april 21, 2015

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 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, County Manager’s Office; Neil Kelly, Clerk of Court; Barbara F. Lehman, Chief Deputy Clerk, County Finance; and Susan Boyajan, Deputy Clerk.

INVOCATION and pledge

Lt. Matt Hedgren, Core Officer, Salvation Army of Lake and Sumter Counties, gave the Invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda update

There were no agenda updates.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan, and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Minutes of March 17, 2015 (Special Meeting) and March 23, 2015 (Special Meeting) as presented.

citizen question and comment period

Mr. Sandy Minkoff, County Attorney, commented that since it is probably not appropriate to hear statements regarding a specific issue that will be heard at an upcoming public hearing, citizens needed to keep their comments of a general and procedural nature rather than about a specific matter in that case.

Mr. Doug Shields, a resident of Clermont, expressed concern about two issues related to an upcoming zoning hearing, which were to put the burden on the applicant to prove the Comprehensive Plan was no longer up to date in order to be granted a future land use change and the amount of notice the applicant has to postpone their zoning hearing before the Board.  He asked that they change the ordinance and the procedure to extend the notice to 30 days so that it is easier for residents who arrange to attend the public hearings to adjust their schedules.

Commr. Conner agreed that the change of notice was a very good suggestion and indicated that he would like to look into that.  He elaborated that he believes there is a better way to address this issue rather than allowing the applicant as little as two or three days’ notice to postpone a rezoning case, which he did not think was enough notice in his judgment.

Commr. Cadwell cautioned the Board about not giving up their ability to postpone a case in order to accommodate citizens that had just found out about a pending case and suggested that they have a discussion about that issue at a workshop.

Commr. Parks indicated support for looking into a change in that ordinance as well and commented that they have a duty to be as fair as they can.

Ms. Jaime Hanja, a resident of Clermont and member of the Lake County Historical Society, handed out some packets containing information related to what she would be discussing regarding the audits of the Historical Society, and she commented that she was hoping that the audit would enable that organization to learn from their mistakes and grow stronger; however, she was distressed that these issues have not been resolved in two years.  She recapped that the County had chosen to maintain the current funding to subsidize the office manager’s salary, optimize museum operating hours, adequately preserve and inventory all items, maintain financial integrity, and operate in accordance with the bylaws.  She related that the audit pointed out areas that needed to be implemented, including immediate action to match expenditures with revenues, but she pointed out that in April 2013 the organization fired the Office Manager, eliminating the need for County funds, as well as moved their CD into a savings account and cut all unnecessary expenses.  She added that they hired an independent contractor in 2014 and had one sole fundraiser to generate funds to support themselves.  She also pointed out that their bylaws and criteria are not being followed in the process of nominating members of the board and officers, which is currently done on the wishes of one person, and their current nominating committee has never met.  She reported that a complete full inventory of all items in the Historical Society’s possession has not been done as recommended by the audit, although an independent contractor was hired for this purpose after they had tried unsuccessfully to do the inventory with volunteers, and the inventory was on the independent contractor’s laptop computer with no record of it in the office.  She mentioned that although the audit recommended that they adequately store and secure items on display in the museum, the executive committee disagreed with the President approving the move of the artifacts offsite in May 2014.  She also related that the board members never see requests for reimbursements for purchases, and their treasurer writes checks without proper invoicing, despite the recommendation from the audit of board approval for large purchases.  She commented that she was alarmed by the lack of accountability.  She concluded that the organization has not adequately proved that they are stable and deserving of County funds after two years of audits, and she opined that since the $18,800 the County gives to the Historical Society is being misused, Option 1 is the best option available to the Board at this time.

resolution establishing people as top transportation priority

Commr. Parks mentioned that he had seen a pedestrian get hit by a car on Hwy 50 about 15 years ago, which is one of the driving forces for his support for good public safety, and he opined that the Board also supports a good public safety program, including sidewalks and improvements to the roads.  He explained that the resolution he will present honors people as the top transportation priority in Lake County, and he commented that although they could not prevent all accidents, fatalities, and injuries, the Board was trying to do everything they could to help improve their infrastructure to make it as safe as possible.  He read Resolution No. 2015-33 aloud and then presented it to Shannon Hidalgo and Nancy Stuparich, representatives of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce’s Sports and Tourism Committee; Dr. Paula Whetro and David Hidalgo, representatives of Building Blocks Ministries; and Vice Mayor Ray Goodgame of Clermont.

Ms. Shannon Hidalgo, Chairperson for the South Lake Chamber Sports and Tourism Committee, extended the Chamber’s deep gratitude for the County’s commitment to making people the top transportation priority for Lake County on behalf of the 750 businesses and organizations that the Chamber serves.  She commented that this resolution is significant, because it addresses the county’s above-national-average instances of crashes and fatalities; provides planners and decision makers with the framework and the tools to shift the culture there; and makes transportation accessible to all of its citizens, even the most vulnerable.  She added that research indicates that cities with perpetuity and communities of the future are implementing multi-modes of transportation, biking, and pedestrian areas that are safe and accessible for their people regardless of ability.  She elaborated that people living in poverty often do not own automobiles, and 80 percent of those individuals use bicycles as a means of transportation; also, the only way for those with disabilities to be autonomous in their community is through biking and walking.

Vice Mayor Goodgame recapped that the Black West Property in Clermont donated property in 2006 to connect the West Orange Trail with the South Lake Trail, which was the beginning of South Lake becoming part of the Coast to Coast Trail system.  He mentioned that the City of Clermont is requiring bicycle racks in every new type of establishment, since enabling that type of transportation is a high priority for them.  He added that the Lake-Sumter MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) has made sidewalks and trails a high priority.  He concluded that he appreciated the County supporting the same things that Clermont promotes.

