A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
august 26, 2014
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 10:00 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, Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance and Susan Boyajan and Amy Knoll, Deputy Clerks.
invocation and pledge
Paul Jaden from the Central Florida Free Thought Community gave the opening speech and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, had no changes to the agenda.
Commr. Conner noted he had been asked to move the Proclamation designating August 26th as Women’s Equality Day in Lake County before the Citizen Input.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of the BCC Meetings of July 22, 2014 (Regular Meeting) and August 4, 2014 (Special Meeting).
presentation of proclamations
Commr. Campione presented Proclamation No. 2014-98 designating August 26 as Women's Equality Day in Lake County. Commr. Campione related that this is a proclamation that commemorates the 19th Amendment and the right to vote for women that was originally passed by an act of Congress. She explained that she was presenting framed copies of the Proclamation to Nancy Hurlbert on behalf of several organizations she is involved in including the Democratic Party of Lake County, Jeananne Niemann of the Lake Federated Republicans Women Group as well as Carol Moore of a non-partisan group, Women Impacting the Nation (WIN). She also noted that the president of Lake County’s NOW organization was present. Commr. Campione read the Proclamation out loud.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2014-98 designating August 26th as Women's Equality Day in Lake County.
citizen question and comment period
Leonard Wheeler, concerned citizen, presented a slideshow and made comments regarding sidewalk issues and handicap issues. He commented that he would get funding for sidewalk projects related to Kurt Street in Eustis to aid the citizens and children walking to school.
clerk of courts’ consent agenda
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 8, as follows:
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.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Standard Format Tentative Budget Submission.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the CRA Annual Report from the City of Clermont for Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2013.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Public Service Commission’s Petition for approval of revised underground distribution tariffs, by Duke Energy Florida, Inc. regarding Docket No. 140067-EI, Order No. PSC-14-0396-TRF-EI.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Inspector General Report – BCC-121 Follow-Up Review of Audit of Lake EMS Response Times and User Fees.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Inspector General Report – BCC-122 Audit of Infrastructure Sales Tax.
Request to acknowledge receipt of Property placed on the Lands Available List. Lake County has until November 06, 2014 to purchase property from Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
Request to acknowledge receipt of the following copies of Ordinances and Resolutions from the Town of Lady Lake:
Ordinance No. 2014-01 Resolution No. 2014-104
Ordinance No. 2014-02 Resolution No. 2014-105
Ordinance No. 2014-03 Resolution No. 2014-106
Ordinance No. 2014-04 Resolution No. 2014-107
Resolution No. 2014-101 Resolution No. 2014-112
Resolution No. 2014-103
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 4 through 18 as follows:
Request for approval and signature of the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged, Agency for Healthcare Administration Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation Agreement Amendment Number 8. There is no fiscal impact.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for authorization to accept a $5,000 grant awarded by VISIT FLORIDA's Cultural Heritage, Rural and Nature Program to assist with funding of the 3rd annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival. This is a 50% matching grant. The fiscal impact is up to $5,000 (revenue). Commissioner District 1.
Request for approval of agreement between the City of Leesburg and Lake County to host the 3rd Annual Wings and Wildflowers Festival at Venetian Gardens October 3-5, 2014. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1.
Request for approval of amendments to the Tourism Promotions Expenditure Policy (LCC-65). There is no fiscal impact.
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval to (1) declare the items on the attached list surplus to County needs, (2) authorize the removal of all of the items on the attached list from the County’s official fixed asset inventory system records, and (3) authorize the Procurement Manager to execute any required title documents. The fiscal impact is undetermined.
Request approval of Proclamation No. 2014-99 proclaiming Sept. 17-23, 2014 as Constitution Week, per Commissioner Parks.
Request approval of Proclamation No. 2014-100 proclaiming the month of August 2014 as Florida Water Professionals Month, per Commissioner Parks.
Request for approval to renew contract 14-0001 to Symetra Life Insurance Company for Medical Excess Loss insurance, effective October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015. The fiscal impact is $554,992.80 (Expenditure).
Request for approval of the County’s Property, Liability, Workers’ Compensation and other Risk Insurance coverage renewal, effective October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015. It is also recommended that the Board authorize the Procurement Services Manager to sign the appropriate forms necessary to bind the coverage associated with this agenda item. The fiscal impact is $1,474,572 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to award contract for 14-0437, Park Landscape Maintenance and Related Services Ancillary Parks to Helping Hand Lawn Care (Astatula, FL) and authorization for the procurement office to execute all related contractual documentation. The fiscal impact is $126,880.00 Estimate (Expenditure).
Request for approval and signature of McDonald Canal Boat Ramp Area Cooperative Management Agreement. The fiscal impact for partial FY2014-2015 will be $20,000. The fiscal impact for subsequent years will be $50,000 (Expenditure). Commission District 3
Request for approval to accept the donation of a 2000 Daewoo Nubira station wagon. The fiscal impact is undetermined.
Request for approval to award contract 14-0438 for Roadside/Right of Way Tree Trimming and Related Services to Luke Brothers, Inc. (Holiday, FL) and Native Land and Tree (Howey-In-The-Hills, FL), and authorize the Procurement Office to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is estimated at $113,810.00 (Expenditure).
Request for authorization to release funds in the amount of $145,000.00 to Hilochee Partners, LLC that was posted to guarantee the construction of improvements for the Royal Equestrian Ranch Club subdivision. Royal Equestrian Ranch Club consists of 21 lots and is located in Section 21, Township 24 South, Range 26 East. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 1
Request for approval to award under Request for Quotation (RFQ) Q2014-00088 for one (1) replacement dump truck for the Road Operations Division of Public Works, and execution of all procurement documentation by the Procurement Office. The fiscal impact is $119,660.00 (Expenditure).
vacating petition 1209- michael rich, harbor hills dev., lp
Jim Stivender reported that this is a petition for removing a couple of drainage utility easements between two lots that are in different phases of Plat Book 63, pages 67 & 68 in section 13, 18, 24 in the Lady Lake area. He related there are no letters of opposition. He recommended approval of the petition.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this resolution, 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 Petition 1209 to vacate two utility and drainage easements in the Plat of Harbor Hills, Phase 6A, PB 63 / 67 & 68, in the Lady Lake area and Resolution 2014-101. There is no fiscal impact. Commission District 5
adoption of ordinance amending section 22-11, lake co. code
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, 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; AMENDING SECTION 22-11 OF THE LAKE COUNTY CODE ENTITLED PREPAYMENT OF IMPACT FEES PROVIDING FOR THE BANKING OF PREPAID IMPACT FEES THAT WERE PURCHASED PRIOR TO JUNE 1, 2014, PROVIDING FOR BANKING TO BE RETROACTIVE TO JUNE 1, 2014; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING FOR FILING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Mr. Minkoff explained that this is a resolution for the older pre-paids to allow people to move them off of the lots, but still be used in the same impact fee district.
The Chairman opened the public hearing.
There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this ordinance, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption and execution of Ordinance No. 2014-52 amending Section 22-11, Lake County Code, regarding Prepayment of Impact Fees. There is no fiscal impact.
public hearings: rezonings
rezoning consent agenda
Mr. Chris Schmidt, Manager of Planning and Community Design, Growth Management, submitted the advertisement for the day’s public hearing. He related that there is one change to the agenda, stating they would like to pull tab 4, which is Candle Park PUD. He noted tabs 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6 were approved unanimously on consent by the Planning & Zoning Board on August 6, 2014 and the staff recommendation is for the Board to make a motion to approve the Consent Agenda Tabs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.
