A REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
october 14, 2014
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m., in the Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Lake County Administration Building, Tavares, Florida. Commissioners present at the meeting were: 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, Deputy Clerk.
INVOCATION and pledge
Pastor Kyle Digiacomo from the Revolution Church gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, stated that he needed to make two changes to the agenda, and the first change was that he was pulling Tab 35 dealing with the procurement of the roundabout at CR 561 and CR 455 from the Consent Agenda and putting it on the Regular Agenda at the request of Commr. Conner so that he may have a separate vote on that. Also, he noted that they had added a Tab 46 at the request of Commr. Sullivan to recognize Beacon College.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of September 8, 2014 (Special Town Hall Meeting) as presented.
Commr. Conner expressed appreciation to the County’s employees for their efforts through the hard times over the last several years and noted that the Board would show their appreciation by voting for a three percent pay raise this year for the employees. He added that it has been especially noteworthy in the last week or so that their employees step up to do whatever was necessary.
Ms. Christina Brandolini, Human Resource Manager, presented the awards to recognize the following employees’ years of service:
Christopher Albert, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Mitchell Burgher, Firefighter/Paramedic
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Robert Campbell, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Valerie Ligi, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jonathon Longest, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Christopher Martin, Firefighter/Paramedic
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
William Perry, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Kyle Rushton, Firefighter/Paramedic
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Justin Smith, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jason Somppi, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Clinton Chapman, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Michael Compton, Firefighter/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Cindy Davis, Right-Of-Way Agent II
Public Works/Engineering Division/Right-Of-Way
Paul Doran, Chief Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities & Fleet Management/Facilities Management Division
Jason Fisher, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Thomas Garner, Firefighter/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jack Garofono, Firefighter/Paramedic (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Matthew Price, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Dominic Zawilski, Construction Inspector I
Public Resources/Parks & Trails Division
Kristopher Bush, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Lavonia Drayton, Day Custodian
Facilities & Fleet Management/Facilities Management Division
Kathy Edwards, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jeremy Hendrix, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Jeremy Searcy, Fire Lieutenant/EMT
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
Carol Boyle, Assessment Specialist
Fiscal & Administrative Services Budget Division/Assessments
Stephen LaFleur, Fire Lieutenant/EMT (not present)
Public Safety/Fire Rescue Division
retirement (presented by christian swenson)
Rose Mary Lane, Day Custodian (14 years)
Facilities & Fleet Management/Facilities Management
employee recognition (presented by bill veach)
Ken Harley, Public Transportation Division Manager
Community Services/Public Transportation Division
Cheryl Howell, Housing Services Division Manager
Community Services/Housing Services Division
citizen question and comment period
Mr. Vance Jochim, a writer of a blog about local fiscal and governmental issues, stated that he wanted to discuss the rollout of the new garbage service. He commented that a lot of the new bins were delivered without instructions or schedules, which was confusing for a lot of the residents, and he mentioned that subsequently there was a calling center set up to handle a lot of those questions. He suggested that the County manage the third-party vendors such as the one who delivered all of the trash bins to try to catch problems at the beginning of the process rather than after.
presentation of breast cancer awareness month proclamation
Commr. Parks presented Proclamation No. 2014-120 proclaiming October 2014 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to Sheriff Gary Borders and Ms. Linda McFadden, Crime Prevention Practitioner, Community Services, Sheriff’s Office, and read the proclamation aloud.
Ms. McFadden related that her mother is a 24-year survivor, and last year they donated $4,000 to We Care of Lake County.
CLERK OF COURTS’ CONSENT AGENDA
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, Items 1 through 8, as follows:
List of Warrants
Request to acknowledge receipt of list of warrants paid prior to this meeting, pursuant to Chapter 136.06 (1) of the Florida Statutes, which shall be incorporated into the Minutes as attached Exhibit A and filed in the Board Support Division of the Clerk’s Office.
Ordinance from City of Fruitland Park
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Ordinance 2014-005 from the City of Fruitland Park regarding rezoning of approximately 14.27 acres of property located north of Poinsettia Avenue and Spring Lake Road from Single Family Medium density to Planned Unit Development (PUD).
Resolution from Cascades at Groveland CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of Resolution 2014-04 from the Cascades at Groveland Community Development District identifying its Fiscal Year 2014-15 meeting schedule, which is being submitted pursuant to Chapter 190, Florida Statutes.
Budget for Village Center CDD for FY 2014-15
Request to acknowledge receipt of copy of the adopted budget for the Village Center Community Development District for the Fiscal Year 2014-15 in accordance with Chapter 190.008(2)(b)(c), along with a cover letter dated September 12, 2014 transmitting same and their Resolution 14-19 to appropriate funds and adopt their final budget.
Final Budget for Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Final Adopted Budget approved by the Board of Supervisors of the Greater Lakes/Sawgrass Bay Community Development District.
Final Budget for Cascades at Groveland CDD
Request to acknowledge receipt of Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Final Adopted Budget approved by the Board of Supervisors of the Cascades at Groveland Community Development District.
Inspector General Report – Audit of Distribution of Task Orders
Request to acknowledge receipt of Inspector General Report – BCC – 123 Audit of Distribution of Task Orders – Multiple Award Contracts.
Property Placed on Lands Available List
Request to acknowledge receipt of Property Placed on Lands Available list. Lake County has until December 4, 2014 to purchase property from the Lands Available List before it is available to the public.
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 3 through 17 as follows:
Request for approval and execution of Proclamation No. 2014-126 declaring the month of November 2014 "Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month" in Lake County, per Commissioner Campione.
Request for approval of the funding request for the Lake County School Board's Career, Adult & Community Education Driver's Education Program - Behind the Wheel Training for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. The fiscal impact is $149,008.00 (Expense - Fully funded by the Dori Slosberg Traffic Education Trust Fund.)
Request for approval to renew for a one year period the Agreement between Lake County and the Lake County School Board for continued funding to the Lake County Shared Services Network, in the amount of $25,000.00 for FY 2014-2015. Funding will be taken from the Crime Prevention Fund established by the County pursuant to Florida Statute 775.083(2). The fiscal impact is $25,000.00 (expense).
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign the contract between Lake County and the State of Florida Department of Health for operation of the Lake County Health Department. The contract is effective 10/1/14 through 9/30/15. The fiscal impact is $321,312.00 (Expense).
Request for approval and signature on the Updated Urban County Agreement between Lake County and the Town of Montverde for years 2015, 2016, and 2017. There is no fiscal impact (Fully Grant Funded).
Request for authorization to approve the funding request for LifeStream Behavioral Center, Inc. for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. The fiscal impact is $873,987.00 and is fully funded by the General Fund (Expense).
Request for approval and authorization for the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners to sign the Agreement between Lake County and We Care of Lake County, Inc. for operation of the County We Care Program effective 10/1/14 through 9/30/15. The fiscal impact is $66,975.00 (Expense).
Community Safety and Compliance
Request for approval of the Satisfaction and Release of the Code Enforcement Lien on property owned by Kelsi McPherson in Altoona (Commissioner District 5). This lien release is a partial payment towards a larger lien on multiple properties owned by Marshall Gaard et al. This release applies only to the property purchased by Mrs. McPherson. The fiscal impact is $560.00 (Revenue).
Request for approval of Amendment to Lease Agreement between Lake Square Mall Realty Management and Lake County for Sheriff's Office Space. The estimated fiscal impact is $6,175.00.