Commr. Parks thanked everyone for attending, and he opined that they could also market the bicycle and pedestrian friendly designations in the South Lake area.

Ms. Hidalgo announced that South Lake was the only community along the Coast to Coast Trail that is designated as runner and bicycle friendly, as well as the only community selected as the Florida Community of the Year for being bike friendly.


On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a 5-0 vote, the Board approved the Clerk of Courts’ Consent Agenda, Items 1 through 4, 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.

Ordinances from the City of Clermont

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 2015-17 from the City of Clermont annexing a parcel of land into the City limits of Clermont which was adopted by the Clermont City Council on March 24, 2015/

Request to acknowledge receipt of Ordinance 2015-10 from the City of Clermont annexing a parcel of land in accordance with the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement dated December 2, 2014, into the City limits of Clermont which was adopted by the Clermont City Council on March 24, 2015.

Audit Report from the City of Eustis

Request to acknowledge receipt of the City of Eustis’ Audit Report for the Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2014, delivered March 19, 2015, in accordance with the “Single Audit Act.”


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 of Proclamation No. 2015-37 proclaiming April 2015 as Child Care Awareness Month in Lake County, per Commissioner Cadwell.

Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2015-40 proclaiming April 2015 as Water Conservation Month, per Commissioner Parks.

Request for approval of Proclamation No. 2015-38 proclaiming May 2015 as Law Enforcement Month in Lake County, per Commissioner Conner.

Community Services

Request for approval of Unanticipated Revenue Resolution No. 2015-42 for funds received from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for program income for State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) housing projects and activities in the amount of $718,165. The fiscal impact is $718,165 (Revenue).

County Attorney

Request for approval of Resolution No. 2015-43 and Financing Agreement Authorizing Issuance of the Notes for the Family Christian Center of Clermont, Inc. and authorization for Chairman to execute any necessary documents.

Request for approval of an Amended Agreement between Lake County and Williams, Smith & Summers, P.A. for on call attorney services for closings and title insurance; the fiscal impact is unable to be determined at this time.

County Manager

Request for approval to revise BCC meeting schedule in September and November, 2015.  Due to the School Board’s scheduled Public Hearing on September 8, it is necessary for the Board to change the dates of their Public Hearings to September 15 and September 29, 2015.  These dates have been coordinated with the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector.  In addition, Lake County Day in Tallahassee has been scheduled for November 17, therefore approval is requested to change the Board meeting dates to November 10 and November 24, 2015 to accommodate those who will be attending.

Economic Growth

Request for approval of a funding agreement with Lake Sumter State College (LSSC) Television Station.  The fiscal impact is $25,000 (Expense).

Facilities Development and Management

Request for approval of contract 15-0428 for purchase and installation of a generator and related transfer switch at Fire Station 90 / 104 to Berg Electric (Mt. Dora, FL), and authorization for Procurement Services to execute all supporting documentation.  The estimated annual fiscal impact is $36,933.00.

Public Resources

Request for approval to standardize the Musco Lighting product line for all future sports lighting, as required by the Parks and Trails Division.  There is no fiscal impact.

Public Safety

Request for approval to award contract under Request for Quotation Q2015-00071 for the Fire Station 53 Roof Replacement project to Ryan Fitzgerald Construction, Inc. (Mt. Dora), authorize the Procurement Office to execute all implementing documentation and approve transfer of funds.  The fiscal impact is $26,349.60 (Expenditure).

Public Works

Request for authorization to accept the final plat for Plantation at Leesburg Riverwalk Village Partial Replat and all areas dedicated to the public as shown on the Plantation at Leesburg Riverwalk Village Partial Replat.  Also, request approval of a partial release of a portion of Parcel 1 of the conservation easement recorded in ORB 1309, Page 1213, and a portion of Tract “B” according to Plat Book 35, Pages 73 through 75, and acceptance of a new conservation easement granted by the City of Leesburg.  Plantation at Leesburg Riverwalk Village Partial Replat consists of two tracts and is located south of Leesburg within the Plantation at Leesburg subdivision in Section 26, Township 20 South, Range 24 East.  Commission District 3.  There is no fiscal impact.

Request for approval of Resolution No. 2015-44 authorizing the installation of the "STOP" signs with “All Way” plaques on Lakeshore Drive (1040) at its intersections with Hooks Street (1346), Brodgen Drive, and Anderson Hill Road, (1146)  in the Clermont area, Section 30-31, Township 22, Range 26.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commissioner District 2.

presentation regarding rethink your commute day event

Ms. Dottie Keedy, Community Services Director, explained that the Public Transportation Division has been working with FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) on an event to promote the ridership on LakeXpress, and she related that Mr. Stephen Alienello would give the Board a brief presentation on the reThink Your Commute Day event.

