding of residential mobility ramp requirements under the CDBG and SHIP Programs; and authorize the procurement office to complete all implementing documentation.  The annual fiscal impact is estimated at $100,000.  All expenditures under this award are grant-funded. 

Request from Community Services for approval and signature of the Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged, Agency for Healthcare Administration Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Agreement Amendment Number 6. The fiscal impact is a decrease of $71,122.00 (Fully Medicaid Grant Funded: -$71,122.00) - Revenue & Expense.

Economic Development and Tourism

Request from Economic Development and Tourism for authorization to submit a grant application to VISIT FLORIDA's Cultural Heritage, Rural and Nature Program to fund the 3rd annual Wings & Wildflowers Festival up to the amount of $5,000.  If awarded, the fiscal impact would be up to $5,000 (revenue).  This is a 50% matching grant.

Fiscal and Administrative Services

Request from Fiscal and Administrative Services for the Board to (1) declare the items on the attached lists surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached lists from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Manager to execute any required title documents.

Human Resources

Request from Human Resources for authorization for the County Manager to sign the updated FCCI General Release and approve issue of a Purchase Order to the vendor (Baxter) for the removal and replacement of the transfer switch for the emergency power to elevators.  Immediate fiscal impact is $75,434.95 (Reimbursable Expenditure).

Public Resources

Request from Public Resources for approval for Library Services to submit two applications for Library Impact Fees.  Proposed projects are $200,000 for design of Cagan Crossings Community Library build-out of second floor, and $250,000 for purchase of property adjacent to Marion Baysinger Memorial Library in Groveland to accommodate future library expansion.  There is no fiscal impact at this time.  Commission District 1.

Public Works

Request from Public Works for approval and execution of an amendment to the Interlocal Agreement between the School Board and Lake County pertaining to land transfer on the C466A Project and authorization for the Chairman to sign the necessary transactions and closing documents required in the agreement. The City of Tavares was an original party to the agreement (multiple property transfers), but this amendment only affects the duties and responsibilities of the School Board and County. The amendment identifies the increased RW and easement area to be purchased from the School Board (1 acre +/-), and the increased RW area by a Murphy deed reservation, that will be released to the School Board (.25 acre+/-).  The total additional cost is $62,196.34, plus minimal closing costs.  Commissioner District 5.

Request from Public Works for approval for Procurement Services to issue purchase order for demolition work at two Clermont sites to Greenwood and Sons Contracting, Grand Island, FL.  The demolitions are in support of the future North Hancock Road Extension project.  The fiscal impact is $26,721.26 (Expense).

Request from Public Works for approval to award contract 13-0030 for on-call civil engineering services to Booth  Ern Straughan & Hiott, Inc. (BESH), Cribb PhilBeck Weaver Group, Inc. (CPWG) and Griffey Engineering Inc.  The fiscal impact is estimated at $118,000 (Expenditure).


Ms. Wendy Breeden from the Public Resources Department introduced Mr. Michael Levine, Lake County Library Foundation Chairman, and stated that Mr. Levine would be giving a presentation on the Library Foundation of Lake County. 

Mr. Levine pointed out that several Directors of the Foundation were present in the audience, including; Lori Baker, Jim Miller and Catherine Hanson, Vice President.  He explained that the mission of the Foundation is to provide resources that enable the Lake County Library System to enhance programs and services that enrich the lives of Lake County residents.  He pointed out that the necessity of lifelong learning is unavoidable; and life moves fast, technology is changing, communication is heightened, and they need a component in the community that assists the residents with changing with the times.  He explained that libraries are a flexible and fluid environment where changing life skill demands can be quickly and efficiently addressed, and the Lake County Libraries facilitate communication, collaboration, innovation, peace, and prosperity.  He noted that the demand for library services is going up, while funding is going down, and there is a great opportunity to implement programs within the library system that will assist in growing a stronger economy, with the hopes that alternative sources of funding will assist with that and not leave funding solely up to government.   