Request for approval to make tax deed applications on County held tax certificates for properties on the Property Appraiser’s roll for years 2010 through 2012. The fiscal impact is $8,050 at this time.
Request for approval and execution of a Release of Certain Real Property owned by Marshall and Betty Gaard. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of the Security Agreement with The Villages of Lake-Sumter, Inc. regarding construction of a portion of CR 466A in Fruitland Park in lieu of requiring a Performance and Payment bond or Irrevocable Letter of Credit, and authorize the County Manager to execute the agreement. The fiscal impact is unable to be determined at this time.
Request for approval of the 2015 Board of County Commission meeting dates.
Request for approval to cancel the November 4, 2014 BCC meeting due to scheduling issues.
Economic Development and Tourism
Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2014-127 proclaiming October 30th as Manufacturing Day in Lake County. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of construction of an open-sided pole barn on the property leased by the Educational Foundation of Lake County for the Lady of the Lake Renaissance Faire. There is no fiscal impact.
Facilities Development and Management
Request for approval of contract award under Request for Proposal 14-0629, Pool Manager for Utility Natural Gas, to Gas South, LLC (Atlanta, GA), and execution of all implementing documentation by the Procurement Office. The fiscal impact is indefinite in nature at this time as actual expenditures will be based on usage and the significantly lower unit pricing associated with the new contract. The estimated annual fiscal impact is $100,000 (Expenditure).
Request for approval to award contract 14-0443, Moving Services, to Graebel Movers (Orlando) and Commercial Works (Orlando); and authorize Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The fiscal impact is $32,365 Estimate (Expenditure).
Fiscal and Administrative Services
Request for approval of Direct Pay (Check Request) from State Attorney's Office for Early Intervention Case Resolution Program. The fiscal impact is $87,840.00 (Fiscal Year 2014).
Request for approval of check request for payment of Florida Association of Counties membership dues for Fiscal Year 2015. The fiscal impact is $27,773.00.
Request for approval of request from the Sheriff's Office for reimbursement from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, pursuant to F.S. 932.7055. The fiscal impact is $34,075.34 for Fiscal Year 2014.
Request for approval of Resolution No. 2014-128 to initiate the process pursuant to Section 171.203 F.S. for negotiating an Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement for the City of Mount Dora. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of the Settlement Agreement between Clermont Motor Sales, LLC and Lake County. The County will pay half of the Special Master's fees. The fiscal impact is $150 (Expenditure).
Request for approval of a three percent increase (3%) to the maximum of the pay range for each of the current job classifications in the Lake County Classification and Pay Plan. There is no fiscal impact.
Request for approval of award of contract 14-0207 for construction of a bird watching blind at PEAR Park to Wagner 3 Ventures (Leesburg, FL). The fiscal impact is $185,000 (Expenditure).
Request for approval and signature of the "Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Land and Water Conservation Fund FY 2013 - 2014 Project Agreement - Development" for the construction of a Miracle League Field at Lake Idamere Park. Request approval and signature of Resolution No. 2014-129 for Unanticipated Revenue (URR) and provide for the appropriation of funds in the amount of $200,000. Request approval for County Manager to sign any subsequent grant documents as necessary. The fiscal impact is $200,000 (Revenue/Expenditure). Commission District 3.
Request for approval to award contract 15-0402 for Bush Hogging, Mowing and Related Services for South Lake Regional Park to Infinity Landscape Management (Clermont), and authorize Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation. The annual fiscal impact is estimated at $35,550 for the first year of performance and $32,600 for subsequent option periods. Commission District 1.
Request for approval of CenturyLink Agreement for 2013 E911 State Grant Program: 1) approve and sign agreement for approved grant for enhancements to the Lake County E911 Services/System; 2) authorize Procurement to sign and process any subsequent related contracts, grant documents, purchase orders, or other implementing actions as needed to receive and expend the funds; and 3) authorize any budget transfers needed to complete work within the total approved. Funds are budgeted in the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Proposed Budget. The fiscal impact is $353,252.33 (Revenue), and $490,972.03 (Expense).
Request for approval and acceptance of the attached list of public right of way deeds that have been secured in conjunction with roadway and / or stormwater projects. There is no fiscal impact. Commission Districts 2, 3, 4 & 5.
Request for approval of the attached sixth amendment further extending and funding contract 07-0113 with CB&I (formerly Shaw) Environmental for completion of current contracted support functions associated with the Astatula fuel remediation project. The fiscal impact is $169,711 (Expenditure).
Request for approval for the County to enter into the interlocal agreement with the City of Umatilla to cost share the phase II construction of the Lake Yale Drainage Basin Priority #4 project. The fiscal impact is $179,624.00 (Expenditure). Commission District 5.
Request for approval to award an operating lease for one (1) articulated wheel loader with landfill package for a five (5) year term with Highland Tractor Company (Ocala, FL) for use by the Solid Waste Division of Public Works. The fiscal impact is $197,562.60 (5 year lease term – Expenditure).
award of cr 561 and cr 455 intersection improvement project
Commr. Campione explained that she wanted to reiterate her position for continuing to support the roundabout project for the intersection of CR 561 and CR 455, because she believed this was a good example of how they were able to seek funding for local projects utilizing gas tax money that came back to the County from the state and federal government as opposed to putting a bigger burden locally on their residents. She also commented that this was a good example of utilizing those funds wisely to take care of a problem at that location and to hopefully make it a lot safer for people traveling in Lake County.
Commr. Conner commented that he has been against this project from the beginning. He added that he thinks traffic studies have shown that a roundabout is not warranted there, and he does not think that a roundabout is the right solution. He indicated that he would not support the $1.2 million for this project, since he believes the money could be spent better elsewhere.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board authorized the award of the CR-561 and CR-455 Intersection Improvement Project No. 2014-10, Bid No. 14-0029, FPN #429606-1-58-01, to J. Malever Construction Company in the amount of $1,239,771.10, and to encumber and expend funds in the amount of $1,239,771.10 from the Federal/State Grants Fund for the CR-561 and CR-455 LAP project. The fiscal impact is $1,239,771.10 (100% grant funded).
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
COUNTY MANAGER’S DEPARTMENTAL BUSINESS
community safety and compliance
litter and beautification programs
Mr. Brian Sheahan, Director of Community Safety and Compliance, related that he would discuss the litter and beautification programs that the Board brought up at a previous Board meeting, noting that they would review the current removal policies and additional programs that could be added to the County, as well as current programs, past efforts, the Keep Florida Beautiful Program, and requested actions. He explained that the legal authority for litter control is provided by Florida Statutes 386 and 403, which cover litter on public property enforced through law enforcement agencies and nuisance abatement on private property enforced through Code Enforcement. He elaborated that F.S. 409 provides for fines of $100 for litter that is less than 15 pounds, with a 15 to 500-pound noncommercial violation resulting in a first degree misdemeanor charge, 3 points on a driver’s license if a vehicle was used, and community service. He added that a major violation consisting of any hazardous or commercial waste disposal will result in a 3rd degree felony, a requirement for restoration and removal of the waste, and the vehicle subject to forfeiture.