The Chairman opened the public hearing regarding the Rezoning Consent Agenda with the exception of Tab 4.
There being no one who wished to address the Board, the Chairman closed the public hearing.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Rezoning Consent Agenda as follows:
Tab 1. Ordinance No. 2014-53
Vietnamese –American Buddhist Association
Request to rezone property from Agriculture (A) zoning to Community Facility District (CFD) for a meditation retreat center for religious worship, education, meditation training, office and related uses.
Tab 2. Ordinance No. 2014-54
Richard Allen Schehr
Request to rezone 1.1+/- acre Planned Commercial (CP) zoned property to Rural Residential (R-1) and revoke CP Ordinance #18-83 on a property.
Tab 3. Ordinance No. 2014-55
Kristin and Alfred Volner
Request to rezone a 20.4 +/- acre parcel from Mixed Residential (RM) to Agriculture.
Tab 5. Ordinance No. 2014-56
Grand Oaks Holding LLC – Thomas Warriner, Manager
Request to amend Community Facility District (CFD) Ordinance #2012-65 by reducing the acreage of the CFD by 4.81 +/- acres, removing a caretaker’s residence, expanding the lodge and continuing the existing equestrian museum, training and educational facility with support facilities.
Tab 6. Ordinance No. 2014-57
David & Kandee Bassett
Request to rezone property from Community Facility District to Agriculture (A) for agriculture and residential use.
Mr. Schmidt stated that staff pulled Tab 4, PH# 15-14-1, Candle Park PUD from consideration due to the applicant making a request to make modifications to the PUD that the staff would like to review. He explained the staff recommended for the Board to make a motion to postpone the item.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved postponing Tab 4 of the Rezoning Consent Agenda as follows:
GG Assets LLC & Warminster Investments Corporation
Request to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) Ordinance #2008-67 to increase the number of residential units and to add commercial uses. Ordinance #2008-67 will be rescinded and replaced by the proposed ordinance.
budget follow-up workshop for fiscal year 2015 budget
Mr. Heath, County Manager, noted that last month he had provided the Board with a recommended budget and a set of proposed millages, which were based on budget guidelines that the Board had approved earlier this year. He explained the budget also maintained the existing level of service in terms of the organization and that it was structurally balanced in that the revenues matched the proposed expenditures without having to rely on the use of reserves or the use of non-recurring revenue sources. He commented that the proposed millage would be a tremendous increase, but that he would stand by the proposed budget and millage increase due the current state of Lake County finances. He noted that last month several of the Commissioners stated they wished to continue working on the budget to try to effectively reduce the proposed millage increase. He explained that at the end of his presentation, he would ask the Board to give him direction to modify the budget and millage rate based on any changes they made today. He explained that the first action the Board would take in September would be to approve the millage and then to approve the budget in that order. He remarked he would like to have some lead time if the Board wished to make changes to the millage rate. He commented that at the end of the presentation, Steve Koontz would be going over the budget process, a summary of the recommended budget and then a statement of changes since the maximum millage was set on July 22nd. He noted at that point, they would begin the budget work session regarding the feasibility of using several non-recurring funding sources to reduce the millage. He reported that they also came up with several alternatives that would match the use of the non-recurring revenue sources with reduced millage rates.
Mr. Steve Koontz, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services, began the slideshow presentation with a budget process overview showing the gross taxable value (General Fund) with a 31.3 percent decline even with the 4.22 percent increase for budget purposes for 2015. He noted the General Fund revenues for 2014 are budgeted at $104.5 million, the expenses for 2014 at $116.9 million and the reserves are at $10.5 million. He pointed out in 2014 the expenses have exceeded the revenue and that the gap was covered with cash brought forward. He related there have been many cuts in the General Fund, noting particularly the number of positions with a high of 374 down to 215, which is about a 43 percent reduction since 2007. He commented that in January they had talked about there being a $4.3 million shortfall in the budget. He noted the approved budget strategy for Fiscal Year 2015 included exploring suggestions from the BCC retreat, approving budget guidelines of a status quo operating budget plus addressing employee compensation, exploring funding solutions to Sheriff’s personnel and vehicle needs and monitor legislature and then meet again in May or June. He related they were also going to look at Parks and Stormwater MSTU as well as suggestions for funding the Parks & Trails budget. He explained the revenue projections had increased since January by $700,000 based on taxable values coming in higher. He stated the purchase order carry-forward was kind of a wash, but it needed to be shown. He noted that they had to estimate purchase orders for 2014 that are going to roll into 2015 and that they needed to be accounted for on both sides of the equation, both on the cash side as well as in the reserves. He explained the cash brought forwarding ending fund balance for 2014 was an estimate in January with only three months of information, but as more information becomes available this would be updated a number of times. He noted the ending fund balance needed to be decreased by $1.1 million due to better projections of expenses and revenues as well as the Tax Collector lowering the amount of excess fees he was expecting this year by about $400,000.00. He pointed out that the overall change was about $1 million in the positive from what had been looked at in January.
Mr. Koontz remarked that there were a number of items that came forward between January and June relating to expenses, including an increase to the Motorola contract of $200,000 that took effect in 2015, raises and FRS changes at a little less than $500,000, the one-time expense of the Astatula Fuel Remediation Project of $470,000, Judicial Support changes of $300,000, the new lease for the Tax Collector in Leesburg for DMV services of $200,000, Constitutional budgets of $3.9 million, a transfer to Parks & Trails of $1.1 million, some miscellaneous changes with Animal Services as well as increase in Probation positions of $200,000 and a transfer to Fire Rescue for the Fire Assessment for government buildings at $600,000 accounting for 2014 and 2015. He reported the change at $7.5 million with the addition of the purchase order carry forward and reserves of $2.1 million making the total $9.6 million since January. He reported that the overall impact in revenue would be approximately $15.1 million with an overall millage increase. He related that the recommended budget as of June 2014 would address the Constitutional Officer requests, maintain the current level of service, address employee compensation; ensure long term funding stability, and would bring the General Fund into a more structurally balanced situation. He explained the budget would address countywide funding, maintain the current level of service, and address growth and funding stability in the Parks and Storm Water MSTU. He pointed out the budget did not address long term capital maintenance, current operating levels of service for Stormwater Division, or future storm water needs and projects.
Mr. Koontz also commented the recommended budget for the Lake County Fire Rescue would address maintaining current levels of service, employee compensation and provide long term funding stability and a more structurally balanced budget, but it did not address salary compression. He explained the public voted debt millage was reduced slightly to only bring in revenues that are needed for the principal and interest. He related that even with increases in values, the County MSTU would only be able to support about a $4.9 million dollar transfer to Lake EMS to subsidize their funding. He noted their funding request was at $6.9 million that also included a capital component. He explained the recommended budget for this MSTU was to keep the current levels of service for Lake County Ambulance, give the MSTU more of a long term funding stability and keep the MSTU more structurally balanced. He also noted on the infrastructure sales tax side, funding was allocated to a number of projects brought forward this year as well as some projects that were already on the list, leaving an estimated reserve of about $320,000. He reported there was no funding allocated for debt service of the downtown projects. He pointed out this year about $1.05 million was used for debt service, which was not included in the 2015 budget. He reported that in a comparison of the millage rates from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015 as of July 22, 2014, the overall percentage change is 15.8 percent.