Mr. Levine reported that the Library Foundation assists libraries by identifying community needs, recommending programing opportunities that would best serve the community, creating new funding strategies, driving participation to library programs and services, and facilitating collaboration that leads to innovation, which inspires good things in the community.  He noted that lifelong learning is the new normal, and exposure to libraries fosters a culture of lifelong learning in children.  He advised that when people get together and share ideas, new ideas are spawned from that collaboration, and innovation happens when new things occur which leads to small business development, creating a magnet for new businesses to come to Lake County.  He mentioned that businesses rely on software to run their businesses, and that creates a desire in the workforce to demand software certifications, which would allow the County to report that a certain amount of the workforce in Lake County is certified in the most popular software programs, which would be a demand generator.  He advised that the Lake County Library System proposed to support Main Street by fostering peak performance from training camps to championships by supporting and enhancing existing services; establishing competency fundamentals; foster critical and creative thinking; advancing workforce readiness; becoming a community hub for collaboration; facilitating small business development; and becoming a multimodal publishing resource for experts.   He commented that libraries are a flexible and adaptable resource because they are a community hub where people can share ideas and students can have study groups.  He also mentioned that they offer ongoing certification programs for evolving technologies; incubate small business startup; and foster a spirit of entrepreneurialism among stakeholders, and stated that this would assist to identify Lake County as a rich labor resource for businesses around the world. 

Mr. Levine expressed concern about the cost of living, and he noted that although the current median household income in the State is $53,000, the Governor would like the median to be $60,000, which he agrees with and has set as a goal for Lake County, utilizing the library to get there because this will increase the County’s tax base.  He advised that they need to do a better job at marketing the library system and rebrand the system as a smart zone for individuals to think of where they want their next step to be and know that they could use the library to get there.  He noted that it is important for students to use the library for extended learning, as relevant programing will draw Lake County’s brightest to the library. He stated that the library is a great resource to bring community leaders together.  He mentioned that the library adds an entire dimension to our culture, stakeholders will recognize the return on investment libraries provide, residents will embrace public libraries, and external business partners will emerge to create leaders.  He explained that the Foundation to date has accomplished organizing a group of dedicated volunteers, establishing excellent relationships with library staff, embracing a unified vision of the libraries’ potential, creating an inspirational icon that symbolizes the Foundation, achieving recommended project status of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, raising awareness with Enterprise Florida with the expectation of cooperation, raising awareness with Career Source Florida with the expectation of cooperation; finalizing the Foundation’s business structure and becoming a 501(c)(3) with a tax identification number and bank account, establishing a relationship with Direct Marketing Association, and developing a QuickBooks Workshop with Lake Sumter State College.  He mentioned that the Directors meet every two weeks because they have a huge commitment to what they want to accomplish with the library system.  He noted that the next steps for the Foundation are to specify the programs and services that will rebrand the library system and achieve targeted results, begin by delivering recommended programming with existing resource, and build out the second floor of Cagan Crossings Community Library as a prototype.   

Commr. Parks stated that he appreciated the Foundation’s hard work and supported what they are doing and the idea of lifelong learning, self-improvement and Lake County being the center to promote entrepreneurship.  He inquired as to how they will integrate with some of the individuals from the economic development and prosperity team and the small business opportunity center.

Mr. Levine answered that the economic development team is aware of what they are doing, and this presentation should spark cooperation between the Economic Development Department and the Library Foundation.  He also mentioned that he would like the Foundation to meet with the Board of County Commissioners to collaborate and come up with innovative ideas on how to move forward because cooperation with government is critical. 

Commr. Sullivan expressed his appreciation for the work that has been done, and related that he spends a lot of time at the libraries as liaison to the Library Board.  He mentioned that the collaboration and coordination as a community needs to happen, because workforce is key to economic development of Lake County.  He stated that he is supportive of the Foundation, since they need outside help to be a bigger part of the community for quality of life to continue here. 