Mr. Sheahan discussed some of the current programs that are used by the County, including the Adopt a Road Volunteer Program administered through the Public Works Department, which currently has 55 volunteer groups and businesses who adopt and clean about 109 miles of roads throughout the county about four times a year, and he noted that those volunteers picked up about 47 tons of litter and debris in 2013. He related that the Service Contract is a value-added service to the mowing contract which picked up 34 tons of litter in the right of ways at an estimated cost of $79,000 in 2013 before they were mowed, and he opined that this was a very successful program which resolved a lot of issues of the mowers spreading cut-up litter all over the road. He explained that Road Operations also does an on-call or “as-needed” response to calls from residents, which is also assisted by Community Service workers in cooperation with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and this program resulted in 57 tons of litter being removed from the right of way in 2013. He reported that Code Enforcement responded to 72 cases last year regarding nuisance abatement such as abandoned vehicles and appliances through the special master process, and he pointed out that this was a complaint driven process. He listed some of the past efforts such as Community Coordination with a dedicated staff member, organized community cleanups, recycling and education, public outreach, proactive code enforcement, and illegal sign removal. He related that he contacted the Keep Florida Beautiful program to request that they give a presentation before the Board.
Mr. Larry Weber, President of Keep Florida Beautiful, mentioned that they were part of the Keep America Beautiful program, which has over 1,200 affiliates and partners nationwide, 40 of which are in Florida, and was the nation’s largest volunteer-based and community action and education organization. He explained that their organization strived to create clean, beautiful public places, reduce waste, increase recycling, generate a positive impact on the local economy, and inspire generations of environmental stewards. He emphasized that they started engaging individuals in the grade schools through programs to teach children early to take greater responsibility for improving their community environment. He commented that the Keep America Beautiful programs and its affiliates have a proven record of changing behaviors of littering and creating and sustaining positive behaviors related to recycling, waste reduction, and beautification, as well as changing people’s attitudes about littering. He pointed out that more people will want to come to, live in, and locate their businesses in Lake County if it is nice, clean, pretty, and free from debris.
Mr. Weber described the process that their organization uses to change attitudes and behaviors, including getting the facts, involving people, developing a plan, focusing on results, and providing positive reinforcement, and he mentioned that pressure points for change are education, enforcements, resources, tools, ordinances, and policies. He listed their various supporters, which included large corporations such as McDonalds, Glad, Pepsi, and Coca Cola, as well as governmental agencies. He related that one benefit of becoming an affiliate of Keep Florida Beautiful was the monetary savings, since the return on each dollar invested would be about $34 in community benefits, reduced cleanup costs, and donated goods and services. He added that over 7 million volunteers nationwide get involved in the Keep America Beautiful process, and there were 300,000 to 700,000 volunteers a year in Florida. He pointed out that there was $25 million in funding in the state budget this year for Keep Florida Beautiful which would enable each affiliate to receive $15,000 from the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund for its beautification project. He also noted that becoming an affiliate is a process, starting with an application, and then the affiliate puts together a team, which will be trained on the process and the requirements to become pre-certified, which will include looking at the present litter laws and structure. He mentioned that there was over $4.5 million in grants available to their affiliates last year for projects, and he stated that their main emphasis is on changing attitudes and behaviors at a young age for sustainable results.
Commr. Parks stated that he advocates much stricter fines for litter, including cigarette butts, with a possible fine of $500 for the first incident, especially considering that the slogan in Lake County is now “Real Florida, Real Close.”
Commr. Campione commented that although it is tough to actually catch someone “red-handed” at the time they are littering, she believes that signs notifying people of the fines for littering would send a message that they do not tolerate it in their community. She asked whether Lake County government could be the affiliate.
Mr. Weber responded that Lake County could be the affiliate and recommended that they form a 501c3 separately for Keep Lake County Beautiful, although they do not have to do that to become an affiliate, as well as to have a separate checking account for this program to be used for beautification projects with a County employee to oversee it.
Commr. Campione mentioned that the County already has the Adopt a Road programs, but this program could be utilized as a framework to re-energize that program. She commented that she was excited about the possibility of Lake County becoming participants to try to get the roadways and byways cleaned up in order to make Lake County as clean and pretty as they could possibly make it.
Mr. Sheahan discussed some other options, including some low-cost options to increase the number of public releases, promote more road adoptions, and request increased cleaning frequency for the adopted roads from the volunteers, as well as explore the implementation of a Keep Florida Beautiful affiliate program. He elaborated that the moderate cost options were to increase cleaning frequency for the road using staff resources, increase community clean ups at a cost of about $10,000 per event, and increased signage at a cost of about $100 per sign. He related that the higher cost options include more aggressive cleanup programs for right of way property using additional staff, proactive Code Enforcement for nuisance abatement, establishment of a Public Education Program using either existing or additional County employees, and increased road cleaning. He explained that the requested action is to implement low cost options and come back to the Board with a Keep Florida Beautiful application and recommendations.
Commr. Parks indicated that he would like to see much stricter fines for littering added to his motion.
Mr. Sheahan replied that stricter fines for the right of way would mean coordination with the law enforcement agency, since they have to catch the perpetrator in the act.
Commr. Campione pointed out that there was a real problem with bears getting into trashcans in the northeast part of the county, which could result in litter being spread out.
Commr. Conner responded that Mr. Heath would be addressing that issue under his reports later in the meeting.
Mr. Heath related that staff would be coming back to the Board with a recommendation regarding Keep Lake County Beautiful, and they could bring the issue regarding fines back as well after having discussions with law enforcement.
Commr. Cadwell asked for staff to bring back both options about whether they would serve as the board or a 501c3, since it might be easier to leverage money as a 501c3 for community investment, and he opined that posting a higher fine in prominent places would work to deter littering and show everyone that they were serious about that issue. He added that a slow education process would work for the residents.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the requested action to implement low cost options, including increasing public releases, promoting more road adoptions, requesting increased cleaning frequency for the adopted roads, and coming back to the Board after exploring the implementation of a Keep Florida Beautiful program; also, the Board wanted to explore stricter fines for littering in coordination with law enforcement.
2015 local and federal legislative priorities
Mr. Bill Veach, Deputy County Manager, related that he would present the proposed legislative positions for this year, including the local and federal legislative priorities. He mentioned that they sent 16 legislative requests forward last year, and this year’s proposed list contains 15 state funding and 4 federal funding issues. He recapped that as a result of their 2014 legislative positions, the Lake Tech Center received $500,000 in funding last year, over $1 million was restored to the SHIP funding, the County received $500,000 for aquatic plant management, the South Lake Water Initiative received support in the form of a $300,000 grant, and several of their transportation-related projects received support. He related that this year’s positions are in the areas of economic development, human services, the environment, and transportation. He specified that one request under economic development for 2015 is for $2.8 million to finish the renovation and expansion of Lake Technical Center, and their second request would be for $6 million to support the science lab facility at Lake Sumter State College’s south campus, which would be a public-private partnership with a goal to advance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program.
Mr. Veach stated that under human services, they have requested that the State Aid to Libraries funding, which helps libraries in all 67 Florida counties, is maintained at the current levels while working towards restoring the FY 2001 level of $33 million statewide, noting that Lake County received $212,000 in funding for FY 2013 and $271,000 in FY 2014 of the $27 million statewide. He explained that the SHIP funding is generated with the doc stamp fees which are used to provide local governments with the funding source for affordable housing, and the state redirected these funds for several years to help the state balance its budget, with only 50 percent of the funding last year being returned to the local governments. He related that this year’s request would be for full restoration of the SHIP funds to be returned to their original use, and another request would be to restore either in part or in full the State’s Housing Homeless Recovery Grant funding, which had been eliminated, resulting in a $750,000 reduction in housing assistance for homeless families in Lake County. He explained that although the Behavioral Health System program, which is mandated by Chapter 394.76, Florida Statutes, is provided by LifeStream in Lake County, there are currently 2,500 individuals in need of but not receiving behavioral health services, and they would be requesting increased funding levels this year which would have positive impacts on a broad range of citizens in Lake County. He reported that another request this year would be to provide adequate state funding for the County Health Departments as they transition to managed care under the statewide Medicaid Managed Care Program and to support preserving the Health Department’s ability to provide primary care and direct patient care services. He recapped that Lake County works with Sunrise Arc to provide trips under the Medicaid Waiver program for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, with the County being reimbursed at a rate far lower than actual cost and an expected $218,000 shortfall, and they will request for full compensation to the County for the services that are being provided.