Mr. Koontz explained the statement of changes is the process the budget office goes through from the time the recommended budget is published, which was July 15, going through a review process of all the funds, of all the expenses and revenues trying to update when needed. He noted in the review they look a lot at the 2014 revenues and expenses to project an ending fund balance. He explained they review and update the 2015 revenues and projections looking at what the state publishes regarding sales tax and communications tax information. He stated they also review and update purchase order carry-forwards at least three times during the budget process trying to have each department look at their purchase orders and that they also look at grants because some of those run on a different cycle than their fiscal year. He reported excess fees were higher than projected from the Tax Collector budget, but he also noted the fees for the General Fund were higher leading to a net of about $100,000 to the positive. He reported the Animal Services budget was updated at $1.5 million and will be transferred to the Sheriff, which will be reflected on the statement of changes. He also related the 2014 ending fund balance will be updated to reflect the $125,000 FEMA payment, noting they are still monitoring the rest of the FEMA closeouts. He also related a fund was set up for the Mt. Plymouth Sorrento CRA, an adjustment increase was made in the Property Appraiser’s budget to include raises for their staff and funding was also included for the Public Defender’s Office for security in 2015 at a cost of about $37,000, which is part of the Sheriff’s contract. He explained additional changes included the Umatilla Health Clinic project being deleted and the Solid Waste Fund balance increasing by about $850,000 with an adjustment of $1.2 million to the disposal expenses. He related that SHIP funding has been confirmed and included at $1.4 million as well as some Section 8 funding adjustments of $800,000. He explained, in regards to Lake County EMS MSTU, that transports and the resulting revenues are exceeding projections between $500,000 and $800,000. He commented it is proposed that the County MSTU’s contribution be reduced from $1.4 million to $1.1 million giving a potential impact to the millage at 0.0194.
Mr. Koontz remarked on the feasibility of using non-recurring funding sources for millage reduction with five different projects including the Wolf Branch Stormwater Project, Solid Waste Fund, Solid Waste Long Term Care and Closure Fund, Infrastructure Sales Tax and the Reserve Policy. He noted the Wolf Branch project is funded within the MSTU at $2 million stating this project could be deferred or delayed to apply the $2 million to the Parks & Trails operating budget over two years for FY2015 and 2016. He explained by doing that it will not address the countywide funding issues for county parks and that it could possibly reduce the General Fund transfer of $1.1 million allowing the money to stay within the General Fund. He related the potential impact to the General Fund millage is 0.0713 for that $1.1 million. He explained Solid Waste Fund revenues increased from $16.13 million on the recommended budget to $16.98 million on the statement of changes with an increase in the fund balance from cash brought forward. He reported on the expense side of the Solid Waste Fund the assessment expenses increased from $11.04 million to $12.22 million. In addition, he stated the cost for convenience centers is at $1.02 million, household hazardous waste $530,000, landfill operations and administration $2.21 million and administration fees at $630,000. He stated the total Solid Waste Fund expenses come to $16.98 million, which is equal to the amount of revenue. He reported, on a full analysis of the Solid Waste Fund, that the cash brought forward is needed to fund countywide operations and that there is a possibility of deleting the transfer of $300,000 to the General Fund with a potential impact of about 0.0194 to the General Fund millage. He noted there will be further Board discussion in September and November regarding the Solid Waste Fund.
Mr. Koontz also reported on the Solid Waste Closure and Long Term Care Fund associated with the Solid Waste System, which funds the post-closure care on landfills. He noted at this time there are four landfills being worked on. He explained that $100,000 - $150,000 is budgeted per year to take care of the four landfills (Umatilla, Lady Lake, Landfill Phase I and Loghouse) post closure. He explained that no additional funding will go into this fund next year, but that approximately $400,000 a year has been going into the fund. He pointed out that a determination is being made on the 6 acre cell that is currently open and receiving ash as to how full it is and also related that once the cell is full, there will need to be funds available to close it and that is what the reserves have been set aside for. He related that they needed to leave money in this fund for closure costs, but could possibly transfer $1 million into the General Fund leaving enough money for two to three years of closure costs. He did specify that funding for the phase II closure will be needed in the future. He reported the potential impact of the $1 million infusion to the General Fund would be to decrease the millage about 0.0648. He also noted there would be further Board discussion in September and November.
Mr. Koontz commented on the infrastructure sales tax relating that the General Fund budget does not rely on infrastructure sales tax for the debt service, the Umatilla Health Clinic project is being deleted and up to $5.74 million of this fund can be used for debt service payment for the downtown projects. He stated there were four existing projects being rolled over into 2015 from this fund, including the Judicial Center expansion at $440,000, Judicial Center completion at $5 million, Historic Courthouse renovation at $430,000 and the ECOC closeout at about $20,000. He also noted new projects in the 2015 budget, including the continuation of debt service at $1.21 million, Parks and Trails at $350,000, Sheriff vehicles at $700,000, South Lake Regional Park at $1.29 million, Tax Collector building in Clermont at $2.5 million and Lake EMS Capital Funding at $600,000. He noted if they did not include the $2.5 million for the Tax Collector building, the Tax Collector could essentially take the excess fees from the General Fund and build his own building based on priority and need. He pointed out it helps the General Fund to go ahead and fund this project out of the sales tax. He also mentioned some other park projects including Lake Idamere Miracle Field at $200,000, which is a match to some grant money, lights for Woodlea Park at $200,000, additional funding for the Sheriff for Animal Services at $200,000, East Lake Park adjacent property at an estimation of $800,000 and South Lake Park fencing and to begin work on the master plan at $500,000. He reported the total for the proposed projects is $14.4 million, leaving a revised ending fund balance of about $650,000 in reserves. He noted there are several projects to consider for deferring including Courthouse completion project at $5 million with an updated estimate putting the project at about $7.2 to $8.6 million. He related the difference in the funding between those two numbers would be phasing the project and how long it would be phased for. He pointed out that the South Lake Park project at $1.29 million and other projects such as the Woodlea Park lights, East Lake Park property acquisition, South Lake Park fencing and master plan and Lake Idamere Miracle Field were projects totaling $1.7 million could also be deferred.
Mr. Koontz explained that by phasing the Courthouse project over two to three years, it would add $2 million to be put towards debt service with a potential impact to the General Fund millage of about 0.1296. He also related an option of deferring or delaying the Courthouse completion project to 2016-2017, making about $5 million available for debt service for 2015 with an impact to the General Fund millage of 0.3240. He noted the third option would be possibly deleting or deferring the South Lake Regional Park project at $1.29 million with an impact to the General Fund millage of 0.0829 and other park projects at $1.7 million with an impact to the General Fund millage of 0.1102. He pointed out that the maximum that can be used for debt service is $5.74 million. He related that the last option they looked at was the reserve policy, noting the current policy is 7 to 12 percent of operating expenditures with the recommended budget including operating expenditures of $124.3 million. He explained that 7 percent of that figure would be $8.7 million, and if they were to reduce the reserves to 5 percent, then the reserves needed would drop to $6.2 million, which is a difference of about $2.5 million with an impact to the General Fund millage of about 0.162. He also explained three options in reducing the millage rate using non-recurring funding sources. He noted potential non-recurring funding sources that can be used to lower millage rates include Wolf Branch Project, Parks and Trails Fund, Solid Waste Fund, Solid Waste Long Term Care and Closure fund, Infrastructure Sales Tax/Debt Service and a change in Reserve policy.
Mr. Heath explained, in conclusion, that he and Mr. Koontz attempted to provide options for the Board concentrating on projects as opposed to cuts in services. He commented that the lower the millage rate, the bigger the funding gap for FY 2016. He explained that the next time they would all meet would be at the budget meeting on September 9th to approve the tentative millage rates, followed by changes to the recommended budget and to approve the tentative budget with a second public hearing on September 23rd. He encouraged the Board to give him and Mr. Koontz direction on whether to use nonrecurring items to reduce proposed millage rates and balance the budget.