Commr. Campione stated that she was sensitive to some of the comments regarding this being an expansion of government and contrary to the core beliefs of local government.  She noted that she sees a partnership with a not-for-profit to push to get the private sector involved, which is a positive relationship, and the key is that this is a way to do fund raising and obtaining grants that the government would not have available to them to expand what is available at the library.  She commented that she loved the idea of using the library to teach entrepreneurialism to young people, and this could be a great place to incorporate a concept like the Junior Achievement Program, which does not currently exist in Lake County.  She mentioned being careful with economic development initiatives that are already in place so that they do not duplicate what we already have, and she suggested using this to expand programs from business opportunity centers into the libraries. 


Ms. Wendy Breeden from the Public Resources Department introduced Ms. Betsy Farner, Lake Soil and Water Conservation District Chairman, and stated that Ms. Farner would be giving a presentation on the Lake Soil and Conservation District. 

Ms. Farner pointed out that the District is managed by an elected five-member, nonpartisan board of supervisors, who volunteer their services, and the Districts are non-taxing and non-regulatory special districts.  She displayed on the monitor the vision of the Lake Soil and Water Conversation District, which is to conserve and improve soil and water resource in Lake County for today and the future.  She also noted the mission of the District is to provide services for soil and water conservation, and proper utilization of natural resources, and to promote the continued use of land for agricultural purposes.  She mentioned that Conservation Districts have played an important role in conserving the nation’s natural resources since the dust storms of the 1930’s and the Dust Bowl that affected 100 million acres that was centered mainly on Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas, even extending into the panhandle in Texas.  She explained that due to lack of vegetation in the root systems, which holds the soil together, the soil turned into dust and many severe dust storms blackened the sky for days at a time, and the U.S. Congress then passed legislation declaring soil and water conservation a national policy and priority.  Conservation Districts work alongside the National Resources Conservation Service to provide grant money to help private land owners promote agricultural production and environmental quality by teaching conservation management practices, reaching out to communities and schools to teach the value of natural resources and encourage conservation efforts, assist communities and homeowners to plant trees and other land cover to hold soil in place, clean air, provide cover for wildlife and beautify neighborhoods, help developers control soil erosion and protect water and air quality during construction, serve as a liaison between landowners and regulatory agencies; and support Mobile Irrigation Labs (MILs) to facilitate water conservation in agricultural and home site irrigation systems by providing free irrigation evaluations.  She displayed on the screen the annual events that are sponsored by the District, such as land judging, Envirothon, poster contest, speech contest, the annual tree give-away in January; and the MIL.  She noted that the MIL serves the agriculture community by conducting an evaluation of the growers’ irrigation equipment to optimize production of their crop and a series of measurements of water pressure and water flow to determine problems and localize them and they then report back to the grower to identify deficiencies and make recommendations.  She related that since fall 2006, the MIL team has evaluated more than 9,756 acres and identified potential water savings of nearly 1.1 billion gallons per year, with the actual water savings from September 2006 through December 2013 being 270 million gallons per year.  She mentioned that improvements in irrigation systems can have unanticipated benefits to growers of savings of significant amounts on fuel or energy costs.  She advised that the MIL is funded by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FSACS) through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) of USDA. 

Ms. Farner mentioned that water consumption must be changed because the aquifer will not be sustainable to support growth and development in the state.  She displayed on the monitor a map of the Geological Survey, which shows Lake County in an area that consists mainly of cohesive clay sediments of low permeability, with sinkholes that are most numerous of varying sizes which develop abruptly and cover-collapse sinkholes that dominate the area.  She noted that the District works closely with the NRCS to conserve Lake County’s natural resources, primarily by connecting the growers with the NRCS staff and to assist them in qualifying for federal cost-share funding.  She described that the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District (LSWCD) spent $111,822 for one full-time employee in a two-year period with a return of $862,988 of cost-share funding spent in Lake County, which is a 772 percent return on investment within the County.  She displayed on the monitor two photos of severe drought in Florida, adding that they need to conserve Florida’s water now due to an increase in population and tourism, and the area is more susceptible to sinkholes when water levels are low.  She noted that there was a working relationship with the LSWCD and the Lake County Water Authority, where they grant the use of Hickory Point for the Envirothon; and they provide station representatives to administer the tests for the aquatic section of the contest.  She then described the working relationship with Lake County government, which provides salary, benefits and office space for one employee; provides two grant-funded MIL technicians, with all expenses reimbursed by the FDACS; provides a vehicle and trailer for the Lab with fuel, repairs, and maintenance being reimbursed by FDACS grant; advertisement of board meetings and new releases; and Board meetings and annual events held at the Lake County Agricultural Center.  She then displayed on the monitor the main web page of the LSWCD website.  She requested support from local elected officials for funding and maintaining staff to continue their mission.