Mr. Veach mentioned that this year’s budget contained $500,000 for Phase II construction of the Astatula Fuel Remediation, and there will also be a $2 million cost for operation and maintenance of this project over the next 10 years. He reported that their request to the state this year under environmental issues would be for $700,000 to address the construction costs this year and the first year of operation and maintenance costs. He added that the South Lake Regional Water Initiative would be their second request regarding the environment, noting that funding for the first two phases has been secured and identified, and he specified that they would request $300,000 in state funding for Phase III of a study of the existing conditions of water flow and existing infrastructure, including culverts and diversionary devices in the Clermont Chain of Lakes. He related that their first transportation request is for the legislature to keep the funding for the Transportation Disadvantaged program intact, which was a total of $746,000 with the local match, since this program has often been a target in the past. He mentioned that the 14-miles of the Wekiva Trail located in Lake County will begin in Mount Dora, extend to the Seminole County line, and will be divided into three segments for funding purposes. He reported that their request in conjunction with the City of Mount Dora is for $4.5 million for right of way acquisition for segments one and two of the Wekiva Trail project. He also indicated that other transportation requests are for $5 million for right of way and construction of Phase III which would complete the CR 466 project and $1 million towards right of way costs associated with the Citrus Grove Road (Minneola interchange) project.
Mr. Veach described their 2015 federal legislative positions in the areas of transportation, housing, and CDBG (Community Development Block Grant), including a request for $13 million for the widening from two to four lanes and new alignment of Citrus Grove Road from US 27 to the Florida Turnpike, two requests for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to maintain and increase current levels of funding for grants regarding affordable housing and transitional living programs, and a request to increase CDBG dollars from the Department of Housing & Urban Development from the current funding level of $955,000 to the 2010 level of $1.1 million. He noted that the FAC Legislative Conference will be November 19 through 21, they will present their requests to the Lake County Delegation on December 2, and the legislative session is slated to begin on March 3, 2015. He requested that the Board approve the proposed legislative positions that he has presented.
Commr. Parks asked whether he could present additions to these legislative priorities before they are presented to the Delegation on December 2 by adding them to his report at a future meeting between now and then. He elaborated that he sees an enhancement opportunity to lobby the state for gateway enhancement projects on Hwy 50, SR 27, and Hwy 441 that would include some signage, with a possible partnership with Clermont. He asked whether they should request support for the Cross Florida Trail project.
Commr. Sullivan opined that trails add to economic development, and he believes they should look at the big picture and continue to move forward with that project.
Commr. Cadwell opined that they needed the request to stay specific when they were presenting it to their local legislative delegation, without losing sight of the fact that they were supporters of the whole Florida trail.
Commr. Campione commented that they get a short time period of about three minutes to present their requests, and she suggested that the Chairman arrange either individual or group meetings with the delegates before that presentation to clarify any questions ahead of time and familiarize them with the requests. She mentioned that Commr. Sullivan is meeting with the Lake Legislative Days group regularly, which is a great opportunity to incorporate that into their game plan as they formulate their mission, especially since there is even more of a focus this year on getting started early. She also suggested that they present a limited amount of transportation funding requests at a time, so it will not look like such an overwhelming amount.
Commr. Sullivan added that they would be having a formulation meeting later this month, and he was the Transportation Chairman for the Lake Legislative Days group. He explained that he wanted to make sure this was approved before moving forward with it.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that they have generally stayed away from presenting dollar amounts in the past during meetings with the delegation by discussing the general projects without getting into the particulars of the amounts requested.
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the 2015 local and federal legislative priorities.
recess and reassembly
The Chairman announced at 10:20 a.m. that there would be a fifteen-minute recess and that afterwards he would move the agenda item regarding the traffic signal up so that it would be next on the agenda.
traffic signal on n. hancock road and oakley seaver drive
Mr. Jim Stivender, Public Works Director, recapped that he had put together a presentation to the Board in May of 2012 to discuss all of the intersections with N. Hancock Road, including looking at putting a traffic light at the Oakley Seaver intersection, monitoring the Diamond Club Drive intersection for future traffic lights and modifications, and looking into whether a traffic signal or directional median with a southbound turnaround would be needed at North Ridge Blvd. He added that they also looked at what Hancock Road would look like in the next few years at that time and whether it would be a high-access corridor with more signals or a high-capacity corridor which needed less signals. He related that they presented a safety improvement study to the Board in March of 2013, and the Board authorized them to move forward with a raised median at the Target entrance, a directional median at Legends Way which was modified to allow the Fire Department to cross over at a later date, a directional median at Lake Sumter Community College, repair to several sidewalks and ramps in the general area, and restriping of the intersection with Diamond Players Club Drive to improve and tighten the intersection for visibility purposes. He relayed a request from the City of Clermont for the Board to enter into an agreement for the construction of a traffic light at the intersection of Diamond Players Club Drive.
Mr. Stivender reported that the North Hancock road project is ready to go and would be coming back to the Board in two weeks for the award of the project. He related that they would retain the light at Old Hwy 50 east into Orange County, and there would be two new signals at CR 50 West to Minneola and Fosgate Road at Lake Minneola High School as part of that project. He added that the signal at Turkey Farms Road would most likely be removed, and the future signals would be constructed at Citrus Grove Road and two turnpike ramps, which he illustrated on the map displayed on the monitor. He related that a study was done at North Ridge Blvd. which indicated that a number of signal warrants were met and which recommended a continuation of monitoring of the intersection for possible future signal or median modifications, as well as a study of Oakley Seaver Blvd by Tindale Oliver which showed that the traffic signal warrants are met, and he noted that staff recommends approval to proceed with a traffic signal at this intersection at an estimated cost of $170,000.
Mr. Heath recapped that Mr. Stivender had previously talked to the Clermont City Council about possibly jointly funding the signal at the Diamond Players Club, and although nothing came of it at that time, a rezoning in the City of Clermont which addressed this signal resulted in the City Council recently agreeing to put $150,000 towards the cost of installing the signal at that location, since a developer would be paying for that signal. He noted that staff was on record as indicating that a traffic signal at this intersection is not warranted, but the Board has the authority to install one. He added that they estimate that currently the cost of the design and construction of the signal would be $170,000, and he recommended that the Board allow them to go forward with installing the traffic signal at Oakley Seaver Blvd. at an estimated cost of $170,000 subject to getting the lowest bid through procurement. He also asked the Board to make a policy decision regarding the offer from Clermont in terms of installing the signal at Diamond Players Club Drive at an estimated cost of $170,000, noting that they would procure and install both the Oakley Seaver and Diamond Club lights simultaneously to be synced to work together if the Board authorizes them to do that. He mentioned that Clermont has forwarded a proposed interlocal agreement to transfer $150,000 to Lake County to be used for the signal, and he asked for authorization to be able to sign that agreement and to go forward with the procurement to buy and install both of those traffic lights.