Comr. Conner explained they would hear from any constitutional officers that would like to speak.
Mr. John Spivey, chief assistant and general counsel for the Public Defender’s Office, spoke on behalf of Mr. Michael Graves, Public Defender, relating that he understood the constraints the Board has been under, but remarked that they had been in an inadequate temporary facility for the last 7 years. He commented that their office in Lake County currently houses approximately 40 employees and they are essentially built out at this juncture. He noted they have plans to hire an additional attorney based on funding received from the legislature and at that point she will not have an office. He stated they would like to be back in the Courthouse with other court personnel. He commented that they are appreciative of the funding for security and that they are not in opposition to phasing proposed by the County Manager.
Mr. Walter Forgie, Supervisor of Lake County State Attorney’s Office, noted that he had spoken to Mr. Brad King, State Attorney, a number of times regarding the critical needs of their agency in getting the Courthouse project done. He related that he appreciated the difficulty of the decisions the Board had to make regarding County needs. He noted that since their existing office was built, their case load has nearly tripled circuit wide, and the staff has more than doubled in size, and to accommodate that growth in their agency they have had to build out all available space such as conference room space, library space and waiting areas for victims to have sufficient office space. He explained they have had to move other departments to buildings across the street with staff moving files literally across the street. He reported they are at capacity and need more space to effectively and efficiently operate. He noted there is a concern of public safety and particularly a concern of privacy and security for victims of crimes or child abuse victims within their confined office space. He remarked that he would like to see a specific plan from the County regarding the building project.
Mr. Peyton Grinnell, Chief Deputy, Lake County Sheriff’s Department reported that the Sheriff received a phone call regarding his mother and had to step out of the meeting.
Commr. Conner opened the meeting for public comment.
Mr. Mark Fisher of Mt. Dora commented that citizens have been caught off guard over the proposed tax increase and that he has acquired and reviewed a great deal of information noting disappointment in the lack of interest in the Board crafting a budget. He opined that there seems that little or no effort has been made in examining the past use of their money by looking at expenditures. He stated he felt the Sheriff’s Department was deserving of a raise as well as County employees, but noted that the Sheriff’s justification of a nearly $60 million budget was inadequate and unacceptable. He commented that each department’s budget details need to be made available to the public.
Mr. Vance Jochim, local blog writer from Tavares, remarked he would like to see a peer study of the Constitutional Officers spending by category or department in comparison to other peer departments. He commented that he felt there should be detailed budgets published on web pages and that each department should prepare information and have performance audits by the Inspector General. He commented that there is no spending analysis for the Sheriff’s Department to justify an almost $60 million budget request.
Ms. Gail Boettger of Howey-in-the-Hills commented that the removal of the prayer offended her. She noted that citizens vote for the Board to represent them and trust them to do their job. She related that over the years her property taxes had gone from $700 to as high as $6,000. She commented that she would like the Board to look at what everyone is asking for in their budgets.
Mr. Gerry Suarez of Eustis commented there needs to be more transparency from the Constitutional Officers. He noted that for the last five years everyone has been investing in the recovery of the economy, commenting that they need to stay the line and keep investing in the community recovery and there will be continued growth and construction. He commented that the Board should consider as many non-recurring sources of revenue to balance the budget as possible.
Mr. Greg Gensheimer of Montverde explained he was present on behalf of Green Mountain Scenic Byway, commenting on Parks & Trails and enhanced operation and maintenance budget. He noted that ecotourism is a budding industry bringing revenue into the County. He reported he attended a Parks & Trails Lake County/Orange County meeting, commenting that other areas are trying to pull recreational dollars towards their communities and also into Orange County. He requested that the Board enhance the budget so that the parks and trails can remain open and could be staffed appropriately.
Mr. Gary Salzman of Leesburg, President of PEAR Association, a volunteer group working with the County at PEAR Park, commented he was present to endorse the budget for Parks & Trails. He noted that over $7,000 of their own funds have been spent this year at PEAR Park on capital projects.
Mr. Leonard Wheeler, handicap advocate, commented as to issues with sinkholes, water availability issues and foreclosure problems in the county. He noted the County needs more sources of revenue suggesting County land being brokered with Duke Energy that would produce revenue and jobs.
Mr. Christopher Barrett of Clermont commented he was relatively new to Lake County since 2001 and has seen an influx in the population in that area. He remarked that he was there to support the Park system.
Commr. Conner closed the public input session.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 12:00 noon that there would be a 30-minute recess.
Mr. Neil Kelly, Clerk of the Court, commented that the issues with the State Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office impact the Clerk’s Office in that the City of Tavares has an option to purchase the Lake County Public Records Center beginning in October. He noted that they would like to stay in that particular building, but pointed out if that was not possible, the best option they had looked at was moving into the Public Defender’s Office, and if they did not relocate, then that would prevent the move. He wanted to mention the effect that would have on the Clerk’s Office if in fact they do not relocate.
Commr. Conner stated he was going to ask each Commissioner individually where they wanted to be in terms of the millage rates and what projects they wanted to delay or how they wanted to get the millage rates reduced. He explained they would then have a discussion on how to accomplish the changes and start having motions so that everything is considered, noting this is the hardest responsibility the Board has had in a very long time.
Commr. Sullivan thanked the staff for putting together the proposals. He commented that the best way to go would be the lowest millage rate increase that could be decided upon based on economic impact at a time when they are trying to grow the economy. He also related that he believes the statutory requirements need to be met, stating he did not want to delay the Courthouse project. He related that he does not believe that new parks and trails need to be added at this time because they are not essential services. He commented that he liked option 3 that was presented, but that they needed to take care of employees, stating that the employees have taken cuts in pay, staff has been reduced and the turnover rate is greater with people performing double duties, which is unhealthy for maintaining a quality staff. He specified that he would delay or reduce the Wolf Branch Stormwater Project and agreed with the transfer from Solid Waste to the General Fund, stating that any relief off the General Fund would be key to reducing the budget. He stated that economic development still needs to be the focus, and he would not recommend any cuts in that regard, adding that until the tax mix is more balanced between homeowners and commercial properties, they are not going to be able to have a structurally balanced budget that meets the requirements of what they have to do versus what they would like to do. He commented that he believed they would have to phase in the Courthouse project.
Commr. Conner stated in summary that Commr. Sullivan would like to phase in the Courthouse project; place no new money in Parks & Trails, which would include Woodlea, East Lake, Miracle Field and South Lake Park; delay the Wolf Branch Stormwater Project and transfer the $1.3 million from Solid Waste.
Mr. Heath stated that to get down to option 3 of their proposed budget options, they would need to cut $8.14 million, which would get them down to 0.52 mil. He clarified the total of Commr. Sullivan’s cuts would be right at $7 million about $1 million short.
Commr. Sullivan stated he really was between option 2 and 3, but wanted to give concrete examples of where he thought cuts could be made. He also stated that taking money out of reserves is not an option he would choose to do in the long term, relaying that a concern he has is that the Medicaid bill went from $2.2 million to $4.3 in two years, and when state mandates come down, without an adequate reserve, they are setting themselves up for failure. He also noted that he is concerned about the bond rate.
Commr. Cadwell commented that the three options available to them today use the same philosophy as in the past that has gotten them in the current state. He noted he is not ready to abandon the Parks & Trails, but he felt the Courthouse needs to be completed. He stated that the Solid Waste Fund is the only leverage down the road for someone else other than them. He related that he is willing to listen to what everyone has to say, but using non-recurring revenue is not the choice to shore up the budget shortfall. He noted that the Commission is responsible for the 300,000 residents of the County, and they have to be a body that is representative of those people.