Mr. Alienello, Outreach Specialist with reThink, which is the FDOT Commuter Options Program, explained that LakeXpress has become one of the options for commuters who live and work in North Lake County, in addition to options including Park and Ride, carpool, and vanpool formation, and he related that it is with that in mind that they have partnered with County staff to celebrate LakeXpress with an event on May 14 that they have branded as “LakeXpress, Real Rides, Real Destinations,” which was meant to mimic the Lake County slogan of “Real Florida, Real Close.”  He specified that fares will be waived for LakeXpress on May 14, and additionally rider engagement will be increased by things such as thank you notes and stickers for the riders and a photo contest to encourage riders to promote the service themselves through their social network.  He elaborated that in addition to the current riders, they are marketing this event to the colleges and worksites directly along the routes and spreading the word through the Elder Affairs Council so that senior citizens can take part in this day and try out the system.  He added that the event will include a ceremonial kickoff at the Leesburg Town Square at 10:30 a.m., and he distributed invitations to everyone for that event.

public hearings

ordinance adopting isba with tavares

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


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. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 2015-8 adopting the Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement (ISBA) between the City of Tavares and Lake County. The fiscal impact at this time is $214.00 (Expenditure) to record the Ordinance and ISBA in the Public Records of Lake County.  The remainder of the fiscal impact is not determinable at this time.

vacation petition 1215 – senninger irrigation – lake highlands

Ms. Lori Koontz, Road Operations Division Manager, Public Works, related that she would be presenting Vacation Petition No. 1215 and that the applicants are Lake County and Senninger Irrigation.  She explained that the purpose of the vacation was to vacate portions of Lake Highlands platted rights of way located in the Clermont area, and the request was part of an agreement between the applicants which had been approved by the Board which provides that Senninger Irrigation would donate property for a joint fire station between Lake County and the City of Clermont and grant right of way for the Hartle Road extension for impact fee credits.  She elaborated that the County will construct a portion of the Hartle Road extension project as part of this agreement, which will provide access to the new fire station and to Senninger’s property.  She mentioned that they have received no letters of support or opposition, and they recommend approval and signature of the resolution and approval of the vacation.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Parks, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No 2015-45 for a Public Hearing on Vacation Petition No. 1215 (Lake County and Senninger Irrigation, Inc.) to vacate portions of Lake Highlands platted rights of way (PB3/24 & PB3/52) in the Clermont area.  There is no fiscal impact.  Commission District 2.

Commr. Parks commented that this was a good project.

Commr. Conner thanked Commr. Parks and their staff for working hard on this agreement and commented that it was very well done.

Mr. Heath added that it was a comprehensive effort with numerous staff people involved.

vacation petition 1216 – steven dygert – town of hampton

Ms. Koontz related that she would be presenting Vacation Petition No. 1216 and that the applicant for this vacation is Steven Dygert.  She elaborated that the purpose was to vacate portions of platted rights of way in the plat of the Town of Hampton located in the Umatilla area in order for the applicant to combine all of his parcels to enable him to build a structure in the area of the unimproved right of way to be vacated, and she noted that the applicant has offered to donate a 30-foot half right of way for a public benefit along Lake Yale Road, which currently only has maintenance right of way.  She specified that the area to be vacated is 36,300 square feet, and the right of way area being donated is 30,000 square feet.  She mentioned that they have received no letters of support or opposition and recommend approval and signature of the resolution.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Resolution No. 2015-46 to advertise Public Hearing to vacate portions of rights of way in the Plat of the Town of Hampton (PB 1, Pg 63), in the Umatilla area.  There is no fiscal impact.   Commission District 5.


rezoning consent agenda

Mr. Chris Schmidt, Manager of Planning and Community Design, Economic Growth Department, submitted the advertisements for that day’s rezoning public hearings and displayed them on the overhead monitor.  He explained that the items on the Consent Rezoning Agenda, Tabs 1 and 2, were approved unanimously on consent by the Planning & Zoning Board on April 1, 2015, and the staff recommendation is for the Board to approve the Consent Agenda.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding the Rezoning Consent Agenda, 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, Items 1 and 2, as follows:

Tab 1.  Ordinance No. 2015-9

Rezoning Case #RZ-15-04-5

Fredericks Property Rezoning

Request to rezone approximately 1.4 acres of a 25.60 acre Agriculture zoned parcel to Community Facility District (CFD) zoning.

Tab 2.  Ordinance No. 2015-10

Rezoning Case #CP-2015-02

Mount Dora JPA Boundary Realignment

Comprehensive Plan Amendment amending Chapter XI, Map Series by amending Future Land Use Map Series Exhibit #5

rezoning regular agenda

rezoning case #cp-2015-01 – rural transition 4th alternative

Mr. Schmidt noted that Rezoning Case #CP-2015-01, which was a Comprehensive Plan Amendment for the Rural Transition 4th Alternative for Development, was approved unanimously by the Planning & Zoning Board on April 1, and he explained that staff added the following language to the 4th alternative location criteria for clarity:  “A portion of the PUD must be within one mile from any current municipal utility service area boundary or utility connection, public or private. “  He related that staff recommendation is for the Board to approve the regular agenda item as presented to the Board.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Campione and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Ordinance No. 2015-11 and Rezoning Case #CP-2015-01, Comprehensive Plan Amendment (text) – Staff initiated, Rural Transition 4th Alternative for Development.

rezoning case #rz-15-03-4 – traylor property rezoning

Mr. Schmidt related that the approximately .31-acre subject site for Rezoning Case #RZ-15-03, Traylor Property Rezoning, is located in the Mount Dora area along the north side of Old Hwy 441 east of Boyd Drive, and the applicant is requesting a Planned Commercial (CP) to Planned Commercial (CP) with limited Neighborhood Commercial (C-1) and Community Commercial (C-2) uses.  He explained that the original request was for C-2 zoning, but during the Planning & Zoning Board hearing, the pastor of a church adjacent to the subject property was concerned about possible liquor-type establishments; as a result, staff worked out an agreement with the applicant, who agreed to modify the request to CP zoning with C-1 and C-2 uses prohibiting bars, taverns, adult uses, and liquor stores to address the concern.  He noted that this item was approved unanimously by the Planning & Zoning Board on April 1 with this change, and the staff recommendation is for the Board to approve this item as presented to the Board.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