Councilman Rick Van Wagner from the City of Clermont explained that since the County did not want taxpayer money paying for the traffic signal at Diamond Players Club, they approached the developer about this project, who wanted to be a good neighbor by giving them the resources for the traffic light, which would provide for the safety of Summit Greens, and he specified that he was very concerned when the turning lane on Hwy 50 was taken away at Summit Greens. He clarified that his due diligence showed a different cost than presented that day for the light, and he expressed appreciation to the Board for helping them move forward with those projects.
Mr. Hugo Salvatore, a resident of Clermont, expressed disappointment about not being able to speak and express support at the last meeting regarding the traffic light. He commented that safety was his primary concern and noted that making a left turn at that location is a challenge, with vehicles coming over the hill at a high rate of speed that are hard to see. He stated that he has heard or seen many accidents at that intersection, and he asked the Board to consider the safety of the residents who have to drive through that intersection. He also pointed out that installation of a light would get more expensive as time went on.
Mr. Chuck Kornegay, a resident of Clermont, commented that residents in his development of College Park need that traffic light in order to turn in or out of their neighborhood, especially with the added traffic of the restaurant and Summit Green. He opined that the vehicles traveling on that road are going faster than the posted 45 mph speed limit, and he did not see why this project should not be approved since no taxpayer money is being used.
Ms. July Proli, a resident of Summit Greens in Clermont, emphasized that this issue for her has always been about safety for everyone that drives on Hancock Road north and south, and she pointed out that the road was never constructed to be a major thoroughfare, since it consists of an extremely steep hill which limits visibility, especially at dusk. She mentioned that she is acquainted with several victims of accidents at that location, and she thanked those who supported them in their fight for this light and the developers who offered to pay for it.
Commr. Parks noted that it has been a long road to resolve this issue, and he believed that this is a very reasonable solution. He mentioned that his discussions with the Clermont City Manager indicated that the developer would cover any additional cost of the light. He expressed appreciation of the efforts of Mr. Van Wagner and Ms. Proli in finding this solution, and he commented that he believed they should move forward with this request.
Commr. Sullivan commented that he believes this request makes perfect sense, and he explained that he voted against this light the first time because of funding and a concern about the big picture regarding transportation as a system; however, he believes that this solves those problems.
Commr. Cadwell pointed out for the record that he has supported this traffic light from the beginning, but he believed that there could still be some expense for the County.
Commr. Parks replied that his discussion with the City Manager indicated that the developer would pay all expenses toward that light.
Commr. Campione related that she is sure that staff will make sure that the interlocal agreement contains all the assurances that all the criteria are covered, and they were working with the developer to get that all worked out. She commented that although some of the warrants do not meet the technical warrants yet, they are able to do these in a way that serves the people of Summit Greens and College Park by having these function together, and she added that bidding these projects together would result in savings as well.
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the installation of the traffic signals at Oakley Seaver Blvd. at a cost of $170,000 and Diamond Club Drive, which would be signalized together; to authorize the County Manager to sign the interlocal agreement with the City of Clermont for installation of a traffic signal at Diamond Club Drive; and to authorize the County Manager to bid and construct signals with an estimate not to exceed the cost of $340,000.
economic development and tourism quarterly update
Mr. Robert Chandler, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, stated that this was the third quarter update on economic development and tourism activities, and he started by going over the economic indicators. He pointed out that the chart illustrating unemployment rates went back to 1990 and showed unemployment rates for both the state and the County, noting that unemployment peaked at about 13.3 percent in 2010, has bottomed out at 5.8 percent, and has now jumped back up to 6.8 percent from April to August of this year; however, he assured the Board that this jump was 100 percent related to the increase in labor force and not a result of a lack in employment gains, which was actually a positive rather than a negative indicator. He also pointed out that the County’s unemployment numbers were very seasonal from 1990 to 2001 and showed a lot of volatility during that time period, but they were currently not as impacted by those seasonal shifts since their economy is now more diversified. He specified that there were about 126,000 employees in Lake County, and the average historic rate of year over year growth from 2000 to 2008, not counting the downturn, was about 4.4 percent, which they are getting closer to reaching again over the last five to six months. He commented that they have had an increase of about 3,000 jobs over the last year and 10,000 jobs since the lowest point in the economy. He presented a pie chart which illustrated that 70 percent of Lake County residents are working within the county, with 30 percent working outside of the county; however, he noted that 7 percent of their workforce is in manufacturing, which makes up 4 percent of their jobs, which he opined was good for recruitment of manufacturing companies, since it indicated a large available workforce. He also presented a pie chart showing the percentage of job growth from 2010 to 2014 within each sector, and he commented that their goal was to increase the number of manufacturing jobs and professional and technical services that would generate high-wage jobs. He displayed a bar graph which showed the average annual wage in Lake County as well as the year over year increase for those time periods, noting that they were up about two percent year over year, which has been the second highest rate of increase in the region, although the actual wage itself was still the lowest in the region. He reported that the business tax receipts for Lake County have increased 11 percent year to date, which he believed was a positive indicator of the commercial environment, and the sales tax receipts have increased 9.6 percent year to date to the highest level on record, indicating that consumer spending is up in Lake County. He related that although the number of building permits that were issued this year was less than half what is was in the boon years, they were still up 100 percent year over year, which indicated that the residential market is turning in Lake County, and he pointed out that the average home price in Lake County has steadily risen in the last few years to $162,325 but is still lower than the historical trend line indications. He summarized that all of the economic indicators are pointing in the right direction.
Mr. Chandler related that they did a big campaign this year for the Business Opportunity Centers (BOC) which involved print, billboards, and commercials, and he opined that they were well done and represented the County and the BOC’s well, playing one testimonial for the Board. He commented that the training and consulting at the BOC’s continue to be very successful, although they are having some challenges with the demand for the incubator program and plan to do a full review of it. He added that they would be evaluating their BOC expenses and locations to make sure that this will be an efficient and productive system, and he was very confident in the success of the consulting and training. He stated that their Economic Development Coordinators have worked on 774 different jobs and have done almost 400 site visits and community outreach events, and he commented that the results from this program are not always tangible but remain valuable, giving examples of some of the companies or groups that they have assisted through this program, including media coverage for the Hunt Industrial Park expansion, the South Lake Technology Committee, and solving a problem for Senninger Irrigation. He added that Manufacturing Month will include the website Madeinlake.com, a Center for Advanced Manufacturing groundbreaking on October 30, the guiding force of the Manufacturing Task Force, and a Manufacturing Day Proclamation proclaiming October as Manufacturing Month in Lake County. He mentioned that there was a Partners for Success event coming up in South Lake on November 18, which will be a chance for the County to showcase all of the academies and the good things in the educational system and colleges, and he commented that they were increasing their focus on generating exposure for local businesses. He pointed out that a lot of local businesses were expanding and hiring, including Central Florida Health Alliance, Quiet Flex, Hunt Industrial Park, Senninger Irrigation, and G. W. Schultz. He presented a bar graph showing the number of serious leads for business attraction that they have gotten into their office, including 24 serious leads, and he noted that the majority of those have been in manufacturing. He elaborated that staff feels that there was a high probability of attracting 7 of those businesses, which would bring 1,100 jobs with an average wage of $41,000, and they have already recruited the natural gas facility WCA and HUB Steel, which was located outside of the Christopher C. Ford Industrial Park. He mentioned that Electron Machine Corporation in Umatilla won the Orlando EDC Schwartz Award for Innovation, with other Lake County nominees being PUR Clinic, Vactron, and G. W. Schultz Tools.