Commr. Campione stated she appreciated the County Manager’s work on the budget. She asked Mr. Koontz to explain the $300,000 change in regard to judicial support.
Mr. Koontz explained that the Judicial Support part of the budget is about $2.7 to $3 million and mostly consists of the maintenance and upkeep of the new Courthouse as well as employee raises and offered to get specifics for the Commissioner.
Commr. Campione replied that she would like to have that information to have a comparison as to when the new Courthouse was opened to assess the addition of new costs associated with the new building.
Mr. Koontz replied that a lot of it was Article 5 costs and the technology costs that were paid for with the Judicial Support and stated he would get Commr. Campione a breakdown of that.
Commr. Conner commented that the three options presented by the staff were not the only options and that if there were other options anyone wanted to present those would also be considered.
Commr. Campione related she had put together another option available for balancing the budget and brought a copy for each commissioner. She noted that the Public Lands millage can be reduced because that was set at a rate to pay debt service on the public land bond issue. She stated she thought it would be a legitimate use of those funds towards the countywide park system operation. She stated because the tax roll expanded there was an increase in the Public Lands Fund that was not necessarily needed to pay debt service.
Commr. Conner commented he thought the use of that money was to pay the debt on the park property and inquired if there was additional money available.
Mr. Koontz explained that with the increase in taxable values, it would have generated more than was needed for principal and interest, stating that is why the millage was going from 0.19 to 0.16 reducing the revenue by about $400,000.
Commr. Campione stated she felt this was a logical way to fund the Parks system and that she was not contrary to the MSTU that was brought up in the budget presentation.
Commr. Conner noted he wanted to give serious and considerable thought to what Commr. Campione stated. He inquired that if the millage rate only raises the debt service and interest, how there is extra money to transfer now.
Commr. Campione replied that every year the debt service and payments are calculated, and there are excess funds when the set millage rate brings in more money than needed to pay the debt service.
Commr. Conner asked Mr. Koontz if there were surplus funds in the Public Lands fund other than interest and principal.
Mr. Koontz replied that a small reserve is kept in the event there are any fluctuations in the values of about $500,000. He stated he felt Commr. Campione wanted to take the 0.03 decrease in the millage to the Public Lands Fund and add it to the General Fund, making it 4.76 instead of 4.73.
Commr. Campione agreed with Mr. Koontz and elaborated that she was not suggesting taking the fund to be used for park maintenance, but rather take the millage and move it to the General Fund. She commented that there has been a reoccurring loss in the Solid Waste program that needs to be addressed immediately. She pointed out there may be an opportunity to work with Covanta to generate some revenue at the landfill. She related that the staff recommendations and proposals show there are funds that can be moved over. She stated that she felt Judicial costs needed to be looked at closer and commented that she felt the new tunnel system at the Courthouse could be opened at a later date to save the $260,000 a year operational cost. She related additional money was budgeted for Animal Services and suggested decreasing that to just address the probation officers. She pointed out her proposal was to keep the millage rate the same, keep the funding levels the same, use the penny sales tax to pay debt service on the Judicial Center and then work with the constitutional officers in dispersing the remaining funds. She commented that less focus needed to be on quality of life and more on a healthy economy giving the taxpayers some relief. She also related she is questioning the millage increase to the Ambulance MSTU in light of the fact that there has been a significant increase in revenue.
Commr. Conner stated he agreed with Commr. Campione in regards to the EMS budget, stating new information had been presented at the Lake EMS Board meeting. He inquired if Commr. Campione wanted to defer the Judicial Center project.
Commr. Campione commented that she would suggest paint, carpet and new light fixtures in regards to the renovation relating she did not feel an entire renovation was necessary. She related she felt the Board was making a mistake in thinking that the millage increase was not going to have a substantial negative effect on the economy.
Commr. Conner inquired as to Commr. Campione’s view on the Sheriff’s budget.
Commr. Campione replied that as Chairman, Commr. Conner needed to speak with the Sheriff about his budget and see if there were possibilities in reducing it in any way.
Commr. Conner stated he had spoken with the Sheriff, who indicated he could not reduce his budget. He also commented that he did not understand what kind of impact there would be to the Sheriff’s budget if there was not a millage increase.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman called for a 5 minute recess at 1:30 P.M.
Commr. Campione passed out a second proposal that included cutting the tentative millage rate by 75 percent for a 4 percent net increase and a plan that would work to fund the Sheriff’s budget, the constitutional officer’s budgets, and the County salary increases.
Commr. Parks remarked that he was being opened-minded to everything that was discussed. He noted that they had spent out of the reserves for years, and this was now a day of reckoning, noting that the economic issues of the community were putting a heavy burden on the residential taxpayer. He commented that it is a balancing act for economic development including schools and quality of life. He stated that Lake County would still have the lowest tax rate excluding Sumter County, even if they went with the full 18 percent increase. He remarked that the issues they are dealing with are regarding mostly existing projects, some of which were approved six to eight years ago and that they still have not been finished. He commented that most of the options available to them today entailed moving money around and deferring projects. He related his proposal is to defer the level 3 and 4 Courthouse project of $5 million or take it off the list, which would allow $5.74 million payment back into debt service. He commented he also is interested in the $300,000 transfer from Solid Waste as well, which is equivalent to Option 2.
Commr. Conner stated he wanted to make sure that every commissioner got the letter from Judge Briggs. He noted that the first thing he would be willing to cut is the Stormwater Project. He related he would be willing to phase the Judicial Center, but not defer it because they are paying a lot of money out in leases, and the City of Tavares is on the verge of buying the Records Center. He commented that the decision they were facing was not an easy one and that for years reserves were used and now that option was not available. He related that this was a healthy debate, and it came down to what services and level of services did they want to provide. He related that parks enhance quality of life for many people, and a common ground needed to be found. He noted he is willing to go along with the Solid Waste transfers suggested by Commr. Campione and deferring the South Lake Park to use the funds to help pay down the debt service. He commented that the business incentive money for job creation is also money that is available as an option for more funds, noting that in the past the money was not needed by the businesses as they were going to expand or hire regardless of receiving the funds.
Commr. Campione commented that she appreciated that option being put on the table.
Commr. Conner reported he did talk to the Sheriff twice and discussed cutting his budget, and the Sheriff told him he had cut his budget three years in a row and was losing deputies to cities in Lake County. He noted that this was not acceptable, and that he supported the Sheriff’s budget very strongly. He stated that crime is down in Lake County. He commented that parks attract businesses as well. He noted that they could solve the problem by taking money from non-reoccurring revenue or reoccurring revenue, but that conservative thought does not support spending more money than is coming in.
Commr. Sullivan related he had laid out his proposal of items he can support and what he thinks the economy can withstand, but he also noted that they would not be able to get to a zero tax increase, so he was would choose option 3 with some adjustments, which he had laid out specifically.
Commr. Cadwell stated that he felt the employees and the constitutional employees deserve a raise after many years and after taking pay cuts and the cost of living going up. He noted quality of life helps keep the crime rate down without hiring more police officers. He commented that he did not think phasing in the Courthouse was the prudent thing to do, but it would be somewhere to start if that was a compromise. He reported the long-range effect of not taking care of the Solid Waste system is going to become a reoccurring problem, but it would be a place he would consider looking to compromise. He commented that the Wolf Branch project affects the aquifer in Lake County.