 Commr. Parks expressed his appreciation for focusing on water conservation, because it is very important for good economic growth and will have to be a much larger part of how they develop than it is now.  He extended an invitation on behalf of the South Lake Chamber to facilitate a meeting between the Chamber and the LSWCD Board.

Commr. Campione mentioned a Seminole County Wekiva Rotary Club voluntary challenge approximately one year ago to help make citizens aware of how to conserve water and protect water quality by the proper use of fertilizers.  She noted that this is something that could be done countywide with an opportunity to partner with a name change, but with the same concepts involved to conserve water, use best management practices when taking care of their own yard, learn where to put fertilizer and where not to, and learn where they should have ground cover and shore line vegetation to protect water quality. 


The Chairman announced at 10:22 a.m. that there would be a 20 minute break.


Mr. Robert Chandler, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, gave a presentation regarding a summary of their activities during and through the fourth Quarter 2013.  He illustrated with a graph that the Lake County unemployment rate reached a high of 13.3 percent in January 2010, and today there has been a considerable decrease with Lake County being at six percent and the State being at 6.2 percent, meaning Lake County decreased at a larger rate than the State.  Mr. Chandler displayed on the monitor a chart indicating that there are 123,000 employed citizens in Lake County as of December 2013, and Lake County had a 12.8 percent increase in jobs, when the State of Florida had a ten percent increase.  He noted that through June 2013, there has been a gain in employment in Lake County with an increase of 2.7 percent year-to-year and five percent since the bottom of the market.  He pointed out that there will almost always be citizens moving out of the County for employment due to being so close to the Metro Orlando area and not having more jobs than employees.  At the peak of the market, there were 84,000 jobs in Lake County, and at the bottom there were 78,000, with a rebound to 82,000 jobs, which is a 63 percent recovery, compared to the State’s 36 percent rate of recovered jobs. 

Mr. Chandler displayed a graph on the monitor illustrating that the wages are lower in Lake County than the surrounding areas and the State in general, with an average wage of $33,000 as of June 2013 and the State average of $43,000; Lake County has increased by one percent year-after-year, with a four percent increase since the bottom of the market.  He discussed tax receipts and how business growth has occurred in Lake County, noting that the peak was in 2006 and bottom was in 2012, and he added that in 2013 just over 2,000 new businesses applied for tax receipts.  He pointed out that Lake County’s success rate for keeping businesses open has gone above the historical average, which indicates that the market is good, and on the average their businesses are doing better than the historical average suggests that they should be doing.  He noted that in terms of the economy, Lake County is a highly retail-based, service-oriented County, with approximately 16 million square feet of active built space in retail, eight million of industrial space, and four million of office space; and he displayed the non-residential mix compared to surrounding counties, where Lake County needs to be more equally distributed.  He pointed out that the non-residential vacancy rates for office, industrial and retail have not come back down in Lake County since the rates increased in 2009, with a huge spike in industrial, mainly due to the Circuit City building vacancy, and office vacancy rates have come down but are stabilizing.  The vacancy rates compared to other counties, with the exception of the industrial rates, appears to be similar; need to focus on the industrial side and that is where the manufacturing focus will come in and get the buildings built. 