Mr. Chandler commented that Tourism is Lake County’s strongpoint and is doing very well, up 14 percent year to date through July, and he specified that the TDT (Tourist Development Tax) revenues were currently at about $1.6 million. He noted that the TDC (Tourist Development Council) revenues indicate that this is a record year so far, and they anticipate that to continue. He pointed out that not only is the average daily hotel room rate up almost ten percent, but the occupancy rate has also gone up, which he opined is an ideal situation and an indication of a stronger market. He recapped that Hickory Point Beach Volleyball opened on July 5 with great media coverage, although they only had three events since they opened at the end of their season, with 50 teams per event generating between 250 and 500 room nights, and he added that they recently submitted a bid to host the USA Junior Beach Tour National Championships for 2015, 2017, and 2019 and had 20 events scheduled for next year’s season. He noted that the Hickory Point Dock Improvement project which was done through a grant from the TDC was finished on July 31, and they were working with them to plan the ribbon cutting. He remarked that they were already getting some interest in fishing tournaments and events because of these dock improvements. He reported that the Tavares Waterfront cleanup project, which was another TDC grant project, was almost complete, and the design and permitting for the boat ramp is underway, with the bid process expected to begin by the end of 2014. He announced that the Clermont Boat House design is completed, and construction began on that TDC grant project in September and was expected to be completed in December, with the first regatta in November. He related that the Renaissance Faire event has expanded to two weeks, because it was able to move to a new location at Lake Idamere, and all of the money awarded to that project from the TDC grant is going into infrastructure improvements at the site, which are expected to be completed by the November event dates. He mentioned that there were no capital project grant requests for this cycle.
Mr. Chandler reported that they did the same number of events under their Sponsorship & Event Recruitment as they had done last year, although their economic impact is up from $52 million in 2013 to $63 million in 2014, and he also noted that although the number of room nights is similar, they have increased the number of day trips. He reminded the Board that they launched their new sponsorship program which diversifies the marketing program, which has been very well received, and he indicated that staff has been focusing on major event recruitment to generate some interest in Lake County from a sporting perspective, noting that they have been going after a great diversity of large events through collaboration with a number of different partners. He emphasized that the Wings and Wildflowers Festival is a chance for the County to brand itself as a birding destination, and he related that they moved the event to Venetian Gardens this year, which was wildly successful and resulted in a 30 percent increased attendance to over 4,000 people and a great response from those who attended. He explained that they started a new Co-Op Marketing Program on October 1 which will allow tourism organizations to come to them with their own marketing plans for exposure outside the county and share in those costs with the County, at a maximum award of $10,000 per organization per year. He listed their major marketing efforts this quarter, including an ad in the July/August issue of Volleyball Magazine with the tagline of “We Built the Beach, You Bring the Game,” an episode of “How To Do Florida” in August featuring a kayaking trip on Lake Dora and a seaplane ride, two fishing television shows which will be filmed in Lake County, professional and expert endorsements, and conventions and conferences. He mentioned that they have started conceptual discussions about a potential new visitor center location and have been working on a new social media strategy. He related that there were a number of Sports Academies as well as interest in starting new Sports Academies for sports such as volleyball and rowing. He commented that Lake County does not have enough hotels sometimes during some of the high season to warrant some of the events that they want to bring in, so they are doing a survey to analyze future demand for room nights that would be generated by upcoming events. He concluded that they are still producing a visitor guide and working on the tourism website to attract tourists to the area.
Commr. Cadwell commented that they have been discussing having someone else taking over the Wings and Wildflower event in the future, and he suggested that they move the venue of that event around the county as they grow the event to attract new and returning visitors in the birding community, which would feature assets in the north part and other parts of the county without diminishing what they have built with Wings and Wildflowers. He also commented that he was impressed with the way everyone worked together during that festival, including staff that worked during their days off, and it made him feel good that he was part of this organization.
Commr. Sullivan congratulated staff on how they have grown the Wings and Wildflowers event, and he knew that the tremendous following came about through the hard work and efforts of their staff and volunteers from all over the county.
Commr. Conner remarked that Mr. Chandler had a good standing and reputation with the EDC (Economic Development Commission), and he commented about the high level of commitment and the quality of their staff.
update on public lands
Ms. Wendy Breeden, Public Resources Director, explained that she would provide the Board with an update to the previous presentation that was made to the Board on September 3, 2013 and to present some new land opportunities. She recapped that the County Public Lands Acquisition Program was approved on November 2, 2004 in response to a Public Lands referendum which was approved by more than 70 percent of the vote, and she presented a slide of the original 11 environmentally-sensitive properties acquired through the program for the purposes of protecting drinking water sources; improving quality of rivers, lakes, and streams; preserving natural areas and open spaces; providing passive recreation areas and trails; and enhancement of natural wildlife corridors. She related that the County currently has four Public Land properties that are open to the public, which were the Ellis Acres Reserve, Lake May Preserve, Pasture Reserve, and the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead, which was new. She also recapped that the Board received a staff assessment in December 2013 of the Public Lands properties and gave its approval for staff to seek potential public agencies or private non-profit organizations interested in accepting the Northeast Lake County Scrub Preserve and the Lady Lake Preserve with conservation easements, as well as to surplus Parcels A, B, and D of the Mount Plymouth Lakes Reserve and retain the South Pine Lakes Reserve under County ownership and management. She reported that several changes have occurred in the Public Lands Program since that time, including the transfer of the Dead River Road Regional Stormwater Pond to the Stormwater Division of the County’s Public Works Department and the capital improvements being done at the City of Clermont’s Hiawatha Preserve with a $1.8 million grant from the Public Lands fund to assist with park development in exchange for the former sprayfield property being transferred to the County for the future South Lake Regional Park, and she noted that the Hiawatha Preserve will also serve as a trailhead for Phase III(a) of the South Lake Trail. She reported that there were two new additions to the County’s Public Lands inventory, one of which was the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead, which opened to the public on October 3 and was acquired through a 20-year lease agreement with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). She pointed out that the second property, which was now the second-largest Public Lands property in their inventory, is the Pine Meadows Conservation Area, a 770-acre property donated to them by the SJRWMD, and she related that the Board also approved an agreement in June with Florida Fish and Wildlife for boat ramp improvements and wetland and aquatic habitat enhancements at Pine Meadows, after which the property is scheduled to open on a limited basis several days a week for public access.
Ms. Breeden noted that the 63-acre Northeast Lake County Scrub Preserve is surrounded on three sides by the Seminole State Forest, and she reported that the state has communicated its interest in moving forward with acceptance of the property. She elaborated that staff is working with the state and the County Attorney’s Office on the transfer and will be bringing back an agreement for Board approval. She related that staff met with the Lady Lake Town Manager with a proposal to donate the Lady Lake Preserve, but the offer was declined because of concerns about the potential costs to maintain the preserve, although the Town of Lady Lake indicated that it might revisit the issue in the future. She assured the Board that staff will continue to work with the County Attorney’s Office to identify possible agencies or not-for-profit organizations that might be interested in accepting the property with a conservation easement. She commented that the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead was a key destination for citizens and visitors during the Wings & Wildflowers Festival, with a lot of people coming through the first weekend it was opened, and was located on the southwest side of Lake Apopka on County Road 455 within the community of Ferndale. She elaborated that this location offers passive recreation and educational opportunities for biking, birding, hiking, and native flora and has a number of amenities, including a pavilion, restrooms, and a short trail, all of which were made possible with partnerships with the SJRWMD, Green Mountain Scenic Byway Committee, and the Federal Highway Administration grant funding administered by FDOT; also, this location will complete another missing segment in the overall Lake Apopka Loop Trail. She explained that the Mt. Plymouth Lakes Reserve in the Wekiva area consists of five parcels that were donated to the County in 2007, noting three parcels that were approved by the Board for surplus as A, B, and D on the overhead map, and she pointed out that Public Works has expressed interest in retaining some of Parcel A for stormwater purposes related to anticipated future improvements to SR 46.