Commr. Campione stated Commr. Cadwell raised a good point about the Wolf Branch project noting she would be more inclined to leave that intact, but still wants a proposal that does not propose a millage increase. She commented that she disagreed with the comment that not raising taxes for many years was the reason for the predicament they are in now, stating she believes the reason the economy is recovering in Lake County is because they have held firm in the position not to raise taxes. She related no one is suggesting they cut the level of services or close any amenities that are already open. She suggested that the sales tax renewal is a great opportunity to outline projects that they would like to do and present it to the public to show them the projects that could be done. She related the number one issue that goes to quality of life is affordability and people’s own wellbeing. She commented that with the new Solid Waste Program going into effect, she does not support closing the drop-off centers, stating people will need more places to drop off extra trash. She remarked there needed to be a serious examination of the Solid Waste Program to look at the possibility of getting into a contractual relationship to make some revenue off of the landfill and to look at the assessment to take care of the landfill. She commented that she would not support any of the options presented today because she does not support increasing the millage rate.
Commr. Parks commented that as he understood it, part of the transfer was to make up a $1.1 million maintenance deficit in the Park system over two years and that technically they would not be shutting down parks, but commented that the existing parks needed to be taken care of. He related that the cost of maintaining the parks becomes more expensive the longer it is put off. He related that he supports the $300,000 transfer in regards to the Solid Waste program, but he does not support raising the assessment for landfill operations. He noted the largest portion of his proposal is to defer the level 3 and 4 Judicial Center project until if and when the penny sales tax is approved. He commented he does not support deferring the Wolf Branch Stormwater Project.
Commr. Conner asked Mr. Heath what the figure would be for this year’s budget if they phase in the Courthouse project.
Mr. Heath replied that $2.6 million would be the figure to budget.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the motion to phase in the Judicial Center project with Commr. Parks and Commr. Campione voting no.
Commr. Conner commented the next issue was no new parks and trails, which would defer South Lake Park, Woodlea Field, Miracle Field and East Lake.
Commr. Sullivan stated that they were talking about cutting new parks, not funds for existing parks.
Mr. Heath related they would need to defer $1.29 at South Lake Park and $1.7 million for the Commissioner sponsored parks.
Commr. Sullivan stated that he felt it was the right thing to do based on raising taxes and balancing the budget.
Commr. Cadwell wanted the motion clarified as to what projects this motion included.
Mr. Heath responded that the South Lake Park at $1.29 million, Lake Idamere Miracle Field project, the lights at Woodlea Field, the 40-acre acquisition for East Lake, and $500,000 to do the master plan and the fencing for South Lake would be the projects cut from the budget.
Commr. Parks noted that although he seconded the motion he would be voting against it, relating the constituents he represents want the South Lake Park.
Commr. Campione remarked that it was possible that there would be money left over from the sales tax and that those funds could then be go back to the South Lake Park project.
Commr. Conner pointed out that he was not going to vote for the motion. He commented that $200,000 of the funds for the Miracle Field project and the funds for the Woodlea Field lights were matched.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and failed by a vote of 2-3, the Board denied the motion to cut new park funding, with Commr. Conner, Commr. Parks and Commr. Cadwell voting no.
Commr. Conner related that the next item was the $1.3 million transfer of Solid Waste funds.
Commr. Parks asked Mr. Heath to clarify the funds included in the proposed transfer.
Mr. Heath reported they included $1 million out of the Solid Waste Closure Fund and eliminating the General Fund Transfer of $300,000.
Commr. Cadwell commented that only County residents would bear the brunt of all the Solid Waste costs for the transfer stations and for everything else the city residents are able to utilize. He remarked that the motion included the $1 million that was put aside in reserves for closure of landfills and that it also included the $300,000 transfer, noting that the $300,000 was not savings, but coming out of the General Fund that helped pay the cost of the transfer stations, hazardous waste programs and all the options offered to city and County residents.
Commr. Campione inquired as to the amount of funds left in the Solid Waste Reserve after the transfer.
Mr. Koontz commented that based on the statement of changes the Closure Fund would have about $300,000 and the Solid Waste Operation Fund would have a little less than $100,000.
Mr. Heath related that at the next meeting they were going to have a discussion on how to utilize the remaining capacity in an attempt to try to replenish this fund.
Commr. Parks inquired whether a reserve could be built on the assessment side of the Solid Waste Program.
Mr. Koontz replied that building a reserve on the assessment side would not be something to look at, but that they needed more information in regards to actual tonnage and recycling rates.
Commr. Sullivan remarked that if the landfill was kept open, it would generate revenues that could be used to replenish the Solid Waste Fund.
Mr. Koontz commented that all these issues can be brought back to the Board for more discussion on the landfill.
Commr. Parks pointed out there is some potential savings from the recycling side.
Mr. Koontz related that it is hard to project the amount of savings at this point, but they do expect to see some savings depending on what the recycle rates are.
Commr. Conner questioned whether there were any long or short term ramifications of making this transfer.
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, replied that there is an expenditure of keeping the landfill open year after year, noting that there needed to be incoming revenue to cover that, and that right now and historically, because of all the other revenue sources, they have not been bringing the garbage into that particular site to generate enough to cover costs. He noted that a second challenge would be bringing enough revenue back into the fund to cover the $1.3 million.
Commr. Parks commented that it would take quite a large amount of garbage to bring enough revenue to cover the $1.3 million.
Mr. Stivender related they are bringing 10,000 tons a year outside of what is going to Covanta and that they would need to be closer to 30,000 tons a year to make this work because the operating cost has to be there for the flow of garbage. He also related that a price needs to be set to get other companies to dump their waste at their landfill.
Commr. Conner inquired whether the County would be more exposed than necessary by moving the $1.3 million.
Mr. Heath commented that it was going to be an issue of the Closure Fund, noting that they will need to reconcile the $1 million if the Board decides to close the landfill in the future.
Commr. Campione pointed out that Covanta is an option with the ash and them leasing and operating it themselves.
Mr. Heath replied that they were looking at utilizing the rest of the 6-acre cell to present at the September 9th presentation and the possibility of selling the landfill which will be discussed in November.
Commr. Conner remarked that he would most likely support this, but wanted to know if it was an accurate statement to say they were taking non-recurring revenue to help pay for reoccurring expenses.
Mr. Heath replied that the answer was “yes” at this time, but they were going to try to bring a plan back to the Board that would minimize that.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and failed by a vote of 2-3, the Board denied the motion to transfer the $1 million out of the Solid Waste Closure Fund into the General Fund and eliminate the General Fund Transfer of $300,000 with Commr. Parks, Commr. Conner and Commr. Cadwell voting no.
Commr. Campione stated she would like to make a motion to decrease the millage in Public Lands and make that up in the General Fund millage.
Commr. Conner asked for further explanation as to the motion.
Commr. Sullivan explained that the Public Lands millage would be reduced by 0.3, but they would move the 0.3 over to the General Fund millage rate, making it go up.
Mr. Koontz stated there is no net increase in the millage rates by moving the 0.3 from one place to another.
Commr. Campione remarked that this did not need to be voted on since it was already on a proposal and she would withdraw the motion.
Commr. Campione remarked that the prior motion failed in regards to the transfer of $1.3 million, and she would like to take $500,000 from the Solid Waste reserve for the Astatula Fuel Remediation instead of taking it from the General Fund.
Mr. Koontz explained that the funds would be moved from Solid Waste to the General Fund to pay for the Astatula Fuel Remediation.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the motion to take $500,000 out of Solid Waste reserve for the Astatula Fuel Remediation.
Commr. Campione made a motion to terminate the funding of the Judicial Center inmate tunnel in the upcoming year to save $260,000.
Commr. Parks asked for clarification on how the process would work at the Courthouse if the tunnel was shut down.
Mr. Koontz replied that the criminal cases would stay in the old wing of the Courthouse.