Mr. Chandler mentioned that there was a peak in permits for residential property in 2005 and a drop in 2010, but the County is slowly working its way back up.  He discussed the Strategic Plan, where they set up a Chamber of Commerce roundtable with all nine Chambers and several businesses to discuss what they expect from the Division, and they have recurring areas of focus, to include education, workforce, existing business support, assistance with local initiatives, enhance tourism marketing, better representation of local tourism initiatives, more public/private collaboration, and Metro Orlando EDC/business attraction efforts.  He mentioned that they are currently in the process of conducting a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (S.W.O.T.) analysis for the strategic plan to help guide them and finalizing the target industry analysis to go after specific industries.  He advised the Business Opportunity Centers (BOCs) started in 2012 and had good success in the support services side, offered 51 training events, 1,789 hours of instruction, and had 673 attendees; they also offered consulting services to 449 distinct customers, with 613 sessions, and 1,042 hours of counseling and content review.  He discussed the Business Incubator Program, where they have three current clients, which is 17 percent occupied.  He announced that there was a testimonial from the President of Green Light Fire Bag to describe how this Program has assisted their company. 

Ms. Shannon Hidalgo, President of Green Light Fire Bag, stated that she and her husband have a background in health care, are highly educated in their prospective fields and have owned and operated businesses in the past.  She related that this new company created unique challenges, and with the help of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, they recognized they needed assistance.  She noted that they sought the assistance of Stan Austin and opined that their business would not be where it is today without him.  She related that with the assistance of Mr. Austin, they identified actionable items to streamline processes; implement systems for sales, manufacturing, and distribution; and developed a sales force that they did not have before.  She mentioned that this business was developed in her garage, and they are now looking at expanding to Donnie Hunt’s facility.  She pointed out that this product is now a national brand throughout the United States due to the assistance from the SBDC and Stan Austin, and they obtained a license agreement with Campgrounds of America, which is the largest campground and RV franchise internationally, with over 500 facilities across the U.S.  She noted that they met with Bi-Lo Holdings and Winn Dixie, and Bi-Lo is looking into having their product in all of their Southeast stores seasonally, but South Carolina year round; there are five Central Florida Walmart stores that are picking up the product as well.  They have gone from manufacturing the product themselves in their garage to having two sales spaces and three part-time employees, two of which are persons with intellectual disabilities and have never worked before, and they are reducing the burden off of the State System, and giving those workers confidence, and allowing them to contribute to the community.  She related that they will be adding to the sales force by adding four new employees through a program called Building Blocks Ministries, Inc. 

Mr. Chandler pointed out that they were re-launching the Business Opportunity Center (BOC) in 2014 and have redefined the operational structure with more focus on services and less focus on providers; Nancy Meunzmay, Director of Incubator Program has gone out and researched what is working nationally and how they could structure the Lake County program to meet the needs of their businesses and came up with a diversified program of training, consulting, and incubation, which they will be presenting to all City Councils to inform them on how they are advancing the program, and meeting with businesses and partners.  He noted that the new mission statement is “The BOC is a comprehensive business support eco-system designed to connect business innovators, market experts, customers and capital providers for the purpose of transforming business ideas into viable business ventures.”  He mentioned that they are re-launching the new branding and marketing campaign; they have three billboards up; will be advertising on the side of Lake Express buses, in print, and on Lake Sumter State College TV; and will sponsor local events.  He related that the last portion of the re-launch is to add to the calendar and add classes, including marketing basics, social media, bookkeeping/taxes, insurance basics, legal basics, finance basics, and communication channels taught by local professionals at the North or South LSSC campuses, which gives flexibility for specialty classes.  He mentioned the fourth quarter metrics and that they had 200 site visits; 200 customer service interactions, where they assisted in solving issues and track every call; relationships are improving and they are building trust to help find solutions for businesses. 

Mr. Chandler reported that they hosted the Enterprise Florida FAM Tour in December, explaining that Enterprise Florida is the state agency that handles business recruitment and attraction, which included a virtual tour of the Circuit City building.  The One Orlando event featuring the assets in the Central Florida Region was a huge success, and they will be pitching the campaign of “Real Florida, Real Close” and “Orlando, You don’t know the half of it.”  He noted that the 470 Commerce Center got the PUD for the entire site and is in the process of certification, and it would be only the second certified site in the State.  He discussed that the Mount Dora Employment Center just recently had a Renaissance Planning Group and they will be moving forward on that, with an expected approval date of June; also, Wellness Way Sector Plan should be completed soon; rail improvements should be done by mid-summer; Economic Development Overlay should be done soon as well; and they will be creating an interactive portal on the website to better market strategic corridors.  He reported fourth quarter Metro Orlando Leads yielded 11 leads with a potential for 1,245 jobs and potential capital investment of $153 million, with an average wage of $42,100.  He announced that CaptiveAire Systems opened in Lake County in the fall of 2013, and they are the nation’s leading commercial kitchen ventilation equipment manufacturer, with Lake County being their sixth facility nationwide; they currently have 44 employees with the potential of over 60, and they have a $6.3 million capital investment.  He reported that Electron Machine Corporation of Umatilla was awarded the Governor’s Award for Exporting Excellence; NeuLife Rehab in Mount Dora had their Grand Opening on February 5 and at full capacity will have 175 employees; Wipaire, Inc. in Leesburg currently has 12 employees but they are looking to expand at the airport with 50 new jobs; Leesburg International Airport Foreign Trade Zone is near approval; and Port Consolidated has decided to expand into Lake County due to a pleasurable experience with Procurement and Lake County in general.  He mentioned that the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Virtual Simulation System has been purchased, and the architect is drawing up the designs for the new facility.  He added that they will be seeking an additional $2 million from the State in 2014, custom classes on the virtual software can begin in April and the actual 600 hours standard curriculum for machining and welding will begin in the fall.  He advised that they were putting together a Lake County Manufacturing Task Force to serve as advisors to Lake Tech and Lake County EDT, where 17 manufacturing CEO’s have attended the first task force and all offered to assist with the advisory council to get manufacturing moving in the County. 

Mr. Chandler explained that Lake County is up nine percent year-over-year and up seven percent in terms of tourist development tax revenue in the year; so overall there is a seven percent increase.  He displayed a graph on the monitor regarding room night supply and demand in Lake County showing that they lost a few hotel rooms in May 2011, but supply has been consistent since then, and the demand has gone up considerably to 29 percent increase in room nights since the bottom and four percent year-over-year in terms of total room night demand in Lake County.  He noted that the average daily rate has stayed fairly constant, and it drives occupancy rates up.  He described the 2013 TDC sponsorship statistics, stating that there were a few more events with less room nights, but significantly more economic impact, and $63 million in economic impact from the events that they sponsored in 2013 versus $51 million in 2012.  He pointed out the Tourism Strategic Plan, noting that they are finalizing their marketing plan, goals, objectives, and marketing principles and will be taking this to the TDC on February 24 for their approval.  He noted that the Mount Plymouth Land Owner’s League was denied and Lake County Water Authority was awarded $81,820 for dock improvements during the Capital Projects’ fall cycle.  He related that the budget for the 2014 spring cycle is $2.32 million for capital, and they will be coming back before the Board on June 10 with any applications they may receive.  He mentioned the 2013 Wings and Wildflowers Festival, where they confirmed 2,500-3,000 attendees, five percent of whom were from out-of-state, 38 percent from out-of-county, and 57 percent local; and he recapped that the surveys were great with an overall event rating of 4.61 out of 5.00 and the top reasons for attending were eco-tourism and nature.  He noted the 2014 Wings and Wildflowers Festival would be October 3-5, 2014 at Venetian Gardens in Leesburg to bring in keynote speakers Roger L. Hammer, Greg Miller, and Stacy Tornio; and they will have more vendors and exhibitors, they have enhanced the marketing budget, and they plan to take this even to the next level.  He advised they are working on several events in-house, such as USA Volleyball’s complex in Lake County, and Cyclo-cross in South Lake.  He added that they won the NCAA Golf Championships in 2016, 2017, 2018; 3v3 basketball tournament with Pat Burke Hoops Academy; USA Triathlon for 2017; Regional Quidditch; Bass Federation Nation Tournament with Tavares; and USA Synchronized Swimming Championships.  He pointed out the major marketing efforts, which were “Real Florida, Real Close;” Welcome to Lake Magazine, which should be out in March; sports video; Wings and Wildflowers 2014 marketing; reboot Hometown Highlights Series, where they film businesses and tourist attractions; expert endorsements from athletes that live in Lake County, such as triathlete, Jarrod Shoemaker; and the co-op marketing program for local tourism partners. 

Commr. Sullivan commented that he believes their focus is correct, and all they can do is create the environment to bring jobs here.  He expressed appreciation for the Green Light Fire Bag Company and Donnie Hunt for the hard work they are doing, as well as the hard work from Mr. Chandler. 

Commr. Cadwell stated that the feedback they got back from the business people they were talking to and interacting with was positive and indicated feelings of respect and the trust.

Commr. Parks mentioned that he could not say enough about the great work they are doing, and he feels that Shannon and David Hidalgo’s story about working hard and caring about the community is a great story about everything that is right with America.  He relayed a message from Mr. Ray Sanfratello, South Lake Chamber President, for support for what they are doing with the Business Opportunity Centers and the constant refinement and improvement. 

Commr. Campione commented that they are doing such a great job, and the key is to get out there to the cities and people and show them what you have to offer, along with adjusting and making changes to adapt to what works and what does not. 

Commr. Conner stated that it is great to see success stories regarding entrepreneurs in Lake County.  He also mentioned he was to hear Michael Upchurch, President of NeuLife, say that they would not be there if it were not for the Lake County Economic and Development Department; it makes him proud.  


On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board appointed Norma Emerson as the member representative and Rosa Rosario as the alternate member representative for the City of Tavares; Cheryl A. Heggemeier as the member representative for the City of Umatilla; and Pat Kelley as the member representative for the City of Mount Dora to the Library Advisory Board.


Commr. Campione commented that Cathy Hoechst, Mayor of Mount Dora, Michael Quinn, City Manager of Mount Dora and Timmons Griner, Deputy Chief of Mount Dora Fire Department were present, and she wanted to make sure things kept moving along for the Commerce Center in Mount Dora in regards to the ISBA, as the City of Mount Dora is working on branding the building and giving it a name to make sure they convey what will be available to businesses there.  She stated that since this is where the Wekiva Parkway will come into Lake County and Mount Dora, this is an area where they have a unique opportunity for new business development, so it is very important to get the ISBA in place so when businesses come and look for opportunities, they will only have to deal with the one jurisdiction, City of Mount Dora.  She advised that this will promote economic development by streamlining the process.  She stated that she would like to change her request to proceed as quickly as possible with the ISBA with Mount Dora to get this accomplished within the next 60 days for the entire joint-planning area ISBA and include the fire provision of the closest unit responds. 

Commr. Cadwell clarified that everything else was still on the table, to include entire boundary areas, fire and the Commerce Center all being part of the ISBA.  He also inquired about Tavares being on the table as well, because in other cases Tavares has asked to be involved.

            Commr. Campione stated that this would only include Mount Dora.

            Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that he spoke with John Drury, City of Tavares City Administrator, and they have one small issue on the west side, which he believed they would be able to negotiate out.

            Commr. Campione noted that there is an issue on the west side regarding infrastructure that the City of Mount Dora already has in place and has historically served, and the City of Tavares wants it in their ISBA.

            Commr. Cadwell advised that he met with Greg Beliveau about this because he has a project involving the pre-application process, even though this is not a zoning case. 

            Commr. Campione mentioned that the ISBA includes all of the standard provisions throughout the County with all of the cities, which include the closest unit provision where vehicles are equipped with tracking devices, the dispatcher sends the closest unit and they split up quarterly based on whether either party is going outside of their jurisdiction to take calls for the other jurisdiction.  She opined that they could move forward and get this done within the next 45 to 60 days, because that agreement already exists.

            Mr. Heath noted that the City of Clermont is getting ready to schedule their public hearings on the ISBA and that they will use this model, because their fire model is imbedded in that.  He stated that he is confident that they can bring this back for approval to advertise on March 11 and have a public hearing on March 25 or April 8. 

            Commr. Parks confirmed that it would be easy to follow the template of the City of Clermont, but they are not putting off the Clermont schedule. 

            Commr. Sullivan stated that the City of Groveland already has this in place, and he wants to make sure everyone will be uniform because it coordinates governmental services in a cost effective manner.

            Commr. Conner mentioned that when the event in Groveland is scheduled, he hopes that every Commissioner will attend, and he feels that this is important to the community.  He noted that they have a consensus to move forward with the timeline outlined by Mr. Heath, if satisfactory. 

            Commr. Campione inquired as to what would happen with an application that was already in by Mr. Beliveau’s client.

            Mr. Heath advised that he would be best to deal with the City of Mount Dora, as soon as the Board approves the ISBA; then Mount Dora will be in the position of pulling and taking action on his application.

            Commr. Campione stated that she is thrilled because this is the direction they need to be going.

            Commr. Conner specified that there was a consensus across the Board at this time.

reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1

lake county days

Commr. Sullivan mentioned the upcoming Lake County Days in Tallahassee and how this would be an opportunity to meet the legislators to discuss agendas and make them aware of the needs for Lake County.

reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2

emergency cut-through

Commr. Parks expressed his appreciation to Mr. David Heath and Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, regarding the emergency cut-through at Legends Way and Hancock Road. 

South Lake Animal League

Commr. Parks stated that the South Lake Animal League won a grant for a major expansion, and he would get further information to relay to the Board.

Baptist island road

Commr. Parks noted that Baptist Island Road is having issues and asked staff to look into that. 


letter to daily commercial

Commr. Conner stated that he wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Commercial regarding a column that was published about the County’s budget, and although he thought it had been favorable, he felt it was important to make them aware of the history of the actions the Board had taken to balance the budget.

hawthorne at leesburg community

Commr. Conner announced that he attended a live TV show at the Hawthorne at Leesburg Community last week and noted that the community had a lot of appreciation and support for the Sheriff. 

Meeting with representative Metz

Commr. Conner thanked Commr. Parks for his participation and leadership with the delegation meeting that Representative Metz held on water issues. 

Metro Orlando EDC quarterly meeting

Commr. Conner noted that Metro Orlando EDC will be having their quarterly meeting at the National Training Center on March 30 at 5:30 p.m. and mentioned that he would appreciate it if all commissioners attended, and they are all welcome to invite people to the public reception.

Value adjustment board meeting

He reported that the final VAB meeting was held yesterday, and he thanked Commr. Parks for being an important member of that.  He noted that there were roughly 50 appeals, and the VAB Attorney was very impressed that the Property Appraiser’s Office was able to resolve so many conflicts. 

Board retreat

He pointed out the Board Retreat is tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., and it is a continuation of what has already been discussed, including the sales tax. 


Site visits

Commr. Campione stated that she went on a site visit to Senninger Irrigation and also viewed the road.  She noted that it is an important business in Lake County, and they should facilitate the ongoing growth of that company.  She mentioned that she also went on a site visit to Data Graphics and that it was extremely educational; the company has been in business since 1984, and they have done some upgrades and expansion and they are a great business to have in Lake County.  She reported that she attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for NeuLife in Mount Dora on February 5, and she thought it was a great event and was happy to have them in Lake County, because what they have done with the facility is incredible.  

reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5

trout lake nature center

Commr. Cadwell pointed out that Trout Lake Nature Center was having their 25th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, February 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and everyone is invited to attend, with parking and shuttle service being at the Winn Dixie on SR 19 and SR 44.

new Health department director

Commr. Cadwell mentioned that the Health Department is in the process of hiring a new director and asked if the Board wanted to ask the State if a commissioner could sit in on the selection process. 

Commr. Conner stated that he thinks the Board should be involved and asked Commr. Cadwell if he would be willing to do that. 

Commr. Cadwell stated that he served on the Board for Gateway out of Umatilla and wanted to make sure there was no conflict.

Mr. Minkoff stated that there was no conflict.

Commr. Conner advised the Board appointed Commr. Cadwell to be involved with the hiring process of the Health Department’s new director. 


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:52 a.m.



jimmy conner, chairman