Ms. Breeden discussed some new land opportunities, including a 165-acre area in the Wekiva Springs State Park, which contains a planned Wekiva Trail connector, two and a half miles of which is in Lake County. She reported that the property is scheduled to provide a major trailhead as well as a multi-purpose paved trail that will run from SR 46 in Lake County south into Orange County, and she mentioned that DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) recommends that this parcel be transferred to Lake County through a long-term lease agreement, which would include land management, development, and reporting requirements similar to those of PEAR Park. She reported that based on previous Board input, staff has made initial contact with DEP regarding transfer of the property, and the entire Wekiva Trail is currently undergoing a PD&E Study which is funded by FDOT and managed by the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). She mentioned that Public Works and the City of Mount Dora are expected to take the lead on construction of the other portions of the planned Wekiva Trail running west along SR 46 to Mount Dora, and maintenance funds for this section are already included in the 2015 budget. She related that the Board recognized through Resolution 2014-20 earlier this year that the Wekiva River System provides outstanding resource values that are important for the wellbeing and quality of life of Lake County and supported the state purchase of the Philip Arthur Property, which is south of the Wekiva Parkway. She recapped that Commr. Campione requested that staff research the possibility of acquiring park property with river access along the west side of the Wekiva River, and staff conveyed the County’s interest in utilizing a portion of the Arthur Property for such purposes; however, FDOT has indicated that it is unable to donate any portion of the property at this time until it has determined whether it has enough property for mitigation purposes. She assured the Board that staff will continue to monitor FDOT needs for that property while looking for similar riverfront property opportunities that will suit their interests for providing access to the Wekiva River for launching kayaks and canoes.
Ms. Breeden related that the County was contacted recently by a family who has expressed an interest in donating 92 acres of property known as Lacys Groves to the County for the purpose of a future active or passive park which is located west of CR 561 on the corner of Buckhill Road and CR 455, and she pointed out that it was made up of two parcels marked A and B on the overhead map. She explained that the family, who has owned the property since 1952, requests that the park be named in memory of their father, Bill Lacy, if the offer is accepted, and she pointed out that the family would not object if the County sold parcel B with the understanding that the proceeds would be used to assist with park development. She showed some photographs of the property on the monitor, pointing out that the property offers pastures that were previously citrus groves, pine woods, and a nine-acre pond fed by two drainage streams. She stated that staff has conducted a preliminary analysis of the Lacys Groves property and believes that this is an opportunity to land-bank property for a future park to further the Lake County parks and Recreation Master Plan mission. She noted that the property is large enough to accommodate a community park and is suitable for potential active and passive recreational opportunities similar to PEAR Park, and she reported that the estimated annual fiscal impact to maintain and develop the undeveloped property is $40,000, which is not currently budgeted. She mentioned that the potential park property is also consistent with the Parks and Recreation element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, and she pointed out that this property is not far from where the new Turnpike Interchange will be built.
Ms. Breeden summarized that the County currently maintains 2,821 acres of Public Land properties, and staff will continue its efforts to transfer the Northeast Lake County Scrub Preserve to the Seminole State Forest, work towards a potential transfer of the Lady Lake Preserve to an appropriate agency or organization, and surplus and find qualified and interested recipients for the three Mount Plymouth Lakes Reserve parcels B, and D, and the portion of A not being used for stormwater purposes. She stated that staff recommended acquisition of the 165-acre parcel from the state for the development of the Wekiva Trail Connection and acceptance of the 92-acre land donation offer of Lacys Groves to be used in the future as a community park. She requested that the Board approve moving forward with the due diligence and bringing back an agreement to the Board for the transfer and management of the 165-acre parcel needed for the Wekiva Trail connector, as well as moving forward with due diligence for the land donation offer of Lacys Groves and bring back an agreement to the Board, which would include funding the annual maintenance of the undeveloped property in the amount of $40,000.
Commr. Campione asked whether there is anything they could do with the Lacys Grove property to help generate money to help maintain it.
Ms. Breeden responded that there currently were some cattle on the property, and it would be suitable for some sort of cattle lease.
Commr. Parks clarified that the approval of the donation of the properties would come back to the Board again before they decide on whether or not to accept those properties.
Commr. Conner inquired as to what options they have taken, their future options, and what it would cost for the 165 acres of the Wekiva Trail.
Ms. Breeden replied that so far their actions have only been to have a conference call with the state to let them know that there is funding available, and the trail is already under PD&E, which is being funded by FDOT and managed by the MPO. She noted that funding for maintenance was put in the budget in anticipation of taking over the property through a 50-year lease, and this was brought up at a previous meeting, although no action was requested at that time. She clarified that in the future they would prepare annual reports similar to PEAR Park, have to implement a management plan, and maintain it. She added that the construction of the trail is anticipated for FY 2017, and maintenance would increase after that.
Mr. Bobby Bonilla, Parks and Trails Division Manager, elaborated that they are expecting maintenance costs in excess of $200,000 after post development of the 2.5 miles of trails, restroom facilities, pavilions, and educational areas, which would include an annual management report to the state and biological assessments and reporting. He also explained that this park will have some active and passive recreation and will look like a miniature PEAR Park, and at that point there will be 1,300 feet of property boundary that would have to be fenced and surveyed, and the mowing and trash pickup would have to be addressed, although so far the property has been pretty clean.
Commr. Campione clarified that this trail will eventually connect to the West Orange Trail and technically part of the Central Florida loop, and she commented that this piece would be an important part of that system.
Commr. Parks asked to see something on paper illustrating the concept for that park, without hiring a consultant.
Ms. Breeden assured him that they could bring that back at the same time they bring back the information on the due diligence, and she commented that she believes it will be a long period of time before the park is developed.
Mr. Vance Jochim commented that there were only four of the Public Lands that were open to the public, and 30 percent of the land in Lake County is off the tax rolls, including conservation lands, parks, and government properties. He expressed concern that the County is accruing more land when they do not have the funding to maintain that land, and he opined that it was against taxpayer interests to reduce the land on the taxpaying rolls and not allocating funding for these lands so that people can use them.
Commr. Campione expressed concern about the Lady Lake property and asked whether some of the problem is access of the property.
Ms. Breeden responded that the property does not have good access and had only a couple of acres of uplands.
Mr. Bonilla elaborated that there was a drainage easement on the property and very little uplands, since it contained mostly lakes.
Commr. Sullivan suggested that they surplus that land if it is not providing any benefit to the County to someone who wanted to live in the middle of a 65-acre parcel.
Commr. Conner suggested that the Commissioners bring back any suggestions or options they have about what to do with that property as an agenda item for future meetings.
Mr. Heath stated that they would bring back a report that would give the Board some options in terms of surplusing the Lady Lake property.