Commr. Campione suggested that this project could be put off for a year and discussed for the next budget cycle.
Mr. Koontz related that the total operational cost of the tunnel is $264,865.00, which is part of the Sheriff’s budget.
Commr. Cadwell stated he did not plan on supporting the motion.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and failed by a vote of 1-4, the Board denied the motion to terminate the funding of the Judicial Center inmate tunnel in the upcoming year to save $264,865.00 with Commr. Parks, Commr. Conner, Commr. Sullivan and Commr. Cadwell voting no.
Commr. Parks made a motion that the 3rd and 4th floor Judicial Center projects be deferred until after and if the penny sales tax is approved.
Commr. Campione commented that if there is any money left over in the penny sales tax that can be used, it should be put towards the renovation for cosmetic things such as new carpet and paint.
Commr. Parks remarked that he was in agreement with Commr. Campione in regards to the penny sales tax funds being used for the cosmetic changes.
Commr. Conner remarked that in his opinion, the County Commission was in violation of Chapter 29 or will be shortly in regards to the Public Defender’s Office and that a strong argument could be made that they are in violation of Chapter 29 with regard to the State Attorney’s quarters as well. He related that he had a concern of paying $180,000 a year for the Public Works lease in Eustis, and the City of Tavares is ready to purchase the Records Center.
Commr. Campione commented that she would support phasing the Judicial Center, but does not change her position on paying the maximum amount of debt service.
Commr. Parks remarked that if the project is phased, it is going to affect other projects such as the Stormwater Project or some of the parks.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and failed by a vote of 2-3, the Board denied the motion that the 3rd and 4th floor Judicial Center projects be deferred until after and if the penny sales tax is approved, with Commr. Cadwell, Commr. Conner and Commissioner Sullivan voting no.
Commr. Conner requested a motion on removing the Stormwater Project from the budget.
Commr. Cadwell inquired if the was motion included the $1.1 million Parks transfer.
Mr. Heath replied that it would postpone Wolf Branch indefinitely, and they would use $1 million a year to offset the $1.1 million from the General Fund into Parks.
Mr. Koontz elaborated that it would be deleting the transfer to Parks of $1.1 million and basically funding Parks from the Stormwater Reserves noting that they would be using MSTU money to fund Parks instead of the General Fund.
Commr. Conner noted this would be a cancellation of a project, noting that the money would be used for Parks.
Mr. Koontz explained that the Parks budget would essentially be reduced by $100,000. He also noted they would have $1 million in 2015 and $1 million in 2016 for Parks if this project was delayed, and they would transfer $1.1 million to transfer out of the General Fund.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and failed by a vote of 3-2, the Board denied the motion to take the Stormwater Project out of the budget with Commr. Campione, Commr. Parks and Commr. Cadwell voting no.
Commr. Conner requested a motion on taking the $400,000 out for the business incentive.
Commr. Parks wanted clarification that this is $400,000 in incentives for job creation for a company coming into Lake County which proves that have provided a certain amount of jobs in order to receive those funds.
Commr. Cadwell stated that that was true if they continued that particular program, adding that he had hoped they would leave those funds alone. He added although that while he agreed that the job investment program was not what he hoped it would be, he would prefer that the money be given out in regards to improved infrastructure that would still be there if the company decided to leave the next day.
Commr. Campione related that one idea they had talked about was helping with workforce training such as Lake Tech and giving some support there. She commented that in her proposal she would be keeping those funds the same as it is a current expenditure and not something she would change.
Commr. Cadwell inquired if the incentive fund has always come from the General Fund.
Mr. Koontz replied that the funds do come from the General Fund for this particular program.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the motion to take out the $400,000 for the Business Incentive Program with Commr. Cadwell voting no.
Commr. Conner requested a motion to re-budget the $1.29 million for South Lake Park, noting that they are reserving the right to re-address this issue.
Mr. Heath related that based on his notes, this issue was part of Commr. Sullivan’s motion to delete South Lake.
Commr. Conner stated that Commr. Sullivan’s motion failed so this issue was being taken separately and inquired as to where the $1.29 would be allocated.
Mr. Heath stated it was to go to debt service to relieve the General Fund.
Commr. Cadwell inquired if this $1.29 million was being separated out because it was not tied to the other park projects that were in the original motion.
Commr. Campione commented that this decision had already been decided in the prior motion.
Commr. Parks stated the first motion failed and that this motion was something less than the prior motion.
Commr. Cadwell wanted clarification that the motion was to defer the South Lake Park.
Commr. Campione stated that at this time it would be deferred until the renewal of the sales tax.
Commr. Conner stated that was incorrect and that the motion is to delay the South Lake Park noting that the public could come out on September 9th and let them know if they want the park.
Commr. Parks noted that the citizens do want the park.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the motion to delete the $1.29 million allocated for South Lake Park with Commr. Cadwell and Commr. Parks voting no.
Commr. Conner requested a motion that they approve the Sheriff’s budget request of $3.6 million.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the Sheriff’s budget request of $3.6 million with Commr. Campione and Commr. Sullivan voting no.
Mr. Heath commented that if they could take a recess, he could compile all of this information and have a presentation ready for the Board.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 3:00 p.m. that there would be a 20-minute recess.
Mr. Heath presented two slides that illustrated the changes the Board made during this meeting that included phasing the Courthouse project of $2.6 million, paying the $500,000 for fuel remediation out of the Solid Waste Fund, eliminating the $400,000 in business incentives, and to eliminate the South Lake Park from the sales tax at $1.29 million to pay for debt service, with a total reduction in the budget of $4.79 million leaving a millage rate of 0.7642 at a 12.47 percent increase. He related that the original millage rate increase was set at 1.0940 and was now reduced to 0.7642.
Commr. Conner stated they were going to do another round of discussion.
Commr. Sullivan commented that he did not think they could get the rate much lower, but that he still believed there were things that could be done.
Commr. Conner inquired of Mr. Heath where they would be if they took the Stormwater Project out.
Mr. Heath replied that it would get them down to 0.667 – 0.665.
Mr. Koontz stated that it would add $1.1 million to the $4.79 million bringing it to $5.8 million dollars in changes and would bring the millage rate to slightly below 0.70.
Mr. Heath explained that it would be delaying the Wolf Branch Stormwater Project and using those funds to replace the General Fund transfer to Parks.
Commr. Campione noted they would be moving the funds from one place to another.
Mr. Heath related that the new cumulative millage increase would be 0.6929 and would be an 11.31 percent increase.
Commr. Conner noted that that figure was a lot less than the original 18 percent.
Commr. Parks commented that he would support the changes they have already made and agreed to support this motion noting that some of the line items on the presentation were subject to change, noting there may be an outcry for the South Lake Park.
Commr. Cadwell inquired if the motion was to re-address the Wolf Branch Stormwater Project.
Commr. Conner replied it was not to re-address it, but to move the money.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the motion to delay the Wolf Branch Stormwater Project and move the funds with Commr. Campione and Commr. Cadwell voting no.
Mr. Heath commented that he needed a motion from the Board to direct him to amend the budget to be able to present it on September 9th in accordance with what has been done in the meeting.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, noted that the budget could not be changed at this meeting, but that the motion needed to direct Mr. Heath to prepare the statement of changes reflecting the changes made in the meeting. He commented that the first item for adoption on September 9th is the adoption of the millage, and then the budget is presented and can be amended from the one in July. He related that the County Manager needed direction to prepare the statement of changes and do the work necessary to be able to provide it to the Board at the meeting for approval, noting that the Board is not bound to approve it, and could amend the budget at that meeting in any way they chose to.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 3-2, the Board approved the motion giving the County Manager direction to prepare a statement of changes reflecting the changes made in this meeting and to amend the budget as with Commr. Campione and Commr. Cadwell voting no.