There being no one who wished to address the Board regarding this Rezoning case, 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 Ordinance No. 2015-12 and Rezoning Case # RZ-15-03-4, Traylor Property Rezoning, a request to rezone .31 +/- acres from CP to Planned Commercial with limited Neighborhood Commercial and Community Commercial Uses.

rezoning case #CUP-15-03-1 – cypress ridge hunting preserve

Mr. Schmidt related that the approximate 40-acre subject site for Rezoning Case #CUP-15-03-1, Cypress Ridge Hunting Preserve, is located in the south Groveland area south of CR 565, east on Empire Church Road, at 10935 Mattioda Road.  He explained that the applicant is requesting a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to establish an outdoor small-scale sporting and recreational camp which would be essentially a hunting camp.  He relayed that this item was previously approved unanimously by the Planning and Zoning Board, but staff added three additional conditions to address opposition voiced at the Planning & Zoning Board hearing, which were agreed to by the applicant.  He specified that these conditions were a limit of four guests at one time, prohibition of the operation of unlicensed recreational vehicles and dirt bikes, and prohibition of the importation of feral hogs for boar hunts.  He concluded that the staff recommendation is for approval of this request as presented to the Board.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

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

Commr. Cadwell asked when in the process they would start collecting bed tax for this facility.

Mr. Minkoff responded they would have to register with the Tax Collector’s Office and pay the tax to them when they engage in short-term rentals of either camp sites or cabins.

On a motion by Commr. Sullivan, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved Rezoning Case CUP-15-03-1, Cypress Ridge Hunting Preserve, a request for CUP approval to establish an outdoor small-scale sporting and recreational camp use (hunting camp) on approximately forty acres.

departmental business

ordinance amending code regarding licensed contractors

Mr. Robert Chandler, Economic Growth Director, stated that he was bringing before the Board an approval to advertise an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Chapter 6, regarding locally registered and locally licensed contractors, and he recapped that this was something that was brought to the Board at a previous meeting in order to address some issues with the current code.

Mr. Shane Gerwig, Building Official and Planning Manager, Economic Growth Department, stated that the purpose of the presentation was to provide an overview to the Board of a proposed ordinance that would amend the Lake County Code to allow the issuance of a local specialty license without written examination in specific situations.  He explained that there are two ways for contractors to obtain contractor licenses, the first being certification through the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation as a certified contactor; and additionally Lake County issues local specialty and registered licenses in accordance with the Lake County Code, for specialties such as aluminum siding, carpentry, concrete, garage door installation, masonry, windows and doors, stucco, and demolition.  He elaborated that each person desiring to be a locally licensed contractor must be at least 18 years old, be of good moral character, and meet all of the eligibility requirements, including proof of education and experience of a bachelor’s degree and one year of proven field experience; four years of active experience as a skilled workman and at least one year of active experience in a foreman or supervisor rule; or a combination of active experience and credit hours from an accredited college.  In addition, the applicants need to submit an affidavit stating that they will not undertake any work outside the scope of the local specialty license, provide notification of any disciplinary action filed within the last five years, and pass both a technical exam and a general construction business exam with a grade of 75 percent or higher, pay local licensing fees, provide insurance as provided by Florida law, and provide a bond payable to the State.  He emphasized that existing Lake County Code does not offer provisions for licensure without an examination.

Mr. Gerwig provided background of the request.  He stated that previously a period of time was provided to allow contractors to obtain licensure without examination when adding a specialty license category to the Lake County Code, which was known as grandfathering; however, grandfathering periods for specialty licenses have closed, and Lake County Code does not currently allow for future grandfathering.  He explained that situations have recently arisen where the addition of a temporary grandfather period allowing experienced contractors to acquire a specialty license would be beneficial to Lake County contractors, and he proposed a change with an amendment that would allow contractors who were only licensed in Lake County on or before March 1, 2015, who have already passed technical and business examinations, and are licensed for residential building and general contractors license to obtain local specialty licenses without an examination.  He elaborated that the applicants who do not meet these specific requirements would be required to take all required examinations related to the scope of instruction.  He added that this exemption from examination requirements would expire on March 1, 2016, and the Lake County contractors who were eligible would also need to show 20 years of active experience as a craftsperson with 10 years of supervisory experience in the specialty classification category in which the person seeks to qualify.  He requested approval to advertise this amendment to the ordinance for a public hearing.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he appreciated staff bringing a solution to this issue to the Board.

Commr. Parks commented that the proposed change was to help some of their experienced contractors locally to deal with a technicality.

Mr. Gerwig responded that a lot of the contractors already have the proven experience in order to relieve them of the examination component.

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved to advertise an ordinance amending Lake County Code, Chapter 6, entitled “Buildings and Construction,” Article VI, entitled “Locally Registered and Locally Licensed Contractors.”  There is no fiscal impact.

recess and reassembly

The Chairman announced at 9:50 a.m. that there would be a 15-minute recess.

reports - commissioner campione – district 4

trap-neuter-return program

Mr. Heath requested that they move the discussion regarding the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program under Commr. Campione’s reports forward in the agenda.

Commr. Campione related that there was a meeting regarding this issue at the Agriculture Center, which was well-attended by about 100 people, including many supporters who were interested in participating and a few people who expressed concern about the impacts the program would have on birds.  She elaborated that the Sheriff has indicated that he is supportive, but he wanted the ordinance to clarify that he would not be responsible for actually administering the program and could designate one or more groups to actually do that, which is very common in other jurisdictions, so he would then be able to divert those cats to the agency, group, or organization that is administering the TNR program.   She requested authorization to proceed with advertising the ordinance, subject to staff working to reach out to the cities for any recommendations, comments, or suggestions with regard to the ordinance, which would contain language that would specify that the Sheriff would have the authority to designate one or more agencies or organizations to administer the program.  She also requested that they modify a provision stating that the community cats could not be returned to an area within 1,000 feet of conservation lands, playgrounds, or parks to state that the owner of that underlying land could give permission if it did not interfere with their management plan to lower the setback from 1,000 feet to 750 feet, which is a common distance in other ordinances in other jurisdictions and to lower the setback to 250 feet for playgrounds in schools, subject to the owner of the playground or school giving permission, which she believed would address concerns they have heard from people concerning problems with sandboxes in playgrounds.

Commr. Cadwell related that he has had real concerns about this issue, but he was not prepared that day to argue the good and bad points about the program or to come up with alternatives that would make the ordinance better.  He inquired whether there were any people at the meeting that expressed concern about residents that would be impacted by the cat colonies.

Commr. Campione responded that there were a couple of people that related that they did not know much information about the program and wanted to learn more about it, and she mentioned that a resident who expressed opposition to the program was completely in favor of it by the end of the meeting once he understood that this would give residents an opportunity to get the cats that were reproducing sterilized in order to stop that cycle, lower the cat population, and still be able to continue to care for them.

Commr. Cadwell commented that that process would take a long time to happen, but he indicated that he wanted to find a humane solution that would be fair for everyone, since those colonies could impose on people’s lives.  He also opined that a 250-foot buffer would not do much to counteract that.

Commr. Campione pointed out that Animal Services can pick up the cats which are deemed to be a nuisance when someone files a complaint, and this ordinance would not take away the Sheriff’s authority to deem the cat a nuisance.

Commr. Cadwell reiterated that he had some real concerns at this point, and he hoped to get educated on the program in order to have enough of a comfort level to make a decision about it.

Commr. Campione noted that the goal was to eliminate euthanasia as a way of reducing the cat population.

Commr. Cadwell asked why they do not do the things Commr. Campione requested before rather than after they advertise the ordinance.

Commr. Campione responded that there are groups ready to engage in this, and the Sheriff is ready to proceed, but they need to have the ordinance in place in order to do that.  She stated that she is trying to move forward as quickly as they can as far as making those changes while they were waiting for comments from the cities rather than wasting two or three weeks and then bring it back after getting the comments from the cities.

Commr. Cadwell expressed concern that the Sheriff was not present to comment that day, which made him hesitant and wondering whether the Sheriff’s Office was on board.

Commr. Campione assured the Board that the Sheriff had made comments at the meeting which indicated that he was very supportive.  She explained that they were going to wait until the public hearing to do a Power Point presentation, and the Sheriff was planning on attending that public hearing.

Commr. Conner opined that they sometimes have to slow down rather than speed up in order to do things right.  He stated that he wants to know what the Sheriff will do regarding this matter and will not vote for anything until he hears from the Sheriff or his direct representative, which he believed would be more respectful to the Sheriff.  He also related that he thought they should make a determination about what the cities want before going ahead.

Commr. Cadwell asked what the timeframe would be if they approved this today.

Mr. Heath responded that they normally have the public hearing within the next meeting or two after they are given approval to advertise.

Mr. Minkoff clarified that the public hearing would probably occur on May 19 due to the timing of the advertising.

Commr. Campione emphasized that there was no disrespect meant to the Sheriff whatsoever and that she was not trying to circumvent a constitutional officer.  She explained that the Sheriff indicated that this was a legislative issue, with the County having to do the legislative part and making sure the ordinance would give the Sheriff all the authority he needed in order to have the flexibility to set up his own rules and procedures.  She added that this issue was all about stopping unnecessary euthanasia and saving money for the taxpayers.

Commr. Conner opined that he disagrees that this program will save money.

Commr. Parks indicated that generally speaking he was supportive of the ordinance but wanted to know more about it.  He asked whether this program would be administered by volunteers, such as the South Lake Animal League.

Commr. Campione answered that those kinds of volunteer groups can sign up to be registered, and the Sheriff would designate the registration requirements in order for those groups to participate.

Commr. Parks asked whether the cats could be relocated rather than returned.

Commr. Campione responded that returning the cats somewhere where they would not be a nuisance or where a caretaker could take care of them would be part of it.

Commr. Parks commented that they would not want the cats in an area where there would be conservation-type activities.

Commr. Campione responded that that was a very good point, clarifying that they would not return the cats to the same location if that would create a problem or conflict.

Commr. Parks clarified that health issues or complaints could be addressed through the nuisance provision.  He related that he was supportive of the advertising, but he noted it would be important to have the Sheriff weigh in on this program at some point and to formally get his input.

Mr. Minkoff clarified that this ordinance will need two public hearings, since it affects the Land Development Regulations (LDR’s) somewhat, so he anticipates that the final hearing would be in June.

On a motion by Commr. Campione, seconded by Commr. Parks and carried by a vote of 4-1, the Board approved to advertise an ordinance amending Chapter 4 of the Lake County Code, entitled “Animals,” to create a ‘Trap-Neuter-Return’ (TNR) Program for Lake County, which will permit the capture and release of stray or feral cats upon sterilization,  rabies vaccination, and ear-tipping; and to amend Sections 4-3 “Definitions”), 4-9 (“Impoundment of animals”) 4-11 (“Surrender of animals”) and 4-36 (“Rabies certificate and county tag”) of Chapter 4 to make them consistent with the TNR Program, subject to staff working to reach out to the cities for any recommendations, comments, or suggestions with regard to the ordinance, and would contain language that would specify that the Sheriff would have the authority to designate one or more agencies or organizations to administer the program and with the modification to a provision stating that the community cats could not be returned to an area within 1,000 feet of conservation lands, playgrounds, or parks to state that the owner of that underlying land could give permission if it did not interfere with their management plan to lower the setback from 1,000 feet to 750 feet and to lower the setback to 250 feet for playgrounds in schools, subject to the owner of the playground or school giving permission.

Commr. Conner voted “no.”


employment agreement for county attorney position

On a motion by Commr. Cadwell, seconded by Commr. Sullivan and carried unanimously by a vote of 5-0, the Board approved the Employment Agreement between Lake County and Melanie Marsh as the County Attorney.

public safety department update and budget presentation

Chief John Jolliff, Public Safety Director, explained that the purpose of their presentation was to provide the Board with an overview of Public Safety operations and the proposed 2016 budget.  He presented an organizational chart showing that under the Public Safety Department Director, there were the Emergency Management Division, Communication Technologies Division, and Fire Rescue Division, which was the largest division in Public Safety.  He related that the mission of the Public Safety Department is to provide quality services that are responsive to changing needs, displaying confidence to the community through their actions, and achieving excellence and value in a courteous, responsive, and efficient manner.

Mr. Tommy Carpenter, Emergency Management Division Manager, presented the organizational chart for the division, noting that it was a small division with three full-time and one part-time employee.  He stated that the Emergency Management Division’s mission is to prepare and provide for the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens, visitors, and employees of Lake County from the effects of man-made, natural, or technological disasters.  He related that they are responsible for managing the Lake County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), maintaining and updating the County’s preparedness plans, managing the special needs population registry, managing the County’s Emergency Notification system known as Alert Lake, and managing and coordinating countywide training and exercises for all government agencies, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, and volunteer agencies.  He listed the accomplishments of their division, which included recent state approval of the Lake County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan update, confirmation that Lake County is receiving about $117,000 in Orlando/Orange Urban Area Security Initiative funding for completion of EOC consoles, receipt of $17,778 from the State Homeland Security Grant Program to update the County’s Local Mitigation Strategy, and creation and implementation of the County’s first multi-discipline, multi-agency Incident Support Team.  He listed their efficiencies, such as frequent and multi-use of the EOC for meetings, training, and exercises by constitutional offices, municipalities, volunteer agencies, and nongovernmental organizations; work towards implementation of the SharePoint system for Emergency Management information and resource sharing for day-to-day operations and EOC use; and addition of five pet-friendly primary shelters used during evacuations to the four pet-friendly shelters the County already has. 

Mr. Carpenter next showed some benchmark comparisons between Lake County and the nearby counties of Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sumter, Marion, and Volusia.  He presented a graph illustrating that Lake County has the third smallest overall population of eight nearby counties in the area behind Osceola and Sumter, as well as the third smallest special need population with 1,453 residents.   He also presented graphs showing that Orange and Volusia have the highest amount of Emergency Management funding, with Lake County having the second smallest total budget after Sumter County; however, he pointed out that Lake County is the only county whose budget is composed of more grant funding than general fund dollars.    He reported that their division’s FY 2016 proposed budget consisted of personal services, operating expenses, and grants and aids, totaling $419,973, which reflects a status quo budget with maintenance of current levels of service.  He noted that the number and quality of special events have contributed to an increase in Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue, and the County’s adopted Tourism Marketing Plan identifies event support as a major facet of tourism strategy.  He also mentioned that there were 20 special events in 2014 that required a Special Event permit, but there are 15 special events already scheduled this year through the end of April.  He explained that the Emergency Management Division coordinates all special events, since they realize that the ability to smoothly and efficiently process special events is an added benefit to attract businesses to Lake County.  He pointed out that the proposed budget includes the position of Special Events Associate that will be funded through TDT to work with current and prospective businesses to streamline the special event permitting process.

Mr. Greg Holcomb, Communication Technologies Division Manager, presented a functional organizational chart identifying the six full-time employees (FTE) in their division for administration of first echelon repair, technical support, system operations-technical oversight, administration for office management and budget database, and network maintenance and administration; and he mentioned that they support both the countywide radio and E911 systems.  He related that their mission was to provide Public Safety with effective emergency and non-emergency communication technology solutions and support.  He mentioned that they had nearly 10 million public safety radio transmissions in 2014, which averages to a little over 27,000 transmissions or conversations per day or every 11 seconds, and he reported that the 911 system had a total call volume in 2014 of close to 750,000, which included both 911 and administrative conversations over the telephone services, noting that 56 percent of their calls are now wireless, which is a growing trend that creates more and more location and identification challenges.  He then listed some of their accomplishments in 2014, including Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) installation for all automatic aid agencies, which was operating well for the approximate 90 current units; grant opportunities such as the 911 Equipment Refresh Grant in the amount of $353,252.33 and the Urban Area Security Initiative grants for infrastructure and equipment totaling almost $338,000; and an expected FCC initiative reimbursement for their effort and work regarding their 800 MHz rebanding.  He pointed out that the AVL equipment resulted in a more efficient operation, and the Smart911 initiative which was recently approved by the Board allowing residents to preregister prior to an emergency with pertinent information has been working out well for them and has shown a trend of about a one percent increase per month on registered individuals, due to staff meeting regularly with residents and homeowners associations and doing presentations.  He presented bar graphs illustrating some benchmarks comparing Lake County to other surrounding counties, including the 911 call volume per capita showing that 60 percent of their population dials 911, which is similar to other counties with the exception of the higher rate in Orange and Osceola.  He pointed out on the graph of operators per capita that there was almost one half an operator per 1000 population, which was fairly equivalent to the other counties based on the services provided.   He presented the proposed FY 2016 budget totaling $4,261,030, noting that they support two major countywide systems for 911 as well as a countywide radio system and that it was a status quo budget which maintained the current levels of service.

Chief Jolliff presented the organizational chart of the Fire Rescue Division which showed that their division was made up of two assistant fire chiefs, seven administrative personnel, and 197 full-time employees in their operations division; as well as a slide showing the breaking down of those specific positions.  He related that the Lake County Fire Rescue Division’s mission is to respond to fire, EMS, and other emergencies as required to protect the citizens and properties within Lake County and to assist neighbor agencies when requested.  He reported that 17 of their 24 fire stations has Advanced Life Support (ALS) stations, 3 of the 24 are designated as Special Operations Stations, and they have a minimum of 64 personnel on duty every day.  He mentioned that their front-line fleet consisted of 17 fire engines, 1 aerial, 3 squads, 14 tankers, 19 Wildlands, and 5 special utility vehicles.  He commented that their stations were strategically placed throughout the county and presented a map of those locations.  He noted that they responded to 20,654 calls for fire service in 2014, 14,683 of which were Code 3 emergency incidents, as well as almost 6,000 public service incidents, 8,525 ALS procedures performed on scene, and 18,776 basic life support procedures performed on scene.  He commented that Automatic Aid was their biggest accomplishment, which ensures that the closest unit responds to an emergency regardless of jurisdiction and results in economies of scale that saves taxpayer dollars with shared purchasing and countywide deployment strategies.  He also stated that they have been collecting, evaluating, and analyzing the system-wide data they have been getting over time and have estimated the cost for calls as well as doing an annual true-up to ensure equity among all the agencies.  He gave examples of how this system results in a quicker response time for those areas.

Chief Jolliff showed on a map the areas with adopted Automatic Aid agreements, which he pointed out encompassed the general center of the county, including Astatula, Clermont, Groveland, Howey in the Hills, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Mascotte, Minneola, and Tavares.  He added that another accomplishment of the Fire Rescue Division was the Public Education & Relations Team (PERT) participation in 79 events in the last six months, including 13 school visits, instruction to 2,600 children about fire safety, instruction to 220 citizens regarding fire extinguisher usage, and 15 various business and community visits.  He elaborated that they also were fortunate to receive an Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $236,556, and they were found 100 percent compliant during an audit from the state’s Firefighter Safety Section in updating their statutory requirements, rules, and regulations.  He explained that one of their efficiencies besides the automatic aid agreements previously mentioned is the multi-agency purchasing arrangement for station uniforms, shoes, and boots from a local competitor to achieve improved economy of scale benefits, which also puts money back into the local economy.  He displayed bar graphs of benchmarks showing the 2014 total calls for service of 20,654 and that there was close to one firefighter in Lake County per 1,000 population compared to the average across the region of 1.2 per 1,000.  He mentioned that Lake County was about in the middle for the total number of stations across the region, which he opined was sufficient at this point based on the automatic aid stations they currently have.  He presented the Fire Rescue Division proposed budget for FY 2016 which reflects a status quo budget and maintenance of the current levels of service, although he noted that there could be future changes reflecting the current labor negotiations.  He specified that their personal services make up a majority of the expenditure budget at a cost of $16.6 million, with operating expenses the next highest at almost $3.7 million, and the total expenditures are $23,574,192.

Chief Jolliff summarized that the largest part making up the overall Public Safety budget for FY 2016 was the Fire Rescue Assessment, with the second largest being the Ad Valorem MSTU tax.  He reported that they are in the process of having the fire assessment update being done, and he would bring that to the Board sometime in June, which he believes would have an effect on the MSTU and the Fire Rescue Assessment.  He specified that their operating revenue was a little over $25 million, and their total revenue was $28,255 with the estimated fund balance of $3.2 million.  He displayed a list of their expenditures making up the FY 2016 proposed Public Safety Budget which balance out the total revenue for FY 2016.  He concluded with an update on the ISO (Insurance Service Office), which was a Public Protection Classification program that collects information on fire protection efforts in the community to determine fire insurance premiums.  He explained that ISO analyzes the data by using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule to assign a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10, with 1 representing superior property protection and 10 indicating that the fire suppression program is not recognized by ISO.  He reported that they currently have a Classification 6 for urban and 9 for rural due to a survey done in 2005; however, they expect a new rating in June or July reflecting an update that was done in February 2015, and he will present that to the Board after they receive the new rating.

Commr. Parks asked whether they will eventually see the numbers on the automatic aid.

Mr. Heath responded that he believed it was premature to present a strategic plan until they have the ISO benchmark and assured him that they will show that to the Board as part of the discussion on the strategic plan.

Commr. Parks asked staff to bring back information about Marion County’s total fire budget, and he asked if there are any comparisons for ISO ratings with other counties.

Chief Jolliff assured Commr. Parks that he will show the Board those numbers when he presents the ISO ratings to them in June or July.

Commr. Cadwell asked whether the new ISO rating will take into account the automatic aid interlocal agreements that the County has entered into.

Chief Jolliff responded that it will recognize that and will fit in perfectly with what the new ratings are.

Commr. Cadwell commented that he appreciates the staff’s work and the cities cooperation on those agreements.  He asked for a copy of the map reflecting the areas covered by the adopted automatic aid agreements.

Mr. Heath elaborated that they had delayed the ISO survey in order to have the automatic aid agreements done, since the ISO only recognized signed agreements.

Commr. Campione asked if the ratings were done across the board or as designations for specific locations.

Chief Jolliff replied that they would designate specific locations throughout the county, and he elaborated that there was a whole new rating.

Commr. Campione asked if the rating will make a difference in homeowner’s insurance premiums for the residents.

Chief Jolliff answered that he was optimistic that it will make a significant difference since the last one ten years ago, but he does not have the numbers right now.

Commr. Campione asked why there is such a difference between Lake County’s total unincorporated calls for fire service of 20,000 versus 65,000 for Marion County, although their populations are not hugely different; and she pointed out that the number of firefighters per 1,000 residents is .27 in Marion versus .96 in Lake.

Chief Jolliff responded that Marion County does transporting as well as fire service with dual certified responders, and they are also short of firefighters due to issues of low pay.

Commr. Parks asked staff to describe real-life scenarios when they do the strategic plan regarding how the ISO ratings would affect homeowner’s insurance so that they could relay to the constituents and residents some numbers on what the savings could be.

Chief Jolliff replied that they could do that.

Mr. Heath elaborated that potable water was the largest factor for the ISO rating, with training and staffing being some smaller factors.

reports – county manager

ballot language for sales tax referendum

Mr. Heath recapped that the Board indicated at their retreat on sales tax that it wanted the reauthorization of infrastructure sales tax to be voted on this fall.  He reported that Mr. Minkoff has discussed this issue with Ms. Emogene Stegall, Supervisor of Elections, who indicated that she would like to have the ballot language and public hearing finalized in June for the sales tax referendum, so he plans to bring the approval to advertise the ballot language and the ordinance before the Board at the next meeting, since time is of the essence.  He also noted that he was working with the School Board and the cities on the interlocal agreement, and the School Board requested that they eliminate Paragraph 3 of the interlocal agreement prohibiting them from utilizing additional sales tax.

Commr. Campione asked whether the Board would be supportive of some language that would attempt to keep as much of the sales tax money in Lake County with local contractors without actually using a preference policy.  She opined that the County has done a really good job in the last few years of using local contractors and still getting the best value for their residents and taxpayers.  She asked whether there was a way to incorporate that issue in order to get more support for the sales tax initiative without actually exercising a full-blown preferential policy and to get the School Board to adopt a similar policy.

Commr. Conner opined that they should be doing that anyway, and he believes that their staff is already trying to do that by practice.

Commr. Cadwell asked whether they would do that by policy rather than in the ordinance.

Commr. Campione responded that they could put in the interlocal agreement a clause stating that the parties will make all attempts possible to assure that was done in a way that was flexible enough but still sets a goal to award as much as possible to local contractors.

Commr. Cadwell clarified that this is a goal as a group that they were trying to obtain.

Commr. Sullivan opined that it was a great idea, although there was currently some legislation being considered by the state contrary to that goal that would limit their ability to set up local ordinance programs that would accomplish that.

Mr. Minkoff elaborated that the bill would prohibit any kind of local preference if state funding is involved in the project in any way.

reports – commissioner sullivan – district 1

leesburg bike fest

Commr. Sullivan reminded everyone about the Leesburg Bike Fest coming up that weekend, commenting that it was the largest three-day bike and music festival in the country, and he thanked the Board and staff for what they were doing to support that.

reports – commissioner cadwell – district 5

discovery gardens landscape and garden fair

Commr. Cadwell related that the Discovery Gardens Landscape and Garden Fair was held that past weekend, and he commented that it was a great event with about 900 people in attendance.  He encouraged everyone to visit Discovery Gardens to see the great things they were doing.

victim awareness ceremony

Commr. Cadwell announced that there will be a Victim Awareness ceremony and speaker at the Child Advocacy Center in Leesburg on Wednesday, April 22, at 11:00 a.m.

autism family fun day at dreamplex

Commr. Cadwell reported that Dreamplex was having an Autism Family Fun Day on Saturday, April 25.

water safety task force

Commr. Cadwell asked Commr. Parks whether the drowning prevention task force was meeting in the near future, and he mentioned that another drowning happened that weekend at a birthday party at an Orlando apartment complex.

Commr. Parks responded that he was looking into formalizing the advisory board of the Water Safety Task Force.


veteran’s booklet

Commr. Conner asked Mr. Heath to give them an update about the veteran’s booklet he inquired about at a recent meeting.

Mr. Heath responded that they were modeling the veteran’s booklet after the template that Brevard County had used, adapted it for Lake County, are currently in the process of printing those up, and plan to have them in the next 30 days.  He further clarified that it was a compilation of all the forms and services that veterans and their families can access.

shortage of ems units

Commr. Conner expressed extreme concern about a shortage of EMS staff and equipment to handle the call volume at certain times and not being able to meet the public safety needs of their community.  He indicated that this was an issue for the EMS board rather than for the Board of County Commissioners.

Commr. Cadwell responded that they were going to bring this up at their next EMS meeting on April 30, and he assured the Board that they monitor and know what vehicles are available.  He elaborated that it was certainly a staffing and equipment issue without a simple answer related to the amount of calls they have been getting, since they have tried different ways to utilize people and equipment.

Commr. Campione asked whether there is a more efficient way to make the non-emergency types of transfers to make sure they always have the number of units they need for the Code 3 or emergency-type calls.

Commr. Cadwell added that they need to discuss the significant increase in call volume and how that affects the current staff.

Commr. Campione replied that the revenue is up as well due to the increased call volume.

Commr. Conner asked Mr. Heath to let Mr. Jerry Smith, Lake EMS Director, know about the Board’s discussion that day.

Mr. Heath related that he met with Mr. Smith last week regarding his budget, and he relayed that Mr. Smith does have some plans in terms of using the increased revenues from the increased amount of transports with an aggressive expansion schedule in mind which would add a couple of units and the appropriate staff to go along with it.


There being no further business to be brought to the attention of the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 11:22 a.m.



jimmy conner, chairman