Commr. Conner commented that he agreed with the comments made by Mr. Jochim and stated that he would be very careful going forward not to support things that would cost them money in the future unless those things are absolutely necessary. He also questioned the reasoning of those who support the acquisition of land but vote against budgets that fund the upkeep of those properties.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Cadwell and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved the staff’s requested action to move forward with the due diligence for the offer of the land donation of Lacys Grove and the agreement for the transfer and management of the 165-acre parcel needed for the Wekiva Trail connector.
Commr. Conner voted “no.”
appointment to lake ems board of directors
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointment of Mr. John Moore to the Lake EMS Board of Directors as a representative from a hospital whose service area includes Lake County, to serve a two-year term ending February 1, 2016.
appointment to library advisory board
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of Ms. Patricia Vacherlon to the Library Advisory Board as an alternate member representing the Town of Howey-in-the-Hills to complete an unexpired four-year term ending February 28, 2016.
appointment to capital facilities advisory committee
On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the reappointment of the following members to the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee to serve two-year terms ending August 2, 2016: Mr. Jim Miller as Chamber of Commerce representative and Mr. Jeff Banker and Mr. Ralph Smith as Citizens-at-Large members.
appointment to wellflorida council
On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the appointment of the Ms. Marsha Pridgeon as Consumer Member and reappointment of Mr. Jonathan Cherry as Provider Member to the WellFlorida Council to serve two-year terms ending September 30, 2016.
proclamation honoring beacon college
Commr. Sullivan related that Beacon College was the first college in the United States to offer a baccalaureate degree for people with learning disabilities, has a 76 percent graduation rate, and is noted as a best value in colleges and universities.
On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Proclamation No. 2014-130 honoring Beacon College for twenty-five years of service, per Commissioner Sullivan.
reports – county manager
solid waste collection service
Mr. David Heath, County Manager, related that the rollout of the new garbage collection service began last week, and he pointed out that it was no small undertaking with about 40,000 pickups per day. He commented that they have had some transitional issues with the haulers and have gotten a number of calls relating to issues such as undelivered or wrong carts, missed pickups, and animals getting into the garbage. He reported that staff was continuing to meet with the haulers to resolve these issues, and they have sent staff out in the field to report back to them, instituted a call center from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day during the past week as well as on Saturday, and have utilized some of the Public Works crews to pick up garbage. He related that they anticipate the call center being open through the rest of that week, and he assured the Board that it would be a priority for them until they get to more normalized call levels, noting that they have already seen improvements and a decreasing call volume. He mentioned that Commr. Campione had contacted him regarding the issue of animals and bears, but he believes that as the haulers get more familiar with their sites and the garbage gets picked up more promptly, the chances would be less for animals to get into it; however, they are also contacting the Florida Wildlife Commission regarding a $20,000 to $22,000 grant that the County might be eligible for. He noted that bear-proof containers are more expensive, and there was an increased cost associated with that, but they are analyzing the situation now and would be bringing back a report and a possible proposed program in November.
Commr. Campione commented that many residents with once a week garbage pickup in the past had their own contraptions for preventing bears from getting into the containers; however, the new mandated trash cans are causing problems for those residents, and she hoped that the County can address that issue as quickly as possible. She added that residents who previously had twice a week pickup and kept their containers in their garage were now keeping them outside due to the increased smell, which was also attracting bears. She asked about the ownership of the containers.
Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, responded that the County owns them and that the contract provided that the haulers would provide the containers.
Commr. Conner commented that staff and the haulers have worked hard to straighten out any issues caused by the transition of the solid waste program. He added that he would not judge the success of the program by its first week or two after implementation.
reports – commissioner parks – vice-chairman and district 2
Commr. Parks stated that he was interested in hearing about the Citizens Academy, which the Board had instituted years ago and cut in 2008, during the next workshop or retreat. He asked for a summary of what was done in the past, whether there would be a cost associated with that, and whether they would be interested in re-implementing that. He commented that he has heard some good things about it, and he believed there could be value in getting people engaged and having them learn more about what the constitutional officers do.
Commr. Cadwell commented that it was very valuable before and also was a conduit for recruiting volunteers for the County. He added that the issue was that there was not enough County staff to do it at that time rather than the cost of conducting it.
Commr. Campione pointed out that the volunteer hours the County would receive might make up for the manpower cost to institute the Citizens Academy, and she opined that it was worth taking a look at that.
Mr. Heath stated that he would give the Board a report regarding that.
REPORTS – COMMISsIONER campione – DISTRICT 4
forum roundtable in leesburg
Commr. Campione mentioned that the Forum Roundtable in Leesburg which Commr. Sullivan headed up received a lot of participation, which was a collaboration to come up with ideas to help people who are released from the Lake County Jail get the services they need to turn their lives around and not re-offend. She opined that Commr. Sullivan did a great job and that the forum was successful in making progress in collaborating ways to get the inmates the help they need to curtail behaviors that would get them sent back to the jail.
Mr. Heath suggested that he would have Mr. Robert Anderson, Human Resources Director, make a presentation on volunteerism and perhaps tie the Citizens Academy into that.
Commr. Sullivan related that he would be taking that presentation to the Public Safety Coordinating Committee later on that day and then would present it to the Board at a future meeting.
Commr. Campione commented that the County could actually save money by reducing the inmate population, and it would also help the community and the families as a whole.
reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5
wings and wildflowers festival
Commr. Cadwell thanked everyone who volunteered to help at the Wings and Wildflowers Festival.
Commr. Cadwell mentioned that he and Commr. Conner attended the EDC reception, which honored some local businesses previously mentioned by Mr. Chandler, and the League of Cities dinner held last week was well-attended by the Board. He also reminded everyone that Clermont Mayor Hal Turville’s retirement reception would be held on Sunday, October 19, at 4:30 p.m. in the new community building in Clermont.
REPORTS – COMMISSIONER conner – CHAIRMAN AND DISTRICT 3
pavilion opening in tavares
Commr. Conner related that he had spoken at the Pavilion opening on Saturday morning, October 11, in Tavares, and he commented that the building was very well done.
Edc board meeting
Commr. Conner thanked staff for attending the EDC Board meeting a couple of weeks ago.
Dr. Glisson health incident
Commr. Conner mentioned that Dr. Jim Glisson, a former state senator, had a major health incident a couple of weeks ago, and he wanted to recognize that Lake EMS was instrumental in saving Dr. Glisson’s life and to express pride in the work that Lake EMS has done.
grant for bullet proof vests for sheriff
Commr. Conner noted that they had all received an email stating that the Sheriff received $40,720 for vests due to the efforts of their federal lobbyist.
information regarding millage rates in the region
Commr. Conner presented some information that he requested from Mr. Steve Koontz, Fiscal and Administrative Services Director, which showed County millage rates in the region, and he pointed out that Lake County at 6.8146 mills had the second-lowest millage in the region, with Sumter County at 5.9 mills being the only one that was lower.
Commr. Campione commented that this does not show what the full tax bill would be, noting that there was a website that shows what the tax bill looks like throughout the entire state, and she opined that that web site might show a different picture for Lake County.
Commr. Conner replied that the Board does not have anything to do with setting millage rates for the hospital tax district or the cities, but the information presented by Mr. Koontz shows an honest “apples to apples” comparison of county taxes levied by the Board of County Commissioners. He also emphasized that Lake County was business-friendly.
There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.
jimmy conner, chairman
NEIL KELLY, CLERK