Commr. Parks commented that the Board had executed an inter-local agreement with the cities in South Lake for $25,000 to go to an Alternative Water Supply (AWS) study with the support of the legislators, and they received full funding for that project, relating there is no expenditure to the County committing to the South Lake Water Initiative. He related that they had also discussed having a person from the County assist with the project and manage the effort, noting that this was a year by year contract with the condition that the cities contribute leaving the cost to the County at $5,000. He requested that the Board begin the procurement process of hiring that person so they might be able to start as close to October 1st as possible.
Commr. Conner inquired if Commr. Parks wanted to add that to the agenda.
Mr. Heath commented that Commr. Parks and the other people from South Lake Water had come up with a budget of $300,000 to do this study and then some months ago the Board had agreed to contribute $50,000 towards that study. He related that at the same time Commr. Parks had talked about having some sort of help with the study and the Board’s consensus was the approval of $50,000 deferring discussion on this additional person until they were notified of the State’s decision. He explained when they received the $300,000 from the State he deleted the $50,000 that the Board had originally allocated from next year’s budget. He reported that Commr. Parks wanted to put $25,000 back into next year’s budget and have Mr. Heath go forward with the procurement to hire a contract person. He related that he needed a motion and vote from the Board to do this.
Mr. Minkoff stated that if this item was going to be placed into the budget, it needed to be addressed at the September 9th hearing. He noted the motion was for beginning the procurement process for hiring a contract person in advance of the public hearings, with it not coming back to the Board until after October 1st.
Mr. Heath noted it would also be in the statement of changes.
Commr. Campione stated she was confused about why this issue was being discussed now and was uncomfortable voting on it.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the motion to begin the procurement process for hiring a contract person for the South Lake Water Initiative with Commr. Campione voting no.
COMMUNITY SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE
Mr. Bill Veach gave a presentation on the transfer of Animal Services Operations to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He noted the County Commission approved this transfer last June and directed the staff to prepare the necessary interlocal agreement needed to make the transfer possible. He commented he was there to present that interlocal agreement and make the associated requested actions. He explained the interlocal agreement provides that the Sheriff will have the responsibility and authority to enforce all the related codes and laws. He reported animal control cases will utilize a Special Master process unless the Sheriff determines the case should go to County Court, and the County will provide legal services for cases heard before the Special Master. He related the Sheriff will be responsible for the operation of the shelter and will provide all personnel needed, and he will be responsible for the costs with limited exceptions. He noted in the upcoming budget year FY2015, the County will amend the Sheriff’s budget to include an additional $1.5 million to cover operational costs. He commented that the Sheriff has also requested $260,000 for new vehicles for the Animal Services fleet, noting that in the proposed budget the infrastructure sales tax has been utilized to cover $200,000 of this while the remaining $60,000 is being paid from the Animal Trust Fund. He related that the interlocal agreement also transfers responsibility of the Animal Services website and computers. He noted that the use of the $60,000 from the Animal Trust Fund to help pay for vehicles is the basis of the resolution being considered today. He noted it is planned that the Trust Fund will sunset on September 30, 2014, with the revenues being held in an account that the Sheriff can access for special needs. He explained that revenues from licensing fees, fines, adoptions and auctions will go into the County General Fund. He related each year the County will approve the fees charged by Animal Services, but the Sheriff will have the authority to temporarily adjust fees for special needs or events. He explained that the agreement states that the current Animal Services staff will be separated from the County on September 30th, and those seeking to remain on with the Sheriff have already submitted applications with the Sheriff’s Office. He explained those hired by the Sheriff will receive a payout of their existing annual leave balance from the County.
Commr. Campione related the Sheriff’s Office was going to manage the new system with licensing, and the revenues from that would be put in the General Fund and then transferred back to Animal Services to fund the budget.
On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the (1) Interlocal Agreement with Lake County Sheriff's Office to assume operation and responsibilities of the Animal Services Division and (2) Resolution No. 2014-102 for the Animal Services Trust Fund modifying the sources of funding, eligible uses of the funds to include not only spay/neuter but also veterinary services, vehicles, and other items needed for the welfare of the animals. The resolution will also sunset the Animal Services Trust Fund on September 30, 2014, and transfer any remaining funds into the general fund. There is no fiscal impact.
Commr. Sullivan commented that last year they were not in concurrency in and around Lake Minneola High School, and he still did not think the project was finished.
Mr. Jim Stivender reported the bids were coming in on the new road project this month and that they would be working on the project within a few months. He related they deferred the idea of going after new sidewalks and right-of-way in lieu of building the four lane highway with new sidewalks.
Commr. Sullivan pointed out that they are still having bussing issues and children are walking to school where there are no sidewalks. He commented that last year he agreed to pay for the bussing at $5,218.00, and his request was that same amount be considered to help the Lake County School Board for the bussing issue in and around Lake Minneola High School.
Mr. Heath reported that when Commr. Sullivan brought this to him, he felt that the Commissioner needed to give notice of this to the Board, and it could be put in the Statement of Changes for September 9th and September 23rd if it was approved.
Commr. Conner commented that he thought this was only going to be for one year.
Commr. Sullivan replied that is why he was bringing it up again, because at the time of the initial request they were moving forward with the sidewalk projects, and the problem still exists.
Commr. Campione inquired if the problem would be fixed by next year at this time.
Commr. Sullivan replied that it probably would not.
Mr. Stivender stated that the project completion date was sometime in 2016.
Commr. Parks stated he was going to vote against this, as last year it was said it was a one-time occurrence.
Commr. Cadwell stated he was not going to vote for it.
Commr. Conner related he was going to support it out of courtesy to Commr. Sullivan, even though he did not vote for it last year.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and failed by a vote of 1-4, the Board denied the motion to amend the budget on September 9th in regards to helping fund the transportation costs at Lake Minneola High School of $5,218.00 with Commr. Campione, Commr. Conner, Commr. Cadwell and Commr. Parks voting no.
reports- Commissioner sullivan – district #1
renewal of sales tax
Commr. Sullivan reported he is working with the committee on the renewal of the sales tax and that is moving forward with a meeting planned with the consultant on August 27th.
reports – Commissioner parks – district #2
Commr. Parks reported that some residents from Palisades came to him with a code issue where owners are not taking care of a golf course. He commented that if they were going to address issues such as these as well as foreclosures that are going to affect property values, they need to make some changes to code. He requested that at some point in the future they get an update from staff to present them with some solutions.
Commr. Cadwell stated he had already mentioned that the staff do that and that it has been a problem in other counties.
wellness way sector plan
He commented he would like to see where the Wellness Way Sector Plan stands as soon as possible.
Mr. Heath reported that this issue was scheduled for the second meeting in November. He related it is being vetted in the community, and he was planning on taking it to Planning & Zoning in the October/November timeframe.
Commr. Parks inquired if this schedule could be moved up and if they could get a timeframe of outstanding issues.
Commr. Conner suggested they get through the budget before addressing this issue.
Commr. Parks agreed.
boys and girls club
Commr. Parks reported the Boys and Girls Club had their annual Black & White Gala and noted that Commr. Campione and Commr. Sullivan were also present, and he appreciated their support for this organization. He commented that a lot of money was raised for this wonderful organization.
reports – Commissioner conner – chairman and district #3
Commr. Conner stated that evaluations are in and they will be handled just like they were last year. He closed by stating he was proud of the Commission and they had accomplished a lot with many cuts to the budget.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK